The smartest people in the world

Every new article I read about playoff expansion reinforces my belief that the people running college football (you can add “into the ground” here, if you like) are morons.  Check out the brilliance radiating from Dennis Dodd’s piece.

Driving the discussion now are several factors. Obviously, there is the money. Two industry sources said, depending on the size of the field, an expanded playoff could be worth two or perhaps even three times more than the current $7.2 billion that ESPN is paying the CFP. The average annual payout of the current deal is $475 million. However, typical of media rights deals the payout is backloaded to increase in the final years.

A significant part of the discussion is less about access and more about enhancing the value of the regular season. A sort-of playoff fatigue has formed around the recent stranglehold Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma have put on the game.

“We could go to 24 , and you might still have Alabama and Clemson playing for the championship,” said one person with intimate knowledge of the process.

That’s some enhancement you got there, fellas.

It sounds like Greg Sankey has other fish to fry, though.

“The SEC is going to push 12 because of their brand. I’m hearing 12,” a Group of Five AD told CBS Sports.

A 12-team field would presumably allow for six automatic bids — Power Five conference champions and the top-ranked Group of Five team — along with six at-large bids.

While the SEC might not be overtly driving the discussion for 12 teams, such a structure would likely benefit the game’s most powerful conference. In an eight-team bracket, the SEC would all but be guaranteed two spots annually. In a 12-team bracket, that number could be three or four teams given the current strength of the league and how well it performs in the CFP Rankings.

“The SEC wants more at-larges,” one AD located in the South said.

No shit, Sherlock.  Even SEC hater Danny Kanell gets that.

Oh, speaking of enhancing regular season value, the suits are concerned.  Just ask ’em.

Concern was expressed that ESPN’s “Who’s In?” advertising campaign for the CFP has drained interest from the second half of the college football season. That source wasn’t the only one who thought the playoff-or-bust mentality had impacted interest. A growing number of ADs and coaches have been critical.

There has been enough thought on the subject that one Power Five source speculated about the impact of a 24-team field.

“You’d have half of FBS that would still be alive in November for those slots,” the source said. “We’re not going to 24, but theoretically, that’s what I think we can accomplish with this.”

Sure, man.  Everybody knows the cure for playoff-or-bust mentality is to keep growing the playoff because that will make Mickey pay less attention to an event it has the exclusive broadcast rights for.

What really gets me about all this crap is that these are the same people who led playoff expansion for college basketball.  They know from real world experience what happens to the value of the regular season as the postseason grows, not just in terms of the impact of the games themselves, but also in terms of the broadcast dollars.  That they have convinced themselves it’ll be different this time is borderline delusional.  But not surprising.  It’s what you get when the dumbest people in the room are convinced they’re the smartest.

51 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, General Idiocy

51 responses to “The smartest people in the world

  1. There is a big whiteboard in a Disney conference room somewhere that has this structure laid out. It doesn’t take any other consideration into account…just how to bracket 24 into TV time slots with estimates of advertising revenue. Whoever is sitting around this board is nodding their heads and saying “that’s a lot of money” while dreaming of pay raises.

    Considerations ignored: regular seasons, rivalry games, conference and division titles, wear & tear on the players, fan interest, traditions, bowl games, students. Each will eventually be isolated and rationalized away. They will get their money. CFB will be just one big exhibition tournament, but no Cinderella’s. And it can’t be undone.

    This, not NIL, is the destruction of our greatest game.

    Liked by 8 people

    • 79dawg

      Your last statement is incredibly naive: expanded playoff, NIL, etc. are all just opposite sides of the same coin – the financialization of everything and its reduction to being purely about money in hand immediately.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. RangerRuss

    What’s even more moronic is the refusal of those who ruined various sports with their greedy playoff schemes to revert to what made those sports interesting in the first place. I’m looking specifically at NCAA basketball, MLB and especially NASCAR.
    Or maybe it’s simply that I’m just not with it.
    OK boomer.
    Adapt or find something more productive to do with you time and then die!

    Liked by 8 people

    • TN Dawg

      I like the idea of expanding the playoff to 12 teams.

      Like

      • RangerRuss

        If I can watch meaningful college football into late January? Damn skippy.
        If it screws the Dawgs out of a rightful NC? Well, I’m used to it I reckon.
        Like Thanos it’s inevitable. But there ain’t no Pym Particles to help set things a’right.

        Geez. Endgame and Josey Wales reference in the same sentence. I got to stop watching so many movies and go back to reading Clausewitz, Hobbes, Locke and McMurtry.

        Liked by 2 people

    • rigger92

      I used to enjoy following nascar, when they moved away from points to crown the most successful season they lost me, immediately.

      When the SEC championship becomes a game where players will sit out and wait for the first round of playoff games I just might be free from all the angst our team unleashes on me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • RangerRuss

        Agreed on all. NASCAR points system caused me to lose the casual interest I had in racing. The sellout to the recent unpleasant factions sealed my complete rejection.
        Regrettably, my interest in racing was more of the baser type. I watched for the passing, spinouts, spectacular crashes and post-race fights. That’s all gone and so am I.
        Football has eliminated a great deal of the gladiatorial aspects that piqued my excitement and rightfully so. The greedy shitheads keep finger fucking it and I’ll find something else to do.
        Get off my lawn.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Down Island Way

          Micky will guarantee so much marketing time (theirs and others), I’m stuck at the 50 yard line of your lawn…row HD will start to have an unfriendly feel with Micky at the controls…

          Liked by 1 person

    • The last month of the MLB season was compelling before the wild card was introduced when you had to win the division to make the post-season. Is the regular season in MLB too long? Yes, but that was the best regular season in professional sports back in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rigger92

        There it is. Regular season that went down to the wire and fans got more and more intense in every thing that happened as the wire got closer.

        I suppose TV entities want that wire every week. Problem is, they need to concoct a system where the wire is weekly but not deadly until the very last week possible.

        I still know that “they” want the wire to string along the hopes and dreams of UCF all the way to the end. You know, for the kids…..lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    I agree with you on this Senator. It’s bad for CFB and it’s coming because of $$. With 12 slots the SEC will likely get 4 every year so B’ham will buy in even if it destroys the game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The question is whether expansion to 12 will kill the SEC championship game. Both teams are likely in the CFP in a 12-team playoff. The only question would be playing for a bye.

      That will certainly get the SEC’s attention.

      Like

  4. Dawg in Austin

    I cannot understand how expanding a playoff increases the value of the regular season, monetarily or emotionally. It seems to me that one anonymous source quoted believes players don’t try hard and fans don’t attend games when there isn’t hope for a playoff spot. Considering there hasn’t been a playoff for almost all of CFB history, players play hard all the time and fans show up in droves, WTF is that idiot thinking? Anything more than 4 ruins the regular season, which is magical. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tony BarnFart

      What they’re doing is (in all likelihood) sacrificing the importance of the big games at the top of the playoff heap for more drama for those contending to be in the bottom of the pecking order. Sure, the english premier league has a fun time with the end of season relegation-avoidance battles for those at the bottom of the table, but they sure as shit aren’t looking for ways to trade that for the importance of who wins the league or makes it to champions league.

      This is what that does to CFB. They’ll act stunned when rosters in the SECCG look like Florida’s cotton bowl effort.

      Like

      • Dawg in Austin

        I think player effort/engagement is just a straw man argument to give more access to the CFP to potentially average teams.

        Like

  5. Russ

    So, by “regular season”, they mean the four rounds of playoff games before the final? And what we now call “regular season” will become the pre-season, right?

    Man, that’s depressing. I really hope we win one soon before this mess happens.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. spur21

    After the inevitable expansion I have a suggestion. Since Clemson has what I consider a “BYE” season let them play in the first 4 or 5 playoff spots so as to even the paying field.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Let’s stop calling these “at larges” and call them what they really are … “wild cards” – teams that proved during the regular season that they weren’t even worthy of winning their conferences (or even a division in their conference) and are getting a 2nd bite at the apple.

    I’m resigned to the fact that the regular season, rivalries and conference championships are going to continue to be devalued as the playoff sucks all of the oxygen out of the sport.

    The only thing I ask is to take this opportunity to get rid of the committee and checking their hats at the door and put a BCS type of formula back in for the rankings and seeding of the playoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Senator, before you preach about the value of college football’s regular season, you’re going to have to do something to actually make the regular season valuable.

    In other words, eliminate the UAB’s and Charlie Southerns from UGA’s schedule.

    Every other sport reaches its climax at the end of its season. Name the sport: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA. But college football, the sport we love the most, played nothing but exhibition games at the end of its season, until finally the BCS and then the playoff came into existence. Why should we as fans not want the excitement to build, through conference championships through playoffs, culminating in an actual championship game between the two most deserving teams?

    I think the college football season would be dramatically enhanced, for a large number of teams and their fans, through shortening the season by one game (sorry, Charlie) and adding a 16-team playoff into December.

    Like

    • You have a different definition of value than I do.

      What you propose is that the regular season be turned into nothing more than a delivery system to seed the playoffs. And if that’s what you want, more power to you.

