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JoePa Backs Off

And seemingly as quick as it started, it ended just as quick...the request of Joe Paterno for the Big Ten to add another member, that is.

"Twice in recent weeks Paterno expressed his desire for the Big Ten to add a 12th team and a league championship game, which would end the regular season on the same weekend as the other five BCS conferences. He said Big Ten teams are at a competitive disadvantage by ending the regular season early, and the league loses relevancy during the long break before the bowl games.

Paterno took a less assertive position Tuesday at Big Ten meetings and expressed surprise that his initial remarks had created such a stir.

"I'm the newest guy in the league," Paterno said. "I've never been in a conference before. A guy like Delany that's been around the conference as long as he is, he's run this conference as long as he has, for me to come in here and tell him, 'Hey, Delany, this is what you've got to do,' I don't know.""

I don't know of anyone who took this seriously...especially Pitt being offered a spot in the conference. One coach isn't going to change things. There would have to be at least a handful of them to even get the conference to consider it.

Frankly, while a conference championship for football can help, I think it can hurt even more. Any team with a chance at playing for a National Championship has to go through one more hurdle. I know the arguments for them - keeps your team in front of the voters, could give a team another strong win, etc. I just think that in the world of college football where there's no playoff, if you're in a BCS conference, why run the risk of having an undefeated team lose a game, knocking them out of a potential championship? More times than not, if you're in a BCS conference and you go undefeated, you're going to play for the championship. Period.