Earlier today our TCU Writer, Ben Findley, put up a FanShot that led to a conversation between Gary Stokan, President and CEO of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, and Scott Michaux, a sports columnist for the Augusta Chronicle. In the argument, Stokanlays out destroyed argument after destroyed argument about how the BCS is a better alternative to any form of a playoff. Michaux pointed out vital flaws in every argument, but Stokan failed to admit them, as does just about every other BCS proponent who comes across a playoff proponent.
Unfortunately, these type of people will probably never be able to accept that a playoff is better than the BCS, by far. In an attempt to show the BCS Proponents just how flawed their entire argument is, I am going to break down every argument that Mr. Stokan presents in the debate and expose it for what it really is, a flawed excuse.
For the players -- 18-, 19- and 20-year-old kids -- who now would have played 12 games, would have played a championship game in most cases, and would have played four more games in a 16-team playoff? Now you're playing more games than the pros are playing. I will tell you that if you look at the rosters of teams, those that play that many games would be decimated by the end of the season. Injuries would be rampant.
What he means by this:
A playoff would add too many games to a season. Injuries would be so bad to the point that the quality of the games would be watered down.
Exposing Argument 1:
When it comes to this argument, the only way to tell if injuries would hurt the game would be looking at examples in other sports, including football. Look at the NFL, they play up to 20 games if they are a Wild Card team and make it to the Super Bowl. Do we see the NFL having issues with injuries due to extra games? No. The NFL still has amazing high quality games without injuries being horrible. Do injuries occur? Yes, but not to the extent where the games have been watered down. The quality of the games are still great and people still watch with great interest.
Two other specific sentences that are logically incorrect from the orginal argument:
Now you're playing more games then the pros are playing.
Mr. Stokan may want to check up on his math, because the last time I checked, an NFL Team that goes to the Super Bowl plays 19-20 games, depending on which seed it gets, while a College Football Team that comes from a conference with a championship game, and goes to the National Championship would play 17 games. It would be 16 if the team that went to the National Championship came from a conference without a championship game.
I will tell you that if you look at the rosters of teams, those that play that many games would be decimated by the end of the season
At this point I go back to how the NFL has no issues with watered down games or less interest due to a small amount of injuries. The amount of injuries that would occur in a College Football Playoff are over-exaggerated, as is shown by how the NFL has no problems. "I will tell you that if you look at the rosters of teams" that the fact that College Football rosters are almost two times larger than NFL rosters shows that College Football has no issues with depth. A college football roster is comprised of 100 scholarship players plus any walk-ons. An NFL rosters has a maximum of 53 players.
If you had an 8- or 16-team playoff, as you mentioned, the difficulty would be if the Chick-fil-A Bowl is not in that it would destroy us because the focus of everybody would be on this playoff
What he means by this:
If a playoff were put in place, no one would acre about the bowls anymore and the bowls would die.
Exposing Arugment 2:
This is a favorite argument of BCS Propenents, if there is a playoff, there will be no interest in the bowls and the bowls will die off. Depending on what the bowls do, this will not happen. If, when the playoff is put in place, the bowls do not rearrange the dates to the point where they are playing on the same dates as playoff games, then those bowls will die off. If the bowls are smart then they willl make sure that the date of their bowl game is not the same date as a playoff game. Please let me explain why:
The idea that no one will watch bowl games and no one will have interest in them is almost entirely bogus if they do not play on the same day as a playoff game. That way they are not competing head to head with these playoff games for viewership, at that point they would surely not have an audience. If all playoff games are played on the weekend, like the NFL does, and the bowls are played during the week, then viewership could (emphasis on could) actually increase.
With a playoff, there are more meaningful games in the post-season, which means more interest in College Football. As people are waiting during the week for the epic matchups on the weekend, they still want to watch College Football and as a result will watch the bowl games anyway. That is the same reason why people watch the bowls earlier in the post-season, they want to watch College Football. Trust me, everyone can't wait for the BCS Bowls to come around, but people watch the lesser bowl games because they are excited about College Football.
Take the New Mexico Bowl for example. To 6-6 teams from Non-BCS Conferences drew 2.789 million viewers. Nobody cares about watching BYU blow out UTEP, but people care about watching College Football, and when any bowl game is on, people watch. The way the viewership increases is more interest in College Football due to a playoff bringing more meaningful matchups.
The idea that the bowls will die could happen, but that is only if TV Executives and Bowl Directors forgot all logic and decide to be hard-headed and go head to head on the same day against playoff games. So in otherwords, the chances that the bowls survive with a playoff has a 99% chance of happening.
Augusta Chronicle: But why would your game be any different? South Carolina and Florida State would still probably be in your bowl game if there were a playoff. Why would you still not be a reward for them? Why would you have to go away?
Gary Stokan: Those 16 teams that you have in the playoff, they've lost their reward and it's become very difficult for not only them but the fans. Now you're going to ask the fans to pay their season tickets, go to the SEC Championship game, and after that follow their team four different times to play playoff games.
What he Means by this:
Fans don't have the money to pay for season tickets, a championship game and follow their team to playoff games. That's too much stress on the fans and attendance will be bad because of it.
Exposing Argument 3:
Could this argument be viable? Possibly. Just like the idea that bowls would die off can be avoided, so can this idea. If you have these games at neutral sites, then attendance will probably not be good, due to the reasons Mr. Stokan pointed out. But if you stage these games at the higher seed's home field, except the championship, then each and every game will be sold out.
Also, for the players who I talked about it being a reward for the end of the season, now that player is going to get on a plane and fly to Atlanta on Friday, practice in the Dome that night, go to the hotel, have a meal, watch a movie, go to bed, get up, have meetings depending on if it's a night game and then they play the game, get a shower, get in a bus, go back to the airport and go home. Now there's no experience there. May be great for a fan, but for a player it takes away any kind of experience. You lose out on that.
What he Means by this:
Players get the experience of staying in a city as a team and with a playoff, that experience would be taken away.
Exposing Argument 4:
This is the one argument I agree with to an extent. The teams that go to a playoff won't have the same experience that they would if they went to a bowl game. The only thing is that if a team does go to the playoffs, then the chances that the players on that team not going to a bowl game during their time in school are very slim. Follow my logic:
The seniors normally play a big part in good teams, but they have probably gone to a bowl game in the years they didn't make the playoffs. The juniors could have been part of a rebuilding time for the team and already gone to a bowl game, or they could be going into a state of rebuilding which would mean a bowl game. The idea is that it is not very easy to have a player not go to a bowl game during his entire time at school due to a playoff. THat would mean you would need to make the playoffs for all 4 years and that is not very easy.
As far as which playoff to go with, well... That's another story. Feel free to break down and expose other arguments of BCS Proponents.
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