The Big Ten's Playoff Picture Contains Few Subjects

By Kyle Rowland on July 21, 2014 at 8:15a
65 Comments

The upcoming college football season will be full of intrigue and firsts. Well, unless you’ve been a die-hard FCS, Division II or Division III fan – the levels of college football that decided a champion the right way. For FBS, it’s the first year of a playoff, offering suspense in every month and a crescendo in January.

The SEC has ruled the sport for the better part of a decade. The conference won nine national championships during the BCS era, including seven of the final eight. It may very well continue that dominance in the new age. But multiple conferences will be able to flex their muscles.

Despite the SEC’s track record of success, it will be difficult for voters to keep out champions from the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12. Only four teams are allowed in and expecting two SEC teams every year is far from guaranteed. Year 1 of the playoff could serve as a reality check for the conference everyone loves to hate, as Ohio State, Michigan State, Florida State, Oklahoma and Oregon all pose significant challenges.

In the Big Ten, there’s little doubt as to who the top dogs are. It’s the Buckeyes, Spartans, and then everyone else. Last year’s classic Big Ten championship game will be played over in East Lansing – at night in November. LSU and Alabama play the same evening, making November 8, perhaps, the most important day of the season.

“When we [arrived in East Lansing] in 2006, we dreamed big,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said this spring. “What we’ve been able to accomplish this past year was a result of that – seven years of sacrifice, commitment, laying our plan out and going through our goals.

“We’re now at the top, and that’s where Ohio State has been. A lot of that is thanks to Coach Tressel and the things he did. That’s where they’re at right now. The opportunity to compete at that level at this point in time in just a mindset. But we’re very fortunate to be there.”

Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford, Keith Mumphrey, Shilique Calhoun and Kurtis Drummond return. But the losses of defensive stalwarts Max Bullough, Denicos Allen and Darqueze Dennard almost outweigh who’s back.

The nation will learn quickly how good Michigan State still is when it travels to Oregon on Sept. 6 for a game with major playoff implications for both programs. Few coaches get as much out of his players than Dantonio, and after last season, it’s hard to underestimate him.

Where doubt creeps in is Michigan State’s uneven past. Historically, the Spartans are not a consistent winner. That trend is currently being discredited by seasons with 11, 11 and 13 wins. For all the talk about Michigan State’s defense, Cook’s progression will ultimately be the deciding factor in the Spartans’ fate.

“I honestly didn’t see this coming,” Cook said about his rise.

Neither did anyone else. That team and player this season could be Iowa and quarterback Jake Rudock. The Hawkeyes’ schedule gives them an opportunity at an unblemished record and hopes of crashing college football’s big party. Rudock is an academic whiz who threw for 2,383 yards, 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions during Iowa’s eight-win season in 2013.

“I think we’ve all gotten more comfortable with the offense,” Rudock said. “We all understand it better. Things like route depth. Sometimes it’s supposed to be a 12-yard route. We’d accidentally run it eight yards or nine yards, and that makes a big difference.”

What will make a big difference in Columbus is an improved defense. Urban Meyer’s 24 victories in two years were diminished by an overmatched secondary. That win total must reach 37 if the Buckeyes hope to appear in the Rose or Sugar Bowl – college football’s semifinals. The chances of a one-loss Ohio State team reaching the playoff are slim.

So Meyer and Co. will ride the arm and legs of Braxton Miller, a Heisman Trophy contender who’s improved every season. There are weapons galore on offense – Ezekiel Elliott, Dontre Wilson, Devin Smith – a veteran defensive line and an improved back end that bodes well against a favorable schedule.

There are challenges against Virginia Tech and Michigan, but it’s almost a One Game Season with a giant circle around November 8. Get past Michigan State undefeated and a berth in the inaugural playoff is in sight.

“We’re leaving spring practice with a good feeling,” Meyer said in April.

The months have since dwindled. Fall camp will begin in weeks and the chase for college football supremacy will be fraught with anticipation.

2014 could be a B1G year.

65 Comments

Comments

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

A lot of that is thanks to Coach Tressel and the things he did. 

