What’s better than awesome?

More awesome, of course.

“Is this (the new four-team playoff) better for all of us in college football?” Petersen asked. “I think a playoff system and a four-team structure, no, I don’t think anybody’s going, ‘That is the answer.’ But it’s moving in the right direction.

“How do you get an eight-team (playoff)? I think that would be the next really awesome step, and then how do you go even bigger than that? Well, how do we get that all done? We can only play so many games. This is college football. They’re students, and you have finals and injuries. I don’t have the answers.”

While it sure sounds like Petersen would prefer a 16-team playoff format, he says he “doesn’t have a clue” how it would get worked out, “because you have to cut down your regular season games for sure. There’s probably enough money for everybody to share in that if they did that. I do think bigger than four is what a lot of people would like to see.”

You can’t blame Petersen for the sentiment.  The way things are set up now, Mountain West dwellers like Boise State are going to have a tough time cracking the four-team field because of strength of schedule considerations.  So move that bad boy out to eight or sixteen teams and watch his frown turn upside down.

That already makes two high-profile coaches who’ve come out advocating a bigger tourney before the commissioners have even settled the details on the new one.  Wanna bet there are more to come?

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27 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

27 responses to “What’s better than awesome?

  1. Puffdawg

    I’m usually excited about being right. But in this case all I can do is shake my head and say, “We told you so.”

    Extended playoffs, here we come.

  2. This is why I preferred, if they were going to do this at all, that they START with 8. I think it would have made it easier – in a backwards kind of way – to stay at 8, because the reasons for expanding from 4 to 8 are much better than from 8 to [....]. But all anyone will remember is that “hey, they said one time they wouldn’t expand, and they did anyway.” Expansion of any kind is the camel’s nose under the tent. Maybe I’m over thinking this, I smell something burning.

    • Macallanlover

      And that is why we all said there HAS to be expansion when you come up with a half-asses solution. Setting the starting point at four insured a demand for expansion because you had decided you wanted a playoff that would give enough inclusion to allow a champion worthy enough to be respected by all. Four doesn’t do that much better than two did because the 5-6 major conference champs aren’t all given a chance, which means you haven’t silenced the teams in that conference’s right to complain about schedule differences. With 8, there would have only been a few voices who felt disenfranchised.

      Would that mean there wouldn’t be some whining about who was 8 or 9? Of course there would, but the complaints would have no legitimacy because they all had their chance to win their conference or finish undefeated in the Top 10. Then you wouldn’t have any significant pressure to expand. Complainers would be scoffed at, their voices drowned out. (I only restate this argument because of the “I told you so” comments above. The real “I told you so” comments are those of us who predicted you would feel pressure to expand immediately because the solution simply was not adequate to address the size of the problem you had agreed to fix.)

      • [Insert obligatory "Mac, it's not stopping at eight teams" reference here] ;)

        • Macallanlover

          I know, expected that, but what can you say when you hear the “told you sos” about expansion? Of course there would be expansion from four, both sides of the issue called for that to be inevitable. Beyond eight? Not so inevitable, imo.

          • JN

            In the words of the theme song from Donald Trump’s, “The Aprrentice”…”MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MUNNN-NAE…….MUNNN—-NAEEEE!”

  3. DawgPhan

    yeah, welcome to the end. at least I am going to get a dozen of my saturdays back.

    just let me know when the playoffs start.

  4. This was always going to happen. It sucks, but it is what it is. Once you go 4, the arguement for 8 and then 16 gets louder and louder. Coaches want stability, and saying, “hey, we made the playoffs three years in a row” is a good thing to have after losing 3-4 games a year and then getting dumped in the 1st round of the playoffs every year. I would have liked a 6-team format with an ironclad 20-year-contract, but I suspect that was never going to happen. Sucks to know that the regular season is going to be diminished in the next 15ish years.

    • Cojones

      Some of us have advocated from the start that it shouldn’t be “Choose 4″ with all it’s headaches and subjectivity. Advocacy for 8 games (Top 8 in the polls) has been ongoing before they went to 4.

