Kiss of death

As much as I enjoy the give and take of the playoff debate here, there’s no question that what frustrates me the most is people’s willingness to assume that the rat bastards who control college football are going to approach the refashioning of the postseason as an opportunity to act in a completely different manner than the way that they’ve always behaved to chart a benign course that will fulfill every college fan’s wish list.

Suckers.

Case in point:  a few years ago, Mike Slive negotiated a new TV pact which generated record levels of revenue for the conference.  Despite that, the shine has worn off, because the Big Ten and Pac-12 later struck deals which were even better at making money for their member schools.  As a result, the long-term, stable contracts made with CBS and ESPN which were not too long ago seen as features have morphed into ginormous bugs, millstones hanging around the necks of every SEC school head who is no longer seen as the richest kid on the block.

That meant the deals had to be redone.  And so they will be, because the SEC took the step to expand from twelve to fourteen members.  It wasn’t a move for the fans.  It’s a move for the bank accounts.

Don’t take my word for it.  Take the SEC’s.

There might not be a permanent rival,” said Charles Bloom, the SEC’s associate commissioner. “Don’t read anything into next year’s schedule. But we are staying with eight conference (football) games.”  [Emphasis added.]

There you have it.  The conference is prepared to ditch long-standing rivalries like Georgia-Auburn and Tennessee-Alabama, games that are part of the soul of what makes SEC football special, because it finds that to be the least objectionable way to deal with the scheduling problems which have cropped up in having to ram a fourteen-school square into an eight-game hole.  That’s only a problem because the SEC wants more TV money.  No offense to the good folks at Missouri and Texas A&M, but that’s not what most of us signed up for as fans of the conference.  Of course, that really doesn’t matter.

Mike Slive isn’t my commissioner.  He’s not your commissioner.  Slive is Michael Adams’ commissioner.  Slive answers to amoral asshats who piously decry the system while continuing to rake in the money that the system provides.  And that is something you should never lose sight of as Slive joins the scrum of heavyweights who will try to figure out the best way to reboot the postseason so that their golden goose can be more effectively squeezed.  In that context, we’re not fans.  We’re commodities.

If you need further convincing, look no further than the concerned souls at the WWL.

Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming, said today he senses college football’s leaders are not “tone-deaf” and that many follow SEC Commissioner Mike Slive’s opinion that change is coming. Slive has said the plus-one — a seeded, four-team playoff he proposed in the last BCS cycle — will be “very much” on his mind during upcoming talks.

“I sense that people who run college football and run the conferences obviously are not tone-deaf, and Mike’s comments I think were reflective of where this group is,” Magnus said. “They intend to give thoughtful consideration and discussion to every possible format consideration that there is. That’s encouraging.”

Yeah.

If these people don’t manage to suck the life out of college football in the next decade, it will purely be by accident.  In the meantime, they’ll be cheered on by the media for their wisdom.  Some will love the novelty, at least until it wears off.  Few will want to admit they’re being duped, until it’s too late to say otherwise.

These guys aren’t geniuses.  And they don’t care about you.  Presume otherwise at your own risk.

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65 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

65 responses to “Kiss of death

  1. Go Dawgs!

    Well said. With apologies to our new friends in Missouri or Texas A&M, expansion for expansion’s sake is foolhardy, and if it scuttles some of the rivalries which made the SEC great, then it’s folly. But you really were a fool if you thought the SEC would go to a nine game conference schedule, because that would mean Florida might have to leave the state more than four times a year. It would mean that Georgia would sometimes not get the minimum number of home games. That’s right, it would cost teams money. And that ain’t happening.

  2. Haywood Jablome

    Great read that is absolutely spot on. SEC is selling it’s soul for the almighty dollar. 9 game SEC schedule and drop a game against Northwest Cupcake State University.

    Not a fan of NASCAR at all, but one needs to look no further than what their expansion did to their core fan base in the south. The leaders of the SEC need to look at what made it special in the first place. Playing games in Missouri and Texas do nothing for me when compared to the annual traditional SEC match ups that I grew up on.

    • stoopnagle

      That sort of happened a long time ago (the soul-selling, that is).

      • Cojones

        Yep. And miopic vision wasn’t any better then. No matter whether you do or don’t support expansion/new schedules/ 8-or none SEC opponents/money makers’s influence/market bulls vs bullshiters, it all comes back to the genie-already-out-of-the-bottle and any change is further downhill. Where do you go downhill from bottom? You don’t.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The SEC never should have let in Arky and South Carolina. That was only done for the $$ the SEC Championship Game would generate. That was when the soul-selling really happened.

    • Darrron Rovelll

      Wow – a lot to chew on here. First, until about 1990 or so, NASCAR was a niche regional sport who suddenly caught lightening in a bottle and had about a 20% increase in fans around the mid-90’s. At same time that NASCAR’s fanbase was increasing, MLB had a 20% decrease in fans at roughly the same period due a lot which was attributed to labor strife.

      The fan demographics for NASCAR and MLB were virtually identical at the time. Throw in the fact that the driver’s were accessible, fan friendly and that NASCAR was very sponsor friendly, it caught a wave and rode it out. NASCAR was bound to hit a plateau but it had little to do with the expansion into additional markets beyond the SE (that was a smart move because it increased tv revenue by 40%.) NASCAR plateaued because:
      1. The racing got boring with the Car of Tomorrow, bland driver personalities and bland cookie cutter tracks.
      2. The races are too long for television viewing
      3. The racing got boring because the chase for championship did not reward enough for winning
      4. Jimmy Johnson won five in a row
      5. Dale Jr did not win enough
      6. Some people think that putting a large number of races on cable networks hurt tv ratings
      7. Fan attendance began to fall off due to the recession and the groups hurt the most economically during the recession were NASCAR’s core fanbase (middle class males, blue/grey collar jobs, 25-50, primarily in the Sun Belt)
      8. Personally, I think you could throw in too many races and too long of a season into the mix. However, a lot of that is based on keeping a presence in the heritage NASCAR markets where the product is not selling out but NASCAR does not want to abandon.

      Also, since NASCAR has made some changes to their racing protocol to create a better tv product the tv ratings have slightly improved.

  3. Mark

    It’s certainly about the money. They’ll do what they think will bring in the most money and try not to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Companies that overplay their hand go bankrupt (i.e. banks too big to fail). Thing is, people will keep being fans of college football because of the relationships involved. That’s why semi-pro teams won’t ever be able to compete with colleges for fan following. If fans want things done differently, they’ll have to vote with their dollars at some point and that’s hard to do when a fans fanaticism is based upon his relationships, where he grew up, identity and other things that go into making a college fan.

  4. Mark

    Question: If the SEC does away with the cross division rival, there’s nothing that says Alabama and Tennessee can’t still play each other is there? Even if the SEC doesn’t mandate it, can’t they still schedule one another as a non-conference opponent?

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      We just might as well split into 2 separate conferences if that happens. I became convinced some time ago that we have gone in the wrong direction. We should kick out the 2 new teams, plus USCe and Arkansas, then play a round robin schedule with the 10 remaining teams where every team plays every other team. That is the only way a true champion can be decided on the field. The SECCG is a money driven made for TV event that undermines the integrity of the regular season as much as the BCS does. It also started this whole mess college football is in now.

      • stoopnagle

        Mayor, that’s sort of where we’re headed, just in an opposite direction. The divisions will grow into conferences, essentially; round-robin play, non-divisional (or non-conference if you will) games from a set of pre-determined opponents, with champions playing for the overall title. That’s what the 16 team leagues are going to look like.

      • Cojones

        Mayor- Another split-up is not an answer. Why is everyone seeming to shy away from 9-SEC schedules? Part of this reasoning miieu presented by the Senator is linked together tenuously and should be reasoned by it’s individual parts instead of letting the parts argumentatively shape the whole.

        While I understand your words and the warnings sounded, I’m still in a “the-more,-the-merrier” mood.

  5. Spence

    But playoffs are so much fun! Everyone loves brackets! College football sucks compared to the NFL! And the MLB! And NHL! AND the NBA!!!

