Another day, another out-of-the-blue development in college football.
The Big 12-SEC announced Friday a Champions Bowl that will pit each league’s top teams against one another — unless they’re in a four-team playoff. If for some reason university presidents decide a true “plus-one” model — where two winners are chosen after the bowl games — is the best model, this game becomes a defacto playoff.
The howlers on KC radio — and writers from the area – immediately connected the announcement to the potential formation of a Superleague: 64 teams in four 16-team conferences driving toward a national championship.
Unless those 64 schools are ready to branch off and create another division of athletics — which seems unwieldy and fraught with complications, like the IRS finally taking a peek at the books and wonder if that tax-exempt status is so applicable — the Superleague seems unlikely. You can’t create a playoff that automatically denies entrants within a given division; that’s ripe for antitrust lawsuits. One reason the playoff’s being kept at four teams, in my opinion, is the fear that expansion automatically brings every Division FBS conference to the table asking for its entry into the gala.
The Big 12-SEC partnership appears, for now, just this: A relationship between two conferences to create a old-school, big-name bowl game that suits both parties and should become a fascinating bidding war between New Orleans and Dallas. With the BCS era ending, I’d expect a top-down rethinking of the bowls, with more bunched on New Year’s Day and far fewer secondary bowls — if any at all — occurring after that day.
Could it be another domino in a long line of them? Sure. That’s a logical assumption. But it’s not automatic.