A tentative plan for the new postseason calls for a Pacific-12 Conference or Big 12 team to face the best team from a group of five conferences, including the Big East.
A person with direct knowledge of the plan for the four-team championship playoff in 2014 told The Associated Press that either a Pac-12 or a Big 12 team likely will be the foe for the highest-rated champion from the Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the conferences did not want to make the plan public.
The proposal has the Pac-12 sending either its champion or a replacement team to the game in years when the Rose Bowl hosts a national semifinal. In years the Rose Bowl is a traditional Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup, the Big 12 would send one of its top teams to the game.
The deal with the Big 12 and Pac-12 would be similar to the one the Orange Bowl is working on with the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference. That deal, which has not been completed, would match a team from either of those conferences or Notre Dame against the Atlantic Coast Conference champ or a another ACC team.
The site of the game is still being discussed, but Glendale, Ariz., site of the Fiesta Bowl, or Houston would make geographical sense and are prime candidates, the person said.
OSBORNE TO RETIRE
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne is retiring as of Jan. 1 after five years on the job. He’ll become athletic director emeritus and stay involved in department operations through July 30.
The 75-year-old former Cornhuskers coach announced his decision at a news conference in Lincoln, Neb. He says “the perception” that you’re getting old “can get in the way,” and he doesn’t want to be a distraction.
Osborne was one of the most successful football coaches in history. Every one of his 25 teams won at least nine games, and three of his last four teams won national championships. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998, the year after he retired.
After serving in Congress and losing a gubernatorial bid, he returned to the university in 2007 to take over the athletic department and oversee the rebuilding of the football program and shepherd the school’s move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten.
Sophomore backup quarterback Paul Jones has left Penn State for personal reasons. The once highly touted recruit had slipped behind true freshman Steven Bench to third string. Senior Matt McGloin is the entrenched starter. … Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith expects to play with a separated shoulder Saturday night against No. 6 South Carolina. … Arkansas State linebacker Qushaun Lee will sit out the Western Kentucky game because of a personal-foul hit he leveled last weekend against Alcorn State quarterback John Gibbs in a 56-0 trouncing of the Braves. … Clemson sophomore wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who has two catches for the Tigers this season – both for touchdowns – will miss the next two games after injuring himself while working out in Clemson’s strength facility Tuesday.