Let me know when I can say “I told you so”.

The slippery slope talk continues.

After initially standing firm behind the idea of keeping the College Football Playoff at four teams, decision makers have begun to publicly suggest the postseason format will expand eventually.

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis recently echoed the sentiments of Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson — who said other commissioners are “following the script — in predicting an expansion of the playoff beyond four teams.

“I’m not so sure that four is the right answer,” Hollis told SiriusXM College Sports Nation. “I think it’s the right answer for the short term. I think you’re going to have more teams feel slighted by not being a part of the process than when there were two. Being on the basketball committee, you kind of see that play out. Exponentially, the more teams there are, the more you feel they should have been the ones to get in. It’s going to be interesting to watch that process.”  [Emphasis added.]

Wait – doesn’t he know that football and basketball are totally different?  I mean, that’s what everybody keeps telling me.

I’ll say it again:  the four-team playoff doesn’t make it to the end of the contract. And the only question I’ve got about the eight-team playoff is whether the step after that is to twelve or sixteen schools.

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58 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

58 responses to “Let me know when I can say “I told you so”.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    College Football: Just another reason to sell advertising or get down a bet.

  2. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The 4 team format just might be a bridge that gets us to the “Superconference era.” If we end up with 4 “Superconferences” of 16 to 20 teams each, with each conference having 2 divisions, that provides a playoff format automatically. Say the SEC, Big 10, Big 12 and the Pac 12 are the conferences left standing after the NCAA Armageddon. They then expand to the foregoing numers of members. The conference championship games would be the first round of the playoff (8 teams). Then the 4 conference champs play the next round (SEC vs. Big 12; Big 10 vs. Pac 12) and the 2 winners play for the National Championship. Now if we can just get the NCAA to self destruct and clear the way for this by doing a bunch of stupid things that will cause it to lose the respect of the public and its member institutions, like selecting an arrogant fool as its president, doling out inappropriately harsh penalties for minor violations while ignoring major violations such as bribing players, using illegal means to conduct investigations, etc….er…..wait

  3. PTC DAWG

    So you think the bowls are better? Not everyone needs a trophy.

    • JasonC

      The problem is that the public thinks a playoff is about finding a true National Champion. The leaders of college football think a playoff is about earning extra money.

      95% of the time, you really only need the top 4 teams to name a legitimate National Champion. Once you get out to the 8th, 10th or 16th team, your not really looking for the best team, you looking for the best finish.

      From a fan who’s team has been on the edge of making it to the big game twice in the past 5 years, I understand the argument about someone being left out. But honestly, when you here the Boise coach, the MSU official, Gordon Gee, Leslie Miles or anyone telling you, “we don’t want to leave anyone out”, what they are really saying is “We just want more money and we’re too big of a p*$$y to make hard decisions other than give me more, give me more.”

      If they hold at 4 games plus the glut of bowls, they should succeed at:
      1. Crowning a legitimate National Champion
      2. Earning a pile of money
      3. Rewarding a lot of teams/players with a post-season game
      And that should be enough for everyone.

  4. WarD Eagle

    College Football = NFL

  5. Bryant Denny

    If we’re gonna blow everything up, then why not go full-blown playoff system?

    All y’all screaming for nine conference games are playing right into their hands.

    Have a good evening,

    BD

    • Hobnail_Boot

      Yeah, sorry, no.

      I’ve been for the 9-game schedule just so UGA can have 4 home conference games per year. Our stubborn persistence upon playing a game every year in a stadium named after our opponent (in their own state) in the name of tradition has led me to the point where I’d be fine if the other 12 non-UF SEC schools play a disproportionate number of road conference games every other year.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        HB, I agree with what you said except I do not agree that a 9th SEC game will guarantee UGA a 4th SEC home game every season. The morons at the SEC office will undoubtedly have UGA playing 3 SEC home games, 5 SEC road games and the WLOCP in JAX some seasons in order to make the schedules fit for other teams. How good are the Dawgs’ chances in the SEC East going to be in those years?

      • Chopdawg

        We’re playing the EverBanks?

    • You are correct BD! :)

  6. Otto

    This is exactly why I didn’t want a playoff. Basketball started small too. College football has the most amazing regular season in sports and I would not trade that for anything.

    • Chopdawg

      Otto, I don’t understand how you can say “college football has the most amazing regular season in sports” when UGA wasted 1/4 of the season last year playing Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, and Georgia Southern.

