Aw, isn’t this cute? The 800-pound gorilla in the room has concerns ($$).
“It’s time to take a little reset as far as we’re concerned,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN’s senior vice president of production overseeing college football. “Obviously, the Playoff needs to remain a priority A) for the sport and B) for business. But at the same time, I’m worried that we’ve gone a little too far away from what makes college football great — and that is that there is something in every game for the fans out there. It’s not just the top four, five, six or seven teams who are playing for something.”
“If we just become too much about Playoff and you lose one game, and we’re saying, ‘Forget about them, they lost the game. They’re out. They’re done,’” Fitting said. “I hate that. I don’t want to hear that. ‘If Penn State loses in September, they’re out. They’re done.’ I mean, they’re Penn State. They have an enormous national following. They’re a huge part of the fabric of college football. They’re not done. They may be out of the Playoff race today. But their games are still relevant to their fan base and in the conference. They are a big part of the sport. So how do we continue to cover them properly?”
Gosh, however did that happen?
But first, [ESPN’s College GameDay] would talk about the College Football Playoff. Ohio State’s first mention came 40 seconds into the broadcast, with Clemson following just after the minute mark. Features and discussions regarding Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame — the four teams that would make the Playoff in 2020 — combined for more than 45 minutes of the three-hour broadcast. When Jimbo Fisher popped on the screen for a pregame interview leading into Texas A&M’s game against Auburn, the first question posed to the Aggies’ head coach was about his fifth-ranked team’s Playoff positioning. The word “Playoff” appeared in a closed-captioning transcript of the episode (provided by college football archivist Tim Burke) 27 times. Only the championship weekend edition of GameDay on Dec. 19 had more Playoff mentions (35).
These people are so full of shit.