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D1Baseball discusses playoff expansion

Discussion in 'Diamond Gators' started by TheBoss, Jul 21, 2023.

  1. TheBoss

    TheBoss Premium Member

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    D1Baseball sometimes makes me think the subscription is well earned. They have a new column discussing adding eight teams to the NCAA tournament and moving to 32 host sites. I had never heard that expansion might be a possibility, but the columnist made some interesting points. I had to re-read parts of the proposal to understand it and, while I generally like the basic concept, there are many possible tweaks that might make it better. To me, the most obvious tweak- consistent with the columnist's best arguments- is to include more than 72 teams.

    In the new structure, the CWS and Super regionals would be unchanged, but instead of four-team regionals, a week would be added to create 32 best-of-three series, hosted by what now are #1 and #2 seeds. Teams would advance to another best-of-three series, the to the supers. The proposal's additional 8 teams would participate in play-in games with the winners facing 8 of the 32 hosting teams. The 8 new teams would be selected in the same manner as the other at-large teams currently are selected.

    For example, rather than this years Gainesville Regional of #1 Florida, #2 Connecticut, #3 Texas Teach, #4 FAMU, CT would have hosted TT. FAMU would have faced one of the new teams on Thursday in Gainesville, the winner playing a weekend series against UF. The proposal was weak in explaining why there would be only 8 of the 32 sites that had play-in games and why overall seeds 1-4 and 13-16 would host those play-ins. Someone else who has read the column may be able to translate it better than I.

    The columnist suggested pros and cons that did make sense. Cons were that the current system is booming and the extra week would have extended the 2023 CWS to July 3. There was a longer- and to me- more convincing list of pros.
    • My favorite is that most of the new teams would be programs that are not among the current "haves." The 2023 teams that would have been added were from a variety of big and small conferences.
    • The current system generates sellout attendence for games that include the host teams, but games between two out-of-town teams have low attendance. All of the proposal's weekend games would include the host, meaning high attendance games. The 8 play-in games would have lower attendance, but they still would generate interest from fans anxious to see the host's opponent.
    • Having twice as many first round hosts would mean twice as many college programs and towns would have the opportunity to host and enjoy host attendance revenue.
    • Also, a good portion of the hosts would be programs that seldom host. There were 8 SEC hosts for regionals this year and there would have been 10- add Tn and TAMU- if this proposed structure had been in effect, but most of the other additional hosts- Maryland, Boston College, West Virginia, Southern Miss, Connecticut, Campbell, Duke, East Carolina, DBU, and Iowa- would not be the same old power programs. That's one of my favorite benefits. I'm spoiled by the frequency or regionals in Gvl, I love them and I usually am among the sparse crowds for Ggmes like UConn-FAMU. I'm happy to share that enjoyment with fans who seldom or never have had their teams host. Actually, it means the Gators will host even more often than they do already.
    • The impact on pitching would be positive. Current regionals often require teams- such as the 2023 Gators- to play five games in four days. The play-in teams would face the risk of playing four games in four days, but for the rest, it would be one more weekend series.
    • The writer's answer to his own con of fear of change was, "you're either green and growing or ripe and rotting."
    I left out a lot of substance of the proposal, but my summary seems adequate. I doubt it ever will be adopted as written, but it means I would get to see more Gator baseball and that is a noble goal.
     
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  2. RattlerGator

    RattlerGator VIP Member

    Bumping up against July 4th brings up an interesting point I as a casual baseball fan find absolutely bizarre -- the damn season starts *WAY* too early and is totally unfair to Northern teams.

    I like the proposal you discussed but the season should start *much* later and conclude in the middle of August IMHO.
     
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  3. buckeyegator

    buckeyegator Premium Member

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    Que up the O'Jays aka " money money money "
     
  4. Bear1974

    Bear1974 VIP Member VIP Member

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    I don’t like it but that is just me.

    Trying to satisfy the teams that cry that they were left out of the tournament doesn’t sway me as a fan. You are always going leave someone out. There are more pressing issues in this sport that need to be addressed way before expanding any tournament just to put money in the pockets of tv people.
     
