So, how’s that whole boycott-’til-we-get-playoffs thing working out?

Swimmingly, according to Matt Hinton:

… the regular season was one of the most successful the networks have ever put on, despite the general lack of week-to-week drama: CBS’ numbers for the weekly SEC showcases were up a staggering 37 percent over 2008, good for its best year since bringing college football back into its lineup in 1996, and ESPN had its best season in a decade — largely thanks to the most-watched regular season game, USC at Ohio State in September, which was also the most-watched college football game in ESPN history. ESPN, ESPN2 and NBC all saw jumps of at least 10 percent over 2008 audiences, culminating in ESPN’s most-watched Heisman ceremony.

Yeah, we really act like college football sucks with the BCS.

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34 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

34 responses to “So, how’s that whole boycott-’til-we-get-playoffs thing working out?

  1. jermaine's dye

    Bit of a straw-man argument there, Senator.

    Who exactly, among us who want to see a legitimate post-season format (playoff), is saying, “College football. It sux.”

    If major college football discarded the antiquated corporate exhibition bowl system and had a transparent playoff system, like every other level of football from Pee-Wee to the NFL, these numbers would pale to what ratings would look like in a playoff from December to January.

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    • The “every other sport has one” argument is a bad one, fwiw. Those sports are all inferior to CFB, right?

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      • dudetheplayer

        fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw. fwiw.

        You can leave out the qualifiers. Just make your point.

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    • Who exactly, among us who want to see a legitimate post-season format (playoff), is saying, “College football. It sux.”

      Are you kidding? Just read some of the comments here for starters.

      I realize most of it’s hyperbolic BS, but that doesn’t mean you don’t hear plenty of it. As well as the occasional cry that college football fans ought to boycott the regular season to bring the BCS suits to their knees.

      The point is, nobody’s really serious about that stuff.

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      • rbubp

        The only thing I think sucks about CFB is RIGHT NOW–the long post-season down time/let’s switch jobs and leave our former schools high and dry time.

        December 7-December 24 pretty much blows in CFB. And I have to say that the majority of the bowl exhibitions become less and less appealing to me each passing year.

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    • UGA Nut

      You don’t know what ratings a playoff would have compared to the bowls, and neither do I. I do know that the one entity that has an idea about what the ratings would be is the networks. The networks have never proposed a playoff. The fact that the networks, which would benefit from massive ratings, have never proposed a playoff suggests to me that the networks do not believe that a playoff would be a ratings bonanza compared with the bowls.

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      • Phocion

        CBS has the SEC
        ABC has the BigXII & BigXII-1
        NBC has Notre Dame
        Fox has a bunch of regional contracts

        And the Bowl Games get split up in different segments every few years.

        So, which network or networks broadcasts which specific playoff matchups?

        It is much easier in the NFL where you have two networks (MNF aside) and two conferences to divide the playoff games between. The networks probably don’t push for a playoff because there is too much for each to lose if they don’t win/pay the most for a (portion) of the playoff contract.

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  2. RedcoatDawg

    I know these days it’s easy to blame everything on the bad economy. But I for one watched a LOT more football on TV this year than normal because I couldn’t afford to make it to the games. Do you think maybe this had an effect on the increased ratings for CFB across the board? Or has our sport finally gotten to the point where no matter WHAT they do to screw it up we’re all going to watch?

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  3. kckd

    College football didn’t suck with ties either, but they also realized it’d work better with over time.

    BTW, who says there wasn’t drama? Just don’t get that guys comment there. At least as far as the SEC was concerned. UF or Bama loses at any time and suddenly there is doubt whether they should be in the MNC game.

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  4. keith

    Senator,
    Dam man, you really don’t want playoffs do you. That is really all you seem to be posting about now. Well that and Lane Kiffen.

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    • It’s the time of the year, Keith. Lots of playoff talk to respond to because of all the whining about the BCS. It’ll die down after the title game and then we can obsess about the new DC and recruiting. 😉

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      • rbubp

        It’s the most predictable time of the year
        With the fans blithely yelling
        And everyone telling you “BCS fear”
        It’s the most frustrating time of the year

        We want the hap-happiest time of the year
        With those great games we never see all of the season
        When coach comes to call
        “This is the best team we have faced in the year”

        We’d like parties for hosting
        And linemen for toasting
        And run blitzes out in the snow…

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  5. Lane

    Pretty awesome quote in a mailbag on Deadspin. I wholeheartedly agree:

    “You had me until you called college football vastly inferior to the NFL. Fukc you, cocknose. DIE. The NFL is a massive fuckwad of 17-10 games played in sterile, noiseless monuments to civic clusterfukcedness. It’s a nice way to come down off my Saturday homicidal rage.

