Why I continue to despair of the rebranding

May 11, 2012:

Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany has been at the forefront of talks to bring a playoff of some sort to college football for quite some time now, but he doesn’t believe that teams that don’t win their division should be included in a four team playoff.

”I don’t have a lot of regard for that team. I certainly wouldn’t have as much regard for that team as I would for someone who played nine conference games in a tough conference and played a couple out-of-conference games on the road against really good opponents. If a poll doesn’t honor those teams and they’re conference champions, I do.” Delany told the Associated Press.

October 14, 2016:

Delany thinks it’s “far too early” to talk about the potential for two Big Ten teams to make the Playoff.

“We have two years of experience, and I think champions have always been a powerful tiebreaker,” Delany told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “For a non-champion to be included in the field, that non-champion would have to be unequivocally better. Which means, to me, that’s a very high bar. That’s not to say that it couldn’t happen.

“But with teams with similar records and similar resumes, a conference championship is the tiebreaker. Is it impossible? No, because we’re looking for the four best teams.”

Delany said that, during the creation of the Playoff model, it was always very important to stakeholders that a conference championship carry great weight.

“So a conference championship would win most tiebreakers — unless it’s crystal clear,” he said.

November 16, 2016:

How does Delany square those remarks with Ohio State today? Delany said it’s up to the CFP Selection Committee to decide and he won’t say now or later if he thinks the Buckeyes deserve to go as a non-Big Ten champion.

“The debate was the four best teams without regard to anything else, or the four best champions,” Delany said. “Really, we ended up with a compromise — the four best teams but taking into consideration things like strength of schedule and conference championships won. The only way anybody goes as a non-champion or an independent is really if they do awfully well. We’ll see. There’s a lot of football left to be played.”

So, Delany reveals himself to be a full-fledged adherent of the Herbstreit Doctrine, which should come as no great surprise.  It certainly doesn’t to me, anyway.

But it does serve as a good jumping off point to organize my thoughts on why I believe further postseason expansion for college football is inevitable, and that it’s highly unlikely the people running the sport will settle at eight teams for good.  Here’s why:

  1. The history of collegiate and professional sports in America suggests one inexorable trend:  playoffs always expand.  That they do so isn’t due to some never-ending search to refine excellence.  They grow because there’s more money to do so.  They only stop growing when the money cuts off, as we saw when the NCAA sought to expand the men’s basketball tourney to 96 teams but couldn’t find a willing broadcast partner to foot the bill.
  2. College football has been unique for most of our lifetimes in resisting that path due to two historical anomalies, its strong regional appeal and the bowls.  In its short existence, the four-team playoff has weakened the effect of both.  Bowls are now clearly in a subservient position to the semi-finals and national championship game.  The Big 12’s fumbling around with conference expansion and its clumsy adaptation of a championship game after a round-robin regular season is only the most obvious example of how the sport’s focus has shifted to a more national orientation.  An eight-team playoff will likely deal a mortal blow to the big bowl games, especially if the move is made to play the quarterfinals on the campuses of the higher seeds, and accelerate the shift away from regionalism.  As a result of that, going from eight to sixteen in the playoff field will turn out to be an easier move than going from four to eight.
  3. Also greasing the skids for expansion is college football’s playoff structure.  Conference champions are decided on an objective basis.  Win your division and you play for the conference title.  However, the CFP field is filtered through a selection committee that, for all its highfalutin claims of following certain performance standards, acts in a subjective manner to determine the postseason participants.  That’s not going to change, either, as Jim Delany’s evolving standards demonstrate.  The power conference guys love subjectivity when it suits them.  But they also hate it when they’re in the conference on the outside looking in.  The solution to make them all happy is pretty obvious.  It’s also easier when the standards are as amorphous as they are and will continue to be.  After all, who among us doesn’t love a good number eight versus number nine debate on SportsCenter?
  4. Coaches aren’t going to complain about expansion, because in their hearts they know Jim Boeheim is right.  Let’s face it — if we’d had a sixteen-team playoff for the past 20 years, Mark Richt would still be coaching in Athens today.  A second reason coaches at the power schools won’t complain is because they’ll likely use expansion as an excuse to lobby for an increase in the number of scholarship players a program can enroll.
  5. Those of you who continue to insist that there’s some kind of natural barrier when college football hits an eight-team field are missing something. (NFL percentages?  Really?) You don’t think the way the people running the sport think.  Jim Delany is already used to advocating for expanded playoffs in other sports.  He’s come on late to college football for one reason, and one reason only.  Regular season broadcast revenue is the golden goose Delany and his peers don’t want to kill.  Any future playoff growth will be done with an eye towards calibrating the sweet spot where the conferences maximize postseason revenue without harming what they’re already raking in during the regular season.  That’s the only consideration that will be in play.  I don’t know about you, but I take little comfort in those people being skilled enough to balance those interests.  More likely is that they’ll cross a tipping point without realizing they’ve done so until it’s too late, and from there, it’ll be all about whatever the playoff market will bear.

