We had a lot of good discussion about the Big Ten's playoff stance and other topics during our Monday chat. If you missed it, well, you won't get a chance to chat with us again until next week. But never fear, because your full transcript is here, along with some exceptional excerpts:
Cutter (Silver Spring, MD): Is the Big Ten's desire to see a Plus One over a Four Team Playoff an attempt to protect the Rose Bowl by making it a de facto semi-final playoff game along with the Big 12/SEC Champions Bowl? If yes, then is this a move by B10 Commissioner Jim Delany to have the SEC champion and the Big 12 champion essentially knock one or the other out of the national championship game? Also, does this solidify the "Big Four" status of the Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC while pushing the ACC just a little bit more out of the door? If the answer to that is yes, what does that mean for future conference realignment and the futures of BYU and ND as major independents?
Brian Bennett: Cutter, I see where you're coming from, but I don't think that's the case. This is more a factor of the Big Ten presidents being very conservative and traditionalist and wanting to keep the bowl system intact as much as possible (wrongly, in my view). Delany flatly stated that he doesn't like the 16-team superconference idea. And the Big Ten is making so much money that it needn't really worry what others are doing.
Andrew (WI): Delany also said today he wants the new system to be aware of teams who won a conference championship game compared to teams that didn't have one (read: Big 12 teams). Should we take it at face value, or is there some ulterior motive to force the Big 12 to expand, for whatever reason?
Brian Bennett: I don't think there's an ulterior motive, and I doubt Delany much cares what the Big 12 does. But he's right that teams that have to play a championship game have an extra hurdle to clear. That shouldn't be the overriding factor in selection, but it should be considered. A human committee can take that under consideration, while it might not weight as heavily in some sort of computer system.
Andrew (Philly): Ideally, who would be on the playoff team selection committee?
Brian Bennett: Good question. You'd have to make sure it was a strong mix of people with different geographic and conference backgrounds. Ideally, I think it would be some ADs and some retired coaches who could watch all the games, not unlike the Harris Poll. And then give them a criteria going into the selection. The NCAA basketball committee is rarely accused of regional bias, so follow that model. But it would be an unpopular job, most likely.
Homer (Springfield) [via mobile]: Hey Brian, Now that Iowa and Michigan State are off the schedule, the Badgers are really hurting for a rival. The Gophers haven't been competitive for years and its knocked the shine off of the rivalry for the moment. How long before Kill gets the Gophers competitive? Are there any landmarks we should look for to know that they're turning the corner?
Brian Bennett: You're right, Homer (woo-hoo), though I think Ohio State will grow as a rival the next couple of years for the Badgers, especially in the Leaders race. As for Minnesota, I would look for a couple of signs: a consistent ability to run the ball and stop the run will be huge. And a big win over an upper echelon Big Ten team on the road would be a major symbol that Kill's getting things revved up.
Drew (Milwaukee): Is it just me or is Delany's (continually) updated position on the post-season a little incoherent? In a perfect world they would keep the BCS system exactly as is, but if they have to have a playoff the most important thing is to get rid of the polls and computers to rank teams, which is pretty much the whole raison d'etre of the BCS in the first place.
Brian Bennett: You make a good point. The Big Ten has not been really clear on its position, and even today started off talking about the status quo and a plus-one, neither of which, I believe, are realistic options. The league says it has merely been talking aloud about ideas, but it has to know that every time Delany speaks, people interpret that as being the Big Ten's position. The conference would benefit by being clearer and more forceful on what it wants. It accomplished a little of that today but still not enough, in my opinion.
GBK (Lincoln Park): The criteria for the selection committee should simply be: MUST WATCH COLLEGE FOOTBALL, from all regions. That's why the Coach's/Harris polls are ridiculous. Those people don't watch college football.
Brian Bennett: Agree, though I think the Harris voters do watch a lot more football, on average, than coaches. The problem with polls is that each individual fills his out, and most are scared to deviate much to the norm. Get an informed group in a room to debate not the Top 25 but the merits of the top four teams in the country, and I think the results would be pretty good most years.
Fujii (Ann Arbor): Hi. Whats up. I'm getting worried that U of M is filling up on the recruits a little too fast. If a really good recruit comes along who is interested in Michigan, and we're out of scholarships what happens? Please Answer
Brian Bennett: You know what else I'm worried about? I can't fit all these 100-dollar bills in my wallet, and my solid gold hat makes my neck sore.