We have to burn the regular season village to save Notre Dame. Or something like that.

Thanksgiving is almost here, so I suppose I should be grateful that there are any number of bad things in the world that Dan Wetzel hasn’t had the time yet to blame on the BCS.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t except this column of his about whose fault it is that the fabulous, third-ranked Notre Dame football program is on the outside looking in at the national title game.  It’s a logical mish-mash that Michael Elkon takes apart here.

In so doing, Michael gets to a place that’s near and dear to my heart.

College football’s system also ensures the primacy of the regular season. The fact that we are still discussing what Notre Dame and Kansas State did in September is itself an illustration of that point. Compare the weight given to college football games in September with the attention that college basketball games are getting in November. Take it away, Jeff Schultz:

Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, Kansas. (Sounds great in any order, doesn’t it?) It was sort of like a Final Four, except without the deciding third game and the fact that it’s November, not April, and that probably not enough people in Atlanta were really paying attention.

Despite the marquee value of the teams, coaches and players, this “Champions Classic” didn’t create significant buzz on the Atlanta sports landscape in the past few days, smothered by all things Bulldogs, Falcons and … well, did you see that David Ross signed with the Red Sox?

If college football had an early September double-header involving LSU, Florida State, Michigan, and Clemson (the teams occupying the four same spots in the preseason college football poll that Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and Kansas occupied in the preseason college basketball poll), do you think it would draw attention in Atlanta (or any major market)? College basketball is all about March. Teams like the four that played at the Georgia Dome on Tuesday night are going to be in the Tournament regardless, which makes their non-conference meetings glorified friendlies.

For all the drama that’s ensued from Texas A&M’s win over Alabama, there’s been surprisingly little acknowledgement about how much less that development would have meant in the context of a four-team playoff.  All we’d be talking about in that scenario is where the Tide would be seeded, assuming it won the SECCG.  Again, the point here isn’t to relitigate the merits of the four-team playoff – that horse done left the barn, of course – but simply to note that it’s inherent in the design of any enlarged postseason format to take something away from the significance of any regular season result.  It’s the nature of the beast.

That all being said, I can hardly think of a more eloquent rebuttal to the possibility of an eight-team playoff than this (sadly, I can’t find the thread in question).

52 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

52 responses to “We have to burn the regular season village to save Notre Dame. Or something like that.

  1. Thank you Michael Elkon. Now I understand completely how the BCS works.

  2. bulldawg165

    I agree that the BCS has kept the regular season very entertaining, but it has occurred at the expense of the post season. March Madness kills the bowl games in terms of excitement, and I’m not even a basketball fan.

    • But, since it’s all about money, which is more profitable? Selling March, but taking a huge hit on November, December, January, and February, or taking a hit in December, but getting paid well for January, September, October, and November? 4 months > 1 month.

    • Dante

      Has it kept the regular season entertaining? The BCS attached a real monetary value to collegiate rankings. Before the days of BCS, Bowl Alliance, etc, college teams just went out there and played football. Bowls grabbed up the best teams they could given their payout and prestige and the rankings were just something that happened on the side. Now not only do rankings mean millions of dollars to the schools, but those rankings give a huge advantage to BCS conference schools who schedule weak non-conference opponents. If anything, I’d say the BCS has made the regular season less interesting by punishing teams for scheduling regular season non-conference games they could conceivably lose.

      • bulldawg165

        “If anything, I’d say the BCS has made the regular season less interesting by punishing teams for scheduling regular season non-conference games they could conceivably lose.”

        Yep. As long as you’re a team from a good conference or with good tradition you want to play as many cupcakes as possible. Georgia hasn’t had very many meaningful games this season outside of SC and Fla. Auburn and Tennessee were meaningful not because of their impact on the BCS rankings but because they are rivals, which wouldn’t change with the addition of a playoff. Plus, whoever loses in the SECCG will most likely drop out of the top 8, therefore giving a HUGE incentive to play besides just the BCS NC game implications. Call me crazy, but as long as the field isn’t too big, a playoff could easily increase the interest in the regular season for 99% of the teams.

