Lloyd Carr on potential BCS playoff

Submitted by MHNet on June 28th, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Story from the Petoskey News-Review recapping the "Lunch with Lloyd" in northern Michigan (the reporter is a friend of mine). While most of the article is about his work with the hospital and talking up Brady Hoke, the most interesting tidbit is at the very end.  When asked about a potential BCS playoff format, Carr said:

"I was in New York a month ago for the College Football Hall of Fame and I talked to some important people that said in the next 10 years or so, there could be a group of prominent schools with large budgets and stadiums that could break away from the NCAA and play their own schedule. There could be anywhere from 60-65 teams that would break away and play their own schedule and then have a playoff."

While I would be completely shocked if this ever happened, the fact that it's coming from Lloyd and the "important people" he's talked with and not random Joe Blogger throwing out some wishful thinking idea gives the concept a lot more credibility.  Thoughts?

Comments

True Blue in CO

June 28th, 2011 at 11:23 PM ^

could easily drive the creation of 4 super conferences that have 12 to 16 teams each. They would all have conference championship games providing 4 true conference winners for a playoff. The challenge would be which 4 conferences would drive this effort. Easy bets are the B1G, PAC16, and the SEC. The question becomes what do you do between the ACC and the Big East? I really believe a playoff system like this would start to undermine the Bowl system as we know it. Maybe you would still have some of the bowl games for the conference semi-finalists and other non super conference winners. Just a thought but if the money is there you know the big conferences will listen.

NOLA Blue

June 29th, 2011 at 8:54 AM ^

Texas, Mizzou, Iowa State and Baylor to the B1G.  Oklahoma, OK St., Texas A&M and Texas Tech to the SECixteen.  Kansas, and Kansas St. along with BYU and Hawaii to PAC-16.

This leaves the Big East and ACC to merge.  I see:  UConn, Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse joining the current ACC (leaving Cinci, Louisville, South Florida and West Virginia behind.)  Definitely not perfect from a football standpoint; but the ACC is more stodgy than the B1G, and I think academics win in this case.

For what it is worth (less than 2 cents as it turns out,) I could see the B1G picking up Notre Dame and Pitt instead of Iowa St and Baylor; in which case Cincinnati or West Virginia sneaks into the ACC.

Of course, will Notre Dame leave the service academies behind?  And what happens to TCU (SEC instead of OK St.?)

BRCE

June 28th, 2011 at 11:24 PM ^

I really don't care all that much about keeping bowls around as I think there are no more than five or so worth preserving, but I really would not want to see conferences drastically change or go to the wayside just for the sake of the national championship.

60-65 programs sounds a bit low for my liking. There is more to college football than the NC.

Zone Left

June 28th, 2011 at 11:25 PM ^

I think it's inevitable that the BCS leagues go off on their own for all sports. I personally think the movement will come from below as the lower tier FBS teams decide they can't afford to try and compete anymore in football.

DeuceInTheDeuce

June 29th, 2011 at 7:21 AM ^

They can't compete politically, either. It seems the lower schools hang around for:

  1. the reputational boost from association
  2. the tomato can/hush money
  3. the chance to be Cinderella.

I think the benefits from all three are eroding relative to their costs.

If the lower tier schools broke away, not only would they be able to massively cut costs, they would still get their tomato can money, because I can't see the new BCS tolerating the additional losses from a cupcake-free schedule. In this they would preserve most of their current benefits from #1 above. As for #3, it's already nearly impossible for lower level teams to win a national championship, and as the financial stakes rise, I'm skeptical that a system in which lower-tier schools have no say will eventually work in their favor. At this point I'm starting to think that the only think holding the system together is pride.

 

Also, to the OP, perhaps we know each other. I too am close friends with the writer of that article.

Vasav

June 29th, 2011 at 8:16 AM ^

I'll start off by saying that there are severe challenges for the lower tier schools that you point out. But that reputational boost isn't just on the football field. The major football programs are the reason why any of us have heard of East Carolina, Louisiana Tech or Troy State, instead of Jacksonville State or Western Carolina.

