Over the weekend a presidential oversight committee approved a plan that would create a four-team playoff for college football. On The Commish Thursday afternoon, guest-host Rich Herrera made his case as to why this change is a bad thing for college sports. “For years fans have been screaming ‘we’ve got to have a playoff in college football.’ Now they have it, and the consequences are the rich will get richer, and the Boise States of the world will never happen again,” he said. “This really is the end of college football as we know it, and this is the death note, the drum beating the death march to the Big East, and the small schools all around.”
The new system will create a selection committee who will choose the top four teams to play in the playoffs. Those games will be held at current bowl sites. The winners of each respective game will play each other in the championship game on “Championship Monday.” “This new system is going to create so much stinking money for the big schools,” said Herrera.
The playoff makes it harder for smaller schools to recruit, especially in the Big East and Mountain West Conference, where its champion is not guaranteed a spot in one of the six major bowl games. “If I’m a top 20 prospect, where am I going to go? Am I going to go to the University of Nevada Reno? Or San Diego State? Or USF? No. I’m going to go to the school that has a chance to play in the national championship,” Herrera said, “You’re going to have these super-duper mega-conference schools that will be on TV, and you’ll start to see everybody else fall to the wayside.”
If the smaller schools do fall out of the picture it could also start affecting other collegiate sports. “Who does college football money really benefit?” asked Herrera. “Women’s gymnastics, women’s swimming, men’s tennis, men’s lacrosse, men’s cross country,” he said, “the whole college athletic system is built around football.”
College football is the biggest profit-turner for most schools. “The top 20 schools are going to get stronger. The bottom 20 is going to go away, and the middle are going to shrink one way or the other,” said Herrera.
Because of these playoffs, the big schools will stay strong and the small underdog teams will no longer exist. “Here’s the big difference between the NFL and college football if you have a bad season and want to turn it around: If the Bucs come in last place, they get the No. 1 draft pick. If you’re Florida and you come in last place in the SEC there is no leveling of the playing field. They don’t get the Top 5 blue-chip prospect athletes to come and rebuild your program,” he said.
The lack of regulation could result in a very unlevel playing field for college football. With the playoff plan going into action during the 2014 season, only time will tell.