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The Rose Bowl Playoffs Plan: What The Last 5 Years Would've Looked Like

So what happens if the Big Ten and Pac-12 obtain the Rose Bowl some sort of special status as an unofficial third semifinal game in college football's eventual playoff? (If that sentence confused you, here are the details. Don't worry; you'll still be just as confused.)

If the Rose Bowl were free to pluck top-four teams away from the playoffs pool, here's what the tournament field would've looked like for each of the past five years, as far as I understand the proposal (no one understands the proposal):


Semifinals: No. 1 LSU-No. 4 Stanford (Oregon was the Pac-12 champ), No. 2 Alabama-No. 3 Oklahoma State

Rose Bowl: Unaffected


Semifinals: No. 1 Auburn-No. 6 Ohio State (replacing Wisconsin), No. 3 TCU-No. 4 Stanford

Rose Bowl: No. 2 Oregon-No. 5 Wisconsin


Semifinals: No. 1 Alabama-No. 4 TCU, No. 2 Texas-No. 3 Cincinnati

Rose Bowl: Unaffected


Semifinals: No. 1 Oklahoma-No. 4 Alabama, No. 2 Florida-No. 3 Texas

Rose Bowl: Unaffected


Semifinals: No. 2 LSU-No. 5 Georgia (replacing Ohio State), No. 3 Virginia Tech-No. 4 Oklahoma

Rose Bowl: No. 1 Ohio State-No. 7 USC

Lo and behold, both of the years with altered makeups due to the Rose Bowl end up with more Big Ten or Pac-12 teams in the running. One of those results from their teams being ranked next in line after the Rose Bowl takes its cut, but the Big Ten and Pac-12 would have to like their odds of having a team ranked in that spot in any given year, and they'd have nothing to lose if not. The other is USC getting to turn its Rose Bowl appearance into a shot at the title game, which no other bowl contestant would get.

In 2007, No. 1 Ohio State gets a game against No. 7 USC instead of No. 4 Oklahoma. Not only does Ohio State thus have an easier road, but USC could have an argument to make the championship game if it scores the upset. The Trojans would have the same number of losses as everybody else, along with a win over the No. 1 team.

Imagine the outcry from Mizzou fans, whose team finished No. 6 that year and out of the four-team tournament scenario. They'd have to watch a team that finished ranked beneath theirs in the title game. Buildings would crumble, and Kansas would be burned for no good reason. This is making the BCS sound fantastic.

If you can find a way how this plan would work to the advantage of anybody besides the Big Ten and Pac-12, please let us know. It might be the worst playoff idea possible, and therefore will pretty much happen.

While we're here, let's watch some college football videos from SB Nation's new YouTube channel together: