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Let me take the idea of the top 4 conferences aligning together for a plus one a step farther and suggest a 3rd bowl game pitting the top 2 remaining teams (after the Rose and Champions bowl teams) against each other. This game would have open access to everyone from the 2 team WAC (RIP) champ to the SEC runner-ups, making sure the CG is open to all teams and conferences.
First thing to note is that the top 4 teams in the BCS rankings would have always been represented in one of these 3 games going back all 14 years of the BCS era. Also in the last 9 years, the top 4 conferences would have almost owned this 3rd bowl game, with the SEC, PAC, B1G, and Big-12 placing 4 teams each, while the Big East and ACC would have only grabbed one spot each. It is far from ideal and not as clean as a true 4 team playoff, but not as messy as I might have thought a plus one to be. This is what some of the years would have looked like (assuming current conference affiliations):
Champions: #1 LSU vs. #3 OkSt
Rose: #5 Oregon vs. #10 Wisc
3rd bowl: #2 Bama vs. #4 Stanford
Clear semi-finals, while Rose doesn't change and probably gets same rating they did in reality
Champions: #1 Aub vs #3 TCU (assuming TCU in Big-12 and champ)
Rose: #2 Oregon vs #5 Wisc
3rd bowl: #4 Stanford vs. #6 Ohio St
Gets interesting if Wisconsin and Stanford both win, otherwise clear cut.
Champions: #1 Bama vs. #2 Texas
Rose: #7 Oregon vs. #8 Ohio St
3rd bowl: #3 Cincy vs. #4 TCU
Perhaps a rule is needed that would allow two teams from the same conference to swap places if it makes more sense, thus allowing Texas and TCU (again assuming current affiliation) to swap games. Otherwise, this is like the years when the Super Bowl was actually the AFC or NFC championship game. But at least the two semi-final games are clear cut again.
Champions: #1 Oklahoma vs #2 Florida
Rose: #5 USC vs. #8 Penn St
3rd Bowl: #3 Texas vs #4 Bama
See rule above to swap Florida and Bama. Otherwise, USC vs winner of Texas/Bama could be a beauty contest.
Champions: #2 LSU vs #4 Oklahoma
Rose: #1 Ohio St vs. #7 USC
3rd Bowl: #3 Va Tech vs #5 Georgia
OSU and LSU control their destiny, but the other 4 teams are in a beauty pageant for a CG spot if one of the top 2 are beat.
Champions: #2 Florida vs #10 Oklahoma
Rose: #1 Ohio St vs. #5 USC
3rd Bowl: #3 Mich vs #4 LSU
OSU is the only team that really controls its destiny as Florida/Michigan separation was extremely tight coming into bowls. Oklahoma only playing as spoiler.
Champions: #2 Texas vs #7 Georgia
Rose: #1 USC vs #3 Penn St
3rd bowl: #4 Ohio State vs #5 Oregon
UT, USC, and PSU all control their destiny. If GA wins, expect pageant with OSU/Oregon winner.
Champions: #2 Oklahoma vs #3 Auburn
Rose: #1 USC vs #13 Michigan
3rd Bowl: #4 Texas vs #5 California
This is clear. USC, UO, and Auburn control their destiny. Texas vs Aaron Rodgers' Bears winner need Michigan to win.
Champions: #1 Oklahoma vs. #2 LSU (note, under current BCS formula this would have been #3 vs #1)
Rose: #3 USC vs #4 Michigan (current BCS formula this is #2 vs #4)
3rd Bowl: #5 Ohio St vs. #6 Texas
Semi final games again clear cut with winner of Champions and Rose in NCG.
That's probably far enough. I'm not suggesting this as the way things should be, but I think if you are in the top 4 conferences, you could see the appeal.
2 years, 9 months ago on Did The SEC-Big 12 Bowl Announcement Backfire?
