Which Football Playoff Idea Do You Prefer?

While America is falling in love with the possibility of a four-team playoff, the Nebraska president favors a plus-one. Really. In fact, University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor Harvey Perlman says a plus-one is the favored format among many leaders at Big Ten and Pac-12 schools.

Here’s another bucket of ice cold water over your noggin: If there was a four-team playoff, Perlman says he didn’t think decision makers would want the two semi-final games to be played on campuses of higher-seeded teams. Why? Perlman fears such a set up would diminish the bowls. I’m sounding off on this and other Big Ten football links that matter on this Friday. Dive on in.

News flash: The bowls already are diminished. It happened back in 1998, when the BCS was created and the college football head honchos told us: “Look, here is a national title game. Those other bowls? What do they mean?” (Silence. Shoulder shrug.)

So, back to Perlman: How again would having two national semifinal games played on campuses diminish bowls any more than they already are?

Please, someone, enlighten me.

In other playoff news …: On the subject of playoffs, Big Ten commish Jim Delany still favors a four-team format. YES!!!!

But while Delany is pro playoff, he favors having conference champions make up the four teams in a playoff—as long as they rank among the Top 6 schools in the nation in whatever ranking system is used to determine playoff teams.
Bad idea.

This certainly would prevent a league from having multiple teams in the playoffs. Yes, we’re looking at you, SEC. But, who cares? To me and most rational thinking people, a playoff is about having the best teams—not trying to be inclusive.
Do you think America would have embraced a four-team playoff last year if it didn’t include Alabama and LSU?

In pro sports, divisions aren’t limited to having one team in the playoffs. If a division (or conference in the case of college football) happens to be strong, why penalize a team by not letting it in the playoffs while rewarding a team from a weaker conference with a playoff berth?

Does that make sense?

The more people talk about a playoff and kick around ideas, the less enthused I am becoming. Delany thinks a final decision on a playoff could come by June 20.


Rank it: Sports Illustrated has released its post-spring Top 25. Have a gander here. Wisconsin is No. 6; Michigan State is No. 10; Michigan is No. 13; Nebraska is No. 18.

I have to admit that I’m  a little surprised that the Spartans aren’t the highest ranked Big Ten team. If having what looks like the best defense in the Big Ten matters—and it surely does—then Michigan State should be the favorite. And while a new quarterback is being broken in along with an overhauled receiving corps, the Spartan offense has a good base with a strong line and deep collection of running backs.

See you in Pasadena, Spartans?

Just do it: We all know about those other 10 commandments. But here are Penn State coach Bill O’Brien’s 10 commandments for his starting quarterback. I’m guessing they are carved in pigskin. Maybe not.

I think every Nittany Lion fan can agree with all of these, especially No. 10: Win. And in a hurry.

What if Iowa coach Kirk Ferentzt tweeted? Yes, you are correct. It probably would be boring stuff. Forget I even provided this link. Still, it’s a fun read from Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette—one of my favs.

My Takes On Their Tweets

My take: While most recruiting gurus agree there was just one four-star recruit in Penn State’s 2012 class (WR Eugene Lewis), several true freshmen still could impact the Nittany Lions this fall. Along with Lewis, I think CB Jake Kiley and TE Jesse James have the best shots to play.

My take: Remember Greg Skrepenak? Guy was a great Michigan offensive lineman. I don’t like “Where are they now?” updates like this.

My take: Not only is Michigan State on a roll on the field, but the mojo is working off the field, too. Is there a hotter program in the Big Ten? Of course not. Now, about that first Rose Bowl trip since the 1987 season …


BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, and all of his work is at btn.com/tomdienhart. Send questions to his weekly mailbag, subscribe to his RSS feed, and check out his video Q&A.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (4 Comments)
Scott on 5/4/2012 @ 3:15pm EDT Said:

Any playoff format w/o a Selection Committee would be preferable, as a Selection Committee invites more controversy (undeserved team bids from same conference) similar to Bubble Teams missing the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Do not understand the hindrance of having campus sites hosting semifinals. Obviously it’s about maximizing profits, while not thinking of fan travel or the importance of the regular season (i.e. clinching home-field advantage).

Congratulations Big Ten, you went undefeated, 13-0, welcome to Florida where you’ll be facing an SEC team in the semifinals. Great system.

Chris Ryndak on 5/5/2012 @ 9:44pm EDT Said:

I would like to see a 16 team playoff but since we are going to a 4 team playoff, it should be the top 4 teams – 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3. I would like to see the Semi-Final games played on campus about 2 weeks after the regular season ends. Then have bowl games until New Year’s Day with the Rose Bowl being the last bowl game played in the late afternoon followed by the National Championship Game New Year’s night. The season ends on New Year’s Day, the Rose Bowl is still relevant and we finally have a playoff.

MavRick on 5/6/2012 @ 2:21am EDT Said:

These commissioners have Degrees and they are unable to come up with an 8 or 16 team playoff? Makes me sick. They remind me or typical politicians. They tell you to your face that no one wants a playoff but yet all the fans have been crying for one for years. These guys are Crooks I tell you.

Steven on 5/14/2012 @ 2:54pm EDT Said:

I would like to see the 4 team option with the higher seeded team determining location (either home stadium or NFL stadium in their own state) for the semi-finals. The final would be a neutral site game bid out on its own.

As far as selection it should be the 4 highest ranked conference champions/independents as long as they are in the top 6 overall. If there are not enough than it will be filled with highest ranked teams. Ranking should use the current BCS formula.