By Ken Reed
When it comes to college football at the highest level, the move from a four-team playoff to a 12-team playoff has always been a no-brainer.
A 12-team playoff makes the regular season more interesting for a lot of teams — and their fans. It also makes the championship playoff more exciting; the current four-team playoff has become boring. A 12-team playoff will also generate a lot more money for each conference, including the smaller ones that need it most.
With the 12-team proposal, the subcommittee has basically admitted the four-team playoff was a bad idea. I think the primary reason they did it originally was to try to retain some legitimacy for all the silly bowl games. Well, the stands at most bowl games these days are 80% empty. The old bowl concept is basically dead. However, twelve teams, with multiple games on New Year’s Day, would allow college football to own New Year’s Day again.
Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State have taken 11 of the 14 title game spots the last seven years under the current format. There was never any kind of equal opportunity or parity with a 4-team playoff. The same conferences and teams dominated. Smaller (Group of Five) conferences (and the Pac-12 which has struggled getting a representative in the four-team playoff) still face an uphill battle, but a 12-team playoff at least gives every FBS team a shot.
Everyone that starts a season — in any sport — deserves an opportunity to win the championship, even if the odds are long. The four-team playoff model didn’t give every conference and every team a chance. Ethically, it was unsustainable.
With the proposed 12-team playoff, the odds are still stacked against smaller conferences. But like the NCAA’s highly-successful March Madness basketball tourney, with a 12-team playoff, all FBS teams will now at least have a chance.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families. Linda writes extensively about how youth sports can hijack families, and family outings, non-sports activities and bonding time are lost in the pursuit of the next club team game or travel tournament.
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Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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