If it’s so easy, how come there’s all that yelling?

The rematch (or should I call it The Rematch?) is on, the bowls are set and the BCS is back on the hot seat (Mark Richt’s not using it now, anyway).

The BCS is being blamed for every perceived shortcoming in college football except for what Mike Bobo’s being blamed for (I could go on like that forever), but here are my two favorite bullet points:

  • The match ups suck!  This year’s poster boy is the Sugar Bowl, with its choice of Virginia Tech over Kansas State, because this is supposed to matter:  “The Wildcats are also ranked higher than Virginia Tech in both human polls and all six computer polls, as if anyone still cares about that sort of thing.”  But it doesn’t, except in the title game, and it never has.  By the way, it’s a funny thing, but most of the upper tier bowls have pretty good match ups this time around.  The Sugar’s not interesting, but the Rose and Fiesta look compelling.  And while the teams in the Orange Bowl aren’t ranked particularly high, there should be plenty of offensive fireworks.
  • Alabama or Oklahoma State?  Ah, the angst.  Can you feel it?  There’s just one thing I wish playoff advocates would explain to me.  When you get down to it, the BCS is a one-game playoff.  How is the debate we’re hearing this time about #2 vs. #3 going to disappear magically with a bigger playoff?  In other words, what’s different about it from the argument over the merits of #4 vs. #5?… or #8 vs. #9?… or #16 vs.?… well, you get the idea.  The answer, of course, is that it’s not a damned bit different.  This simply isn’t a problem an extended playoff solves.  Rather, it’s just fuel to add to the extension fire.
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94 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

94 responses to “If it’s so easy, how come there’s all that yelling?

  1. Brandon

    On Point 1, I agree, the BCS match-ups are way more interesting than some others we have had in recent years. On Point 2, I agree as well, all they want to do is “shift the bitching” and there is no end to their bitching, espn still whines incessantly when Drayton or .500 Syracuse does not make the field in March.

  2. Chuck

    You’ll have a different argument, but you get rid of this argument if you have an 8-team playoff, 8 conferences, and the 8 conference winners get in. People can then argue: (1) that the conference winner really wasn’t the best team in the conference, but then the goal wouldn’t be to match the best teams, it would be to match the conference winners, which you would hope, in most cases, would be the same; and (2) that some conference winners aren’t as good as some conference losers in other conferences (the biggest source of dismay, IMO, if this system were implemented).

  3. TennesseeDawg

    Also, what happens in an 8 team playoff if a 2 loss teams manages to peak at the right time and wins it while 1 loss teams don’t? Then everyone is complaining that the 2 loss team isn’t really the best. Just a few years ago, Georgia’s basketball team managed to get hot at the right time and won the SEC championship. No one really thought they were the best team in the SEC but they had the hardware to prove it.

    • Chuck

      Yes, that falls under my number (1) above. But them’s the breaks.

      • Chuck

        Correction — same principle as my number (1) above, but you’re talking about the natl winner, not conference winner. Again, them’s the breaks.

  4. HVL Dawg

    I loved seeing everyone whine that the BCS gave us an undisputed #1 vs. #2, but that’s not the game anyone wants to see.

  5. NC Dawg

    I don’t know how you do it, Blutarsky. You must be a closet therapist, letting these rabid CMB haters foam at the mouth ad nauseum and without end. Otherwise, they might go postal or something.

  6. adam

    I’ll certainly watch that Orange Bowl game.

    Chad Morris vs. Dana Holgerson is a pretty serious match up of offensive minds. Clemson is more talented and will probably win. But I’m still intrigued. I really wanted to see OSU get a shot at LSU, though I do think that Bama is the 2nd best team in the country. So, I can’t really complain too much about the match up. Just wanted to watch that game and now I won’t get to. It’s like in 2007 – once I knew we weren’t going to the MNC game, I just wanted to see how we stacked up against USC.

    Instead, they stuck us with Hawaii and stuck USC with Iowa. Awful. Sometimes there’s just a game I want to see happen and it’s a bummer that we don’t get to see some of those match-ups.

  7. Of course it’s different. Sure, there would be debate over who’s the last team in to a playoff, kind of like the bubble teams in basketball, but wouldn’t you rather potentially miss on those than the #1 or 2 team? Anybody who says Alabama is better than Ok State is saying out of pure speculation. College football has the most anti-climactic and uninteresting postseason in all of sports.

    • Correct. That’s why nobody watches.

    • 4.0 Point Stance

      The only reason March Madness is considered interesting is that it’s so better-friendly. Otherwise no one would tune in until the Final Four. #1 seed vs #16 seed – not exactly a compelling matchup.

      • In an 8 team playoff, I think an LSU-Kansas State playoff would be a little more interesting than a Duke-Northwest Michigan Technical College matchup in NCAA tourney, don’t you think? At the very least, LSU versus Stanford (#4).

  8. “How is the debate we’re hearing this time about #2 vs. #3 going to disappear magically with a bigger playoff? In other words, what’s different about it from the argument over the merits of #4 vs. #5?… or #8 vs. #9?… or #16 vs.?… well, you get the idea.”