    • The Lone Stranger

      …said the EsPN suit from NYC

    • Darrron Rovelll

      College football right now does not suck but it is naive to think that sport is perfect would not benefit from some changes. As fans we like to think that we have influence via our pursestrings, but what the fans contribute directly to athletic departments through donations, ticket sales and merchandise pales in comparison to sponsors and media entities.

      Take a look at the NFL Wild Card ratings:
      Denver/Pittsburgh: 42.4 million
      Detroit/New Orleans 31.8 mllion
      Atlanta/NYG: 27.7 million
      Cinci/Houston: 21.9 million

      The Denver/Steeler game was the highest rated tv show since the Super Bowl.

      These are the first round playoff games, played mostly in the afternoon on the weekend (albeit on network tv.)

      Compare that with the BCS Championship game on Monday night prime time – 24.2 million viewers (albeit on cable) However, this BCS championship had the 3rd lowest rating ever for a BCS championship.

      While Monday’s championship might have been a tremendous validation for the competitiveness of the SEC, it did little to prove to others in the industry that BCS as it is currently structured can be competitive in the overall sports industry marketplace over the next 5-15 years.

      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        You cannot compare anything to an NFL playoff game as representative of the “overall sports industry.” NFL playoffs are beyond gold standard programming, for reasons I personally do not get. Most of the games are yawners. The close ones usually come down to a rules interpretation of some vague sub-rule, leaving the announcers sputtering “right call, bad rule.” And once or twice a year, you get a Denver-Pitt. Not exactly a compelling ratio.

        Which proves Pavlov should have used football fans, not dogs.

        • Darrron Rovelll

          You are right because other than the Barclay’s English Premier League, the NFL is the gold standard for the sports industry. Television ratings both regular season and post-season are healthy. Ticket sales, merchandise and concessions sales are good. Advertising and sponsorships are up. From a business perspective, the NFL is MILES ahead of college football.

          College football & college sports overall will have enormous financial hurdles to clear in the next 5-10 years – depsite the growth in revenue. Those who are in charge of college athletics understand this situation and they are looking for ways to clear those hurdles.

          You may not get why the NFL is gold standard programming, but to dismiss that the NFL’s success is intelluctually dishonest to the argument. Millions of more consumers are selecting the NFL brand over the college brand. If college football wants to continue to expand revenues they will need to either source completely new football fans or source football fans who are also NFL fans.

          Part of that solution may require a change to the post-season which may or may not work in the long run. What is becoming clear though is that the current system is not building growth anymore.

      • Spence

        I was being sarcastic. But seriously, how many super bowls have been laughers? Half?

  6. BulldogBen

    Feeling the vitriol this morning.

    I’d LOVE to see them try to dump the UGA/Auburn game. I think you’d see rioting in the streets and the Harvey Updyke’s of the world get even more creative.

    • stoopnagle

      If they didn’t riot with Nebraska – Oklahoma died, they won’t for UGA-AU.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Why would we ever want to stop playing Auburn? We beat them damn near every year. Same with Tech. I wish we played both of the TWICE a year.

    • Aubiece

      In ’92 AU gave up UT.
      In ‘early 2000s AU gave up UF
      Now they want AU to give up UGA.
      That would border on criminal and goes completely against what makes
      College football great.
      UGA – AU is a great traditional rivalry game, it defines that game.
      And to just give it up for $$ shows how out of touch the powers are.

  7. Spot on.

    Although I tend to think we are currently sticking with 8, and then reasses in a couple years when current deals expire (avoiding the buyouts on ooc games the next couple seasons) and if we are at 16, redo the schedule then. The 14 very well could just be a temporary step to 16, but either way, you are 100% correct in that conference expansion, college football post season, and the like are decided by one factor and one factor only, money.

  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    Uh, Blutarsky, don’t hold back there. You can let it out.

