Big Ten Presidents' Official Stance: League Prefers Current BCS Model For Postseason
Big Ten conference presidents said that “they prefer the status quo when it comes to the Bowl Championship Series,” but if changes “are to be made, they would prefer a plus-one game to a four-team playoff,” according to George Sipple of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. However, Univ. of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman said that they “aren't opposed to considering other options.” Perlman said, "If the Big Ten presidents were to vote today, we would vote for the status quo. We think it best serves college football. We think it best protects our student-athletes. I don’t think any of us are anxious ... to ask our student-athletes to play a 15th game.” He added that the presidents “also are realistic that some change is likely to happen.” Perlman: “Our second preference would be for a plus-one.” He said beyond those two preferences, the Big Ten “would certainly be in position to consider a four-team playoff, inside the bowls, that would preserve our connection to the Rose Bowl. ... We’ve tried not to put a stake in the ground.” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “I think everybody recognizes that the present poll system is not a good proxy, because it’s flawed, it’s not transparent, it has people with a stake in the outcome voting." Delany, regarding the current BCS rankings method, said, “A computer doesn’t have an eye, so the eye test is missing. If there’s an injury, that can’t be taken into consideration. So we’re open for discussion” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/5).
THE HUMAN ELEMENT: In Cleveland, Doug Lesmerises writes a selection committee “should be used to select the playoff teams, not anything like the current BCS formula that includes two polls and six computer ratings.” Lesmerises noted Delany's comments regarding a desired selection committee is where he "used his strongest language,” and where he “may have found a rallying point around which everyone in college football can gather to compromise.” BCS Exec Dir Bill Hancock said, “The full commissioners' group has discussed changing the selections method, and folks are interested in a new method in the future” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 6/5).
SHOTS FIRED: ESPN.com’s Brian Bennett wrote the league is "hardly standing in the way of a four-team playoff, and this after being viewed for years as being one of the sport's main postseason obstructionists.” Delany has “absorbed widespread catcalls from misinformed people and SEC figureheads who accused him of trying to tilt the process toward his favor by demanding only conference champions -- even though he never really said that.” Delany yesterday said, "I totally agree we should have the four best teams." Bennett wrote, “Perhaps that will placate the SEC loudmouths who couldn't pull themselves away from Chick-Fil-A long enough to bother reading the actual specifics of what the Big Ten proposed” (ESPN.com, 6/4).
SET IN THEIR WAYS: SI.com’s Stewart Mandel wrote by stating that his fellow league presidents' official preference for college football's postseason is the status quo, Perlman "ensured that the rest of the country will continue to view the conference of Legends and Leaders as a stodgy, out-of-touch band of cigar-smoking reactionaries.” Mandel: “This is an embarrassing development for Big Ten fans, the great majority of whom embrace change and couldn't view the college football world more differently than their leagues' overlords” (SI.com, 6/4). ESPN's Joe Schad said the Big Ten "understands this is not realistic" because what the conference is "trying to do is set up a strategic scenario whereupon they have some chips that they can play in getting some of the things that might serve to be in their best interests." He added, "But they understand that they are too far down the road to turn back" ("College Football Live," ESPN, 6/4).
SHARE THE WEALTH: ESPN.com’s Bennett reported Delany confirmed that the Big Ten “would distribute a record" $284M to its 12 teams at the end of this fiscal year. The league “released its current financial data for the first time,” and the $284M works out to about $23.7M per team. Nebraska, which officially joined the Big Ten last year, “is not receiving a full share from the league, and reportedly won't do so" until '17 (ESPN.com, 6/4). Delany, regarding possible conference expansion, said, “One of the most underrated qualities about any conference is its stability and the glue that holds it together. And I think whenever you go beyond a certain level, you're running into possible dilution issues. ... The larger you are, the less you play each other. The less you play each other, the less tradition you have and the less those games tend to mean, if they can't be repeated over and over" (ESPN.com, 6/4).