I don’t write any of that with some savage hope of vindication in mind.  Quite the contrary, I fervently wish to be wrong about all of it.  But as someone who watched the NCAA steadily dilute the relevancy of the men’s college basketball regular season over the years by growing March Madness eight-fold, it’s impossible for me to discount the same people doing exactly the same thing with college football.  Some people will no doubt welcome it.  I mock brackets, but there’s no denying their popularity.

It won’t be a happy day for me, though.  I feel more than ever that I’m living on borrowed time in my relationship with the sport I love.  If I get five more good years out of it, I suppose I’ll take it gratefully.

57 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

57 responses to “Why I continue to despair of the rebranding

  1. Jared S.

    Unfortunately I agree with you that playoff expansion is inevitable. This is one huge reason I’m already missing the BCS. Not because I hate the four-team playoff – I actually think it’s quite good – but because I know what it will lead us too.

    16 teams in a CFP would be retarded. We’d be looking at teams every year in the playoff with 3 or more losses and who weren’t winners of their divisions let alone their conferences. How does this make sense?

    Fortunately each year of the CFP so far there’s been a lot of hubbub around Week 10 and 11 with countless articles examining possible “nightmare” scenarios where a deserving team will be left out of the CFP, but in each year by the time Week 13 rolls around the dust has pretty much settled with it being pretty obvious who the best four teams in the country are….

    Sure, Big 12 fans will whine about being left out in year one, but that’s what you get with no conference championship game, you morons.

    Like

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    “Any future playoff growth will be done with an eye towards calibrating the sweet spot where the conferences maximize postseason revenue without harming what they’re already raking in during the regular season.”

    If I may go further, they’ll push to the point of maximum aggregate revenue from the postseason and regular season.

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    • Nope. They’ll push past it.

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        I stand corrected.

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      • Mayor

        The solution is so simple yet the powers that be won’t implement it. We need to have 4 super conferences of 16 to 20 teams each. Each super conference is split into 2 divisions. The winner of each division plays for the conference title–that is the de facto first round of the playoff. The next game pits the winners in a format similar to the 4 team playoff we have today with #1 playing #4 and #2 playing #3 based on polls, computers or a seeding committee. The 2 winners play for the National Championship. Total of 8 teams in the playoff. This would mean that one of the Power 5 conferences would have to go away (I favor the Big 12) and those teams would enter into other conferences. Some of the bottom dwellers ( Kansas, Iowa State) might not make it. Other teams that may not be in a power 5 conference now might get in one (Houston). But this preserves the integrity of the conference championship as still meaning something and also results in a winner being decided on the field with no bias from some “selection committee” who is really thinking about $$ or politics or anything other than football when making its decisions. When Michigan lost last week and didn’t drop out of the Top 4 that really showed us something about the integrity (or lack of) of the current selection process. The system is rigged for the Big 10.

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  3. 92 grad

    I made the shift years ago where I truly don’t GAS about national championship awards. My enjoyment from Georgia football is centered around their performance in the conference, meaning winning our division and playing for the championship within the SEC. To go deeper, I enjoy the players, coaches, and random fans like yourself that blog about the whole thing. I like seeing the players develop, I get a kick out of some of our kids getting national coverage for their talents, it’s cool to see these kids do great things.

    I expect I would be happy if our team did enter the post season playoff and I know I would be excited about it. The subjectivity of it warps the integrity of it too much for me to think highly of the outcome. I do not believe making the playoff should be a measure of how well our coaching staff performs, I do believe Kirby and Co. should be held accountable for our conference record. When the SEC becomes larger and subjectivity enters into the championship equation for our conference I expect I will lose my interest.

