The plus-one is coming! Will it be aesthetically pleasing?

I’m guessing this year’s offseason fixation will be the new, improved BCS.  Matt Hayes reports that a new format is a done deal.  It’s just that nobody has a clue what that format is.

… A national playoff is coming, everyone.

It’s only a matter of what it looks like.

“It gets done,” a high-ranking BCS official told Sporting News Monday evening.

Here’s how: over the next six months, the leaders of the sport will meet at least four times to iron out a plan that protects the importance of the regular season—the one aspect BCS leaders believe separates the game from every other—while embracing a new frontier for the poll-driven sport.

It begins Tuesday here in New Orleans with a meeting of conference commissioners, and includes meetings in Dallas in February and Miami in April. Another meeting in June is also likely, especially considering the magnitude of the potential change.

When asked what the playoff would look like, a high-ranking BCS source said there are “at least 60” different options on the table, and that includes everything from a four-team playoff to one game after all the bowls.

Boy, that sounds promising.  Although I will say this in the plus-one’s favor – if it will get Dan Wetzel to STFU about a playoff, I’m all for it.

… Miles even made the case postgame that LSU should be in consideration for the AP title based on its season-long body of work, including the previous triumph over Alabama.

“That’s for the voters to figure,” Miles said.

When the coach of a team that was shut out in the championship game is arguing that he should win the championship anyway, the system is an unqualified disaster.

The sport’s power brokers will meet here Tuesday to discuss the future, and many have predicted significant changes. If there is one positive from this tractor pull, it’s that it should help continue the groundswell toward a playoff, even if it’s just four teams to start.

Catch that “to start” there?  I also like how Miles lobbying for the top spot in the AP poll (not that it worked) proves that the BCS is an “unqualified disaster”.

Admittedly, Wetzel is so far around the bend on the subject of a football playoff that he can’t see straight, but there’s one part of his argument that should be troubling.

… Bad games happen. They’ve happened in Super Bowls. They’ve happened in the regular season. They’ve happened in all sports at all levels.

When they happen at the conclusion of a season that uses a system so universally loathed as the BCS, though, they tend to get cited as a byproduct, not a coincidence.

He’s not the only one making that point.

… The Crimson Tide’s domination of LSU was stunning from the get-go in its breadth and depth. It turns out we had seen enough in the first half to know the final outcome: Total yards, 225-43. First downs, 13-1. Total offensive plays, 41-17. Was this the national championship game, or Alabama’s season-opener against Kent State?

That’s not a question the BCS wants asked about its crown jewel, but it’s the question we are forced to ask after one of the most lopsided and unsatisfying college football finales in years. Unsatisfying: the perfect word for the BCS almost any season, and certainly for this one.

And this is with Alabama winning.  God only knows what we’d be hearing right now if the rematch had proven to be a dominating confirmation of the regular season result.

What bugs me here is the idea that the sin of last night’s game not being entertaining can be laid at the feet of the BCS.  It’s one thing to argue that D-1′s postseason needs to be restructured to avoid the unfairness of ’03 and ’04.  It’s something totally different to call for avoiding an unexciting outcome.

Since there’s no way to guarantee a satisfying title game, what we’re left with, I suppose, is either ginning up the rules like the NFL periodically does to promote more offense, or adding the Cinderella factor to the college football postseason.  Be still, my heart.

I have no idea if this is where the game is really headed, but if there are at least sixty options on the table as Hayes suggests, I’d say just about anything is a possibility for proposal.  The power brokers calling the shots here shouldn’t exactly fill us with confidence about doing the right thing, either.

***********************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Even Michael Elkon indulges in a little of this thinking, albeit wistfully.

… We’ll never get to see how the Tide would have done against Andrew Luck or Oklahoma State’s version of the Air Raid or Oregon’s version of the spread ‘n’ shred.  Imagine Andrew Luck trying to decipher one of Nick Saban’s shifting coverage schemes.  Imagine Dre Kirkpatrick covering Justin Blackmon.  Imagine DeAnthony Thomas in space against Donta Hightower.  One of the benefits of expanding college football’s postseason is that we would get more matchups like that, but we are denied that opportunity.  I hate ending the college football season on a note of frustration, but that’s how I feel this morning after having seen a truly great defense test itself against a mediocre offense.

