I like John Pennington, but this argument leaves me scratching my head:
While an eight-team field is most likely on the way — at least according to those ADs polled by CBSSports.com — the most probable opposition to such a move will go a little something like this: “Expanding the playoffs will lesson the importance of the regular season, just like basketball.”
But would it?
Basketball is a sport that stretches for over six months from November through the first Monday in April. The regular season itself consists of 30+ games. What happens pre-New Year’s can mean zip by the time February rolls ’round. In other words, the basketball regular season is not meaningless because it ends in a tournament… it’s meaningless because it’s too darn long. Football wouldn’t have such a problem. Football’s regular season typically lasts about four months and that’s including two-week dead period in early-to-mid-December.
By the end of a football season, many a fan can tell you the result and correct score from each of his favorite team’s 12 regular-season games. Try that with a basketball fan. Not even folks in the Bluegrass State could pull off that feat. Basketball has too many games. There’s too much to process.
Well, either he underestimates the cognitive abilities of Kentucky fans, or the CBB regular season has been relatively meaningless for an awfully long time, because the vast majority of NCAA champs have played over thirty games in a season since Oregon did it in 1939.
It’s not the basketball regular season that’s been growing.