  7. Lrgk9

    That’s ‘Big 10 (sic)’

  8. Hobnail_Boot

    I’m beginning to truly wonder if i will look back at Alec Ogletree returning a blocked punt vs. Alabama as the peak of my CFB fanaticism.

  9. AusDawg85

    No Senator. The remaining questions are:

    Will Georgia be in the CFB South Division or moved to the East to promote balance? (#DallasCowboysNFCEast)

    How satisfying will our being in the Championship Game be with a 6 – 6 regular season schedule but winning the Wildcard selection and subsequent playoff games? (#Giants)

    Which billionaire will own the UGA franchise rights?

    I’ll watch, I’ll cheer, But deep down I’ll remember the “good ol’ days” when it was “about the student athletes”.

  10. Go Dawgs!

    First rule of politics, say what people want to hear to get your foot in the door and THEN do what you really want when you get in. So, no, university presidents and stakeholders, we don’t see this thing ever getting bigger than four teams… until the playoff’s signed, sealed, and delivered! Now let’s see about growing that sucker…

  11. Gravidy

    Is Hollis capable of hearing the words coming out of his own mouth?!? As far as I can tell, his argument boils down to:

    1. Having four teams in a playoff is not enough because “you’re going to have more teams feel slighted by not being a part of the process than when there were two”.

    2. Solve that problem by adding more teams, uhhh…you know, because “exponentially, the more teams there are, the more you feel they should have been the ones to get in”.

  12. Macallanlover

    Please Senator, this is the wrong place to play the ” I told you so” card. I recall everyone agreed when this discussion began that 4 would not satisfy playoff, or non-playoff groups, it was simply a terrible solution that would require a quick fix. So going beyond 4 is not really expansion, just a reognition that you have spotlighted your incompetence and need to change it ASAP (like buying a car that doesn’t transport you, or a TV without sound; it just didn’t satisfy your objective). I think everyone could say “I told you so” and be right, which means no one was arguing the point because four teams wasn’t a viable solution.

    When, and if, there is expansion beyond 8, then YOU can say “I told you so” and declare victory. When, and if, we fix the problem and get to an 8 team playoff, then SOME of us can declare victory (and everything would be right with the CFB world…assuming they have fired Emmert by then.) My prediction is any expansion beyond 8 teams would come well after my expected lifetime. But we need an immediate fix to the obvious error of four teams, and should fix it before the actual playoff begins, imo. Why wait when it seems no one is satisfied with it?

    • Connor

      All I’ve heard was “we need a playoff!” Now we’ve got one, and it’s not good enough. “We need more playoff!” Forgive me if I have zero confidence that your subtle arguments for staying at 8 are going to have any more effect than the subtle arguments for staying at 2 or 4 did.

      • Macallanlover

        Excuse me if I ignore your comment, there is no mistaking my position. It has never, ever been 2, 4, 16, 32, or any other number but 8. It is the only number that is inclusive enough while being exclusive. It is also the only number of games that works in the available time frame, and insures only top teams are invited with no byes involved. I would just as vehemently oppose any increase to 16. Nothing ambivalent about my position for the last 20 years, maybe more. Many may disagree with my positions but I dont waffle or speak out of two sides of my mouth. I dont deny anyone yhe right to disagree either, but I have not heard a proposal with more, or less, teams that comes close to the advantages that 8 teams playing off make. Gives us a legit NC while keeping every game in the regular season critical.

        • Cojones

          Was going to reply this AM, but decided it was just Bluto baiting the issue. Glad I didn’t now since you have expressed it accurately and reasonably. Don’t expect the “slippery slope” meme was presented any better than before. Just a catch phrase to remind us that it was set up that way at the beginning.

          The Senator acts like things have sped up ; whereas, it’s just a few unknowns trying for nabobary. Bluto is obliged to quote anything that supports the slippery meme.

          Oh, and “pick four instead of two” is not a playoff by anyone’s imagination. If everyone had just spoken and skipped to the reasonable 8 teams off the top of the polls we wouldn’t keep repeating this attempt to paint others as “naive” those who see a little bit more clearly where it’s going. And it will never go to 16. Don’t blame me if I come back and tell you so when we finally arrive at 8.

          • The Senator acts like things have sped up ; whereas, it’s just a few unknowns trying for nabobary. Bluto is obliged to quote anything that supports the slippery meme.

