I haven’t read Dan Wetzel’s new book, which is both an attack on the BCS and a proposal to replace it with a 16-team playoff, because he’s made his position on both things pretty clear for free at Yahoo!.sports, but I did read Tony Barnhart’s assessment of it this morning, and once again, I can’t help but shake my head over some of the arguments that keep getting recycled by extended playoff proponents.
Like this one:
… the BCS is “lucrative” because it receives about $125 million per year from ESPN to show the games. Wetzel points out through numerous interviews that the a 16-team playoff would generate well over $750 million per year. So conservatively, he argues, the power structure is willing to leave $500 million on the table per year in order to stay in power.
First of all, this ignores the potential hit the power conferences are worried they might take to their regular season cash flows in the wake of an extended postseason format. College football regular season revenue is by far the biggest source of income for the BCS conference schools. The guys making the decisions know that they make more postseason money in basketball than they do regular season money. It’s not a pattern they care to repeat on the football side, mainly because they’re not sharing those regular season moneys with anyone else.
Which leads me to this: how stupid do you think guys like Jim Delany really are, to deliberately leave half a billion dollars on the table year after year, as Wetzel suggests? Is there anything in the way he operates that suggests he’s so shortsighted?
Then there’s this.
… Wetzel’s position is that the value of having all of the conference champions included outweighs the exclusion of a third or fourth team from one of the power conferences. It wouldn’t cheapen the regular season, he argues, because seeding would become so important. [Emphasis added.] Having the little guy playing the big guy in his home stadium (Appalachian State at Michigan) would add drama of the first two rounds of the football playoffs similar to the NCAA basketball tournament.
I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means. Why is it so hard to just come out and say “I like brackets and Cinderellas”?