  3. Macallanlover

    How quickly we forget, that loss at home to LSU, late in the season when everyone knew it was for the ticket to the mythical/fantasy title game sure killed the Bammers didn’t it? The soap box about regular season gets lost when we view that example. Of course, there isn’t much of an argument anyway is there when you have earned a champion, or be in the Top 6 % of the. Pretty exclusive club by any definition. You either have to admit that is elite enough, or require only unbeatens (and even then they must have a specific pedigree. I understand not getting this thing to 16, 32, 64, etc., but you guys should look at your position. Too elitist and convoluted solves nothing. The regular season isn’t even near being at risk when it is kept under 10, imo.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Well, yes, other games matter too. Alabama and LSU didn’t play in a vacuum, and when other teams screwed up it helped Alabama get in the title game. You aren’t wrong that a 4-team playoff doesn’t alter things a great deal (though eight becomes problematic), but if you think it will remain under 10 for very long given the money to be made, you don’t know school administrators.

    • Gravidy

      I have to respectfully disagree with you, Mac. A four game playoff doesn’t necessarily skewer the regular season, but I think an eight-game playoff would. And I think we can all agree a 16+ team playoff definitely would. To me, there are two pertinent questions that come to mind on this topic.

      First, do we really think a four-team playoff will stay at four teams? I don’t. And to your point, I’m not even sure it will stay at eight.

      And secondly, do you CARE if the regular season is diminished. I know a lot of playoff proponents don’t, but I do. Everyone else’s mileage may (and certainly will) vary, of course.

      • Macallanlover

        Indeed, I care as much about the regular season remaining relevant as ANY anti-playoff advocate does, even more in my viewpoint. That is why I see this as a bad argument to make when the playoff size is 8 or less. It does not even approach the silliness of NCAA BB, or MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, etc.

        In fact, I feel having a playoff of 8 (6 would be my preferred size but I feel giving byes to two teams based on rankings gets back to making the legitimacy of the playoffs questionable). I feel the regular season value is enhanced by having a more legit playoff, not diminished because it makes the regular season your ticket to something even more valuable than conference championships.

        • Gravidy

          For the sake of argument, let’s forget about how damaging an eight team playoff may or may not be. My biggest problem with the whole deal is I am not at all convinced it would remain at eight teams. Are you?

          • For the sake of argument, let’s forget about how damaging an eight team playoff may or may not be. My biggest problem with the whole deal is I am not at all convinced it would remain at eight teams. Are you?

            That’s always been my contention as somebody that was anti-playoff for college football. It not that I don’t think a playoff would be a good thing for the game and more fair process for determining a national champion. It’s that I don’t trust the people the are running the damn thing to not completely ruin the college football regular season in the chase of the almighty dollar.

            • Gravidy

              That is my position in a nutshell. I’m not “aint-playoff”. I’m “pro-regular-season”. I’m actually looking forward to the four team deal. I think it is a good balance between maintaining the primacy of the regular season and “settling it on the field”, as they say. But that slope is mighty damned slippery.

              • Gravidy

                Uhhh… that should read “anti”, not “aint”…although I guess they mean about the same thing in this context. :-)

                • Yeah, “anti-playoff” is probably a strong characterization of my stance. I’m anti-allowing idiots to run the best regular season in sports because they’re measuring dick sizes with dollar signs.

                  • Sigh…that should say “ruin”. There must be something in the GTP water today.

                    • Macallanlover

                      FWIW, I am against ruining the game, in favor of a meaningful regular season, etc., but I don’t think you shouldn’t do the best thing because someone may turn it into a bad thing at some point. Perhaos they should set a % ceiling (under 10% for instance) that canno tbe exceeded without 75% agreement, or some such number. We just all seem to be afraid to do what looks so obviously right for fear of an unknown. Imagine where we would be as a planet if that had been the driving process. (I know, I know, there have been some colossal bone head things done in the history of man but you see what i mean.) All of us are really pretty close on most of this, we just have to find a way to get the job done without destroying a great game while trying to make it better.

