I am sure it is tempting to view the Big Ten’s decision to jettison non-conference play as some sort of apocalyptic decision that will lead to the end of college football as we currently know it, but Occam’s razor suggests that it’s more of a short-term move to get through a troubling year with as much of a season on the brink left intact as the suits can manage.
And let’s not forget it might not work.
Anyway, the most revealing comment from yesterday was this:
The Big Ten has yet to decide how many conference games it will play this season, or how it might determine its champion if the season is disrupted, but Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Thursday that he had hoped for a 10-game schedule. The conference is expected to announce more details next week, Smith said.
When asked Thursday if there was an effort to get every conference to agree to play the same amount of games to help the CFP system, Smith, a former selection committee member, said, “That’s no longer a concern of mine.”
Maintaining the trappings to make a playoff that generates a whopping amount of revenue sound legitimate is no longer a concern for Gene Smith? Yeah, I’d say that constitutes what survival mode sounds like. They’ll take what they can get now and worry about the consequences later. Bill Hancock already sounds like a guy who’s been given his new marching orders.
“Clearly there will be challenges this year,” Hancock said. “We’ll see what the challenges look like and work through them. Whatever the season looks like, the committee will select the best four teams using the protocol. Our committee’s fundamental mission has not changed.”