In speaking with a co-worker, I seem unable to explain why there is resistance by some to a college football playoff.
can someone explain to me that side of the argument? primarily from a financial perspective.
thanks! go blue! 30 days.
from my understanding one of the reasons is the contracts with the media. also each bowl game generates alot of money. Love the title tho 1+
The biggest issue is money. The conferences and their bowl tie-ins (BCS or otherwise) guarantee them incredible amounts of cash. If there was a playoff, the Big Ten or other BCS conference might not have 1 (or 2) teams in those games.
One of the biggest opponents of a playoff is (unfortunately) the Big Ten because it would mean that we lose our traditional game in Pasadena every year.
There's a couple more explanations, and they've been explored at length on this site. Kudos to whoever can dig it up.
I have an idea that has probably already been shot down but I was thinking about a "what if". What if you were to have an 8 team tournament. The winner of the B11 and the winner of the Pac 10 could play in the Rose Bowl. The winner of the SEC and the ACC could play in the Sugar Bowl, and the winer of the B12 could play the winner of the Big East in the Fiesta Bowl. There could be 2 at large teams that play in the Orange Bowl. The winners of those games owuld go on to play in some form of a rotating bowl system like they do now. With these 4 teams there would be 2 games to be played one week later and one game the week after that. That would be a total of 7 games and 3 weeks of bowl games. We currently have 2 weeks of bowls (big Bowls that is) and 5 games. I have a hard time thinking that the TV networks would not cover it and I also think it would not be hard to find sponsors.
As long as the conferences are making a ton of cash off the bowl games, their will be a lot of resistance to a play-off.
Do you mean resistance by fans, or resistance by the establishment?
As a fan I can tell you lots of reasons I don't want a playoff, the three major ones being:
- De-emphasized regular season
- Likely ruination of bowl system
- Extreme unlikelihood of getting a system actually designed from a competition standpoint
Financially speaking, the roadblock is that the conferences who control all the money will never agree to anything that reduces the amount of money flowing to them. There are, I think, 33 bowl games. All are sponsored. You will not get that many sponsors for a playoff. Some claim that the bowl system could remain in a lesser format, but be serious: the money isn't there for the NIT and it wouldn't be there for the bowls.
Further, because the conferences will never release their iron grip on the money, you would never see a playoff system without conference autobids. Do you seriously think the ACC or Big Ten or Big East would risk getting left out in the cold without autobids? And once you have those, you will have to have all eleven conferences involved, otherwise Orrin Hatch will actually have a legitimate antitrust case. That means a sixteen-team playoff from the very beginning, not this eight-team or six-team rainbow gumdrop fantasy that people think is viable. That's an earthshattering change to the landscape. Under the usual propositions, it deprives the bowls of the top sixteen teams, essentially lopping off the top eight (i.e. most lucrative) bowls. But you'd be wrong to think the remaining bowls would go on as they did before. Much of that sponsorship money exists because of the possibility of higher-ranked teams falling there. Take away that possibility, as well as the perception that the bowls are the top tier of competition (after all, FAU was a "bowl team" last year just like Alabama), and the lower-bowl sponsorship money dries up.
This is a +10000 from a fellow ant-playoff fan. Can you repost this as a diary please? I'd love to read more thoughts from you on the subject.
Would be happy to, but, give it a couple days. A diary (and I've done a couple on the subject before) needs to be given more time than I have at the moment.
If you assume that the playoff is 16 teams, then the regular season has less importance. However, a 4 or 6 (my preference) team playoff doesn't do that at all. Every year there are at least 3 teams that have an argument for inclusion into the NC game, so why not find out which one is actually the best?
You have to realize that we have a playoff right now anyway. It's a 2 team playoff, and the way to get in is determined off the field, not on it. How is that better?
And it wouldn't ruin the bowl system at all. With a 6 team format that's 5 games over 3 weeks. There's no way that you could say it isn't feasible. Let's look at the "larger" playoff:
1st round: last weekend before new years
2nd round: New Years
1vlower seeded winner
2vhigher seeded winner
two first round losers play (extra game, not necessary and not factored in to the 5 games in 3 weeks above)
Championship 1 week later, just like it is now.
You could even space it out by playing the first round losers Jan. 3 or mid week.
That still leaves 2 major bowl games with Top 10 teams for January.
Every year there are at least 3 teams that have an argument for inclusion into the NC game, so why not find out which one is actually the best?
Well, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech all sorted it out on the field last year and it did absolutely nothing to find out which is "the best." So what's magical about a playoff that would?
Anyway, leaving aside that, I think you sound exactly like the kind of pro-playoff advocate I described below. (That sentence sounds condescending but it's not meant that way.) You want a playoff because you have a rainbow gumdrop idea of how it ought to be. What if there were a 16-team playoff instead? Would you be happy with the result? If and when it goes 16, it's never going back down to 6. I think 16 teams is the bare minimum that's workable - remember, this will never be designed with the purity of competition as the foremost criterion.
How would a 16 team playoff look last year?
16. Troy at 1. Oklahoma
15. East Carolina at 2. Florida
14. Buffalo at 3. USC
13. Virginia Tech at 4. Penn State
12. Cincinnati at 5. Utah
11. Boise State at 6. Texas
10. Ohio State at 7. Alabama
9. TCU at 8. Texas Tech
The seeds are my guesses... but no matter how you slice it, there's not that much to get excited about.
The first round of March Madness sucks? I think that first weekend is the most fun of all, with games on all the time.
I would have watched 13-4, 12-5, 11-6, 10-7, and 9-8. 11-6 and 10-7 would have been a lot of fun to watch.
For one, last year's situation does present an issue. However, I think that it presents a larger issue in favor of the playoff.
Yes, the first go around on the field made things messy, but if there was a playoff the teams would have more games in which they could show their worth.
Your second point is a good one. I would take a 4, 6, or 8 team playoff in a heart beat. The 16 team playoff I'm not sure about. To be honest I don't see the merit in it because rarely are there more than 6 real contenders in a year. Usually that number is around 3-4.
I honestly don't think that a 16 team format would be used becuase it just isn't feasible, and there would be a lot of teams included that simply don't deserve it. Can anyone make a rational argument for Cincinatti, Georgia Tech, or BYU to have a chance at a NC? I don't think so.
Lastly, the travel concern is a good one, but the NFL deals with it, and fans find a way to follow their teams.
Not only is 16 feasible, it's what they did in I-AA for years and years and years, before expanding it yet again. Now it's 20. As mentioned by most pro-playoff-ers, if they can do it there they can probably figure out how to do it here.
As for travel, the NFL figures it out by using home stadiums instead of neutral sites, which is exactly what I think the NCAA would have to do. "Using the bowls" absolutely isn't feasible, IMO.
It's like I said though: competition reasons will be down the list of criteria for playoff designing. In the first place, another pro-playoff argument is that I-A football is the only non-meet sport that doesn't have a tournament, so I-A football should as well. Fine, I can see that point, but then why would the tournament be the only one without conference autobids? Whether or not every team in the tournament would have a legitimate chance at winning it has never been a concern for the NCAA before. Conference autobids will drive the size to 16, minimum, and I don't see any way of getting around having autobids.
Not just, 1-AA... every lower division uses or used a 16 team model. It's really the ideal size for pleasing everyone with the autobids while still allowing a number of BCS schools into the picture.
When I said that 16 teams wasn't feasible, I meant that it wouldn't be feasible without major reworkings to the bowl system. Sorry that wasn't clear.
I suppose the losers could just play in bowls in the following weeks...
I would actually prefer it if some of the games were played in home stadiums. That would cut down on over half of the travel, make for better game day environments, and provide more incentive to be highly ranked, thus the regular season maintains importance.
Your point is well taken that the system in all likelihood would not be as good as we would hope, but I believe that almost any type of playoff would be better for the sport and the fans.
You made your own counterargument. The regular season is important because one loss will kick you put of the title picture. As to your last assertion, I'd say a lot of people care about watching these "meaningless exhibitions", the TV ratings bear this out.
Your point about us being automatically eliminated from the title picture because we're not in the preseason top 25 is laughable. How many times does South Florida need to make it up #2 before people realize that an undefeated team from a BCS conference will ALWAYS make the national title unless there are more deserving BCS teams ahead of them? How many undefeated teams are shut out of the title game every year, anyway? I'm sorry Boise State plays Utah State, Nevada and Louisiana Tech in conference and so nobody thinks they'd have a serious chance against Florida. The only time a legit undefeated BCS team was left out was Auburn.
Seriously? You don't think that losing to Appalachian State should be a total disqualifier from the national championship picture?
I hate the "they did everything they could by winning every game argument." By that logic, what we should do is jump conferences to the Sun Belt, whoop the shit out of everyone there, and play four of the worst I-AA teams we can find. Then we can go undefeated most seasons and squeal like Boise State and Utah about having "done everything we could."
And there's a really good reason all the national champions have started out in the top 25: because those are, more or less, the best teams in football. I mean, it's not some kind of coincidence or conspiracy that you have to have a good team to get into the top 25 and you have to have a good team to win the title.
Lastly, why is the season worthless if we don't have a chance to play for the national title? Was there not still a Big Ten title to play for? Was there not still games against Notre Dame, MSU, OSU, and Minny for the Brown Jug? Why is the only purpose of the season to crown a national champion? It's not that long ago that a "national champion" was really more of a sideshow - when did it become not just the most important, but the only reason to play?
I like how you mock Brodie for being closed-minded, simply for daring to argue against you. Are you really that different? Prove to me you're more enlightened and have an open mind about this.
That's probably true. But if the NCAA does as I tell them to with a playoff, they'd have 16 teams but they'd get an extra round out of the deal by using the Big East system. Now that is a moneymaker.
"de-emphasized regular season"
Because I love seeing UM play Delaware St and every directional Michigan school. Wouldn't it be so much better if UM could play USC, Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma for their 4 OOC games? Being able to make a playoff, by winning your conference, while getting prime time exposure by playing those kinds of programs would take college football to a new level.
The bs (bcs) created the crappy OOC schedule that has become college football.
OK, Mr. Dreamland, in what playoff would we ever play those four teams all in a row?
And no, I actually don't think it would be cool. If you do that every year, where's the novelty?
Way to miss the point, he said those teams would be our OOC schedule. As in, we play them and then 12 conference games.
In what scenario might USC get into the playoff and be seeded lower than the Sun Belt champion or MAC champion? That's very interesting. Maybe you're proposing that some conferences be left out of the picture? If so, Orrin Hatch is on line 1 for you, and he sounds pissed.
Really? How do I get negative for wanting UM to have a better non-conference schedule? There are thread dedicated to the very topic agreeing with me. My point, taken to an extreme, is that in a playoff, you can play great teams during the regular season and with one, or even two losses, you can still make a playoff. Now, instead of people pissing and moaning about playing Delaware St., you've got Gameday at the Big House when UM faces off with Florida. How could anyone now want that?
I'm not the one who did it, but I suspect it's because the idea of playing all those teams in the OOC is a fantasy. We're not playing Delaware State because it makes it easier to get into the BCS title game. We're playing Delaware State because they agreed to come play a game for cheap that we don't have to reciprocate. A playoff would not fix that problem. A playoff would not magically bring Florida and Lee Corso to Ann Arbor.
Besides, you torpedoed your own arguments. You scoff at the idea that a playoff would de-emphasize the regular season, then propose that a playoff would improve the OOC schedule because teams would play marquee games now that it doesn't matter if you lose them? USC and Ohio State is a big game partly because it serves as an eliminator for the NC. Why would anyone outside of the two fanbases care about the game if they were both going to the playoffs anyway and might have a rematch there?
That's incredibly stupid. If anything, you'd see worse schedules to create the smallest chance for injuries before the conference playoff push. And hell, I'd love to go 8-4 every year and then lose in the playoffs. Sounds like a lot of fun! WOOO MICHIGAN IS THE EARLY 90'S LIONS
I actually am, I usually end up with a lampshade on my head.
That's the best explanation I've heard as to why there won't be a change to the bowl system
Not sure bowl money is as big an issue as people think. Many argue that a playoff could generate more money than the bowls.
Other arguments include:
logistics (tens or hundreds of thousands of fans travelling every week, not knowing where until a week before they go. This is probably an order of magnitude more fans than travel for basketball)
academics (kind of a weak argument that the playoffs would interfere with exams)
preserving the greatest regular season in all of sports
I don't see why playoffs need to affect the bowls. Just have the playoffs before the bowl games, and the losers of the playoffs still go to a bowl game. Eliminate bye-weeks, and hold (conference) Championship Saturday a week or two weeks prior.
Read "my" playoff system for more info on what I am talking about... http://mgoblog.com/diaries/making-playoff-scheme-thing-do
That's an idea I've had as well - the problem is, just because I have "my" playoff idea (which I happen to like and could support, if they went with it) does not make me pro-playoff. I suspect there are many, many people who are pro-playoff because they have what they see as a great idea for their implementation, but would be sadly disappointed with the (likely vastly different) system that the establishment settles on. Because I don't delude myself that "my" idea is the one that will take shape, I favor making improvements to the BCS instead of overturning the whole system.
+1 for being a realist
Yep, I've been saying this to people for years. There is no way we end up with anything but a 16 team playoff, there is too much out there to say that's the most likely solution... so while I'm fine with a plus one (essentially a four team playoff in the Orange and Sugar Bowls and then a national championship game), I know it will never happen so I can't consider myself pro-playoff.
I want to see (and have an imaginary self-important vote) on exactly WHAT kind of playoff is proposed before I can say I'm "pro-playoff.
The "any playoff is better than this" argument doesn't work for me.
There are a couple of good ways to make a playoff system successful; there are also a hundred ways to make it worse.
A lot of fans (especially those of a certain age) simply like the fact that the bowl system produces a lot of happy teams at the end of the season, whereas a playoff produces one. I favor a playoff but I can see some validity to that argument. It was cool, for instance, to see us win Lloyd's last game (which we probably wouldn't have done in a playoff).
They could use the bowl system to have an eight game playoff. As it is, they are playing the NC game a week later, anyway. If the four major bowls counted as quarterfinals, the semis could be played the following week, and the finals the next week.
Those who cite the lack of a playoff as being "for the good of the players" are wrong. With my easy system, players from two teams would lose an extra week of class at the beginning of the semester. I think their profs would be pretty understanding about it.
I still prefer a twelve or sixteen team playoff independent of the bowls, with the NC game being Jan 8, and the bowls getting the rest of the teams just as they do now, but even a "plus one" would be better than the crap they have now.
The biggest cash cow in the NCAA is the only sport that doesn't determine its champion on the field of competition, where it belongs.
What a joke. But it isn't funny.