Is that supposed to be a slight towards Urban Meyer?  And isn't Ohio State where they are because they're Ohio State?  Granted, much credit to Tress and what he's done at OSU, but that quote seemed a little off to me.

+2 HS
unknownmusketeer's picture

I took the quote as saying, "I [Coach Dantonio] owe a lot of thanks to Coach Tressel for teaching me how to operate a program so that I could be successful at Michigan State."

I don't think this is a slight at all.

+9 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

I can see that after some thought.  I just looked at the negative...it's monday.

+1 HS
chicagobuckeye's picture

I took it more as Ohio State has been on top for the last 11+ years thanks in large part to Tressel. Not that Meyer hasn't maintained it, but more that Tressel put Ohio State in such a high place for so long, and while Meyer could continue that its only been 2 years whereas Michigan State has been relevant for as long as Meyer has been here. More saying that they are reaching a point (for Michigan State) to have the same success as OSU from 2002 till now. But I agree I don't think its a slight, but more a nod with how Tressel had kept the program at such a high level for so long.

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Chicago has the probably more accurate interpretation of this quote. I'll add emphasis below to explain why.

“We’re now at the top, and that’s where Ohio State has been [at the top of the Big Ten]. A lot of ​[Ohio State being at the top of the Big Ten] is thanks to Coach Tressel and the things he did. That’s where they’re at right now. The opportunity to compete at that level at this point in time in just a mindset. But we’re very fortunate to be there.”

So yes, I think Coach D is saying that part of the reason Ohio State is the "Big One" at the top of the Big Fourteen is because Jim Tressel dominated all comers in the conference for 10 years.

+1 HS
Fogt13's picture

I thought the same thing, hopefully Urban has the quote tattoed on his forehead so we dont play flat and get a win against them this year.

Go Buckeyes! Go Bengals! Go Reds!
My true love will always be Rosie

-1 HS
yankeescum's picture

I think that it was an intentionally veiled insult, and also giving some props to the best coach in the country for the past decade.  No team was as consistently highly rated as Ohio State on a national level from the time that Tressel got here until he left.  I like Meyer, but the reason that Ohio State is here is because of Tress, and I think that we have a tendency to forget that.  Ohio State was not in the national championship conversation every single year without fail during the Cooper years, or during any other coach's tenure.  Part of that has to do with the change in format to the BCS, but mostly it has to do with Jim Tressel, consistently producing a fantastic squad, and killing the living shit out of the big ten.  

ToetotheFace's picture

I think Meyer could have recruited a championship quality team here regardless of Tressel coming before him, and I think his track record of success speaks to that. Tressel was a top tier coach, but while it seems he is a bit more consistent over time than Meyer(though it is hard to say given his tendency to move), Meyer also clearly produces the better teams during his best seasons coaching. I think they're both elite level coaches, but I would take Meyer over Tressel.

+1 HS
Saxhorn's picture

Since Dantonio was DC on Tressel's NC team, it doesn't seem a slight to Meyer. In addition, Dantonio's strategy employs much of what he learned from Tressel during his years on the Buckeye staff.

Saxhorn

OSUMB 64-70

H-3, M-6

+6 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

I feel like this year it's OSU or Sparty or nobody from the B1G. I don't think any other team will get enough national respect. Wisconsin would be close but I think playing in the B1G west would leave them on the outside looking in. 

A Rodney Dangerfield "no respect" pic would go nicely in this spot...

+1 HS
chicagobuckeye's picture

I think a win over LSU, assuming LSU plays well in the SEC, and Wisconsin only losing maybe to a Nebraska, or Iowa, and then going on to beat either Michigan State or Ohio State in the BIGCG would put them there assuming Nebraska and Iowa have decent seasons ~9 or 10 wins otherwise.

+1 HS
ToetotheFace's picture

Hard to say given the nature of how the CF landscape looks, but I do think Wisconsin with a win over LSU and one loss or less would make it in. They have produced a proven track record of high level success, even if their run isn't up to the level of others in the conference.

