Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

“The playoff wasn’t done for the money, it was done for the fans.”

Bill Hancock is so full of shit.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

“Our focus is the best,” he said, “not the most deserving.”

In a world where a playoff selection committee member refers to winning a conference championship as a “nuance”, I think it’s pretty clear that the most important criteria for a school’s inclusion in the semi-finals field – besides making sure that your power conference doesn’t get screwed, of course – is the ability to bully your fellow committee members with some choice in the arena messaging.

Allow Barry Alvarez to demonstrate.

“I think a lot of it is your intent to play a strong schedule in your non-conference,” said Wisconsin AD and committee member Barry Alvarez. “… It’s pretty easy for me to take a look at a schedule and see what the intent of the schedule is.”


“Having broken down film, I think I know a little bit about football and what constitutes a good team,” said four-time Rose Bowl coach Alvarez. “… I really look forward to studying other conferences and teams. I know the Big Ten well. I look forward to studying others.”

Oliver Luck gets it.

“I think it makes a lot of sense to ask Barry Alvarez, ‘Hey, you guys played Michigan last week, tell us what you think. Tell us what your coaches said,’” said Luck. “I think it’s an asset to listen to Pat Haden talk about a Pac-12 team.”

I figure by the time the end of the regular season rolls around, a third of the members will be irritated by being patronized, another third will be turned off by the sucking up and the last third will be upset that their wisdom goes unappreciated.  At least that will distract those of us concerned about bias and the appearance of conflicts of interest.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

The entire history of the Internet has been building towards this moment.

Boy, this should answer all our questions.

My first one is, what’s that blue thing in the middle supposed to be?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Sunday morning buffet

Have some football.

  • Herschel Walker thinks the college football playoff format should be bigger than four teams to accommodate the SEC.
  • I heard a lot of talk from some of the NCAA’s witnesses at O’Bannon that paying players could harm the integration between them and the rest of the student body.  I wonder how they feel about this.
  • The arrests of seven athletes over a three-month span at Missouri led the athletic director to the conclusion that he doesn’t believe the spate of arrests was indicative of a cultural problem.  Isn’t that what they always think?
  • More academic speculation on what the Northwestern unionization effort might lead to.  Nobody knows, really.
  • Statistical comfort for Auburn:  Allowing big passing numbers is no indicator of a team’s success.  Except when it is:  “Four of the top five teams in the country in passing yardage — Florida State, Florida Atlantic, Michigan State and Louisville — held the top four spots in opponents’ passer rating, and they were the only four teams to hold teams under a 100 rating.”
  • If you’re interested in some inside ball, Shakin the Southland, which has been an excellent Clemson blog, has lost two of its major contributors.  Their story is here.
  • Auburn wants to do something about limiting opponents’ explosive plays, although if the problem really goes back to Tuberville’s time, I’m not sure why that really matters now.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

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…


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

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)


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.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs