BCS Bowl Flex System: The Semi-Seeded Plus-One Proposal

Posted: December 29, 2010 in Big East, Big Ten, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
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There has been a ton of great feedback on the BCS Final Four post with generally positive reviews.  Unfortunately, even that proposal might be too much of a change for the powers that be to enact overnight.  So, I wanted to throw out a more traditionalist plus-one proposal that might be a bridge to getting to the BCS Final Four (or at least improve upon the current BCS system), which I call the “BCS Bowl Flex System”.  It’s a variation of what Slant reader StevenD calls a “semi-seeded plus-one“, where the traditional BCS bowl tie-ins are largely maintained with some teams possibly “flexed” to create one or two de facto play-in games to the national championship (if not outright semifinals).  The BCS rankings would then be re-calculated after the bowls are played to determined the plus-one national championship game matchup.

It’s not as clean on paper as the BCS Final Four or an outright playoff, but this type of format does carry a number of advantages, namely that all of the BCS bowls potentially will have an impact on the national championship race again and the Rose Bowl would go back to being exclusively Big Ten champ vs. Pac-10 champ affair.

(Any complaints that this isn’t a playoff  and would be an “unfair” system are duly noted.  The purpose of this post is to find some changes that the BCS conferences might be willing to implement in reality.  Please see the various rules for a realistic college postseason scenario that must be followed in the BCS Final Four post.)

Here is how I would set it up:


1.  The Rose Bowl will get the Big Ten and Pac-10 champs no matter what – I know that this might be passed off by non-Big Ten/Pac-10 fans as irrelevant/backwards/dumb, but this is a big deal to the powers that be.  Nothing will get done in terms of college postseason changes unless the Big Ten is happy, which means that the Rose Bowl and the Pac-10 have to happy, as well.

2.  Cotton Bowl is added as a 5th BCS bowl with the Big 12 tie-in -  I noted in the BCS Final Four post that the BCS bowls are as elitist toward the non-BCS bowls as the AQ conferences are toward the non-AQ conferences, but this is trumped by the need to have at least 10 BCS bids per year.  The seal has been broken – there’s no way that the AQ conferences (and specifically the frequent multi-bid recipients of the Big Ten and SEC) will go back down to just 4 BCS games and 8 total bids.  As a result, a more traditional plus-one system is going to need a 5th BCS bowl and the Cotton Bowl is well-positioned as a natural home to the Big 12 champ (especially with its larger proportion of Texas-based teams with the losses of Nebraska and Colorado).  I’ll discuss under Rule #6 below how the Fiesta Bowl receives some incentives to actually agree to give up the Big 12 tie-in.

3. Highest ranked non-AQ school receives automatic BCS bid – As I mentioned in the BCS Final Four post, this is the main bone that the AQ conferences can throw to the non-AQ conferences and I can see them actually agreeing to, which is that it can remove the top 12 ranking requiring for that class of schools to receive an automatic bid.

4.  Subject to Rule #5 regarding flexes below, the other BCS bowls retain their traditional tie-ins – As a general rule, the Sugar Bowl gets the SEC champ and Orange Bowl receives the ACC champ.  However, this is subject to the flex rules below.

5.  Except for the Rose Bowl teams (which are set in stone), a highly ranked at-large team may be placed or a team may be flexed from its traditional tie-in to another bowl involving a #1 or #2 ranked team to create one or more virtual play-in games to the national championship – This process will likely seem disjointed and muddy written out, but it’s really not that difficult in practice (so bear with me).  The objective is to ensure that any #1 and #2 ranked teams that aren’t playing in the Rose Bowl get to play in bowl games that are as close to being semifinals as possible.  That’s no issue with highly ranked at-large teams, who can simply be slotted accordingly without any impact to traditional tie-ins.  The real change is that a team that is ranked #3 or lower which does have a contractual tie-in with a bowl can be flexed to a bowl that is tied-in to a #1 or #2 ranked team (even if the #3 or lower team is tied-in to another bowl).  For example, let’s say that the SEC champ is ranked #1, the Big 12 champ is ranked #2, the ACC champ is ranked #3 and the Big East champ is ranked #4.  The Big East champ will be sent to the Sugar Bowl to create a #1 vs. #4 matchup, which is easy enough because the Big East doesn’t have a tie-in.  However, to create the #2 vs. #3 matchup, the ACC champ will be flexed to the Cotton Bowl to play the Big 12 champ.  As a result, the Orange Bowl would lose the ACC champ, but would receive a compensatory “flex replacement pick” (which is similar to the replacement pick if a bowl loses a tie-in to the national championship game today and as explained further in Rule #7).

As I’ve said, this doesn’t look very elegant when described as a process in writing, yet it’s fairly straight-forward (I hope) when looking at the 11 scenarios for matchups that would be created depending on which teams are playing in the Rose Bowl:

Scenario 1: No top 4 teams in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #1 vs. #4
Bowl B: #2 vs. #3

Scenario 2: #1 team in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #2 vs. #3

Scenario 3: #2 team in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #1 vs. #3

Scenario 4: #1 vs. #3 in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #2 vs. #4

Scenario 5: #1 vs. #4 in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #2 vs. #3

Scenario 6: #2 vs. #3 in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #1 vs. #4

Scenario 7: #2 vs. #4 in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #1 vs. #3

Scenario 8: #3 in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #1 vs. Flex Selection 1*
Bowl B: #2 vs. #4

Scenario 9: #4 in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #1 vs. Flex Selection 1
Bowl B: #2 vs. #3

Scenario 10: #3 vs. #4 in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #1 vs. Flex Selection 2**
Bowl B: #2 vs. Flex Selection 1

Scenario 11: #1 vs. #2 in the Rose Bowl
Bowl A: #3 vs. #4

* Flex Selection means that the bowl gets to pick any BCS eligible team that it wants, including those that are otherwise tied to other bowls except for the Rose Bowl participants.

** The reason why Bowl B gets Flex Selection 1 in this scenario is that, in theory, this ought to be a tougher opponent than Flex Selection 2.  As a result, Flex Selection 1 should be playing the #2 team as opposed to the #1 team.

6.  Fiesta Bowl receives flex preference for #1 or #2 teams that do not have tie-ins OR 1st at-large pick – Now, the Fiesta Bowl isn’t just going to give up a fairly valuable Big 12 tie-in to the Cotton Bowl for nothing.  For all of the internal turmoil within the Big 12, it’s still the best conference for traveling fan bases outside of the SEC and Big Ten.  I had thought of providing the Big East tie-in to the Fiesta, but from a bowl director’s perspective, this isn’t just compensation.  In reality, the best way to coax the Fiesta into giving up its Big 12 tie-in to the Cotton is to provide it with more flexibility.  Therefore, it gets two options.  First, the Fiesta receives a “flex preference”, whereby it would automatically receive a #1 or #2 team that does not have a tie-in (i.e. Big East champ, non-AQ schools, others that weren’t conference champs).  That would enable the Fiesta to “flex in” a team from another bowls in that situation despite not having a conference tie-in.  Second, if there is no possible flex preference, then the Fiesta would receive the first at-large large pick (which comes after the flex moves and replacement selections are made), which often results in an extremely valuable 2nd place SEC or Big Ten team.

7.  Bowls that lose a team to flexing receive a “flex replacement pick” – As alluded to earlier, this is similar to the replacement pick that a bowl receives if it loses a school to the national championship game today.  A bowl that loses a flexed team would receive first dibs on any other school from the conference that it has a tie-in with or can choose anyone from the BCS at-large pool.

8.  After flex replacement picks are made, the Fiesta Bowl gets its priority at-large pick and then the bowls pick at-large selections in the order of how high their tie-ins (or in the case of the Fiesta, the rank of its priority at-large pick) are ranked - The goal here is to create one or two other bowls that could possibly have an impact on the national championship race, so bowls that don’t have a #1 or #2 team will pick at-large teams in the order that their respective tie-ins (or in the case of the Fiesta, how high its priority at-large pick) are ranked.  To be clear, those bowls aren’t obligated to take the highest ranked at-large teams available – they can take whoever is left from the at-large pool subject to the other selection rules that would remain in place (such as a maximum of 2 schools from any conference receiving BCS bids).

9.  BCS rankings are re-calculated after bowl games are finished and national championship game rotates among the BCS bowl sites – After the BCS bowls are completed, the BCS rankings are then re-calculated to set the national championship game pairing.  The game would be played one to two weeks after the last BCS bowl is completed using the double-hosting rotation similar today (only that the Cotton is newly included).


The interesting thing about this system is that for all of the words that I just spewed out on flexing, it actually doesn’t need to be exercised very often in practice.  Simply slotting at-large teams differently than today is 90% of the battle.  Here’s how the BCS Bowl Flex system would’ve worked in every year since 2005 (which marks the first season of major changes to the BCS ranking formula):

Rose: #2 Oregon (Pac-10) vs. #5 Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Sugar: #1 Auburn (SEC) vs. #3 TCU (non-AQ/at-large 1)
Orange: #13 Virginia Tech (ACC) vs. Connecticut (Big East/at-large 5)
Cotton: #7 Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. #8 Arkansas (at-large 4)
Fiesta: #6 Ohio State (at-large 2) vs. #4 Stanford (at-large 3)

Rose: #7 Oregon (Pac-10) vs. #8 Ohio State (Big Ten)
Sugar: #1 Alabama (SEC) vs. #4 TCU (non-AQ/at-large 2)
Orange: #9 Georgia Tech (ACC) vs. #10 Iowa (at-large 5)
Cotton: #2 Texas (Big 12) vs. #3 Cincinnati (Big East/at-large 1)
Fiesta: #5 Florida (at-large 3) vs. #6 Boise State (at-large 4)

Rose: #5 USC (Pac-10) vs. #8 Penn State (Big Ten)
Sugar: #2 Florida (SEC) vs. #3 Texas (at-large 1)
Orange: #19 Virginia Tech (ACC) vs. #12 Cincinnati (Big East/at-large 5)
Cotton: #1 Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. #4 Alabama (at-large 2)
Fiesta: #10 Ohio State (at-large 3) vs. #6 Utah (non-AQ/at-large 4)

Rose: #1 Ohio State (Big Ten) vs. #7 USC (Pac-10)
Sugar: #2 LSU (SEC) vs. #3 Virginia Tech (ACC/flex)
Orange: #5 Georgia (flex replacement) vs. #13 Illinois (Big Ten/at-large 3)
Cotton: #4 Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. #9 West Virginia (Big East/at-large 2)
Fiesta: #8 Kansas (Big 12/at-large 1) vs. #10 Hawaii (non-AQ/at-large 4)

Rose: #1 Ohio State (Big Ten) vs. #5 USC (Pac-10)
Sugar: #2 Florida (SEC) vs. #3 Michigan (at-large 1)
Orange: #14 Wake Forest (ACC) vs. #8 Boise State (non-AQ/at-large 5)
Cotton: #10 Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. #6 Louisville (Big East/at-large 4)
Fiesta: #4 LSU (at-large 2) vs. Notre Dame (at-large 3)

Rose: #1 USC (Pac-10) vs. #3 Penn State (Big Ten)
Sugar: #7 Georgia (SEC) vs. #11 West Virginia (Big East/at-large 4)
Orange: #22 Florida Sate (ACC) vs. #14 TCU (non-AQ/at-large 5)
Cotton: #2 Texas (Big 12) vs. #4 Ohio State (at-large 1)
Fiesta: #6 Notre Dame (at-large 2) vs. #5 Oregon (at-large 3)

The only time that the flex option would’ve ever been exercised was in 2007, where #3 Virginia Tech was flexed from the Orange Bowl to the Sugar Bowl.  In terms of ticket sales, that actually granted the Orange a favor as it would have presumably selected #5 Georgia as its flex replacement pick.  In all of the other seasons since 2005, the desired matchups were achieved with solely slotting the applicable at-large teams.  (I could post the pre-2005 hypotheticals, as they had more examples of flexing, but it’s fairly incredible how bat-s**t crazy the old BCS rankings were when looking back on them.  As much as the BCS gets criticized today, at least the rankings over the past few years have generally passed the smell test (with most quibbles coming over a spot or two).  The old ranking system, on the other hand, seemed to love teams that didn’t actually win their conferences, particularly from the Big 12.)  Thus, a plus-one system featuring top-tier and meaningful games could be fairly easily created without much disruption to the traditional bowl tie-ins.

The BCS Bowl Flex system definitely won’t placate the playoff-supporter crowd in the same manner of the BCS Final Four, but it may be something that’s more palatable to the powers-that-be within the AQ conferences (especially the Big Ten) while upgrading the quality of the BCS bowls back to where they were in the pre-BCS days.  Certainly, the return of the “real” Rose Bowl would be a massive plus.  A non-AQ school such as TCU also gets a direct shot at the national title game in a season like this one (or can improve its resume greatly in other seasons by getting to beat a top AQ school).  Is it perfect?  Absolutely not.  However, I do believe it would be better than what we have today and it’s easier to sell incremental steps to the BCS conferences and bowls than wholesale change.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

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  1. RedDenver says:

    I love the blog and appreciate the BCS scenario ideas. But there is absolutely no way the Fiesta Bowl ever agrees to that. And the BCS Bowls aren’t letting the Cotton Bowl in just for fairness. Plus the other BCS Bowls aren’t letting the Rose get the B10 and P10 every year while the others get stuck with the non-AQ, BEast, and unranked Notre Dame. Looking at your proposed past matchups, the Orange cannot be happy.

    • @RedDenver – I agree to the extent that this is a tough sell to the Fiesta Bowl and letting in the Cotton Bowl is easier said than done (as I noted in the BCS Final Four post). What’s interesting is that pre-2005, the Orange Bowl would have been one of the biggest beneficiaries under this system with all of the years that Florida State was in the hunt while the Sugar Bowl (which seems to have received a top tier matchup nearly every year since 2005) would have had to give up much more than it got to take (as the SEC didn’t have the same dominance at the top for the first half of the 2000s). I don’t know if the other BCS bowls can really dictate too much more to the Rose, though – they know that they need the Rose to be included in the system. The flip side is that they have the opportunity to set themselves up for semifinal games in a manner that the Rose Bowl can’t ever do. In a way, it’s almost a hybrid between the current BCS system and the 1990s Bowl Alliance (where the other major bowls had to work around not having access to the Big Ten and Pac-10 champs).

  2. Robber Baron says:

    I know it makes geographic sense for the Cotton to get the BigXII if it is allowed to join the club, but wouldn’t it be easier to allow the Fiesta to keep the BigXII tie-in and sell the flex preference to the Cotton? This way the Fiesta doesn’t immediately veto this idea and the Cotton may be willing to go along just to be included.

    • StevenD says:

      I agree. It would be a lot easier to convince the Cotton to take the short straw. In fact, I think you could offer the Cotton a BCS bowl without a turn at the NCG (maintaining the four-yearly rotation for the exisiting BCS bowls). Half a loaf for the Cotton is better than none.

  3. Brian says:


    First, let me say I like your plan. I think this is more realistic for the near future than your previous one.

    I’ll take a little credit for throwing out the term “semi-seeded +1″ (hereafter, SS+1) a couple of days before StevenD gave his idea (which was different than mine). http://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/the-bcs-final-four-a-new-plus-one-system/#comment-92150

    Your proposal is closer to my “mostly-seeded +1″ (hereafter MS+1) than my SS+1, though. In fact, your proposal sounds like another step in the path I charted for +1 development. It is a step between a SS+1 and a MS+1.

    In my SS+1, all the tie-ins remain and the other teams are slotted in to pair the highest ranked teams possible. In other words, no flexing.

    In my MS+1, only the Rose Bowl tie-ins are locked. The top 4 teams outside of the Big 10 and Pac-12 are paired up in “semi-finals” with the locations based on tie-ins. This is just like your flex plan, except I always create two “semi-finals” outside of the Rose.

    Some basic questions about your flex plan:

    1. Isn’t the tie-in the conference’s to give, not the bowl’s? How could the Fiesta force the Big 12 to stay tied to them? I agree, the powers would want to give them something to keep them happier but I don’t think the bowl has any leverage. If you weren’t implying that the bowl has some power here then just ignore my point, but it sounded like that’s what you were saying.

    2. What is your reasoning for not having two “semi-finals” in all 11 scenarios (shown below)? In effect, it would create three “semi-finals.” I prefer this because it provides more data for the polls to correctly pick #1 and #2, especially if both top teams get beaten. It also avoids a #1 vs #2 semi-final (except in the Rose) and should provide 3 great games instead of 2.

    Scenario 2: #1 team in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 2/5, Bowl B: 3/4

    Scenario 3: #2 team in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 1/5, Bowl B: 3/4

    Scenario 4: #1 vs. #3 in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 2/6, Bowl B: 4/5

    Scenario 5: #1 vs. #4 in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 2/6, Bowl B: 3/5

    Scenario 6: #2 vs. #3 in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 1/6, Bowl B: 4/5

    Scenario 7: #2 vs. #4 in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 1/6, Bowl B: 3/5

    Scenario 8: #3 in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 1/5, Bowl B: 2/4

    Scenario 9: #4 in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 1/5, Bowl B: 2/3

    Scenario 10: #3 vs. #4 in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 1/6, Bowl B: 2/5

    Scenario 11: #1 vs. #2 in the Rose Bowl
    Bowl A: 3/6, Bowl B: 4/5


    3. I like the flex preference as a payoff to the Fiesta, but I’m still unsure how the Fiesta and Orange would react to this. Based on your examples, the Orange always suffers (until the ACC produces a power team again). There may need to be an extra bonus, or rotation of flexing (the next time, the Orange keeps the ACC and the SEC flexes over even if it is rated higher). Maybe ND should be tied in as a bonus?

    These sorts of problems are part of why I envisioned the system jumping from a SS+1 to a MS+1. In fact, it might jump to a floating MS+1 where the “semi-finals” rotate among the 4 non-Rose BCS bowls and the tie-ins only apply for the other two games. That way a down conference doesn’t continually punish any one bowl. I am unclear on how committed the Orange really is to the ACC, since that isn’t a historic link (started in 2007).

    In summary, I think this is better than your previous plan. I am guessing that they will move even more slowly, and start with an unseeded +1 before moving to a SS+1 (in fact, the bowls could largely implement a SS+1 in an US+1 by how they choose opponents). After a SS+1, they may move to your flex plan or a MS+1 or even a floating MS+1. I think the move to a 4 team playoff (a fully seeded +1) is a long way off. The Big 10 (and probably Pac-12) will fight it.

    • StevenD says:

      In Scenarios 4,5,6,7,10,11 there are two top-four teams in the Rose Bowl. So, if we matchup the other two top-four teams in a BCS bowl, then we can have a credible 4-team playoff (although we probably shouldn’t call it that for political reasons). Why then are you intentionally putting the other two top-four teams into different bowls? You say this will created three “semi-finals”, but that doesn’t make sense. The purpose of a semi-final is to decide (on the field) who advances to the final. Your “semi-finals” do no such thing. They leave the decision to the same controversial ranking system we use now.

      • Brian says:

        Creating a 4 team playoff isn’t automatically the goal. Having a system set in advance that will keep more BCS bowls happy and important has real value.

        The whole point of “semi-finals” is that the winner is not promised anything. 2 of the 3 winners would advance, but the polls would get to weigh in on which two. That means they can factor in injuries and how teams looked against elite competition (so if the star QB gets hurt in winning the semi, the team doesn’t automatically advance). It also gives non-AQ’s a better chance if they deserve it.

    • Bullet says:

      Point 1. I agree with you Richard. The conferences are going with the best deal and if the Fiesta doesn’t pay up, they won’t get it and don’t need compensation. The Big 8 champ went to the Orange Bowl for many years and the SWC champ went to the Cotton. Yet when the Bowl Alliance came around, the Cotton got left out and the Big 12 signed up with the Fiesta. The last SWC champ was Texas and they played in the Sugar against Virginia Tech. The Bowls have power only as long as they are bringing the $.

      Other than the Rose, the bowl tie-ins aren’t that strong. Even the SEC/Sugar isn’t that strong.

      I could support this sytem (I would be opposed to a pure unseeded +1 which IMO gives worse results than the BCS does now). But in my mind the question is how tied the Pac 10 is to the Big 10/Pac 10 Rose Bowl. Clearly the Big 10 is, but if alone, the rest of the conferences will do what they want. The Big 10 can’t play by itself.

      This is a complicated work-around compromise to preserve the traditional Big 10/Pac 10 Rose Bowl and avoid an 8 team system which would preserve it perfectly.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Bullet – the SEC has placed at least one SEC team in 67 of the 77 Sugar Bowls.

        • Bullet says:

          The Pac 10 and Big 10 have only missed 2 or 3 years since WWII. Only a couple more haven’t involved the champions.

          And how emotionally tied are the fans & admin to the Sugar Bowl? You may not be the best one to ask as I imagine LSU is the most tied. The Sugar is always going to like SEC teams since they are close and travel well. But does the SEC need its champion to go there every year?

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bullet – Historically, getting to the Sugar Bowl was the goal of every SEC team. Tradition counts just as much in the SEC as it does in the B1G or the 12-Pack. But in the early 90s college football shakedown, when the Big East & Big XII formed, the ACC & SEC expanded and the Bowl Coalition started, these conferences and the other bowls realized that to move forward, they were going to have to be willing to occasionally break with some traditions.

            The Sugar Bowl still means a lot to SEC teams, but the BCS NCG means more. It just worked out for LSU in 03 and 07, that the Tigers could have both. Note: the BCS NCG is back in the Superdome again next year and LSU should be pre-season top 5.

            With all the crying about the sacrifices the Rose Bowl has made in the BCS era, its nothing compared to what the Orange and Sugar have had to endure. Obviously, the Rose always has a January 1 slot, while the Orange, Fiesta and Sugar get moved around to weekday nights.

            The Orange has been damaged mostly because it is/was tied to the ACC and Big East, both of whom have been down for the last several years.

            The Sugar has been punished because of the SEC’s success by losing five SEC Champions to other bowls for the BCS NCG during the BCS era. Also, for the last three years the Sugar has been stuck with Utah, Cincy and Hawaii.

            When the Rose lost a B1G or Pac-10 team, they get Texas or Oklahoma. The first clunker they get is #3 TCU. TCU at least sold their allotment of tickets to the Rose, unlike Cincy and Utah to the Sugar, and several of the Orange Bowl’s clunkers.

            Most of the time the SEC replacement is very happy to be in the Sugar Bowl, with the exception of 08 & 09, when the SEC CG was a de facto play-in to the BCS NCG.

            The Rose Bowl, B1G & Pac-10 need to realize that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Some sacrifices have to be made if the shared goal is to have a definitive NCG. If getting to that point is not their goal, let the rest of us know, but always getting the best time slot and substituting Texas twice, Oklahoma, and the #3 TCU doesn’t appear to be much of a sacrifice from an outsider’s perspective.

          • Richard says:

            Alan: The Rose Bowl has traditionally had much, much higher payouts than even the other top tier bowls. It’s only in the BCS era when the payouts have been equalized.

          • Bobestes says:

            I would like to make sure you know that Cincy sold their entire ticket allotment to the Sugar, including leftovers from a fairly apathetic Florida fanbase.

          • Brian says:


            Getting the system to a definitive NCG every year is not the Big Ten’s goal. I think Delany has been pretty clear on that.

            The Rose Bowl gets special treatment because it is special. It the oldest and best of the bowls. It has always gotten the best ratings. It has the most committed conference partners.

            Just because outsiders don’t understand the sacrifices doesn’t mean they aren’t real. It’s just like playoff proponents that don’t understand the BCS would revert to the old system rather than moving to a playoff right now.

      • Brian says:


        How is an unseeded +1 worse than the BCS now?

        It provides one more game against top competition for everybody as data. Yes, the results may muddy the picture but that just means that #1 and #2 weren’t dominant that year. That is a team problem, not a BCS problem.

        • Bullet says:

          Unseeded +1 is:
          1) usually less clear who the top 2 are which isn’t a team problem-its a problem with the system. There are a lot of years where 1 and 2 aren’t clear, but frequently after the bowls, instead of 3 or 4 contenders, you’ve got 6 or 7.
          2) gives teams unequal competition in a game that is treated with great importance by the pollsters.
          3) can result in 1 and 2 playing and then having the winner have to play another team who might have played someone like UConn.
          4) can result in 1 and 2 playing and then still being 1 and 2. Do they play again or do you make #1 play someone else?

          To use an argument from playoff opponents, it adds an extra game with wear and tear on the players bodies with no clearer result for the championship, just more $ for the schools.

          • Richard says:

            1. I’m not sure that’s true. For one, any contender that lost their bowl game is out.

            2. That’s true with the regular season as well.

            3. That’s true with the regular season as well.

            4. That’s true with the regular season as well (and it’s very unlikely in either case).

    • Terry says:

      Hello Frank,

      Thank you for the site. I have been a fan since Big 10 expansion time.


      I still don’t think you are “thinking like a college president” to quote a wise sage.

      Why would a CP do this? This provides no relevent incentive to change.

  4. StevenD says:

    I think your proposal is excellent; however, I would like to see one modification: if two top-four teams play in a BCS bowl, then the winner should automatically proceed to the NCG. I think it is a mistake to leave this decision to the voters. For example, if a two-loss #4 beats a no-loss #1, I don’t trust the voters to put the winner in the NCG. It is quite possible the voters will prefer a one-loss #2 and a one-loss #3 if they both win their BCS bowls (against lower ranked opponents). If this happens, it will be very controversial. Very.

    The main reason for moving to a plus-one system is to reduce the controversy arising from the current method of selecting the participants in the NCG. It would be a pity to retain the controversy by allowing the voters to deny the winner of a top-four matchup a place in the NCG.

    In your examples, we get two top-four matchups in 2005, 2008 and 2009. Sending the winners of those matchups to the NCG would avoid controversy and produce a very credible NCG. I don’t understand why we should leave this decision to a questionable voting system. Yes, the voters will almost always send these teams to the NCG, but why give them the opportunity to do something different and cause controversy? Besides, if we expect the voters to send those winners to the NCG, why don’t we simplify the process and just say from the outset that the winners of those games will proceed?

    In 2006, 2007 and 2010 your proposal would produce one top-four matchup. Again, I think the winner of this matchup should go the the NCG. However, in those years, there is no clear-cut matchup to use for the second team in the NCG. So, in that case we do need to put the decision into the hands of the voters, but that is the only time we should let them decide.

    • jcfreder says:

      I’ll second Steven D’s point that the B12 can ultimately choose which bowl it wants for a tie-in, so if the money is there from the Cotton Bowl, I can see a B12 tie-in happening there. The Orange Bowl does end up getting bad matchups in this scenario, but hey, that’s what happens when you tie-in to a conference that produces lackluster champions.

      Frank, I think this proposal is better because it is indeed more of an “inceremental” approach, and that’s how things seem to move in BCS-land. However, there is a big consideration that needs to be taken into account: the powers that be want to avoid any setup that gives an 8 or 16-team true playoff any momentum. I think this particular setup would produce a lot of momentum for further playoffs because the Rose Bowl exclusivity part of it creates plenty of scenarios where the post-bowl BCS standings would result in chaos, with more than 2 teams having real claims on championship berths. I think the resulting controversy would raise calls for playoff expansion.

      If they are smart, the powers that be will craft the next iteration of the BCS to be as stable as possible. I believe the most stable system is a pure seeded plus-one, with 4 teams making the semis every year. It’s very difficult to generate controversy when you’re arguing over who #4 in the nation is as compared to who is #2, as would happen with a semi-seeded version.

      That said, I think you are correct in identifying the Rose Bowl as a major impediment to this, as a seeded plus-one runs into problems such as “is the Rose ever a semifinal host” and “do you pull B10 and P10 champs out of the Rose for the semis.” To the extent that the B10, P10, and Rose Bowl would like to avoid an 8-team playoff, I think it probably makes sense to buy into a seeded plus-one even it it means losing the pure Rose Bowl matchup every once in awhile.

      • jcfreder says:

        To elaborate further, I don’t think the Rose Bowl can put the genie back in the bottle; the B10 and P10 are not going to give up chances at a national championship in order to protect the Rose Bowl matchup. They had that with the Bowl Coalition and caved.

        If some kind of a plus one is going to happen (and I think it will), the Rose, B10 and P10 can push for an unseeded plus one or something like Frank has floated, protecting the B10-P10 matchup.

        The thing is, I think those plans are fatally flawed because they will result in probably more “who’s #2″ chaos than the BCS has now.

        • Richard says:

          I’m not sure chaos is a flaw. The Rose Bowl caved to the Bowl Alliance because the B10 and P10 wanted to compete for national titles. However, under Frank’s proposal, they get to send their champion to the Rose and also compete for the title. You think public opinion would matter to these folks?

          • jcfreder says:

            Just wait until a P10 or B10 team gets frozen out of the NC game because the Rose Bowl matchup does give that team as good of a win as the two other “seminfinals.” I can’t see a system with three semifinals having any staying power.

    • StevenD says:

      As I said above, I think the winner of a BCS bowl between top-four opponents should automatically proceed to the NCG. However, this should not apply to a matchup between #3 and #4. Obviously #1 and #2 should have priority over the winner of #3 vs #4 (as long as #1 and #2 both win their BCS bowls). Perhaps the best way of phrasing this is: the winner of a BCS bowl between a top-two team and a top-four team should automatically go to the NCG.

      In Frank’s 2005, 2008 and 2009 scenarios, he has #1 vs #4 and #2 vs #3. I think the winners of those matchups should advance automatically without going back to the voters. The same rule should apply to any #1 vs #3 or $2 vs #4 matchups that might occur in the future.

    • Brian says:


      Why promise a spot to a team that may not deserve it? What if the star QB gets hurt during the win? What if multiple players get ejected for fighting and are suspended for the next game? What if the win was a complete fluke based on a blown call?

      I don’t agree that the purpose of a +1 is to reduce the chaos. I think the point is to give undervalued teams a chance to prove themselves against elite competition before choosing NCG participants.

      • Adam says:

        Incidentally, Brian, this is why I objected to Frank’s use of the “+1″ label for his proposal earlier this month, which was in reality just a 4-team playoff. I think the sine qua non of a “+1″ is that nobody is promised anything: it’s an effort at inserting another layer of high-profile inter-conference season-ending match-ups to increase the size of the data set we’re relying on to determine who participates in the 2-team playoff for the national championship.

  5. tinman7 says:

    Give me playoff, or give me death!!! Death to the BCS!

  6. Alan from Baton Rouge says:


  7. adam says:

    The old ranking system, on the other hand, seemed to love teams that didn’t actually win their conferences

    That’s because the computers, which were half the poll and included MOV back then, were using predictive models (i.e. who would win a game tomorrow), not evaluating teams’ “bodies of work,” like today.

  8. greg says:

    Hawkeyes #1 in the Insight Bowl.

  9. jj says:

    Can’t help posting, you’ve put a lot of work into this, but I just don’t like any playoff plan that lets non-conf champions get a shot at it. Why should OSU and ARK get another shot? I also don’t get why a re-run of the BCS is really any better than what we have now. It does nothing to eliminate the beauty contest factor and does not decide anything on the field. It’s not really a playoff. Why can’t there be 2 tiers of BCS branded bowls? Some that feed into a playoff and some that don’t.

    • Adam says:

      1. Ohio State is a conference champion this year.

      2. Conference championships are only based on 2/3rds of games played. By requiring a team to win its conference to be eligible, you’re writing off as irrelevant 1 out of every 3 game results.

      • jj says:

        1. I think each conf can determine it’s champ or participant. If Wisc is the number 1, then that’s just the way it is.

        2. I’m cool with that becasue I think it will help the OOC schedules. We could get something like a B10-SEC or B10-PAC 12 matchup, like they do with the ACC. That would be great.

        • Adam says:

          There’s no way you can force the poll voters to ignore non-conference results, and they would penalize schools for losing non-conference games regardless. The incentives would still be the same as you have now — you would just be introducing an additional complication, because you would be suggesting that only conference games “count,” but without any mechanism to enforce such a “rule.”

          • jj says:

            The polls would, I think, have no bearing on who the conf champs are. Done deal. No one else tells a conf how to pick its champ. The B10′s champ this years is Wisc because the polls say it is. OSU and MSU are “co” champs, but they don’t get the championship prize.

            I guess in my view, being champ of one of the 6 top leagues is good enough no matter what. I’m trying to peel some subjectivity out of it.

          • Adam says:

            But as between your conference champions, whatever BCS formula you’re using would be considering all games played, not just conference games played. So you’d be saying that the team must perform superlatively in arbitrary 2/3rds of its schedule to cross the threshold for consideration, but once that threshold is crossed, then all games are considered. This is nonsensical to me.

          • jj says:

            For seeding purposes, i suppose the ranking would matter. But that’s a far smaller issue than who gets in the door.

          • Richard says:

            JJ, here’s an example:

            Team A is dominant, rolling over most of their opponents, finishes 11-1, and soundly thrashes Team B (in a different conference) but loses a conference game to Team C on a controversial penalty. Team C finished 9-3 but goes undefeated in conference. Team B finishes 10-2 but wins their conference.

            According to you, Team B gets to play for the national title (and maybe Team C as well in a 4-team playoff), but Team A, which has shown itself to be the better team over the course of the season, has to sit at home and watch a 2-loss team which it destroyed play as well as a 3-loss team maybe play for the national title. Did I get you right?

          • Adam says:

            Richard’s example is precisely why I don’t understand why people get so caught up with winning a conference title in college.

            In my experience, people seem to have things almost totally backward. In college sports, there’s a fairly widely-held opinion that if you don’t win your conference title, you shouldn’t be eligible for the national title (as summarized in the silly “if you aren’t best in your league, you aren’t best in the country” trope). Yet I would also say the popular attitude in pro sports is that division championships shouldn’t matter at all, that playoffs should be seeded solely on the basis of record (sometimes even ignoring conference affiliation, let alone seeding incentives for winning division titles). To me, both get it wrong.

          • jj says:

            Richard – you got it dude.

            People want drama, this gets you drama. Win your conference or take a hike in my view.

            A wise man once said, “if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry christmas.”

            I’m sure there are 10,000 examples of ifs and butts we could come up with we could cook up. If we want a clear metric, conference champ is it. Anything else is a beauty pageant.

            You can’t be like, ok Baylor, you win the conference and maybe, assuming TX or OK, don’t have “better” or more wins, you’re in. Go get em! Hardly knute material.

          • jj says:

            The problem is that there are numerous leagues and 120 schools. Pro sports are hard to compare; even though i’ve done it. I go back to mlb arguments because they are still the most divided leagues. i think the playoff has to be a “tournament of champions” (that’s now trademarked BCS, you owe me when you use it).

          • Richard says:

            jj: Well, heck, if you prefer a system that isn’t fair but produces “drama”, the current BCS system is just as good.

      • jj says:

        also 2. a giant chuck of those games are already irrelevant.

        • Adam says:

          This is a misconception. People lump them all in to the same boat, but it is meaningful and relevant whether an FBS team beats Delaware as opposed to Delaware State. Yes, they’re both FCS, but the one is a meaningfully greater accomplishment than the other. Similarly, it matters whether you played Akron or Bowling Green — yes, they’re both MAC bottom-feeders, but one is a worse bottom-feeder than the other.

          Lumping all of these results together and saying they’re irrelevant denies us a tremendous amount of data.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            As the graduate of a school with an FCS program, Thank you!

            Moreover, I’d like to add that it irks me how there is somehow more shame in losing to a top-notch FCS team than there is in losing to a bad FBS team. For example, Iowa should have been more embarrassed in losing to Minnesota this year than if they’d lost to Northern Iowa last year; UNI’s ’09 team was waaaaay better than Minny’s ’10 team.

          • jj says:

            I’m not trying to bag on anyone. I’m just saying, if we’re going to do a playoff, come up with as objective as possible way to do it. You don’t want this thing to bloat into march madness, where, franky 1/3 or so of the teams (mostly mid-level AQ teams; i.e 6th in the B10) do not belong.

          • Adam says:

            My biggest frustration with “March Madness” are the half-empty arenas and dispassionate crowds mandated by “balance” concerns — the size of the tournament is not a problem and I would have no problem doubling it in size (or more).

          • Adam says:

            I agree that it is less embarrassing to lose to a top FCS team than a terrible FBS team — but I continue to think that it is more embarrassing to schedule any FCS team over any FBS team, regardless of their on-field competitive merits.

    • Bullet says:

      Adam points out that nearly a third of the games are ooc. I was opposed when the NCAA bb tourney originally expanded beyond conference champs. But in basketball there are more than twice as many games, making it much cleaner who the conference champ is. This year alone there were four three way ties-Big 10, Big 12 South, WAC and Big East. Only in the Big East did one of the 3 beat the other two. We already have the computers using limited data (not allowed to use margin of victory) on a statistically insignificant sample. Sagarin, for one, uses a variant of the Chess ELO system which is considered provisional until 21 games have been played. The only system we have uses a beauty contest in which teams with identical records often get put in ahead of teams they lost to (2000 FSU over Miami, 2007 OU over Texas).

      Conference champs is nice in theory, but limits the ability to pick a real national champ and isn’t always fair when you’ve got a 12 game season.

      • jj says:

        Let’s say the WSox win the AL even though they are not the “best” team on paper. Should they get bounced by, lets say, the RSox just because? It’s the crazy part of college football.

        Some years one conf is harder to win than others. That’s just the way it is.

        If we’re gonna have a championship and maintain the integrity of the conferences, we gotta figure out a way to limit it. otherwise, its a crazy free for all. I mean isn’t it bizzare if OSU wins the national championship but not the B10? That could easily happen in most of these scenarios. I don’t think a conf championship can be a consolation prize.

        I feel like Walter in the Big Lebowski. Am I the only one that cares about the rules around here?! lol

        • bullet says:

          The White Sox play 162 games and the plan here is to have a very limited playoff of 4 teams.

          I weigh in on the side of “fairness” over arbitrary conference tiebreaks. In the Big 10 this year and Big 12 in 2007, arbitrary conference tiebreaks determine the conference champ. There will be times like this year where a clear 2nd like Stanford gets in, or 2004 where once beaten Texas or Cal gets in along with unbeaten conference champs, OU & USC. But there are other times where perhaps the best team in the country doesn’t get in because of arbitrary tie-breaks. And its really hard to craft a rule that deals with that.

          Such a rule would also discourage conference championship games, since you wouldn’t want your unbeaten champ to get knocked out in an upset. While the Big 12 has gotten extra BCS bids because of their championship game, 3 different teams have been knocked out of the championship game in 13 years, KSU in 99, Texas in 01 (for UNL who didn’t win their division), and Missouri in 07.

        • Adam says:

          No, your OSU hypothetical isn’t crazy. The Big Ten Champion isn’t necessarily the best team in the Big Ten — it’s the team that was the best in the Big Ten Championship segment of the season. But the National Championship is based on the entire season, not any specific segment of it.

        • Adam says:

          You can’t draw an analogy to any pro sport because no pro sport has the collegiate distinction of conference and non-conference games.

        • Richard says:

          Uh, in baseball, they have the wildcard. Teams that don’t win their division go on to win the World Series pretty often.

          BTW, the White Sox winning the AL in a playoff would be akin to Oregon winning the Rose Bowl. Sure, the Rose Bowl winner should be allowed to compete for the national title (if ranked highly enough), but why shouldn’t Stanford (say they were #3) not be allowed to play Auburn in the Sugar Bowl and compete for the title if they knock them off?

          What if the 3 best teams in the country were all in the same conference? How is it more fair, if you have a 4-team playoff, for #1, #4, #5, & #6 to get the chance to win the national title, but not #2 and #3?

        • jj says:

          mlb playoffs were better before the wild card.

    • Brian says:


      This is an improvement over the BCS because teams like TCU get a shot at the NCG. They get a game against an elite opponent to prove themselves worthy to the voters instead of being shut out.

      • jj says:

        but 5 teams win right? only 2 move up. tell the other 3 it makes sense. i bet they don’t think it’s so hot.

        • Brian says:

          Lots of teams finish the season with a win and only 2 move on. Tell teams like TCU this system is better.

          A +1 gives them all a chance. The biggest weakness of the BCS system is a lack of data to make fair evaluations of the quality of the teams. A +1 provides more data, so the selections of #1 and #2 are more likely to be correct.

          Again, how is an unseeded +1 worse than the BCS?

          • jj says:

            It’s not. This probably is better than what we have now, but why stop at better when we can get it right? The teams with the most prestige will still get the votes. If TCU beats the crapola out of UConn or something, they still have no shot.

          • Brian says:


            You assume people agree on what getting it right is. I never want a playoff, not even a +1. I wish they’d go back to the old system. Too much emphasis is being put on national championships now. People from different regions didn’t used to hate each other like they do now.

            Even people who want a playoff don’t agree on what constitutes getting it right.

  10. mstinebrink says:

    I like it, FTT. However, I wouldn’t, if I were the Fiesta Bowl. It’s a small sample size, but it looks like the Cotton would relegate the Fiesta to a second-tier bowl.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Perhaps the Fiesta could be allowed to host a semifinal (or somewhat semifinal) by guaranteeing a #1 or #2 Big East and/or non-AW team a spot in the Fiesta Bowl. For example, the Fiesta Bowl would have been the site of a semifinal between WVU and someone else in the ’07 season if WVU hadn’t choked their chance away.

  11. Michael in Indy says:

    Maybe in the future it would be best for everyone if the ACC did not have a tie-in to the Orange Bowl. Since the tie-in began, the only matchups to draw good ratings have involved Florida State. That’s far too dependent on one team.

    The Orange Bowl deserves better than that. The Orange Bowl used to be, in my opinion, the most prestigious bowl game outside of Pasadena. Consider: Before the BCS automatically rotated the site of the National Championship game, the OB hosted a national championship team five times in seven years: ’97, ’94, ’93, ’91, and ’90. Over the same period, the Sugar and Rose hosted a MNC team twice each, and the Fiesta hosted a NT team just once (with the Citrus Bowl having hosted co-champ Georgia Tech in 90).

    Meanwhile, I just don’t see how much objection the ACC would have to giving up a permanent tie-in with the OB. Miami, which travels poorly and has had a ton of success in that game, loves the OB tie-in, but I don’t see why they everyone else cares one way or the other. FSU is about as close to New Orleans as Miami and has about as much history with the Sugar as the Orange. The rest of the league would probably revel in the idea that the ACC champion at least has a chance to play the Big 12 champ in the Fiesta or SEC champ in the Sugar. With the OB tie-in, the opponents have offered sub-par national interest: Stanford, Iowa, Cincinnati, Kansas, and Louisville. Not a single blue-blood program in the whole bunch.

    Instead, the OB ought to have first choice of at-large teams, including ACC and Big East teams.

    • zeek says:

      Well, a big part of that was having the Big 8 tie in with a nationally relevant Colorado and Nebraska getting its national championships in the 90s…

      All the schools that were relevant in those match ups were in their heyday and none of them are really back fully to their level of prominence.

      Colorado, Nebraska, Florida State, Miami, and Notre Dame have all struggled through parts or most of this past decade, so that’s just the cyclical nature of college football. Obviously, I wouldn’t put Colorado with the others, since the others are national brands, but they’ve all had much worse decades in the 00s than in the 90s for the most part.

      I just don’t think the Orange Bowl would want to give up the ACC tie in…

      Right now, they get to be the prize for the ACC Champion.

      Instead, they’d be almost totally irrelevant until the BCS numbers are fully crunched, and then they’d get the first pick of non-champions…

      It’s really hard to see them accepting that, since there’d be no tradition in that game as it would be a hodgepodge of match ups.

      At least now, they’re guaranteed Florida State or Miami among the national brands, so they’ll take that any day over an uncertain alternative…

      • Michael in Indy says:

        The OB would get to claim the ACC champion with its first choice, but it could choose to defer by taking another team.

        My other post shows that if the Orange Bowl had the flexibility NOT to take the ACC champ, while using FTT’s BCS Flex rules, it could have had these matchups:

        2010: Arkansas vs. UConn
        2009: Florida vs. Georgia Tech
        2008: Virginia Tech vs. Utah
        2007: Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma
        2006: Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest

        In 2010, the real matchup, Stanford vs. VT is better matchup.
        In 2009, UF vs. GT would have been better than Iowa vs. GT.
        In 2008, it’s virtually a wash: VT vs. Utah or VT vs. Kansas.
        In 2007, VT vs. OU would have been much better than VT vs. Cincinnati.
        In 2006, Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest would have been much better than Louisville vs. Wake Forest.

        Granted, the OB still would have gotten ACC teams in four of the past five seasons, but the ACC wouldn’t have been the OB’s first choice.

        The ACC also has little reason to insist that the Orange Bowl should be the destination for its champion. It’s barely closer to most ACC schools than the Sugar is, and other than Miami, ACC schools really do not have much more history with the OB than anywhere else. Plus, with an absolute, inflexible tie-in to the OB, the ACC champ is assured it will NOT face a conference champion.

        As for the OB’s viewpoint, I think it would love the flexibility to choose teams like Oklahoma, Ohio State, or Texas over most ACC teams.

      • Richard says:

        I’ve heard that the Orange Bowl is trying/has tried to get out of their ACC tie-in. Remember that they don’t have a long history with the ACC, and back in the day, they preferred to take the champion of a conference half-way across the country rather than the champ of the ACC, which is next door.

        The Orange may not mind joining the Fiesta as “floaters” that can host a semifinal if 2 teams from the ACC, BE, independents (ND) or non-AQs are involved and get first picks otherwise.

        • Vincent says:

          The ACC had an Orange Bowl tie-in against the Big Seven in the 1950s, but it was discontinued after a few years. I think in some ways this is deja vu.

          The bowls should just tell the truth to the ACC — until its schools really make a concerted effort to excel in football and quit treating it as an appetizer for its precious basketball, it, like the Big East (another conference that doesn’t understand big-time college football culture), gets no tie-in. Period.

          • Richard says:


            It’s not as if the ACC doesn’t _want_ to be a football power–in fact, pretty much all of its expansion has been to upgrade it’s football–it just won’t be able to reach the level of the BigTen or SEC because of the hand its dealt (generally smaller schools than those 2 conferences, and no states that it owns outside of the ACC heartland of NC, VA, & MD).

          • I agree, Richard. Taking Miami and Virginia Tech was COMPLETELY about football. The fact that it hasn’t worked out as well for the ACC as originally planned doesn’t mean that the conference hasn’t been focusing on the sport. The intent of the ACC is clearly to be a strong football league. For as much as it’s bashed on the field, the ACC is still the clear #3 revenue league behind the Big Ten and SEC, so they did something right.

    • jcfreder says:

      Keep in mind, the ACC tie-in, if nothing else, keeps the Orange Bowl at the table. If the bowl would be so foolish to drop the tie in, then it just becomes a pure cash grab. If the Peach wants to offer more money to buy into the BCS, the Orange will ultimately be dropped, tradition be damned – just ask the Cotton.

      • Richard says:

        The Cotton didn’t have the facilities. The Fiesta didn’t have a traditional tie-in and became a BCS bowl. Heck, you could argue that the Fiesta because a BCs bowl _because_ they were not tied to a conference.

        • Bullet says:

          Actually they did succeed because they weren’t tied. They were able to host a lot of big games because the indies were good and they could invite two good indies to meet. PSU/FSU/Miami/ND were indies and among the very top programs in the late 80s.

          • jcfreder says:

            My assumption is that the Fiesta succeeded because it brought a big payout to the table. Having those good matchups probably helped. But that was a unique situation. The Cotton’s tie in died. Had it not, I’m sure they would have had a much better crack at the BCS. The Orange should NOT drop its tie-in. Without a tie in, its all about who brings money to the table.

          • Bullet says:

            Those good matchups enabled it to offer the big $. The Cotton had a decaying stadium and a history of bad weather and couldn’t generate the $. Now they have a great stadium and the ability to generate $. Weather isn’t going to change.

    • Brian says:

      Michael in Indy,

      I wouldn’t just blame the opponents in the OB lately. The ACC champ hasn’t been a draw except VT once. Iowa and Stanford are/were higher rated than their opponents (IIRC).

  12. Aaron says:

    If No.1 USC plays No.12 B1G champ for the right to get to the plus-1 game while No.2 Alabama has to play No.3 Oklahoma, there will be some gripes.

    If you can’t match a 1-2-3-4 in the Rose Bowl, you need to let the 1-2-3-4 team that would normally go to the Rose Bowl move to a bowl where they match up with another 1-2-3-4. Replace them with another B1G or Pac 12 school.

    • Brian says:

      You take away any incentive to agree to the +1 if you try to take away the elite teams from the Rose Bowl. You’ll just go to a 4 team playoff in that case.

    • Derrick Go Bucks says:

      Well, flip it the other way around. The higher ranked Pac 12/B1G 10 stays in the Rose, and the lower ranked leaves and is replaced by another top 4 team.

  13. Michael in Indy says:


    The tweak I would make to your outline would be to reduce the OB’s obligation to take the ACC champ, except when the ACC champ would be eligible to be the host team in one of your scenarios. The Fiesta Bowl would have a similar deal with the Big East AND the top-ranked non-AQ team.

    The Fiesta and Orange would alternate every other year who would get the first choice of teams who aren’t in a “semi-semifinal,” if you will.

    I agree that the Cotton ought to have the Big 12′s tie-in. The Fiesta wouldn’t like it, but if the Big 12 would rather have its champ in Dallas, there’s not much the Fiesta can do about it. The Cotton makes even more sense for the Big 12 now that there is no more B12 championship game; it wouldn’t have made sense if OU’s reward for winning the CCG in Dallas to be… another trip to Dallas.

    One other thing: rematches need to be avoided in bowl games; #1 Florida vs. #4 Alabama in ’08 and #2 LSU vs. #3 VT would have been silly.

    This year, under your scenario, the bowls could have been:

    Rose: #2 Oregon (Pac-10 champ) vs. #5 Wisconsin (Big Ten champ)

    Sugar: #1 Auburn (SEC champ) vs. #3 TCU (top non-AQ)

    Cotton: #7 Oklahoma (Big 12 champ) vs. #13 Virginia Tech (at-large choice #3)

    Fiesta: #6 Ohio State (at-large choice #1) vs. #4 Stanford (at-large choice #5)

    Orange: #8 Arkansas (at-large choice #2) vs. UConn (at-large champ #4/Big East champ; I’m assuming common sense prevails and the Orange goes with the team with a small fanbase from the East coast, not the west coast)


    Rose: #7 Ohio State (Big Ten champ) vs. #8 Oregon (Pac-10 champ)

    Sugar: #1 Alabama (SEC champ) vs. #4 TCU (top non-AQ)

    Cotton: #2 Texas (Big 12 champ) vs. #3 Cincinnati (Big East champ)

    Orange: #5 Florida (at-large choice #1) vs. #9 Georgia Tech
    (at-large choice #4/ACC champ)

    Fiesta: #6 Boise State (at-large choice #2) vs. #10 Iowa (at-large choice #3)


    Rose: #5 USC (Pac-10 champ) vs. #8 Penn State (Big Ten champ)

    Sugar: #1 Florida (SEC champ) vs. #3 Texas (at-large)

    Cotton: #2 Oklahoma (Big 12 champ) vs. #4 Alabama (at-large)

    Fiesta: #10 Ohio State (at- large choice #1) vs. #12 Cincinnati (at-large choice #4/ Big East champ)

    Orange: #19 Virginia Tech (at-large choice #2) vs. #6 Utah (at-large #3/top non-AQ)


    Rose: #1 Ohio State (Big Ten champ) vs. #7 USC (Pac-10 champ)

    Sugar: #2 LSU (SEC champ) vs.
    #5 Georgia (at-large; UGA and LSU didn’t play in ’07)

    Orange: #3 Virginia Tech (ACC champ) vs. #4 Oklahoma (Big 12 champ)

    Cotton: #9 Missouri (Big 12 replacement) vs. #6 West Virginia (at-large choice #2/Big East champ)

    Fiesta: #13 Illinois (at-large choice #1) vs. #10 Hawaii (at-large choice #3/top non-AQ)


    Rose: #1 Ohio State (Big Ten champ) vs. #5 USC (Pac-10 champ)

    Sugar: #2 Florida (SEC champ) vs. #3 Michigan (at-large)

    Cotton: Oklahoma (Big 12 champ) vs. Louisville (at-large choice #3/Big East)

    Orange: Notre Dame (at-large choice #1) vs. Wake Forest (at-large choice #5/ACC)

    Fiesta: LSU (at-large choice #2) vs. Boise State (At-large choice #4/ top non-AQ)

  14. duffman says:

    Some thoughts part I:

    1) The Bowl Wars – this season

    BIG 10 – Wisconsin (TCU), Michigan State (Bama), tOSU (Arkansas), Iowa (W Missouri), Illinois (W Baylor), PSU (Florida), Northwestern (T Tech), Michigan (MSU) – 8 possible bowl wins

    vs SEC 0-0 (4 possible)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (0 possible, the tragedy of this season)
    vs Big 12 2-0 (3 possible, congrats Illinois and Iowa!)
    vs the “rest” 0-0 (1 possible, MWC)

    SEC – Auburn (Oregon), Arkansas (tOSU), LSU (TAMU), Alabama (Michigan State), South Carolina (FSU), MSU (Michigan), Florida (PSU), Georgia (UCF), Tennessee (UNC), Kentucky (Pitt) – 10 possible bowl wins

    vs Big 10 0-0 (4 possible)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (1 possible, and for the MNC)
    vs Big 12 0-0 (1 possible, does this seem low for balance?)
    vs the “rest” 0-0 (4 possible, 2 ACC, 1 BE, 1 CUSA)

    PAC 10 – Oregon (Auburn), Stanford (Va Tech), Arizona (oSu), Washington (Nebraska) – 4 possible bowl wins

    vs Big 10 0-0 (0 possible!)
    vs SEC 0-0 (1 possible, and for the MNC)
    vs Big 12 0-1 (2 possible, bad start as only 4 teams got bowl bids!)
    vs the “rest” 0-0 (1 possible, ACC)

    BIG 12 – Oklahoma (Uconn), Missouri (L Iowa), oSu (W Arizona), Nebraska (Washington), TAMU (LSU), Baylor (L Illinois), T Tech (Northwestern), KSU (Syracuse) – 8 possible bowl wins

    vs Big 10 0-2 (3 possible, go wildcats for the sweep!)
    vs SEC 0-0 (1 possible, again only 1 Big 12 vs SEC matchup)
    vs Pac 10 1-0 (2 possible, if Nebraska wins, they sweep the Pac 10)
    vs the “rest” 0-0 (2 possible, 2 BE! weird combinations)

    2) The Bowl Wars – next season

    a) the Big 12 will be the losers, and the Pac 10 and ACC will probably be the winners, as a conference without a CCG will probably fall way down when it comes to bowl invitations (next year could see both the Pac 12 and Big 12 get 6 invites {+2 for Pac 12} ).

    b) a possible shift for the sugar bowl (see my comment to frank in part II)

    3) Are we about to see the Pac 10 implode in this years bowl games? Auburn can beat the Ducks, and VT / Stanford is a different VT team from early in the season. Nebraska is not bad, so can the Pac 10 go 0-4 this bowl season?

  15. Robber Baron says:

    I appreciate the note to the fairness advocates. This system is not designed to determine the best team if there are multiple top teams from outside the cartel. But putting aside my fairness concerns, there is still something that bothers me about this improvement to the BCS system: it still relies heavily on the BCS rankings. In the spirit of making incremental changes, can someone propose something that erodes the power of the voters and algorithm writers? I want to see a system where every player knows at the beginning of the year what they need to do to become champions without needing to score style points.

    • bullet says:

      Do you have any ideas? RPI in basketball is still an algorithm.

    • jj says:

      4 BCS Bowls take 6 AQ conf champs and 2 others that have to either win their conf championship (e.g. boise) or be a suitable (however) independent (e.g. byu finishes 6 in the BCS). 8 team playoff ensues. The second round can be home games for top 2 teams. Win your conference and you are in. Don’t like dickin around with voters and polls? Join a conf.

      Cotton, Cap One, Whatever can become BCS affilaited, just not feed into the championship.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      In a sport where there are only 12 games (13 for teams who play in CCG’s or at Hawaii) but 120 teams, it’s impossible to be completely objective. It’s not like the NFL, where each team plays 13 out of 32 teams, not 13 out of 120. The NFL’s system isn’t perfect, either; how preposterous is it for a potential 7-9 NFC West team to host a team that goes 12-4?

      Personally, I would be more content with some kind of transparent selection committee. The NCAA basketball selection committee doesn’t always get it right, but at least the committee doesn’t make its decisions under such absolute secrecy.

      • Adam says:

        The funny thing about a 7-9 NFC West team hosting a playoff game is that the one owner probably screwed by the current playoff format more than any other (Robert Kraft, who is the owner of the only 11-5 team to miss the playoffs) is very much in favor of it. “‘I do believe if you win a division, it’s good for your fans to know you will have a home game,’ Kraft said. ‘To win a division, there is a reward and we wanted to keep that.’” http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80789b13

        • Michael in Indy says:

          *The 1985 Denver Broncos went 11-5 and missed the playoffs while the 8-8 Cleveland Browns made it.

          Anyway, one of the things I appreciate about college football is that the standard for winning a national title is sky-high. No three-loss team has ever won a national title, and two-loss teams have only won one twice in the past 50 years–and that’s a good thing. I do not see how opening up the chance for an 8-4 UConn to win the national title in a playoff system is an improvement. National champions have always been about greatness, not just going on a hot streak.

          • jj says:

            I get that, but if we are going to a playoff system, you can’t just tell the BEast and their 100s of thousands of fans, tough beans, you had a down year, no one gets in.

          • Adam says:

            I should have said, the only 11-5 team to miss the playoffs in the era of the 12-team playoff format.

          • Bullet says:

            In the days before wildcards, the Colts went 11-1-2 in 1967, tied for the best record in the NFL, but lost and tied the 11-1-2 Rams who went to the playoffs with 3 9 win teams.

            In the split season strike year 1981 the Reds had the best record in baseball. But finished a 1/2 game out each half season and didn’t make the playoffs.

            With that history and being a Colts fan in the 60s, a Reds fan and a Longhorn fan (see 2008), I definitely am not a fan of arbitrary division championships such as split seasons and BCS tiebreaks. Or of arbitrary rules that limit who can and who cannot be in.

          • Adam says:

            I generally agree with you bullet, with a couple of caveats:

            1. I think the NCAA’s current rules for playing an “exempt” conference championship game are appropriate. The default manner of determining a league title should be a round robin, because a league should be a meaningful community of teams. If a league is so big that it cannot play a round robin, then it should be forced to make the choice of either subdividing into 2 actually meaningful communities of teams (and matching their champions for the league title) or just playing a straight round robin. It seems inappropriate to reward expansionism for its own sake with the “best of both worlds” solution: add as many teams as you want and contribute to a “rich get richer” system, but not be forced to make any compromises after having done it.

            2. I have no problem with special seeding rules for division champions in pro sports — it’s just that the playoff field should be big enough to ensure that all deserving teams make the playoffs every year, without being concerned about whether a few “undeserving” teams qualify from time to time. That is to say, I have no problem with a 7-9 Seattle Seahawks NFC West Champion getting the 4th seed and a home game — but I also think that the Giants and Packers should both definitely be going to the playoffs, too.

          • Adam says:

            I worded that inartfully: didn’t mean that a 12-team league should be either forced to subdivide or else play an 11-game round robin. What I meant was either subdivide, or live with whatever incomplete round robin you can fit into the financial parameters of your league’s business model. Allowing a big league to play an exempt conference title game without subdividing just feels like a best of both worlds, no compromises, rich-get-richer regime which I find distasteful/offensive.

            As for the NFL, I am of 2 minds on how I’d like to see the playoffs organized. On one hand, I could see taking the 4 division champs and then the next 4 best teams. Or, you could take the top 2 teams in each division. The latter approach appeals to me in some respects, even if a really crappy team snuck in this year (you could potentially have a 6-10 runner-up in that division), because whoever is getting screwed probably isn’t that good either (is a 9-7 Tampa Bay team really in much position to squawk too much? sure, it’s a lot better than 6-10, but nobody is crying for a 9-7 team).

    • Adam says:

      In college athletics, it will always be impossible for teams to control their own destiny from the outset of the season. But you could always put in place an RPI-like algorithm which is neutral and doesn’t suffer from the biases and preconceptions of the voters (academics all this a “pre-commitment strategy”). That’s what I’d like to see: put in place a formula which is unconnected to opinion polls and just accept the results. But I think the only way that would work would be a fairly large playoff (16 teams minimum), since there would likely be quirky results cutting against the grain of consensus, and you’d want to make sure the field is large enough that everybody with a realistic chance is involved.

      So long as we’re committed to a 2-team playoff (which is what the current bowl system is) or something not much larger than that, I don’t think any system that doesn’t rely on opinion polls will get any support from the consuming public.

  16. duffman says:

    Some thoughts part II:

    Frank, are you looking for a 4 team, 8 team, 12 team, or 16 team playoff in your analysis? Here is some comments and thinking.

    FtT point #1:
    total agreement!

    FtT point #2 & #3:
    Frank you never commented on my thought of moving the Sun Bowl (and its history as one of the oldest bowls) to the weekend of the CCG’s for the Big 10, Pac 12, SEC, ACC, etc….. Have the [Big 12 winner play the best non AQ at that time] (with the winner getting the automatic slot in the Cotton Bowl. To me there are 4 bowls (Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Cotton – sorry to the Fiesta but they are the “johnny come lately” to the Big Bowl Table. By using the Sun Bowl as a CCG of sorts between the former Big 12 vs best non AQ, you keep the former Big 12 in the media eyes, AND you force the best non AQ to go on the road to prove their regular season schedule is not such a cream puff.

    FtT point #4:
    Bowls have following tie ins

    Rose = Big 10 vs Pac 10 (duh!)

    Sugar = SEC vs ACC (it becomes the “balance” to the Rose)

    => Rose = Big 10 vs Pac 12, BTN + PTN, and FOX ties
    => Sugar = SEC vs ACC, ESPN ties

    Orange = Big East / Notre Dame vs ??
    Cotton = Sun Bowl winner (high probability to former Big 12) vs ??
    Fiesta = Non AQ (ND, BYU, Boise State, etc) vs ??

    This leaves you with 5 bowl games pitting the top 10 teams in the country against each other. The top 2 play for the MNC!

    FtT point #5:
    I would add the Sugar, and make the Sugar and Rose the “stone” teams

    FtT point #6:
    I would would make the Fiesta the non AQ “home”

    FtT point #7 & #8:
    adjust with above point factored in

    FtT point #9:
    From the top 10 (the 5 bowls) pick the 2 to play the MNC

    I know I keep hammering at the non CCG teams, and the weaker schedule teams, but how else do you propose to make the top 10 slots more “level” but rewarding teams that play tougher schedules. If Boise State or TCU had to play a UTexas / Oklahoma at the same time the rest of the “major” conferences were playing their CCG, it just seems like a fairer way to “balance” the teams overall. I guess I am just trying to figure out why this is not on the table for discussion?

    If they followed the BCS final standings formula;

    Auburn #1 plays Oregon #2
    TCU #3 plays Stanford #4
    Wisconsin #5 plays Oklahoma #7 (because Ohio State is #6)
    Ohio State #6 plays Arkansas #8
    Michigan State #9 plays Boise State #10

    Wisconsin plays TCU
    Stanford plays Va Tech (#13, and not in the top 10)
    Oklahoma plays Uconn (WHO IN NOT IN THE TOP 25!)
    Michigan State plays Alabama (#13, and not in the top 10)
    Boise State plays Utah (#19, and not in the top 10)

    My point being, if we are to trust in the BCS, why do they not follow it to seed the teams not #1 or #2 in the final BCS poll? If the top 10 is valid, why does the BCS not force them to play each other? can anybody offer a reasonable discussion of this point?

    • duffman says:

      oops, Alabama was #16, not #13 in the final BCS poll

    • Bullet says:

      Since the Big 12 has been in 8 of 13 ccgs (only one UNL or CU) and would have been in 10 of 13 (OU-5, UT-3, KSU-1, Mizzou-1) with no ccg, why don’t we just seed the Big 12-2 champ right into the national championship! Then we could just have everyone else play for the other spot.

      A championship game does make it harder to get into the championship, but not having one doesn’t mean you play a weaker schedule.

      • duffman says:


        sorry, did not clarify better:

        weak schedule = teams lie TCU, Boise State

        no CCG = former Big 12

        not that they are one in the same (but losing the better teams in UNL and CU do not help – not like they were losing ISU and KU in football – which would not really be noticed).

        • Bullet says:

          I was also making the point that the ACC has a championship game and in recent years that didn’t mean they were playing a tough schedule.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            ACC teams DO play tough schedules:

            This year alone:
            FSU–OU, UF, BYU
            Miami–Ohio State, Pitt, USF
            Clemson–Auburn, South Carolina
            Georgia Tech–Kansas, Georgia
            VT–Boise State
            Maryland–West Virginia

            If any of those teams survive their schedule unscathed, plus a CCG, that’s not a tough schedule? Which SEC and Big Ten teams, exactly, are playing these tough schedules?

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Mike – shouldn’t Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia, LSU and Alabama also get credit for playing those ACC schools?

            Alabama also played Penn St. LSU played West Virginia. Arkansas played Texas A&M. Tennessee showed up and attempted to play Oregon

          • Michael in Indy says:

            LSU definitely deserves credit–I forgot they played WVU this year.

            Florida, though, is notorious for weak non-conference schedules. Yes they scheduled USF but have no intentions of playing down in Tampa in return. Alabama schedules a lot like Penn State: one tough game and three gimmies. Georgia’s stepping up a little recently with games vs. OSU and ASU.

            But the Pac-10 and the ACC are the only conferences where it’s normal for teams to schedule more than one typical top 25 opponent. In any case, I don’t understand the suggestion that ACC teams play a “weak” schedule.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Mike – I’m not suggesting that the ACC plays weak. I’m with you on that, but to insinuate that the SEC plays a weak schedule is crazy talk.

            Here’s a summary of the 6 ranked SEC teams’ schedules:

            South Carolina played 11 bowl teams out of 13 games played. Auburn played 9 out of 13, LSU & Bama played 8 out of 12, and Arkansas & Miss St played 7 out of 12.

            With 6 ranked teams at the end of the year and 10 bowl teams, the SEC schedule is a meat-grinder by itself.

            The bowl-bound OOC list of teams that played those ranked SEC teams include UNC, West VA, Texas A&M, Penn St, Clemson (2), So Miss, and Troy.

            Even some of the cupcakes are a little tough to chew.

          • Bullet says:

            The ACC does play a tougher ooc schedule than SEC/Big 10/Big 12-except for the fact that they like FCS schools more than the other conferences. I was referring to the in conference schedule, which is what it takes to conquer to get the conference championship. Over the last few years, the ACC has not been as strong as the others.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            I think it’s more or less understood that the SEC is an excellent conference. You don’t have to convince me of that. I was talking about the non-conference schedule.

          • Bullet says:

            Ohio State and Georgia have agreed to play in September in 2020 and 2021. No details worked out, just an agreement in principal. UGA’s new AD is from Florida and prefers the embarrassingly weak ooc schedule Florida plays, but says that every now and then he will add a good game.

    • Brian says:


      The BCS doesn’t arrange anything other than #1 versus #2 for several reasons. First, the bowls are businesses that want the flexibility to maximize their earning potential. If you take away their freedom, they will reduce their payouts. Second, all the big conferences want a guaranteed spot regardless of the team’s rank. Third, strict seeding destroys traditional match-ups and tie-ins. Fourth, you would need all kinds of rules written in to avoid rematches and conference games and how to resolve conflicts.

  17. Playoffs Now says:

    Good starting point, perhaps the 2nd most likely outcome of the upcoming BCS negotiations. The most likely will probably be adding the Cotton Bowl to the BCS bowl system and preserve 10 BCS slots, use the BCS to pick the 4 wild cards, and then run the BCS after the bowls to pick 2 teams to play in a Plus One semi-faux national title game.

    But either or those is just a stalling maneuver and I don’t for a second buy into the notion that “The Powers That Be” are determined to prevent a playoff. TPTB are split in multiple ways with varying agendas and pressure. With potential state bankruptcies/bailouts looming, many state schools will find it difficult or impossible to justify rejecting the big jump in payouts some sort of playoffs would provide. The BCS bowls don’t operate in a vacuum, so some or all of them likely recognize that if can’t substantially increase payouts in the next round they could be left out. Hence the BCS will probably move in the direction of some sort of playoff that incorporates their bowls as the only way to get the $ increase to counter outside playoff proposals (see Mark Cuban’s mischief.)

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Which is why I think there is a good chance that the BCS negotiations actually result in an 8-team (legitimate) playoff inside a 12-team BCS:

      * 6 AQ champs and 2 wild cards meet in 4 BCS bowls for the first round of the playoffs, BCS rankings pick the wild cards.

      * Next 4 highest BCS-ranked teams meet in 2 other BCS bowls

      This proposal would:

      1) Return the Rose Bowl to a pure B10+2 vs P12 matchup.

      2) Add the Cotton Bowl and the potential big money Jerry Jones could bring while keeping him from potentially starting a competing playoff system. Could also potentially raise total BCS revenue by putting a 6th bowl slot up for bid (or potentially rotated among the original 4 BCS bowls as a 2nd game.)

      3) Allow changing the BCS limit from 2 to 3 teams per conference, something the B10+2 and SEC are pushing for but some other AQ conferences are wary of at 10 BCS slots, afraid it would reduce their chances of a 2nd BCS team at 10.

      4) Theoretically increasing the access for Non-AQ conferences

      5) In actuality provide 2 additional BCS slots from which the 6 AQ conferences could increase total revenue to be divided amongst themselves and increase the chances the ACC, BEast, and P12 could get an extra team in.

      6) More BCS bowl games and then playoff games = more BCS TV content to put up for bid = fatter TV contract from which to distribute among the same 6 BCS AQ conferences = higher payouts to conferences and schools

      Some will claim that the 2 non-playoff BCS bowls would be meaningless and thus undesirable. Um, that would be no different than most of the BCS bowl games now, except for the supposed National Championship (sic) game. See this year’s Fiesta, last year’s Sugar, and most Orange Bowls.

      The key to remember is that going back from 10 to 8 BCS teams is highly unlikely, undesirable, and perhaps politically infeasible. Meanwhile an 8 team playoff limits all but 2 participants to conference champions, preserving the importance and viewership ($) of the regular season while keeping theoretical access for no AQ conferences. So if you are going to have one ‘NIT’ BCS games to keep 10 BCS slots, might as well expand to 12, for the reasons above, and reduce the marginalization and image issues of having a single ‘left outside’ BCS game. Participant schools will still have the BCS prestige and money at 12 while the total BCS pot is increased. All about money, and how the AQ conferences can maximize it.

      Whether a 5th or 6th bowl is added or instead additional games played at the site of existing BCS bowls (and same for whether the 2nd round is played on campus or at BCS bowl sites) are smaller details with pro’s and cons that can be negotiated. The key is the basic platform of 8 playoff and 12 BCS teams that perhaps maximizes the most revenue to the BCS AQ conferences while best balancing the competing interests and pressure.

      • jj says:

        This seems very reasonable. We have nits about the 2 wildcards, but this is within reason and I agree with basically all of your points. What team or conf could have a legit beef with this?

        The only downside is an 8-4 UConn or something, but if that’s the worst that happens, I think it is pretty good. Think Miracle on Ice, something crazy good could happen. And a bad team isn’t likely to go on a 3 game tear agaist this type of competition.

        The natioanl playoff doen’t pick the conf champs so any beefs there can be determined by confs. Each conf deals with its own. Don’t like that a CCG can biff your team?; then don’t have one.

      • Richard says:

        1. 8-team playoff isn’t happening (at least any time soon).

        2. No sports anywhere in the world stages 3 consecutive rounds of playoff games at neutral sites, and college football isn’t going to do it either.

        • jj says:

          1. good argument

          2. world cup. 4 rounds neutral site. biggest sporting event in the world.

          • Richard says:

            Yeah, and so are the Olympics. I should qualify that I’m talking about yearly events that have to draw >50K per game.

          • Adam says:

            International events involving national teams generally don’t count. But AFAIK, even international events involving club teams (e.g., the UEFA Champions League) play home-and-home games.

      • Bullet says:

        Basically this is Frank’s 1st proposal but with 4 games instead of 2 counting as the playoff.

        I don’t believe any of the conferences, probably not even the Big 10, are dead set against an 8 team playoff. I think everything’s negotiable. If the $ are big enough and $ distribution and control issues are resolved to the satisfaction of the Big 6, it can happen.

  18. Playoffs Now says:

    As to the flex-Plus One Frank proposed, I particularly appreciate that in 2009 it would have likely produced a TX-TCU supposed ‘National Title’ game…

    FL exposed Cincy as a fraud, while AL was getting their butts whipped and Saban in a panic until the fluke Colt McCoy injury. TCU would likely have beaten AL, though perhaps not the thorough whipping and exposing that Utah administered to the Tide a year earlier.

    Which would have still robbed Boise (and perhaps other schools, how do we really know TX was top 2?) So as usual it all comes back to needing a minimum of 8 teams in a playoff. 6 AQ conference champs, with some years a non-AQ champ or two, and/or some years a wild card or two to make up for extreme controversies in the determination of an AQ conference champion (see 2008 B12.) Otherwise it is all too often just tarnished beauty contest posing, politicking, and perceptions based on circular logic and urban myths.

  19. StvInIL says:

    “Nothing will get done in terms of college postseason changes unless the Big Ten is happy, which means that the Rose Bowl and the Pac-10 have to be happy.”
    *Amen to that brother. I hate like hell that interlopers come into the rose bowl and devalue what it means to Big Ten fans. Baring a national championship, it’s the goal and holy grail of the season. *

    “Highest ranked non-AQ school receives automatic BCS bid”
    *A deserving bone thrown to the Non-AQ’s. * Possession is 9/10ths the law. And the AQ’s have the law. They do not feel obliged to bending it or breaking off a piece for the Non-AQ’s. This is an improvement though.*

    “Fiesta Bowl receives flex preference for #1 or #2 teams that do not have tie-ins OR 1st at-large pick.
    In reality, the best way to coax the Fiesta into giving up its Big 12 tie-in to the Cotton is to provide it with more flexibility. Therefore, it gets two options. First, the Fiesta receives a “flex preference”, whereby it would automatically receive a #1 or #2 team that does not have a tie-in”.
    *I once say a movie where an American who traveled south of the border engaged a taxi cab driver for his services. He spoke no Spanish. He simply said, “se habla dinero señor ? to which he answered si, si señor.!
    They will understand and take the gratuity.*

    “BCS rankings are re-calculated after bowl games are finished and national championship game rotates among the BCS bowl sites”
    *Well the only thing I don’t like about this last one is that it may increase the trend of grotesque running up of scores. For some this is becoming acceptable but in reality it just quietly kills sportsmanship.* some of us value it you see. But after these games are played, there should be a reshuffling of the deck.

    • Adam says:

      The only way to eliminate the incentive to run up the score is to eliminate the use of opinion polls. Running up the score influences those far more than it ever did any computer rating system, even before the BCS computer rating systems were told to ignore it.

  20. gobucks1226 says:


    I like this proposal because it definitely allows the BCS bowls to have a direct influence on the national championship, versus your semi-final games in the BCS Final Four. I also think it will ensure that fans will continue to travel to the traditional bowl tie-ins in addition to the BCS championship game. I think that could have been a problem with the BCS Final Four.

    There are two areas of concern I have:

    1) If a #4 team defeats a #1 team, that #1 team could still end up in the BCS title game. Although that is a current issue today regarding the last day of the regular season, isn’t part of this exercise to take some of the ambiguity out of the system and to better decide games on the field?

    2) Your assumption that bowls will take the highest-rated BCS teams in their at-large selections. We both know bowls care about traveling fan bases at TV ratings more than rankings. In 2010, I could see the Sugar Bowl taking #6 Ohio State over #3 TCU or #4 Stanford. In 2009, there is no way that the Cotton Bowl would have taken #3 Cincinnati when they could have taken #4 TCU or #5 Florida.

    Now to play devil’s advocate, do you think that the “pseudo-semifinals idea” would be enough incentive for the bowls to take a team from the Big East or non-AQ team versus a highly ranked Big Ten or SEC team?

    No system is perfect, but appreciate your insight.

    • StvInIL says:

      That call was a bad call. But sufficiently within the letter of the rules to provide cover for the officials. If it were me, I would not have called it though. I have seen worst. I don’t think the outcome of the game would have changed. Syracuse had the momentum and the ability to run the ball at will by that time.

      • Adam says:

        I am always frustrated by a notion that the outcome wouldn’t have changed though. The officials have an obligation to get it right regardless of the competitive context. And I expect that the Big Ten officials demonstrate a superlative level of skill and judgment during the bowl season — just like the play of the teams on the field, it is an important opportunity for us to show the quality of the programs we have.

        Ultimately, I disagree though — I don’t think it was even within the letter of the rule (let alone whatever amorphous “spirit” the rule may have), and I think it may well be the worst “excessive celebration” call I’ve seen. Some people would hold up the QB who threw the ball after he scored a couple of years ago, but there’s a separate rule that specifically prohibits exactly that act, so I can’t really complain (other than questioning the rule’s wisdom).

        • Richard says:

          You could argue that it was choreographed. That’s the only way I can see it fitting within even the letter of the law. I wouldn’t have called it.

      • Bullet says:

        terrible call. Big 10 officials are lousy in the regular season also. One of the reasons I don’t like the NBA. Officials think they are more important than the game.

        Big 12 has gotten some tough calls in the bowls. Anyone see that Missouri/Iowa completion overturned? If complete as originally called, Mizzou is down 3 on the Iowa 33 with over 2 minutes left. Instead, Iowa runs out the clock. Announcers thought it was complete the 1st look and then thought it was incomplete the 2nd look and that the replay official made the correct call. I thought he caught it. I didn’t see where it hit the ground or he was juggling it. In any event, it was so close, its the type of call that rarely gets overturned.

        • Adam says:

          To the Big Ten’s credit, I thought that the officiating in the Music City Bowl was strong given the extraordinary circumstances those guys faced. The only major gaffe was missing the obvious personal foul with about 15 seconds left in the game (before UNC ran the draw play), and that is notable, because if they had caught that UNC may well have ended that game in regulation — but all in all I thought that they handled a difficult situation very well.

          My frustration with the KSU call is not so much whether it’s bad judgment or not, because I am of the opinion that if the rules were broken they were broken (e.g., I supported flagging the QB who flipped the ball in the air after scoring a few years ago — the rule specifically prohibits that, regardless of how silly that may seem). It’s that I am a person who tries to take the rules very seriously, and I am offended at the deference this call is getting as some kind of technical application of the rule when I do not see how it can plausibly even be construed as a technical violation of the precise language of the rule.

          • Bullet says:

            Basically, this call says that if he waved at friends or family in the stands he would be hit with excessive celebration. Even if the interpretation is correct, its absurd.

          • Richard says:

            Adam, actually, in the Music City Bowl, the announcers missed the fact that the guy who delivered the helmet-to-helmet “hit” which wasn’t called had been pushed down by a NC player, and he was basically falling down. The officials made a good non-call in that case.

          • Bullet says:

            Don’t have the link, but read an article where a sportswriter asked 6 officials off the record about the call. The verdict was unanimous. Everyone would have called it in the 1st 3 quarters and none would have called it at the end.

          • Brian says:


            That is the worst thing an official could do. If it’s a penalty in the first 3 quarters, then it’s a penalty at the end of the fourth. The rules don’t magically change.

          • Adam says:

            I agree with Brian, and it’d be bogus to flag that at any point in the game. It isn’t even a foul under the actual language of the rule!

            This is a good example to me of how the football community (whether fans, officials, coaches, players, or some other segment) allows its subjective impression of how things “ought to be” to trump what the actual rules say. There’s this notion among some that players shouldn’t do anything to call attention to themselves, so when they do it’s unsportsmanlike conduct — without bothering to reference the actual UC rule’s language. Rather like traveling in the NBA!

          • Brian says:


            You’re just flat wrong. It was a violation of the rule despite you wishing it wasn’t. Get over it.

  21. Playoffs Now says:

    What if the NFL had used the BCS joke of a system to determine its champ?

    From 2000-9, only 40% of the Super Bowl champions were in the top 2 of the regular season. For the entire 40 years since the NFL-AFL merger, 70% of the 40 Super Bowl champs were in the regular season top 2. Years where the playoffs champ wasn’t in the regular season top 2: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2001, 2000, 1997, 1990, 1988, 1987, 1980, 1974. BTW, there were multiple 3-way ties for best record.

    However, in the last 10 years 70% of the Super Bowl champs were in the top 4 of the regular season. For the last 40 years since the merger that rises to 87.5%. Years where the Super Bowl champ wasn’t in the regular season top 4 were 2007, 2005, 2001, 1988, and 1980.

    That said, the comparison is strained because the NFL is far more homogeneous:

    * Equal number of home and away games

    * Balanced scheduling in the NFL and no out of league games, i.e. no Div 1-AA or non-AQ powder puffs

    * 16 game season increases final record differentiation

    * Far fewer teams in league means a much greater % of head to head and common opponents to increase accuracy of tiebreakers

    * Basic statistics show that you’re more likely to choose the actual best 2 or 4 from 32 than from 120

    * More mechanisms to support parity, such as the controlled draft and salary cap

    * Far more difficult to go undefeated or even have just 1 loss

    All of that suggests that using the BCS to choose a top 2 or 4 in will be significantly less likely to produce the same winner as a playoff would in college than in the NFL. Which again suggests an 8-team playoff would be much better in college football.

    But getting to 4 or is a nice improvement, as is the 3 or 4 of the Flex-Plus One.

    • Brian says:

      You are making the huge assumption that a playoff determines the correct winner. There is no proof of that. The fact that teams out of the top 4 won the super bowl shows how crappy playoffs can be at determining a champion. Being hot at the end of the year shouldn’t trump being good all year.

      • duffman says:

        excellent point, and why I would love the NCAA tourney to go back to just 16 teams.

      • jj says:

        Why? Does the guy who comes in second win the marathon because he led for the first 25 miles?

        • Brian says:

          No, but his time for each mile matters. You don’t just take the top 10% of the field and see who ran fastest in the last mile.

          • jj says:


            No it doesn’t! Whoever finishes on top wins.

            Something about college football = crazy land

            Here’s the deal, the superbowl isn’t about being the “best” team; it’s about winning the superbowl, that’s it.

          • Brian says:

            Yes, it does. He doesn’t just have to meet some minimum time to qualify for running the last mile. Every mile counts.

            Playoffs largely ignore the rest of the season. Being hot is better than being good. That is why playoffs always have and always will suck, and I usually don’t watch them.

        • jj says:

          Find us a marathon where the guy who broke the tape didn’t win and was not dq’d and I will buy you a beer.

          • Adam says:

            The whole marathon analogy doesn’t work, because it doesn’t consist of separate competitive units that you must decide how to aggregate. It’s a single competitive unit.

            Perhaps a better way of thinking about it is how you decide what team wins a cross country tournament. Is it a team that posts the best aggregate time? Or is it the team that has the lowest aggregate sum of ordinal finishes? The universal convention is to do it in the latter fashion. They each have different policy goals that they embody.

          • Brian says:


            Show me a CFB team that plays all of their games in one continuous time period and I’ll buy you one.

            A football season and a marathon are not the same.

        • jj says:

          And the reason I think they need in is that it is an objective win this and you’re in rule. Voters cannot take it from you, unless your conf allows that kind of thing.

          Isn’t the impetus for a playoff the removal of the voting and politicking?

      • Bullet says:

        @Brian its a good point, but at least it is decided on the field where everyone knows what they are playing for. Its a better argument against playoff bloat like the NCAA bb tourney.

        • Adam says:

          I am probably closer to jj than Brian here — I have no problem with playoffs producing a definitive champion, regardless of whether the winner is the “best team,” in part because this is the near-universal convention in all of sports. The issue is ultimately what the teams and fans want to achieve, and that’s winning the playoff championship. Being the best team helps — this is why it’s nice to (say) win the Presidents’ Trophy in the NHL. But it isn’t a must-have; the goal is to win the Stanley Cup, whether with the “best” team or not.

          That said, I think these two disagreements are on different tracks. This notion of needing to win your conference title as a necessary condition for winning the national title is really just a separate issue altogether. It presumes that the conference champion is the best team in the conference. It isn’t, but that’s just as true regardless of the league’s championship methodology — whether it’s a true round robin as in the (current) Big East, or a league title game as the Big Ten will soon have. It ultimately comes back to the fact that in college you have the concept of league and non-league games. But schools do not compete for the national championship as members of their leagues; they compete for the national championship simply by virtue of being in NCAA Division I-FBS. The league/non-league distinction collapses in the national championship context. It isn’t a matter of trying to protect the “integrity” of league championships, because they just aren’t relevant to the national title.

          In the NFL, every team belongs to a single 32-team league. The conferences and divisions are playoff gateways and scheduling frameworks, but all games count equally in the league standings. By contrast, in college sports all teams belong to two separate leagues: their conference, and the 120-team league that is FBS. Their conference can adopt whatever rules it wants to recognize superlative performance vis-a-vis other conference members, but there is no intrinsic reason why superlative performance there is a necessary condition to superlative performance in the other 120-team league. Unlike the pro sports situation, the conferences are separate leagues, and not subdivisions of the same league.

          It’s like the old Big Ten hockey championship. The Big Ten used to award a hockey championship, even though it didn’t have a hockey league, based on the derived standings of the hockey games that Big Ten members played against each other in their actual leagues. A Big Ten team could have won the WCHA title without necessarily winning the Big Ten title. They’re just different.

        • Brian says:


          They play out the whole season on the field, and everyone knows they need to win out to maximize their chances at a title. I fail to see why a playoff is automatically better than the old system or the BCS.

          The overemphasis on winning national titles in football is a shame. Even hoops also glorifies making the Final Four, while the losers of BCS games are ridiculed.

          • Adam says:

            A playoff is better because there are no sufficient conditions. The bowl system (whether the BCS or the old system) had fairly clear necessary conditions, but no sufficient conditions. A playoff starts to provide something like sufficient conditions as well. And it is the absence of sufficient conditions which is the real “fairness” objection: nobody is willing to prescribe exactly what the non-AQs have to do in order to be considered (the sufficient condition for them to be eligible for the national title).

            I recognize it’s unrealistic and the power conferences prefer the absence of defined sufficient conditions (other than “be one of us”), but that’s what makes it superior in the minds of the sporting public.

          • Adam says:

            I should have said, “A playoff is better because there are currently no sufficient conditions.”

          • jj says:

            I agree with that. This whole “first loser” talk is crazy. Anyone in a bcs bowl or something similar has a right to be proud of it. It’s like when someone gets the silver in the olympics and they “suck” as if being second best on a particular day is something to be ashamed of.

          • Bullet says:

            Reminds me of a debate on the kid’s soccer team in a league where they didn’t officially keep scores. At least one thought kids shouldn’t get trophies-trophies should be for accomplishment, not participation.

            I would think any competitive athlete would want a shot at a national championship. There’s certainly a feel good situation about the bowls with 35 winners, but championships are a way to measure. And its done in every other sport on the field.

            And maybe a playoff isn’t better every year (see 2005 Texas/USC where only one game was needed), but its better most years and the decision isn’t based on a beauty contest. Teams get a shot to prove it on the field, not in the ESPN announcing booth. Maybe sometimes you would get a Stanford winning instead of an Oregon, but you wouldn’t have Auburn left out as in 2004.

            Now if you like not having champions and having everyone feel good, the bowls are your cup of tea.

          • Brian says:


            Every player has a shot at a NC now. Make a hard schedule, especially OOC, and win big every week. How many teams fit that criteria and haven’t played for the BCS title?

            I don’t like the bowls for letting more teams win. I like them because they let more teams participate and are better than a playoff.

            Why not scrap half the season? Play 6 games for seeding, then start a double elimination tournament (with 8 byes). Six more games gets you down to two 12-0 teams and two 11-1 teams. Make two semi-finals matching 12-0 versus 11-1 and then play the NCG.

            After elimination, the other teams could keep playing until the end of the year.

      • jj says:


        The problem is that no system can determine a “best” team. As a wings fan, I can tell you that over the years I have seen them repeatedly have the best regular season and probably the best “paper” team only to lose in the Playoffs. It doesn’t matter who is “best”, it matters who wins in the construct that is established. It takes some luck and breaks; it just does. My point about the marathon is that if you lead the entire way and someone passes you in the final bit, you lose.

        I noticed your comment about playing hard and winning everything should get you in. It doesn’t. Google bcs controversy and read the history. Numerous undefeated teams fail to get a shot. And k-state has been screwed repeatedly because they are k-state.

        If we did an 8 game playoff with the current 4 bowls and their ties, all conf champs would be in. I just feel strongly that if we go to a playoff, all aq champs deserve a shot. I don’t see how any re-vote is an improvement. If anything, it makes things worse.

        • Brian says:


          All systems try to establish the “best” team, though, and playoff proponents often claim that a playoff does that. If no system can do it, why jump through so many hoops to get a playoff? The BCS champ is just as likely to be the champ.

          The Red Wings have certainly spit the bit multiple times in the playoffs. A violent, low scoring sport like hockey is especially vulnerable to playoff upsets with injuries or a hot goalie hurting the better team.

          The problem with the marathon analogy is that it is one event. It’s more like saying a last second score to win still counts. My problem with playoffs is they are designed to find the hot team at the end of the year. I want the whole year to count more equally.

          I also mentioned playing a hard OOC schedule and winning big every time.

          Undefeated teams left out:
          ’98 Tulane
          OOC = SMU, Navy, Rutgers, ULL, LA Tech

          ’99 Marshall
          OOC = Clemson, Liberty, Temple

          ’04 Auburn
          OOC = ULM, Citadel, LA Tech

          ’04 Utah
          OOC = Texas A&M, Arizona, Utah St, UNC

          ’06 Boise
          OOC = Sac St, OR St, Wyoming, Utah

          ’08 Utah
          OOC = MI, UT St, Weber St, OR St

          ’09 Boise
          OOC = OR, Miami OH, UC Davis, Bowling Green

          Color me unimpressed. Note I left off any undefeated team that lost their bowl.

          How has KSU been screwed? They’ve only won 3 bowl games in the BCS era.

          1999 – lost at Nebraska 41-15
          2000 – lost 3 games
          2002 – lost 2 games

          From that, I assume you mean they should have been picked for a BCS game more often. Since only the title game is meant to decide anything, that is an empty complaint to me.

          If you only automatically include AQ conference champs, how are you making it more fair? The non-AQ champs are usually the ones being left out.

          I think you are just wrong about a +1 being worse. The non-AQs that are worthy get a chance to prove it and the AQs can’t dodge them (a common complaint amongst non-AQ supporters). The AQs have all year to earn their way into the title game.

          Again, schedule hard, win big and you’ll be fine.

          • Bullet says:

            Some teams can’t because of their conference. And the big schools won’t play them ooc. And would Auburn in 04 been put ahead of 2 kings, OU and USC? Not likely.

          • jj says:

            It’s entertainment.

          • Brian says:


            I don’t buy that some teams can’t schedule hard OOC. They may have to make sacrifices (no home and home, lower payouts, etc), but such is life. It’s nobody else’s fault they don’t have a better pedigree, and nobody owes them anything. The big boys have put a lot of time, money and effort into winning 800+ games and don’t need to apologize for it.

            As for Auburn, we’ll never know what would have happened if they had a real OOC schedule. That was one of the main criteria used by voters to keep them out, though (USC and OU didn’t play a I-AA team).

          • Sam240 says:

            “I also mentioned playing a hard OOC schedule and winning big every time.”

            As in:
            ’04 Utah
            OOC = Texas A&M, Arizona, Utah St, UNC

            Utah and Utah State played every season from 1919 to 2009, and Utah State was a rivalry game.

            Texas A&M was 7-5 in 2004, Arizona 3-8, and North Carolina 6-6. But games are set up 5 to 10 years in advance.

            Texas A&M was Big 12 champ in 1998, 9-4 in ’97, 9-3 in ’95, 10-0-1 in ’94, 10-2 in ’93, 12-1 in ’92, and 10-2 in ’91. Very tough opponent.

            Arizona was 12-1 in ’98, 8-4 in ’94, 10-2 in ’93. Could be tough.

            North Carolina was 11-1 in ’97, 10-2 in ’96, 8-4 in ’94, 10-3 in ’93, 9-3 in ’92. Tough, but not quite as tough as Texas A&M.

            Unless Utah junked its rivalry with Utah State, the Texas A&M-Utah State-UNC-Arizona out of conference schedule looked as tough as possible in mid-1999. You can’t prevent teams from tanking.

            Utah ’08? I’m not sure why they scheduled Weber State, except that it was an in-state team. It was a good FCS team, with 10 wins and a Big Sky title that year, but still an FCS team. Utah was supposed to play Washington State that season, but that game was cancelled.

            Oregon State was in five bowls during the six-year period from 1999 to 2004. In 2008, Oregon State was the only team to defeat Southern Cal. Michigan was in a bowl every season from 1975 to 2007. Who would have expected that they would go 3-9 in 2008?


            “Color me unimpressed. Note I left off any undefeated team that lost their bowl.”

            We’re talking about getting the chance to play in the National Championship Game. Bowl games are irrelevant to determining that — nobody knows the result at selection time.

          • Sam240 says:

            Let’s look at the other teams which went through the regular season undefeated.

            Cincinnati ’09:
            SE Missouri State, at Oregon State, Fresno State, at Miami OH, Illinois. Oregon State and Fresno State are solid. Illinois made BCS bowls during the 2001 and 2007 seasons, but was usually a weaker BCS conference team.

            TCU ’09: at Virginia, Texas State, at Clemson, SMU. SMU was a rivalry game. Texas State is a big problem, as it is an FCS team. Virginia and Clemson, at least, are usually solid teams — and they were road games.

            Boise State ’08: Idaho State (FCS), Bowling Green, at Oregon, at Southern Mississippi. Bowling Green had been one of the better MAC teams for several seasons, and Southern Mississippi was a regular bowl qualifier. Oregon’s a good team.

            Hawaii ’07. Northern Colorado (FCS), at UNLV, Charleston Southern (FCS), Washington. To quote MAD magazine, “Blecch.”

            Boise State ’04. Idaho, Oregon State, at UTEP, BYU. UTEP qualified for a bowl game, which was a surprise; the Miners were usually bad.

  22. Bullet says:

    With regards to Notre Dame and the NCAA and their explanations for their actions or inactions-”Me doth think they protest too much.”

    Sally Jenkins’s take:


  23. PrimeTime says:

    This idea is even worse than what we have now. It basically rewards B1G 10 and Pac 10 and gives them easier paths to the national championship.

    In ’07 Ohio State got to play #7 USC instead of #4 OU or #5 Georgia. On paper USC was the easier match up (I believe ‘SC was the best team in the country that year, LSU got way too much love).

    In ’06 USC got a chance to play for the national championship even though LSU was ranked higher than them. How is that remotely fair?

    In ’05 USC got a tougher match up than number two Texas, on paper at least. That Penn State was terrible and need multiple missed field goals to beat a 5 loss FSU team.

    Basically, this rewards B1G 10 mediocrity. If USC ever gets back to the Pete Carrol dominance or Oregon turns into a juggernaut on a year to year basis than any B1G 10 team is guaranteed a semi-final no matter what their ranking is. All it takes for the Rose Bowl to turn into a semi-final is if they have one of the Champions of the B1G 10 or Pac 10 be in the number one or two slot. It’s totally unfair and anti-competition.

    Screw the Rose Bowl and their tradition. The two best Rose Bowls I have ever seen were when Texas played Michigan and Texas played ‘SC. I’m sorry Frank, but I will never forgive the Rose Bowl for depriving the nation of a Georgia vs. ‘SC game in ’07. Instead we got an over matched Illinois team get pounded by ‘SC.

    I can’t speak for B1G 10 fans, but I can speak for ‘SC and many Pac 10 fans and they don’t really care about the B1G 10-Pac 10 match up. They, obviously, want their champion in there, but they just want to get a good match up no matter where the opponent comes from. I know that ‘SC fans were sick of playing mediocre B1G 10 teams for three straight years.

    The Rose Bowl needs to move on. Traditions come as a result of necessity and once that necessity is gone there is no need for it anymore. The whole reason the B1G 10-Pac 10 agreement came about is as a result of convenience. They obviously took a team from the Pac 10 because of proximity and they took a team from the B1G 10 is because there were many alums in the era and the conference had the largest fan bases at the time and that area of the country was much wealthier than the South or Southwest and fans would travel.

    It doesn’t matter anymore. Fans from the Big 12, SEC, and some from ACC will travel to the Rose Bowl. You will see this year with TCU in the game, that fans from all over the country will come to the Rose Bowl. Unlike the other bowls, the Rose Bowl doesn’t have to worry about attendance and ratings. Fans will watch it. So they should be solely concerned with getting the best and most interesting match up.

    I don’t understand why the other bowls and conferences don’t force the Rose Bowl’s hand and the B1G 10′s hand (I don’t think Larry Scott really cares that much about the Rose Bowl)? If you don’t agree to our rules you won’t get to host the national championship and your teams won’t get to play for the national championship.

    I remember when the Rose Bowl and, I think, Jim Delaney said that if Congress interferes with the BCS that they will just go back to old system. It was just a laughable quote and showed how out of touch with reality those guys are. Now that we have tasted some semblance of a formal crowing of a champion (pre-BCS the national championship was purely mythical even more so than now) we aren’t going back. Fans, coaches, players, and the media won’t allow it. A whole generation of players and new coaches have grown up knowing that there is some kind of formal process of determining a champion, no matter how absurd it can get at times.

    ADs and coaches won’t allow it. How are you going to be able to tell Bob Stoops, whose team is number two, that they won’t get to play for the national championship because the number one team is USC and they have to play in the Rose Bowl against #14 Illinois?

    • Michael in Indy says:


      I hear ya man, and I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. Illinois’ presence in the Rose Bowl that year bothered me too.

      But Frank is right about how serious the Big Ten’s protection of its Rose Bowl tie-in is. I’m sure the Rose Bowl people are well aware that their game would get good ratings and sell plenty of tickets with teams from almost any conference. But the Big Ten-Rose Bowl partnership is a good ol’ boy thing. Plus-one CAN’T happen without allowing the Big Ten to keep its Rose Bowl connection. And leave no doubt about it: a plus-one that excludes the Big Ten and Pac-10 won’t work for the same reason the Bowl Alliance and Bowl Coalition didn’t work.

      Frank’s ideas are designed to operate within the constraints of the people in power. I HATE the idea that the Big Ten and Pac-10 could get away with an easier matchup, but that’s the only way a plus-one could happen.

      • I know that the perception is that Illinois was granted a gift by the Rose Bowl in 2007, but the reality is that they were going to a BCS bowl that year no matter what. First, Georgia could NOT have been taken by the Rose even if the game wanted the Bulldogs -the Sugar had contractual first dibs on them as an SEC team and they weren’t going to be given up. I have no idea why so many people think the Rose Bowl “cheated” everyone out of a USC-Georgia game that couldn’t have ever happened. Second, the only choices for the Rose were #14 Boston College, #13 Illinois, #11 Arizona State, or one of either Kansas or Missouri. It certainly wouldn’t have made sense to take a lower ranked worse traveling ACC team or a Pac-10 team to play another Pac-10 team. The Rose could’ve taken a Big 12 team in theory, but then the Orange was almost guaranteed to take Illinois over both BC (another ACC school that was lower ranked) and ASU (poorer traveling and ranked only 2 spots higher than Illinois). If anyone actually takes a look at the final BCS standings and sees who was actually eligible to be picked (as the presence of 3 teams in the top 14 from both the SEC and Big 12 made the number of possible selections limited), taking Illinois in that particular season (especially after just coming off a win against then-#1 Ohio State) was more than reasonable.

        • jj says:

          I have zero problem with this. If other leagues want to set something up, then do it. Personally, I think it would be great if the sugar could tie In the b12 champ.

    • Brian says:


      The fans, media, players, coaches and ADs have next to no say in this. The presidents decide these things, and they are quite serious about going back to the old system rather than a playoff. There is no allowing them to do it, they are the decision makers.

      • PrimeTime says:

        @Brian You are forgetting who pays the bills though. ESPN and ABC.

        ABC and ESPN won’t allow it to happen. The amount that ESPN or whoever decides to pay to cover these bowl games will plummet significantly. They can go back, but, only if, they want to take a significant pay cut. Money ultimately talks. There is too much now.

        I am pretty confident that we won’t go back to the old system. The only people that would want it is the B1G 10, no one else. There is no way the SEC and Mike Slive would want that. You think Larry Scott and the new Pac 12 would want that. No way. I would absolutely be stunned if we went back to the old system.

        • Brian says:

          I’m not forgetting. The networks pay because fans watch. No matter what system exists, fans will watch. Therefore, the networks will keep paying.

          Even the presidents don’t want to go back. They’ve just said they would do that if the BCS is blown up by a legal challenge. I doubt the NCAA will force a playoff on them.

          This is why plan’s like Frank’s make sense. They build on the bowl system the powers like while trying to add features the fans want.

    • jj says:

      Texas being I’m that rose bowl is exactly why beauty contests suck. Mack brown burning the phone lines is not the way to decide things. I cannot recall who they jumped, but it was horseshit. IMHO

      • @jj – The Rose could’ve taken Cal that year, so it was a double whammy in that the game passed over a long-suffering Pac-10 team. This example can be used by both sides of the Rose Bowl debate, where it’s either evidence of the Rose looking for the best team even if it’s not a Big Ten or Pac-10 school or that this shows that the Rose isn’t as committed to maintaining the tradition as people think, so there shouldn’t be a system built around that tradition. Granted, Texas is a school that every bowl wants. The Rose had complained about having the take Oklahoma previously, so there’s definitely an uber-snob factor applied to any non-Big Ten/Pac-10 team that it will willingly take (as OU is no fly-by-night program).

        • PrimeTime says:

          @Frank I remember in ’04 when the Texas vs. Cal debate came up. The Rose Bowl had no choice, but to take Texas. I think the rule was if you were in the top four of the BCS rankings you had to go and play in a BCS bowl. It’s known as the K-State rule. Texas had to go. That is why Mack appealed to the voters in ’04. He wanted them to jump Texas over Cal so they can be assured of a BCS bowl. The previous season Texas would have gone to a BCS bowl, but because OU lost to KSU in the Big 12 title game and Texas couldn’t go. It was the two teams per conference rule.

          In ’98 K-State was ranked number one or two in the country and lost in the Big 12 Championship game to A&M and they dropped to number three but were left out of a BCS bowl.

          In regards to ’07 I remember hearing that there was some clause in the BCS where a bowl can release it’s tie in team and allow them to go to another bowl game.

          Anyway I hate the current BCS format of 5 games with the double hosting format. It completely dilutes some of the Bowls and assures the Ohio State gets to go to a BCS bowl every year.

          • Brian says:



            “5. After completion of the selection process as described in Paragraph Nos. 1-4, the conferences and Notre Dame may, but are not required to, adjust the pairings taking into consideration the following:

            A. whether the same team will be playing in the same bowl game for two consecutive years;
            B. whether two teams that played against one another in the regular season will be paired against one another in a bowl game;
            C. whether the same two teams will play against each other in a bowl game for two consecutive years; and
            D. whether alternative pairings may have greater or lesser appeal to college football fans as measured by expected ticket sales for the bowls and by expected television interest, and the consequent financial impact on ESPN and the bowls.

            The pairings may not be altered by removing the Big Ten Champion or Pac-10 champion from the Rose Bowl.”

            This provision has never been used, and probably won’t since the bowls are run by businessmen more interested in making money than helping out another bowl or the fans.

    • Michael in Indy says:


      Larry Scott has to care about the Rose Bowl because he answers to the people in charge of the Pac-12 schools. And there’s no question that those schools love the Rose Bowl.

      Think about the celebration after Oregon’s win last year over Oregon State. Fans lifted up the Duck on their shoulders and carried him around the field with ROSES in his arms (or, uh, his wings). This was a far bigger deal to the fans there than, for example, the 2001 Pac-10 championship that sent them to the Fiesta Bowl.

      At Cal, they’re still upset about getting passed over for the Rose Bowl in ’04. They most certainly care. I guarantee you that Arizona cares; they’ve been chomping at the bit to get into the Rose Bowl since joining in the late 70′s.

      Plus, the Rose Bowl is pretty important to the new members, too. It wasn’t a coincidence that Rose Bowl officials were present at Utah and Colorado when their entrance to the league was announced. For a comparison, even though the Orange Bowl has a great tradition in its own right, the ACC’s tie-in to that game was all but an afterthought for Va. Tech, BC, and Miami when they joined their new league.

  24. Adam says:

    Big Ten officiating crew did not acquit itself well at the end of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The KSU player’s salute to the crowd simply is not a plausible application of the prohibition on “any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player . . . attempts to focus attention upon himself.” NCAA Football Rule 9-2-1-a-1-d. Although the broadcasters tried to begrudgingly concede that it may have been correct “by the book” because he attempted to “focus attention upon himself,” that is not even an accurate reading of the rule. Regardless of what a player does to focus attention on himself, he must do something that is “delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed.” His salute of the crowd cannot be plausibly interpreted as satisfying any of those 4 descriptors — particularly when the prohibition is on an “including but not limited to” list of exemplary prohibited acts to effectuate the general prohibition on “us[ing] abusive, threatening or obscene language or gestures, or engag[ing] in such acts that provoke ill will or are demeaning to an opponent, to game officials or to the image of the game.” Nothing the KSU player did could be plausibly interpreted as an effort at “provok[ing] ill will” or “demeaning” Syracuse, and the only thing that has demeaned the “image of the game” is the officials’ willingness to flag his behavior.

    • Adam says:

      The UNC kid just now arguably did something worse (it looked almost like he was imitating an official’s “no firm possession” signal after scoring) on the TD to put them up 17-14, and the Big Ten officiating crew at this game let it slide.

  25. Rich says:

    Leaving aside the political machinations, I see some problems with this system. Since it’s not a true seeded semi-final setup, you are still relying on polls. What happens this year, under your scenario, if the following happens: Oregon, Auburn and Stanford all lose. The BCS rankings could show TCU #1, Auburn #2 and Wisco #3. Talk about a can of worms! Many of the computer rankings would probably have Auburn ranked higher than Wisco. I don’t think there is any guarantee that voters would drop Auburn low enough to ensure Wisco would jump them in the BCS rankings. For example, if these results came true, the polls might have these rankings: 1. TCU, 2. Wisco, 3. Ohio St, 4. Auburn.

    A similar problem could have arisen in 2007. #1 OSU, #5 Georgia, #4 Oklahoma all lose and who then would play the Sugar Bowl winner for a NC?

    How about 2006? What if #5 USC beats #1 OSU, #6 Louisville beats Oklahoma, and ND beats #4 LSU? Should USC play the Sugar Bowl winner for the NC? Why didn’t Louisville get the opportunity to play the #2 or #3 ranked team?

    The other seasons seem to produce decent scenarios, but that’s three out of six seasons where a major snafu could have really fouled things up. Would we really want a system that has even the smallest possibility of a team losing its BCS game playing a week or two later for some sort of “national championship”?

    Another problem is that the various tie-ins virtually guarantee de facto home games for certain conference champions especially the California schools playing in the Rose Bowl, many of the SEC schools in the Sugar, any Texas school or Oklahoma in the Cotton, and some of the ACC schools in the Orange (especially Miami or FSU). This can’t be a valid set up for a de facto playoff. It simply isn’t fair. The other schools participating would too often face insurmountable disadvantages.

    The biggest problem with this system, with all due respect, is that it is TOO complicated. A system that doesn’t guarantee a semi-final set up of 1v 4 and 2 v 3, is pretty much worthless as far as deciding any kind of national champion.

    Most of these systems are “hybrid” in that they try to have it both ways. We want to preserve the current bowl system (which rips off most schools) and we want to produce a true champion on the field. Unfortunately, having both is not possible. And all of the scenarios other than a true playoff are less than satisfying.

    I would rather go back to the old system before the bowl alliance and all the other iterations thereof. It was something special when the Big 10 and Pac 10 champs knew they were going to the Rose. The Big 8 champs knew they were playing for the Orange. The SEC knew they were playing for the Sugar. The Southwest knew they were playing for the Cotton Bowl. Winning a conference championship was paramount if a mythical national championship came along it was a great bonus. Also, it was great fun when the AP and UPI had different champs. That system was a lot more honest because it didn’t try to tell us it was producing a national champion like this current mess.

    I have a couple of wacky ideas. What if we returned the traditional tie-ins to the bowls? And then, rather then a plus-one after the bowls or any other type of post-bowl playoff, we had a pre-bowl playoff. The top four teams would match up the week after the conference championship games; this year that would have been Dec 11. Then the winners play the following week. All four participants can later play in their appointed bowls on Jan 1 or later. You have a national champion and you have your precious bowls.

    Another wacky idea: the non-AQ conferences ought to organize their own playoff. Invite any Big 6 conference schools deemed worthy. Fill out the slots that the Big 6’ers would inevitably decline with other non-AQ teams. After the tournament is played out, you declare the winner to be the national champion. It would be just as legitimate a champion as the current system produces.

    • Adam says:

      What happens under the Oregon-Auburn-Stanford lose scenario is there’s a mess. But the current system also allows for messes. Frank’s point is only that a +1 gives another round of data to make better choices for the NCG. Nobody said they’d be perfect or that it’d be fool-proof; just that it produces more data. What a +1 is trying to do is produce a more satisfying national champion within a politically feasible manner; judging it by the standards you’d have for a playoff that you organize from scratch is the wrong approach. It may be “pretty much worthless as far as deciding any kind of national champion,” but the question is whether it produces better results than we get now.

      I think the other things you propose are contingent on massive changes to the NCAA bylaws in terms of number of contests that just aren’t going to happen. I think everybody feels that it’s quite possible you could talk the NCAA into allowing a “2nd bowl game” for 2 teams. Multi-round playoff formats like you propose would require a lot more NCAA cooperation and are unlikely to happen any time soon.

      • PrimeTime says:

        I just don’t see how ESPN, the BCS bowls, and the other conferences would agree to this. There is too much uncertainty in this idea. There is no guarantee of what kind of match up you would get and it would be way too much uncertainty from the bowl perspective of whether or not you would host a semi-final.

        There is only one logical step in the BCS evolution. That’s a true seeded plus one tournament. You go with the double hosting format. Two bowls host their regular bowl games and then host a semi-final each and then another bowl game hosts it’s bowl and the national championship game. So three bowls would do the double hosting format.

        This idea might water down the BCS bowls way too much so they could scrap that and just go back to the old BCS system in that there would be only four games. Two of them would host a semi-final and another would host the national championship game and the fourth would just host it’s regular bowl and then rotate. The problem with this, is that it is very hard to see how they will shrink the field back to eight instead of 10.

  26. StvInIL says:

    Nice game, but North Carolina did not want it bad enough. Else they could have taken it with their last drive. Tennessee’s youth movement produces fruit in the Music City Bowl. 1.26 to go.

    • Adam says:

      Other than the missed personal foul late on UNC’s game-tying drive, this Big Ten crew has been as crisp as a freshly ironed pair of pants.

  27. StvInIL says:

    WOW! NC had one last chance to win it or tie it. Ridiculous clock management! Somewhere in the SEC, Les Miles is smiling.

  28. StvInIL says:

    No wait! one second left on the clock. NC in Field goald range. From 37, the kick is gooooood! I was watching this waiting on the Nebraska game, but getting my moneys worth. it’s 20 – 20 going into OT.

    • jj says:

      This is great. I have a new overtime idea. How about after regulation, we have the present media just vote for which team played better?

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Nobody can say that the Music City Bowl is just another meaningless bowl game to the Vols or the Tarheels.

      I feel like I’m watching a LSU game right now. My Tigers are a common opponent and beat both of the guys on crazy endings. I guess the Mad Hatter rubbed off a little on Davis & Dooley.

  29. StvInIL says:


  30. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Ohio State is #1 in football spending.


    • Brian says:

      Those numbers don’t mean much though. Like Alabama (and many other schools), OSU is paying off recent stadium renovations at several million a year. If that’s included, it skews the numbers.

    • Richard says:

      That list is dominated by SEC teams. 6 of the top 10 spenders in football are SEC schools. OSU & Wisconsin represent the BigTen. ND is third, and TCU, showing that its program is already at a BCS level when it comes to commitment, is 10th.

  31. Bullet says:

    You address the bowls’ preferences. One thing you don’t mention is ESPN’s preference. Reality is that ESPN “owns” most of the bowls. ESPN clearly intervened to help make sure the Pac 16 didn’t happen now. They are a significant player in this.

    I don’t profess to have any knowledge of what they want. They promote the BCS now because that is their property. But would they prefer some sort of playoff? Do they have the same control concerns as the colleges with regard to playoffs?

    • PrimeTime says:

      ESPN desperately would want a playoff. Can you imagine the ratings they would get it? ESPN is not against a playoff.

      ESPN didn’t kill the Pac 16, Texas did. Texas and DeLoss Dodds (Texas AD) had a chance to kill the BCS and they took the knife away from the throat. If Pac 16 happened that would have forced the SEC’s hand to expand to even more.

      Basically more teams in a conference equal more losses. Those conferences would have demanded access to the national championship.

      Scipo Tex of the excellent Texas blog BarkingCarnival.com explains how the creation of a Super Conference will lead to the demise of the BCS.

      Here is something that he said:

      “All cartels are brought down by the same thing: the members themselves. Whether it’s OPEC, Colombian coke lords, corrupt unions, or lazy auto manufacturers. As the Cartel fights and bickers within its own ranks – attempting to lasso each other’s teams, lying to each other about “production”, plotting against some member’s future inclusion, engaging in reckless expansion – they sow the seeds for their own destruction.

      The eventual creation of super conferences guarantees a playoff.


      Because massive conferences with quality guarantee losses. And the sharp delineation between have (member of 4-5 elite conferences) and have-not (everyone else) will only be highlighted. And losses – the great taboo no-no of BCS qualification – necessitate that the power schools find alternative constructs for fulfillment that outweigh the corrupt interests in their own athletic departments and bowl tie-ins.

      Further, the most compelling and broad-based argument against the BCS is not found in the little guy left out from the main table. Whatever you think of Boise State and TCU, they have no pull, no fan base, and no clout. And when they develop sufficient capital, they are co-opted into the haves (see TCU and the Big East). That is the nature of all effective dissent – co-option into the mainstream. Political, corporate, or otherwise. Ask Nelson Mandela. Ask the next competitor that Google acquires. Ask the guy who used to bitch about accounting errors at Enron that shut up after a pay raise.

      Thankfully, all Cartels eventually slit their own throat. It’s basic game theory, a form of the prisoner’s dilemma. Human beings struggle to maintain agreements that limit short term self-interest, even at the expense of shared longer-term interest.

      Indeed, members of the Cartel almost managed suicide this offseason, but DeLoss Dodds unwittingly slapped the razor out of their hand.

      Someone else will wield that knife eventually.”

      Here is the link for the whole article.


      • Brian says:

        The bowls provide ESPN and family with 33 games (~120 hours of programming), plus preview shows, wrap up shows and sportscenter fodder. Playoffs will pull great ratings but for many fewer hours. ESPN has to consider how it will fill the time. Also, when do they schedule the games? Their are a lot of business considerations that go into the decision. I’m not saying ESPN would fight a playoff, but they may not be completely excited about one either.

      • Richard says:

        Primetime, do you have any evidence to back up your assertion that ESPN would love a playoff? As Brian pointed out, ESPN loves the lower-tier bowl games because they’re good bang for the buck; ESPN pays a pittance for them but they bring in better ratings than most other things that the WWL could be showing on their networks at that time. I’m not certain that ratings for a playoff would be tremendously better than for the BCS, but it’s certain that the rights fee would be much higher, so it’s not at all clear that ESPN would like a playoff, since they may not be able to make more money off of it.

  32. Brian says:

    Philosophical CFB questions:

    Why can the defense score on an offensive penalty (safety for holding in the end zone) but the offense can’t score on a defensive penalty? Both assume the continuation of the play.

    Why use half the distance penalties instead of straight penalizing down to the 1 or 2 yard line?

  33. Penn State Danny says:


    I appreciate your effort(s). Your latest proposal is probably more realistic than your previous one.

    I am now resigned that playoffs of a big scale will never happen.

    Here is what convinced me: a buddy of mine put forth the hypothetical of the NCAA tournament was cut down to 32 teams.

    He then asked me which was more important: having the top 32 teams in the tourney or saving spaces for the little guys. I said having the top teams was more vital.

    He answered that is why there won’t be a playoff in college football.

    Sadly, I think that he is correct. The only way a plus one happens will be the next time that 3 AQ conferences have undefeated teams. The BCS still acts retroactively to solve previous issues.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      @Penn State Danny:

      I think you’re right on most of that, but there is an exception to what you said.

      “The only way a plus one happens will be the next time that 3 AQ conferences have undefeated teams. The BCS still acts retroactively to solve previous issues.”

      I don’t think it can be just any ol’ undefeated AQ team . If it’s a traditionally middling program getting shut out while Oklahoma and Ohio State, for example, go undefeated, the BCS commissioners still won’t see enough reason to respond with a plus-one. (Look at how little fuss AQ commissioners had over Cincinnati getting left out.) Heck, even if it’s a consistent winner getting shut out, but not necessarily one regarded as a true blue blood program, then that still might not be enough. Again, look at BCS history: Instead of Auburn in ’04, if it had been a more popular SEC team like Alabama or Florida gettting left out in, or even better, a Delany constituent like Michigan or Ohio State, would there not have been a more serious consideration for a plus-one?

      It’s really going to take an undefeated USC, OU, Texas, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami, Florida, Alabama, LSU, or Tennessee being left out of a title game for these guys’ minds to change.

      Now excuse me while I vomit over that disgusting reality.

      • Richard says:

        Nah, I don’t think FSU & Miami would be enough. Don’t think the ACC has enough clout. LSU & Tennessee are about on the same level as Auburn. It’d have to be an undefeated BigTen or Pac12 team being shutout (or maybe ND) for there to be change.

      • Michael in Indy says:


        I’m going to have to disagree with you there.

        It can just be any Pac-10 team. It would have to be USC, for obvious reasons, or UCLA, because it’s THE public university of the nation’s second-largest city.

        As an example, remember the controversy back in the 2000 season. Once-beaten FSU was ranked in the polls at #3 behind once-beaten Miami, who had beaten FSU. Yet FSU was granted a spot in the national title game to face unbeaten Oklahoma in the championship game because of the BCS formula at the time.

        In any case, it was clear that both Miami and FSU had more clout than the once-beaten, fourth-ranked team, which hailed from the Pac-10. It wasn’t just any old Pac-10 team. It was the Washington Huskies, the only Pac-10 team besides USC to win a national title since Eisenhower’s first term. Yet despite the fact that Washington was from the Pac-10 (as opposed to the ACC or Big East) and that Washington DEFEATED Miami that year, they outranked neither Miami nor FSU. After the bowls, both polls still put Miami ahead of Washington.

        After that season, the BCS formula was changed because the #2 ranked team, i.e., Miami, was left out of the title game. Had the change in formula been in effect that season, Miami, not Washington, would have been in the game. In other words, change was made in a way that would have favored Miami, not the Pac-10 team.

        • Richard says:

          OK, fine, an unbeaten USC or the handful of Big Ten kings would have to be denied a shot at the championship for there to be a plus-one. I don’t think anyone else would be enough.

  34. Richard says:

    Interesting note: While the Big Ten has deliberately set up New Year’s Day as “Big Ten Day”, by happenstance, New year’s Eve this year is “Florida Day”, as all 4 bowl games feature Florida teams.

    • Richard says:

      I noticed that today is also “car bowl day” with the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Hyundai Sun Bowl, and Autozone Liberty Bowl (as well as the bowl-formerly-known-as-Peach).

  35. duffman says:

    The Bowl Wars – updated for 12.30.2010 games, and added ACC

    BIG 10 – Wisconsin (TCU), Michigan State (Bama), tOSU (Arkansas), Iowa (W Missouri), Illinois (W Baylor), PSU (Florida), Northwestern (T Tech), Michigan (MSU) – 8 bowl invitations

    vs SEC 0-0 (4 possible)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (ZERO possible, the tragedy of this season)
    vs Big 12 2-0 (3 possible, congrats Illinois and Iowa!)
    vs ACC 0-0 (0 possible)
    vs the “rest” 0-0 (1 possible, MWC)
    2-0, with 6 games left

    SEC – Auburn (Oregon), Arkansas (tOSU), LSU (TAMU), Alabama (Michigan State), South Carolina (FSU), MSU (Michigan), Florida (PSU), Georgia (UCF), Tennessee (L UNC), Kentucky (Pitt) – 10 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 0-0 (4 possible)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (1 possible, and for the MNC)
    vs Big 12 0-0 (1 possible, does this seem low for balance?)
    vs ACC 0-1 (2 possible)
    vs the “rest” 0-1 (2 possible, 1 BE, 1 CUSA)
    0-1, with 9 games left

    PAC 10 – Oregon (Auburn), Stanford (Va Tech), Arizona (L oSu), Washington (W Nebraska) – 4 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 0-0 (0 possible!)
    vs SEC 0-0 (1 possible, and for the MNC)
    vs Big 12 1-1 (2 done)
    vs ACC 0-0 (1 possible)
    1-1, with 2 games left

    BIG 12 – Oklahoma (Uconn), Missouri (L Iowa), oSu (W Arizona), Nebraska (L Washington), TAMU (LSU), Baylor (L Illinois), T Tech (Northwestern), KSU (L Syracuse) – 8 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 0-2 (3 possible, go wildcats for the sweep!)
    vs SEC 0-0 (1 possible, again only 1 Big 12 vs SEC matchup)
    vs Pac 10 1-1 (2 done, Big Red :( )
    vs ACC 0-0 (0 possible)
    vs the “rest” 0-1 (2 possible, 2 BE! weird combinations)
    1-4, with 3 games left

    ACC – Va Tech (Stanford), FSU (South Carolina), Maryland (W ECU), NC State (W WVa), Miami (Notre Dame), Boston College (Nevada), UNC (W UTenn), Ga Tech (L Air Force), Clemson (USF) – 9 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 0-0 (0 possible, with 8 & 9 invites, not 1 game?!?!)
    vs SEC 1-0 (2 possible)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (1 possible)
    vs Big 12 0-0 (0 possible, with 8 & 9 invites, not 1 game?!?!)
    vs the “rest” 0-0 (6 possible, 3 BE, 1 MWC, 1 WAC, 1 IND)
    3-1, with 5 games left

    #1 Big 10 2-0
    #2 ACC 3-1
    #3 Pac 10 1-1
    #4 SEC 0-1
    #5 Big 12 1-4

    The winners so far Big 10 and ACC
    The losers so far SEC and Big 12 (in fairness, UT/UNC game was fugly
    The big question is why no ACC vs Big 10 or Big 12 games!

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Duff – in response to your comment about there not being more SEC/BigXII bowl match-ups, this is the first year that there’s only one game between the two. My hometown Independence bowl featured BigXII & SEC teams for close to a decade.

      The I-Bowl, as the locals call it, is a nice little bowl game and the teams are treated very well. Shreveport is also a little bit of a “mini-Vegas” with 6 casinos, so fans are surprised that they actually have something to do in the Shreveport area. The Big XII/SEC match-ups were ideal for the I-Bowl as Shreveport is in SEC country, but has more of a Texas feel, as it is only 20 miles from the Texas border, while its 300 miles from New Orleans.