  9. 81Dog

    we arent fans to people like Mike Adams, or Mike Slive. We’re revenue streams. And, we’re just one revenue stream among many, so if the net result of inconveniencing us is more net cash for the bean counters and bureaucrats, fine by the Mikes.

    as long as they keep printing cash, it makes them powerful. Who cares if the average UGA fan is unhappy? He’ll keep shelling out for whatever the home schedule is, or they’ll just sell his tickets to some corporate weasel who wants tickets to “an event.” They dont have to worry about the diehards, because the diehards will keep paying, unhappy or not. So, drop Auburn? No problem. Play on a Thursday night? No problem. Announce when the kickoff will be the day before the game, so as to maximize the tv package? No problem.

    Meanwhile, the suckers who show up for games will be nickle and dimed to death, squeezed for parking passes, banned from tailgating, and generally herded around like cattle, because, well, you know……who cares about them?

  10. JasonC

    But Wetzel assures us that playoffs fix everything that is wrong with sports!

  11. this blog repeats itself every day

    You should change the description of this blog to “getting bogged down in the minutia of everything that can possibly be wrong with any kind of playoff and beating it into the f*cking ground”.

    • sUGArdaddy

      Then stop reading.

    • You’re the first person I’ve seen suggest that the money is minutia. If only that were the case…

      • It’s also why the argument about how fans won’t travel to the early round games in a 4 (or ultimately 8 and beyond) team playoff is pointless to me. Like they care, or won’t just put the first round games in home stadiums (or more likely pod style bidding, where those games are held closest to the higher seed in bid winning cities such as LA, Atlanta, Memphis, Houston, Dallas, DC, Indy, Chicago, etc). Because the real money isn’t coming from traveling fans, it’s coming from the TV deals.

        • Absolutely. ESPN just has to figure how to shuffle the money around.

        • Mark

          yea, but the TV deals are only good for TV if there are fans. If fans quit watching, the TV deals go away.

          • The thing to worry about isn’t that nobody watches. It’s that over time, college football migrates to an NFL-lite platform. Plenty of people will still watch that – just not necessarily the same people.

            • Exactly. They aren’t in any danger of losing viewers. Football is by far the king sport in this country, and will be for the forseeable future. Plus the fewer fans in attendance at the stadium is that many more eyes on the tube.

              • Darrron Rovelll

                But even still the NFL realizes the importance of putting people in the seats so they still blackout games in markets where the stadium does not sell out.

            • Mark

              Perhaps. But right now, college is mostly a regional sport. The NFL is much more national. If that changes, then who knows who will be watching college ball. The final product has to have people watch. If you are saying the final product may not be the diehard fans’ liking I agree. But I am not so sure the powers that be are willing to walk away from TV viewers. If they do, they are stupid. And I don’t think they are stupid. IOW, they are going to do something that creates the most bucks which either means a) have the most loyal/intense viewers in a demographic that spends a lot of money or b) have many viewers. The final product will appeal to viewers. Will it appeal to the average college fan? I hope so.

        • Macallanlover

          You aren’t seriously suggesting that the opening four games, held at the home field of the 4 highest seeds, would have empty seats are you? That is the type of hyperbole that anti-playoff folks lose credibility with….just like the inevitable comparisons to the NFL, NBA, NCAA Basketball, etc., and the devaluing the regular season by teams resting players. If there are empty seats at any of those games, you can bet there are soup and bread lines that stretch for miles in every city in this country. Those games will be sellouts with lots of action for scalpers. It ain’t for the money at that point for the fans, it is about the passion in pursuing a real title.

          • That’s not what he’s saying, Mac.

            He’s saying that if the numbers call for it, the suits will cut the major bowls out of the action in a heartbeat.

            He’s right.

            • Keese

              Of course they’re going to go after the money, why wouldn’t they. Most fans are catching on that college football is a business like any other…with millions at stake or to make. Money molds… and businesses evolve

          • Senator got it. I’m saying that they aren’t worried about making teams travel week after week cross country. Some of the talking heads like to say, well LSU wouldn’t travel to a quarterfinal, then semifinal, then final game. And if they were criss crossing the country with a Meineke Car Car Bowl quarter, Orange Bowl semi, and Rose/LA championship, they probably wouldn’t travel well to all 3. But traveling fans isn’t their concern. Money is, and the money is coming from TV not game attendance.

            • Darrron Rovelll

              Sanchez is right on the bulk of the revenue streams.

