PENALTY OF VICTORY
From this point of view it seems elementary that when two conferences play a postseason game, their titular teams should be in it. Nobody penalized the Yankees for winning five straight pennants. They played in the World Series every year and the crowds didn't stay home.
A few years ago when Purdue and Wisconsin tied for the Big Ten crown, Wisconsin was picked for the Rose Bowl. It was the judgment of the athletic directors that the Badgers had the better potential for victory. Last fall, when it was a question of Michigan State or Illinois, the former got the nod because, largely, the Illini had been to California in 1947 and 1952.
Michigan State and Illinois were tied in the first vote a year ago. Then Commissioner Wilson called the directors into session and thrashed it out in favor of the Spartans.
At the same time, however, they took action which, in the future, will eliminate the necessity of prolonged argument in case of another tie for the Big Ten title.
A three-point 'solution' has been formulated for such an emergency a) the team which went west most recently stays home b) if neither can be eliminated that way the team which beat the other during the season gets the nod c) if they didn't play one another, a toss of the coin decides who goes. Not that it will make much difference this time, with U.C.L.A. on the sidelines...!