Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

Why we can’t have nice postseasons.

Gary Laney neatly distills why the four-team playoff format is toast, even before the first one has been set.

A season ago, neither Baylor nor Michigan State, champions of the Big 12 and Big Ten, respectively, would have made the tournament, College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said.

Instead, both Alabama and Auburn would have made it out of the SEC, along with Florida State and Oregon.

When that happens in the future, it won’t be analogous to other postseason snubs like, say, the NCAA basketball tournament. The first team left out of that tournament is the 38th team in line, aside from the 31 conference champions that qualify automatically.

In this case, the selection committee will always leave out at least one major conference champion, even in years when it doesn’t pick two teams from one conference.  [Emphasis added.]

That is exactly why I’ve bitched about bracket creep for years.  The system they’ve built is unstable.  And it’s not predicated on settling it on the field, or having the best teams.  It’s about sharing the wealth.  Eventually, that’s why they’ve got to expand, because leaving a member of the Big Five out every year isn’t going to set well with the people running the game.

They’ll no doubt use us fans as an excuse, the first time there’s a selection controversy, because that will be convenient.  But the thing is, the move to eight, if it’s done as Laney describes – all major conference champions to get in, plus a few at-large berths – isn’t going to make things any more stable.  Because there will come a year when a major conference team that didn’t win its conference and is excluded from the playoff field is better than some teams that do qualify.  And there’s only one cure for that fever.

It won’t stop until there’s no more money being thrown at it.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Don’t sleep on the Coaches Poll.

There are times when I think Matt Hayes is America’s dumbest CFB opinion writer.

Today, he manages to equate the Coaches Poll with public opinion as a source that could pressure the selection committee.

Let’s say UCLA has one loss and is third in both the coaches and AP polls but doesn’t win the Pac-12 and doesn’t get selected to play in the CFP. Well, suddenly, we have problem with our grand new system.

Because if 60-plus coaches think UCLA is one of the four best teams, and 60 media members think UCLA is one of the four best teams, how in the world can the 13-member committee release its playoff field without UCLA?

Gee, Matt, it isn’t that hard.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The Coaches Poll Is Stupid.

Saturday morning buffet

It’s time to eat.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Garbage in, garbage out.

One of the complaints about the BCS computer formulas was that the machines weren’t allowed to take margin of victory into account, presumably because the little fellows couldn’t distinguish between legitimate dominance and a team just trying to run the score up to impress the voters.  The problem with doing that was that it skewed the ratings.  Like it or not, margin of victory is an indicator of relative excellence.

So now that we’ve overthrown the tyranny of the machines and allowed humans, with their much greater ability to appreciate deliberate manipulation of scores, does that mean they’ve done away with that silliness for the selection committee?

Get outta here!

  • Principles.  The committee will select the teams using a process that distinguishes among otherwise comparable teams by considering:

    • Conference championships won,

    • Strength of schedule,

    • Head-to-head competition,

    • Comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory), and,  [Emphasis added.]

    • Other relevant factors such as key injuries that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.

Now, admittedly, this could be bullshit, and likely is.  But that they’ve gone to the trouble to codify it makes it hard to take the results any more seriously than we did with the BCS rankings.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

“The playoff’s not going to change scheduling much.”

Once you get over the amusement of Tommy Tuberville complaining that power conference schools are still scheduling cupcake games – yes, that Tommy Tuberville – you will be shocked, shocked to learn that the advent of the new CFB playoff hasn’t changed things too much on the scheduling front.

Since presidents officially approved the four-team playoff on June 27, 2012, about 73 percent of the games scheduled by the Power 5 conferences (plus Notre Dame and BYU) are outside the power conference structure — games against schools from the American, Mountain West, C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt conferences or FCS.

Combing through scheduling announcements from the last 25 months showed that 45 of the 300-plus games involving those power schools were to play FCS opponents, with another 78 for C-USA (40) or Sun Belt (38) teams.

That total of 123 games comprises about 40 percent of the games found, while dwarfing the 83 or so games scheduled between two power-conference schools.

Big schools scheduled 35 American matchups, 31 apiece with the Mountain West and MAC, and three with Army /Navy.

Why should anyone be surprised by that?  Until a school or a conference gets smacked in the face by a real world consequence to scheduling weak sister games, why would there be any motivation to change what’s worked so well for so long?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

Musical palate cleanser, the best I ever had edition

Hey, what do you know… Bill Hancock’s talking.

How much would you pay to watch the first College Football Playoff championship game?

Try $650 for club seats in AT&T Stadium. Try what is believed to be the highest-priced face-value ticket in the sport’s history.

While CFP championship game ticket pricing has been out there for a while it’s not widely known. And there are qualifiers.

The $650 price for the CFP championship game on Jan. 12 is only for the stadium’s 15,000 high-end club seats. The general seating in the 80,000-seat stadium is $450. Student seating and standing room is $200. The participating schools will each receive approximately 20,000 seats for the game. Last year’s final BCS championship game tickets topped off at $385.

“The price is a bargain for the most important, most talked-about, most in-demand college game of the season,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in an email, “arguably the most compelling game ever.”

Who’d want to argue with the über flack?  Not the little guy who can’t wait to swing that kind of jack.

Instead, let’s hear an obvious pick from The Who.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Is Cinderella dead?

Let me just say that if it were so, that’s a feature, not a bug, of the new postseason format.

But I fear the true answer is that she’s merely in a coma, waiting to waken once the field expands sufficiently.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major