Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

Your national championship game day post

Wonder who this dude is pulling for…

Bill Connelly has as in-depth a game preview as you’ll likely need right here.  Bill sees Clemson covering the 5.5-point spread, a call I happen to agree with.  Other than favoring whatever outcome would make for a less obnoxious version of Dabo Swinney, I don’t have a dog in this hunt.  I just want to be entertained.

How ’bout you guys?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Who’s foolin’ who?

There’s something about playoff expansion that brings out the bullshit artist in every conference commissioner.  Here, for example, are the supposedly tortured stylings of Jim Delany’s successor as head of the Big Ten:

“We have to ask ourselves what’s in the best interest of the student-athletes for them to be able to get a world-class education and participate and to remain healthy — healthy mentally, and physically, and emotionally and spiritually,” Warren, the first African American Power 5 commissioner, said in an interview with ESPN.

“If we do that, and we get people in the room to say, ‘If they were my son, or that were my grandson, and I would be comfortable with whatever decision is made,’ then we’ll know when that is right. No matter what we do, we have to put the best interests of the student-athletes at the center. We have to remember they are not professional athletes and they should not be held to a standard to win a national championship by playing 20 games.”

Well, unless the money is good enough.

What happens when stakeholders and market forces demand more of the same product? Ask the NCAA postseason men’s basketball tournament, which started with eight teams in 1939 and now has 68.

In 1981, when the NCAA considered expanding the tournament from 48 to 64 teams, Stanford athletics director Andy Geiger explained why he supported expansion.

”We all need money and that new TV contract kind of helps,” Geiger said then in the New York Times. ”You can increase the field now, and teams will earn as much as or more than they earned this year.”

From 1982 to 1984, CBS paid $16 million a year to televise the tournament. That doubled to $32 million with the expansion to 64 teams in 1985, leading the NCAA to “study ways of distributing what some feared could become an embarrassment of riches,” according to The Associated Press in 1985. Thirty-one years later, the NCAA announced an $8.8 billion, eight-year contract extension from CBS and Turner Sports through 2032.

Funny how that works.  And football playoff expansion will likely be just as lucrative.

One professional estimate predicts an eight-team playoff could fetch an additional $420 million a year from ESPN or whoever pays for it.

According to this estimate from Navigate Research, adding another four playoff games would add an additional 60 million viewers, which would be worth an additional $420 million at the rate of $7 per viewer. The Navigate estimate is based on the fact that playoff games in the current four-team format average around 65 million television viewers, which is roughly $7 per viewer for ESPN for those three games.

To use that tired chestnut, we know what you are, Mr. Warren.  We’re just haggling over the fee.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Blowing Smoke, It's Just Bidness

Bigger is better.

From Bill Connelly’s “How 40 years of college football history would have been different with a playoff“:

Under Mark Richt, Georgia makes the show in both 2002 and 2007; the Bulldogs would have had a chance against Miami in 2002 but probably would have fallen short. In 2007, however, they were maybe the hottest team in the country and would have had an excellent shot at beating Ohio State and either LSU or Oklahoma. Does this help Richt to survive a run of lesser (but still very high-quality) play in Nick Saban’s shadow in the 2013-15 range?

No way of knowing for sure, of course, but I think everyone would have to admit it would have been a closer question.

The interesting thing about Bill’s piece is that he excludes Georgia from the 2012 “playoffs” and has Florida going as the fourth seed.  I think it’s safe to say had that happened, heads would have exploded all across Dawgnation.

Anyway, it’s a good thought exercise about what playoff expansion does for coaching security.  That’s why Jim Boeheim keeps advocating for March Madness to go beyond 64.

9 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

TFW the Jimmies-and-Joes aren’t quite enough

You may recall that, going into this season, Georgia ranked second in blue chip ratio, at 80%.

It’s great to be balls-out on the recruiting front, but in the playoffs (and the SECCG, for that matter), everybody’s got studs.  What you do with them once you get there makes a difference.

35 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics

Thanks, Mickey.

By the way, whoever at ESPN decided to offer the Skycast option for yesterday’s semis, bless you.  After enduring Mark Jones’ non-stop blather during the Penn State-Memphis game, watching games without commentary from the booth was a total balm for my senses.

Feel free to extend the experiment.  Think how much money you could save ditching broadcast teams!

27 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

A blinding flash of insight

My takeaway from the semi-finals is a simple one.

20 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Auld Lang Syne

See if you can spot the laugher in this Dan Wolken lede.

Over the entire history of sports in America, there is only one day on the calendar that is synonymous with college football. Is it too much to ask of the people who supposedly look out for the best interests of this sport to treat New Year’s Day with the respect it deserves?

For all the things the College Football Playoff has gotten right, it’s gotten one big thing wrong: Two out of every three years, New Year’s Day is now all but irrelevant. And for a sport that supposedly cares about tradition, its inability to protect the one day it has owned since the early 1900s is an act of self-sabotage that defies all common sense.

Having trouble?  Here, let me help:

Over the entire history of sports in America, there is only one day on the calendar that is synonymous with college football. Is it too much to ask of the people who supposedly look out for the best interests of this sport to treat New Year’s Day with the respect it deserves?

For all the things the College Football Playoff has gotten right, it’s gotten one big thing wrong: Two out of every three years, New Year’s Day is now all but irrelevant. And for a sport that supposedly cares about tradition, its inability to protect the one day it has owned since the early 1900s is an act of self-sabotage that defies all common sense.  [Emphasis added.]

[Narrator’s voice:  It doesn’t.]

27 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs