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No Agreement on CFP Expansion

HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
I think Ohio State has the athletes Georgia and Alabama do. They can match, or even exceed that talent in spots. They recruit just as well as both of them. Njingba would have tore up that Georgia secondary. Alabama has no one like him.

Ohio State is definitely close in talent, but if these past two seasons are evidence, the Big Ten's best team gets crushed by the SEC's best team (OSU last season, Michigan this season).
 

lincoln84

Blackshirt
10 Year Member
Ohio State is definitely close in talent, but if these past two seasons are evidence, the Big Ten's best team gets crushed by the SEC's best team (OSU last season, Michigan this season).
The BIG does not have the speed on D either. OSU could not run on either of those teams and I doubt the pocket would hold long enough for them to win just throwing for 4Q. OSU has good athletes but not as good as what I saw Monday night. I would enjoy watching them get throttled by either team though.
 

dwc13

Recruit
2 Year Member
Ohio State is definitely close in talent, but if these past two seasons are evidence, the Big Ten's best team gets crushed by the SEC's best team (OSU last season, Michigan this season).

In fairness -- and not just because I'm an Ohio State alum -- 2020 Ohio State only played 7 games before the CFP Championship while Alabama played 12 games. Huge advantage for the Tide, especially on the offensive line. Ohio State was also missing key players to injury or Covid for the CFP Championship, including 2 starting DL (Togiai, T. Smith) and the PK. Yeah, not good when Najee Harris is lined up in the backfield running behind 5* OL. Recall QB Justin Fields had suffered an injury in the CFP semifinal when cheapshot artist extraordinaire Skalsky targeted him with a shot to the ribcage. That injury basically prevented Fields from QB runs & scrambling against Alabama. Starting RB Trey Sermon was injured on the Buckeyes 1st play after Alabama kicked off. LG Wyatt Davis left the game with a knee injury in the 2nd quarter. If Saban is complaining about losing a WR or 2, he's got nothing remotely close to what Ohio State went through in last year's CFP Championship.

In the end, bowl games between P5 teams are more about matchups than talent, and emotion. Georgia was a bad matchup for Michigan. The Bulldogs D was great against the run, suspect against the vertical passing game (which the Wolverines didn't have with their 2 best WRs out). The Bulldogs desperately wanted a rematch against Alabama -- an opportunity to atone for the SEC Championship humiliation. In contrast, I think Michigan was just happy to be in the CFP after finally beating Ohio State. Once the CFP pairings were announced, Michigan was toast.
 

SWVAHusker

Starter
20 Year Member
Translation: Not enough money being offered by ESPN/Fox to begin serious discussions.

No, it's about who gets the $. It always is. There isn't an amount of money that wouldn't cause a debate over who gets what.

According to multiple people who were there the last time the CFP managers met, *nobody* brought up the issue of P5 conference champions getting an automatic bid into the CFP. Everybody thought that they'd agreed conference champs wouldn't automatically get into an expanded playoff. A couple weeks ago, Kevin Warren (possibly supported by 1 or 2 other managers as well as some university presidents) suddenly latched on to the issue.

They also can't agree on how many teams should be in an expanded playoff. They can't even get to the point where they're only debating between two options. There's people who want to keep it at 4, people who want 8 and people who want 12.

I really don't think this gets done before 2025, and maybe not even then. The only sport capable of screwing things up and costing themselves tons of $ worse than college football is Major League Baseball.
 
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Porkchopexpress

Junior Varsity
10 Year Member
The ratings in a vacuum don't necessarily mean the public has no appetite for playoff football (the NFL ratings show there is an appetite), but ESPN has screwed up the marketing of the playoffs very badly. First, keeping the games on ESPN may help the company's bottom line, but no doubt it hurts ratings by not being on broadcast TV. Also, this is called a playoff, but it's really an invitational. Playoffs imply there's some sort of automatic entry, but these teams are selected by a committee. I think the public that watches sports on a regular basis has seen through this charade, and that's turning some people away. As college football fans, we're used to this type of process, but college football is the only major sport (college or pro) that clings to this unusual way of crowning a champion.

Another misstep is having semifinal games on NYE. That's a non-starter for a large chunk of the public, and those games get almost no casual viewers, which are needed to really boost ratings. This goes back to the problem of having one entity (ESPN) controlling all aspects of the playoff. The Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-Fil-A should be able to negotiate their own contracts, and be with whichever broadcast partner they choose. This will help get the playoffs out of the NYE rut every couple of years, and allow those games to be played on New Year's Day. The NYE problem is compounded because casual viewers that didn't watch the semifinals aren't going to be as interested in watching the championship game.

While playing the championship on Monday nights isn't ideal, I really don't know how ESPN can avoid playing the game on Mondays. ESPN won't go head-to-head with the NFL in its final week of the regular season, so it's pretty much forced to play on a weeknight. Additionally, ratings will continue to slip if there's not enough variety in the matchups. Watching 'Bama play against another team from the south won't attract viewers from other regions of the country. Maybe that's just tough luck for ESPN that the playoff was created when arguably the greatest coach in the game's history was hitting his peak. Still, it's a tough sell for a lot of people casually interested in college football.
 

Husker In Oklahoma

All American
15 Year Member
Ohio State is definitely close in talent, but if these past two seasons are evidence, the Big Ten's best team gets crushed by the SEC's best team (OSU last season, Michigan this season).
I don’t put much into it. To me, it’s more mental than anything else. They made it to the title game, and met one of Sabans better teams. OSU could beat Georgia or Alabama IMO. They are quite formidable.
 

Quality Czech

Recruit
15 Year Member
The ratings in a vacuum don't necessarily mean the public has no appetite for playoff football (the NFL ratings show there is an appetite), but ESPN has screwed up the marketing of the playoffs very badly. First, keeping the games on ESPN may help the company's bottom line, but no doubt it hurts ratings by not being on broadcast TV. Also, this is called a playoff, but it's really an invitational. Playoffs imply there's some sort of automatic entry, but these teams are selected by a committee. I think the public that watches sports on a regular basis has seen through this charade, and that's turning some people away. As college football fans, we're used to this type of process, but college football is the only major sport (college or pro) that clings to this unusual way of crowning a champion.

Another misstep is having semifinal games on NYE. That's a non-starter for a large chunk of the public, and those games get almost no casual viewers, which are needed to really boost ratings. This goes back to the problem of having one entity (ESPN) controlling all aspects of the playoff. The Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-Fil-A should be able to negotiate their own contracts, and be with whichever broadcast partner they choose. This will help get the playoffs out of the NYE rut every couple of years, and allow those games to be played on New Year's Day. The NYE problem is compounded because casual viewers that didn't watch the semifinals aren't going to be as interested in watching the championship game.

While playing the championship on Monday nights isn't ideal, I really don't know how ESPN can avoid playing the game on Mondays. ESPN won't go head-to-head with the NFL in its final week of the regular season, so it's pretty much forced to play on a weeknight. Additionally, ratings will continue to slip if there's not enough variety in the matchups. Watching 'Bama play against another team from the south won't attract viewers from other regions of the country. Maybe that's just tough luck for ESPN that the playoff was created when arguably the greatest coach in the game's history was hitting his peak. Still, it's a tough sell for a lot of people casually interested in college football.
Great points all around. In a nutshell, the CFP as it exists now is a dud, mostly because of corporate greed and mismanagement. I wish it would go away completely, but knowing that Disney/ESPN needs it, I’m sure it won’t.

But as you point out, it’s not a playoff - it’s merely a beauty contest. Perhaps if it actually becomes a truly open, competitive playoff, it will be more interesting and actually achieve some validity…
 

Cornhuskers7

Recruit
An 8-team CFP playoff with no restrictions would have had:

* 3 SEC teams in the field.
* 2 B1G teams
* None from PAC12 and ACC
I struggle to see expansion that wouldn't have some sort of restrictions, though. I think if we go up to 8 teams, you'll see auto-qualifiers for conference champions.
 

Cornhuskers7

Recruit
The ratings in a vacuum don't necessarily mean the public has no appetite for playoff football (the NFL ratings show there is an appetite), but ESPN has screwed up the marketing of the playoffs very badly. First, keeping the games on ESPN may help the company's bottom line, but no doubt it hurts ratings by not being on broadcast TV. Also, this is called a playoff, but it's really an invitational. Playoffs imply there's some sort of automatic entry, but these teams are selected by a committee. I think the public that watches sports on a regular basis has seen through this charade, and that's turning some people away. As college football fans, we're used to this type of process, but college football is the only major sport (college or pro) that clings to this unusual way of crowning a champion.

Another misstep is having semifinal games on NYE. That's a non-starter for a large chunk of the public, and those games get almost no casual viewers, which are needed to really boost ratings. This goes back to the problem of having one entity (ESPN) controlling all aspects of the playoff. The Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-Fil-A should be able to negotiate their own contracts, and be with whichever broadcast partner they choose. This will help get the playoffs out of the NYE rut every couple of years, and allow those games to be played on New Year's Day. The NYE problem is compounded because casual viewers that didn't watch the semifinals aren't going to be as interested in watching the championship game.

While playing the championship on Monday nights isn't ideal, I really don't know how ESPN can avoid playing the game on Mondays. ESPN won't go head-to-head with the NFL in its final week of the regular season, so it's pretty much forced to play on a weeknight. Additionally, ratings will continue to slip if there's not enough variety in the matchups. Watching 'Bama play against another team from the south won't attract viewers from other regions of the country. Maybe that's just tough luck for ESPN that the playoff was created when arguably the greatest coach in the game's history was hitting his peak. Still, it's a tough sell for a lot of people casually interested in college football.
I watched about the last two minutes of the 1st half of the title game and turned it off and went to bed. Some of it is being over watching Alabama in the title game, especially against another SEC team, but in general I just didn't have much interest in it this year. I have to think many other college football fans are like myself. I agree the way the playoff is structured still needs a lot of work.

