It’s good to be the king. Sometimes.

Tony Barnhart offers the five changes to college football that he’d make if he were granted god-like powers over the sport:

1. Freshmen are ineligible: Many of the ills in college football can be traced back to the decision to make freshmen eligible in 1971. Too many 18-year-olds become stars of the recruiting process (and their own minds) and have press conferences before they have attended a single college class. College coaches have to make promises of playing time that they know they can’t keep. Then they have to “de-recruit” the freshmen once they get on campus. Just end the silliness. You sit out the first year and prove you can handle the academics. Then you get four more years of eligibility.

2. Four team playoff using the bowls: It’s taken me a while to get around to this. I’m a traditionalist and I’m proud of it. But if it’s handled properly, this could be the biggest shot in the arm that college football has ever had. [Emphasis added.] The calendar is in place to play the semifinals on Jan. 1 and the championship on Jan. 8. Rotate the semifinals and finals among four bowls and open up the process and allow other bowls to bid. And if the Big Ten and Pac-10 don’t want to play and stay in their own sandbox in Pasadena (Rose Bowl), that’s fine. As soon as a 12-0 Ohio State gets left out the national championship game, that tune will change.

3. You MUST win your conference championship: No team can play for the national championship or get into the four-team playoff without winning its conference championship. The idea of an Ohio State-Michigan rematch for the BCS title was silly. Michigan had their shot. College football has the healthiest regular season of any sport because conference championships are so important.

4. Polls don’t start until mid-October: This won’t happen because too many people have a financial interest in the current system. But there is a reason the BCS standings are not released until a number of games are played. If you’re going to use the polls to determine who plays in the national championship game, then the only fair thing to do is not to release then until after some games are played.

5. Early signing date: It’s bad for coaches. I’ll admit that. They will have to spend too much of their fall recruiting instead of taking care of the players they have. But it would be good for the high school players, who are committing earlier and earlier. And it would also take some of the pressure and the silliness out of the final weeks of recruiting. Too much money is being spent babysitting players who have already given a verbal commitment and are just waiting to sign. If they want to sign in December, then let them.

If I read his college football playoff proposals accurately, he’s just devised a national championship game that excludes Notre Dame (not in a conference), Ohio State (Big Ten), Michigan (Big Ten) and Southern Cal (Pac-10) to start with.

That’s one helluva “shot in the arm”.   And why does college football need a “shot” in the first place?

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14 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

14 responses to “It’s good to be the king. Sometimes.

  1. kckd

    But he’s right. The fans would see to it that the Big 10 and Pac 10 become a part of it.

    I’m fine with Notre Dame being left out. No team should be allowed to join a conference in other sports but not in football. The NCAA has bent over and taken it from the rear from ND too long.

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  2. Wah. Wah. Wah. If Notre Dame doesn’t want to be in a conference, then they don’t get to compete in the playoffs. Same for the Big Ten and the Pac-10 – whoops, I mean USC.

    I for one, think Barnhart had some very good ideas. Way to go, Tony.

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  3. You guys crack me up. Do you honestly think Notre Dame just shrugs its shoulders and surrenders? Of course not – it calls in the lawyers and sues the postseason sanctioning body.

    And wins.

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  4. kckd

    You crack me up Senator. We get it dude. You don’t want change. I’m sure you could find three articles a day where someone has an idea and you could refute it if you wanted. Have at it.

    This is about like having Jesus and Satan come to a compromise on a moral question. Just ain’t gonna happen. You have the answers, the rest of us are just trying to ruin college football as we know it. I’ll try not to trip on my tail or accidentally poke someone with my horns.

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  5. I’ve never claimed to have answers to this stuff. And I don’t have a problem with a four team playoff per se, as much as you like to insist to the contrary.

    What I do take issue with is half-baked ideas and breezy assertions about playoffs that get tossed out by folks like you, as if there are nothing but obvious, easy answers to what I see as some very difficult problems.

    Sorry, but Notre Dame isn’t going to take “tough shit” as a working suggestion, as emotionally satisfying as that may be to you.

    College football has a lot going for it right now. Adopting a business model (and let’s face it, ultimately that’s all a playoff formula is) that generates at least as much controversy as that which is purports to solve doesn’t achieve anything.

    Going to a playoff formula that excludes three teams which have been in the national title picture in each of the last six years and another team which has the largest national following in college football would be short-sighted at best. Sure, maybe down the road it all gets settled, but at what cost? You don’t think there’s the slightest possibility that the popularity of the game might suffer over that?

    Are you really so convinced about the superiority of a four team playoff that you believe that it will produce a more satisfying result that what we have now, even if it lacks the participation of USC, ND, OSU and UM?

    To suggest that this is some sort of moral question is ridiculous. It’s business, pure and simple. The fans aren’t going to be the ones who make your dream happen. It will be the checkbook, and those that wield the pen. When the decision makers find that there’s a financial benefit to a playoff, you’ll get it. That’s why ND’s $50 million broadcast deal isn’t the little thing you try to brush off.

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  6. kckd

    But that’s my point, before anyone comes up with any kind different idea than the one in place, it’s already a breezy assertion to you. It is a pointless argument, you have made up your mind. It’s done. No reason to discuss this any further.

    As soon as anyone proposes anything other than the current system, you start tearing it down.

