Pac-12, Big Ten Reportedly Preserve Rose Bowl In New College Football Playoff. Somewhat.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: (EDITORS NOTE: An infared camera was used to create this image) A general view at the 98th Rose Bowl Game between the Oregon Ducks and the Wisconsin Badgers on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

All throughout the process of reforming college football's process to determine a national champion, the Pac-12 and Big Ten wanted to make sure their interests were protected in one crucial aspect. Whatever happened with regards to a postseason, in some form or another, the Rose Bowl needed to survive.

And for good reason. The Rose Bowl has become the lone non-BCS bowl to withstand the changing college football landscape. It's one of the lone refuges of bowl expansions and schedule changes and neutral site games in NFL stadiums and expansion, expansion, expansion. At all costs, the Pac-12 and Big Ten had to put up as much of a front to ensure the Rose Bowl Game survived.

It looks like it will, if this current story is close to being true. We won't get our Football Four, but it's pretty close.

In an effort to maintain a sense of tradition, conferences would keep their relationships with BCS bowl games -- the highest-ranked ACC team would play in the Orange Bowl, Big 12 in the Fiesta, Big Ten and Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl, and SEC in the Sugar Bowl. For instance, if Alabama finished No. 1 in the retooled BCS standings, the Crimson Tide would host the No. 4 seed in a national semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. If Oregon finished No. 2, the Ducks would host the No. 3 seed in the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO in Pasadena, Calif. A source familiar with the discussions said he preferred this particular plan because it "preserves tradition and the regional tie-ins."

The source said it also solved the "Rose Bowl problem" -- Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott have maintained their leagues' desire to play in the Rose Bowl every season.

Under this proposed plan, if a Big Ten or Pac-12 team finished in the top two spots, it would automatically play in Pasadena. And if a Big Ten or Pac-12 team didn't finish in the top two, teams from those leagues might still play in the Rose Bowl, as long as they were among the teams included in the BCS pool. The source said the plan maintained those leagues' relationships with the Rose Bowl, without giving them an "obscene consideration."

The second scenario where Big Ten and Pac-12 are considered for a Rose Bowl contest is unclear, and probably won't get hedged out until everyone figures out the four-team playoff format (top four conference champions or top four overall teams?). So there's a chance the Rose Bowl could function outside a playoff format if neither Big Ten or Pac-12 representatives are part of the four-team playoff.

But with two conferences affiliated with the Rose Bowl, it's far more likely that the game and teams from those conferences would be part of the playoff process, and there still remains a high probability of a Rose Bowl matchup of some sort occurring.

So last year you'd have something like...

Top four team format
#1 LSU vs. #4 Stanford (Sugar)
#2 Alabama vs. #3 Oklahoma State (Fiesta) (since Oklahoma State won their conference, can't imagine anyone consenting to two Sugar Bowls)

Championship game somewhere.

Rose Bowl stays intact, Oregon vs. Wisconsin

Conference championship format
#1 LSU vs. #10 Wisconsin (Sugar)
#3 Oklahoma State vs. #5 Oregon (Fiesta)

Rose Bowl probably becomes consolation Big Ten/Pac-12 game, like Michigan vs. Stanford. Tradition preserved!

Let's go back through the years now.

2010-11

Top four team format
#1 Auburn vs. #4 Stanford (Sugar)
#2 Oregon vs. #3 TCU (Rose)

So you have no traditional Rose Bowl. Wisconsin probably heads to the Fiesta to pair up with Oklahoma as your consolation game.

Conference championship format
#1 Auburn vs. #5 Wisconsin (Sugar)
#2 Oregon vs. #3 TCU (Rose)

Ditto. That is, unless you have a selection committee or something that favors a Pac-12/Big Ten matchup in the Rose Bowl, in which case you get.

#1 Auburn vs. #3 TCU (Sugar)
#2 Oregon vs. #5 Wisconsin (Rose)

If BCS bowl selection continues its crooked ways, Stanford probably ends up back in the Orange Bowl for the same reasons they ended up there in 2010 to play Virginia Tech.

2009-10

Top four team format

#1 Alabama vs. #4 TCU (Sugar)
#2 Texas vs. #3 Cincinnati (Fiesta)

Rose Bowl stays the same, Ohio State vs. Oregon.

Conference championship format

Unchanged.

2008-09

Top four team format

#1 Oklahoma vs. #4 Alabama (Fiesta)
#2 Florida vs. #3 Texas (Sugar)

Rose Bowl stays the same, USC vs. Penn State

Conference championship format

#1 Oklahoma vs. #6 Utah (Fiesta)
#2 Florida vs. #5 USC (Sugar)

Rose Bowl will have to take out the Trojans, and with their first pick they probably replace them with Texas (who attend the Rose Bowl so well), possibly Alabama.