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  5. buckeyegator

    buckeyegator Premium Member

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    Here is a thought expand and use the money to up the 13.7 scholarships, it is a crime what it is.
     
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  6. TheBoss

    TheBoss Premium Member

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    That was an area the writer discussed that I left out. More local money, more TV money, more money makes things happen. More money coming in for women's sports is a step toward scholarship equity, which may open the door for more bsb scholarships in the distant future. Until then, the huge NIL revenue at big time programs allows bsb players at UF to get more money than they would get from scholarships, anyway. It means players at lesser programs have to make do on their partial scholarships, but I can live with that. At UF, scholarship limits are less important than in the past.
     
  7. GatorLurker

    GatorLurker GC Hall of Fame

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    Baseball is such a random game where anything can happen in a short series. I like the current setup because it rewards teams that have been good over a long season by stacking the deck in their favor through Regional and Super Regional play with home field. It is something that they have earned.

    Adding more teams only adds more randomness.
     
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  8. Gatorrick22

    Gatorrick22 GC Hall of Fame

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    Why do we need to go to 32 teams? If we do it will show many dumpy baseball fields than we need to see, and the TV rights seem to be controlled by the NCAA... Maybe we need to ask them for permission. Wat back when college football had to fight (all the way to the SCOTUS) to get more football games on TV...

    I poster a thread on the baseball on TV part, and how they controlled how many games can be televised, and no one really cared to read it.
     
  9. TheBoss

    TheBoss Premium Member

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    A more appropriate playoff comparison is basketball. NCAA does not control football postseason games. Basketball playoff TV coverage is pretty good and brings is the biggest single portion of NCAA revenue and a good slice of that goes to schools and conferences. It also controls TV for other playoffs. Regular season TV coverage is generally controlled by conferences, plus less often by individual schools. The only Gator baseball games that aren't available on TV- cable or streaming- are away games at opponents who don't have broadcast capacity. That number is rapidly decreasing.

    NCAA has earned most of the scorn it gets, but it is the source of only a portion of evil in the sports world. I have attended a small number of games at opponent sites. My attention in person, as well as on TV, focused on the games, rather than the facilities.

    My concerns consistently are on the best interests of Gator sports. The more popular college baseball grows, I see benefits for Gator baseball. More teams getting into baseball playoffs, especially more teams experiencing the fun of hosting, will generate more interest in college baseball and more money. Gators already get a disproportionate share of college baseball revenue and more overall revenue means that advantage will increase. Some Gator fans feel they are victims, when, in fact, Gators are among the bullies of college sports. Makes mes happy.
     
  10. Gatorrick22

    Gatorrick22 GC Hall of Fame

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    Who gave the NCAA that kind of financial control like an ownership of any college sport? They do NOT own any college sport... no matter what anyone thinks. There for yes, they can write the rules and get some compensation, but they are trying to dictate all the terms in playoffs and grab control, which makes them far more money, control, power on other teams than they should be allowed to make.

    They act as if they own all the teams that participate in tournaments and playoffs, minus football that fought ( in a court of law) for their right to make their own post season deals.

    College baseball should do the same thing that football did a few decades ago. They should make their own post season deals... Baseball on TV or any broadcast medium should be controlled by the conferences and inter conference agreements, and NOT by the NCAA.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2023
  11. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

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    If they would just fire Edwardo Perez…..and Mr. PALATAKA!
     
  12. GratefulGator

    GratefulGator GC Hall of Fame

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    I agree 100% with you Rattler. Start the season after March Madness and conclude right before Football season. Doing this means wall-to-wall sports with no gaps/ sports droughts.
     
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  13. TheBoss

    TheBoss Premium Member

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    Starting that late eliminates the practice of cold weather teams coming south during spring break season for multiple games against both warm weather teams and other cold weather teams. Some cold weather teams play 10-12 games during a 9-day break. Other cold weather teams come south for a weekend or two outside of spring break. That system adds costs for cold weather teams, but the warm weather teams do pay visitors for the games. For teams that want to be competitive, it's an acceptable cost of doing business. Overall, it benefits both the hosting and visiting programs.

