Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

Caesar’s wife never served on the playoff selection committee.

Jeff Long posts “SECSECSECSEC!!!” Tweet, then gets into Twitter debate with Team Speed Kills blogger Year2.

Looks like that whole perception thing goes straight over his head.  But at least he’s transparent!

(h/t Eleven Warriors)

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

The slippery slope begins.

In its Auburn preview, CFN drops a line I’ve been expecting, but hadn’t really seen until now:

The season will be a success if … the Tigers get into College Football Playoff. Of course they want to win the SEC title again, but that doesn’t really matter so much in the new world – it’s all about being ranked in the top four.

Before you sneer and accuse me of overreacting to a throwaway media line, keep in mind that the College Football Playoff is officially on record as saying that conference championships are nothing more than a tiebreaker in the grand scheme of things now.

On the occasion of the two-year anniversary of its birth Friday, the College Football Playoff released a document to USA TODAY Sports and other outlets that reveals its vision for how teams should be selected. The document, drafted June 20, 2012, also details the order of criteria its founders envision for the selection committee to break ties when setting the four-team playoff field.

“Strength of schedule, head-to-head competition and championships won must be specifically applied as tie-breakers between teams that look similar,” the document reads. Those were proposed to differentiate between “teams with similar records and similar pedigree.”

Don’t be so surprised.  It’s the natural consequence of using a subjective formula to name the participants in the national playoffs.  And it’s the first step that makes people like me nervous about what kind of effect postseason expansion will have on college football’s regular season.

The problem with such a formula is that it’s inherently unstable.  Picking a top four based on the feelings of a selection committee is going to invite the inevitable second guessing that comes with the territory.  And that’s likely to intensify the first time a non-conference winner gets the nod ahead of a school that holds a power conference championship trophy.  There’s too much money and too much media attention involved to expect otherwise.

And there’s one obvious way to fix that problem.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Sunday morning buffet

Eh, what the heck.

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Filed under ACC Football, BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Who wants to be a selection committee member?

The more I hear about the playoff selection committee, the less impressed I grow.  Oliver Luck, the West Virginia AD and member of the committee, admits that he and his colleagues probably won’t be able to watch everything they need to make an informed decision.  But don’t worry, peeps, Luck thinks they’ve got that covered.

Luck admitted it would be impossible for every committee member to watch every game of college football this season. That’s why Luck said the committee also would be leaning heavily on analytics and technology to help differentiate teams.

“I’m not sure this committee could do this without the technology that exists today,” he said. “All the stuff these analytics guys are going to provide us is going to be extraordinarily helpful. We’ll be able to call up any game, in whatever sequence we’d like. For example, all third downs for Missouri when they were playing Texas A&M. We’ll have all that access, which will be really helpful.

“But we’re also going to use our eyeballs. Everyone also has their friends, their former teammates or former coaches or whatever. We’ll all use our support systems a little bit differently. But ultimately, with only one goal: to make the best decision we can.”

Support systems? Is that like Phone-a-Friend?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Bang for the postseason buck

Just like everything else around college football, the cost of big time sponsorship is on the rise.

Under the old Bowl Champsionship Series format, sponsorship ranged from $15 to $20 million annually. Under the new playoff, those numbers reportedly could be closer to $25 million annually.

It’s probably not a coincidence this is now happening:

Capital One is reportedly ending its sponsorship of Orlando’s top bowl as part of a bigger bowl sponsorship shakeup first reported by the Sports Business Journal Monday.

Tostitos and Discover have told ESPN — the media rights holder for both games — that they plan on ending their sponsorships with the Fiesta and Orange bowls. Both bowl games are part of the new College Football Playoff.

Tostitos is one of the longest running title sponsors in college football. Its decision would end an 18-year relationship with the bowl game.

Cap One is reportedly looking at stepping into Discover’s former shoes at the Orange Bowl.  There’s always somebody that wants to get in front of live eyes and is willing to pay for the privilege.  At least for now.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Benefit of the doubt

It’s nice to have this sort of national perception:

Time to analyze the SEC’s non-conference schedule. Although there’s not much to analyze. Pitiful run of opponents. Georgia, as usual, more than carries its weight. Nobody else really does.

At least maybe it is.  I can’t say it’s really gotten Georgia much extra juice in any given national title hunt it’s been involved in during the Richt era, although to be fair, I can’t say it’s really cost Georgia much, either.  (Some of you will probably point to the 2008 loss to ‘Bama after the Arizona State trip, but let’s be honest – any team that loses by 39 to Florida ain’t a national title contender.  Also, let’s not ignore the fact that last season, Georgia emerged deserving to be included in the national title discussion after its September, despite the road loss at Clemson.)

But as we approach the dawning of a new postseason day, this kind of stuff is really supposed to matter now, right, selection committee?  So why do I remain unconvinced it will?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Something for everybody.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Friday morning buffet

The tidbits just keep on coming.

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Filed under ACC Football, BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting, SEC Football

Thursday morning buffet

The shipment from Destin has arrived.  Dig in.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, BCS/Playoffs, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Political Wankery, Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple

“You just can’t call people up and schedule a game.”

I mentioned in passing in this morning’s buffet that even though the SEC has locked down its conference schedule for the next decade, there was still a debate in Destin yesterday about football scheduling.  It’s worth understanding what that signifies.

In discussing the national title hunt, Mark Richt used to insist that all he focused on was winning the SEC.  That’s all he could control and he’d let matters take care of themselves after that.  The last eight years of the BCS title game bore that wisdom out.

But that’s not the world Richt and his conference peers operate in any more.  With a four-team playoff that doesn’t restrict the number of teams from a single conference, there’s more than one way to skin a national title cat now.  Enter scheduling debate.

Something that is making coaches jittery is the new College Football Playoff that starts this upcoming season. A 13-member selection committee chooses four teams to play for the national championship and eight other teams to play in the four non-playoff New Year’s Day bowls.

But unlike the BCS that used computers and polls to ultimately determine who played in the national championship game, the CFP is subjective. Coaches around the nation want to know what it will take for their teams to get in the final four.

“Coaches all over are interested in the criteria and I don’t blame them,” said CFP executive director Bill Hancock, who spoke to the SEC coaches Tuesday afternoon. “The core criteria is very much common sense – strength of schedule, head-to-head, common opponents.”

Notice what’s missing from that list of criteria?

Now the reality is that, barring an upset of ginormous proportions in the SECCG, the conference champ will make it into the national semi-finals.  But if you’re a coach or athletic director of a powerhouse, you also have to think seriously about plotting a narrow course that will make your program attractive enough for the selection committee to choose in the event you don’t win the conference championship.  In other words, for the first time, Mark Richt has to entertain the notion that he needs to factor a Plan B into the equation for achieving a shot at a national title.

That’s a subtle distinction at the moment, I’ll grant you.  Nobody knows how the process is going to play out and won’t until the first postseason pool is filled.  And that’s reflected in the SEC’s conservative approach to scheduling, skipping the ninth conference game in favor of a Big 5 opponent mandate.  Will that be the case down the road?  Who knows?  But because of the nature of the selection process, it will always be a factor in scheduling from now on.

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that winning the conference isn’t the be all, end all goal anymore for that national title chance.  And it’ll never be again as long as subjective criteria are used to pick the national semi-finalists.  If you’re asking me to point to something about the new playoffs that affects the regular season, there you go.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football