Why Are the Big Ten and Pac 12 Pushing the Rose Bowl Playoff Plan?

The Big Ten and Pac 12 floated a Rose Bowl semifinal plan that would shoehorn the prestigious game into the national title picture. The plan would ensure the Big Ten and Pac 12 champions played in the Rose Bowl. Should either or both qualify for the four-team playoff, the playoff would have to adjust (and have a meaningless semifinal). The plan is dumb if your primary intent is to determine a national champion. Not surprisingly, SEC commissioner Mike Slive is not a fan.

“It’s not one of my favorites,” Slive said Monday at a roundtable of conference commissioners during a Associated Press Sports Editors meeting at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. “I think what we’re trying to do is simplify in many ways, and I don’t think that adds to the simplification of the postseason.”

It’s not 1995 anymore. ESPN has made college football national sport. The Big Ten and Pac 12 cannot credibly threaten to pack up their Rose Bowl and leave the national picture. Fans, TV Networks and schools won’t stand for it. Jim Delany and Larry Scott don’t have the leverage to force this plan through, even if they would want to do so. So why propose it?

Pushing forward that asinine playoff plan, could be a negotiating ploy to ensure something they might want. Commissioners are also altering the BCS bowl system. Having that playoff plan considered a legitimate option, would make a sweetheart deal to lock down the Rose Bowl as a permanent Big Ten/Pac 12 game (and perhaps control the TV rights?) look like a sop and a reasonable compromise.

[Photo via Presswire]


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