    With 2 vs. 3, it’s only one shot, and you can debate pretty worthy teams of being in the big game. By the time you get to 8 vs 9, or 16 vs 17, their arguments are not as strong, at least as far as being deserving of a chance. By the time you get that low, you’re talking 2 losses, maybe 3, where the chance they’d ultimately win the thing slim to none, and the argument can always be negated with “If you’d won one more game, there wouldn’t be this issue in the first place.”

    • Puffdawg

      “By the time you get to 8 vs 9, or 16 vs 17, their arguments are not as strong…”

      Read the sports page in March and get back to me. Just because their arguments are weaker doesn’t mean they aren’t just as loud… and there’s more of ‘em. When you have an extended playoff, there is a paradigm shift of mindset from finding the best team to just making the tournament. It’s no longer about being the best team, it’s all about getting into the dance. Teams and fans will focus more on making the playoffs than winning their conference. Look at basketball. Look at pro football. Look at I-AA football. Look at any sport with an extended playoff. The top 10 or 15 games in CFB each year would lose significant value. I’d personally rather keep the importance of those games (and relish in those upsets) than to add “value” to the regular season when a couple of 8-3 teams are battling to get that coveted 16th spot. They are going to lose in the first round any way. So how is that different than those same two teams fighting for bowl positioning. And if they do manage to settle it on the field and knock off the #1 undefeated seed, that discounts the system for finding the best team. If the 2007 Pats proved anything, it’s that perfection is nearly impossible. The best team can’t always win every game. I’ll grant this year the rematch has discounted the regular season matchup between LSU and Bama, but that is with the benefit of hindsight. Fans around the country watched that game with unparallelled interest because if the implications on the post season. Nobody knew then that we’d wind up having the first rematch in the history fo the BCSNCG.

    • C’mon, man, how hard should it have been for OSU to beat a six-loss ISU? Your last comment is just as applicable in this setting as it would be in a 16-team playoff.

      I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but after listening to Jim Boeheim for years conduct his one-man campaign to expand March Madness to whatever number is needed to save every mediocre coach’s job, let’s just say I’m skeptical this is a special case.

  9. Hogbody Spradlin

    1. The BCS was never going to quiet arguments about college football’s national champion; it only displaced the arguments to teams further down the totem pole.

    2. A playoff, unless it includes everybody, will only displace the arguments further down the totem pole.

    3. With notable exceptions, these are still college students. How many games are too many?

    4. The pursuit of perfection is the enemy of good enough.

    5. The arguments we have now are a big reason college football is special.

    6. Beware the law of unintended consequences.

    7. Passionate playoff proponents are stooges for the money interests.

    • I agree. Playoffs will just produce the same arguments and more. Look at the NCAA BB. Coaches, and etc. will just complain and argue to save their hides as well.

  10. Go Dawgs!

    Does anybody else besides me get the impression that Mark Bradley had two columns ready to post, one screaming about it’s unjust for Alabama to get into the BCS title game and another one screaming about how it’s unjust that they didn’t?

  11. Macallanlover

    This is sad, now that the “regular season is da bomb” has exploded in your face, you are back to the “where do we draw the line” argument. Fact is, the current system is so bad, and has so little credibility with fans nationally, it may lead to a knee-jerk fix that is too large. There really is only one size that works well with the logistics, time parameters, travel, etc., and allows enough representation without changing the current schedules prior to December. Eight teams is ther right balance to satisfy all those. except those who will never support any change.

    • I’m sorry, but how has it “exploded in my face” exactly?

      • Macallanlover

        Senator, if a regular season rematch is the best the current system can come up with to please fans doesn’t completely obliterate the the “regular season” should never be degraded argument, nothing will. And it indicates that side isn’t anywhere near objectivity. How does a direct head to head loss by Bama, at home no less, give them a mulligan and a chance to loudly proclaim the faux title? Sorry, that is blowing that idea out of the water, no defense after this fiasco for that crowd. LSU should just order their rings. A game played by the winner 6 weeks after the season is over can trump the regular season game without answereing the teams that never had their shot? Come on.

        Puff, I understand contrarian positions, and acknowledge the “fear” about unwarranted expansion, but don’t misquote me. Even deep into a bottle of Macallan I have never said that. I ardently oppose any expansion beyond 8, and would not certainly not endorse a 16 team playoff proposal. That is unnecessary, and it is unworkable under the current structure of regular season games, bowls, etc. Could it happen? Sure, but expanding to eight is not an acceptance of overdoing it Two aspirin may be the right dosage for a headache, but that doesn’t mean it is inevitable that everyone would take the whole bottle. Do some fools do that? We all know there is always the lunatic fringe, but we shouldn’t let that stop us from doing the right thing.

        • Puffdawg

          My apolgies if I misquoted you Mac, but I could have sworn Bluto and I had convinced you playoff expansion beyond 8 was inevitable, and you you agreed the guys in charge had proved they weren’t capable of making the decision to draw a line. My bad for remembering that incorrectly. Back in the era before all the haters started coming around GTP, you and me and Bluto and others had some lengthy playoff arguments, and there are more comments I care to wade thru to validate one way or the other. I know and respect your position on 8 teams, and nothing more. You’ve never wavered. Unfortuantely, I have zero faith it’ll be limited to 8, and frankly I think that’s too many teams to begin with. The problem with your aspirin argument, while valid, is that the guys making the decisions re the lunatic fringe when it comes time to draw a line on how many teams get in. And once you go down that road, you ain’t coming back. Don’t forget I’m not opposed to a properly structured Plus One or conference streamlining solutions, but I’d almost rather go back to the alliance systeam and crown a mythical champ and be done with it. CFB is too regionalized and there are too many teams to come up with an adequate solution without blowing up the importance of those critical regular season games. (and don’t keep on using hindsight on me about this year’s bama lsu game!!!!)

          • Macallanlover

            Agreed, I fully recognize the possibility there will always be pressure to expand. After all we live in a society where we give trophies to all players, pass all students regardless of ability, forgive those that do that the unforgivable BUT, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for what is right because it leads to the next step. Should we close all bars because some will abuse alcohol? We will just never have a legit champion until the major conferences get their representative in the mix, even if they get waxed. As predominately SEC fans we feel our conference winner is a contender every year, regardless of record because we feel they have earned their way through the gauntlet. Other areas (West Coast, Great Lakes, Southwest, etc.) feel the very same way. And there is simply no other way to settle the argument. Computer power rankings are no better than subjective himan voters. Six BCS title holders, highest rated non-BCS team, and highest rated team not covered in the overall (1 wildcard) would make 98% of this BS go away.

            • Six BCS title holders, highest rated non-BCS team, and highest rated team not covered in the overall (1 wildcard) would make 98% of this BS go away.

              Yes, because this year nothing says “national title caliber” quite like Big East champ. ;)

        • Mac, I don’t want to mischaracterize your position, but it sounds like you’re arguing that a postseason rematch automatically invalidates the relevance of the regular season. Let me respond to a few of your points:

          How does a direct head to head loss by Bama, at home no less, give them a mulligan and a chance to loudly proclaim the faux title?

          In and of itself? Nothing. But that’s not how any team is being judged, is it? The reason the loss is an issue is because there are no other undefeated teams in the country besides the one which beat ‘Bama. Maybe I’m missing something here, but that sure sounds like the regular season matters.

          LSU should just order their rings.

          I agree. But how does a playoff of any duration make that more palatable? Your 8-team playoff makes LSU play three times to justify what we already know. Talk about obliterating the regular season!

          A game played by the winner 6 weeks after the season is over can trump the regular season game without answereing the teams that never had their shot?

          Not all the teams in your 8-team playoff would have a shot at LSU, so I’m not sure this argument holds much water. And if that’s the case, how does a rematch for the national title in that setting constitute a satisfactory response to your complaint?

          … That is unnecessary, and it is unworkable under the current structure of regular season games, bowls, etc. Could it happen? Sure, but expanding to eight is not an acceptance of overdoing it Two aspirin may be the right dosage for a headache, but that doesn’t mean it is inevitable that everyone would take the whole bottle. Do some fools do that? We all know there is always the lunatic fringe, but we shouldn’t let that stop us from doing the right thing.

          You know, you keep insisting this can’t happen and I keep giving you a pass on it. But the truth is that it certainly can happen. A 16-team playoff would take four weeks to accomplish and that fits within the current time frame that runs between the end of the regular season and the day the BCS title game is played.

          As for the fools you mock, perhaps you should consider that the same people who have expanded the basketball tourney to its current bloated configuration are the same people in charge of the D-1 football postseason. They may be foolish for considering a playoff bigger than the one you desire, but it’s not like that’s stopped them before.

          That’s not to say I would have a problem with a larger playoff than the one we have now. But if they expand and do so in a manner that’s careless about further expansion, you’re kidding yourself if you think that’ll be the end of it. History, and lots of it, suggests the opposite.

          • Macallanlover

            Since we both agree no playoff will ever guarantee the “best team” will be the winner, lets use the regular season to identify the “best team” would be included in the Top 8 under my format. At least we would know the best team based on the body of work within the regular season was included. Taking that to the extreme, that would say all 120 start with a shot in September, and by making the entry pass very demanding (top 6%), the regular season would serve as the elimination rounds. Any team not winning one of the 6 BCS conference titles would have two spots to shoot for. (Highest rated Mid-majors could have a play in game to get that spot, think Boise/TCU last year.) In no way does that make the regular season devalued, in fact, it is a reason to play hard every game. We aren’t talking NBA, NFL, MLB, NCAA BB type inclusion here. I think it gives more reason to the regular season. And yes, you could potentially end up with a rematch, but at this time it is an earned rematch by seeing the other challengers eliminated. Like Smith Barney, you would “earn” it.

            You know that I don’t/can’t guarantee ridiculous expansion cannot occur. And I never needed a pass because I never said it couldn’t happen. But if we look at the realities of CFB then we know it cannot get much further than 8. This isn’t 1AA where you are talking 2000 fans that will travel more than 200 miles, these are 25K+ fnas/boosters who will travel to Pluto to see a big game….it is what they live for. Playing four games in mid December at the 4 highest rated home stadiums, two more on January 1 at bowl sites, and one more in Mid-January would be as taxing as folks could take. We are talking time off work, airline travel, hotel reservations, time to diseminate tickets, etc. There are just practical restrictions to big time CFB that 16 and 32 team proposals don’t accommodate.

            There remains a subjective element to this, which I cannot eliminate, but I do think it has the right balance of inclusiveness/exclusiveness. I feel the university presidents could make this an 8 team playoff with 95% agreement required to ever add to it if that is what it took to placate those of us who never want to see CFB watered down.

            Yes, LSU would have to play more games, all champions should welcome that. But the regular season is how they get entry and Bama would have to fight their way to that game, not get handed a ticket for sitting home. If I didn’t hate what the Bama fanbase has become recently, I would love for them to beat LSU to really see a nuclear blow up of the regular season argument. As it is, I would rather just see LSU dominate them and make everyone wonder why Bama got that pass over OSU, Stanford.

            • Ty webb

              “If I didn’t hate what the Bama fanbase has become recently”

              and the man behind the curtain is revealed.

              • Macallanlover

                You could not be more wrong, or a bigger fool. First of all my passion long predates Alabama’s return to playing decent football. Alabama wasn’t even in the conversation, nor should they be, this is about something much bigger than the Tide. And my comment about Alabama’s fans is a very recent reversal as I had long held the fanbase in high esteem.

                After being exposed to them since their most recent SEC title, 2009 I believe, the really ugly side has come out. And it isn’t just the F’Bomb show on Satellite Radio that has delivered up the biggest idiots in the SEC, they are all over the internet, on the talk shows, newspaper columns. While every fanbase has their share of imbeciles and lowlifes, Harvey Updyke may be representative of a larger piece of Alabama’s fans than any one would have thought. My Gawd! They are raving maniacs if anyone is caught not bowing to Tuscaloosa. They are by far, the most obnoxious fanbase (as a whole, there are still many classy fans out there) in the SEC. Not the worst, just the most obnoxious. All this for a team that has won one SEC title this century. It isn’t like they haven’t had success, but they act like it the first time they have ever won and now want/expect everyone to begin the day being thankful for Little Nicky. Sorry guys, you aren’t even the best team in your division, and rarely are, so get off the high horse.

                So Mister newbie, you don’t know me. and your observations were dead ass wrong. But as I said, “I hate what they have become recently” because they were so much better before. And I do hate that.

                • Always Someone Else's Fault

                  Puh-leeze. If you want to waste your time hating “a fan base” for “what they represent” and turn them into some sort of symbol for all that ails you, then fine – go ahead and let Finebaum become your reality. That makes you the “fool,” IMO – not that I use that word lightly, but you do remind me (and others) of someone who likes to throw that word around a lot. So much smarter and more discerning than the rest of us. Capable of seeing into the heart of matters and understanding that Alabama football really is the modern Heart of Darkness.

                  Harvey forgot that something crucial about sports and the role it should play in our lives. So have you.

            • Always Someone Else's Fault

              Right now, the big conferences are terrified of the proliferation of FBS programs. Florida has 7 now? North Carolina supports 5. Alabama supports 3. It’s becoming just like college basketball, and ultimately those lesser-known (I won’t say smaller, because their campuses rival the flagships in size, if not academic exclusivity), schools will have the numbers to (a) force a NCAA playoff which will dilute regular season value and (b) further dilute the product.

              The BCS conferences will split away from the bottom half of FBS just as soon as alignment settles, probably as its own division under the NCAA umbrella. They keep the leverage necessary to dictate terms.

              And once they’ve split, they will use that leverage to institute a play-off system negotiated by ESPN/Fox, the conferences, and the major bowls. Right now the system has too many smaller voices at the table to put together anything truly coherent.

              Is that fair? No. I’m not advocating it. But the big conferences have a long-term view, and it combines greed (keeping all the money for themselves) and fear (the implications of an explosion in the number of schools who can field an FBS squad under current definitions).

              Greed and fear are powerful motivators.

    • Puffdawg

      Mac, first (and only) time in nearly 15 years we’ve had a rematch in the BCSNCG. That’s called an anomaly.

      And you have admitted it is not feasible to expect them to stop at 8 teams. So be realistic and tell us would you prefer a 16-20 team playoff to what we have now?

      • Cojones

        Sorry to agree with you, Mac, but I do. Why am I sorry? Because neither answer to the big question can analytically champion the other. It comes down to each person’s take on competition and fairness. There are plenty of good things to decide either side of the question in everyone’s mind.

        My reason for agreeing with Mac? I’d prefer a playoff. Beginning with 8 teams (perhaps the teams subjectively chosen for the bowl games) we get closer to a resolution to the question than we are now. Once again, Mac, I’m sorry because I can’t reasonably argue the point. It’s all subjective.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Macallan, if LSU and Alabama are the two best teams, and they probably are, nothing has exploded in anybody’s face, and there’s no anamoly. Things worked as intended. The yowling can be interpreted as normal college football arguments, which I love, intensified because we have two teams from the same conference. Is that forbidden in the final four, the greatest playoff ever?

      • Macallanlover

        But people legitimately don’t feel they are the two best. I feel there is unanimity about LSU, but not for Bama. Giving others who don’t feel the SEC is really that much better (for whatever reasons they come up with), is why we should either include them via a limited expansion, or stop with the charade the BCS has become and go back to traditional bowl alignments. It was not until the BCS that schools actually made this bigger than their conference and I say it is an undeserved claim. Let’s just stop at conference titles and argue which one is best.

        • Biggus Rickus

          What charade? The BCS was created to match the two top-ranked teams so you didn’t end up with undefeated Nebraska and Penn State in ’94 or undefeated Nebraska and Michigan in ’97 not playing one another. Every year it has pitted the number one and two teams against each other based on a combination of polls as it was intended to do. Whether or not you agree with those poll results is irrelevant.

          • The Lone Stranger

            Maybe charade is pushing the definition of the word to the limit, but this season can certainly be seen, in my opinion, as a textbook case of reputation/voter bias pushing Bama over the top.

            • Biggus Rickus

              Maybe. I still don’t see a credible argument that Oklahoma State is actually better than Bama if you factor in everything. The main argument people latch onto is that Bama had their shot. It’s an argument for which I have some sympathy, but ultimately the poll voters have to judge who they think is better. Statistically Alabama comes off better in almost every category, and you can’t simply chalk it up to the schedules the two teams played. By the F+ metrics Alabama comes out ahead of Oklahoma State. Alabama’s defense shows far better, and their offense is only a bit worse. Special teams is their only weakness, largely due to having no kicker.

              I say all that as someone who was hoping Oklahoma State would get voted up, but that is largely due to my hatred of entitled Alabama fans, not that I think Oklahoma State was in any way more deserving.

  12. The TV ratings will help determine if this kind of REMATCH will happen again in the future. Even Les Miles seem to insinuate that this 2012 BCSCG is more of a regional game due to the schools coming from the same geographic region. AND only somebody like Nick Saban can have gracious words for OKS, but only after getting the bidding.

  13. Mark

    I don’t think too many folks are generally in major disagreement over the top 4 teams as much as there is disagreement over the top 2 teams. The top two is so narrow that biases have a big impact (i.e. see your post on the last coaches poll). I am not an advocate of a top 8 team playoff as generally speaking the top 2 to 4 teams are clear (i.e. see Arkansas scores against Bama and LSU). But a plus 1 system or even a 6 team playoff would be an improvement over what we have now.

    Having said that, get more than 8 and I think it worse than what we have now.

    • 4.0 Point Stance

      Really? I think there’d be a huge argument over #4. Stanford? But they didn’t really beat anybody good except USC, and didn’t even win their own division! Oregon did, and beat Stanford! But Oregon has two losses! Arkansas has only lost to #1 and #2 – doesn’t that mean they’re really the number three? Or Wisconsin, with two legit Heisman contenders and whose only two losses came on bizarre Hail Mary plays? And let’s not forget about plucky little Boise State, the favorite team of everyone who doesn’t care about college football!

      • Cojones

        Yep. That’s one side of the argument all right.

      • Mark

        While those arguments will be made, if a team can’t make the top 4 the arguments don’t carry as much weight, IMO. We’re talking about teams playing for the mythical NC. Personally, I would rather have the arguments over who’s deserving to be #4 than #2. Be wrong on #4 in a top 4 playoff and it’s not near as big a deal as being wrong on #2 in the current system.

    • Puffdawg

      “Having said that, get more than 8 and I think it worse than what we have now.”

      Thank you for admitting this Mark. Most playoffs proponents completely ignore the possibility (or should I say probability) of the law of unintended consequences. Nice summary overall, BTW.

      • Mark

        I don’t consider myself a true bracket guy. Most people I know ignore basketball until March madness gets here. Lose a game in the regular season and it’s no big deal. IMO, college football will make a HUGE mistake if they make the regular season losses not mean so much. They do that when the playoff gets beyond 8 teams. Even at 8 teams the regular season is lessened. However, I think a 4 or 6 team playoff will actually enhance the regular season instead of diminish it. The thing is, get beyond that, and it’s just not the same.

        Can you imagine UGA resting their starters against Tech because we are already assured of a play off spot? Think it can’t happen, just let the wrong kind of playoff system get implemented.

        • AusDawg85

          In a 4 team format, think Les Miles risks injury to any players in the SECCG? Talk about watering down something. Sure, in the first few years, pride of the SEC would have the Tigers playing hard, but in 10 years time under these same circumstances, Les would be fired if he risked anybody in a “meaningless” game.

          And tell the #5 team (say, Oregon this year) it’s not that big of a deal getting #4 correct. Phil Knight would be screaming like T Boone is now.

          Point is…the BCS voting system is the problem. Fix THAT before we talk playoffs. (insert “Playoffs?!” rant by JIm Mora here…)

    • Ty webb

      If you’re using Arkansas scores, it’s not clear that OSU should be in top 4. Arky beat TA&M by a point, same as OSU. Who is top 4 and who is not?

  14. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Let’s look at the Plus 1 today if it existed.

    2011: Stanford’s in, by virtue of a really crappy schedule and some horrendous late-game management by Kiffin. Oregon, which won the Pac-12 and drilled Stanford, is out. That makes sense.

    2010: Last year, the P-10 would have had two teams in the Final Four, and the Big 10, with 3 teams in the top 10, would have been out completely. But otherwise, smooth sailing.

    2009: TCU and Cincinnati would have gone over Florida/Tebow. Florida destroyed Cincinnati in their bowl (I know, their coach left). Massive controversy even without the head-to-head verification.

    2008: Oklahoma-Texas both get in, eliminating that controversy. Same with Alabama-Florida. USC pitches the conference/division winner fit over Texas.

    2009 and 2010 BCS games had no controversy at all heading in. 2008 was limited to the B12. I call it a wash both ways.

  15. Dante

    I think a lot of the BCS’ problems would be alleviated if we just go whole hog and make the entire system up as we go along. Heck, we’re using two beauty pageants and a computer program to determine the top 2 and they’re anything but consistent. We should just make the whole thing inconsistent and play it by ear.

    This year? LSU wins the title and Bama and OSU play for #2. Here are some highlights from years past: 2009? Texas and Boise play. Winner plays Bama. 2007? We just call the whole damn thing off and play our traditional bowls. 2005? Perfect storm. Texas vs. USC 2004? USC, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Utah play a 4-team playoff.

    Do playoffs make sense? Some years, yes. Some years, no. We don’t really know until the regular season is over so why not wait until then to decide? We could even make up more computer programs and beauty pageants to decide the format.

  16. Turd Ferguson

    Prior to the start of the season, if you’d asked any of these whiners what they wanted to see in the BCS championship game, they’d have told you something like, “I just want to see the two best teams in the country play for the national championship. I hope the BCS doesn’t screw that up.” Well, it didn’t. LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the country.

    The “Must Win Conference” rule is absurd, and you’d all see this if you just thought about it for a single damned second. (What if all other conferences finished like the Big East this season, but the SEC finished exactly as it did, with LSU 13-0 and Alabama 11-1. You can honestly say with a straight face that a 3- or 4-loss conference champion would still be more deserving than ‘Bama, whose 1 loss came to the #1 team in the country, by a FG, in overtime? If so, you’re an idiot.)

    And the “best” argument I’ve heard so far for overlooking Oklahoma State’s awful, awful loss (clearly worse than Alabama’s) is that the tragic death of the women’s basketball coach somehow affected their ability to play football. But of course, if there’s any truth to that, it is only further confirmation that they are not as good as Alabama.

  17. BCDawg97

    I was wrong about OKSt.

    • Dog in Fla

      It’s about time you manned-up. Whose side are you on? Don’t you love your conference? How about getting with the program? Jump in with tSEC and come on in for the big win. Inside every BCS Championship Game, there are two SEC teams. It’s a hardball world, son. We’ve got to keep our heads until this playoff craze blows over.

      • BCDawg97

        Let me clarify – I think Bama is the 2nd best team. But this was reference to that I thought that the writers, given a reasonable opportunity (such as a 44-10 win over OU) would jump OKSt over Bama

        • Dog in Fla

          I’m just giving you a ration of snark. It helps ease the pain of the second half.

          • BCDawg97

            Thanks. I figured, but just checking.

            • Nate Dawg

              You know what I think…it’s that RG III beating Okla cost Ok St the chance to play for the MNC. So, in other words, Ok St got Willie-d! Which is ironic on another front, in that they had their way with Mr. Martinez in the 2009 home opener.

        • The Lone Stranger

          But the writers don’t even figure into this whole scenario — their votes essentially only count as window dressing to include in their stories. I continue to believe that in reference to polling the most objective viewpoint has to be the favored method. So the fact that all these active coaches and erstwhile coaches get a platform to determine the BCS title game just smacks of prospective political motivations.

  18. BulldogBen

    None of it makes senses. NONE. So once again, a great sport gets dragged through the post season mud.

    <–seething at this blog entry

  19. Irwin R. Fletcher

    I just wish we could play Arky somewhere…That’s the one game I’d like to see as a Georgia fan. I’ll be happy to see us kill the BIGity 1Gity again, but I’d prefer to see us go against Arky as a measuring stick to see where we really are this season.

  20. stoopnagle

    I’ve long gotten over the idea of the rematch. I think the conversation (that small bit that I’ve gleaned from twitter) missed a significant point. That is, that it centered on justice for Bama or Okie State with no regard for what is fair to LSU. While I get that some observers can’t get over aOSU’s loss to Iowa State (on the road. in double OT.), I have a bit more trouble with requiring LSU to play a Bama which LSU beat in Tuscaloosa (regardless of how close or good the game was). To me, that loss effectively removed Bama from consideration (again, for me, who has no say) unless LSU lost. It’s not that they can’t be the second best team, they can, but there’s an argument to be made for aOSU that will now remain forever unresolved.

    I do agree with this: if it was a one-loss OU in the same position, the Sooners would have got the bump. THAT bothers the hell out of me (see: 2007).

    It wasn’t whether Bama or aOSU was deserving – they’re both really good and deserving teams – but was more what does LSU deserve? As it turns out, they get to play Bama in New Orleans (basically, a home game for LSU). I don’t think they will lose regardless of who they face.

    A playoff solves nothing. After participating in the Mumme Poll for two years, it’s clear that if you follow those discussions, it’s often difficult to make distinctions/justifications for teams once you get to #8 and sometimes even lower. The problem is that the resumes all start looking the same. I don’t think a selection committee is going to do a much better job that the passionate, football-saavy fans that tend to participate in the MP. So, I’d be against an 8 team playoff unless there was a wholesale re-organization of conferences which created an equitable path of access to the playoff (basically, only conference champions from conferences decided upon merit and not television markets/tradition).

    Say what you want of Phil Steele, but he (like the rest of his magazine) retreads the 4 team playoff argument and shows retroactive fields and even he, an advocate for such, admits that a 4 team playoff was unnecessary at least half the years of the BCS.

    Is it great? No. But it’s not the travesty of justice we’re all supposed to think it is.

    • Cojones

      Now I’m getting confused. You write of the unfairness in one paragraph and later say a playoff is not warranted and end up with a Phil Steele argument for/against half the time.

      Beginning to think that everyone on here is a little nutty and a little serious. Hey! Why am I feeling better? Except Dog in Fla who is a serial blogger. By combining the milk of reason with those feeling their oats, others badgering for the Senator’s honey, as well as the conflagrating nuts on here, the rest of us have become cereal bloggers.

  21. “The answer, of course, is that it’s not a damned bit different. ”
    .
    Not so fast my friend.

    The difference is pretty huge.

    The argument between #2 and #3 (especially in years like this one, 2004, etc) is huge. The argument between #4 and #5 is nowhere near as huge, as whoever was #5 had a lot of opportunities to get into the top 4. Its hard to be so screwed that you are SO deserving that you can’t even land one of the top 4 spots. But it is easy to get screwed out of the top 2.

  22. Toom

    The #3 team usually has a pretty comparable year to the top 2 teams whereas a #5 team’s season would typically be a marked step down. My own opinion is that in most seasons, the top 8 teams would merit a shot. You may get some teams that didn’t deserve it (and certainly #9 wouldn’t deserve it) but that’s a lot better than leaving out teams who do deserve a shot.

  23. Mark

    Senator, I don’t consider myself an expanded playoff proponent. However, I would like to go to a 4 (i.e. plus 1), 6 or at MOST 8 team playoff. I really think 8 teams is pushing it. I am posting this to answer your question “In other words, what’s different about it from the argument over the merits of #4 vs. #5?… or #8 vs. #9?… or #16 vs.?… well, you get the idea. The answer, of course, is that it’s not a damned bit different.”

    I think there is a difference. IMO, it’s easier to separate teams into a top 4 or top 6 than it is a top 2. Generally speaking, the best teams are bunched in the top 4 to 6 teams. By the time a team gets to 7 or 8, there is a clear difference in the quality of the teams. This years best example of that is Arkansas.

    While the heated debate would surely be the same for 4 vs 5, the cost differential is different. What I mean by that is that it’s much harder to separate teams 2 and 3 than 4 and 5. And the cost of missing #5 vs #4 is less than the cost of missing #2 vs #3 simply. Hope I am being clear with my argument. If the second best team is left out, like Auburn way back when, it hurts the whole system. However, if the 4th best team is left out, IMO, it doesn’t damage the system like it would if the #2 team was picked wrongly.

    When someone is rated as low as #5, most of the time, they are not really considered the best in the game. So missing on them is not as big an issue.

    • Eye of the beholder, I’m afraid.

      As for your cost differential argument, the 2007 season would like to have a word with you.

      • Mark

        The 2007 season has tons of arguments all on it’s own. Also, seeing that it is the only time in the history of the BCS and maybe even the poll system, that a 2 loss team won the national championship, I think we can call it an outlier for all systems.

        As 2007 and 2011 show, the goal post move with the current system and they’ll move with a new one too. However, I would argue even more vehemently that the misses (i.e. Auburn) would be less with a +1 model or a 6 team playoff than they are today.

      • Mark

        Should have said this in the response above…

        It’s hard for me to understand the argument that missing the #5 team in a 4 team playoff is as big a deal as missing the #2 team in a 2 team playoff. The further down the poll you go, in general, the more clear the differences between the top teams and the lower teams become. If we do the job close enough to right, #7 should clearly be less talented than #1 or #2, most of the time. If that is the case, then missing #6 or #7 is vastly different than missing #2 with #3.

        • If you’re the coach of the #5 team, it’s a helluva big deal.

          I agree with your point that the farther down you go, the greater disparity there is between the top and bottom of the playoff field, but so what? All the team that gets left out cares about is proving that it has a better case than the last one in.

          • Mark

            The point of my argument is there is a difference between leaving out a #7 team and a #3 team.

            Now, if your argument is will the team that gets left out feel just as bad as the #3 team does today? Sure. But for most of the rest of us, I would argue we can see a #7 team doesn’t belong but it’s not so easy to see a #3 team not belonging. That’s why I say there’s a difference in arguing over #7 vs #6 and arguing over #2 vs #3. I won’t bore you with the specific team arguments this year as I am sure you know what they would be.

            • Mark, I’m not saying your argument is unreasonable, just unrealistic. The fans aren’t going to make the call on how a payoff format gets shaped. That’ll be up to college administrators and power coaches. I guarantee you that their concerns and logic are different from yours.

              • Mark

                I agree with you in that. And if I have my rathers, I would rather have what we currently have than to go back like what it was prior to the BCS or to go to an expanded playoff system.

                • Cojones

                  I can hardly wait for 4-5 undefeated teams to be in contention while 1 SEC East and 1 SEC West go undefeated with 1 more having 1 loss. End up with the SEC having 1 undefeated team and two more with i loss. or a scenario that 3 SEC teams end up with one loss after the SECCG. Can’t wait to hear that argument on a national scale. YeeHaaw!

                  You all have good arguments, but possibilities are endless. It will come down to money before it’s over with and unless you get a national signed agreement on how many teams to limit the playoff to, then the Senator’s prediction will come true. It will be the end of College Football. Before that happens, the big teams will form the Big Boys League and the remainder become The Significant Other League. Then someone will want their champion to play the other champion and so ad infinitum.

                  I’m going to start early and form the Fing Chinese League. Think I won’t get a bunch of big uglies out of that? Right after The Fing College World Champion Whuppass Team gets finished, we will issue invites to our(US) Last College Team Standing League ( which will have been formed by then) and we will start this shit all over again. Of course it will be sponsored by The Environmental Enabling Fing Scooter Corp featuring their environmental scooter that runs on shit and electricity kindly furnished by everyone arguing about what is the best way to determine the “best” college football team in the world. Hell, it beats war! And it gets us out of the peanut butter all these Dawgs are slogging through on this blog.

    • Ty webb

      “By the time a team gets to 7 or 8, there is a clear difference in the quality of the teams. This years best example of that is Arkansas.”

      As I replied above, that is a terrible example. Arky beat TA&M by the same one-point margin that OSU did.

  24. Mark

    On another note, it appears the Big 12 may now be in favor of a +1 model. If the ACC and SEC haven’t changed their minds, then that’s 3 out of 6 major conferences. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

    http://www.mrsec.com/2011/12/big-12-interim-commish-wants-a-plus-one-considered/

    • The plus 1 model would have worked for me every year. No reason for more than 4 teams.
      Who i thought were the 2 best teams were always found in the top 4 but seldom found in only the top two. Therefore the (Mythical) MNC.

  25. Bulldog Joe

    With no less than twelve bowl games after new years day, it is inevitible we are going to get some crappy matchups.

    Looking at the early January 2 games from a fan’s perspective, only Houston stands in the way of four dreary defensive battles.

    Later in the day, the Rose Bowl has the makings of a fun game. The Fiesta does too, but it is late on a long weekend Monday night and many fans have to return to work the next morning.

    The Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl exhbitions on Tuesday and Wednesday nights carry all the appeal of a Thursday night mid-season game.

    The Cotton Bowl got a very good draw with Kansas State and Arkansas on Friday night. This should be a good one.

    People are trashing the BCS game in New Orleans, but I think it is shaping up to be a great battle of contrasting approaches. Both teams in the Oversigning Bowl have do a lot of similarities, but I expect Alabama to play the game very tight and expect LSU to play loose in their home state.

    I have no regrets with Michigan State’s and Georgia’s draw. Both teams had their shot in much more meaningful games on the big stage last weekend. With conference revenue sharing, the BCS and non-BCS exhibition bowls carry little difference. When you look at it, all but one of the bowls is a consolation game.

    The strangest thing of all this year is no college football on New Year’s Day.

    • The Lone Stranger

      So I take it you’ll be tuning in to the spectacular Beef O’Brady’s Classic in beautiful St. Pete (in that ballpark) pitting FIU vs. Marshall, Bulldog Joe?

  26. shane#1

    I will not watch the MNCG, I saw those teams play before and no one bothered to score a TD. I have no desire to watch again. Do I care if Bama, who doesn’t belong in the game, wins? No. After all, ESPN reminded us time after time in 2007 that UGA did not even win their division and then they kiss Bama’s ass because of the brand? What a joke! OSU should be in the title game. So if you agree, watch B-ball or take your old lady out to dinner. The quickest way to a playoff is to stop watching the BCS crap.

  27. SemperFiDawg

    Senator
    Quote “There’s just one thing I wish playoff advocates would explain to me. When you get down to it, the BCS is a one-game playoff. How is the debate we’re hearing this time about #2 vs. #3 going to disappear magically with a bigger playoff? ”
    With all due respect, you’re building a straw man only to tear it down. The problem with the current system is the subjectivity. By having a playoff system with16 teams there could be no legitimate argument that the best team didn’t get a shot at the title game. The current system is the only system in any sport in which each and every year there is conflict, and it’s a direct result of the foundational subjectivity on which the system is built.
    And again, thanks for hosting such a great blog..