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.