NuttyBuckeye's picture

Chief, I have to agree with you.  I don't think Wisconsin has the speed to beat LSU, so they are out.  MSU and Ohio State MUST GO UNBEATEN in order to make the playoff is my thought (hell - they may take a 1-loss SEC team over an unbeaten B1G team, I am afraid).  The national media and the public will take a 1-loss SEC team over a 1-loss B1G team.  I don't agree with it but the rest of the country will feel that the 1-loss SEC team is the better team and will get in.

Unfortunately, until more B1G teams can start beating good OOC schools regularly, we will be looked at as inferior to the SEC...

It wil be very interesting to see: 1) how many teams actually go undefeated and 2) which 1-loss teams get left out of the playoff.  This system is still not perfect - only a true playoff system (like the smaller schools do it) would be.

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

apack614's picture

Thats going to be a great game but with Michael Bennett, Joey Bosa, Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington plus many others always in rotation leaving everyone with constant fresh legs Cook might just have too much to handle before he can even think about getting the ball off. Plus its time for redemption, Buckeyes by 10+ points in East Lansing!

"If we worked half as hard as our band, we'd be champions." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
BuckeyeRick's picture

It's time for the other B1G teams to start pulling some weight.I hope Franklin can help get Penn State back, that'll help.

+1 HS
chicagobuckeye's picture

I think that it will take one a combination of the following for Penn State over the next 3+ years. 1. Luck 2. A lack of injuries 3. Really good development of talent 4. Not "missing" on many prospects 5. Good game management. I think that we will see over the next 2 to 3 seasons whether Penn State will be able to bounce back in a relatively short amount of time or whether we will be looking roughly 3 coaches down the road. Not because they are bad coaches, but the lack of depth coupled with the stigma of Penn State (Sandusky) and difficult time competing for titles.

ToetotheFace's picture

I totally disagree with the guy insinuating that PSU could fall off the map. Franklin is a proven coach and good recruiter, the program pedigree is slowly recovering from the Sandusky situation(O'Brien did so well), and they are pulling in the best recruits other than OSU. I think as the lack of depth due to the penalty ends, we'll see PSU rise to become a top 30 team annually.

cplunk's picture

It.s not going to be popular, but I'll say it- I think there is a good chance the B1G gets left out of the playoff this year. There is a caveat of course- that is that an undefeated B1G champ is likely to be in (Note that I said "likely" not "definitely").

The B1G's perception right now is awful. Although we all like to mock the ACC as the weakest of the power conferences, the fact is that last year FSU won the title and Clemson beat us in a bowl game. Yes, yes, voters are only supposed to take the current year into account, but we all know when the committee gets behind closed doors perception of conference strength is going to matter. A lot.

Here is the issue- in a four team only playoff, perception of conference strength is everything. That means that those of us in the B1g- like it or not- are going to be reliant upon the other teams in the B1G to win their high profile out of conference games. The meme for the B1G is going to be set very early this year: Ohio State v Va Tech, Wisconsin v LSU (WEEK 1!!), Michigan State v Oregon (Week 2), TSUN v Notre Dame. Lose those games and the B1G "sucks" is the meme. That's trouble even if we go undefeated.

There is a second tier that matters a lot too, and that is any game versus a power conference team: Indiana v Missouri, Penn State v UCF (Week 1), Nebraska v Miami and Fresno State, NW v Cal,  Illinois v Washington, Maryland v West Virginia, Rutgers v Washington State

Why does it matter? There is likely to be only one, maybe two undefeated teams. That's true. But ask yourself who makes the four- not who you would put in the four, but who the committee would put in the four- in the following situation:

1) OSU goes undefeated

2) LSU blew out Wisconsin on national tv, Oregon beat Michigan State on national tv, TSUN lost to Notre Dame, and in the second tier games the B1G did slightly worse than average.

3) The SEC champ has one loss, as does the SEC runner up (who was undefeated until losing to the SEC champ)

4) Oregon, who blew out Michigan State, has one loss to a good UCLA team

5) Florida State is undefeated

6) The B12 winner has one loss

So who's in? My bet in that scenario is The SEC champ, FSU, the SEC runner up and then a debate between OSU, Oregon and the B12 champ. If Oregon pummeled Michigan State and we had a close game against them.......If the B12 champ has been racking up points every week like a video game.....