    No doubt, warm weather teams have an advantage because they can start early in the same way that desert and other dry area teams have an advantage over teams like Gators when spring showers begin. Do Oregan and Washington teams need special arrangements because it rains throughout the year?

    Season starting dates already have been moved later to balance weather advantages and I agree that another week or so later in Feb might be reasonable, but starting in late March or in April means either fewer total games, more midweek games or extending the season to late July or August. That seems to me less desirable than what we have now.
     
  14. Gatorgal04

    Gatorgal04 Lowly Fan Moderator

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    So if the students have to stay on campus all summer, then should they be required to take courses? This scenario bumps into the MLB draft. I don’t see it working unless the draft was changed to fall, which I suppose creates issues for HS grads choosing between college and the draft.
     
  15. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Moderator VIP Member

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    Looks like D1 baseball has a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. In fairness, it's summer time, and there's nothing wrong with a little creative writing.

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
     
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  16. TheBoss

    TheBoss Premium Member

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    I don't necessarily support the proposal, but some of its features make sense.

    Spring semester at UF currently ends early May, summer term starts a week or so later. Other colleges on the semester system are similar. NCAA does not require athletes to attend summer term to play in bsb tournament, but some probably do.

    Until the past decade or so, the MLB draft was conducted before the end of the tournament, often during the CWS. That created some minor chaos and distractions for players still competing, but there were no known fatalities.
     
  17. TheBoss

    TheBoss Premium Member

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    I think their points are that fans, players and coaches of good teams that are close misses for at large bids DO consider it a problem, especially fans who want more fun, players who want more opportunity to display their talent or at least hate for the season to end and coaches who hope to improve their resumes or even hold on to their jobs. Also that college bsb is booming and the timing is good to make the best of a good thing.

    The current system is fine for the Gators and other team's at the top, but there was a time- pre-1988- when the tournament was smaller and Gator participation was rare. When the field was 24 and the SE Regional was always played in Gastonia, NC, I considered it a problem and it did limit popularity of the sport. The pre-Mac facilities of crummy wooden bleachers, no dressing rooms, no concessions or restrooms, no lights, fewer games in the season, the left field hill and few spectators reflected that problem. The new ballpark reflects the value of expansion that other programs wish to have for themselves.I'm fine if there are no changes.

    You are right that D1Baseball's reason for existance- also Gator Country's reason for existance- is to generate conversations and debate, even controversy, to keep customers coming back to see the ads that pay the bills.
     
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  18. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Moderator VIP Member

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    Yuck (bold), never a justifiable reason to expand, in my view. All that's happening with this one is changing the definition of "mediocre." I think it would be useful to do a survey of a hypothetical 72+ team field and see if players, coaches, and fans would prefer for an expansion. It would probably be more expensive for ESPN, would they be able to justify the added cost?

    Do teams up north really even care about this? Let's let them have their hockey, and we can have our baseball. Did you know that USF outdrew (total attendance) all but 2 Big Ten baseball programs? They finished dead last in the AAC. I know it's about more than attendance, but I'm sure they can look at streaming sources as well.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that baseball is among the sports with the most diverse champions over the past 24 years (since the expansion to 64 teams). It's more diverse than CFB, MBB, WBB, WSC, MSC, MTN, WTN...just to name a few. The Gastonia years are a completely different era; programs have poured a lot into baseball since those days. I did like the 48-team/8-site regional format better than the current format, but the current format has grown on me, and I'm sure future changes would as well. I just don't see the rush to change it given how the sport is still growing in its current form. If the NCAA wants to make a change, how about we level up the scholarship numbers first?

    I wasn't complaining, just pointing out that whether I agree or disagree, it's fun to consider the ideas (part of that fun is applying criticism where we believe it is warranted ;) ).

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
     
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  19. GatorLurker

    GatorLurker GC Hall of Fame

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    Warm weather schools have a recruiting advantage with kids that live in warm states that can play all year.

    Florida will never be competitive at collegiate hockey even with the Lightning and the Panthers being really good NHL teams.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2023
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  20. candymanfromgc

    candymanfromgc Moderator VIP Member

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    More is always better, right? Not sure but don't mind some expanding if the money is used to help better the programs and not to line the Pockets of the elite