Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Night Dessert: Obama Wants a Playoff

Sorry everybody...more political talk; though it's still college football related.

Will Barack Obama's support for an eight-team college football playoff make a difference? Maybe a little, but let's face it: a playoff isn't coming anytime soon. But it does add a little more credence to the topic. And let's be honest...a college football playoff better be pretty low on Obama's agenda, far behind the economy, national security, al Qaeda/Osama, getting Iraq straightened out, etc.

One reason why playoffs aren't coming anytime soon is that the BCS is still in charge. In fact, they are now negotiating a new television package. ESPN has now joined the bidding, offering $125 million to televise the championship game as well as the Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar Bowls for four years starting in January 2011. (The ESPN/ABC contract for the Rose Bowl doesn't expire for another five seasons.) Fox is currently only bidding $100 million for those four games, up from $82.5 million a season currently. If ESPN's bid is accepted, that's a 50% increase in money, and that's not going to help convince college presidents to switch to a playoff. (Even though a playoff will bring much, much more revenue than the BCS would.)

ESPN's bid comes with a little detail: all of the games would be played on cable, rather than on broadcast TV. If you are among the 92% of Americans who get ESPN, you might think that's no big deal. But it is. Part of the reason ESPN can afford to bid so much for the games on cable is that not only does ESPN sell advertising on the games, but ESPN also charges your cable or satellite provider for the rights to carry ESPN. So guess where ESPN plans to recoup the extra money they are paying the BCS? Your cable/satellite company. Where is your cable/satellite company going to get the money? Take a wild guess.

It's not chump change either. Last year, ESPN was charging around $3 a month per subscriber. So if ESPN's bid goes through and the BCS ends up on cable...ultimately you'll be paying the price for it.

Sammy Vegas at DXP has an interesting spin on the old transitive property of college football by proclaiming that Nebraska is now the best team in the Big XII North by comparative scores. Only one problem.... last month, Missouri throttled Nebraska rather convincingly. Would the game be a little closer now than last month? I'd like to think so, but since the Tigers still have scoreboard, they still are the best in the North. The transitive property for college football never holds, since people can usually find a situation where a defeated b, who defeated c, who defeated d...etc. Last year, it was Stanford defeating USC that made all sorts of absurd hypotheses possible.

UNO hockey got a split this weekend against Ferris State. UNO had a disappointing performance on Friday night with Matt Ambrosz out due to a suspension from an incident the week before. Generally flat, and except for some inspired play on the power play in the second period, the Mavs generally let Ferris control play much of the game. Saturday night, they pulled out a 4-2 victory to gain the sweep. UNO is now tied for 6th place with Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Ohio State. The Spartans come to town this weekend reeling, having lost four straight conference games.


Anonymous said...

Obama: "Institute a true national championship playoff for the college football teams formerly known as "Division 1-A", or I will talk to Harry Reid and have any and all federal funding pulled from those universities."

Yeah, I know it'll never happen, but I can dream.


Jeremy said...

Surprised he isn't advocating that USC have to spread around some of those 5-star players, I mean it's not fair that they should get to keep them.

Robert said...

Obama wants a playoff. Has anyone bothered to ask Paris Hilton or the kids from High School Musical what their opinion on the subject is? From where I stand, Obama's opinion on COLLEGE FOOTBALL is as irrelevant as theirs.