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NCAA Football Blog: Committee Is Short-Sighted With Playoff Scheduling

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New Year’s Eve could be the worst day of the entire year to have important games, assuming it falls on a weekday.  NFL, college football, or anything.  It’s not an observed holiday and many people have to work.  Even if you don’t have to work, most people have plans during the evening.

It wasn’t a surprise that the 2015 College Football Playoff Semifinals saw a 40 percent reduction in television ratings.  Not only were the games less than intriguing, but they started at 1 PM Pacific Time on a weekday that isn’t a holiday.

Complete fail.

When asked about the scheduling conflicting with most of America’s plans, CFP executive director Bill Hancock gave the most arrogant of answers.

“We’re establishing a new tradition,” Hancock said.  “We’re going to change the paradigm of New Year’s Eve.”

There aren’t many people who love good college football teams playing each other more than myself.  With that said, Hancock or any other game isn’t changing my NYE and it’s certainly not going to change the rest of America’s.

Nobody is pining for a new tradition.  The only paradigm here is the CFP’s indulgence to the old bowl system where the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl get preferential treatment, even if they’re not hosting the semi-finals at the cost of America being able to watch.

The executives at ESPN must be awfully frustrated as one of their premier events in the second-best sport in America received lower ratings than the World Series clincher, NBA Finals clincher and last Sunday night’s NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings, who were already in the playoffs and the New York Giants, who were already eliminated from the playoffs.

All so the committee members can keep getting their wallets greased by the men and women in charge of the bowls.

So what’s the solution?

In year’s like this one, if the Rose and Sugar Bowls are not hosting the semi-finals, simply move them to the nearest Saturday, when nothing is going on (like today).  If not, let the playoffs stand alone on January 1st, and possibly massage the start times so there isn’t a huge conflict with the Rose Bowl.

The CFP has been sought after for decades when it was clear that the poll and then BCS system were clearly not the best solution.

The committee has nearly done the impossible:  they’ve acquiesced to the playoff while actually being more indulgent than ever to the big bowls.  All the while not caring for one second about the fans.

Well played gentlemen.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.