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Penn State Football: O'Brien on Board with College Football Playoff System

by on April 29, 2012 9:00 PM

College football appears headed to a four-team playoff.

And count Penn State coach Bill O’Brien as one of its proponents.

“I’m a big believer in playoffs,” O’Brien said Thursday night on “The Goon Show,” a State College-based radio program co-hosted by former Penn State offensive lineman Keith Conlin and Tim Sweeney, president of the Penn State Football Letterman's Club.

“Let the best team win. However they do it, I’m just a rookie head coach. I just worry about Penn State, but at the same time, playoff football in the NFL is a neat experience, and the best teams rise to the top and the champion is a true champion. That’s what I believe in.”

Conference commissioners, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and other top college football officials met last week in Florida and agreed to consider several four-team playoff scenarios before the next round of Bowl Championship Series meetings in June in Chicago.

Proposed BCS changes would not go into effect until the 2014 season, and some key issues still need to be ironed out.

Semifinal games could be played at bowl sites or on the campus of the top two seeds.

Whether to include teams that did not win a conference championship is also under consideration.

Finally, it needs to be decided whether to stick with the current formula of polls and computer rankings to determine the four teams or create a selection committee similar to that used in basketball.

Under current BCS rules, the top two teams in the final BCS standings play for the national championship. Champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC conferences automatically receive a spot in one of the five BCS bowl games — Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and BCS National Championship Game.

Penn State only came close to playing for a BCS championship twice in the system’s 14-year history (2005 and 2008).

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Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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