They’ll do it every time.

Roger Goodell’s got a fever.  And the only cure is more settling it on the field.

Do we want to see .500 teams (or worse) regularly granted entrance into the NFL playoffs?

Commissioner Roger Goodell revealed Wednesday that the league’s competition committee will explore expanding the postseason field, and that could mean a heaping helping of mediocrity on wild-card weekend.

“We’ll look at probably 14 or 16 teams,” he said.

Assuming that means adhering to the familiar conference structure, the New York Jets (6-7) would currently qualify for the Super Bowl tournament if the field was increased from 12 to 16 participants.

If the idea was applied to the 2011 season, three additional 8-8 teams would have made the cut (the 8-8 Denver Broncos won the AFC West last year).

The point isn’t that the NFL is just like college football, so don’t bother to waste my time going there in the comments.  The point is that playoffs exist for one purpose.  As long as those at the top can generate more revenue with playoff expansion, they’ll keep going back to the well.  All the logic in the world against doing so means nothing.

Of course, I guess it’s possible that the people in charge of college football are less greedy and more fan-sensitive than their peers in every other sport organized for profit on the planet.  Perhaps they’ve just been really good at hiding that for the past few years.  We’ll check back in on that after they’ve gone to an eight-team format.

47 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

47 responses to “They’ll do it every time.

  1. Uglydawg

    Are we looking at a football version of the NBA?

  2. Alkaline

    I’m not entirely opposed to an 8-team playoff provided the “selection process” is finally done away with, otherwise I vehemently oppose. Whether it’s a formula or a committee, I don’t see that opinion is the way for an organization to determine its champion.

    If an 8-team playoff is structured so that each of the Big 5 leagues’ champions plus wild-cards (from any conference) that meet a pre-specified criteria get in then I’m for it. This would probably require the death of CCGs to be effective, though. (Most divisional FCS Conferences currently do not play a CCG for similar reasons.)

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    More, More More,
    How Do You Like It, How Do You Like It . . .

    The point of decreasing marginal revenues from playoff expansion is far, far beyond the point of mediocre participation. Spurrier oughta hang around a while. One of his 6-2 teams could make the playoffs.

  4. Always Someone Else's Fault

    I wonder how many opening round rematches an 8 team playoff, using the BCS as its ranking system, would generate. I see a least one the last three years. This year’s would be… Alabama-Georgia.

  5. gastr1

    Aii I can say is, Yeah….looks like you’re right, Senator.

  6. The conferences will never agree to an 8 team playoff without champions. An 8 team playoff this year would probably like like this:

    Florida State (12)
    Wisconsin (unranked)
    Alabama (2)
    Kansas State (5)
    Louisville (unranked)
    Notre Dame (1)
    Florida (3)
    Oregon (4)

    You think Georgia fans wouldn’t be going nuts for expansion to 16? Can you imagine ESPNs outrage that Stanford didn’t get in?

    • Correction – Louisville is 21 in the BCS

    • Stanford was a champion… not Oregon.

      • Fine. Take Oregon out. Even worse.

      • sUGArdaddy

        In the new world, Louisville wouldn’t get in. There will be no automatic bid for the big east or smaller conferences. The highest ranked of those other 5 conf champs gets a bowl bid, but that’s to 1 of 12 spots, not 1 of 8. Chances are that you’d take out Louisville and have 3 at large spots for ND, fla, uga, and Oregon. (2 o these are not like the others – one went undefeated, one won it’s division…one ha head to head over the other). It would be an epic fail system. That’s why 8 will ruin cfb. The conf champs would all get in, but the big 10 champ this yr has no business in a tournament.

        • Just imagine if Tech beat FSU and got in.

          The basic point is that if conference champs are automatic playoff qualifiers, there will be an inherent injustice every year for very deserving #4-#7 ranked teams. When one of those teams is Ohio State, ESPN will erupt, led by KH and minions. We will have 12-16 team playoff in no time.

        • gastr1

          You’d have to have champions of the big four conferences and at-large bids based on BCS rankings after that.

  7. NFL playoff expansion is a terrible idea. What they really need to do is re-seed so division winners aren’t automatically guaranteed home field.

  8. hodgie

    Senator, replace the word playoffs with bowls and that’s what we have now. Listen our product is being ruined for the sake of money, I completely agree. I’m not arguing that but to say that statement and not look at our current bowl system and say the same thing isn’t right either is it?

    “The point is that playoffs exist for one purpose. As long as those at the top can generate more revenue with playoff expansion, they’ll keep going back to the well. All the logic in the world against doing so means nothing.”

    • The difference is that bowls, except for the BCS, are presented as glorified exhibitions. A playoff is presented as a formal resolution to the results of the regular season.

      • hodgie

        Except for the bcs? With all due respect, wtf exactly is the bcs acronym for? Bowl cash series? Or bowl championship series? If it is what its supposed to be a playoff wouldn’t be a terrible idea. And, there will still be room for the exhibition games.

        • Sorry, should have said BCS title game…

          • Normaltown Mike

            BS-BCS?

            Go Gata!