      Right now, if a contending team loses enough or to the wrong opponent in the regular season, that’s all she wrote. That’s what the value of the regular season means to me.

      I don’t want college football to turn into a version of NFL-lite. You sound cool with that. Sadly, I have little doubt you’re about to get your wish.

      Liked by 8 people

    • The PGA Tour doesn’t reach its climax at the end of the season. The FedEx Cup playoffs are just a big money payout. The majors mean a hell of a lot more than who wins the FedEx Cup. Ask any player would you rather win one major in a season or the FedEx Cup. Their financial advisor will say one thing, but the player would say I want one of those 4 trophies.

      Like

      • or 3 trophies or a jacket

        Liked by 2 people

        • rigger92

          PGA was also similar to me as nascar. I never missed a major, went to Master’s, US open up in PA a couple times too (brother lives up there). Volunteered at women’s Major and have the uniform to prove it. I held a flag and spotted tee shots at Oakmont.

          The TV push for this FedEx cup kind of put me off, seeing the current game in person, they are just robots for their sponsors. Daly was the last “I’m going to do what I do, like it or not. Furyk had an air about him, Tiger just checked all the boxes in his prime. Enjoyed the British winners until about ‘05.

          Worked my own game to a 9 handicap, was fun. Haven’t made a swing in 10 years now, much like my trumpet career……give me Faldo, Woods, Mick, and Rory. My swing is Couples, long and smooth. My idols are Norman, Stewart (really impacted by his death), Love III, and of course Bubba. I am a lefty but swing right. Couples is how I conceptualize the swing, looks slow, typical foursome calls me a granny until I out drive them with the visually zero effort. Loose grip, wide swing, nothing “out of my shoes” about it. Core and let it go, don’t make it go.

          Dang, I miss golf.

          Like

          • I grew up with Jack (the ‘86 Masters is still one of the best 5 sporting events I watched or attended live). I love Tiger and Phil (the PGA at Kiawah this year was pretty darn incredible). Tom Watson broke my heart at Turnberry when he came close to pulling off perhaps the most unlikely win (Stewart Cink is a great guy – only problem is he’s a Fech guy – who is a villain for winning). That day inspired my Dad to take me up on the offer to do the golf trip of a lifetime to Scotland. Of the new guys, I could sit and watch Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Rory hit balls.

            I love the game, but those guys completely play a different game than we do.

            Like

          • RangerRuss

            Fuckn hacks!

            Liked by 1 person

  9. akascuba

    Depends on what your goal is. If it’s maximizing revenue then they are geniuses for expansion.

    I doubt there are many here who believe any of these guys GAS about the fans. It’s always follow the money. CFB is a massive business now.

    The sport I grew up and fell in love with is being slowly killed by greed from within. Not a dam thing I can do about it.

    Baseball was this be hard for younger readers to believe our true National pastime. Back when there were only 3 TV channels that all turned off around midnight. The country stopped for the World Series. Teachers allowed radios in classrooms to catch every pitch live. Yeah games were played while people worked not at night. The world changes get over it.

    I’ve learned to look for enjoyment in life not complaining about what I can’t control. This blog is one of those happy places. Thanks as always for that Senator. May your labor of love producing this site continue for a very long time. I’ll follow and love the Dawgs as long as I draw breath. The days of attending most every game are nearing an end. I would like to attend a NC Georgia wins before fading away to a sunny warm beach for good.

    That is all carry on.

    Liked by 3 people

    • If it’s maximizing revenue then they are geniuses for expansion.

      It’s not that simple. If you elevate the postseason over the regular season enough, the broadcast value of the regular season will eventually decline, because the regional interest in it will suffer. Last time I looked, there were only two P5 programs making more money from men’s basketball than football, despite the former having a much larger regular season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nail -> hammer. I never watch a regular season college basketball game (of course, as a Georgia fan, why would I, but that’s a conversation for another day), but even now, the tournament is so bloated I don’t even find the NCAA tournament to be compelling.

        Liked by 5 people

  10. Faltering Memory

    TV will be paying so TV will decide the line ups. Eventually, if not sooner, they will pick a team to represent the east coast market (NYC, DC, Philly) among Rutgers, Syracuse, Maryland, maybe UVA. Then one to draw Chicago, say Northwestern, UI, or Wiscy because ND will already be in. The west coast will be a choice between USC and UCLA, Oregon will be out until Nike buys a major sponsorship. DFW is be between UT and aTm because Oklahoma will be in. A few years from now, it will really be grim.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Gaskilldawg

    The least important consideration in the CFB playoff discussion is the ticket buying fan. It cost me a lot to attend the Rose bowl (though it was worth every penny.) There is no way I can afford to attend three playoff games should UGA play in three rounds, and I make an excellent income and my kids are grown. No way young Hartman Fund members with children can attend the UGA playoff games during Christmas Holidays.

