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Reservations

1. A tournament would extend the season.

Most Div. I schools now play 11 - 13 games. With the Top 12 and Next 16 formats, only 8 teams would make it to a third round or beyond, and thus, would play 14 or 15 games. That means 106/114 = 93% of Div I teams would still play 11 - 13 games. Even with a playoff, the college football season will remain the shortest of any major college sport.

2. There is an existing agreement now in place.

Any agreement could be changed or upgraded if all concerned parties thought it would be beneficial to do so. The current ABC-BCS rights deal that began after the 1998 season essentially nullified a six-year rights deal that favored CBS.

3. Academics would be interrupted.

As NCAA basketball has overcome potential conflicts involving academic scheduling during March Madness, which runs entirely through the spring semester; Division I football could certainly be accommodating! With the system outlined in this proposal , the only student-athletes affected (by most specifically delaying final exams) would be, of course, those whose teams have made it to a postseason tournament. Final exams usually test cumulative knowledge, which merely demonstrates a general understanding (or lack thereof) for the scope of the subject taught throughout the entire semester. Class notes could be electronically mailed and exams could be taken in controlled environments via video and/or fax; or, any interruption of the final one to two weeks of the fall term may easily be made up during the long break before school starts again in mid January. If you look at college sports outside football, these student-athletes miss an average of over 11 class days per year, whereas football players miss only an average of less than 2 per year.

4. Fans find it expensive and difficult to travel on short notice.

Although it is implausible for all fans to go to all games, it is not difficult to make it easier for most fans to have an opportunity to attend at least one game per postseason. When major transportation corporations negotiate to become a sponsor, simply incorporate reductions or waivers of any restrictions limiting last-minute travel reservations to the playoff destinations for the appropriate dates. [For example: with proof of tickets to the Rose Bowl for round 3, fans would be able purchase airline tickets to that destination less than a week prior to kickoff, but at the usually lower 2-week advance notice fare]

 

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