                    • Mac, I’ve never found your position to be unreasonable and don’t think you have the ulterior motive that a Wetzel does (i.e. BRACKETS ROCK!!! THEY”RE SO MUCH FUN!!!).

                      However, I do have to respectfully ask you – What in the track record of the men that will be making the decisions on college football’s post-season makes you think that they will not expand the playoff once ESPN/FOX/whomever bids more money on that larger playoff system than what they’re currently getting with the regular season TV contracts?

                      Once the post-season inventory is worth more than the regular season inventory… well, you see what we have in basketball.

                      I’m hoping that the decision makers will continue seeing the regular season as the cash cow it currently is, but I don’t have much faith that they won’t change that stance in the future. I personally don’t want them to have the opportunity to screw it up because their track record at every stop says they will.

                    • This is what gets me the most about what’s happened.

                      Two years ago, the grand poobahs feared a playoff because they knew they have no self-control when it comes to chasing the post-season bucks. They know this because that’s exactly what they’ve done with basketball. Today, though, they’re totally in control. They know exactly how far they can push calibrating the numbers without going over the cliff.

                      What’s the old wisdom about trusting your first instinct?

                    • Cojones

                      Audit, the track record is such that there is nothing to limit them from going to 16-32 teams right now if it is decided only by money alone. Hell, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion if that were true. What has held them back from doing that so far? If you went to 8 teams in a playoff, what would that engender that would suddenly turn on the rappacious money gene that they already possess?

                      If nothing but money controls the entire spectrum of CFB, why hasn’t it been bastardized to extinction already? We realize that an empire exists that could control everything beyond recognition in CFB were it not for required NCAA openness to the member schools as well as negotiating for money on members’s behalf. I submit that we watch them like a hawk now and we will continue through the future. If there is some money to be scooped up by all those I have just mentioned, then I advocate we watch Adams like a hawk because he will find a way to get some. He can be our mine canary.

                    • The answer to your question is quite simple: greed overcame fear.

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      Yay irrational exhuberance!!

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      Whoops! ExUberance.

  4. Gravidy

    I reeeeaaaly am not happy about this, but I agree with Jeff Schultz…just this ONE time…

  5. wnc dawg

    What is the gist of the 8 team rebuttal?

    • Cojones

      What is the gist of the 4 team rebuttal? It certainly is not presented factually here. There are some of us who see the 4-team playoff to be as problematic as picking two teams. It isn’t a playoff, per se. It is an extension of opinion by ESPN and others in order that they still end up steering the selection to the teams that represent the most audience reached on writeup and against teams they have shown historically that they don’t like. Eight teams would go a long way to prevent injustices of selection.

      When you elect to blog about a subject that has all the pundits listed on one side of the opinion (and that’s all the team playoff number selection status is, opinion) without looking at anything written past or present for the contra opinion, the table is set to try to convince others to your position. Why? I look at the intellectual reasoning put forth and find none. I look at the emotional reasoning put forward and I see an impending maelstorm of blogging and opinionated articles that will last us until we finally understand that 4 is a no-go in 2016. Why wait?

      I realize that the strong opinions generated toward limiting the number of teams before the “tournament” becomes the CFB perception instead of the scheduled games. I get that. I also disagree with that as being inclusive for deserving teams, some of which reach the chosen status late in the season, and should be compared closely with the status of others who are riding the pundit’s train of approbation. Using the oranges (other sport playoff configurations) to compare to the apple sport (CFB) is flawed seriously, is circumferential outright for comparisons and is not circumspect as a convincer . Just take a look at the number of games played in other sports versus how many teams are involved and you can begin to get a perspective.

      Many of us who have wanted a playoff for years that would brake the prejudicial squabbling and get a more legitimate NC game certainly don’t want to see that effort for a representative number lobbied low early in order to stretch out the inevitable moment (enough teams to have included the legitimate NC contenders) that we have envisioned as constituting a playoff.

