Almost perfect

At this point, all you can do is laugh.

The 12-team College Football Playoff model revealed Thursday is almost perfect, the athletic director said from the other side of the phone line.

Almost, he reiterated.

Almost.

“The top four seeds don’t get to host a playoff game,” says the AD, who wished to remain anonymous. “I hope they can change their mind on that. It’s a key flaw.”

When they say it’s about the money…

There’s an obvious way to fix that problem.  Sixteen, here we come!

40 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

40 responses to “Almost perfect

  1. The problem is they have a contract with the New Year’s 6 bowl games. They have to make all 6 games relevant to sell tickets. If the first round and quarterfinal losers aren’t going to be “bowl eligible,” who is going to play in those games if the quarterfinals are on campus?

    Once again, no one at the top of the sport is thinking of this stuff.

    Everyone says they want to keep the regular season meaningful and keep the tradition of the bowl system until that runs up against the check that Disney is willing to sign.

    Liked by 4 people

    • So, the article mentions they are going to play the quarterfinals on New Year’s Day and play-in round losers aren’t bowl eligible. I guess they are planning the championship game to be somewhere around January 15. Surprise, surprise … they are going to play on the Monday of the MLK holiday weekend.

      The more that comes out about this … the less I like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • godawgs1701

        What’s the point of the conference championship games at this point anyway? Winning the SEC doesn’t mean anything anymore once you get a huge playoff field, why bother if only the national title matters?

        Oh, right, it makes money. But as soon as people stop tuning in en masse to watch the SEC Championship Game (the way they’ve already stopped tuning in for the conference title games that don’t have playoff implications) that will change.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I think $ankey is “banking” on the fact that the SEC championship game will carry the #1 seeding with it along with the trophy – that will keep us nationally relevant.

          Liked by 1 person

        • vernefundquist

          Top 4 seed has to be conference champion so incentive to win SEC is to get top 4 seed and a bye, which saves some wear and tear on team, plus the risk of losing first round.

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          • 69Dawg

            Yes but now the schools have to think about the money they will lose by not having those games. Doing it for the kids only goes so far you know.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. godawgs1701

    You’re undoubtedly right that this will lead to 16 which will even further devalue the regular season which is what makes college football special (it ain’t amateurism!). You could get the top four seeds hosting playoff games if you’d just expanded the thing to 8 which would accomplish everything they claim they want to do – get the power 5 champions all in and have three at large spots for UCF to get slaughtered by an engaged and interested SEC team and the other two teams with arguments for a title. But, it doesn’t make the money of a fourth weekend of games and more schools involved, so

    Liked by 1 person

    • godawgs1701

      if I want to watch the NFL, I’ll watch the NFL. The players are better and I don’t have to do any mental gymnastics to justify why I’m watching them risk life and limb for no direct financial compensation. There’s a lot more to college football than who gets the big trophy at the end. Or at least, there used to be.

      Liked by 10 people

  3. Ran A

    Yep and then the complaining about who was left out and how it isn’t fair and it will go to 24, then 32. This is the beginning to the end of games that matter during the regular season. Lot of schools already struggle with regular season attendance – this will only make it worse. This is the biggest change and in my opinion, the biggest (long term) mistake the NCAA has made in a long time. And that’s a mouthful to say…

    Liked by 3 people

    • dawg100

      The question is do we want playoffs or the season to matter most.

      The pro leagues are squarely in the playoff mode. It truly is unbelievable that they play 162 games and then subject 2 teams to a ONE game wild card round. It is absurd.

      And then there is the worst offender, college basketball, which managed to destroy BOTH their wonderful regular season AND their tournaments by expanding the playoffs and emphasizing it so much that none of the preceding 5 months matters any more than the NFL pre season schedule.

      College football week in and week out mattered. You destroy that at your peril and replace it with a set of games in a month dominated by cold weather, finals, weeks long holiday season and distractions galore, including family travel, etc.

      Big risk Mickey when you haven’t even yet found a formula for interest in the semis consistently.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The article quotes one of the ADs (anonymously, of course) who said something to the effect of “We could go back to the days of the AP and UPI.” My thought on reading that quote was that was better for the long-term health of the sport than the brave new world we’re entering. BYU won a title in that system – BYU doesn’t have a prayer in this system.

        I always thought 4 was smart. Sure, not everyone has a chance, but every team had 12/13 chances during the regular season to prove it belonged. My problem with the system was the selection method. The committee sucks. It’s not transparent. It’s not objective much less independent. It has the shadow of Disney (I love the movie and hospitality business) and ESPN looming over it. I wish the powers that be would take the Committee and throw it on the ash heap of history.

        Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted.

        Liked by 3 people

      • godawgs1701

        What a great point. I hadn’t even thought about the weather factor for these home playoff games in the first round… sure will be a lot of fun for whoever has to go to Ohio State or Wisconsin. College football wasn’t meant to be played outdoors in December in the frozen north. If the NFL wants to do it, fine, but it sounds like a miserable proposition for anyone who won’t be warmed by the advertising revenues.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Idiots like Andy Staples think playing in the frozen outdoors in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Madison, Columbus, Lincoln, etc. would be a feature rather than a bug because it would look “cool on TV.”

          Liked by 1 person

          • godawgs1701

            Ugh, yeah.

            Also I’d originally thought to use Nebraska as an example in my comment but then I realized the playoff would have to expand a whole lot more to get the Cornhuskers in. lol

            Liked by 3 people

            • I thought about that when I wrote my comment. 😉

              Like

            • I actually wonder how many of the national media types actually go to games any longer or do they sit at their desks at home with TVs and social media. The comment about seeing it on TV made me think about that.

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              • godawgs1701

                Andy Staples undoubtedly gets to choose which games he attends in person. Given the choice between the first rounders in Columbus, Ohio or Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I think I know where he’ll be going. Unless, of course, the University of Miami manages to right the ship enough to get a home game at Hard Rock Stadium.

                Like

  4. spur21

    Too many cooks spoil the broth.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mo money, mo money, mo money…..
    Anyway, I am worried that by the time we finally win it all, this thing will be so watered down that nobody will actually give a crap. That would be the most Georgia thing ever.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. jcdawg83

    ESPN sure is doing a lot of work to make sure Notre Dame is in the playoff every season. I guess all those Catholic viewers are worth whatever it takes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rigger92

      They also want eyeballs west of the Mississippi.

      Liked by 1 person

      • godawgs1701

        Yeah, a lot of the work they’re doing is to make sure that the University of Southern California is in it, too, in addition to wanting Notre Dame to be in it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jcdawg83

          Trying to force a product into a market that really doesn’t care much about it didn’t work with NASCAR and won’t work with college football but that fact won’t stop ESPN from trying. In the process, ESPN will probably destroy much of the interest in college football that exists now. I know I really have zero interest in watching the JV version of the NFL. If I want to watch football where the regular season matters very little (and I don’t), I’ll watch the NFL.

          Liked by 3 people

      • It’s funny how this year the west coast would have been shut out again in this format because Coastal Carolina would have gotten in as a higher ranked conference champion than Oregon.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. “There’s an obvious way to fix that problem. Sixteen, here we come!”

    Senator, I swear there’s hope for you yet!

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  8. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    They killed baseball (why play 162 games anymore), college bball, Nascar, and now they are in the process of slaughtering college football for no reason other than money and greed/Gordon Gekko would be proud.

    Liked by 3 people

    • godawgs1701

      Yeah, once the playoff starts to kill the ratings for the regular season (do you really need to watch the Iron Bowl in a year when Auburn and Alabama are both playoff locks?) expect a series of rule changes to shorten the length of games or make it more fun for the people who don’t watch, just like they’re doing to ruin baseball.

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      • jcdawg83

        Their first move will be to change the rules to generate more scoring because everyone loves scoring, no one likes defense. The actual game broadcast time won’t be shortened but the actual playing time will be. More commercial time will be added to make sure that game that would be 2 hours long without tv will still be 3 hours of broadcast time.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. jacopojpeterman

    Problem with that is, if you go to 16 with top 8 all hosting first round matchups, there will be conference championships that won’t matter, or a game late in the season not worth risking injury for. This 12-team setup is kind of brilliant in that it keeps major stakes in every game and keeps any team, no matter how highly ranked, from sitting starters or throwing a game, because dropping a level from bye to no bye or from hosting 1st round to away 1st round is a giant hit to your championship chances.

    Do we currently have similar situations where a school’s interest in bringing in as much revenue as possible isn’t aligned with doing everything you can for the team to win a national championship? Can’t think of one off the top of my head, a combination of events where the administration might say “if we’re being honest we’d rather this option where we have much less chance to win the championship but we’ll have more revenue.”

    Maybe cupcake home scheduling vs big matchup home-and-aways?

