Stumbling to bracket creep

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby thinks a six- or eight-team playoff would “probably in some ways diminish the regular season”, but also says this about what’s already happened:

“The one downside I do think to the playoff is it has somewhat diminished the focus on conference championships insofar as they may play into who gets to go on and play in the four,” Bowlsby said. “It was not as much about winning a Big 12 title as it was about a representative. You’re playing in the SEC West and it really isn’t about getting into championship game or winning the SEC, it’s about [getting in the top four]. Time will tell if that trend continues. I’d have some sense of loss if that were the case, but I think generally speaking it’s been a tremendous success.”

How can you not be sure the trend continues while at the same time acknowledging that your conference very well may have to add a championship game in order for it not to be disadvantaged by the selection committee?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football

8 responses to “Stumbling to bracket creep

  1. Macallanlover

    Cannot argue that, the four team playoff has made the conference championship look smaller. The eight team playoff, which will guarantee a playoff spot to the conference champion, will take care of this. Not saying people won’t worship at the throne of a National Champion longer, but the emphasis on winning the conference title will again be the primary goal, not just for the obvious reason of being a champion but because you will not have to rely on some subjective vote to get a chance to play for it all.


    • Irwin R Fletcher

      Actually, with the fact that all 4 participants won their conference and the fact that Ohio State arguably got in because they were a conference champ and not some wishy-washy version of a representative (Big 12), you could argue that the playoff magnified the conference championship games and thus the conference championships.

      What didn’t happen this year that will probably happen soon will be that one or more conf championship games will be clear elimination games…and that will not only increase the viewership for those games, but it will probably also mollify some of those calling for a 8 game playoff because in essence, conference championships may become more of a play-in game.


  2. ChilliDawg

    Said the guy with 2 teams on the outside looking in. Wonder if he thinks that makes the coaches at TCU and Baylor feel better about their seasons?


  3. Keese

    I agree with Mac. Win your conference and you’re in. At large teams awarded a spot in 8 team playoff also value wins in the regular season. If any teams whine about not getting in…win your conference.


    • FisheriesDawg

      So let’s put an 8-team playoff in 2012. Georgia loses the SEC title to Alabama and gets in…only to play Alabama again in a 2-7 matchup! Florida doesn’t even win the SEC East and loses to Georgia, and gets in as a higher seed. LSU doesn’t win the SEC West and loses to Alabama, and also gets in (and gets a likely win against Notre Dame to boot!).

      Can we not see what a mess 8 teams makes of regular season results? It is just a reset button for every team that makes the cut line.

      I’d say we’ve already devalued the regular season with four (would anyone have ever championed a team with a home loss by two TDs to a 6-6 team for a national title before this year?). I’d actually guess that a six-team playoff with auto-bids for the P5 champs and one for the best G5 league champ strengthens the value of league titles in most years (we’re bound to see plenty of non-champs get in the four. The downside is you include weak-sister four-loss ACC champs, but I’d rather see that than see league losers get in a playoff.

      Once you get past the five league champs, though, and start taking wild cards, the national title completely ceases to be about what you did from September-December and now becomes only about how hot you were in January.



    IF they go to 8, first round needs to be on campus of the highest 4 seeded conference champs. There, EVERYTHING is still very important.


    • Irwin R Fletcher

      If they go to 8, conf championship games will be play-in games and then they will have 3 at-large (assuming BIG 12 goes to conf championship). They get 3 rounds for the price of 2 plus mega drama for selection show.