I know, I know, another conference thread - playoffs

Many people contend that the SEC/BIG will ultimately fully breakaway from all the other conferences and have their own playoff. I disagree for a couple reasons:

  • Where will the wins for all the BIG/SEC teams come from? Think Texas fans will be cool going against all SEC/BIG teams and going 7-5 every year or Indiana fans will be cool going 2-10 every year?
  • In the NFL when your team stinks the fan base can look forward to a high draft pick or spending a ton of $ in free agency to bridge their emotion/hope to the next season. SEC/BIG would have no such mechanisms to appease their fans.
  • Leaving several dozen “P5” teams behind WILL result in multiple lawsuits and likely congressional involvement - it would get ugly. This is definitely not the path of least resistance for BIG/SEC.
  • Lastly, how many fan bases would vow to never watch an SEC/BIG game if this would happen? Good luck getting basically anyone west of Texas to watch any of that. Unless a top USC team was in it LA could care less even though USC/UCLA would be in the BIG - all your major markets west of Texas - gonzo - no Denver, Phoenix, Portland, LA, SF, Seattle, SLC, etc… I see no way it improves their viewership and mass appeal. It would be terrible for business IMO.

What I do see happening is a “soft” breakaway where they are clearly set apart in power and $ but not officially broken away. In this position they can always use the threat of full breakaway to get whatever they want and tweak the system in their favor. Think the way Texas acted in the Big 12.

I see the playoff going to 12 teams. BIG and SEC will go to 4 (or 5 if they keep expanding) team pods and each pod will get a playoff team. They’ll play pod teams towards the end of the year like NFL does so tons of games will matter late in the year in the BIG and SEC as teams try to win their pod and try for one of the 4 byes in the opening round. This is similar to NFL where most games towards the end of the year are meaningful. So there’s 8 teams there just from BIG/SEC. Big 12, ACC, PAC winners get a spot, then 1 for highest ranked remaining team.

Pods will break down something to the effect of what I have below so that each pod has at least 1-2 decent football teams. A 5th team can be easily added to any of the pods with no need to tweak the playoff format if that team is lucrative enough to increase the BIG or SEC TV pies.

Feeders to Playoff:

  1. SEC Pod 1 winner: Alabama, TAMU, Ole Miss, Miss State
  2. SEC Pod 2 winner: OU, Texas, Arkansas, Mizzou
  3. SEC Pod 3 winner: Georgia, Florida, Auburn, South Carolina
  4. SEC Pod 4 winner: LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt
  5. BIG Pod 1 winner: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue
  6. BIG Pod 2 winner: USC, UCLA, Illinois, Northwestern
  7. BIG Pod 3 winner: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana
  8. BIG Pod 4 winner: Penn State, Nebraska, Rutgers, Maryland
  9. Big 12 winner
  10. ACC Winner
  11. PAC Winner
  12. Highest ranked at large
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I doubt that they will formally declare 1/3 of the playoff for the SEC and another third for the Big Ten. May turn out that way with at-larges, but that would pull people in front of senate committees.

As for pods, I doubt they go with them but I sketched this out a while back.

Pod 1: OU, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri
Pod 2: A&M, LSU, MSU, Ole Miss
Pod 3: Bama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Pod 4: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky

Every team gets one annual rival out of their pod, and plays the rest 2 of every 4 or 6 years:

9 conference games: 4 annual, 8 bi-annual, 3 tri-annual
8 conference games: 4 annual, 2 bi-annual, 9 tri-annual

Everyone is too biased in favor of “everyone plays everyone regularly” (overcorrecting for Bama and Florida playing like twice in 11 years) when the interest level in games between opponents is pretty dramatically unequal.

I already boycotted P5 games and CFP except for Cincy last year…

Now that we’re in the club I’ll start watching Big 12 games… But I have no interest in watching the SEC and B1G play each other… I’ll watch them play a Big 12 school or G5 school, though.


Are you considering NIL and the portal ? ? ? ? ?

Yeah but neither are really the same.

College teams like Indiana, Purdue, or Mizzou aren’t going to have the same NIL money that the blue bloods do, on average, so it would actually be a net disadvantage against the winning/blue blood competition (as we have already seen - USC, Texas, etc… are the names out there with the big NIL deals now). In the NFL teams are bound to a salary cap and all spend about the same amount of $. The bad teams often don’t draft well or have a good QB so aren’t resigning their own talent so they have a bunch of money to give out in free agency. (Think of the Jags who always seem to have tons of money to give).

For the portal, sure you might get a transfer or a few but you also might lose some as well including some of your better players that don’t want sit around on a losing team - no guaranteed one way talent infusion where you get a guaranteed chance at the consensus best talent out there like the worst NFL teams do in the NFL draft.

Neither are really close to the same as what the NFL does in terms of fan psychological appeasement.

If BIG/SEC break away fully you will basically have a soccer English Premier League or F1 racing type thing going where a small handful of the well funded “blue bloods” win every year and everyone else is just there to get squished by the blue bloods. Absolute no thanks on that. I won’t watch any BIG games and probably only a couple SEC games per year in that instance and I think it would turn off MANY people.

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