IOWA CITY — For a sport that modifies its postseason at a glacial pace, college football’s changes will feel like an avalanche next year.
The much-despised Bowl Championship Series, which gave the sport a true No. 1 versus No. 2 match-up and a heck of a lot controversy, will exit after January. In its place comes the College Football Playoff, which will pit the nation’s top four teams in semifinal games within two bowls. The winners then will advance to a title game staged outside the bowl structure.
The College Football Playoff is set for 12 years and comprise six bowls: Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach. Each bowl will host a semifinal four times, and a traditional high-profile bowl match-up the other eight years All six bowls will appear on ESPN.
oOWA CITY — For years Bill Hancock justified the Bowl Championship Series as the perfect marriage between college football’s traditional past and its ultra-competitive present.
As the BCS’ executive director, Hancock defended the controversial system that subjectively matched the nation’s top two teams. When the college football universe finally answered the call for a four-team playoff, Hancock pivoted along with the leadership. He framed the discussion as the best fit for the sport’s future while maintaining its ties within the bowl structure.
IOWA CITY — Minnesota ran out of ammunition in the Big Ten’s facility arms race this summer, and football coach Jerry Kill is tired of it.
While hosting a recruit on a visit, Kill received the news no coach wants to hear: the player picked a different school. But it had nothing to do with Kill. It had everything to do with the Gophers’ football complex.
I don’t have a problem with the number of bowl games. As long as there are no teams with losing records filling the slate, I figure the more college football games the better. It’s like postseason basketball.
Realignment didn’t start with Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany’s announcement on Dec. 15, 2009. But it sure feels like it.
Delany told the world that day the Big Ten would become active participants in expansion, which since has changed the landscape of college athletics. Consider his statement the earthquake that left dozens of devastating aftershocks. Several Big 12 schools didn’t know how miserable they were until they thought they had an option to leave. The Big East’s collapse was reminiscent of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. It previously was held together by parts that had no interest in the sum. When it was kaput, it was kaput.
CHICAGO — Chris Borland is one of only three Wisconsin players remaining who saw action the last time the Badgers faced Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium.
In that 2009 meeting, Borland recorded 10 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, earned one sack and forced a fumble as a true freshman linebacker.
“I remember that game. It was a tough loss,” said Borland, recalling Iowa’s 20-10 win.
CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany echoed the recent comments of his major-conference colleagues and called for a restructuring of the NCAA and how it conducts business with its member institutions.
At the Big Ten’s annual football media day event Wednesday, Delany labeled himself a critic and outlined four major points of reform within the NCAA umbrella. He also left no doubt that he favors altering rules for the Division I schools based on revenue, and he was “very optimistic” those changes will occur within a year.
CHICAGO — The Big Ten’s next realignment shifts 180 degrees from its last divisional layout, and the league’s athletics directors are happy with the change of direction.
This fall marks the third and final year of the Legends/Leaders experiment, where the Big Ten split into football divisions based on historical competitive balance. The geography was awkward, long-standing rivalries like Iowa-Wisconsin were shelved and the divisional nicknames were panned.
With the league expanded of Maryland and Rutgers in 2014, the league voted to alter its alignment based solely on geography. Six schools are located in the Central time zone, while eight reside in the Eastern time zone. Purdue, which is located just east of the Indiana-Illinois border, joined the West.
IOWA CITY —— The most important development in college athletics this year won’t happen on the football field or basketball arena.
Instead it will occur in a federal courtroom.
Ed O’Bannon, a former All-American basketball player at UCLA, field an antitrust suit accusing sued the NCAA, its licensing company, all NCAA schools and conferences of engaging “in a price-fixing conspiracy” to deprive college football and men’s basketball players from earning revenue based on their likeness.
IOWA – A look at Marc Morehouse’s top 45 players project
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