New Year’s Eve Playoff Is Not As Bad As It Sounds

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Year two of the College Football Playoff will be played on New Year’s Eve and not on New Year’s Day as it was in its first year. While much of the college football media has come out slamming the decision, the fact is that it’s not all that terrible of an idea.

MSU TDDan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports has absolutely chastised the idea. While Wetzel is correct in his cronyism view and that these games would have been bettered served being played on New Year’s Day or even on January 2nd, he is miss guided on several other points.

Not everyone has plans New Year’s Eve believe it or not. While a lot of people have to work on New Year’s Eve day, let’s be honest, nothing is really getting done (especially by kick off which is at 1pm PST) and with Watch ESPN, people are going to be watching in significant numbers on various devices. Also, people have to work on New Year’s Day and even Christmas so let’s stop acting like America completely shuts down on Holidays anymore.

If you do have plans on New Year’s Eve, did the bar or home of the party you are attending all of sudden stop having TV’s? If you are at a club, ballroom or what not, we can promise you that someone is going to be streaming the game on a smartphone. It’s 2015 after all.

Deshaun Watson ClemsonYes the ratings will be down this year compared to last year but that is not just because of the date and time the games are being played. In the second year of something you can almost guarantee a dip. The novelty has worn off. And if we’re being honest, Michigan State and Clemson are not the national brand names that Ohio State and Florida State are. Not to mention the fact that one of the games last year (Oregon vs Florida State) featured two Heisman Trophy winners squaring off against each other.

Yes a 1pm kick off on the West Coast on a ‘work day’ is a head scratcher. However we are in a 24/7 on-demand world. That means that we are not passively involved anymore, instead we have to actively seek out and find what we want to watch. Besides most people are using a second screen while watching TV anyway. Up to 87% of them in fact. So this notion that everyone stops, gathers around the TV and never looks away went out the window a long time ago.

Is a 1pm PST kick off on a ‘work day’ any worse than a 8:30pm EST kick off on a ‘work night’? Last year the Ohio State vs Alabama game didn’t kick off until almost 9pm EST and wasn’t over until well after midnight. Plenty of people didn’t stay up for that one after staying up late the night before and having to work the next day. Where was the outcry for that?

Look the College Football Playoff should be played on New Year’s Day and have games that are done well before midnight on the East Coast. But having the games on New Year’s Eve isn’t the ‘outrageous’ idea some want to make it out to be. Now there will be something on instead of Ryan Seacrest and Pitbull. If you prefer that then God be with you, the rest of us will be watching the College Football Playoff.

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Losing Record? Come On Down!

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


There are 40 bowl games not including the National Championship game. That means 80 out of the 128 FBS schools will go to a bowl game. Problem is, there may not be enough teams with a 500 or above record to go. That means that teams with losing records will go to a bowl games this year.

FootballBowl games are important and some are even coveted. The reasons why are the extra practice time with your team and the the check the school can receive. Now schools will actually lose money on some of the smaller bowl games but if you can make it to one of the big ones (think New Years 6 games) then the payout to the school can go into the eight figures.

So for a hard luck 5-7 Nebraska team, actually being allowed into a bowl games is a huge benefit. It’s a new coaching staff still implementing their way of doing things. To have an extra 10-12 practices, film meetings and a game is invaluable.

Another school with a 5-7 record, Missouri, has elected to not go to a bowl game even if asked. They are switching coaches and have other issues they need to solve.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy wrote up an excellent article last weekend explain how the NCAA will decide which 5-7 teams go to fill those empty bowl slots.

We do still find it a bit odd that teams with losing records are now ‘bowl eligible’. What message does that send to the players and fans? Maybe there shouldn’t be so many bowl games to begin with?

Weekend Viewing Guide Fri. 12/27-Mon. 12/28

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

FRIDAY DECEMBER 27th

Fight Hunger Bowl: Washington vs BYU – 6:30pm ESPN: Should be a lot of offense even if UW is a team in the middle of a coaching transition. They still have a veteran QB in Keith Price and an all everything RB in Bishop Sankey. BYU has QB Taysom Hill and he is a beast to bring down.

Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors – 7:30pm NBA League Pass (regional coverage): One of the surprises in the NBA this season has been the play of the Phoenix Suns. Currently sitting in second in the Pacific Conference they take on the third team Golden State. It should be a rocking good time in Oaktown on Friday night.

 

SATURDAY DECEMBER 28th

Louisville @ Kentucky – 1pm CBS: This battle in the bluegrass state is always one of the must watch events of the college basketball regular season.

Russell Athletic Bowl: Louisville vs Miami – 3:45pm ESPN: Louisville just missed out on a second straight BCS berth and Miami is in the post season again after a self exile. Game is in Orlando and is big recruiting game for both schools and a preview of an ACC game next year.

UFC 168 – 7pm PPV: Anderson Silva is coming off of his first loss since January of 2006. Can defending Champion Chris Weidman do it again? The Co-main event features Ronda Rousey vs Meisha Tate for the women’s Bantamweight title. They don’t like each other and a good fight or at least a great finish is in store.

SUNDAY DECEMBER 29th

Liverpool @ Chelsea – 7:30am NBCSN: A battle between teams at the top of the table in the Premier League. It’s a nice way to start off your day.

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals – 1pm FOX: The 49ers are coming off an emotional last minute win on Monday Night Football. They now have to go to Arizona which has been on an absolute tear. Arizona needs to win and get some help in order to get into the playoffs. This will be a very close game.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears – 1:25pm FOX: Winner goes into the playoffs and the loser goes home. Aaron Rodgers is back for Green Bay. Let’s do this.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys – 5:25pm NBC: Like the Green Bay @ Chicago game, the winner goes on the loser goes home. Will the Cowboys QB Tony Romo play or will it be up to back up Kyle Orton? So many questions and only 60 minutes to find out the answer.

 

Anaheim Ducks @ San Jose Sharks – 7:30pm  Regional Coverage:  Two of the best teams out west get another chance to see who is the biggest fish in the sea.

Who’s calling what in the NFL? See here. 

Bowl-ed Over: The plethora of bowls and why there should be less of them.

It’s Bowl season in College Football and we do mean season. Between Saturday December 15, 2012 and Monday January 6, 2013 there will be a total of 35 bowl games with a grand total payout of $260,673,125.

That’s right, over $260 million is going to the teams that play in the bowl games and their conferences. The biggest payout is the BCS National Championship game which pays out $18 million to each team and the cheapest is the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl which pays $325,000 to each team. In any event, this is big money.

But should there be so many games? When this kind of money is on the table the response is usually an unequivocal YES! Yet if you remove the dollar amounts think about this; in some cases they are rewarding mediocrity.

12 .500 teams will play in bowl games (2 games will actually feature .500 teams against one another) and 1 sub-.500 team. Georgia Tech will get paid $2,000,000 to play USC in the SUN Bowl on New Years Eve Day. A team with a 6-7 record is getting $2,000,000.

Virginia Tech by all accounts had a down year. They have played in 5 BCS Games (which have multimillion dollar payouts) in the last 10 years. With high preseason expectations they find themselves at 6-6 and heading to the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Florida. While a 6-6 season is a down year for Va Tech it is an exceptional year for their conference rivals Duke. Duke is going bowling for the 1st time since 1994 (the game was played on January 2, 1995) in which they lost to Wisconsin. So a 6-6 season to Duke is a success.

Even with this perspective is it appropriate to award a post season game and in some cases millions of dollars to a team that didn’t even have a winning record? If the answer is ‘no’ then there should be less bowl games. If the argument is for the current system then please this Bloomberg article from 2010. Just because you go to a bowl game doesn’t guarantee a financial windfall for the teams or the conference. It also doesn’t teach college athletes to strive to be better.

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