The BCS gets what it pays for.

I’ve got a working theory that if the BCS does in fact go down one day, we’ll be able to trace its demise to the hiring of Ari Fleischer.  I mean, here’s a guy who’s probably the most disliked White House press secretary since Ron Ziegler and who’s associated with the political party currently out of power during a period when the BCS powers-that-be have grown concerned about political pressure for a D-1 football playoff.  All in all, it’s a remarkably tone deaf decision, one that could wind up ranking with rolling out the Edsel.

And it’s good to see that Fleischer is already living down to my expectations.

Take this Wall Street Journal piece that popped up last week.  It got some Internet chatter over Rep. Barton’s meaningless playoff bill possibly coming up for Congressional consideration, but nobody seems to have latched onto this quote of Fleischer’s that appeared near the article’s end:

“The more he dug into it – the more he realized the BCS is a moneymaking cartel,” said a spokesman for Mr. Barton, Sean Brown.

The reality of the BCS is “just the opposite,” a BCS spokesman, Ari Fleischer, responded. “There is more money to be made if we had a playoff, but the price would be a diminished regular season and the end of the bowls as we know them.” [Emphasis added.]

Taken as a whole, that is a lot of bovine fecal matter crammed into one sentence.  Look, I’m as anti-extended playoffs as anyone I know, but even I’m willing to concede that there are playoff formats that could be judiciously designed that wouldn’t negatively affect the regular season or the bowls.

But the kicker is his “more money” comment.  Either Ari is talking completely out of his derriere when he says that – no great surprise there – or he’s just conceded that his masters are full of it when they engage in their hand-wringing exercise over not killing the golden goose of college football’s revenue stream.  Given that it’s Fleischer, I’d bet on the former, but in any event he’s given playoff proponents a wonderful club with which to bludgeon the BCS brass.  If nothing else, he should make for an entertaining witness at the next Congressional hearing.  Even Joe Barton’s not dumb enough to miss on that one.

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62 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery

62 responses to “The BCS gets what it pays for.

  1. rbubp

    Yeah, the beaucoup dollars angle is the one place I always thought the BCS had the upper hand on the playoff mavens.

  2. bamadawg

    I agree. I’m a militant anti playoff guy. I have a cadre of fanatics in Montana with ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ regular season flags, but this has been a disaster since the start. I know a lot of people who were up in the air and now are pro playoff simply because he’s involved. They should’ve laid low. After all, ESPN essentially paid millions of dollars to become the BCS advocate. Smells like panic.

  3. Doug

    Senator, do you remember hearing about the Swiss watch manufacturer (maybe Tag Heuer?) that was willing to pony up about $3 billion annually to sponsor a playoff system?

    How would that kind of scratch not outstrip what the current bowl structure pays out?

  4. sUGArdaddy

    It’s not that I couldn’t handle a playoff, it’s just that I don’t trust the people in charge. Everyone that says “just use the bowls” has spent about 5 minutes thinking about it. What system (H.S, 1-AA, or NFL) has playoff rounds at neutral sites? NONE. If you don’t ever have to travel to someone’s stadium, then getting in the playoffs is the only thing that matters. If you have playoffs, you have to have homefield advantage as part of the equation or the pursuit of regular season excellence is completely lost. And how many Texas fans can afford to travel to Miami for a semifinal game, then Pasadena for a championship game. Not many, friends. Plus, what do you do with the losers of the playoff games. Do the kids at 12-0 TCU who get their teeth kicked in after a trip to Tuscaloosa sit at home after a one and done playoff while 7-5 Auburn gets a week in sunny Tampa? Something about that doesn’t seem right.

    It’s simple. 8 teams would completely destroy the regular season. 8 teams would mean that Florida’s loss on Saturday meant losing a home playoff game, but they’d have time to regroup for the playoffs. 4 teams. This year: TCU plays at Bama. Cincinatti plays at Texas. Both on December 19. Losers play each other in Fiesta Bowl. Winners go to Rose Bowl. But the guys in charge simply haven’t thought about it from all those angles. Their just spouting off about stuff they don’t understand.

    • rbubp

      No doubt about the bowls–they’d be dead. But I don’t think you have to abandon neutral sites; you could borrow the basketball tourney formula and schedule multiple games in the same places; if field quality were an issue you could use different fields in the same metro area.

      As far as travel for the teams–that’s a huge issue–THAT factor alone would be THE justification for keeping it quite limited and keeping the regular season as important as it is now. You can’t realistically send an eastern team west (or vice versa) for extended periods; nor can you send them west one week and another 900 miles in another direction the next week. So the solution is to have geographically-based regions like BB used to do, with some limited travel to even out potential concentrations.