2007-08

Top four team format & conference championship format

#1 Ohio State vs. #4 Oklahoma (Rose)
#2 LSU vs. #3 Virginia Tech (Sugar)

USC probably ends up in the Fiesta Bowl or something to face Missouri, Georgia, Kansas or West Virginia.

2006-07

Top four team format

#1 Ohio State vs. #4 LSU (Rose)
#2 Florida vs. #3 Michigan (Sugar)

USC probably goes to the Orange or Fiesta.

Conference championship format

#1 Ohio State vs. #6 Louisville (Rose)
#2 Florida vs. #5 USC (Sugar)

Rose Bowl teams both in the final four format, which again allows for the possibility of Ohio State-USC and Florida-Louisville if you have some sort of selection committee rather than going off of rankings.

2005-06

Top four team format

#1 USC vs. #4 Ohio State (Rose)
#2 Texas vs. #3 Penn State (Fiesta)

Conference championship format

#1 USC vs. #6 Notre Dame (Rose)
#2 Texas vs. #3 Penn State (Fiesta)

Hey, look, a RATINGS BONANZA! And if people don't want a USC-Notre Dame rematch, switch them with Penn State and get another traditional Rose Bowl matchup. Best possible look so far on the board.

2004-05

Top four team format

#1 USC vs. #4 Texas (Rose)
#2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Auburn (Fiesta)

Conference championship format

#1 USC vs. #6 Utah (Rose)
#2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Auburn (Fiesta)

No traditional Rose Bowl game here, Big Ten team (Michigan/Iowa) probably slides over to the Sugar Bowl or something to face Georgia.

2003-04

Top four team format/Conference championship format

#1 Oklahoma vs. #4 Michigan (Fiesta)
#2 LSU vs. #3 USC (Sugar)

Rose Bowl probably takes Ohio State and Texas to make up for the loss of USC.

2002-03

Top four team format

#1 Miami (FL) vs. #4 USC (Orange)
#2 Ohio State vs. #3 Georgia (Rose)

Rose Bowl gets a Big Ten representative and both conferences have teams in the top four. Woot!

Conference championship format

#1 Miami (FL) vs. #6 Washington State (Orange)
#2 Ohio State vs. #3 Georgia (Rose)

Replace USC with Pac-10 champion Washington State!

2001-02

Top four team format

#1 Miami (FL) vs. #3 Colorado (Orange)
#2 Nebraska vs. #4 Oregon (Fiesta)

Rose Bowl ends up with Illinois, the Big Ten champion, and possibly Stanford to preserve Rose Bowl tradition.

Conference championship format

#1 Miami (FL) vs. #5 Florida (Orange)
#3 Colorado vs. #4 Oregon (Fiesta)

No Nebraska, which erases one of the most egregious examples of BCS overreach. They probably go and face off with Illinois in Pasadena.

2000-01

Top four team format

#1 Oklahoma vs. #3 Miami (FL) (Fiesta)
#2 Florida State vs. #4 Washington (Orange)

Conference championship format

#1 Oklahoma vs. #7 Florida (Fiesta)
#2 Florida State vs. #4 Washington (Orange)

Oregon State can slate in to take Purdue's place in both scenarios. Rose Bowl tradition preserved!

1999-2000

Top four team & conference championship format

#1 Florida State vs. #4 Alabama (Orange)
#2 Virginia Tech vs. #3 Nebraska (Sugar)

Rose Bowl preserved! Wisconsin vs. the worst Pac-10 champion ever in 1999 Stanford.

1998-99

Top four team playoff format

#1 Tennessee vs. #4 Ohio State (Sugar)
#2 Florida State vs. #3 Nebraska (Orange)

Rose Bowl preserved, as UCLA and Wisconsin would face each other off.

Conference championship format

#1 Tennessee vs. #6 Texas A&M (Sugar)
#2 Florida State vs. #5 UCLA (Orange)

Florida probably takes UCLA's place.

Conclusions

I f the traditional tie-ins stay the way they are, the Orange Bowl is screwed in this cosmic dance. That game has been a bridesmaid for awhile. This just confirms it. The ACC and Big East have a long road back, as they put up two teams combined in any of these scenarios the past DECADE.

The Rose Bowl probably loses the Big Ten vs. Pac-12 regular tie-in, but it's still in play in over half these situations, and you figure that whoever's in charge of deciding who goes where will try to match up teams from those conferences on a regular basis. So it's not like the Rose Bowl hasn't deal with this before (they've already had four previous non-traditional matchups during the tenure of the BCS).

Some things will change. Some things will stay the same. The Rose Bowl won't be going away. It'll just be a little different than it was before.

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