Welcome to the party, pal.

Good to see someone else in the Dawgnation jump into the BCS/playoffs hot tub, as Paul Westerdawg adds his thoughts about why a playoff would be bad for college football.

Unlike me, Paul’s primary concern isn’t mission creep, although he certainly acknowledges that it’s a valid reason to be concerned, but rather more of a “the devil’s in the details” one that’s reminiscent of something I posted early on at my blog.

My issue is related to the NCAA’s fundamental inability to develop a system whereby the “Best” eight teams make the playoffs. To architect a playoff system for college football today would require so much compromise, consensus building and caveats to get sign off, avoid Anti-Trust Law Suits from small conferences and to include all the appropriate TV Partners that it would create a dramatically more frustrating system than what we have today.

I don’t argue with what he writes, but I do think that the matters he cites would wind up simply adding more fuel to the expansion fire. I will say that I don’t think you need an eight team playoff to fix the “Auburn 2004” problem of more than two undefeated teams left standing in the top four of the rankings at the end of the regular season; a four team playoff handles that problem just fine.

Paul does a good job of illustrating why devising a limited playoff format to fix the ills of a specific BCS postseason is an almost impossible task. He uses the 2006 season as an example, but 2007 would have been just as hard to address. My worry is that the easiest way to address his problem is to expand the tourney enough to satisfy those left out.

Of course, if you want a playoff, as most of Paul’s commenters do, this really doesn’t matter much. After all, as I’ve said before, for those folks, playoffs will fix anything.


UPDATE: While Paul focuses on the horse trading obstacles to overcome in setting up a playoff format to determine which schools get a shot at the brass ring, here’s a look at a different question:  would the winner of the tournament be any more the “true champion” than the team that wins today’s BCS championship game?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The Blogosphere

2 responses to “Welcome to the party, pal.

  1. kckd

    In answer to your question:

    In a four team playoff yes. The problem with college football is you have over a hundred teams (60 plus in good/great conferences) and different conference strengths. A four team playoff would limit it to teams who had great seasons and allow them to decide it on the field.

    I’m at least glad that you seem to be believing that there is no way college football in it’s current structure can deliver the top two teams with this format that they have most years. At one time it seemed you believed naively that the two team playoff had a better shot of giving a true champion than any other playoff format.

    An eight team playoff would probably give us the best team if it were limited to conference champions and a couple of at larges IMO.

    Any one with an IQ over 50 can tell that having coaches vote to pick two teams is not a logical way to do this when you have little evidence telling you how good they are in comparison with everyone else. If OU and OSU or USC were to go undefeated this year and UGA lose one game, UGA would be done. But if we can get through the schedule this year with only one loss, I’d like our chances against anyone out there.


  2. At one time it seemed you believed naively that the two team playoff had a better shot of giving a true champion than any other playoff format.

    It’s not that. It’s that I’m skeptical of the tradeoff and how it affects the regular season. I think it’s pretty much an even deal between a two team and four team playoff, so I’m not concerned about the effect of a “plus-one” in that regard.

    But as a playoff gets bigger – particular if there’s a subjective element to qualification – I’m not so sanguine.

    BTW, what did you think about Wetherell’s comments about a D-1 playoff?