I took the initial announcement as more of an alignment of the top 4, vice a shot across the bow from the SEC/Big-12 toward the B1G/PAC. A bit ironic how things have come full circle. The Plus-One was Mike Slive's original baby from several years ago. Early on in the discussions it seemed he and the SEC still favored that model, and the Big Ten and PAC-12 were strongly against it. And for obvious reasons, if the Big-12 and SEC played in separate bowl games, then often those two games would have been the feeders to the NCG, with the Rose Bowl looking on from the outside. By combining the Big-12 and SEC champs, it makes it much more likely that the Rose Bowl game is meaningful in the NC picture. Under a plus-one, the Champions Bowl increases the value of the Rose Bowl, and puts the PAC-12 and B1G themselves on more solid ground as the two bowls separate themselves from all the rest. The "very positive reaction" Scott is referring to are the PAC-12 school Presidents (many of whom are still on the fence with a playoff) calling him up and saying the plus-one now works for them.
Even if the 4 team playoff goes thru, the B1G/PAC wants to take back the Rose Bowl and remove it from the rotation of at large bids and BCS control. The Rose/B1G/PAC would much rather have had a 2010 game of Stanford vs. Ohio State (the likely result of taking the top teams from each conference after the playoff teams are selected) and let Oregon and Wisconsin (the actual conference champs) off to the playoffs in some neutral site game (or home sited) than for the Rose Bowl to host the Oregon vs TCU semi-final. The B1G and PAC get more money by keeping the Rose Bowl outside of the playoffs, as they'll get their share of the playoff pot with Oregon and Wisconsin in the playoffs, while Ohio State vs Andrew Luck's Cardinal would have still been a huge ratings winner.
It is important to realize the Champions bowl gives the Rose Bowl an ally as the two must-see bowl games outside of the playoffs. There is very little downside to the Champions bowl as far as the PAC/B1G are concerned. The question is, what was Slive's original intent? If he thought this was a shot across the bow, than I am convinced that Slive has truly become the puppet to Larry Scott's puppet master.
@10Vol85 The issue is how accurate of a measurement do you have to determine the top 4. There are so few meaningful cross conference games during the season to be able to accurately compare the conferences. Consider the difference between the top 4 pre- bowl games (what you have above) and the number of teams that finished in the top 4 after the bowls (current conference affiliations):
Top 4 Post Bowl Games:
SEC - 16
PAC - 16
Big-12 - 10
Big Ten - 9
ACC - 7
MWC - 1
Top 2 Post Bowl Games:
SEC - 11
PAC - 7
ACC - 5
Big Ten - 4
Big-12 - 4
The conference with the biggest positive change with the additional data of bowl games was the PAC-10/12 gaining six top 4 slots and four top 2 spots followed by the SEC which gained 2 of each. Meanwhile the Big-12 showed biggest negative trend post bowls. The regular season does a good job of being able to rank teams within conference, but it sucks at allowing us to compare one conference to another. For this reason, I've slowly moved away from the camp of "only the top 4" to showing some preference to conference champs. Mainly because there is so much more uncertainty when trying to compare one conference to another.
The current BCS uses the AFCA trophy (one of the two recognized championship trophies). With out two major conferences, they will no longer be able to use the coaches trophy for the playoff winner and will have to make something up, making the playoffs even more contrived. That would mean both the AP and Coaches trophy could be awarded to someone not the "playoff" winner. Further, with no Big Ten and Pac-12, consider what it would have looked like (will use current conference affiliations):
2010: #1 Auburn vs #8 Arkansas (2 loss), #3 TCU vs #7 Oklahoma (2 loss). 2 conference rematches. This has split championship written all over it, with Rose Bowl winner (#2 Oregon vs #4 Wisconsin) likely to pull either the AP or Coaches.
2008: The playoffs would have been great with #1 Oklahoma vs #4 Alabama and #2 Florida vs. #3 Texas. But if you think USC and Penn State (both with same number of losses as above teams) would have been marginalized, you're mistaken. The Rose Bowl would have gotten tremendous ratings, evaluating if those teams measured up to the playoff 4, and with a remote chance of a split NC.
