Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018

Big Ten is also thinking about giving up its divisional format

For the second year in a row, the Big Ten will not participate in the university football playoffs and for the third year in a row, the conference champion will not have won a place. This has caused consternation in areas of the country that are interested in the situation, especially at the conference headquarters outside of Chicago.

Jim Delany, commissioner of the Big Ten, said on Wednesday that the conference's decision-makers had planned to change the Big Ten Championship game so that it featured the top two teams, not the division winners.

"This is a subject that has been discussed before" he said. "There are currently more discussions than four years ago."

Ohio State Division champion East defeated North West West Division champion in Saturday's Big Ten title game, but the Buckeyes were not able to to be one of the top four in the final standings of university football play-offs. The Wildcats went 8-1 in conference this season but 0-3 away and entered the title game with four losses.

It does not matter how the conference defines its two "best" teams – review of the conference, ranking polls, etc. – Ohio State would have had a rematch against Michigan in the conference title game if the Big Ten had dropped out of its divisional championship format this season (the Wolverines tied the Buckeyes with a 8-1 conference card) . A second victory over his rival in the north, who finished his season in 7th place, would almost certainly have allowed Ohio State to qualify for the playoffs ahead of a team like Oklahoma, who avenged his only loss in the regular season – against Texas – with a win over the No. 15 Longhorns of the Big 12 title on Saturday. The Sooners finished No. 4 in the standings to win a date with Alabama, seeded first, in the semifinals of the CFP.

Speaking of Oklahoma and his ilk, the Big 12 decided not to go back into division when they resumed their conference league game last season. This decision was made to better position the conference teams for the playoffs. three seasons. Instead, the game now opposes the top two teams in the standings. It seemed to work well this year.

The Big Ten's balance of powers lies squarely in the East Division: Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State have won six of the eight games, with Wisconsin being the only team in the West to do so (a feat achieved in Canada). 2012). In fact, the Badgers have represented the Western part of the conference in 5 of the 8 games.

In 2016, Penn State defeated Wisconsin in the Big Ten title match. Yet Ohio State, a defeat, signaled to the PCP to accept the loss of the Nittany Lions, even though he won the regular season game. If the match for the title Big Ten had opposed the two best teams of the conference, the States of Penn State and Ohio State (8-1 in conference) would still have clashed. But such a change would have had no impact on last season: Ohio State and Wisconsin were the two best teams in the conference and clashed in the title game, and the Buckeyes' win eliminated the Badgers , still unbeaten, of the first four, without doing enough. State of Ohio. Buckeyes, who suffered two losses, finished fifth in the CFP final standings behind Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama, all of whom lost none or lost.

Delany repeated Wednesday that the Big Ten did not plan to stop playing nine conference games a year – "We are a conference that wants to play a bunch," he said – Although the SEC and ACC require their teams to play eight players, giving these programs the opportunity to complete their program with another easily winnable non-conference game. More flexible programs do not seem to have harmed any of these conferences: of the so-called Power 5, only the SEC and ACC have had a playoff representative in each of its first five seasons.

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