      The I-Bowl used to have very good payouts for a medium-sized bowl, but neither conference seemed to favor it. Once the Music City Bowl came online, it jumped the I-Bowl in the pecking order – even with a lower payout. Former SEC Commish/Godfather and Nashville native Roy Kramer had something to do with that.I’m sure. The same thing happened with the Big XII and the Texas Bowl. Then it went a couple of years without a sponsor. Where’s Poulan-Weedeater when you need them? The SEC picked up the Liberty and Gator, and the I-Bowl saw the writing on the wall.

      Now the I-Bowl has MWC#3 & ACC#7 ties and I’m worried. With Barksdale AFB just outside of Shreveport, the Air Force Academy is the best case scenario team for the I-Bowl – every year. This year, they got the Falcons and only sold 39,000 tickets. I hope it survives, but its one of the oldest bowls and has been in trouble before.

      With the SEC bowl games set for the next few years, I don’t see any way for anymore SEC/Big XII match-ups, other than the Cotton Bowl. Next year, I’m guessing the new BigXII-2 will lose a bowl game or 2.

      • Richard says:

        The Independence should try to get a CUSA tie-in (and maybe Army & Navy as well). Most ACC teams won’t bring fans that far west, and Air Force would really be the only MWC team that would draw crowds.

        If the Liberty loses CUSA’s top pick (and if I’m the Big Ten, they’d be one of the new mid-tier bowls I’d target because 1. Memphis is one of the few warm-weather bowl sites that is within driving distance of at least part of Big Ten country 2. It’s a fertile recruiting area 3. A lot of African-Americans in the Midwest trace their roots to the delta), the I-bowl should make a play to be the destination for CUSA’s champion. Most CUSA schools are within driving distance of Shreveport, so the I-bowl could at least ensure survival that way.

      • Brian says:


        There are the obvious future BCS games to help cover the void, though.

  36. Great discussion and a couple of things to note:

    1. I understand the sentiment that only conference champs should be eligible to play for the national championship. However, it’s critical to note that the BCS conferences have never agreed to impose that requirement for the national championship game for the top 2 teams, so it would be even less likely in a plus-one system. There are plenty examples of where a conference championship requirement would’ve been less than optimal, such as 2008. If #3 Texas and #4 Alabama had won their bowl games over #2 Florida and #1 Oklahoma, respectively, should they be jumped by lower ranked teams with less impressive wins simply because they didn’t win their conference championships?

    The best pro sports comparison is the Champions League for European soccer. A team doesn’t have to win its own home league championship in order to compete for the larger European championship. The Champions League is looked at as a “separate but related” competition to the home leagues such as the English Premier League, where how teams play at home has a great impact in qualifying and seeding for the Champions League yet they are still regarded as different championships.

    2. Note that the Fiesta Bowl is actually the most deep-pocketed bowl after the Rose Bowl. This is why they were able to jump the Cotton Bowl in the pecking order back in the 1990s. The Insight Bowl, which is run by the Fiesta, is now the 4th highest paying non-BCS bowl after the Capital One, Outback and Cotton (even though it’s actually taking lower selections from the Big Ten and Big 12 than the lower paying Gator and Alamo Bowls, respectively). So, while the common assumption is that Jerry Jones can afford to buy off whoever he wants, the Fiesta can run with anyone when it comes to dollars. In a way, this better allows the Fiesta to maintain BCS status without a conference tie-in than the Orange since the Fiesta can always put up the dollars. In contrast, the Orange really does need its relationship with the ACC to continue because it can be outbid by the Fiesta or other well-funded bowls that are looking to move up if it comes down to only dollars.

    • duffman says:


      I really would like to know how you feel about this thought?

      “Frank you never commented on my thought of moving the Sun Bowl (and its history as one of the oldest bowls) to the weekend of the CCG’s for the Big 10, Pac 12, SEC, ACC, etc….. Have the [Big 12 winner play the best non AQ at that time] (with the winner getting the automatic slot in the Cotton Bowl. To me there are 4 bowls (Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Cotton – sorry to the Fiesta but they are the “johnny come lately” to the Big Bowl Table. By using the Sun Bowl as a CCG of sorts between the former Big 12 vs best non AQ, you keep the former Big 12 in the media eyes, AND you force the best non AQ to go on the road to prove their regular season schedule is not such a cream puff.”

      Thanks for the heads up on the Fiesta (and wonder where their deep pockets come from)!

  37. Richard says:

    Happy New Year, folks!

  38. Playoffs Now says:

    Progenitor of the BCS says it’s time for a college football playoff


    (Gene Corrigan, ACC Commish from 1987-97, on the BCS:)

    “…It was certainly an improvement on what we’d had before. But the time for change has come. The best and fairest thing would be a 16-team playoff. It would be the best thing for the players and for the sport….”

    The article describes how he and Tom Mickle conceived the BCS. It later shifts to his idea for a 16-team playoff. His proposal may not be the best or most likely solution, but rather offers evidence that more of those “In the know” and connected at the highest levels are seriously considering a playoff. IMHO we’re now at how and when, not if.

    …”Mick and I disagreed on what should happen next…He always favored a playoff. I was against it because I thought asking the players to play more than 12 or 13 games was wrong. But now the presidents have gone ahead and approved a 12th game and the conference championship games so they’re all playing 14 games anyway.

    “I really think letting the presidents take over the decision-making process was a mistake. The faculty reps [who used to be the decision-makers at NCAA meetings for most schools] did a better job because they spent real time studying what was going on. They weren’t as political. They understood more about athletics because they really cared. They weren’t just making decisions based on finances – which is really what’s happened the last few years.”

    Corrigan now believes a 16-team playoff with at least one round – perhaps two – played on home fields in early December is the way to go.

    “Go back to an 11-game regular season,” he said. “The extra revenue from a playoff would make up for anything lost by not playing the 12th game. You don’t need conference championships for the same reason and, in a year like this for example, all three of those [one-loss] Big Ten teams would get into the tournament.

    “You start the season the last weekend in August, which is what they were doing with those preseason games a few years ago anyway. The first round of the tournament is Thanksgiving weekend, the second round the first weekend in December. Most teams are playing those two weeks under the current schedule already.

    “Then you take a break for exams and the holidays and play the semifinals on New Year’s Day at bowl sites. The championship game is the weekend before the Super Bowl. There’s no extra missed class or study time except maybe for the two teams in the final at the very beginning of the semester.

    “It’s far less taxing than what the basketball teams are doing in March.

    “The second-tier bowls stay exactly the same and serve the same purpose they serve now. And instead of having one January bowl game that has real meaning, you have three. Only two teams play more than the 14 games they’re all playing right now and most will only play 12 or 13 games.

    “It’s fair, it makes everyone a lot of money and it won’t hurt anyone academically…”

    • Interesting stuff. The only thing, as with any playoff plan, is figuring out why any BCS conference would agree to this. Dropping a regular season game would be a complete non-starter for the conferences with large TV packages. The fact that a playoff would make more total dollars than the current BCS system has never been questioned. The real argument is how that playoff money is split.

    • Brian says:

      So you start the season earlier but trim two weeks off the end? That will make the bowls even worse as everyone is more rusty. Most teams are done before Thanksgiving. Are fans (outside of the Big Ten) ready for that? Is Thanksgiving weekend the ideal time to start a playoff?

      He claims the playoff would make up for losing the 12th game and CCGs financially. First, how does he know that? He’s been out of things since 1997. How do you split the money to assure everyone they won’t lose anything? How do you appease people that co-champs are the norm for conferences (only 8 conference games, no CCG)?

      I see a lot of holes in this. He could be right, but I would need a lot of questions answered.

    • Bullet says:

      There’s a lot of tradition on Thanksgiving games.

      I think a lot of people proposed the 12th game to avoid a playoff. It would be very hard to take away. 1st, all 120 schools would have to get a cut, not just playoff teams, not just AQ conferences.

      I suspect even if they do a 16 team playoff they keep the 12th game, which means only one round before the holidays. And interfering with finals would be an issue for some schools as it would be the 2nd week in December. For others it would be done just before.

  39. PrimeTime says:

    This idea is very similar to Frank’s idea, but what are the chances of this happening? Could this work? Just have all the team’s go to their normal tie ins and then play the games and then the do standings a day later and have a national championship game.

    Take this season for example. Oregon would go the Rose Bowl and play Wisky. Auburn would go to the Sugar and play Ohio State. OU would play UCONN and Va Tech would play Stanford. Crunch the numbers and spit out a national championship game.

    The problem with this is you could have a potential Wisconsin vs. Ohio State national championship game. Wisky beats Oregon, OSU beats Auburn and Va Tech beats Stanford.

    Wait… this is exactly Frank’s idea. The only difference is that there is no flex option and no predetermined semi-final spots.

    • Brian says:

      It’s called an unseeded plus one. It’s probably the first step, but they might skip it because of the obvious problems of unequal match ups or #1 and #2 playing in a bowl and then having to play someone else for the title.

      Any plus one system has the possibility of a conference game in the finals, but so does any playoff that allows more than one team from a conference (unless specific rules force them to play each other in the first round).

    • Bullet says:

      I don’t see any problems with conference mates in the finals. It should be avoided in the 1st round.

  40. Brian says:

    Dear Spartans fans,

    We told you you didn’t deserve a BCS berth.

    The rest of the college football world

    • jj says:

      Yeah, but we don’t have to live in Ohio. Lol! JK.

      • Brian says:

        Having lived in both for a long time, I’m not sure MI has any bragging rights over OH. They’re very similar, and both have a lot to recommend them. The economy hasn’t done any favors for either one, though.

  41. Brian says:

    SEC 101 – State of Michigan 21

    Way to hold up the honor of the Big Ten Great Lakes state. You made NW look like a powerhouse.

    If this embarrassment doesn’t help get RichRod fired, nothing would have. How can you have no defense and no special teams for 3 years?

    • Bullet says:

      Well you could look at it as, Florida’s late comeback saved the SEC East from going 0-4. Big 12 N is 0-3 and done.

  42. Michael in Indy says:

    Well, I guess it’s up to Wisconsin and Ohio State to salvage some honor for the Big Ten. They say any publicity is good publicity, but even if Wisconsin wins today, I still don’t see how Big Ten fans can be pleased to see their league take all these losses on New Year’s Day.

    • Brian says:

      How about the hour long funeral discussion of RichRod and his failures at MI by Craig James and Mike Patrick?

      That’s the sort of message you want to send to potential recruits.

    • jj says:

      Yeah. We pretty much collectively blew it today. Oh well, maybe next year, assuming we still actually play games and don’t just award the trophies based on recruiting!

      OSU already punted it’s chance to do the honorable thing.

      • Brian says:

        The tough thing is that OSU suspending the players for the bowl would really aggravate the Sugar Bowl folks, Jim Delany, the NCAA and possibly players and recruits. That would have serious future consequences in terms of at large spots (and not just at the Sugar) and maybe in other ways. OSU has to consider that.

        I’m just glad so many of the OSU fans want Tressel to sit them.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Let me make sure I understand how this all works…

      When Florida State beats Florida, South Carolina, and BYU, it means nothing for the ACC. When FSU loses badly AT Oklahoma, the ACC sucks.

      When Clemson loses on a dropped pass AT Auburn, the ACC sucks.

      When Miami wins AT Big East co-champion Pitt, no one cares. When Miami loses non-league games, the entire conference sucks.

      When a depleted UNC almost beats top ten team LSU, the ACC sucks. When UNC beats an evenly matched Tennessee team in Nashville, no one cares.

      When NC State loses to ECU, the ACC sucks, but they beat West Virginia, no one cares.


      The Big Ten is second only to the SEC when Ohio State beats Miami at home, when Wisconsin slips by Arizona State at home, when MSU and Michigan slip by Notre Dame, when Michigan beats UConn, and when Iowa beats Iowa State. Nevermind that there were virtually no other challenging non-conference games in the regular season. But when Iowa loses at Arizona, Penn State gets beat down by Alabama, and when the league goes 0-for-4 in New Year’s Day bowl games, the Big Ten is still soooooo obviously better than the ACC.

      Someone explain to me how there’s not a double standard going on here.

      • Michael in Indy says:

        By the way, I’m not trying to take shots at the Big Ten here. Rather, I’m simply trying to point out that the Big Ten unfairly escapes criticism in large part by avoiding more than a handful of tough non-conference competition before the bowl season, while the ACC gets crucified for losing the kinds of games the Big Ten so often avoid.

        Even after a day like today for the Big Ten, and after the ACC has so far gone 4-3 in bowl season, the Big Ten will still evade the enormous criticism the ACC has gotten. In truth, neither league is all that great but they’re not terrible either.

        • Brian says:

          Are you kidding? I’ve heard nothing but criticism of the Big Ten since OSU lost to Florida. It’s a never ending refrain of how slow they are (even when they beat speed teams), how they don’t win enough bowl games, etc.

          Perhaps the ACC should play fewer December bowl games if they want more credit. The Big Ten has fewer teams, usually sends two teams to the BCS and has a tougher slate of bowl games. Perhaps that is why the ACC can win more bowl games?

          ACC 1 – BCS
          ACC 2 – SEC 3/4/5
          ACC 3 – BE 2
          ACC 4 – P10 4
          ACC 5 – BE 3
          ACC 6 – SEC 7/8
          ACC 7 – MWC 3
          ACC 8 – CUSA/Ind./B12 8

          B10 1 – BCS (usually B10 2, too)
          B10 2 – SEC 2
          B10 3 – SEC 3/4
          B10 4/5 – SEC 6
          B10 4/5 – B12 4
          B10 6 – B12 6
          B10 7 – CUSA/B12 8
          B10 8 – MAC 1

          The ACC will be fine as soon as FSU and Miami get better, or VT actually starts winning against top 5 teams. The lack of elite teams and elite wins kills the conferences rep.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            The ACC would love fewer December bowl games, but because it’s a less popular conference, it can’t get them. The Gator was an ACC bowl for a long time, for example, but the ACC & Big East lost it to the SEC & Big Ten.

            The Big Ten hasn’t gotten a hard time since that OSU-UF game, no question about that. But it’s still treated as relevant. The ACC is all but dismissed.

          • Bullet says:

            Ohio St. has been the flagship this decade with PSU and UM having rough decades by their standards, so they are who everyone looks at.

            Someone hit on part of the problem. OSU is kind of an SEC-lite team. They have the speed with some power. They can stay with B10 schools and beat them with their near SEC speed. When it comes to SEC matchups, they do they same things as the SEC teams but not as well.

            In contrast, Wisconsin has a power game that SEC teams don’t often face. They match their different strengths against SEC speed.

          • Brian says:


            The ACC would seem more relevant if the conference champ didn’t lose the BCS game against relatively weak opposition every year. The ACC is 2-10 in the BCS with no at larges. Losing to runner ups from other conferences or Big East champions does not earn much respect.

            The ACC used to have respect when FSU was good. Miami regressed before joining, FSU has been down, and VT can’t seem to win the big game.

            1998 – TN over FSU in NCG
            1999 – FSU over VT in NCG
            2000 – OU over FSU in NCG
            2001 – FL over MD
            2002 – GA over FSU
            2003 – Miami over FSU
            2004 – Auburn over VT
            2005 – PSU over FSU
            2006 – Louisville over WF
            2007 – Kansas over VT
            2008 – VT over Cincinnati
            2009 – Iowa over GT

            When the ACC produces two elite teams in the same year, they’ll start to get respect. Lately it has seemed more like VT sort of was winning by default but wasn’t that good.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            Now THAT is a logical explanation. Can’t believe I didn’t think about that. The ACC’s rep is probably more tied to BCS bowl performance than anything else.

            As for the inability to get two teams into the BCS, I can’t help but wonder whether the tough out-of-conference schedules are getting in the way. FSU is always going to play Florida no matter what. Adding in Oklahoma and perennial top 25 BYU isn’t a formula for an at-large berth. Neither is Clemson’s OOC schedule against Auburn and South Carolina. If ACC schools lighten up a little, the league as a whole will increase its odds of getting a second BCS team.

            Of course, it hasn’t helped, either, that the league spent the past nine years beating up on itself, too; until this year, no one had gone unbeaten in conference play since FSU in 2000.

            But at least this year by itself, I don’t see enough evidence that the Big Ten was any better than the ACC. We’ll see if I’ll eat my words after the Orange Bowl.

      • jj says:

        See Mike, the b10 looks better on paper, so it’s better. Sorry old bean.

      • Brian says:

        When the ACC loses, there is a good reason and it still shows how good they are. When anyone else loses, they suck. When the ACC wins, it is proof how awesome they are. When anyone else wins, there are reasons why it is not impressive and they still suck.

        Who has the double standard, exactly?

        The ACC was expected to be good this year.
        AP Preseason:
        ACC – 5 top 25 teams
        Big Ten – 4 top 25

        The ACC disappointed people this year.
        AP Final:
        ACC – 2 top 25
        Big Ten – 3 top 7


        The human polls and computer polls agree that the ACC was weak this year. Most people lump the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-10 together as similar (different people favor different ones based on their preferred criteria).

  43. Brian says:

    Great start to 2011.

    This is why the Big Ten was dumb to start 4 bowl games at once on 1/1. No matter where you turned, a Big Ten team was losing. NW came back to be competitive despite no defense and PSU was in it despite 5 interceptions, but MI and MSU just stunk. Good thing viewers couldn’t avoid watching that and getting the impression that the whole conference stinks.

    WI really needs to come through or this whole season will be a disaster.

    • Bullet says:

      I dont’ know about the rest of you, but I was flipping around and this is what I saw:
      TT-NW timeouts
      UM-MSU commericals
      PSU-UF pictures of Meyer or Paterno standing on the sidelines
      MSU-AL MSU players lying hurt on the field

      These games all seemed awfully long w/o a lot of action.

      • Bullet says:

        It doesn’t seem to me like a very entertaining bowl season. WI-TCU was the 1st entertaining game I’ve seen that wasn’t really sloppy.

    • rich2 says:

      Not here to flame but yesterday’s performance provides another reason why “Legends” and “Leaders” is a horrifying decision. This blog is fairly insular and pro-Big Ten but in the rest of the sports world, can you imagine how many references and comments are being made this moment concerning the Big Ten performance in the bowls in terms of the W-L and PF PA for teams in Leaders and in the Legends? How “Legendary” was the performance?

      Why not East and West? Or some other simple designation? Or perhaps you want “We are Legends, Fuck You” — to paraphrase the most frequent response to the Logo disaster.

      Finally, could not help but read about OSU’s performance tomorrow “upholding” the Big Ten’s
      honor. The only way OSU can uphold the Big Ten’s reputation is if Tressel benches the “re-gifters” for the game. Otherwise, the Big Ten is in the worst of all positions — like all the other schools and not being as good at it as the others.

      • Richard says:


        Very few B10 people like the division names either. In fact, virtually no one does.

      • Brian says:

        So far, the Legends have been a disappointment. It would have been even worse if NW hadn’t made their comeback.

        1-4, 93-189

        MI – L 14-52
        IA – W 27-24
        MSU – L 7-49
        NW – L 38-45
        MN – N/A
        NE – L 7-19

        1-2, 81-72

        OSU – ?
        PSU – L 24-37
        WI – L 19-21
        IL – W 38-14
        PU – N/A
        IN – N/A

    • Richard says:

      It was a leveraged bet. If the B10 had gone 5-0 or 4-1, Delaney would have looked like a genius. unfortunately, he can’t recruit or coach the teams for them.

  44. Brian says:

    Now is the worst time of the season. Channel surfing for games is officially over until September. And as an OSU alum, I wait for the inevitable reneging on the pledges to come back next year and the recriminations that come with it.

    I can’t even really look forward to next season with the suspensions. The only things to look forward to are Delany possibly changing the division names and seeing Nebraska in the Big Ten. Michigan might even have a real coach by next year, potentially ending the streak soon (not sure they have the talent right now).

    • jj says:

      Could be worse dude. Look at msu. all we heard about was how we didn’t play OSU, now next year is a no win proposition the suspensions.

      • Brian says:

        At least MSU is a growing program. It can aspire to new heights next year and in the future (winning a bowl, winning a January bowl, making the BCS, winning a BCS game, winning the Big Ten outright, winning the Rose Bowl, playing in the NCG, winning the NCG).

        OSU doesn’t have much room to get better (beating the SEC in a bowl, winning a NCG), so there are fewer things to look forward to. It is much easier to go down than up from where OSU is (a good problem to have, admittedly).

  45. GBCW says:

    I won’t comment on B1G’s performance so far today, other than it is painful to watch.

    Back to the idea of playoffs, here is another alternative that I have not seen discussed. What about a multiple plus-one system?

    Allow all bowl games to develop their own plus-one pairings at the involved bowls’ and/or conferences’ discretion, with one restriction: a minimum number individual conference champions among the four teams must be involved.

    The Main Event would obviously be Rose vs. Sugar (B1G, Pac-12, SEC, The Fourth Spot [ranking system, play-in, ACC/Big XII, or whatever]). The final alternates between the two sites.

    If Fiesta/Orange or Cotton/whoever want to pair up on their own for another contest, that would be fine under this system. Because of restricting it to involve a minimum number of conference champions (two?), the number of individual plus-one mid-January games is three, four, or five, depending on how it sets up. This way, it cannot get out of hand.

    As much as they might not like it, no other bowl committee would have veto power, because no more than two bowl games need to cooperate with one another. Fiesta and Orange may get a less significant set of teams, but those historically had different automatic tie-ins anyway.

    On a side note, it might not be a very good idea legally to call The Main Event a “National Championship.”

    Clearly, this is not as good of a system for fans as a true playoff. It does have its advantages, though. With respect to the CEO’s parameters previously listed here, the advantages include:
    1. Implementation is simple.
    2. TPTB remain TPTB, especially Jim Delany/B1G, Mike Slive/SEC, and Larry Scott/Pac-12, except that there would be a lower tier of AQ conferences.
    2. Sugar Bowl’s stock is on par with Rose Bowl. SEC is happy.
    3. Rose Bowl restores and solidifies its traditional tie-ins. B1G and Pac-12 are happy.
    4. Lesser bowls remain 100% intact. Bowl committees breathe a sigh of relief.
    5. Except for The Fourth Spot, which could also be an automatic bid for ACC/Big XII, it is a very clean, simple system.
    6. The three waiting spots in Miami and AZ for Big East, ACC, and Big XII will reduce complaints from second-tier AQ conferences. The system as a whole vents accusations of collusion, because it is little more than an extension of the old system.
    7. Everybody else of consequence could have a shot at The Fourth Spot, but the bully conferences remain in charge.
    8. Competition for The Fourth Spot could, in some way, appease BCS defenders. There would still be all of the BCS bullshit that involves #1 and #2, but it gets reduced to only one spot of four. Again, if there is a problem here, those on the cusp would still be involved with one of the other plus-ones out there.

    Advantages for fans:
    1. It is a possible bridge to something more in the future.
    2. More January college football!

    1. Barring a play-in, The Main Event involves only three games and four teams.
    2. Half of the AQ conferences potentially lose their marquee status.
    3. Somebody from outside the main three conferences is going to be irate with not being in The Fourth Spot, and we are going to hear about it, consolation plus-one or not.
    4. Non-AQ conferences may gain some clout. That’s probably good for us, but not so good for the AQ conferences that may want to keep them down.

    Yes, there could be a dispute over who was better among the few plus-one champs, but at least the Main Event and the other “plus-ones” would be something great to watch. Until the plus-ones somehow work it out, I would be content with this simple, crude system in place of the BCS.

    Now, how does this system suck, too?

    (New Year’s resolution: stop wasting time trolling around the internet. Hence, GBCW)

  46. Bullet says:

    I’m curious about the rules on a catch. I thought there was very clear video on the Wisconsin incompletion ruled a catch in replay. His hand and the ball hit the ground at the same time. It looked like he had control, but the ball clearly hit the ground. I thought by rule that would have been an incompletion, but maybe control is the bigger issue?

    • Brian says:

      If you don’t trap the ball, the ball can hit the ground as long as it doesn’t move on impact. The ground can’t help a catch, but it doesn’t automatically invalidate one.

      • Bullet says:

        Thanks. Its gets annoying listening to those idiots on ESPN. They talked about how he got his hand under the ball when clearly he didn’t.

  47. Nathan says:

    I like Frank’s idea and hope something like this happens.

    I was wondering what is the lowest ranking a team could have before the bowls and make the NCG under Frank’s proposal?

    For instance if Frank’s scenario 2 happened and produced the following matchups and results.

    Rose: #1 vs. #10 (#10 wins)
    Orange: 2 vs. 3 (Winner advances to NCG)
    Fiesta: 4 vs. 7 (7 wins)
    Sugar: 5 vs. 9 (9 wins)
    Cotton: 6 vs. 8 (8 wins)

    This type of scenario, although unlikely, would produce complete chaos. Would Frank’s proposal allow for a team to lose it’s bowl game and still play for the NCG?

    • StevenD says:

      Me, I’d send #7 to the NCG (highest ranked team still standing). The BCS voters would probably send #1 (bletch).

  48. Richard says:

    Oh man, bucky with some bad clock management and play call issues in the Rose Bowl.

    First Tolzien wastes 2 timeouts earlier in the game (which makes an onside kick neccesary). Then they nonchalantly take 40 seconds off the clock between each play; I mean, I don’t have a problem with UW ramming the ball down TCU’s throat, since they obviously can’t stop John Clay at this point in the game, but don’t they have a hurry-up offense? Then, on the 2-point conversion, calling a pass play when Wisconsin’s O-line is pushing TCU’s D-line back 2 yards every run play and arm tackles aren’t even slowing down John Ball. You think there’s a lower percentage that Bucky’s O-line and John Ball can’t get 3 yards than that you’ll complete a pass?

    • Brian says:

      I don’t blame the QB for timeouts as much as the coaches. Get the plays in quicker and tell your QB to take the delay penalty if he has to.

      I think the WI hurry up is John Clay jogging back to the huddle instead of walking.

      Like many coaches, I think they outsmarted themselves on the 2-point conversion. They were hoping to catch TCU playing the run. For a coach willing to fake a punt on 4th and 9, you’d think they would just run Clay for the 3 yard conversion. As you say, they weren’t stopping Clay up the middle.

      I knew they’d lose as soon as they didn’t try to score quicker. Only an idiot assumes you’ll make the TD and 2-point conversion and then win in OT. I was wondering where their sense of urgency was earlier in the game. As weak as WI’s defense was, they should have quit trying to throw deep and run up the middle more where the TCU speed was the least help.

      • Bullet says:

        I couldn’t believe they got away with that fake punt. I saw the weakness on the delay of game-1 TCU defender w/i 15 yards of the line of scrimmage and 3 blockers. The punter started to run before the play was called dead. That was a terrible coaching breakdown to not see that and prepare on the 2nd effort to punt.

  49. Michael in Indy says:

    Eat your heart out Gordon Gee!

    • jj says:

      Honestly. Good lord man. Disaster day for b10.

      Now, who would not want to see tcu play sugar bowl winner?

      Let’s watch uconn beat the most overrated program if the past decade.

    • Michael in Indy says:


      For the record, I really wanted to see the Big Ten go 4-1 today (exception being the Rose Bowl). I’m not originally from Big Ten country; if it’s not completely obvious, I consider myself an ACC guy, having grown up near Clemson and attended college in North Carolina. Still, having lived in Indiana for several years, I’ve grown to appreciate the Big Ten. One thing I’ve really enjoyed about it is that the fans overall seem to have a million times more class than what I experienced growing up. I’ll never forget, for example, the way Clemson fans harassed and threatened my parents, who were in the late 40′s/early 50′s at the time, just for wearing Florida State sweatshirts. At Purdue games against Iowa, Penn State, and Michigan State, this thing called civility prevailed. It’s not much to ask, really, but it was impressive nonetheless.

      The Big Ten is a very well-run conference, but sometimes arrogance gets in its way. Delany could have made his point about the league’s protection of its Rose Bowl tie-in without being such an a**hole. Seriously, why did he feel so threatened he had to cut off a fellow conference commissioner in mid-sentence? As for Gee, I just find it funny just how much he’s eating his words now.

      • jj says:

        On behalf us all us all I thank you. I think maybe we just don’t collectivelly get as worked up about it all. I dunno. I always root for the big ten, fans are fans though; they get a little carried away sometimes.

        I know Brian won’t agree, but I honestly like to see the upsets andwhat not. I think it makes it more fun. The beauty contest stuff drives me nuts. Why play the games if we’re just going to rank em? If the “big boys” don’t want the ” little uns” around, grow a pair and tell them to get lost. Can the b10 argue with a straight face now that it deserves 3 of the 10 slots? Our 3 headed monster looks more like the 3 stooges.

        • Brian says:

          I have no problem with upsets. Seeing the little guy beat anybody but my team is always fun. Nobody will cheer louder for Boise to beat Georgia next year than me.

          TCU was favored and ranked higher than WI, though. It was not an upset. WI actually won against the spread, by the way. They did not embarrass themselves like MSU.

          Most Big Ten people argued there were 3 worthy candidates, not that all 3 should get in this year (except in place of UConn). If OSU and MSU had played, this would not have been mentioned (one way or the other). There certainly have been years when 3 SEC teams deserved to be in (that was part of Delany’s argument). The other at larges/non-AQs this year were all very worthy (TCU, Stanford, Arkansas).

          I think you are being too harsh and speaking too soon. Yes, MSU crapped themselves. WI didn’t look bad or get blown out, they just didn’t upset TCU. OSU hasn’t played, so there’s no way you can disparage them yet.

  50. duffman says:


    Your cats got the short end of the stick! I went to tune in to the game, and lo and behold it was ESPNU! (which meant where I watched TV today had no feed, and I missed the game. Looks like from the score it was pretty good game from score, and yet the folks at Northwestern were denied getting the broader audience! :(


    After the play of the SEC West today I am considering a change in my opinion of your tigers vs TAMU. I was thinking a low scoring affair with a field goal or TD in the favor of the tigers. If the SEC West is as good as it appears to be, katie bar the door!


    a) I like hockey (I watched the blackhawks play the red wings when I could not get the Northwestern game).

    b) I love when they play hockey outdoors

    c) I am okay with the whole Winter Classic concept

    d) why must they do it opposite New Years Day Bowl games? (there are folks that would watch both!

  51. duffman says:

    The Bowl Wars – updated for todays games (sans OU vs Uconn)

    BIG 10 – Wisconsin (L TCU 2 pts), Michigan State (L Bama 42 pts), tOSU (Arkansas), Iowa (W Missouri 3pts), Illinois (W Baylor 24 pts), PSU (L Florida 13pts), Northwestern (L TTech 7 pts), Michigan (L Mississippi State 38 pts) – 8 bowl invitations

    vs SEC 0-3 (4 possible, it is up to tOSU)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (ZERO possible, the tragedy of this season)
    vs Big 12 2-1 (done)
    vs ACC 0-0 (0 possible)
    vs the “rest” 0-1 (done, MWC)
    2-5, with 1 game left

    SEC – Auburn (Oregon), Arkansas (tOSU), LSU (TAMU), Alabama (W Michigan State 42 pts), South Carolina (L FSU 9 pts), Mississippi State (W Michigan 38 pts), Florida (W PSU 13 pts), Georgia (L UCF 4 pts), Tennessee (L UNC 3pts), Kentucky (Pitt) – 10 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 3-0 (4 possible, PSU was close but UM and MSU not so close)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (1 possible, and for the MNC)
    vs Big 12 0-0 (1 possible, does this seem low for balance?)
    vs ACC 0-2 (done, the ACC shuts out the SEC)
    vs the “rest” 0-1 (2 possible, 1 BE, 1 CUSA)
    3-3, with 4 games left

    PAC 10 – Oregon (Auburn), Stanford (Va Tech), Arizona (L oSu 26 pts), Washington (W Nebraska 12 pts) – 4 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 0-0 (0 possible!)
    vs SEC 0-0 (1 possible, and for the MNC)
    vs Big 12 1-1 (2 done)
    vs ACC 0-0 (1 possible)
    1-1, with 2 games left

    BIG 12 – Oklahoma (Uconn), Missouri (L Iowa 3 pts), oSu (W Arizona 26 pts), Nebraska (L Washington 12 pts), TAMU (LSU), Baylor (L Illinois 24 pts), TTech (W Northwestern 7 pts), KSU (L Syracuse 2 pts) – 8 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 1-2 (3 done, curse you ESPNU!)
    vs SEC 0-0 (1 possible, again only 1 Big 12 vs SEC matchup)
    vs Pac 10 1-1 (2 done)
    vs ACC 0-0 (0 possible)
    vs the “rest” 0-1 (2 possible, 2 BE! weird combinations)
    2-4, with 2 games left

    ACC – Va Tech (Stanford), FSU (W South Carolina 9 pts), Maryland (W ECU 31 pts), NC State (W WVa 16 pts), Miami (L Notre Dame 16 pts), Boston College (Nevada), UNC (W UTenn 3 pts), Ga Tech (L Air Force 7 pts), Clemson (L USF 5 pts) – 9 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 0-0 (0 possible, with 8 & 9 invites, not 1 game?!?!)
    vs SEC 2-0 (2 done, granted close games)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (1 possible)
    vs Big 12 0-0 (0 possible, with 8 & 9 invites, not 1 game?!?!)
    vs the “rest” 2-3 (1 left, 3 BE, 1 MWC, 1 WAC, 1 IND)
    4-3, with 2 games left

    #1 ACC 4-3, sad that the weakest conference is leading the list.
    #2 SEC 3-3, defeated by ACC, and undefeated vs B10
    #3 Pac 10 1-1
    #4 Big 12 2-4
    #5 Big 10 2-5, first to last, ugh!

    The winners so far is nobody
    The losers so far Big 10 and Big 12
    The SEC is April reversed (came in like a lamb, going out like a lion)
    => the “lamb” = SEC East
    => the “lion” = SEC West
    The big question is why no ACC vs Big 10 or Big 12 games!

  52. zeek says:

    This was probably the worst Big Ten day in history in terms of going 0-5 in bowls.

    But looking at the games, the only downside surprises were Michigan and Michigan State getting totally blown out…

    TCU has been a legit national championship contender the whole year. A slip up in Auburn’s last second comeback against the Tide and we’d have been talking about them in the NC.

    As for the others, Northwestern and Penn State showed up and played.

    I had been expecting the Big Ten to lose most of the games today, since we were underdogs in every match up but to lose them all was somewhat unexpected.

    It happens though; we’ll have to see whether Ohio State is able to end its SEC drought. But with Ohio State going through all of its troubles with players, there might be way too many distractions for them to be able to focus on it…

    • zeek says:

      The only game that should be seen of as reputation damaging is the Michigan State-Alabama game.

      I mean, the line had Alabama favored by 8-10 points, but to go 7-1 in the conference and then just get totally annihilated is an embarrassment.

      Michigan, on the other hand, has the worst Big Ten defense by a mile, so we should have seen that blowout coming…

      • Brian says:

        I thought people did see that coming. No defense, no special teams and a dead coach walking. The only hope was that Shoelace could keep the score close. With Forcier out, they looked afraid to run Robinson as much as usual since he’s made of glass so they relied on their weak passing game.

      • Bullet says:

        But Mississippi State had the weakest offense in the SEC West. They did score 49 against Memphis and Alcorn and 47 against Houston. But other than that, 31 was the most they scored. So it was bad. I wasn’t surprised MSU won, but typical for them would have been 17-14, not 52-14.

        • Brian says:

          Mississippi State was #47 in total offense, #56 in scoring offense.

          Michigan was #107 in total defense, #101 in scoring defense.

          Almost everyone scored on MI in bunches, especially late in the year (except Purdue, but they were missing their top QB, RB and WR).

          I figured MSU was good for at least 35 points. My only question was what Shoelace could do.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah that’s a fair point. It’s just astonishing how far Michigan’s defense has fallen that today’s result isn’t even that shocking…

          Either way, the Big Ten sent three 11-1 teams and then a lot of 7-5 teams (and 6-6 Illinois) to the postseason this year.

          Michigan State’s result is by far the most damaging because of just how thoroughly outclassed they were despite going 7-1 in conference.

          • Brian says:

            That, more than anything, is why RichRod should be fired. Expecting MI to get blown out by every good team they play is a shame. No other king program would accept 3 years (and more in the future) of that.

            The records were a little deceiving this year. Iowa was better than their record, and NW (Persa hurt) and MSU clearly worse (lucky breaks, an easy OOC and missing OSU helped). Things might have been different if IA and NW finished stronger.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, if anything, today’s result for Michigan shows just how far they’ve fallen into a hole right now.

            This kind of result is just not something a top program should have…

      • jj says:

        That’s the msu way! We don’t do anything halfway. If you’re going do do something, do it right. I mean who else ends up punting on a 1st and goal?

        The biggest problem, which any honest state fan could see a mile away was the msu o-line, particulary the strong side.

    • Richard says:

      Actually, I had posted somewhere (I think in a comment on the previous post) that based on the 2 2010 B12-B10 games, it was clear that a spread-based B12 team could not stop a good B10 power running game. I saw 6 B10 power-running teams (Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, MSU, PSU, & OSU). Of those, PSU was the only one going against a spread team, so I liked their chances. I also liked Wisconsin going against a defense based on speed. I didn’t like MSU’s chances because they were going up against the same kind of team, except with faster athletes. It was hard to determine OSU/Arkansas. Of the 2 spread teams, I noted that MissSt. was the defense&running team while Michigan was the spread/no defense team, so I didn’t like the odds there. I didn’t like NU’s odds against another spread team without Persa, even though TTech can’t stop any B10 team’s running game.

      Well, the power team I thought would lose got blown out, and the spread team I thought would get blown out also got blown out (and the other spread did what I expected and lost as well). The 2 power teams I thought would win lost late&close (I didn’t watch the PSU game much, but thought that Wisconsin made the mistake of trying to pass too often in the second half against TCU instead of just pounding John Clay up the middle; they started doing that in the 4th quarter, but I thought they should have started doing that in the 3rd). Could anyone who watched the PSU game tell me how successful the JoePa’s were running the ball? Could they have won the game if they had run the ball more instead of trying to pass and throwing 5 interceptions?

      Taking the new results in to account, it doesn’t look good for OSU, as, of the January B10 bowl games, I had most confidence in PSU winning, and then Wisconsin, and then OSU.

      • 84Lion says:

        I watched about 85% of the PSU game. From what I remember PSU was doing OK rushing the ball (Evan Royster, PSU’s top RB, did OK with about 5 yards per carry) but was really trying to mix up the plays, and as a result probably passing more than they should have. This year I would not call PSU a “power running” team. PSU’s problem yesterday was not being able to overcome QB McGloin’s 5 INTs. With about a minute left in the game and down by 6 points, PSU was at about the Florida 30 yard line or thereabouts when McG threw an INT that resulted in an 80 yard TD return by the Florida defense. So a potential one-point win by PSU (had they punched it in) became a 13 point win for the Gators.
        As an aside, it never ceases to amaze me the “overanalysis” applied to these post-season exhibition games. Other than being able to claim a “win,” there is virtually nothing to play for unless a player is looking to pad stats in prep for the draft. There is also “big game experience” for whatever that’s worth. Looking at Nebraska’s performance, it’s pretty obvious that some teams “mail in” their bowl game performance, and who can blame them? Bowl games tend to ride on emotion and momentum swings, great for TV viewership and “fan appeal” I suppose, but as far as using these as “benchmarks,” other than bragging rights the bowls really mean little.
        I also am amazed at how “analysts” ignore the “home team advantage” as evidenced by the Ticket City bowl, Outback Bowl, Cap One, and the Sugar Bowl and I could go on. Gee, y’dont think that Texas Tech, Florida, and even ‘Bama had a “home field advantage” playing in stadiums in their home states or adjacent to their home states? It would be interesting to pair the Big Ten and SEC in the Pinstripe Bowl and see the SEC teams go to work in a hostile environment and on a frozen field.

        • Bullet says:


          I’m with you on the overanalysis. That was one nice thing about the Rose Bowl. Both teams seemed to be giving maximum effort. Both teams also seemed to be giving maximum effort in the Fiesta, but that didn’t make it interesting.

          There isn’t always a “home field” advantage. I think about 60% of the Rose Bowl was red, so some of those B10 teams really travel. I suspect the Sugar this year will be about 50/50. The Texas/USC Rose Bowl was probably majority Texas fans despite being in USC’s backyard. When Texas went to the Sugar Bowl in 95 there were probably more Virginia Tech fans. And seeing KSU and SU slipping around on a messy field wasn’t that interesting. Nike sure got some bad publicity with those new TCU spikes in the Rose that didn’t work.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, ignoring my rooting interest for Big Ten teams, the Rose Bowl was by far the best football game that I’ve watched this postseason from a pure football quality standpoint.

            Both teams played a crisp game and settled in after a first quarter shootout, so it was a compelling game to the finish.

        • Bamatab says:

          I never have understood the Big 10 arguement of playing SEC teams in a cold/winter environment. I mean, of course the Big 10 team would have the advantage. But the opposite could be said for playing in the south in 98 degree humid weather where the SEC team would have the advantage.

          Why add external factors into the equation when determining the better team? If you want a true test of which is the better team, stick both team in a dome or in an environment where external factors will be kept to a minimum, and let the athletes determine the outcome. If you have to rely on playing in a cold weather environment to win, that only proves that you do not have the superior athletes. It just means you’re players are more used to the cold weather.

