The continuing playoff adventures of Bernie Machen

He says he’s got the big mo’ on his side:

Florida president Bernie Machen said Wednesday that he is gaining increased support among leaders of Southeastern Conference schools in his push for a playoff for college football in the former Division I-A.

But he’s worried that time is short:

Machen said the SEC needs to lead the way and that time is a factor.

“We need to have these considerations now,” Machen said. “Fox wants now to extend our existing BCS deal and if we do that, we’re going to be stuck in the same place for the next six to eight years…

And that would be really, really bad, because we’d be stuck

with a system that could obviously be better.

Obviously. Better.

It’s the relentless logic of playoff proponents that I have the hardest time refuting…


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

6 responses to “The continuing playoff adventures of Bernie Machen

  1. kckd

    I’d rather stay where we are than have a 16 team playoff. But even if the contract is renewed, I don’t think Fox will object to the four team thing if they choose to go that route. As I’ve said before, by moving the championship game back one week, they’ve practically already set it up.


  2. My big problem with Bernie is that he’s talking about the map rather than the ultimate destination. That’s probably a good strategy from his standpoint, but once that train gets rolling, it’s anyone’s guess where it winds up…


  3. That should be a major concern, Blut; I think we all know the first playoff structure won’t be the last one. And like government programs and fast food, it likely won’t get smaller. If x is good, then y must be good, too!

    If we do get to a 16-team playoff — and I’d say it’ll be a realistic possibility once the playoffs start — I’m afraid I won’t care about college football like I do now. I want to continue to care about it, but at that point, I don’t know if I could. I just don’t know.


  4. Burrill, if we see a 16 school playoff, I’m willing to bet that it won’t stop there for a number of reasons, the most compelling of which will be economically driven.

    The math suggests 64, which means a shorter regular season and the end of conference championship games, for starters.

    Bracket lovers no doubt will be thrilled; people like you and me will be dismissed as hopelessly old fashioned. What no one will be able to dispute is the effect it will have on the regular season.


  5. Do you think there’s a serious possibility of a football playoff eventually getting to 64? I mean, it’s workable in basketball because there are roughly four million D-1 teams, and because they can play every other day. In the event of a playoff system, do you see football D-1 expanding to the point where there are enough teams to legitimately fill a 64-team bracket? At this point that would be more than half of D-1.

    I really do know better, but the foolishly optimistic side of me (a very small side, to be sure) hopes college football wouldn’t be stupid enough to expand even just to 16. But the rabidly cynical side of me knows the basketball tournament has set a very bad example, and football has the potential for a lot more money than basketball. And that’s just trouble.

    It’s a good thing I enjoy high school football. I mean, we have a playoff here in Michigan, but at least most of it hasn’t been infected by TV. It’s still just football.


  6. It won’t jump to 64 instantly, but it will gravitate there.

    There are roughly that many teams participating in the D-1 postseason now. I think you can also expect that there would be a number of schools willing to move up to D-1 to get a share of the funds generated by the tourney, so I wouldn’t worry about the percentages.

    There are significant money issues that I think would push the move to 64 over time. Here are a few:

    1. Postseason revenues currently are distributed to the conferences/teams participating in the games. NCAA revenues are distributed to all members of the Division. How do you keep the big boys happy? The only way I can see doing that is by coming up with a much bigger pie to split.

    2. For the networks, postseason profitability is derived more from the minor bowl games than from the BCS. That’s why ABC took a walk from the BCS contract last year. You’ll need lots of games to generate that revenue.

    3. A larger postseason means a smaller regular season, both in terms of size and prestige. The networks won’t pony up as much money for broadcast rights to the regular season under a playoff format. You’ve got to make that up somewhere.

    There are other reasons that will affect the decision making process, but more than anything it will be the bucks.