            You are in a state of denial, brother, if you don’t think things have sped up. Go back three years ago and Jim Delany was predicting a four-team playoff over his dead body. Now you’ve got conference commissioners and ADs at major programs calling for a move past four before they’ve even got the current format fully in place.

            As for “it will never go to 16″, are you basing that on anything more concrete than your personal preference? The only thing that will stop the powers that be from going there will be if they’re convinced there’s no money in it. I would suggest that you don’t have the first clue whether or not that will be the case.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              If the top 64 to 80 teams get together and form 4 superconferences, particularly if they leave the NCAA or the NCAA allows them to form a new division, it will stop at 8. Division champions play each other in the first round for each conference championship, then 2 of the 4 champs play each other in the next round, then the national championship game. That’s not very different from what we’re going to have next year with the 4 team playoff because ( just wait and see) the selection committee won’t let a team in that isn’t a conference champion–except ND, of course.

              • If, if, if…

                Which current power conference ceases to exist? And who decides where its former members go?

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  The ACC ceases to exist as a power conference. The basketball schools (UNC, Duke, Wake, UVa and NC State, possibly Syracuse) stay together but the others that have possible football clout (VA Tech, Miami) get gone and join another conference. The market decides (i.e. a bunch of old guys in a smoke filled room).

        • Mac, I don’t understand how you can talk intelligently about the size of a CFB postseason without a single mention of money.

          And for the record, I’m okay with four teams.

          • Macallanlover

            For the record, I like 4 better than two so I guess I am “OK” with it too. Just like the BCS took away the roadblocks that prevented certain matchups in the past, 4 teams is an improvement, it just isn’t an adequate solution. Both fall short and lead to demand for a “fix”. That is why I don’t feel the the demand for eight is really expanding a playoff, it is a demand to fix an obvious fault.

            No one can deny that money is, and will always be, a driving factor for some. It is much easier to sell change if you can link it to a financial benefit. But is it THE driver in this debate? I would say no, but the desire to fix something that is complete is made easier by throwing mega dollars at it. There really is no one answer because some individuals are always driven by the money, others want to make things right for something they feel passionately about. The two sides come together for opportunistic reasins where both get their way. I feel when we get the size of the playoff right and achieve the objective, a sizable group will back off playoff expansion and leave only the greedy to push expansion. Not being naive about this, and could be wrong, but I feel the momentum leaves at 8 teams because it works so well for all concerned.

            • No one can deny that money is, and will always be, a driving factor for some. It is much easier to sell change if you can link it to a financial benefit. But is it THE driver in this debate? I would say no…

              Mac, I respect your consistency on the issue, but seriously, this would make CFB different from every other organized sport business model in this country, including CBB, which is run by the same people.

              Honestly, I can’t think of a single major development in CFB over the past five years that wasn’t driven by monetary concerns. It’s hard to believe that’ll suddenly stop.

              • Macallanlover

                And your consistency on this is commendable as well. I do beleve things driven by a commitment to what is right will prevail over the greed/money factor. As with Maslow’s theory, once you have your needs covered the desire to so the right thing is the driver. Not that I think the money being paid will last forever (or very long for that matter) but the big schools are drunk with cash now.

  13. Monday Night Frotteur

    Outstanding. The sooner we get to 16 the better. CFB is leaving billions on the table by allowing December weekends to lie fallow. The sooner this thing gets big the better, and you’ll all realize how much more entertaining an expanded playoff is after a couple of years.

    • Deep down, in places I don’t talk about at parties, I suspect there is a chance you are right, although I have called myself a playoff opponent for as long as there has been a debate. There is a reason the playoff would be worth billions more than the current format. The viewing would be damn compelling. I wonder if when the extended playoffs are upon us – and I think we all view it as a fait accompli that they will be – that it won’t feel like I was on the wrong side of history.

      Until then, I’ll say protect the regular season now, protect the regular season tomorrow, protect the regular season forever.*

      * not an endorsement of the actual George C. Wallace quote**

      ** or of segregation***

      *** I am such a pu$$y

      • Macallanlover

        I agree about loving to see December Saturdays full of CFB, especially good matchups of top rated teams, but then I would love to see CFB played all year long so my vote would be biased/selfish. I am not saying there aren’t a few rational people who genuinely feel we are guaranteed to go to 16 but it is mostly the doomsayers and “sky is falling” folks who are using this as a scare tactic who say 16/32 is inevitable and money will drive us there right away. The timing and math just don’t work, and the number of supporters for 16 will be significantly less than those of us demanding an 8 team playoff. Eight teams will work without impact on the regular season, 16 will require some major changes and logistical problems.

