College Football Playoff: Delany's Call for Support Is a Hollow Rallying Cry
A playoff is coming! A playoff is coming! That's the overwhelming cry of joy from the college football world, as the commissioners are passing on the playoff proposal to the presidential oversight committee for approval going forward. Times, they are changing in the college football world. After an ugly final few seasons the BCS is dead in name, and with this upcoming vote, in existence as well.
In light of all the coming change Jim Delany, the Big Ten commissioner, has been quite candid in admitting that the system needs support to work. As Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com reported from the latest BCS meetings:
Delany rehashed the exchange Wednesday before the latest meeting of BCS power brokers. As the BCS system enters its final stages, Delany called for those around the sport to rally around the new postseason model.
"Any system only can last so long without support," Delany said, "and there's just constant criticism [of the BCS]."
It makes sense that they need support. The last days of the BCS have been characterized with people bickering over who plays, who got screwed and why Team A was better than Team B. Now, Delany is looking for support from anywhere he can get it.
The funny thing is, at the onset it is going to be supported. There's a faction of very simple minded people who truly believe "anything is better than the BCS." Obviously that camp is not much for history because in 1997 going into 1998 "anything was better than the Bowl Alliance and split national champions."
So there will be a swell in initial support. Same as the BCS saw once we were getting number one versus number two on a year in and year out basis. Then things got weird with Nebraska and Oklahoma and USC and Auburn and you know the rest of the story. This new format is going to get that same support.
How long will support for the new system last?
However, when things go sour it could be much worse than the BCS's souring and much more quickly. The four-team playoff event is a gateway drug of sorts. Pandora's box has been cracked, and while the BCS made it impossible to accommodate a multi-team playoff; the four-team event lends itself to an easy expansion. Just ask the FCS and their recently swelling playoff.
The playoff is not the first choice of the coaches. There are multiple conferences that are not truly on board with the playoff ideal. Depending upon the selection format; best four, conference champions preference, other teams and leagues will see their interests brushed aside. Throw in the sites that will become problems as teams want local sites versus some folks wanting to use the existing bowl sites. Oh and of course the always prevalent, "I should have been picked instead of Team 4" complaining.
Essentially the table is set for controversy. Fans are not getting what they want. Coaches are not getting what they want. Schools are not getting what they want. No one is actually going to be happy and as the layers of this "anything is better" onion get peeled back the stench surrounding the college football postseason will be a pungent as it is now.
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