TFW the journey is more important than the final destination

The idea that, in a sport governed by less parity than any other, playoff expansion will blissfully lead to a time when Cinderella cracks the national title game barrier is pretty stupid.  But apparently that’s the story they’re gonna tell to deflect from the real goal behind postseason growth.

Count Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick, one of the strongest voices in the playoff discussion, among those changing their tune. He wants the playoff to expand, and for many schools it can’t come soon enough.

“I don’t think sport is hurt when there are really strong programs,” Swarbrick said on The Paul Finebaum Show on Wednesday. “You want the Celtics and the Lakers good in professional basketball, you like the Dodgers and Yankees good in baseball. So I think when the Alabamas, the Georgias, the Notre Dames, the USC’s, whoever they are, get in periods where they are really good, I think that’s great for college athletics.

“What we can’t have is the sense that the other schools can’t make it in. And we’ve gotta make sure that the opportunity is real and schools feel like they can get there. So eventually an expanded playoff will hopefully create that greater opportunity.”

Sanctimonious twaddle.  Making Alabama play an additional game against the eighth-weakest team in the CFP field is some opportunity there, Jack.  But you’ll be cashing a bigger check, so it’s all good, I guess.

When they don’t say it’s about the money…

43 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

43 responses to “TFW the journey is more important than the final destination

  1. Hell, the semifinals right now are generally uncompetitive as Swarbrick knows from his program’s 2 appearances in the CFP. Any expansion is not going to be 1-8 in the rankings … it just isn’t. It’s going to be the 5 Power 5 champions, 1 Group of 5 champion, and 2 wild cards (one of which will be Notre Dame if they are unbeaten or with a close loss to a quality opponent).

    Does anyone think Cincinnati, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M deserved a real chance to win the national championship this year? Even Notre Dame was exposed as a fraud in the World’s Smallest Outdoor Cocktail Party and would have been run out of South Bend if Sunshine had been able to play in the regular season. Bama just beat them senseless.

    Liked by 6 people

    • ASEF

      Agree totally on the 5-8. And to add to the “joy” of the experience, there will be an average of 6 programs a season demanding those 2 at large. So much clicking and baiting!

      And then infinite bitching over seeding and who draws the short straw to play 2018 Clemson, 2019 LSU or 2020 Alabama in round 1.

      I can’t even tell you who’s in the top 5 of college basketball right now. Why? Because I don’t care.

      The sport with a huge postseason that annually agonizes over how to become more relevant for mor than 14 days in the spring. Hmmm.

      Liked by 4 people

    • PTC DAWG

      I would have had OU in over ND no question. They won something.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. practicaldawg

    Notre Dame has become a Rudy Ruettiger of itself in the playoff

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Terry McCullers

    Mabey he wants expansion to get a lesser opponent

    Liked by 1 person

    • 79dawg

      The “highest winning percentage in quarterfinal playoff games” graphics almost write themselves – I’m sure the asterisk noting “gotten completely curb stomped in each resulting semifinal” will be in a nearly unreadable-sized font though….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Down Island Way

      He knows if a “lesser” gets in, then nd is gonna get in…every friggin’ time…but then that works for all the rest, to send nd home after a good spanking

      Liked by 1 person

      • RangerRuss

        Yeah, I reckon he figures if enough teams get in the playoffs then ND will finally get a playoff win or at least not be curb stomped upon suffering their ignominious exit.
        #greenandpissyellowblood

        Liked by 1 person

  4. spur21

    This is stupid. If they want to include lesser teams let them face each other – the best one maybe gets a shot.

    Like

  5. Derek

    There is a 128 team playoff. It starts in late-August or early September.

    Win enough games and you’re in. If you don’t get enough respect for your wins, then schedule better games.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Ran A

    Here’s the problem. Expand to 8 and they’ll whine about who got the 8th spot. Expand to 12 and they will whine about the 12th spot. This thing will be come a 16 team play-off before you know it. And I really do believe that this will take away from the sport (big time). If you disagree – cool. Just my opinion.