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    • David Clark

      These are my thoughts exactly. I enjoy the campaign. Fighting through the conference each week. As the Senator posted the other day, the only talk before the UGA – Auburn game was how it related to Auburn’s position in getting to the top 4. All sports talk show topics revolve only around top four discussion. Three of the top four lost in week 10 or 11 and only two moved out of the top four. I am fighting it, but losing interest.

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    • Sh3rl0ck

      2011 Alabama proved that it is easier to win a National Title than and SEC Title. The goal should be to win the East and then win the Conference. Everything else is just playing by the rules of a bunch of yankees.

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  4. PTC DAWG

    In a two team playoff scenario, last nights Leweyville Houston’s game means nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the current four team playoff scenario, this year’s Iron Bowl means nothing.

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      • PTC DAWG

        Not true at all…Bama loses, they have zero margin for error, and most assuredly lose the right to pick their venue for first game, assuming they go on to win the SEC.

        Fact is right now, more teams are in the hunt, more meaningful games. I guess I just don’t see the doomsday that many do. We shall see.

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        • loses the right to pick their venue? What a tragedy.

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        • So you’re telling me a two loss team may not be deserving of a national championship? I’m not really sure how that bolsters your argument that the playoff has made more games significant.

          If this were the old system, Bama would have ZERO margin of error to lose to Auburn. Your argument is they have zero margin of error to lose to Auburn AND the SECCG. I fail to see how that means the Iron Bowl isn’t less meaningful. Under the current construct, they could rest all of their starters and still be no worse than the fourth seed after they take care of business in the SECCG. I assure you they’ll have plenty of fans no matter where and who they play, so I don’t really find dictating where they play to be an issue. I find the playoff has taken previously meaningful games and made them less so. Your mileage clearly varies.

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          • CB

            If you think Nick Saban (or any coach) would rest starters and risk lowering his seed then you are completely off of your rocker. Like Nick Saban is going to consider a SECCG win a forgone conclusion and as a result will overlook and rest players against Auburn. Give me a break dude. What planet did you just fly in from?

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            • I never said he would, merely presented a hypothetical. My point is that an expanded playoff has increased the margin of error from our previous system rendering certain games meaningless in the context of making the playoff.

              Give me a break, my ass. Every playoff system that has ever existed in American sport has expanded to the point that it diluted the regular season. That is an irrefutable fact and is only a matter of time before it gets worse in college football. Packers / Bears is one of the oldest and biggest NFL rivalries, but I guaran-damn-tee you that if one is guaranteed a playoff spot and there’s nothing to be gained from winning the final game of the season, those starters are getting rested. It’s not going to happen overnight with CFB, but we’ll surely get there just like everybody else has and that’s my concern. It’s not about the now, it’s about how behavior is going to be shaped in the future.

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              • CB

                You just changed your original point entirely. The idea that Saban would or could rest his starters under “the current construct” (your own words) with no risk is patently false and also ridiculous. Nothing has been rendered meaningless at this point. Less meaningful? Maybe, but the opportunity cost of a real playoff is completely worth it for me.

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                • You just changed your original point entirely. The idea that Saban would or could rest his starters under “the current construct” (your own words) with no risk is patently false and also ridiculous.

                  I never changed my point. “Could do this” is a hypothetical, no? You have no evidence to suggest there would be a penalty for resting starters as it hasn’t been done yet in CFB, but it surely is prevalent in other sports with an expanded playoff. It’s only a matter of time and size of the playoff before it starts happening in CFB. Hell – we already established precedent with Michigan not being dropped from the top four despite a loss to a bad Iowa team because of the quality of their other wins. With that precedent, why would a loss to a not bad Auburn, regardless of whether they play their starters or not, drop Alabama below four?

                  Less meaningful? Maybe, but the opportunity cost of a real playoff is completely worth it for me.

                  That’s your perspective and that’s completely fine. To me – making regular season games less meaningful is a bad thing, but again – my own opinion. Nobody is right or wrong here, chief, we just have different perspectives on what makes CFB meaningful to us. I’ll choose to stop caring as much as regular season games continue to be less meaningful and I’m pretty confident that I’ve been very consistent with this perspective over the last five or six years at this site anytime it’s discussed so it’s not like this is coming out of nowhere for me.