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89 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

89 responses to “The plus-one is coming! Will it be aesthetically pleasing?

  1. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Whew…..and I was worried that somehow the BCS would cheapen the regular season and leave the question of who is the national champion in some sort of flux.

    Crisis averted….Derp.

    I wonder if LSU will raise their SEC championship banner on the same day that Bama puts up their National Championship banner. That’s what we have thanks to the BCS…in the first time in the history of the AP poll, a SEC team that didn’t win the SEC Conference championship is the national champion.

    Has the AP ever named a national champ that didn’t win its conference? I’m just so glad that the sanctity of the regular season is intact and that we can avoid that bastion of subjectivity called a ‘playoff’.

    • …in the first time in the history of the AP poll, a SEC team that didn’t win the SEC Conference championship is the national champion.

      If that’s such a big deal, maybe they shouldn’t let conferences divide into divisions. Leave ‘em all at 10 members playing a round-robin schedule and voila!, one less problem.

      Unless you’re going to specifically mandate that only conference champs are eligible for a playoff, subjectivity is always going to be an issue.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Whoa, Senator, Whoa down boy…..
        “maybe they shouldn’t let conferences divide into divisions.”
        I know you are “maybeing”, but if that happened, the only way Georgia wins the SEC ever again is if somehow Bama loses and we have Herschel.

        Besides all the VanGorder Dawgs are very happy with the current format, since they have no clue about any other or how it was.

        Subjectivity is always going to be an issue no matter what you are talking about.

        • I’m not advocating that, just pointing out how irrelevant his argument is.

          Besides if it’s all about winning a conference title first, does Notre Dame have to give its national titles back?

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            I would vote for that….but I would also question its relevance.

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            We already have a round robin. It’s called divisional play. Alabama lost that one to LSU.

            I think you just stepped in your irrelevancy.

            • You don’t have a round robin to determine a conference champ if you have a championship game.

              Weak sauce, man.

              • Irwin R. Fletcher

                Look, you are a wordsmith beyond my capabilities. That’s why I enjoy reading your blog. I’m sorry for the weak sauce. Of course, I assume you realize you are arguing semantics. Whether the championship is decided by a pure round robin or a round robin that selects the participants in a championship game is really not the point. The World Cup uses a system that is a round robin to get to the championship round, the SEC uses a similar system with its divisional play, etc. Of course, none of the group teams that are eliminated in the round robin of the world cup are allowed to come back and play in the championship match because all of the pundits think they are really awesome. Just like if you lose a preliminary heat in swimming, they don’t have a wild card slot. Etc. etc.

                All I am saying is that crowning a “national champion” that wasn’t even its conference champion (assuming it played in a conference with a championship) for the first time in the almost 80 years of the AP poll is somehow is unprecedented and should be very relevant to an author that seems to decry the subjective nature of a playoff system that would allow at large berths or wild cards.

                That’s what Bama is. The first Wild Card team to win the MNC.

                What you have in the BCS is a really, really, really bad playoff system. You have pure subjectivity in the selection process. And just for kicks, you have a ‘system’ that has taken a giant dump on the ‘sanctity of the regular season.’ Where are the knights templar in charge of protecting the sacred shrine of ‘regular season importance’ today? Last night’s rematch slapped the Alabama-LSU I in the face. It didn’t mean anything compared to the ‘rematch’! Either team could have won that game in the regular season and it wouldn’t have mattered one iota.

                But forbid the thought we inject any scary ‘subjectivity’ into the process! Let’s stick with a 2 team playoff that has an arbitrary selection process and craps on regular season matchups rather than let those sca-wee people that crave things like head-to-head matchups rather than polls decide who should be crowned champion.

                Alabama, the first Wild Card team to win the championship.

                • Puffdawg

                  “Last night’s rematch slapped the Alabama-LSU I in the face. It didn’t mean anything compared to the ‘rematch’! Either team could have won that game in the regular season and it wouldn’t have mattered one iota.”

                  Irwin, wouldn’t you agree an expanded playoff would only increase the likelihood of these great regular season matchups being rendered pointless? More teams = more chance for rematches. Isn’t the fact this happened “for the first time in the almost 80 years of the AP poll” actually a testament to the current system and the importance of it’s regular season?