    And as far as the group of 5 goes. I know most of y’all will disagree with this. But the fact is – a group of 5 team will NEVER-EVER when the National Championship. It ain’t happening. So why not have your own little NIT and claim your own champion? You can pick up some TV money – your own fans will show up and it gives the bettor’s some else to put money on.

    And people like me will quit rolling their eyes over the whining and knashing of teeth.

    Liked by 3 people

    • godawgs1701

      Every year we see a 16-17 or 19-15 coach argue that it’s an injustice that he isn’t team #64. Coaches and schools make money off of playoff appearances and sports media gets clicks and ratings off of snub “controversies” so they’re not going to be appeased no matter how big the thing gets.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. TN Dawg

    If Georgia/Cincy was a playoff game, all the Georgia players would have played. Would either have won the title, its doubtful. But it was doubtful that Ohio State would beat Bama. I know this though, as a fan, I’d have liked to see us get another shot at Bama. I’ll bet every commenter here would have been hype AF, too (maybe not the Senator, IDK). And I’ll guarantee the players would have liked another shot at Bama.

    The players understand what are important games and what games aren’t. We see this at all levels of athletics. The NFL players don’t want to play pre-season games, because they don’t count.

    Some tennis players like Serena skip the the small events except maybe a warm-up tournament, but play all the Slam events.

    Tiger Woods did not play every week, but played all the Majors.

    NBA players will “manage minutes’ during the regular season, but not the playoffs.

    I’m not sure why we would want to limit the number of meaningful games that players WANT to play in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • godawgs1701

      Keep watering things down and I feel like players are going to be able to tell that thing still don’t mean that much. If it ruined your winter that we had some players sit out of the Cincinnati game, imagine how pissed off you’re going to be when we have three or four linebackers sit out the Georgia Tech game because everyone knows we’re 10-0 or 11-0 and we’re guaranteed a playoff berth no matter what happens in Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate so they want to protect themselves for the SEC title game or protect themselves from wear and tear in the playoffs. Think that can’t happen? I certainly don’t, because it isn’t like we aren’t already seeing unintended consequences affect the way our sport is played.

      Liked by 2 people

      • godawgs1701

        things

        Like

      • 81Dog

        Exactly. It won’t change whether players opt out. It will just change when they opt out.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Tony BarnFart

        Yes, and the college football world will be beside itself when Alabama rests starters in the Iron Bowl…….every expansionist will look around wondering who to point the finger at.

        Liked by 2 people

      • TN Dawg

        I understand what you are saying, but I think you are wrong-headed about it.

        The players already are opting out, and not for the purposes of a playoff run. That cow is out of the barn.

        At least an expanded playoff system gives teams and players the incentive to keep playing, gives them a shot at what they are interested in and incentivizes them even to play the “meaningless” games in hopes of securing better seeding in the playoffs.

        Basketball players don’t sit out the SEC Tournament in basketball in preparation for the NCAA Tournament. They want to win both and they recognize that winning the SEC tournament gives them a better seed in the NCAA tournament, thus improving their chances of winning the title.

        And if a player does want to sit out the GT game, Kirby has the option of saying those that don’t want to play are not going to play in the playoffs.

        Like

        • godawgs1701

          Just tap the brakes a little on the assertion that basketball players don’t sit out conference tournaments. There’s a very good chance that entire teams are going to opt out of their conference tournaments this year due to covid so they can be assured they’ll play in March Madness. That’s not something you’d see if the players and teams really gave that much of a damn about the conference tournament. Georgia will be there because it’s the only way they can get in. But Gonzaga? Stay tuned.

          Like

        • godawgs1701

          Also, if you think that Kirby would say that JT Daniels can’t play in the playoffs because he sat a regular season game, well, I humbly disagree because Kirby wants to win playoff games. The old school is gone. We can harumph all we want about guys not playing in the Peach Bowl, but until they’re paid they’re going to take care of themselves and their future earning potential first and I have no problem with that.

          Like

    • jdawg108

      If it was a playoff game Georgia wouldn’t have played it. UF would have gotten in before us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ^^^THIS!! And with the Peach then possibly used for a playoff game, we get a lesser bowl, lesser opponent, and “lessor” players choosing to play.

        Playoff expansion NARROWS interest to just those teams. That’s bad for the sport. Why can’t fans get that CFB is not structured like pro leagues and embrace it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • TN Dawg

        That doesn’t really change what I’m saying.

        If Florida has been in the playoff, the receivers don’t opt out.

        Everyone says that recruits like Alabama, UGA, OSU, because they provide the opportunity to play for a title, but then in the next breath utter claims that players would opt out of a playoff run at a title.

        It’s ludicrous.

        Like

        • godawgs1701

          Recruits like Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, etc. because those schools give them the best chance to be drafted by the NFL and also a great shot at titles. In that order.

          Like

        • jdawg108

          The entirety of your argument was predicated on if Georgia Cincinnati was a playoff game.
          So you’re basically wanting another game that’s meaningless – and eighth seed getting beat. Just so you have the satisfaction of seeing players play? Anything else you need?

          Like

  8. J.R. Clark

    I used to say there were only thirty college football programs that had any business contending for a national championship. Now I believe there are only ten that have a realistic shot. The rest are playing 13th grade football.

    Liked by 1 person

    • godawgs1701

      And among those ten programs, they really only produce three or four TEAMS who are able to produce a deserving resume each year. Last year, there were only three (sorry, Notre Dame, but we know why you beat Clemson in the regular season) and one of those three really had their pants pulled down in the semifinals.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. godawgs1701

    The “failure” of the BCS era was that occasionally there was a deserving #3 team which might have been able to beat the #1 or the #2 team on a neutral field. The debate was about who deserved to be #2 between two teams… OCCASIONALLY three teams, but very rarely. There simply weren’t five or six teams with realistic and legitimate arguments for being the national champion, and that was in an era with a LOT more parity than we’re seeing right now. Is it that big of a deal if Alabama has to beat a mediocre Pac 12 team on its way to the title? Probably not, but this isn’t baseball or basketball. An overrated Pac 12 team still has a bunch of big linemen who can injure Mac Jones or Najee Harris and now all of a sudden the best team in the country is a lot less powerful because they had to play in a game that they never should have had to just so ESPN and the cabal of stakeholders can make more money.

    If the intent is to crown the best team as the national champion then the four team playoff does the job, does it well, and will continue to do it well until such a point that actual parity returns to college football. if the intent is to make money, well… we already know it is, so bring on the pointless eight team playoff, the complete devaluation of the college football regular season which used to be what made it the greatest sport in the world, and bring on the era where making the playoff no longer is considered a big deal. I hate the people who run our sport.

    Liked by 11 people

    • 81Dog

      100 percent.

      Like

    • 1st Q – run up the score fast and furious then start sitting guys.

      Like

    • Tony BarnFart

      Plus, I absolutely can’t stand the argument that an expanded playoff is going to magically start dispersing more talent away from the juggernauts. If that were the case, there would already be a plethora of talent dispersed across the SEC and B1G because every team in those conferences 100% have a title path paved clearly. Lose once or less, win the title and you’re in.

      Yet we see that talent isn’t flowing the same way to Auburn and Florida as it does to Alabama. Why ? Auburn and Florida have a path to the playoff……. oh, but NOWWW that we’ve gone to 16 teams UCF and Cincinnati will start getting all those Bama recruits because something something playoff path. Yeah, makes total effing sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. spur21

    Maybe there is too much emphasis on winning the natty. The way CFB has evolved if you don’t win the natty you suck. I for one want to enjoy the game and then argue all off season about which team is really deserving. But I’m old school 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

    • godawgs1701

      100 percent agreed. College football was better when beating your rivals and winning your conference was a huge deal to people. Winning the national title is huge and it should be the goal but it can’t be the only thing that matters.

      Like

  11. MGW

    There is trouble brewing in overall interest in the sport, and a major factor is the combined effect of a lack of parity, lack of realistic opportunity, and the general feeling of inevitability before the season kicks off.

