“The purest evidence that you can’t trust them to get it right is… we weren’t in the top eight last year.”

ESPN conducted a survey in the offseason of the 65 P5 head coaches on a variety of questions about the CFP.  (All but three, Saban, Orgeron and Kelly, responded.)  Some of the results were more surprising than others, but all in all, it’s interesting.

While a majority of coaches are in favor of expansion to eight teams, it should be noted that selfish interests — surprise! — are being served.  Check out these two notes as evidence:

  • With nine of its 14 coaches in favor of expansion, the Big Ten had the most overwhelming support, possibly reflective of the fact that its conference champion has been left out of the top four in each of the past three seasons.
  • It should come as no surprise that the most opposition to expansion came from the SEC, where nine coaches continued to praise the system in which their league has been included in every season of its existence. “I think it works,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “It’s better than it was during the BCS. Being at four, it allows us to get to a real champion.”

Funny how that works sometimes.  The comment about expansion that resonated with me is this one:

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: No. I don’t know what we’ve gained by expanding it other than the obvious, financial [reasons]. It’s almost become an industry, this whole playoff deal. I don’t know how the game of football is any better right now. I’m not sure we’ve gotten a truer champion. What I don’t like about the playoff system is that there’s kind of a pull that if you’re not in that final four, what you’re doing really doesn’t matter that much. It takes away from a lot of really good experiences that are going on in college football. I think we’re creating a mentality that, to me, takes away from what the game is all about.

As much as some want to insist that when college football expands its postseason, it’s part of some noble effort to produce a better, more competitive result.  It’s not.  It’s about the money, pure and simple, just like every thing else in college football today.  (Just like professional sports, for that matter.)  When college football finishes playoff expansion some day down the road, the only people who are truly going to be satisfied with the results are the ones getting paid for it.

Speaking of money, Gary Patterson has the best cynical comment in the piece.

This question was based on the current system, in which the value of a conference championship has been called into question after both Alabama and Ohio State have landed in the top four without winning their leagues. “The only league that really matters if they have a championship game is the SEC, and it’s because of money,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “Everybody else it doesn’t make any difference.”

If that wasn’t made apparent after Patterson’s own conference made the absurd decision to tack on a championship game to a round robin schedule, I don’t know what is.

Speaking of apparent, here’s why we can’t have nice things, SEC fans.

Screenshot_2019-11-06 How 62 coaches feel about the CFP -- plus Jim Harbaugh's own plan

The company line, from Jeremy Pruitt:

Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee: I worry a little bit about getting rid of the old rivalries. It’s already now in the SEC, you’re not guaranteed as a student-athlete, if you come to Tennessee you’re not guaranteed to play at Texas A&M in a four-year period. By not being able to do that, it possibly eliminates some of the experience, or somebody coming to play at Neyland Stadium. But I do think from a conference standpoint, I think we have a great system in what we use to determine a champion, and I think it’s fair.

He doesn’t sound that worried.  Sigh.

And the bullshit award goes to…

Screenshot_2019-11-06 How 62 coaches feel about the CFP -- plus Jim Harbaugh's own plan(1)

Love.  That would explain why DJ Durkin is still coaching at Maryland.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

22 responses to ““The purest evidence that you can’t trust them to get it right is… we weren’t in the top eight last year.”

  1. MDDawg

    Very interesting article. I’m surprised that she got all of them to go on record. Pruitt mentions getting rid of rivalry games, but I don’t understand why the SEC couldn’t have a 9-game conference schedule and still maintain the traditional rivalries. It seems like they ought to be able to employ enough smart people to figure that out if they wanted to.

    And DJ Durkin isn’t coaching at Maryland anymore. They reinstated him after the investigation was complete then fired him the next day after the (totally foreseeable) backlash.


  2. Gaskilldawg

    Conference schedule but the majority of teams don’t want it. That extra OOC game means the conference as a whole can get 14 extrw wins,


    • Gaskilldawg

      But if that 4th OOC games becomes a 9th conference games the conference teams are guaranteed to suffer 7 losses. The extra conference game could be what denies a couple of conference teams bowl eligibility. Whether I think that is a good reason or not that is why the SEC resists playing 9 conference games

      Liked by 1 person

  3. GruvenDawg

    I gotta agree with Kirk (and Saban), If your teams not in the playoffs then the players are like why are we playing?

    It will be interesting if NIL laws and an upcoming expansion at the next round of negotiations (8) what the results will be? Probably the following.

    Decrease in non-playoff bowl games?
    Less players leaving early and sitting out bowl games?
    Another round of conference expansion?
    Uniform scheduling?
    Decrease in scholarship counts from 85?

    The next couple of years are going to be interesting and the landscape could look substantially different in the next 10 years.


  4. WarD Eagle

    Kirk Ferentz and I agree 100%.

    They CFP is just a bigger pile of the same turds that made the BCS.


    • Russ

      Yep, Ferentz is dead on.


      • Jim Diamond

        Concur on Ferentz. I don’t even like to listen to sports talk radio anymore because it is entirely CFP scenarios. I enjoy the week to week campaign. I like the build up each week to try and whip each of our rivals. I want a conference title then let the chips fall where they may. I have a good friend who is a Dawg fan who chides me for this, saying he likes to think bigger picture (i.e. CFP). By that measure, GA hasn’t been successful since 1980. If I felt like that, I would be better off playing golf or fishing on fall Saturdays.


      • Uglydawg

        I agree.


  5. When the CFP goes to 8, the bowl games will officially be dead.

    Let’s say it plays out that we win out in the regular season and lose a tight game in the SECCG. How many of you are willing to go back to New Orleans to play OU or Baylor or to Miami to play an ACC also-ran? My answer would be no for New Orleans and likely yes to Miami (only because one of my daughter is living in Orlando right now).


    • Russ

      Yep, this is the biggest reason the playoff sucks. It’s killed the regular season. And it’s killed traditional bowls. The Sugar Bowl last year still pisses me off. We’re playing Texas in the bowl we’ve aimed for for nearly 50 years, and the team mails it in.


  6. It needs to go to 8 games because something needs to save bowl season.

    People don’t give a shit about meaningless exhibition bowls any more. There are far too many entertainment options 365/25/7 for people to watch trash that counts for nothing. All-star/pro-bowl games have suffered too. People just don’t want exhibition games any longer. They aren’t that desperate for entertainment.

    The teams, coaches, players, and fans barely give a crap about the meaningless bowls. The 50+ year old traditionalists rant and rave “YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE SUGAH BOWLLL!!!!!one!!!eleven!!!!” because it’s important!”

    But it isn’t.

    The schools make extra millions of $ from it. The kids get nothing. The fans get horrendously ripped off.

    Expand to 8 teams so then 7 games matter. It saves bowl season.


    • People don’t give a shit about meaningless exhibition bowls any more.

      ESPN strongly disagrees with you.


      • GruvenDawg

        Your right. They just want cheap programming. I have watched many a bowl game we’re the stands are mostly empty, but hey the ratings were better than the spike ball or cornhole championship broadcast.


      • Ticket sales and attendance agree with me.

        Yes, ESPN needs their filler programming. Just like networks and their infomercials late at night. That doesn’t mean either one are in high demand.

        7 meaningful bowl games is better than 3.

        All 7 games will do far better ratings and make far more money than the meaningless exhibition bowls they would replace.


    • GruvenDawg

      Lastly the group of 5 needs its own division and let them play for a championship as well. I don’t see the power 5 giving them a free pass into the playoffs


    • Tony Barnfart

      The problem with that mentality is that you’re never going to get a 68 team December madness football tournament. Thus, the vast majority of FBS REGULAR season games are “meaningless” if you take that mentality and then count up all the games that don’t have playoff implications by virtue of the team(s) being eliminated by losses already accrued.

      The other approach is to get excited and think about how bowl season serves up a mystery opponent where the signed contract and the actual game are a mere 30 days apart (Texas, sugar bowl) as opposed to 10 years apart (Texas, 2028). It boggles my mind how the 30 day turnaround is somehow meaningless yet we get juiced up for the one 10 years out when it too can become “meaningless” if the season doesn’t break our way.


      • Tony Barnfart

        When the sports team you follow closest only plays between 12 and 15 games in a calendar year, the better approach is to treat each one as an event unto itself.


    • Given the fact that there’s really no sports programming that’s worth a damn in December, ESPN is more than happy to fill their air time with bowl games. Coaches love having the extra practices for younger players.

      What the CFP is killing is the ticket sales to the non-CFP NY6 games.



    The SECCG is important because it just means more..

    Liked by 1 person

    • psyopdawg

      Agreed. I like to read and watch how we stack up against the rest of the P5 but in the end, an SEC Championship is HUGE!!!