The B1G was left out of the College Football Playoff for a second straight season, but the omission isn’t going to define the conference’s season for commissioner Jim Delany.
On Wednesday, Delany spoke at the Sports Business Journal Intercollegiate Athletics Forum and addressed several topics, including the league’s absence from the four-team field and the conference’s nine-game schedule.
Sunday, Oklahoma was granted the fourth and final spot in this year’s College Football Playoff, beating out Georgia and Ohio State. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 5 and the Buckeyes No. 6.
Despite the committee’s decision, Delany believes the conference still had a tremendous year and even thinks three B1G teams could’ve won the national championship.
“We were a little disappointed, but we’re not going to allow a committee’s opinion of us to shape how we feel about ourselves,” Delany said, according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. “We had a terrific year.”
Delany added that he thought Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State would all have a legitimate shot to win the national championship.
That might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s a great way to promote and support your conference.
One of the things that’s thought to be hampering the B1G’s ability to reach the College Football Playoff is the nine-game conference schedule. Teams within the league have an added conference game, meaning it’s a little more beat up than other leagues (looking at you, SEC). For each of the last three seasons, the winner of the B1G Championship Game has been left out of the four-team field.
But don’t expect that nine-game schedule to change anytime soon.
“We’re a conference that wants to play each other a bunch,” Delany said. “That nine is sort of in cement.”
The College Football Playoff selection committee has not really showed that playing a nine-game conference schedule — or additional Power Five opponents, for that matter — is much of a concern when it comes to the selection process. The SEC even has a “Cupcake Week” in late November, yet the conference is firmly in the discussion each and every year.
While Delany is showing support for his conference, being left out of the College Football Playoff clearly isn’t a major concern for him.
Don’t expect any major changes out of the B1G anytime soon, for that specific reason.