In a conference call this morning, the Big Ten Conference announced that their presidents prefer the “status quo” over a four-team college football playoff.
“If the Big Ten presidents were to vote today, we would vote for the status quo,” Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman said on the conference call. “We think it best serves college football. We think it best protects our student-athletes. I don’t think any of us are anxious … to ask our student-athletes to play a 15th game.”
Perlman and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany also said that if changes are to be made to college football’s postseason, they prefer a plus-one over a playoff. A plus-one would match the no. 1 and no. 2 teams against each other after the bowl games are complete.
What the plus-one would also do is protect the Big Ten’s relationship with the Rose Bowl Game. That appears to be an issue that the conference is unwilling to waver from.
If the “status-quo” or plus-one are not selected, the Big Ten would consider a “four-team playoff, inside the bowls, that would preserve our connection to the Rose Bowl.” But Delany did say they would want the four best teams rather than conference champions only, which he has suggested in the past.
Delany also said the criteria for selecting the playoff teams should include strength of schedule and some sort of reward for those that win their conference championship. Those details would have to be discussed and agreed upon, as would a selection committee for determining the four teams, which he is also in favor of.
Here is a quick look at the playoff positions of some of the major conferences in college football (from Big Lead Sports):
Big 12: The Big 12 wants a four-team playoff. They want no conference championship requirement. They prefer a selection committee.
Big Ten: The Big Ten is open to a playoff but wants a plus-one on the table. They would not be opposed to a system that respects conference championships. They favor a selection committee.
Pac-12: The Pac-12 has kept the plus-one on the table but is open to discussion. They want a conference champion requirement. They would prefer an objective formula but are willing to look at a selection committee.
SEC: The SEC wants a four-team playoff without a conference championship requirement. They want to improve the current formula but have not ruled out a selection committee.