As fans, players, and coaches alike cried foul last year when Big 12 powerhouses Baylor and Texas Christian were left out of the College Football Playoff, some people are showing no sympathy.
Particularly, former Wisconsin Badgers coach and current Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez voiced his opinion on the matter to Jon Solomon of CBS Sports.
“Winning a conference is one of the first (criteria) that’s mentioned,” Alvarez said. “So if you don’t have a conference champion, obviously that doesn’t bode well for you. You have to have a conference champion. If you’re not a conference champion, that hurts you in the evaluation, much like strength of schedule.”
“One of our main criteria is conference championship,” Alvarez said at the Big Ten spring meetings, per Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com. “You can’t give two teams in a conference the conference championship. You can’t give two teams credit for that.”
It’s certainly odd to hear Alvarez say that, considering how Wisconsin shared the 2010 Big Ten title with Michigan State and Ohio State, and in 1998 (when Alvarez was coach, no less!) with Ohio State and Michigan. And also twice more in the ’90s, one of which was in 1993 when Alvarez was coach. Basically, Alvarez is saying something that happened to him multiple times can’t be done. Hilarious, right?
Granted, the Big 12 did kind of shoot itself in the foot by not having a conference championship game. Baylor went 11-2 (8-1 Big 12) while TCU went 12-1 (8-1 Big 12), and both programs were named co-champions by the Big 12 higher-ups. Since then, the conference has taken steps and instituted a tie-breaking system that will help crown one “true” champion. Hopefully, it works and the Big 12 can continue its long-standing tradition of not having a conference title game.
But the point of this piece is simple.
While Alvarez may be partially correct in what he believes, he should double check history and see just how much he benefitted from championship shares before lightly putting down programs that probably could have given the Big Ten a run for its money, be it in the playoff or a Bowl game.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports