The Big 6 and Virginia Tech

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Yesterday the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee finally made it official.  College football will have a four-team playoff beginning in the 2014 season.

Here’s what we know about the playoffs:

Rotating Semifinals

The two semifinal games will rotate amongst the six big bowl games.  That’s right, there will now be six big bowl games, which means 12 teams.  The Rose Bowl will be there, and so will the Champions Bowl (Big 12 vs. SEC … it will have a real name by the time this playoff gets started).  The ACC is close to finalizing a deal with the Orange Bowl.  Those would be the three contract bowls that take part in the rotation.

Bids will be taken from the other bowls, and obviously the Fiesta Bowl and the Rose Bowl are possibilities.  Keep your eye on the Capital One Bowl (played in the Florida Citrus Bowl).  Bowl officials have decided to renovate their stadium for 2014, just in time for a playoff.  Orlando in December/January sounds nice.  The Cotton Bowl (played in the new Cowboys Stadium) would be another possibility as well.  We don’t know what the official name for these six big bowl games will be yet, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to call them the “Big 6”.

That sounds fine to me.  If the Hokies win the ACC and they aren’t selected to be in the playoffs, they’ll go to the Orange Bowl (or another Big 6 game, if the Orange is hosting the semifinals).  And it’s going to be a much better Orange Bowl now, because the Big 6 games will be played on either New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve.

“One of the mistakes we made was getting away from New Year’s Day,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. “That was not a good decision. We made a mistake on that one.”

No question about that.  Having big bowl games on Tuesday, January 3 will kill attendance.  Now Hokie fans, and fans of everyone else, will no longer be inconvenienced by the date of the game.

Also – and this is perhaps the best news of all – the Big East Champions won’t automatically be headed to the Big 6.  And the Orange Bowl won’t be forced to take an at-large team like Kansas.  There’s a much better chance now of Virginia Tech playing an LSU, Wisconsin or Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, and it would happen on December 31 or January 1.

In short, even if the ACC Champion isn’t in the playoff, the reward is still going to be very nice.

Selection

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