                  • Puffdawg

                    I also want to add that you’re using hindsight to render Bama LSU I worthless. At the time, it was a HUGE deal. Bama was eliminated. It just so happened a bunch of teams in front of them lost.

                  • But those rematches wouldn’t fly in the face of the system being touted as so great. Yes, there would be a likelihood, much more so, of a rematch national title rendering the initial game moot. But in that system, it wouldn’t be hypocritical of the arguments in favor of that system.

                    That is my problem with anti-playoff comments. I like the uniqueness of major college football’s system of determining a champion, but every argument in favor of it and against a playoff is complete bulldung that defies the reaility of numerous past occurences.

                    • Puffdawg

                      First, I am not supporitng the BCS so much as I am opposed to an extended playoff. That is an important point to consider. I am not opposed to a Plus One if it were handled properly (not expanded). Unfortunately, based on every post season format ever handled by the same guys who would run this, there is a unanimous precedent for expansion. And, as you’ve conceded, the bigger the playoff, the more rematches we’ll see. With that, you must also concede the increased rematches would dimish the importance of certain regular season games (the pro playoffs are already using this year’s rematch as ammunition, citing it to have cheapened LSU Bama I). I choose to stick with a system that gave us one rematch in the national championship picture in its 14 years of existence over something that would probably give us something like 2 or 3 rematches EVERY YEAR in an 8 team playoff.

                    • One thing, “the same guys who would run this” have never had any other post season format than their current one. If you are referring to the NCAA Basketball Tourney, that is operated by the NCAA, comprised of 100s of college presidents. While major college football is run by each individual conference, and the cadre of individuals with a say so is much, much smaller and more concentrated amongst the power schools.

                  • Irwin R. Fletcher

                    #1- It is ‘great’ because of the long standing rivalries and the small sample size of games played. So, to the extent an expanded playoff causes a team to play more games, I guess so.

                    #2- My point is that if your argument for the status quo is the ‘sanctity of the regular season’, then last night’s game put an end to that. And the fact that it almost happened with Nebraska in the 90s and really could have easily happened in 2006 with Michigan and 2007 with UGA if not for the all knowing pollsters gives me more evidence that this is the first of what could be a trend of non-conference winners winning the championship game off a Wild Card berth.

                • All I am saying is that crowning a “national champion” that wasn’t even its conference champion (assuming it played in a conference with a championship) for the first time in the almost 80 years of the AP poll is somehow is unprecedented and should be very relevant to an author that seems to decry the subjective nature of a playoff system that would allow at large berths or wild cards.

                  First of all, from 1936-1992, the SEC wasn’t broken into two divisions, so what we’re really talking about here is a shorter period for such an anomaly to have occurred.

                  Second, it’s not the subjectivity of a playoff system that I fear; it’s a postseason that’s big enough to siphon of the importance of the regular season that worries me. I can live with a well-designed plus-one format, for example.

                  Third, wild cards exist in objective formats.

                  Alabama, the first Wild Card team to win the championship.

                  If by that you mean the first non-conference champ to win the BCS title game, true. But it wasn’t the first such school to play in one.

                  • Oklahoma’s made the big game twice without winning their conference. Nebraska makes that 3 times before this year a team played for the national title without winning it’s own conference. Just how important can a regular season be when 4 times in the last 10 or 11 years, a team that couldn’t win it’s conference title had a chance to play for the national title.

                    The system doesn’t need to be condemned imo, but if it were a house, it’d definitely be a “fixer upper”.

                    • Is that the fault of the BCS, or of the conferences which chased the extra money from a championship game?

                    • The BCS doesn’t exist without conference approval and agreement, so either way, the “fault” ultimately lies with them. Of the supposed
                      60 or so options, as your excerpt above indicates, it’ll be interesting to see which one rises to the top of this mess. Do they say screw it and go full bore at a 32 team playoff killing the bowls? Just a +1 with teams determined after bowls are played? A 4 team playoff? An 8 team playoff? I can’t imagine which format wins, nor which one I’d prefer most. I think any adjustment to the system would have to coincide with an adjustment of the conferences and therefore the regular season. But I doubt the powers that be have the stomach for all that remodeling.

                    • I would be shocked if they were able to drag Delany onto any proposal bigger than a four-team playoff.

                      After that, your guess is as good as mine, although I would suggest that they’ll pick a plan which maximizes postseason revenue without impacting their regular season deals.

                    • I will say, the one I like least is a +1 type system. Things are so different from season to season. A +1 might work well this year, where you can match up Bama vs LSU a third time, or perhaps against Oregon or Okie St, but how would it have worked if LSU won last night? Or in 2001 when Miami was the clear champ, or last year when Auburn was the eye test best. Put a +1 in 2007, and who plays LSU, Georgia or Southern Cal? The problem with these adaptations of the current system is it seems the work well for one individual season, but horribly for others. That’s why I’m of the opinion for a massive restructuring of the system to get the individual season kinks out as best as possible. They’ll never truly go away, but you can reduce a great many with what both of us seem to prefer, 4 16 team conferences, maybe 8 10 team conferences (although that can’t happen because who would the B1G, Pac 12, SEC, ACC, etc cut loose?), so 4 16 team superconferences and each conference champ gets a bid in a 4 team playoff.

                  • Irwin R. Fletcher

                    Right…Nebraska was the start of a trend that we probably should have noticed before this year. Probably only randomness and the all knowing wisdom of the voters has prevented such a scenario so far under the BCS. We were close to a non-conference champ playing in the game in 2006 (mich), 2007(uga), 2008 (texas) and 2009(florida). It’s the nature of pollsters ranking teams based upon who they lost to instead of who they have beaten.

                    It will happen again and I think it sucks. I think the Wild Card sucks. But what I think sucks the worst is the Wild Card not having to play in the NLDS or the NLCS and getting bumped all the way to the World Series because they arouse Ken Rosenthal or whatever.

                    • Will (the other one)

                      Exactly. Under the circumstances, I’m more disappointed in college football today than I was a year ago, when a team I truly hate, won the title (because while they likely cheated, they at least won all the games.)

                    • Cojones

                      Will, you didn’t take great pleasure in the Auburn game? The Tech Game? the FU game? Even the Tenn game? C’mon. This was Revenge Year of the first order and I enjoyed each immensely. Maybe that’s an ole fart thing, but good ole-fashioned hate warms the cockels of my…. where the hell do the “cockels” reside? Alright, I liked’em a lot.

              • Unless you have a round robin to determine who plays in the conference championship game, which we kinda, sorta, not really do.

                • Nobody plays a true round-robin schedule as a lead-in to a CCG. What would be the point? (Other than the $$, I mean.)

                  • Considering you need 12 teams to have a CCG, without adding several games to the schedule, no team can play “a true round-robin schedule” as the lead in for one. That’d occupy 11 games out of a 12 game schedule as currently done.

      • “Unless you’re going to specifically mandate that only conference champs are eligible for a playoff, subjectivity is always going to be an issue”

        But then what about Notre Dame, and BYU?

        Seriously though, if college football is the sport that places the utmost importance on the regular season, as anti-playoff proponents constantly spout, then how did the best team in that regular season lose the title to a team they beat on their own home turf? If the NFL, NBA, NCAA hoops, MLB, all get it wrong by rewarding a “wild card” that can’t even win their own division/conference the champion, then how does college football get it right by doing the exact same thing, rewarding a team as the “national champion” that’s not it’s “conference champion” and couldn’t even win it’s own division?

        • If ‘Bama was indeed the second-best team in the country as the end of the regular season, then wouldn’t the BCS be getting it wrong by excluding it from the title game?

          You are making an apples-and-oranges comparison here. The pros don’t use subjective rankings to determine postseason status. College football does.

          • I’m simply saying that those arguments about wild cards and best team all year are what people say to spout against a playoff. How does that jive with Bama?

            And Bama being “the second best team in the country at the end of the regular season” is debatable. You and I both agree that because of scheduling differences and other factors, determining who is the best, second best, third best, etc team on the regular season is a beauty contest and nothing more than subjective to the individual eye test.

            • And Bama being “the second best team in the country at the end of the regular season” is debatable. You and I both agree that because of scheduling differences and other factors, determining who is the best, second best, third best, etc team on the regular season is a beauty contest and nothing more than subjective to the individual eye test.

              That’s a separate issue from the one you raised. The fact is that by the standards of the BCS, ‘Bama was the second best team in the country at the end of the regular season.

              • Irwin R. Fletcher

                “standards of the BCS”

                i.e. ‘voters’

                • Will (the other one)

                  And computers, who sometimes don’t even publish their formulas.
                  Bama got in because Saban got cozy with ESPN, whereas Mike Gundy was just “that guy who yelled about being 40 a few years ago” coupled with idiot voters viewing one bad loss as far worse than having far more impressive wins.

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        “Unless you’re going to specifically mandate that only conference champs are eligible for a playoff, subjectivity is always going to be an issue.”

        Why not mandate that conference champs are the only one eligible for the national championship? That makes sense to me. It would certainly protect the ‘sanctity of the regular season’ and would remove most of the subjectivity.

        • Otto

          Why not mandate that conference champs are the only one eligible for the national championship?

          LSU convincingly won games over 2 BCS conf champs and both won their BCS bowl. Bama and LSU were without a doubt the 2 best teams in the country and thus the BCS worked again.

          The simple truth is there is a playoff in CFB currently. Okie Lite lost in the playoff to Iowa St, Oregon to LSU, and Stanford to Oregon. The regular season is the playoff.

          I have zero faith the powerbrokes can come up with something better. March madness started out with conf. champs only and look at where that has gone with sliding ratings on top of that.

          • If the regular season were the playoff Otto, by your own “simple truth”, Alabama lost in the playoff to LSU, but got a second chance. The whole “regular season is a playoff” has been proven bulldung time and time again-see 2000 FSU, 2001 Nebraska, 2008 Oklahoma, 2004 Auburn, and 2007 LSU, for starters.

        • You’ll get no argument from me on that. I’ve long thought it would be the best approach to a D-1 postseason.

          The only thing you’d have to do first is lop off the bottom third or so of the division. Four sixteen-team conferences with championship games or eight ten-team conferences playing round-robin schedules works just fine.

          I’d save a limited role for subjectivity, in that I’d use the rankings to determine seeds for which schools get to host games. That way, a school wouldn’t be motivated to ditch a game as sometimes occurs in the NFL.

          • Dawgy45

            I can see only having conference champs play for the NC, but wouldn’t the winner of the ACC still be seen as a wild-card entry?

            I just don’t get all that worked up over a “National Champion” in college football simply because of the number of teams out there. How many teams are in MLB, the NBA, and the NFL? Yet we are somehow supposed to have a system that filters through 120 teams with a 12 game regular season into a brief playoff that decides a NC. Granted most of those teams just aren’t in the race to begin with, so I would say go with four conference winners to play for the crystal ball and keep some of the traditional bowls for conference non-winners (hey, I like watching the bowl games – some are entertaining and it sure beats the rest of the crap on TV).

            My reason for sticking with four teams is this: post-season MLB was so much better when there were only four teams involved. Wild-cards and extended playoffs gave us the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series when they were far from the best team in the National League; they just got hot at the right time. Am I just a bitter Braves fan? Well, yeah just a bit, I suppose.

  2. Gravidy

    I must be even more of an old fart than I thought I was, because I actually enjoyed watching the game. I’ll even go so far as to say I was…wait for it…entertained. And I was rooting for LSU! Does no one enjoy watching superb defense anymore? Alabama’s defense is a thing of beauty, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it last night.

    Excuse me for the rant, but I’ve been in a bad mood ever since I saw Seth Emerson’s pouting blog last night about how no team this year is worthy of the coveted #1 slot on his AP ballot. In his eyes, Alabams is “severely flawed”. He goes on to justify that by saying ‘defense is OK and stuff, but the object of the game is to score points’. Well…ummm…no. The object is to score more points than the opponent.

    I would be ecstatic if Georgia was as “severely flawed” as that Alabama team was last night.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      +22, a greyshirt and two oversigns….Seth should stick to something he knows about…not sure what that is, but he should stick to it.

      • Gravidy

        Best I can tell from reading his blog, the subject he seems to know best is 80s rap music. So there’s that.