      Four is still representative of media-choosing, while eight will dilute that effect. Sixteen would be an abomination to everyone and shouldn’t even appear in the argument except to be used to frighten people away from the 8-team advocates’s position. The more I see that argument used in the position of others, the more I’m going to argue that the reasoning for two teams selected is as legitimate as four teams, so we should just stay where we are.

      Mac is correct. Eight teams represent a playoff (that we have all envisioned and wanted) legitimately. To have less at the start of this experiment is folly and cries to the lower-number advocates to use “slippery slope” and “creep” as words to ward others away from considering the best number to begin with. Lower-number advocates would then keep using the words like intimidating tools to prevent getting to the best representative number for CFB playoffs.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Creep and slippery slope are not scary buzzwords. They’re legitimate concerns of people who think a large playoff will harm the regular season. 4 teams is the concession that people who want 8 or 16 team playoffs were able to get out of the powers that be in college football. It’s not some conspiracy to ensure that an 8 or 16 team playoff never happens. And once the revenues kick in, those powers that be will want more. So you’ll get your wish for 8 teams. Then others will get their wish for 16 teams. Eventually, nobody’s wish will probably be answered with 20 or 24 teams.

        • Cojones

          My wish has always been to have a playoff in D-1 ball. We do not have that at this moment.

          To argue the merits of the decided 4-team selection that we will have soon against eventually settling on an 8-team playoff IS a conspiracy to kill the idea in fans’s minds . It is to prevent getting to 8 teams by lobbying the system ahead of time and not even using good reasoning to pursue it. I resent that. Trouncing an idea by using emotional judgement of your perception of what will happen doesn’t even come close to reasoning. It closes the mind. Much of this blather has been out there to prevent a playoff decision in the first place. Now those same pundits want you to accept their idea of a “playoff” (selecting 4 teams instead of 2) before you actually get there. Instead of fighting it’s existence like they did previously, they now want to talk you out of the notion completely.

          I outright reject the argument used (diluting the scheduled season like basketball) to prop up a noncomparative stand. It should insult everyone’s intelligence to buy into such a specious argument.

          The 4-team contest is being argued as legitimate while trouncing the idea of an 8-game playoff like many have envisioned. Why is there an attempt to kill the idea before it ever gets to a position of legitimacy? I have seen several polls over the years and most fans have opted for over 4-5 teams. One showed that only 20% of fans felt that 4 teams constituted a playoff, while approx 80% had envisioned more teams involved when it first was discussed on a national level.

          • Biggus Rickus

            Why do you think people who don’t want a playoff are arguing emotionally? It is a fact that regular season games will become slightly less meaningful for every additional team added. It is close enough to zero at four teams that those few among us who don’t particularly want a playoff can accept it. At 8 it becomes slightly more significant, and it passes the point where I think it is optimal. At 16 or more (which is the most likely endpoint, however much you protest) it has an even greater effect.

            What do polls have to do with what is or is not a playoff? A playoff is merely a tournament involving at least 2 participants with some defined set of criteria for being invited. The BCS was a playoff. It just wasn’t a large enough playoff for you. You’re certainly entitled to that opinion, and yours is clearly in the majority.

            What bothers me about both of your posts is that you seem to think you’ve reached some objective truth for what is an entirely subjective preference.

  6. Rocket Dawg

    Dan Wetzel is a hack. So is Schultz but sadly I too agree with him. UK is the defending national champion in basketball and lost to Duke on Tuesday night, but still has just as much of a chance (and when they gel will probably be one of the favorites) to win another national championship. If Bama had lost to Michigan at Jerry World they would have been at a disadvantage at best and completely out of it at worst in their pursuit to repeat. That in a nutshell is why I love college football and really don’t want to see an NFL style playoff system implimented. I am at peace (not really ok) with the 4 team playoff that starts in 2014, I DO NOT want an 8 team playoff unless it has the 8 best teams regardless of conference. Using this weeks BCS rankings it would look like this:

    #1 KState vs #8 Texas A&M
    #2 Oregon vs #7LSU
    #3 Notre Dame vs #6 Florida
    #4 Alabama vs #5 UGA

    That’s 5 out of the 8 teams from the SEC, one from the Pac-12, one from the Big-12 and one independant. No Big 10, ACC, Big East, or Non AQ teams at all. If that is how it was going to work I could live with it (although as hot as Texas A&M is playing right now I could see them winning it and quite honestly a 2 loss team getting hot at the end of the year and winning a MNC makes my stomach hurt).

