GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) -Here's a ray of hope for college football fans bummed by the recent rejection of the plus-one model to determine a national champion.
The president of Florida State not only believes a playoff is coming, he thinks it'll start with four teams, then grow to eight and eventually 16.
``The bottom line is the money, unfortunately, is going to drive the train,'' FSU's T.K. Wetherell said. ``The 12th game, right now, is solving the problem. The reason there is a 12th game in football is the money. People may not want to admit that, but that's the facts of the matter.''
Wetherell's comments came Friday at the National Football Forum, during a panel discussion of the future of college football. He spoke after the playoff concept was pretty much rejected by Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, Washington coach Ty Willingham, Kansas coach Mark Mangino, TCU coach Gary Patterson, Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White and Army athletic director Kevin Anderson.
``Who is it for?'' Willingham asked.
Tressel emphasized scheduling problems that would be taxing for players physically and for their studies. Mangino talked about changes spoiling the fun of bowls.
``If you go to a championship, there's first and second and that's it,'' Anderson said, a theme Patterson touched on, too, by noting the current system produced 32 bowl winners.
``We have a tournament - it starts the first week in September,'' White said.
Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, spoke up, too, crediting the BCS for record levels of attendance and television ratings.
Getting his say at the very end, Wetherell turned the discussion upside down.
``In my judgment, if you take every argument that's been made today and apply it to any other sport on a college campus, then you'd have to cancel the (College) World Series, the Final Four, the soccer tournament,'' he said. ``If you want to do it, it can be done. ...
``Everybody's going to be sitting here - I don't know, probably not in my lifetime at Florida State - saying, `You know, we really could move this back. And, by the way, we do play 63 baseball games and we play baseball through two final-exam periods, not one. Somehow, they all seem to graduate and do pretty good. Oh, those basketball players, we have a real problems with academics in basketball, but we seem to play right on through the tournament.'''
Once the problems are solved and the ``ungodly amount of money that it will produce'' starts rolling in, Wetherell expects everyone decide it's a good thing and want more of it.
``It'll start off with plus-one, then it'll go to four or eight or 16 at some point in time - just like the NCAA (basketball) tournament,'' he said.
Commissioners from the Bowl Championship Series leagues, plus White, met in Florida two weeks ago and opted to keep their national champion format the same at least until the 2014 season. In doing so, they rejected the plus-one model, which essentially is a four-team playoff. The No. 1 team would face No. 4 and Nos. 2 and 3 would meet, then both winners would square off in a championship game.
Only the Southeastern Conference - whose commissioner, Mike Slive, presented the plus-one plan - and the Atlantic Coast Conference, which includes Florida State, even wanted to keep talking about the new format.
According to Wetherell, schools are happy to stick with the status quo because budgets are padded with money from the 12th game, which was added for the 2006 season.
``We'll spend all that money. We're not going to bank it,'' Wetherell said. ``Then the question will be, `Where do I get me more money?'''
A playoff will be the logical alternative, Wetherell said.
``And the fight won't be over whether we do it or not anymore,'' he said during a break following the session. ``The fight's going to be on the split. It's going to be a totally different discussion.''
Wetherell, who played receiver at Florida State in the 1960s with Bobby Bowden as his position coach, closed his remarks with this prediction: ``Now, I don't think it's going to happen this year or next year or whenever. But it is going to happen. No doubt about it.''

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