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NCAAF: NCAA’s New President A Playoff Sort Of Guy; Will It Matter?

April 29, 2010

So the NCAA’s new president isn’t Michael Adams, which is displeasing to Georgia fans but should get a thumbs up from everyone else. The new guy is Washington president Mark Emmert, and he’s going to get right on something or another right away:

“We want to continue the reforms that Myles and his colleagues got started,” Emmert said. “I do not have specific academic reform I’ll be championing in the next 30 days. … I don’t foresee revolutionary change in academic … it’s an evolution (from) where we are now.”

(Questionable ellipses in original. Academic what? Don’t know.) All right, then. Nothing on the docket.

With nothing about to explode, the inevitable first question: what about a college football playoff? Before he was selected, Emmert gave a quote that’s been cited allover the Internet today:

“I happen to be one,” insists University of Washington president Mark Emmert, “that thinks it’s inevitable we’ll have a playoff.”

Excitement! Cynical gremlin on your shoulder reminding you that opinions can change rapidly in these situations!

Point Gremlin. Emmert yesterday:

“We’ll join in those conversations [about a playoff],” he said. “I do not expect the NCAA to lead in that charge.”

Same as it ever was. Just like the barely (and possibly temporarily) averted move to 96 teams in the basketball tournament, the NCAA follows the lead of the people with the sponsorship dollars. When the possibility of delirious amounts of money overwhelms the entrenched interests currently offering up millions, then we’ll see a playoff broached and, eventually, implemented. It just takes one network making a preposterous offer.

There is one thing in the Emmert file that should encourage, though. In that same article cited above he dismisses “illusory arguments” like missed class time against a playoff. No more “think of the children” from the NCAA when the hockey schedule stretches from October to April and dozens of sports with zero pro potential have schedules far more demanding than the moneymaker. Heck, I-AA schools play up to 16 games.

Anyone who could cite class time as a reason not to have a college football playoff is an empty suit more concerned with maintaining the status quo than anything else. Emmert’s not that. Once that red herring is disposed of, a discussion of the relative merits of a playoff can be had. So at least there’s that.

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