      And if that doesn’t work there is absolutely nothing wrong with host stadium until you have a final four or an NC game. But yes, the bowls would be gone.

      And that’s why we’re still talking about this 20 years on, my friends.

    • Correction

      sUGArdaddy, I don’t know where you are from that you spew your milarky, but the Dawgs own state has had the HS football State Semi finals in the Georgia Dome for many years. Last time I checked that was a neutral site. Does the Super Bowl ring a bell too?? And why do sissies like yourself who support not having playoffs always resort to the “we don’t want these little boys self esteem to be hurt if they lose a playoff game” angle? In life there are winners and losers, and football players realize this too. I think if they can handle crackback blocks and forearms to the head, then they can handle being knocked off while attempting to win a national championship. They wont care a whole hill of beans what 7-5 Auburn is trying to do in Tampa. Go see a counselor about your problems dealing with hardships and feelings, and let football palyers strive for what they feel they deserve. Win or lose, if given the chance, at least they would know their place.

      • sUGArdaddy

        The old GHSA playoffs would be the lone exception I can think of, as far as having neutral sites in playoff rounds (i.e. the old semis at the dome). Now, the finals are at the dome. Of course the championship game would be at a neutral site, but find me another football system where the quarter or semi-finals are in neutral sites.

        And if you want to use the NCAA basketball tourney as your example…take a good look at the seats next March in those early rounds and you’ll find that those are made-for-TV events which few people attend. They have multiple teams at a site and still can’t fill 25,000 seat arenas. Football doesn’t play well in empty stadiums. Like I said, I think a final four could be a great thing, but many of the scenarios thrown out there haven’t taken a lot of those factors into consideration.

        And you dismiss the reward of a bowl trip to easily. They are fun, and they are rewards for the players that work hard. Yes, they want to win championships, but it’s a real issue.

  5. Macallanlover

    Don’t be so quick to dismiss the “additional dollars” angle, the networks would pony up big money for exclusive rights to the playoff package. While not as many nights, the money spent for the Olympics with the poor ratings it gets shows the potential for high profile events. The bidding would be interesting. I say it again, I have never heard ONE logical reason to not move forward with a playoff. If you just don’t want to see the season culminate with a legit national champion, fine, just say that and stand by it.

    A playoff can be done, it can work within the time frame needed, class work will not be interupted nearly as much as other sports, the bowls can remain in place, and the regular season will be even more intense. CFB fans overwhelmingly, want it, just a couple of conference commissioners, a decent percentage of college presidents, and a small percentage of fans are preventing it. (The college presidents and commissioners would come around quickly if fans put pressure on them with donation cuts…..and they should.)

    • The bidding would be interesting. I say it again, I have never heard ONE logical reason to not move forward with a playoff. If you just don’t want to see the season culminate with a legit national champion, fine, just say that and stand by it.

      It’s good to see that you’re keeping an open mind about this debate. ;)

    • Puffdawg

      “I have never heard ONE logical reason to not move forward with a playoff.”

      Anti-playoffs advocates (myself included) will tell you playoffs would greatly diminish the regular season as it is. There’s your reason. To quote sUGArdaddy, “…Florida’s loss on Saturday meant losing a home playoff game, but they’d have time to regroup for the playoffs.”

      I know you know how much raw emotion goes into all 12 regular season games we play each year. In a playoff format, people would say, “Yea, we lost to Florida, but that’s ok because we are still alive for the playoffs.” Just doesn’t seem right to me.

      I think they had it right when they added that 5th game, but they screwed up by including two more teams in the BCS mix. They needed to use that 5th game as a plus one. My problem with playoffs is that, inevitably, there will be the creep effect Senator and others have referred to in the past.

      I’ll also ask the people who think the current system isn’t FAIR, “Was it FAIR the 10-6 Giants even had the opportunity to beat the 16-0 Patriots a few years back?”

      • rbubp

        “Anti-playoffs advocates (myself included) will tell you playoffs would greatly diminish the regular season as it is.”

        Puffdawg, it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s just a convenient excuse, not real one.

        “I’ll also ask the people who think the current system isn’t FAIR, ‘Was it FAIR the 10-6 Giants even had the opportunity to beat the 16-0 Patriots a few years back?’ ”

        Uhh…OF COURSE IT WAS FAIR. What, winning the games in others’ stadiums head to head is LESS FAIR to you than winning on a computer???

        • Puffdawg

          Let me rephrase that. Overall, do you think the Giants were the absolute best team from that season, without a shred of doubt in your mind?

          • bort

            Do you think the winner of the Texas-Alabama game will be the best team from this season? Without a shred of doubt in your mind?

