Hey guys, do you think it would increase the odds of moving to a playoff system if there were a football equivalent to the NIT, or maybe several smaller two week mini-playoffs, taking the place of the minor bowls?I realize the lengthy schedule is one concern at many universities, but football coaches and AD's are a big part of moving to a playoff system. I think many of them are afraid of losing any opportunity to evaluate talent, recruit, and earn money in minor post-season bowls. I don't know if an NCAA football NIT of sorts would be the way to go, but it's intriguing. I don't think a second playoff would be a dud in college football like it is in basketball. Here's why:
1) With the actual NCAA football playoff field only including 16 teams, there'd be some very solid squads left at home. Household names with substantial fan-support like Tennessee, Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Clemson, and Virginia Tech would be available.
2) Quality mid-majors with excellent records like Colorado St., Boise St., Fresno, Marshall, and Toledo (and in many years appealing and large mid-major draws like BYU) would also be available.
3) True scholar-athlete teams, like Wake Forest, Air Force (and during most seasons, Stanford) would also be left at home, depsite overachieving.
4) Rather than playing in a one-shot lackluster match-up, unmotivated teams following dissappointing seasons like Oregon, Tennessee, and Clemson would have a chance build momentum and expectations for next season by winninga tournament. Admittedly they wouldn't be playing for the title, but showing well in this would actually impress fans more than beating a no-name in the Seattle Bowl.
5) The mid-majors and the academic schools would have a much more attainable goal to shoot for every year in which they could showcase their programs against ranked teams and big time programs from the big 6 conferences.
6) Though it would run a very distant second to the real playoff, the "NIT" is still football being played on television, and it would either give the mid-majors or academic schools a chance to go farther than they ever have, or it would give major programs (Tennessee) a chance to redeem themselves and build excitement for the next season. It would be much more compelling than most of the minor bowl games under the old system.
7) If necessary, some of the games could be hosted by higher seeded teams, at least in the opening rounds. That'd be an extra pay day for participating schools.
Here's an example of the different types of teams who would have gained more from an "NIT" last year than the minor bowls (there are 18 below, not sure which 16 would have been selected):
Solid Performing Mid-Majors: Bosie St., Colorado St., TCU, USF, Marshall
Scholar Athlete Programs: Wake Forest, Air Force
Quality Programs with Major Fan Support: Va Tech, Clemson, West Va, Wisconsin
Struggling Super-Powers: Florida, Penn State, Tennessee
Programs on the Rise: Pitt, BC, Oklahoma St., Texas Tech, Minnesota
As a football fan, I would be glued to my set for a playoff with that field of teams. The only potential negative would be if the NIT were scheduled too close to the actual playoff games. Anyway, think of what something like a football NIT would mean for teams like Air Force, Wake, Tennessee, Pitt, Ok St., Boise St., Va Tech, Clemson, or especially USF.
I know the hoops NIT is lame, but am I wrong in thinking the it'd be an improvement over the minor bowls, at least as a product that college fans would enjoy? You'd still only have 32 teams playing 1 extra game, 16 playing 2 extra games, 8 playing 3 extra, and 4 playing 4 extra. I don't buy the bs about schools not being able to accomodate the format. The kids have an extra burden to bear and they're making a ton of money for the school and the conference, so why can't they be accomodated? Maybe I'm naiive, but I know plenty of people who've had professors bend over backwards for them, giving them incompletes for a whole semester to allow them to avoid a failing grade the previous semester. If that's fairly common, then football players can get a few extra weeks cushion when it comes to exams. If the eggheads have too big of a problem with that, then they can form their own conference. Sure, Football players get plenty of undeserved breaks and it grates on serious students, but I know plenty of TA's who have high IQ's and terrifica grades, but zero teaching or social skills. TA's are one of the worst things about large universities. These guys can absolutely wreck a young student. If the schools can accomodate some of these bozos, who are doing them a service by providing cheap/free teaching services, then they can accomodate football players, who help boost the enrollement and exposure of the school, and who fill the coffers of the athletic department.
Btw, I realize that's not true of all TA's, but it's a crapshoot, and that's not fair to students.