When Colorado State-New Mexico had their game canceled because the Lobos have not practiced since last week because of a rise in new Covid-19 cases in their surrounding areas, many in the media pointed out that the game will not be made up since the Mountain West has no open date to reschedule the game. The Athletic's Stewart Mandel tweeted there was no wiggle room for the league and then veteran college football broadcaster Tim Brando tweeted:
"Let's be clear Stew/ The schools in the Group of 5 are simply trying to stem their losses by getting some games in and receiving some TV money. It's not as if they are part of the College Football Playoff discussion. That's the reality of the 2020 season. It is what is!"
I like Brando. I don't agree with everything he says, but that's good. And I respect his knowledge of the business of college sports and Tim often points out the issues college football faces and how the current system in determining a champion is not the best.
I tweeted back at Brando:
"Just like 80% of the P5 that are playing for media money and selling a few tickets to offset significantly bigger revenue losses who also have no shot at the CFB Playoffs"
Brando agreed in a tweet back because he knows it's true and has even agreed in years past.
In a non-virus world, the number of teams that begin each college football season with a real chance of making the playoffs is really about 8-10. Rarely does someone not inside the top 15 of pre-season polls make a run and usually you can pinpoint the playoff potential teams well before a season kicks off.
The current four-team playoff model has been in place since the 2014 season. Can you guess how many teams have played in the playoffs over the last six seasons? 11.
And of that group of 11, Alabama and Clemson have appeared five times, OKlahoma four and Ohio State three times. Oregon, FSU, Michigan State, Washington, Georgia, Notre Dame and LSU have appeared once.
It's not that other P5 programs have not been in the race for a top-four spot, but the group of teams is just not that big as the season develops and usually each P5 league has truly 2-3 teams that might be able to make a run.
Here we are in this crazy 2020 season and let's see who is really left as a contender:
SEC: Alabama, Florida, Georgia and maybe Texas A&M
ACC: Clemson, Notre Dame
Big XII: Oklahoma State
Big Ten: Ohio State and one other team
Pac 12: Oregon and one other team
Group of 5: Cincinnati
Which brings me back to the Brando tweet. Everyone came back to play in 2020 because they need the television money and those who can sell tickets are doing it to make some money back of the larger amount they are losing with limited capacity.
The MAC is coming back for one reason only. And it's not because people are screaming for MACtion action on Tuesday. It's because the few dollars ESPN pays for those games and if they don't play, they don't make their money that is distributed by the College Football Playoff bank, where every conference gets something.
But don't kid yourself. Most teams in the P5 leagues are not making the playoffs and have no shot at being considered. Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Kansas, Washington State and all other programs who just happen to be members of a big league are all just playing games to make TV money and sell a few tickets...
Final thought: Jack Daniel died from kicking a safe. He broke his toe, which became infected and he later died from blood poisoning.
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