We got the same payout as Michigan did for the Sugar Bowl and I bet more fans watched Mich than VT. We got the same payout IIRC for playing Boise St though they were the better team. We got the same payout as Neb, tu, UGA, ... along the way in our bowl streak but did fans tune in to watch VT the same as those schools? Doubt it. But it was the fair thing to do.
There is such a simple approach to dealing with the little schools 20-tm playoff like I-AA. If the midmajor champs are not in "BCS" top 16 (I don't trust selection committees), they get in the 2 play-in games (CUSA, MAC, MtnW, WAC). If nobody watches the games, who cares, nobody watches the play-in game for hoops either. The winner then gets to travel the next week to play #1 and #2 (top seed's reward for reg season). You're going to tier the payouts such that each round is the same total $ (16 teams split rd 1 after play-in, 2 teams split rd 4). Better conferences get more money based on performance. Small conferences still get a small payday just like they do today with the bowls.
The money balances out. I can't understand the argument against it. The only way it is really a negative if you go to a smaller playoff (the idiotic 4-tm model is the worst) and have to included the midmajors.
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