Not trying to be a downer but the simple fact is that with only four teams we can't rely on the old "win and you're in" theory. The B1G HAS TO START WINNING OUT OF CONFERENCE GAMES. If Wisconsin beats LSU, Michigan state beats Oregon, and we beat Va Tech it is a simple story- the B1G champ will be in baring something really unusual. I hate to say it, but we need to spend a lot of time this year rooting for other B1G teams to step up to the plate.

Once we get out of this awful perception cycle we've been in since 2006, it's a different story.

+3 HS
southernstatesbuckeye's picture

I have to believe that if Ohio State goes undefeated, that they are in, no matter what happens in the rest of the conference.

+6 HS
buckeyedude's picture

The same could be said of MSU, if they go undefeated.

 

 

+4 HS
Hoody Wayes's picture

The irony, of course, is that Meyer set that "awful perception cycle" in motion. I'm no longer confident he will establish a new momentum and win an NC.

FitzBuck's picture

Why?  Recruiting at a high level.  Check

facilities. Check

Strength and conditioning.  Check

offensive scheme.  Check

solid special teams.  Check

depth at all positions.  Check

favorable schedule.  Check

defense..........?  If we check this one hang on buddy because we are going for a ride.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+2 HS
ibuck's picture

Are you sure you want to give Offensive scheme and depth at all positions checks? The scheme has been to run Braxton rather than pass or to trust on a reliable running back. As for depth, if Braxton is injured, what QB can pass the ball adequately? What if 2 OL go down?

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, this team has to a lot to show us before the post-season. That's not to say that being in the playoff is impossible. New offensive layers have to show efficiency and hang on to the ball. The D has to be a whole lot better.  And winning a playoff game (or 3) is a hurdle these Buckeyes haven't yet negotiated successfully.

So let's encourage them—loudly.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

ToetotheFace's picture

The offensive scheme is a check, last year's offense was one of the best in recent history and was being held back by awful defense. Meyer had Florida as one of the best offensive teams in the nation, and easily the best offense on average over the years he had Tebow there. He was ripping defenses apart in the conference where the best defensive talent is, all his teams have been reliant on the run and so have many others(10'Auburn, 07'WVU, 10'Oregon, 13'Auburn, etc.) that have succeeded at elite levels. You watched his run at Florida did you not? He has two national championships and has gone 24-2 at OSU, with even an average defense probably getting them in the championship game. I realize everyone has high expectations but elite coaches still aren't perfect, look at what happened to Saban and Bama against Oklahoma.

I'm not saying this team is a lock by any means, because it isn't and it has flaws. However, Meyer's scheme isn't the problem. The problem is how the defense performs and whether the offense can improve without Hyde's monstrous production coupled with the fact that injuries could always strike. BTW - Hyde averaged 5 more carries per game than Miller and that is including the fact that whenever a QB in college is sack or scrambles(undesigned) it is considered a carry.

chicagobuckeye's picture

If Ohio State is undefeated, and Michigan State is undefeated, or has only a close loss to Oregon, then the winner (assuming they then win out) will be playing in the playoff. regardless of how everyone else does. You would either have an undefeated OSU or a 1-loss (to a top 5 (at the time) team) MSU which would be hard to find elsewhere.

+1 HS
Kyle Rowland's picture

It depends how the losses fall, but it will certainly be difficult for a Big Ten team to sneak in with one loss. The only teams that would be able to pull it off are Ohio State and Michigan State, IMO. Maybe Michigan, but it's so far-fetched for them to have one loss this season. If MSU loses to Oregon and then wins out, it'd have a great chance at making the playoff. The issue with OSU or MSU losing to each other is that the loser likely won't make the conference championship game. If you aren't in that, I can't imagine a playoff berth. 

AndyVance's picture

Agreed, Kyle. If the Conference Champion looks like the Wisconsin team Bert took to the Rose Bowl the year before he scampered off to the pig pen, I don't see that squad making it into the inaugural invitational. Very little margin for mediocrity in this system, at least for a team outside the southeast (I'm lumping FSU in with the SEC for the sake of this argument).