      Mac has restated the reasoning from the gitgo, but I will remind that it was advocated at 8 as an end number instead of proceeding as addons each year when getting to 8. Advocating 16 teams is Pome d Rue that frightens everyone to not go for 8 teams in a playoff. The number of teams that would go for 16 aren’t even in the 8, so’ yeah, they are not strong enough to make a true national playoff team at 8.

      If the 16-team advocates from the weak conferences keep suggesting that, of course the big conferences would consider another level of 4-6 strong conferences who wouldn’t advocate past 8.

      My thoughts and guesses are as responsible toward a true playoff than the 4 advocates contend. First, the “slippery slope” meme to try and persuade not to go for more teams has been douched and now it’s a fight to get what some of us feel is the correct number for a playoff to begin with. This is not a new idea and has been advocated on here by some of us since before the BCS/NCAA decided on 4.

  5. timphd

    The football season will be just like the basketball season: No one cares until “January madness” starts. The rivalry with GT won’t matter as much because a loss to them won’t keep UGA out of the playoffs since they will still be in the top 16 (or will it be 32, 64?). Same with FU, we can lose to them and still make the playoffs so why get so worked up about the game I have always hated to lose most.

    I had hoped we could at least have a few years of only a four team event ( which I could live with) before they started talking about more. Guess I should have known better.

    • JN

      Unless I’m mistaken, the 4 team playoff is locked in for ~8 years (I can’t remember off the top of my head), just like current BCS was locked in through 2013.

      • Gravidy

        You know as well as I do that there is no such thing as “locked in” any more. Contracts mean less and less every day.

  6. mdcgtp

    Senator and perhaps others, can you refresh my memory as to why you are against a multi-team playoff. I completely understand the sanctity of the regular season and the special nature of “every game counts”. that said, I also think that framework means luck matters more. As UGA fans, we all know that there was not a material difference between UGA’s 2002 season and LSU’s 2003 season yet by virtue of the fact that other teams had gone unbeaten, we did not play in the title game. Auburn fans can cite 2004 in relation to both of UF’s titles, LSU’s two loss title, and 2 of saban’s three titles at Bama. Is that what you really want to protect?

    Ultimately, it involves change. College football is very different than it was in the 70s and 80s when I grew up. Personally, I find the proliferation of bowl games to be an affront to my senses. I remember when the distinction between making a bowl and not making a bowl meant something. That said, I can accept the argument that the teams get a bowl trip, the fans get to watch more football, ESPN gets more programing? So who is really harmed? the average fan knows the pinstripe bowl is a joke.

    that said, I think a playoff system involving between 8 and 12 teams with an intelligent selection committee would NOT destroy the integrity of the season and would ensure the champion is crowned “on the field”. certainly, there will be years where a lower seeded gets hot like the packers in 10 or the giants in 2011, but is that such a bad thing? does anyone think the packers or Giants did not “win enough” games to be true super bowl champs?????

    Obviously, I recognize the propensity to screw this up at the alter of “everyone has to be represented” so a condition might be guaranteed access for champions of the big 10, big 12, and pac 10. that said, they might not get much beyond that, and in a 12 team field, it is entirely possible that we get 4-6 SEC teams. the NFL draft numbers were a HARD DOSE of reality for the SEC haters and the other commissioners to swallow. Obivously details around strength of schedule, number of conference games,and how we analyze those things would have to be worked out, but for the life of me, I don’t understand the resistance to a different system…so please fill me in…

    • Puffdawg

      For me, many of your hypotheticals answer the question of why I’m opposed to an extended playoff. I’ll take a few snipets and explain:

      “I remember when the distinction between making a bowl and not making a bowl meant something.” Exactly. And 10-15 years from now, you’ll remember when making the playoffs meant something. Never in the history of organized sports has a playoffs system expanded and expanded and expanded.

      “…it is entirely possible that we get 4-6 SEC teams.” As for protecting the sanctity of the regular season, aren’t you answering your own question here? If 4-6 regular season teams make it in from the SEC, who the hell cares who wins LSU-ALabama, Georgie-Florida, or the SEC Championship? What is the point of even playing those games. Sure, Miss St-South Carolina might have more importance, but the biggest games, the “Game of the Century” ESPN likes to brand once or twice a season, completely lose the win or go home aspect.

