Paul Finebaum, Matt Barrie propose wild scenario for B1G to get 2 teams in CFP
Paul Finebaum and Matt Barrie tackled a number of topics around college football coming out of Week 10. While both analysts expressed a desire to see the Michigan investigation story wrapped up, it remains one of the hot-button issues nationally.
Finebaum started the discussion by saying that the success (or failure) of Michigan has no impact on his life, but he does believe there are some broadcasters with a vested interest in Jim Harbaugh’s program being successful:
“I can assure you that no one at the network that we work at is being told what to say. We’re not carrying the network flag. Michigan is a great university and they have a great football team and if they win the national championship team that’s great,” said Finebaum. “It doesn’t change my life, but I don’t think you can accurately say that about some other commentators who have a vested interest in Michigan being successful.”
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Barrie took the conversation a step further, questioning and then proposing if the B1G could leverage the current situation to its advantage. Under Barrie’s scenario, the B1G would prohibit Michigan from playing in the B1G Championship Game with the Wolverines still eligible for the College Football Playoff.
That would conceivably allow Ohio State a chance to still play its way into the CFP with a win in Indy, provided Michigan sits at 12-0 at the end of the regular season:
“Could the Big Ten play this to their advantage?… Take Michigan out of the Big Ten Championship. Let’s say they beat Ohio State but they make them ineligible so they’re 12-0. Ohio State gets in at 11-1, sure as the sun comes up, Ohio State’s going to beat the hell out of whoever comes out of the Big Ten West,” explained Barrie.
“So, now you’ve got 12-1 conference champ Ohio State (and) 12-0 Michigan who wasn’t eligible to play in the Big Ten Championship, but the committee has already said this isn’t a committee problem, this is a Big Ten/NCAA problem. So could you give the Big Ten ADs what they want: punish Michigan and still get two B1G teams in the Playoff?”
Finebaum doesn’t believe B1G commissioner Tony Petitti would go that far in any potential punishment this season, but the analyst did admit it’s “a really clever” proposal for the league to consider:
“It’s a really clever idea because it might be the only way they get two teams in the Playoff. I wouldn’t put it past them, because that way you spare Ohio State… I think it protects the league a little bit,” claimed Finebaum. “Knowing the Big Ten, (they’ll probably) suspend Harbaugh for the Maryland game.
“I think Tony Petitti is playing this great, but in the end, I have no confidence of him doing anything as severe as you just laid out.”
That would be a dramatic turn of events, to say the least.