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Georgia president says the Big Ten-Pac-12 Rose Bowl matchup is outdated

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(Kirby Lee/US Presswire)

University of Georgia president Michael Adams is in favor of a playoff, but not if it gives the Pac-12 and Big Ten special treatment.

USA Today reported last week that the 11 BCS commissioners and Notre Dame were considering a "Four Teams Plus" model that would allow the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions to continue to meet in the Rose Bowl even if one of those teams isn't among the top four teams in whatever poll they decide to use to determine a four-team playoff.

This didn't exactly sit will with Adams, who thinks the top four teams should just be the top four teams regardless of conference affiliation, and that the historic Rose Bowl rivalry between the Big Ten and the Pac-12 is dated.

"This is not 1950, or 1960," Adams told The Wall Street Journal. "There are great schools in the [Atlantic Coast Conference] and the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12. I think it's time to put everybody on an equal footing. I just reject the notion that the Big Ten and the Pac-12 ought to be treated differently in this process.

"If they can be accommodated without changing the entire process, then I think everyone is open to that. I have great respect for the Big Ten and the Pac-12, and have two Big Ten degrees [from Ohio State]. But I don't think that they have the right to dictate policy to all the rest of us."

Cheers to that.

I think any college football fan can appreciate the historical significance of the Rose Bowl, but I agree that changing the rules to accommodate the Pac-12 and Big Ten is ludicrous and unfair to teams that worked hard to get into the top four spots and actually deserve to be in the playoff.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany didn't have the expected reaction to Adams comments (at least not publicly) and told the Wall Street Journal he was "glad that Michael Adams and others are fully participating in the conversation," and that "the Rose Bowl has, and will continue to have, a very important relationship with the Big Ten."

Of course, Adams isn't exactly championing the sanctity of fair college football, rather trying to protect the SEC from getting aced out of a national championship or an extra playoff berth.

"The predominant view seems to be for a four-team playoff of some sort," Adams said. "I think that's an improvement, but I think it diminishes the importance of the nation's strongest athletic conference, the Southeastern Conference."

While a four-team playoff might not be the perfect solution, at least it's step in the right direction and a step toward a fair way of picking a national champion. Adding in a special provision for the Rose Bowl and the Pac-12 and Big Ten would diminish any progress toward a fair system.

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