Dennis Dodd means well.

There are going to be a lot of “how can college football’s postseason be improved?” thought pieces this offseason, not that any of them will be worth a damn unless they’re penned by the P5 commissioners.  Dodd’s got one, and it’s well-intentioned, I suppose, but this paragraph made me chuckle:

3. Reduce the playoff-or-bust mentality: All of the following may happen organically, but if not, options begin with reducing the number of bowl games, which creates more demand. With the expected, eventual addition of name, image and likeness rights, allow sponsors, apparel companies or even the network to pay star players bonuses for participating in non-playoff bowl games. That may help stave off massive opt outs only reducing those to potential early first-round picks.

Yeah, player compensation might stem the tide of opt-outs to some degree, but how you can talk about a playoff-or-bust mentality without mentioning ESPN, by far the worst offender in that regard, is either craven or a surrender to reality.  Players sticking around might be nice, but as long as viewers are tuning in to the bowl games — most owned by the network, remember — in sufficient numbers, Mickey ain’t crying.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

7 responses to “Dennis Dodd means well.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Bowl games are widgets. They’ll keep manufacturing and selling them until the marginal returns diminish to zero. Hell, even I can figure thast out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 81Dog

    The stated reason for having a playoff was “let’s find the best team” with a strong undercurrent of “let’s see if we can find some non SEC teams who can win it.” The real reason was money.

    If it isn’t all about money, who cares about ratings? Are we getting the best teams champ? Yes? Who cares if the group of 5 doesn’t get a slot in the CFP so it can get its ass handed to it in the semis? Don’t like” the same handful of teams” in contention every year? Should we limit those teams to 10 scholarships a year to “make it more fair” for the teams who can’t compete?

    Sure, let’s whine about ratings. Because serving ESPN’s rapidly shrinking reach is what really matters.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Everyone in the college football talking head crowd (including Dodd) only talks about the playoff throughout the season. Hell, ESPN has Herbstreit do a top 6 on the Saturday night SportsCenter after the first game. If I remember correctly, he had Mississippi State in that first list because they beat LSU.

    They made this bed where the non-playoff big bowl games don’t mean anything. Playoff expansion doesn’t do a damn thing to change that trajectory other than to render the bowl game more meaningless. If the first round is on campus (which I believe it will be), does anyone really think draft-eligible players on the losing teams are going to be interested in playing? It was exaggerated this year with guys (and teams) who were just ready for the season to be over, to stop having sticks jammed up their noses 3x a week, and to be able to do something outside the football bubble.

    Liked by 2 people

    • originaluglydawg

      Yeah! Screw ESPN.
      They started it, they perpetuate it all year long, and they manipulate it to get the “right” teams ($$$) in. They need that northern / midwestern audience. Notre Dame my aching ass. What a shallow ruse.
      Restore the old Bowl Game system. Let everyone argue over who was the best, have different and sometimes multiple champions (by polls) etc. This would make the Bowls fun again. Who cares if there isn’t an ESPN crowned, consensus Dr. Pepper champion? I’m sick of four hours commercial ad marathons with three or four football plays shown between each set of ten or fifteen ads.
      To fix it, you’ve got to tell ESPN that we’re mad as hell and we’re not taking it any more. Give us the Bowl System back.
      Also, fix the PRICE of ads and let sponsors bid on the LENGTH of ads (with the shortest length the winner). That’s one easy fix. (for instance, “Ford will sponsor the first half because they agreed to only four minutes of total ads”..or if we get lucky, some smart marketing guy will agree to no ads except pre-kickoff and halftime to give us a clean and much appreciated viewing experience. I’ll buy his Truck (or beer) when I need one.

      Liked by 2 people

    • miltondawg

      I agree with EE. If your entire promotional campaign for college football at ESPN centers around who is going to the playoffs starting in August, the message is pretty clear. If you are a P5 contender and fall short, then the season was to some extent a waste. I laugh when I hear the broadcasts of big bowls that aren’t semis talking about the how admirable the kids are that play for the love of the game and their teammates and bemoan the opt-outs and kids getting ready for the draft. ESPN, which aired I think all but one non-playoff bowl game this season (partly due to bowl cancelations), can’t have it both ways. If the playoff is held up by the network as the only thing of importance in September, then don’t expect kids potentially going to the NFL to play in meaningless games in late December/January.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Without thinking more about it, your ad buy concept is intriguing. Like the Masters, sell the rights to each quarter and you get 2 minutes before and after, no breaks in between except for injury TO’s that go to network and local promos and scoring updates. Then we’d only have to see a couple of really good Geico commercials instead of six hundred.


  5. As to players I believe it’s not so much a quick compensation thing but a “what do I stand to jeopardize” issue that is driving the opt outs. A “Super Fund” (much like oil jobbers pay into for underground tank leaks/cleanup) tied to an insurance policy that would be paid out in the event of career ending injury might be better inducement to participate. Bowls (based on projected revenue) would contribute as would ESPN (or any TV source) via advertising revenue.