Brief and to the Point …
>> The Friday column examines how West Virginia and Pitt will emerge from their conference shuffle. The answer isn’t the no-brainer many seem to think.
>> It’s stunning, still, just to hear conference commissioners and school presidents openly talking about the four-team playoff. In the event of the Big 12-SEC bowl game announced last week, nearly everyone was citing it as if were set in stone.
It isn’t, of course, but the simple public acknowledgment is an enormous step. Used to be all those bowl bigwigs would pounce all over anyone who even dared to utter the P-word.
>> Not this guy, of course …
>> In the conversation yesterday with Pitt AD Steve Pederson, one of the many topics broached was the concept that this Big 12-SEC bowl game would have some seismic effect on college football. That’s certainly how it was portrayed by the majority of national media when announced last Friday.
“It’s really going to be like the Rose Bowl, in that you’re matching teams from separate conferences,” Pederson said. “But you also could see a situation where one of those teams is a third-place team.”
That’s what would have happened last year, actually, when the SEC’s top two teams, Alabama and LSU, also happened to be the two picked by the BCS to play in the national title game.
In perhaps the most likely four-team playoff format, you’ll simply see a BCS-type formula that chooses those teams. Or, as Pederson said, there’s also a chance of forming a selection committee in the NCAA hoops mold.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a richly welcome start.
>> The Pirates had yesterday off. And judging by all the action they took to upgrade the offense, they took that day off rather seriously.
Could there be surprises in store today?
If so, what do you think they might be?
>> Great pickup by our Mark Kaboly at the Steelers’ OTAs, this during a drill Wednesday morning with players set at the line of scrimmage …
Ryan Clark (shouting toward coaches): “If your QBs going to hold onto the ball that long, you better draft some more offensive linemen in the first round!”
Mike Tomlin: “I’m going to draft a safety next year! A free safety!”
This is Kaboly’s fine blog, The Steel Mill.
>> Drew Sutton and the Rays are back in action tonight, as well, opening a series at Fenway.
>> Here’s the chat transcript from yesterday.
>> I’ll be on The Fan for a full hour today, 2-3 p.m., with Joe Starkey, Josh Miller. It’s online, too.