I love a good debate.

Point.

Counterpoint.

Don’t forget Alabama and Texas Tech either, should they win.  Or Utah, for that matter, were the Utes to pull the upset.

It’s interesting to note that in the past few days I’ve noticed more pundits arguing in favor of the other version of the “plus-one”, where they play five BCS games and then have a revote for a new number one and number two to play in the championship.  It sounds like an attractive solution for this season, with as many teams having a “we deserve to be there” argument as there are, but with the right (or maybe wrong) matchups and results, it would be easy to have a situation where you wind up with more contenders than there are slots in the title game.  And in years when the field isn’t as deep as this one, ugh.

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37 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

37 responses to “I love a good debate.

  1. The Realist

    The unseeded plus-one would guarantee that USC would be in the BCS title game practically every year. They always look stunning in their annual dismantling of whichever Big Ten team that is thrown to the wolves in the Parade Bowl.

  2. Ally

    Mark Richt has told his team for years: “If you win, you control your destiny. If you lose, someone else decides.”

    I’ll listen to Pete Carroll when he prevents his uber-awesome team from crapping the bed against the likes of Stanford & Oregon State.

    And I don’t give a damn about the PAC-10’s Bowl record this year, they were still NOT a strong conference this year & still don’t have to play a conference Championship game.

    Carroll continually said last night that their win was a statement game to the bcs – well so was your loss against Oregon State.

    Win them all, take care of your business on the field during the regular season, and you don’t have a problem. Simple as that.

  3. Heyberto

    Revote = Bad, bad idea. The plus one in its simple pure form is the only scenario I’d allow myself to consider.

  4. Macallanlover

    A Plus 1 system this season would cause even more chaos if Texas beats Ohio State. You would have both Texas and USC with strong, valid cases for playing the winner of the UF/OU game. In fact, I believe Texas will win the AP title if OU were to upset Florida. It would be a “protest” vote of sorts.

    This is another example why you need 8 teams to eliminate virtually all concerns, one game sounds nice, is easier to accomplish, but leaves us with the same issue most years.. Each BCS conference champion has to have a ticket to the playoff to make sure those fanbases are appeased. The two additional spots would accommodate any other legit contenders.

  5. Coastal Dawg

    Realist makes a valid point, Mac. In the plus one, OU wold not be playing FL. OU would likely be plying Utah in the Fiesta and FL playing Texas in the Sugar.

    Either way, USC gets to whip a slow Big-ten team in what is basically a home game and win with style points.

  6. Ally

    Shouldn’t the fact that some conferences (the little 10 & pac 1) still don’t have to play a championship game come into play before we talk about a plus 1?

    Is it fair that the SECC plays 1 more game than USC or ohio state? Hell no. Before you ask an SEC team to play another game, in addition to our already tough gauntlet, let’s make the pac 1 and little 10 do the same please.

    • Ally, the SECCG is there by choice, not by force. The conference wanted the extra revenue.

      The Pac-10 doesn’t need a championship game; its members play a round robin schedule, so the regular season clearly determines the conference champ.

      I hate the Big Ten setup with a passion: no CCG combined with unbalanced scheduling is the worst of all worlds. But the conference would have to add another member in order to set up a championship game between teams of similarly sized divisions.

      Personally, I like the round robin format best of all. But there’s no way the SEC would go for that.

  7. Brian

    The PAC-10 rules still allow for Co-champs. The tie breakers only resolve who gets the automatic BCS berth.

  8. Senator Blutarsky,

    The MAC has a CG w/ 2 divisions & 13 teams. Though maybe the NCAA rules states that a conf needs AT LEAST 12 teams?

  9. Ally

    Senator – thanks for the education, but I’m already aware of those facts.

    The point I was making is that there is already one BIG discrepancy in how each conference chooses a champ. I think that should be solved first.

    One less game played is still one less game played – and that’s a clear advantage in their favor. That should be sqared fairly amongst ALL competitors before we add yet another game to the plate.

    • I understand, Ally, but if you’re gonna level the playing field, it would seem fairer to make the SEC and Big XII shrink than to make the Pac-10 and Big East expand, since it was a voluntary move for the former in the first place.

      Griffin, you’ve stated the rule correctly: a conference can’t have a CG unless it has at least 12 members.

  10. How the hell did we get to this point?

    First the bowl coalition comes along and finds a way to match up “number 1” and “number 2” which sounded great, in concept, until folks realized that number 1 and 2 were themselves subject for debate.

