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Yahoo: Big 12 Blew it by Eschewing Playoff

  • Thread starter Lanky Livingston
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Lanky Livingston

Fantastic article from Dan Wetzel about the future of NCAA football, and how its gotten to this point. Great read.

Big 12 Blew it by Eschewing Playoff

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports Jun 6, 9:28 pm EDT

Follow Dan Wetzel on Twitter at @DanWetzel

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe all but killed his own conference on April 30, 2008.

That’s when he decided to team up with the Big Ten and Pac-10 to reject a four-team playoff being pushed by the SEC and ACC. If the Big 12 (and/or the Big East) had supported it, the so-called “Plus One” model likely would’ve happened.

Even that modest playoff would have meant hundreds of millions of additional revenue for college athletics. It would have then allowed for easy expansion for an even more lucrative 16-team postseason. That would have solved all the monetary concerns that have left the Big 12 on the verge of collapse at the hands of its one-time allies, the Big Ten and Pac-10.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany admitted to Congress a 16-team playoff could gross four times what the current Bowl Championship Series does – in other words about $900 million annually.

He opposed it anyway. Beebe and the others never seemed to ask why. They’re finding out now.

Conference expansion is about to forever alter college athletics: destroying traditions, hammering taxpayers and increasing competition. It will leave once-major programs out of the loop, consolidate power and extend the gap between haves and have nots – even within leagues such as the Big Ten.

No one is in a more desperate spot than the Big 12, which this week could see as many as eight league members receive invites to leave.

It’s all because of money. And when it comes to money in college athletics it all comes back to one thing – the leaking oil disaster that is the BCS.

There are two major revenue streams left in college sports – football television contracts and a football postseason. (The men’s basketball tournament is essentially maxed out.)

It’s clear now that Delany used opposition to a football playoff not to preserve some bit of “tradition.” His expansion plans clearly indicate he cares nothing about that. It certainly wasn’t done for the sake of aiding Big Ten football, since a playoff with on-campus home games likely would’ve helped his teams.

The goal was to starve out the Big 12, Big East and even the ACC of the hundreds of millions a playoff would’ve given them and thus turn the future of college sports into a battle of television sets.

Delany couldn’t assure that the Big Ten would’ve done well in a football playoff. Maybe the league would’ve succeeded, maybe not. With 26 percent of the nation’s population, tradition rich clubs and its own cable network though, the Big Ten will always dominate if everything boils down to TV revenue.

It was a genius, cut-throat play. He set the terms of the game so he’d win. The Pac-10, led by aggressive new commissioner Larry Scott, is taking advantage also. I’m not blaming Delany here. I may not believe a 16-team Big Ten (or Pac-10) is in the best interest of the league’s current members (or the NCAA as a whole), but it’s not that big of a deal to me. Whatever happens, happens. Besides, it’s not Delany’s fault he’s smarter than the other guys.

Click link for the rest of the article.
No college football fans here? This is going to change NCAA as we know it.
I've tried like hell to care about all this proposed realignment j-lankster. But to me it amounts to one thing....just when you thought college football couldn't get anymore ****ed up than it already is......
Nebraska to the Big-10, Colorado to the Pac-10 and Texas A&M to the SEC. So it begins. None of it really matters until we find out where Texas is going.

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