          • hodgie

            I still think the bcseries gets it right to an extent. In no way can I say that it didn’t get a great 1-2 match up but if you are gonna call it the bcs, you gotta be the bcs. Just don’t see how or why you can’t take top 8 and seed them and play it out. If you take top 8 there is no room for resting starters or other shenanigans. Plus, no one would be willing to trade off a higher seed for a lower seed. No way that would happen.

            • Hackerdog

              You can’t take the top 8 because the conferences won’t allow it. End of story.

              • hodgie

                Thus, there will be a big boy secession at some point. Watch and see. I agree with what you say but making money is what is driving the decisions in this not crowning a true national champion. By having a big boy secession, I think the big boy group can have both. They can have the true champ and piles of cash.

  9. Normaltown Mike

    Senator:

    Is your headline a True Grit reference?

    “Mattie Ross: If I had killed Chaney, I would not be in this fix; but my gun misfired.
    Lucky Ned Pepper: [Chuckling] They will do it. It will embarrass you every time ..”

  10. wnc dawg

    This is why the English Premiere League is so great- true home/home round robin. Then you get your playoff fix from the side cup tourneys and possibly the Champion’s League if your team is elite.

    Come on in, boys! The water’s great!

    /leaves for socialist meeting

  11. Cojones

    Yeah, if you don’t start with enough teams to constitute a “playoff” and hang the term “slippage” on the 8 #, you make a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Take the 8 highest ranked teams at the end of the year (rankings will begin with game 6, all ranking participants names and ranking reasoning visible from the start), pair them up in 4 select bowl games for the first round of playoffs, pair the 4 remaining bowl champions as semifinalists and arrive at your NC game.

    It’s a helluva lot better than a committee selecting 4 teams year after next.

    • sUGArdaddy

      You will play in stadiums with 20,000 people in the early rounds? Don’t think so? Check out the early round NCAA games. They can’t fill up 25,000 seat arenas and they have 8 teams’ fanbases to draw from.

      If finishing #1 doesn’t even get me a home game and is equivalent to finishing #7 or #8, then what good reason do Alabama or UGA have to play AJ McCarron and Aaron Murray in the SECCG. Welcome to the NFL, wehre we bench starters late in the season when our playoff spot is secure.

      Can you imagine what the Falcons would be doing right now if not for home field advantage? They locked up a playoff spot 2 weeks ago! Using the bowls is a horrible, horrible idea. No other football playoff uses neutral sites in anything but the championship game because they at least reward excellence with home playoff games.

      This is why all this scares me. The people in charge literally do not know what they are doing and cannot think rationally about it all.

      • hodgie

        Who said we had to be rational? Fan is short for fanatic…:-)

        Also, try resting your starters for Georgia Tech. See how that goes over. Or Alabama rest them for auburn. Uh, don’t think so. Also, if seeding is determined by win loss record how or why would someone rest their starters. That can happen in the NFL but not in cfb. Exhibit a. Gsu vs uga a couple weeks ago. What did gsu have to gain by playing starters in that game. They were even nicked up coming in to that game.

        • DawgPhan

          rest your starters for the tech game and lose, fans complain.

          Dont rest your starters and someone gets hurt, fans complain.

          I think I see a common thread.

          • hodgie

            There will be old testament blood bath if starters were rested. However, I see your point. Fans complain no matter what.

            • sUGArdaddy

              Sure you’ll rest them because specific games won’t mean as much. It will take time, but over time it will become about playoff success. Winning your conference or division means virtually nothing now in the NFL or College Basketball.

              2 years ago Roy Williams rested Ty Lawson during the ACC tourney and watched Duke put another banner in the rafters. A week later, a healthy Lawson helped the Heels dominate every opponent they played in the NCAA tourney, winning all 6 games by double digits. You think Carolina fans remember that season for how Duke won the “used-to-be-coveted” ACC tourney? Nah, me neither. Carolina didn’t need the automatic qualifier because they were already going to get in. Roy understood his success at Carolina will be judged by winning NCAA titles through the tourney. The rest is just seeding. But, what matters most is having the most well-prepared, rested and healthy team come tournament time.

              When you devalue excellence in the regular season, teams will shift their focus away from it. An expanded playoff places value on health and readiness for the playoff run, and coaches will adjust. Now, if you tell me that 12-0 or being a conference champ will get me a home game instead of having to travel to Eugene, Oregon, you have upped the ante on excellence.

              But, if you tell me that whether I finish 12-0 or 10-2 I’m going to have to go to Dallas to play…then I have little motivation to try and go 12-0. Moreover, if winning my conference gets me an automatic bid, why in the world would I play my D-linemen a week before the Conference Championship game against the Gnats while they cut block them on every play? Because I hate them? Right. You know what beating Tech and losing the SECCG will get you? Christmas in Orlando. Losing to Tech and winning the SECCG gets you in the dance.

              Of course, maybe the system that required us to win both (you know, that terrible BCS) ain’t all that bad.

              • Hackerdog

                +1

                I love the logic of those who insist that what has come to pass in every other playoff system couldn’t possibly come to pass in college football. Why? Just because.

