Give Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany this: he is nothing if not usually consistent in his views for college football’s postseason and the status quo. With the announcement of the College Football Playoff field on Sunday, the Big Ten found itself on the outside looking in for the second straight season after making the first three playoffs. It’s also the third straight year the Big Ten champ has missed out on the final four.
However, the Big Ten isn’t hitting the panic button.
In a text message exchange with Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, Delany reiterated that he felt no need to push for an eight-team playoff that would give his teams — in this case, Ohio State — a better chance to be included in the postseason.
“Obviously would love to be in system every year but have respect for those chosen and offer sincere congratulations to players and coaches at Alabama, Clemson, ND and OU,” Delany told Auerbach.
You’d think if any power conference would stump for an eight-team playoff, it would be the Big Ten and/or Pac-12. However, Delany has a history of favoring the status quo. He was against a playoff while it was still an idea being kicked around by power brokers. The playoff college football has today is due in part to the fact that the Big Ten and Pac-12 wanted to keep ties with the Rose Bowl (No. 6 Ohio State and No. 9 Washington will play in it this season). So while Delany is one of the more influential big wigs, he’s not using that influence to push for eight.
Delany speaks on behalf of his conference’s presidents and chancellors. Fans of Big Ten schools may not appreciate Delany’s stubbornness, but if the playoff eventually does expand, it likely won’t be because Delany makes a push for it.
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