Blog Entry

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

Posted on: October 20, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: October 20, 2011 1:04 pm
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A formal 16-team college football playoff worth at least $650 million has been proposed by Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson.

CBSSports.com obtained information from the document that was distributed to the 10 other Football Bowl Subdivision commissioners. It proposes that a human committee would rank 30 teams at the end of the season to help select the 16-team field. Those rankings would determine the 1-through-16 seedings. At least six Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) conference champions would be in the field. There would be a maximum of three teams per conference.

Thompson had an eight-team playoff proposal rejected by the BCS in 2009. With the current BCS agreement ending after the 2014 bowls, there is an opening for suggestions for new postseason models. BCS executive director Bill Hancock did not immediately comment.

Thompson's proposal was sent to those 10 other FBS commissioners, Notre Dame and Hancock.

Under his proposal, first-round games would be played the week after conference championship games (usually the second week of December).  The games would be played at the home stadium of the top eight seeds. The quarterfinals would follow on Jan. 1 or 2 at the four major bowl sites -- Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose.

The semifinals would be played at the stadium of the two highest-seeded remaining schools. Bowls could bid on hosting the championship game.

Financial bonuses would be awarded to participating conferences based on performance in the NCAA's Academic Performance Rate. There is also a clause that would allocate $50 million "to address issues of integrity in intercollegiate athletics."

Several playoff scenarios have been proposed by commercial entities. The NCAA even explored the possibly in the mid-1990s before dropping the idea.

The Arizona Republic interviewed Thompson about his proposal on Wednesday.However, CBSSports.com was able to obtain specific detailed information about the proposal.

The FBS commissioners were to discuss Thompson's proposal at a previously scheduled meeting Sept. 20 in Chicago. But conference realignment issues forced the meeting to be cancelled.

Information from the document details the revenue windfall long anticipated from a playoff. Under Thompson's plan, a conference would receive $25 million for each top eight seed it had in the field. For seeds 9 through 16, the revenue would decrease by $2 million in descending order. For example, the conference of the No. 9 seed would get $23 million, No. 10 seed, $21 million, etc.

Conferences would then receive $20 million for each team that reaches the quarterfinals (round of eight). The remainder of the revenue from the semifinals and championship would be distributed this way: Two shares for each for each of the semifinal winners. One share for each for the semifinal losers. Each of those shares, according to information in the document would exceed $25 million.

According to a source, Thompson also asked for support from the so-called "group of five" non-BCS conferences to support and promote the proposal. There was no consensus of support from those four other leagues -- Conference USA, WAC, MAC and Sun Belt -- according to the source.

The Mountain West at least is staying in the news. Thompson's league and Conference USA announced an alliance on Friday. The champions of each league -- soon to be a 22-team consortium -- would play each other, the winner of which would theoretically get an automatic BCS bowl bid. Both leagues are currently non-automatic qualifiers for BCS bowls.

They have received no assurance that they would receive an automatic bid under the new arrangement. The current BCS agreement runs through the 2014 bowls (2013 season). The champions of each BCS league (Pac-12, Big 12, Big East, ACC, SEC, Big Ten) are guaranteed a BCS bowl. That leaves four other spots filled by second teams from BCS leagues. Notre Dame and non-BCS league champions can also qualify by meeting certain benchmarks.

 

 

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Category: NCAAF
Tags: bcs
 
Comments

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2011 8:16 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

If you truly believe that millions of people would still watch the other two BCS bowl games (not involved in the BCS tournament) and the top tier of the non-BCS bowls as much as they currently do now, then I suggest you look at the TV ratings of the NCAA tournament vs. the NIT vs. the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) vs. the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).  Even though it isn't exactly comparing apples to apples, it is the closest thing we have now to help people (the NCAA, the BCS, ADs, College Presidents, businesses, the media, etc.) forecast the potential return on this investment. 

Yes, I do believe that millions would watch the two non-playoff BCS games.  It is not like the BCS would schedule them at the same time as the playoff games.  People seem to have an amazing capacity to watch football games during the Holidays.  Of course it depends a little bit on who is playing in those games.  I mean, U-Conn was a complete bust in last year's Fiesta Bowl...I don't think they even sold 5,000 tickets.  On the flip side, if Ohio St was in one of the non-playoff BCS games, I'm sure a high proportion of the 3+ million hardcore Buckeye fans would either attend the game or at least tune in.

BTW, your comparison of the NCAA basketball tourney and the NIT is more than a little beyond apples to oranges.  That is more like apples and orangutans.  The NCAA tourney has expanded to the point of rendering the others as irrelevant.  The NIT was much stronger back when the NCAA field was 40.  Now the NCAA is 68.  Oddly enough, it still has not killed the NIT.  In fact, the lesser tournaments have proliferated.  Your analogy would be accurate if we were talking about a 32 team football playoff, with none of them being eligible to participate in a bowl game.  My 16 team format would make the 12 teams that lose in the first two playoff rounds eligible for the bowls.  I'm not saying it would be perfect.  I'm sure it would cut back on some of the bowl attendence.  But schools that travel well now would still sell their allotments.




Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: October 21, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

For some strange reason it seems I've heard almost an identical proposal to Mr. Thompson's.  Oh wait!  I have heard this proposal before because I developed it over the past 13 years.  During this time it was also submitted to Conference commissioners and school presidents advocating for a playoff.  Does the Bowl Playoff Series ring a bell, Mr. Thompson?  Sure it does because you and many other Administrators and other "professional entities" have been modeling your playoff proposals off of mine.

So memo to all others with systems structured after mine.... beware of copyright infringements of intellectual property. For those who dont believe me, go see and read for yourself.  The website has only been public now for 12 years. The one thing Mr. Thompson's proposal differs from my system is the "human committee would rank 30 teams at the end of the season to help select the 16-team field"    

My system already has an "objective ranking mechanism" built in.  The human committee is still subjective and prone to corruption. 


When the timing is right, the true playoff system will emerge as the "people's" choice.


 



Since: Sep 15, 2010
Posted on: October 21, 2011 6:26 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

With all due respect to you, VThokies, I don't think you have a firm grasp on the business side of this issue.  Under my plan, the first two rounds of a 16 team playoff would be played in early to mid December.  There would few, if any, scheduling conflicts between those playoff games and bowl games.  Two of the BCS bowls would be semi-final games, on a rotating basis.  Would the ratings be higher for the two semi-final games?  Probably.  But it is not like the ratings for the other BCS bowls are going to fall off to nothing.  People will still watch by the millions, and the fans will still show up for the games.  If people show up for the games, and tune in on tv, there will be sponsors.  I can understand the payout being a bit lower for the non-playoff BCS bowl games, but there is no way it would drop off to a paltry $325K.  The bottom of the barrel bowls pay more than that.  There is no way any BCS bowl would have its payout drop below the second tier bowls (Cap-1, Cotton, Gator) let alone below the bottom tier games (like the Beef O'Brady's, New Mexico or New Orleans).

With all due respect, I believe working for a company that currently sponsors a bowl game and being on the team that negotiated the current contract shows that I "have a firm grasp on the business side of this issue." 

If you truly believe that millions of people would still watch the other two BCS bowl games (not involved in the BCS tournament) and the top tier of the non-BCS bowls as much as they currently do now, then I suggest you look at the TV ratings of the NCAA tournament vs. the NIT vs. the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) vs. the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).  Even though it isn't exactly comparing apples to apples, it is the closest thing we have now to help people (the NCAA, the BCS, ADs, College Presidents, businesses, the media, etc.) forecast the potential return on this investment. 

I will grant you that the market will dictate how much each bowl will payout.  However, you are making the assumption that people will still show up.  What if they don't show up to bowl games or TV ratings decline dramatically?  Then the market would dictate that payout could drop down to what I suggested.  Likewise, if the ratings and coverage for the BCS tournament is significantly higher than the other bowl games, then you will see companies shift their investments from their bowl games to the BCS bowl games that are involved in the tournmant.  I will give you that the BCS bowls will probably be able to lock the primary sponsor for all 4 years of the rotation, but that doesn't prevent the BCS bowls from adding additional minor sponsors.  Likewise, it does not prevent businesses from deciding which bowl games to buy ad spots for.  The rules for the BCS bowl games won't apply to all the non-BCS bowl games because they offer business no incentive.  The reason the price tag for all bowls keep going up is because right now they still matter; especially since the non-BCS bowl can jockey for position in terms of conference affiliation and selection order.  Once the BCS has a Final Four then you can bank on the media giving 90%+ of its coverage to it.  It would be no different then how the current state of college basketball is now.  If you compare the amount of media attention between the NCAA Final Four and the NIT Final Four (if you want to call it that) then that would give you a good indication of the future of D-IA football.  Heck compare the TV contracts between the NCAA and NIT:

    NCAA - 11 years, $6.2 billion with CBS
    NIT - 10 years, $24.1 million with ESPN

If D-IA football had both a playoff and bowl games then it would look virtually identical to how college basketbal is now.  The bowl games would suddenly become the "Little Dance" and you would see schools decline invitations just like they do in the NIT.  This is probably the main reason why the BCS and the other bowls will fight to keep any aspect of a playoff out of D-IA football.



Since: Jun 11, 2010
Posted on: October 21, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

I disagree, it seems simple, I think a national champ, should be undefeated, or a 1 loss team, if you look at the BCS rankings, as they stand right now, its perfect, with every conference in the top 8  , Oregon & Vtech and possibly Nebraska lurking to move in to the top eight if teams slip up,let the season play out. then after the bowl games there should be four teams with atleast one loss at the most, and deserving of a national championship! 



Since: Sep 15, 2010
Posted on: October 21, 2011 5:21 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

I am not confusing the Plus 1 with Thompson's Plan.  When the Plus 1 idea first surfaced, I remember College Gameday talking about it.  I don't remember if it was Herbstreit or Corso who said that the Plus 1 could still incorporate all 4 BCS bowl games with #1 vs. #2 facing off in one of the 4 BCS bowl games.  Then another BCS poll would come out the following week to determine who would play in the BCS NCG. 

