A compelling myth

One of the staples in our spirited BCS/playoffs debate here at GTP is the frequent counter I get to my argument that college basketball is illustrative of how an oversized postseason tends to have a diminishing effect on a sport’s regular season that it isn’t a relevant comparison to D-1 college football because… well, because basketball is different.

Yet that never seems to slow down some of the very same folks from making the every-other-sport-has-playoffs-why-not-college football pitch.  Like this one:

… It’s clear that the claim that college football has the “most compelling regular season” is simply a sleight of hand to cover up that college football’s post-season is not only problematic and controversial, it’s not even that compelling. That is, unless virtually every other sports league (and the NCAA itself with its Football Championship Subdivision) has it wrong.

Sadly, that’s only the fourth or fifth dumbest thing in that piece.  The topper is this classic case of begging the question:

… even if we grant that the college football regular season is more compelling than other regular seasons, what if the cost of saving it is a less compelling post-season? Does the NCAA really think that one national championship game and a few marquis bowl games would get better ratings and be more compelling than a series of playoff games each one becoming increasingly more significant. A 16-team playoff would give college football fans a reason to watch at least 15 meaningful postseason games…

You know, it’s tough to argue with impeccable logic like that (although the NCAA has nothing to do with the BCS).

(h/t – who else? – PlayoffPAC)


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

29 responses to “A compelling myth

  1. hodgie

    Who does the NCAA Natl Championship Tropy go to? Is it the winner of the BCS Natl championship game?


    • The Realist

      It goes to the winner of the soon-to-be 20-team tournament in the FCS.

      The NCAA does not hand out a national championship trophy in FBS.


  2. I’ve unsubscribed to PlayoffPAC’s junk emails numerous times and just got another this morning. I don’t know what kind of Spambot they’ve got but the damned thing is persistent if nothing else.


  3. FisheriesDawg

    Why is he factoring in a modest interest/ratings increase that would come from implementing a four-round playoff over the BCS games while completely ignoring the interest/ratings decrease that is certain to come with a devaluing of the regular season? Did he miss all of the outrageous contracts that the networks have singed in the past couple of years and which drove this summer’s conference expansion madness?

    And to answer his question, yes, college football regular season games are a lot more compelling than Monday Night Football games. This reads like an NFL fan that doesn’t have the first idea about what makes college football great.


    • The Realist

      He’s the executive director of the “Sports Fans Coalition.” That should tell you all you need to know right there. Real college football fans don’t give a rat’s ass about what other sports are doing, and they sure as hell aren’t going to team up with a bunch of NFL lovers to form some rah-tard coalition.


  4. Gooner Dawg

    Isn’t there an argument to be made that the need for more basketball games in general equally diminishes the regular season.

    If there were a college football playoff, the margin for getting into the playoff would likely be razor thin.

    So, even if the regular season were diminished, it would not be by much because a loss or two could kill a team’s chances of getting into the playoff.


    • FisheriesDawg

      The author of this article is endorsing a 16-team playoff. Unless they’re going to let every single conference champ from the 11 (or 10 now depending on what happens to the WAC) D-1 conferences, which they won’t because UAB and Akron are horrible TV draws, that margin will most certainly not be razor-thin. You’re talking about giving a third-place, 3-loss team from the SEC a shot. You’re talking about giving an 8-4 ACC champ a title shot. You’re talking about giving a Pac-10 team that lost the two truly difficult games on its schedule a title shot. Regardless of how you feel about a playoff, no team that loses a third of the games on its schedule deserves a shot at the national title. Doing so would absolutely ruin the regular season outside of regional rivalries where the records are irrelevant.

      Let’s look at last season. After championship weekend, here’s a probable list of 16 teams who would have played for the title:

      Ohio State
      Georgia Tech
      Virginia Tech
      Penn State
      West Virginia

      There are only five teams (Bama, Texas, Cincy, Boise and TCU) that had remotely legitimate arguments at being the best team in the country following the regular season. Even then, Alabama and Texas were clearly the two best teams in the country and the bowl results bore that out. Is it really worth giving LSU a third chance at a national title for the sake of being like everybody else?


