I'm not going to rehash the details and the details yet to be determined with the new yet to be named football playoff. It should appease most of us for now and I would fully expect that when this deal is up they will likely expand to 6 or 8 teams and then we'll have bracket large enough to make a few more people happy while the conferences make a even more money.
If you want to read more about the yet to be named football playoff I would strongly urge you to read Brian at MGO's take on the whole thing. He has been well-reasoned and level-headed advocate for a playoff for quite a while and this is a very good post on the football playoffs. If that isn't enough for you go to the Wiz who has a ton of links to what people are saying from all over the country. And then down below is SB Nation's Shutdown Fullback YouTube video on it.
My next question on this whole thing is what does this mean for Minnesota? I think that the answer is, not very much. We should see an uptick in the amount of money received from the Big Ten as part of their share of the yet to be determined playoff when we have a team (or two) in the four-team tournament. But even if Minnesota "improves" we likely will just be a strength of schedule booster to another Big Ten team that has a shot at participating.
The problem for the Gophers is that to gain entry into the four-team playoff you will need to begin the season as a top-20 team, you will need to beat at least one very good opponent in the non-conference portion of your schedule and then you will need to go undefeated. It will be possible for a Big Ten team to make the playoff with a loss, but not Minnesota. In the near-term, we will not be a preseason ranked team. According to future schedules we do not have a team that is likely to also be ranked on the non-conference part of the schedule. And even with modest improvement an undefeated seasons seems highly unlikely anytime soon.
This is in no way a rip on the current program or Jerry Kill and what he is doing to rebuild the program. It is just where the program is today and it is a long way from being considered one of the top four teams in the country in any given year. I appreciate that Coach Kill is doing to rebuild the program. But I'm more concerned with getting back to a bowl game for now. I'll then be more concerned with competing for a Big Ten division title and going to a much better bowl game. And then I'll be more concerned with getting into the Big Ten Title game and maybe getting to the Rose Bowl. Then you'll start to see posts about how we belong in the four-team playoff. I think we can all agree that that is very far away.
So I am pleased with the playoff system, it should be a good thing for college football. But it doesn't mean much to Gopher fans, at least not anytime soon. For now it means more money for the Big Ten (this is when I am thrilled that the Big Ten divides up all money evenly amongst all 12 teams).
SBN's YouTube channel discusses the new college football playoff.