    You need only a few minutes to get through the 5 stages of football grief? You know how long it takes college football fans? FUKCING ETERNITY.

    Go Dawgs, Hunker Down, and fukc your mother.”

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  6. Joe B.

    Man, I must be really, really out of touch now.

    I cannot believe that anyone would have watched the Heisman Trophy show had it been in the backyard with free beer and dancing ladies.

    I cannot imagine anything more sterile, more canned or more boring.

    The economy does have a great deal to do with ratings this year, but it also speaks to the general stupidity of Americans. I wonder if the Heisman outdrew the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion?

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  7. The Realist

    If one is to believe that a playoff is a no-brainer ratings bonanza/enormous pile of cash/cure for cancer…

    Why is it that no one who has a dog in the proverbial fight… that is, no one with everything to gain from a playoff — namely the teams in the BCS conferences and the television networks — has pushed the postseason format in that direction?

    It can only be one of two things:

    1) It is not a hot steaming pile of cash as everyone surmises.

    2) The people in charge are so dumb that they go against their own best interests for no good reason.

    If it’s #1, then, well, there you go. If it’s #2, then why waste your time trying to rationalize with someone who doesn’t know he should breathe & blink occasionally? And why would you think a playoff format with these people in charge would not be a clustercuss of epic proportions?

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    • rbubp

      “1) It is not a hot steaming pile of cash as everyone surmises.”

      It is a potentially hot steaming pile of cash not potentially spewed as potentially thin and far as it is with the bowl system hot pile, where objectionable abjectionists (made that up, natch) such as Wyoming and Central Florida can get a lukewarm corn from said pile.

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  8. jermaine's dye

    Well, Senator, I can’t speak for all the “ill-informed” who cry for a playoff this time of year.

    But I will say that most I know who argue for a playoff, do so because they love college football.

    Let’s just keep it very simple.

    If you were the backup offensive guard at Boise State or a special teams guy at Cincinnati–what is the point of all those two-a-day practices? those early morning workouts? the grind? an athletic lifetime spent trying to reach the top?

    And then you reach the top. You and a group of teammates have reach perfection. A rarity in any sport. And your gift?

    Some junk from Tostitos and Fed-Ex. Congratulations.

    Or, consider some of the arguments from the executive director of the BCS, Mr. Bill Hancock.

    Read the whole interview with Dan Patrick for yourself, but here are some gems.

    Dan Patrick: Which season finishes better—college football or college basketball?

    BH: College football wins in six overtimes.

    DP: Why do you say that?

    BH: Because so many teams celebrate at the end. So many teams have such great experiences with the bowl games. It’s an awesome thing. We need to keep that.

    (just like t-ball at Briarlake Baptist!)

    DP: But we can keep the bowls. Why not have a Final Four where three of the bowls determine the national champion?

    BH: You know, I hear you, Dan, but the fact is, the bowl experience would not be the same. Great example: We were in Miami getting ready for [the Orange Bowl], and a Virginia Tech player injured his ankle riding a Jet Ski. [Another time in Miami], an NFL team came in for a playoff game. They arrived on Saturday night, had their dinner, got up the next morning, played and went home. We’ve got college students at the beach for a week riding Jet Skis in our bowl system; on the other hand, you’ve got these NFL players there for 11 hours, playing the game and going home. Our experience is a lifetime experience, and it’s much better.

    (it’s for the kids! think of the kids! they get to ride jet-skis and collect bowl swag…amazing)

    Or perhaps the biggest insult…

    DP: Let’s say Cincinnati goes undefeated. What do you say to the Bearcats when they don’t get to play for the national championship?

    BH: I was the director of the Final Four for 13 years, and I would say to Cincinnati the same thing I always said to coaches who were left out of the tournament or got a bad seed: “You guys had a great season, and you’re to be congratulated for it.”

