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Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
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AllTideUp Offline
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Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
Saw this article today:

Dennis Dodd says there won't be an 8 team CFP anytime soon

I'm going to preface this with saying I'm not exactly sure how the powers that be are going to pull this off. I have some theories on that, but I'm not 100% certain.

I'll also say that the CFP expansion to 8 won't occur next year or anything so some of this depends on what exactly Dodd means by "anytime soon."

1. Dodd's first point is that ESPN isn't exactly in a spending mood. Technically, that's correct. ESPN is laying off a few more people and it probably won't be the last time they do it. That and the cable industry is suffering from cord-cutting.

I'll be fair here and say that Dodd wrote this article today before news came out that Disney was looking at purchasing Fox's system of RSNs. If that doesn't scream "we're ready to invest in more sports" then I don't know what does.

But even before Dodd wrote this article, he should have been cognizant of that the fact that Disney did just lay the groundwork for an ESPN streaming service. Don't think ESPN is about to fade into the night. What they'll do is what any strong business does and adapt to the marketplace. Cable and satellite subs will likely be around for some time yet, but slowly and surely ESPN is going to start making money from their OTT service. And I'd still be a little surprised if Disney didn't eventually bundle their movie and TV package with ESPN on the streaming side. They'd probably make more money that way although they may take a while to experiment with other approaches. After all, the technology is still fairly new and the market isn't anywhere close to being cornered yet. If anyone was going to corner it, it'd be Disney. There's plenty of time for experimentation.

Point being this, content ultimately pays the bills for any network and especially a sports network. Adding another round to the playoff would be a guaranteed money maker compared to some of the other things ESPN invests their time in. I have a very hard time believing they wouldn't be interested in it.

2. Dodd references health concerns. This is probably his strongest point, but don't underestimate the creativity of the powers that be when it comes to making adjustments.

I alluded earlier that I have some theories on how administrators could pull off an expanded playoff. We saw one of those ways earlier this season. Week Zero...

From SI

A quirk in the NCAA rules allowed teams playing Hawaii to go ahead and schedule their season openers a week before everyone else. Stanford and Rice were given a waiver, as far as I can tell, to play that week in Australia due to the excessive travel. And there you had several FBS schools playing during Week Zero. I have a hard time believe there was no coordination of this whatsoever at a higher level...that this wasn't some sort of experiment. I would bet a large number of administrators and execs were looking to see how this played out.

How hard would it be for the NCAA to alter their rules a little bit and give everyone that extra week to start their season? You think the networks would be interested in getting an extra week of a high performing sport if for no other reason than they could spread out their offerings and get a little more bang for their buck? What would it communicate to those concerned with health if college football was proactive and went back to a setup that allowed everyone to get 2 BYE weeks again?

Not to mention, college athletes are probably about to start getting much better insurance and other benefits added to their scholarship package.

3. Dodd references the FCS argument...the idea that other divisions play a lot of playoff games and so why couldn't FBS do the same?

Well, he's half right. FBS isn't about to cut back on the regular season and they won't get rid of the conference championship games...too much money in both of those endeavors.

But we're not talking about adding multiple rounds here. We're talking about adding 1 round or 4 additional teams to the mix. Not all of these schools will have even played a CCG. Only 2 of them at most will play a 16th game.

It's true that pro careers could be on the line here, but they're already on the line every week. It's a physical game. They were on the line when we talked about creating a playoff in the first place. All of these arguments existed prior to the current setup. What prompted change? I'll get into that in a little bit.

4. His next point is the most non-sensical.

Quote:An eight-team playoff doesn't necessarily solve anything: It has to be the seven best teams plus an automatic spot for the best of the Group of Five. It cannot be five Power Five conference winners plus three at-large for the same reason the CFP doesn't automatically pick conference winners. You don't want your 8-4 division winner beating a 12-0 division winner and knocking your best team out of the playoff. Plus, expansion would introduce another layer of mediocrity. Do we really want a three-loss team winning a national championship? That might be the case this season if you consider Auburn (10-3) might have had entree into this year's eight-team field.

No, no, and more no.