          • Richard says:

            Well, it’s not just the temperature, but also the home field advantage. For example, this year, the B10 played Florida in Florida, Texas Tech in Texas, and Baylor in Texas (and 3 of the other schools played/will play, Alabama, SCarolina, & Arkansas, are within driving distance of the bowl sites while none of the B10 schools are). This isn’t an abberation either. Since 2000, the B10 has played SEC, B12, ACC, and Pac10 schools that are in the state of the bowl game 19 times and from adjacent states 15 times. When you play Florida, FSU, or Miami in Florida, a Texas school in Texas, USC in LA, or LSU in Nawlins, I’d say there are external factors at play.

          • aps says:

            The reason environment comes into play is due to the fact our important games are play in October & November.

            The offensive game is centered around what you can do on cold wet days with nasty swirling winds. Not very good weather to have a passing attack under.

            As far as hot humid days, we might not have the heat of the south, but come up here in August and September and it does get hot and humid. Not like the south, but it does get into the low 90′s with a high humidity factor.

            The south does not have anything on the north when it comes to cold in October and November. I can recall attending a game at Northwestern the first week in October. Nasty cold (low 40′s) with a bitter wind coming of Lake Michigan.

            I could use a war analogy on better athletes. Who had a better army, the Germans or Russians in World War II. Man for man, unit for unit the Germans were superior. Yet it was the Russian cold that defeated the German army.

            I can also remember how Tampa Bay of the NFL did when the weather was below 40, not very good when they played north.

          • jj says:

            @ aps

            the only places being better on paper as the deciding factor makes any sense is the courtroom or the toilet paper market.

          • StvInIL4NW says:

            Weather conditions are a part of the game. The brutal weather conditions in winter months are a part of the game for professional athletes as well. You’re putting them in a dome theory only sterilizes what is supposed to be a natural thing. There are plenty of Southern born athletes who have been drafted by northern cities. They acclimate themselves to the conditions or they will be useless to their teams. I have never seen one not pan out for weather conditions. Yet it is not a natural condition for a Southerner.
            In terms of the weather, I think there is something to 1) Big Ten teams always playing bowl games on the other teams home turf. 2) Not getting to play any important cross sectional games in late October and November in the upper mid west. The southern teams do have more athletes per team. But I really think that is an overrated factor. Football is still also about football players, coaching and preparation. There are a few really guys that are truly head and shoulders ahead of everybody else. I’m thinking guys like Herschel Walker, John Elway, Charles Woodson, Deon Sanders and Barry Sanders. These guys still need the 11 other guys to win.

      • greg says:

        Iowa was another power running B10 team facing a B12 spread, and managed to win behind 219 yards by a true freshman running back.

        • zeek says:

          Iowa was kind of like the Alabama of the Big Ten though.

          Way underachieved this year relative to how highly ranked they started…

          • greg says:

            Even though Iowa fell to 7-5 and the Insight Bowl, they ended up beating a team in Mizzou that was 10-2 and ranked 12th in the country coming into the bowl.

        • Richard says:

          My predictions were for the January bowl games based on the results of the Iowa-Mizzou & Illinois-Baylor games.

      • Brian says:


        The lions were OK running the ball, but not great. In addition to running more, I think replacing McGloin with Bolden might have been the right move.

        As 84Lion said, they were driving with a chance to win at the end. Heck, another pick set up Florida’s go ahead score too.

  53. Eric says:

    Saw a minimum of New Years games because I was with family (and as much as I love family, I love our family Christmas’s more), but I did notice a Big Ten commercial and they used the B1G logo (black and blue) without spelling out the whole thing. I’m hoping that means they are going with that one rather than the whole Big Ten one; it just looks better.

  54. duffman says:

    from adam rittenberg


    on his interview with Jim Delany after the 0-5 start.

    for the tOSU guys on this board, good game in Bloomington, but next few years may not see you have such success! ;)

    • Brian says:

      Crean should have IU back soon. He had such a huge hole to dig out of when he arrived.

      The beauty of it is beating IU in hoops is fun but doesn’t mean all that much to OSU. It’s much more of a football school (except to part of the older fan base), and IU probably won’t catch up in football for a while.

  55. Brian says:


    Rose Bowl ratings were way down this year, even worse than USC/ILL in 2008. Is ABC/ESPN still happy with their plan? ABC had nothing of interest on in that time slot.

    • hawkfanbeau says:

      look, i like your idea, but here is still how i see it.
      1.A) B1G waits til others move 1st ( as we are already seen as bad guys at time)
      1.B) we wait for the whole , Wac/MTW/Big East thing to work out. then we can start a new.

      now here is my conferences and the teams. ( no non-AQ’s FYI) Now this is how i works . we rank the 5 conferneces each year. and #4 plays #5 at #4′s home staduim. then #1 plays #4/5 in a bcs bowl game. # 2 plays #3 and the winners play one more game. I know that is only 3 BCS bowl games( 4 if you count the play in game between #4&#5), but i think it will gain more in the other Big Bowl games without the BCS Tag. here are you 2016 Conferences:
      Pac-14-USC,Ucla,UO,OSU, UA, ASU,Utah,Stanford,Cal,UW,WSU,Colorado. plus Texas ,T A&m
      ACC- Miami,GT,VT,Duke,Clemson,BC,FSU,NC,NCS,UV,Wake. plus WV and Pitt
      Big Ten- Iowa,OSU,wis,PSU,MSU,UM,Iu, Illinois,Nebraska,NW,Minny,Purdue.plus ND and Mizzou
      Beast- Rut, USF, Cuse, Uconn,Cinci,Louis,TCU, plus ISU,KU,KSU,T Tech, Baylor, BYU,UCF
      SEC-UF,UG,Bama,Auburn,Ark,USC,Vand,LSU,UM,MSU,UT,UK plus Ou and OSU

  56. hawkfanbeau says:

    USC,Ucla,UO,OSU,UA,ASU,Utah,Stanford,Cal,UW,WSU,Colorado. plus Texas ,T A&m
    ACC- Miami,GT,VT,Duke,Clemson,BC,FSU,NC,NCS,UV,Wake. plus WV and Pitt
    Big Ten-
    Iowa,OSU,wis,PSU,MSU,UM,Iu,Illinois,Nebraska,NW,Minny,Purdue.plus ND and Mizzou

    Beast- Rut, USF, Cuse, Uconn,Cinci,Louis,TCU, plus ISU,KU,KSU,T Tech, Baylor, BYU,UCF

    SEC-UF,UG,Bama,Auburn,Ark,USC,Vand,LSU,UM,MSU,UT,UK plus Ou and OSU

  57. gregenstein says:


    I actually like this revision a little better than separate playoff with one tweak…your scenario can and eventually will screw either the B10 or P10 champ.

    Going with your “cat out of the bag” metaphor, I don’t think the Rose Bowl will now be able to go back to being exclusive to B10/P10 anyway. I think they should be allowed to keep their B10/P10 matchup if BOTH conference champions are in the top 4 or NEITHER is in the top 4. If the B10 champ is in the top 4 and not the P10, the P10 champ loses their seat at the bowl, and vice versa. If the B10 and Rose Bowl are so tied together, then always grant them access to this bowl and flex the P10 champ depending on rankings.

    I’ll use 1994 as a reference year since I’m a Penn State. Penn State was #2 and played a bad Oregon team while undefeated Nebraska played 1-loss Miami. Assuming PSU and Neb both win, which they did, they both play for the title. If Miami had won, there were about 4-5 1-loss teams all with a claim to be #2, including Nebraska! From 2001, we know that odd things can happen when #2 is left to the computers/pollsters (even though it is less likely now). This scenario is why the BCS was created over the previous bowl alliance…so that the B10 team doesn’t get screwed out of a shot at the title.

    In short, if we’re going to tweak the system, I feel it should be done in a way that arbitrary cutoff is #4 instead of #2. Have the computers and polls set #1-#4, and the bowls adjust accordingly while still trying to maintain previous agreements.

  58. StvInIL says:

    Hey everybody, I just got back into town. No, not from out of town, but I have been mentally away from the Big ten embarrassment of the last 5 bowls. Happy New Years everyone.

    Given the back up quarterback situation, I did not expect much from the Wildcats game, but it turns out that offense was not their problem. Even in a loss I think they did OK.
    Over all the Big Ten teams up till now, at the lower end of the bowl schedule did way better than the guys at the top.

    Thank you Iowa, Illinois, and even Northwestern under the circumstances. Good games all.
    Penn State, LORD! You guys did less with more than anyone else. That was a “W” boys. Why didn’t he pull that kid playing QB?

    I’m not giving Wisconsin any credit for losing a Rose Bowl they should have won. I just do not see any other option for them but to win that game.

    I will though give a lot of credit to the horn frogs for playing well enough to win on a Hugh stage some think they did not belong on. Their QB and coach came off as being real classy to me as well as the team being a good football team.
    Horn frogs headed to the Big East eh? I am instantly thinking about the Big 12 and shaking my head. This teams as worthy as Baylor and better than most if not all in the Big 12.

    Honestly, I still think there is real merit to the point of being tested most weeks by conference teams in the Big 12 or Big 10. I mean ask Nebraska or Texas if the best laid plans of mice and conference footballers are not often thwarted.

    • duffman says:


      I hope you did not take my comment as a knock on the wildcats, because it was not. My beef was that it was on ESPNU, so I did not got to see it on TV (I was pissed at whoever did not let the game get a more available outlet. I have no problem with the Wildcats, and Penn State was much closer most of the game than the score would indicate.

      I think the real pain came from Michigan and Michigan State (In all fairness, Alabama is a beast who was only 4 pts from being undefeated, and in the MNC game this year again (I still think the USC loss was a fluke, and did not include it). Mississippi State only lost to SEC West teams this season, but the pounding they gave Michigan was much wider than most expected. I still think it is Auburn / LSU at the top, but if alan thinks the Hogs were better than his Tigers this season, it could get very ugly for tOSU.

      “Honestly, I still think there is real merit to the point of being tested most weeks by conference teams in the Big 12 or Big 10.”

      I still agree 100% with you on this, and why I think the Big 10, Big 12, and SEC are just a harder week to week life. I put the Pac 10 and the ACC on the next rung down, and everybody else below that. Not to disrespect the TCU’s and Boise States of the world, but my guess is at the end of the season they have fewer banged up bodies than the conferences that bang each other week in and week out.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        duff – speaking of the SEC West, here’s a list of the five ranked SECW teams’ losses, ranking of the team that defeated them at the time, and location:

        #1 Auburn – zero losses
        #8 Arkansas – #1 Bama , at #7 Auburn
        #11 LSU – at #4 Auburn, at #12 Arkansas
        #16 Alabama – at #19 South Carolina, at #10 LSU, #2 Auburn
        #21 Miss State – #21 Auburn, at #15 LSU, at #12 Alabama, #13 Arkansas

        Note only one loss outside of the division. South Carolina caught Bama in Columbia, at the end of a brutal 3-game stretch.

        If LSU and Arkansas win their bowl games, this might be the most impressive showing of any division in any conference – ever.

    • 84Lion says:

      Penn State, LORD! You guys did less with more than anyone else. That was a “W” boys. Why didn’t he pull that kid playing QB?

      True “that kid playing QB” had 5 INTs, however, PSU was leading the game into the 4th quarter. Having had a couple of days for the loss to “boil down,” I am more in agreement with the decision to leave in the “interception machine.” PSU was only down 6 when “that kid” threw his fourth INT, PSU had about a minute left and was at about the Florida 30, driving to the potential winning TD. The INT was a bad pass that resulted in a pick six. The fifth and final INT was in the final drive, a vain comeback attempt within the last 50 seconds or so, really meant nothing and not too surprising under the circumstances.
      OBTW, reports are now that “that kid’s” backup (who as a freshman started and played to a 3-3 record in the first six games, pretty poor performances in general but showed potential) had already made up his mind to transfer before the bowl game. Might be that’s why he didn’t get off the pine.
      Actually PSU has been credited with “doing more with less” as they spend less on athletics, yet occasionally do perform well enough to win a shared conference title. Ugh. I would say “take our coach, please” but he is high mileage and knowing the Penn State penchant to hire “at low cost” and “within the PSU ‘family’” I’m not sure his replacement would coach a hell of a lot better. Double ugh.
      PSU will be lucky to make a bowl game next year, which will actually be kinda good if that avoids embarrassment for the conference. They’ll just take the check, thank you, and spend it on some new shrine for JoePa.

      • Richard says:

        Uh, PSU’s athletic department rakes in more money than all but 5 schools in the whole country, and they & their neighbor Ohio have the best recruiting grounds in the B10, not to mention that they’re the only B10 school that’s situated close to fertile recruiting areas outside the B10 (Virginia/Maryland/DC & NJ).

        If PSU has “less”, then I’m not sure what 110+ other FCS schools have.

        • PSUGuy says:

          PSU actually SPENDS quite little in comparison to other big time programs, like OSU and Texas.

          You are correct however in that they bring in quite a bit (near the top in the nation) of money via fundraising.

          • Richard says:

            Well, it’s hard(er) to win if you’re cheap. Any idea why? At most schools, boosters/fans wouldn’t be happy contending for bowl games when the program has the potential to contend for conference and national titles.

      • PSUGuy says:

        I heard that same rumor too and to be honest, if that’s the case then good riddance to him.

        I mean I thought he showed a lot of good stuff earlier in the season and it was a just a combination of teams getting tape on him, concussions, and adjusting to the speed at the big stage level that left him trailing off mid-way through the season (and he couldn’t rely on the run to save him like Pryor did), but if after that bowl game the kid really isn’t excited to come in and compete for the starting job next year (lets be honest…the only reason why we lost was McGloin, why wouldn’t it be up for competition?) then we’re not going to have to worry about him becoming a top notch QB any time soon.

      • PSUGuy says:

        Actually, just another thought, but I wonder how true that will be once JoePa moves on.

        I mean look at history…early 2000′s and the AD and President went to Joe to talk about him moving on. He threw them out, but I think its important to note they recognize how important putting a winning football program together is.

        It doesn’t have to be perennial NC contender (and to be honest with the type of unethical crap you need to do to be a NC contender nowadays I don’t think PSU would allow it), but 7+ wins per season I think is mandatory.

        What’s more, they eventually caved to the Wrestling Alumni when their head coach never really put the talent he had available to good use. They were going to hire a highly respected local guy until arguably the best wrestling coach in the nation asked if he could interview and next thing you know he’s hired (and head of the new Olympic Wrestling Training Ground). He didn’t come cheap (as wrestling coaches go), but they didn’t hesitate in offering him the job.

        I think the problem is they know JoePa truly is more powerful than the AD/Pres. He’s too well respected everywhere and still puts decent product on the field while never dragging PSU’s name though the mud.

        He may not win another NC, but he still fills the stadium and in the end that’s all that matters.

  59. Brian says:

    Why is Delany such an ass? Admit you made a mistake and fix it! That’s what real leaders do.

    From http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-0103-big-ten-foot–20110102,0,1105935.story:

    He hinted that Legends and Leaders will remain the Big Ten’s division names, saying: “We’ll give it time to breathe. I think ultimately it will be a sustainable thing.”

    Cognizant of the snickering out there, Delany added: “We certainly didn’t create any legends (Saturday), but how you handle defeat is part of the lesson of becoming a leader.”

    There’s also the reality that if you take famous names (Bo and Woody) and geography off the table, there simply are no crowd-pleasing choices out there.

    “Well, we didn’t spend seven months just twiddling our thumbs,” Delany said. “Whenever you deal with generics, you may get 7 percent support, 70 percent disinterest and the rest of the group might say, ‘I prefer Valor and Courage.’ ”

    And from http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/stewart_mandel/01/02/jim-harbaugh-coaching-carousel/1.html:

    As for the oft-mocked Legends and Leaders division labels, it doesn’t sound like the commissioner is relenting on his creations. “People have the right to agree or disagree, but they honor the objective of what we’re trying to do,” Delany said. “We had a rough day, but when you consider what we’re trying to do with the concept of leaders — I think everyone has to pick themselves up and move on with your life. If you can’t do that, then you really haven’t learned anything about what it means to be a leader.”

    I said before this jackass was arrogant enough to keep the names despite everyone hating them. This whole bit about reviewing them is just a delaying tactic to get people to move on to other things. Once football is done, people will forget about the names.

  60. StvInIL4NW says:

    Honestly, I was scratching my head a few years back when there were some in Pennsylvania rumbling about it being time for Jopa to go. It did not make sense then and not now. He will go when he’s ready. His coaching staff by now is a machine and the recruiting grounds of PA, VA, NJ and OH aren’t going anywhere. When he does go there will be a wealth of people who will want that job who are great coaches or will be real soon. This is assuming that someone is not chosen from his current staff for continuity sake. This is sometimes the best bet.

    On another note, it was a great season for Sparty. But they wont be able to live down or forget that last one.

  61. Richard says:


    Indiana is setting aside $2M to hire assistant coaches with, which I think is a very smart thing for a school like Indiana to do (Kevin Wilson will make $1.2M; at a lot of programs, the head coach makes as much or more than all the assistants combined). Right now, I think head coaches are overvalued and good assistant coaches are undervalued. To get the most bang for its buck, I think it makes a lot of sense for a school like Indiana to hire a relative unknown as head coach but shell out money to get good assistants.

    • StvInIL says:

      I am not quite sure what the impact was that Johns had on this team. I am sure in the recruiting end he was of value. I believe it’s the system that is the biggest draw coupled with W’s. So we wish him luck but not too much. It’s not like Indi has had problems finding or developing wide-outs. They have had enough there that they have been able to turn a couple over to the defensive backfield to fill needs.

  62. Playoffs Now says:

    Will Terrelle Pryor be suspended before the Sugar, er, Auto Direct Sugar Bowl? Haha, yeah right.

    For some reason the link isn’t posting, but from the Sporting News article:

    Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was stopped for traffic violations three times in the past three years while driving cars owned by a car salesman or used-car lot, but an Ohio State investigation determined nothing improper occurred, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

    Pryor was pulled over twice in early 2010 driving a Dodge that was registered to Auto Direct, a used-car dealership in Columbus. In 2008, Pryor was pulled over driving a 2004 GMC Denali, registered to Aaron Kniffin, a car salesman at Auto Direct. Ohio State was unaware of the 2008 traffic stop, but told the Dispatch it would investigate…

    BTW, I’m getting really tired of Jim Tressell’s ‘Aw shucks, I had no idea there was gambling taking place in this establishment’ BS. He’s one of the biggest phonies in college football.

    • Brian says:

      Why would Pryor be suspended for getting a loaner car just like other customers? It’s not against the rules.

      Perhaps you should save Tressel comments for a story that actually mentions him in some way, shape or form. It’s a little disingenuous to throw them in after a long quote of an article which doesn’t mention him.

      • StvInIL says:

        Agree. But you have heard the old saying, “where there is smoke, there is fire?” Ohio state success, probably the most successful football program in the Big Ten over the past ten years has shined a light on the program, right or wrong. The best way to clean that up is for TOSU to shine a brighter light on itself and move on.

        • Bullet says:

          With the dealer covering his story, Ohio St. didn’t have any grounds for a violation.

          But I hope you aren’t saying you believe the story? How many times have any of you gotten a loaner car? And it doesn’t discuss what price he got on the “engine replacement.” Also doesn’t discuss if those tickets were 2 days apart or 20. Or why anyone would write an anonymous letter if something out of the ordinary wasn’t going on.

          • StvInIL says:

            Most people only have to hear half the story on a news update. Depending on their disposition to tOSU they may instantly think negative or in Columbus, chose to ignore all.

          • Brian says:

            I believe this story at least as much as I believe Cam Newton’s.

            While I’ve never gotten a loaner car, I do know people that have. I’ll accept the dealer’s story until it is proven false.

            There are no details on the stops, so who knows what was going on?

          • Richard says:

            Well, no one (except the NCAA) believes Cam’s story, Brian.

          • Brian says:


        • Brian says:

          Probably the most successful? It’s not even close.

          2001-2010 stats

          OSU: 106-22 (2nd best winning % nationally, 3rd most wins), 1 national title, 7 Big Ten titles, 3 national title games (1-2), 8 BCS bowls total (5-3, 4-2 non-NCG)

          WI: 88-41 (17th win %, 14th wins), 1 Big Ten title, 1 BCS bowl (0-1)

          Iowa: 85-41 (18th win %, 20th wins), 2 Big Ten titles, 2 BCS bowls (1-1)

          PSU: 79-45 (24th win %, 26th wins), 2 Big Ten titles, 2 BCS bowls (1-1)

          MI: 79-46 (26th win %, 26th wins), 2 Big Ten titles, 3 BCS bowls (0-3)

          Better comparisons to OSU:
          Boise: 114-16 (1st win%, 1st wins), 8 WAC titles, 2 BCS bowls (2-0)

          Texas: 106-23 (3rd win %, 3rd wins), 1 national title, 2 Big 12 titles, 2 NCG (1-1), 4 BCS bowls total (3-1)

          USC: 94-24 (5th win %, 11th wins), 1 national title*, 6 Pac-10 titles, 1 NCG (0-1), 6 BCS bowls total (5-1)

          OU: 109-26 (4th win %, 2nd wins), 6 Big 12 titles, 3 NCG (0-3), 7 BCS bowls total (2-5)

          LSU: 101-29 (7th win %, 6th wins), 2 national titles, 3 SEC titles, 2 NCG (2-0), 4 BCS bowls total (4-0)

          FL: 98-32 (8th win %, 7th wins), 2 national titles, 2 SEC titles, 2 NCG (2-0), 4 BCS bowls total (4-0)

          • Richard says:

            It’s somewhat amazing that Texas has won the B12 only 2 times the last 10 years despite being 3rd in winning percentage over that time.

          • Bullet says:

            #4 OU has won 6 of those 10. The other two were upsets, KSU over OU and CU over Texas.

            Its interesting that #2,#3 or #4 will not be in the BCS game this year for the 1st time since 2001 when UNL made it after Texas got upset by CU. OU won it all in 2000. So after 8 straight years, 9 of 10 and almost 10 straight, neither OU, Texas nor Ohio St. will be in the BCS game. And it was always 1 of them, never 2.

          • Playoffs Now says:

            It’s somewhat amazing that Texas has won the B12 only 2 times the last 10 years despite being 3rd in winning percentage over that time.

            Simplest answer is OU is better coached. It took 2 phenom athletes in VY and Colt McCoy to play in the faux nat’l title games despite Mack and especially OC Greg Davis. Nice guys, but not the best gameday coaches. As much as it pains me to say it, the B12 in football was OU’s conference.

  63. Playoffs Now says:


  64. Jake says:

    While the Big Ten and Pac-10 may want to preserve the traditional Rose Bowl tie-ins, the folks in Pasadena could have other ideas. Largest crowd for the game since 1998, over 1,000,000 at the parade, hotels, restaurants and bars doing land office business – none of that would have happened with a Pac-10 team in the game.


    Go Frogs.

    • Bullet says:

      From what I saw on TV last night, the Orange Bowl would have been glad not to have a Pac 10 team. It looked like a LOT of empty seats. This was one of those years where the bowls would have done much better if they could have worked things out. UConn might have sold some tickets to the Orange, Stanford definitely would have in the Rose and TCU still would have in the Fiesta. A few more years like this one and the other 3 bowls may be begging for an 8 team playoff every bit as much as the Sugar begged for Terrell Pryor.

      • Michael in Indy says:

        The Rose was contractually obligated to take TCU this year, so no other bowl could have taken TCU even if they wanted them. The Rose Bowl had agreed to take a non-AQ team, provided it finished in the BCS top 12, the first time it lost a team to the national title game, but would only have to do so once every four years. The reason for this is that the Fiesta, Orange, and Sugar had become aggravated about having to take low-ratings and/or poor-traveling Big East, ACC, and non-AQ teams while the Rose Bowl could count on great ratings and ticket sales from Big Ten and Pac-10 powers. (As I understand it, the other bowls were the ones applying the pressure for non-AQ access to the Rose Bowl, not the non-AQ’s themselves. Delany seemed to paint a different picture.)

        Still Stanford could have gone to the Fiesta, which, compared to the Orange, is in Stanford’s back yard.

        It looks to me like the Orange was the party that was most short-sighted. They went for higher TV ratings with #4 Stanford while ignoring the better ticket sales (and hotel rooms and restaurant sales) that UConn likely would have brought. In the process, the Orange also brought the Fiesta down with it.

  65. Bullet says:

    Surprised nothing’s on here yet. Detroit Free Press reporting RichRod is going to be fired.

    • Richard says:

      Well, it wouldn’t really count as news.

    • StvInIL says:

      Question: Is Harbaugh the answer? I don’t know. Liked him as a QB here in Chi and he was successful elsewhere. He has had a nice run at Stanford. That’s good. But so did Ty, Tyrone Willingham. His next step up did not work out so well. Unless Harbough is bringing a defense with him, I don’t really know what a coaching change does at this point. Myself, I would give the man one more year kinda like the U of I did with Zook.

      • jj says:

        The fans just never accepted RR. At all. I think his crying and “lift me up” antics did more to lose the job than anything else.

        I think RR is an ok guy and if the fans hadn’t gone nuts on him, he’d be around. Ideally, I think anybody should get 4 years. I still don’t think he was a crazy hire as some around here think.

        Hoke is the apparent frontrunner per the rumor mill.

        • Playoffs Now says:

          Michigan has always been my 2nd team after TX, and I was appalled at the hiring of the shady RR. Sure enough, he sullied the program (though that’s also on the AD for hiring him with his reputation) and performed dismally. Good riddance and not a moment too soon.

          • jj says:

            He’s sure not a typical M kind of guy.

            I just mean that he seems to really try hard. I think he’s more of a doofus than an intentionally bad person. Maybe I read him wrong.

        • Bullet says:

          I’m with you on the 4 year bit. Its the 4th year when your recruits really hit their 3rd year. And many of them will be redshirt sophomores.

          Lindy’s had a contrary point of view. In an article they pointed out the past 10 national champs:
          OU-season 2 for Stoops
          Miami-1 for Coker
          OSU-2 for Tressel
          LSU-4 for Saban
          USC-4 for Carrol
          Texas-8 for Brown (but he had already turned things around)
          FL-2 for Meyer
          LSU-3 for Miles
          FL-Meyer again-season 4
          AL-3 for Saban
          Chizik & Kelly are in their 2nd year.

          • Pat says:

            RichRod NOT Fired, yet!
            As of 7pm, the ABC and NBC affiliates in Detroit are reporting that Rodriguez met with the AD from 2pm – 6pm today with no final decision on RichRods fate. Apparently, Fox Sports and the Detroit Free Press jumped the gun with their earlier reports. Not sure what’s going on. It shouldn’t take 4 hours to fire a coach or give him a performance review. The only thing I can think of is that, since Harbaugh apparently isn’t coming to Ann Arbor, they may let RichRod keep his job if he fires all of the defensive coaches. This is really turning into a cluster fuck! Almost as bad as Pitt:-)

          • Richard says:

            Kind of. They don’t think Hoke would be better than RichRod? I think the talking heads at ESPN have it right; RichRod may be a good coach, and if he gets the chance, he’ll succeed in the BE, B12, or Pac10, but his style of football just doesn’t work in the B10 (and his personality doesn’t work at Michigan).

          • jj says:

            Yeah, this is really nutty right now.

            What the hell are they doing?! Fire him or don’t.

            Maybe RR has some incriminating photos or something!

            I honestly like Hoke or Miles for this job. I can’t see any others that fit. I think I have heard them all a this point; someone even mentioned Fitzgerald. He’d be perfect, but I don’t see it happening.

      • Brian says:

        Harbaugh put together a defense at Stanford that has shut down many teams. MI is easier to recruit to and wasn’t that bad when RichRod arrived. He killed the defense by driving off players and forcing the 3-3-5 on a team not built for it. Then he hired a DC who has never run it. It is hard work to make a defense as bad as MI’s this year. They are historically bad.

        Harbaugh will also understand the culture at MI. He would not commit major NCAA violations (1st ever for MI) or downplay the OSU rivalry.

        Folks around WV have been nervous about how shady the program was under RichRod. For all the hype, he hasn’t actually won that much.

        7 years at WV:
        60-26 (34-14 in conference)
        1 outright BE title (only 7-0 year)
        3 split BE titles
        2+ BE losses 4 of 7 years
        He only won 10+ games with Pat White

        A coaching change would wipe out the negative energy in the program right now. A good coach will get them back fairly quickly. Think of the playing time available to new recruits.

        As Jeremy Foley says, what will be done eventually must be done now.

        • Richard says:

          I don’t think Harbaugh would choose Michigan over the NFL, but Hoke (who, IMHo, has a more impressive resume than RichRod) would do better than RR as well.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            I totally agree about how good Hoke is. Before Hoke came to Ball State, the team made Duke football look awesome. When he was there, they had a season starting 12-0, losing only the last two games. The next season, after he left, Ball State completely fell apart again. The guy’s unbelievable.

    • jj says:

      I’m gonna miss that guy.

    • Pat says:

      It’s been a foregone conclusion for most of us up here in Michigan that RicRod would be fired, especially after the Gator Bowl disaster and his buyout dropped to $2.5m from $4m on January 1st. Not much to get excited about.

      Detroit papers are reporting that Harbaugh has turned down Michigan and will either stay at Stanford or go to the 49ers. My guess is Brady Hoke is the man. He coached the defensive line for Lloyd Carr several years ago before moving to Ball State and SDSU. Most Wolverine fans probably haven’t heard of Hoke, but no one know who Schembechler was either:-)

  66. Michael in Indy says:

    Big East and ACC teams shouldn’t play bowl games west of Texas, and Pac-10 teams shouldn’t play bowl games east of Texas. It’s just too far for the fans to be asked to travel.

    • StvInIL says:

      I have to think the economy has something to do with it more than the gross distance. The Rose and Sugar are seemingly the only economy proof bowls.

      • Jake says:

        I think Stanford fans just don’t show up that well no matter where they are. Their home attendance was a bit disappointing considering the season they had.

  67. StvInIL says:

    From ESPN
    Report: Michigan fires Rich Rodriguez
    January, 4, 2011 Jan 43:01PM ETEmail Print Comments41 By Adam RittenbergThe axe has fallen on Rich Rodriguez after three seasons at Michigan, according to Fox TV in Detroit.

    The station reports that Michigan fired Rodriguez earlier Tuesday. Rodriguez and athletic director Dave Brandon were scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. ET. The team has a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

    Rodriguez has a 15-22 record as Wolverines coach.

    There is still no official confirmation from Michigan.

    I’ll have much more as the story develops, so don’t go anywhere.

  68. Playoffs Now says:

    Wetzel hits another home run on Pryor, OSU, bowls, and the NCAA. Grand slam:


  69. Michael in Indy says:

    I want to make a note on the theory that the SEC’s rise to domination is related to the nation’s population shift to the South: Population isn’t actually shifting towards most of the SEC states. In fact, most of the SEC states are not growing at a rate much higher than Big Ten states.

    9 of the 12 SEC schools are located in Southern states between the Atlantic coast and Texas/Oklahoma. These states–Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama–are not where all that “Sun Belt boom” is occurring. Alabama, for instance, grew by 7.5% b/tw 2000 and 2010; Indiana’s growth rate was 1% less, but because Indiana had more people to begin with, it actually gained more new residents than Alabama did.

    Now, is Florida growing at a faster rate? Absolutely–even with the most conservative estimation, Florida is set to pass New York to become third in population behind only California and Texas within ten years. Is Georgia growing fast? Yes, and it will soon pass Michigan to be 8th in population. And South Carolina is growing fast as well, although SC still has fewer people than all Big Ten states but Iowa and Nebraska.

    In addition to Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, more sifnificant population growth within the South is occurring further up the Atlantic coast, i.e., in ACC-only states: North Carolina, Virginia, and to a lesser extent, Maryland (if you can call Maryland the South). Yet with all that growth, the ACC, which also has schools in the SEC’s rapid-growth states, has actually been declining in football performance.

    Growth is also much, much more significant in the state directly west of SEC land. Texas is decidedly Big 12 country. Sure, SEC schools recruit there, but it’s not their home turf any more than it is the Big Ten’s.

    So can we put to rest the idea that the SEC is doing so we’ll because of a population shift? There are still a lot more people living in Big Ten states overall than there are in SEC states. It’s been that way as long as college football has been around, and that fact won’t change for decades (barring SEC expansion into Texas or North Carolina).

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Good points. I think part of the perception has been the ability of several southern states to attract more high profile industrial plants and relocations, though that often masks in-state losses in other areas. Foreign auto plants are a good example. Also the notable growth of mid-sized sub-regional hubs such as Nashville, Huntsville, and Bentonville-Fayetteville that offset the states’ out migration to Atlanta, Florida, Texas, and NC.

    • zeek says:

      The SEC is doing well because they have coaches that are bringing in the right recruits to win and their premiere programs (and even second tier programs) have mostly been doing well this decade.

      I mean all this talk of SEC dominance is of the past 5 years.

      What’s happened is that several of the SEC teams are firing on all cylinders while the rest of the conferences only have 1 or 2 schools that can really compete at the top level, if that.

      I mean, the fact that the ACC has Miami and FSU and neither has been relevant this decade speaks to the fact that population isn’t necessarily destiny if you don’t have the right coaches to recruit and develop talent.

      It has more to do with the fact that the SEC has been getting the best coaches, and they’ve been putting together championship-level teams, all within a few years of each other.

      Then again, no other conference can really do that. The Big Ten might be able to in the future if all of its top 4 programs were firing on all cylinders but Penn State won’t threaten for a national title until after the Paterno era, Michigan is going to take years to rebuild with how their situation is, and Nebraska still looks to be a bit away from being a true contender. Iowa and Wisconsin haven’t yet taken the next step by putting together truly dominant teams that can run the table and reach the MNC.

      The SEC has Florida and Alabama along with LSU and Auburn that have had years this past decade where they’ve been firing on all cylinders (in all 4 of those cases, we’re talking about multiple championship contending years). This is even with Georgia and Tennessee which have the means with which to contend largely being non-factors.

      A part of this is just that so many programs are hitting coaching turnover so fast but only the SEC schools have really been able to bring in the very top coaches.

      Look at the Big East, almost every job has changed hands over the past 2 years, so it looks like a perpetual rebuilding project. Some of the other coaches don’t seem to really be doing anything a la Schiano.

      The Big 12 has Texas and Oklahoma which have both been relevant the past decade, but the rest of the programs like Missouri, Kansas State, and Texas Tech haven’t been able to take the next step.

      The Pac-10 was USC and everyone else earlier in the decade, although Oregon is now starting to look like it could have staying power, especially if it contends annually for the Pac-12 North. But USC is going to be down, and Stanford may not be anywhere near as strong as it is now once Harbaugh is gone (if he is).

      To me it just comes down to coaching, if Nebraska had been relevant this whole past decade, then the Big 12 might have been the strongest conference (and it already has had more MNC participants anyways in the BCS era; correct me if I’m wrong, but I think they have).

      As it is, the Big Ten is still a ways away from really being able to contend with the SEC in terms of quality of teams at the top. Until Penn State is back in the national championship discussion along with Michigan and Nebraska consistently, the Big Ten won’t really be as competitive as it could be…

      • Richard says:

        Good point. The top ACC schools pay their coaches as much as a mid-level SEC school. The B10 and Pac12 schools also don’t pay their coaches as much as the SEC. Only Texas can match the top of the SEC.


        You see something similiar with assistant salaries as well:

        9 SEC coaches (actually, 10 now with Dan Mullens joining the list) pay their head coach >$2M and all are in or near fertile recruiting grounds. Only Cal, GTech, Oklahoma, SMU(!), Texas, VTech, Wake(!), and maybe tOSU (if you consider Ohio fertile); maaaaybe Rutgers (NJ fertile?) have the same combination of coaching and proximity to talent.

      • Michael in Indy says:


        Exactly! It has very little to do with population growth and so much more with coaching. I would add, though, that the SEC has also been able to exploit its enormous recruiting advantage better than it did in the past. LSU is getting recruits from Louisiana that used to get picked up by Florida State and schools that recruited nationally (like Notre Dame). Alabama and Auburn are both off probation and don’t have to watch the state’s best go to other schools. The Mississippi schools are also retaining in-state talent.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah that’s true.

          But it’s all a part of coaching.

          I mean when we talk about SEC recruits, we’re talking about Georgia and Florida as much as anything else.

          Those two states are also the prime grounds for Miami/Florida State/Georgia Tech. When those schools have good coaches (especially the first two), they can put together teams that are as dominant as any SEC team. It’s just that they’ve been mediocre for most of the past decade…

          • Michael in Indy says:

            SEC recruiting is done mostly with home state players, is it not? Most Alabama & Auburn players are from Alabama, most Georgia players from Georgia, most LSU players from Louisiana, etc. Tennessee & Kentucky have to try to steal players from the Gulf Coast states.

            A big difference now compared with years ago is that FSU used to be able to get players from Louisiana (Warrick Dunn comes to mind) and Texas, while Miami was able to get all the best players in South Florida. Now, LSU is keeping those Louisiana players, Florida is getting South Florida players, and Texas is keeping more Texas players. I’m not so sure how much things have changed as far as the rest of the SEC recruiting more heavily in Florida and Georgia than they did in the past.

          • duffman says:

            as small as it is, kentucky still produces some excellent players. I think shawn alexander’s run at alabama started in kentucky. as have others. the problem is volume of players, and keeping them in state. Louisville and northern kentucky (southern Cincinnati) have powerful high school teams that go on to D 1 and pro level play. just can not keep them in state. Since basketball has smaller teams (hence fewer players) states like Indiana, Kentucky, and Kansas can assemble basketball teams easier.

        • StvInIL4NW says:

          I say right now it has more to do with available athletes. There are simply more of them on some of those high school teams down south than there are on the ones up north. Football is also more of a religion down south too. Sure it’s real popular up North but in general, with all our big cities, it’s not the only game in town. So what this means is that some states like Florida and Texas has more than enough to fill rosters in state and many kids go where they can get a Division I scholarship. Most big ten teams have at least a couple of Floridians. Not a lot of Texans but that would have changed if Texas had joined he conference. There will always be a slot up North for a good athlete who is willing to invest the time and in and education.

      • Bullet says:

        I’ll go along with coaching being the biggest factor. But the aging of the midwest masks the impact in terms of total population. That has hampered the Big 10.

        There are a couple of other factors: the emphasis on speed has benefitted the SEC which heavily recruits rapidly growing Florida. And some is just cyclical (just like Big 12 South vs. North and SEC West vs. East). In 2005 the SEC was 5th in ooc win % vs. FBS. From 98-2005 they were 1st just twice. They’ve been 1st from 2006-2009. This year depends on the remaining bowls as to whether Big 12 or SEC is #1.

        • Bullet says:

          The Big 12 schools have improved their programs and significantly increased Texas recruiting. The MWC which has made great strides has increased their Texas base from 12% of their roster before TCU to 17% (Commissioner mentioned that as an expansion consideration). The Big 10 schools do need to expand their recruiting areas as their proportion of the nation’s students shrink if they want to stay near the top. But the coach IS the most important factor.

          • zeek says:

            I agree with everything you’re saying, and I think it means that the Big Ten will become much more heavily dependent on having the best coaching in order to compete with schools in other conferences.

            The fact is that Michigan and probably Ohio State as well will have to look more like Nebraska in terms of bringing in recruits nationally. Penn State will probably not have to do as much because it already has major pull on the NJ/MD areas in the northeast…

            Just look at that Stanford team from last night. Most of the starters were from a variety of states all over the country from the coasts and the south as well as Texas.

            Virginia Tech’s starters were mostly from Virginia and the Appalachian area…

            The Big Ten will have it much harder in the future than the other conferences since it won’t be attached to any of the 4 fastest growing areas in NC/VA, Cali, Texas, and Florida, but it can remain in the hunt if it can get the coaches to do so. Of course, if great coaches decide not to make the jump to the Big Ten, then that would really pose a long term threat, but there’ll probably be enough out there.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            You’re definitely right about Ohio State and Michigan needing to look more like Nebraska in recruiting. I read a piece by Ivan Maisel this past summer about how Ohio high school football has suffered due to dwindling populations in certain parts of the state, especially Youngstown. With the loss of jobs and population has come the loss of a tax base to support h.s. teachers’ salaries, including coaches. Athletics have been cut out of the desperate need to save money.

            Still, Ohio State and Michigan do have the best local recruiting in the Big Ten, besides maybe Penn State. They’ll still get their states’ best players. It’s the rest of the league that has to recruit nationally because there just aren’t as many great high school players west of Ohio.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            Speaking of that Stanford team, I am so impressed with the job Jim Harbaugh has done. He HAD to recruit nationally for Stanford because finding players who qualify academically requires going all over the nation. From what I understand, Toby Gerheart and Andrew Luck were both high school valedictorians; it’s not easy to assemble a roster of mediocre talent where that’s the standard, let alone a roster with great talent.

            Michigan ought to be bending over backwards to get Harbaugh as their coach.

      • Michael in Indy says:

        For all the Big Ten fans: what would it really mean for the Big Ten to be “back?”

        Another way of putting it: Do you have in mind a time when you thought, “Man, the Big Ten is the best league in the country?” Was there a certain reason you thought that?

        The reason I ask these questions is that it seems the SEC’s string of championships seems to have redefined what it means for a conference to be great. As recently as mid-season 2006, the Big Ten was widely respected as one of, if not the, best leagues in the country.

        I don’t mean this disrepectfully, but that respect of the Big Ten could not have come from national titles: Michigan in ’97 and Ohio State in ’02 are the only national championship seasons in the past 40 (although Penn State in ’94 should have counted). The respect of the Big Ten as a great league had to have come from something else… what was that? Was it from winning Heisman Trophies? From winning Rose Bowls and other BCS bowls? From beating the SEC in the Citrus & Outback? From winning big-time regular season non-conference games?

        Other than Ohio State and Michigan’s titles, what was the Big Ten doing in the late 90′s and early 2000′s that is missing today?

        • zeek says:

          The Big Ten was respected because we were winning bowl games, going to a lot of BCS bowls, and generally just matching up well in ooc tests. The explanation for the lack of NC competitors was that teams were beating each other up.

          The problem now is the past 5 years have clearly exposed the Big Ten as being top heavy. Ohio State has been the only national championship competitor the past couple of years, and they’ve taken it on the chin in a lot of big games (2 BCS NCs along with some big games with Texas and USC).

          What the Big Ten is missing today is Michigan and Penn State being able to compete in the national championship race at the same time as Ohio State. They’ve both been close (top 2 for Michigan or Penn State as recently as the past 4-5 years for each), but neither has been in the BCS NC game itself.

          For better or worse, the Big Ten is always going to be measured by how Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and now Nebraska are doing because they’re the national brands.

          Michigan falling off the map in 2007 along with Ohio State’s stumbles in big games, and Penn State’s inability to get to an NC recently are the three things that have to be turned around for the Big Ten to really be back.

          Iowa and Wisconsin are doing as well as they ever have, so they’re doing what they can to improve the Big Ten, but no one outside the Midwest sees them as anything but the “second tier” behind the national brands. Michigan State is in the same position; they haven’t yet cracked the code of being consistently an elite team.

          To me, your question is simply answered that we’re missing Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State all being relevant at the same time…

          • Brian says:

            I’d just interject that OSU did not “take it on the chin” from Texas. They lost on a last minute drive to a team that many thought should be playing for the title.

            Also, one big problem you didn’t mention is the Big Ten suffered greatly by facing USC at the height of its powers. The SEC never faced Pete Carroll’s USC in a bowl. The Rose Bowl beatings of IL and PSU coupled with the regular season losses by OSU really hurt.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, that’s fair.

          • duffman says:


            you can call me all wet, but I for one would have enjoyed the Auburn / U$C game instead of U$C / OU. In my discussions with alan on this board I am more convinced of the defense in the SEC teams. Teams like Auburn and LSU do not generally have high scoring teams (this year is an outlier for Auburn). What they do have is the ability to hold high scoring teams to a half or a quarter of their normal offensive points.

            In 03/04 LSU held high scoring OU to 14 points!

            In 05/05 Auburn held Va Tech to 13 points!

            If Michigan could hold U$C to 28 points in the 2004 Rose Bowl. I could easily see Auburn holding U$C to 2 or 3 touchdowns the following year. If you are holding the opponent down to that few scores, I could see an Auburn 21 U$C 14 type score.

            I said to alan before this season that his tigers can not score, but they can hit. I think this is the real “asset” of the SEC as opposed to the “speed” often quoted. In conference they pound each other week after week, so when bowl season rolls around they are just used to getting hit, and hitting back.

            If the Big 10 want to move up in quality, they are going to have to do it by improving the middle and bottom of the conference. Sure U$C is in many a MNC hunt, but at the expense of the rest of the conference. We saw the same thing in the Big 12 (with UNL, OU, and UT getting the lions share of the power.

            I just think the gap between the top of the SEC and the middle is MUCH smaller than any of the other major conferences.

          • Brian says:


            Many/most SEC fans were clamoring for a chance to play USC during their run, so I believe you. I’m just saying there is a decent chance USC would have won some of those games. This could have saved the Big Ten some losses and maybe cost the SEC a bit of their reputation. A game or two here and there can make a big difference.

            USC was on par with the top SEC teams, so the games would have been interesting. Certainly better than USC/IL.

        • StvInIL4NW says:

          Yes, being on the plus side after the bowls. You have to be a better than average team for the most part to get to a bowl. And in the bowls the teams are often matched up fairly well. After the preconference you have (predicable) winners and losers, after the conference season we have winners. Finally the conference collective efforts can be measured in the bowls cross section matchups.

      • Richard says:

        Good point. The top ACC schools pay their coaches as much as a mid-level SEC school. The B10 and Pac12 schools also don’t pay their coaches as much as the SEC. Only Texas can match the top of the SEC.


        You see something similiar with assistant salaries as well:

        9 SEC coaches (actually, 10 now with Dan Mullens joining the list) pay their head coach >$2M and all are in or near fertile recruiting grounds. Only Cal, GTech, Oklahoma, SMU(!), Texas, VTech, Wake(!), and maybe tOSU (if you consider Ohio fertile); maaaaybe Rutgers (NJ fertile?) have the same combination of coaching and proximity to talent.

      • PSUGuy says:

        So let me get this straight…Nick Saban at MSU sucks…Nick Saban at LSU/Bama is amazing coach?


        While I’m not going to marginalize the level of good coaching in the SEC or the shifting of population levels, lets not just spread honey all over the SEC’s @$$ and tell it how sweet it is.

        For most of this decade (and before), the SEC has been notorious for “grey area” rule infractions such as over-signing and out-right lying to potential recruits regarding their possibilities of playing.

        I read Florida, an amazing school academically, had a 35% Federal Graduation Rate for its football team (and only had ~50% when you use the looser NCAA rates). That speaks to an incredible level of “churn” (ie: kids coming to that school then transferring). Other SEC schools are similar (interestingly enough, Saban at Bama has been decent in that area).

        Facts are the SEC schools do a lot of good things to develop top notch programs…get good coaches, facilities, etc.

        But facts are also facts, they tend to treat their programs like pro teams and their players like disposable commodities.

        IMO anyway.

        • StvInIL says:

          “I read Florida, an amazing school academically, had a 35% Federal Graduation Rate for its football team.”
          This is absolutely a Hugh factor that is not mentioned at all. For my money we need to see this number before every game along with the win loss record. It is certainly relevant.
          And if they want to flash some guys yardage and touchdown numbers, they should also be flashing a GPA. While it’s not relevant in the pros, I think the numbers and the W’s and L’s that make recruits want to go to a college should include these. 35% Graduation is a total failure. So is 50%. These are state schools and we should ask for better results.

    • Brian says:

      Some factors in recent SEC success (not all apply to every school):

      1. Mercenary attitude. The schools/fans are more willing to win at all costs. Some examples:

      1a. Bigger coaching budgets. They spend more, especially for assistants. More money usually leads to better coaches.

      1b. Oversigning (especially in the SEC West). More players through the system mean fewer holes in the depth.

      1c. Lower standards for players.

      1d. Total commitment to winning. Losing coaches get the boot quicker, schools spend more on facilities, etc.

      2. Spring football in high school. It is much more common in the south and the players are more developed heading into college.

      3. Prioritizing speed over size.

      4. Being less conservative. SEC coaches wouldn’t try to run out the clock in the whole second half like Tressel did in the Sugar Bowl. They would continue to attack and play to win.

      • Bullet says:

        #4 don’t know how that adds to success, but is definitely an SEC attribute to the point of excess. Spurrier openly did that against UGA one year and his disciples (see Stoops/Leach in Big 12) have carried that other places. Saban could have cost himself the BCS game last year with that attitude. If he had taken a knee 4 times against Texas last year he would have been 10 points up with no more than 5 seconds left, maybe no time left-mathematically impossible. He scored and gave them about 90 seconds to try to score two TDs which has happened before. A former Baylor coach tried to jam it in on UNLV from the 1 with a few seconds left a few years back. They fumbled, it got run back 99 yards and gave UNLV the win. He got fired that year.

        • StvInIL says:

          Jimmy Johnson looks like a nice old grandpa type on his Sunday NFL show today. But I will always look at him as one of the biggest A-holes for this. I look at some peoples need to run up the score in the same way some have a need to rape other men in prison. They do it because they can. For some reason this makes them look more manly?

        • Brian says:

          When you watch your team sit on a one possession lead and just try to kill the rest of the game rather than increase the lead, you’ll understand how that costs you games. Being too conservative too soon kills momentum and can lead to comebacks.

      • Vincent says:

        If spring football in high school was outlawed, would it lessen the SEC’s edge? I’ve always thought that concept was ridiculous. But having briefly lived in that neck of the woods, I know how ridiculously important football is to that culture.

        Backward southerners.

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Easy, now, Vincent. SOME Southerners get their priorities out of whack and treat football like it’s a religion. SOME poor school districts across the South put far more emphasis on football than academics, but there’s no point in making blanket statements about all Southerners.

          Heck, the Midwest has its share of backwards thinking. So many schools in Rust Belt are still preparing young people to work in industrial plants that closed decades ago instead of preparing them for the modern economy. But that doesn’t mean they’re “backwards Midwesterners.” It’s just a select group of people with backwards thinking.

          (If you were just making a joke, I apologize in advance… Having grown up in the South, I feel defensive when people declare false sterotypes about my home region. I’m every bit as defensive about the Midwest when I go home and hear people make moronic, uneducated declarations about the Midwest, like calling Midwesterners, “Yankees.”)

          • StvInIL says:

            “But that doesn’t mean they’re “backwards Midwesterners.” It’s just a select group of people with backwards thinking.”
            Or it may mean that they are hopeful. Manufacturing has not gone the way of the dinosaur you know? But it has gone overseas for slave wages which both good Midwesterners and southerners could not afford to work for.
            Your point about Blanket statements is well taken. We should be careful about that.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            Perhaps I should have been more specific: I was thinking more about towns like Muncie, Indiana, where preparing high school students for college seems undervalued and preparation for manual labor jobs are overemphasized. Yes, it would be wonderful if Muncie (or Anderson, IN, Youngstown, Flint, Toledo, etc.) is able to attract new manufacturing jobs. I think it’s a terrible shame how so many jobs have gone overseas, devastating thousands of families, not to mention exploiting workers in other countries. But those jobs are not coming back–at least not by the tens of thousands as they were a few decades ago. Instead, more towns need to learn how to reinvent themselves. Prime example: Pittsburgh. Its heritage hasn’t been shunned, but kids there also understand their future is brightest if they don’t lean on too heavily on their grandfather’s industry.

          • PSUGuy says:

            While I don’t think the backwards southerner thing is apt, there is a very good point to be made.

            My friend got an instant family (wife and 2 kids, just add ring) and the boy child (8ish) wanted to do football in central Florida. They had 100+ kids, in spring ball, with tons of position coaches, two-a-days…the works. And this was one group…in a middling sized town.

            Facts are more than “just a couple” people down south treat football more highly than it should. Its almost become a “trade” the same way craftsmen used to take on apprentices.

            I mean when I was a teenager, my @$$ was expected to work. Most players nowadays seem to think football’s their only reason for living (and society tends to reinforce that belief).

          • Bullet says:


            Tough to reinvent the education when you don’t have any money. Anderson had a lot of great union jobs. Every single one of them, probably 30,000, is gone. GM, Delco Remy, Fisher. Some of them moved south. Some are in Toyota plants in Japan. Some are just gone. And so younger people are moving out. That is happening in a lot of areas in the midwest. The midwest isn’t creating the professional jobs in great enough numbers to keep the college graduates so a lot of them relocate also.

            When I lived there Anderson had 3 HS and probably 20 elementary schools. Next year they will cut down to 1 HS and 5 elementary schools to keep from going bankrupt. And they project losing 20% of their student population over the next 5 years. Both of my schools have been long closed. One has been plowed under and turned into a cornfield.

            Chicago and Columbus may be job magnets, but a lot of areas with sizable populations are struggling. The midwest, in general, has not figured out how to multiply the effect of the research that is going on in its universities the way the Bay Area, Boston, Austin and Raleigh-Durham have.

          • Richard says:


            Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana are heavily tied to the auto industry, so haven’t been doing so hot. Wisconsin’s also manufacturing-heavy. However, cities like Minny, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Cincy (as well as Chicago and Columbus) aren’t really dependent on manufacturing. The farmers have been doing pretty well as well (and I see that trend continuing).

            Look at population groth, and the western portion of the B10 isn’t doing worse than the western division of the SEC. The biggest difference is that arc that stretches from DC through Charlotte to Atlanta was growing like mad. I don’t see housing bust ponzi economy states like Florida, Arizona, or Nevada (or chunks of California and other parts of the SE) growing much in the future.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            How about that! I didn’t realize there was someone else in Frank the Tank world who’d spent part of his life in Indiana! I live on the northeast side of Indy, so I’m not far at all from Anderson.

            I did see on the news a few months back that Anderson had to close another high school. I was sorry to hear about that, man. Personally, I hate it that school districts in Indy and towns like Anderson are being forced to close schools while places with no history or sense of place (i.e., Fishers, home of the invisible downtown) can’t keep up with the demand for new schools. Somehow it seems kind of wasteful, but what can be done about it?

            Anyway, I have some friends who live in and/or work in Anderson and in Muncie, and I’m fully aware that trying to reverse those cities’ misfortunes is incredibly hard.

            The scariest thing is that once communities get down in a rut, it takes a long time to get out. While many Midwest & Northeast cities & towns have been feeling the pain for the past 30-50 years, it’s been even worse in many places across the South. My mother’s hometown, which is in northern Florida but is much more like a typical poor, rural Mississippi or Alabama town than a tourist’s idea of Florida, is even more poor than it was when she was born there almost 60 years ago. Its real heyday was before 1900. And just like Anderson, it’s the kind of place many people don’t want to return to after college or graduate school.

            I think you hit it spot-on about the need for states to leverage their Big Ten schools’ research reputation to spin off private research efforts like they have in Boston, RDU, Austin, Silicon Valley, etc. Ann Arbor’s got a little bit of that going on with Google, and Purdue has a good research park, but nothing to the point where it’s driving the local economy.

            Man, is this way off the topic of college football!

          • duffman says:

            easy kids!

            before we go all crazy about the football “religion” in the south, remember that this same “religious” mentality applies to IU and UK when it comes to basketball! ;)

        • Brian says:

          Yes, it would reduce the gap. Many football skills are developed through pure repetition, and spring football almost doubles the reps for southern athletes. That’s a tremendous advantage.

      • Bullet says:

        There’s been an explosion of Texas QBs in the last few years (Oregon, Alabama, Ole Miss last year, most of the Big 12, etc.). I think a lot is due to the summer 7 on 7 leagues which have developed in recent years.

  70. Richard says:

    Mallett isn’t going to make it in the NFL.

    Hit him a few times (or even breathe on him slightly) and he starts misfiring.

    • Richard says:

      Fitting last play to Mallett’s career.

      I really should have taken defense in to account when it came to predictions; tOSU’s D-Line is much better than PSU’s or Wisconsin’s.

  71. jj says:

    Good win bucks.

    How much for the trophy?

  72. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Congrats to the Buckeye fans on this board.

    Here’s some words of encouragement for the B1G from SI.com:


  73. Mike says:

    Barry Tramel makes an argument for TCU in the Big 12


    Here is naked truth. TCU would not bring more television sets to Big 12 football, which already has the Dallas-Fort Worth market covered.

    But TCU would bring more television viewers to Big 12 football, because football fans like good teams and good games.

    The Big 12 is proud of its impending, round-robin format. But that format does not produce more good games.

    The new format just means more Oklahoma-Kansas and Texas-Iowa State and Missouri-Baylor games. That’s more inventory, but not better inventory.

    TCU provides better inventory.

    He loses me here

    The Big 12 with TCU and BYU would be better than the Big 12 with Nebraska and Colorado. The Big 12 with TCU and BYU would be at least as marketable to television networks.

    If that was true, it would have been done.

    • zeek says:

      The problem with his logic is that BYU and TCU haven’t yet built up their brands to the point that they’re valuable national properties.

      I think they can get there, and I think TCU would have to follow the Miami path to get there. If TCU wins the Big East say 6 times over the next decade and wins a couple of BCS bowls and a national championship, they’ll probably have the national brand necessary to really bring value to the Big 12.

      As it is right now, I’m not certain they’re a strong enough name to really add national viewership if they were to have a bunch of 8 win seasons…

      BYU is a similar story. Neither BYU or TCU has built up enough national brand value to be good enough to replace Nebraska/Colorado.

      In fact, I think it would be much better for the long run if TCU joined after dominating the Big East for a decade or so like Miami did when it went to the ACC.

    • Bullet says:

      Actually he is being short sighted. TCU beat Texas in 1992. They also beat Texas in 1967. Never between or after. Over the last 30 years of the SWC, TCU was the worst program in the conference. If they joined the Big 12 the current team would be very competitive and they would probably stay competitive with Gary Patterson, but over the long run they would become the new Baylor.

      When Darrell Royal was in his early years as coach at Texas he compared TCU to cockroaches. “Its not what they pick up and carry off, its what they fall into and mess up.” TCU knocked off unbeaten Texas teams more than once. But that was before the Cowboys owned Dallas. They’ve lost the fan base that gave them the ability to mess up things frequently. Now they would just carry off TV$ without contributing much.

      Gary Patterson himself once said he wasn’t really interested in the Big 12. I think he knows if he went head to head with UT and A&M all the time he would lose in the long run. TCU has a chance to succeed in the Big East both because of the weaker competition and because they can differentiate themselves instead of competing head to head. That ability to differentiate themselves is why they left the CUSA and the Texas schools there.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Eh, put TCU in the North and they can’t do as much damage to TX. If every AQ has 12 teams and a CCG then I guess we can also. Longhorns and Lepers divisions.

        But screw that, I want to play in the Rose Bowl regularly. Bring back the P16! Or at least let TCU prosper in the Big NotSoEast, more conferences means a better chance of multiple teams from Texas making BCS bowls (or the playoffs that replace them.)

    • Richard says:

      Well, I’d say BYU is at least a match for Colorado. I agree with Zeek that TCU probably would have to go on a Miami-like run to match the national value of Nebraska. Like Miami, they’re a small private school in a pro sports city in a fertile recruiting region that has several other big state schools.

      The biggest difference is that Miami in the ’80′s/’90′s could truly corner the talent market in south Florida because Florida is so long. UF is more than 5 hours away, FSU is even farther, all other big schools were not within driving distance, and USF/FIU/FAU, etc. poised no threat even for scrub players.

      The Metroplex is within 3 hours of Austin, Norman, and College Station, there are minor but aspiring programs (like SMU) within driving distance as well & majors like Arkansas, LSU, and TTech would also compete for players within TCU’s home area.

      Still, pulling off what Miami did (9 BE titles & 2 national titles in 13 years) is certainly possible, and if they do that, they’d get an invite to a bigger conference (if not the B12, the Pac12 may take a serious look if they can’t get Texas).

    • Michael in Indy says:

      I read that article yesterday, too.

      I think the case for BYU is pretty strong. There’s a reason they were able to get a nice contract from ESPN for their home games. Their brand is solid–at least in the top 25 of college football. BYU, unlike TCU, also would not have to compete head-to-head with Texas, A&M, Oklahoma, etc, for recruits. They’d get recruits from the same places they’ve always gotten them.

      TCU, even with the Rose Bowl win, is still a tougher case to make. If they could replace Baylor or Iowa State, it would be done in a heartbeat, but that’s not happening.

      I’m not quite sure they’d have to be the next Miami, either. If, and this is a big if, TCU is still a top ten program in five years, winning BE titles, beating top-flight programs, and getting elite recruits, I could see the Big 12 calling them up. With that consistency, they would have appeared on ESPN and ABC pretty regularly, getting more exposure than any other Big East program. They’d be a team fans would want to watch. They could increase the value of a Big 12 national TV contract, regardless of how little difference they’d make in local TV ratings.

  74. HerbieHusker says:


  75. Eric says:

    Sugar Bowl had an 8.4 overnight rating, 3% lower than last years Sugar Bowl. That sounds very good for ESPN itself, but bad for college football (probably enough to make it more profitable on ESPN, but fewer viewers overall).


    • Richard says:

      Interesting that Birmingham was one of the top markets.

      • Muck says:

        Even more interesting is the selective quoting from an article titled “Sugar Bowl: ESPN’s Second-Best College Football Overnight Ever”.

        The story is slightly different if you include the entire statement…

        “The 8.4 overnight rating – which only represents television viewership – is 17% higher than last year’s Orange Bowl (Iowa – Georgia Tech, 7.2), played on the equivalent Tuesday night, and three percent lower than last year’s Sugar Bowl (8.7, Florida-Cincinnati), played on New Year’s night.”

        • duffman says:


          Arkansas has a way to go to becoming the “brand”. If they wanted the best numbers, then you would have seen an LSU vs tOSU game or a Alabama vs tOSU game (a battle of 2 of the true “brands”). I actually believe if they had forgiven Bama for the USC loss, and put them against tOSU in the Sugar, you would have seen some monster numbers. Sure they were both down this season, but the PSU vs UF game had the best “national” draw for eyeballs based on where they are in the pecking order of the nation as a whole. (and yes the JoPa’s vs the Jorts did cross my mind! :) :) )

        • Eric says:

          Probably should have worded that differently, but that’s what I was trying to get at with it good for ESPN (very high for cable), but bad for college football as a whole (less people watching than on network TV).

          Most telling to me is that the game had a smaller audience than Florida vs. Cincinnati. I know that had a different time-slot, but that game was a blowout and while Florida is a name school, Cincinnati is much less of one that Arkansas. Also, outside the Rose Bowl and national championship, match-up seems more important than time-slot.

      • Brian says:

        Birmingham and Columbus are always two of the top markets for a college football game. It’s like OSU and AL fans take CFB seriously.

  76. Playoffs Now says:

    In its new tone following its handling of Cam Newton and Ohio State, the NCAA today declared Vince Young eligible for 2011:


  77. Playoffs Now says:

    While I like to cite undefeated Auburn being left out in 2004 as a reason for playoffs, their fans shouldn’t run their mouths too much about being ripped off and how they would have beaten USC.

    On the field:

    2002 at USC: USC 24-AU 17
    2003 at AU: USC 23-AU 0

    AU was better in 2004, but so was USC.

    • duffman says:


      That was sort of my point:

      In 2002 Auburn dropped their season opener to U$C 17 – 24 @ U$C and lost to Arkansas, Florida, and Georgia in the regular season before beating PSU in the Capitol One Bowl to finish 9-4. U$C would lose to Kansas State and Washington State before beating Iowa in the Orange Bowl to finish 11-2 (+2 wins over Auburn). The 24 points U$C scored against Auburn in that game was their 3rd lowest offensive output the WHOLE season. (20 was #1, and 22 was #2)

      In 2003 Auburn dropped their season opener to U$C 0-23 @ Auburn followed the next week with a loss to Ga Tech @ Ga Tech. Conferences losses to LSU, Mississippi, and Georgia in the regular season before beating Wisconsin in the Music City Bowl to finish 8-5. U$C would lose to Cal before beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl to finish 12-1 (+4 wins over Auburn). The 23 points U$C scored against Auburn in that game was their lowest offensive output the WHOLE season.

      In 2004 Auburn went 11-0 in the regular season while beating EIGHT SEC foes. They went on to beat Top 10 Tennessee (before they fell off the cliff) in the SEC Championship Game (remember U$C had no such “extra” game) and probably allowed their opponents ALL season to AVERAGE around 11 points per game (hence they had a STOUT defense). They finished the season by beating Va Tech in the Sugar Bowl to go 13-0. U$C would open the season to Va Tech (and Va Tech would hold U$C to 24 points in that game!). They went on to roll over opponents with a weak schedule to finish the season at 12-0. They beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl to finish 13-0 (+0 wins over Auburn).

      While I am not suggesting that an Auburn win was 100% (as some Auburn fans might suggest), I do think it would have been a low scoring affair (which would favor Auburn) and was played in the Orange Bowl (which would have a much higher Auburn flavor – possible “home” game for Auburn?). I could easily see a 14-7 or 21-14 game outcome, with the eventual winner being a touchdown or less ahead of the loser.

      The bigger issue is the fight for the #2 spot in conference ranking (as nobody seems to questions the SEC’s recent death grip on the #1 position). From the Pat Forde (who I am no fan of) link http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/bowls10/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=5991838 comes this quote:

      “Fact is, these two very different conferences have not met in a bowl game since the 1989 Freedom Bowl, a game that no longer exists. History buffs will note that the Pac-10 won that one: Washington 34, Florida 7. Since the Pac-10 (then the Pac-7) formed in 1959, there have been just nine bowl meetings between the two. Scoreboard: SEC 5, Pac-10 4.”

      To me the issue is not if Auburn wins and continues its dominance, it is an issue of what will happen to the Big 10 “perception” if Oregon wins! If you go back to Frank’s early blog polls you will see I was on the Duck bandwagon early on. Now I am “haunted” by the “be careful for what you wish for” mantra. If the Ducks win, they will vault into 1st place and the SEC killers (and hence their conference). The wins against UNL and Va Tech will only further strengthen this mantra! In short, the Pac 10 could vault ahead of the Big 10 in “national” media play. This alone now finds me wishing the Ducks now loose (after a season of hoping they win), just to keep the Pac 10 from leapfrogging the Big 10 in the overall conference pecking order!

      • Michael in Indy says:

        I hate to break it to ya, but at least for the 2010 season, the Big Ten’s place in the conference pecking order is already behind the Pac-10, no matter the outcome of Oregon-Auburn.

  78. duffman says:

    The Bowl Wars – updated as of 01.05.2011

    BIG 10 – Wisconsin (L TCU 2 pts), Michigan State (L Bama 42 pts), tOSU (W Arkansas 5 pts), Iowa (W Missouri 3pts), Illinois (W Baylor 24 pts), PSU (L Florida 13pts), Northwestern (L TTech 7 pts), Michigan (L Mississippi State 38 pts) – 8 bowl invitations

    vs SEC 1-3 (done, congrats to tOSU for avoiding the shutout)
    vs Big 12 2-1 (done)
    vs the “rest” 0-1 (done, MWC)
    3-5 (37.5%) all games played

    SEC – Auburn (Oregon), Arkansas (L tOSU 5 pts), LSU (TAMU), Alabama (W Michigan State 42 pts), South Carolina (L FSU 9 pts), Mississippi State (W Michigan 38 pts), Florida (W PSU 13 pts), Georgia (L UCF 4 pts), Tennessee (L UNC 3pts), Kentucky (Pitt) – 10 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 3-1 (done, tOSU holds on at the end to prevent the shutout)
    vs Pac 10 0-0 (1 possible, and for the MNC)
    vs Big 12 0-0 (1 possible, does this seem low for balance?)
    vs ACC 0-2 (done, the ACC shuts out the SEC)
    vs the “rest” 0-1 (2 possible, 1 BE, 1 CUSA)
    3-4, with 3 games left

    PAC 10 – Oregon (Auburn), Stanford (W Va Tech 28 pts), Arizona (L oSu 26 pts), Washington (W Nebraska 12 pts) – 4 bowl invitations

    vs SEC 0-0 (1 possible, and for the MNC)
    vs Big 12 1-1 (done, split decision)
    vs ACC 1-0 (done, and dominated in the process)
    2-1, with 1 game left

    BIG 12 – Oklahoma (W Uconn 28 pts), Missouri (L Iowa 3 pts), oSu (W Arizona 26 pts), Nebraska (L Washington 12 pts), TAMU (LSU), Baylor (L Illinois 24 pts), TTech (W Northwestern 7 pts), KSU (L Syracuse 2 pts) – 8 bowl invitations

    vs Big 10 1-2 (3 done, curse you ESPNU!)
    vs SEC 0-0 (1 possible, again only 1 Big 12 vs SEC matchup)
    vs Pac 10 1-1 (2 done)
    vs the “rest” 1-1 (done, award for OU playing Uconn – the razzie!)
    3-4, with 1 games left

    ACC – Va Tech (L Stanford 28 pts), FSU (W South Carolina 9 pts), Maryland (W ECU 31 pts), NC State (W WVa 16 pts), Miami (L Notre Dame 16 pts), Boston College (Nevada), UNC (W UTenn 3 pts), Ga Tech (L Air Force 7 pts), Clemson (L USF 5 pts) – 9 bowl invitations

    vs SEC 2-0 (2 done, granted close games)
    vs Pac 10 0-1 (done, like the start, VT ends with a wimper)
    vs the “rest” 2-3 (1 left, 3 BE, 1 MWC, 1 WAC, 1 IND)
    4-4, with 1 games left

    #1 Pac 10 2-1, 1 game left, worst outcome = 50/50
    #2 ACC 4-4, 1 game left, a win puts them over the 50/50 threshold
    #3 SEC 3-4, 3 games left! 2 wins puts them over the 50/50 threshold
    #3 Big 12 3-4, 1 game left, best outcome = 50/50
    #5 Big 10 3-5 = 37.5% winners from starters

    The winner is looking like the Pac 10? (MNC pending)
    The loser so far is the Big 10
    The “image” loser was tOSU, as even with the win, the 5 players will taint the long term history of the win, and hence a loss for Tressel in PR.

    • Richard says:

      The BE doesn’t count? 3-2 so far, with one more game coming up.

      MWC’s 4-1. CUSA finished 2-4 (though with a win over an SEC team).

      • mushroomgod says:

        Big East doesn’t count.

        Bowls games are about good teams. The Big East doesn’t have any. Props to USF for being Clemson; however, the two top Big East teams got their asses kicked. Nail biters over South Miss and Kansas St? Who cares?

        • mushroomgod says:

          Actually, if you took out the BT’s best 2 teams and worst team, the BT and Big East match-up pretty well:

          MSU v. WVU
          Iowa v. U Conn
          PSU v. Pitt
          Syracuse v. Illinois
          Louisville v. Michigan
          USF v. NW
          Cincy v. Purdue
          Rutgers v. Minnesota

          • Phil says:

            The Big East was definitely down this year, so it is a tough year for comparison, but I definitely agree with your premise that the Big East is normally similar to schools 3-10 of the Big Ten.
            The lack of elite teams at the top hurts them, but their bottom is seldom as bad as the bottom of the bigger conferences.
            For example, this year last place Rutgers beat champ UConn while IU was getting 80 hung on them by Wisc. Last year, last place Syracuse beat one Big Ten bowl team and took another to OT.
            It was a no-brainer for the Big East to add TCU to improve the top of the conference.

          • Brian says:

            I thought you took out the worst team, but MN is still there (I know, you went by the B10 standings). You think IN is worse than MN? They won 2 more games this year.

            With your listed match-ups, I’d still project the B10 to go 6-2. Rearranging to be more accurate (NW 8th without Persa, PU 7th, IN 6th) I’d say 7-1. Most of the games should be good, but I think the BE records are inflated by playing BE teams.

            Besides, who would consider the B10 a good conference without OSU and WI this year?

          • Richard says:

            Minnesota beat Illinois & Iowa when they weren’t saddled with Brewster. Indiana finished worse in conference. They got 4 wins against illustrious foes such as Towson, Western Kentucky, Akron, and Arkansas St. (barely). If Minnesota had played IU’s nonconf schedule, they would have gone to a bowl game.

          • Brian says:


            That would be a better argument if MN didn’t lose to I-AA South Dakota. You also have to look at the whole season, not just post-Brewster.

            MN was lucky to beat an IA team that didn’t want to be there. IN was inches from beating IA before they went on their losing streak.

            IN isn’t vastly better, but their offense gave them more chances to win.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Phil..I agree it was a no brainer for the Big East to add TCU, but I doubt that arrangement will work in the long-term…..TCU will be good as long as the present coach is there, then it will go back to also ran status…..the geography is bad, and TCU won’t add much to the basketball picture…….in the short term however, it’s good for TCU and the Big E.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Brian…as an IU fan, I definately think Minn was better than IU, but only because of our inept coaching staff

            As far as Minny losing to SD State, you need to remember that that was the week after Minny made a respectable showing against SC…we were fortunate to be in the game against Iowa…they signicantly beat us in yardage…and ILL kicked our ass…by the end of the season Minny was better than IU….

          • Brian says:


            I disagree that the bottom of the Big East isn’t as bad as the bottom of the major conferences. Their records are better because they play other BE teams, but the talent level is bad. Part of the reason the bottom of the BE can beat the top is because the top isn’t that good usually.

            Sagarin 2010
            BE 1 ~ B10 4 ~ SEC 7 ~ B12 6
            BE 2 ~ B10 5 ~ SEC 8 ~ B12 8
            BE 3 ~ B10 7 ~ SEC 9 ~ B12 9
            BE 4 ~ B10 8 ~ SEC 10 ~ B12 10
            BE 5 ~ B10 8 ~ SEC 10 ~ B12 10
            BE 6 ~ B10 8 ~ SEC 10 ~ B12 10
            BE 7 ~ B10 8 ~ SEC 10 ~ B12 10
            BE 8 ~ B10 11 ~ B12 12 > SEC 12

            Yes Rutgers beat UConn. So did MI, and badly. How does the MI defense hold a conference champ to 10 points? Purdue beat OSU last year and almost beat MSU this year. MN beat a ranked IA, and IN almost did.

          • Richard says:


            TCU isn’t dependent on a coach (they won when Franchione was there as well, which is why Franchione was poached by Alabama) & they spend as much money as the big boys on football (top 10 in football spending amongst bowl teams; notice that that’s more than Michigan, PSU, or Nebraska . . . or Oklahoma or FSU: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ap-costofbowling-glance)

          • Richard says:

            To add to that, there’s no reason to believe that TCU doesn’t have the possibility of going on a Miami-like run, given that they’re in a recruiting hotbed (while most of the BE isn’t), are spending more money on football than Miami did in the ’80′s, and will be (like Miami was) in a weak but BCS conference, meaning they should make BCS bowls most years and challenge for national titles some of the time.

          • greg says:


            TCU is listed top 10, but that spending list seems to be heavily skewed by stadium renovations. Iowa was something like top 5 a year or two ago as they serviced a lot of debt in a single year for a renovation they did 5 years ago. TCU may be only temporarily high on the list due to their recent renovations.

          • Richard says:


            Well, Michigan just finished renovating, and they don’t crack the list. Other than Alabama, which schools on that list are renovating?

          • greg says:


            I guess my point is that any single year can be skewed for whatever reason, renovations in particular. Is TCU in the top 10 annually? Or is this a one year spike?

            I’m not saying TCU doesn’t spend, but I’d be surprised if they are consistently one of the top 10 in all of college football.

          • Brian says:


            OSU is also paying off stadium renovation debt, and some other construction projects.

            Also keep in mind that different schools do their accounting very differently in terms of what costs are listed where.

            OSU’s biggest athletic expense group is direct facilities/maintenance/rental. Not every school charges that all to athletics. Scholarship costs are also a factor, especially for private schools.

            Without a detailed breakdown, it’s hard to compare expenditures.

          • Richard says:


            OK, in 2008-2009, TCU spent $16.63M on football, which is still like a BCS school and 31st nationally, roughly in the same league as PSU, Michigan, FSU, & Nebraska (and more than Oregon, MSU & TAMU).

          • greg says:


            TCU spending 31st in the country, or about the midpoint of BCS teams, is something I can believe. Top 10 would have been very surprising. A small private school in a small stadium has a tough time competing with the huge schools with huge stadiums in spending.

  79. Richard says:

    BTW, is JoePa’s old school ways going to cost PSU going forward? Denying a kid’s request to transfer probably won’t play well on the recruiting trail, and Tom Bradley probably got tired waiting for JoePa to step down.

    • PSUGuy says:

      Word is his Mom wants the kid to stay in school at PSU, its the kid’s dad who is pressing to leave. JoePa is listening to the (smart) mom’s opinion.

      IMO, the dad seems like one of those types living vicariously through his kid and can’t stand to see “the guy who’s always started” sit the bench, even if its good for him (he had two concussions this season for crying out loud).

      Joke is if he actually applied himself and came into next year ready instead of listening to his dad whine on his behalf I’d put him for the inside track to get the starting job next year.

      • Brian says:

        You’d think one of the two departing Qbs would change their mind unless Paul Jones looked that good in practice. Certainly they shouldn’t be afraid to compete with McGloin.

        • PSUGuy says:

          Like I said, I really think the dad is pushing it more than anyone.

          As for Newton (the other QB) I can understand why he might want to transfer…You have McGloin and Bolden fighting for the start and Jones actually did look very good in spring practices. Newton really is more of a “running QB” and with our WR/RB situation fairly set it might be hard to get him snaps.

  80. Mike says:


    The agreement, which is expected to be officially announced later today, is actually for a total of $25 million; the other $10-plus million comes from what the SBD describes as “other game inventory that is the result of the conference’s expansion from 10 teams to 12.”

    As noted by the website, FOX’s deal with the Pac-12 means that ESPN will have just one conference title game — the ACC — on championship weekend. The Big 12 will no longer have a conference title game after dropping down to 10 schools, while the SEC’s game is broadcast by CBS.

    • Bullet says:


      Fox also got CUSA, although for significantly less, $7 million. Still double what they were getting from ESPN. Excluding tertiary rights, article says CUSA is getting $14 million for fb and bb. They were getting $9.5 before. BB went up slightly while fb doubled.

    • Richard says:

      Interesting. So the Pac12 championship game is valued at the same level as the SEC championship game (though that game probably would be worth more if the contract was negotiated today); both behind the B10 title game.

      So should we expect to see more Pac12 games on Fax Sports Net channels?

      Big question is, what time slots will these games be played? Fox has said it will put the B10 championship on primetime; I have trouble imagining a west coast title game starting in the afternoon (noon on game site), so will Fox have the B10 title game at 5:30PM eastern and the Pac12 title game at 9:30PM eastern? When would CBS put it’s SEC title game? 8PM eastern? ESPN may be satisfied to hog the afternoon time slot with the ACC title game if that happens.

      The other alternative is Pac12 title game at 4PM eastern, B10 title game at 8PM eastern going up against the SEC title game at the same time. ESPN could start the ACC title game at noon in that case (going up against the CUSA title game), or maybe go head-to-head with the Pac12 at 4PM. ESPN may convince the B12 to move some games to championship week, then, so that they can also show something on primetime.

      • I’m pretty sure Fox and CBS want to avoid the Big Ten and SEC going head-to-head. The SEC championship game has been played at 4 pm ET for the past few years, so if it stays there, look for the Big Ten to be at 8 pm ET. The Pac-10 would likely be against the SEC, while the ACC would probably be against the Big Ten in the time slots.

        • Eric says:

          Interesting if the Big Ten Championship game is played at time later than the rest of the November games, especially if it ends up outdoors at some point in the future.

          • Richard says:

            I wonder if the B10 would ever consider staging the title game outside of B10 territory. I’m thinking of FedEx Field. The dome in St. Louis could be a possibility as well.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            I think there’s a little too much risk in making a move like that.

            The Big Ten needs to learn a lesson the ACC learned the hard way: don’t put your conference championship game too far from the majority of your membership. Except for FSU-VT in ’05 and GT-Clemson in ’09, the attendance at those games in Jacksonville & Tampa were horrible. When it finally moved to Charlotte (within 200 miles of 7 members) this year, attendance improved dramatically.

            Of course, a game in Washington (or Philly or New York or wherever) would probably get better attendance than the ACC’s games in Florida because BT teams are more popular and have far bigger alumni bases, but still… More often than not, teams won’t know whether they’re going to the title game until one week beforehand; it’s a lot different from the 3-5 weeks’ notice for a bowl game. Even well-traveling Nebraska fans would have a hard time planning a trip 1,000+ miles to the east coast so quickly.

            Besides, the Big Ten has a nice selection of neutral sites to choose from within the geographic center, or close to it: Cincinnati, Chicago, Indy, Detroit, maybe Green Bay. Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh are probably too far for too many schools. With the SEC claiming the Georgia Dome, the ACC’s only choices are in Florida, Charlotte, and Washington DC.

          • Brian says:


            I don’t think they’ll go prime time outdoors very often (except opening up Indy if it’s nice). Why risk getting a bad game determined by weather or a bad field? There are sufficient neutral indoor choices (Indy, Detroit, maybe Minneapolis, maybe St. Louis).

            If they want outdoor games, they should use campus sites which can sell a lot more tickets. They could pick two sites from one division to be ready for each year so nobody gets to play at home, and alternate divisions each year.

            Personally, I’d like to see them make Indy the permanent host. It’s central, it’s used to hosting big events and is unlikely to provide home field advantage. The other locations people mention seem better for regular season games when weather should be less of an issue.


            What would be the advantage of playing in DC? The game will draw plenty of attention as is. Will Snyder put up big money to get the game? Enough to justify making all the fans make last minute travel plans to go several hundred miles out of their way (last minute flights are expensive)? How would Nebraska feel about going that far? At least St. Louis is essentially inside the footprint, although it’s dome is not great.

          • Richard says:


            I mentioned below that DC is risky.

            I don’t have 2 possible sites is a good idea; you want one site set in advance so that you can sell suites to corporates.

          • Brian says:


            I just don’t see where the value in DC is. What is the reward to compare to the risk? You can sell more tickets and reduce travel at MI or OSU, without the risk of a grass field in December.

            I agree 2 sites is bad, but it is better than a team getting to play at home (that’s why a neutral site is better). One site would be the designated back up. You could certainly sell suites with a contingency deal to get one in the other stadium.

          • Richard says:

            Fine, limit it to Indianapolis or Detroit (maybe Chicago; maybe Cincy).

          • Brian says:


            That would be my preference.

            I think these other sites are better for some special regular season games, probably OOC.

