Tuesday's Links: Big Ten Talks Over Playoff

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and league athletic directors will meet today in Chicago to discuss a playoff, our colleague Teddy Greenstein from the Chicago Tribune writes. A four-team playoff appears imminent. But issues need to ironed out before a playoff can begin with the 2014 season. Chief among them: 1. How to pick the teams. 2. Where to play the games. In this post I look at that story and some others, including a few bowl tidbits in Tuesday’s Big Ten links (full archive here). Football news and lovely weather. Isn’t life good?

I think a panel should be used to select the four teams, similar to the system used to pick teams for the NCAA tourney. Yes, it has flaws, but it already is a widely accepted system. Let’s replicate it. I also think national semifinal games should be played on the home field of the higher-seeded teams. Who cares if the venues turn out to be small? A playoff is all about TV money. It’s not about ticket and luxury suite sales at a venue. Those are excuses.

In addition to those issues, the Big Ten has another to be discussed today: Keeping the Rose Bowl happy within the confines of a playoff.

Good luck with that.

Look, I understand the Big Ten and Pac-12 wanted to remain tethered to the Rose Bowl. Tradition has a strong pull. But if that want and desire damages the process of having a legit playoff, than I am against it. Sometimes in life to get what is best for the whole, sacrifices have to be made by individuals. It’s called compromise.

Rose Bowl backer: Speaking of the Rose Bowl, Purdue A.D. Morgan Burke is a big fan of it. Not a shock.

“I’m a big proponent of the Rose Bowl,” Burke told the Lafayette Journal-Courier. “I’ve experienced it. To me, the Rose Bowl is still the pinnacle and it’s very important. The question is how can that can be integrated.”

Yes, hands down, the Rose Bowl is the best experience. But, no, it isn’t the pinnacle. The pinnacle is the BCS championship game, right?

Am I missing something?

If the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs aren’t involved in whatever playoff format is adopted in a given season, then they should play in the Rose Bowl. But that would mean neither team was one of the four best in the nation. Pageantry or no pageantry: Would many people care about the game?

Add it up: Michigan is one of just 22 Division I athletic programs that is self-supporting, according to a USA Today study examining spending and revenue for 227 public major colleges from 2005-06 through 2010-11.

Here is a link to the database compiled by USA Today. See how your school stacks up.

Looking back: Did Urban Meyer ever seriously consider Penn State? The uber-talented David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News offers his insights in this video. (Nice Purdue shirt, David!). And I think you’ll be interested to hear what he says. In the end, I think Meyer took the best job for himself in his native Ohio with the Buckeyes.

Raise the bar: Iowa A.D. Gary Barta wants bowl-bound teams to have seven wins. I agree. I don’t think there should be any place for 6-6 teams in the postseason. Isn’t going to a bowl supposed to be a reward? Since when is finishing .500 something to celebrate? It isn’t.

Last season brought us the ultimate bad bowl, when we had a 6-6 Illinois team that was riding a six-game losing streak play a 6-7 UCLA team in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. It was the matchup between arguably the two worst teams ever to play in a bowl.

My Take On Their Tweets

My take: O’Brien is correct. The Penn State job still is desirable and has a lot of built-in advantages. He will win there right away. And he will win big, too.

My take: I, for one, am not discounting Russell Wilson’s chances to be an impactful NFL quarterback—even if he is just 5-11. The guy was one of the top signal-callers in the Big Ten over the past decade last season.

My take: Don’t hold your breath. As long as Notre Dame has decent access to whatever playoff format is hatched, it has no real need to join a conference, right?

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at btn.com/tomdienhart, and you can subscribe to it all via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.

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Show Comments (1 Comment)
1 Post Your Comment
ryan eaton on 5/16/2012 @ 10:33am EDT Said:

hey tom. i totally agree with everything you said about the playoff system. a panel should pick the teams. this would give everyone a fair shot to get in. if the semifinals were played on the home feild of the higher seeds, then that would be a great reward for the better teams.

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