The Big Ten and the Pac-12 are starting up their own "conference alliance" of sorts in the 2017 season.
The measure would pit the conferences against one another on the gridiron as well as in all other sports in an effort to grow their relationship and ensure quality play between opponents. Larry Scott and Jim Delany, the commissioners of the two leagues, are attached at the hip with respect to their goals in the battle to bring a playoff event to college football.
Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal has an even more innovative plan; a plan that would truly separate the two leagues in a beautifully exclusive relationship of sorts:
The schools of the Big Ten and Pac-12, whose shared history dates to the early 20th century, need to push away from this diabolical poker table, hail a pedicab for two, make their way to the airport and book a flight to Pasadena, Calif. They need to renew their vows and pledge themselves to serve the greater glory of the best thing about college football: the Rose Bowl.
That's right. She is proposing that both Delany and Scott remove their leagues from the fray, pick up their ball and go play in the Rose Bowl, alone. I'll tell you what, I'm not hating this plan. In fact, I support it wholeheartedly. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 should join forces and focus their energies on playing with each other and playing the Rose Bowl.
For one, it would stop teams like Ohio State (twice) and Oregon from taking losses in the national championship game. It would stop TCU from having to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. It would stop teams like Illinois and Michigan from being embarrassed by the Pac-12 champion. Rather, it would put Ohio State in those games.
If the Big Ten and Pac-12 are hellbent on preserving the Rose Bowl, then this is the best route to do so. The two leagues can have their own side game while the rest of the nation pushes for the crystal ball. Let the SEC, Big 12, ACC, Big East, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt, Conference-USA and Notre Dame play for all the marbles while the Big Ten and Pac-12 do their own thing.
From where I sit, this would be a bit of a blessing for those designing the four-team playoff. No more of Jim Delany's terrible, self-centered plans to limit the SEC's involvement in the playoff. No more of the hurt feelings over being "left out" because a west coast team does not get into the BCS title game they feel they deserved.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 would play each other and the rest of the college football world could do their own heavy lifting.
Please go. Seriously. There's the door, guys. I'm sure the fans will love knowing the Rose Bowl is their ceiling and they can hope for an AP national title at best come season's end. I'm sure the recruits will love knowing they are going to play the best of the best, as long as that team is in the Pac-12 or Big Ten.
They are more than welcome to go. If preserving the Rose Bowl is job one, then this is, without a doubt, is the best way to get that job done. Larry Scott and Jim Delany, your move guys.