That branding is the main driver for those schools to go D1A. Does anyone think that UTSA or Texas State can ever hope to sell out their stadiums, let alone compete for titles, when they're less than an hour away from UT in Austin? But how many people have actually heard of these schools now that they're joining the WAC - how many of their alumni have suddenly started to wear their school's shirts and hats? As another example - ten years ago, nobody in New York cared about Rutgers. As soon as they started winning (moderately), all of a sudden their are Rutgers hats, shirts and bumper stickers appearing all over that metro area.

I won't make the claim that that increase in profile is necessarily worth  the cost of these programs (or in Rutgers' case, the cost of becoming a "winner"), but I wouldn't be surprised if someone crunched the numbers and found out that it is worth the investment.

I think it's more likely that the big boys leave the rest of the NCAA at the kids' table, than the little guys deciding they've had enough.

DeuceInTheDeuce

June 29th, 2011 at 8:54 AM ^

If the lower-level schools that break away still play the elites with roughly the same regularity as they do now, I don't think the loss is that great. The D1A label doesn't carry the same weight in football anymore as the BCS/non-BCS distinctions have basically created two separate tiers anyway. The real risk is in the elites not scheduling the little guys after the split. App State didn't become a household name because they joined D1A, and no sane person considers Ball State to be on the same level as Notre Dame. And you're right, people like winners, which is why teams should at least play in a league in which they can realistically win.

Yeoman

June 29th, 2011 at 12:13 PM ^

...but one way to deal with that issue would be to institute promotion/relegation. The Chicago public HS league has this in place for basketball--each region is split into "red" and "blue": you win the blue-south you move up to red-south for the next season, you finish last in the red you move down to blue. It cuts down on ridiculous mismatches, gives everyone something to play for, would eliminate some of the antitrust issues now being raised by non-BCS schools and there's a fluid response to changes in strength.

Space Coyote

June 28th, 2011 at 11:31 PM ^

"There's tremendous enthusiasm and real excitement around our program," Carr said. "When you meet Brady Hoke, you're going to like him because he's got a great love for Michigan."

Tremendous, yes.

fatbastard

June 28th, 2011 at 11:35 PM ^

10 years is an eternity, and I would not be surprised to see the precursor to such a system in the next 5-6 years.  The issues with OSU, FLA, ALA, and others will only cause this to happen faster.  The B1G proposal to play payers a stipend is another effort toward this end.  Furhter, Lloyd was on record in favor a playoff more than 5 years ago now.  Frankly, there's really on reason why a Univesity like Michigan wouldn't want it.  You play the first and second round at home.  You play a regional game well attended.  And then two games at "neutral" sites around the counrty.  NOt only that, but the regular season is likely shortened, eliminating the need or desire for "cupcake" games.  If you're Lloyd Carr and see a 14 week season anyway, why not play 16 games in a playoff system?

EGD

June 28th, 2011 at 11:44 PM ^

I agree--I don't think it will take ten more years.  The authors of Death to the BCS contend that, by not having a playoff system, the NCAA is leaving around $800 million on the table every year.  There have got to be plenty of rich people sitting around looking at that and thinking, "hmm.  I could pay 60 schools $10 million a year to participate in my playoff system, and still have $200 million (less costs) left in profit."  Mark Cuban suggested something similar to this a while back, and I have to believe he's not the only person looking into it.  

icactus

June 28th, 2011 at 11:51 PM ^

The proliferation of BS Bowls has been a disaster for the majority of schools with their terrible contracts and mandatory ticket block purchases.  I don't see why there should even be some private entity  like the BCS separate from the NCAA to handle this.  I want to see the NCAA create its own play-off system and keep all the revenue shared like they would in any other situation.  No need for all the middle men.  Fucking middle men....

Tater

June 29th, 2011 at 12:35 AM ^

It won't be long before the big conferences realize that they are leaving even more money on the table by letting the bowls take a cut off the top.  The "tradition" argument can fool a lot of people for a long time, but it can't fool everyone forever. 

My proposal:

Four conferences of sixteen teams each broken into two divisions.

Conference championship games are the first round of an eight-team playoff, with a second round to be played the following week.  

Bowls are then played as usual, but owned by the new organization.  The championship game is played after the bowls.  The only difference is that they earned their way in.

If the Rose, Fiesta, etc want in, they can have spots, but they don't call the shots anymore, and are paid only to administrate and execute the bowls.   There are no more territorial restrictions, and pairings are made by a committee.

If the Rose Bowl doesn't like it, let them try to convince the public that the WAC champion against the MAC champion is the "Grandaddy of them All."

 

uminks

June 29th, 2011 at 2:41 AM ^

But until then, an easy solution to start an NCAA college football playoff would  be to simply have the 8 BCS bowl winners playoff in a 2 week span and then have the BCS championship game on the last Saturday in January.  Odds are the best teams in college football will reach the BCS bowls...so we should have a true number 1 team.

BrandonGarrison

June 29th, 2011 at 3:21 AM ^

My proposal would be 4 super conferences of 20 teams. 4 divisions per conference. And have a 4 team conference championship tournament followed by a 4 team national championship tournament. It would be plenty of quality games for weeks.

st8champ90

June 29th, 2011 at 4:05 AM ^

I have always been in favor of a playoff and with the looming prospect of superconferences, I can see a scenario whereby the entire college football season acts as a long playoff.  Lets say we have 4 conferences with 16 to 20 teams each.  Each conference could then be broken up into 2 or 4 divisions.  All teams would know in advance what they have to do to win the NC.  You have to first win your division within your conference.  Then you have to win your conference title game which would get you an automatic bid into the 4 team football playoff against the other conference champions for the title.  With such a system, the regular season  would still retain it's incredible importance, however allow a team to lose a game without automatically knocking them out of the title hunt.  It would also promote better OOC games because said game would not hinder the losing teams chance at the championship.  

Today's system is so flawed because only the highly ranked teams from the beginning of the season can suffer an early loss and still be in the title hunt.  Pre-season rankings are useless and they handicap teams from the beginning of the season.  

st8champ90

June 29th, 2011 at 4:05 AM ^

I have always been in favor of a playoff and with the looming prospect of superconferences, I can see a scenario whereby the entire college football season acts as a long playoff.  Lets say we have 4 conferences with 16 to 20 teams each.  Each conference could then be broken up into 2 or 4 divisions.  All teams would know in advance what they have to do to win the NC.  You have to first win your division within your conference.  Then you have to win your conference title game which would get you an automatic bid into the 4 team football playoff against the other conference champions for the title.  With such a system, the regular season  would still retain it's incredible importance, however allow a team to lose a game without automatically knocking them out of the title hunt.  It would also promote better OOC games because said game would not hinder the losing teams chance at the championship.  

Today's system is so flawed because only the highly ranked teams from the beginning of the season can suffer an early loss and still be in the title hunt.  Pre-season rankings are useless and they handicap teams from the beginning of the season.  

readyourguard

June 29th, 2011 at 7:17 AM ^

I don't like the idea of 4 Super-conferences.  I'd rather see teams in our current system play for their conference titles, then advance to a playoff. 

Besides, I may be in the minority, but I don't NEED to see a playoff.  I've enjoyed college football for a long time, just as it's been.

BlueHills

June 29th, 2011 at 6:07 PM ^

I'm with you on this. College football is fine right now. With the exception of the NCAA infraction issues for some schools, it's not broken, and doesn't need fixing.

What does need fixing is the kind of nonsense we see schools putting up with to pacify young athletes who really aren't interested in attending a college as much as they are getting ready for professional football.

Thus it has ever been starting in the 1930s, but in each decade the problem seems to worsen.

I'm an antique, I know. But I'm beginning to believe that the Ivy League schools may have gotten it right in 1954, when they turned their back on becoming part of a training ground for professional football players, and stopped competing in whatever Division I was at the time. In fact, they even prohibit purely athletic scholarships:

"The members of the Group reaffirm their prohibition of athletic scholarships. Athletes shall be admitted as students and awarded financial aid only on the basis of the same academic standards and economic need as are applied to all other students."

The Ivies have also refused to allow their schools to compete in the playoffs for the D-II national championship. Because they actually consider themselves institutions of higher learning, they don't want their students to have such a long season, as it might interfere with their classroom work. So as far as they're concerned, the national title is irrelevant; they win the Ivy League, and they're happy.

Now, you may ask, would someone like me be happier with this than the current system? I believe that I wouldn't mind seeing a league composed of schools like Michigan, Northwestern, Stanford, Cal, Vanderbilt, Duke, Virginia, Chicago, and a few others form a league similar to the Ivies but perhaps play a bowl game against the Ivies and call it a day.

Why couldn't 120,000 people watch a team composed of real students play in a league like this? Why does UM have to play in the current NFL Farm system?

Yeoman

June 29th, 2011 at 7:38 PM ^

There are few things I like more than watching a game of D-3 basketball. Twenty minutes with no media timeouts is intense. Throw in a packed gym of maybe 1,000 if you're lucky...

And that's the catch. The sad fact is, there don't seem to be all that many people who will turn out for a game between teams "composed of real students."

Maybe there's a way to turn this around. You can appeal to school pride and get the student body out and maybe some of the alums, but there's basically zero interest in the community at large. Filling a 120,000 seat stadium would be a tall order.

NateVolk

June 29th, 2011 at 7:32 AM ^

EGD pretty much nailed this one. It is about money and where can they get the most amount of it. The current system is not going to be able to sustain itself because too many schools are in the red because of football. This will bring Congress and State Attorney Generals into the argument against the present monopoly that exists. It is already happening.  So the choices are move towards more meaningful post season games to generate revenue, or die a slow death. The public isn't interested in even the BCS major bowls except when a couple of them play on New Years. Ratings bear that out.

So next time around, the networks aren't going to pay as much for the Orange Bowls of the world.   That will further bleed schools that need that money from the post season.

The Big Conferences resist a real playoff because it would cede control and power to the NCAA rather than to their leagues. The current Bowl system stays around because it is a very weak compromise that promotes schools and maintains big conference power. What Coach Carr is talking about would be a way for the big schools from the Big Leagues to keep control while greatly bolstering revenue.  It is also a way to attract huge lawsuits and Congressional inquiry into blatant monopolies.  It could only involve schools that were so flush that they self sustained with football and received no money from the government to the sport or athletic department  Any other scenerio invites legal action and government investigation.   We'd have a playoff now among the big conferences if they could do it and not invite trouble with Congress.

The present system is as much as they can get away with but it is way inadequate from an economic point of view.

GunnersApe

June 29th, 2011 at 8:32 AM ^

The fun begins when we talk of Super Conferences in the future. I'm all for going back to ten but who am I? Is the AAU going to affect who the B1G gets? Great conversation for the future.

phork

June 29th, 2011 at 1:12 PM ^

If it was decided to break away and universities with ND & UM clout were on the fore front, then they could set up the conferences as they see fit.  That being there would most assuredly be a Southern/SouthEastern conference.  An Atlantic conference, Midwest conference and a Far West conference.  How you divvy up those teams inside that is another story.

For instance, 4 super power conferences that would have 4 divisions of 4 teams in each division.  At the end of the 12 game season where you would play your division (3 games), 6 games in your conference and then 3 national games.  Division leaders would play off, ultimately coming to a 4 team playoff for the NC.

You would generally have good matchups week in and out and eliminate the "cupcake" fluff of D1AA etc etc.

For anyone who still thinks there is some semblance of the traditional bowl structures, that stop was a 100 miles ago.  I say get over it, move on and lets get a real NC going.

BlueHills

June 29th, 2011 at 5:29 PM ^

I guess I don't understand why the top-tier 65 schools would need to break away from the NCAA to accomplish this.

The NCAA allows playoffs for other divisions. I'd guess that if 65 top programs wanted to do this, threatening breaking away, the NCAA would overwhelmingly approve it.

I'm betting this has more to do with breaking the bonds of NCAA restraints than playoffs. Something about it smells kind of fishy.