ATHENS - Georgia school president Michael Adams is very confident that a college football playoff is on the way.
Adams told the UGA athletic board on Wednesday that he expects a four- or even eight-team playoff to be in place by 2014. He later expanded on those comments with media members.
“The conference commissioners are finally coming together on that point. There’s been great division among the commissioners the last six or eight years, and the change in the conference realignments, the fact that most of the media contracts are up in either ’14 or ’15 are creating a situation where if there’s going to be change, this is probably the natural time to do it," Adams said. "The signals that you all saw, that the Big Ten and Pac-12 sent in the last few days indicates that those talks are moving forward. And our commissioner has been at the table as a part of those talks. But I’m going to let him provide the details when they’re ready.”
Adams was referring to the Big Ten getting ready to prepare a proposal for a four-team playoff, where semifinal games would be on campus. The BCS commissioners and school presidents are due to debate the future of the BCS this spring and summer.
Adams has long advocated a playoff.
“I don’t say this about very much, but I think we were actually at the front of the train on that issue," Adams said. "I can see it coming down the track and I think we will end up with something that the fans feel better about. We may never get anything that the fans feel perfectly happy about. But one of my major concerns all along has been that I didn’t think we were paying enough attention to the fans who foot the bill for all this. And I think that realization is beginning to come home.”
Adams proposed an eight-team playoff a few years ago, using what were then the four major bowls.
“Whether that happens, or four and then two as either a part of the bowls, or after, that’s what the commissioners are talking about right now.”
Adams said he didn’t think the television ratings for the bowls, which were down this year, were a major factor. He said the ratings fall could be attributed to other factors, either the economy or other things.
“The role of the BCS seems to have diminished people’s views of the other bowls," he said. "But on balance, I think we’ve pushed ticket prices and travel about as far as we can in this economic environment.”