-1 HS
ibuck's picture

For anyone thinking the SEC gets 2 teams in, which 2 of the other 4 conference champs are you shafting?

The playoff committee's job is to pick 4 of the 5 conference champs. Anyone on the committee that thinks otherwise will be jettisoned. The selection committee is advised to favor conference champions and strength of schedule.

BTW, for 2013, Alabama is last in the SEC (95th!) in opponents' winning percentage. Seven of the Tide's 12 opponents finished 2013 with losing records including FCS Western Carolina. 

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

AndyVance's picture

My comment does not presuppose two SEC teams in the invitational. However, if the B1G champion looks anything like the Wisconsin squad that limped into the 2013 Rose Bowl at 8-5, that team will not get into the playoff, and there are a number of scenarios in which the non-Big Ten entry does not have to be a second SEC school. There are five "power conferences," after all, not to mention Notre Dame, and a number of other division one schools - Boise State, as one recent example - who could well be undefeated or close to it, without an affiliation to the power conferences.

bafiesta's picture

Disagree.  There could easily be a 1 loss SEC team and a 3 or 4 loss conference champ.  Plus no title game for theBig 12.  

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

An undefeated Big Ten champion will be in, period.  There's no way that more than four teams from the power five conferences are going to go undefeated.  I don't see the committee throwing in one loss teams over an unbeaten B1G champion.  OSU would've been in the title game last year had they beaten MSU, I don't care how many haters felt Auburn should/would jump us.  You take that title picture from two to four teams, there's no doubt at all that an unbeaten B1G champion gets in.

Where it gets murky is if the champion has losses.  A one loss team may have a shot, but will need a lot of chaos to make it happen.   Two or more losses - forget it.

Class of 2010.

+2 HS
Jeeves's picture

So much wrong here.

NuttyBuckeye's picture

CPLUNK you said: I hate to say it, but we need to spend a lot of time this year rooting for other B1G teams to step up to the plate.

I have been rooting for the entire (yes - even that scUM team) B1G in all non-conference games.  I am sick and tired of hearing "the Big Ten is weak" and I want this perception changed - EVEN IF IT MEANS ROOTING FOR TTUN!!!

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

CC's picture

but it’s almost a One Game Season with a giant circle around November 8

Somehow we assume that there are no legit teams in the West.  An undefeated Nebraska or Wisconsin team would look really good and prove to be a quality opponent, not that I think that will happen.  Wisconsin has LSU and Nebraska has Miami if I recall.

In a totally unrelated matter, does anyone know how they get the names on the fields for temporary use on turf?  Is it paint that washes off?  I can't imagine they have a replacement endzone they lay for one game?

+1 HS
QBYBuckeye's picture

I am not normally a nit picker, BUT when I read, "Few coaches get as much out of his players than Dantonio ..." I cringed.  Possible rewrites:  Few coaches get as much out of their players as Dantonio; Few coaches get more out of their players than Dantonio; Dantonio gets more out his players than most coaches. 

New York Buckeye

+1 HS
rock flag and eagle's picture

Agree.  Use the last suggestion and ditch the passive voice.  Dantonio is the coach of the defending Big Ten Champions.  He doesn't deserve passive voice.

+1 HS
TheNorthernBuckeye's picture

I have nothing against MSU but I would not consider them at the top. They had one above average year and they expect to contend every year? BIG 10 titles and rose bowls are the standard in Columbus. It's about sustaining success and in my opinion the last 10 years have been less than spectacular for the Spartans. Are they on the rise? Yes. But I'm offended that they even get mentioned in the same breath as us. 

"You're an angry football team, and I'm proud to be your coach." - UFM

-3 HS
BroJim's picture

I get where you're coming from, but the author did highlight "That trend is currently being discredited by seasons with 11, 11 and 13 wins"
I think MSU is right there with OSU until OSU wins a Big Ten Title. . .

I season my simple food with hunger

+4 HS
QBYBuckeye's picture

I'm sorry, but they spanked us pretty bad last year, and then went out west and took care of business against a good (not great, but good to very good) Stanford team. Dantonio has them believing in themselves.

New York Buckeye

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I feel like everyone is sleeping on Wisconsin. 

