Speaking truth to power

Mike Tranghese, the Big East commissioner, isn’t a playoff fan, which means he didn’t vote in favor of Mike Slive’s recent proposal for the BCS to adapt a plus-one format.

Aside from the “walks like a duck” critique of the plus-one, Tranghese doesn’t think the plus-one would have served its purpose in getting the four best teams on the field to play for the MNC.

“Last year, West Virginia loses to Pitt,” Tranghese said. “So that left us with Ohio State, LSU, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma [as the top four teams]. That would have meant Ohio State would have played Oklahoma and LSU would have played Virginia Tech.

“Meanwhile, the fifth and sixth teams were Georgia and USC. But most thought both were actually among the best four teams. So the [plus-one model] wouldn’t have solved anything.

“I saw all six teams play. And clearly Georgia and USC weren’t fifth and sixth.[Emphasis added.]


See, not all playoff opponents are idiots.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

12 responses to “Speaking truth to power

  1. kckd

    Who said the purpose is to get the four best teams into the final four? The purpose would be to assure that a team that has a legitimate claim as the best team in the country doesn’t get screwed over. Only taking two teams doesn’t assure that.

    UGA and USC had no room for crying if they didn’t make it in the top four last year. They lost twice and UGA didn’t make their conference championship game. USC lost to a team that couldn’t beat Notre Dame.


  2. kckd, I wasn’t posting this about the playoff question nearly as much as I was posting about Tranghese’s praise of Georgia.

    And while I agree with you that the best argument for a plus-one is to keep a deserving team from being locked out, I think that the amount of criticism that Ohio State has received in the past few months would indicate that there are many who think that a playoff should be about exclusion as much as it is about inclusion.


  3. I’ve never understood the “no room for crying” argument that is often applied to the 4, 6, 8, 12 or 16 team playoffs.

    OF COURSE there will still be room for crying. When the #4 seeded team in a 4 team playoff beats the overrated #1 Big 10 team, then two things will happen:
    1. The 5th seeded teams from that point on will raise miles of hell about not getting in.
    2. Mission creep will begin immediately. That’s all it takes to get another round for the playoffs.

    There’s nothing legit about a 4 team playoff seeding process in a year like last year. UGA and USC had just as much or more right to be included than VT, OU or LSU.



  4. Will

    I’m still on the fence when it comes to playoffs, but I have heard this argument several times since the end of last season. Here’s my problem with it: If we had a playoff, would the poll voters have leapfrogged LSU, VT, and Oklahoma over Georgia and USC?

    LSU, maybe, since they won Georgia’s conference. But VT and Oklahoma weren’t even mentioned in the same breath with Georgia as possible contenders at the end of the season. I especially don’t believe that VT, which had been absolutely whipped by LSU earlier, would have been given a spot with the possibility of a rematch.

    True, I’m just supposing here, but so is everyone else who trots out the “Georgia and USC would still have been left out” argument.

    And I still don’t have a problem with UGA being left out of last year’s MNC game; I do, however, have a problem with us being the inaugural “they didn’t win their conference so they don’t deserve to play for the MNC” team.


  5. I’ve never understood the “no room for crying” argument that is often applied to the 4, 6, 8, 12 or 16 team playoffs.

    OF COURSE there will still be room for crying.

    If anything, there will be more crying as the tournament expands. How much difference is there between #16 and #17 anyway?


  6. Sam

    There would be millions of fans crying and whining with a four team playoff, and rightfully so. All BCS conference champs HAVE to get a pass just to acknowledge representation and “perceived” differences of power between the various conference fanbases. So that is six entries. Now you have to allow access to other Division 1 schools who may have a special year (Utah, Boise, Notre Dame, Fresno, etc.), or a highly rated conference non-winner (“wildcard”) team.

    Unless you go to eight teams, there will be legit complaints by those who feel slighted if their conference isn’t represented. And with six, you have to decide who gets the “bye”, and that is a nother set of arguments.
    While someone can argue who would be the 8th or 9th, it is a trivial argument by an insignificant minority. All of those arguing would have lost their conference, played a so-so schedule and been beaten by someone….in other words, they had a fair shot at getting in.

    A playoff would not guarantee the best team would emege on top, but it would give us a champion 98%+ of all CFB fans would accept….just like in Basketball, Baseball, etc., etc. There hasn’t been a year in the history of CFB that where that has happened before. There is always a decent case to be made that someone didn’t play their way to the mythical title claimed by one, two, or three teams. I don’t recall one that I could say was the “true” champion and defend against all arguments from someone. Just too subjective. While nothing is perfect, I think a simple 8 team playoff will put all logical arguments to rest.


