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Finally! A great college football playoff proposal from the Big Ten

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

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.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Bowls turn into track meets

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith scores a touchdown during first half action, between the Clemson Tigers, and the West Virginia Mountaineers January 4th 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. . UPI Photo/Susan Knowles.

All of this scoring can be fun, but after a while it’s just not as impressive when it seems like everyone is doing it. After West Virginia dismantled Clemson 70-33 last night, the whole bowl system looks even more ridiculous. Perhaps if these games meant something we’d see some more defense.

I think it’s a joke that Alabama gets a rematch with LSU in the National Championship game, but at least those teams know something about how to play defense.

The BCS hits a new low

Oklahoma State Cowboys Joseph Randle (1) celebrates his first quarter touchdown with teammate Tracy Moore against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri on October 22, 2011. Oklahoma State won the game 45-24. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Has there ever been a worse year in college football? Even before the season started all we heard about were stupid scandals involving silly things like tattoos. Then we had the tragic events at Penn State. And now we have the annual joke called the BCS, though this year it’s worse than usual. While many of us will concede that the SEC has been producing the best teams in recent years, do we really need to watch two of them play for the national championship?

This system is so lame and corrupt that you have to be either a complete idiot or an overpaid hack on one of the BCS bowl committees to defend it.

Hopefully T. Boone Pickens will start throwing some money around and pull every political string he has to change this system. A real playoff system might be too much for the corrupt conference hacks to muster at this point, but at least we should get to a plus-one system. In the future a final four could easily be expanded to an 8-team playoff.

Oklahoma goes down at home against Texas Tech

No. 3 Oklahoma couldn’t overcome an early deficit as they lost to Texas Tech 41-38. The much-hyped Sooners’ defense gave up 572 total yards to the Red Raiders along with the 41 points, pretty much destroying any notion that they belonged in the National Championship game. Meanwhile Landry Jones completed 30 of 55 passes in the shootout for 412 yards and 5 touchdowns against one interception.

This result will shake up the BCS rankings, as No. 4 Wisconsin also lost a heart-breaker to Michigan State. Few people have been talking about No. 8 Stanford, but with Andrew Luck at the helm, they might pose the most interesting challenge to the eventual SEC winner if that’s how things play out. Last night Luck barely had to break a sweat in Stanford’s 65-21 thrashing of No. 25 Washington, as the running game for Stanford exploded for 446 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Of course the entire BCS discussion is ridiculous. Oklahoma is still a very good team, and if we had a sensible 8-team playoff for example, the Sooners would have a chance to redeem themselves and learn from this loss. Unfortunately, that notion doesn’t exist often in college football unless everyone ends up losing a game.

Michigan State stuns Wisconsin

Michigan State can thanks the replay rules for a miraculous victory over Wisconsin in a physical and exciting game tonight. Kirk Cousins threw a 44-yard Hail Mary pass with time running out, and Keith Nichol came up with it after it was tipped by several players. The problem was that it was hard to see whether he actually got into the end zone, and the officials ruled on the field that Nichol didn’t get it. But the replay showed that the ball did barely cross the end zone, and Michigan State won in stunning fashion.

The game had some wild swings, and Wisconsin jumped out to a 14-0 lead after an opening touchdown drive and then another quick touchdown after a Spartan turnover.

But then Russell Wilson got called for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety, and then he threw an interception and all of a sudden the Spartans were on their way to 23 unanswered points.

In the fourth quarter, Wisconsin was down by 14 points, but Russell Wilson did a great job of bringing the Badgers back to tie the game with 1:26 left. But then Michigan State got its miracle, and Wisconsin’s dream of an undefeated season ended with the replay call.

What a game!

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