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                  • CB

                    I didn’t say there was a penalty, I said there was a risk (lowering seed, or losing SECCG and getting left out entirely), and it’s a risk that Saban would not and will not take. Nor would any other coach. It isn’t a hypothetical because they’re playing the game on Saturday. It is a penalty to have your seed lowered. How are you not getting that?

                    Listen, chief, you’re right about having our own perspective, and that’s fine. It’s just that your perspective is only partially based in reality. Sure the playoffs could expand to 16 or 32, and I’ll agree that would be bad, but you old guys who miss the BCS just amaze me sometimes. The BCS took meaning out of a lot more end of the season games than a 4-8 team playoff ever could.

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                    • but you old guys who miss the BCS just amaze me sometimes…

                      Damn man…I’m only 32. I honestly prefer the days prior to the BCS, but again – just speaking for me.

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                    • CB

                      Holy Lord. Are you serious? You miss different newspapers crowning 3 different champions? You might be 32, but your soul is 60+.

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    • CB

      With only two teams, most games at the end of the year mean nothing.

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      • Napoleon BonerFart

        With two teams, one loss can put a team out. With four teams, the second loss can put a team out. With eight teams, …

        That pattern doesn’t support your notion that regular season games mean more with brackets.

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        • CB

          Well if it takes more losses it takes to eliminate a team and you can’t lose without playing games then there will be more relevant games played by each team every season. What am I missing?

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  5. Irwin R. Fletcher

    I think a good comp here from another sport is baseball…they’ve ruined baseball’s postseason through expansion. People keep harping on why ratings are down (and don’t let the Cubs game 7 fool you…

    What I can’t understand is how people don’t understand that by increasing the supply, you decrease the demand. That’s microecon 101. So what you end up with is low rating-high quantity garbage.

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  6. Bob Spidel

    In an eight game playoff the Iron Bowl, Acc title game and OSU-Michigan game mean zilch.

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    • CB

      This is completely wrong and short sighted. Stop buying the same tired rhetoric that conspiracy theorists are feeding you. Even if this statement was true (which it isn’t) the magnitude of playoff games far outweighs the meaning that any of the above games ever had. Conference championship games are dumb, scrap them and give the fans a real playoff.If you’re worried about the meaning of rivalry games then play them in October/September. Also, expanding to a 9 game conference schedule would make up for a lot of perceived diluted schedule.

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      • Cojones

        Your replies are and have been polled on here before, but, as you say, the conspiracy theorists (Bluto being the earliest and most vocal with his fee-fees about a legitimate playoff) have been feeding it every chance like this that they can.

        An 8-team playoff has always been the most rational choice mainly because the inequities of schedules can’t accurately be brought to play by subjectively naming 2 teams and now 4 teams. The same excuse has been made each time the playoff numbers have been increased in search of a good slate and each time there is more interest generated in CFB. And always there is the booga-bear of 16 games and further dilution thrown into the mix whenever 8 games are mentioned – all because egos can’t admit straight reasoning proposed for over two years and some trying to prevent what they know is inevitable for deciding a NC; a large enough sample such that we aren’t fiat-appointing the teams to play as subjectively as we have been. With 8 teams we are in a position to better find that true NC that got really good as the season progressed and after having lost an early game

        What’s to prevent matchups in the top four bowl games with the winners to play each other to decide the teams matched for the NC? How will that impact smaller bowls of interesting matchups? Not at all. How will it impact the conference championships? Not at all. How will it dilute our feelings about a regular season defeat of Auburn, FU or GT? Not at all.

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      • Brandon

        “Conference championship games are dumb”

        Pretty sure you just lost everyone right there, bruh. (if you are being serious and not just on a troll that is). You are missing the entire point of the Senator’s post, too busy calling every nostalgic poster “wrong” or “short sighted” or “conspiracy theorists”. That sentence sums everything up right there. This mentality is what’s wrong and ultimately going to destroy the game that we all grew up with and fell in love with. Conference Championships are EVERYTHING. Rivalry games are EVERYTHING. The more the national playoff field expands… the less relevance these games will have as there aren’t any consequences. You can lose a number of games and still make it in or maybe get a second chance to beat that team later on a neutral field. Hence, the only thing that has ever made College football unique and special (The regular season, which has always essentially been an 11-12 week playoff), is dead. Now get off my lawn.