    Congratulations. You get a certificate. And some orange slices.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1163278/1/index.htm

    It’s flat earth system, antiquated, and it leaves us the fans with this huge vast expanse of meaningless exhibition games. And it robs those teams and their fans who are locked out a chance to play for something meaningful beyond a cash pay-out and a goodie bag.

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    • First off, if you’re expecting me to defend Bill Hancock, you’ve come to the wrong blog. I think the man’s an idiot.

      That being said, I’m getting confused with your argument. Are we supposed to want a playoff for the fans or the players? And if it’s the players, why just a small playoff for undefeated teams – doesn’t every hardworking kid deserve a shot at national title glory? Or at least the ones on all the one-loss teams? 😉

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        All that gas from BH does provide an inkling of at least one of the reasons many President and head football coaches at the D-IA level are against a playoff. There are 34 bowls meaning that 17 of the top teams in D-IA end the season with a win. In a playoff format only 1 team ends the season with a win.

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  9. jermaine's dye

    When the players have a transparent post-season format, they benefit.

    When the fans have a transparent post-season format, they benefit.

    So, fans, players, water-girls, Sidewalk Fan, recruiting hostesses…good for all.

    In terms of the forest and the trees, how we sort that out–16 teams, 8 teams, 4 teams, plus one–I’m open for the discussion. I’m open that the system, like NCAA Basketball, would have some flaws.

    But I would much rather deal with those flaws and questions (which 10-2 team is more deserving) than having a system that locks out undefeated teams.

    In Memory of Utah (08) and (gulp) Aubie 04…

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    • Auburn 2004 is the best reason I know of to provide for a playoff. A small-format one, of course.

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      • Better than Utah 2008? I think its very possible, if not likely, that Utah would have beaten Florida. They handled Alabama a lot better than Florida did, for example.

        Frankly, Utah should have been the National Champion last year. They were undefeated – Florida wasn’t – and in their shared head to had opponent Utah did better.

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        • Yeah, and I say that as somebody who vote Utah #1 in the final Mumme Poll ballot from last year.

          One thing that Gary Patterson is right about is that a multi-round playoff doesn’t favor mid-majors. It favors teams with depth. That’s why a mid-major has never won the basketball tourney. I doubt Utah ’08 survives running a four-game playoff gauntlet because of that. The lesson to take from last season, if you’re a mid-major, is that the preseason polls matter.

          Auburn ’04, on the other hand, went 13-0 in the SEC and never even got the chance.

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          • rbubp

            The mid-majors haven’t won the basketball tourney because they just haven’t been good enough. Basketball is not really a game of depth/sheer numbers (just ask Bobby Knight, who never bothered to play more then seven men regularly, I think…only UNC really uses that as a strategy because they get more twice the top recruits as everyone else). The BB tourney does not require teams to play any more frequently than they did in the regular season, and injuries are not much of an issue either.

            The biggest reason the mid-majors have not competed is because they have not been good enough to beat all comers. Essentially, they can match up well with one particular team whose weaknesses fit their strengths, or have a good enough star player to carry them past another opponent; but the major-majors tend to have star players and enough versatility in the rest of their top seven to overcome a variety of styles, or the discipline/talent to force their will on another team.

            There’s only one mid-major that ever even got to a final four (George Mason two years ago). Despite all of the early-round upsets that happened for a few years in the mid-00s, the profile has always been for the top seeds to end up the winners, and has trended strongly that way the last two years.

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        • Hackerdog

          The Utah argument, IMO, is a weak one. According to Sagarin, the Utes had the #56 strength of schedule in the country. Running that gauntlet undefeated is less impressive to me than Florida losing one game in the #4 ranked schedule.

          If we decide to adopt a playoff that must include undefeated teams, then I vote that we play our SEC schedule, followed by 4 FCS teams. Why risk a loss to GA Tech, OSU, or ASU? The playoff proponents only care about wins, not compelling games against quality opponents.

          I mean, just because Boise State beat teams like UC Davis doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a chance at the national title along with Alabama and Texas, right?

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  10. College football is the best pro sport out there.

    The lack of a playoff is a disgrace and a joke, but that doesn’t change the fact that college football games themselves are awesome.

    The argument that the BCS must be fine since college football is great makes no sense. That’s like saying the excessive celebration rule is fine since college football is great.

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