It’s the home stretch for the college football regular season. Let’s get to it.
(1) College Football Playoff News Leads to More College Football Playoff Questions – Every few weeks, a flurry of news about the college football playoff comes out and it ends up being more head-spinning than clarifying. Last month, it appeared that a 7th BCS bowl (or whatever we will call the system going forward) would be a lock in order to provide more top tier bowl access to the new class of “non-contract” conferences (Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and MAC) known as the “Gang of Five” (hereinafter referred to by me as the “G5″*) along with an additional contract spot for the Pac-12 and Big 12 (to match the Orange Bowl contract spot that the Big Ten, SEC and Notre Dame are occupying opposite of the ACC). It now looks like that idea lasted about as long as Mike Brown’s coaching tenure with the Lakers, complete with the BFFs of the Big Ten and Pac-12 getting into a tiff over the bowl’s viability.
(* Whenever I hear a reference to a G5, I always think of this moment.)
As a result, the FBS commissioners are going to recommend the original plan of a 4-team playoff incorporated into 6 bowls, with the Rose, Sugar (which has finally been named as the home of the SEC-Big 12 matchup and allows all of us to stop calling it the pompous Champions Bowl) and Orange Bowls as “Contract Bowls” and 3 other “Access Bowls” that will likely consist of the Cotton, Fiesta and the I Really Love Chick Fil-A Breakfast Biscuit Sandwiches So Please Have Your CFO Not Talk About Politics So I Can Eat Them Without Guilt Bowls*.
(* In full disclosure for those that don’t already know from some of my past blog posts, I have long considered myself to be a libertarian Republican, so I have a constant tension in my head between my belief that there needs to be significantly lower government spending with fewer regulatory restraints on the free market and social viewpoints that I completely disagree with. This election year certainly didn’t ease that tension at all. At least we can all depend upon Nate Silver.)
That leaves a multitude of questions that need to be answered ASAP:
- How often will the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl host semifinals compared to the other top bowls?
- How will the conferences split the playoff money?
- Will the G5 conferences receive a dedicated bid to the access bowls, a provisional bid based on a top 15/20 ranking threshold similar to the current BCS system, or no guaranteed access at all?
- Will ESPN win the TV rights or do the conference commissioners want to take the playoff package to the open market? (Currently, it looks like Disney is going to buy up everything once again just as it swallowed up Star Wars.)
- Who will be on the playoff selection committee?
- Are playoff games really going to be played on New Year’s Eve or will TV interests nix that prospect?
- What happens when the first Monday after the NFL Wild Card weekend, which TV partners have said is the optimal date for the national championship game, comes on a date that is less than a week after New Year’s Day?
- Where is the first national championship game going to be played?
- Since ESPN is ready to pay over $600 million per year for the college football postseason, when will a further expansion of the playoff become too irresistible for the powers that be?*
(* Unlike a lot of people, I personally don’t believe that an 8-team playoff is going to be inevitable by any means. If there’s an expansion of the postseason, I think a “plus three” system of a 4-team playoff with the participants chosen after the bowls are played would be more likely, but that’s another discussion for another day.)
With the new playoff starting for the 2014 season, there honestly isn’t that much time to hammer all of these details out. We’ll see what comes out on Monday after the Presidential Oversight Committee hears from the FBS commissioners.
(2) BlogPoll Ballot
I had been holding out on elevating Oregon to #2 since I believed that Notre Dame had a much better resume, but the Ducks continuing its thrashings against USC combined with a game that the Irish should have completely lost versus Pitt has finally gotten me to go with the conventional wisdom among the human pollsters (if not the computers that still like Kansas State much better).
(3) College Football Parlay Picks (odds from Yahoo! and home teams in CAPS)
Minnesota (-3) over ILLINOIS
SYRACUSE (+2) over Louisville
Northwestern (+9.5) over MICHIGAN
(4) NFL Parlay Picks (odds from Yahoo! and home teams in CAPS)
BEARS (PK) over Texans
EAGLES (+1) over Cowboys
Lions (-1) over VIKINGS
(5) Classic Music Video of the Week – “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube
While it is now impossible for the Lakers to beat the Supersonics (particularly for Mike Brown), any list of the top Internet achievements of 2012 needs to include the pinpointing of November 30, 1988 as Ice Cube’s “good day” (after an original argument that it was January 20, 1992).
Enjoy another great weekend of football!