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A College Football Playoff System Would Never Work

**Today's post has been written by featured guest writer Dr. Jeffrey A. Glenn aka JAG**

I’ve been inspired by our co-leader, Mr. Kenny Masenda. He stared directly into the abyss and went against the grain with his argument that Philip Rivers was the better QB when compared to Drew Brees. I also have an opinion on a matter that takes me upstream against the current. It’s a debate that heats up every year about this time. I am well aware that over 90% of you will disagree with me (but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m wrong). Ok. Here we go.

Now, let me be clear. A playoff system would be fantastic if the best eight teams were going to be invited. My point is that the big six conferences (and Notre Dame) have the system rigged in their favor. A playoff would be just as corrupt and unfair as the current system. There are literally dozens of reasons and I could write a pretty lengthy thesis on this subject but I’m going to try to be disciplined and just hit the high notes. The most popular suggestion is an eight team format; most agree that sixteen teams, requiring two teams to play four extra games is a bit much. It’s an NFL schedule with classwork thrown in.

1. Automatic Bids would clog up the playoff spots, leaving deserving teams out.

The Big Six conferences would demand a seat at the table and their precious automatic slots. Also, the non BCS schools would demand to be invited to the party as well. That’s seven of the eight spots tied up already. Even if a conference has a down year and has no one in the top 15, their 3 loss team would be invited anyway. “Money talks, BS runs the marathon “ (Nino Brown, 1991).

Now, most of you will say “no problem, just invite the conference champs, a non BCS school and an at large team.” Problem – if you did that this year, you would have Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU, Oregon, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, and …. Oops, we still have Florida and Boise. The TV networks would insist on Florida so undefeated Boise is out. Try explaining that to them, especially since they beat Oregon.

2. Notre Dame gets special treatment

I know Ed and many of you disagree, but Notre Dame clearly gets superstar status in college football. They already have a clause that grants them automatic BCS entry as long as they’re ranked in the top 12. NBC and Notre Dame would insist on the same terms before signing off on a playoff system. Say what you want, but the Irish bring tens of thousands of free spending fans to any bowl, making it an automatic smash hit moneymaker. They also draw high TV ratings with the upper middle and wealthy Irish Catholic viewers that are so coveted.

There is definite “poll inflation when it comes to the Irish and history shows us that they will qualify if they can get to 10-2. Assuming Kelly can get them back to this level, and many believe that he can, then all eight spots are taken and Florida gets the boot. Now you have Florida and the mighty SEC screaming bloody murder because they just lost a one loss team and Notre Dame waltzes in with two losses and without the pressure of having to win an additional conference championship game on the schedule. Under the current system, the SEC and Big Ten got two teams in at $17.5 million apiece. Let’s say the payout for making the quarters is $10 million and Ohio State loses in the first round. The Big Ten just went from $35 million to $10 million. I assume that University presidents know enough about math to be afraid of those figures.

Convinced yet? Well, how about this?

3. Bowls depend on tourism, and the playoff system would kill it.

The most popular scenario is to keep the current bowl system and let the bigger bowls act as quarterfinals, semifinal and final games on a rotating basis. I concede that TV ratings would be huge, but fans cannot afford to run around all over the country for three straight weeks to follow their teams. I am a Buckeye fan. I would have to skip the Cotton Bowl quarterfinal and cross my fingers that they won two games and made it to the championship game at the Rose Bowl or Jerry Jones’ funhouse or wherever. If Ohio State lost, I would be miffed and my bowl money would remain in my pockets. Under the current system, I know nearly a month in advance where my team is going. There’s only one game to prepare for and I can make all the proper arrangements.

4. When are you going to have these games?

The December / January sports calendar has been divided up quite nicely by the NCAA, NFL and NBA. You want to have these games on the weekend during the NFL playoffs? Forget it. Ain’t gonna happen. You want to have quarterfinal matchups on Christmas Day? You’ll be incurring the wrath of David Stern and the enmity of the NBA. The NCAA is not interested in stepping on toes and going head to head with the other major sporting events. The networks don’t want it either. You would have to play these games on weeknights which means fewer people being able to take off work and fill up the hotel rooms and shopping malls of the host city.

Like I said, I could go on and on, but we all are busy this time of year so I’m going to try to give you a break. I’m certain that I’ll have a chance to pontificate further for those who want to discuss this in the comments section.

What do you think? You need to get at me soon. I’m going on a New Years Day Duck Hunt! Go Buckeyes.



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