Since I’m stirring the pot anyway…

on the subject of playoffs, let me toss out a couple of thoughts I’ve had this morning about a four-team postseason in the context of 2009.

  • Mike Slive’s “plus one”. I’ve got a real simple question here:  has anybody thought about the pressure that would have been brought to bear to include Florida in the top four of the final regular season BCS rankings if that meant playing in a national semi-final championship game?  (Which really means the pressure brought on the human voters in the polls, of course.)  It would have been insane.
  • BCS Guru’s “Playoff that works”. I posted favorably about his proposed format back in the spring.  If it were in effect, we’d be preparing to watch Alabama host TCU and Texas host Cincinnati this weekend, with the winners playing in the national title game and the losers playing in BCS games in the first week of January.  How much happier would you be with that?

47 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

47 responses to “Since I’m stirring the pot anyway…

  1. Bob

    Immeasurably happier with either, because omitting a Florida team with one loss is a lot simpler to sell to a true fan than omitting Cincy/TCU because their tradition isn’t as rich and their presence in a title game can’t be counted on to juice ratings.

    Blutarsky, by disagreeing you further cement the notion that you are a fan of the business of college football and not the game itself. Absolutely criminal that old men in suits get to decide who has the chance to compete for a title.

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    • “Further cement”? You mean you were less sure about my leanings when you made the same comment an hour and a half ago? 😉

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      • Bob

        Yeah, that’s right. And it’s a shame because I like everything you write here so much. I just don’t understand how someone with such a level headed approach to UGa, who seems like a real fan and who writes articulately (implying that you think articulately) can come to a conclusion that players or fans benefit from the current setup.

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        • Turd Ferguson

          “SEEMS like a real fan”?

          If he supported a playoff, would that remove all doubt in your mind?

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        • Will Q

          The old men in suits would still decide who gets to play for the national title with any of the most prominent play-off proposals on the table right now because they are all based on the polls.

          The only way to get the old men in suits out of the equation is to have conference champions only in the playoffs.

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        • But, again, that’s misconstruing my position.

          I’m not defending the current setup. I’m simply vehemently opposed to an extended playoff. There’s a very big difference between the two.

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      • Prov

        Did you see where the basketball tournament is looking at expanding to 96 teams? That would be awesome for football!

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  2. Dog in Fla

    “How much happier would you be with that?”

    Alabama hosting TCU and Texas hosting Cincinnati would make me even more happy that I am now.

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  3. MT

    Hadn’t seen the BCS Guru’s proposed playoff before…

    I like it a LOT more than any other playoff proposition I have seen (I have been staunch anti-playoff), with one caveat:

    MANDATE a conference championship game! Adding a playoff structure on top of a SEC/ACC/B-12 championship game puts those teams at a distinct disadvantage vs the non-champ. gamers. One more game to get a key player injured. One more game to lose against a strong opponent…

    And for a conference like the Big10, the money should be there, if they are as big of football fans as we are led to believe.

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    • rbubp

      It’s great. Can we do it in 2010? I’d be happy with that!

      Frankly, having four teams involved would solve a lot of problems, because usually by this time of year (what, 9 years out of 10? more?) there is a clear separation between the top 1-4 teams and the rest of the pack.

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    • rbubp

      “MANDATE a conference championship game! Adding a playoff structure on top of a SEC/ACC/B-12 championship game puts those teams at a distinct disadvantage vs the non-champ. gamers.”

      While I agree about the mandate, it actually has helped teams to be in a championship in the current set-up. You just have to go back and look at how teams that won in the week tended to leapfrog others and be in position to play another winner of and undefeated.

      It makes no difference if you’re undefeated and no one else is (Ohio State), but it helps greatly to play in a champ game if you already have a loss (SEC teams). Conversely, if you do have a loss and no champ game, you have no shot of getting into it when others are playing (USC).

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    • drothgery

      Great.

      As soon you can find 4 legit BCS conference teams to join the Big East so we can stage a conference championship — and do it without raiding the ACC or Big Ten (oh, and you need a 12th Big Ten school, too), we’ll go ahead with your plan. The Pac 10 won’t like adding the Utah contingent, but I guess they have to deal.

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      • RedCrake

        Why do they have to be legit? It’s not like all the bottom feeder teams in the other conferences really deserve to be there either.

