One of the major reasons the Big Ten added Nebraska as a 12th team is to fulfill the NCAA rule requiring at least 12 in order to have a conference championship game. Because having a Big Ten
championship game brings in a lot of dough. And A.D.s and conference
commissioners are like Biggie and Jay-Z, they "love the dough, more than
you know. Gotta let it show, I love the dough."
Legendary Penn State (All-American '81, left the program with 42 school records) and Seattle Seahawks (four Pro-Bowls) running back Curt Warner (not to be confused with the famous QB Kurt Warner) shares my vision.
"This thing has somewhat evolved into bigger superconferences amd I
think you'll see a number of consolidation over the next 5-6 years and
it's going to bleed more into a playoff kind of format. I can't say for
sure, but that's where I think this thing is going," Warner told me on
the day of his College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement.
"If you bring in the Pac and you add a few more teams from the Big
Ten, right now the Big 12 has ten, and the Big Ten has 12, but one of
these days we will get the numbers right, hopefully. Now if the Big Ten
has 16, now you have 16 over here. You get the SEC involved in that
whole process, get another 16 teams somewhere, now you have 64 teams
which makes things a lot more interesting. Of course, this is just
speculation," Warner continued.
Today, we currently have a computer generated title game match-up; in
recent years it's been largely shaped by the outcome of the SEC and Big
12 championship games. So in essence we already have a de facto
football Final Four and title game- sometimes.
We just need to add more credibility and legitimacy to these already
established games. With a possibly forthcoming Pac 16, Big 20, Big 26 or
Big Atlantic Coastal Eastern Half of the USA Conference or whatever it
would happen. If you have four mega-conferences, or eight
super-conferences, each with two divisions, the divisional champions
will square off against one another in the "first round of the
playoffs." Then the champions of the megaconferences play each other and
we have: presto! a "December Delirium," a football version of March
When I brought up the fact that we sort of already have a College
Football Final Four, Warner agreed and talked about how we can build off
that. And still maintain the tradition of the bowl games.
"There you go, you have those four, now you add playoffs and the
national championship picture becomes a little cleaner, and you don't
have as much speculation about this, that and the other. We can nail
this thing down and still keep the bowl games going," Warner said.
"We can still keep the bowl games and have the best of both worlds.
There's a ton of bowl games out there, and some teams will be in the mix
for that. Others won't and you can take it for what's worth," he
So when will we see this happen? In our lifetimes?
"I would say in the next 5-10 years we'll see it leaning in that direction a little more so," Warner stated.
Paul M. Banks is President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune's blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
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