+4 HS
chicagobuckeye's picture

They did have 4* losses last season. Losing to Penn State really set them back in terms of perception. Sure they played OSU well (within a touchdown) but when you have Penn State lose by 49 to Ohio State it sets a bad precedent. I think that week 1 game will set a big tone with the BIG and Wisconsin. A close loss or a win will go a long way in reversing peoples perception of them.

QBYBuckeye's picture

Yes, but they will have to prove they are not one-dimensional on offense.  With only a run threat, will they compete with MSU and OSU?

New York Buckeye

brandonbauer87's picture

I fully expect their passing game to be on par with their 2011 season. They're not great, but it seems like they're not getting ANY attention. 

+1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I hear that.  Most everyone thinks the B1G is an OSU/MSU battle, but honestly, I think Wisconsin has a chance to be our biggest competition.

Class of 2010.

gemcitybuckeye's picture

I wholeheartedly agree with Cplunk.  I've mentioned on here a couple of times about how the selection committee scares the hell out of me...

I feel the ONLY WAY the B1G gets any respect this year (as always) is that the conference HAS to win these marquee OOC games.  The stage is set for us to crawl out of the shadows this season---but we HAVE to win those games.

PS:  I absolutely agree with Mr. Rowland.  I, too, think this will be the best OSU team that Coach Meyer has fielded.  Way more balanced offensive attack, and a much improved defense as a whole.  

That HAS to be a scary thought for anyone that has us on their schedule this year. lol 

tussey's picture

I, too, think this will be the best OSU team that Coach Meyer has fielded.

I agree as well.  What is funny is that I remember listening to Colin Cowherd last summer say that '14 would be the year for Ohio State.  I thought he was crazy back then, but I now see that his, then, outlandish claim has some validity to it. 

BroJim's picture

I think this season will be really fun. I love the Navy game, Ciny and Va Tech will be good, hushing PSU and MSU would be fantastic, and of course Up North. Really excited for Aug. 30th. If the back half plays to their talent level and the Oline and Linebackers step up we will be sitting pretty.

I season my simple food with hunger

DC-town's picture

Dantonio said OSU is competing on the level they are partly because of the success Tressel had in his time in Columbus...I don't see any slight in that at all-

November 8...can't wait to talk to some sucker going to a wedding or getting married on that date.  I know that is the big game everyone has circled but the Bucks play a good slate of games that all should be fun to watch.  Kent State is the only game that is questionable, but were going to have that one 'keepin that money in Ohio' game every year 

'Piss excellence' -RB

kgratz's picture

SCENARIO

Sparty beats up on Oregon week 2

Oregon wins out and wins Pac12

OSU beats Sparty in double OT game

OSU undefeated and wins B1G

Sparty has one loss but they're not in conference championship game.  

Does Sparty make the playoff over a conference champion?

Unlikely situation but I say yes it would then be FSU, SEC Champ, OSU, Sparty

How Firm Thy Friendship

Kyle Rowland's picture

Hard to say if you don't know other records, but I'd like Oklahoma's chances over Michigan State's. 

kgratz's picture

I agree an undefeated Oklahoma but what about a one loss Oklahoma over one loss MSU?

How Firm Thy Friendship

Ahh Saturday's picture

I don't like Sparty's chances in an early season road game against Oregon.  People have been pointing out Stanford's success against the Ducks to argue that MSU matches up well against them, but Stanford also has the experience of playing them every year.  Sparty's dragging a lot of new defensive starters half way across the country to play against an Oregon team that brings back eight starters on offense, including a guy who might be the best QB in the country.

+1 HS
kgratz's picture

I think the defense can contain Oregon, not stop them but slow them down.  And I think Cook shows up and has a good game and wins it for them.

How Firm Thy Friendship

bleedscarlet's picture

If it was any other team heading west to play Oregon, I would agree. However, Oregon's niche is the up tempo, snap it b4 they're ready offense... I'm of the opinion that few, if any, coaches do a better job of having the D ready than Dantonio and Narduzzi. Oregon doesn't have a personnel edge, they've got some fast guys sure but they don't really have the elite athletes of a bama or fsu and if it comes down to coaching... MSU has the edge there. MSU also should have a nice mix of confidence and hunger.. hunger for national respect and the confidence from beating OSU and Stanford, that's a dangerous mix.

