College Football Playoff Format: The 'Plus One' Back From The Dead

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 10: The Coaches' Trophy, awarded to head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game during a press conference on January 10, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Last weekend's announcement that the SEC and Big 12 would send their conference champions to Rose Bowl Jr. has revived the possibility of a "plus-one" title game after the bowls. Wait, what?

"I'd say before Friday that idea of a plus-one didn't have much traction, but I think the announcement on Friday's a game-changer," [Pac-12 Commissioner Larry] Scott said. "We're pretty far down the path on four-team playoff options, but given the very positive reaction to what the SEC and Big 12 have done, it's possible that (a plus-one) could get some traction."

I'm incredibly mixed on this college football latest development.

On the one hand, a "plus-one" -- a euphemism for the current BCS system, the only difference being the BCS National Championship Game participants are determined after, not before, the bowl games -- would presumably give more opportunities to a program NOT from the Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten or SEC to earn a spot in the "playoff." A 13-0 or 12-1 ACC program that convincingly wins its bowl game could have a shot at this "plus-one." A greater shot than a format where a four-team playoff takes the top four teams, to be sure, and possibly even the four-team conference champion ONLY format.

So you can guess which format ACC Commissioner John Swofford prefers:

"At this point in the process, the discussion and momentum seems to surround a four-team, three-game approach," Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "As we continue to focus on finding an option that leads to a consensus among the group, we'll have to see if that involves the consideration of other models, including the simplified plus-one."

On the other hand, we seem to be going backwards here. No one likes the current BCS system and a "plus-one" preserves the worst parts of the BCS (computer rankings, reliance on human polls, just two teams) AND the worst part of the current bowl system (the bowls themselves, the selection process, the quasi-illegal ticket guarantees).

At this point, ACC fans should probably be pushing for a four-team playoff in hopes that the sports power brokers realize how much money they are leaving at the table by not being a bit more inclusive with, say, inviting eight teams. But the "plus-one" back from the dead is still an intriguing development, especially if the preferred four-team playoff format doesn't require four conference champions (it won't with Notre Dame having a seat at the table).

So which college football playoff format do you prefer? The four-team playoff? The "plus-one"? Something cool I don't even know about?

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