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Big Ten, Pac-12 ‘largely aligned’ in favor of plus-one postseason

Harvey Perlman AP

While we here at CFT were on the proverbial Cloud Nine over the announcement late last month that a four-team playoff had been “approved”, there was one nagging reality that we simply couldn’t shake: the leaders of the sport will somehow, some way, find a way to screw it up.

And, unfortunately, it appears that’s exactly what a couple of the power conferences in the game seem hellbent on accomplishing.

In an interview with Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg, Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman made it clear that it is the presidents and chancellors of the schools in their conferences, and not the commissioners who are seemingly in favor of a four-team playoff, who will decide what shape the postseason will take in 2014 and beyond.  And, it appears, Perlman’s conference along with its sister conference the Pac-12 are taking the lead on making a mess of what progress has been made the past few months.

“It is clear the presidents will still make the final decision,” Perlman, who’s also an influential member of the BcS Presidential Oversight Committee, told the website. “We’ve had some informal meetings, the Big Ten presidents and the Pac-12 presidents, and I think we’re largely aligned in thinking a plus-one with a different ranking after the bowl games to select No. 1 and 2 would be acceptable. Our second choice would probably be a four-team playoff inside the bowls. Our highest priority is to preserve the status of the Rose Bowl and our connection to it.”

Well, isn’t that just precious.

So, the Big Ten’s and Pac-12’s idea for change, at least through one man’s point of view, is to merely tack on a game at the end of bowl season and declare all is well with major college football’s antiquated postseason?

The fact that Perlman is taking the public lead on what’s essentially an anti-playoff stance is far from surprising.  Long an opponent of any type of playoff at this level, Perlman has testified in front of Congress in support of the BcS and against a playoff.

“What I think most people don’t understand is that the alternative to the current system is not a playoff,” Perlman said in July of 2009, shortly before he appeared at the Senate hearing. ”The alternative to the BCS is going back to our traditional relationship with our bowl partners.”

That was a hollow threat that never was going to come to fruition.  Perlman, though, armed with the threat of a plus-one, is still struggling to understand the need for a playoff.

“I can’t figure out a good reason to have a playoff to start with,” the chancellor said.

If people like Perlman haven’t figured that out by now, this whole playoff thing may indeed be DOA.  Hopefully, influential commissioners such as Mike Slive, Larry Scott and even Jim Delany, who appears to be coming around to the general idea of a four-team playoff, can interject some common sense into the meetings with their bosses in the coming weeks.

An even better proposition?  Perlman was speaking out of turn and is one of the lone voices in the Big Ten and Pac-12 espousing “change” that’s anything but.

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36 Responses to “Big Ten, Pac-12 ‘largely aligned’ in favor of plus-one postseason”
  1. bigdinla says: May 4, 2012 8:16 AM

    I think we now see why the B1G allowed Nebraska in; they have the same antiquated ideas. Any system that makes special allowances for any conference is inherently and completely flawed. Work out a fair ranking system that takes in to account strength of schedule and have the top 4 teams, regardless of conference, to play for the title.

  2. xtremesportsmaniac says: May 4, 2012 8:26 AM

    The only conference that if you lose one game you are still pretty much guaranteed to be in the championship game is the SEC. If the other conferences want to have an equal opportunity they better get on board with some sort of playoff system and fast.

  3. polegojim says: May 4, 2012 8:47 AM

    4 team playoff.
    4 team playoff.
    4 team playoff.

    Then play the Rose Bowl with Pac10 and B1G champs

  4. jag8r904 says: May 4, 2012 8:58 AM

    Who cares? Only an SEC school will win the National Championship, regardless of what these second tier decide. Move on without them and they can keep playing in the Rose Bowl.

  5. alligatorsnapper says: May 4, 2012 9:28 AM

    JT: Great insight on the powers of the sport messing it all up at the last moment, so to speak. How sad.

    polegojim: That is funny, but I agree. I know southernpatriots will agree as well when they return from Appalachia. The B1G and PAC want special treatment and you have given them that in the Rose Bowl…ha.

    Hopefully, some how, someway some sane minds will prevail…but I am sobered to realize that the final vote on post-season games will be made by NCAA membership college presidents…help us Lord!

