The further adventures of Hammer vs. Nail

I expected these hot takes would be popping up all over social media last night before halftime hit the Orange Bowl, and damned if I wasn’t right:

Must, by Gawd!  Because the only thing that can fix a couple of blowouts is to expand the field so we can watch more blowouts.

You want the real lesson from yesterday’s semis?  Here ’tis.

Well, Michigan’s first ever trip to the College Football Playoff could’ve gone better. In what many hoped would be a coronation on the Wolverines’ dream season from heaven, it instead turned out to be a frying pan to the face called reality. Michigan should be immensely proud of how far they’ve come to get to this point, but also now are on high alert about how far the program still has to go in order to compete with a team of Georgia’s caliber.

Only two teams in the country have more than 1,000 talent points on 24/7’s team talent composite. Those two teams are slated to play in the national championship game, after soundly coasting over previously very good teams today. Michigan is down at 15th on that metric, and the gap between the elite and the very good in college football has never looked larger for millions of fans in Maize & Blue worldwide.  [Emphasis added.]

Whatever defines college football, parity ain’t it.  The truth is that, except for the most exotic occasions, there aren’t usually more than three teams in a given season worthy of playing for a national title.  And this year, it’s only two.  Enlarging the CFP won’t do a damned thing about that.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

39 responses to “The further adventures of Hammer vs. Nail

  1. uga97

    Yea we need to expand now those 12-1, 11-2, 10-3 matchups will be much closer games.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy Staples was saying the same thing on this morning/late last night podcast. We’ll at least have good games before the blowouts. That’s some Handbag logic right there.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ASEF

    If you earn a living based on audience engagement, then yes, expansion is an obvious solution.

    So, yes, sports columnists like Staples and this guy want to be able write more columns telling more Cincinnatis and Pitts that their team has a chance.

    Sorry that being so good at football is bad for your business, boys.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. D.N. Nation

    My advice to these dinks: Put on the OU/Boise Fiesta Bowl for the 7,000th time, soothe your sadness that way, and stop trying to ruin college football.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. cpark58

    What if there was an unbiased computer generated formula that looked at every team’s body of work and placed rankings on them to determine who deserved a shot at the championship as well as the other bowl game matchups. Maybe one day….

    In all seriousness, the current system is doing exactly what it was designed to do. Give ESPN something to talk about which will inevitably result in expansion so they will have more to talk about and so on.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. willypmd

    When Saban finally hangs it up, it is not an absolute given that another elite recruiter will just pop up.

    It seems just as likely to me that the talent could be distributed across several great programs, leaving just one elite one in Athens.

    To be where we are in Kirby’s first 6 years is really remarkable. 2 National Championship appearances and with a stark talent advantage over everyone in the conference not named Bama.

    What a time to be a Dawg…

    Liked by 5 people

    • D as in Dawg

      This is true. Without Saban, Kirby may become Saban. Fisher is putting together a roster and OSU keeps a good stock, but we are on another planet that we share only with Bama. They are king of the mountain and it’s time we brought them down to serve us for a while.


  7. rigger92

    Idiots that write these dumb ass columns never say it right. The only benefit to expansion would be recruiting. Us al AL might not be able to hoard talent at current levels if players see a path to the CFP through more programs. Until that happens, nothing will change.


  8. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

    They’re not going to stop until we have a 9-game regular season and a 64-team tournament, are they?

    Liked by 5 people

  9. originaluglydawg

    Playoff expansion is idiotic. It risks player injury.
    That’s the worst thing to imagine. A key player or two on the best team getting injured playing the lowest seed.
    BCS formula was best.
    But how about a flexible formula? If teams meet a very high, established criteria of goals, take four. If there aren’t at least three, take only two.
    This year is should have been two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • otto1980

      Bring back the BCS and yes I know given the same results we would have Bama rolling Michigan,

      Liked by 2 people

      • sniffer

        IDK, Otto. BCS rules in place, I think we still get in. Only loss is to Bama, same record as UM and we’ve been #1 most of the season. I don’t see how anyone jumps us in that scenario. YMMV


    • Munsoning

      Great idea, IMO, but I’d guess too many ad dollars would be lost with a flexible formula. Disney would never go for it.

      Avg. number of viewers, last year’s playoff semifinals: 190,210,000
      Sugar–Ohio State vs. Clemson–19,149,000
      Rose–Bama v. ND–18,893,000

      Avg. number of viewers, the other NY6 games: 7,197,000
      Peach–Dawgs v. Cincy–8,727,000
      Orange–Texas A&M vs. North Carolina–7,577,000
      Fiesta–Oregon vs. Iowa State–6,679,000
      Cotton–Florida vs. Oklahoma–5,805,000


  10. That’s twisted logic a pretzel would be jealous of. They could have fixed the bowl problem by negotiating to just unlock the fixed conference alliances. Giving us a chance to play OU in the Rose and now UM in the Orange was what was missing to generate renewed enthusiasm and excitement about the post season. Then hold a #1 vs #2 afterwards if you must.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. People love their Cinderella stories, and CFB really doesn’t allow for them. If they get a field of 8-12, they hope (ridiculously) that some plucky little squad will be able to cobble together 3-4 good performances, while enough goliaths simultaneously have their “bad day” and the plucky upstart can win.