      • Gooner Dawg

        Well, I’m not arguing in favor of a playoff, rather simply pointing out that the NCAA tournament isn’t the only reason that the NCAA regular season is diminished. Sports, like basketball, that need an extended number of regular season matchups necessarily diminish the importance of a regular season. Its a numbers game.

        I wonder if you’re right about an NCAA sanctioned tournament not inviting all conference champions. I’ve always assumed that they would in a 16-team scenario.


        • FisheriesDawg

          Why would the NCAA sanction the football playoffs? If anything changes towards a playoff, I can guarantee you the same people that set up the BCS will make sure they keep power over the playoffs. Large BCS conference schools with huge fanbases have all of the power here-without them a playoff has very little value. They can just take their ball and go home if they want.

          After all, if the NCAA sanctions them, there will be no beer sales in the stadium. There went hundreds of thousands of dollars in bid money for the game host.


  5. mike

    a few “marquis” bowl games? what, the lincoln-mercury bowl?

    might help his argument if he knew the word was “marquee”


  6. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The “Plus One” game, if handled correctly, would turn the entire season into a playoff which is really what it is supposed to be.


  7. Macallanlover

    You guys are picking on a retard, stop it! As a strong proponent of both a “slightly” expanded playoff, and maintaining the integrity of a compelling regular season, the two are not mutually exclusive. But accepting that viewpoint would give you nothing to kick around and abuse weekly. And time marches on.


  8. 12-2

    Florida yesterday again.

    Today no play-off beyond the current one already LONG SINCE in-place between the top 2 teams.

    Why not further ?

    Say + 1.

    Again. This what you want to discuss.

    Bluto, we come to expect that from you, sir.

    Why someone should want to name himself Bluto, after that guy still remains a mystery to this day.

    Of course, I THOUGHT, when I saw your headline (boy you write weak headlines)


    That I was going to come in here and find you say that 10-win season (10-3) in a 14-game season is no damn good when 18 teams Coach Richt then does not have a better than over the last 4 years.


    Especially with Greg McGarity saying that we play for Championships here, having NOT even been to 1 ANY of the last 4 years consecutively, and of course after 2010 lose 15 seniors and 4-5 juniors, while we also play a weak schedule this season.


    • FisheriesDawg

      Does this post make a lick of sense to anyone?

      Sir, have you ever heard of a “complete sentence?”


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        This is a written ( as opposed to pictorial) Rorschach test. I believe the author saw dozens of spiders attacking a snake.


  9. Wow. This is one of your weakest posts ever Senator.

    Every other division of FOOTBALL has playoffs – including the pros.

    The fact that every other sport also has playoffs is a nice side point, but not as relevant as the above.

    The lack of any sort of playoff in Div 1 football is quite simply, retarded.


    • There’s a two-team playoff. It’s called the BCS title game.


      • That’s nice. Too bad the regular season isn’t long enough, nor do enough of the right teams play each other, to have confidence that the right two teams meet.

        That’s what devalues the regular season more than anything else.

        Auburn and Utah have as legitimate claims to the 2004 and 2008 national championships, respectively, as anyone else. That is a serious problem.


    • Hackerdog

      It is exactly the decision of resting your starters, and sacrificing a regular season game, in order to better your chances in an expanded playoff that I would like to keep out of FBS football. Retarded indeed.


      • Yeah, because there aren’t already 2-4 games per season where major programs rest their starters.

        Oh wait, there are…


        • HackerDog

          Nice try. They only rest starters when the win has been assured. If you think that a team that has already clinched a playoff spot wouldn’t sacrifice a win in order to get healthy for the playoffs, then you need to get a clue.

          See the NFL (your preferred playoff system) for multiple examples of superior teams turning late season games into glorified scrimmages after clinching playoff spots. Bringing that kind of lunacy to college football is what is retarded.


  10. Gen. Stoopnagle

    Yes, well, good luck convincing the presidents of current BCS AQ schools that a playoff is a good idea. I mean, why wouldn’t they want to share equally with Troy and FAU?