Keep telling me I’m crazy.

Here’s the textbook definition of mission creep, as it pertains to D-1 football playoffs:

“It’ll start off with plus-one, then it’ll go to four or eight or 16 at some point in time — just like the NCAA (basketball) tournament,” he said.

That quote comes, not from some lowly blogger or a pundit, but from Florida State University President T. K. Wetherell.

He’s pretty dismissive about the obstacles to a playoff that many cite.

“In my judgment, if you take every argument that’s been made today and apply it to any other sport on a college campus, then you’d have to cancel the (College) World Series, the Final Four, the soccer tournament,” he said. “If you want to do it, it can be done. …

“Everybody’s going to be sitting here — I don’t know, probably not in my lifetime at Florida State — saying, `You know, we really could move this back. And, by the way, we do play 63 baseball games and we play baseball through two final-exam periods, not one. Somehow, they all seem to graduate and do pretty good. Oh, those basketball players, we have a real problems with academics in basketball, but we seem to play right on through the tournament.”‘

Once the problems are solved and the “ungodly amount of money that it will produce” starts rolling in, Wetherell expects everyone decide it’s a good thing and want more of it.

And in the end, it’s not about the fans, it’s about something else.

“We’ll spend all that money. We’re not going to bank it,” Wetherell said. “Then the question will be, `Where do I get me more money?”‘

A playoff will be the logical alternative, Wetherell said.

“And the fight won’t be over whether we do it or not anymore,” he said during a break following the session. “The fight’s going to be on the split. It’s going to be a totally different discussion.”

Be careful what you wish for, folks. Remember that you won’t be taking part in the decision making process. You just get to enjoy the results.


UPDATE: Dennis Dodd has more from Wetherell.

A college football playoff is inevitable. That against-the-tide prediction comes from Florida State president T.K. Wetherell. All he has to do is look at the gas pump.

“How am I going to get people to drive from Miami to Tallahassee, Fla., with gas at four dollars a gallon, to watch us play UT-Chattanooga?” Wetherell said Friday.

No disrespect to Chattanooga (OK, maybe some), which comes to Florida State for the 2008 season’s second game, but Wetherell suggested we might be reaching that playoff tipping point. It will take some kind of financial crisis, he said, to make hard-line Division I-A presidents change their view of a playoff.

So, what’s gonna happen is that fans will keep buying ever more expensive gas to travel to see all other organized sports that have playoffs, but will desert college football in droves.

It doesn’t take as much depth to manage a $1.5 billion a year budget as I thought.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

4 responses to “Keep telling me I’m crazy.

  1. Senator, a while ago I explained why I thought a large playoff would be logistically and financially unworkable, and while I see that he writes off all such arguments, I can’t come to the same opinion. Can you enlighten me?


  2. I agree with Wetherell that there’s a tipping point in this whole debate, a point where the postseason tourney takes precedence over the significance of the regular season. Whether that’s at eight games, sixteen games, twenty four games, I couldn’t say.

    But somewhere in the rush to expand, the regular season will be devalued, both in the eyes of the fans and in the checkbooks of the TV networks. And once that happens, they’ll carve as much out of the regular season as they need to.

    You can do a sixty four school playoff if you reduce the regular season to ten games and do away with conference championship games, for example. Whether you’d want to is a different question. And one I suspect would have a different answer depending on when in the expansion process it’s asked.


  3. Thomas Brown

    Well, if you are a lousy conference like the Big 10 was again last season and you can send an undeserving Ohio State team to the national championship game despite the fact that Ohio State beat only 1 ranked team before the national championship game all season long and that win was over Number 18 Wisconsin who in turn beat not 1 ranked team all season long, you are not going to support a Plus One +1 format.

    Plus One last year would have left Ohio State losing to some other team other than LSU and that team then would have played better than Ohio State did once again.

    Southern California of the Pac-10 also played a soft schedule, like Ohio State last season. Southern California beat only 1 ranked team all season long last year too before its bowl game as well to earn its bowl berth. That 1 win was over Number 11 at bowl time Arizona State who beat not 1 ranked team all season long just exactly like Ohio State and Wisconsin. And, Arizona State lost by 4 touchdowns as well in their bowl game.

    Duh, these conferences want things to stay like they are.

    The Big XII was also weak last year as was the Big East compared to The SEC too.

    Why do these conferences not want to change anything even to a Plus One +1 ?



  4. But Thomas, wasn’t the ACC fairly weak last year, too? Yet Wetherell indicates that his peers would vote for a playoff in a heartbeat if the twelfth game were dropped.