ISL, a foreign-based media and marketing group, had put forth an 8 year, $3.006 Billion proposal in January 2000 which was made public.
We were certainly excited by the fact that a proposal of such proportions had been placed
on the table; however, the following must be understood:
1. We own the patent which encompasses any Div. I college football playoff of three or
more teams both in generic and specific terms.
2. Again, the proposal ‘Champions are Determined on the Field’ is not flawed. It is and will
always be the best system for a playoff, regardless of patent protection. It is easy to
understand for all parties, easy to administer; and, aside from being enormously
profitable, identifies and resolves each area of concern as if numerous pieces to a complex
puzzle, then fits them snugly together into a most beautiful picture.
The ISL proposal had, unfortunately, many flaws. Let’s look at a few:
• No specifics were given as to how teams are to be ranked or how teams qualify for the
(see the proposal ‘Champions are Determined on the Field’, sections: Poll Configuration,
and GP Formula: Alternate Ranking Method)
• ISL’s proposal stated that the sites of the four major bowl games would be used for the
semi-finals and finals each year. That’s only (3) games for (4) bowls, leaving (1) major site
out each year and possibly driving a wedge between their current alliance.
(see the proposal ‘Champions are Determined on the Field’, section: Top 12)
• Although ISL claimed no desire to control any aspect of college football aside from
marketing, the $3.006 Billion for a 16-team playoff [this would not be the dollar amount for
an 8-team playoff] is based on unusual revenue sources apart from sponsorship and
television, such as ticket sales, licensing, internet, and radio. Furthermore, no specifics
were given to address one of the real issues surrounding the playoff debate: whom
receives the revenues and how much do they receive.
(see the proposal ‘Champions are Determined on the Field’, section: Revenues, Allocation
• In their proposal, ISL stated that the lesser bowl games would once again be enjoyed, not
analyzed, because these bowl games would be like the NIT in basketball. These bowl
games, however, are not a part of any tournament and are played during the 1 - 1 1/2
month lull period before a playoff would start. These games, played for an insignificant
end result, would be meaningless and thus further emphasize the point that some bowls
are important and others, unfortunately, are not.
(see the proposal ‘Champions are Determined on the Field’, section: Next 16)
• ISL contended that each of the six major conferences would receive an automatic bid to
the playoffs. 94% of the total 1999 revenues were allotted to the six major conferences. The
rich schools now get richer, and it appears that ISL is not concerned about further
segregating the haves from the have-nots.
• ISL stated that the first two rounds of a playoff will be played at the home field of the
higher seed. Regarding the set of constraints, home field advantage is an unfair practice. (see the proposal ‘Champions are Determined on the Field’, section: Latitude) Since there should be no home field advantage, then what are the rewards for the teams
that had the best regular season (esp. undefeated) records in ISL’s 16- team bracket?
• ISL explained how inclement weather teams have options to play in the nearest domed
facility. This is ridiculous! Weather is a part of football, and furthermore, playing a home
game at another facility should not be an option. The option of playing a home game at
another facility is counterproductive and, quite frankly, would be rarely embraced; and, if
so, would further skew away from tradition.
• ISL stated that first rounds could be on the traditional college football dates. Which
• ISL gave no real specifications for a calendar of events except that the National title game
will be played during the off week prior to the Super Bowl. Concerning the NFL, not every
year contains an off week before the Super Bowl. Latest example: January 2000.
• ISL had explained in a limited fashion how either an 8-team or a 4-team playoff would
involve the winners of the current bowls system. Using 1999 as an example, that would
mean that no.2 Virginia Tech and no.6 Tennessee would be out even before the playoffs
• ISL certainly had good intentions and the right idea in mind,
and we respect the effort they made regarding a college football playoff.
They were proficient in both their research documenting the need and
public demand for a playoff and especially in the acquisition of monies.
However, their proposal was substantially flawed in several areas and
concepts. In summary, if a proposal with such obvious defects can obtain
such support, imagine the potential of the one and only proposal that both
matters and works: ‘Champions are Determined on the Field."