            • Puffdawg

              No, but I’m not willing to sacrifice the importance of the regular season to get a watered down playoff situation like the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl that doesn’t prove who the best team from that year is. If a playoff absolutely will prove who the best is, then why did that year happen?

              • rbubp

                Puffdawg, every championship is going to have upsets. That’s reality and that’s why they play it on the field. You can pick out the massive underdog winning once in a while in any sport, but reality is that the best team is rarely so clear-cut and NFL 2007 and rarely do they face such a significant underdog in a title game.

                The reason people have tournaments is eradicate that exact situation that you are advocating: too many teams without enough common opponents limits the ability to reasonably determine who is best without a game on the field.

                I can’t believe I’m having to explain or defend this. What sports fan would rather have championships determined by opinions and computers rather than on the field? It’s sheer idiocy.

                • Puffdawg

                  Which is why I would rather shoot for a conference championship and to beat our rivals each year and to keep they absolute sheer lunacy and madnees that goes into every minute of every game of the regular season. I want to be absolutely distraught when we lose a regular season game, and I want our opponents to feel the same way when we win. It’s pure emotion. I don’t think you’ll have that with a playoff. The focus shifts away from winning the conference and towards winning at least 80% of your regular games to get into the dance, despite the opponent. Which means losing a game or two each year isn’t a big deal.

                • Hackerdog

                  I can’t believe that Macallanlover, rbubp, John Feinstein, and others actually expect rational people to believe that you can have two seasons, the regular season and the post-season, and only one of those is “obviously” expected to count.

                  Last year in the NFL, the 8-8 Chargers made the playoffs while the 11-5 Patriots, 9-7 Jets, 9-7 Bears, and 9-7 Bucs all missed the playoffs. And of course, that makes perfect sense to them. And it would make sense to me too, if I believed that the regular season consisted of nothing more than a seeding exercise for the REAL season, which is the post-season.

                  I don’t want college football to turn into the pros, where the Colts and Saints, each about to wrap up home field advantage throughout the playoffs, can simply take the last few games off to rest starters. We play Tech in the last game of our season. I shudder to think of the day when we think nothing of sacrificing that game because it won’t affect our seeding in the playoffs.

                  • rbubp

                    Rational people think that it’s possible to make things that don’t precisely copy other things already in existence.

                    Rational people also think that other rational people can understand the varied points made by each other and that rules and limits can be made and set.

                    Rational people wanting a playoff in college football do not all believe that every third-place 8-4 teams should be in the playoff. There are very rational reasons not to do it that way.

                    However, irrational people think that staying with a horrifically flawed system makes sense because there is no way any other system could be better.

                    • Hackerdog

                      A popular definition for insanity is doing something the same way repeatedly and expecting a different result.

                      Given that almost all other playoff systems in all other sports have expanded (in some cases significantly) beyond the original number of teams involved, I think insane is a proper word for the “but college football is entirely different and it could never happen” crowd.

                      And I don’t think we have the perfect system. But I think a playoff is more flawed than our current system.

              • wheaton4prez

                Puffdawg.

                Winning a championship is an accomplishment. Not a mathematical proof that has to achieve popular consensus. When an NFL team wins a Superbowl, them being that years champ is not controversial. They did what they had to do, when they needed to do it, to come away with the trophy. Nobody says, “well, they should just give the trophy to the losers. They played better earlier in the year.”

                Do anti-play-off advocates genuinely believe that play-offs would be bad for college football? Or, do they tend to be fans of certain conferences that benefit most from the current system and are thus betraying objective reason for self-serving reasons?

        • wheaton4prez

          How does Florida losing a game and still making the play-offs demonstrate that an 8 team play-off would diminish the regular season?

          Florida made a BCS bowl! The equivalent of gaining a seed spot in an 8 team play-off.

          The case of Florida demonstrates how an 8 team play-off would make no change to the importance of the regular season. Some teams, if they play well enough against strong enough opponents, could survive a loss and still be in the top 8. That is how it is now and that is how it could work for an 8 team play-off.

    • rbubp

      Mac, you know I’m anti-BCS. But you know the answer to this:
      “ONE logical reason”
      is not just money, but how far it is spread– amongst the bowls and the schools and the networks. It’s distribution of the money that’s the issue along with the quantity). The basketball tourney solves this by having 64 schools involved, which could never happen in football. And the bowls could not remain in place–travel issues from week to week would prevent that. Football is not like basketball and baseball, and the physical recovery time from games can’t really be compounded with travel recovery. A “playoff with bowls” schedule has the potential to be worse than the NFL

  6. Bob

    Regular season would be stock loaded with games like UGa – OSU, Texas – OSU, USC – Va Tech if teams weren’t concerned with one loss. It would get Charleston Southern off of Florida’s schedule – how is that a negative for the regular season?

