The next time these two teams meet could be in a national semifinal.
While hardly a surprise after the momentum of the last 48 hours, college football's power brokers moved Thursday to take the first steps towards the sport's first ever crowned-on-the-field champion. Amongst the news making the rounds (predominately from a BCS issued press release) is that of the death of the Automatic Qualifier status, meaning neither the champions of the major conferences nor the Top 4 finishers in the rankings we've grown accustomed to scrutinizing are necessarily guaranteed anything. The other, perhaps most importantly, is that a "very small number of four-team options" will be presented by the conference commissioners to their leagues (e.g. university presidents/chancellors) shortly.
CBSSports.com's speculation on what these options could be piecemealed from previous leaks/releases include the following:
-- a four-team playoff with the semifinals and final rotated among the existing BCS bowl games (Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and Rose).
-- a four-team playoff with the semifinals rotated among the existing BCS bowl games with the final held at a neutral site. The site of the final would be determined by a bid process, similar to how the Super Bowl is awarded.
-- a four-team playoff with the semifinals and final held at either the existing BCS bowl game sites or neutral sites, determined by a bid process.
They also note that BCS head honcho Bill Hancock hopes to have something for approval submitted to the NCAA's Presidential Oversight Committee by July 4.
While just how the four teams are selected remains likely the greatest point of contention, the news no doubt has to be a sign for excitement. Mark the days of April 25th and 26th in your mental database for the precise moment when the sea change formally began.