        • PTC DAWG

          I have been a fan of 8 for a while. 5 Conference champs….ACC/SEC/Big 12/Big 10/Pac 12…3 wild cards…and I think it would be fine to use the way the BCS Poll used to rank them to seed etc..play first round at home stadiums.

          At least the 5 earn their way in. They won something. I like the idea that CHAMPIONS are in.

          • AusDawg85

            Just musing, not arguing any points….
            Your playoffs from last year’s week 15 BCS rankings:

            ACC – Clemson (#12)
            SEC – Alabama (#2)
            Big 12 – Kansas St. (#5)
            Big 10 – Wisconsin (not it Top 25!)
            Pac 12 – Stanford (#6)

            Using BCS rankings to complete 3 wildcards / at large invites, you’d have:
            Notre Dame (#1), Florida (#3) and Oregon (#4)

            Now…do the wildcard / at large picks get placed in brackets like wildcards (last ones in) or based on rankings? Since they did not “win something”, let’s treat them like wildcards in doing the parings:

            First Round:
            Alabama (#2 and highest ranked “winner”) vs. Oregon (#4 but lowest ranked wildcard)
            Kansas St. (#5) vs. Florida (#3)
            Stanford (#6) vs. Notre Dame (#1)…REMATCH!
            Clemson (#12) vs. Wisconsin (weakest of the 5 auto-conference championship invites)

            First…where do these games get played? Huge advantage to higher ranked / home team.

            And you’ve left sitting out: UGA, LSU, TAMU, USCe, OU and FSU in favor of Clemson and Wisconsin.

            In the end, Alabama probably faces…the winner of the Stanford vs. Notre Dame rematch which I think would have been Stanford, and I probably would have favored Clemson over ND even if the Irish got to round 2, but still….isn’t that what we got without the playoffs? And while it may be a good way to get the outcome, do you really want to see last year’s Florida, Clemson or Wisconsin get hot and win it all?

            • Macallanlover

              My thoughts are highest ranked four teams host the first round at home in mid december. That keeps every game in the regular season critical. Also, only teams with facilities and a ticket office could react quickly enough. Second and third rounds played in jan 1 bowls and nc game at domed neutral site in middle of country in middle of january.

              • AusDawg85

                Then you would have given a huge reward to Florida last year for losing to the Dawgs and missing the SECCG. I would submit that final rankings would have to exist prior to any conference championship games to avoid the type of inequity we faced last year.

          • Chopdawg

            I’m for the 16-team playoff, factored into the bowl system (similar to the way the 4-team playoff is being factored in), and I could care less about tying the playoff to conference championships.

            Conference championships would be just as meaningful as they always have been.

    • I haven’t gotten that tingly feeling over any other sports I used to follow expanding their playoffs. Hard to see why CFB would be any different.

      • mdcgtp

        It depends on how you view it. I assume the “other sports you used to follow expanding” is a reference to MLB, and not the NFL, NHL, NBA, or NCAA tourney because all three of those expansions occurred a long time ago. The most recent being the NHL in 1993.

        in the NHL and NBA, 16 of 30 teams make the playoffs. In the NFL 12 of 32 make the playoffs. In MLB, 10 of 30 teams make the playoffs, but with the new one game playoff, on an “adjusted” basis its effectively 8 of 30. I say that because, as Braves fans, we were victims of the stupidity of a one game playoff, which serve to BOTH support the “every game counts” mantra (i.e, win the division) and refute it (i.e., except when you are forced to play a one game lottery with a team that finished 6 games behind you). At any rate, those percentages of teams making the playoffs vary from 27% to 53%, which most certainly reduces the weight on any one individual game. It is important to NOTE that the league with the lowest playoff participation has the highest number of games, whereby there is almost TOTALLY insignificant weight placed on any one game in a baseball season. I suppose I could do a little deeper analysis to compare the avg winning percentage of playoff teams across all three leagues, but the important number to me is 27% to 53%.

