Extended playoffs and setting the bar low

Do you want to know what really sucks about extended playoffs? Take a look at the NBA, where the local team has qualified for the second season for the first time in this millennium. Woo hoo!

It’s not that the Atlanta Hawks qualified by going 37-45 in a weak conference. Or that their net scoring margin on the season was negative. (Hell, two other teams in the East were underwater in scoring margin.)

It’s that Sekou Smith can ask Billy Knight with an apparently straight face if this mundane at best accomplishment is some sort of vindication for the general manager and the franchise. I give Knight credit for dismissing the question, but, jeez, I would have been embarrassed to ask it in the first place.

Just something to keep in mind as we argue over a D-1 football playoff.

11 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

11 responses to “Extended playoffs and setting the bar low

  1. jason

    How is this even relevent to a d-1 college football playoff? if the criteria to get in were conference champions and a couple of at large teams, the regular season would still be as good, and the teams in the playoffs would at worst have 2 losses. I have never once heard a scenario where any teams with any losing record could make it to the postseason in d-1

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  2. I have never once heard a scenario where any teams with any losing record could make it to the postseason in d-1

    It already happens with March Madness – Coppin State, my friend. (For that matter, Georgia came pretty close to that, as well.)

    Exactly what sort of team would you expect to qualify for the last spot in a 64 school tourney?

    Just remember, coaches and ADs at mediocre programs would love it. They could go back to their fans and alumni and point out that “we made the postseason”. Vindication, in other words, to keep their jobs.

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  3. Atlchris

    Yeah.. I was reading that in the AJC and wondered the same thing… How could ole Billy feel vindicated? We could of had a much better team if not for some of his dumb choices…

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  4. kckd

    In terms of the NBA, no matter what you want to say about their playoffs, by and large the team that many or most consider the best in the regular season wins it.

    And it is almost impossible for any of those sub .500 teams to win a playoff series. I can’t recall the last time or if it’s ever happened. If the purpose is to show who is really the best team, then their playoff system probably works as well as any sport.

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  5. NM

    kckd — by and large, in D-I FBS football, the team that many or most consider the best in the regular season wins it. In fact, being considered by “many or most” to be one of the top two is actually a prerequisite to winning it.

    And we get to skip two months of sub-.500 teams hanging around and wasting everyone’s time… unless one of those bad teams actually wins a series, in which case they’ve deprived a more-deserving team of a shot at the title.

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  6. dean

    If you had conference champs and a couple of at-large teams in a D-1 “football” playoff odds are you’re not going to have a team with a losing record it the brackets. However you could a have a team like the 02′ Florida St. Seminoles. Who had a total of 4 losses with three of them conference losses. THEY WON THEIR CONFERENCE WITH 3 LOSSES! Or the ’04 (I think) Pitt team that won the Big East. If I’m not mistaken I think they had 5 loses (total). They got crushed in the bowl game by the (Myer coached) Utes. Just like we crushed the ‘Noles in the Sugar bowl. It’s just my opinion but I don’t think a team deserves the chance to play for the MNC with 4 or 5 or even three losses for that matter just because they won their conference.
    The system we have now is not perfect and I’ll be the first to admit that but I don’t think a playoff is the answer to the question. I think a playoff opens up a bigger “can of worms” than what we all may realize.

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  7. And it is almost impossible for any of those sub .500 teams to win a playoff series.

    The point is, those sort of teams shouldn’t be there in the first place.

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  8. kckd

    NM, I’d say that you would be wrong in the statement. The team that most consider the best wins it about fifty percent of the time or fewer. We’re not talking about hindsight here, we’re talking about going into it.

    2007- Obviously many people felt either USC or UGA were the better team.

    2006- Most felt OSU was the best team.

    2005- Most felt USC was the best team.

    2004- Most felt USC was the best team.

    2003- Most felt USC was the best team.

    In the past five years that’d make one out of five. I also feel safe in saying that in those five years we’ve actually had the pairing of the actual one vs. two in hindsight only two times. It’s a marvelous system ain’t it?

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  9. jason

    Senator, aren’t we discussing a football playoff, why did you bring up march madness in your argument, no one has ever considered a 64 team college football playoff, the most i have ever heard has been 16, and dean, there is a possibility that the best team in the country could be a three loss team such as an sec team who lost three games by a narrow margin compared to a big 10 team with a cupcake schedule with one loss

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  10. jason, you’re missing my overall point. The MM reference was simply a rhetorical flourish. Nobody knows what sort of form an extended playoff would take. All I fear is that it would lessen the impact of the regular season, which is college football’s greatest attribute.

    Even at sixteen schools, you’re looking at watering down the field significantly. Let’s assume for argument’s sake that you’ll let all the conference champs participate in the playoffs. Here’s what the final MAC standings looked like from last season. All three MAC schools that made the postseason lost their bowl games and all had losing OOC records. So what’s the point of letting them have a shot in a NC tourney?

    And if you’re going to go with the best sixteen teams, regardless, then you’ve just let schools like Illinois in the door – Illinois, which generated all sorts of criticism for being allowed to play in the Rose Bowl. If it was wrong to be in the bowl game, why would it be right to be in the NC playoffs?

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  11. 2007- Obviously many people felt either USC or UGA were the better team.

    Not the coaches. Go to the USA Today link from Barnhart’s post and you’ll see that no one gave either school a first place vote. Georgia got seven second place votes; USC got five. That’s twelve out of sixty.

    Lest we forget, Tuberville had Hawai’i, at #4, ranked ahead of Georgia at #5.

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