This was a very pleasant surprise:
What if fighting through the regular season and earning a win in the Big Ten championship game meant … hosting Alabama at the Horseshoe in December? Or bringing Oklahoma to the Big House after Christmas? Or making Les Miles and LSU drop into Madison, Wis., with the snowflakes?
That’s the idea the Big Ten is pondering, according to the Chicago Tribune, with one of the greatest roadblocks to an expanded college football playoff now thinking of ways to turn the postseason toward the Big Ten’s favor.
The specifics of one percolating Big Ten plan, according to the Tribune, are intriguing: the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the final BCS standings hosting semifinal games on their home campuses. But the general theme — the Big Ten is open to a playoff — is the greater consideration.
Like most other fans of college football, I’ve been agitating for a playoff system for years, and unfortunately the Big Ten has been one of the roadblocks to reforming the idiotic BCS system.
The best part of the proposal from my perspective is the home stadium proposal. I prefer an eight-team playoff, where we would have a home stadium advantage for the top four teams, with the semis being played in two of the bowls.
But this proposal is also a giant leap forward, and it doesn’t disrupt the bowls at all.
With the home stadium proposal, we would eliminate the massive advantage built into the current bowl and BCS system for the SEC and other southern teams like USC and Miami. Sure, the SEC is the best conference, but they can build their teams strictly for warm weather. Now there would at least be the possibility that a speed team from the south would have to prove they could beat and Ohio State or Wisconsin on the road.
The top two teams would have a huge advantage with home games, but that’s the point.
Here’s another quote:
“We have to listen to the fans; we cannot be tone-deaf,” Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips, the chair of the Big Ten’s Administrators Council, told the Tribune. “The Big Ten is open and curious.”
For the first time, I’m actually optimistic that college football is going to fix the BCS and create a playoff. The BCS was a huge improvement over the old system, as we got some epic matchups like Ohio State/Miami and USC/Texas for the National Championship. But there were too many years where the system fell short.
If we can go to four games, then moving to eight games in the future won’t be too difficult.
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