“I think this is the way that offends the most the least.”

Well, I can’t say for certain what D-1 playoff plan I’m in favor of (I could live with a four team “plus one” or an eight team based on conference champs, with some added balance to the conferences), but I know what I’m against – anything that Michael Adams proposes with regard to college football is suspect on general principles, and his playoff plan is no exception.

Would you buy a playoff proposal from this man? (photo courtesy AJ-C/Nick Arroyo/Staff)

How do I question this? Let me count the ways.

  • It’s an eight team, seeded playoff, which would be the easiest format to expand going down the road. And the one that would be most likely to be subjected to pressure to expand.
  • He wants to stage the first round of the tourney in the existing BCS bowl games, thus permanently devaluing their position.
  • He wants to operate the playoff under the aegis of the NCAA, which opens up all sorts of questions about how the revenue derived from the post season will be shared by the schools.
  • Adams’ goal is to have a playoff system adopted within “a year or two.” Seriously? When even Adams acknowledges that it’s too late to add this to the agenda of the NCAA meetings coming up this week? Does he really think that the bowls, the networks and the college presidents all find the situation that urgent? What’s more likely to happen with a pressurized decision making process?
  • He wants to scrap the 12th regular season game, which, again, serves to put more financial pressure on the postseason to generate sufficient revenues for the schools.
  • Even with the reduction of the regular season by a week, he’s willing to extend the postseason a week later than it currently runs.

Add it all up and what do you get? A postseason that over time will get a lot bigger than seven games. After all, as every playoff proponent likes to argue, it’s what we have in the other divisions.

Under his plan, Division I-A would have a smaller version of what already exists in Division I-AA, which has a 16-team football tournament; Division II, a 24-team tournament; and Division III, a 32-team tournament.

Will it work? Who the hell knows? Even Adams admits he doesn’t know for sure.

On possible concerns of a playoff devaluing regular season, and college football fans not being able to plan for, and afford, trips to playoff games: “I don’t think you know until you try. If you give back the money being spent on the 12th [regular-season] game, there’s some benefit there. I don’t think it’s naive, though, to say if you’re one of the final four teams, we seem to sell out arenas with 40-to-50,000 [capacity] for basketball, where the support bases are not as strong all over the country. If most schools’ teams got through the bowl season and you played a week later, I think there would be pretty strong demand for those games. You don’t know until you try.

You don’t know until you try. Hey, if it doesn’t work out, we can always try something else, right?

I know the guy’s a pompous toad – the timing of this, when the BCS title game is being played, is a clear indication of how important Adams sees himself – but he’s also a political hack. Why? Because we need a playoff for the children!

On which group he listens to most when it comes to a playoff —coaches, fans, athletes, media? “I’ll surprise you but I listen to kids a lot, more than I’m given credit for. They have at least as much impact on me if not more than the typical fan. Fans are all over the map. If you put it to a vote, maybe a majority would be for a playoff but I don’t think we’ve ever polled that. There’s a growing sentiment among student-athletes that they would like to see a playoffs…

Pooh-pooh this if you want. I don’t think Adams cares at all whether the regular season is devalued because of this. In fact, I think he sees it as a plus for the SEC.

“The notion that there’s always going to be two or three teams in each section of the country that dominate — certainly there’s six or eight or 10 teams in the Southeast that could be national champion quality. A lot of the way life used to be may be just that — history. It wouldn’t surprise me in the SEC to see a two-loss team become the norm.”

Ugh. Movers and shakers, all I can say to you is please consider the source here. Give this a lot of thought as to the consequences. An extended playoff would be unfortunate. For Michael Adams to be the agent of change is too depressing to consider.


UPDATE: One other thing you can count on from a hack politician – a little demagoguery when it’s needed. In Adams’ case, find a target less popular than him to kick. Now you might think that would be hard, but don’t forget a certain cable sports network that he’s “particularly disturbed” by:

The increasing concentration of power in one network television company that has shown in this year’s bowl selection process the capacity to influence public opinion, including that of the coaches, in an arbitrary way. This one network ownership controls more than two-thirds of the football games broadcast and virtually all of the non-BCS bowls. There are clear built-in conflicts.


UPDATE #2: Give Tony Barnhart credit. He flat out nails this sucker. Money (literally) quote:

… Because Dr. Adams’ idea isn’t just about putting together a playoff, it’s about taking the power away from the conference commissioners who have been charged with running college football for about 25 years. If the 120 Division I-A presidents believe that time has come, then so be it. The commissioners work for them. But it is going to messy.

Sure was a nice season we had.


UPDATE #3: Shorter Mike Slive: Michael Adams is an ass.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Michael Adams Wants To Rule The World

6 responses to ““I think this is the way that offends the most the least.”

  1. Disagree with this system he is proposing. There is a way that can not only save the current paradigm, but enhance it in the process.



  2. motorcitymad

    Haven’t read the article – does it indicate why Adams suddenly cares about CFB? Is this just an attempt to curry favor with the fans ($$) he has alienated? Maybe gain some media attention?


  3. Not directly, but you can extrapolate from this:

    But Adams contends this is the first time an administrator of his standing — he’s the chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee — has pushed such an idea.

    It’s ego and an opportunity to be a power broker, IMO. Just what you’d expect from somebody like Adams.


  4. Ally

    “UPDATE #3: Shorter Mike Slive: Michael Adams is an ass.”

    Truer words were never spoken. As a cautionary reflex, I immedialtely jump to the opposition of Mike’s platform du jour. Today is no different.

    His timing makes Bulldawg Nation look like sore losers. It is what it is – we didn’t play for the mnc this year. Instead we took our Sugar Bowl berth and earned the right to a preseason top 3 (preferably #1) ranking for ’08.

    I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with Mike Adams restructuring the college bowl system however.

    I don’t know what the answer to the BCS is, but I sure as hell know Mike Adams doesn’t hold the golden ticket. Ugh.


  5. Is that Robert Byrd’s nephew?

    Also, think Miles and the Tigers are tweaked. Should be a war later this year in Baton Rouge.


  6. Now I’ve changed my mind. Adams is always looking out for one thing – ADAMS.