What role will the Rose Bowl play in a possible expansion of the College Football Playoff?

Now that the College Football Playoff expansion has stalled and frustration has skyrocketed, a new event has sprung up: the blame game.

It’s the Big Ten’s fault for pushing for automatic bidding for the Power Five champions.

It is the fault of the Group of Five for not giving in to Power Five’s wishes.

It is the ACC’s fault for not supporting expansion in any form.

It’s the Rose Bowl’s fault for being the Rose Bowl.

Only one of the six major New Year’s games has been repeatedly flagged as a barrier to expansion – the game that’s been around since 1902.

In media reports describing the obstacles, the Granddaddy has been labeled “stubborn” and the “big issue” and described as seeking “preferential treatment” in a 12-team division.

What role does the Rose Bowl hope to play in the expanded CFP? To what extent has it contributed to the impasse? And how does the Pac-12 work to support its old partner?

Commissioner George Kliavkoff provided insight late last week during an appearance on the “Paul Finebaum Show,” which airs on ESPN radio and the SEC Network.

Kliavkoff called the desire to make a 12-team playoff while preserving the bowling tradition of college football a “tough balance.”

He noted that the Rose Bowl has been “incredibly flexible the last few times we’ve changed the playoff system.”

And he acknowledged that he has “a fiduciary obligation to the Rose Bowl, as does the Big Ten.”

He also described exactly what the Rose Bowl is looking for in a 12-team event: “They want to be Pacific at 2 p.m. every January 1st.”

That doesn’t seem like much, but the extra rounds complicate the situation.

Its current structure allows the Rose Bowl to retain its immensely valuable New Year’s Day timeslot, whether it’s a semifinal or not.

But a 12-team playoff pushes the semifinals to the second weekend in January. The Rose Bowl’s matchup and broadcast window would look something like this under the proposed three-year rotation for the six major bowls:

year one
January 1: Rose Bowl hosts quarterfinals

year two
January 1: Rose Bowl hosts quarterfinals

year three
January 8: Rose Bowl hosts semifinals

“What we’re asking for the Rose Bowl is a small request,” Kliavkoff told Finebaum.

“One in three years they organize a semi-final. They want the right to host a traditional Rose Bowl game if they want to.”

That’s right: In the years that it hosts the semifinals on (or around) January 8, the Rose Bowl also wants to perform a non-play-off game on January 1, at 2 p.m., that would match the Pac-12 against the Big Ten.

In other words, Grandpa wants his broadcast window every year, regardless of the playoff rotation.

“If they do,” Kliavkoff explained, “the value of that Rose Bowl would be significantly reduced” — when the matchup isn’t part of the CFP — “because if you put 12 teams in the playoff, they our not getting best against the best team from the Big Ten…

“To compensate for what they are giving up, we have asked to protect three hours out of three years from having to compete (on television) against a GVB quarter-final.

“And anything we’ve asked for the Rose, one little question, if the other contract bowls — if the Sugar Bowl, if the Orange Bowl wants similar accommodations if they host a semifinal, we’d be willing to give in that as well.

“It’s three hours every three years that we ask for protection.”

In other words, with the commissioners grappling with the bigger issues delaying the playoff expansion (12 teams vs. eight teams and the automatic bidding allocation), the Rose Bowl is a handy barrier for anyone looking for barriers. .

Once the broader framework has been worked out, Granddaddy’s request should not delay the process.

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