The virtue of a small sample size

Mark Bradley believes that the four-team playoff will usher in an era of two-loss teams having a shot at playing for a national title because that’s so 2007.

And it’s true that LSU won the MNC that season with two overtime losses on its résumé, but Bradley conveniently overlooks something.  In the six years since, care to guess how many two-loss teams showed up in the top four of the BCS standings after the regular season ended?  Zippo.  Nada.  In several of those seasons, in fact, there weren’t any two-loss teams in the top six (in 2009, the top four were all undefeated).

There’s a reason 2007 has the reputation it does as the wildest, wackiest college football season in recent memory.  It’s an outlier, not a template.

Now, when the playoff expands to eight schools…

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6 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

6 responses to “The virtue of a small sample size

  1. I’m convinced the playoff will be 4 conference champions, and a part of me wants to keep it that way to protect the regular season. If you don’t win your league, you don’t deserve a shot to play for the ultimate prize.

  2. Deutschland Domiciliary Dog

    It’ll evolve to 64 teams. We’ll call it January-February-Early March Madness.

    The NCAA won’t want to leave a single penny on the table.

    • reipar

      Yes it will evolve to 64 teams and there will only be a two game regular season. It will make the regular season games extremely important.

  3. Anon

    Here’s an idea: have a spring Champions season like many international soccer leagues do. The fall you play to win your conference, in the spring 2-4 teams from each of the conferences play to win the national championship. If it’s about more money, the opportunity to have a few more games a year will bring in money.

  4. Keese

    …..yeah and the conference championship and strength of schedule will be just as important CFP

  5. Mike

    The good Senator writes;

    “In the six years since, care to guess how many two-loss teams showed up in the top four of the BCS standings after the regular season ended? Zippo. Nada. In several of those seasons, in fact, there weren’t any two-loss teams in the top six (in 2009, the top four were all undefeated).”

    The problem with thinking about this way is that BCS rankings will not be required to be a part of the selection. In fact, will BCS rankings even still exist, save for some ad hoc analysis on some blog? In any case, I can well imagine a 2 loss SEC team that wins the SEC Championship as an almost automatic qualifier.