Even a blind pig finds an acorn sometimes.

Surprise, surprise.  Matt Hayes has an excellent column up discussing three flaws facing a national playoff scheme for college football.

The best point of the three he makes (and it’s one that I’ve made before) is that a playoff lessens the value of the regular season – not just in terms of the impact of games, but in terms of what the games are worth to advertisers.

Which means Bernie not only has to come up with enough money with a playoff to pay something to every D-1 school without lessening the current payout to BCS schools, but he also has to make up for the likely shortfall the BCS conferences will face as the regular season TV moneys dwindle.

It’ s so easy.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

18 responses to “Even a blind pig finds an acorn sometimes.

  1. Me thinks you are off base – and that the value of the regular season will not be diminished to the extent you believe.

    Nonetheless, your blog still rocks.


  2. BD, check out those numbers from my previous post that’s linked. There’s a pretty substantial difference. How would you explain it?

    BTW, I saw your post about my blog on your site. Thanks so much.


  3. No problem, Senator. Just trying to spread the love to fellow Dawg fans.

    As for the numbers, when I speak of “value of the regular season”, I speak in terms of passion – from a fans perspective.

    I cannot argue with you that there will be a reduction in the dollar value of regular season games to advertisers. That’s a simple supply/demand issue, which I believe you have and can continue to defend.

    My point, though poorly stated, was that there is no demand issue from the college football fan’s perspective when it comes to passion/desire for games and rivalry.


  4. OK, with regard to fans’ passion, let me use my favorite example, The University of Tennessee.

    Prior to conference realignment in ’92, there really wasn’t much passion to the Georgia-Tennessee and Florida-Tennessee games. That, of course, changed dramatically once the schools had to claw their way through each other to get to the SECCG – which, in turn, is a stepping stone to the MNC.

    You really don’t think things will change much in the wake of a 16 team playoff? After all, the loser of one of those games still has a lot to play for and isn’t shut out of the postseason with a loss or two.

    Don’t get me wrong, the games will still be fun. But I just don’t think the level of intensity will be the same.


  5. To clarify my position – I do not believe that teams that do not win their conference should be in the playoffs.

    To that end, I am more of an 8 team playoff kind of guy. Force every major conference to play a championship game. The winners of these games get into the playoff. Let’s call the majors: SEC, ACC, PAC10, Big East, Big 10, Big 12.

    Then, let the little conferences play in for the final two spots.

    Notre Dame can belly up to the bar and join a conference – or they can rot. Makes no difference to me.

    Didn’t you perform a similar exercise to the one above a few months ago? I recall it being really well thought out, compared to mine.


  6. I did, indeed. I agree with you that the best way to preserve the value of the regular season is to only allow conference champs into the playoffs.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s how it will go down.


  7. It will limit the number of games that playoff teams play – by keeping the field small. It’s the only way that I think a playoff system will be enjoyable.

    If the powers that be choose to allow losers into the tournament, I will gladly join your campaign, Senator.


  8. kckd

    Neither of you (SB or Hayes) has ever explained how a “4 team” playoff would diminish the regular season. But, we’ve been there before and I’ll leave it be.

    Will point out that even as it is now we’ve already seen the regular season have no impact on the bowl matchup.

    See OU getting their arse kicked in 2003 and still being ranked no. 1 in the BCS.

    Also see a Nebraska team who gets their arse kicked in their last game of the season, doesn’t even play in their conference championship game, and somehow find their way into the BCS championship game.


  9. kckd, you keep missing my point.

    I don’t necessarily object to a four team playoff. I simply don’t believe that things will stop there. And I know I don’t want a playoff with twelve or more teams in it.


  10. kckd


    Let’s let it lie. I’ve seen you argue both sides because you WANT things to stay the same. One guy wanted an 8 or 16 team playoff and you argued it would never happen because the powers that be wouldn’t let it and there was no more money in it if at all compared to the BCS.

    You then turn around and argued with me that a 4 team playoff within the BCS system would just tempt the powers that be to have a bigger playoff outside the BCS system for more money.


  11. First off, I’m not necessarily sure those two positions are inconsistent.

    But you’ve misconstrued my position on the “plus-one” playoff. My problem with that format is that it’s inherently unstable in that it’s just as likely to produce controversies as to who plays in the championship game as the BCS does now. It won’t last as a permanent format.

    You seem to believe that if D-1 football moves to a playoff format it’s because everyone is motivated to avoid another “Auburn in 2004″ scenario. Well, fans like yourself and Tommy Tuberville may want that, but the guys signing the contracts aren’t moved by that nearly as much as they are for the $$$.

    That’s one reason guys like Machen are flailing around right now – they know they want more money, they simply aren’t sure which format generates the most. Thus, you are being naive if you think the college presidents will simply vote in a four team playoff and then call it a day forever.

    For the record – again – I’m not opposed to a playoff per se. What I’m opposed to is a reckless decision to initiate a playoff without being sure what sort of effect it will have on the regular season and without being certain that it will be in a sustainable format.

