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Dec 2, 2012 9:33pm
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WASHINGTON —Playoffs and tournaments long have determined champions of every
college sport from baseball to bowling. Isaac Sopoaga Jersey . The exception was
major college football. That ended Tuesday. Come 2014, the BCS is dead. A
committee of university presidents approved a plan for a four-team playoff put
forward by commissioners of the top football conferences. For years, the
decision-makers had balked at any type of playoff because they said it would
diminish the importance of the regular season. If only two teams had a chance to
win a championship in the post-season, even one loss could be too many. That
made for some very high stakes regular-season games. As recently as 2008,
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive proposed the type of plan
adopted Tuesday, and it was quickly shot down. Four years later, minds changed.
The 12 university presidents stood shoulder to shoulder on a stage at a news
conference in a posh hotel in the nations capital and delivered the news. “Its a
great day for college football,” BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said. “As
soon as the commissioners realized they could do this and protect the regular
season, the light went on for everybody.” The move completes a six-month process
for the commissioners, who have been working on a new way to determine a major
college football champion after years of griping from fans. The latest
configuration is certain to make even more money for the schools than the old
system—and not satisfy everyone. “There were differences of views,” said
Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, who headed the BCS presidential
oversight committee. “I think it would be a serious mistake to assume it was a
rubber stamp.” Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman was the most notable holdout.
He had said he preferred the status quo or a tweak of the Bowl Championship
Series. Perlman said the playoff still wouldnt be his first choice, but he was
not going to stand in the way of progress. “This is the package that was put
forth and we will strongly support it,” he said. Instead of simply matching the
nations No. 1 and No. 2 teams in a title game after the regular season, the way
the BCS has done since 1998, the new format will create a pair of national
semifinals. Many college football fans have been clamouring for a playoff for
years, and the BCS has been a constant target for criticism. Lawmakers have
railed against it. A political action committee was formed, dedicated to its
destruction. The Justice Department looked into whether it broke antitrust laws.
Even President Obama said he wanted a playoff. Now its a reality. No. 1 will
play No. 4, and No. 2 will play No. 3 on Dec. 31 and/or Jan. 1. The sites of
those games will rotate among the four current BCS bowls—Rose, Orange, Fiesta
and Sugar—and two more to be determined. One of the new sites will likely be
wherever the newly formed bowl created by the SEC and Big 12 is played, Slive
said. The Cotton Bowl, played at the $1.1 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington,
Texas, has long wanted to be part of the BCS and is expected to make a strong
push to be in the semifinal rotation. The winners of the semis will advance to
the championship on the first Monday in January that is six or more days after
the last semifinal. The first “Championship Monday,” as it was called in the BCS
release, is set for Jan. 12, 2015. The site of the title game will move around
the way the Super Bowl does, with cities bidding for the right to host. The
teams will be selected by a committee, similar to the way the NCAA basketball
tournament field is set. The mens tournament has 68 teams, and 37 at-large bids.
The football committee will have a much tougher task, trying to whittle the
field down to four. This season, 125 schools will play at the highest level of
college football. Among the factors the committee will consider are won-loss
record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results and whether a team is a
conference champion. The selection committee will also play a part in creating
matchups for the games at the four sites that do not hold a semifinal in a given
year. “I think its tremendous progress,” Washington State coach Mike Leach, a
playoff proponent. “Five years ago there wasnt even dialogue about a playoff.
Instead of diving in the water, they dipped their toes in. I think its going to
be ridiculously exciting and its going to generate a bunch of money. I wish they
dived in.” The BCS had given automatic qualifying status to six conferences, the
SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-12 and Big East. That
allowed those leagues better access to the big, high-payout games than the other
five conferences, such as the Mountain West and Conference USA. Automatically
qualified status is gone and the commissioners believe the new system will
create more interesting games beyond the ones that determine the national title.
“What the system now is, several semifinals, championship game and some access
bowls. By creating a couple of access bowls, people will be able to play
high-quality opponents in big venues with big brands,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim
Delany said. No one has put a hard number on it yet, but this new format figures
to more than double the TV revenue of the current BCS and Rose Bowl contracts.
Those pay out about $155 million annually. The commissioners want to lock in
this format for 12 years with a television partner. The current four-year BCS
deal with ESPN runs through the 2013 season. The new format will be presented to
potential TV partners in the fall, starting with ESPN. “I think we have found
what we think is the right place and it stabilizes the post-season for a length
of time that I think is healthy for the game,” said Slive, whose members have
won the last six BCS championships. There are still some details to work out—
such as who will be on the committee and what new bowls will be involved in the
semifinal rotation—but all the decision-makers are on board. Lower divisions
of college football already have a playoff, but the highest level has always
used bowls and polls to determine its champion. Those days are coming to an end.