    So the BCS comes along with a formula, which results in people being pissed off, so its tweaked (no margin of victory), and tweaked again (computer weightings), and polls are added and dropped (Harris for AP) and still no one is happy.

    So now we are talking about a “Plus-1” as a solution which, I can state with certainty, will create as many problems as it solves. How the hell would it even work? Would the voters reconvene after the last BCS game to vote? When would it be scheduled? Do you get a month to get ready for the BCS games, then only a week for the Plus-1? Do we play it in February?

    The Bowl system is working us as fans, and they intend to keep doing so.

  11. It isn’t a debate though.

    Playoff supporters want a title that is decided by actual games played on the field. Top 8 teams playing 3 rounds means nobody with a truly legitimate argument is left out. And it is mathematically impossible to have 8 undefeated teams from the top 6 conferences. Tthe most you could have is 7, since Big Ten teams do not all play each other (ala the Pac 10) nor do they have a conference championship game (ala SEC, Big 12).

    Playoff opponents want a continuation of this farce where undefeated teams from major conferences can be left out of the picture. They have to rely on absurd arguments that fail a simple test: “If that’s really a problem, how come it works fine in EVERY SINGLE OTHER SPORT.”

    One side is rational and reasonable (pro-playoff). The other side is emotional and irrational.

    That’s not a debate. That’s dealing with flat-Earthers.

    • “If that’s really a problem, how come it works fine in EVERY SINGLE OTHER SPORT.”

      But it doesn’t, Muck. Unless you’re already a true believer.

      I think a 16-team playoff would be terrible for college football as we know it.

  12. “Playoff supporters want a title that is decided by actual games played on the field.”

    Um, where did Southern Cal vs. Oregon State, or Texas vs. Texas Tech, or any of the other hundreds of games played this year, take place. On the moon?

    No, by that standard, playoff supporters want a title that is decided by a handful of games played on the field, instead of all the games played on the field in a given year.

  13. MJ

    Muckbeast, your statement, “One side is rational and reasonable (pro-playoff). The other side is emotional and irrational” just might be the most foolish thing I’ve ever read on the subject.

    At least you gave us a premise: “Playoff supporters want”.

    Of all the legitimate stakeholders, exactly where do armchair fans fall in the hierarchy? What do they have at stake?

    Nothing (except the emotional attachment you so freely accuse the other side of exhibiting).

    The business model of college football generates two-thirds of all team revenues, men’s and women’s combined. Yet you want the two-thirds portion generated by one sport to be more like the one-third portion generated by many.

    Simple question: what’s in it for the players to agree to play more high stakes games for your viewing pleasure?

    Clearly, the so-called flat-earthers are irrational buffoons.

  14. cocknfire, I don’t follow your logic why USC and Texas (and the other 1-loss teams for that matter) don’t have a leg to stand on. Yeah, they could have won all their games, but so could FL and OK.

    I say as long as we continue to use opinion as to who the best teams are we should ignore points and vote on which team wins a game.

  15. Actually, PNWDawg, my argument would apply to Florida or Oklahoma if they had been left out. In that case, I’d be saying the same thing.

    As long as we have the system we have, there’s only way to have a leg to stand on: Win all your games. Fair or not, everyone knows at the beginning of the season that an undefeated record is the only way to virtually guarantee making the title game.

    Otherwise, you can say your team should be there. But don’t say you were somehow “cheated” out of playing for it all or that you “deserve” to be No. 1 or “deserve” to get a shot at the title game winner — because you knew the rules before you started.

  16. > But it doesn’t, Muck. Unless you’re
    > already a true believer.

    Um. For which sport is a playoff system failing? I don’t know of one. Playoffs work great for every other sport around.

    And by the way… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA anti-playoff folks.

    I present to you the 2008/2009 National Champions: Utah Utes!

    The only undefeated team in the nation, and they just beat the only other team to go undefeated in the regular season.

    In some ways, this is even WORSE than the 2004/2005 Auburn debacle, because Utah is the ONLY school that will finish the season undefeated, and finish with a BCS bowl victory.

    Tell me again how the BCS system “works”?

    • Um. For which sport is a playoff system failing? I don’t know of one. Playoffs work great for every other sport around.

      That’s because what some of us perceive as bugs you see as features.

      The NHL and NBA have playoffs that go on too long, with participants that boast losing records. That diminishes the regular season. March Madness has rendered what used to be a great regular season into little more than an exercise in seeding. St. Louis, an 83-game winner in the regular season, wins the World Series. The New York Giants are proclaimed NFL champs after beating a team that beat them handily late in the regular season.