    Now lets take a look at how it really would look since there is no way in hell that the Big 10, ACC, and Non AQ schools (I lump the BIg East in there since they are losing their automatic bid in the new structure)

    #1 K-State vs #19 Louisville
    #2 Oregon vs #14 Nebraska
    #3 Notre Dame vs # 10 FSU
    #4 Alabama vs #5 UGA

    Does anyone really want to see that? K-State and Oregon get what amounts to first round byes, Notre Dame and FSU would probably be a good game as would (will in a few weeks) Bama v UGA. For arguments sake if you go “chalk” then you get the 4 team playoff we will have in a couple of years anyway.

    • bulldawg165

      ” a 2 loss team getting hot at the end of the year and winning a MNC makes my stomach hurt”

      So you weren’t pulling for LSU or UGA in 2007? If that 2 loss A&M team were do win it all they would have had to go through Kansas State, UGA/Bama winner, and the winner from the other side of the bracket. They’d be just as deserving as any other team in my book.

      • Rocket Dawg

        In ’07 everyone had at least 2 losses, totally different situation. In a season where you have multiple undefeated teams and good quality 1-loss teams the fact that a 2 loss team is the “best in the nation” is ridiculous.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          But that is the whole point of the playoffs! If you have them at all, you take the best four or eight and let ‘em duke it out. It may be that a two-loss team is in fact the best team in cfb at the time of the playoffs, and you have to pick some point on the timeline of the season to crown a champion.

          It could be Bama was better than Georgia in October but Georgia will be better than Bama in December. Not sure how you can get around that, since the playoffs have to come at the end of the season…

  7. I get the sentiment, but March Madness is not the main reason early season NCAA basketball games aren’t as enticing. There are other reasons that are more compelling to me: 1) it’s football season.. As much as i love college basketball, I choose nfl and college football over it any day of the week. 2) there are 30+ college basketball games. One game is NOT as important as one game in football. If there were 30 college football games, we woul not be as inclined to discuss a weekend tilt early in the season of that sport either.

    The stakes would still be high for Bama these next three weeks if tere were a playoff in place. They would STILL have to win. Just like at the end of the regular season in basketball. We still pay attention to the bubble teams.. Hell, we call them BUBBLE teams! So, tho I understand this line of argument, I don’t really buy it fully.

  8. sniffer

    I am a consumer of post season bowl entertainment on a very limited basis. Don’t watch and don’t care about most of them. Haven’t watched an Orange Bowl in a long time. For me, its about compelling matchups and interest in a particular program. This will not change when the playoff system in place. Regardless of 1-8 poll positions or eight teams determined by some placement committees. I just won’t watch a game I have no interest in.

    On a different note, I did watch Duke-Kentucky because I was interested. The powers that be in college football n

  9. so there is a lot of interesting stuff here…

    Personally, I think you can preserve the value of the regular season AND have an 8 team playoff. Why? First, rivalries exist in this sport like no other. Yes, the significance of any one game is diminished, and yes, introducing more teams raises the possibility that the 7th or 8th seed “get hot” and win a 3 game tourney. That said, I would hope that in an 8 team playoff that there would be greater scrutiny by the selection committee as to who and why we are selecting teams. If done correctly (i.e., select the best 8 teams regardless of conference affiliation), games would still matter, but for a different reason. Teams would be have an incentive to schedule more competitive games. In our case, would lose the GSU, buffalo, and fau portion of the schedule and would replace it with a compelling inter sectional game (read OU, texas, ohio state, penn state) and perhaps 2-3 “lower/mid-tier” type programs (read: UVA, NCstate, cincinnati, iowa state) that have some challenge factor. Obviously, teams that chose to ignore the mantra to build a schedule with some difficulty would do so at their own peril. Obviously, there is a logical balance between our SEC schedule, tech, and said games, but I think the goal of the powers that be should be to try to get as many teams with schedules with similar degrees of difficulty OR penalize unbeaten teams that choose not to test themselves.

