Those playoffs can’t save you now, my pretty.

What do you call a Dan Wetzel playoff piece with a disclaimer like this?

I could be wrong, though. I could be completely wrong.

Why, promising, of course.

And it lives up to it.  I’m not sure what my favorite part is – the idea that after having eviscerated the ACC and the Big East, the Big 12 and SEC are going to turn right around and bail them out with an expanded playoff is right up there; the suggestion that the conferences potentially on the outs should apply political pressure is good, too – but this bit is quintessential Wetzel:

They should’ve been united in arguing that an eight-team playoff is inevitable. Once the four-teamer’s contract ends in eight to 10 years, the wildly successful playoff almost certainly will expand. As such, why not get out in front now, when there aren’t just four 12- to 16-team super conferences left?

There is nothing a ginormous playoff can’t fix in Wetzel’s world.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

23 responses to “Those playoffs can’t save you now, my pretty.

  1. Cojones

    I agree with Wetzel: An 8-team playoff is inevitable. Start it now and avoid the angst. It will get you OUT of the mood to expand any further.

  2. AusDawg85

    Inevitable contraction…super conferences / 4 team playoff…then expansion when new conferences form to get a seat at the table of 8 / 16 / 32 team playoffs.


  3. Always Someone Else's Fault

    So, basically, Wetzel’s admitting he might have been wrong all along. Because what he’s describing – an equal access post-season – is exactly what the BCS was. Now he wants to go back to it. Sorry, buddy. Too late. They used your “Death to the BCS” theme to kill off their competition. WAC: Dead. MWC: Gutted. Big East: Gutted. ACC: Wobbling.

    Nice job, Dan. You got your playoff – and everything that comes with it.

    • boiled peanut

      So you think he should have just kept his trap shut and not written the book exposing the flaws in the bowl system and BCS? If that’s not a totalitarian mindset, I don’t know what is.

      • You honestly believed he singularly exposed those things with his book? He didn’t expose anything that most serious college football fans didn’t already know. All he did was spend 200 pages telling us what we already knew and how a playoff would fix everything. Not sure how that’s groundbreaking in any way.

        • boiled peanut

          I disagree completely. I’d be willing to bet that, on average, college football fans didn’t know at least 60-70% of what was in the book before reading it. The details of the corruption of the bowls, the conference commissioners, the collusion, etc. It’s nice that you’re claiming you knew everything but most people, even serious fans, didn’t. I consider myself a serious fan and I thought it was an informative book.

          If you hate his playoff proposals, fine (I personally don’t approve of anything larger than an 8 team format). But don’t blame him for the fall of your beloved BCS system (the same system that the overwhelming majority of college football fans hate by the way).

          • So political-esque polarization now extends to the BCS/playoff debate as well? I call out an author (who happens to favor a playoff) for having an agenda when he clearly HAS AN AGENDA and therefore I am a supporter of the BCS? Got it.

            I don’t hate the BCS as much as most people, but contrary to the conclusion you came to supported by nothing else but my disdain for Dan Wetzel (he doesn’t love Dan Wetzel’s playoff proposal, he must be an Al-Qaeda supportin’ BCS lover PAAAWWWLLLL!!!), I’m certainly not in love with it either. I can live with a playoff as long as it never gets too big to the point that the scarcity of the regular season is threatened. But hey, why should we ever seek facts anymore when coming to a conclusion? It’s much more fun to speculate and act on that.

            • boiled peanut

              You’re all over the place. You’ve attempted to change the direction of the debate so many times in those 2 comments (mostly in this last one) that I lost the patience to address each one of your misdirections. Go back to the beginning of this comment thread and re-read for confirmation. Hint: Pay attention to what “Always Someone Else’s Fault” wrote and my response to him.

              And it’s funny that you mock me as a typical Finebaum caller when his typical callers dislike any idea of a “larger than 2 team” playoff (as does Finebaum himself).

              • I get your original point about putting the bowl corruption out there for public consumption. However, I refuse to give Dan Wetzel any credit because I, like the Senator, believe he’s a hack that will argue to the death that a large playoff will fix college football. 🙂

                People like myself and the Senator see a large playoff as the death knell to the things that originally attracted us to college football, so of course we’re reticent to going down that rabbit’s hole. Either way, I’m not a BCS lover or a playoff hater. I just want the things that made college football great in the first place to not get lost in this whole shuffle.

                • boiled peanut

                  That’s cool. Although I don’t understand not giving Wetzel credit for putting the bowl corruption out there just b/c you disagree his playoff views.

                  Then again, my anti-playoff feelings aren’t as strong as yours. As much as I don’t want a playoff larger than 8 teams, I’d rather have a 16 team playoff than what we have now. And before you run down the list of downsides to a 16 team playoff, please know that I’m well aware of all the pros and cons of both those formats. However, I wouldn’t “vote” for anything larger than 16 over the current mess.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      BP – Chill dude. You’re projecting. A lot.

      You have to appreciate the irony: Wetzel calling for a return to the equal-access principle which, whatever its numerous flaws, was at work within the BCS structure that he played a part in killing.

      As to your other point, Wetzel’s book basically jumped in front of a parade. He cobbled together a series of complaints which have been around forever. It was well-timed. It made him a lot of money. But it was hardly ground-breaking.