    I will say this, I don’t know how you are about other types of things. But based on your playoff discussions if I were running a company, I would not want you on my board. There is a difference in recognizing the potential hazards and basically saying any new ideas will never work.

    Did you know that it was Swiss watchmakers who came up with the digital watch? The problem was their bosses, the board people, said no one would buy that kind of watch. The makers took it to Japan and sold it to the Japanese companies. Some times it pays to think outside of the box.

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  7. kckd, you’re “fine with Notre Dame being left out”. How is that a realistic approach? Do you actually believe the school would just meekly accept that? There is nothing in its past that suggests it would.

    All I’m saying is, if you want a playoff, don’t tell me it will all work out. Tell me how Notre Dame winds up fitting in. The school will have to be bribed to participate. Who’s gonna pay?

    Solve problems like this and you won’t hear a peep from me. I don’t care if there’s a playoff, as long as you don’t screw up the regular season.

    But ignoring isn’t the same as solving.

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  8. kckd

    I never said they would, but that’s all fluff here.

    The truth is you have argued against your own arguments many times here. And that is the sign of someone who is set in their ways and doesn’t want to change things. You can read it in any board management book you want. People who are afraid of change for legitimate reasons list those reasons and then you try to see if you can calm the fear with a tweak in the proposal.

    But people who don’t want change offer their own reasons and accept anyone else’s reasons also why it won’t work.

    In other words, the reasons are really reasons, but the ends to a mean. People who don’t want change except any reason why there shouldn’t be change, even if those very reasons are polar opposites to their own.

    Example: “Selling a playoff is gonna be a hard sell to the presidents, there is no way they are guaranteed to make more money and they’ll have to share with the non-BCS schools.”

    Polar opposite: “If they go to a four team playoff within the BCS (the guaranteed money) that will just lead them to expand it (doing away with the BCS system etc.).

    You offered both of these arguments numerous times and they are absolutely in totally distinct universes from each other.

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  9. kckd

    “means to an end” sometimes the fingers move faster than the brain unfortunately

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  10. Example: “Selling a playoff is gonna be a hard sell to the presidents, there is no way they are guaranteed to make more money and they’ll have to share with the non-BCS schools.”

    Polar opposite: “If they go to a four team playoff within the BCS (the guaranteed money) that will just lead them to expand it (doing away with the BCS system etc.).

    You offered both of these arguments numerous times and they are absolutely in totally distinct universes from each other.

    You misstate my arguments here.

    To my knowledge, no one has presented a credible proposal as to how much money a four team playoff would generate. Yet I continue to hear (another breezy assertion) that “playoffs will generate more money”. I just want to see proof of that. So far, all I’ve seen is a pitch from a gambling company (yeah, college football will jump all over that) and a bankrupt Swiss company.

    The reason I want to see proof of that is because of the second argument you misuse. If college football discovers after it goes to a four team playoff that the revenues aren’t sufficient – or aren’t sufficient enough – it won’t be the end of college playoffs, it will be the beginning of expanded college playoffs, which will grow in an attempt to chase down all of the money it seeks.

    Far from being distinct, these two points flow from one another.

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  11. kckd

    Why am I going down this road again???

    If the BCS provides enough revenue, why would the four team playoff within the BCS not provide enough revenue, this makes no sense whatsoever.

    If the expanded playoff, no BCS, is gonna provide greater revenue, it’s gonna have to be the motherload. Basically the BCS schools would have to be able to make more money from it sharing with 117 schools than they do in the current system.

    And we haven’t even gotten into the fact that an expanded playoff will mean cancelling one to two games minimum of the regular season which would have to be made up by everyone.

    But, say what you will, those two argument are extremely opposite from each other and exactly why I do not believe you when you say you are arguing in good faith here.

    Nothing anyone comes up with will work for you or have the ability to be implemented in your opinon. I’ve watched you debate this (if you want to call it that) too many times. Your mind is closed.

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  12. If the BCS provides enough revenue, why would the four team playoff within the BCS not provide enough revenue, this makes no sense whatsoever.

    Because you don’t know if it’s going to result in a reduction of bowl payouts and TV rights moneys. The Rose Bowl is the biggest hurdle here.

    If the expanded playoff, no BCS, is gonna provide greater revenue, it’s gonna have to be the motherload. Basically the BCS schools would have to be able to make more money from it sharing with 117 schools than they do in the current system.

    I agree with you on this. Guys like Machen say that’s a no brainer, but again no proof.

    I will say that if you look at the current TV structure for the bowls/BCS, the minor bowls have proven to be more profitable for Disney than the big ones. That’s why it let Fox have the last BCS broadcast deal, minus the Rose. And I do think that if they do start down the road to expanded playoffs, it’s one big reason we’ll see them grow to at least 32 schools.

    Why would I have trouble saying I’m opposed to playoffs if I really am? I don’t have any reason to play the game you seem to believe I’m playing that I can think of.

    The only thing my mind is closed to is expanded playoffs. If there’s no incentive to go there, I’ll have nothing to be concerned about. To date, I think it’s a real fear, so that’s why I’m questioning everything.

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  13. Senator, you and I don’t see eye to eye on this playoff thing – and Notre Dame. But I still like ya. Your a DGD.

    Keep on blogging!

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