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        • CB

          Conference championship games were invented in the 90’s so that morons like you would have an extra meaningless game to consume. Keep drinking that kool aide. CCG’s are basically the same concept as the playoff except with the playoff there will actually be another round to advance to instead of a branded bowl game that you have been told is valuable so you believe it. Wake up dude. Wake up.

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  7. paul

    Unfortunately, I believe you are absolutely correct. And at that point watching college football becomes almost as dull and lifeless as watching the NFL today. Something I quit doing years ago. Time to take up gardening I guess.

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  8. Nate Dawg

    As others have stated – it’s the subjectivity that’s killing it for me. So we’ve gone from the BCS to a panel of humans (with prejudices, allegiances, etc) and this is somehow better? How is this not a beauty contest again…? I mean ask Baylor and TCU their feelings on that… I mean if the Dawgs got in the beauty contest I’d certainly be all in…but how long do I have to wait? And if the subjectivity creeps into the conference…that would be my nightmare I believe.

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  9. Wolfman

    To me, the problem is that whatever we are now reaching for is causing us to claim that these games (Iron Bowl, OSU-Mich, even UGA-Aub) mean nothing. In the construct of a 4-team playoff, the games might mean nothing. But nobody would ever have declared that the Iron Bowl didn’t mean anything, even when both teams had poor campaigns. Simply uttering the statement to say these games are meaningless belittles what makes college football great in the first place. It’s not great because of the playoff – it’s great because these games exist in the glorified way that they do, all on their own, with traditions that transcend records and bowl games.

    If the Iron Bowl doesn’t mean anything anymore, I assume that the “doesn’t mean anything [in the playoff race]” is implied. But the thing that scares me is if that’s true, then it is implied that only the playoff matters. And if that’s what matters, I fear that moments like last Saturday, that for years were able to stand on their own in the lore of college football, are vanishing faster than I thought.

    Like

    • If the Iron Bowl doesn’t mean anything anymore, I assume that the “doesn’t mean anything [in the playoff race]” is implied. But the thing that scares me is if that’s true, then it is implied that only the playoff matters. And if that’s what matters, I fear that moments like last Saturday, that for years were able to stand on their own in the lore of college football, are vanishing faster than I thought.

      That’s why I prefer to talk about the regular season being diminished, as opposed to being rendered meaningless. After all, even college basketball’s regular season has some meaning, even if it’s only to establish seeding order for the tourney.

      But, yeah, overall, that’s exactly what I’m concerned is heading our way.

      Like

      • CB

        Football is much bigger than basketball, and Duke vs UNC still means something even if it doesn’t because those programs and their rivalry carry weight. College football carries an even bigger weight.

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        • Napoleon BonerFart

          Yes, Duke v. UNC is still big. But there used to be other regular season rivalries that were big. And the playoff pretty much killed that.

          You’re looking at college basketball in 2016 and declaring college football as fundamentally different. You should be looking at college basketball in 1970 and compare it to college football today. As big as Duke v. UNC is today, it was bigger in the past when the brackets were smaller.

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        • CB, I went to an ACC school in the seventies. You have no idea what you’re talking about when you presume the rivalries there still carry the same weight they did back then. Not even close.

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  10. Sanford222view

    I am stealing this from another post comment from this blog but I like the idea of 6 teams and that is it. 5 Power 5 conference champions and one at large team that would either be the highest ranked Group of 5 champ/Independent/Power 5 non-conference champ. That makes the Conference Championships critical and still let’s in an Ohio St., for example, in this year’s scenario.

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  11. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    I probably watch more college football games on any given saturday, not played by UGA, as I do college basketball games(not played by UGA) in a given season.

    The games simply don’t matter. win the right 20-24 games over the course of a season and do better than expected in a conference tournament, and you make the field of 68. Duke – UNC likely play in a couple of weeks and that huge rivalry game will have no indication of their presence in the tournament.

    I fear that that happens to college football. Ultimately, without a large playoff field, it is subjective how to pick the top 4. Period. Increasing the field just means people tune out for the regular season.

    Worst part is that as schedules are finalized moving forward, UGA will likely get a garbage home schedule with lots of noon games, with impossible tailgating standards and horrible traffic.the UGA AD may be right that demand for tickets is inelastic, but I just don’t know if I believe it to be true. I’m as diehard as nearly anyone in the fanbase, but I just don’t see value in season tickets that exceeds the hassle of the gameday experience.

