The first presidential debate of the 2016 season will take place among the Republican candidates on August 6. But since there are a whopping 17 candidates, Fox News, which is hosting the debate, has created two events — one for the 10 candidates who rank highest based on an average of the most recent national polls, and one for the remaining seven.

(Note: Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore is planning to announce his candidacy next week, so he might be part of the separate forum as well.)

While the candidates are racing to be included among the top ten candidates, I think the forum for the candidates not in the top 10 will be the more productive debate. It's likely that many more people will watch the later, official debate among the 10 most popular candidates. But I really believe that it's going to turn into the "Donald Trump Show."

Sure, maybe the man known for outlandish comments and bloviating speeches will follow proper debate protocol and speak only when spoken to. Perhaps he won't keep the focus on himself by talking over the other candidates. Hey, maybe the guy who talks about himself in the third person will give up a little of the spotlight and let other people offer their views.

But there's no evidence he will do any such thing. It seems unlikely that the debate will be much more than an evening of watching Trump talk about himself and talk over other people.

Because of that, the alternate forum might actually be a more fruitful exercise, if less entertaining. The earlier event looks like it will include former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former N.Y. Gov. George Pataki, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Gilmore. At times some of these candidates have made national news for inflammatory statements, but probably none as often as some of the candidates in the official debate.

It's much more likely that we would get a reasonable, yet still lively, debate among the alternate candidates — and we might actually get to hear what they have to say and learn something about how they'd govern.

Contrast that with the main debate, which includes the big personalities of Trump; Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz; Govs. Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Rick Perry; former Gov. Mike Huckabee and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson. And then there's Trump, whose outsized personality will trump the rest of the outsized personalities on that stage.

I'd like to believe that any candidate could hold his or her own against Trump. But given his bombastic approach to, well, just about everything, it seems unlikely he will step aside for another speaker.

I can already see the headlines about Trump talking over everyone, and cringe at the idea of a new "war on women" headline if Trump were on the same stage as Fiorina and talked over her. It would most likely have nothing to do with her sex, as he will talk over anyone, but it wouldn't matter. The story would describe how Trump's arrogance and sexism personifies the GOP.

But candidates in the alternate forum won't have to worry about the loudmouth Trump. They may be behind in the polls, but they have decades of experience at the highest levels of state and federal government. And we may actually learn something from them — about their values and visions for the country.

So while the front runners are trying to get a word in over The Donald, these "second tier" candidates will get a chance to speak. And who knows? We may actually like what we hear.