Football playoff system - 8 teams?

Guys - who among you can afford to go to the SEC Championship game, then the first playoff game, then the second playoff game, then the National Championship game, after forking out for season tickets? Not me. I’ll tell you in advance in case anyone is polling us for our interest. I have friends that are going to every Bama post-season game–but they are crazy as we all know. If there was a 16 team playoff, they would go to every post-season game. But I’ll bet very few schools have fan following that can go to all three games as it currently is, much less a fourth game.

And…how hard is that on the players? Anyone think of them in this quest for even more money?

What if CBB was half as good as Saban and the Hogs went to, say, the NC two years straight. Do you realize how much money you’d spend to follow those Hogs into post season play two or three years in a row?!!!

I accidentally read that article, or some of it, before I saw that Wally signed his name to it. Had to wash my hands.

Cheapest tickets right now for Monday night around just over $1600

As for the players, some of the Bama and Clemson players were asked yesterday if they would be in favor of adding another week of games. They all said no. They’re all beat up. It’s been a long season since Sept. 3. Bama and Clemson are both playing a 15-game season for the second straight year, so if anyone would know what playing that many games in college is like, it’s them.

I don’t like the 8 team playoff idea. You’re never going to get rid of controversy of which teams get in, nor do you really want to get rid of it. Everybody seems to want to give an automatic bid to all conference champs, which isn’t a good idea IMO either. This ain’t March Madness. A three-loss conference champ shouldn’t get in over a team from a better league that got through a tough schedule with one loss. Ohio State laid an egg against Clemson, but they still had a better resume than Penn State did.

The premise of the original post and Jeff’s post have been my point all along. I like the four team format. There will be debate no matter how many teams are in the scenario. Heck, there is screaming about the #70 ranked team in March Madness, despite the fact that a #16 has never beaten a #1 in the men’s tournament.

The ONLY way that going to eight teams in the playoff would make sense to me, would be to eliminate the conference championships. And then to my mind, the first round should be played on campus. But even then the economics would still affect the attendance. As we know, many people plan game attendance, etc. for months in advance. With a late season on campus game, many arrangements would be made last minute. If Arkansas played on campus late, I would be fine. But then I live in Fayetteville. HOGinBA could make the drive from Broken Arrow, but others might need to find a place to stay.

I am in the minority, but I am against the playoff system. This is not the NFL or March Madness.

When there are only four teams to select and human beings are selecting one team over another based on an eye test and some of those eyes have never played football before and some have never even worked in football administration, football national championship will always remain mythical, controversial and open to debate. The margin of error is just too high with just four teams. Just doesn’t happen in any other sport.

Most fans who are going to travel will pick one game and choose to watch the rest on TV.

I read a story last week in which Dabo Swinney talked about the fans who told him they had bought tickets to the game in Tampa, but wouldn’t make the trip to Phoenix. “That (not beating Ohio State) was the pressure,” he said. I read another before the ACC Championship Game that quoted Clemson fans as saying they would have driven to Charlotte if that game had not been moved. Instead of going to Orlando for the conference title game, they were saving their money for a plane ticket to the bowl game.

The exception is when a game is drivable. For instance, Alabama fans could have attended the SEC Championship Game and Peach Bowl, and all they would have had to buy were tickets and gas. Atlanta to Tuscaloosa is like Fayetteville to Little Rock.

You seed the first round of the eight team playoff and those games are at the top four seeds home stadiums one week after all of the conference championship games. The Army/Navy game will be bumped out of the spotlight. Just another home game and each will fill up. The four winners play it out just like they do now. How is one more home or away game a big ordeal for any of the top 8 teams fans?

  1. Penn State had two losses, and won the conference championship against those “better resume” Ohio State Suckeyes.

  2. The issue is ESPN. Do you really think if Howard, Herbstriet, Corso wouldn’t have any connection to the B1G that tOSU would have got in? The answer is NO. Heck, Herbstreit even bashed Clemson for having poor performances against “weak” teams. Look at tOSU’s schedule again. They had those games too.
    Edit: By the way “the strongest division of the strongest conference in College Football” went 0-5 in their Bowl games. Still think either had a “good” resume. USCw beat both Washington and Penn St. what happened when they played Bama and had three months to prepare?

  3. If we have three losses and win the SEC, and tOSU got in with one loss with their schedule, and then they laid an egg, you’d be bashing the entire system saying it needs to be fixed. Everyone on here would.

All I have to say is, “welcome”! Along with “where have all of you been”?

I’ve posted about the fan logistics problem as one of the reasons the Playoff needs to be (and now, stay) at four teams for more than a decade. Rarely have I gotten much of a response (pro or con), because most stay focused on the size of the field and totally ignored the logistics aspect. But it’s a major issue.

There’s always some naive soul who will toss in the “well, it works pretty well for March Madness, so it can work for football as well” statement, thinking he/she’s dropped the mic on the issue. But these two (NCCA Basketball vs. CFP) are much more dissimilar than they are alike, if you think about it.

For one, you have four teams at one site, with a venue of around 15-20K (first two weekends - field of 64 and sweet sixteen) games. There will be enough local interest to draw maybe 5K local fans (unless a local team is in their venue’s field), so that means there’s just 3-4K tickets per visiting team to fill up the arena. Contrast that with football, where venues are at least 70K and there are only two teams participating. Even with decent local support, that leaves 20-30K tickets per team to sell if they’re going to have the type of crowd a game of this magnitude deserves. If your team wins, you have to do it again the very next week. And you only have 6 days to plan - which means premium cost of airline tickets (if not drive-able), and last second pricing on lodging. Plus jumping into the secondary market for tickets, of course.


Multiply that by three games (for an 8 team playoff), and however many folks you are taking with you, and that starts to become a sizable dent in the old bank account. For good measure, factor in the ability to take extra vacation that you probably weren’t planning on (iF you have any left at the end of the year), and right around the Holidays when you’ve probably already taken some time off, and it’s clear that not very many folks can follow their team in a 8 or 16 team field.

The ONLY way it would work is if the first round (or two) was at the higher seed’s stadium; but that would gut the Bowl system (taking the top 8 or 16 teams out of the pool of teams to draw fans), and that system is so well entrenched that it isn’t going anywhere soon. I’d be the first to say that there are WAY too many Bowl games now - I’d like to see 15 to 20 - but the places that have them don’t want to let them go. And even at the type of money ESPN could get for the four extra playoff games, they would be losing several existing Bowl games so it wouldn’t net out to be as much difference as many of you seem to think (ESPN is the driving force behind a lot of these bottom-feeding Bowls. Why? Because they learned a long time ago there is a core of college football fans that will watch virtually ANY game they put on, and advertisers know this as well).

For me - a college football purist - this isn’t the main reason to keep the playoff at four; but it is a major factor, and one that few ever talk about.

Swine . . . glad to see that you have joined “us”. I remember you stumping for an 8 team playoff not very long ago. Glad you have seen the light!

Why not just go to 64 or 128 teams, then everyone is happy. Right?

I know you said that “tongue in cheek”, but I’m afraid that’s what it’d take with some people.

That’s very true since 64 was not enough for basketball. SMH