Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Debate Continues... 4 or 8 Team Playoffs?

Late in the evening on January 11th we will have an undisputed National Champion for the second straight year with the College Football Playoff.

While there will always be one or two fan bases who think their team got robbed of the pivotal #4 spot, but I think the Committee did a pretty good job this year. I'm sure fans of Iowa and Ohio State are upset, but Michigan State won the Big Ten. I'm happy to see a different conference in each of the four spots.

Stanfurd fans could possibly have a beef too, but they ended at 10-2. Their week one loss at Northwestern was a huge blunder. They looked as if they were still asleep as they played flat and with little enthusiasm. The Pac12 has to get an agreement with other conferences that games played in the Central or Eastern time zones do not start until at least Noon pacific time, but I digress. I will say this, and as a Cal season ticket holder it pains me to say, Stanfurd looked like one of the best 4 teams in November and on Championship Saturday.

By now we've all heard the talking heads on ESPN and elsewhere say the playoff needs to be expanded to 8 teams. Well, I said that 4 years ago right here on my blog. Former FSU QB & ESPN CFB guy Danny Kanell is very outspoken on this subject.

Is an 8 team playoff good for CFB? Hell yes! Major pros: money, money, money. Additional revenue for 8 teams, conferences, and every FBS team. Four additional fan bases who are very happy! Major cons: one more game, possible interference with school.

So let's look at what this years first round might have looked like with an 8 team playoff:

1 Clemson vs 8 Notre Dame
2 Alabama vs 7 Ohio State
3 Mich State vs 6 Stanfurd
4 Oklahoma vs 5 Iowa

Game 1-8: In week 4 the Tigers eeked out a victory 24-22 over the Fighting Irish. Clemson is undefeated and ND only lost to Clemson & Stanfurd. This would be a helluva rematch.

Game 2-7: I hate both teams, mainly for their obnoxious fans, but you can't argue that Nick & Urb are program builders and more importantly winners. Another game that is a win for the fans.

Game 3-6: The Rose Bowl on Steroids. Big Ten Champ vs Pac 12 Champ. Very similar styles of play and two stout defenses. And who would not like to watch Christian McCaffery go against Sparty's defense?

Game 4-5: I'm still not sold on Iowa and I really like the Sooners this year. But will the Big Game bite Bob in the ass once again? Stoops & Ferentz coached together back in the early 80's on the Iowa staff. This would be an old school grinding game with Baker Mayfield airing it out for OU.

In all reality any of those 4 mythical games could result in an upset, and I'm 90% sure that at least one of the 5-8 teams would win on the field. All four games would be a TV ratings bonanza meaning huge revenues for ESPN and more money for all FBS schools. This is a huge bonus of the "Group of 5" conferences like the MAC and Mtn West.

The CFP contract is for 12 years, meaning it would end in the 2025-26 season. But, contracts have been broken in the past so there is no reason to believe this contract could not be revised.  I personally believe the committee has an unofficial agreement to keep it as 4-teams for at least 5 years to see how everything goes.

Even though the book "Death to the BCS" is a few years old and we no longer have the flawed BCS system I believe it is still a good read for crazy CFB fans like myself. Especially those with a business background who are interested in how the non-CFP bowls work, where the money goes, etc. It was really an eye opener.

I will be a proponent of the 8-team format until someone can prove to me how or why it is bad for CFB, the conferences, the universities, the teams, or the Student-Athletes.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year's!  Enjoy the CFB Bowl Season!

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