Why doesn't the SEC et al. not want on campus playoffs?

pcon258's picture
April 24, 2012 at 2:34p


In this article, it seems as if the SEC is against on-campus playoff games. Is there any reason that I'm missing that this is the case? It's not like the SEC has any less of a home field advantage than we do, truthfully I see absolutely no reason not to have on campus semifinal games.

The only thing I could see is that the bowl sites could pay enough money to the NCAA to make it worth their while to maintain the current system. Or perhaps that the SEC acknowledges that they already have somewhat of an advantage in every BCS venue (except the Rose bowl), and don't want to cede any extra advantage to the B1G and others. 

Also, don't take this as me attacking the SEC, there are certainly other conferences holding this movement back as well, but the SEC and the B1G seem to be at odds in every aspect of the playoff debate. 

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OSUBias's picture

Because it's a lot easier for us to go play in nice weather down there than it is for them to come play in horrible weather in Dec/Jan in the midwest. They can't/won't play cold weather football.

Also, fans don't want to travel to snowy locales to watch football, they'd rather go to warm places where all the BCS games currently are. So if a BIG team ran the table and got a #1 or #2 seed it would be a HUGE advantage, comparatively.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

btalbert25's picture

Any home game is going to be a huge advantage though.  It's going to be intimidating for Ohio State to come down and play in Tuscaloosa.  Plus, it's not as if Tuscaloosa is Miami.  They get pretty crappy weather in the winters down there or in Athens or Knoxville etc.  Granted not AS cold, but still. 

OSUBias's picture

Agree that any home stadium is an advantage to that team. But I'd argue more OSU fans would travel to Tuscaloosa than vice versa. And that in combination with the fact that cold weather football is slower/slippery-er seems to put the SEC speed teams at a disadvantage.

Put another way, there's less upside for them (southern teams) to agree to play at the lower seed stadium, than there is downside. The only teams with the big upside are the teams that currently reside in the midwest/upper east coast/even parts of the Rockies.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

btalbert25's picture

I really don't think weather would deter Bama fans from traveling.  They travel as well as anyone.  No doubt the weather could help impact the game, but my point is, the SEC gets games where it's in the 50's and raining in the fall time.  Those big boy programs have to come to Lexington to play and Lexington is what, 3 degrees warmer than Columbus?  That's what I'm saying.  It's not as if just because they have to play in the cold, really talented guys all of the sudden would suck.

I just think the real issue here is that B1G fans are looking for some reason why their teams haven't been as good as the SEC the last several years and every excuse under the sun is used now.  Oversigning won't be an issue in a couple of years since it's basically gone now, so the new excuse will have to be that all the bowls are in their back yard.  10-15 years ago you NEVER heard this kind of talk.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

A day game in Lexington in mid-November isn't the same as a primetime game in Columbus in early January in terms of weather -- even though most from the South might be surprised to learn that central Ohio is not invariably bitterly cold in January.

You did hear a lot about home region advantage in regard to the Rose Bowl back in the days when the Big Ten rarely won.

And 10-15 years ago was the very era when John Cooper's teams perenially got beat by various SEC teams in bowls, every one of which was played in the state of Florida, where I believe our losing streak as a program has now reached 9 games (that's 7 losses to SEC teams in bowls, plus a bowl loss to Syracuse, plus a regular season loss to Miami). Most of those games were pretty competitive, and it's hard to believe none of them would have gone the other way had they been played in the Midwest before a friendlier crowd.

Bottom line is that delusional or not, everyone seems to believe that the current system favors the SEC, which is why their schools do not want that system substantially changed.



The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

painterlad's picture

Here is a simple question for you: If playing north helped the SEC, would they do it? Answer that honestly and you will see why they desperately cling to the current situation, just like they fight tooth and nail over moving the baseball/softball season back to later in the year.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

Alhan's picture


"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

LadyBuck's picture

Wouldn't it be hilarious if 'Bama or LSU had to play in Wisconsin in January? 

Alhan's picture

Well it IS Wisky in that scenario so 'Bama and LSU would probably still win...

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

LadyBuck's picture

Which is a sad thought.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

The only thing I could see is that the bowl sites could pay enough money to the NCAA to make it worth their while to maintain the current system.

There's no way this could ever happen. An official NCAA playoff culminating in a Super Bowl of college football would bring in absolutely insane amounts of money. The NCAA has been known to take an interest in money, which makes it even more incredible no one has ever made a playoff happen.

A playoff wouldn't have to involve on-campus games necessarily (though I fail to see how you could have more than a 4-team playoff without them), but there is no way the B1G can and should sign off on a playoff that leaves our region of the country out in the cold, pun both intended and unintended.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

btalbert25's picture

Well the B1G and Delaney have delayed all the playoff talk for a few years. Can't expect everyone to just agree with what they want now.  I can understand other conferences not wanting to play a game in late December in Columbus or Ann Arbor.  I don't know that I really agree that they have an advantage.  It is easier on LSU to play in New Orleans, but we saw them get blown out there this year.  I think it's a little over stated that they get such an advantage.  I think it has more to do with B1G teams getting beat by SEC teams as of late.  I know it's roughly even over the last 10 years, but the last 4 or 5, it's been ugly for the B1G.  Prior to that, no one talked about the SEC having a bowl advantage because of where the games were located.  Plus SEC has won titles in the Desert and Pasadena as well.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Could be that they watched these bowls:




They won't readily admit it but they aren't thrilled about playing cold, wet OUTDOOR semi-final games. And the B1G has a reputation for winning those games.

It also doesn't hurt that 2 of 4 BCS locations are in SEC territory (ie home games). Would have been 3 if they had gotten the Cotton Bowl added as a 5th site. Like they need any more factors aiding their NC aspirations (ie oversigning).

FWIW, I'll be extremely pissed if they get the existing BCS bowls as semi-final sites in addition to no conference champion rule (which SEC fans are also against -- they think there should be at least 2 SEC teams in a 4 team playoff).

hodge's picture

I think the best compromise here, at least in terms of the infrastructure argument, lies in "preferred" neutral locations.  Based upon geographical proximity to the higher seeded team.  Imagine a national semifinal of #1 Ohio State/#4 USC at Paul Brown Stadium with a 65/35 ticket allotment, or #1 Texas/#4 Bama at JerryWorld.  Or, if the SEC really starts to bitch, you can adjust the locations to indoor locations only.  You can preserve that "homefield advantage" even if you aren't necessarily playing at home.

For what it's worth, I'm a huge proponent of home games for semifinals though.

OSUBias's picture

I like the idea of home games, too. I just don't see it happening. Think you're probably right that a neutral site is as close as they'll get.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

NoVA Buckeye's picture

pbs would like it, since they dont sell bengals tickets well

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

btalbert25's picture

These bowl games and their committees have a ton of money and influence, they aren't going to go down without a fight and they'll use reasons like jobs and the impact these bowls have on local economies.  They'll throw around talk about Tradition and history.  The most important thing, though, is they'll buy people who are making the decisions.

This, more than anything else, will influence how things go.  I'd love home games, just because it'd be really awesome to host a home playoff game.  I don't care if it's against Bama or against Michigan.  I'm ok with non conference winners making it in.  Hell it'd be great to see Bama/LSU and Ohio State Michigan in the final four.

Money is going to drive it more than what Delaney or the SEC wants though.

buckeyedude's picture

Seriously...I know we've had some mild winters up here recently, but can you really imagine a normal winter like we used to have in January? Temps in the teens and several feet of snow on the ground? It would have to be played in a dome, and there goes the home field advantage.

All of these proposals are just prolonging the season. +1+1+1+1+1, yada yada. There are too many bowls. Get rid of some of them. And the remaining one's should start right after the regular season.

CFB should conclude on New Year's Day, IMO.



yrro's picture

The real issue, which I think a lot of people don't realize, is whether the fields are heated.
For that Green Bay's playoff games are out on the frozen tundra, their field is warmed so that it isn't a solid, and dangerous ice field to play on. I don't know think that most college fields currently have that setup. November is very different from January.
That said, there's no reason they couldn't bump the first round game to the week after the conference championsips, so it'd only be the beginning of December, which isn't significantly worse than the end of the season games already being played.

Nutbuck1959's picture

The biggest problem I have is that going south is like a home game for SEC no matter where it is played.  All you have to do is listen to "SEC, SEC!!!" chants on TV.  The locals will buy as many tickets as possible (say OSU vs Alabama in Georgia dome), so i see it as home field advantage.  I think the southern schools should have to come north if they are the lower seed (currently not happening!). Tickets will sell.  I don't buy that argument.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The B1G should take a "take it or leave it" position concerning the on-campus semifinal playoff games.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I have faith in Delany. That's exactly what he's going to do. Probably get the Pac-12 and ND on board with him.

Doc's picture

I hope you are right, Humble.  He holds a lot of the cards and I hope he uses his "influence"(read: $$$$$$$) to his advantage.

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GABuckeye's picture

$$$$  - that's all

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

The SEC has the advantage, why would they vote otherwise. More of the general fanbase will travel if all the games are in the south. It's a competitve advantage for them.  I never understood why the Vikings moved into a dome. They were so dominant in the 60's and 70's under Bud Grant outdoors, cold weather is a huge advantage for teams that are used to it, more so than high altitude IMO. 

I would love to see any SEC or southern school for that matter come play in freezing temps. Remember Notre Dame thumping Miami a few years ago in that bowl? Hilarious, all the Miami players had long sleeves and ski masks on.  Notre Dame comes out in short sleeves and kicks their asses.  Can't help but wonder if we could have played a title game at Soldier Field what could have been.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

Bucksfan's picture

I don't really understand this, either.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that the tailgaiting in the Walmart parking lots will be nationally televised?

chubler's picture

The SEC doesn't want to lose their home-team advantage in every bowl game they play. The argument they're making right now is that most schools dont have the infrastructure to handle that many people, but its not like there would be any more than a normal home game anyway.


...Can you imagine the atmosphere with semifinal games being held at legendary stadiums like the shoe, Notre Dame stadium, Michigan stadium (no matter how much we hate them, you cant deny there's tradition there!)

Bucksfan's picture

But the SEC champ will be ranked #1 or #2 from here on out until they start losing in back-to-back-to-back seasons.  They've "earned" that.  So, the home field advantage would really only be in their favor in that system, provided they can live up to their bragging...which they've done well so far.
So, it still doesn't make sense to me.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I also wonder how many "southern" fans would actually travel up North in the cold for a game.  

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

LadyBuck's picture

Bundled with lots of layers.

nickma71's picture

This is why.
I don't remember how close the SEC title game was. They(the fighting McFaden's) lost to Florida by 10. But not by 50+.