    It won’t happen in this sport, but good luck to them. They’ll keep pointing to Boise State over OU, and never again talk about Cincinnati – Bama. It plays out all season when the P5 conferences beat up on G5 competition as tune-up games… but some G5 goes undefeated, or close, and they think that means THEY are the team that compete.

    Just like absolutely no college squad is going to beat any NFL squad, No G5 squad is gonna win a playoff game agains a P5 power. Just won’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

      It’s much easier for Cinderella to do its thing with only 5-7 players. Much more difficult for a team of 22 players and as many role players. Especially when the role players that aren’t the QB on Bama and Georgia would likely start for every other team in the nation.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. debbybalcer

    If anything it shows four is the right number. Which teams would be top four using the old BCS formula?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gshock36

      They looked at this earlier in December. The old BCS formulas turned out the same 4 teams in every year of the CFP when they ran the numbers. The old BCS with 4 teams is right. The old BCS with 2 teams would have potentially failed in years like 2017 (when there were 3 good teams and the “#1” seed in Clemson was the worst) and this year.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The 4 that were selected by the committee


  13. moe pritchett

    That’s a moment of clarity that should as said, “be a frying pan to the face.”


  14. If there’d been an 8-team playoff this year, you know what the quarterfinals would’ve been? Two potentially interesting matchups (Georgia–Ohio State and Michigan–Baylor) and two rematches of regular-season games that weren’t particularly close (Cincy–ND and Bama–Ole Miss). And a pretty good likelihood of two blowouts in the semis anyway.


    • Doug, the problem with the 8-team format is that the Power 5 are going to require all to get automatic bids. That would have made the 8 be:
      1) Bama
      2) Michigan
      3) Georgia
      4) Cincinnati
      5) Notre Dame
      6) Baylor
      7) Utah
      8) Pitt


      • So then the quarters would be Bama–Pitt (bloodletting), Michigan–Utah (potentially interesting), Georgia–Baylor (bloodletting, if I may be so bold) and a Cincy–ND rematch. And a very high likelihood that we’d end up with the exact same matchups in the semifinals.

        Liked by 2 people

        • ASEF

          Same matchups… except for injuries

          Bama had 2 starting offensive linemen injured yesterday. Potentially decisive issue next Monday.

          But Staples et al must be entertained via the fake juice of another round of playoffs


          • 81Dog

            It’s amazing that people who get paid to cover college football insist that the only way to keep the football they cover interesting to the people who they want to consume their coverage is to increase the number of playoff games, giving them more content to cover, more chances for ratings, ad sales, etc. But they really only care about us, the consumers of their coverage. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  15. bldial

    Interesting approach. It’s too cold in here. Let’s turn up the A/C and things will warm up. Brilliant!

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Migraine Boy

    Pretty clear no one read the article – he didn’t at all argue that an expanded playoff would produce a different result. In fact, he acknowledged it wouldn’t

    He was saying it would make for a more engaging and interesting postseason overall for fans and players.


    • Russ

      Which is stupid. That’s what the bowls are for.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

      People who keep saying this load of turds aren’t paying attention to bowl ratings. The Jimmy Kimmel Bowl beat almost every single NBA game from the week it aired. I think a couple of Lakers games that week had a bigger national number.

      People watch the bowls. People ARE interested. The Kanells and Dodds of the world can suck a big fat one, because they continue to be no-fun misers who ignore reality.

      People like bowls. If they didn’t, no one would watch and no one would attend.

      Liked by 3 people

  17. practicaldawg

    The purpose of enlarging the playoff is to enlarge Mickey’s gold pile by increasing ratings on more bowls.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Russ

    Said this earlier but I’ve finally realized these dumbasses don’t want to expand the playoffs to find the unidentified “best team”. They just want more teams to get a “Playoff Participation” patch. Fuck them.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. otto1980

    The BCS created more must watch games during the regular season. 2006 was a great example. Louisville was #3 upset by West Virginia, UCLA upsets USC. UGA eliminated Auburn in an upset.

    The beauty of the BCS was you need other dominoes to fall if your team lost. In the playoff you know a 1 loss SEC champ is in and likely a the other team in the SECCG if it is their 1st loss.

    An expanded playoff will further devalue the regular season. Why should I care who wins the Big10, Big12 etc, if I know UGA gets in with a SECCG appearance? The greatest hope for the playoff changing results is a 3rd SEC team, creating injuries and depth issues for a higher ranked SEC team.

    As for the Bowls an expanded playoff may change which games I watch some but I doubt it changes the number of games I watch. But who knows, Cincy ND and Michigan Utah might result in watching fewer games. I enjoy today’s early games for conference pride. I may or may not watch the Rose Bowl.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. No worse than all the blowouts during the regular season.


  21. csmoore2021

    The role of the playoff is not to provide entertaining games. It’s to prevent an arbitrary matchup between Michigan and Bama, or Bama & FSU (which would have happened without the playoff in the 2014 season.