Rod Smith

Big Ten fares poorly in first playoff rankings

When Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany finally gave his blessing to a playoff, it was a nod to hyperventilating college football fans and a thumbs-up to extra TV money.

Another benefit: Given that the SEC champion was practically guaranteed to advance to the BCS title game, only one other spot remained.

By expanding to four teams, the playoff would create three more "access points," as Delany called them.

Well, four might not be enough for the Big Ten. Shoot, eight might not be do it.

Of course, we're still six weeks from the final decision, but the early results are far from encouraging.

Michigan State checked in at No. 8 in the...