A playoff proposal so good, I wish I’d have come up with it three days ago.

Honestly, in the wake of Butler making it to the college basketball title game, I expected to see more columns like Kevin Scarbinsky’s making the rounds this morning.  (True, it’s still early.)

How can you not be stirred by this?

They’ve proved that, on any given day, if given the chance, a good team can beat a big name.

If given the chance.

College basketball gives Butler that chance. College football gives Boise State no chance.

That’s why college basketball equals democracy and college football equals aristocracy, and that, boys and girls, is the real reason the American colonies went to war against their regally blind British oppressors.

To give underdogs like the Bulldogs a fighting chance.

Wow!  Cue the fife and drum set, now!  Who knew that George Washington was in favor of a playoff?

I have to admit that I’m now fully on board the college football playoff train.  I had an epiphany sometime in the middle of the second half of Butler’s game – towards the end of that awesome ten minute-plus run when the Bulldogs failed to score a point from the field they were busy settling things on – about how to structure the perfect college football playoff format.

My idea is so absurdly simple that I’m surprised Scarbinsky hadn’t already come up with it:  twin bracket playoffs.  Set up one eight-team bracket composed only of BCS conference schools and one solely of mid-majors.  Then, have the winner of each bracket face off in the national title game.  Voilà!

Think about it.  It’s got everything everybody wants – a playoff with all the real contenders in it, more games for everybody, more money for the smaller conferences and a chance every year for the little guy.  College football will guarantee that Cinderella dances in the ball every single season forever.  Now that’s the America than our ancestors shed their blood for, amirite?

And there’s the bestest bonus of all, that college football would have twice as many sets of brackets as March Madness.  Take that, Seth Davis.

My friends, we stand on the verge of truly having it all at no cost to us.  I ask you, what could be more American than that?  Who’s with me here?

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37 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

37 responses to “A playoff proposal so good, I wish I’d have come up with it three days ago.

  1. Prov

    You’re stopping short. Include the DII and DIII champs in a plus-one with the Mid Major Champ and the BCS Champ. One Champion to rule them all. True equality!

  2. Has it come to this? Marginalizing those that disagree with your anti-playoff views?

    Perhaps a better idea would be to let GTP conduct a poll after every upset to determine if the “right team” won, and if need be, negate the results.
    Because we all know, in over sized divisions, with unbalanced conferences and schedules, opinion polls are the superior method of determining legitimacy.

    If there is one thing I trust more than the results of a played game, it is Jim Tressel’s opinion.

    • O tempora, o mores, eh? Because I have the temerity to disagree with the idea that giving a team ranked somewhere in the vicinity of twentieth in the country the chance to “settle it on the field” trumps every possible consideration in designing a postseason.

      Scarbinsky wrote a very silly column. Sorry if my snark offended you. (Although I bet Orrin Hatch would think my proposal had promise.)

      • lol, What is wrong with Butler having a chance? They have won 25 straight games!

        As for being ranked somewhere near 20th in the country, there in lies the problem.

        Why should winning the battle of public opinion be a pre-requisite to winning on the court, or grid-iron?

        Cicero was right!

        • It’s not the battle of public opinion.

          It’s what the Committee decided when it made Butler a fifth seed.

          • Perhaps I should have provided a better segue to the BCS…

            Still, with all the inherent flaws in any committee, the act of inclusion gives a team the opportunity to overcome.

            The BCS principles of exclusion serve to protect the interests of the system’s stake-holders. Most, if not all, playoff proponents see to determine a legitimate champion of college football’s highest division, just like all other divisions in college football.

            Finances and potential expansion aside, I appreciate your movement on the matter.

            Scarbinsky is a silly, at best, columnist, but his sentiments resonate with a large section of fans. Especially the part about have a predefined road map to the championship. Going undefeated in the “Bowl” sub-division assures no such result.

            • Tom

              Ah, but there are no official BCS rules of inclusion for the national championship game. For the other BCS bowls, yes, but not for the NC. There’s no rules against putting Boise State, TCU, Utah, or LA-Lafayette in the championship – the reason it doesn’t happen is because the voters don’t think they’re deserving. If we have a problem with the BCS, we should focus on the people involved in the voting rather than the setup and calculators.