      See a pattern there? I’m not as anti-playoff as some. There are some playoff formats that would do little harm to the essence of what’s great about college football, but extended playoffs would do a lot of damage to that. And the one thing you don’t mention as you point to “every other sport around” is how all of those other sports inevitably expand their post seasons.

      It seems to me that if you want to win the hearts and minds of those on the other side of the debate, you might do better by insulting us less and coming up with a credible proposal on how to keep a D-1 playoff from growing.

  17. > Fair or not, everyone knows at the
    > beginning of the season that an
    > undefeated record is the only way to
    > virtually guarantee making the title
    > game.

    Really now?

    How did that work out for the 2004 Auburn Tigers or the 2004 and 2008 Utah Utes?

    I am hardly a huge fan of the MWC, but they went 2-0 vs. the SEC and 6-2 vs the PAC-10, and Utah just destroyed Alabama a lot more soundly than the oh so wonderful Florida did.

    So tell me again how “winning all your games” gives you a shot at the MNC?

    Hear that folks? That’s the sound of the irrational, flat-earth, anti-playoff folks eating crow with a side of humble pie.

    And yes, I’m gloating.

  18. In the last 4 seasons, 3 teams have gone undefeated and been screwed out of even getting a CHANCE to play for the MNC.

    Great system! ROFL!

  19. > MJ wrote:
    > The business model of college football
    > generates two-thirds of all team
    > revenues, men’s and women’s
    > combined. Yet you want the two-thirds
    > portion generated by one sport to be
    > more like the one-third portion
    > generated by many.

    Oh no. You just crushed my argument. Woe is me.

    I’m sure the reason college football crushes the other college sports is all because of their ass-backward post season, and couldn’t possibly have anything to do with 100+ years of tradition and the fact that football is the most popular sport (by far) in the United States.

    I’m sure all NCAA Fencing has to do is implement a retarded bowl system and copy the BCS idea and BAM….. millions!

    *roll eyes*

  20. MJ

    Again, what do you, the armchair fan, have at stake? Are you an actual stakeholders?

    What’s in it for the players to agree to play more high stakes games for your viewing pleasure?

    Perfectly rational, stoic questions.

  21. > Perfectly rational, stoic questions.

    If by stoic you mean irrelevant, then I agree.

    The same thing is in it for players that is in it for them to play ANY games, EVER. The same thing is in it for college football players that is in it for players in EVERY OTHER SPORT that has a playoff. Seriously, these objections are getting more random and more absurd by the second.

    Man, you anti-playoff nuts are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. In an 8 team playoff, out of 119 teams (120 starting next year): 4 teams would play 1 more game, and 2 teams would play 2 more games. In a season where approximately 1,500 college football games are played, an 8 team playoff adds *** 3 *** more games TOTAL. So you go from 1,500 games to 1,503.

    Keep trying. I can knock these out of the park all day.

  22. MJ

    Which speaks exactly to the point, Muckbeast.

    D1-A CFB is- and has always been- so popular that cities can establish week long events, culminating in a Bowl game, to celebrate the game. Everybody wins.

    The popularity is unlike any other collegiate sport, including the other football divisions (according to the NCAA’s last published numbers, all other football tournaments lost money).

    It wasn’t until the Bowl Alliance came along and started prostituting college athletes that people began to question the amounts of money generated by amateurs without paying them. Payouts have increased 511% in 20 years. Not to be outdone, the NCAA signed a $6 billion contract with CBS to broadcast March Madness. Meanwhile, the players filed a class action lawsuit (White v. NCAA) to cover actual costs of attendance. The NCAA settled out of court for $250 million.

    The solution, of course, is a playoff that- in the words of Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany- could “generate three to four times” the revenue of the current system. At some point, the alleged “fairness” arguments must address the risk vs. reward of the party who assumes all physical risk: the players.

    The primary stakeholders in all of this are university presidents who must make decisions based upon the core mission of the university. They are already under heavy criticism. Your “solution” seems to be, “Yeah, we know. But we want.”

  23. MJ

    “you might do better by insulting us less and coming up with a credible proposal on how to keep a D-1 playoff from growing”

    Alternatively, by ceasing false claims of knocking the ball out of the park without addressing a single, real, existing issue.

    It’s easy to hit home runs when the ballpark exists only in one’s mind with a Louisville slugger shaped like a magic wand.

    The fences look pretty short from that vantage point.

