Larry Scott, Condi Rice favor keeping four-team College Football Playoff

The four-team format for College Football Playoff has backing of Condoleezza Rice and Pac-12 commissioner

This not a news flash, but rather a sleepy-day, off-season shot of daily affirmation.

Narrowly passing for "news" on Wednesday was reiteration that college football's regular season is superior to basketball's and at least two leaders prefer not to screw up football.

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott and College Football Playoff selection committee member Condoleezza Rice said during a symposium at Stanford that they are not in favor of expanding the four-team playoff.

They also came out strongly in favor of chocolate ice cream over asparagus.

“I think we’re all lamenting regular-season college basketball not being more popular right now, at a time when March Madness has never been more popular,” Scott said. “To me, that’s a great example of the field being so big that the regular season doesn’t matter.”

Rice, the former secretary of State, agreed that college football’s playoff should not be expanded beyond four.

“I agree that if it got much larger, I don’t think you would have that momentum coming out of the regular season,” Rice said.

Scott and Rice offered their opinions while speaking at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Sports Innovation Conference.

College football just completed its first year of the four-team playoff.

The new system, other than a few bobbles, made a successful debut.

It was hard to argue against the four schools -- Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State -- picked by the selection committee.

Fans of No. 5 Texas Christian and No. 6 Baylor would argue they got left out of the mix, but the committee’s justification for jumping Ohio State over those schools was validated when the Buckeyes won the first College Football Playoff national title.

The playoff proved immediately superior to the old Bowl Championship Series system, which used polls and computers to pick the top two teams.

Under the old system, used for 16 seasons, Alabama and Florida State would have played for last year’s national title.

Those would have been the wrong two teams, given the outcome of two semifinal games, in which Ohio State soundly defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, while Oregon trounced Florida State in the Rose Bowl.

The success of the first season eased the immediate pressure to expand the playoff beyond four teams.

College basketball, for now, is serving as the cautionary tale for how postseason expansion can dilute interest in the regular season.

Call us when they hold an innovation conference on how to fix that sport.

Unless you like a system that just saw seven Kentucky players declare early for the NBA draft and three (so far) from national champion Duke.

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