        • Biggen

          I have stopped reading much of Seth’s blog the last few weeks. I just don’t feel he is totally qualified to be in the position he is in. I am grateful for his twitter coverage of UGA games but I just don’t care for his opinions any more of the state of UGA football much less the state of D-1 football.

          • Gravidy

            It sounds like you and I have a similar opinion of him. My attitude toward him has always to take the bad with the good, but it sure does seem like the bad stuff is outweighing the good stuff lately.

            • Otto

              Haven’t been to Seth’s blog since mid season. Shame I used to go to the blog several times a day.

              I’m early 30s and enjoyed game. Yes I was rooting for LSU too. The game reminded of Bama/Miami ’92 a defensive work of art.

    • Puffdawg

      Gravidy, I thoroughly enjoyed the game last night as well and I was pulling for LSU as well. I don’t see how people claim it was not entertaining. Those were two of the better college teams we’ve seen in recent years in my opinion.

      • Gravidy

        Sadly, in football as well as baseball, “good” and “entertaining” are no longer synonymous with “victorious”. Nope, “good” has come to mean “high scoring”. You know, “chicks dig the long ball” and all that stuff…

        Oh yeah, uhhh…and you kids git offa my lawn!!

        *Sigh.*

    • Will (the other one)

      Me, I’m glad at least one media member cares more about what happened over the course of the season, and not a game played over a month after the regular season was over.

      • Gravidy

        If you want to believe Alabama is severely flawed and further believe Okie State would beat them, please be my guest.

  3. D.N. Nation

    It’s something totally different to call for avoiding an unexciting outcome.

    And also disingenuous, given the eventual outcome of their beloved March Madness last year. (http://espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=310940041)

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    So if they go Plus One does that eliminate the current BCS National Championship Game between the 1 and 2 teams? Obviously a speculative question, but it’s the first thought I had.

  5. AusDawg85

    (Public Service Announcement commercial coming to the airways this August….)

    Man in tacky blazer, dandruff, puffy eyebrows: Hi. We’re the idiots making a mess of college football. We’re sorry you’ve hated the mess we’ve created, so we’ve decided we are the ones to fix it. So here’s what we’ve done….

    /Can’t wait for that result.
    /breaks sarcasm knob while twisting beyond full volume

  6. Raleigh St. Clair

    Amazing that you don’t see many national writers clamorkng to defend the current system. That’s because it stinks.

    The only arguments more tired than the ones in favor of a playoff are the ones made in favor of keeping the status quo.

    The regular season won’t mean anything!!! Yeah, right.

  7. JasonC

    Spot on Senator. You nailed it about:
    1. Wetzel
    2. the BCS debate
    3. Bama & LSU’s prep for the game (other post)

    Mr. Sanchez,
    In regards to your question about ND and BYU, I would have to say “F*&K them!” If they want to choose to be independent, they can live with the consequences. That’s the way life works.

  8. stoopnagle

    Yes, “winning football” (despite @smartfootball) is unsatisfying?

    *sigh*

  9. Mark

    I hope they fix the issues of the BCS without creating a watered down regular season and playoff by creating a huge tournament with wild cards, etc.

    College football is the only game in town where each week is very important in the overall scheme of things. Even fans of teams in other conferences are watching each other to see what the pecking order is going to be for the title game. The BCS did something really great for all of us, it increased the attention of the regular season and made the post season meaningful. I still remember when the Sugar Bowl invited Virginia to play when they had 3 games left in the season! We do NOT need to go back to that kind of system. But to think that we can have an NFL type playoff, or NCAA basketball tourney, or Heaven forbid, an NHL type system, is not a welcome thought.

    Hopefully, they will settle on a plus one system or something close that does not grow from there. Once we get past 8 teams, the regular season will start losing value, IMO.

    • “College football is the only game in town where each week is very important in the overall scheme of things”

      If only this were actually true. Alas, it’s not and that’s been proven so more years than it hasn’t over the past decade by the end result.

      • Mark

        Even if a team plays a patsy, the other teams that play have a bearing on the post season for the teams in question. Therefore, each and every week make a difference. The NFL has teams ditching games during the regular season. That won’t happen in college football unless a playoff comes along.

