Four is good. I like four.

I appreciate what on-deck SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has to say about keeping the CFP at four teams:

In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN.com, Sankey said he is a proponent of keeping college football a one-semester sport, and agreed that college basketball is a cautionary tale for how the postseason can devalue the regular season.

“What we have works and fits and protects conference championship games,” he said. “We have a great event in Atlanta. If you see it, experience it, it’s really a cultural event for our region, it’s important for our conference. Many times people have talked about the regular season and want to theorize on impacts on the regular season, but when we see more focus on the end of the year, it generally detracts from what happens during the rest of the competitive year.”

I just wish I believed him.

18 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

18 responses to “Four is good. I like four.

  1. Aladawg

    When ESPN offers $10 gazillion more, he’ll safely jump to “We can keep this a one semester sport for all but 2 teams and we will enhance our ability to support other non-revenue sports” . Yeah right……………

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    • Yup, when the proceeds from an 8 team playoff clearly account for the devaluation of the regular season here we go. The worry is that they may be able to point to some revenue study to justify the 8 team playoff, but they will never be able to juxtapose the potential additional revenue vs the value fans put on the importance of the regular season and of traditional rivalries. These administrators are simply not that in touch with the fan base, as pointed out repeatedly in this fine blog.

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  2. JCDAWG83

    Hell, the NFL goes from August to February and it seems like a fair number of college football fans are clamoring for “NFL Light” so why not extend the playoffs to 16 or so teams? If the players are going to be paid, make them earn those paychecks.

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    • Bright Idea

      Does college football not have the shortest season of all college and pro sports? That’s why we savor it and talk about it nonstop in the offseason. Without the SECCG everybody is playing for a hypothetical place in the playoffs. Whose watching Mizzou-Ark. on the day after Thanksgiving without the SECCG?

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      • JCDAWG83

        I was being sarcastic, but to your point; who is watching the MO/Ark game the day after Thanksgiving WITH the SECCG?

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  3. pete

    I fear that in the near future, we will lose most everything we love about college football. I regret I bitched about the way it used to be. Better enjoy it while it lasts.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      Not trying to be snide or anything of the sort, but what exactly do we still have (compared to the simpler, halcyon days of yesteryear) that we’re going to soon lose? IMO, that ship sailed a long time ago, and this new NFL lite version of CFB is here to stay. From ubiquitous advertising/commercials (often leading to 4 hour games) to blaring music, ribbon boards, 6 mil salaries, exorbitant ticket prices, and all the rest; the simpler days of CFB are long gone.

      Its funny—when I look back at UGA football clips from the 80’s or even from my student days in the late 90’s, I almost feel like I’m watching some historical piece from way back in the 1940’s-50’s or something, with well dressed fans wearing ‘I like Ike’ buttons or whatever. College football has changed that much over the past 10-20 years. At least for me anyway.

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  4. sUGArdaddy

    Well, what he talks about is dead on and the hope for us. The commissioners will want to greatly protect those conference title games. They are not fools. It, in many ways, already is the quarterfinals. They don’t want to harm it. 8 team playoff means that those games become WAY less meaningful (and teams actually might want to avoid them). Moreover, it is a pseudo-bowl already with travel and neutral site. They know fans will save up to go to the main playoff.

    The champ, games are huge money makers. CBB is, indeed, a cautionary tale. The ACC tourney used to mean something. Now, it means nothing because of March Madness and bracket creep. I do think they are aware of this delicate line with football and the golden egg that the championship game is, especially in the SEC.

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  5. Dolly Llama

    I’ve posted this before, but there’s a way, in theory, to do this thing with an eight-team, no-bye-week playoff without significantly extending the season and concomitant wear and tear on the athletes.

    The hardest part would be that you need four, not five, power conferences. That, and the associated weeping and gnashing of teeth that would ensue during that consolidation, pretty well make this a non-starter. But as a thought experiment:

    Each “P4” conference has two divisions, and each division has a champion. There’s your eight-team playoff field.
    Each of those conferences has a championship game. Those champs are your final four.
    The playoff committee decides the seedings of the final four. In this setup, that’s really all the involvement they need to have in the process.

    In this scenario, nobody who’d be in a playoff (from the four conferences with championship games, anyway) would be playing any longer a season than they would be under the current structure, would they?

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    • Cojones

      That’s interesting, Dolly. It would call for talk of 4 conferences, not 5 and that’s a little different and more interesting. Likewise, the bowl games can be used as a semifinal, but limiting it to the two best in each of the Big 4 has some merit.

      Using the champions of the top 5 teams leaves you 3 more to choose at random and ups the chance for at least two SEC teams in the playoff. So there’s that.

      And everyone everywhere can keep jumping up and down about 4 teams, but it continues to be “Pick 4” as a betterment to “Pick 2” and the reasoning for that makes all the selection committee thingy an oxymoron for a true “Playoff”.

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    • JCDAWG83

      I say go the other way. Have 8 conferences and every team that wants to be in the playoff has to be in a conference (Notre Dame would have to get over itself and join a conference if it wanted to be a part of the show). Each conference could choose it’s champ however it wanted and the champ would go to the 8 team playoff. Seed based on rankings, top 4 seeds get home field for first two rounds, if all 4 lose first round the next round is played at winners home field based on ranking or seeding, championship game played at big bowl venue or rotated through the former BCS bowl games.

      There would be years where one conference had a great team shut out, but that’s just the way it would be. We already have that situation when two teams from the same division of a conference end up with one loss each and only one of them gets to go to the conference championship game.

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    • Mayor

      Right on, Dolly!! What you described is exactly the way it ought to be and is so obvious it is like a diamond laying right in front of us. That is why it will never happen with the current crowd running things.

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