NCAA Football - Thanksgiving Weekend Edition!

It works for all other college sports excluding D-I football. Appalachian State is in the 2nd round of the playoffs after an 11-game regular season.

But see (as I mentioned in an earlier thread) I don’t have any problem with cutting the number of regular season games. Pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking as it is, money needs to be taken OUT OF THE EQUATION completely. Maybe all athletic revenues from all NCAA teams should be pooled and then split evenly among all teams at the end of the year or something. But in any event, cut the regular season to 10 games-3 non-conference openers, then 7 conference games, with no conference having more than 8 members so you play every team in your conference every year. Then you establish a 16 team playoff, to cover 4 weeks (plus, as you say, maybe an off week) and concurrent with that playoff, you have as many bowl games as you want featuring any teams that are not in the playoff. Hell, you can even still call the playoff games by the various bowl names if you want, and have them sponsored. There’s no harm in having more than 15 bowls if you want. But this way, no team plays more than 14 games. With the shortened conference schedules you still have everything finished before New Year’s except for the final game. And if you pool all the revenue and hand it out at the end, there’s no financial incentives for teams to cheat the way they do now. Or at least not as big an incentive.

The problem is that once a profitable sports team (college or pro) adds games, it is VERY rare to have the number of games cut back (I can’t think of an instance of the latter, but there probably are some examples). Teams/leagues get addicted to the extra revenue.

Baseball used to be 154 regular season games plus up to 7 playoff games. The regular season was lengthened to 162 games, and when more layers of playoffs were added, the regular season was kept at 162 games. (Here’s a history of major league season and playoff length - for 1903 and then again 1919-1921, the World Series was best of 9). Anyways, in 2008, the Cardinals will tentatively open their regular season in MARCH (March 31). I can’t find a schedule for the 2008 playoffs, but in 2007, the 7th game of the World Series was scheduled for November 1. Baseball should not be played in March or November. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for MLB to shorten the regular season or the playoffs.

Similarly, colleges will be very reluctant to trim back the average team’s schedule from 12 games to 11, just so that a small number of teams can participate in a playoff. Never mind that subjecting unpaid 19 year old bodies to 12 regular season games of getting hit by 260+ pound linemen is probably not good for the kids.

The MLB playoffs were stretching in November because of the added days off they stuck in between the playoff gamedays this year; I agree November is simply way too late. Sorry, but if you’re in the World Series, you better show that you have more than two or three starting pitchers. Pretty sure it’s not a revenue thing, though…

As for NCAA, we can talk all we want but I don’t think it’s ever going to change; there’s just way too much money tied into home games (I think the Austin economy alone generates $25 million in revenue for each UT home game, the school itself makes a fortune) and a ton of other incentives, not to mention the Bowl system structure and financial rewards associated. A redistro plan is not gonna work cause all the big schools will cry foul… as said earlier, they just love getting that money (and the smaller ones can fund their programs another couple of years).

It’ll take a very serious shakeup to change all of that, but since no one sees anything really wrong with it (fiscally, morally or ethically) and no one’s died over it, chances of change are slim at best…

— Alan

Well, it may very well be a revenue thing. By having so many off-days throughout the playoffs, MLB presumably gets to schedule more playoff games on days that are better for viewership (weekends, I’d guess).

Well perhaps, but you can only have two playoff games on the weekends after all (I think the extended schedule was only for the World Series but I could be wrong). And the first week of the playoffs where there’s a lot of regional excitement (usually), always starts on like a Tuesday, in the afternoon as traditoinally baseball ends the season on a Sunday. IMO the playoffs should always start on a weekend and have everyone play but, of course, you have to compete with the NCAA and NFL, which are both in full swing either way.

— Alan

Every system is going to have magical theories and drawbacks. People will be unhappy about their school getting the short end with regards to end of the season placement no matter what the system in place and the large sums of cash have to be factored in. No system is perfect. The fact that all of these decisions that are so important for fans and school and league officials are based on the actions of kids 18-24 creates an inherent unpredictability to forecasts and outcomes where rankings/bowls/playoffs/championship games are concerned. I have given up looking for a better solution as I do not think there is one. The BCS is what we have. I have made my peace with that.

I will never make peace with anything that isnt a playoff and I am 100% sure that someday we’ll have one.