If you’re rooting for the eventual demolishing of the BCS, in favor of a new college football playoff system (meaning you are in fact a human being who possesses a sense of decency, logic and rationality) then you should be rooting for Texas to do the right thing (whether that’s in the Big 12 or not) and start the seismic change required to get the ball rolling in the direction of an actual legitimate college football postseason. You can thank the Big Ten for creating the spark, but the Texas Longhorns are the explosive power mandated to blow this thing up.
However, if you’re a huge proponent of undefeated teams being denied a chance to play for the National Title, and you LOVE the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl, as well as the other 30-40 glorified exhibition games occurring every December-January, then by all means root for Texas’ decision to save the Big 12 become nothing more than a confirmation of the status quo. Texas is the Megan Fox of this conference realignment craze- everyone wants a piece, and they’re simply the hottest thing going right now.
By Paul M. Banks
Texas can use it’s high market value as leverage to help the Big 12 absorb the Mountain West and we’ll begin moving towards the structure required for real playoffs. Now that the Big 12 is just a ten team league, NCAA rules prohibit them from holding a conference title game. So they’ll have to look at expanding now.
Basically, everyone wants a playoff system. Well, everyone except the people falling into one of three categories:
1.) fat cats at the very top whose pockets are made fatter by the status quo.
2.) journalists who are either extremely moronic, or sellouts. Like the guys forced to take stupidly impossible positions on sports shouting match television shows so that these programs have a “round table discussion.”
3.) the really stupid who just blindly accept anything establishment
Category one is the only true obstacle, but they’re a big one. Fortunately, there are enough people in high places (not the highest places yet, but certainly plenty high) to get the playoff train in motion. The merging of conferences into mega-conferences is happening because these people want a playoff system and the revenue it would bring in.
Remember this is about money first, and money second. And 3rd through 190th. And since it’s all about the Benjamins, football is king. The gridiron rules in America (ever wonder why the rest of the world calls the sport “the game of the Empire” or “Football Imperialismo?”) and the television ratings reflect that.
One of the reasons the Big Ten added Nebraska is because they now fulfill the NCAA rule requiring at least 12 in order to have a conference championship game. Because having a Big Ten championship game (in the ’60s-’80s they had one, it was called Ohio St. vs. Michigan) brings in a lot of dough.
And A.D.a and conference commissioners are like Biggie and Jay-Z, they “love the dough, more than you know.”
Let’s start with what we already have in order to see where we’re going. We currently have a computer generated title game match-up; in recent years largely shaped by the outcome of the SEC and Big 12 championship games. So in essence we already have a de facto football Final Four and title game- sometimes.
We just need to add more credibility and legitimacy to these games. If you have four mega-conferences, or eight super-conferences, each with two divisions, the divisional champions will square off against one another in the “first round of the playoffs.” Then the champions of the megaconferences play each other and we have: presto! a “December Delirium,” a football version of March Madness.
This should eradicate the problem of left out, undefeated power conference teams. In the superconference era, most divisional champions and almost all conference champions will suffer a loss or two along the way. Bigger conferences will equal longer seasons, which of course equals more C.R.E.A.M. But the Cash Rules Everything Around Me of the megaconference era still leaves one problem in tact: the undefeated mid-major.
Unless they get swallowed up as well into the new Pac 16 or Big 20, or Big Atlantic Coastal Eastern Half of the USA Conference.
Therefore, if you eradicate the mid-major problem and the left-out, undefeated power conference team problem, you get a true postseason. If this is indeed the summer of mega-conference formation, we should a de facto playoffs in 5-10 years. If it doesn’t, well hopefully we can still see it in our lifetimes. I’m trusting in the tremendous power of Social Darwinism, the main underlying ethos of both football and American capitalism, to make this happen!
Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com