“We believe this new format will be good for student-athletes, for the alumni
and for our institutions,” Steger said. “Its a best of both worlds result. It
captures the excitement of the playoff while protecting the regular season.” David Akers Jersey . After winning the same
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Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 and snap a six-game
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was feeling a bit giddy after the St. Roger Craig 49ers Jersey . The 28-year-old
suffered the setback on November 10 in a game against the Winnipeg Jets, but the
team said that he will not need surgery. Upshall had totaled just one goal and
three points in 15 games this season, after Florida signed him to a four-year
deal worth a reported $14 million.PHILADELPHIA—Bye-bye, Elton Brand. See you
later, Lou Williams. The 76ers turned a mundane off-season into a memorable one
by jettisoning their leading scorers from each of the past two seasons and
clearing needed space in the salary cap to potentially set up a bigger move.
With fans worried a surprising run to the Eastern Conference semifinals might
cloud managements view of the roster, team president Rod Thorn made a pair of
bold moves Friday that showed the team believed changes were needed for the
franchise to grow. Step one meant saying goodbye to Brand. Thorn said the Sixers
have decided to use the amnesty clause on Brand and will get about $18 million
in salary cap relief for next season. The amnesty clause allows a team to waive
one player during the new labour deal and have 100 per cent of his salary taken
off the cap and the tax. Brand was entering the final season of an $80 million,
five-year contract. Brand is still owed the $18.1 million on the final year of
his deal. Teams under the salary cap can now bid for Brands services for next
season and the veteran forward is expected to be in demand by a contender. “Its
probably a good thing for Elton,” agent David Falk said by phone. “Its not a
surprise. Weve been talking about this for months. Its part of the business of
basketball. Clearly, he didnt want to be in Philly playing 15 minutes a game.
Thats not something thats productive for him.” With money to spend, the Sixers
agreed Friday to a one-year contract with guard Nick Young. Youngs agent, Mark
Bartelstein, told The Associated Press on Friday that the deal is for one season
in the $6 million range. Deals cannot be signed until July 11. Young spent his
first four-plus seasons with the Washington Wizards before he was traded to the
Los Angeles Clippers in March. Hes averaged 11.4 points over his career. Young,
a two-time all-conference standout at Southern California before becoming a
consistent NBA scorer in five seasons with Washington, averaged 14.2 points last
season, and 17.4 points in 2010-11. The versatile swingman is slotted—for now
—to replace guard Lou Williams, who opted out of the final year of his
contract that was worth $6.4 million. “Hes got more size, gives you a little
more versatility, and Nicks a big-time scorer,” Bartelstein said. “The more we
took a look at the situation, its a perfect fit for Nick at this stage in his
career.” Williams was runner-up to Oklahomas James Harden in the NBAs Sixth Man
of the Year Award. He said after the Sixers were eliminated by the Boston
Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, that, “If I was a betting man, I
think I would be back.” Youngs arrival signalled the eend of Williams run. Randy Moss Jersey. He averaged 11.3 points
over a seven-year career with the Sixers and led the team in scoring last season
with 14.9 points a game. His signature moment came in Game 4 of a first-round
playoff series last season against Miami when he helped the Sixers avert a sweep
with a go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the arc over a lunging Dwyane Wade
with 8.1 seconds left that lifted Philadelphia to an 86-82 win “Philly, I
appreciate you all. Unfortunately I will not be coming back, as an organization
they decided to move in a different direction,” he posted on Twitter shortly
after the Young move became public. Sixers guard Evan Turner said on Twitter
that Williams would be missed. “S/o to Lou will for all hes done for Philly. One
of the realest dudes Ive met. Sad to see him go. Much love to him,” he wrote.
Brand was a two-time All-Star when he spurned better offers and signed the
free-agent contract with Philadelphia. While Brand was the locker room leader
and heart of the Sixers, his production never merited the deal he signed as one
of the hottest free agents available. He played only 29 games in an
injury-filled first season with Philadelphia and never meshed with former coach
Eddie Jordan in his second. Under Doug Collins, Brand found his niche, and led
the Sixers in scoring with 15.0 points a game in 2010-11. He averaged 11 points
and 7.2 rebounds last season. Brand knew amnesty was possible, but stressed the
day after the season ended he did not want to leave. “I want to be here,
absolutely,” Brand said. “If it is (over), I definitely loved my time here.”
Brand may not become a legitimate 20-10 threat at power forward again like his
years with Chicago and the Clippers, but he was as steady and durable as any
Sixer over the past two seasons. “The teams that are the best suited for him are
all over the cap and not allowed to make bids,” Falk said. “There are a few
teams I know that are interested in him and Im going to speak to the owners of
the teams over the next few days and try and get a sense of whats going on.” The
Sixers hadnt done much more than agree to deals with forward Lavoy Allen and
centre Spencer Hawes. Allen showed promise in his rookie season and Hawes, while
productive when he played, missed a chunk of the season with various injuries.
Its unlikely the duo will start in the frontcourt. “One of the difficulties for
(Brand) in Philly is that he didnt have a chance to play next to a solid
centre,” Falk said. “He had to play some centre, he had to guard centres. Hes a
power forward. Hopefully the move will be good for Philadelphia and good for
Elton.” ’ ’ ’ 

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