    You don’t think the money is that big a deal. I believe it’s everything in the end.


  12. kckd

    We’ve been over this a number of times, why we continue to do so is beyond me.

    no.1- A plus one and a four team playoff are not the same. You continue to refer to what I’m calling for as a plus one. In almost everything I’ve read about a plus one, it was suggested that it would come after the bowl games IF (big letters here) another team had a legitimate gripe.

    This would be better than what we have, but this would not happen for several reasons.

    1. You wouldn’t spend a lot of money planning for something like that every year if it ended up not coming to fruition.

    Example: Let’s say it was in place in 2004. Let’s say USC beats OU as they did and AU loses to VT. Then you have no game. You are gonna have to plan for it just in case (money spent) and then not have it.

    2. The amount of money the extra game would bring in would make it too enticing to only hold it on special occasions.

    3. It would just make more sense to take four teams and match them up than to take two and match them up and then have the best of the rest play the winner for a second game.

    That’s one thing I want to straighten out here, a four team playoff is not a plus one.


  13. kckd

    OK, second thing.

    You’re a smart guy. You can figure this one out and you know what you’re doing here.

    You’re saying on one hand that the playoff does not offer more money than the BCS system.

    I offer a solution that fixes the Auburn 2005, USC 2003, Michigan pre bowl 2006 problem and you say that once the ball starts rolling the presidents will just go with it. Go with it why??? I’m assuming money as that seems to be the only thing according to you that motivates them concerning athletic decisions.

    So make up your mind, is there more money in a multiple team moderate to huge playoff or the BCS system? You know as well as I you are arguing both sides to defend the result you want, which is to keep things just like they are.


  14. kckd

    Finally, if you read what Slive said they are still looking at tinkering with the BCS.

    He said they are looking at possibly having a game after the initial bowl games. If they do that, it would only make sense that they coordinate it in some way. They are not gonna have it some years and not others. I’ve already told you why.

    Now, as you know the Cotton Bowl used to be a major bowl game, but due to the weather conditions in Dallas in January it’s not as popular anymore. Have you noticed what the Cowboys are doing? A domed stadium is being built which can expand and seat up to 100,000 people.

    My bet is that in a few years that will be a new BCS bowl. Giving five venues.

    As far as the mularkey about four team will just make new arguments that’s malarkey. The only times there has been very heated debate is when a team had a legitimate gripe that they had not been given an adequate chance to prove they were the no. 1 or no. 2 team in the nation. The non-BCS schools can complain, but it’s like a chihuahua’s bark, no one is really scared.

    How many 1 and 0 loss schools do we normally end up having among BCS schools when the bowl games are over? I think you’ll find it’s very few. And just the fact that we won’t have 0 loss schools having to sit it out anymore is enough of a reason to do it.


  15. Um… I know the “plus-one” and the four team playoff are different. I know you prefer the latter. And I agree that it would address the Auburn ’04 problem.

    But it creates its own set of problems, which you seem willing to dismiss.

    I’ve already posted more than once that I expect D-1 to adapt a “plus one” format by the next decade. It will generate more money, but it won’t solve the issue that bothers you.

    I suspect that from there, the powers that be will skip right over your four team format and go to something larger. But that’s a ways off, and anything can happen between now and then.


  16. kckd

    I’m not dismissing them, I’m just saying they are not as important and those problems are not ones that are discussed in this day and age. Will the fifth and sixth team bitch, moan and scream when the four team playoff occurs? Yes. But they will not be arguing with the same kind of ammunition that Auburn had in 2004. A point you fail to admit.

    Just say what you think. You like the way things are. All this talk you do is just BS and doesn’t cut to the chase.


  17. kckd

    “I suspect that from there, the powers that be will skip right over your four team format and go to something larger. But that’s a ways off, and anything can happen between now and then.”

    This is what I don’t get about you. Why do you assume this? You say that the BCS generates more money than they’d get from a playoff. Seriously, I could just sit and watch you debate yourself.


  18. “You say that the BCS generates more money than they’d get from a playoff.”

    No. What I say is that no one has made a credible demonstration that a playoff would generate more money than the current structure does.

    “I’m not dismissing them, I’m just saying they are not as important and those problems are not ones that are discussed in this day and age.”

    On the ABH forum the other day, you blandly dismissed the thought that two conferences and the Rose Bowl might walk away from a four team playoff. That’s not as important?

    “Why do you assume this?”

    Because I assume that guys like Delany are serious when they make their threats. And that the bowls will fight like hell to keep their place in the universe. And because the real postseason money for the networks right now is in the minor bowls, believe it or not. It all adds up to a large playoff format. Which will feed on itself, because ultimately it will depress the broadcast value of the regular season.

    Don’t take my word for any of that. Go back through my posts on BCS/Playoffs. There’s plenty of material about all of that.