  6. omniusprime says: May 4, 2012 10:39 AM

    The Big Ten and Pac-12 are being incredibly stupid. I love the Rose Bowl but would love to see it become part of a 4 team playoff some years. I mean it hosts the national championship game some years.

    What should be changed are the jerks who run these conferences and determine how we get to a real playoff system.

    The last SEC championship game was a total waste of a national championship game and I passed on watching that SEC trash. Let the top 4 conference champs go at it for all the marbles, that would garner far more interest and produce a real champion every year.

  7. thraiderskin says: May 4, 2012 11:08 AM

    I give up… I want a playoff.

  8. kdbroom says: May 4, 2012 11:47 AM

    I say go ahead and let all of the other conferences outvote the Big Ten and Pac-12. Let them keep their Rose Bowl relationship. Then, when it comes to playoff time, the playoff selection committee (or whatever body is chosen to select playoff teams) can simply tell them their champions, if ranked high enough, can choose between playing in the playoff or playing in their precious Rose Bowl. If they opt for the Rose Bowl, then move on to the next highest ranked team and put them into the playoff. I’m sick of the whole Rose Bowl, Big Ten, and Pac-12 issue holding the sport hostage. The NCAA doesn’t need to have unanimous consent.

  9. auburntigers34 says: May 4, 2012 11:48 AM

    i’m so sick of the Big 10 and the Pac 12. the rest of the conferences should give them their ball and send them home. let them have their Rose Bowl National Championship. that seems to be all that they care about. the rest of the country couldn’t give two rips about the stupid Rose Bowl.

  10. bucsrulez24 says: May 4, 2012 11:53 AM

    Who gives about the rose bowl! There will be a playoff no matter how much you whine. Here’s an idea how about you still have bowl games for the other teams and use the old bcs sights as a playoff sight rotate the two games and use a third for the championship. But you can still use the 4th site as a outside the playoff game so the schools can still go to a “bcs” game. Then rotate each year, stop whining about it and git r done. This guy makes NU look like anti-playoffs bad guys when in fact every fan in the country wants it. This will get done, the momentum is steam rolling like a train get out of the way or join in

  11. deep64blue says: May 4, 2012 12:37 PM

    If we’re going to screw about with the College postseason then the plus1 is the best option – good to see it having such backing.

  12. bozosforall says: May 4, 2012 1:36 PM

    An eight-game playoff system is inherently more fair than a contrived four-game “keep the moneyed conferences in the money” fraudulent playoff scenario.

  13. frug says: May 4, 2012 4:18 PM

    I support a four team playoff with the semifianls at home stadiums or neutral fields, but to be honest I prefer a plus-one to holding the semifinals within the bowl system.

    The bowls are designed purely for profit while the point a playoff is to reward teams based off merit. Trying to work a playoff into the bowl system is fitting a square peg in a round hole. Just look at the BCS. The original intent was simply to pit the top two ranked teams in the country against each other, but now includes 5 games (one of which rotates), 8 ranking systems (6 computers and two human polls), and convoluted system for team selection all because the people who designed it were hellbent on conducting the NCG within the bowl system.

    If you are going to do a playoff either do it right or don’t do it all.

  14. Deb says: May 4, 2012 4:26 PM

    southernpatriots posted many times that we should write the presidents of our favorite universities if we wanted to see playoffs because the decision to change the system rested with them. From what Perlman is now saying, apparently that’s still true despite all the apparent progress that had been made. My questions are:

    Why should this decision rest with the university presidents? Shouldn’t the conference commissioners–those overseeing the sport–be empowered to make these sports-related calls?

    And why have Perlman, along with the other Big 10 and Pac 12 presidents and chancellors who supposedly share his backward views, waited until now to declare their renewed opposition to playoffs. Are they really so out of touch with the fans, or is this some other kind of power play?

  15. normtide says: May 4, 2012 6:18 PM

    Ofc. Is it not crystal clear? Pun intended. It is much easier for them to play each other, as opposed to playing an SEC or BiG 12 team. Honostly, the ACC is already better than the B1G, and their potential is way beyond the B1G’s. I am a little suprised the PAC went along. Sanctions aside, USC is a yearly player in the title race, Oregon is on the verge. Unless, they see the B1G champ as a much easier step to the finals, as most of the country does. Maybe the SEC should enter the same deal with the BigEast. Wait, nvm, we feel we can beat anyone and fear none.

  16. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) says: May 4, 2012 7:49 PM

    1. CTRL + F
    2. “SEC”

    Hmmmm, no hits until the comments section. Strange.

  17. hawkinsob says: May 4, 2012 8:19 PM

    This article bears a headline that reads: “Big Ten, Pac-12 ‘largely aligned’ in favor of plus-one postseason,” then the actual content of the article indicates that ONE GUY from Nebraska likes the plus-one idea. Lets be more careful with our headlines.

  18. Deb says: May 4, 2012 10:36 PM

    @BrownsTown …

    Well, I knew you were obsessed, but not so much that you’d run a search for “SEC” on every article you read. Ah, well.

    But are you really surprised to find hits on “SEC” in the comments section of an article about how Big 10 and Pac 12 school presidents are trying to undermine the playoffs? Sure, you’ve got a couple of yahoos rah-rahing the SEC. But you’ve also got the typical pouters, like yourself, ranting about “SEC trash.” It’s all our fault, isn’t it Big Boy? Must be nice to have people to blame for your failures. In the NCAA you have the SEC, and in the NFL you have the Steelers. Life is good. 😎

  19. normtide says: May 4, 2012 10:44 PM


    I did not see the word loser in the story, yet you showed up. Anyone can read and comment on any story. Maybe you should pull the rose bowl move like your commish so you can avoid the SEC as well. Got to love the heart y’all show though, can not beat us, so run from us. B1G PRIDE, catch it.

  20. huskerzfan says: May 5, 2012 12:05 AM


    While progress is actually being made towards a 4 team playoff, not only has Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany been a thorn in the side for progress, now my own Chancellor speaks out with the same pathetic response of preserving the tradition of the Rose Bowl and its tied-in teams from the Big 10 and Pac 12.

    All this after we have only been a member of the conference for a single year? What tradition could the Nebraska Chancellor being speaking of? We certainly haven’t been a part of it to have all that much of an interest, much less an interest to stall movement towards a 4 team playoff.

    Not that it matters much, but our Chancellor certainly isn’t speaking on behalf of Husker Nation regarding this particular topic.

  21. ndnut says: May 5, 2012 12:32 AM

    The only reason there ever was a Rose Bowl was the fact that the old Big Ten and PAC10 didn’t have conference championship games. While I don’t like seeing the game go, we will all get over it eventually and life will go on.

  22. huskerzfan says: May 5, 2012 1:13 AM

    The only reason there ever was a Rose Bowl was the fact that the old Big Ten and PAC10 didn’t have conference championship games. While I don’t like seeing the game go, we will all get over it eventually and life will go on.


    Conference Championship games never existed in Division IA, and now FBS, until the SEC held one back in 1992.

    Last time I checked, the Rose Bowl was around well before 1992.

  23. mcastleton928 says: May 5, 2012 2:00 AM

    IMO, the main reason that the Pac-12 and Big Ten are pushing for this is that they don’t want to lose their automatic qualifying status (i.e. their conference champions tie-in to the Rose Bowl no matter what). However, I believe that a compromise could be reached if conferences were allowed to keep their tie-in to each of their historic bowl games (Rose: Pac-12/Big Ten; Fiesta: Big 12; Sugar: SEC; Orange: ACC) unless their champion is one of the four teams selected for the playoffs. In that scenario, the two highest-seeded conference champions’ bowl games would host the national semifinals unless one of the top two is NOT a conference champion and the 3rd ranked team is (like last year with Alabama). In this scenario, the #3 seeded team’s bowl would host the semifinal. There is virtually no way that the #1 seeded team would not be a conference champion. However, in the highly unlikely event that the #2 seed and the #3 seed are BOTH not conference champions, a contingency plan would have to be put into place that would allow for the two team to play in one of the other non-BCS games (like the Capital One Bowl, which is also played on New Year’s Day) so that none of the BCS leagues would lose their historic conference bowl tie-ins.