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  12. CB

    I never used the NFL percentages example as evidence to a natural barrier to expansion past 8 teams. I was simply using simple math to prove that an 8 team playoff wouldn’t dilute the regular season to nearly the extent that you and fellow alarmists claim. In order for college football to reach the same level of regular season dilution as the NFL the playoff would have to expand to between roughly 22 and 45 teams (the low number of 22 only takes into account the 60 some odd P5 schools, and the high number of 45 takes into account all 120 or so FBS football programs)

    “playoff growth will be done with an eye towards calibrating the sweet spot where the conferences maximize postseason revenue without harming what they’re already raking in during the regular season.”

    I completely understand your skepticism. Sadly you are probably right that they will expand too far before they realize what they’ve done, and by then it will be too late. Let’s hope they are much wiser in their implementation this time around. One thing that gives me hope is their long standing fight against a playoff, and the current hard stance against expansion.

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  13. 69Dawg

    As long as the WWL can sell advertising for the bowl games, that are even now just studio shows, there will be bowl games. Will they suck? Yes. Will the cream of the players begin to op out of them ala Walker? Yes. Even worst the players that know they are going to get drafted may start to get “injured” later in the season when any play-off is out of reach. These things will be the downfall of college football and the bowls. The first bowls to go belly up will be the “this place sucks as a vacation” bowls. Warm weather bowls will still draw but freezing your ass off in New York, Tennessee, North Carolina or Northern Louisiana won’t draw flies. Some of the bowls are changing named sponsors every year now. Advertisers and sponsors will catch on soon enough.

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  14. I think we’re stuck at 4 and not because I don’t share the cynicism. I just can’t see a practical way of scheduling three (or four) rounds of playoffs at that time of the year. The regular season ends too late, you have finals, holidays, NFL playoff games to maneuver. If someone could show me a proposed three or four round schedule that accounts for years when the holidays fall on weekends and thus creates conflicts with the NFL, then I’ll worry about this.

    Are the conferences going to give up their championship games to accommodate an expanded playoff? I’m doubting it. The sec has a guarantee of a spot in the four team and a guarantee of a championship game. Why risk having 1 playoff spot out of 8 or 2 out of 16? Same issue presents itself with the Big 10. The only winner I see is the Big 12 because they need expansion to get in. The other 4 majors are in a good spot with the current system.

    In short expansion is impractical and doesn’t advantage most of the decision makers so I just don’t see it happening. If the college football season ended on November 15th or February 15th theyd go to 64, but it doesn’t.

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    • You make some good points, but I think you didn’t mention one big thing: money.

      If there’s enough money to be made, then the schedule will get fixed.

      And one more thing…if the field expands to eight or whatever, there’s a darn good chance the SEC gets more than one in on a regular basis. So that means more money.

      Like

  15. There is one thing that you haven’t mentioned when you refer to the dilution of college football. That is the fact that the bowls have already been diluted with their own expansion. There are too many bowls, so therefore teams that don’t have regular sason records deserving of post-season play, qualify anyway. If the playoffs expand and the quality of matchups isn’t compromised, then the bowls will still be viable, competitive and interesting. They still need to reduced in number, but we all know that won’t happen.

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  16. Sides

    The Big 10 deserves 2 teams in the playoffs as much as I dislike Delany. It is by far the best conference this season. The SEC is very average this year outside of Alabama.

    I don’t think they can keep expanding playoffs without paying kids. At some point they are going to push this too far. A 12 game season + conference championship + 2 playoff games is too much for amateurs.

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  17. The paradigm is shifting.

    I would say that anyone who came of age before the BCS era has a different view altogether on the college football world. We see the regular season differently, we rivals differently and we see the bowls differently.

    But to many folks, the idea of a playoff makes a lot of sense. Heck, it makes a lot of sense to me if I squint my eyes just right.

    Kids nowadays on teams that make a playoff run can wind up playing 15 games (plus an exhibition). So a three or four round playoff for CFB isn’t some crazy far off idea.

    Life is tough for a dude in his late 40s just trying to make it. I’m fighting battles all week long, so I’ve decided that college football will be my little safe space. Playoffs and player safety and paying players all swirl around, but I’ve decided I’m just going to enjoy what little bit I can stomach and then when I can’t any longer, I’ll buy some white Rockports and start walking laps at the mall.

    Like

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