      It’s hysterical to me to hear a guy who refused to see the downside of his own ideas now confronting those very drawbacks. He assumed the grass would be greener on the playoff side of the fence. For the moment, it appears that he was badly mistaken.

      And I never said he shouldn’t have written his book. I have no clue where you got that. I am suggesting he should have spent more time thinking through the consequences, consequences many of us on this board have been pointing out for awhile now.

      Finally – stop being one of those people who assumes to understand a person’s epistemology from a 70-word post on the Internet.

      • boiled peanut

        So you’re not saying he shouldn’t have written the book, just that he should have thought about the consequences more before writing it? That’s the same thing.

        Wetzel’s original proposal in the book was an “equal-access principle” playoff. He never strayed. However, you’re equating his ideas with what is now being proposed. That’s not the case at all.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          “So you’re not saying he shouldn’t have written the book, just that he should have thought about the consequences more before writing it? That’s the same thing.”

          No – not even close to the same thing. Assuming he wrote it to advocate change rather than make a buck, then he could have made a million different decisions.

          Let’s start with the title. He didn’t title his book, “Equal Access Playoff.” He titled it, “Death to the BCS.” He got the title. He didn’t get the underlying premise.

          I am also not accusing him from straying from anything. I never accused him of inconsistency. I accused him of misreading the tea leaves. His article proves I’m right, so I don’t really get where you’re coming from.

  4. Mike Sanders

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. It should be patently clear what Wetzel’s hammer is.

  5. If the ACC had any sense, as soon as a 4-team playoff system is finalized it should announce its intentions to dissolve as a conference, enabling suitors such as the Big 12, Big Ten and SEC to divvy up the carcass (and also escaping those costly ACC exit fees). I could see the remnants going like this:

    Big 12: Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, maybe Miami as part of an expansion to 16
    Big Ten: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke
    SEC: Virginia Tech, N.C. State

    Boston College, Syracuse, Wake Forest, you’re on your own. Why not get together with Rutgers, Connecticut, South Florida et al, and form a league where its winner meets the Mountain West champ?

    But does the ACC have the foresight to do this, or does it believe that Notre Dame will pull a deus ex machina to save the league (when does ND ever do anything for others where football is concerned?) or that its basketball will magically rescue it (talk to the Big East and see how that worked out)? It probably doesn’t, which means by the end of the decade, UNC will effectively be a sky-blue version of East Carolina, with similar football revenue.

  6. reipar

    If I am following him it seems he wants a 8 team play off as that will have 6 automatic bids no matter your W-L record. And those 6 automatic bids will go to the 6 large football conferences. Maybe we could call those conferences AQ conferences. Maybe we could call the 8 team play off the BCS.

    I thought the point of a play off (no matter how large or small) was to get the best teams in and the BCS was evil because of the pesky AQ for conferences like the ACC and Big East.

    This piece makes my head hurt.

    • Michael

      Your comment re: the point of a playoff isn’t exactly true. The playoffs almost never (I would say ALWAYS never, but who deals in absolutes anymore?) include ONLY the top teams. For example, rarely is the worst division winner in the NFL playoffs a better team than the best non-playoff team. Winning a weak division as a mediocre team in MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, etc guarantees a playoff birth over a better division runner-up, who then gets left out. Playoffs are tournaments, and not the best way to determine “the best team of the season”, only the luckiest team of the tournament.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      Wetzel’s all over the map. He made a series of bad assumptions. He assumed a playoff would be an open structure and would become shared wealth between the SEC/B1Gs of the world and the MWCs. He paid no attention whatsoever to the rumblings of the Big 4 commissioners, who had become very tired of seeing smaller schools and conferences ride their coattails.

      I posted on numerous occasions that the powers in CFB were running in the opposite direction of the CBB experience, which converted the magic of Jordan, Valvano, and Ewing into 360 CBB programs across the country and a product so diluted that no one will pay the schools or conferences good money for it anymore. The BCS was as far as they were willing to go with the concept of equal access. Once a playoff became inevitable, the big conferences went into “consolidate power and revenue” mode.

      • boiled peanut

        I blame Bobo AND Wetzel.

        • Connor

          The playoff debate reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry bets Kramer he won’t actually end up putting levels in his apartment. Kramer calls it off because he no longer wants the levels, and Jerry claims that was the point of the bet.
          I would bet Dan that he won’t like a college football playoff. When it comes to pass and he doesn’t like it, I’m sure he’d say its just because it wasn’t done right.
          I’d say that was the point.

          • Joe Mayo

            I love Seinfeld, so I like the attempt but that’s not a very good analogy. If Kramer would have asked Silvio (his super) to put in specific types of levels in his apartment but Silvio then put in lower quality ones and Kramer complained…THAT would be a good analogy.

            What’s wrong with advocating for a playoff but not liking how it is put together?

  7. malcolmkass

    For anyone over 30, I too think that Wetzel’s book just told us what we already knew or suspected. And he is going to leave out information that doesn’t jive with his slant, which to be frank, is really no different that most authors, so there is always a healthy amount of skepticism with it. Like corruption with the bowls, well, nonprofits in general are corrupt. And guys like Maisel and Mandel do a good job at rebuffing some of his arguments.
    To be frank, I do think Wetzel is a good investigative journalist, but a poor analytical thinker. 2 months ago he is writing how Penn State should join the ACC. It was crazy then and even moreso now.