    Here is a look at what would have happened last year under Jim Delaney’s Plan (BCS Standings/Conference Champion Hybrid):

    The Top 6 in the BCS Standings were as follows:

    #1 LSU
    #2 Alabama
    #3 Oklahoma State
    #4 Stanford
    #5 Oregon
    #6 Arkansas

    Therefore, the four teams chosen for the BCS “Final Four” would be:

    #1 LSU (automatic berth due to being SEC Champions and ranked in the top 4 of the final BCS Standings)
    #2 Alabama (at-large berth because #6 Arkansas was not a conference champion)
    #3 Oklahoma State (automatic berth due to being Big 12 Champions and ranked in the top 4 of the final BCS Standings)
    #5 Oregon (automatic berth due to being Pac-12 Champions and ranked in the top 6 of the final BCS Standings while #4 Stanford was not a conference champion)

    Following the logic that the top 2 seeds’ bowl tie-ins get to host each national semifinal, #1 LSU would have hosted #5 Oregon in the Sugar Bowl. However, as previously stated, #2 Alabama was not a conference champion and #3 Oklahoma State was, so the Cowboys would have hosted the Crimson Tide in the Fiesta Bowl.

    Keeping with the trend of historic bowl tie-ins, the Rose and Orange Bowls would have been the following:

    Due to the fact that the Rose Bowl lost one of its historic bowl tie-in teams (Pac-12 Champion Oregon) to the Sugar Bowl, they would get first choice of replacement teams for the Ducks. In this case, the Rose Bowl would have selected #4 Stanford as Oregon’s replacement and the Cardinal would have matched up against Big Ten Champion and #10 ranked Wisconsin. The Orange Bowl would then have gotten the second choice of teams to match up against ACC Champion and #15 ranked Clemson. Because of Automatic Qualifying Status, the Orange Bowl would have then chosen Big East Champion and #23 ranked West Virginia. If you confused by all of that, here is a look at the BCS match ups:

    #1 LSU vs. #5 Oregon (Sugar Bowl)
    #2 Alabama vs. #3 Oklahoma State (Fiesta Bowl)
    #4 Stanford vs. #10 Wisconsin (Rose Bowl)
    #15 Clemson vs. #23 West Virginia (Orange Bowl)

    The winner of the Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl would then have met up in the BCS National Championship Game a week or so later at either the highest remaining team’s bowl site or at another predetermined site (like Cowboys Stadium, which is at the virtually geographic center of the four BCS Games).

  24. secucks says: May 5, 2012 6:39 AM


    I don’t make a claim on being smart but in reflecting upon the usual collective drivel from the SEC fan base I know I’m ahead on intellect in comparison.

    It’s immaterial what conference or team my allegiance is associated as the purpose of my posts are twofold – 1) denigrate the conjectural superiority of the SEC and 2) disparage the basis of that claim. If I can get under the skin of ignorant SEC fans while accomplishing the above I take personal satisfaction.

    I know I’m not going to change anyone’s thinking but to recap of your assumptions

    1. I have only 2 brain cells which aren’t firing in sync
    2. I’m even slower than you first thought
    3. I’m writing while drunk
    4. Something about being a smart Junior High student

    At this point it’s likely that no one is even reading this article any longer but I have two words regarding your responses….. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

  25. normtide says: May 5, 2012 7:51 AM

    Wow ucks, good for you. You found your omnipotence on a fan board. Makes me wonder how your life must be. You are here to disprove SEC dominance? I guess you will use your massive brain to go back in time, change what has been done. Perhaps you should take the next step with your intellect, by learning to count. Maybe with your next eye opening post, you will show us what you have proven, and how. None here think your stupid, nope, your doing great child.

  26. secucks says: May 5, 2012 9:05 AM

    Hey normtide,

    As an FYI I know how to count and I also know basic grammar which evidentially isn’t your forte. However since you’re a SEC fan, “child” that’s not surprising as everyone here knows the mental limitations of that fan base.

    As evidenced in the last sentence of your post, you’ve used the word “your” twice. Obviously you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re”. The definition of “your” – “Belonging to or associated with the person or people that the author is addressing: “what is your name?”. The definition of “you’re” Contraction of you are: “you are stupid” = “you’re stupid”

    Of course in that you’re obviously a SEC fan I don’t need to tell anyone that you’re stupid. To say this another way, your mental capacity is demonstratively limited.

  27. normtide says: May 5, 2012 9:16 AM

    Maybe you should be posting on This site is about football, and the SEC dominates football. No matter how elegant you post, it changes nothing. It is proven by you, your on a football board, yet none of your posts involve football. I think it makes you feel impotent, helpless. Thus, you grasp for some way to feel better than us. Maybe next years title game will be replaced with a spelling bee. However, if they decide it with a football game, you will again be here looking to rebuild your self image. Good luck with that, child.

