After helping to crush the idea of a ‘plus-one’ game in the BCS in the past, the Big Ten conference has finally realized that the fans hate the BCS and want a playoff. In a story that was reported in the Chicago Tribune, and numerous other media outlets, the Big Ten is now floating an idea for a four team playoff. While this sounds very similar to the ‘plus-one’ idea that was developed by the SEC, that idea would have taken the top two teams after the bowls and have them play for the National Title. In the Big Ten’s model the semifinals would be played on the campus of the top 2 teams and the winners of those games would meet in a championship game whose location would be open for cities to bid on, like the Super Bowl.
While it is nice to see the Big Ten taking a step toward a playoff like the fans have wanted for years, this plan is not the answer. A four team playoff does not solve the major problems of the BCS, that it relies too much on the subjective voting of humans with all of their biases and it eliminates 80% of the teams in the country before the season starts thanks to preseason polls and the inability for those teams to climb high enough. Making things even worse, the top seeds hosting the first round means that you give a huge advantage to those two teams in what should be too close, well matched games. While the home sites for the semifinal games will obviously guarantee sellouts, those would happen anyway. I am happy to see that the Big Ten is finally starting to realize that a playoff is needed, anything short of a 16 team playoff with all the conference champions automatically getting in will be no more than a mediocre solution in my opinion.
Another Honor for Prahalis
Most basketball players need two good games in a week to earn player of the week honors, Samantha Prahalis needed only one. Prahalis scored a career high34 points as Ohio State beat Wisconsin on Monday night to earn Big Ten Player of the Week. Prahalis shot 12 of 18 in that game, 4 of 5 from three point range, and added 5 assists, 4 steals and 2 rebounds. This is the seventh time Prahalis has received this honor during her career and her third this season, she most recently won it on January 23rd of this year.
Samantha Prahalis also had a few other pieces of good news this week. She is now only 30 assists away from breaking the record for most assists in Big Ten history. She was also named to the mid-season Wooden Award watch list, meaning that she is still in the running for the Heisman of college basketball. Prahalis and fellow guard Tayler Hill were also added to the State Farm Wade Trophy watch list.
Some Good News for Men’s Hockey
While the men’s hockey team continues their free fall, loosing two to Michigan State this weekend, they did get a bit of good news. Defenseman Sean Duddy was named as one of the 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The award honors players who excel not only in their sport but also in the classroom and community while demonstrating excellent character. This is a huge honor as it shows that Duddy is one of the student-athletes that is exemplifying why we have college athletics.
Big News for Women’s Hockey
The men’s hockey team wasn’t the only set of icers to have a player worth mentioning. Women’s hockey senior Laura McIntosh broke the Ohio State career points record with 3 points in an upset of #9 Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday, the Buckeyes dropped the Friday night game.