        • Those teams ditch games because injuries make a difference, and therefore “each and every week” makes a difference with them too, in the health of players, in playoff seeding, etc. If the Steelers win the division (decided by a game here or there) instead of the Ravens, they play the Broncos at home, and Ryan Clark can play FS, which changes their D considerably. The idea that “each and every week” matters in college football only is a load. Each and every week matter in the NFL, they matter in MLB, where a single game can mean the post season or no playoffs as it has the last two years for the Braves. Or in the NBA, again due to seeding, injuries, etc. College football is not special in this category.

          If you want a true “the regular season matters” sport, go watch domestic European soccer, where the league titles are determined by the regular season and only the regular season, and in a much fairer method through round robin home and away games against every other team in the league. But then, we aren’t a bunch of socialists, so we can’t like soccer nor have a sport where the regular season actually is a playoff.

  10. Irishdawg

    “It’s something totally different to call for avoiding an unexciting outcome.”
    Which is impossible to do. How many Super Bowls have turned into one sided snooze fests? Was last nights game a thriller? No, but it featured a team I considered the best college team in years getting manhandled by a better prepared and coached club. Alabama-OK State may very well have been just as one-sided, Mike Gundy’s breathless protests notwithstanding.

  11. BosnianDawg

    I actually enjoyed watching that dominant defensive performance. All I can say is I’m damn glad we don’t have to play them next year.

  12. 69Dawg

    The best line of the night was that the New Orleans Saints would have had a hard time scoring on Bama’s D. I guess it goes with being old school and having grown up with Dooley and Erk. UGA’s O has always been worst than there D and always depended on the D to win most of the games. So when you are raised that way you learn to like and admire a great defense. Alabama has a great defense and an offense designed not to screw up. This is how defensive coaches design their teams. Offensive coaches not so much. For the media to imply that OK St could have scored at wll on Bama is to be well the media. The OK St QB would have been running for his life from the first snap. Bama’s D is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold.

    • Will (the other one)

      But other than Arkansas, who did they actually face with a pulse offensively? If we can get ragged on for making the SECCG on an “easy” schedule, why does no one care that until last night Bama played almost no one with a pulse on offense?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        If you compare SEC schedules Bama and UGA played almost exactly the same teams and UGA’s OOC schedule was waaaaay tougher.

  13. Macallanlover

    Perhaps the reason last night’s game was so lopsided, and appears unrepresentative of the talent match-up is due to the 4-5 weeks down time between their last games. Yes, I realize Bama was off a week longer but some teams handle off time better, and more productively, than others. (You have to wonder whether Jefferson spent his time clubbing.) A nicely proportioned 8 team playoff would fill the gap just perfectly. Just saying….

  14. gary player

    8 team playoff. 5 automatic bids to the champions of the Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, and SEC. 3 at-large bids that anyone else is eligible for.

    Do it.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      That scenario this year would have put Clemson and WVU in ahead of some far more deserving teams. Just sayin’.

      • gary player

        So? If you aren’t good enough to get one of the 3 at-large bids…tough crap. That’s the way playoffs work. Not everyone can make it.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          So we just let Clemson and WVU into the mix because they happen to play in horrible conferences, despite the fact Clemson lost to G-Tech, NC State and South Carolina by an average score of 34-14? Three scores worse than three teams on their schedule, and they get an auto-bid? Sorry – that system’s worse than the one we have, IMO.

          • gary player

            I don’t think that’s worse at all. The attempt by the minority anti-playoff crowd to make mountains out of molehills reaks of desperation.

            By the way, where in my post did I say that the Big East would get an automatic bid?

      • gary player

        By the way, what far more deserving teams are you referring to?

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          Over Clemson? Seriously?

          Teams competing for your 3 at-large, in no particular order, that had far better seasons than Clemson and WVU:

          South Carolina (3 scores better than Clemson, post-Garcia and Lattimore losses).
          Arkansas (2 scores better than South Carolina).
          Georgia (equal to SC pre-Lattimore and Garcia losses)
          Kansas State
          Stanford
          Michigan State
          Boise State

          7 teams for 3 spots, while Clemson and WVU auto-bid? That’s no more or less fair than what we have, with 10x the gnashing of teeth.

          You could arguably add Baylor and Michigan to that list, but I would not put them head and shoulders over WVU and Clemson.

          IMO, regional equivalency is a marketing ploy, not a competitive criteria.

