Big Ten athletic directors agreed last week to support neutral host sites for the forthcoming college football playoff. One by one they came forward to encourage a system that hurts fans, players and schools, all in the name preserving the sanctity of the Rose Bowl, somehow. It would be infuriating if it wasn't so damn confusing.
The arguments have been weird. The likes of Jim Delany, Gene Smith, Mark Hollis, and Tom Osbourne all said some variation of "it wouldn't be fair for Southern schools to play in the cold" which leads me to believe they've all been replaced by evil animatronic versions of themselves. It is tough to decide who should get the award for the most 'huh?' statement so far. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is as good a candidate as any.
"I think there are two issues," Brandon said Wednesday after meetings with conference AD's wrapped up. "One is the salability of that to the other conferences in terms of whether that is a fair fight to bring somebody up in the snow of January from the South. Whatever system we come up with it has to be agreed to by everybody, so that is the practical reality.
"And then the other thing is we all talked to our student-athletes, and we should remember this is supposed to be about the student-athletes, and there is a strong bias of the student-athletes to go to nice warm locations, to play in bowl games where they're hosted by bowl committees and treated great, and they get to play a competitor that maybe they don't normally play. That is a huge benefit to our student-athletes and we're trying to be respectful of that."
Did that survey go something like this?
"Dear student-athlete, do you like sunshine and 70-degree weather in January?"
It should be noted that the Big Ten is looking to add the Pinstripe Bowl in New York to its bowl lineup. New York is a state above the Mason-Dixon line. It had massive snowstorms two years ago. Jim Delany is evil, stupid, or hedging because he knows he lost an important battle.
Anyway, this is somewhat old news so I'm sure many of you have already spent your pent up outrage, I'm just going on the record. Barry Alvarez hasn't said anything yet, which hopefully means he has escaped the grasps of the robotic overlords planning to seize control of college football, and is on his way to save his AD brethren like a portly John McClane.
Links after the jump:
Wisconsin is No. 3 in Adam Rittenberg's post-Spring power rankings behind Michigan State and Michigan.
Mark Schlabach also has them third in the Big Ten, and No. 15 in the country in his early look at the Top 25.
Ohio State reports 46 minor NCAA violations, among them Mike Vrabel using chewing tobacco on the sideline last season.
Ben Worgull breaks down the Badgers' latest commits for the State Journal.
The SEC and the Big 12 have agreed to their Rose Bowl-style agreement, ensuring their post-BCS fates, writes Paul Myerberg.