    I realize no one gives a shit about that. The attitude schools have towards fans in attendance has changed 180 degrees since I attended my first game in 1964. The ticket buying fans used to be the most important consideration of the schools. Now the ticket buying fans are at best an afterthought and at worst a nuisance.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Russ

      Fans? Oh, you mean the green screen.

      Liked by 1 person

    • RangerRuss

      I blame Michael Fuckn Adams, that silly, self-centered, syphilitic sonofabitch.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I said this yesterday as well. Imagine a quarterfinal game in Glendale, a couple of weeks later a semifinal in Pasadena, and a week later a championship game in Las Vegas, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, or Seattle. I couldn’t afford to take a family of 5 to all 3 games, and I do pretty well financially.

      I regret not going to Pasadena. I’ll probably go to my grave wishing I had been there (for the 2nd half).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tony BarnFart

        God, we’re going to have flaccid attendance at monumental playoff games because fanbases will have to allocate which game to attend. And we’re going to have increasingly flaccid attendance at once-big regular season games because they’re (a) diminished in importance and (b) fans are saving for the playoffs.

        Yay. /s

        Liked by 1 person

    • stoopnagle

      Don’t worry! McGill Society members who need two tickets will buy six and put the other four on the market. You weren’t getting those tickets anyway! At least not to that away game at where-ever we’ve never played before in the B1G or Pac-12! So, hey, there’s that.

      Like

      • Gaskilldawg

        Yep. The Magill Society makes squeezes me out of SECCG. bowl game and Tech and Auburn tickets.
        Used to be that my Hartman Fund score was high enough to get all of those. After Magill Society started my increased Hartman Fund score is too low for me to get SECCG or bowl or Tech or Auburn tickets through UGA. Yet. a bunch of folks who never gave UGA get those premium seats

        Like

  12. Anon

    Let’s just say it. We are here. The 3rd conference of the NFL. Paid players, free agency, roster management, playoffs, wild cards. I just hope I don’t lose the joy of college football as I did they joy of watching NFL.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. stoopnagle

    Well, the horse has left the barn, y’all. They’re all talking about “brand management” and “product”, so they’re going to NASCAR this thing right into the ground.

    Best you can do now is go to the games, tailgate until you drop, and try not to care about the CFP and #1980!

    Like

  14. waterswv

    Any chance this proposal leads to less or zero cupcake games? Maybe the SEC never adds a 9th game but would we see more P5 scheduling?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tony BarnFart

      There’s a tenuous theory that auto-bids for conference champs will ensure bold regular season non-conference scheduling. Maybe, but the flip side to that argument is that they don’t address the very real idea of also protecting your potential at-large spot (in case of a title game upset or division upset locking you out of the title game). Of course, a worthy at-large team should have a competitive non-conference schedule but losing too many of those ain’t going to keep you in the at-large talk for very long. And “competitive” is all in the eye of the beholder which teams you’re talking about. Competitive for Indiana and Iowa State is different when you factor in “dawg-grading” and “tide-grading” where the idea of “competitive” for those at the top of the heap means scheduling every other possible team at the top of the heap.

      Neither argument is necessarily wrong. But conference champ auto-bids don’t absolutely invite bolder non-conf scheduling.

      Like

  15. 69Dawg

    Want to see the CFP go crazy, let the Congress pass a law that limit the number of games a “college Athlete” can play in each sport without direct compensation. Base this on medical evidence and the health of the “student”. Do it for the Student-Athletes and watch the universities crap their pants.

    Like

  16. hialtdawg

    Twelve teams (with four from the SEC) would be a disaster for the CFP casual fans (where they’ve decided the money is) that HATE Southern Tackle Football. People hate the SEC but when it’s an all SEC Final Four, good luck. EVERY time they try to tweak things away from the SEC, the SEC ends up dominating. Y’all really think any non-SEC teams can go through two games vs SEC division winners and maybe the third best team in the conference?

    Like

    • rigger92

      Haha, there’s that “rising again” mentality. There is something to the typical New York saying “if you can make it here”. Should embrace it, pride in what we/they are.

      Of course, it goes against the hope that CFB remains “national”. Just own it. In the SEC we really are “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”. This dichotomy is the stuff that drives us crazy.

      Like

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