    • Connor

      One of the Senators more consistent points is that even if you think a playoff, in general, is a great idea the individuals who will be responsible for implementing it have a disastrous track record. Just because you can see a perfect solution to this problem doesn’t mean that’s what your going to get when you let the dog off the chain.
      It’s not that a good playoff can’t theoretically be created, it’s that it won’t be. That’s why some of us are against the whole thing.

      • Cojones

        If everyone wishes to call this a CFB Committee Selection Championship I don’t mind. Just don’t call it a “playoff” because it ain’t.

        • Connor

          That’s kind of the point. No matter what format is implemented it won’t satisfy most people. The only way to fix playoffs that aren’t satisfying is to expand them. Therefore no matter where the playoffs start they will expand forever. QED.

          • Cojones

            I disagree. If you start with the best number to begin with there would be no reason to go further. I believe that 8 is that # and that we shouldn’t come up short at the beginning. Having 4 to begin the inevitable “slippage” to the best playoff # is guranteeing that “slippage” will occur and by your reasoning provide the “gateway” to more “slippage”. I don’t buy that reasoning and neither do 80% of the people who voted for a playoff in the first place. You may bolster your position with that of cynics who seek to keep the playoffs in a foot-dragging position because they never wanted a playoff in the first place, but I don’t buy the reasoning. It’s just fomenting a long drugout position before the cacophony of the clamor reaches a high pitch to have a true playoff.

            I’m glad that the 8-team scenario comes up now so that there is still a place for beginning a playoff with the best number instead of making it an emotion-based decision to keep it at 4 selected by a committee. Start with the correct # and you don’t see slippage because everyone would be against letting it happen. As long as the fans who wanted a playoff see the numbers kept low by a committee with the same present resultant you will hear the bitching until a true playoff happens.

            The protestation of the oracles who prophesy the demise of the sport will pass, but not before every thinkable stopgap can be raised and dismissed as fuzzy chrystal ball visionaries continue the campaign to trash a true playoff.

            • Connor

              We’ll just have to disagree. Whatever happens I’m not taking the blame for an imperfect playoff because I’m one of the “cynics who seek to keep the playoffs in a foot-dragging position because they never wanted a playoff in the first place.” I don’t have a seat at the table and the cacophony of the clamor is all coming from those demanding a playoff. You asked for it, you got it. If you can’t see that demanding something as nebulous as “a playoff” be created by the disparate and asymmetrically motivated institutions and interests that make up college football will inevitably result in a product that satisfies no one, that’s your problem.

              • Cojones

                We will continue to disagree. I stated that this 4-team selection is not a playoff, so we haven’t arrived yet in my mind. I won’t go back through the history of naysayers beginning before the SEC went to a championship game, but they have always been there. After the event doesn’t match up to the dire predictions, you don’t see or hear the original disclaimers again. Same goes for coaching predictions going back to Dooley’s hire at UGA.

  12. AusDawg85

    The only way to settle this on the field is with an expanded playoff that truly tests each team. I propose “divisions” where, say, a division has 12 – 16 teams and you play 9 of your divisional opponents, split into two “segments”. Add 3 other non-divisional games for fan interest and cross-division rivalries. Then have the 2 “segment” winners meet. Winner of the divisions meet in a bowl game.

    Gotta try something new….call it “The Regular Season” series.

  13. Porter Osborne Jr

    The only reason he’s bringing this up now is to take some of the heat off of his suspensions being overruled.

  14. The General

    Won’t there come a point where the interests of greed and fan-sensitivity converge? That is, if the regular season is less exciting, and less meaningful, shouldn’t it also become less valuable? Or will we addicts continue to sheepishly put asses to seats and eyeballs to screens? If increases in postseason revenue cannot offset decreases in regular season revenue, some equilbrium must be found.

    8 is too many for cfb. Period. Personally, I think the BCS did a pretty good job at what it intended to do, which was to loosen the bowl tie-ins that prevented any possibilty of a national “championship” game. If we have to go to a 4-team playoff, my ideal format would eliminate at-large bids. Invite to the semifinals the four highest ranked conference championship game winners from conferences of 12+ members. No automatic bids for a conference. No special ND clauses. Force everyone to join a conference, force every conference to have a championship game, and force the conferences to produce a quality product. Screw ND and their arrogant neutrality. This should increase the $ value of CCGs across the board to appease the greedy, but it would still keep the regular season meaningful, exciting, and marketable. Everybody wins?

  15. daniel courson

    I still say that year the Patriots only loss that was in the Super Bowl was the best team that year. They had already beaten NY, on the road. They just didn’t at some neutral spot, with a particular name.

    • mp

      You could say same thing about LSU last year. Only undefeated in the country after running through the usual tough conference and a couple tough non-conference games (Oregon, WVU). They shouldn’t have had to play the rematch with Alabama as they had already beaten them at Alabama. Should have canceled the BCS Title game and declared them the cchampions already.

  16. Skeptic Dawg

    Whether we like it or not, the BCS works. It was created to matchup the #1 and #2 team team in the land. For the most part, the BCS has gotten the national title game right. What is broken (due to the massive money grab) are the remaining bowl games. Even with a “playoff”, the remaining bowl games will remain garbage, and likely hot garbage that no one care about.