2007: #1 Ohio State vs #7 USC would be largely viewed as the CG this year. If OSU won, they would have easily been crowned champs by both the Coaches and AP, as every other contender had at least one more loss than OSU.
2006: #1 OSU vs #5 USC in the Rose Bowl. Again, OSU wins, they are the NC, period. The playoffs would have been #2 Florida vs #8 Boise State and #4 LSU vs #6 Louisville. Neither of those games even remotely moves the needle, and the likely regional Florida vs LSU NC game would have gotten worse national ratings than a Rose Bowl with USC and OSU with NC implications on the line.
2005: #2 Texas vs #8 Miami and #6 Georgia vs #7 Notre Dame. So undefeated Texas probably plays a 2 loss team (ranked no higher than 6th) for... second place. Wow. Meanwhile #1 USC vs #3 Penn State is again the huge ratings winner and NC game.
2004: Again doesn't include the #1 team, USC. So likely split championship. Playoffs would have been #2 Texas vs #7 Georgia and #3 Auburn vs #4 Texas. Viewership of the playoffs would have been primarily in Big-12 and SEC regions, and not national.
2003: USC was #1 in both polls going into the NCG, but #3 in BCS. They still would have played Michigan in the Rose Bowl, but this time they might have remained #1 in both Coaches as well as AP (since AFCA would no longer be required to vote the playoff winner Champion ). Winner of playoff might have only received the new contrived playoff championship trophy and would have included #6 Texas and #7 Florida State
2002: Rose Bowl #2 OSU vs #4 USC (another huge ratings winner). Playoffs #1 Miami vs #8 Kansas State and #3 Georgia vs. #7 Oklahoma. Another possible split championship
2001: #1 Miami vs #7 Texas and #5 Florida vs #6 Tennessee. The Rose Bowl might have been #2 Nebraska vs #3 Colorado (or #4 Oregon). Another year with only one team from the top 4 in the playoffs. If Miami wins out, they would be the NC, otherwise, expect the Rose Bowl winner to be the consensus NC.
1998: Like 2001, if #1 and undefeated Tennessee wins the playoffs, they would have been the clear NC. Otherwise #4 OSU vs #5 UCLA (both one loss) may have had NC implications. Again, great Rose Bowl interest.
In the last 14 years, the Rose Bowl has hosted a game with NC implications only 4 times. Under this plan, they would have had as many as 10 games with NC impact, and in many cases, games with much better national drawing power than the "other" NC game. The value of the Rose Bowl goes up, and the PAC-12 and Big Ten keep all the money to themselves. Further, there is no risk of being exposed by a faster SEC team.
So if I am the Big Ten, PAC-12, and Rose Bowl, where do I sign up?
2 years, 9 months ago on SEC, ACC, Big 12 And Others Should Push Big Ten, Pac-12 Toward Rose Bowl
So figuring no one will get exactly what they want, and after the compromises are made by all parties, I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this:
Top 2 teams plus any independent in top 4 plus highest ranked conference champs to get 4 total.
Semi's hosted by any independent in top 2 plus/or highest ranked conference champs.
In 2011 this would have been Oregon @ LSU and Alabama @ Oklahoma St. One game on Dec 22nd, one on the 23rd. CG two weeks later.
3 years ago on Plus-One System Sounding More And More Like A "Take Down The SEC" System
Even with the champion of champions concept, the SEC would have hosted more semi-final games than any other conference (8 by my count) during the BCS era, and had 4 SEC champs play on the road, only once to a team up north (OSU in 2002). The other 3 road trips would have been Florida State, Oklahoma, and USC. Also, the SEC has only had 3 non-conf champs finish in the BCS top 4, the same number as the PAC-12, and 2 fewer than the Big-12. Why again is this proposal designed to take down the SEC?