    Second, I said this yesterday, but why the heck is this debate occurring today? we are not selecting the BCS today, sunday, next week or even next sunday. While I get the need to create content on the part of media companies, its not like we are discussing an election where the population has a vote and an ability to affect the outcome (and I can’t stand politics and political discussion). We are discussing scenarios that have yet to occur. This point gets made and seemingly ignored as if the college football world has a collective case of congnitive dissonance.

    Again, I think the biggest problem is that there are so many factors that go into comparing one team and another. What frustrates me is the fact that there has never been any real intelligent dialogue as to “how do we establish criteria”. As a result, there are as many different criteria as there are writers, commentators, and fans.

    Why is unbeaten the criteria? if team A plays a schedule that has 3 really hard games and win 2 of them, how is that less impressive than a team that plays 3 games against above average competition and wins all three? The answer of course is its not. I have read commentary about “where Ohio St” would be ranked if they were bowl eligible. Well we know where they are ranked in polls that include them. It is absurd if you look at their schedule and how they have played against it. They are in a league that lost 3 games to MAC teams with several other embarrassing near misses. the rest of the league got absolute decimated out of conference. Yet there they are. they ranked in the top 5 on the strength of a blow out win over a mediocre nebraska team (a nebraska team that gave up 653 yards to UCLA) and close wins over Cal, Purdue, Indiana!, and were tight with UAB in the second half!!! Out of curiosity, in our haste to make every game count, is this what we really mean? Do we really think Ohio state’s unbeaten record this year (which I actually think is going to fall this week) is that much better than what louisville was assembling on its resume? Now, I know the pushback will be, but but but no one was proposing Ohio state would “get in”….well there is an AP poll that puts them “squarely in”. the fact that that poll is not used for BCS is not really of issue. the point is that the very individuals who are writing, comentating, and framing the scope of the debate have demonstrated by voting Ohio state 5 that they “don’t get it”.

    I get the challenges in drawing up clear criteria, but its not “rocket surgery”. I can tell you what its NOT. It is NOT simply the record of your opponents (because that perversely penalizes teams that play in tough conferences).

    It is not “ranked opponents”, as defined by their ranking when you played them. that said, while maybe not numerically, there should be some consideration to adjust a games degree of difficulty based upon where it falls in the schedule. Ultimately, wins that seemed a certain way on the day you played them look different over the fullness of time. In 1988, we beat a UT team ranked in the top 25 preseason polls in a rainy opener that seemed like a big win. i don’t think UT won a game until late October. In 1998, Quincy Carter and champ went to Baton Rouge and beat Cecil “the deisel” collins and a 4th ranked LSU team that would barely finish above 500. that said, let me offer two conflicting thoughts. Those wins were probably harder for us than they were for the team that beat them the 3rd, 4th and 5th time. On the other hand, in the end, one would be blind not to acknowledge that, in hindsight, those wins were not “high quality” wins.

    Similarly, the eye test is challenging because certain teams matchup with their opponents better than others, some teams benefit from where a game falls on the schedule. I think USC was a HUGE victim of that with three very tough games in a row. Of course, they benefitted from playing UK before us and we faced UT (which of course we benefitted from against UF).

    Obviously, most of us here tend to consume more SEC football than other forms of gridiron nourishment. As a result, we bring those biases about what looks like “quality” to us. Further, on average and over time, those views tend to be validated during bowl season and when our elite teams play elite teams from other conferences. That does not mean every SEC team could go 10-1 in the big 10 or Oregon is a 7-5 team in the SEC.