    Glad to see you’re willing to debate and that you’re keeping an open mind Blutarsky. Of all the crap I’ve heard you say about a potential playoff, your “open-mindedness” swipe above is ludicrous juxtaposed against your head in the sand attitude about diminishing the regular season.

    You know how quickly our title hopes were dashed this year? One game, and now people propose Damon schedule the Western Kentucky types so that we’re better tuned for “real games.” Florida played a 9 game regular season.

    The regular season is already diminished because so many schools decide to paly absolute patsies year in year out. A playoff would change that.

    • Puffdawg

      “Regular season would be stock loaded with games like UGa – OSU, Texas – OSU, USC – Va Tech if teams weren’t concerned with one loss. It would get Charleston Southern off of Florida’s schedule – how is that a negative for the regular season?”

      How much money is made by playing a home and away against, say, Ohio State versus playing Charleston Southern at home, and then Western Kentucky the next year at home.? I don’t know that you would see more competitive matchups with a playoff systems. It’s all about the almighty dollar.

      “You know how quickly our title hopes were dashed this year? One game…”

      I think they call that single elimination in playoff lingo.

      • rbubp

        Except when the best teams don’t play each other. Then it’s “no elimination.”

        • Puffdawg

          Why don’t we just have a 120 team playoff for the year then? Why even have a regular season? That would ensure that every team would have had a fair chance to win the title.

      • 69Dawg

        +1 The regular season is in most instances a single elimination tournament. It behoves the schedule makers to schedule weak out of conference games, if you are one of the big boys that get the cred for just playing in your conference. For the Non BCS guys they have to schedule tough to get to the show. This is somewhat like a playoff where 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7 etc. except the 8′s have to beg the 1′s to play them.

        • Puffdawg

          To clarify, teams in bigger conferences don’t get passes just because they are in a big conference. They get a pass because by being in that conference, they must run a much tougher gauntlet week in and week out.

    • Hackerdog

      Your logic is exactly backward. A playoff would not motivate teams to risk a loss more than the current BCS system does. The current system takes strength of schedule into account. If you have 3 undefeated teams, SOS becomes a deciding factor.

      If you have 8 teams in a playoff, you obviously won’t have 8 undefeated teams, so a team would be better served trying to be undefeated than to pump up the SOS.

      • rbubp

        Says who? Is it more of a factor than margin of victory or predicted results based on past performance?

        • Hackerdog

          You are complaining about UF playing an easy OOC schedule. But, according to teamrankings.com, UF has the #3 strength of schedule in the country.

          Playoff proponents agree that Texas (#31 SOS) should be involved, but argue that Cincinnati (#45), TCU (#74), and Boise State (#83) should also be involved. Some even argue that TCU, who looked more impressive while playing a schedule significantly easier than that of Texas, should take their spot at the #2 ranking.

          It seems clear that wins over cupcakes impress playoff proponents much more than losses (or close wins) in a tough schedule.

          • rbubp

            But “seems” is the operative word here, that’s my point. Presently there is no way to distinguish if was a factor at all versus, say, historic reputation.

          • wheaton4prez

            How the post-season is structured and how the teams are ranked and seeded are two related but different issues.

            Personally, I think there are a lot of problems with the current ranking system. However, my basis for being for a play-off has nothing to do with thinking that this or that team “should be involved.” In my view, the seeding of the play-offs should be based on a single, 100% objective ranking that is revised each year at the beginning of the season (as needed) the same way the concrete rules of football are.

  7. Dog in Fla

    Ari’s Global War on the Play Off Scheme (GWOPOS), “The Scheme’s Homicide Bomber Terrorist Cells and Why They Have Weapons of Mass Destruction”, 8 December 2009

    Gotham City

    It was another day in mid-town Manhattan, just like any other elsewhere. Elsewhere some wondered about Ari’s latest excellent adventure and how did he, Ari, of all people, get to be the perpetrator thereof.

    They thought, maybe it was Ari’s strong sports background. Maybe the BCS wants Ari coin a new catchy phrase like “homicide bomber” for them. Maybe it was an appreciation of college football that Ari was totally immersed in at Middlebury. But clearly, not maybe, it would be hard to imagine who the BCS could have selected as its lobbyist who could be weirder for the job than Ari.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ari_Fleischer

    Even Karl Rove would be better. At least Karl supposedly lives in the Florida panhandle. So maybe Karl might know what a football looks like. Bush wouldn’t be any good. He’s the baseball guy who traded away Sammy Sosa who is now white. What a color dichotomy for W to have to deal with as he rides his bicycle with his helmet strapped on tight so he looks the badass in his gated toney Dallas neighborhood. They replace him with a half-black guy because W did such a good job and Sammy replaces himself with a white guy. Probably because Michael Jackson flew off to the big kid’s playground in the sky. Cheney would be good for the BCS but he and his bionic heart are too busy trying to get his daughter, the ‘good’ one not the ‘other’ one, elected as President in 2012 to make this a completely totalitarian republic which for Cheney is his Rapture and has always been his goal since he was working with Dick Nixon wrapping up losing Vietnam. What would Cheney know about sports except for canned hunts, skeet and lawyer shooting? Who among them, except for baseball Bush, knew jacksh!t about sports anyway? None of them. And most of all, certainly not Ari. Most SEC people thought that maybe Jimmy Sexton had invaded Manhattan and is Ari’s agent.

