Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama's first mistake as president-elect?

I didn't see the interview of President-elect Obama on 60 minutes last night, but somehow it got into the question of how the college football national champion is determined. Obama favors an 8 team playoff to replace the single game between the top two teams. According to the AP, he said,
"It would add three extra weeks to the season," he said at the conclusion of a wide-ranging interview. "You could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this.
He's probably right about that. However, what he fails to realize is that the NCAA, and the colleges that run it, don't really care much about the serious fans of college football. Their first concern is for the alumni and local fans who fill the stadiums during the regular season. They, and the TV broadcasters, are the ones footing the bill for the college athletic programs. For each game that is subtracted from the regular season, over 50 stadiums of ticket-buying fans are lost. A seven game play-off is not going to make up for this, even with increased fees from the TV networks.

And who knows? The NCAA just might have some concerns about how three weeks of playoffs (instead of one bowl game) might affect the student-athletes playing them.

This isn't a major mistake for Obama, but maybe he should just stick to politics and statesmanship.

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