When it comes to a college football playoff, there is one known truth: it’s being recommended, and barring a complete and sudden veto during conference spring meetings, four teams will compete for a BCS championship in 2014.
Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to how the whole thing will look. Bowl sites or on-campus? Selection committee or formula? Chicken or fish?
As a (sort of) member of the media, I can assure you the accommodation factor is (not) a hot button issue. Where I (won’t) sit inside Kansas State’s press box, or which Manhattan Motel 6 I (won’t) stay in — I don’t even want to fathom an hour wait at the local Applebee’s — are logistics to be settled on another day and, frankly, ones that I couldn’t give two squats about.
For now, there are bigger questions from some as to whether a four-team playoff is even in the best interest of the sport. Thanks to Josh Kendall at The State (SC), a pair of outspoken coaches, both with Florida ties, have given their opinion on the matter.
Ohio State Urban Meyer says he’s on the fence. ”Can they really play 15 games?” Meyer pondered. “Where is this headed? I’m a traditionalist.”
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, on the other hand, knows exactly where it’s headed. Spurrier said he’s a fan of the playoff idea ”and I (will) like the eight team when we go to that in about five years.”
But whether it’s five years or 10, the HBC is saying what surely many others are thinking. As John opined last week, a four-team playoff isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. And whether anyone out there reading this is for or against a playoff of any kind, you have to believe that a four-team playoff is the gateway to a larger pool of teams competing for a championship down the road.
Why? A four-team playoff has its own set of imperfections and the decision makers aren’t going into this blind to them. Granted, those imperfections are spilled milk compared to the current system, but imperfections nonetheless.
College football is accepting an alternative, knowing it doesn’t have to be the long-term answer. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Look, I’m as big a playoff advocate as anyone (although I didn’t use to be), but a four-team playoff will only modestly temper the annual complaining and howling about selection… revenue distribution… you name it. We’re talking about uncharted territory here.
Take the revenue, for example. The numbers vary, but it’s believed a playoff could exponentially increase the amount of money poured into the sport. Who will benefit from that extra money? It should be the athletes across all sports, who work tirelessly for their coaches and their school. Will they, though?
That’s the question.
Eventually, the answer, along with others, will come from another event (see 2012 BCS championship). And another set of meetings. And another set of change.
It’s just a matter of whether the likes of Jim Delany and Bill Hancock will be part of the evolution when it happens.