    Ari has slogans like we have to keep the parade here in Manhattan so we don’t have to go to a lot of other worthless parades in the country. They now know why Ari likes one big parade and not a bunch of sh!ttier smaller ones outside Manhattan…

    http://deadspin.com/5418304/ari-fleischer-has-settled-nicely-into-his-job-of-spinning-wildly-unpopular-ideas

    First, it’s closer for him to get to. Second, it’s what he is siphoning money off the BCS for.

    Could Ari be a mole for the playoff people? Sure. Is Ari a plant by Orrin? Yes. Is Country Joe Barton an aider and abetter? You betcha!

    What will Ari do next for College Football? Most think whatever it is will be something that is truly bizarre and will, of course, have unintended consequences somewhere somehow. Like the implementation of a playoff system sooner rather than later.

  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    Back to the original premise of the post: If you’re going to hire somebody to spew kaka del toro, shouldn’t they at least spew helpful kaka del toro?

  9. Bob

    About as helpful as Blutarsky’s.

    Oh, the sanctity of the regular season. Wouldn’t want to ruin that.

    I loko forward to many more victories over Georgia Southern and Tennessee Tech.

    • Puffdawg

      You’re having this discussion in the wrong forum. I don’t care if we have a 2 or 200 team playoff, the Georgia Southern games will still exist due to the amount of money they bring into the school.

      Additionally, the only guy I know of who didn’t want to play Okie State also believes there was a government coverup on the Kennedy assassination and thinks Elvis is still alive.

      Nobody’s arguing against better regular season matchups. But those weak games are not going to go away whether we have a playoff or not!

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I didn’t want to play Okie State and I think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and am positive that Elvis is still dead.

  10. Macallanlover

    Senator, my mind is open, just haven’t been challenged with any objection that makes a valid case. Sorry, but like socialism over capitalism, just not a close call, doesn’t mean I haven’t studied and analyzed the arguments. I would really like to understand what is preventing this from happening.

    The “diminishing the regular season” argument above: how can whittling 120 teams down to eight mean teams take weeks off, or don’t compete? You mean like UGA/GT in 2002, 2005, or 2009 when one had already clinched a BCS conference title game berth (winner of which would be an entry). Anybody remember those games not being played with passion? Any starters sit out because the game wasn’t important? There are many examples like this in other conferences. No one is proposing an NFL type playoff, or proposing a system where a 7 win team would be included. Come on Hacker and Puff, you know this would be a fight to the finish. For once there would actually be a reward at the end. No one is going to slack off ANY game.

    The money situation, in my idea, would funnel substantial more money to the smaller schools by giving EVERY non-participating school a piece of the TV money. I recall Hawaii having a $50,000 recruiting budget when we played them in 2007. I suspect there are many teams with similar finances. Why not take $1-2 MM (depending on the bid) from TV monies and make sure the small schools get what is to them, a major windfall annually. Sure would swing some votes.

    rhup, I would not destroy the bowls, four games played in mid-December, two on January 1, and one in mid-January. Bowls for the remaining teams could remain. Are they diminished? Yes, but aren’t they already? Bowls are ceremonial, exhibition games, nothing would change. 6-6 teams would still be available, and will still play just to get the extra practice.

    • What touches me most about your argument is the abiding faith you have in a D-1 playoff never expanding beyond eight games.

      • Bob

        What touches me the most about your argument is your twisted belief that a coaches poll can get it right, and an AP poll can get it right and that the current bowl system isn’t corrupt as hell.

        Revert to 2007 – there is no reason the punditry should get to decide where a team finishes. It should be decided by players who sacrifice four years of their lives to entertain you.

        Your opinion is pathetic and stubborn. You’re truly not a fan of the game, you’re a fan of the business – and that is sad.

        • Congratulations, Bob. I know that playoff supporters often disagree with the positions I take, but your comment may be the best job of mischaracterizing my arguments I’ve ever seen here.

          I have never, ever said that the polls “get it right”. Hell, man, I’m sponsoring a poll at this blog because I think the Coaches Poll is fatally flawed due to bias and conflicts of interest. What more do you want from me?