I agree with Porkchop that the way they schedule the playoff isn't great. Personally, I don't mind NYE for the games, but I can see how most other people have things going on that will keep them from tuning in. New Year's Day is traditionally the biggest day in college football. I'm really surprised this isn't where they've tried to stick the games. Monday night for the title game is a travesty. It needs to be played on a Saturday. I understand the NFL has taken over that slot, but I think a compelling college football title game can compete with the NFL. I'd certainly be more likely to watch on a Saturday night, than having to stay up super late on a Monday.

I think that the timeline for getting these games played is also an issue. We literally go a month without seeing these teams play. That takes a lot of momentum out of college football. I think you either play the semis at sometime before Christmas, or you expand to 8 teams and play the first round before Christmas. I know that college football has always had the long break before the bowls, but it is the only form of football that does that. I also hypothesize that if you give teams/coaches less time to prepare for those games, you'll see closer results in games. Give Saban and his staff a month to prepare for a team, and most of the time they'll get it figured out.
 

Frosty1980

Go Big Red!
2 Year Member
In fairness -- and not just because I'm an Ohio State alum -- 2020 Ohio State only played 7 games before the CFP Championship while Alabama played 12 games. Huge advantage for the Tide, especially on the offensive line. Ohio State was also missing key players to injury or Covid for the CFP Championship, including 2 starting DL (Togiai, T. Smith) and the PK. Yeah, not good when Najee Harris is lined up in the backfield running behind 5* OL. Recall QB Justin Fields had suffered an injury in the CFP semifinal when cheapshot artist extraordinaire Skalsky targeted him with a shot to the ribcage. That injury basically prevented Fields from QB runs & scrambling against Alabama. Starting RB Trey Sermon was injured on the Buckeyes 1st play after Alabama kicked off. LG Wyatt Davis left the game with a knee injury in the 2nd quarter. If Saban is complaining about losing a WR or 2, he's got nothing remotely close to what Ohio State went through in last year's CFP Championship.

In the end, bowl games between P5 teams are more about matchups than talent, and emotion. Georgia was a bad matchup for Michigan. The Bulldogs D was great against the run, suspect against the vertical passing game (which the Wolverines didn't have with their 2 best WRs out). The Bulldogs desperately wanted a rematch against Alabama -- an opportunity to atone for the SEC Championship humiliation. In contrast, I think Michigan was just happy to be in the CFP after finally beating Ohio State. Once the CFP pairings were announced, Michigan was toast.
Man I just can’t agree. Alabama and Georgia look bigger, faster, and more physical than Ohio St. Every once in awhile Ohio St can compete but not year in and year out. Take the top ten SEC teams and top ten BIG ten teams. Write them down and compare. The depth and strength of the SEC is superior to the BIG.
 

SWVAHusker

Starter
20 Year Member
I struggle to see expansion that wouldn't have some sort of restrictions, though. I think if we go up to 8 teams, you'll see auto-qualifiers for conference champions.

The auto-qualifiers is apparently one of the major stumbling blocks now. Until the most recent meeting, apparently all of the CFP managers thought everybody was in agreement that P5 conference champs wouldn't get automatic bids into the playoff. To me, it's weird that multiple people involved said they thought they had an agreement on this issue though. IMO Kevin Warren's right to have argued for conference champ automatic bids. IMO every conference other than the SEC should support Warren on this. Without it, the SEC could get 3-4 bids in a particular year while another P5 conference gets zero.
 
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wcbsas

All Big 10
15 Year Member
I struggle to see expansion that wouldn't have some sort of restrictions, though. I think if we go up to 8 teams, you'll see auto-qualifiers for conference champions.
And then you'll have a mandatory inclusion of a G5 team, and qualifiers on Notre Dame's eligibility. Which means in most years 6 or 7 spots will automatically be claimed with little room for qualified non-conference champions!
 

Cornhuskers7

Recruit
The auto-qualifiers is apparently one of the major stumbling blocks now. Until the most recent meeting, apparently all of the CFP managers thought everybody was in agreement that P5 conference champs wouldn't get automatic bids into the playoff. To me, it's weird that multiple people involved said they thought they had an agreement on this issue though. IMO Kevin Warren's right to have argued for conference champ automatic bids. IMO every conference other than the SEC should support Warren on this. Without it, the SEC could get 3-4 bids in a particular year while another P5 conference gets zero.
If you don't make the conference champs as auto-bids, it really begs the question of why conferences have championships in the first place. Otherwise it mostly comes down to overall record, which isn't the best indicator of a strong team. The lack of auto qualifiers really hurts the playoff, right now.

I agree with you, I'm not sure why anyone outside of the SEC would be against it.
 
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