Calling out the SEC is all the rage in the Big Ten at the moment.
I wrote Thursday that one of the Big Ten’s intents in supporting a Plus One was to get the SEC to come up North to play national semifinals. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez put it in writing in the latest issue of “Varsity”, Wisconsin’s official online magazine.
In his “Behind The Desk” column, Alvarez wrote, “ … I applaud the Big Ten and commissioner Jim Delany for advancing the discussion.” He called national semifinals played on campus sites, “ … one way of leveling the playing field a little bit.
“I’ve felt that SEC teams have had an advantage because of the number of bowls that have been played in their backyard. What would they think about leaving the South and playing in the Midwest?”
It’s an open-ended question but Alvarez goes on to say the Rose Bowl and regular season must be preserved. He uses the example of Duke’s loss to Miami this week having little impact on the big tournament picture. Football is a different animal (badger, actually).
“I’m definitely intrigued by the proposal to seed four teams and play two semifinal games on campus sites,” Alvarez wrote.
The fact that administrators are coming out of the woodwork to support Plus One has to tell you something is going to happen. I’m still not sure it will go as far as a playoff. Arizona State president Michael Crow probably put forth the most radical proposal yet. -- an eight-team playoff.
It is interesting to note that in Crow’s playoff, only conference champions would be eligible. That would mean no Alabama in 2011. That also might require a phone call to Pasadena. Where would the Rose Bowl in an eight-team playoff?