    Simplistically, its is both about numbers produced from week to week consistency, how your team performs in big games, how difficult those games were, and where your (and quite frankly your opponents effort against you ranked in the context of their season. while there are certainly other criteria to consider, that is where I would start

    • Cojones

      This discussion requires the extra discussion about rankings, etc. that you have entered. Your words are both reasonable and reasoning. Those comments should be used to establish a baseline for the intuitive reasoning we are viewing from two or three sides to this discussion today. Your question of “…why the heck is this debate occurring today?” is a good one. I’ll be interested in the reply.

  10. PTC DAWG

    Bama/A&M sure did mean something in the context of a 4 game playoff. IF Bama loses another in that context, they would be OUT of the 4 game stop. Same with UGA this year.

    I am for an 8 team playoff, with the TOP 8 from the BCS being invited. I would consider the Big 5 BCS champs and 3 wildcards AS LONG AS the respective champs were ranked in the top 12 at a min. I do think a major conference championship should mean something. Next 3 highest at large are in. That would give teams the choice of scheduling….a HARD OOC could very well help a team that was not a conference winner, assuming they won the games.

    4 teams is the very minimum obviously….I think we’ll see how it works for a while. 2-3 years….

  11. Chuck

    Didn’t read all comments above so sorry if this is a repeat.

    There is a way to ensure the primacy of the regular season and have a playoff: 8 10-team conferences with a 9 game round robin schedule and no conference championship game. Each conference winner takes a spot in the tournament.

    This can never happen now, of course, but this is the direction things should have gone, IMHO.

  12. Chris

    I’m curious to see if age demographics have anything to do with this playoff debate. Kind of like an old school vs new school perspective. As an under 30 UGA alum, I fully support a small playoff, as do most of my friends my age. On the other hand, I find most of the above 40 crowd hesitant of change and prefer the current bowl system. Not trying to make broad stereotypes, just my observation.

    Now, I’m all for the traditions that make CFB unique and interesting; however, it seems some people think tradition and a playoff are mutually exclusive. “Slippery slopes” and “playoff creep” are just excuses for inaction and more of the same 2 team playoff/popularity contest we have now.

    • Cojones

      I’m 72 and don’t think I’m an outlier in the “old farts” division of this discussion. Many oldsters still live with a young mind and don’t you ever forget it, you little skirt pulling, crumb snatching, curtain climbing….

  13. cube

    Yeah, rewarding Notre Dame and Kansas State for playing an easier is schedule than Alabama is definitely what we want.

  14. Simple solution. You don’t win your conference. You don’t get in. Period. Notre Dame too, so they better suck it up and join the ACC.

  15. Macallanlover

    Good thinking above, but this is too big for an “in season” post….takes several days to get the blood boiling on this issue. During the season we have to focus on how to best devour upcoming cupcakes…and how to pretend we aren’t looking for SCCG ticket bargains. This subject would have had 150+ comments and lasted 3-4 days in the off season. Cojo is right, by starting this out at 4 we have set ourselves up for a self-fulfilling prophecy in needing to expand because we landed a round too short. When we go to eight that will not be “true” expansion just correcting an error in the original thinking. I am on record for shooting anyone suggesting 16. Time factors will also work against the expansion beyond 8.

    For the record Chris, I am spitting distance from 64 and support bowls, although I would love to see a reduction in the number. I think the bowl system can survive the limited playoff I support. We can have both, it isn’t either/or to me.

    • cube

      We didn’t start at 4. We started at 2. 14 years ago.

      • Macallanlover

        Two isn’t a playoff, it is a game. Insufficient inclusion, just as 4 will be. Get it right and fans can defend it against unnecessary expansion.

        • cube

          Playoff. Game. A one game playoff. Call it whatever you want.

          There was no playoff. Then we started a playoff with 1 game and 2 teams. Now we’re expanding it to 3 games and 4 teams. Not sure how you can argue with this logic.