Playoff location, not results, concern Big 12
"This playoff is long overdue. It took some time to get to the right model, but I think we have found something that will only make college football better," Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said in a statement while on a Red Raiders alumni cruise in Rome. "This is a great day for our sport, and most importantly it will give us a national champion that is settled on the field."
Fans surely welcome the development, but for each conference's supporters and teams, a batch of new questions arises: How will this affect us, and how can we best take advantage of this new world in college football?
The league has had big success in the BCS era, reaching the title game seven times, more than any league but the SEC, though the Big 12 has gone just 2-5 in those appearances. The league's chances to place more than one team in a four-team playoff seem minimal at best, though it may occur once in awhile.
Where the Big 12 has the most to gain?
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex-based Cotton Bowl was squeezed out of the major-bowl rotation with the advent of the Bowl Alliance in 1995. It'll almost certainly be folded back into the rotation as one of the six bowl sites for the semifinal games when the new plan takes effect in 2014, with the championship game likely to be bid out to neutral sites.
When the Cotton Bowl got pushed out, so did the Big 12's chances of playing in a national title game within its footprint. Oklahoma had to play Florida and Florida State in national championship games in Miami. Texas had to try to take down USC at the nearby Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. (it succeeded). Oklahoma had to walk inside a powder keg called the New Orleans Superdome to try to knock off LSU (it failed).
The Cotton Bowl released a terse statement in the wake of Tuesday evening's playoff news that surely brought smiles to plenty of Big 12 faces.
"It’s a great day for college football. We congratulate the conference commissioners and presidents for their diligent work to enhance the post season. We look forward to learning more about the opportunities that will be created by today’s announcement. With partners like AT&T and Cowboys Stadium, we believe we have a great story to tell."
Nobody wants to hear that story more than Texas, Oklahoma and the rest of the Big 12. The Cotton Bowl stepped under the big top three seasons ago when it moved from the State Fair of Texas fairgrounds in Dallas to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, ready to play its game at America's finest football cathedral.
The Big 12 will no longer have to worry about situations like 2011, when No. 3 Oklahoma State was pushed out of the national championship game in favor of eventual champion Alabama, who knocked off fellow SEC team LSU in a rematch of a 6-3 November rugby match.
That'll be nice, but nothing will be nicer for the Big 12 than getting a chance to suit up with everything on the line only a few hours from its campus, in a city full of its alumni.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.