              Which why when it is all said in done, the playoff will be less likely to occur at a series of neutral sites (like the basketball model) and more likely to operate like the NFL system with a home vs visitor model until the championship – perhaps the semis.

              The basketball model works since there are 8 teams in the pod to pool fans, seat inventory is 12-25k, the games are divided into sessions, multiple games has very little wear and tear on the facility, and you can complete the 2 rounds in 4 days total.

              A football playoff (at least initially) is probably going to be 8 teams at max – so 7 total games and probably played over a 4 week period (2 weeks between semi-final & final.) There will be some talk about slotting some of these with the bowls but more than likely round 1 will take place on campus. With on-campus games, the home team will be charged with selling the bulk of the tickets to help guarantee a sell out.

              The semi’s might be played at a neutral site like (LA, Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, New Orleans) but not directly involve those bowls. Same locales for the championship. The sites will need to bid on the games like the NCAA basetball tourney, Super Bowl, Olympics, etc. That will increase the revenue stream even more for the organizers. However, with a week of campus games, smaller ticket pools for neutral site games, and 2 weeks between the semis & final, you reduce the fan travel fatigue concerns.

              The games at the neutral sites will always be sellouts as the schools will not have a huge portion of the inventory and most will go to the corporate world.

    • is that in any way on any planet responsive to his point? If you think its repetitive ,here’s a solution…..go post on ESPN.com or the Hive or better yet go lurk on Hustler,com..The Senator is right the solution is worst than the problem and 81 dawg is right too we’re just a revenue stream and they truly on the edge of losing this stream of 31 years if they don’t acknowledge the immutable law of unintended consequences

    • Cojones

      I think you hit it, sir!

      • Cojones

        I think that “this blog repeats” has a valid point today. It was my pickup before the comment. My post was done immediately under his.

  12. paul

    You know what they say, when a situation doesn’t make sense, follow the money. We are far more likely to end up with something sucktacular than spectacular. However, it is precisely because of the money that I believe once we get to the super conference model (and I believe we will sooner rather than later) the next step is disassociation of football from the NCAA. There was a reason why universities were being advised to reign in their athletic departments ten years ago. Smart people could see all this coming. But money is hard to to turn down. The almighty dollar is #winning. Not that I am a big fan of the BCS, but what we’ll get in it’s place is highly likely to be worse.

  13. Bright Idea

    It would seem that 9 conference games would make for an even better TV deal but what do I know. Playing Missouri every year but not Auburn is just plain weird. Not much to get excited about with the 2012 home schedule. Lots of tickets on the street and empty seats in the student section, kind of like a bowl game.

  14. Mike

    Follow the money right back to ESPN. They’ve ruined every other sport through over exposure and giving out gobs of money for TV contracts (how about two more Wild Card teams in MLB and you better not let that QB get hurt in the NFL!!!) and they are now well on their way to doing it in College Football. It’s a shame…

  15. HK

    So lets see, we’re well on our way to making the regular season less important by making losses not matter as much as long as you get your playoff seed. But hey, at least we’ll still have our traditional rivalries to make games important even when a shot at a title isn’t on the line, right? Oh wait, we’re getting rid of that, too.

    I get the goal to make as much money as possible off of a sport that is very popular. It benefits the schools so the representatives of the schools and conferences wouldn’t be doing their jobs if that wasn’t at least some consideration in their decision making, but come on.

    They need to consider why the sport is so popular in the first place, and the possibility that these moves they’re making to squeeze every possible dime out of the sport are jeopardizing that.

    Consider what happened to NASCAR over the last 10 years or so. Pretty good “sport”, very unique, lots of history of a somewhat backwards system with crazy ass personalities and rivalries that people love. Strong core fan base that loves the sport no matter what. Lots of other people realize how awesome the sport is, it becomes wildly popular, decisions about the sport are made based purely on maximizing profits, then the fringe fans quit caring because all those decisions ended up making the sport itself a lot less awesome, and turned all the participants (drivers, owners, etc. who used to be looked up to as gritty, salty icons) into a bunch of money grubbing, pretty-boy divas who you pray to God your kids don’t think are cool because they’re total douche bags. Suddenly its not as awesome and all those new fringe fans don’t care anymore. And all those core fans are still there, but they’re left with a dried up husk of a sport that is now a mere shadow if its formerly awesome self.

