Why I welcome our playoff overlords.

This is what “settling it on the field” is really about:

… A boiled-down, no-bowls, championship-only BCS appeals to many including the Big Ten and Pacific 12, which could count on their traditional matchup in the Rose Bowl every year. But it will be interesting to see if that format can survive arguments for the greater good. Middle-echelon conferences that now occasionally crack the BCS lineup fear being squeezed out of the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls if those games are unbound by BCS guidelines and free to take the bigger-name, more TV-friendly teams they want.

Assuming the other 34 postseason games stay in business, that option also would create two new games – the BCS semifinals – and raise the number of postseason berths to 74. That’s approaching two of every three teams in the NCAA’s 120-member bowl subdivision, creating a demand for inventory that may exceed the supply of eligible teams.

ESPN, ftw!

Once the deed is done, I’m not sure yet which Bill Hancock observation will amuse me more – that the new postseason format is a vast improvement over what we’ve got now, or that the new format is one “for the long haul”.

In any event, expect the bitching to resume once the novelty has worn off.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

11 responses to “Why I welcome our playoff overlords.

  1. paul

    As you pointed out previously, the reason we’re suddenly having this discussion is money. Bowl ratings and bowl attendance were way down. A big part of the reason for this is the fact that we have too many bowls. A dozen or so 6-6 squads played in bowls and two teams that both fired their head coaches actually met in a bowl this year. What a surprise that not many people want to spend their hard earned money on that product. So the solution to this is, um, MORE bowls? I can’t wait.


  2. Cojones

    I think that the reason bowl attendance is down resides in treatment of the team’s fans. Another reason lies in TV coverage and replay, although you can now see those using your laptop while sitting in the stands.


    • paul

      True that. How many fans bought tickets through their athletic department only to find out that they could have gotten MUCH better seats CHEAPER through StubHub? I heard a lot of that.


  3. Factchecker

    Paul, reducing the number of bowls will not improve attendance at the surviving bowls because the various bowls appeal to differennt markets.

    Take the UCLA – Illinois game. If that bowl did not exist, the UCLA and Illinois fans attending that game would not be going to the Cotton or Outback or Sugar Bowls. Do you know of any Georgia fans who did not travel to Tampa because the Pinstripe Bowl fitted two mediocre teams?

    As for the bowl that featured the UCLA-Illinious game, let’s say the attendance was 20,000. Lousy attendance, but if the bowl was eliminated the attendance would be zero (00,000.) You would not increase Outback Bowl attendance by eliminating the UCAL-Illinois game, and you aren’t going to increase the attendance at that bowl by eliminating the game.


    • paul

      When there are fewer bowls only elite teams get invited. Viewership should increase even though butts in seats might not (though I think it would). Myself, although I am an alumni and season ticket holder I have absolutely no desire to attend lower tier bowls. Sugar bowl? I’m there. I believe that the wannabe bowls tend to drag everyone else down with them, diluting the prestige and brand of all bowls in general. If 6-6 teams can get in just how special is a bowl invite anyway? It’s kind of like getting a ‘participation’ trophy don’t you think? It cheapens the experience for everybody, including the good teams. Plus, bowl ‘week’ lasts almost a month now. I think this induces bowl fatigue. I’d rather see fewer, better games. I think that would translate into better viewership, better attendance and greater revenue. Going to a bowl should be something truly special, a unique experience. With games like the R+L Carriers New Orleans bowl we’re killing the goose that’s laying the golden eggs.


      • Cojones

        Actually, the lowest tier bowls were more exciting than most of those viewed as layered above them. Good play by all teams to the end was the mark of the first 3-4 bowls.


  4. Senator,

    Not sure if you saw this gem today or not.

    My personal favorite conversation that needs to be beaten into the skulls of Rick Reilly, Frank Deford, and Dan Wetzel to an extent:

    Cat in the Hat: “Does college football have a playoff yet? It’s so stupid that they don’t. I might actually become a college football fan if they ever get around to setting one up.”

    Joe: “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You don’t like college football now? How is that possible?”

    Cat in the Hat: “I like sports that settle things on the field.”

    Manti: “What does that even mean? Alabama and LSU played on a field. Every year a championship game is played. It’s basically a two-team playoff, where –”

    Joe: “Hold up there. Playoff? Really? That’s a playoff?”

    Manti: “Forget it, I’m rolling here. Cat, you mean to tell me you don’t like college football now, with its traditions, and tailgating, and history, and rivalries, and general awesomeness? But you would if they added a playoff?”

    Cat in the Hat: “Yeah.”

    Manti: “Get the hell out of here and leave this conversation to people who actually matter in this conversation.”

    Joe: “Yeah, seriously. Leave.”


    • SemperFiDawg

      Say what you will against a playoff system and yes there are some valid concerns regarding tradition, but you never hear someone questioning the results of the Super Bowl.


      • Cojones

        Correct. They only question the teams playing during the playoffs when everyone has a 9-7 or 10-6 record. And the competition in each division, etc.


      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        Honestly, who cares about the questioning? The Saints won a Superbowl after the Vikings imploded in turn-overs and the refs blew two obvious calls. The Steelers won a Superbowl in one of the worst demonstrations of officiating ever. The Giants won one on a prayer. Many of the games are total yawners.

        And these game outcomes are more “legitimate” because more teams played?

        I am not against playoffs, but I am against playoffs for the wrong reasons, which quickly becomes the very mismanaged playoffs we’re all fretting about.

        We can’t go “ends justifies the means” here, IMO.