The brackets, they creep.

Jim Harbaugh has a vision.

On if an 8- or 16-team playoff would water down the regular season: “The 1-AA teams have been very successful at that model. If my math is right, right now if you played through a national championship game that would be 15 games. If there were a 16-team playoff, it’d be 16 games under the current model. You’d probably take away the league championship game, put it at 16 games and only the two teams in the national title game would play that many. … Most teams would still play 13.”

Note that he never answered the question.

If you want to know what he’s thinking about

Harbaugh pointed to how the Football Championship Subdivision playoff “model has been successful.” The FCS has a true tournament feel and has grown from its initial four teams in 1978 to 24 teams since 2013.  [Emphasis added.]

Maybe it’s just me, but “a true tournament feel” and “water down the regular season” sure seem to have something in common.  But y’all go on and keep telling me how the FCS is different from the FBS because whatever.

Postseasons grow because there’s money in it, pure and simple.  Deny it all you want, but D-1 football isn’t immune from that.

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48 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

48 responses to “The brackets, they creep.

  1. TomReagan

    How about this quote from Harbaugh:

    “I guess the first thing that comes to mind is more would be more, more would be better in the playoffs.”

    That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

    Like

  2. Those who talk about going to 16+ never answer the question about how the student-athlete is supposed to prepare for and take exams or be able to go home for the holidays. It’s not like the guys are being paid or something. It would destroy the bowl system.

    For those who advocate for 8, it pushes bowl selection back a week because the quarterfinal losers aren’t going to be eliminated from bowl consideration. How do you plan to handle that for those who want to travel to follow their team?

    4 is the only solution that makes sense.

    Like

    • Dawg1

      Right, and just for fun, add in that little signing day thingy the week before Christmas, the same week as a playoff game and you have a very convoluted schedule!

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      • You want to see seniors and declaring juniors hold themselves out from bowl games? The 4 losing teams in the quarterfinals would probably have a lot of guys say they aren’t suiting up for a truly meaningless bowl game.

        Playoff expansion doesn’t work unless you blow the whole system up.

        Like

  3. JCDAWG83

    8 12 team conferences with the 8 conference champs in a three week playoff makes the most sense. No committee, no polls, no voting, it’s all settled on the field. Let the conferences decide who they want to send however they want to do it. If a conference wants a championship game, let them have one, if not, that’s fine too. Let the conferences decide how many conference games in the regular season too.

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    • Greg

      WHUT???….but what about Bama, what would have happened to them a year ago?? Doesn’t seem fair to me.

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    • So, how do you plan to realign the conferences to provide competitive balance (SEC vs. MWC vs. Notre Dame and independents)? It’s the best solution, but it will never happen.

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      • Greg

        They all have arguments, not a perfect system. But I DO believe, if you can’t win your conference…..you should be eliminated from contention.

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  4. Anonymous

    “A true tournament feel” is exactly what I do not want. I liked the old Bowl ‘n’ Poll system with split championships though.

    Like

  5. Chopdawg

    Where was all the angst about “water down the regular season” when the regular season expanded from 10 games to 11, then from 11 to 12?

    This year, UGA plays Austin Peay, UMass, Middle Tennessee. Kind of watery, IMHO.

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    • Ummm… you’re arguing that expanding the regular season waters down the regular season?

      Ho-kay.

      Like

      • Chopdawg

        Like starting out with two ounces of Knob Creek single-barrel in your glass, then adding an ounce of AustinPeayUMassMiddleTenn brand tapwater.

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        • That’s not an argument about quantity, but quality. In other words, 12 games would be better with a nine-game conference schedule and one less cupcake. No argument there.

          But that’s not the same thing as what’s addressed in my post.

          Like

  6. steve

    This sounds like compound interest, football style.

    Like

  7. PTC DAWG

    If I was Harbaugh, I’d change the subject too.

    Like

  8. Huntindawg

    The reason the FCS has a 24 team tournament is money?

    Like

  9. PTC DAWG

    The only way even going to 8 teams comes close to working would be having round 1 on campus…top 4 host.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ricky McDurden

      Would probably have to play round 1 on campuses during Army-Navy weekend, losers go to a bowl game and winners go to the 2 New Years Playoff games. But, again, that would behoove a team to try to avoid playing Conference Championship weekend if they can to get the extra week of rest. Or simply make a rule that you can’t make the playoff if you haven’t won your conference which will never happen.

      Liked by 2 people

      • CB

        Great ideas. Also, just do away with conference championship games altogether. It would be easy enough to just crown a champion at the end of the season based on record, ranking, etc. No need to assign so much value to one arbitrary game at the end of the year.

        Like

        • Ricky McDurden

          I think that’s the obvious compromise (get rid of the CC games) in a 6 or 8 game playoff but given the money the SECCG brings in there is no way it would happen.

          Like

  10. ASEF

    With a 2 team finale, we had notable but singular exclusions. Examples: Okie St in 2011. Auburn in 2005. There were other, but never more than 1 in a season.

    With 4, we get two teams bitching every year. Because differentiating 4, 5, and 6 is splitting hairs.

    An 8 team tournament would produce on average about 10 equal resumes for spots 7 and 8. Moar argumentin’, not less.

    16? 30 pissed off fan bases every year.

    The bigger the playoffs become, the more the regular season just becomes interesting scrimmages. And the bigger the groundswell to move to bigger brackets. It never endsm

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  11. CPark58

    Damnit Harbaugh, don’t encourage the shameless money grab that’s gutting the game. If you want a chance for the national title focus on beating Ohio State and Michigan State. Don’t try and change the rules of the game because you can’t win within them.

    NO ONE outside the conference champions and maybe one non P-5 team has a legitimate argument for the national title (looking at you, well rested Alabama). Big time college football is great because every game, September to January, is important and the only way to control your destiny is to just win, baby.

    Like

  12. Ricky McDurden

    The biggest problem the FBS level has right now is the lucrative existence of the Conference Championship games. We already saw Alabama sneak into a 4 team playoff and win the whole thing having played 1 less game than the other 3 teams competing. Expand it to 6 or 8 teams and it’s going to start being in a team’s best interest to skip an all but meaningless conference title game to get an extra bye week before starting the playoff rounds. Because you know they won’t scrap the SECCG just because it suits an ideal 8 team playoff model; way too much money being made.

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  13. waterloodawg

    Why not? I mean it works for Men’s B.B., right? Everyone eagerly watches the regular season of course.

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  14. Harbaugh wants playoff expansion because that worthless, over-hyped , over paid POS is desperate to put something …anything on is resume……like made the 16 team playoffs. Without some meaningless entry like that he won’t be drawing down the big bucks much longer. Hail to the Conquering Zeros.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t know what it is about the human spirit that makes us feel like we always have to ***k with something, even when it is working just fine. Sometimes something just works and needs no tweeks. This is one of them.

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  16. bring on 8, maybe more. For those that say, why change things, why not change them. Or all you folks could go stand in the stadium and holler, get out of my stadium.

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  17. UGA '97

    Boy Jim, you can certainly join the FCS, no one is stopping you. You once were a big fish in Pac12, but got exposed and now you are whining that your 5th place team in the Big 10 deserves a shot at a playoff? If you cannot coach game to game in your league, then good luck face 3 or 4 different styles of football during a playoff.

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  18. AceDawg

    To make college football interesting, I’d have one game added to the regular season. The NCAA can do a drawing to randomly match up Power 5 teams with each other. Do the drawing one year earlier – or heck, in the summer before the season – and any non-conference Power 5 team can be drawn as your opponent. Adding this game mid to late season would generate a ton of intrigue, a ton of unlikely match ups, and provide more clarity in team resumes to pick the best 4 teams for the playoff.

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  19. Cojones

    Make it 8. One more game for two teams.

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  20. Jared S.

    Forget watering down regular season. Expanding the playoffs waters down the post-season as well. With an 8-team playoff the last two years would have seen three-loss Auburn and three-loss Wisconsin competing in the CFP.

    Barf.

    Like