Now it is possible their position has been tweaked over the years into creating a BCS version of the Final Four.  I did find a NBC article, dated January 7, 2008, where it talked about the Plus 1 format.  In the article the Rose Bowl expressed concern of making any changes to the BCS that would lessen the significance of their game.  I am assuming the Rose Bowl's concern is for years when they are not involved in the BCS Final Four.


I found another article in the Seattle Times, dated August 12, 2011, and one of the criticisms to the Plus 1 format is ticket and travel on short notice could be a logistic problem for fan bases.



It is the same reason why bowl/neutral sites would a be logistical problem if D-IA ever went to a playoff.  Likewise, it would be a logistical and financial problem if school were allowed to participate in bowl games after losing in the BCS tournament.  Most schools spend anywhere from $300-$500K (by plane) and $100-$300K (by bus) in travel cost to play an away game.  Assuming a school play the first 2 rounds of the tournament on the road, then that can add up to quite a bit of money.  Then expect a school to turn around and play a bowl game on top of that is crazy; especially since schools can't negotiate their own rates for bowl games.  In this economic climate, people expect schools to reduce their overhead cost and be more fiscally responsible with the taxpayer's money.  There is already some rumblings about how athletic budgets have gotten out of control and eventually schools/AD's will be held accountable; especially when they continue to seek financial support from their alumni/fan base on top of what they get from the state government.    
   




Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2011 4:38 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

Nitro, what is the difference between conference tie ins, or the amount of teams a conference is allowed to play in BCS bowls, both are bad,..., if you are a four loss team and are playing in a championship game, and happen to win, great! it might get you a better bowl game, but not a AQ!

Jngkat, I had to re-read your post a couple of times to get your point.  You had a lot of different thoughts going on.  I understand your concern about a 4-loss team AQing it's way into a playoff field.  I am all for AQ's with respect to the BCS bowls, but definitely not for playoff fields.  With my 16 team format, based on the top 16 in the rankings, chances are most, if not all of the AQ conference champions would be included.  If 2 of the BCS bowls are used for the playoff semi-finals (Final-4), that still leaves 4 BCS bowl slots available for any weaker AQ conference champions.  Keep in mind that there is a lot of momentum for adding a 5th BCS bowl...probably the Cotton (now that Jerry has provided a great venue).  If the Cotton is included in the BCS, then it will be even more feasible to include a less-than-stellar AQ champion.  And I agree, it is debatable as to whether we should have AQs or not. 

With respect to limiting the number of schools from any one conference, I don't have a problem with a limit of 2 in the current BCS format.  A limit of 3 would be nice, and that would be easier to accomplish if a 5th BCS bowl is added, or if the Big East or Big-12 lose their AQ status.  As far as a 16-team playoff format, I say no limits to the number of participants from any conference.




Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2011 4:01 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

jngkat, you have rocks in your head if you think 4 loss teams would be getting into a 16-team playoff.  Unless, that is, every conference champion gets an automatic bid.  I would oppose that, and would rather see the top rated 16 schools get in.  Generally speaking, a 4-loss team in the top-16 would be an exceptionally rare animal.  BTW, the season would still mean alot in my scenario, because the top 4 seeds would be assured of two home games in the playoffs.  The top 8 would be assured of at least one home game.  My plan would also allow things to be wrapped up the week following the BCS Bowls.  There is no reason why we can't have a meaningful playoff, and still keep the bowl structure intact.  If the money interests decide that is the way it should be, it would be done.

Get off the 8-team format.  It leaves quality teams out, so it will not shut up the whiners.  With 16 teams, #17 would still whine, but nearly everyone would justifiably tone it out as they would basically have no shot.  Besides, a 16 team format would help spread the wealth farther.




Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

Why are people so loyal to the bowls? They siphon money from from all of your beloved AQ schools and are ruining college football. The Rose Bowl is the only bowl with real history (parade and stadium) and credibility and even the it can coexist with any playoff format.



Since: Jun 11, 2010
Posted on: October 21, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

Nitro, what is the difference between conference tie ins, or the amount of teams a conference is allowed to play in BCS bowls, both are bad, get off the 16 team format, make the regular season and conference championships mean something, if you are a four loss team and are playing in a championship game, and happen to win, great! it might get you a better bowl game, but not a AQ! top eight play in BCS bowl games, with four left Standing let them play out, bowls are happy, and you get a 4 team playoff!  and your done by Mid January, before Students return for winter break.   



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Mountain West proposes 16-team playoff

This is crazy and how much money will the players make?  This is as close to modern day slavery as there is..these kids bring in all this money and don't get jack for it...It's time to pay players and stop this insane raping of their talents!

Cut the "slavery" crap, as it is demeaning to the peoples who really have been enslaved.  These players willingly sign a scholarship agreement.  Nobody forces them to sign, and sure as hell, nobody owns them.  Now if you want to argue that the scholarship agreements include a larger monthly stipend, then fine.  That makes sense, as the NCAA and the system all but prevents the kids from having part-time jobs.  I'm fine with passing along enough of a stipend that the kids are not destitute.  Never mind that going to college is more or less a vow of poverty for most non-athletes, but at least they can work part time to get by.



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