  3. Wolfman

    The only merit in his argument is that, in a way, Butler deserved a chance, even though they got hosed by an “tournament” committee also. This isn’t a typical mid-major: they’ve been competing with the major conference teams for the past decade, and spent most of this year in the top 15. It’s not a fluke team. Do you suppose, maybe, that if a “mid-major” team consistently beat the best teams in America that they would get a chance to play for a championship? (Of course, let’s not forget the “M” in MNC…)

    The fact is that Butler was never a true 5-seed. They should have been around a 3, 4 at worst. This “any team” stuff doesn’t fly with me. This is ten years in the making. And I suspect that if TCU or Boise racks up ten years of consistent top level play then they might also be allowed in. This might be a scattered argument, but my thought was that even in a 64-team tournament, a true contender has been around for a while.

    The only suggested requirement for that double-bracket system is that Gene Hackman be named coach for the mid-major bracket in every “championship” game.

    • Butler shot 30% from the floor and barely beat a team that was missing its leading scorer due to an injury in the tournament. Good on ‘em for the win, but I’m of the feeling that there were plenty of other teams that would have handled Michigan State with ease last night.

      • D.N. Nation

        Including Duke, who will most likely make us forget about Butler on Monday night.

      • Wolfman

        True, but to get to that point, Butler had to beat both a #1 and #2 seed, neither of which any other school had to do. Agreed on the point that Michigan St. was probably a weak team for the Final Four, but that’s how they had been playing all tournament. Defense was their M.O. through the whole thing.

        Butler had beaten teams earlier in the tournament of legitimate contention. Had they won this game in the Sweet 16, would we be saying it like that? Or, put another way, if Alabama has only beaten a bedraggled Tennessee team by blocking FGs, but it happened to be the SECCG, would we view Bama any differently?

        • I’m not arguing that Butler was unworthy of being in the Final Four; I’m just questioning your premise that a team with its obvious deficiencies on offense is clearly underseeded.

          As for your ‘Bama analogy, there’s always the chance of “any given Saturday” syndrome cropping up in either sport. The difference is that parity is much greater in college basketball than it is in football, so a Butler is more readily accepted. Also, a football regular season near miss against Tennessee is going to be measured against the Tide’s regular season’s body of work for context. In basketball, that same regular season close call is going to be forgotten the day after it happened.

      • Phocion

        Ah, so, Alabama shouldn’t have won the BCSCG because McElroy played a bad game and McCoy was knocked out early. I’m sure Florida, Boise, and Ohio State all could have handled that Texas team rather easily.

        (Maybe college football and basketball really are similar!)

  4. Mike

    I favor a system that votes Florida into the title game very year,regardless of record. But that is just me

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      An honest man.

      While we’re at it, I’m in favor of a lottery sytem that let’s me know the winning numbers in advance for the next $200 million Powerball jackpot. I’m not greedy. One will do.

  5. rippsp

    yes, Valdosta it has. GTP has always marginalized
    those who disagree with his anti-playoff views.
    In honor of the holiday, Jesus and his friends could come up with a beautiful playoff system and
    GTP would make fun of it or come up with some
    item against it.
    Yadda yadda blah blah death to the playoff infidels.

    • With regard to the term “marginalized”: either I’m a lot more powerful than I realized, or that word does not mean what you think it means. ;)

      Again, I’m not anti-playoff. I’m anti-extended playoff. So, as long as Jesus and his friends can come up with something that involves no more than eight teams, I’d be willing to listen.

      • Forgive my grammar, I should have stated you attempt to marginalize.

        “”Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.””

        I bet the Senator is familiar with this quote.

      • Macallanlover

        I think the vast majority of CFB playoff proponents feel 4 or 8 is all that is required. I am in the 8 camp because I feel four, like the current BCS set-up of two teams, will leave too many questions unanswered and leave right where we are today. No system will guarantee the best team will be identified at its conclusion, but inclusiveness will legitimize the tournamant winner.

        Limiting that inclusiveness to no more than 8 is the key issue that has been raised, but if that is accomplished the “degradation of the regular season” argument goes away. When it goes beyond that number it becomes unwieldly, changes the sport dramatially, and I am then off the playoff wagon myself.

        • Macallan, I think that’s where most of us stand, but I also believe that therein lies the problem. Show me another American sport that hasn’t expanded its playoff system because the powers to be realized there was more money to make. Every sport’s playoff system is watered down IMO. The reason I became such a big college football fan was the introduction of the wild card in baseball. To me that just bastardized the game that I loved. Honestly, if you weren’t good enough to win your own division after 162 games, why should you be given a shot at the penultimate prize?

