An old wound reopened this morning while I was reading this Q&A about the new playoff system by Brett McMurphy at ESPN. It was only an irritant for a few moments until I got to the part below at which point it began to spew blood:
Q: How will the seeding committee determine which teams play in which semifinal?
A: In theory, priority will be given to placing the No. 1 seed in the bowl geographically closest to its campus. For instance, if Florida State is No. 1, it would play in the semifinal at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, which would send the No. 2 team to the Rose Bowl.
For an instance that's relevant to the Big Ten, if Ohio State is the #1 seed, they will play in a bowl that's way way far away, like they've always done because that's the way it's always been done and no one in the Big Ten gave a damn enough to stop it.
If the Ohio State instance bothers you, pick another Big Ten team. It won't matter, because the Big Ten will always be the "away" team regardless of what they're designated at the game, or what color uniform they have.
Jim Delany was the one person on college football who could have stopped this. He could have insisted on at least one playoff location in the midwest were a Big Ten team in the playoff (feel free to fire away with jokes about Big Ten football, it deserves it).
Delany, often referred to as the 'most powerful man in college sports' (perhaps in mocking fashion after the playoff begins) faced a choice - hold out in hopes that the SEC would give in on the possibility of ever having to play a playoff game in the cold or give in, allow the playoff to happen, and make
Delany, the most powerful man in college sports (HAHAAHAHAHA) chose to capitulate, allowing the nation (SEC) to establish a four-team college football play while declaring victory by retaining the Big Ten's relationship with the Rose Bowl, a place where Big Ten hopes and dreams have gone to die over the past several decades; a place where upon it's mere mention lifelong Big Ten fans feel faint and all in a tizzy because that's what the subliminal message of the conference has told them to feel for so long they cannot control themselves.
TRADITION! was the battle cry for Delany, the world "tradition" meaning "bullshit most of you will still buy" as any pretense that college football is about money has been swept away by more, more, more of it. TRADITION! - even though the Big Ten expanded with Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland throwing out decades of tradition - but Delany knowing that all those alums from Michigan and Ohio State and et al would buy into "tradition" because they've been eating that Rose Bowl bullshit so long that they don't realize what low-grade bullshit it is.
There's this notion that cold weather fans would love an excuse to travel to a warm-weather place or a vacation in the midst of those horrid, frozen winters. While it may be true, it's more likely than not that the large percentage of those families won't be able to afford tickets to college football games anyway.
No, rather than thinking of that, I want you to consider an alternative perspective. Many of those cold weather states are those whose economies are aching more than the warm weather areas. Couldn't having a college football playoff in one of those cities brought some much-needed economic impact into that city?
It's not like bowl games are a drain on the community. Three bowl games in Arizona contributed $354.6 million to that state's economy according a study commissioned by the Fiesta Bowl a couple years ago. Bowl games in San Diego contributed around $30 million to that area in 2013. That list could go on if you wish, just hit Google with "bowl game economic impact" and you'll find plenty - bowl games are never shy about touting the beauties of their own existence.
Jim Delany, the most powerful man in college football (IN SOME OTHER UNIVERSE SOMEWHERE) could have taken the approach that "we feel that a college playoff is the right thing to do, but cities in the North would like to see some of that economic impact as well". If he were a genius he would have figured out an approach around that would have worked because he could have sold it, because he is, after all, a genius, and all powerful.
But Delany, the most powerful man in college sports (IN HIS OWN HEAD) doesn't give two shits about you, your city, or your broke K-12 districts. No, Jim Delany, the most powerful man in college sports, (I HAVE THIS HAMMER AND TODAY JIM DELANY IS A NAIL) has a big fucking bed full of money in which to sleep. The people whom Jim Delany has to make happy - they don't care either because they have big beds full of money AND they get to take their families on paid vacations to warm weather places where they're treated like gods for a week.
I have never hated Jim Delany, the most impotent man in college football, more than I do right now.
And this damned college football playoff hasn't even started yet.