      We’ll never have a system where everyone is satisfied. There are too many mouths to feed, and not enough food to go around. Inevitably, the debate will now turn to whether the #2 team in the Big Ten is better than the #3 team in the Pac 12. The debate won’t go away/ It will just evolve. I love the localized flavor of college football. I like that there isn’t a definitive champion. It keeps the debates interesting. Where the most important goals are win your conference and beat your rivals. Where the rivalry games are the end, not the means to an end. The mindset will shift from beating Florida to making the playoffs. And then what? 65 or so teams each year can beat their rival. But only one can win the playoffs. Are you really going to be happier when the WLOCP featuring top ten teams doesn’t mean shit – because both teams are going to get into the playoffs – but lo and behold, we get to find out whether 2011 Arkansas can win the tournament National Championship material (despite coming in third place in their division)? Actually, let me rephrase that, because the WLOCP will still mean something to everybdoy. Will you actually be happier when we have an extended playoff and winning the WLOCP between top ten teams is not the primary goal rather than a potential bump in the road?

    • that said, I think a playoff system involving between 8 and 12 teams with an intelligent selection committee would NOT destroy the integrity of the season and would ensure the champion is crowned “on the field”. certainly, there will be years where a lower seeded gets hot like the packers in 10 or the giants in 2011, but is that such a bad thing? does anyone think the packers or Giants did not “win enough” games to be true super bowl champs?????

      I think it’s best that you and I agree to disagree. ;)

      Seriously, all of this has been hashed out to a great degree here at the blog. Just do a check in the archives.

      • mdcgtp

        I will check the archives. Obviously, I think there are trade-offs with everything. Certainly, you are 100% correct that if 4-6 SEC teams have the ability to make a playoff, NO ONE single game no longer serves as an elimination game. Further, we do run the risk of opening Pandora’s box of comparing the worthiness of different teams with 1-2 losses. I am okay that risk if we can come up with the right framework. Regardless of whether we have a playoff or NOT beating your rival still counts for a lot. Obviously, Bama’s regular season losses in 2011 and 2012 seem inconsequential to their fans given the final prize, but ask any A&M fan if the Bama win meant something to them and see what they say? If LSU (flaws and all) had held on to beat bama in 2012 and got throttled by us in the championship game, only to have Bama go on to win an 8 team tourney, do you think LSU fans would not value that win??? would bama have lost to A&M knowing a second loss MIGHT (NOTE NOT WOULD) have eliminated them from a tourney? I am not totally certain, but I don’t fear the outcom

        Obviously, we can agree to disagree, I am truly curious…..can we agree that a 4 team playoff is a marginal solution that does NOT totally “solve a problem” (divorce yourself from the OBVIOUS point that you don’t think it needed a solution in the first place)? and if you agree with that premise, why wouldn’t you want a more comprehensive solution that gets the 8 or 10 or 12 (or whatever we can back test to have been the closest thing to the “correct” number of teams that “should” be eligible for a playoff? I am just 100% certain that at 4 the SEC gets screwed and thus the playoff is ill conceived….though less ill conceived than the current BCS system which goes away ;-)

        • can we agree that a 4 team playoff is a marginal solution that does NOT totally “solve a problem”

          Like I said, I think it’s best to agree to disagree here.

          I’m not sure what the correct number of teams that should be eligible for a playoff. But I’m sure that there are rarely more than four or five teams at the end of the regular season who should be considered legitimate national title contenders and that there are less than that number often enough to make an eight-team playoff unnecessary. But even that’s not my biggest problem. It’s that once you open the door to two or three teams that really don’t have the standing that the teams at the top do, how do you stop there? The answer, of course, is that you don’t.

          College football has the most unique regular season in American sports going for it. I just don’t get why anyone who isn’t profiting from an expanded playoff wants to mess with that.

          • mdcgtp

            that helps…i understand where you are coming from. We can agree to disagree. Given the fact that the future system has NOT yet been implemented, debating how it might be modified is NOT the most sensible thing to do at this stage.

        • JN

          The disagreement isn’t in the number of teams, in this case. It’s in the “why”. Folks who would tend to side with you are generally coming from a “settle it on the field” perspective. And there ain’t a dang thing wrong with that. But folks like the Senator, etc. are more concerned with “why” all of this is happening.

