Much like your friendly neighborhood prostitute or Nicolas Cage when he agreed to The Wicker Man, there isn’t much Mark Emmert and the NCAA won’t do for a quick buck. This is only more apparent with the recent proposal for a college football playoff expansion. What will this entail, and why is it bad for the sport?
What Is the Proposal?
For a while, the top two teams were enough. Then, three and four complained, so we got the College Football Playoff, which was enough. However, now five and six are complaining, so let’s go to eight. Wait, we’re not going to eight? We’re going right to twelve? How will this look?
6 highest ranked conference champs & next 6 highest ranked teams will make @CFBPlayoff. 4 highest-ranked conference champs seeded 1-4 will receive 1st-round bye. Teams 5-12 will play 1st round at home field of highest-ranked team. Notre Dame/Independents can’t get 1st round bye— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) June 10, 2021
That last line is interesting. Notre Dame cannot finish in the top four in this proposal, and is ineligible for the bye. However, it’s more likely they’ll strong arm their way into changing this rule (much like they did under the BCS system). So, a college football playoff expansion is good, right? More teams means more football means more money for everyone.
This is horrible for the sport. It will be more football, but it won’t be better football. The average score of the college football playoff semi-final is 40-18. Now, some of those have been upsets, but there is a noticeable dropoff between 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Here’s how the playoff would have looked this year (remember, Notre Dame cannot be ranked in the top four):
How 12-team 2020 @CFBPlayoff would have looked:— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) June 10, 2021
12 Coastal at 5 Notre Dame
11 Indiana at 6 A&M
10 Iowa State at 7 Florida
9 UGA at 8 Cincinnati
CC/ND vs. 4 OU
UGA/UC vs. 1 Bama
IU/A&M vs. 2 Clemson
ISU/UF vs. 3 Ohio State
4 vs. 1
3 vs. 2
Notre Dame could have beaten Oklahoma in the quarter finals, but outside of that, nothing changes in terms of the semis. It would still (most likely) be Bama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. Now, I say most likely because this will cause injuries to star players. Trey Sermon and DeVonta Smith went down in the National Championship, and that will become more common. Unless teams have shorter regular seasons, which would eliminate the “more football” argument. More football isn’t the only argument though.
“No More Whining from 13”
Anyone who argues this is dumb. If you think the first team out won’t whine about being left out, I can’t help you and you won’t agree with anything I say. It will take two seasons before the thirteenth team starts whining about expansion. An 8-3 Florida team (not counting their bowl game loss here) was ranked seventh in this years rankings, and an 8-4 North Carolina team was thirteenth. You’re telling me the Tar Heels won’t complain about that?
“Well, other sports do it”
Yes, March Madness and the College World Series are a thing, but come on. This can’t be a real argument. A football game is much harder on the body than basketball, baseball, or softball. I’m not arguing the players’ athletic abilities, I just mean the physical toll on the body.
“Well, the NFL does it, so why can’t college?”
Every NFL players makes at least $610,000 more than college athletes. With NIL laws, that number will be smaller, but not by much. College athletes won’t make millions of dollars off these laws. If they would, the NCAA would probably argue they’re entitled to half of it. With the added injury risk for $0, a college football playoff expansion is bad for the players.
Rather than worry about lining your own pockets, how about you work on paying your athletes?
I also ranted about this extensively on the Korner Booth Pregame, be sure to check it out!
Korner Booth Pregame: Junior Seau Episode https://t.co/IfaD9a7LWB— Korner Booth Podcast 🎙 (@KornerBoothPod) June 10, 2021