If you want to understand why an extended playoff gives me the willies, it’s real simple.
Basically, I’d rather see this as my regular season excitement…
… than wade through this.
You would think that over the course of a season that there should be some sort of broad correlation between a team’s statistics and its record. Notice that I’m not talking about a causal relationship between these, nor am I trying to analyze this in any narrower context. All I’m saying is that I’d expect a highly ranked team to generate good stats.
So, how true is it? To get some idea, I rambled over here: NCAA rankings. The NCAA tracks individual teams in seventeen separate statistical categories. Here’s Georgia’s story. The categories comprise a pretty big breadbasket that includes performances on offense, defense and special teams.
What I’ve done is look at the top 10 teams in the final polls and counted the number of NCAA statistical categories in which each school placed a finish in the top ten and top twenty percentiles (with 119 D-1 teams, I’ve made each ten percent equal 12) . Additionally, I’ve tried to filter this through strength of schedule, so that there would be better context for the rankings. I used two SOS lists: Steele strength of schedule (which doesn’t include the postseason) and GBE strength of schedule (which does).
Here’s what I came up with.
As a point of comparison, 8-5 Kentucky (Steele #19, GBE #8) had zero appearances in the top 10 percentile of any of the seventeen categories with four in the top 20 and 6-6 South Carolina (Steele #7, GBE #3) had two in the top 10 and zero in the top 20.
Again, I wasn’t looking for anything more than a correlation, so I wouldn’t read too much into these numbers, but I do think it’s credible to argue that West Virginia, with a strength of schedule that’s as good or better than five other schools on that list and being top 10 or top 2o in a whopping thirteen out of seventeen categories (only one other school had at least ten) deserves a little more love. And Texas clearly looks to have the weakest resume on the list. But, yeah, bottom line, good teams have good stats.
Here are a few items littered across the college football landscape that have nothing whatsoever to do with each other and aren’t worthy of an entire post:
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany doesn’t want a D-1 football playoff. I mean, he really doesn’t want a playoff.
It’s not just Michael Adams’ recent playoff pitch that hasn’t gone over too well with Delany. He’s less than thrilled with Mike Slive’s playoff-lite pitch for a “plus one”.
In opposing the seeded “plus one”, Delany does make the argument that bothers me about playoffs the most.
“We’ve never seen a four-team playoff stay as a four-team playoff,” Delany said. “So if you are concerned, and we are, about an eight-team, 12-team, or 16-team playoff and what it would do to college football, we don’t believe that you allow the camel’s nose (into) the tent with a four-team playoff…”
But then he goes on to… I don’t want to say threaten, exactly… ah, what the heck, threaten the non-BCS conferences with a little downside from a seeded tourney:
“It may well be that people are open-minded. It would be disingenuous for me to say I’m open-minded about it if I’m not. I wonder how open-minded the five conferences that have just been given access to the BCS would be, because there’s no need for a fifth bowl if you pick four teams and seed them and then play. Why would we need a fifth bowl?”
Yeah, it’s crappy and it sounds ominous. But the man has a point, unfortunately. (In fact, you could question why we need a fourth BCS game with a seeded “plus one”, but let’s not give Delany any more ideas right now.)
Does anybody get the feeling this is gonna be one ugly fight coming up?