The playoff system the the FBS deserves currently resides in the FCS. A 16 team playoff format that has been quite successful and intriguing to watch. On one hand the NCAA says that expanding the FBS playoff would keep kids out of class too long…on the other hand they allow the FCS to run their playoff so the only logical explanation for that would be that FCS student-athlete’s education is not as important. The NCAA also doesn’t seem to care that any team that makes a deep run in March basically does not have a spring semester. They also don’t care that WVU basketball players are in the Midwest more than they are in West Virginia after BIG XII conference play starts.
Anyway, the changes that everyone wants are not going to come rapidly. We gotta crawl before we can walk. Number one priority is to end bowl affiliations with conferences. Go ahead and take a look at the long winded and confusing list of bowl tie ins – http://collegefootballnews.com/2016/college-football-bowl-ties-affiliations-conference
(I hate Notre Dame so much)
Ok, so ending that bullshit will do a few things.
- Allowing bowls to pick teams based on a mix of skill/matchup history/geography.
Instead of being locked into taking the 3rd place ACC team and the 2nd place Pac 12 team, lets allow the bowls to pick what makes sense for them. They can offer the teams they want a bowl bid and if they accept, great, if not then fill the spot accordingly. Last year was a pretty good example for us. Playing Arizona St. in Arizona. Turned out to be a great game, but I would have rather played an old Big East team on a field in the eastern time zone.
If the bowls were allowed to pick the teams that make sense for them then they would fill stadiums and have better TV ratings.
2. (Ties right in with No.1) More money for the bowls.
Filling stadiums and having better TV rating means that you sell more ads and sell more sponsorships. Not that I don’t love Popeyes (I do), but the fact that they are sponsoring a bowl is laughable. “Get excited boys, we’re going to the Popeyes Bowl”- Eastern Michigan’s Head Coach (probably).
My whole point about Popeyes and sponsors like Fosters Farms being able to sponsor bowls is that no one gives a shit. The Popeyes bowl is being played in the Bahamas and I expect there to be 17 people there.
So let these bowls start picking teams that can travel to their stadium as well as teams that will produce a good game and maybe some sponsors who are recognizable will start backing your bowl.
3. Fans will start caring.
When you play a team that you have a history with (WVU-Miami) in a location that semi makes sense (Florida) its pretty nice. When you play a team that your not really sure what their mascot is (Army-North Texas) in a location that makes not sense for Army (Dallas) it kinda sucks. So lets get some games that make sense and I promise you people will start caring.
4. Players will start caring.
Players thrive on the enthusiasm that a program and its fans provide. I don’t think its that far of a stretch to say that players would be much happier playing a team they hate in a place that their fans can travel to. You might even be able to stop the slowly growing trend of players sitting out bowl games to prepare for the NFL. I currently do not disagree with players for doing this. They have been blessed to play the game that they love at a high level for a long time without injury and are a few months away from being able to start providing a life for themselves and their family. I understand the whole “team” aspect of it, but honestly do you blame McCaffrey for not wanting to risk his first round draft spot in the hopes of hoisting the Hyundai Sun Bowl trophy? In no way do I think that him sitting out is a knock on his character either…the kid got into Stanford, amazing athlete, has never got into trouble, and by all accounts is a great leader. 5 years into his NFL career, no one will remember him sitting out the 2016 Sun Bowl.
ONE MORE THING
The NCAA has got to do something about the time between the end of the season and the start of bowl season.