    People didn’t watch NASCAR because they liked watching cars go around in circles. They watched because everything else about it was awesome. Its still pretty good, but nothing like what it was. Not even close.

    That’s where we appear to be headed with college football, and hell we’ve pretty much arrived. We realign conferences to include more “TV markets” at the expense of traditional rivalries. Instead of talking about the x’s and o’s, ESPN pushes commentators talk about “draft stock” so NFL fans will hopefully see college football as more relevant to their sport of choice so they’ll watch more because ESPN doesn’t have that many NFL games and its a way for them to rope in some of that audience which they otherwise lose to the NFL network.

    Its sickening.

  16. Russ

    Damn, Senator. Well said, and very sad.

    F*ck ESPN, and the whole lot of them (Slive, Adams, et al).

  17. Cojones

    Why has the NFL diminished in the eyes of the fans? Maybe because College Football with all it’s rivalry and hullabalu is more interesting for passionate football fans to watch? The demise of NFL popularity lies in the TV-driven College Football fare driven by …who else?…ESPN. They have hurt their nose to slap their face and ended with College football on top at the expense of the NFL.

    You can argue about the pot pourri of reasons offered for not having a playoff, but to join them together with the obvious (money making, greed,etc.) just is not a good arguing platform. Stacking the cons as high as you can doesn’t add a lot to the give and take when the pros are not inserted.

    Money doesn’t drive anything any more than guns pick their target. It’s the motivation(s) of the people and organizations involved. So what? Bringing that into this argument is like capping ice skater’s knees. Might stop things in the short run, but builds up opposing sympathy in the long run. Sorry. I’m not buying.

    • Darrron Rovelll

      Are you talking about the demise of the NFL popularity? The NFL is more popular now than it has ever been. For 2011 these were the top 10 highest rated tv series:

      Top 10 Primetime TV Programs – Rating Total Viewers (000)
      1. American Idol-Wednesday FOX 8.1 23,946
      2. American Idol-Thursday FOX 7.5 22,009
      3. NBC Sunday Night Football NBC 7.1 20,547
      4. Dancing with The Stars ABC 6.7 19,576
      5. Dancing w/ Stars Results ABC 5.8 16,856
      6. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC 5.5 15,918
      7. NCIS CBS 5.2 15,174
      8. NFL Regular Season L ESPN 4.5 13,058
      9. The OT FOX 4.4 12,877
      10. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS 4.3 12,635

      So 40% of the top 10 TV series in 2011 were NFL related.

      And these were the highest rated single TV broadcasts from 2011:
      Top 10 TV Programs – Single Telecast Rating Total Viewers (000)
      1. Super Bowl XLV FOX 2/6/2011 37.7 111,041
      2. Super Bowl XLV Kickoff FOX 2/6/2011 23.6 69,666
      3. Super Bowl Post Game FOX 2/6/2011 22.4 66,030
      4. AFC Championship on CBS 1/23/2011 18.6 54,850
      5. NFC Championship FOX 1/23/2011 17.6 51,884
      6. AFC Divisional Playoff-SU CBS 1/16/2011 14.8 43,463
      7. AFC Championship Pre-Kick on CBS 1/23/2011 13.4 39,473
      8. NFC Wild Card Game FOX 1/9/2011 13.3 39,274
      9. Academy Awards ABC 2/27/2011 12.9 37,922
      10. Super Bowl Pre FOX 2/6/2011 11.9 35,136

      The NFL had 90% of the top shows watched by America in 2011 – and look several of them were involving the NFL playoffs.

      Every business metric for the NFL as a whole (attendance, merchandise sales, media rights, sponsorship, etc.) is healthy.

      You may not like a college football playoff and you might be absolutely correct that it will hurt the college regular season, but you are absolutely wrong when you say that these proposed changes are a result of the NFL’s demise. If anything, these proposed changes are a result of college football ascertaining that the NFL’s model is working so well right now and college football’s post-season model especially is struggling.

