I enjoy March Madness for what it is, but I don’t accept it as a template for what the D-1 football postseason should aspire to.
There’s a good reason for that, as this exchange I hope illustrates:
Is 65 a good number, or should the tournament expand again?
Geoff: I think it should stay right where it is. March Madness is crazy enough as it is and more teams would just dilute the field. If you look across the nation 104 teams in college basketball had 20+ wins. The previous record was only 78 teams with 20+ wins. [Emphasis added.] So did a lot of good teams not make it into the tournament, Yes, but there were a lot more good teams to choose from this year. Lots of good teams will allow the great teams to make a statement and come into the picture. Also, with so many good teams that could have made it in that didn’t it makes having to earn that spot in conference tournaments just mean that much more in the end because some teams may have to bet on that to get their spot in the tournament. You can’t add more teams to this just because more teams are getting better, it could also mean that more teams are just getting worse because somebody has to win the games in the end.
Sean: I think this is a first one for me, but I have to agree with Geoff. I’ve heard a lot of sportswriters and sports radio people (of course those sports radio people that aren’t on TV or in the newspaper, usually like to say things to stir the pot as it is.) say expand the field, 3 weeks of Madness is not enough. In reality adding like 16 more teams would kill this thing. It’s perfect the way it is and adding more teams would take meaning away from the conference tourney’s, and the seasons in general. Because then it really would be about getting to 20 wins and maybe being alright in your conference. [Emphasis added.] What does that prove? Yeah we are seeing a lot more parody [Ed: sic - at least I hope so.] now more than ever in College Basketball, and yeah if we add more at large teams we could see more upsets but why? Let’s take away the possibility of all these small teams that win automatic bids a chance to win a game or two before getting kicked out by a superior team. More games may mean more TV in March, but this thing is great. The way it is folks, don’t change it for the sake of TV and some crazy sports radio stuff.
Randy: This may be the first time, and only time, that we all three agree on a question. In a way, I would love to see it get expanded to 128 because we would get even more great basketball. But on the other, doing that will water it down and take away from the special feeling you get on Selection Sunday. [Emphasis added.] Selection Sunday is so great because you don’t know who is going to make it and who isn’t. The teams that get snubbed are just as big of a storyline as the #1 seeds…
That last point is my favorite – don’t expand the tournament, because, even though there will be more good basketball games, it would spoil the selection show. I’m surprised he didn’t complain about how it would require a bigger piece of paper than he has to draw the revised brackets out.
I’m not sure I can add anything more to that. Or that I’d want to.