  28. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) says: May 5, 2012 9:29 AM


    “Us?” What do you mean “us?”

    LOL……SEC fans……

  29. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) says: May 5, 2012 9:31 AM


    Them’s a lot of words when a simple, “You are kind of right……we SEC fans do frame everything through our strange allegiance to a conference.”

  30. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) says: May 5, 2012 9:32 AM

    ………would suffice.

  31. normtide says: May 5, 2012 9:42 AM

    Your right, our strange allegiance is a failed mode. We should be more like Cleveland…. That is funny.

  32. Deb says: May 5, 2012 12:52 PM

    @BrownsTown …

    I see you’ve borrowed secucks’s bottle. Bottom’s up.

    @secucks …

    Confuses about which thread you’re on? Bless your heart. Thanks for the bullet points. Clearly I’ve got your number–except I didn’t say you were a “smart” junior high student. Nice try, though.

    Notice you still haven’t shared your conference or team allegiance. Credit to BrownsTown. At least he’s not afraid to own his teams. Under my skin? How could that be? We’re winning. 😀

  33. secucks says: May 5, 2012 1:40 PM


    Here’s your comment to quote “You’re like a junior high kid declaring that any incomprehensible thing you utter is smarter than anything an SEC fan could possibly say.”

    I agree you didn’t say I was a smart junior high kid and while I don’t claim to be smart I know that I’m smarter than the average SEC fan.

    This article was written about a PAC-12 – Big-10 position on the BCS series and it didn’t take long for “SEC trash” to jump in. Perlman, the Nebraska Chancellor, nailed it when he said “I can’t figure out a good reason to have a playoff to start with”. As result of the recent consolidation all of the major conferences are so big there should be no reason play more than 1 or 2 games out of conference unless the desire is to pad the win column by playing 2nd tier schools (guess which conference I’m talking about).

  34. Deb says: May 5, 2012 3:40 PM

    @secucks …

    You’re answering my post from another thread, but if you have time to write a paragraph to explain how you’ve got the right thread after all … well, okay.

    Still no mention of your team or conference. 😀

    You’re smarter than SEC fans. Got it. Just remember to smile as you repeat your affirmation …

  35. secucks says: May 7, 2012 7:23 AM

    @ Deb,

    There is no need to say which team or conference I’m associated as that information isn’t relevant to the topic. In addition I have no problem with the SEC nor any of the schools that comprise the conference. The common focus of both discussions is the system or proposed systems being used to identify the supposed National Champion. There is a game at the end of the season that matches two two teams which are identified by multiples polls (some of which include computer simulations reflecting strength of chedule). Stating that one team or conference is vastly superior over another is an illusion and in comparing the various rankings from mid-December, right before the bowl games to the final standing is enough to see quite a disparity from week to week in the same poll as well as a disparity from poll to poll. This all says that nothing is conclusive.

  36. Deb says: May 7, 2012 12:56 PM

    Oh no … you have no problems with the SEC or its member teams … secucks. Why any rational person could see that from your comments :roll:

    And while you pick apart the schedules of SEC teams, why should I have the fair opportunity to discuss the schedules of the teams in your conference? No, as teams throughout the nation move upward in these supposedly biased polls, only the SEC schedules are relevant. Uh-huh.

    I haven’t declared the SEC vastly superior to the other conferences. It’s a strong conference, but the championships have been won by individual teams. Florida was a strong team a few years ago, and isn’t particularly relevant now. Auburn’s championship was lightning in a bottle. As I’ve poined out many times, the pendulum swings. People who want to restrict the number of teams from one conference that can make the playoffs are short-sighted. Taking last year’s top eight, three SEC teams might have made the brackets. But taking next year’s, it could as easily be three Pac-12 teams. No one conference has a monopoly on the championship, no matter how it may appear at the moment.

    I love my teams and I’m proud of them. I was just as proud to name them during the 26 years Pittsburgh went between Super Bowl wins and the 17 years Alabama went between championship wins as I am now. Whatever my faults, I am what I am and don’t pretend otherwise as so many on the blogs. So I don’t get the subterfuge.

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