Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Insert bowling pun here

As you are no doubt aware, the Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University routed the Huskies of Northern Illinois 37-7 in the Poinsettia Bowl last night. This college football extravaganza, which you raptly watched instead of House, was attended by a less-than-rabid crowd of 29,000 fans and 41,000 empty seats. It matched the 25th-best team in college football against a barely mediocre 7-5 team out of the MAC.

Surely, when opponents of a college football playoff cite decreased interest in non-playoff bowl games as a reason to maintain the current system, they can't be thinking of the Poinsettia Bowl. This game couldn't possibly generate less interest.

I'm sure that someone must be making money off the bowl system - someone who would make less money off a playoff system - but I just can't figure out who that is. It would be so, so easy to have an eight-team playoff that incorporated the current bowls, and lined everyone's pocket with additional revenue. I stare slack-jawed at this glaring market inefficiency, as the suppliers simply refuse to meet demand, and as a result lose money every year. Can someone please explain why this happens?

Look, it's so easy. Here's what you do:
1) Pick eight teams for the playoff. Take the winners of the 6 major conferences (Big 12, Big 10, Big East, ACC, PAC, SEC) assuming those winners are ranked in the top 15 in the country. Round out the field with at-large teams, giving preference to independents and other conference winners in the Top 15.
2) Have them play in existing bowls, like the Fiesta, Orange, etc.
3) Let the other non-playoff bowls operate normally.

Here's what the playoff schedule would look like this year:

Sunday, Dec 24
Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs. Wake Forest
Gator Bowl: Florida vs. Notre Dame
Capital One Bowl: Louisville vs. Boise State
Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma vs. USC

Monday, Jan 1
Rose Bowl: OSU/WF vs. Okla/USC
Orange Bowl: Fla/ND vs. Lou/BSU

Monday, Jan 8
Fiesta Bowl: Championship game

And there you go. The GMAC Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl, Bowl, and all the others could continue to feature meaningless games between mediocre teams. No one cares about those games anyway, unless you're a parent of one the players, an alum, or a rabid fan starved for any sort of college football. And those three types of people would still watch the bowl games. In the meantime, you'd have the most over-hyped and over-exposed playoff bracket outside of March Madness. You'd generate more money for universities, more money for the big conferences, more money for the TV stations, more money for the mafia, and you'd actually get to crown a champion that is decided on the who loses? Why hasn't this already happened?


Post a Comment

<< Home