  18. Dante

    Missouri awkwardly went to the East just to protect Bama vs. Tennessee: The Longest Standing Rivalry Nobody Cares About. I don’t think the SEC will be flippant about ditching the likes of an Auburn vs. Georgia or even a Florida vs. LSU. They’ll certainly continue to chase the almighty dollar but I see us playing our West brethren once in a blue moon before we ditch the designated East-West rivals.

  19. Where all this “Got to have a playoooof! Wharrgble!!!” business is heading is directly to a 3 loss National Champion.

    Then college football will be well and truly dead.

    • 4.0 Point Stance

      Is this really any worse than a 2 loss national champion (2007) or a national champion that’s already lost to the team it beat in the national championship? Or even BYU in 1984? Certain playoff proponents don’t think so.

      There are millions of people who would *love* it if a 16 seed won the NCAA tourney; fall all over themselves in paroxysms of joy. It wouldn’t matter that the 16 seed is pretty clearly not the “best” team in basketball, or that it didn’t have the best season. The leap of faith necessary to support a playoff is to pick some games and say “these are the games that count, these are the ones that don’t.”

      A 3 loss champion wouldn’t be considered illegitimate any more than a Super Bowl champ who went 0-4 in the preseason.

      • Yes, I think it would be a crying shame.

        The College Football National Championship has always tried to identify the best team over the course of the entire year. College football is unique, in that there is a passionate debate as to who that is each year.

        I believe it is one of the main things that makes college football more interesting than all the other sports.

        I think that uniqueness should be protected rather than thrown away.

        I realize people are falling all over themselves for the prospect of a playoff. I’m not sure everyone has thought through the implications of it.

        I don’t think most people see any farther than “Playoffs would be awesome!” and for a populace conditioned to accept a tournament winner as “the best team of the year” it will probably be everything they hope for.

  20. KennyT

    Judging by the sentiments here – You are all starting to sound like a bunch of hipster indie rock or independent movie d-bags except you are hipster indie college football fans.

    Let me see you never bought anymore (insert band name) after they became sell outs to the corporate suits of (insert record company) name, corporate radio and started playing arena shows. (BAND NAME) ARE SELL OUTS MAN! I will never listen to them again and my new favorite band plays Flamenco Balkan Fusion.

  21. AMEN brother. Never has an Aubie agreed with a dawg more. If you don’t think idiots can kill NCAA football,check the last 5 years attendance figures (and earnings) in NASCAR.

  22. Mr.Murder

    Make a playoff of lower bracketed teams. As a trial run.

    In the meantime, the SEC can have floaters on schedule based in meeting certain benchmarks. That way the Mizzou game doesn’t push longstanding Aub-Ga out the door,etc. Perhaps Einstein can explain the BCS formula for halftime show, extended version. Only purists will scorn the move. The SEC can name David Stern its commisioner.

    They’ll screw up college football! Next thing you know, people will have to wear non leather helmets!! Bring back the fyling wedge!!! Abolish the forward pass!!!!

  23. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Pro Football Rant:

    Bowl Games watched, at least partially, 2011: 6
    In entirety: 3

    NFL Playoff actual plays watched last weekend: 1. Guess which one? Got very lucky popping onto what I thought would be post-game for the day’s scores. So I do have interest. Just not that much interest.

    NFL playoff games I will watch this weekend: none.

    I gave up on the NFL for good when Jim Caldwell started calling time-outs for the Jets – call it the straw that broke the camel’s back. NFL games have become boringly repetitive and boringly conservative. I’d love to watch Tebow play – but I’d have to watch John Fox punt on 4th and 1 on the plus side of the 50 four times, and that’s just too much wasted time. When something “different” usually does happen, it’s a coach or QB making Les Miles/Jordan Jefferson look like the second coming of Walsh/Montana.

    When was the last time I saw genuinely great football being played by two NFL teams? I’m sure it happened this year, but I’m not willing to sit through 4 or 5 games to get to the one.

    On the flip side, watching LSU blow out Auburn or Alabama squash Tennessee has enough residual value to keep me in front of the TV with a book for a quarter or two.