          • Macallanlover

            Clearly there are numerous examples of expansion abuse, almost always driven by money. D1 CFB has some limitations that may help curb that: 1) a consensus that only 3-4 teams are truly worthy almost every year, 2) the end of the semester and holiday schedules, 3) a lack of uncontested TV time slots available, 4) the number of days rest required versus other sports and, 5) the logistics of moving large groups of fans with short notice (in 1AA less than 2,000 fans travel to football playoff games that are held more than 8 hours drive away.

            Adding a legit 8 team playoff will improve CFB, no doubt in my mind, versus what we have, and enhance the regular season. If that is acceptable as a premise, I would offer the following two analogies as reason why we should proceed:

            1) if a drug can be developed that would enhance/improve life by defeating disease and suffering, should it not be brought to market because it might be abused by some who do not adhere to the recommended dosage and become addicted?

            2) if a new car has features that improve enjoyment and comfort like phone, GPS, stereo, etc., should it not be allowed because some will abuse it and get distracted enough to cause an accident or operate it unsafely?

            These may seem silly to some, but there are hundreds of things like this: planes, X-Rays, guns, fire, etc., where you move forward when you have a chance to improve things. I don’t accept the inevitability of a limited playoff turning into a monster, but have seen that many do fear this. I say make it better and fight against expansion, not against the creation of a playoff that would make it more exciting.

  6. A voice in the wilderness because I do not believe a playoff system will ever happen in Div. 1 football.
    A plus one game, a college super bowl, would satisfy me & would be a compromise for a lot of other fans. As to how the NC is determined now: It is a Joke.

  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    That article is such a shoddy use of a shoddy principle (anecdote to justify a policy) that it cries for ridicule and marginalizing. I would have ridiculed the Senator if he seriously considered it. If Butler could have done this, why not a team 20 rungs down from Butler?

    Different thought on the same subject.
    I think I can summarize the feelings of a lot of people dissatisfied with the BCS: We would like a playoff but in capitalist America we’re scared to let the genie out of the bottle.

  8. D.N. Nation

    Butler was a Top 15 team in the preseason. They haven’t lost this calendar year. Vegas had them as the favorite over Michigan State last night, and rightly so.

    All attempts to make this team into a Cinderella are ridiculous.

  9. Vious

    The playoff issue is an important one

    But do we need 1-2 posts every day bitching about it?

    We get it…We know your point of view…and picking ridiculous things off the internet and mocking it daily is a bit tiresome to read.

  10. Aligator

    great idea ….

  11. Aligator

    the problem with division 1 football is that it was not set up the right way back in the day, with a playoff and now we have this shit.

    our congress and senate is kind of like that too. The founding father’s forgot or were high the day they did not put term limits on these dumb asses and now the schism gets wider and the common folk, well they get the shaft … sound familiar?

    • Phocion

      Pretty sure that you get a chance to vote your Congressman out of office every 2/6 years. Term limits start in your home district.

      And while some are seemingly entrenched, leadership can be overturned at the ballot box…Daschle went down a couple elections ago…and Reid looks poised to follow.

      (But I get the frustration…I live in a ridiculously gerrymandered district with an entrenched bufoon as a rep but that’s the way it goes. And there is a reason that most of the district looks like it does and has the crime rate it does. The majority of the disctrict gets the government they vote for…)

      • Term limits start in your home district.

        Totally agree. I’ve always thought that TL legislation was a complete cop out.

        • Macallanlover

          The argument isn’t about elections, it is about the seniority system and committee assignments which require constituents to return power-hungry old fools, or commit pork barrel suicide by voting incumbents out.

  12. Dawgaholic

    If you want to really look at the merits of determining the best team, NCAA basketball has the worst system out there for its sport – followed closely by NCAA golf.

    Basketball is best settled over more than 1 game. If you want the best teams in a championship basketball game, they should go the route of the NCAA baseball tournament with double elimination and 3 game series.

    • The Realist

      Though you are correct, that’s hard to bracketize. College basketball is no fun if I can’t fill out a bracket.

    • I have been thinking the same thing for awhile now. Playing the double elimination regionals, the series super regionals and the 8 team double elimination tournament before the title series would more likely give us the true “best team.” We’ve seen upsets in college baseball but more often than not the nation’s elite end up in Omaha.

      Although, as a Heels fan I’ll argue our losses to Oregon St as flukes to the death haha.