  24. Ally

    “I understand, Ally, but if you’re gonna level the playing field, it would seem fairer to make the SEC and Big XII shrink than to make the Pac-10 and Big East expand, since it was a voluntary move for the former in the first place.”

    Absolutely agree with you. I don’t care whether they add a conference game to the PAC 1 & Little 10 or take away the SECC game – just so its even in the # of games played & a conference champ is decided fairly.

    I’m just sick of the lack of parity between the conferences & then the bonus advantage of not having to play as many games. Solve that problem, and then we can add another game (ie the plus 1) to the plate. That’s all I’m saying.

  25. Hackerdog

    “In a season where approximately 1,500 college football games are played, an 8 team playoff adds *** 3 *** more games TOTAL. So you go from 1,500 games to 1,503.”

    No offense, but that is an idiotic statement. Players participate in 11 or 12 games per year. Your proposing to add 3 games to some of those players’ schedules is a significant increase. Going from 11 games to 14 games is a 27% increase. That’s 27% more chance for injury, 27% less class time, etc. And as MJ has stated, the kids gain little to nothing for the opportunity to entertain you 27% more than they already do.

  26. Macallanlover

    Oh please, less class time? Playing an extra 2-3 games? Wow, how taxing. If you aren’t up for playing for a title on a big stage, you don’t deserve a scholly. Maybe we need a union to protect these poor kids.

  27. Yeah, the class time argument is…… ROFL….. yeah whatever.

    > No offense, but that is an idiotic
    > statement. Players participate in 11 or
    > 12 games per year. Your proposing to
    > add 3 games to some of those players’
    > schedules is a significant increase.
    > Going from 11 games to 14 games is a
    > 27% increase.

    How is it idiotic for me to state an absolute fact. An 8 team playoff adds a GRAND TOTAL of 3 games to a season that already has 1,500 games.

    If you assume 83 players per team, that means 249,000 times a collegiate athlete suits up for a game.

    Adding an 8 team playoff would only increase that by 498. That’s not a 27% increase, that’s a .2% increase. Yes, that’s two tenths of a percent.

  28. The sad truth is, if anyone gave a crap about class time or injuries, they wouldn’t have added a 12th game to the regular season, and conferences wouldn’t be falling all over themselves to add a conference title game.

    So that argument is moot.

    Senator: All of those examples were examples of extremely exciting playoff seasons. Honestly, that just helps make my point. The problem with the NBA and MLB is absurdly long seasons in general (162 baseball games and ~80 basketball games). And the problem with NBA playoffs is they play a game then take a week off to go to the bahamas before they play another game.

  29. MJ

    “Maybe we need a union to protect these poor kids.”

    The players are already heading in that direction. It’s not about missed class time.

    It’s about the revenues they already generate while fitting the legal description of employees. Here’s a 2006 paper published by the Washington Law Review that originated at the Michigan State University College of Law:
    http://www.thedrakegroup.org/McCormick_and_McCormick_2006.pdf

    The Collegiate Athletes Coalition (the group that filed the class action suit in White v. NCAA) has merged with the National Collegiate Players Association and they are advised by the United Steelworkers Union. They make no bones about mentioning the presence of the United Steelworkers on the right hand side of this page: http://www.cacnow.org/free_ride.asp

    Now, given that Jim Delany told Congress in December 2005, “There is no doubt in my mind we are leaving hundred of millions of dollars on the table,” by avoiding a playoff, what makes you think they shouldn’t ask to be compensated? Even the Nebraska state legislature has introduced a bill to compensate college football players specifically.

    When he was at FSU, Derrick Brooks was asked to serve on a NCAA subcommittee studying a CFB playoff in 1995. He asked, “What’s in it for us?” The subcommittee was disbanded.

    Meanwhile, the average head coach salary now exceeds more than $1 million annually under the BCS era while they have the power to restrict the choices of transferring players.

    Anybody can draw a bracket and claim it’s all so easy. Dealing with concrete issues in a high stakes football tournament is another matter.

    Ya think “maybe they don’t deserve a scholly,” might be a wee bit cavalier when the players already generate $2 billion?

    And Muckbeast, an 8-team playoff adds 7 games to the total number of games, not 3.

  30. Macallanlover

    MJ—wow, just wow! I am not doubting the move allow to allow compensation (I am not opposed btw, but just think it should be at the same rate as other students who work of the university part-time, say $8-10 per hour), nor the fact that unions and lawyers aren’t far off, just saying it is hard to see how any reasonably intelligent adult would support that. Before it comes to dividing up the profits, let’s just go back to having real student athletes and make the athletes earn their way into schools like other students….no handouts, no special admissions. It would still be entertaining, competitive football. Let the revolutionists stay in high school and study. Enough of the social promotions. Make HS football eligible only to those who meet strict academic standards that prepare them for the “new” athletic scholarship requirements. Time to stop coddling them.

