Not believing a 16-team playoff would work in college football is outrageous. Having automatic qualifiers and at-large bids give more reasons to watch, and preserving the tradition of the bowls and fans who only want to hang out tailgating and not caring who their favorite team is facing can exist in the same universe.
Again, the only people preventing this from all happening are the people that don’t like change. They live off of the money they were receiving from the BCS bowls until they found another way to get even more money from a lucrative TV deal and giving a host that waves the most money the championship game.
Putting that aspect aside, here are more reasons why these myths against a 16-team playoff are useless and could actually boost people to watch more games.
Myth #3: Extending the playoffs to 16 teams would further devalue the regular season.
Let me ask this – in the 2006 BCS Championship, USC and Texas started off the season as the top two ranked teams. For that entire season, the only game that mattered were those games they played.
The Longhorns were killing everyone in a weak Big 12 while USC still didn’t have the the bug of losing an unexpected one down the stretch. In the BCS format, these two teams couldn’t be touched. So everything else the 110-plus teams did that season were completely worthless.
A four-team playoff doesn’t help anything exactly, either. For example, just take a look at last season. The top four teams in the BCS poll were Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, and Stanford. Two of those teams didn’t win their conference championship. So, whatever Oregon did to get to the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game and win it means absolutely nothing in the regular season.
So what exactly is devaluing the regular season? If every conference has an automatic qualifier (let’s say 11 conferences still stand after all the movement) then more teams would be in contention to actually play for something later in the season. Then those last five spots can be given to at-large teams.
Myth #4: Limiting the playoffs to the best teams give the championship to someone who deserves it, not who’s playing their best.
Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Kings. These are just some of the teams that didn’t have stellar regular seasons but found their edge late in the year and took that momentum to win a championship in the playoffs.
With the BCS, both teams selected to the championship game had a five-week bye that completely put that trend in reverse. The reason the SEC has won six BCS championships in a row is because their style of hard-hitting linebackers and quick corners on the defense give them a huge edge against a high-octane offense (like someone in the Big 12) that hasn’t had game-time experience to run a hurry-up spread offense.
Five weeks is an eternity, almost another offseason to get to that title game. Just like the first few weeks of the season, the BCS title games aren’t played well on the offensive side not because of nerves, but because of rust. A four-team playoff only helps slightly. There will an average of three to four weeks of wait, and then if the Monday falls within six days of the semifinals, an additional week is added.
Four weeks from the middle of December into the second week of January is enough time to complete the 16-team playoff, and anybody against that method should be just as against the four team playoff that could have games as late as the 13th of January.