In today’s Mailbag ($$), Stewart Mandel nails the point I often make about the impact an expanded CFP will have on the rest of college football’s season.
No, it would not ruin college football or the regular season. It would just be a lot different. Some games would become more important than they are now; others would see their value diminished.
Take, for example, last weekend’s extremely captivating SEC championship game. It became the sport’s most-watched regular-season game in seven years. I don’t believe the viewing audience would be quite that enormous if you went in knowing both teams would be safely in the Playoff regardless and that they were essentially playing for home-field advantage.
With an eight-team playoff field, winning the SEC will be reduced to a battle over seeding. Is that really what we want to see from the SECCG? Not that what we want makes any difference, of course.
Mandel doesn’t see that as ruining college football. His mileage varies from mine, obviously. An expanded playoff is just another inexplicable step the Jed Clampetts running college football will take to erode the unique aspects of the sport that have created a passionate fan base over many decades. The sad thing is that these people are confident they can manage a transition that will allow them to have their cake and eat it, too.
How anyone can think Larry Scott, for one, is a genius capable of accomplishing a neat trick like that — and no doubt Scott thinks he’s always one of the smartest people in the room — is beyond me. But what do I know?