Report: Big Ten Has Plan For Football Playoff

February 6, 2012

B1G Football

Are Jim Delany and the Big Ten actually looking forward?

Two months after Jim Delany again expressed skepticism about a college football playoff, the Big Ten apparently is having second thoughts.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

The Big Ten is not only ready to listen to proposals regarding a national four-team football playoff, league and school officials are kicking around an intriguing idea.

Sources told the Tribune that a Big Ten plan would remove the top four teams from the BCS bowl pool and have semifinal games played on the college campus of the higher seed. That would do away with the facade of “neutral” sites such as New Orleans, Miami and Pasadena, Calif., and ease travel concern for fans.

The championship game then could be bid out, like the Super Bowl.

So, basically, this groundbreaking idea is to do it like the NFL does it – just skipping ahead to the final four?

We like it, but will the SEC, Big 12 and ACC just give up some of those home bowl games?

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12 Comments on “Report: Big Ten Has Plan For Football Playoff”

  1. Gopher Bandanna Guy Says:

    In case nobody noticed, there already is a playoff system in place for college football.

    It’s called the regular season.

    There will still be many of the same painful and ugly questions left with a 4 team playoff system. #2 vs. #3 and # 3 has to play a road game, based on some lame-o rankings? How are the top 4 teams determined? Same way they are now? Team #5 might not feel so good about that, especially if they already beat one of the top 4.

    I’m not saying this is a terrible idea. To me its just a lateral move.


    • Tony Says:

      It gives 4 teams a chance to play for national title – not 2, which makes it good for the Big Ten.

      I presume the top 4 would be by same formula as BCS.


      • Gopher Bandanna Guy Says:

        Yeah, I understand that its good for the Big Ten in that regard. But the BCS ranking system is as flawed as anything else, especially when dealing with only the top 4 teams.

        The auto-qualifying BCS conferences should either just man up and say they are going to exclude the Boise States and TCUs of the world, and have a playoff between their top 6 teams (entrance decided by a conference championship game) and 2 wildcards (which could be determined any number of ways), or invite 2 more conferences to the BCS for a total of 8 teams. Yes Notre Dame, that means you would have to join a real conference if you ever want to think about a National Championship again. And not exercise their lame-o “BCS founder” status to get in.

        If you’re going yo do a full-fledged tournament, do it right and have the top 16 teams get in and play in geographically-based regionals. Cut 1 regular season, pre-conference, FBS-opponent type game, to accommodate the 15 total playoff games (each its own bowl, tiered and affiliated to the regional conferences to accommodate fan and student travel to the early rounds), e.g. the Midwest region would have Big Ten and Big 12 North teams, the West region would have PAC-10 and Big 12 South teams, etc. Then let the teams in the #17 thru #XX slots have as many other minor bowls that that market will bear.

        Teams sitting in the #17 and #18 slot will have much less to bitch about, getting in than a top slotted team in the #5 spot. And can still make some modest money in a crap bowl.

        Let it be done.


        • Tony Says:

          Ohhh, I thought we were talking about things that could happen – not what should happen.

        • Gopher Bandanna Guy Says:

          Good point. I guess my position is that I’m not open to this minor change, unless it means bigger change down the line.

          I’m probably naive to believe my plan (which is hardly original, I’m sure) would work.

          Bowls are just sponsored games near as I can tell, and as such, any tournament game can be its own bowl. There would be no loss of revenues, short of the fanbases that simply can’t afford to travel 4 weeks straight. Then again, I can see LSU and Alabama fans selling their homes and buying massive RVs (those that don’t already have them) and following their team around all December.

  2. numildcats2003 Says:

    I think minor change will lead to bigger change. I personally agree with Gopher that a 16 team playoff is the way to go. That being said, a four team playoff is a step in the right direction. The NCAA basketball tournament started out as 8 teams and expanded to 64+. If football has success (makes tons of money) with 4 teams, 8, 16, and maybe even (gulp) 32, can’t be that far behind.


    • Tony Says:

      slippery slope and all


      • Rowdiesdotcom Says:

        4 team playoff is too much of a lateral and, really, boring move. If you’re going to do it, you gotta go to 16+. Also, the home field advantage thing is not a good idea based on the decisive advantage the home team has (see Scorecasting!). Just tie them to neutral sites like the NCAA-tourney and assign the games to existing bowl games. And done!


        • Gopher Bandanna Guy Says:

          Thank you Rowdies.

          Agree wholeheartedly on the home-field playoff game thing too. That is absurd, and creates a massive advantage for the home squad, who may have earned that right on the mere advantage of 0.001 of a point in the BCS rankings, of which 2/3rds are based on voted poll results.

        • Tony Says:

          As opposed to the home field semi-regularly enjoyed by USC, LSU and Florida teams now?

  3. Rowdiesdotcom Says:

    The Big Ten has been complaining about the advantage of Pasadena’s neighboring schools for 50 years, but that sadly has more to do with the nice weather for fans and TV alike, and not a SEC/PAC 10 proximity conspiracy. I’m always up for pinning a conspiracy on either of those two conferences, though.

    But that’s a novel idea–sending teams to neutral site games in the North. Imagine those SEC teams competing at TCF Stadium in that Bears/Vikes MNF game weather. I’m even cold thinking about that one. . .


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