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

hetuck's picture

I'll add to your scenario. FSU undefeated. Oregon only loss is Sparty & beats UCLA twice. Oklahoma loss to Baylor.   Two-loss South Carolina beats undefeated Bama. Committee chooses head-to-head. B1G gets two teams. FSU and Oklahoma. South secedes. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+2 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Five major conferences and only four seats at the table.  Which conference champion is most likely to be left out? 

+1 HS
cplunk's picture

Count it as six competing for four slots- because rightly or wrongly both the SEC champ and SEC runner up will be in the discussion with the other four conference champs.

bleedscarlet's picture

I doubt we'll see that for a few years at least. The committee will be mindful that the playoff is seeking acceptance and leaving out 2 of the Power 5 and ND right off the bat would be a big hit to that. Dual conference teams in the playoff is probably coming, I just think they'll involve as much of the country as possible for awhile just to give it some traction by everybody getting a taste early.

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

+1 HS
kholmes's picture

I think these comments downplay way too much the possibility that it could be some other team outside of MSU/OSU make the playoff. I think this occurs because too much is assumed to be certain based off what happened last year.

Just look at what transpired in 2013 to see how much little we really know. MSU was 7-6 in 2012. If this same article was written last year, no one would have even had MSU in the conversation and then they went out and won 13 games and would have been the team in the playoff. Same with Auburn..Auburn was unranked preseason last year and yet they made it to the championship game.

Without question, I agree that MSU and OSU are the two most likely teams that could make it out of the B1G..but the probability that it is a totally different team is much higher than is generally thought. Whether that be Nebraska, Wisc, Iowa or someone else, who knows.

I think part of this is because we often think of individual games as certainties based on last year. For example, going down the schedule and making a comment like MSU will beat Maryland is the cause. The reality is more like MSU has maybe a 65-80% chance to beat Maryland. But we act as if its 100% and just chalk it up as a win on their schedule and so overestimate MSU's chances of running the table outside of OSU (and likewise underestimate Maryland's chances of having a good record). This makes it hard for us to believe things like last year's MSU and Auburn turnarounds can occur.

+5 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I agree that MSU and OSU are the two most likely teams that could make it out of the B1G..but the probability that it is a totally different team is much higher than is generally thought. Whether that be Nebraska, Wisc, Iowa or someone else, who knows.

You didn't say "Michigan," KHolmes, so I threw you a helmet sticker. ;)

 

 

kholmes's picture

That was intentional to not distract from the point i was trying to make. I figured that if I threw Michigan in there it would make it look like I was just a Michigan homer/troller and would distract from the message. The point really had nothing to do with a specific team so left them out to avoid this. 

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

While I think this will be a different storyline in a few short months, I'm just looking at Navy.
 

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+1 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

I like the B1G's chances... doubled right off the bat.

I like Wisky's chances against lsu.... Wisky can run, so they can control the clock, and lsu's offense is in rebuild mode. Plus I think Miles is average at best, if Dantonio has done more with less, Les has done less with more, and he's a poor clock manager. In a game that Wisky will surely be looking to control the time of possession that's going to be critical.

MSU's power run game and disciplined D will give them a good chance against Oregon.

When it comes to Ohio State... if records are identical, there are only a few teams that garner the respect that OSU does. It's easy to forget that sometimes, through all the haters, but all those at-large BCS invites speaks volumes.

I also like that the B12 plays one less game.... if all five conference champs have one loss, that 12-1 will look better than the 11-1.

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

2002osubuck's picture

So is the Rose Bowl only the one playoff game now? Or is the semifinal a separate game? Last year MSU was in the Rose Bowl win or lose bc we would've gone to the BCS championship  if we won. It provides a great platform for a 1 loss team that misses the B1G championship to compete for something.

Ugly Hour Chazz Bear's picture

Why does the Big Ten make the endzones beyond boring for the B1G Title Game?  Should be the same as the school's own endzone.

I like the bux.

+1 HS