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Just when it appeared as if college football’s decision makers had finally come to their senses and approved a postseason playoff to crown the national champion starting in 2014, the old-fashioned Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences throw out incredibly stupid ideas.Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney says one of the proposals under consideration would be to give preference to conference champions ranked in the top six, according to CBS Sports.
Under this proposal the top four conference champions ranked among the top six would automatically qualify for the four-team playoff. If the four spots can’t be filled by conference champions alone, the remaining spots would be filled by the highest ranked non-conference teams.
Delaney’s preferred method is clearly just a way of making sure his increasingly irrelevant conference has a team that qualifies for the playoff, while minimising the number of SEC teams that can make it each year.
Then there’s Delaney’s fellow Rose Bowl mate, Pac-12 conference commissioner Larry Scott, who prefers something even dumber: ONLY conference champions be considered in a four-team playoff.
Like the outdated bowl system, giving conference champions preference or exclusivity in a college football playoff makes zero sense.
Both ideas are intended to maintain the “value” of college football’s regular season. Any notion of a “valuable” college football season was thrown out the door when all these teams started scheduling patsies from the Sun Belt Conference and MAC, however.
Moving away from the bowl system and toward a playoff is supposed to make sure the BEST teams play each other for a shot at the championship, regardless of conference affiliation.
Delaney and Scott’s preferences revert back to the automatic qualifiers and non-automatic qualifiers system the current BCS is stuck in. Last week’s exciting news was said to include a removal of the AQ and non-AQ statuses. These ideas preserve it in the worst way possible, covertly.
The top four teams, whether that be determined by the final BCS standings or a committee a la college basketball, should qualify for a playoff without any consideration as to which conference they hail from.
If that means four SEC teams make the playoff, so be it. (Note: as late as November 26 last season, three SEC schools — LSU, Alabama, Arkansas — were ranked in the top three.)
College football is moving away from its antiquated system. Delaney and Scott need to either get with the program or move on.
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