So here we are again, friends, talking about bowl games. I meant to write about something else today, but the powers that be keep making stupid comments, so here I go again (on my own).
Earlier this week I read an article on ESPN.com, saying there is no way the play-off will get any bigger, because the university presidents don't want to add more games, and push the season further into January. That would make football a 2 semester sport, and that would mess up the academics too much. Because the academics are the most important thing, right?
2 semester sport? What the hell are you talking about? Have you talking heads ever looked at a calendar? Today is December 11th - technically, the college football regular season has NOT ended yet, because the Army-Navy game has this thing about being the absolutely LAST game, and it won't be played until tomorrow. This is a week after all of the conference championship games, plus a few games from clowns like the Big 12 who don't have conference championships, but like to schedule games anyway to grab more TV time.
The bowl games do not start until December 19th, and continue, with a few games most every day, all the way through January 11th (there are 41 of them, after all). Let me say that again - the bowls BEGIN on December 19th, and finish on January 11th. Do you see where I am going with this?
There is absolutely NO reason the season would have to be extended to accommodate a bigger playoff - all you would have to do is...wait for it...have the first round start when the other bowls do, in mid-December. Then you would have several weeks to do the play-offs, and the season wouldn't go any longer than it does now, if that.
As an aside, even if it did, there are 130 teams, and only a handful would make it into the final play-off rounds, so it isn't like every school would have a longer season, just a couple.
So longer season/2 semester sport isn't the issue. The real reason is that there is a sacrosanctness to having the "big" bowl games on Dec 31 & Jan 1 - this probably has to do with money, doesn't it always? So, if the powers-that-be would simply move some of these games back a few weeks, make them the early round play-off games, there would be no issue. Those bowls would still get good ratings (and high ad revenue) a week earlier, around Christmas. Hell, make Christmas Eve and Christmas Day football power days, Thanksgiving already is. The NFL even says football is family, so there you go - what better way to spend the holidays than watching football with a group of people, many of whom you can't stand? Isn't that what the holidays are all about?
BTW, this sacrosanctness around New Year's Eve/New Year's Day is doubly odd, because I can remember a time when almost ALL of the bowls were on those 2 days, remember that? Sure there were fewer of them then, but the TV people ended up moving some of them, undoubtedly to get better slots and more ad revenue. So do that again. People will still watch, and even more so because there will be more teams in the play-off.
Don't tell me there isn't enough time for it. Yes, there is.
So that is the obvious move, and ultimately I personally think it should be a 16 (or 12) team play-off. I like 16 better because that means 4 more games, and why should the better teams get a bye in the first round? Some would argue the bye makes you lose your edge, but also if you are that good why shouldn't you have to prove it?
My plan would be that, either way, 16 or 12, every conference champ is automatically in, so that is 10 spots, leaving 6 (or 2) for the Notre Dames & BYUs, or the Alabamas & Ohio States who don't deserve it, but that the sportswriters want in anyway. You can pick the extra 6 (or 2) with any ranking formula you want.
So who's with me? I am too lazily to create a petition for my proposal, but if you do it, I will definitely sign.