So much work yet to do for a playoff. And it looks as if we have a long way to go before we have any idea what the final product will look like.
Dennis Dodd filed this slightly alarming report that neither side seemed to be making any progress on the deal, and Pac-12 presidents seem to be a bit warier than everyone else at the party.
"If the Big Ten and Pac-12 presidents had embraced the four-team playoff, then I think there would have been a place where everyone was on the same page, and then ready to fill in all the gaps," the source said.
It's no secret that the Big 12 and SEC stridently favor a top-four format. That's the best four best teams in the country ranked, in some way, 1-to-4.
"The Pac-12 is still dug in on some things that other people aren't," said one commissioner, possibly referring to Larry Scott's assertion that a plus-one -- a championship game after the bowls -- is still on the table.
There has been very public pushback by the Big Ten and Pac-12, so it's not surprising that what once was unanimity among the commissioners back in [Florida] isn't the case within the respective conferences," the source said.
I know the Pac-12 presidents aren't the guys you'd invite to your next house party, but obstructionist schmuktionist. The Pac-12 can be painted as a bad guy by all the other conference teenagers, but there's no reason for them to push this thing along just so the conferences can proclaim playoff. A lot of things need to be worked out to ensure the conference ends up with the best possible arrangement in this deal.
No, this is posturing. Both conferences are posturing for a playoff that best serves their interests. The "1-4" format that the SEC and the Big 12 are pushing for probably isn't something that interests either the Pac-12 or the Big Ten. Considering how difficult out-of-conference schedules generally are for the Big Ten and the Pac-12 compared to the Big 12 and especially the SEC, the probability of a team running the table is probably a bit lower.
I'm guessing the Pac-12 and Big Ten want something like the conference championship requirement in place, or at least some apparatus that would really put them in prime position to earn spots. That Scott continues to insist on the plus-one format makes it apparent that the Rose Bowl is important to both conferences, as it would likely preserve that tradition if the bowl got selected and give both teams a solid chance at a national championship afterward. I doubt the plus-one is feasible for the big conferences to agree upon, but a playoff format involving bowls with conference champions certainly is something to work toward down the line.
Frankly, the possibility of a playoff implosion is probably just a lot of huff and puff. The Pac-12 is not going to back out of a million dollar playoff just because they like the Rose Bowl forever and ever. Everyone will come around. The conference just wants to make sure they end up with the best possible dear that guarantees their representation in a future playoff arrangement.
A playoff is coming, but in this case, if you're a Pac-12 fan, the longer this thing drags on, the better off your chances will be at getting the type of playoff which will puts one of their own in the dance.