Hey, neato, BCS honchos are exploring new formats for college football's bloated and occasionally nonsensical postseason! USA Today has a cache of documents with all the details, and included among them is one horrifying scenario that's either an elaborate prank of admirable intricacy or a dire klaxon that signals the triumph at last of #feelingsball over reason.
[Proposed plans include] a heretofore undisclosed four-team playoff proposal that could expand the semifinals to preserve an annual Big Ten-vs.-Pacific-12 matchup in the Rose Bowl.
In the latter plan, the four highest-ranked teams at the end of the regular season would meet in semifinals unless the Big Ten or Pac-12 champion, or both, were among the top four. Those leagues' teams still would meet in the Rose, and the next highest-ranked team or teams would slide into the semis. The national championship finalists would be selected after those three games.
For the record, here's what that plan would have looked like if it had been in place the past five seasons. Are you not entertained?
And you know what else rankles? Apart from making a mockery of the definition of the Redbird Reading Group-level term "semifinal," it turns swaths of sports fans, however tangentially, against the Rose Bowl, and the Rose Bowl is one of our very favorite things. (If you've never been, change that. Even if you get an Illinois-USC matchup and don't like your baths bloody, there's still the parade and the golf course tailgating and Pasadena to explore.) We lived 20 minutes from the stadium for a few years after college. It is our favorite place on earth. And if we now lived someplace where the weather in January was at all similar to Chicago in January, we, too, would probably make complete prats of ourselves to score a guaranteed trip to Southern California on an annual basis. But surely Jim Delany makes more than enough fat bills from his cashy conference to score a sweet timeshare in the 'Bu, somewhere. Must we really all suffer, must our precious game suffer, so that one man may savor his Pie 'n Burger in prosaic silence?
A curated selection of sporting types responding to this development, after the jump:
Only college football could come up with a four-team playoff with three semifinals (the Rose Bowl plan). usat.ly/HeN2Gy
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 4, 2012
Now that conference commissioners have licked their fingers and stuck them in the wind, they can go to Rose and say, "Welp, we tried."
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) April 4, 2012
If the Rose Bowl is so sacrosanct, why don't the Big Ten and Pac-12 just pull out of the BCS and let everyone else stage a playoff?
— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) April 4, 2012
BCS reportedly also considering triple-elimination format or wrestlebacks to determine national champion
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyCBS) April 4, 2012
Perhaps the MAC will counter by insisting that the road to the championship go through the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
— sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) April 4, 2012
What? You don't like the "Win in the semis, don't play in the finals" angle? RT @jcshurburtt: Rose Bowl "protect our matchup" plan is vomit.
— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) April 4, 2012
A reminder: that is Jim Delany, grand advocate for "the student athlete," proposing another exhibition game so he can keep the Rose Bowl.
— edsbs (@edsbs) April 4, 2012
College football's playoff is going to look like Calvinball -- extremely *safe* Calvinball -- by the time Jim Delany is done with it
— Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) April 4, 2012
Nice of BCS honchos to put everybody's goofy idea on paper. Lets em think their goofy idea actually considered. Looking at you, Rose Bowl.
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) April 4, 2012
A three-game semifinal round is the worst possible idea, and the fact it's among the final proposals is... well, not surprising, really. — Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) April 4, 2012