          • gary player

            Once again, I did not state that the Big East should get an automatic bid. So remove West Virginia from your argument please.

            The teams that would have got automatic bids are LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Clemson. And one of the 3 at-large bids would definitely have gone to Alabama. That leaves the following teams in contention for the 2 remaining at-large bids:

            Stanford
            Arkansas
            Boise State
            Kansas State

            Would there really have been much of an outcry when 2 of those teams were left out?

            Case closed.

            • Always Someone Else's Fault

              Georgia and South Carolina both would have compelling cases against Clemson – and yes, you can mount equally solid arguments against SC and Georgia from the perspective of 4 or 5 other teams besides Clemson. If you think “case closed” fixes the problem, think again.

              • gary player

                So you want a perfect system? You’re NEVER going to have that.

                And if you think this isn’t closer to being perfect than the crap we have now, think again. If you don’t make the current 2 team playoff, it’s not necessarily your fault. If you don’t make an 8 team playoff, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

  15. Always Someone Else's Fault

    It’s going to sound like semantic nit-picking, but this needs to be said, everywhere. I love the idea of Plus-1, but at this point, the conversation will be about shaping that Plus-1 system rather than getting it. We seem to have crossed that bridge. Before we start celebrating, though….

    The notion that the current system is somehow money-driven but any playoff system, including a Plus-1, will be driven by competitive considerations is dangerous thinking. The start point for a playoff discussion will be “how do we make more money than the current system,” and it will explore from there. A bigger system designed to make more money will arguably just have the same warts as the current system – only bigger.

    My nightmare scenario would be the one most popular on most blogs – an 8 team bracket with auto-qualifiers. But the Plus-1 this year would have put Stanford in over Oregon – same controversy as Bama-LSU, just a rung down the ladder. See? No end to this mess.

    Final point — this year’s model left one team/conference feeling shafted. That’s the usual scenario for the BCS, and it just built up too much ill-will with fans over the years. But a Plus-1 this year would have included two conference non-champs and excluded teams like Oregon, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, and Boise State. Four times the whining. Boy, I can’t wait for that.

    Delany is right on this one. The devil you know has some advantages when you step back and look at the alternatives in real detail. Again, I prefer a Plus-1, but the notion it settles any of this debate, or that it will be about anything other than more money, is nonsense.

    Still, progress.

    • gary player

      A Plus-1 this year would not have excluded Oklahoma State.

      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        I meant Arkansas. I see those two teams as the same thing, for all intents and purposes.

    • Fine make it a +1.

      But then, who does Bama play in that +1? Does LSU get the same opportunity for redemption the Tide just got? Give Okie St their shot? Oregon? How would it have worked last year after Auburn ran the table?

  16. Connor

    What is a plus one, exactly? One of the fascinating things to me about these playoff debates is how everyone is arguing for different things. I bet if you took a poll most college football fans would be in favor of a “plus one”. Then when they learn that what that means is a return to the old bowl system, with zero effort made to match anything other than eyeball grabbing teams, and after all of those games running the BCS formula again and letting whatever two teams are ranked 1 & 2 play a game, they’d all be upset.

  17. I still believe that the 2 best teams in the country are always in the top 4 in the post season polls (Almost never at 1 & 2 ). A Plus One Format would always give me what I consider to be a TRUE NC not a MNC. I realize that is not for everyone but it would work for me. More than 4 would just weaken the field. Also, I still like all of the bowl games for less deserving teams.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I agree with you to a point–the best team (singular) in the country would almost always be in the top 4 and often is not 1 or 2.

  18. The best team would still be only 2 games from winning it all.
    I guess you could tweak it & have a Play In game between # 4 & 5.
    This year BSU Vs. Stanford. The winner against LSU. Ala. Vs. OSU.
    Still could end up with the same results but I would then believe that we would have a legitimate national champion.
    I still believe winning the SEC is more difficult & is at least as impressive as winning the NCG.

  19. Cojones

    I say we should go to an 8 game playoff,selecting from the winners of the top-powered 8 bowls to go further and seed at that point.

    That important statement is just to see if this whirlygig blog subject can go around again. To the music of “Rawhide”, we are “Stirrin’, stirrin’, stirrin’…we are always stirrin’….Lawride”.