          And I agree with your comment about subjective criteria determining who gets to play in the postseason. That’s why I advocate D-1 shrinking down to eight ten-school power conferences with an eight-team playoff comprised solely of conference champs. As they say, you could look it up. It’s not like I haven’t posted about it.

          As for your “You’re truly not a fan of the game” crack, pardon me if I chuckle. I’ve got 3,800+ posts here at GTP since I started this blog three years ago. If that’s not an indication of this being a labor of love on my part for college football, kindly explain to me what it is.

        • Puffdawg

          “It should be decided by players who sacrifice four years of their lives to entertain you.”

          Those poor, poor, exploited sweatshop workers. Dude, give me a break. As if they’d rather be doing something else. If you’re trying to build credibility in this debate, that ain’t the road you want to take. I almost feel like I’m being Punk’d right now. Ashton…?

      • Macallanlover

        You are right, much of my argument is contingent upon the playoff being “exactly eight”, no more, no less. With 16 you do run the risk of teams getting in that should not be included, and perhaps giving the “diminishing the regular season” argument proponents some validity. It would also make the process less manageable due to travel, short turn around times, etc. 16 would also dilute the bowls substantially by putting too much stress on the fanbase for traveling and economic reasons.

        Any fewer and you again make the winner less credible due to legit exclusions. There are some years the 4 team, +1 would answer 98+% of the questions, but many more years where someone would have a legitimate complaint of being excluded.

        I hear the “guaranteed expansion” statement, but don’t know why anyone would do so. Don’t mess with perfect!

        • Puffdawg

          For wanting to be “challenged with any objection that makes a valid case,” you sure don’t make a convincing case yourself. As you can see, it is hard to prove either way what would happen, other than to look at precedent. There’s a product out there currently that I enjoy, and I just don’t want people to mess with it so that we might maybe possibly hopefully perhaps optimistically could have that perfect 8 team playoff (which I still think would include too many teams, but you get the point).

          I’m cool with going back to the old BCS with 4 BCS bowls and then using the current 5th BCS game as a National Title Game, but anything beyond that to me is diluted and would absolutely diminsh the regular season. That National Title game would be well defined enough in my opinion to prevent expansion.

          Just a reminder though, I am content with winning our conference and beating our rivals. Let the MNC chips fall where they may. Be careful what you wish for.

          • Puffdawg

            Point of clarification –

            Use 5th BCS game as Plus One where top four teams matched up in 4 BCS bowls and winners of 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 go on to 5th BCS game.

          • Macallanlover

            I understand the expansion in other sports, I simply do not accept we HAVE to make that error with CFB. The downside once you go past that point with all that is unique about college football is too great. Much different than the other college sports.

            I also focus on the conference championship as the “ultimate” under the current system. I don’t recognize any national champions in NCAA D1 football, mythical or otherwise. Being the SEC champ is the highest honor a team can achieve on the field, so that is tops to me. While I wish for more, I am in agreement with you on this. Everything beyond is fuzzy and can be disputed.

    • Hackerdog

      I know you fervently believe that teams wouldn’t take a game off after clinching a playoff spot, but you’re ignoring reality.

      Remember in 2003 when the Indianapolis Colts started the season 13-0, clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and then treated the final 3 games like tuneups for the postseason? Manning probably played 6 series in those final 3 games.

      But that could never, ever happen in a college playoff system, right?

  11. Puffdawg

    To wheaton4Prez -

    “Winning a championship is an accomplishment. Not a mathematical proof that has to achieve popular consensus.”

    Remind me why we want to change? I thought it was to determine without a doubt who the absolute best team is. To be FAIR.

    “Florida made a BCS bowl! The equivalent of gaining a seed spot in an 8 team play-off.”

    I was unaware Florida is still in the running for the National Championship.

    “Some teams, if they play well enough against strong enough opponents, could survive a loss and still be in the top 8. ”

    This just proves the theory of diminshing the regular season. They could still lose and still be in. Whether you laughed or cried at it, you don’t have Tebow crying if we have playoffs.

    “That is how it is now and that is how it could work for an 8 team play-off.”

    That is not how it is now. Florida is no longer in the hunt.

    “In my view, the seeding of the play-offs should be based on a single, 100% objective ranking that is revised each year at the beginning of the season (as needed) the same way the concrete rules of football are.”

    Please, PLEASE provide us with the groundwork for how this works. And if it does work, why don’t we use the magical objective ranking system and apply it to the current system?

    • wheaton4prez

      To Puffdawg-

      “Remind me why we want to change? I thought it was to determine without a doubt who the absolute best team is. To be FAIR.”

