in

That’s It, I’m Done Watching College Football Because The Playoff Is Expanding

Just kidding. That’s a clickbait headline. Imagine sitting in a work cubicle this afternoon and thinking the 12-team college football playoff system that will soon be introduced to fans is the worst thing to ever happen to the sport we all love. Pump the brakes on your misery. At this stage in the life cycle of college football, this is the greatest news imaginable, and it won’t destroy that regular season that you love so much.

I think the best way to look at such earth-shattering news is to ask, “Why do we watch college football?” The only answer is to get loaded, watch a bunch of college guys play ball for 12 hours on a Saturday to hold us over until Sunday’s 1 ET kickoffs and brag at work on Monday mornings. You guys are smart. You know what’s been happening since the College Football Playoff was introduced. The same 4-6 teams were pretty much guaranteed to get into the playoff so Disney could make a bunch of money via advertiser rates which then kept Disney coming back to pay colleges even more money for the broadcast rights.

That led to pretty much a college football playoff desert from Norman, OK all the way to the Pacific Ocean and has left out a key college football market — Los Angeles. And it wasn’t going to get any better. The Pac-12 Network has been a complete disaster, the Pac-12 Championship Game hasn’t seen attendance over 50,000 since 2015, and the conference is about to get a new commissioner as the disastrous Larry Scott era comes to an end. How bad was it? Pac-12 fans couldn’t even get the conference cable channel.

Expanding the playoff isn’t going to devalue the regular season. Look at the NFL. Did you even realize the 2020 playoffs expanded? Did you suddenly stop watching the regular season? Even in a season that included empty stadiums and a presidential election, the NFL destroyed all TV competitors and it wasn’t even close.

Not only are you going to watch the college football regular season like before, but you’re going to watch more hours of programming because there will be more important hours of programming to watch. You’ll still need to watch Bama because they’ll still have all the great players battling each other for Heisman trophies. You’ll still watch Ohio State because you hate the Buckeyes. You’ll still watch Clemson because you love/hate Dabo. You’ll still watch Oklahoma to see if your OVER hits.

The regular-season difference with a 12-team playoff is that a November Oregon-Utah game has massive playoff implications and an 8 ET kickoff that you’ll need to have on one of your TVs. Fox won’t be sitting there twiddling its thumbs with its Pac-12 offerings. ESPN will have like 30 games with playoff implications. Playoff projection shows will matter. More teams equal more emotions and people willing to be separated from their money.

The financial trickle-down of an expanded playoff system will be incredible. Full stadiums in November for playoff-caliber games mean more meatheads crushing beers at campus bars before games. It means hotels are full. It means VRBO houses are full the weekend before Thanksgiving. In 2020, it was estimated that college football programs making up the Power Five generate $4 billion in annual revenue for 65 universities. That’s right, FOUR BILLION.

In Madison, Wisconsin, Badgers football games generate $114 million annually to the state economy. It’s $130 million in revenue per year for State College, Pennsylvania.

Add it all up and there better be no complaining out of you guys as you belly up to the garage bar or the basement bar to slam a few beers, hang with neighbors and yell at your TVs as college guys battle it out for a shot at playoff glory. I don’t want to hear about how your No. 12 team got screwed because it won a first-round playoff game only to play a rested Bama team that proceeds to steamroll your guys. Just be happy your school will now be able to fly a playoff banner and you’ll be able to brag about it Monday morning around the coffee pot before heading back into your miserable cubicle.

ESPN Radio guy in Utah gets it:

Todd gets it:

Ben knows how money is made:

John doesn’t get it:

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

18 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. Money, and trying to make the Pac 12 relevant. And no, I don’t know about the NFL playoffs, I stopped watching. Stopped watching college and pro basketball too. Baseball in the backseat of my mind, but don’t watch. I watch no professional sport at all.

  2. The critics who say that they need to get rid of the cupcake games have to also realize the impact that has on said cupcakes. Those small programs rely on the millions of dollars in revenue they receive in playing the power programs.

    • I’m a LSU fan but at the end you’re getting the same 3 teams plus another as per usual. Only now those 3 teams will have a bye the first round of the playoffs and yawn and nap to see who they’re playing next week…9-3 Iowa St or 10-2 BYU. I really don’t get everyone’s climax over this.

  3. The problem is not the number of teams in the playoff, it’s the fact there is now 100% media focus only on the playoff instead of the 120 years of regional conference history that has made the sport so popular to begin with. Yes, there is a national champion each year, that’s the big goal for 8-10 teams with semi-realistic chances, but it’s not the only goal, and not the only big thing in college football every year. College football is different than anything else because of this, so trying to competing nfl is a mistake imo.

    • That’s well said John. I’m inclined to agree.

      The problem with college football is that there is a cartoonishly seismic gap between the #4 and #6 respectively. Alabama and Clemson and Ohio State seemingly land 50% of the rivals hot100 all Americans. I don’t blame those kids for going there but it does create a situation where it’s simply not competitive anymore

  4. March Madness expanded to 68 teams and it’s as popular as ever. CFB should use the Power 5 champ games as auto qualifiers. Regular season champions should be in as well. That should give you a solid 6-8.

    Non-power 5 school ranked the highest should get in. Then leave the rest to a committee.

    No one gets left out, the cream always rises to the top, and all fanbases should be more satisfied than ever.

    If you’re on the outside looking in, play better next season. As a CFB die-hard this is a dream come true.

      • Agreed. There’s still a noticeable gap between the top 2-3 teams and everyone else year to year. This is an attempted money grab. The thing is they’re assuming lower seed fans have budget to pay for 3-4 bowl games. What’s the budget going to need to be for a fan who wants to go to 2 of these games, not to mention 3-4?

  5. It’s easy to say, “this is a great idea,” but when you see starters resting in the Iron Bowl because both Alabama and Auburn have wrapped up playoff berths, it might not seem like such a slam dunk idea. Unintended consequences will come up.

Leave a Reply

to comment on this post. Not a VIP? Signup Here