Stewart Mandel manages to articulate something about an extended college football playoff that’s spot on:
… Reasonable minds may disagree as to whether a playoff would devalue the regular season, but the reality is, a playoff would completely alter fans’ standards for success. Just like with any other sport, any season in which your team doesn’t qualify for the playoffs would be deemed a failure. Which means, even with a 16-team playoff, roughly 85 percent of the country will be disappointed every season. And if you happen to be a fan of a team that perennially misses the playoff — which, within some BCS conferences, might be eight out of 12 teams — it stands to reason that your interest in the sport would wane.
Conference commissioners must look out for the welfare of all their teams, not just the elite ones. They know they’ll never have it better than they do with the current system, which creates (mostly) meaningful postseason opportunities — and thus, maintains seasonlong interest — for the vast majority of their teams. Playoff or no playoff, Texas will be fine. Texas Tech will not. In fact, in a true March Madness-style playoff, in which every conference gets a berth, it’s not inconceivable that Boise State, much like Memphis or Gonzaga in basketball, would become a more lucrative property to television networks than two-thirds of the current BCS-conference members.
Actually, that is how I would define “devaluing the regular season”.