Within weeks, the conference commissioners and university presidents who run the Bowl Championship Series are expected to adopt a four-team playoff, the first in the history of major-college football.
Most people see this as progress, a step that the masses—and TV executives ravenous for live-sports content—have been clamoring for with escalating volume.
Years of drama swirling around the sport have been a prelude to this moment. All of the scathing critiques of the bowl system by fans and media, all of the schools ditching their traditional conferences to better position themselves for the football postseason, all of the TV networks bidding billions to secure conference broadcast rights for years to come. It's all leading up to a playoff.
But when it comes time for the BCS's committee of university presidents to render a decision on this playoff proposal, the two oldest and most intertwined major conferences of all, the Big Ten and the Pac-12, ought to do something unexpected. They should do the only thing that makes sense for them in this mixed-up, money-soaked, logic-challenged situation.
They need to say no.