          The presidents and the NCAA have resisted a playoff for decades. It’s not as if they all had a change of heart in the last 18 months. What has changed, however, is the look in their eyes. Their eyes are no different than a cartoon character who day dreams and has a $ symbol over each eye. If there were a way that there could be an 8-12 team playoff that was as unbiased as possible in selecting the teams and their seedings, I think a lot of others would agree with you. But, the fact remains that this new playoff is about anything other than deciding it on the field.

          It b all bout Benja-mins, dogg!

          And when that is taken into consideration, folks like me, who has wanted a playoff for the last 15 years,..well, let’s just say I’d be happy as a pig in slop to win that magical game that takes place in the dome the 1st Saturday of each December, and then roll the dice after that to see what UGA is playing for in their bowl game.

        • Cojones

          When you get past 3 playoff games (8,4,2) the scheduling becomes problematic. Adding one more playoff game to reach 3 games in order to get to 8 teams is the easiest route to a true playoff.

          My argument has been that the number 8 decided using natl polls is more objective than a committee selecting 4 teams, something we will tire of (with it’s inequities) and will drive us to 8 teams. My contention is that we should start with 8 teams as representin’ and skip all the falderal in getting there later. I’ve already confessed that one reason for 8 teams is my personal preference to see as many deserving SEC teams that can be listed in the NC. That is as proactive as we can get to cut Delany off at the pass whereas he advocates new rules each week to apply to the 4 teams that favors Big 10 and fights the SEC having more than one representative team.

          Whatever the crap number is decided upon won’t matter a snit as long as we get good competitive games and decide the natl champs without ESPD or Delany running the selection show.

          This is a difference of opinions between the cynics and the rest of us stupid naive people who dare bring up another solution to a problem common to us all. Neither group is “right” or correct, it’s just the way some feel so sure about how it will play out to the good or the bad for the fans. There are no bad guys here advocating for either 4 or 8 teams. It’s a difference of opinion as to what constitutes the number of teams that represent a “National Playoff”.

          • My argument has been that the number 8 decided using natl polls is more objective than a committee selecting 4 teams…

            “Objective”? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

            Generally when we’re talking about playoffs, objective means if you hit a specific target (i.e., win your conference), you make the postseason.

            The SECCG is an objective match of division champs. A poll driven playoff field is anything but objective.

            • mdcgtp

              yes but it is a subjective judgement as to whether or not a big 10 champ is a worthy enough standard for entry into a playoff:-)

              that is the ONE thing that Slive demanded that i thought was masterful. Its the best 4 teams…all conferences have a chance to place teams in the 4 team tourney, but there is NO guaranteed access to the tourney for ANY conference.

              Ultimately, the coaches in the league must embrace is “greater bowl effort” and greater effort in out of conference games to establish a record that better because while the SEC going 5-2 or 6-3 each bowl season generally understates the leagues dominance. Houston Nutt and Tuberville were repeat offenders at simply not giving a crap at non-conference games.

              Further, the league has to come up big this fall in the Miss st-Okie state, UGA-clemson, UF-Miami, bama-va tech, sc-nc and not embarass ourselves in the ole miss-texas game. no one will care about UT-oregon, but we need them to be reasonably respectable for when the inevitable comparison occurs between how badly UGA, Bama, and UF beat them relative to Oregon. the . whether it is 4 or 8, there is always going to be an extra SEC team on the fringe that is probably going to be left out by virtue of a desire for geographic balance.

    • ….there will be years where a lower seeded gets hot like the packers in 10 or the giants in 2011, but is that such a bad thing? does anyone think the packers or Giants did not “win enough” games to be true super bowl champs?????

      Short answer – No.
      Long answer – Refer to the Senator’s comments. This has been hashed out ad nauseam here. Just click on the “BCS/Playoffs” category at the bottom of his post and you’ll find plenty of compelling arguments both for and against your stance.

      • Aw hell. That short answer should be “Yes”. Some around here do not believe the Packers/Giants won enough games in the regular season to be considered Super Bowl champs.

  7. hassan

    I say we have a 4 week play in to determine seeding, and then a 120 team tournament.

    But of course then, the winner would have to play the FCS champion.

    But wait…what about Div III? Shouldn’t they get a shot too?