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Latest BCS Talks Turn on … Exam Schedules?

There’s plenty of conjecture about the future of the Bowl Championship Series, but one area that hasn’t gotten much attention is the role of academic schedules.

That seems to be changing in the latest round of BCS talks, as conference commissioners spent part of a meeting Tuesday reviewing final exam schedules for all 120 FBS institutions.

Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS, told the Associated Press that commissioners would like to avoid playing bowl games from early December until about December 21, when most colleges have finals. As it is, a number of the 35 bowls are played during that stretch.

The commissioners also don’t want to end the season as far past January 1 as it currently goes, and they’re not happy with a mid-week finish. Although those potential changes could have as much to do with sagging attendance as academic priorities, the season-ending games could have quite a different look when the BCS structure is revamped later this year.

The biggest change could come with a much-debated four-team playoff, which would help eliminate inequities in the current system but add another game.

While commissioners had long bemoaned an extended season, they’re more open to it now, says Dennis Dodds of CBSSports.com.

“What changed?” he writes. “The money for one thing. Depending on how it is administrated, a four-team playoff could be worth $250 million to $500 million per season. On the high end, that would almost triple the $180 million distributed by the BCS in 2011.”

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