First of all, the G5 isn't even in this discussion. One of the primary reasons for that is that they'll end up with their own playoff before it's all said and done.

Secondly and most importantly, there is no mechanism outside of political pressure to force administrators to include a single G5 school in any circumstance. That pressure won't come into play as long as a committee has discretion over who to pick. While I'd love a P4 with conference champions admitted, it won't happen because the politicos will have an argument that a strong G5 has no access at that point. Well, the G5 doesn't actually need access. They just need the illusion of access. That means we need a committee to choose teams based on an indeterminate criteria. We can't have conference champions being automatically admitted if there are only 4 spots.

Point being this, we'll end up expanding to 8 so that all 5 conferences get their champion in. The lack of exposure and revenue will drive administrators to want more guarantees. The guarantees will come in the form of auto-bids for the Power 5. This is why getting 2 SEC teams into the CFP this year could be so important. Remember, it was the all SEC BCS Championship game in 2011 that ultimately gave us the CFP in the first place. At this point, I really believe 2 conferences being left out of the CFP will give us an expansion.

Once the P5 administrators have their guarantees then it will be up to the committee to more subjectively choose 3 additional participants. This will give deserving teams a shot at redemption and boost the ratings for networks. At the same time, it will give the G5 an opportunity to state their case. Now who knows, maybe once in a blue moon an exceptional G5 team will get in if there's really not a good option at the P5 level to fill out that 8th spot...it could create some drama. But it won't happen often if ever. The important part is that the illusion of access will exist and that will ensure the politicos stay off the backs of administrators. Plus, all the Power schools really have to do is funnel a little cash back to the G5s. Give some of that CFP pot to the G5 as you're already doing. That's another reason we won't see a reduction in the regular season. We might, however, see a banning of FCS games because that would mean more money games for the G5 and that sort of move could grease the wheels a little bit.

As to Dodd's point about introducing another level of mediocrity, he clearly hasn't checked on anybody's bank account. This isn't about preventing mediocrity or ensuring excellence. This is about selling a product to the masses for a lot of extra cash. Now, I do believe that going beyond 8 would start to produce diminishing returns so I don't expect to ever see that happen, but 8 teams will be fervently watched by all regions of the country. That's the point. Any team that could conceivably have an argument that they could win a national title will be in. Every Power conference will have at least one representative. There will still be plenty of drama over who is left out and who gets picked. The regular season will matter just as much as it does now. Schools win and networks win.
12-06-2017 06:26 AM
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murrdcu Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
Please skip 8 team playoffs and go straight to 64 teams as bothbwill just ruin the one thing that makes college football great; a meaningful regular season
12-06-2017 08:39 AM
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Gamecock Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
5+1+2 is perfect. This year we'd have something like:

Wisconsin @ Clemson
Ohio State @ Alabama

Southern Cal @ UGA
UCF @ Oklahoma

This really doesn't cheapen the regular season at all. The G5 becomes more important as games like USF/UCF, Fresno/Boise, and Memphis/UCF suddenly have huge playoff implications. The Pac 12 title game suddenly determines a playoff spot. The ACC and SEC championship games still are de facto play in games and don't lose any significance. The only game that loses some importance is the Big Ten Championship games as Wisconsin is probably guaranteed in either way.

If "playing too many games" is suddenly a factor to the powers that be then shorten the season to 11 games and remove the FCS games. Rivalry weekend the week before thanksgiving, CCGs the week after, Heisman ceremony the first week in December, and First Round games the week before Christmas.
12-06-2017 08:48 AM
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murrdcu Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
ABC is still griping about the ratings for the playoffs on new year’s eve. I understand most viewers are out at parties watching football instead of being at their individual homes getting the numbers up, but for a long evening of drinking and hanging out with strangers, these two football games gets the guys chatting about something. I remember the party I went to had about a dozen guys watching the Alabama game. Young to old.
12-06-2017 08:55 AM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
The Big 10, SEC, PAC and even the ACC are against expanding the season further. There is no motivation by any of the University presidents anywhere for the addition of another game to the season. The possibility of replacing Spring Games with a preseason game might be there, but the answer will be a resounding no to the rest of it.

