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NCAA Football

Sans National Titles, Big Ten Trying To Ruin College Football Playoff

A four-team college football playoff plan will be in place this summer. But the Big Ten and specifically, commissioner Jim Delany refuse to accept the game no longer revolves around the Rose Bowl.

USA Today released four options being considered by conference commissioners to overhaul college football’s postseason. Four teams, whether through a plus-one or an actual playoff are the target grouping.

The first option is tweaking the BCS and eliminating non-automatic qualifiers. This proposal solves problems the same way Brian Fantana did when he attempted to woo Veronica Corningstone with the “sex panther” cologne. Just cut your losses, admit your stupidity and forget it.

Second, is a true plus-one. The bowl system remains and two teams are chosen to play for the championship at the conclusion of bowl season. This solution is your roommate opening the apartment door and calling it even after you’ve paid for drinks, the cab and successfully assured his girlfriend that he’s in a good frame of mind.

The third event includes a variety of options. At its core, four teams play two semifinal games (after the bowls most likely with the possibility for the semi’s within the bowl structure still alive) with a championship following. Semifinals on campuses, at bowl sites or locations that purchase the games are on the table. Like the Super Bowl, the National Championship is probably headed for the stadium of the highest bidder. This proposal makes sense because it represents progress, a miracle when dealing with college football executives.

And finally, the Big Ten/Pac 12 exception. It amounts to this: the conference champions in the Big Ten and Pac 12 always match up in the Rose Bowl. Should either be ranked in the top four and eligible for the national semifinals, the next highest-ranked team in the Big Ten or Pac 12 would play in the semifinal. That means three seminfinals and if you’re aware of brackets, there are never three semifinals. Ohio State and USC could play in the Rose Bowl, be eligible for the semi’s and let Alabama and Oklahoma for example massacre Michigan and Oregon because the latter two were second best in their respective conferences. It benefits no one besides Rose Bowl administrators and Jim Delany’s ego. In short, it won’t happen, shouldn’t happen and is laughably ridiculous for being on the table at all.

Not since 2002 has the Big Ten won a national championship. USC and the Pac 12 secured a ring in 2004 and is the current Vegas favorite in 2012. With Larry Scott‘s innovative mind, it’s much less frustrating for the Pac 12 to be involved here because I highly doubt Scott is a fan of regression.

The Rose Bowl is a magnificent venue with much tradition, the majority of that steeped in the Big Ten and Pac 12.

But college football’s playoff isn’t a prisoner of the Rose Bowl.

Jim Delany needs to understand his conference isn’t running the show. The last six national titles belong to the SEC. Prior to that, Texas, USC and LSU finished atop the sport. If the Big Ten requires a Rose Bowl tie-in, fine, give it to them. But not at the expense of every other conference kowtowing to an egomaniac ruling one that hasn’t earned a ring in a decade.