OT: Will players eventually push an expanded playoff?

Submitted by Coach Nero on December 7th, 2017 at 5:54 PM

I completely agree with Mo Hurst sitting out if the Outback if he decides to do so. But it brought a question to my mind - Will it be the players decisions in bowl games that eventually push us to an expanded playoff?

People keep saying the controversy over the 4th team in the playoff will eventually lead us to 8, but there is no incentive for the bowl people to do away with their games when they make money. 

However, If more and more players end up sitting out what are truly meaningless games, the bowl games then become even more meaningless.  The only way to keep the best players from playing might eventually be to make the games meaningful.  Would a Mo Hurst, a Christian McCaffery or a Leonard Fournette skip a playoff game with their team having a chance to play its way to a championship?



December 7th, 2017 at 6:04 PM ^

I think the league has shown pretty clearly it doesn't care about players in particular. As long as teams keep showing up for bowl games, no one will care that a star player is sitting out, because people will still watch and the cash will still pour in. The pressure for a bigger playoff is going to come from the member institutions; I'm sure the B1G and the PAC 12 are mightily pissed that the SEC got two spots (and all that TV revenue) to their zero.


December 7th, 2017 at 6:27 PM ^

I did a little research because I felt the same way as you. I thought it was around $20M per school, but actually it's $6M to the conference for a semifinal team (nothing extra for the finals.) But non-playoff bowl teams are worth $4M to the conference. So the Big 10 is out $2M. Meh. I mean, with all the money being thrown around, $2M/14 teams isn't that much.

(3) A conference will receive $6 million for each team that is selected for the semifinal games. There will be no additional distribution to conferences whose teams qualify for the national championship game. A conference will receive $4 million for each team that plays in a non-playoff bowl under the arrangement (in 2017-18, the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls).

Of course, it's always possible that I'm misinterpreting that.



Clarence Boddicker

December 7th, 2017 at 6:15 PM ^

It's an exhibition game--most coaches spend bowl practices prepping next year's expected starters and contributors more than they would during the season. Hurst sitting out gets Solomon and Dwumfour practice time and starter reps. That's a good thing!

We are back

December 7th, 2017 at 6:30 PM ^

I hope not, college football is the greatest sport right now because every game counts, no other league can say that, you make it an 8 game playoffs and 2 loss teams start to get in and the regular season starts to mean less and less.


December 7th, 2017 at 7:37 PM ^

It's not any better now from my view. There is no incentive to play anyone tough in the non conference part of the season. What if OSU destroys an FBS school instead of losing to OU? Are they in the playoffs? the best formula seems to be walk through sub par competition for three games and then try to just lose a single game in conference.


December 7th, 2017 at 8:27 PM ^

There is just no consistency or logic. Last year no chance OSU gets in if they didn't beat Oklahoma on the road. This year in a similar situation, one loss, no conf championship, Bama got in despite not beating anyone (OOC or in conference play). Wisconsin won one more game than Bama but is otherwise comparable resumewise and they weren't even in contention. The committee still is failing where all prior pollsters failed.... by relying too much on preseason or early season rankings.


December 7th, 2017 at 10:34 PM ^

in a sense of championships and schedules--I agree with that. But I think they use a lot of "eye test" and anybody who watched the Big Ten title game could tell neither of those teams was Top 4 material. Wisconsin has zero athletes who can cover and Ohio State can't throw the damn ball. 2014 OSU and 2016 OSU beats the crap out of this Wisconsin team. This OSU team couldn't do that. 

If you want to argue Alabama isn't Top 4--there's certainly a case to be made as they had a very mediocre November. Maybe USC or even Penn State should have gotten more consideration. But Ohio State being left out is the right decision.


December 7th, 2017 at 7:17 PM ^

Meh. 8 is fine. More teams/fanbases are still alive and engaged late in the season with 8. Regular season still mean something. I think this take about the regular season meaning less with 8 than 4 is rubbish. For example, if a team gets a second loss right now, they pretty much know they are eliminated most years. So there is no incentive to have a hard meaningful schedule (see Alabama's farcical schedule every year). With 8, at least 12 or 13 teams would be fully engaged in the argument for where they are seeded or whether they make it at all in the case of the few wild card teams. Right now it is basically Alabama + 3 spots.

A lot of the people who argue for 4 over 8 are the same people who argued the BCS was fine without a playoff, that the system was fine before the BCS.


December 7th, 2017 at 7:34 PM ^

Over half of the CFP games so far have been non-competitive.

8 and 16 sound like fun when you're not considering the regular season (and then the entire "spirit" of the regular season changes--not good or bad, just worth noting), but, so far (and of course more season's worth of data would be better), but so far, based on the limited results 4 has been more than enough.

I mean, look if you follow the line of "proving the best team in all of CFB", then abolish divisions and conferences.

But at some point, all these changes begin to rapidly change the nature of the game.

Not trying to say I myself wouldn't also like to see an 8 or 16 team playoff, but, it's never as "simple" or as "obvious" as a lot of people seem to make it out to be.

It would change things, A LOT.


December 7th, 2017 at 9:15 PM ^

Then again, should a p5 conference champ be passed over?

The other option is a 6-team playoff.  All conf champs and an at-large bid (maybe UCF this year or Alabama).  That would be enough to cover it, plus let another deserving team in.  That keeps up the importance of the regular season and winning the conference.  The only negative I see is there is no incentive to schedule tough non-conference games.  Conferences are so large it might just be better to have another conference game instead.


December 7th, 2017 at 6:30 PM ^

I'm not really a big fan of this sitting out the bowls thing. I understand it, but I don't like it. You can call a game like the Outback Bowl a "meaningless exhibition" if you want to, but it isn't meaningless to me--I want Michigan to win and I'll be bummed if they don't. I can't imagine this will ever extend to guys sitting out playoff games though. I mean, why even compete at all if you're just going to sit out once you're in the playoffs?


December 7th, 2017 at 8:48 PM ^

I don’t just want Michigan to win the Outback bowl.

I want to win at field hockey, billiards, bowling, chess, solar car, ultimate frisbee, and I want our feeding the squirrels club to be better than their feed the squirrels club. I want to have more Nobel prize winners, more academic all Americans, more Rhodes Scholars, and more CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. More medical breakthroughs, more significant engineering innovations, and more acclaimed writers. Hell, I want out janitors to clean our halls better than their janitors clean their halls.

So yes, I want to win the Outback bowl. A lot.


December 7th, 2017 at 6:34 PM ^

"People keep saying the controversy over the 4th team in the playoff will eventually lead us to 8"

And the controversy over 8 will lead to 12 to 16 to 128.

Just as college hoops bubble teams leave their fate in the hands of the committee, so do teams 4 and 5 in the CFP. I think the committee got it right, but Alabama wouldn't have had much of an argument either. Do your job!! Win your games!!


December 7th, 2017 at 6:46 PM ^


This would save a lot of colleges a lot of money.

So last years #1 (Clemson) would be paired with UTEP and we would have started with Nevada.

Then, after the losses, they can end their seasons.

Think of the great last 4 weeks of the season! You would see matchups like Oklahoma -NC State, Auburn-Washigton State and Alabama -Virgina Tech.

Screw conferences and "rivals", I say.



December 7th, 2017 at 6:41 PM ^

A team might have at most 2 or 3 players that sit out a bowl game in any given year. That's not enough to cause this type of change. I'll watch the bowl game whether Mo plays or not. You will too. We'd do the same even if a couple other guys sat out.


December 7th, 2017 at 7:03 PM ^

Look at how many coaching changes took place after the regular season (and during) and you will see that it's the coaches that pull the weight around cfb. They carry free agency not granted to the players and therefore hold leverage on how much football is played. Jeremy Pruitt can't be HC in waiting at Tennessee if he has possibly 4 playoff games ahead of him and Tennessee can't afford to wait because of an earlier signing period.

Does Nick Saban want to have to worry about carrying a coach with one foot out the door for a month? Or multiple coaches?

As much as it sucks to not see another game with a star player, I don't think the bowls really care since they have TV contracts. If they really did then something else would have been done a long time ago because there are a lot of empty seats at games of all sports right now, not just bowls.


December 7th, 2017 at 8:38 PM ^

Poorly worded, sorry.

My point is that if bowl committees really cared about attendance then they would have done more to make them attractive. These days there are lots of empty seats at nearly every game I see on TV but the broadcast rights and sponsorship are worth quite a bit. Matchups and who is playing don't matter because some people will watch their team no matter what.


December 7th, 2017 at 7:10 PM ^

White I agree with the poster who said that NFL first rounders are a small percentage of the total number of players, postseason games still have an impact on a program's prestige, and those are the guys who can be absolute game changers.


December 7th, 2017 at 7:26 PM ^

Does not result in the bowl system losing 2 games. It actually gains them 2 extra games with the extra rounds of the playoff. The first two games that are “lost” will probably be existing games that are absorbed into the playoff. This is actually probably a huge reason why they will push to add 4 teams to the playoffs. Better tv ratings for the 2 bowls that are absorbed, plus the extra revenue of the 2 extra games.


December 7th, 2017 at 7:26 PM ^

The four teams represented in the CFB playoffs have many potential NFL prospects.  I doubt any of them will sit out of the playoffs to protect their NFL value.


December 7th, 2017 at 7:35 PM ^

If people are saying bowl games are meaningless than the playoffs have already ruined football. Football is about beating the other team because who the hell do they think they are. No matter the records.

Eye of the Tiger

December 7th, 2017 at 7:59 PM ^

...my preferred format (old bowl matchup system and a "plus one" championship game) is never gonna happen. So if we're stuck with a playoff, I'd make it 6 teams (5 power 5 champions plus one at-large team) and then say it's done forever. 


December 7th, 2017 at 8:03 PM ^

They can be totally forgettable or memorable based on their meaning and achievment. I would say the Sugar Bowl win over Va Tech was highly regarded by Michigan fans while losing to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl was viewed as nothing more than a prelude to change.

Back in the late 90' s, Michigan played the SEC version of the A-team, Arkansas, Auburn and Alabama and then got their ass kicked by Tennessee the year before it won its only championship under its new AD and coach.

Let's be clear, when Michigan reaches the promised land under our coach, this team and program skyrockets. I mean consider that this program is top draw now based on its fan base and history, so that no matter what matchup it draws, people will watch. And our coach just raises the level of interest because of his personality.

So when you combine tradition, success, interest with personality, you get an unbeatable combination that the networks instantly recognize and ratings support. This, in spite of the conference apparent favor in pushing the Ohio State bandwagon because it has upheld the national banner of the conference for a decade or more.



December 7th, 2017 at 8:06 PM ^

They have the teams on the bubble play for a wild card, then have the top four teams sit till the wild card round is played out. Then its moved into the 8 game format everyone wants. This way they can weed out the fakes in the wild card area and see whos the real deal.