Leverage is a key element in wrestling matches.
In the grappling that is inevitable among the bowl games after the current BCS dissolves and some kind of playoff format emerges, the new bowl creation of the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 represents leverage.
The two leagues have agreed to a New Year’s Day Bowl game, beginning in 2015, matching the champions of the two conferencesl — or if one or both are in a playoff, the next best available teams.
What you have, at best, is a alternative Rose Bowl (which matches the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs). At worst, it’s a new Cotton Bowl with energizing additives.
It’s difficult to imagine that neither the SEC champ or the Big 12 champion will not be involved in a four-team playoff for the national title, the likely scenario in the new system.
At the core, the move represents power, revenue and stability, which will be at stake the current and future wrestling matches among conferences and bowls.
Here’s what it likely does:
•It will likely separate NCAA Division I football into four power conferences, the SEC, the Big 12, the Pac-12 and the Big Ten. That would create a logical four-team playoff scenario, pretty much almost all other conferences out of the national title picture.
•It would place the new bowl head-to-head with the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day and begs for strong television ratings.
•It would likely surge the new bowl ahead of the Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl in the major bowl pecking order, particularly in Dallas’ Jerry Jones has, as expected, his stadium available.
•It protects the SEC and Big 12 from being usurped in any political process in the new playoff system. It could create automatic semifinal matchups.
•It’s a further stabilizing force for the Big 12, which appeared on the verge of falling apart a year ago and now has aggressive new leadership. That could provide further incentive for Florida State to jump to the Big 12 as speculated.
•When a new playoff system is set up, it could create another dynamic in the conversation.
No one knows whether a monster has been created because we don’t have a definite post-BCS playoff system in place.
But we are seeing the probable creation of two kingdoms of two conferences each (Pac-12/Big Ten and SEC/Big 12) that will potentially rule over the new world.