- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Big 12/SEC "Champions Bowl" concept dredged up more talk of the potential that college football would eventually consolidate into four, 16-team superconferences.
Such a model would simplify choosing four playoff teams and would seem to fit into the Big Ten's preferred "plus-one" model. Have the supersized Pac-12 and Big Ten square off in the Rose Bowl, while the gigantic SEC and Big 12 staged a shootout in the Rose Bowl East, and the winners meet for the whole (crystal) ball of wax, the theory goes.
But Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany isn't a fan of such theories. Delany says he reads about that idea "on the blogs" (blush) but doesn't support it.
"One of the most underrated qualities about any conference is its stability and the glue that holds it together," he said on Monday's league conference call. "And I think whenever you go beyond a certain level, you're running into possible dilution issues. ... The larger you are, the less you play each other. The less you play each other, the less tradition you have and the less those games tend to mean, if they can't be repeated over and over."
Here's looking at you and your 6-1-1 model, SEC. Enjoy seeing some of your conference mates at home every 12 years.
Delany pointed to the crumbling of the 16-team WAC and the problems of the Big East as reasons why superconferences might not be viable. But he said he envisioned some conferences still growing. Just not necessarily the Big Ten.
"I'm not a consolidationist," he said, before adding, "not a pure consolidationist."
Delany called the 16-team superconference possibility "not that likely. But who knows? My crystal ball is not that clear."