    Also,”cavalier”? Where the hell did you ever play athletics? Do you want teammates who think playing for the pride of being a champion is out of line? Or working harder/longer to succeed? If so, I suggest you played losing athletics. Skills will take you only so far, but having heart is what puts teams over the top…even at the professional level. Take your teams of highly paid, superstars, I will rock you with people who give it their all, play like a team, and CARE. So you consider that “cavalier”? Thank God you are just a message board poster and not in charge of anything that matters about winning/succeeding at life. Fortunately the guy who runs our program is a little deeper than you. Let me guess, you are a “blue guy” aren’t you? Don’t answer, I don’t care what your other problems are.

    BTW, thanks for the catch on the minutiae of your last sentence, sure was significant. Changes his point how? Before you check, I am sure I mistyped several words in this, but don’t bother yourself to point them out. I don’t worry about such small things any more. Life is way too short for that.

  31. Yet another example of bad logic from the anti-playoff crowd:

    > And Muckbeast, an 8-team playoff adds
    > 7 games to the total number of games,
    > not 3.

    Bad math. Bad logic. That’s what I expect from anti-playoff folks. :)

    Those 8 teams would have played a bowl game anyway. So the entire first round is no different than what we have now.

    That leaves the second round, which is 2 games. And the finals which is 1 game.

    Total Number of Games Added: 3

    If you remove the idiotic 12th regular season game that never should have been added, then the playoff system is a net reduction of 116 games.

    Regarding “what’s in it for us” for the players:

    That is honestly a whole different topic. The amount of exploitation going on in college football and basketball is a serious issue that goes far beyond the scope of this playoff concept.

    As I noted, an 8 team playoff adds 3 games to a season of 1,500 games. It is a .2% increase in the number of games played. A .2% increase in the amount of exploitation is irrelevant to the issue of exploitation.

    If someone wants to start a blog post and discussion about exploitation, I would gladly go down that road (and I actually DO think college basketball and football players are being exploited economically).

    But a .2% increase is completely irrelevant to that issue, and that is why it is irrelevant to the discussion of a playoff.

  32. MJ

    Muck, with due respect, you did not mention anywhere in the thread that Bowl games would be the first round. Either way, it comes down to the revenues, who’s getting what, and why it is in the best interests of anybody to agree to do it your way.

    Bad logic is “everybody else has a playoff”, a classic example of ad populum logical fallacy.

    Also, with due respect, I do not see how the issue of player compensation can be separated from the larger issue for the same reasons Derrick Brooks brought it up during the 1995 subcommittee. The players have gotten wise and they are getting organized. They won an additional $211 million in addition to the original $250 million from the NCAA.

    Macallan, any reasonably intelligent adult who has ever held a leadership position performs a stakeholder analysis, evaluates existing and potential issues, and doesn’t put the desires of those who have nothing at stake ahead of the actual stakeholders who assumes the risks.

    Been there. Still doing it.

    I would like nothing better than the BCS to go away, but not in favor of a playoff. The higher that revenues escalate without player compensation, the more it looks like something that isn’t tolerated in any other American industry.

    The “blue” crowd includes GOP Congressman Bill Thomas of House Ways and Means and GOP Senator Chuck Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee (along with the GOP-controlled Nebraska legislature) when they worked on this 25 page letter to Myles Brand regarding the excessive revenues of the Men’s Basketball Tournament: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2006-10-05-congress-ncaa-tax-letter_x.htm

    Just as yours, my personal history or political affiliations are irrelevant to the facts as they exist today. In the absence of arguing facts, you have chosen to argue ad hominem.

  33. Hackerdog

    Muckbeast,

    Let’s assume that next year an 8-team playoff is implemented. Let’s assume that USC wins the national championship. Since they play 12 regular season games the 3 additional playoff games represent a 25% increase in playing time over the regular season. Or, if you include the current bowl game in the mix, a 15 game schedule still represents a 15% increase over a 12 game + 1 bowl schedule.

    Claiming a 0.2% increase includes all the kids that play no additional games to justify the significant increase of playing time of the kids in the playoff. It’s like claiming a tax increase is only +5% overall, while ignoring the fact that some taxpayers will see huge increases.