In that much Dodd is correct. This hogwash about expanding to 8 is not only resisted by AD's, presidents, and commissioners, the very idea of it is repulsive to them. Not to mention that basketball in December is already under terrific stress as far as crowd support goes.

Nobody in football wants to diminish the regular season. Why? That's where the gate is. They may replace G5 & FCS games with P5 games, but they aren't adding another potential game to the schedule period.

So I'm sorry guys, and don't mean to be a killjoy but there is no support among college officials of any kind to expand the playoffs.

The tournament has made the basketball regular season all but meaningless. Schedule three dozen games roughly and if you win 20 of them you've got a shot to be in a field of 66 teams. Then you win by process of elimination, not by being the best at anything consistently.

The past 2 years two of the teams in the 4 team CFP have failed to be competitive. Maybe this year will be different, maybe. I say that because the two strongest teams are paired in the first round and the two weaker teams are paired in the first round IMO.

Alabama lost to Auburn in part because of injuries. Auburn lost to Georgia the 2nd time around mostly because of injuries. Hello? Are any of you paying attention to that! Add that extra game and you cut significantly into the recuperation period that we now have between conference championships and the playoffs.

It's simply a no go and it's not even close to being a consideration.
(This post was last modified: 12-06-2017 12:26 PM by JRsec.)
12-06-2017 10:15 AM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
(12-06-2017 08:55 AM)murrdcu Wrote:  ABC is still griping about the ratings for the playoffs on new year’s eve. I understand most viewers are out at parties watching football instead of being at their individual homes getting the numbers up, but for a long evening of drinking and hanging out with strangers, these two football games gets the guys chatting about something. I remember the party I went to had about a dozen guys watching the Alabama game. Young to old.

For my generation New Year's Eve was for the sweetheart when I was single and a dedicated night to wife when I was married. I never wanted football on New Year's Eve and those were usually the only bowl games I wouldn't watch.

I was more into roulette with friends, champagne, and the babe on my arm. The last thing I want / or wanted to do on New Year's Eve was hang out with the hard-tails and watch football.
12-06-2017 12:22 PM
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murrdcu Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
(12-06-2017 12:22 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(12-06-2017 08:55 AM)murrdcu Wrote:  ABC is still griping about the ratings for the playoffs on new year’s eve. I understand most viewers are out at parties watching football instead of being at their individual homes getting the numbers up, but for a long evening of drinking and hanging out with strangers, these two football games gets the guys chatting about something. I remember the party I went to had about a dozen guys watching the Alabama game. Young to old.

For my generation New Year's Eve was for the sweetheart when I was single and a dedicated night to wife when I was married. I never wanted football on New Year's Eve and those were usually the only bowl games I wouldn't watch.

I was more into roulette with friends, champagne, and the babe on my arm. The last thing I want / or wanted to do on New Year's Eve was hang out with the hard-tails and watch football.

Depends what kind of party you want to go to. Having kids changes plans.
12-06-2017 01:41 PM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
(12-06-2017 01:41 PM)murrdcu Wrote:  
(12-06-2017 12:22 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(12-06-2017 08:55 AM)murrdcu Wrote:  ABC is still griping about the ratings for the playoffs on new year’s eve. I understand most viewers are out at parties watching football instead of being at their individual homes getting the numbers up, but for a long evening of drinking and hanging out with strangers, these two football games gets the guys chatting about something. I remember the party I went to had about a dozen guys watching the Alabama game. Young to old.

For my generation New Year's Eve was for the sweetheart when I was single and a dedicated night to wife when I was married. I never wanted football on New Year's Eve and those were usually the only bowl games I wouldn't watch.

I was more into roulette with friends, champagne, and the babe on my arm. The last thing I want / or wanted to do on New Year's Eve was hang out with the hard-tails and watch football.

Depends what kind of party you want to go to. Having kids changes plans.

I had them, grandkids too! The solution is called a babysitter and on that night she keeps them at her place and is paid well to do it. Now it's just me and Mrs. so that time has past too. Now the trick is to have a drink and a nice evening, but we do waste about half of the bottle of champagne.
12-06-2017 01:59 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
(12-06-2017 10:15 AM)JRsec Wrote:  The Big 10, SEC, PAC and even the ACC are against expanding the season further. There is no motivation by any of the University presidents anywhere for the addition of another game to the season. The possibility of replacing Spring Games with a preseason game might be there, but the answer will be a resounding no to the rest of it.

In that much Dodd is correct. This hogwash about expanding to 8 is not only resisted by AD's, presidents, and commissioners, the very idea of it is repulsive to them. Not to mention that basketball in December is already under terrific stress as far as crowd support goes.

Nobody in football wants to diminish the regular season. Why? That's where the gate is. They may replace G5 & FCS games with P5 games, but they aren't adding another potential game to the schedule period.

So I'm sorry guys, and don't mean to be a killjoy but there is no support among college officials of any kind to expand the playoffs.

The tournament has made the basketball regular season all but meaningless. Schedule three dozen games roughly and if you win 20 of them you've got a shot to be in a field of 66 teams. Then you win by process of elimination, not by being the best at anything consistently.

The past 2 years two of the teams in the 4 team CFP have failed to be competitive. Maybe this year will be different, maybe. I say that because the two strongest teams are paired in the first round and the two weaker teams are paired in the first round IMO.

Alabama lost to Auburn in part because of injuries. Auburn lost to Georgia the 2nd time around mostly because of injuries. Hello? Are any of you paying attention to that! Add that extra game and you cut significantly into the recuperation period that we now have between conference championships and the playoffs.

It's simply a no go and it's not even close to being a consideration.

I can completely buy that administrators weren't interested up until this point. But if the prospect of consistently being left out arises then that could change minds.

There used to be a lot of resistance to any form of playoff whatsoever and then the dynamics changed. I'm not saying everybody will be on board with it, but I have to believe there are a lot of individuals today who are starting to think about a world where their conference gets consistently left out in exchange for multiple reps from one league or another...or in a situation where Notre Dame gets in perhaps. This sort of dynamic alone was enough to weaken support for maintaining the Big 12 from within its own ranks.

There are a variety of creative ways to handling these issues. The key will be administrators who think outside the box a little bit.

1. Starting the season earlier and utilizing what is now Week Zero. It's a simple adjustment and you won't have to worry about winter weather keeping people from games.

2. If we're going to play FCS or G5 teams then they could utilize the Spring game and get some gate out of that. I'm sure fans would love to have a decent competitive match-up in the middle of the offseason.

3. So if you start the regular season earlier and remove one game from the latter part of the season and move it to the Spring then that starts to free up some space. Everybody can play 11 games and get 2 BYE weeks during the season. Then we could play the conference championship games during Thanksgiving weekend instead of the first Saturday in December.

4. I completely understand the concern about the need for a recuperation period, but this is also a reason against playing an all P5 schedule. Removing a few cupcakes and everyone playing 12 tough games will lead to more injuries.

5. If they want to add another round then everyone gets roughly one month off before you start the round of 8.

Heck, they could make some of these adjustments anyway even if they don't add a round to the playoffs.
12-06-2017 04:00 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: Dennis Dodd is wrong and there will eventually be 8 teams in the CFP
All in all, the problem with comparing an 8 team football playoff to the current NCAA basketball tournament is that the scales are wildly different. There are now 68 teams in the basketball tournament. Every conference that most people have never even heard of will get an auto-bid.

What we're talking about in football is an additional 4 teams. Enough to guarantee that each Power conference has 1 representative. Any additional teams will have had to have excellent seasons or they won't be picked.

The value of the regular season won't be diminished at all. It will be increased actually because each Power conference race will produce one entrant automatically. That's a lot of eyes on each conference race.

The teams that get the at-large bids won't necessarily be the other schools in the conference title game. For one, there aren't enough slots to account for all those schools. Two, you could very easily and likely will see situations where teams who had very good seasons, but didn't win their divisions get in. This year, Bama got in because of a great record, but they didn't win all the games necessary to be in the CCG. I think you'll see that quite frequently actually which means every regular season game still counts. You have to put your best foot forward or the committee won't pick you.
12-06-2017 04:10 PM
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