  7. There hasn’t been a year in the history of CFB that where that has happened before.

    Sam, you sound like Urban Meyer. 😉

    Seriously, you honestly think there’s a debate about Texas/Southern Cal in 2005?


  8. kckd

    No fifth ranked team will ever have as good an argument as Auburn in 2004, USC in 2003, Miami or Washington in 2000, etc. etc. etc.

    You all can say that if you go to four, no. 5 will bitch, 16 no. 17 will bitch, 32 no. 33 will bitch all you want.

    There is no, no. 65 or 66 team who has gotten as much pub in basketball for being left out of the tourney as Auburn got in 2004 or USC got in 2003.

    That argument is pure BS. Now, I’ve said that I’d never want it to go past eight teams and I would be satisfied with four. But I think the whole no. 5, no. 9, no. 16 argument is total horse sh!t. And anyone who argues that point is grasping at straws for a reason not to have a playoff.

    If you wanna argue it’ll expand, that’s a good argument, but the “there will always be a team complaining” is bull crap.


  9. Sam

    Not disputing that the USC/Texas Rose Bowl game was a classic, and maybe the best season ending bowl game ever. Probably they were the two best teams, but neither beat the SEC Cahamp that year, and who knows what WVU would have done to either USC or Texas. That is the problem with not having conference champs involved, it doesn’t provide a direct correlation of conference powers. (I have no doubt that UGA would have beaten WVU if the game hadn’t been held in Atlanta…the 3rd straight game in Atlanta couldn’t feel that special.) My point is the “best of the best”, SEC Champ wasn’t included in 2002, 2004, or 2005. Auburn has the best case ever for complaining, but UGA could make a case too, especially in 2002. Since the SEC has won EVERY time they have played in BCS finale, how can you exclude the possibility? Of course there is doubt. I wouldn’t exclude UGA or WVU against either Texas or USC. Come on, they are SEC champs and could hang with anyone. In a playoff they wouldn’t have been the favorite, but neither Texas or USC would have liked to have drawn either in a playoff. (I beleive that was the year USC had to come back in the 2nd half to beat Stanford.

    People forget, the pollsters were ready to annoit the 2006 Ohio State team as “perhaps the best team EVER” in CFB before they got drilled by a pretty average Florida team. Just shows what the media can do to perception, and that is why a playoff is the only way to know. (I say the same about the UGA 1980 team that Dawg fans claim a “NC” for. I say there has never been a NC in Division 1A, and as long as accept the “media champ”, we will never get one.


  10. His statement assumes that the voters wouldn’t have maneuvered the teams to fit the top four instead of what we ended with as the top four going into the bowls last season — much like how they moved LSU into #2.

    When only two teams go on, it doesn’t matter much who ends #3 and #4 right now, but you could bet that would change if four teams moved on.


  11. MontgomeryALDawg

    creep considered, this is about money, teams are invested and dependant on the 12th game. How come I only see frequently the 4, 8 or 16 team numbers for a playoff. I’m for a 12 team, seeds 1-4 with a bye, seeds 5-8 with a home game for round 1, neutral site “sponsored/name brand” games from then on. A top 12 seed is attainable from a non-BCS Conf. and traditional bowls could still pursue winning record teams from seed 13 down.

    I also agree with Will and Jason that a 4 team would have resulted in a different end of regular season vote.


  12. Sam

    Montgomery, the 12 team would require significant changes to the current system, and thus increase opposition to it. The eight not only allows all major players that year a spot, it can be accommodated with out losing the 12th game, the conference championships, or the existing bowls.

    Four games played at the highest ranked teams’ stadium in mid december, two weeks after the three CGs. Four winners meet in two bowls currently in the BCS, the two winners play in mid January in a middle of the country domed stadium for the title. Enough time for travel, guaranteed good weather, and within 3 hours flight for all attending the title game (Dallas, San Antonio, or St. Louis are the 3 most likely spots.) For my money, the four losers in mid-December could go to bowls as well. This would increase revenue, not cut it by eliminating four Top 10 teams, and losing the 12th game for ALL schools. That would be unsaleable for sure. Split the TV revenues among all 119 teams to provide financial incentive for smaller schools to endorse this plan. You don’t need 12 to make the eventual champion acceptable/credible, but you do need more than 4, imo.