      The premise that any single game could ever determine absolutely who is the best team is flawed. Amongst the most competitive teams, there is probably no match-up in which any of those teams would win every time in a 10 game series. Sometimes, things just break a teams way and that’s enough to win on that day.

      The reason we want change is to make the championship game accessable to more teams based on football games. That way, it’s a football championship rather than something akin to American Idol, a popularity contest.

      “I was unaware Florida is still in the running for the National Championship.”

      Are you suggesting that the NC game is the only game considered a substantial accomplishment?

      Making a BCS bowl game is an accomplishment that only 8 teams of the entire NCAA get to enjoy. It has a large pay-out and offers a lot of exposure.

      Your position seems to rely on the idea that having a play-off would render all play-off games except for the NC game as insignificant accomplishments. Can you offer any examples of play-off systems where this is true? Making the final four is generally considered a great accomplishment. There is an AFC Championship trophy.

      “This just proves the theory of diminshing the regular season. They could still lose and still be in. Whether you laughed or cried at it, you don’t have Tebow crying if we have playoffs.”

      No it doesn’t. This just proves that you think play-offs would render making the play-offs meaningless.

      A play-off would provide multiple games in which Tebow would have an opportunity to cry if that’s your thing, including regular season games.

      “That is not how it is now. Florida is no longer in the hunt.”

      The point is that teams that lose regular season games are already still in the running for high profile, lucrative bowl games. Not every team in the NCAA is Florida with Tim Tebow, playing all year with the assumption that a title is around the corner. In fact, there are only a small handful of teams for which this would be true. A larger pool of teams has been in the hunt for a BCS game. According to your logic, allowing teams that are not undefeated into any BCS games diminishes the regular season.

      In order for your argument to make sense, one has to believe that the only games fans found compelling are the ones involving Florida, Texas or Alabama. How would ADDING the prospect of winning in to a higher game from the BCS Bowl that a team made this year diminish the importance of winning enough games to get there?

      “Please, PLEASE provide us with the groundwork for how this works. And if it does work, why don’t we use the magical objective ranking system and apply it to the current system?”

      Not a problem.

      Remove all human polls from the equation. Pick one computer formula to use as the ranking rather than trying to homogenize a handful of them. Make that poll transparent. Make an effort to explain how it works and revise it accordingly each year the same way that we revise game rules.

      There you go. 100% objective. No magic involved.

      As far as why we don’t use such a system goes, it’s difficult to summarize since we’ve arrived were we are through a number of events and permutations. However, I think that the underlying factor is ignorance. A lot of people aren’t good enough with math to understand that we can generally apply the same fundamental measurements we naturally use to compare teams with a formula-based system.

      • Puffdawg

        “Your position seems to rely on the idea that having a play-off would render all play-off games except for the NC game as insignificant accomplishments. Can you offer any examples of play-off systems where this is true? Making the final four is generally considered a great accomplishment. There is an AFC Championship trophy.”

        So now the arguement is that we want playoffs so that teams can say they made it to the Final Four instead of the Sugar Bowl? The whole point of creating playoffs is to establish a true champion. End of story. The other games ARE meaningless unless you win them.

        “The point is that teams that lose regular season games are already still in the running for high profile, lucrative bowl games.”

        But typically, they are no longer in the running for the Nat’l Championship, which is the whole point of this discussion. Also, my answer above applies to this.

        “According to your logic, allowing teams that are not undefeated into any BCS games diminishes the regular season.”

        I am being repetitive, but are you saying that teams would have more incentive not to lose so that they could make it to the Final Four instead of the Sugar Bowl (because it is the same thing)? I really am not following your logic.

        “Remove all human polls from the equation. Pick one computer formula to use as the ranking rather than trying to homogenize a handful of them. Make that poll transparent. Make an effort to explain how it works and revise it accordingly each year the same way that we revise game rules.”

        Because all objective computer polls were created by objective computers and they will objectively evolve based on their own objective analysis. Welcome to the Matrix. Who the hell do you think created the computer polls?

        • wheaton4prez

          “So now the arguement is that we want playoffs so that teams can say they made it to the Final Four instead of the Sugar Bowl? The whole point of creating playoffs is to establish a true champion. End of story. The other games ARE meaningless unless you win them.”

          The first round seeds would be called the Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, etc. and teams would say that they made the Sugar Bowl and still receive the same pay-out, exposure, etc. and the same people that run them now could continue to do so. Only, the winners get to move on to a semi-finals and potentially the NC game. Only two games added to the season. Making the play-offs (and losing) would still be a major accomplishment and give the programs and conferences the same reward.

          Maybe you have your own idea of “the whole point” of play-offs. Or, maybe you have grossly misunderstood the point that others have in mind.