    But expansion is a mere bandaid for those issues. It will not fix the problem at all, but it will “fee good” for a few years before everyone realizes those issues still remain. Number 4 still has no chance unless it’s one of the major powers like Bama or Ohio State backdooring its way in. Numbers 5-8 will have even less, but will now get to end their seasons in abject embarrassment.

    Fixing the underlying problem of parity (if that’s what you want) is as simple as reducing scholarships. That’s all there is to it. Fix parity, and then opportunity follows, and inevitability evaporates.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is trouble brewing in overall interest in the sport, and a major factor is the combined effect of a lack of parity, lack of realistic opportunity, and the general feeling of inevitability before the season kicks off.

      It’s been that way for years.

      If there’s trouble brewing now, it’s only because the powers that be need a scapegoat for expansion, so they don’t have to admit it’s for money.

      If they were really concerned about parity, they’d do something about roster size and recruiting.

      Liked by 6 people

      • MGW

        It’s been top heavy for a long while… certainly the whole modern era. But it’s gotten far more extreme lately, and with the dominant programs being more entrenched that they used to be. The cyclical nature of dynasties has slowed waaaay down.

        But no, they do not care, especially since four of the five major conferences plus Notre dame all have a “regular” team in the discussion. I think it would be a different story if Meyer’s arrival at Ohio State hadn’t stepped up the whole big ten’s game. If they were in the same boat as the PAC 12, they’d be genuinely concerned, and some meaningful fix would happen.

        Liked by 1 person

    • ASEF

      Remember when beating a couple of neighbor schools and winning a couple of border wars meant you had a good season? Playing for your conference title was a great season?

      Conference expansion did more to erode fan interest than “lack of parity.” And playoff expansion just accelerates that. Lose meaningful and fun games in the regular season, sprinkle in 3 or 4 cupcakes, and pretty soon your fan base is grumbling about Alabama having all the fun. Well, that’s because you squeezed out all the fun with rent-a-wins and rent-a-conference-member.

      My parents were huge UNC fans (alums), and they loved UNC football as much as the basketball – and never once mentioned the hope that UNC might win a national title. That opportunity was irrelevant to their enjoyment of their team and the sport.

      Liked by 5 people

  12. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    Mickey wants more playoff games to show on TV. When they say it’s not about the money—it’s about the money.

    Like

  13. In the 10 seasons between 1997 and 2006, 10 different teams won Nattys.

    Don’t think those days won’t come again.

    When they do, I’m going to want a bigger playoff.

    Like

    • ASEF

      Two of those years featured two champions. The list and their bowl opponent:

      ’97: Michigan (Wazzu), Nebraska (Tennessee)
      ’98: Tennessee (Florida State)
      ’99: Florida State (Virginia Tech)
      ’00: Oklahoma (Florida State)
      ’01: Miami (Nebraska)
      ’02: Ohio State (Miami)
      ’03: LSU (Oklahoma), Southern Cal (Michigan)
      ’04: Southern Cal (Oklahoma)
      ’05: Texas (Southern Cal)
      ’06: Florida (Ohio State)
      ’07: LSU (Ohio State)

      11 years, 11 different programs competed for titles. (Wazzu, the 12th team in that list, wasn’t really playing for a title with a W over Michigan). And most of the name brands on that list are still name brands today.

      We’ve had 7 playoffs, with 28 slots filled by 11 teams so far. Numbers actually look pretty similar.

      Alabama’s dominance really skews people’s perceptions, as well as the fact that the B12, Bi1G, and ACC have become one-trick ponies. But, Texas, Michigan, and Miami/FSU don’t have parity issues. They have management issues. Just like USC (both at the school and conference levels).

      College football has always had a list of about 15 programs with a natural recruiting base and fan support to dominate. The trick for those programs is keeping boosters at bay (see currently: FSU, Texas, Miami, Southern Cal).

      Clemson’s run is over, and Saban can’t coach forever.

      Like

  14. Solution…expand the playoffs but 100% of the TV revenue, merchandising, tickets, etc. go to…charity? Ha! Then how much Swarbuck and the others like expansion.

    Like