Notre Dame Football: Playoff Plan Could Leave Irish on the Outside
In an ESPN article Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany outlined a championship playoff format that gave preference to teams that have won their conference championships.
The Big Ten's commissioner, whose own championship format is only a year old outlined a plan in discussion that the four playoff teams would be selected with a preferential bias for conference champions finishing in the Top Six.
If fewer than four conference championship winners ended ranked in the top six, then "at large" teams would be considered.
This plan would prevent rematches similar to the LSU-Alabama championship game of last year, could exclude from consideration a team who spent the entire season at No. 1 but lost its conference championship game and could prevent non-BCS conference teams from having any shot at the national championship.
For Notre Dame, this plan could spell disaster.
By Delany's plan, should Notre Dame run the table beating Michigan, Michigan State, USC and, this year and next, Oklahoma, the Irish would undoubtedly be ranked in the Top Two; however the team would need a loss by the Big Ten, Pac 12 or Big 12 team in their respective championship games to qualify for the playoff.
In almost every year in recent memory, the winner of the SEC title game has finished in the Top Six.
Should the higher-ranked and favored teams from the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac 12 win their games, even an undefeated Notre Dame would have no shot at a national championship because it would be excluded from the playoff.
Every year, no matter how good or how dominant the Irish could be it would still need outside help to have a chance to play for a title.
It seems unlikely that smaller conference commissioners would fall in line with this plan, because it excludes basically all conferences except the big four.
Should this plan be set in place, the new four-team playoff, which was intended to give more teams a shot at a title, may in fact be more exclusive than the preceding BCS system.
Not exactly a step in the right direction.
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