          The point in my view is to arrive at a champion based as much as possible on the game of football rather than various eye-ball accounts and popularity factors. There is a proven track record of play-off systems consistently resulting in teams being named champions without controversy. The only thing consistent about the current system is controversy and ambiguity over whether or not the top named team could have beaten other top teams that they didn’t face.

          “But typically, they are no longer in the running for the Nat’l Championship, which is the whole point of this discussion. Also, my answer above applies to this.”

          I’ve already addressed this point at length. You insisting that what you think is the point of the discussion is not addressing my response.

          Your argument only makes sense if you believe that making the NC game is the only accomplishment that provides importance to regular season games. That idea couldn’t be further from the truth with the exception of a tiny fraction of NCAA programs. Even for those few, I’m pretty sure that they consider a BCS game, which would otherwise be a play-off seed, to be an accomplishment. I doubt Urban Meyer is telling his guys that their season was a failure. 95% of the entire league would love to have had Florida’s season, WITHOUT making the NC game.

          “I am being repetitive, but are you saying that teams would have more incentive not to lose so that they could make it to the Final Four instead of the Sugar Bowl (because it is the same thing)? I really am not following your logic.”

          No. I’m saying that a play-off would not alter incentives in regular games because it would still be difficult to be one of the top 8 teams in the country.

          This is demonstrably true. Teams that are effectively out of the NC race continue to play hard to make the BCS and people continue to tune in to find out if they do. The Oregon vs. Oregon State game had no NC game implications. But, was one of the highest rated games of the year. If the winner had a shot at making the NC game from the Rose Bowl, it would not have lessened how many people watched the game or how hard the players tried, etc. The stakes would have remained high.

          “Because all objective computer polls were created by objective computers and they will objectively evolve based on their own objective analysis. Welcome to the Matrix. Who the hell do you think created the computer polls?”

          Computer polls treat every team objectively the same.

          As mentioned earlier, we revise the rules of football every year. There may be subjective and debatable judgments to be made at the time of revision. However, those rules are then applied objectively the same to every team (as much as practically possible given the need of refs).

          We can (and should) have a subjective debate over what qualities should be how important when devising a formula. However, the result of that debate should be applied objectively the same to every team.

          • Puffdawg

            “Maybe you have your own idea of “the whole point” of play-offs. Or, maybe you have grossly misunderstood the point that others have in mind.”

            We’re not that different, you and I…

            Puffdawg
            December 9, 2009 at 9:13 am Point of clarification –

            Use 5th BCS game as Plus One where top four teams matched up in 4 BCS bowls and winners of 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 go on to 5th BCS game.

            “Your argument only makes sense if you believe that making the NC game is the only accomplishment that provides importance to regular season games. ”

            The only point of instituting a playoff in place of what we have is to determine a true national champion, which would require you to make it to the NC game.

            “Computer polls treat every team objectively the same.”

            …based on subjective standards determined by humans. Just because I tell the computer to rank teams based on, say, overall record, and the computer applies that equally to all teams does not make it an objective process.

            • wheaton4prez

              “We’re not that different, you and I…

              Puffdawg
              December 9, 2009 at 9:13 am Point of clarification –

              Use 5th BCS game as Plus One where top four teams matched up in 4 BCS bowls and winners of 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 go on to 5th BCS game.”

              I hadn’t read that.

              I think that would definitely be an improvement. However, why would you want that if you believe that it would diminish the importance of the regular season?

              Do you see how the current BCS system diminishes the importance of the other BCS games? For example, Brian Kelly deciding to leave Cincinnati without coaching the bowl game. Do you think he would have done that had it been a play-off where he had a chance to move on to a title game?

              “The only point of instituting a playoff in place of what we have is to determine a true national champion, which would require you to make it to the NC game.”

              To me, “true national champion” is just a word. The title itself does not assume a specific process that has to be taken to use it. It’s not that the current system isn’t “true” enough. It’s that the whole thing is designed so that bowl placements can be manipulated in consideration of factors not related to football ability and accomplishment.

              “…based on subjective standards determined by humans. Just because I tell the computer to rank teams based on, say, overall record, and the computer applies that equally to all teams does not make it an objective process.”

              This is just semantics. I clarified that the computers treat every team objectively. That is what I meant and that is a substantial difference from what we have now. It is one of the major sources of controversy in the current system that human polls are subjective at the point of application, by design.

              One can see the problem best by simply e-mailing the current BCS voters and asking them to explain a specific ranking, for example when they place a team higher than the team they just got blown out by, records otherwise being equal. The multitude of excuses, flippant and bizarre explanations can be quite amazing.

        • The whole point of creating playoffs is to establish a true champion.

          I thought it was to make more money. ;)

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