Worst playoff pitch ever

Shorter Ivan Maisel:  a college football playoff would help prevent the Floridas, Penn States and Texas A&Ms of the world from being cheated out of their just rewards for having mediocre seasons.

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22 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

22 responses to “Worst playoff pitch ever

  1. Dante

    I’m getting tired of this “every game counts” bullcrap. As long as the Floridas and Georgias of the world schedule the Jacksonville States and Idaho States of the world every game does NOT count. I do find it ironic that one of the sports with the highest athlete turnover rates has a system that makes it so hard to win it all if you stumble out of the gate. But at the same time, that’s probably why we have so many glorified exhibitions, especially early on.

    Oh and FTA:
    Meyer: “…get a chance to play in the best stadium in America in front of the best fans for a shot at the SEC championship…”

    Ha, ha! Suck it, Jacksonville.

    • As long as the Floridas and Georgias of the world schedule the Jacksonville States and Idaho States of the world every game does NOT count.

      Really? Compare the consequences of Florida losing to Jacksonville State in a regular season football game and Florida losing to Jacksonville State in a regular season basketball game and get back to us on that.

      • Dante

        Really. The consequences are nil. Jacksonville State is such an inferior opponent compared to the rest of their schedule that at best Florida will be scraping for any bowl game if they lose that one. You show me a team that has run their IA table but has a loss to a IAA team and I’ll rethink that position.

        • You missed my point. Of course the Florida football team’s chances for the postseason would get hammered by such a loss. That’s why the game would be meaningful. On the basketball side, all such a loss would do is cause a hit in RPI, but the Gators’ tourney chances wouldn’t be dramatically affected. That’s why that game isn’t particularly meaningful.

          Think about this in terms of Saturday’s Auburn-Georgia game for a sec. How much more would a loss cost the Tigers this season than if it occurred in a season in which there was a 16-team playoff?

          • Dante

            I get your point. I just don’t think it matters since Florida isn’t losing to Jacksonville State. I’m pretty playoff agnostic myself. What I do care about is the dwindling number of quality football games we have each year. Auburn-Georgia is almost always a good game. And it’ll remain that way to me with playoffs or not because I get my football excitement from the product, not the format. What we have right now is a system that rewards perennially good teams for scheduling crappy opponents. I’d like that to stop, but I don’t really care how.

        • HamDawg11

          Uhmmm, just ask Ole Missy if Jacksonville State is such an inferior opponent…

        • DawgBiscuit

          Virginia Tech opened this season by losing to a mid-major AND an FCS school, but is undefeated since and is the favorite to win the ACC.

      • anon

        Virginia Tech is going to go to a BCS bowl after losing to JMU.

        Not quite the same thing, but it shouldn’t happen.

    • JBJ

      Dante,

      I agree with you. Nevertheless, you won’t find many others on this blog. They think having a playoff diminishes the regular season games. Also, they will start comparing football to soccer, track, and basketball in an attempt to counter arguments. They refuse to recognize the fact that, as you point out, we already have games where the team slack off because they can.

      There seems to be an unnatural obsession with regular season games and the fear they won’t mean as much.

      A playoff could be a great thing in my opinion. It brings in more fans and despite what others think it could still make every game count without losing the archaic bowl system or diminishing the regular season. The playoff has to rely on rankings and conference championships with an emphasis on home field advantage which is huge in football.

      • Lots of straw man stuff there, JBJ, but one thing you said deserves a response:

        There seems to be an unnatural obsession with regular season games and the fear they won’t mean as much.

        Speaking only for myself, the regular season is what makes college football unique and special. So, yeah, I don’t want to see the powers-that-be screw that up. Fans like yourself focus on what you believe would make the game more exciting, but the people making the decisions affecting the sport are focused on something entirely different, the almighty dollar. It’s naive to think those two goals are in sync.

        If I’m obsessed, it’s an obsession born of cynicism from watching the suits’ greed impact other sports negatively. I don’t think that’s unnatural at all.

        • JBJ

          Not sure I misrepresented your position. If I did, then I apologize.

          I do want a playoff in order to give teams more incentives during the regular season. I also want the season to come down to the best team. The thought that Boise State or TCU could win a national championship is pretty ridiculous, yet that is the position we find ourselves in at this time.

          I want to take as much control away from ESPN and their commentators as possible. People like Herbstreit sit there and argue to the nation for Ohio State to play in a national championship game while downplaying SEC schools. Just wait, it is coming again this year.

          Don’t get me wrong, the BCS was a step in the right direction because it took some control away from the polls and the old boy system. I would just like to take it one step further and eliminate them from the equation almost completely.

          • That’s not going to happen, unless you go to an objectively based playoff format, such as a conference winner-only setup. If some teams are selected with subjective criteria, then you’ve still got the polls, ESPN, etc. in the mix. And, what’s worse, you’ve created an incentive for coaches and the media to complain about the size of the field with the likely result that the playoffs get further expanded down the road.

  2. NC Dawg

    Maisal’s logic wasn’t quite there. He’s saying that if early-season games count more, later-season games MUST count less. Frankly, later-season games count even more, in the BCS picture.

