Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel has an interesting take on the whole expansion madness. Wetzel writes that the Big 12 -- along with the Big East -- helped spur the Big Ten and Pac-10 to their current powerhouse states by voting against a "Plus One" proposal in April 2008.
Approving even a modest playoff proposal like the "Plus One" -- which is basically a four-team playoff using the bowls -- would have raised millions more dollars in revenue for everyone to share and could have led to a much more lucrative playoff system down the road, Wetzel says. Instead, the Big 12 and the Big East voted with the Pac-10 and Big Ten against the idea that was supported by the SEC and ACC.
Wetzel argues that the Big Ten's opposition had nothing to do with tradition and the Rose Bowl and everything to do with hoodwinking the other conferences until its Big Ten Network got going and started rolling in the cash.
I've never really understood why the Big East voted against the "Plus One" model. At least the Big Ten and Pac-10 had the Rose Bowl argument, flawed as that argument is. The Big East actually could have gained more access to a national title through a small playoff model; Cincinnati had no shot at the BCS title this year despite finishing third in the final BCS Standings. With a "Plus One" system, the Bearcats would have played in one of the national semifinal games, and perhaps Brian Kelly would have stayed around to coach them.
The Big East still would have had access to major bowl games with the "Plus One" model, and it could have made more money under a playoff system.
Why not do it now, Wetzel writes:
"It’s almost assuredly too late for the Big 12 and the Big East to make the bold moves that could save them.
"They could try though. If Beebe and current Big East commissioner John Marinatto want to display real leadership, they can tell their current members to sit tight and allow them to build a consensus for a real football postseason that will solve all their revenue problems. They need to stand up and declare Armageddon is here and it’s time to get serious. The other leagues and Notre Dame would be all for it. ...
"Go ahead and dare the Big Ten and Pac-10 to not come along. See how long Gordon Gee lasts as Ohio State president when he tells Buckeye fans they will no longer be competing for the national title. In the meantime, send your recruiters to Cleveland and Detroit."
That seems outlandishly unlikely, of course. So what do you think? Did the Big East miss the boat by not voting for a playoff system?