O Brave New World!: the MWC pitches its playoff proposal

You can read the details here.

The key points are:

  • The polls and the computers would be junked and replaced by a twelve-member selection committee modeled on the NCAA basketball selection committee.
  • The committee would rank the top 25 teams in the country; the top ten would be placed in the new BCS games.
  • Team number nine and team number ten would face off and would not be eligible for any further post-season play.
  • The remaining eight teams would be placed in the existing BCS bowl games, with deference given to existing bowl-conference arrangements, rather than seedings.  Seedings would come into play in the semi-finals.
  • Seven conferences would automatically qualify for the playoffs:  the current six plus the Mountain West.  Notre Dame and the remaining non-BCS conferences would continue to qualify for the post-season under the existing guidelines.

What do I see here?  Lots and lots of loose ends.  Start with this mother of one:

Revenue calculations – An equitable revenue calculation will be determined once all revenue, including from television and the bowls, is known.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse!  This won’t go anywhere until a deal on money is settled first.

Another pesky loose end – there are no guidelines provided for how the selection committee would rank the top 25 or top ten teams.

The biggest loose end, of course, is the nine vs. ten game.  How long do you give the pressure to build until those two teams are allowed into the playoff framework?  Especially given who will be deciding who plays and who doesn’t – not very freaking long at all.  And even more so given that seven of the eight playoff spots are locked into the new BCS conferences.

Bottom line:  it’s a great deal for the Mountain West, of course.  For the other non-BCS small fry, it’s worse than what they’ve got now, because there are fewer seats at the table to fight over.  For the existing BCS conferences, there’s more money in the pot, since there are more playoff games, but there’s no guarantee as to how that money will be divvied up.  Other than that, it’s not so hot, because only one conference would be looking at having more than one member school in the playoffs in a given year.

From my selfish standpoint (sorry, kckd), it’s got expansion written all over it.  Which means it sucks.  Hopefully, it’s dead on arrival.

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UPDATE: Doc Saturday, who I’ve always perceived to be a rational playoff proponent, swoons over the MWC proposal here.  A “sensible, enticing plan”?  Duuuuude.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “O Brave New World!: the MWC pitches its playoff proposal

  1. Ben

    I’m a playoff guy.
    This idea would suck.

  2. Lemme get this straight…

    You have a selection committee whose job it is to rank the top 25 teams, but only the top 10 get slotted into the playoff. That would be like the basketball committee seeding the top 128 teams and then publishing a bracket of 65. Does this committee really need to worry about who the #20 team is?

    Now for this Top 10, they’re told that the seven conference champs must be included. And two of the top ten won’t matter anyway in the Irrelevant Bowl. So the committee’s job will be to select three at-large teams and then justify why two teams belong in the Top 10 but not in the playoffs.

    And since it’s automatically excluded from the playoff, what’s the point of separating that game and those two teams from the rest of the bowl-bound teams? It’s not like any TV network will find the #9 vs. #10 game to be much more compelling than any other bowl not involved in the playoff. You can put a “BCS” label on the game, but the wall between the haves and have-nots would start at #9, not #11.

    Seeding not mattering until the semis means that a #1 vs. #2 (or similarly unbalanced) first-round matchup isn’t unrealistic. At least the basketball tournament gives *some* advantage to making it through the regular season on top.

    Other than the same 8-team playoff found in nearly every other playoff proposal, doesn’t this just boil down to the MWC demanding to be included in the top ten teams that head to the BCS?

    • So the committee’s job will be to select three at-large teams and then justify why two teams belong in the Top 10 but not in the playoffs.

      And since it’s automatically excluded from the playoff, what’s the point of separating that game and those two teams from the rest of the bowl-bound teams?

      I honestly believe it’s a Trojan Horse put there to grease the skids for playoff expansion.

      Seeding not mattering until the semis means that a #1 vs. #2 (or similarly unbalanced) first-round matchup isn’t unrealistic.

      If you read the fine print, it says “In making these determinations, the Committee will seek to avoid regular-season rematches, and, to the extent reasonably practicable, pairing any of the top three-ranked teams against each other.” So while it’s not sought after, it’s certainly a possibility if things don’t break just right.

      Other than the same 8-team playoff found in nearly every other playoff proposal, doesn’t this just boil down to the MWC demanding to be included in the top ten teams that head to the BCS?

      You got it.

  3. Prov

    Also, more games played is more overhead for the schools that move on. How much did UGA spend the last time they went to the Sugar Bowl?

  4. RedCrake

    Q: How long do you give the pressure to build until those two teams are allowed into the playoff framework?

    A: As soon as the MWC team is the 9 or 10 seed.

  5. RedCrake

    Or USC.

    ESPN would absolutely implode the second it was announced. Especially if they didn’t have TV rights to that fifth game.

    Speaking of which…would that game roll into the current BCS deal or would they have to re-bid? Yet another loose end.

  6. JasonC

    “A new committee is created – The BCS Standings will no longer be based upon
    computer formulas and pollsters. Instead, a 12-member selection committee
    (“Committee”) comprised of one representative from each of the 11 FBS
    conferences and one representative from Notre Dame will determine these
    standings.”

    Bull-effin-Sh!t.
    Why does ND get represenation greater than any of the schools in the 11 FBS conferences? Sure, UGA might be represented by a member from the SEC, but ND gets their own rep? That’s a load of crap. What about Navy, Army and Temple? I guess they don’t get representation because they aren’t the glorious independent.
    It’s time the world of college football told ND to either get with the program or get the heck out.

  7. Macallanlover

    Another flawed proposal to a relatively simple issue. Why add the ninth and tenth team at all, except to keep the same number of teams in the current BCS fiasco? Eight teams is all that is necessary to resolve this….all that is needed now, and all that will ever be necessary. It just feeds the expansion theorists and frustrating two fanbases by putting them in playoff purgatory. Adding an exemption for the Mountain West is not necessary with the two wild card spots available but it does enlist additional support.

    As much as I support a playoff, this idea is just not saleable and leaves itself open to ridicule with it’s unanswered questions and complexity.

  8. I think it is well known here that I am a huge playoff proponent.

    This proposed system ain’t it.

    This proposed system sucks.

    -Michael
    Muckbeast – Game Design and Online Worlds

    http://www.muckbeast.com