Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, May 4, 2012

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!/BobbyFlo7/status/198387769343614976

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.!/freepwolverines/status/198121156488871936

My take: Remember Greg Skrepenak? Guy was a great Michigan offensive lineman. I don?t like ?Where are they now?? updates like this.!/joerexrode/status/198377986184052736

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