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    • Do we currently have similar situations where a school’s interest in bringing in as much revenue as possible isn’t aligned with doing everything you can for the team to win a national championship?

      It’s cute that you think that’s a conflict of interest.

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      • jacopojpeterman

        What do you mean? I suppose I don’t mean profit/reserves vs doing everything to win a championship (because those are at odds maybe more often than not, and we talk about that all the time) as much as pure revenue vs doing everything to win a championship. Feels like the latter is rarely at odds, maybe only in certain scheduling situations, but maybe that’s not as meaningful of a distinction as I think.

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        • Sigh.

          Tell me how that works for, say, Vanderbilt.

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          • jacopojpeterman

            I still can’t tell what you’re pushing back on. Hope I’m not seeming contentious. Really enjoy the blog & your commentary, so much so that I’m just going to do the internet healthy thing & stop here, since I don’t think my distinction or what I thought was interesting is that important anyway. Have a good one, Senator!

            Like

            • You’re not being contentious.

              Maybe I misunderstood, but your point seems to be that it’s not rational for schools to put financial interests ahead of winning championships. The vast majority of D-1 football programs are never going to sniff a championship, so you’re offering a non-existent choice.

              Liked by 1 person

  10. Here in an area not interested in college football, the casual sports talk I’m overhearing is intrigue…not excitement…in the expanded playoffs. I have to bite my tongue because I realize they are the additional eyeballs Disney and the AD’s are seeking. I’m always astonished at the business model that favors new but unlikely loyal customers over existing and faithful customers. The belief is you can keep just enough of the new ones without alienating the old. It’s stupid, it fails, and losses are taken to “win” back your once loyal customers. Yet it persists throughout the business world.

    So many simple, easy reforms were available to the NCAA to help make west coast and G of 5 teams more relevant to their local and national markets but all were ignored. Congratulations to all the institutions of higher learning who compose the membership…you’re burning your own houses down.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. ASEF

    The dynamic is simple, and it’s obvious in other sports: post-season expansion lowers the importance of regular season, which puts more financial pressure on the playoffs, which fuels more expansion, which….

    That cycle continues until the TV people say, “Sorry, the ad revenue from that extra round won’t pay the freight on the revenue you want for the extra round.” And then you’re stuck with just another sport biding it’s time until it’s turn in the post-season spotlight.

    Which sends the Admins scurrying to find new ways to raise ticket prices, concession prices, and govt subsidies. And tinker with the rules to make the games more “compelling” for TV audiences.

    Sure, all that’s Captain Obvious. But if it’s so damn obvious, why are ADs rushing headlong down that path?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. originaluglydawg

    For years every time someone mentioned a playoff system that would require byes, I insisted it would never happen. I’ll admit it looks like I misjudged the ridiculously stupid moves that money can move some to make.
    The byes are a mistake and grossly unfair. That fact will be exhibit A in the argument to expand to 16.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Darin Cochran

    Well, I only have a doctorate degree, so I guess it’s beyond my comprehension or something, but can someone please explain to me why everyone thinks that this will diminish the importance of the regular season or the conference championship games?
    With this system, the conference champions get in, the HIGHEST RANK get the benefit of the byes, so doesn’t that mean that the regular season matters after all?!
    But it matters regardless, because, in the SEC, losing to Vanderbilt means the same as losing to Bama or Florida. An SEC loss is an SEC loss and if we want to win the SEC, every dadgum SEC game we play is pretty darn important.
    I’m just not seeing how this hurts the regular season at all, but actually makes it MORE important as I see it.
    Explain why I am wrong please….

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    • SoCalDawg

      Not questioning your smarts here, Doc. But one example of what’s wrong with it if you aren’t buying into the circular maze of chasing the almighty dollar logic:

      What’s to stop Kirby & Georgia from resting star players against, say, GA Tech because we already have wrapped up the SECCG appearance. We are already guaranteed a playoff spot. Sure, we try to win the SECCG for the bye (and you know, a conference title) but where’s the motivation for us to beat Tech? It’s only risk (outside of “pride”) of injury; as it would not matter in the bigger picture if we lose the game in this scenario.

      So we end up jettisoning the importance of a 120 year tradition against an in state rival (I realize it’s not much of a rivalry right now per se, but still). I just think that would be bad for CFB.

      Currently, if we lost to Tech, our playoff chances are pretty much gone, so we are still motivated to stomp them.

      Just the beginning of the traditions of a unique sport being compromised in the name of $, IMO.

      Like