So Dennis Dodd is reporting that ESPN’s offer to broadcast the new playoffs is well in excess of what the conferences were initially expecting. But there’s still a problem.
The price point, though, is less of an issue at this point than the structure. CBSSports.com reported this week that the Big 12 and Pac-12 each want access to another bowl slot. Both conferences currently have only one bowl in the playoff structure. The SEC and Big Ten each have two.
As a way to get that access, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott are advocating establishing another contract bowl with their conferences participating against a team from the so-called Group of Five (MAC, Sun Belt, Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA).
However, multiple sources have said the market won’t support the addition of a seventh playoff bowl. Scott and Bowlsby are reportedly also in support of their game being played within the current six-bowl structure. Big East commissioner Mike Aresco says he still believes a seventh bowl is possible.
Damned market. There is, however, more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. Particularly if you’re shortsighted and greedy. And if the last round of negotiations over the expansion of the basketball tourney tells you anything, it’s that these guys are shortsighted and greedy.
In other words, it’s even money on the football playoff field being expanded before the end of the term of the new broadcast contract is reached.