        To be conservative, let’s assume that the smallest “sensible” denominator for calculating the same percentages. By that, let’s assume the playoff is ultimately available to whatever number gets tossed around as incorporating the Big 10 (which has 14 members), big 12 (which has 10 members), pac 12, and SEC, ACC, plus/minus any changes to programs like BYU, Notre Dame, etc and call it 60.

        At its core an 8 or even a 12 team playoff, would still only represent 13-20% of the pool, which is far less than even the lowest of leagues, with the CRITICAL difference that it is a 12 game season. So while certainly, an 8 or 12 game playoff would certainly allow MOST teams the ability to lose a game and still qualify for the playoffs, I am almost dead solid certain that what we “gain” in a sensible process for crowing a champion vastly exceeds what we “lose” from diluting the regular season to a relatively SMALL degree.

        I would also raise another point. I personally could care less if the playoff is done at the alter of money. I would rather college football take in more money by virtue of playing interesting games than additional home cupcake games, which are a sham for all parties involved.

        • I was referring to baseball and college basketball.

          I’m probably a little more ancient than you give me credit for. ;)

          • AusDawg85

            Aren’t they cute when the ’70’s and ’80’s are referred to as ancient times.

            Now the ’50’s and ’60’s…THOSE are ancient times! (ducks canes thrown by the 60 and over crowd…)

      • Monday Night Frotteur


        Hard to see why CFB would be any different.

        For starters, CFB is starting from the least entertaining, most woefully under-populated playoff ever (2 teams). If CFB’s postseason incorporated took the same % of teams as the NFL, you’d have something like a 40+ team tournament.

        • For starters, CFB is starting from the least entertaining, most woefully under-populated playoff ever (2 teams).

          Before 1969, baseball’s postseason was the World Series and nothing else. So… no.

          • Monday Night Frotteur


            Before 1969, baseball’s postseason was the World Series and nothing else.

            Before 1969, MLB’s postseason (where there wasn’t a run-off series) included 2/20 teams, or 10%. A playoff incorporating 10% of CFB would include about 12 teams, not 2 (aside from that the MLB had a 7 game series in home stadia, not one game at a neutral stadium). Even if you wanted to limit it to 10% of bigger programs, that’s 6-8. Not 2.

            MLB increased that to 16% in 69 too, based at least in part on the realization that it had an uncer-inclusive playoff.

            • Who gives a crap about overall percentages? In a typical year, there aren’t more than four teams in CFB that are national title worthy anyway. And often it’s less than that.

              • mdcgtp

                Percentages of playoff participation are relevant in so much as they represent a beacon from other sports which we can use to contextualize the impact of adding a playoff to college football and its regular season.

                Contrary to what you might think, those of us that believe a larger playoff is warranted recognize that the very special nature of the college football regular season, and how it stands in stark contrast to the NFL.

                That said, the notion that it can’t be improved upon is fallacy, as is the notion that because we are talking about college football in June somehow means that it does not or can not be improved upon.

                BTW, none of you were correct in the lowest playoff percentage. The Premier League in the UK does not have a playoff at all. That said, they play a 38 game home/home schedule such that every team plays each other twice.

                I am curious, what is it that makes a team “national title worthy” in your opinion? What are the objective and subjective measures you use to reach that conclusion? as you look back, on average, using those same criteria, what has the been the average number of national title worthy teams?

                • The problem I have with extrapolating from the percentages of other sports is that for a number of reasons – infusion of talent (recruiting vs. drafting), allocation of resources, roster sizes – there is far less parity in CFB than in the other sports you cite. That’s part of CFB’s uniqueness and it’s also why there’s no real need for an extended CFB playoff format.

        • stoopnagle

          And yet, here we all are in June talking about? College Football.

          Maybe the post-season format isn’t that important?

          • Slaw Dawg

            Or maybe it’s evidence that there’s nothing to fix, so why all the time, money and effort to do so? Or to put it differently: since all of us on this board are presumably very fond of the sport on which we’re commenting, why would we want to see it undergo fundamental change?

  14. Dog in Fla

    “Exponentially*, the more teams there are, the more you feel they should have been the ones to get in.”

    The corollary of which is that exponential decay, geometric decay and hexagonal signs of the devil himself are more preferable to 73 out of 100 because

    “The American people have had to deal with this kind of shit for years,” Gallup Organization president Lee Sanderson said, “but now, for the first time, it appears that the vast majority of them just can’t ****ing believe it anymore.”

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/poll-73-percent-of-americans-unable-to-believe-thi,1537/

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth