The NCAA “playoffs” and bowl games are nearing us. With the success of last year’s first run of this new “playoff” format, it leaves me to ask, why does the NCAA settle for an extra point, instead of taking the touchdown?
The NCAA had an opportunity to make an actual playoff format, but they decided on this one extra game format that they went to using last year. Not really a playoff, but OK. So they dropped the ball on it the first year. Now, after seeing the buzz, the reaction and the quality of football it provided us, why are they not fixing this “playoff” format that they are so proud of creating? Why settle for just two extra games of must see football? Why not have 14 extra must see games?
The NCAA has about 4 weeks of down time between their regular season and any bowl games that matter or ones that people will actually go to or turn on. The no name colleges, that can’t even muster up a winning record and have no business even playing in a bowl game start their bowl games December 19, 2015. But it is not until December 29, 2015 that we start actually seeing games that are worth the energy of turning the TV on and another two days before we get to the meat and potatoes of the bowl games.
What is the point? Why give these teams a month off to get lazy, unfocused or out of shape? Why waste a bunch of money on bowl games nobody is going to watch or have any interest in?
This is what the NCAA should have done and what their “playoff” format should look like. There should be a 16 team playoff format. Give us 8 must see games (will still be “bowl” games, to make sponsors happy). Those games will be played the first weekend. They then can sprinkle in those meaningless bowl games in during the week. This will give us 8 teams left, which will now give us 4 must see games the second weekend (also will be bowl games to keep sponsors happy). Then sprinkle in those meaningless bowl games in during the next week. Guess what, we have 4 teams left, more excitement and a build up to NCAAF’s “Final Four”. Two more must see bowl games. And yes you guessed it, the last of the meaningless bowl games sprinkled in leading up to the championship game.
With all the excitement, must see games, sponsor money from all these must watch bowl games created, the ratings, the attendance and no down time, how is this “playoff” format still not being used or making sense to the NCAA?
Let’s take a look at what this would have looked like if the NCAA took that touchdown, instead of just settling for an extra point:
#1 Clemson Tigers vs. #16 Oklahoma State Cowboys – would be nice to see Clemson play more than a bunch of weak ACC teams, prove to the world they are actually #1 worthy. Could OSU be that cinderella story?
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #15 Oregon Ducks – really? Who wouldn’t want to watch this match-up? Two of the four teams in last year’s “playoffs”. Even Alabama and Oregon haters would tune in, I know I would.
#3 Michigan State Spartans vs. #14 Michigan Wolverines – after watching the excitement of this Big Ten rivalry earlier in the year and it coming down to a blocked punt taken to the house for a Spartan win, how would this not be a must watch game?!?!
#4 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #13 Northwestern Wildcats – with the nation still questioning whether or not if the Sooners belong in here with the loss to Texas and whether or not Northwestern is a contender or pretender, this game will have a lot of eyes on it.
#5 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. #12 Ole Miss Rebels – Iowa had a VERY weak schedule, then lost in their first game against a real competitor. Ole Miss, well they haven’t made a splash yet this season, but an opportunity for a SEC team to beat an over rated Big Ten team would definitely bring in numbers!!!
#6 Stanford Cardinal vs. #11 TCU Horned Frogs – this might up being the only game that nobody really cares about. Two teams over rated. Two teams nobody expects or has expected them to win it all this year. Would be best if this game was scheduled between two big games, so we can make beer runs.
#7 The Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #10 UNC Tar Heels – with everyone questioning whether or not the Buckeyes were worthy of being in the top four all year, whether or not they got snubbed out of this year’s “playoffs” and if they can find a way to repeat, sprinkle in the fact that ACC fans will watch to see if one of theirs can actually beat a real football conference, this has ratings all over it.
#8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #9 Florida State Seminoles – do I really even need to go there with the history of these two schools. Their national attention over the last 3 to 5 years alone makes this a big game.
Once again I ask, why is the NCAA not going for that touchdown? We are looking at maybe one game out of an extra 14 games that might be a flop. I took the honor of playing this “playoff” model out, feel free of letting me know how you see it playing out at the bottom in the comment box. Let me know who you have in you “8”, “4”, “2” or as your national champion.
Here is mine:
Round of 8
#1 Clemson vs. #14Michigan
#2 Alabama vs. #12 Ole Miss
#4 Oklahoma vs. #11 TCU
#7 Ohio State vs. #9 FSU
Round of 4
#1 Clemson vs. #7 Ohio State
#2 Alabama vs. #4 Oklahoma
#1 Clemson vs. #2 Alabama
Have fun with it, let me know what you get and is it finally time for the NCAA to get it right????