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University presidents approve college football playoff system

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    The Chinese surveillance ship Haijian No. 51, front, sails ahead of a Japan Coast Guard vessel in waters near disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea on Friday morning, Sept. 14, 2012. The Japanese government and coast guard say six Chinese surveillance ships entered Japanese waters Friday near disputed islands in the East China Sea, prompting the prime minister?s office to mobilize a task force at its crisis management center. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE
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WASHINGTON >> The best way to determine a major college football champion seemed so obvious to so many for so long. Just have a playoff.

Now the people in charge of making that decision are on board, too.

Come 2014, the BCS is out. Playoffs are in.

A committee of university presidents approved a plan Tuesday 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 postseason, even one loss could be too many. That made for some high stakes regular-season matchups. 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.

“It’s 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 champ after years of griping from fans. The latest configuration is certain to make even more money for the schools than the old system — and it still won’t satisfy everyone. Some will think it’s too small and, yes, there are some who liked things just the way they are.

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