I hate it when this happens.

A Terence Moore column that I agree with.

Even worse, Joe Hamilton makes sense.

… What happens with all that money generated by this system?

“Is it one team take all? Do you spread the wealth around? How do you divide it up in your conference or to teams who never have a chance at making the playoffs?” Hamilton said. “There are so many discussion questions that won’t come up in just a general committee meeting. On the outside, this looks like a great idea. But when you sit down and think about it, it might not be able to get any better than this.”

It can’t. The BCS can use some tweaking every year, but that’s about it. And, yes, we know about the loudest of the knee-jerk comments from those wanting a playoff system at the highest level of college football: They’ve had a playoff system at those other levels for decades.

Hamilton laughed, saying, “How many times do you see a Division II or Division III team mentioned on SportsCenter? The revenue is just not the same. The pressure is not the same. The fan-base scrutiny is not the same. You really can’t compare those two things at all.”


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

3 responses to “I hate it when this happens.

  1. Hobnail_Boot

    Did Joe say those things through an interpreter?

    In all seriousness, he nails it. The ‘it works in D3’ argument grates my nerves to no end. They are completely different animals.


  2. peacedog

    The absurdity is Hamilton’s point about revenue, not “it works in D3”. It doesn’t matter if you support or don’t support the idea of a playoff, Hamilton is wildly off base.

    As to the money, why would they do anything other than what they do with bowl games, revenue wise? Neutral sight games would work just like bowl games do now. True “home” games would probably give the vistor’s a larger slice of the pie, but the fact is tickets + tv rights would almost certainly be worth more than for regular season games for these games. Regardless of how it works, it’s going to be the member’s conference getting paid off the vast majority of the time, and the member conferences all divy up their money as they see fit (SEC does it evenly, I think, but I swear I saw a suggetion the other day that said the conference winner gets a little bit more).

    Look, Asking how much revenue could be generated is a fair and smart thing to do, and any serious discussion of a playoff format by the people who can bring one about without examining those numbers closely would be folly. Suggestions that a playoff will somehow generate less money (than. . . what? SMQ’s system effectively replaces the BCS and nothing else, so it’s not unreasonable to look at playoff revenue vs BCS revenue) to oftem seem disingenuous. There’s no reason to to think that playoff TV righs wouldn’t be lucrative, and it’s not a stretch to suggest a “comparable” playoff might make as much or more than the BCS.

    Back to Hamilton. . . it doesn’t matter how much revenue or attention the D2 and D3 playoffs get. Any D1 “post season” format is going to be all over sport center, regardless of the shape it takes.

    Now, in all likely hood *where* the money goes would change somewhat beyond how it works currently. The BCS bowls are stakeholders in the current system – they get their own slice of the pie – who unsurprisingly are nervous about change. The net-effect on conferences and their members is unclear. But the BCS bowls might be losing revenue (in a format where the bowls could host playoff games, this would potentially be mitigated. How much? Impossible to say right now, of course. SMQ’s system seems like it would leave someone out in the cold, at a glance, though there’s no reason the big bowls couldn’t be regional hosts for neutral site games).

    Look at some of the other reasoning put forth: Coaches get fired for not making bowls enough all the time – there’s not necessarily any change there. Taking the student out of the student-athelete – sorry, not true. And yes, D’s 1AA, 2, and 3 *are* relevant to the discussion here (note, I think the advent of the perma-12 game schedule does add a hurdle, because SMQ’s system probably fits much better in an 11 game regular season, but it’s not necessarily true that it couldn’t fit now, and I think the issue here is more one of money). Players can do it at Division 1 if they can do it at the other levels. Coaches not looking out for the players? Absurd. It won’t be any different than it is now.

    I don’t object to Playoff-objectors necessarily, and there are reasonable arguments against it. But neither Moore nor Hamilton has put those forth.


  3. pd – a few points in response.

    1. As a general principle, I would certainly agree with you that it would be absurd to think that a playoff would generate less money than the BCS system it would be replacing. The question is, though, would those funds be sufficient to satisfy the existing powers that be if the method of distribution changed with a playoff? The most obvious example of that, of course, would be if the NCAA became the sanctioning body for the D-1 football postseason and insisted on the distribution of funds to all D-1 schools. Bernie Machen’s proposal, while bypassing the NCAA, also considers disbursing tourney proceeds according to a formula that would involve more recipients. In either case, they’d need a lot more money or the world’s greatest salesman to make that fly, I would think.

    2. This would depend on the size of the playoffs, but at some point you run the risk of diminishing the broadcast value of the regular season. I’m too lazy to look it up, but I’ve posted previously about this. I’ve got to think that would be of enormous concern to Notre Dame and the SEC, both of which have national broadcasting contracts.

    3. I think a lot of the anti-playoff arguments, like concern over academic time and pressure on coaches, are pretty silly on their face, but I don’t think Hamilton’s argument about D-3 is that offbase, mainly because the other divisions didn’t come to a playoff with a different postseason structure already in place, as D-1 does. And let’s face it – like it or not, the amount of money at stake is a huge difference.