      • Brian says:


        I’d guess the SEC game will jump the B10 game next time it’s available. As long as they’re negotiated years apart, I’d expect them to leapfrog each other.

        • SideshowBob says:

          The CBS deal for the SEC CCG lasts until 2023. The Fox deal with the Big Ten CCG lasts until 2016. So, that Big Ten will have another chance to “jump” before the SEC even is able to negotiate. I wouldn’t be surprised if the SEC CCG merely approaches the Big Ten’s payout, rather than surpassing it because the Big Ten’s deal might be really far ahead.

          • Brian says:

            Unless things drastically change by 2023, and they certainly could, the SEC game will be worth more than the B10 game 7 years into a contract (I’m assuming a long term deal – 10 years or more).

          • greg says:

            Everyone made a huge deal about the total dollar value of the contracts the SEC signed a few years ago, but the B10 will be killing them by the end of that contract.

          • Brian says:

            Yep. That’s why I don’t believe in really long contracts for this stuff. The landscape can change so fast, you need the ability to renegotiate.

    • Bullet says:

      In reading more, this is a one year deal. Fox does not have the new contract yet. That is still in the bidding stage. So Utah and Colorado are bringing in $5 million each on the TV contract and $14.5 for the championship game.

  81. Eric says:

    Given the number of sites in the Big Ten I would doubt it. If the offer is better, I guess, but as much as they might want to expand the territory, they also don’t want to increase the changes of the game not selling out which is what putting it outside the territory will do. I certainly don’t see anything further than those two places regardless of offer.

    • Richard says:

      Well, unless they’re willing to play the championship game outdoors at night in December (and note that the B10 doesn’t do that even in November), outdoor sites (at least in the northern part of the B10) are probably out. Especially when you consider that attendance would likely be depressed for outdoor games as well since few neutrals would be willing to brave the cold. The only outdoor site that has enough fans of every B10 school (except PSU) within driving distance to fill its stadium is Chicago.

      That shrinks the number of possible sites down quite a bit. Within B10 territory, there’s Indianapolis & Detroit (and maybe the Humpdome). Outdoors, other than Chicago, you could consider maybe Cincy or Philly. Realistically, as you want the site to be within driving distance of the schools playing, there’s really only Indy, Detroit, Chicago, and maybe Cincy. Maybe Philly, but you’d have to bet that the B10 alums on the East Coast (which Michigan, PSU, tOSU, & NU has, but Iowa and Wisconsin probably don’t) would show up. Same for DC. Opposite situation for the Twin Cities and St. Louis. Few fans east of Illinois are within driving diatance of the Humpdome, and few fans east of Indiana are within driving distance of St. Louis.

      • Brian says:

        I’d strongly urge them to avoid grass fields, too. They are notoriously bad in December (Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Philly, Green Bay).

        I’d stick with Indy, or maybe rotate with Detroit so there’s competition.

        Otherwise, I’d use a neutral campus stadium like OSU or UM that can sell more tickets than any NFL stadium.

        • Richard says:

          Again, Brian, for logistical & marketing reasons, the title game site has to be set far in advance, and no one would be happy with tOSU or Michigan playing the title game on their home turf.

          • Realistically, I think the location of the Big Ten title game will come down to between Chicago and Indy (just like the conference basketball tourney). They are both fairly centralized to everyone in the conference with a low risk of a school having an overwheming home field advantage (unlike putting it in a place like Cleveland, Detroit or Pittsburgh). There’s definitely no way that the game will ever be placed at a campus site. The value proposition of the game beyond TV rights is to serve as an intra-conference bowl game with suites and corporate seats sold months in advance without regard to who is playing. That means having the game in an NFL stadium in a major market is critical. The Pac-10 is doing it differently because they don’t have fan bases that will travel and the conference population is much more dispersed over a wide geographic area. The Big Ten doesn’t have that issue, which is why they’ll emulate the extremely profitable SEC neutral site model.

          • Brian says:

            I’m not advocating campus games. I’m just saying I’d choose them over outdoor NFL sites. I don’t believe it would be that hard to manage.

            I think Chicago is a horrible location. The field is crap and the weather is too, especially for a night game. The average high is about 40 degrees with a low around 28. With decent odds of snow, that’s a bad gamble.

            Indy, and maybe Detroit, Minneapolis and St. Louis, are the only realistic choices as long as it is a night game.

            Chicago is much better for indoor events, or for spring through fall.

          • Richard says:


            I don’t get how a campus site (which would also be outdoors) is better than an outdoors NFL site.

          • greg says:

            The other huge negative to Soldier Field is it holds 61,500. That ain’t a whole lot of seats to sell.

          • Brian says:


            OSU and MI seat about 45-50,000 more than Soldier field and they don’t have grass. WI and NE seat ~ 20,000 more and don’t have grass. The weather in Columbus is slightly better than Chicago, too.

            Those are the main advantages for campus stadiums, more tickets to sell and no grass. Also, the money would go into the economy in a B10 city rather than a large, neutral city (especially outside the footprint like St. Louis).

            If they weren’t afraid of home games, they could rotate through the best B10 stadiums. It will never happen, though.

            Indy is clearly the best site:
            1. Indoors (with the possibility to open the roof)
            2. Bigger than all but Cleveland and Green Bay in the footprint
            3. Centrally located
            4. Unlikely to be home field, though only an hour away from IN and PU

          • Richard says:

            Yes, but how many suites do Ohio and Michigan stadiums have compared to Soldier Field? A smaller stadium isn’t even sure to be worse revenue-wise since you could sell the tickets for higher prices given high demand if there are fewer seats. If the SEC wanted to max out attendance, they’d hold the title game at Bryant-Denny or Neyland (both of which hold 30K+ more than the Georgia Dome), but you don’t see them do that (for good reason).

          • duffman says:


            while I would prefer chicago, I have a feeling it will rotate between Indy, Detroit, and the Metrodome if they can fix the dadgumed roof. My guess the days of outdoor football is dead, especially if soldier field is one of the smallest NFL stadiums in the country.

            On the plus side:

            a) good airport
            b) fun city
            c) excellent food

            On the negative side:

            a) outdoors
            b) small
            c) cold air off the lake

            (remember my sister lived there for 30 years, and I am aware just how cold that air is).

            The upside to Ford Field is the good folks of detroit will actually be able to say that they can see winning teams play there (hey they are in hard times so small victories are important).

          • Brian says:


            Soldier Field has 8000 club seats and 133 suites.

            OSU has 2625 club seats and 81 suites.

            MI has 3200 club seats and 83 suites.

            Of course, 45,000 extra seats at $100 per ticket is $4.5 million more, so that should more than cover the extra club seats and suites.

            I’m not really buying that they could just jack up the ticket prices to make up the difference. TV money is more important than ticket sales, though.

            The SEC sticks with Atlanta because it is central and indoors. They started off in Alabama which was only slightly larger but had some bad weather. Atlanta seats a lot more than Soldier Field, too (~75,000).

            That just agrees with me that the game should stay in Indy.

          • greg says:

            The Metrodome? That place is a dump and everyone in the conference is glad we don’t have to play there any more. I doubt it has the modern skyboxes that Indy and Detroit have, and it doesn’t seat many.
            Minneapolis is also on the very NW edge of the conference footprint. I think there is zero chance the game is ever played at the Hump dome.

            I have to admit one of my favorite Hawkeye experiences was attending the game there in 2002 when we won a share of the Big Ten title and tore down their goalposts:

          • Richard says:

            Yes, Minny isn’t within driving distance of the eastern half of the conference (and some of the more likely participants in OSU, PSU, Michigan, & MSU).

            I think Indy will host the most, with sometimes Detroit and an outside chance of it being in St. Louis one year.

            On the other hand, it makes it more likely that the B10 basketball tournament will almost permanently be in Chicago if Indy is the (almost) permanent home of the football title game.

          • @Richard – I agree re: Indy for football and Chicago for basketball. Delany did the politically correct thing by mentioning that the Big Ten footprint contains several “great cities”, but there are concrete reasons as to why Chicago and Indy have been the only hosts for the Big Teb BB tourney and make them likely to be the only probable hosts for the FB CCG, too. I think it’s extremely important to the Big Ten to have the CCG in prime time for both exposure and to avoid going head-to-head with the SEC. That means a premium on having an indoor stadium and Indy provides the best location in terms of geography and the fan experience downtown. Detroit has a nice stadium, but it’s not a fan-friendly location and the risk of a stadium dominated by Michigan or MSU fans if either makes it to the CCG is much greater than in Indy. Chicago has also drawn significantly better attendance for the Big Ten BB tourney than Indy, so it makes sense to move it back to the United Center. The irony is that Chicago is a football town first and foremost while Indy is the quintessential basketball town, yet it makes the most sense for the Big Ten to juxtapose its top events in those two cities.

          • Brian says:


            I’m with you on this. Chicago is a great place for hoops and Indy is the clear choice for football. They may jump around occasionally just to remind the hosts that there is competition, but mainly I think Chicago and Indy make sense.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            RE: Title Game in Indy

            Okay, I know I’ll come across as biased since I live in Indy, but I promise any of you that you would not be disappointed to watch your team at Lucas Oil.

            I went to my first Colts game on Sunday, had a great time, and spent a lot of time just marveling at the stadium itself. The architecture is nothing short of spectacular. It’s very comfortable and clean, too. There’s literally not a bad seat in the house. The location is great (if you’ve never been to Indy, it’s very easy to get around).

            If your team makes the game next year, remember this: Park at White River State Park. Parking there is just $10.00 on game day for a regular season Colts game, and there’s space to tailgate there. It’s only a few blocks from the stadium.

            That’s my two cents. :)

        • jj says:

          Just to stick up for Detroit, I would add that Detroit really does a hood job hosting these big events, the final four and superbowl went really well. I know it isn’t a tourist location, but there really is a ton to do here. Indy is great too though.

          • duffman says:


            My great grandparents were from detroit, and my grandparents got married there. I still like Detroit so I got your back man!

  82. Eric says:

    Another question: Does Fox push for the Rose Bowl the next time it comes up. If they have both the Big Ten and PAC-12 championships, it would be logical, although I certainly hope it doesn’t happen.

    • Brian says:

      I think the BCS likes having one network for all of the games. Maybe Fox tries to get them all next time.

      • Richard says:

        The Rose Bowl TV contract is separate from the other BCS bowls. I’m sure the Rose Bowl will seek the best deal for itself regardless of what the other BCS bowls want.

        • Brian says:

          It’s separate for now. There’s no guarantee that will always be true, or that the rest of the BCS won’t influence the Rose Bowl.

          • Richard says:

            Considering that the Rose Bowl gets more from it’s TV contract than the other BCS bowls, there’s no reason for the Rose Bowl to allow the other BCS bowls to “influence” it (and I doubt the other BCS bowls can deny the Rose Bowl the title game or anything like that).

          • Brian says:

            They may have some synergies they can exploit by sharing a network. That may make it worth keeping them together. The Rose may get the same amount by getting a cut from the other games if that helps the greater cause.

          • Richard says:

            Right. “Synergy”. A lesson: if you ever hear execs presiding over an M&A deal talk about synergy, you know it’s a bad deal.

          • Brian says:

            I’m guessing ESPN is more happy to run promos for other BCS bowls they also show than Fox would be to advertise for ESPN. The Rose won’t get much hype on Fox with no CFB games during the season.

            Also, the broadcasts can be more cohesive when they are all done the same way. Consistency of the message is important.

            Besides, Fox has the worst CFB coverage ever. The announcers are terrible, and mostly NFL focused (like Tirico/Jaworski/Gruden on ESPN). The producers like random crowd/band shots more than showing the game.

            ESPN is much better at televising CFB, and have all year to hype the games to the CFB audience.

          • Bullet says:

            I’d take the Fox announcers with the ESPN camera crews. Camera crews is no contest.

          • Bullet says:

            Ron Franklin was one of my favorite ESPN announcers. I wonder if his comment was, rather than sexist, frustration with ESPN playing the sex angle, putting inexperienced, but good looking women on the sidelines. If they want to show good looking women, just show more cheerleader shots.

          • Brian says:


            Are you kidding me? I’m watching the Cotton Bowl on mute because these guys are horrible. They are Gruden bad.

            Wait, I think they’re explaining another college football rule to the CFB audience. Does it never occur to them they are the ones confused by the NFL rules, not the fans who watch CFB all year?

            I’m not big on all of the ESPN teams, especially not the NFL team or Musberger, but they are still much better on average. Nessler and Blackledge do a great job.

            I loved Franklin also, but there’s no place for comments like that to a co-worker. ESPN probably had to dump him with the string of similar problems they’ve had like Kornheiser/Hannah Storm.

            The part that bothered me is that she also should have been reprimanded at least for her response. Maybe she was, privately.

          • Bullet says:

            I don’t know what Kornheiser’s problem was!

            I actually remember Storm’s very 1st TV broadcast when she was young enough that noone would question her wearing minis (I don’t remember what she wore that day). She had been on Houston FM radio doing traffic and sports and she did the halftime show for the 1st Rockets game on HSE (now part of Fox Sports Southwest). She was pretty bad. But by the 2nd show she was much better and got pretty good by the end of the season. Since her Father had been GM of the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA, she was not just another pretty face, but really knew basketball.

            Incidentally, Ron Franklin was a Houston sportscaster around the same time.

          • Eric says:

            I’ll second that I hate being explained college football rules like they are foreign. If you are going to comment on the differences, phrase it in a way that doesn’t make it sound like the audience watches primarily the NFL. There are actually some of us watching who don’t know the NFL rules.

    • zeek says:

      This is probably a great point. I could easily see Fox going hard after the Rose Bowl if they keep both the CCGs for a long time…

  83. Gumbynuts says:

    TCU puts up “Little Sisters of the Poor” billboards in Columbus, OH.


    • zeek says:

      Would’ve been a better dig if Ohio State had lost to Arkansas, since OSU getting their first bowl victory over the SEC probably immunizes them from feeling bad about the whole TCU thing…

      Plus, Gee apologized a couple of times and admitted that TCU was legit when he said he’d go and eat some crow in New Orleans…

    • Brian says:

      Since everyone in Columbus probably believes OSU would beat TCU, I doubt billboards will bother them much.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Immature… but pretty funny.

      They really do need to let it go, though. Gee said all he needed to say with the “eat crow” comment.

  84. Brian says:


    On Frank’s last post, you asked whether success from 1975-1992 or geography would have produced more balanced divisions for 1993-2009. I gave you the brief answer that both could do well, but generally success was better than geography.

    A few more details:

    First, realize that the older success must be measured by overall records, not conference records, since PSU was independent and NE was in a different conference. That differs from how the more recent period was evaluated.

    Second, realize that by competitive balance the B10 simply meant that they would split OSU, MI, PSU and NE equally, and also split WI and IA. Rivalries, money and politics trumped maximizing numerical balance since past results can’t guarantee exact future results.

    With those constraints, only 1 geographic split is available. That is the N/S split with PSU in the N, and it provides good balance. X/O was better from 1975-1992, but not by much. N/S was a little better from 1976-2009. I believe it was rejected out of hand because it would lose OSU/PSU as an annual rivalry, though.

    If approximate geography is acceptable, then there is also a ~NW/SE split (OSU/PSU/IA/IL/IN/PU vs MI/NE/WI/MSU/NW/MN) which is X/O with WI and IA swapped. This split was better than X/O from 1975-1992 but about the same from 1993-2009. I believe this was rejected out of hand because it would lose NE/IA as an annual rivalry, though (to preserve IA/MN).

    All the other geographic splits do much worse than X/O, and do not evenly split the top tiers of teams. In other words, anyone that advocates using geography is also asking to kill a major rivalry and/or have poorly balanced divisions. Some balanced divisions from ’75-’92 didn’t do as well from ’93-’09, but they still beat out geography almost always.

    In general, the divisional alignments that were more balanced than X/O were rejected (IMO) because:
    1. No OSU/MI split
    2. Losing OSU/PSU
    3. Losing MI/MSU
    4. Preserving western rivalries

    There really weren’t any better options, if you value splitting OSU/MI and preserving major rivalries.

    In summary, either geography or balance could provide for good future balance, but past balance did it much better. That said, I think most fans would have accepted the N/S split (even PSU fans don’t seem that upset at the prospect of losing OSU annually). Frankly, I think it would have been better received than X/O. I think the B10 wanted to preserve that annual game, though. PSU’s powers may have wanted to keep it too.

    • Richard says:

      Not sure why (OSU/PSU/IA/IL/IN/PU vs MI/NE/WI/MSU/NW/MN) would be worse than X/O. It’s not as if IA/NE have actually been rivals. they’ve hardly ever played since WWII, and NE actually has played MN much more. Plus, while they lose IA, they gain WI, and Madison isn’t much farther away than Iowa City.

      • Brian says:

        Since IA and NE are neighbors, I think the B10 wants to build that rivalry more than WI/NE. It probably makes sense to most of the AD’s, too. NE/MN played more because IA/ISU was annual. Otherwise, I think IA/NE would have been more common. It’s not like there was a major difference in balance either way.

        • Michael in Indy says:

          I’ll be curious to see which old Big 8 rivalries Nebraska tries the most to continue. I’m sure UNL could care less about ever playing any of the four schools from Texas.

          Obviously Oklahoma is the school UNL fans would probably want to play the most, but they both have pretty tough future non-conference schedules, so it’ll be hard for it to become very regular.

          Just venturing a guess, but I bet Iowa State would be the school most willing to play UNL. They have a hard time selling out most of their home games, but hosting Nebraska was pretty reliable. So for them, playing Nebraska would be for more than nostalgia alone. For Nebraska, let’s be honest, Iowa State would be the least risky matchup.

          Otherwise, I have no idea whether Missouri, Kansas, K-State, Okie State, or Colorado will be played much anymore.

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Also, since Nebraska probably isn’t very interested in playing the Big 12 Texas schools anytime soon, I wonder whether they’ll seek out other schools in Texas as a way of keeping a presence there for recruiting purposes.

          It just seems like it would make sense… When Nebraska schedules games against lower-tier FBS programs, they’d have more to gain by playing North Texas, UTEP, Rice, Texas State, etc., than by playing MAC schools like the rest of the Big Ten. Occasionally they could play road games there, maybe against TCU or Houston.

          After all, Nebraska and the rest of the Big 12 North has been averaging one road game in Texas for the past 15 seasons. Now, the remaining four B12 North schools will increase to 2 games in Texas per year. Plus, Big East schools are going to start playing games in Dallas every other year. It couldn’t hurt to maintain as much of a presence in Texas as possible.

          • Richard says:

            Right. UNL seems to have adopted PSU’s philosophy of scheduling a bunch of 2-for-1′s (which, IMHO, is probably the worst scheduling philosophy for a power program that can sell out its gigantic home stadium to take, unless they want to appease alums or get recruits by visiting a region, because only non-AQ’s are willing to schedule 2-for-1′s).

            So far, they have 2-for-1′s with So. Miss & Fresno (probably for recruiting) & home-and-homes with UCLA, Miami & Tennessee (also should help recruiting) as well as a silly series with Wyoming.

            If they’re scheduling home-and-homes with any Big8 teams besides OU, (or neutral site games in KC) it’d likely be Mizzou because there are actually recruits there. They’d probably do a 2-for-1 with ISU if the ‘Clones are willing.

            Assuming 7 home games, they have space for 2 home games in 2012, 2014, & 2015, 1 home game in 2013, and a precious away slot in 2016. I’d expect them to target Houston, SMU, or even Rice for a 2-for-1. Maybe TCU would be willing to play a 2-for-1 if a 4th game is played in JerryWorld? Of course, for that to happen, Nebraska would have to play only 6 home games one year.

          • Richard says:

            OK, I looked at the future schedules of TCU & UNL, and if UNL buys out their return trip to Wyoming, they can both fit in a 4 game series:
            2011 @ TCU
            2014 @ UNL
            2015 @ UNL
            2016 @ JerryWorld

            The OOC schedules for both teams could become pretty brutal though (UNL would play TCU as well as Miami in 2014-15 and Tennessee in 2016; TCU would play UNL as well as LSU in 2014 & Arkansas in 2015-16.

          • Richard says:

            SMU has actually already filled their OOC schedule out to infinity, but Houston still has a ton of open slots and can fit in a 2-for-1 anywhere.

            Rice could do
            2014 @UNL
            2016 @Rice
            2017 @UNL

          • Bullet says:

            Since the end of the SWC, Texas has scheduled a series of 2 for 1s with Rice or UH. They have finally quit doing that in 2012. They only have Rice on the schedule once from 2012 to 2020 (but they do still have some open spots).

          • 84Lion says:

            Nebraska has also actually had a history of playing west coast teams and tends to get recruits from California. I think they’d probably like to continue to play some west coast schools.
            I don’t understand the comment about the 2-for-1′s being the “worst scheduling philosophy” since it does in fact result in more income due to more tickets sold and the visitor usually being glad to get the better-than-usual payday and media coverage. In a six year period, what is the downside of having 4 home games as opposed to 3, especially when you know that you’re going to sell out the stadium regardless of the opponent?

          • Richard says:


            Assuming you’re a power program that’s going to have 7 home games a year, then if you eschew 2-for-1;s, you can schedule 2 home-and-homes with your equals from other BCS conferences and 2 MAC/FCS schools at home every year. If you schedule 2-for-1′s, if you want 7 home games, you’re effectively limited to only 1 game with a BCS opponent every year. Over a 6 year period, 6 of your 24 OOC slots would be against your home-and-home opponents but 3 of your precious 6 away OOC slots would be. That leaves 3 away slots to be filled with 2-for-1′s (meaning another 6 home games are covered). You’d have to pay for the other 9 home games to bring in MACrifice or FCS opponents.

            As an example, here’s MSU’s OOC schedule 2006-2008:


            Bowling Green


            Here’s PSU’s:



            Coastal Carolina

            That Oregon St. game was a guarantee game, but still, less BCS opponents for PSU. Unless PSU wants to visit Philly for their alums (and they might), there’s no reason to set up a 2-for-1 with Temple.

          • Brian says:


            You are giving more value to playing BCS teams while 84Lion is not. If they can sell out at home regardless of the opponent, they benefit financially from not playing two BCS teams in home and homes. That also means there is no advantage to them for 2 for 1 deals unless they want to visit somewhere.

            Nebraska may want to visit CA or TX, PSU probably isn’t as worried about it. I don’t see teams doing 2-1s with Florida schools for recruiting purposes, so maybe playing there is not the benefit fans like to think it is.

          • Richard says:

            Speaking of which, MSU seems to have adopted an interesting strategy. From 2008-2014, they’re playing Florida schools (FAU, Jacksonville St., & USF) 5 times in 7 years, all 5 times in Michigan. I guess they’re trying to have their cake and eat it to by having home games (and one in Detroit) as well as getting their name in local papers in Florida. We’ll see how well that works.

          • Bullet says:

            Jacksonville St. is an FCS school in Alabama. So that is just a money game. Jacksonville U. in Florida doesn’t offer scholarships.

  85. greg says:


    IA/NE has not been a rivalry on the field, but it has been in the minds of the fans. 75% of Nebraska’s population sits right up against the Iowa border. In Western Iowa, a huge chunk of the population are Husker fans. The message boards of both sides have more posts by the other school than the rest of their rivals combined, and it has spiked since NE joined the B10.

    It would have made zero sense to split them up. I’m sure both sides were politicking for it, as Osbourne and Iowa AD Bard have made clear.

  86. Michael in Indy says:

    Fox’s coverage of the Cotton Bowl is pathetic. They had absolutely no breakdown or even discussion of the first half during halftime. They’re talking more about Jim Brown and other Cotton Bowl players from years gone by. They’re skipping over entire plays while interviewing people. They’re promoting the NFL game on Sunday to a point of excess. And they’re just flat-out lazy in filming the bands instead of talking about the freaking game.

    And this is the Cotton Bowl! It’s between two top 20 teams!

    Contrast that with an ESPN game about a month ago. My Appalachian State Mountaineers were playing a playoff game against Western Illinois on espn3.com; the game didn’t even make the cut for ESPNU. Basically, it was regarded by the public as a very obscure. Yet the announcers had clearly done their research on just about all the starters for both teams. They knew backstories about players & coaches. They were familiar with each team’s seasons. Except during timeouts, they didn’t push games like Oregon-Oregon State or the conference title games, which were the same day. I would have expected poor coverage for that game (and was very pleased to see the opposite). I wouldn’t have expected it for a matchup of two nationally-known teams like LSU & A&M.

    • Brian says:

      Fox has no CFB people since this is their only CFB game. The FSN teams aren’t bad, but they refuse to use them. Not only do the FSN announcers know college football, FSN had a TAMU game this year. I don’t understand this mentality.

      The non-stop NFL promotion is the other major reason I hope Fox never gets any B10 or Rose Bowl games. They see Saturdays solely as a way to build the Sunday audience.

    • Bullet says:

      Not that I am a great fan of Fox’s announcers, but Bret Musberger is ESPN’s A team.

      Does it seem like A&M has packed it in? They bounce a 52 yard FG off the upright and then down 18, they punt from the 32 (alright the 37 but they deliberately took the 5 yard penalty)?

      • Brian says:

        Hate Musberger, always have. He’s gotten worse with age, too. He tries to make himself the center of attention, and babbles his folksy crap nonstop.

        Here’s an idea Brent – just tell me who did what. I’m not watching to see you.


        I don’t think they’ve quit so much as Sherman made the prototypical conservative NFL decision. A better coach would realize you need to go for it based on the defensive failures.

        How have they managed to make LSU into a dangerous passing team?

        • Bullet says:

          They either go for the FG to make it 15 (and they have a decent shot) or go for it on 4th and 13. Don’t punt 19 yards with a defense that hasn’t held them.

          A&M just has been inexplicably mediocre with the obvious talent they have had over the last 5-10 years. Their offense made LSU look slow the 1st quarter. But then they started doing empty backfields and getting sacked.

          We may be on the same page with ESPN/Fox announcers. Musberger/Herbstreit/James et. al. force me to watch a different game. But they do have some good people.

          • Brian says:

            A guilty pleasure is listening to Chris Spielman complaining about poor technique and explaining how it should be done, especially tackling. He gets so excited, you can feel his love for the game. I think he would have been a coach a long time ago if it wasn’t for his wife’s cancer.

  87. Brian says:

    Maybe TAMU can pull an Arkansas without the late choke?

    • Brian says:

      Apparently not. Oh well.

      TAMU seems to be taking the PSU approach, making a weak SEC offense look good by giving them lots of picks.

      • Bullet says:

        Jefferson really is one of the best QBs I have ever seen in his fakes. I was never sure if he handed off or not. Now his passing—he was incredibly accurate when A&M was about to flatten him. Other than that, he had a hard time hitting anyone or anything.

  88. Richard says:

    So why did the SEC send Georgia to the Liberty Bowl and Kentucky to the bowl in Birmingham? The Liberty Bowl was far from full (which it would have been if Kentucky had gone), and the Birmingham Bowl probably would have been full if next-door Georgia had gone there instead.

    • Richard says:

      Oh wait, looks like the Liberty Bowl wanted Georgia (who didn’t sell out there allotment). Stupid bowl execs.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Plus Kentucky had been to three Music City Bowls and a Liberty Bowl in the previous four seasons. Maybe the Liberty Bowl people thought Kentucky fans wouldn’t be interested in just going to Tennessee yet again.

      • Richard says:

        In which case they are stupid. To rely on historical traveling performance by Georgia fans (when they were far more excited than this year) and not taking in to account that Kentucky fans always fill up bowls in Tennessee is asinine, especially since Memphis isn’t Nashville (Philly’s in the same state as Pittsburgh, but no one would think one visiting one city is the same as visiting the other).

    • Brian says:

      Georgia fans weren’t going to travel anywhere. They were debating whether or not to fire Richt. This season was a major disappointment.

      • Bullet says:

        playing a CUSA school also was a factor.

        • Brian says:

          Playing Pitt would have helped? We all know in what high esteem the SEC holds the BE.

        • Bullet says:

          A lot of UGA fans didn’t know that UCF existed, let alone played football.

          Incidentally, there seem to be a lot of people believing (and not one seems to have any substantiation for the belief) that UCF will get a Big East invitation soon.

          Should be some rumours this week as the NCAA meetings are being held.

          • @Bullet – I’ve heard a lot of UCF to the Big East rumors, but nothing substantial. My feeling is that it’s totally dependent upon whether Villanova moves up. 10 appears to be the target number for the Big East right now (as there aren’t enough realistically worthy schools to jump up to 12), so that last spot is going to either Nova (who has first right of refusal) or likely UCF. There are some arguments for Houston (market and Texas pairing for TCU) and ECU (great attendance for a non-AQ school), but UCF is being talked about the most. Granted, Missouri and Rutgers were discussed by the media much more for Big Ten expansion than Nebraska and I’ve heard from lord knows how many people that have been absolutely convinced that Memphis would get invited to the Big East, so we obviously can’t take being discussed a lot as a firm indication of an invitation down the road.

  89. alan from baton rouge says:

    I attended the Cotton Bowl last night and obviously had a great time. This was the first game I have attended at the new Cowboys Stadium, although I did take a tour of it in the Summer of 09, and I have to say that the big video board is mesmerizing. I had very good seats but I had to make a conscious effort to watch the game on the field. I can’t wait for next season, when my Tigers open up 2011 back in Cowboys Stadium against the Oregon Ducks.

    Watching my Tigers stomp a mud-hole in the Aggies brought me back to my college days – minus the debauchery – when that occurred on a regular basis. The poor Aggies came out and punched the Tigers in the mouth, much like tOSU did in the 2007 BCS NGC, but just couldn’t keep it up. I think my Tigers were in awe of the facility as they kept looking up at the video screens after plays. Once they settled down, the Tigers looked better than they have since the 07 championship season.

    They should finish ranked 6, 7, or 8 in the final polls and be ranked in the pre-season top 5. With the BCS NCG in the Superdome next season, I’m hopeful for another good run.

    On the Michigan coaching search, what is the deal with the Michigan powers that be? I’m certainly glad that they don’t want my crazy Uncle Les, but can’t understand why they wouldn’t. Not many coaches have a better resume over his six years at 6 LSU: 1 BCS NC, 1 SEC Championship, 2 SEC CG appearances, 2-0 in BCS bowl games, 5-1 in all bowl games, 1 12-win season, 3 11-win seasons, 1 9-win season, and his worst season was 8 wins. And he’s a “Michigan Man” that played for Bo.

    Regarding the Aggies-to-the-SEC-talk, here’s a fun article that appeared in the Dallas Morning News today.


    • PSUGuy says:

      While I wouldn’t ever say I actually know what they’re thinking, I have to wonder if they think Les, like Saban before him, is a good coach who benefits greatly from the recruiting rules (or relatively lack there-of) in the SEC. In that case, the hiring would be the same as the RichRod hiring…someone who is able to do well within the confines of the old rules, but not necessarily by those prevalent in the Big Ten.

      That being said…did Mich actually say they weren’t interested in him? Seems short sighted IMO.

    • Brian says:

      1. They hired a search firm, so no details should be public yet. Les denied hearing from MI, not from anyone. They may be looking at him.

      2. He’s crazy.

      3. As PSUGuy says, they may be wondering if he can win without oversigning and lots of JUCOs.

      4. Maybe they want to go younger (he’s 57) to get a coach who will be there longer.

      5. Maybe Les told them he wasn’t interested.

    • Brian says:


      I haven’t heard any of that TAMU to SEC talk for a while. I assume that it’s all regional talk, mostly by the fans?

      • duffman says:


        I get the feeling the TAMU fans are out of touch in that they think realignment will happen without delany or scott making a first move (which at this time seems highly unlikely). Slive appears happy with the 12 team model, so I do not see him taking on a 13th team (even TAMU) and upsetting the apple cart if he does not have too. I think delany and slive both have ACC roots, and just can not see either rocking the boat, when such an action would implode the ACC. Slive has said repeatedly that the SEC will not be the first conference to 13 +.

        • Brian says:

          Yeah, I’ve heard the “open invitation” talk and I just don’t buy it. Slive would take TAMU if the Big 12 was breaking up or they went independent first, but I don’t think he wants to poach them.

          On the other hand, if ND and TX asked to join the SEC he’d be the first to 14 in a heartbeat.

          I don’t think Delany or Slive would let concern for the ACC stop them from expanding if they thought it was the right move. The ACC will survive regardless.

          I’d like for Scott to present the numbers that show expanding to 14 or 16 is a wise financial move in general. Sure, if you add TX and OU it works. How many of those programs are out there to get? ND, TX, OU and maybe TAMU?

          The best of the remaining schools offer some value, but I’m not sure they make it worth expanding.

    • m (Ag) says:

      Alan, congratulations on making us look like a Big Ten Champion. Not what I was expecting. I’ve seen several of your games this year, and your QB has never been that precise.

      Of course, that columnist has it completely backwards. A&M should be leaving the Big 12. The only reason to stay is to ensure we keep playing the Longhorns, and our goals should be much higher than that.

      Most sports writers offer opinions to justify their own laziness; Texas sportswriters don’t want A&M to go to the SEC because they would have to travel more and pay attention to more teams.

    • Richard says:

      Word is that Lloyd Carr is opposed to a Mad Hatter hiring (because he’s not conservative enough for him). Not sure how much sway Carr still has with the UM admin. Word was that last time, Miles felt low-balled by Michigan; they probably offered him the same salary they eventually gave RichRod, which wasn’t the top of the national/SEC scale, and was less than what Tressel made as well.

  90. Brian says:

    Good article by Pete Thamel about Larry Scott.

    Scott says no expansion in the immediate future but that the next round will happen in the next 10 years. He also say he now thinks the $320 million figure people threw out for the Pac-16 would have been significantly exceeded by the real deal.

    Sources close to Scott say $170 million ($14.17 million per school) is the benchmark for their new TV deal. Above that, they go to equal revenue sharing.

    He said some interesting things about courting Texas, too.
    Scott said that Dodds and Powers told him “we’re on board in principle.”

    • Pat says:

      Great article! I read it during breakfast this morning and was amazed to read that the $320 million estimate may have been low. I wonder if Texas and Oklahoma are having second thoughts already on the PAC-16? I suspect they will join within five years. Just need to find a way to dump Baylor.

      • Brian says:

        Too soon to have regrets. Wait until they get their new TV deal. If they make what Beebe promised, they’ll be happy for a while. The others may chafe if they have to sacrifice to pay the big 3.

        They still have a Baylor/TT problem with the Pac-16. Would Baylor go BE to join TCU, or will TCU have changed conference again by then? Would the SEC take one with TAMU? Would OU consider the SEC over Pac-16?

        I think any major changes are more than 5 years away. People will need time to adjust to the new conferences and all the new TV deals to see who is happy.

      • Richard says:

        I’m sceptical. The Pac12 managed to get about the same amount for their championship game now as th SEC got a couple of years ago. That implies that the current schools will likely pull down the $17M per school with their new TV contract that the SEC schools got a few years back. To get to even $20M per school, the 4 new schools would have to add over $100M, or about $25M per school. Considering that even Texas likely won’t pull down that much, that seems unlikely. Granted, there are factors of scale at work here, but a potential $320M TV contract, much less one far over that, sees quite unlikely. What makes it less likely is that ESPN is willing and able to buy off Texas (and TAMU & OU if need be) to prevent superconferences from forming.

  91. Brian says:

    Interesting that the boosters and alumni are trying to boot Pederson from Pitt with the chancellor defending him (according to ESPN). No pressure on making a good football coach hire this time, Steve, unlike the other coaches you’ve hired (Callahan and Haywood).

    They’ve added layers of bureaucracy to the search with two school officials joining Pederson for the initial round of interviews and the chancellor interviewing the final candidates. This is not going to end quickly, and they’ve already lost 11 of 18 recruits. Add in the inevitable loss of players to the NFL and transfers due to a coaching change and they are in trouble, even in the Big East.


    • Richard says:

      I’m not sure how/why Pederson managed to get another AD job at another BCS school. Firing/hiring the head football coach is an AD’s biggest responsibility, and he royally screwed up both aspects of that at Nebraska.

  92. bullet says:


    Results agree with one of the reasons I have said an 8 to 16 team playoff is very likely in the next 10-20 years, maybe sooner. The bowls will start supporting it. BCS alleged championship game diminishes, not the regular season, but the other 4 BCS bowls. Their solutions are laughable-geographic rules or more horsetrading (they all support their own interests-which is why Orange keeps inviting Pac 10 schools to the chagrin of the western bowls), making it easier to qualify (they made it more difficult so Notre Dame and mediocre SEC and B10 teams don’t get invited over more deserving schools), minimum standards for AQ champs (they will never agree).

    I don’t think this is a “blip”, but we have had a slow, continuing diminution of the non-”championship” BCS games’ value. With schools like Virginia Tech and OU not drawing, the bowls will, in time, come to see the light. The Presidents will figure out how to make it work in their interests and follow the $.

    • greg says:

      Results agree? It is interesting how each of us sees the world through our chosen prism. The Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl see their ratings drop only 0.1 despite a move from broadcast to cable, and it is portrayed as “fan apathy”. The worst BCS team ever (UConn) brings terrible ratings, yet somehow a playoff with the MAC and Sun Belt in it would do better.

      The biggest problem these bowls have is when they don’t have an SEC or Big Ten school to fill their stadiums. (peering through my own prism)

      As for the BCS games supporting a playoff… Wouldn’t a playoff diminish them even further? Home games for the playoff games with a neutral field championship means the other bowls are even less important.

      • Bullet says:

        The bottom 25 or so bowls don’t have much influence. They can’t really be diminished much more. The big 4 would be the quarterfinals.

  93. Bamatab says:


    What are the LSU people saying about Miles going to Michigan? If he were to go, who would be on the list for replacements?

    Michigan alumnus/fans,

    What are you hear about the search? Do you think that Miles will get the job. Is he the one that most want now that Harbaugh is going to the 49ers?

    • jj says:

      Miles or Hoke seem to be it. Old school blue wants the latter and new the former, for the most part; it seems. Fitzgerald has denied interest but his name keeps popping up. I think all 3 are pretty good. Miles would be the sexy pick, but perhaps the most polarizing.

      • Bamatab says:

        Yeah, Miles’ personality doesn’t seem like it really fits the personna of the Michigan alumus and fans (at least how it is perceived from an outsider such as myself). But with that said, the guy has made be a believer over this past year (up until this year I thought he was winning solely on Saban’s talent, but he proved me wrong this year) that no matter how “quirky” the guy is, he wins a lot of games.

  94. Penn State Danny says:

    Since the landscape is settled among the truly power conferences, should the Big East and MWC expand now (or soon) or should they wait?

    Would expanding to UCF, Houston and Villanova (or Temple) be a smart move at this time for the Big East or should they wait?

    Should the MWC go for twelve or stand pat with their new roster?

    • Richard says:

      10 is the ideal size for these conferences (they want to maximize their number of conference games because guarantee games cost too much for these guys). No reason to go to 12 because at this level, conference title games aren’t all that lucrative.

      • Bullet says:

        The games aren’t that lucrative unless you compare to their regular season contract. If they get $7 million for their season and $3 million (don’t remember any exact $) it can be worthwhile. More importantly, the exposure can be invaluable. Certainly the MAC and CUSA feel that way.

        • Richard says:

          Well, once you have 12 teams, of course you’re going to stage a championship game, but did the AMC or CUSA expand just so they could get to 12 and stage a title game?

          • Bullet says:

            NIU and Marshall were added to get a championship game, but they added in other ways as well. CUSA gradually got to 12 from their original 6 to get a game. I don’t remember the exact figures, but for the WAC 16, the championship game was 33-50% of their total TV contract.

            MWC has different motivations. Cutting travel would be a factor in going to 12 for them. But they still have dreams of an AQ, so 11 & 12 would have to pass some strength hurdles. I suspect they stand pat unless Houston was willing to join.

            I don’t know if anyone has a clue what the BE is thinking. Villanova??? And they aren’t even sure they want to join. UMass to MAC is a tough decision. Villanova to BE is a no brainer. They’ve already tried dropping fb and brought it back 4 years later. There are existing stadiums they could work a deal on. So do you sit in FCS and lose $4 million a year or join an AQ conference and lose $1 million at worst and probably break even or make a little money? The only logical question would be Big East or non-scholarship football. That they are taking 9 months to make a decision only indicates that their administration is just totally asleep at the wheel.

  95. duffman says:


    I was there live to see the Illinois women last night in gymnastics (they finished second, but that was after UK swept the floor part) and my niece has added Illinois to her possible schools after seeing them in action last night (she is a multi sport athlete). The UK team had several Illinois natives on their roster (as well as other Big 10 states) and it was close between the two schools till the last round. Of the 3 schools in the meet, she liked the Illinois uniforms the best (funny what kids look at in picking schools). :)

    • Richard says:

      You need to shake that out of her. The color of her school’s uniform is going to matter a hell of a lot less 30 years from now than the type of education she received (and what school she went to).

      • duffman says:


        agreed! and not saying it is the only reason, but it is funny that they notice. (fwiw, I am okay with her at Illinois, as her great great grandfather went there, among others).

        • StvInIL says:

          Illinois is a great place to go to school AND get an education. ;-). Some don’t put the two together. Wishing her some Orange and blue luck in her decision Duffman.

  96. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Guys, I made it in from Dallas a few hours ago and have been looking around various sites (Rivals’ TigerBait.com, the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, the Shreveport Times, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Detroit Free Press, ESPN, and Rivals main board. I’ll make a few calls in the morning, but this is what I know right now.

    1. ESPN’s local affiliated website BayouBengalsInsider is reporting that Kathy Miles does not want to move to Ann Arbor.

    2. Rivals TigerBait.com is reporting that Les is working on his LSU contract regarding future roll-overs and a few other staff matters. The Mad Hatter may get bumped up to an even $4mm per year, up from his current $3.8mm per. Their sources do NOT expect Miles to leave LSU.

    3. Two huge recruits just committed to LSU yesterday. Probably wouldn’t have happened if they thought Miles was leaving. Rivals currently ranks LSU’s incoming 2011 class #4. Michigan’s class is falling apart.

    4. Lloyd Carr’s UM faction is dead-set against Miles. They want Hoke. The Bo faction obviously wants Miles.

    5. Miles is not crazy about being a back-up plan for UM, either in 2007 or currently.

    6. LSU DC John Chavis recently turned down Mack Brown, Texas, and $1mm to stay at LSU.

    7. Most of the local anti-Miles faction has quieted down after The Hat beat Meyer & Saban, won 11 games, and crushed the red-hot Aggies this season.

    8. LSU should be pre-season top 5 and the 2011 BCS NCG is in the Superdome.

    • duffman says:


      thanks for the update.

      I think my post from awhile back may be accurate in that Michigan is experiencing “brand” slippage, and LSU is experiencing “brand” traction. I am not saying Michigan is no longer a “brand” and have stated that it can take a decade or more to knock a team out of the top “brands”. It does appear to be a shift in perception in that the Michigan job might not be a destination one, and LSU may be making a run at being one. With this in mind the mad hatter will pick LSU at this point in time because it will be perceived as the “destination” job at this specific point in time. The biggest problem is the rivalry between Michigan and tOSU. In the early history, it was dominated by Michigan (but most of those fans are taking the dirt nap right now). However, in the last 10 meetings michigan has only taken one game (for a 10% W-L, and 10% to 90% does not equal a rivalry). The balance needs to be closer to 50 – 50 for broader media appeal (and why the IU vs UK basketball game has lost some luster to UNC vs Duke).

      The “solid” brands (ie the top half)

      tOSU, Bama, U$C, Oklahoma, Notre Dame (due to national appeal)

      The “secondary” brands

      Michigan, Nebraska, Texas, SEC +1, PSU (in a post JoPa world ?)

      congrats on your tigers, as I adjusted my spread in a post prior to the game, but I did not see either side scoring as many points as they did. I am beginning to believe that in the SEC it is best to not be the pre season #1 pick in the conference.

      Florida was picked, but Bama won
      Bama was picked, but Auburn won

      not sure how that trends through the history of the SEC, but it might be interesting to do the data over the past 20 – 30 years to see if there is a long term historical trend.

      I have a feeling the real losers going forward will be the secondary teams in the former Big 12 like A&M. The conference will probably lose at least 2 bowl tie ins, and with no CCG, teams like UT and OU will always get the nod over teams like A&M and Missouri. They also lose 2 states for media footprint, so fewer eyeballs will remain for the non UT / OU teams in the conference to provide media clout (my guess is those “secondary” teams will find a smaller and smaller national TV audience, and will see their teams reduced to smaller viewing areas and more games in tier 2 and tier 3 channels.

      • Bullet says:

        Who is the Big 12 going to lose bowls to? The MAC? Big 10 never fills its existing bowls, much to the chagrin of the MAC and Pizza Bowl. Pac 12 doesn’t have a lot of attractive bowls within reasonable travel range. And it plays the Big 12 in the Holiday.

        • duffman says:

          Fiesta = Big 12 #1
          Cotton = Big 12 #2
          Alamo = Big 12 #3
          Insight = Big 12 #4
          Holiday = Big 12 #5
          Texas = Big 12 #6
          Yankee = Big 12 #7

          36 current bowls, at some point we will see contraction as are the 6-6 schools filling the stadiums?

          sure going 7 teams deep in a 12 team conference seems more possible than going 7 teams deep in a 10 team conference.

          will ISU or Baylor travel as well as UNL or CU? Will the “lesser” children draw national media the same way the “bigger” children will. I would see at least one bowl dropping a Big 12 contract to pick up a Pac 12 contract. If the Big 12 has 7 tie ins right now, and the Pac 10 has

          Rose = #1
          Alamo = #2
          Holiday = #3
          Sun = #4
          Las Vegas = Pac#5
          Emerald = #6

          with the adds of CU and Utah, and the deletes of UNL and CU, I can see a flip flop in Big 12 / Pac 12 tie ins.

          • Richard says:

            Actually, the B12 has 8 bowl tie-ins now (don’t forget the TicketCity bowl) so it seems likely that the Pac12 will expand to at least 7 tie-ins and the B12 drop to at most 7 tie-ins.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            Actually, I expect the Big 12 to lose at least one bowl tie-in next time negotiations come up. The league is losing two teams AND is adding five more conference losses among the remaining ten teams. It’s a mathematical certainty that fewer Big 12 teams will be bowl-eligible with its new alignment.

        • Richard says:

          I can definitely see the B12 losing the Insight Bowl (which is in Pac12 territory) to the Pac12, especially since the B12 has lost it’s western edge and Pac12 has gained more schools on its eastern edge. They may lose the Holiday Bowl to the B10 (or the Yankee Bowl, if the B10 wants it).

          • Bullet says:

            Pac could have had Insight anytime, but haven’t wanted it (they had to settle for BE for a while before B10 signed up). Same with B10 and Yankee/Pinstripe. Maybe Pac wants Insight now. Holiday isn’t likely to get a B10 team. B12 is closer and Holiday doesn’t offer the money the Big 10′s Florida bowls offer.

            But Big 12 has a number of bowls it could replace the Insight with. Sun & Independence are former Big 12 bowls that got replaced. Sun would dump ACC or Pac in an instant to get Big 12.

          • Richard says:

            Back when the Insight was taking BE teams, its payout was the minimum. Now it’s a mid-tier bowl. The Pac10 wanted to add the Insight last time and lost out to the B10 & B12.

            Don’t be so sure that the Holiday prefers the B12 over the B10. The B12 schools may be closer, but everyone has to fly in regardless, and once you’re out of driving distance, it’s more about how ardent the fans are. Plus, the B10 has a lot of retirees/fans/alums in Arizona (within driving distance of San Diego). Finally, the Holiday actually wanted to add the B10 last time, but the B10 went with the Gator. With the B10 adding Nebraska (and the B12 losing Nebraska, as well as another western school in Colorado), the Holiday may prefer the B10 6th slot to the B12 5th slot. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the B12 losing the Insight & Holiday bowls and regaining the Sun bowl.

        • m (Ag) says:

          Losing 2 teams and going to 9 conference games means we’ll likely lose at least 1 bowl team and maybe more each year. So the Big 12 will lose at least 1 bowl, though I think this will not be one of the top bowls in their rotation.

          More interestingly, I think we’ll probably get a bit less money for each bowl team the next go round. Nebraska was one of the most desirable teams for bowls, and I think Colorado was fairly desirable in the years they were actually good. So that does knock some value off our bids. However, with the natural inflation that will occur before we negotiate the next contracts, we won’t be able to measure it.

      • Brian says:


        OSU-MI has run in streaks lately. Tressel is 9-1 but Cooper was 2-10-1. The series has been balanced for a while, though.

        All time: 57-44-6 MI
        Since 1919: 44-44-4 (1st OSU win)
        Last 40: 19-19-2
        Last 25: 12-12-1

        • duffman says:


          I agree 100% long term, and why I do not put FSU and Miami in the “brands” yet, but I was speaking of national perception outside of the Big 10 (and hence the slippage in national love for Michigan). Sure you and I can see well beyond a decade, but can mainstream america?

          • Brian says:

            No, mainstream America can’t remember past yesterday.

            The series has been bad for the past 20 years in terms of streaks. Many of those games were good ones, though. There have been 9 single digit wins and a tie in the past 23 games versus 4 blowouts.

            Michigan was just so bad under RichRod that people forget the 1/2 game in 2006.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            I think several people are getting carried away with the notion that only Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma, Texas, and Big Ten and SEC programs are brand-names.

            For example, how could Miami and FSU not be considered “brands.” I realize that Florida stands ahead of them in their own state, but Miami and Florida State are major brand name teams in their own right.

            Miami had an ESPN documentary made about them in 2009, i.e., the recent past, and it got the second-highest ratings in the 30-for-30 series. Their branding is quite successful. At the beginning of a Saints game, for example, when the offensive starters are introduced, the tight end says, “Jeremy Shockey, the U.” Everyone in the audience knows exactly which school he’s talking about.

            Florida State has one of the most recognizable helmets in college football, one of the most famous chants in all of sports (known in Atlanta as the Tomahawk Chop), and one of the most famous former coaches in college football history.

            I may live to 120 and never see FSU or Miami come within 100 games of the win totals for Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, etc., but that doesn’t mean at all that they’re not brand names.

          • Brian says:


            People who remember the 70s and before recognize that the current “brands” were “brands” then, too. It takes more than 20 good years to really join the big boys.

            Look how quickly Miami and FSU faded from the spotlight when they stopped being elite. That doesn’t happen to the real “brands.” And remember, the old “brands” did it in the days when not every game was on TV. Lots of teams cycle through periods of greatness, but the real “brands” are elite for the long haul.

            There are 10 783+ win teams, 8 of which have over a 70% winning percentage and the other two are over 68%. Those are your “brands” – MI, TX, ND, NE, OSU, PSU, OK, AL, TN, USC.

            The next best teams are below 65% and only 3 have 700+ wins (highest is 737). Miami is 50th in total wins, more than 300 behind Michigan. FSU is 83rd in total wins, another 100 behind Miami, although FSU does have a 66% winning percentage.

            That is a clear separation between the true “brands” and everyone else. That doesn’t prevent other teams from becoming current brands, but those tend to rise and fade.

            Newcomers will never catch up in total wins, but they can compete in winning percentage. Example – Boise is 109th in wins with 231 in 25 years but has a 76.8% winning percentage which leads the nation.

          • Richard says:

            On the other hand, Brian, no one cares who won in the ’30′s. Otherwise, Minnesota would be one of the most talked about schools.

          • Brian says:


            Did you see MN on the list?

            Only teams that won all the time made the list. Those programs have proven they can succeed in all different eras.

            FSU will be more of a brand if Jimbo is successful for years. Right now, it is Bobby that’s the brand more than FSU.

            Miami’s fair weather fans hold them back. Hard to be a true brand if you can’t fill your stadium.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            “Look how quickly Miami and FSU faded from the spotlight when they stopped being elite. That doesn’t happen to the real ‘brands.’”


            Recall how quickly OU faded from the spotlight through its years of mediocrity in the 90′s. USC and Texas were were down for even longer, going back to the early 80′s, both in win columns and in the public consciousness. Even Alabama was largely irrelevant between 1992 and Nick Saban’s arrival, with the exception of the Shaun Alexander years.

            Why, then, are those programs credited as “brands” while FSU and Miami are not?

            I also find it hard to understand the notion that the so-called true brand name programs only stay down for a limited time, whereas FSU and Miami may have faded for good.

            Miami has already proven its ability to fade and recover. Between the ’91 championship season and 2000, Miami had some pretty dry years. They came back strong between 2000 and 2003.

            FSU hasn’t really been down for all that long, and has gone 33 years since being quite as rock-bottom as every other program has been at one point or another. You won’t see any 3-9 records for FSU during the “down” 2000′s decade as you would for Notre Dame and Michigan.

          • Brian says:

            It’s not that the brands don’t fade when they’re down, it’s that they have generations of fans that remember them when they were good. The brands stay relevant to those fans. This built in base helps them recover in the public consciousness faster.

            The newcomers are really only brands to the younger generations that only knew them as good. Everyone else drifts away when they are down. All they have to do is stay good, and they’ll be brands too.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            FSU does have generations of fans that remember them when they were good.

            My grandmother, who’s 79, has pulled for FSU since her daughters first enrolled at FSU. She doesn’t remember much of FSU football before Bowden because there wasn’t much worth remembering. She and my grandfather, like thousands of Floridians born in the 1920′s and 30′s, found it very easy to pull for a team coached by a very likable southern man around their same age. I’m pretty sure she’d say FSU is one of college football’s brand names.

            The Baby Boomers, also not a part of the younger generation, has known FSU as a winning football program since they were in college or since shortly after. My mom graduated during FSU’s dark ages of the mid-70′s, but she’s only known winning FSU football teams since she was 24 years old. She’s now 57. My father went from graduation at FSU in 1975 to retirement in 2009 and knew only one winning season during his career: 1976.

            Obviously, generations younger than my grandparents and parents have known nothing but winning seasons for their whole lives, myself included. FSU finished in the top five every year from kindergarten to my freshman year of college.

            In the past 30 years, FSU, Miami, and Florida have been more successful than all of your “brand names,” with the obvious exception of Nebraska.

          • Brian says:


            That’s great for your family, but I could find plenty of people the same age not from Florida that would disagree. The ‘Noles were largely nobodies before the 14 year run ’87-’00 (much like a Boise) to much of the country. The constant losses to Miami also devalued them for a while.

            Oh, and OSU also has more wins and a better winning percentage than FSU over the past 30 years. Of the 10 brands I listed, 7 were in the top 11 for winning percentage for the last 30 years, the other were 14, 20 and 22 (ND and AL were the stragglers). Like I said, they’ve proven to be good in all eras.

            If only the last 30 years counted, then Miami, FL and FSU would all be brands. I just don’t believe that fundamental premise.

        • duffman says:


          going to the basketball model and IU as example

          early on (back in the 20′s) IU owned UK, until the 90′s it was more even, and since it has been heavily UK (to the point that there has been talk of canceling the series). Now wether IU and UK hate each other is not as valid as them continuing to keep the game alive, as stopping it allows another conference to grow in its place (note the rise of duke vs unc fits nicely within the decline of IU vs UK). As an older person I can see the value of the long term history, but many younger folks just see in 5 year windows or less. If Crean can build a solid base of 4 year “local” boys to combat the 1 and done “national” boys at UK, I can see a competitive and balanced future, which will translate to greater national media awareness and demand. I guess my point is if Michigan can not win a game against tOSU sooner that later, it will find itself in a similar fate to IU basketball when it comes to national viewer attraction. It is just my observation that the younger the audience, the shorter the attention span and influence on long term history.

          • Brian says:

            Crean will never cheat enough to compete with Calipari.

          • Bullet says:

            Notre Dame’s dismal ratings this year were interesting. I wonder if their brand is facing serious damage with the short term focus.

            Over the last 10 years ND, MI, UNL and FSU haven’t made the final top 5. PSU has only made it once. But then AL’s only finish in the final top 5 was last year. Those 5 schools have had some rough years in this decade. Of course, USC, OU and Texas had some rough years in the 90s and Ohio St. did also (late 80s?/early 90s?). Those 4 schools have nearly half the top 5 finishes this decade.

        • StvInIL says:

          Some of these storied rivalries aren’t what they a promoted to be all the time. No, not that I would disparage the UM vs. tOSU rivalry. I do want to point out that when they get one sided, they kind of seis to be what they are billed at. For example, The Chicago Bears and Green Bay packers rivalry. This is a much ballyhooed rivalry. My sense/memory is that back in the days when the Bears had Walter Payton, there were no rivalry, it was bears all the time. Likewise when the packers had Bret Favre, it was Packers all the time. For me rivalries are better when the records are close to being even for a given period. As well they are more intense when there are home losses.

          • Brian says:

            I think essentially all rivalries are overhyped by the media. If you don’t have a personal stake in the outcome, all that matters is quality play. No rivalry stays great in that sense for a long period of time. The rest is the amount of bad blood and times when the stakes were high.

            MI will return to greatness eventually, and the rivalry will perk up. Maybe 2013.

          • duffman says:


            as an old guy it is amazing how “rivals” happen. I was often at a game nobody attended early on, and it turned out to be totally exciting for one reason or another. Then folks came in later hoping to see what they had missed the first time. Just look how big the checkerdome was when UK, Duke, Arkansas, and ND was when that final Four happened, and not look at the size of the Final Four. If you were lucky enough to be at that game, you got an experience when the schools had a higher percentage of the seats, the media was less “programmed”, and the voices were much louder that the dull corporate folks who sit there now. I have always advocated early adoption as that is when you get the most genuine and fun sports events.

      • Richard says:

        BTW, I’m not sure about brands, but in terms of the most attractive coaching jobs (because of money, brand, and access to recruiting), I’d say they are
        tip-top: Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia
        1.5ish (some people may put these schools in the top tier): tOSU, PSU, ND (note that Urban Meyer turned down ND for Florida because he felt he had a better chance of winning a national title there), USC, OU, FSU, LSU
        2nd: Michigan, Nebraska, Tennessee, Miami
        3rd: TAMU, UCLA, UNC, Clemson, Auburn

        2nd and 3rd are very close. You almost have to divide in to 2 groups (those that are in great recruiting grounds and those that are not), because comparing between the 2 groups of schools is very difficult.

        • Brian says:

          You have Georgia too high. They have much less history of success but their fans expect the moon. GA is well behind CA, TX and FL for recruiting, and just ahead of OH. History says most of your tier 1.5 and 2 schools are really tier 1.

          FL, TX, USC
          OSU, OU, AL, FSU, ND
          LSU, GA, PSU, MI

          I’d call them all elite jobs.

          • Richard says:

            I don’t think Georgia’s too high. I’m talking more about potential (thus the desirability of a coaching job) instead of what’s happened in the past. They’re amongst the top schools when it comes to football money (http://www.trackemtigers.com/2009/6/15/910631/top-10-college-revenue-producing), they have a good brand, and are in a great recruiting situation. It’s true that Georgia doesn’t have the population of Florida, Texas, or Cali (and thus don’t produce the number of elite recruits those 3 states do), but they also don’t have to fight off 2 other football powers (like Florida does) or some 8 other FBS schools instate (like Texas does) or 3 other schools in its own conference & fan apathy (as USC does). In the state of Georgia, GTech’s clearly second to Georgia. They really should have done more with their resources than they have.

          • @Richard – Other schools that have managed to do less with more besides Georgia (in terms of recruiting location): UCLA, Texas A&M, Illinois, Rutgers, Maryland. UNC might deserve to be on that list, too. These all seem to be schools in constant “sleeping giant” mode, where the argument is that if a coach could just keep some in-state recruits, they’d be national powers.

            Schools that have done more with less: Iowa, Nebraska, Oregon, Stanford (in terms of the stricter academic standards). I’d also like to know how South Carolina always manages to pony up such huge money for big-name coaches. There must be more to that than just being in the SEC.

          • Brian says:


            GA is good for recruiting, but everyone comes to Atlanta for recruits. There are so many transplants in Atlanta that the loyalty to UGA isn’t as high as you would think. FSU takes a lot from south Georgia, too, since it’s closer.

            There’s a reason why UGA hasn’t won more often. They just aren’t an elite program. They’re a more successful version of Illinois. The fans don’t accept this, of course.

          • Bullet says:

            UGA ought to do better in Georgia in recruiting than they do. Just saw a top 50 list. They have 10 of the 45 committed and those are spread throughout the list, not just at the top. 4 of top 6 were uncommitted still. All the surrounding state teams recruit in Georgia. 34/45 committed + all 5 of the uncommitted were going to Georgia or surrounding states. UK had 4 of the other 11. Rest were spread around-Stanford, ND, Cal, Michigan St., Syracuse, Cincinnati, VT. Auburn, S. Carolina, TN and GT all had 4 or 5. Miami, FSU, Alabama took a few. Clemson didn’t have any but were in the running for the top 3.

            If UGA dominated Georgia, they would spend most years in the top 10.

            I wouldn’t put UGA as a job in the top tier, but it certainly has the potential to be there.

            And I think FSU and Miami were so dominant in the 80s and 90s that they are “brands.” Anytime they are good, they get in the conversation, just as Michigan and Notre Dame would-and their dry spells are a lot worse than Miami or FSU. Over the last 10 years, Miami has more top 5 finishes than the entire Big 10 excluding Ohio St. Over 25 years (which is a long time) FSU has more top 5 finishes than any two Big 10 schools. FSU & Miami together have more top 5 finishes (24) than any conference except the Big 12 (also 24) and SEC (27). Top 5 or 10 is what the casual fan notices.

          • Brian says:


            FSU and Miami are brands to the younger generations, but not to everybody. The true brands have been good for long enough that they are brands to everybody. That’s the difference. All they have to do is stay good for a while longer, and then I’ll agree with you.

          • Bullet says:

            Not all the older fans would exclude them, as I certainly don’t qualify as younger. I actually remember seeing IU play in the Rose Bowl (its not just a legend-they actually did make it).

          • Brian says:


            I think it is fair to say that FtT readers are not representative of the typical CFB fan. I have more faith in your rationality than the average fan’s.

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Colin Cowherd made a great argument for Texas as the #1 coaching job. His key points:

          - UT is in a desirable location for a coach and his family to live. The weather’s great, the city’s great, the school’s great, etc.

          - UT is in a great state for recruiting, and it has more of a leg-up on its in-state rivals for recruits than Florida does on Miami or FSU, both of which are easily capable of out-recruiting UF.

          - UT has vast financial resources that it’s even more willing to use than other power programs.

          - The fanbase & media react with a greater sense of reason towards the UT coach when he has a bad season than SEC fans and media do, yet there’s still a ton of passion and support for the program in bad times, compared with more lukewarm attitudes at a place like USC.

          I don’t agree w/ everything Cowherd says but on this one he seems pretty spot-on.

          • Richard says:

            Agreed, except for the support part; they’re pretty fair-weather in Austin, so when the Longhorns do badly, attendance drops off just like it does in Troy.

            Still, Texas probably belongs in its own tier on top.

            I should probably move TAMU up to the second tier as well or even 1.5. There’s no reason for them to perform worse than FSU.

          • Bullet says:

            Texas isn’t anywhere near as fair weathered as USC. USC has varied in recent years from 57k to 91k. Texas has been very close to capacity for at least 30 years. Texas may not maintain the 100k if they have another 5-7 year, but they will still be in the 80s.

            I wouldn’t put it quite as strong as some of the SEC schools. There is a little bit of UT being Austin’s “pro” team. And while Texas fans aren’t quite as quick to jump on coaches as SEC fans, they aren’t that far behind. OC Greg Davis has been reviled almost since day 1 of the Mack Brown era despite putting up more points than any Texas teams in history (until this year).

          • @Michael in Indy – I agree. I’d put Texas as the #1 coaching job for all of those reasons and then Florida as #2.

            @Brian – Your tiers were essentially what I was thinking except that I’d swap FSU and Michigan for sure, while PSU probably ought to be kicked up a tier, too. FSU has the location advantage for recruiting, but Michigan has a certain historical mystique that only Notre Dame can match along with significantly more financial resources (and it’s not as if though UM has a program that’s completely removed from its past successes). I look at Michigan being at a point where Alabama was during the early 2000s – it might be temporarily down, yet it’s still the highest profile job in its own powerful conference (even if rivals such as Ohio State and Florida, respectively, are located in better recruiting territories). Meanwhile, even though the Northeast isn’t nearly as fruitful as the Southeast for recruiting overall, PSU effectively controls its entire home region with fairly weak head-to-head competition, which is a major advantage and why I think it’s a “tier 2″ job. Tennessee probably fits into your 3rd tier. UCLA and Texas A&M are perpetually in “the right coach could make this program into a superpower” category.

          • Brian says:


            I raised FSU precisely because they are a fairly close #2 in a great recruiting state (much like OU in Texas). As brands, I would move MI and PSU up, but not as jobs. MI and PSU were lower because MI and PA are slightly lesser recruiting grounds and OSU has been dominating the conference. PSU also suffers from having so much of its success under 1 coach. I left TN off only because of the lack of strong recruiting grounds. I wasn’t trying to be all inclusive.

          • Richard says:


            Actually, I think PSU should be tOSU’s equal. Brand-wise, they’re about the same. Money-wise, tOSU has an edge, but that’s mostly because PSU (for whatever reason) isn’t spending to their potential. Recruiting-wise, Pennsylvania is as good a recruiting ground as Ohio. Granted, tOSU doesn’t have a recruiting rival like Pitt in-state, but PSU also has access to more talent outside it’s home state. as I’ve noted before, they’re the only B10 school that borders fertile recruiting areas outside the B10 footprint (in MD/DC/VA & NJ). Plus, as the dominant brand in the northeast, they should get good players from NY & New England as well.

            PSU really hasn’t reached their potential in the latter JoePa years. Then again, they’re not paying JoePa a premier salary either. As no one there can push him out, they’ll likely rejoin the arms race after he decides to retire.

          • Brian says:


            I disagree on several points. Please note that those tiers were made based on small differences. I’m not claiming OSU is much better than PSU.

            1. OH is better for recruiting than PA. Yes, PSU has proximity to other states but they have to fight a lot of other schools for those kids. Also, OSU takes a lot of the elite western PA kids.

            2. PSU historically has won less often than OSU while playing an easier schedule (eastern independents) for most of their history.

            3. You may feel that PSU should be OSU’s equal, but they’ve had over 100 years. Perhaps you’re seeing potential that isn’t quite there.

            4. I’d say PSU is not quite OSU’s equal as a brand. In part because OSU has been a little more successful, in part because OSU/MI, in part because PSU’s accomplishments as an independent were devalued due to their easier schedule, in part because they didn’t instantly dominate the B10 like many outsiders thought they would. I think they’ll benefit from moving past JoePa in this, because I think he’s bigger than the school at this point and that hurts the brand.

          • duffman says:


            if you remember my earlier posts about top 5 under performers, TAMU was at the top of my list. when I did the detailed study they have had some of the greatest coaches at TAMU, but failed to keep them! Hence, TAMU is far from a destination school even tho they have all the other elements.

    • StvInIL says:

      Michigan man or no, Miles has a great situation at LSU and in some ways a much more manageable one. I think this and not alumni loyalty that decides this one.
      There are a few guys that have not proven to be great pro coaches but maybe great college coaches. Why? Because they are a little old school and their expectations of discipline do not transfer as well to today’s pro athletes.
      I think of Mike Singletary. Not a Michigan man but a good man and football player with pedigree.

      • Brian says:

        Well, that great situation was looking to fire him as recently as the middle of this year.

        The coach who rebuilds MI will win a lot of loyalty. Facing the challenge and helping your alma mater has to have some appeal.

        I’m not sure Miles is the right coach for MI right now, but he seems to be the leader so far.

  97. Richard says:

    Great link in Frank’s tweet on oversigning:

    Watch the (ESPN) video in that article (especially).

    Not sure why other conferences would object to everyone adopting the Big Ten rules. If everyone has to follow the same rules, then there’s no advantage to be gained.

    • Bullet says:

      What’s really inexcusable (besides their cowardice in refusing to talk to the athletes in person), is doing it in mid or late summer when the players have very few options. If there was an NCAA rule requiring you to have your roster by sometime in May that would deal with a lot of this. It would also discourage signing marginal academic candidates, who realistically ought to be in a junior college.

      If the NCAA was serious, they would look at the issue with upper classmen. Besides having limited options for scholarships, they will likely lose a lot of credits by transferring.

      The only reason for having as many as 85 scholarships is to allow for mistakes in recruiting, whether academic or talent or effort.

      There historically were a whole lot more “washouts.” Bear Bryant’s 1st A&M team lost about 2/3 of its players. Texas routinely signed huge numbers of players. Pitt’s class with Tony Dorsett in the 70s was the impetous for scholarship limits as they had over 100 freshmen. So the SEC is continuing historical practices. That doesn’t mean they should be continued.

      • Pat says:

        Bullet, couldn’t agree with you more. Hopefully, the NCAA will be forced to clean up this mess if one of the lawsuits recently filed moves forward. I would like to see the SEC put back on a level playing field with the B10. I’m tired of all the recent B10 bashing.

        • Bullet says:

          Another option would be to not allow them to replace any scholarship revoked by the college to upperclassmen. They wouldn’t be so quick to revoke those scholarships. I might suggest 1/2 to 1/3 for each one revoked, but that might encourage schools to get rid of more players to get the full scholarship back.

    • m (Ag) says:

      I know a lot of people wouldn’t support it, but I’d like to raise scholarship limits to 95 (or 100) and end oversigning at the same time.

      I don’t have a problem with the big money going to big college programs, but I’d like some of that being used to pay for more scholarships. While some schools might cut other men’s athletic scholarships to reach the new limit (and other schools will stay with their current numbers), there will be an overall increase in the number of scholarships given each year. With title 9, that also means more women’s scholarships.

      I know other people have supported the exact opposite (cutting scholarships), which I think is a horrible idea. Give more people a chance to attend school on athletic scholarships. Even if they don’t apply themselves to their academics, they’ll generally be better off than if they had no exposure to higher education.

      • Richard says:

        Money isn’t free. 1 more athletic scholarship mean one less academic scholarship or grant for financial aid. I’d rather give out scholarships/tuition support to those students who perform better in the classroom than those who perform better on the football field.

        • m (Ag) says:

          It is money, but it would easily come out of the football budget. It would simply mean that football coaches or facilities spending would not go up quite as rapidly for a few years.

          • Richard says:

            It wouldn’t come out of coaches’ salaries or facilities because competition would keep those numbers high. I find it doubtful that if the football scholarship limit was cut to 75 from 85 (or raised to 95) that it would have any impact on attendance or ticket prices or donations (or coaches’ salaries or facilities spending). Essentially, then, the difference would be more/less profit/loss for the athletic department, meaning more or less money going to the academic side, and I’m always in support of more money to the academic side.

          • Eric says:

            Actually if the limit was raised the difference might come out of recruiting. You can afford a few more misses with a higher number.

            Reducing the number has definitely been one of the biggest rule changes. It’s made smaller programs more competitive at the expense of the bigger programs as talent is more spread around. The big boys can still dominate, but the need for good coaching (and good recruiting) is higher than ever (part of the reason salaries are so high).

            I definitely wouldn’t lower the limit anymore. The best balance is when you’ve got a lot of team competive, but can still expect the big names teams to regularly be good and draw in a lot of viewers. We’ve already gotten to the point were Wake Forest, Stanford, and Northwestern can be competitive in their conferences and Boise State is considered a top team. On the flip side, big programs have spent a lot more time down than would have been the case in the past. Reduce the scholarships anymore and I think things will have come too far.

            Personally, I’d be in favor of raising it a little (to 90 or 95).

          • Richard says:


            The facts don’t support the assertion that the 85-scholarship limit made Stanford & Northwestern competitive. Stanford was always competitive, even pre-limit. NU’s big breakout year was 1995 (and they’ve been competitive ever since). The 85 scholarship limit came in 1994.

      • Brian says:

        Several problems with this:

        1. Further separates the haves from the have nots

        2. Will force other men’s sports to go away since schools can’t afford yet another women’s sport (thus no net scholarship gain, just a shift of sports)

        3. Will reduce the parity that helped build the smaller schools (10 more studs at OSU, USC, FL, TX, etc means lesser teams at TCU, Boise, etc)

        4. Will waste a lot of academic resources on non-deserving, unqualified “students” instead of students who actually deserve to be there

        Proof you don’t need oversigning: Florida

        • m (Ag) says:

          There is a lot of separation between the haves and the have nots. That is a good thing. If you don’t have a closed system (like the NFL) it’s better to have tiers with teams on similar levels, instead of 120 equal teams.

          People should worry about parity within conferences, not parity between conferences.

          • Brian says:

            When the separation gets too large, they’ll have to split divisions again. How small do people want I-A to be?

        • Bullet says:

          Even UNL dropped some men’s sports a couple years back. There’s a lot of pressure on the budgets of all but a handful of schools. And oversigning is about gaming the rules. It would be the same issue at 95 or 100. The NFL got along fine for many years with rosters of 40 and 7 on the taxi squad. The reasons for 85 are primarily about giving the bigger programs room for more errors. You can redshirt 20, have 10 injured, 5-10 fail academically and still have 45-50 regular players not even counting walk-ons (which many schools use for kickers and special teams).

    • PSUGuy says:

      Its easy to see why they don’t want to adopt those rules…it would eliminate a huge advantage those schools have.

      Also, I’d like to enforce a graduation limit on post-season (and therefor NC) competition. If you don’t graduate 60% (say from the past three years, averaged) then you can’t go to a bowl game. I mean they are STUDENT athletes right?

  98. Gizmo says:

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    I have often wondered why everyone seems to insist that the existing bowl structure must be included or used for any playoff system. The fact is that today all the bowls are irrelevant excepting the BCS chapionship game. The remaining ones are post season consolation games in effect, and I don’t see much reason to continue to elevate them to something else.

    Someone mentioned that in most every sport, playoff games are home games for the higher seeded team. I also believe this is important because fans are not going to travel for 3 straight neutral site games. It’s simply cost prohibitive, and if attendance is a needed factor to have these games in the first place, a home game solution would be needed, at the very least for the initial rounds.

    Personally, I think that the existing system for the BCS rankings works fine. It has a bit of a subjective human element, and an objective computer element. I think most of us would agree that the top 8 teams would be ok in an 8 team playoff. Sure, there’s always some discrepancy like a lack of AQ’s, or someone who didn’t win their conference championship being included, or God forbid, that number 9 ranked team being left out but for the most part, it’s the top 8 that are pretty clearly deserving of the shot. Why can we not have playoff games throughout December that would be independant of the Bowl Games, other than the BCS championship?

    This year it would be:

    1) Auburn
    2) Oregon
    3) TCU
    4) Stanford
    5) Wisconsin
    6) tOSU
    7) Oklahoma
    8) Arkansas

    In the playoffs you have The Pac 10 Champion, The SEC Champion, an At Large non-AQ, Pac 10 Runner Up, Big 10 Champion, Big 12 Champion, and SEC runner up.

    They would be seeded by ranking, and the higher seed would host the game. Games to be the weekend after CCG’s. Teams that do not progress to the NC game are guaranteed a slot in the (5) BCS bowls, assuming that the Cotton is added. This means that there is little pressure for these teams to be relegated to an early Demcember Bowl. Each conference champion that is guaranteed a slot today, is still guaranteed a slot, and some factor would have to be given to specific rankings of NON-AQ teams gaining an automatic birth.

    Dec 10th, 2010
    Auburn vs Arkansas @ Auburn Oregon vs Oklahoma @ Oregon
    TCU vs tOSU @ TCU Stanford vs Wisonsin @ Stanford

    Lets then presume the winners of those games are the higher seeds for arguments sake:

    Dec 17th, 2010
    Auburn vs TCU @ Auburn Oregon vs Stanford @ Oregon

    Oregon / Stanford becomes a rematch of a regular seasons game, as was Aubrn vs Arkansas. This is less than desireable, but I don’t see how any sysem would remove that possibility entirely. Even if you try to stack it to be less likely, it can and eventually will happen, so I prefer to simply take the easy road.

    Now, sticking with the higher seed wins, we get Auburn vs Oregon in the National Title game.

    The remaining teams are then slotted into their respective bowl games, and this allows the Rose to continue to stage their Big 10 / Pac 10 game where applicable. We would want to avoid a rematch of a playoff game in this case though.

    Rose: tOSU (at large / sub for Big 10 Champ) vs Stanford (sub for Pac 10 champ)
    Orange: Virginia Tech (ACC champ) vs Michigan State (at large)
    Sugar: Arkansas (sub for SEC champ) vs Wisconsin (at large)
    Fiesta: Uconn (Big East Champ) vs Boise State (non AQ)
    Cotton: Oklahoma (Big 12 champ) vs TCU (Non AQ – Autobid from playoffs)

    The top 10 of the end of season BCS are represented, along wiht the lower ranked AQ Conference champions (UCONN and Va Tech)

    The Big 10 gets in three teams, coincidentally, all three of whom shared the conference title.
    SEC and Pac 10 gets in two.
    Non-AQ’s get in two. (makes finishing in the top 10 important, and would be the requirement for ND as well)
    Big 12, ACC, Big East each get one.

    So.. we have two more teams that get in, benefitting Boise and Michigan State.

    The playoff games are at home locations of the higher seeds. The bowl games are no more or less relevant, and the successful teams are still rewarded at the end of the season for achieving. Non-AQ schools finishing in the Top 10 have a real chance and high probability of making it into the BCS caliber games.

    The BCS type games then go back to being played on January 1st of each year, with the BCS championship being staged on the following Sat or Sunday as the calendar permits for dual hosting.

    This would have put the Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta, and Rose back on Saturday January 1st. Then the championship would be help on Saturday January 7th at the dual hosting site.

    I think this is just as elegant as trying to use the bowls to host the games, and doesn’t push out lower tier teams so that team A can play in 3 bowl games in 3 weeks. Games are still over before Christmas and the start of the traditional bowl season, and only the BCS quality bowls are in question, but become filled as teams drop from the playoff ranks.

    I guess I just like the KISS rule, and I find this extremely simple and not game breaking. It has potential to generate $$ and the home team advantage to the higher seeds rewards their superios season results. Finances would have to be worked out of course, so that the traveling teams gets X percent of the revenue from the game to cover their costs, etc, but the TV bonanza would be big too. I’m not sure who would govern if not the NCAA, and for all I care it can be the BCS. The TV money from this type of two week event following the championship games would be huge. Conferences represented would get their payouts, etc.

    Just seems to elegant to probably work.. but I like the simplicity.

    • Richard says:

      Ask the people actually involved (players, coaches, ADs, presidents, boosters, etc.) if bowl games are irrelevant.

    • Richard says:

      Oh, and while you obviously don’t care about the bodies and increased potential for injury of the student-athletes (who don’t get compensated extra for the extra games), I think many of the presidents do. Not to mention that an 8-team playoff _would_ deemphasize the regular season. The extra money would have to be pretty substantial to make up for those 2 factors (especially since deemphasizing the regular season would have a monetary impact as well).

    • Bullet says:

      I think a playoff would effectively kill the major bowls. That is my reason for including them. Sending a team to the Rose Bowl after losing a playoff game is like the consolation games that used to be played in the NCAA tournament in both the regionals and finals. I think Duffman’s 78 championship he mentioned may have been the last time there was a consolation game (but it could have been earlier). They dropped them because the players and fans didn’t care. Bowls have trouble getting fans of teams who lose ccgs.

      So if the playoffs don’t include the Big 4, they become like the Ticket City Bowl.

      • Eric says:

        The de-emphasis on bowl games in playoff system is actually the reason, I think, if you wanted both to prosper, you’d have to have the playoff after the bowls (all bowls on January 1st or before), or do very slight changes like a small plus one.

  99. jj says:

    Oregon has the coolest uniforms. MSU needs a sugar daddy.

    Why does it seem that the under is always the right bet when 2 high scoring teams play?

    • Brian says:

      Those things are hideous. The unis are one of the reasons I can’t take them seriously.

      • jj says:

        I think auburn ought to tale them pretty seriously. That 4th and go was the stupidest thing ever. Play worked, but just kick the damn field goal. WTF?

        • jj says:

          Well. What the hell do I know?!

        • Brian says:

          I was glad they went for it, it’s the right decision under almost all circumstances. I just think they outsmarted themselves with the play call. Running is safer, especially when they have struggled to stop you. Passes, especially to non-primary receivers, carry a lot of risk in that situation.

          • Richard says:

            Eh, even Cam Newton wouldn’t be able to get 3 yards against 5 gang-tackling linemen. I liked the call.

          • Brian says:

            They were at the one. Between Newton and Dyer, they would have made it. Also, I wouldn’t mind the pass as much if it goes to a receiver. They threw to a backup RB with 5 catches all year.

  100. Richard says:

    Tons of mistakes so far. In the first quarter, besides the 3 interceptions, I counted a dropped pass by Auburn and 2 fumbles by Cam Newton (the one that was recovered by Auburn, and another one when Newton was sacked, he lost the ball before he was down, but the refs didn’t review that for whatever reason (they blew the whistle already?)

    • Brian says:

      How about Malzahn outsmarting himself on 4th and goal. Nice pass, Cam.

      • Richard says:

        I thought that was the right call. Play worked; Cam just didn’t execute. Plus, even if it doesn’t work, you pin them back (which got them a safety & short field setting up the touchdown). So far, neither offense has been in point-a-minute mode, but Chizik & company probably thought (rightly, IMHO) that field goals weren’t going to win this game.

        • Brian says:

          Going for it was the right call. The play call was weak. I’d prefer a run, but play action is OK. Throwing to a backup RB with 5 catches all year on 4th down in the NC game?

          • Brian says:

            Equally weak, an inside hand off on 4th and goal at the one. That works a lot better between the 20s. Especially against Auburn’s DTs, you need the ability to power run to try to run up the middle there. I assume they have no faith in Thomas in the red zone based on the play calls.

          • Bullet says:

            That deep handoff that led to the safety was a pretty risky play, especially considering how the line was getting no push. James still could have made it out if he hadn’t turned to try to go outside.

          • Richard says:

            A lot of their goal line calls were bad. They were inside the Auburn 6 yard line 8 times. They ran it 6 times (including all 4 times when they got stopped on the goalline stand) and passed it twice. Both times they passed, they scored (the TD and 2-point convernsion). They should have passed at least half those downs. By the 3rd quarter, they should have figured out that running against the middle of the Auburn line wasn’t going to be successful, and near the endzone, the spread doesn’t open up enough holes against Auburn’s fast defenders. They should have designed pass plays (fades, shovel pitches, ha