  3. Bobby Fenton

    I think a 4-team playoff would be great, but no more than that. This whole “the hot team late in the year” thing is absurd. It’s a 12-game body of work. I don’t care about “who would want to play Va Tech right now”, to quote Maisel. They lost to James Madison. The hell with that. They have to adjust their season’s goals to winning the ACC then.

    College football is about that quiet desperation every single week. As a UF fan, I remember last year’s Arkansas game at The Swamp, with Arkansas driving in the final minutes, and I remember thinking, “Is this it? Is it really all going to go up in smoke just like this, right now?”

    It was a nauseating feeling for a few minutes, and it’s also what I love about college football.

    • College football is about that quiet desperation every single week. As a UF fan, I remember last year’s Arkansas game at The Swamp, with Arkansas driving in the final minutes, and I remember thinking, “Is this it? Is it really all going to go up in smoke just like this, right now?”

      It was a nauseating feeling for a few minutes, and it’s also what I love about college football.

      Great, great point. And it’s something every Dawg fan should share this week. What more does Georgia have to play for on Saturday than ruining Auburn’s season?

  4. SCDawg

    Wait, I thought the Bowl system rewarded mediocrity?

  5. The General

    I would be in favor of a very limited playoff — either four teams or six with the top 2 getting byes — but I certainly understand the naysayers’ fear of the slippery slope of expansion. What is basketball up to now? 68 teams, after originally starting with an 8-team bracket?

    There is something great about college football regular season being the relentless pursuit of perfection, but the current system necessarily engenders packing the schedule with cupcakes. I can’t blame McGarity for using this strategy as it maximizes our chance to make it to the big one in the current system. But do cupcake games make the regular season more enjoyable?

    There is no way you can tell me that UL-Laf and Idaho St are worth a third of the cost of season tickets, which currently run $500 each for the cheapest seats including the required donation, and you have to buy two so it’s a cool grand. When we go to 7 home games as McGarity has promised, that price will go up, but then 43% of the home games will be snoozefests, as we’ll add a third cupcake. In years like this when Vandy and UT are down, we’re looking at one or two exciting home games per year.

    I’m not sure that implementing a playoff would change our scheduling practices, but if you could shoulder one or two losses and still make the dance, McGarity might be more willing to invite quality out-of-conference opponents to the Classic City.

    I certainly don’t want something like the NFL where a .500 team (or even sub-.500 as some predict the NFC West champ will be this year) can still play for it all. The NFL has 32 teams with 12 making the playoffs (37.5% get in). Currently, D-IA has 120 teams with 2 making the playoffs (1.7%). A four-team playoff would be 3.3%. Six would be 5%, and still nowhere near the percentage of the NFL.

    The 6-team format I think is most compelling. Use the current BCS formula for seeding. You would still need to have a fantastic regular season to make the Top 6. #1 and #2 get rewarded with byes, and the fans get 5 incredible postseason matchups that matter, as opposed to just one to go along with the four lackluster non-championship BCS exhibitions we have now (not to mention the thirty-some other meaningless contests, which you could still have if there were a playoff). The #6 team would have to beat three Top 5 teams in a row to win it all. How could you say that wouldn’t deserve a championship?

    • I’m not sure that implementing a playoff would change our scheduling practices, but if you could shoulder one or two losses and still make the dance, McGarity might be more willing to invite quality out-of-conference opponents to the Classic City.

      Honestly, I think you’re kidding yourself there. Basketball, which allows for a far greater margin of error in making the postseason, is just as littered with regular season cupcake games as is football, if not moreso. Besides, I don’t think a six-team playoff would relax things much. No top-six school will have more than one loss, unless it’s a really, really weird year, like 2007.

      • The General

        I think I qualified my statements enough showing that I agree that a limited playoff may have no effect on scheduling, but if you are saying that the reason to oppose a playoff is the regular season, then I’m saying that a cupcake-laden regular season isn’t worth much protecting. If we are going to snore through most games anyway, we might as well add an exciting postseason. It sounds like you agree that a six-team playoff wouldn’t affect the regular season much, so why oppose it (aside from the “slippery slope” argument)?

        • AmpedDawg

          The only way that a playoff would possibly improve the regular season scheduling would be if you had a playoff where X number of conferences had their winner get an automatic berth (and the remainder of spots filled by BCS rankings). I’m more in favor of an 8 team playoff than a 6, but if you tie the playoff seeding to BCS rankings I think that the cupcakes become even more important in the schedule. Why should Georgia, for example, play Tech if they can play four pay-day teams and their SEC schedule and be assured of a spot if they run the SEC table and beat four ULLs? Even with two (or three or four) at-large spots in a playoff determined by rankings you’re going to have to have wins because even losses to quality opponents can hurt badly.

          • Connor

            I think the assumption that an expanded playoff system means more intersectional regular season games is probably flawed. The logistical difficulty of scheduling games won’t decrease and the benefit won’t really increase. If anything, playing another difficult game on top of a conference schedule, when a conference championship is the ticket to a playoff spot, probably means a lot fewer of those games.

  6. AGAIN: A plus 1, 4 team playoff’ is the only thing that works for me.