Deflecting Four Myths Against College Football’s 16-Team Playoff


“The BCS did great things for college football. It’s undeniable. It made it more of a national game and you’ve heard me say that all those years, but things change. People’s perspectives change. Times change.”

That’s BCS director Bill Hancock’s response on The Dan Patrick Show about now being in favor of a four-team playoff when he previously wasn’t. It’s a very interesting quote, because it’s something that can be said in another 14 years from now when this format expands to an eight-team playoff. And the inevitable 16-team playoff.

Money and greed are going to eventually give most college football fans what they want – a full-fledged playoff system that gives us a fair champion every year. Being a huge supporter of this, it’s a bit surprising why so many others are completely against the thought when it’s something that could gather even more money and actually increase the worth of the regular season.

The problem with those opposed to the idea is their reflection of even adopting the idea. Responses constantly are not cogitated; it’s an eye-roll and a simple, “it’s too much football for these students” or “you can’t mess with the pagentry, the tradition of the bowl system.”

Here are four famous myths, completely broken down and met with intellect.

Myth #1: “The bowl system won’t be preserved; this is the tradition and pageantry of college football.”

Before shoving the “pageantry” down those people’s throat with a side of Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, first accept the fact that change is not a bad thing. Then realize that both the bowl system and playoffs can co-exist with each other.

Once Christmas passes, bowl games are usually scheduled as doubleheaders on ESPN. Some days have up to four different games. There’s no reason 15 games can’t be squeezed in a bowl schedule, it’s not hard to remove 15 of those bowls.

With economic issues, most bowl hosts don’t want to be stuck with two teams that won’t generate enough revenue for them. A smaller amount of teams to choose from each season will even bring back the bowls to a prestigious level, removing a possibility like Illinois last year losing six straight games to back into a game.

It also works from a TV standpoint. Assuming ESPN will broadcast many (if not all) of these games, the network is going to want to spread the playoffs out as much as possible. A game on Thursday and Friday could be preceded by a bowl game, and maybe a tripleheader on Saturday could mirror a day of bowl games on ESPN2.

Imagine, the option to watch more than one game at a time, just like it was an option for the entire regular season.

Myth #2: “The season will become too long for the college athletes.”

This myth is absolutely fact…if the season were kept in the exact way it is right now. Just imagine if Hawaii, who plays a 13th game every year due to high costs of travel, put in some conference championship game, and THEN had to start a potential four-game journey? Of course that’s way too long. That’s why a 12-game mandatory limit needs to take place.

Hawaii needs to offset the cost of traveling to the continental 48 states? Give them seven games at home and five on the road. Before anyone says that isn’t fair, remember that Oregon not only has seven home games, but only four true road games.

By limiting teams to just 12 games all year, then the maximum any team will play is 16. Still sounds like too much?

Let’s take a team like Michigan State, who has gone to Hawaii in the past. They have the option of adding a 13th home game to offset those costs. If they make the conference championship this season, that’s another game. Then, finally, their bowl game, which notches that total up to 15.

15? Is that number really enough to complain about, which is never seen by the majority of the college football landscape anyway?

In the next part, two other myths will be debunked: how a 16-team playoff wouldn’t completely devalue the regular season, and why a real champion would still be crowned.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo, follow the site on Facebook and Twitter. Read his other work on the lacrosse blog, Watson Talk Lacrosse.