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Wednesday Happy Hour is waiting for the great leap forward in postseason reform

The big meetings between conference commissioners are over and it is time for each conference to sort out what it wants from the new postseason model, including the Big Ten. This, of course, has positive and negative ramifications.

- On one hand it seems that the Big Ten has backed down from two of its positions, namely on-campus semi-final games and a conference championship qualification for playoff participants. Now, depending on your feelings about who deserves to be in, that second one might not be such a sticking point, but as Big Ten fans (and let's be honest, college football fans in general) it would be nice to see teams like Ohio State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Michigan earn a chance to play for a title on the cold tundra of the north in December. Not to mention the fact that on site games are less likely to fleece schools out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

With home site games off the table it appears that existing BCS bowls will be worked into the four team playoff, and there will be some ridiculous set of circumstances to make the Rose Bowl "meaningful" in years that a Big Ten and Pac 12 team qualify.

- On the other, all this talk of postseason reform has the Big Ten actually thinking about reworking some of the lesser parts of the bowl system: the line-up itself, the 6-6 cutoff, and the outrageous ticket guarantees. Delany has gotten support from most of the conference to raise the cut-off for Big Ten bowl teams to 7-5, thereby eliminating some of the lesser bowl affiliations and improving the quality of the overall bowl experience. This, in turn, should change the overall bowl lineup, and hopefully provide some more favorable matchups. While the Big Ten has struggled in bowls recently, part of it is due to an inflated bowl lineup matching Big Ten teams up with better SEC and Big XII teams.

Most importantly, however:

"I don't think it's necessary we take huge blocks of tickets in advance," he said. "It may be important for us to take a different payout, and have the upside be based on how that games sells.

"We want our fans to have access to good tickets, to reasonably priced tickets, and to use technology to make sure the demand and supply curve works well. I don't think it's healthy to have so many tickets floating around.

If this happens, it could ultimately be the first step in truly positive bowl reform. Right now schools are getting absolutely taken to the cleaners by bowls that demand huge payouts for tickets and hotels. If the Big Ten strikes the first meaningful blow against A) lower tier bowls that cater to 6-6 teams and B) ticket guarantees that keep mediocre bowl games afloat, we could see a real change in the structure of the college football postseason outside of the fancy new four-team playoff.

Now that is change I can believe in.

Let's run down the links:

Running Back Recruiting - TTB takes a look at running back recruiting now that Ty Isaac is off the table. Magnus isn't enamored with the backs still left on Michigan's radar, and I tend to agree that Hoke and co. should stand pat with Smith and Shallman. Look for a feature back in next year's class.

Maurice Hurst Jr. Update - Tremendous breaks news that Michigan could be getting its 19th commit to the 2013 class soon. Maurice Hurst Jr. isn't highly rated, but does have some impressive offers. More as this develops.

Ranking the Big Ten/ACC Challenge games from most to least watchable

2. NC State at Michigan (Nov. 27): What better opportunity for these two preseason top 10 teams to establish themselves as legitimate Final Four contenders than to play each other in November? Michigan blends a vaunted freshman class with returning stars Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. NC State returns the core of a surprise Sweet 16 team and adds top recruits Rodney Purvis, T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis.

Number one is, of course, UNC vs. Indiana. Not much argument there.

Notre Dame salaries: Notre Dame payout to Charlie Weis keeps piling up - Charlie Weis is the gift that keeps on giving. Unless you run Notre Dame's athletic department. Then he is the gift that keeps cashing giant paychecks and making you regret that ridiculous contract.

Relegate This: Where Indiana And Illinois Spend Half the Aughts In The MAC - BHGP looks at what relegation/promotion would mean to the Big Ten over the last decade. Hint, Michigan gets relegated, but not in the year you initially would think.

Presenting The College Football Relegation System, From BCS To NAIA - And from the mothership, if we are talking about instituting a tiered system of relegation/promotion, why not go all the way?

The hyphen will not hold

There is, of course, a much larger tension between the words on either end of that hyphen: You can't have tens of millions of dollars hanging on the right side of the hyphen with the weight of the amateur ideal perched on the left, without the construction breaking in half at some point. The fifth-year transfer issue is a relatively small piece of the puzzle--which is why I would leave the rule as is. If a coach can effectively walk away from his contract to pursue a better opportunity at any time, I can't get too worked up about a kid who finishes his degree earning the right to do the same.

The Only Colors on the growing transfer problem that isn't growing and isn't a problem.

A Miracle Squared: Celebrating The Greatness Of Bo Jackson

Here's the thing about the 4.12 or anything else -- it only matters to those who didn't see him. The only believable reading a stopwatch could have for Bo would have been "get the f*** outta here." Because, quite honestly, that's all you could say half the time when he played. But having numbers like "4.12" help people our age, because there's no way we can come up with the words to explain how mind-blowing he was.

Listen to two grown men gush about Bo Jackson, then watch youtube clips of Bo Jackson and realize that they might not be gushing enough.

LeBron In The Last Minute

Here is today’s question: Do some people start to believe the narrative that others create for them? I ask this because we hear an awful lot in sports about "proving everybody wrong" and "playing for respect" and such things. I believe there are some athletes who do feed off this kind of negative energy. Tom Brady seems to be one of those guys who needs the doubters; he seemed to use that low draft pick thing to spark his fury and brilliance. Albert Pujols seems to one o those guys too; he has had nothing but success in the major leagues (at least until the start this year) and yet has never stopped pointing to those who doubted him along the way.

Joe Posnanski on being the bad guy, feeding off doubters, and believing the narrative. As always, great stuff.