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        • rbubp

          Go raid the MAC. Central Michigan is actually ranked, aren’t they?

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        • Puffdawg

          That’s assuming those conferences don’t already have bottom feeders, which is obviously untrue. Then the better teams in those conferences would have a cake walk to get into what ultimately winds up being a 2 or 3 game season.

          The reason I am completely against going to a playoff system is because there will always be complaints. There will never be a system that isn’t flawed. So why risk sabotaging the greatest regular season system in sports?

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          • rbubp

            YOU think it’s the greatest regular season system.

            Many others think it’s pretty bad that so many regular seasons are relegated to exhibition status in this system.

            The only people who are happy with paper winners are the winners on paper.

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            • rbubp

              Sorry, that was kinda stupid. Oh well, it’s late.

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            • Puffdawg

              “YOU think it’s the greatest regular season system.”

              We’ve already established that this is an opinion discussion. CBS and ESPN will back me up that there are plenty of people who don’t think it’s so bad.

              “Many others think it’s pretty bad that so many regular seasons are relegated to exhibition status in this system.”

              Why do you follow it if it’s so bad? And I think we’ve already established, at least nobody has disputed my argument, that the “exhibition games” would not go away by simply instituting a playoff. It is fairly obvious that just going undefeated is the best way to get to the top of the ranking, so there’s no incentive to eliminate said games. Also, schools schedule weaker schools because those schools don’t require a return visit ( said another way, “sacrificing a home game next season”), thus making it a lucrative deal for the bigger schools. I am not saying I enjoy beating up on the small schools. In fact, I LOVE playing big OOC games like Okie State this year. What I am saying is there is no reason to believe this practice would go away with a playoff.

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              • rbubp

                “Why do you follow it if it’s so bad”

                Because I like football and it’s my school. I like pizza too. Some places have great pizza and others have lousy pizza…but I like pizza enough that I will enjoy it almost anywhere even if I know it’s crappy pizza.

                But I never said anything converse to “the greatest”–I never said “the worst.” I tend to agree with the Senator–what we have is better than what we’ve ever had. I still like it. It’s just very, very flawed. Not bad, not great, just not as good as it could be.

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                • Puffdawg

                  Fair enough. I like pizza too.

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                • what we have is better than what we’ve ever had. I still like it. It’s just very, very flawed. Not bad, not great, just not as good as it could be.

                  And here’s the thing: looking at the cast of characters involved in this debate/battle, who do you trust to get the postseason right? And why?

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                  • rbubp

                    Because many of those characters got it right in other forums. The D 1-AA playoff has been pretty minimal for a long time and works as a starting-point football model. Somebody made it. The basketball and baseball tournaments work. The BB tourney expanded overly rapidly but has now had a stable format for almost 25 years. The CWS is one of the most unique and interesting things in sports and takes a (IMO) lame sport with an invisible regular-season and makes it downright exciting. Even with little league bats!

                    Although they are in serious error in not yet having consulting you, Senator, myself, and Puffdawg. We’d get that crap straightened out.

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                    • Puffdawg

                      I gotcha on there being more, better OOC games in a tourney. No doubt about that, but you’re only talking about a couple more entertaining games a year. And that’s if you count Boise versus Cincinnati as entertaining! But my problem is that the entertaining ones during the actual season would be reduced from an emotional standpoint because you live to fight another day. You say “many of those characters got it right in other forums” but who honestly gives a shit about the NCAA BB regular season? Or the baseball season? The emotion is just not there, from game to game, like it is in football. Did they really get it right?

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                    • rbubp

                      I thing another thing about college sports that is a factor in regular-season quality is the rivalries. That won’t change. I live out in Big 12 country now and never had any idea what a great rivalry Kansas-Missouri is–it is a lot like Georgia-Ga Tech. Every time those two get together on a basketball court it’s blood sport. I love watching them play, as it’s really intense. Same for Duke-UNC.

                      I think that would still translate to football.

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              • rbubp

                “What I am saying is there is no reason to believe this practice would go away with a playoff.”

                Yeah, I’m sure it wouldn’t. But I personally can live with that if it means having better, more interesting, meaningful games at the end of the year. Essentially, if you want better OOC games, than a playoff is the thing.

                You like CFB? Than perhaps you like it enough to have a few more good games with the “best atmosphere ever in CFB” (Brandy, whatever) between non-traditional opponents? You know, games that really mean something and have a lot of drama?

                Or maybe we’re just better with Georgia Tech-Iowa. I know I am REALLY STOKED about that one and all the rest, man!

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              • rbubp

                “What I am saying is there is no reason to believe this practice would go away with a playoff.”

                Yeah, I’m sure it wouldn’t. But here’s another way to look at that–essentially, if you want better OOC games, than a playoff is the thing.

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                • Puffdawg

                  But again, even if there were a playoff, why would these type of games go away? Do athletic directors currrently schedule games because they are scared of losing or because they can get a one deal contract where they maximize their potential home games each season. I tend to believe the latter, though I don’t know the absolute answer to that question and it may vary from AD to AD. But that is the question that lies at the center of this issue. I do think there is a trend in the past five years at SOME schools (UF excluded obviously) where ADs are becoming more aggressive on the scheduling front BECAUSE it is so hard to get into the BCS title game and they want to improve the brand of their school. Would a playoff have the reverse effect on this practice?

                  Bottom line is these lousy games will never go away.

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                  • rbubp

                    I didn’t say they would go away.

                    I am saying, If you like good OOC games, you would better-quality ones with a playoff–IN THE PLAYOFF.

                    Or would you rather watch that Iowa State-Minnesota bowl game?

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                    • rbubp

                      I mean, I know that’s an OOC game and all. Why can’t we replace that with fewer games that are infinitely more interesting?

                      Do you like CFB? If you do, don;t want more games worth a damn at the end of the year? ‘Cause right now we have 90+% crapola.

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        • drothgery

          Okay, then, we’ll take Kentucky from the SEC (because we’ve already got their traditional rival, and unlike the SEC, we actually care about basketball), Penn State from the Big Ten (all their traditional rivals are in the Big East), BC (former Big East member) and Maryland (long-time rival of WVU, geographically convenient) from the ACC, Notre Dame (already a Big East member for everything except football), and let USF go and the other conferences can add sucky teams (well, one of them gets USF, which is okay).

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  4. sUGArdaddy

    The Senator’s not an idiot, it’s just that he understands the can of worms a playoff will probably open. In the current system, there is no margin for error, and that is part of the allure of CFB. Brando called Saturday night in the dome the greatest atmosphere in the history of college football. The winner KNEW they were in. The loser KNEW they were out. In an eight team playoff, that game would have essentially meant little more than home field advantage or who gets to wear their dark jerseys in the quarterfinals. How can anyone think that is good for college football?

    MT above has it right. The first problem we need ot address is mandate conference championships to be decided the same. If Bama and Florida were in the Big 10, we’d have had a hot mess. The Big East needs to raid C-USA and get 12 teams. The Big 10 needs to add ND. The Pac-10 needs to add 4 to become the first Super conference: Boise St., Utah, BYU, TCU. Everyone has a confernce championship game and we’d know a lot better who the best 2 teams are. Then they need to mandate scheduling. No less than 9 BCS conference opponents in a season. That would force every team to AT LEAST play a schedule like Bama’s or Florida’s this year. We’re trying to fix a problem with broken pieces and it’s never going to work.

    The bottom line is that it’s entirely possible in our current system for the Big-10 to have 2 conference champions. OSU and Iowa both went 8-0 in 2002. Yet everyone else is guaranteed by head-to-head or championship games to have only one champion. It’s ridiculous.

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  5. BirdDAWG

    How about a Plus 2 system:
    Keep bowls exactly the way they are: 4 BCS bowls.
    Winners in semifinals following week – home field highest seeds.
    Winners play week before Super bowl ( 2wks rest) predetermined location.
    KISS

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  6. Connor

    No crying for Boise? What more would they have to do?
    Someone explain to me how a 4 team playoff is fair? You will still have undefeated conference champions left out.
    For those who fear playoff creep, you need not look all the way to div 2 or the NCAA basketball tournament. We are seeing playoff creep right now. The 2 team BCS playoff is being pressured to expand. 4 teams. 8 teams. There are 11 conferences in the FBS, plus some independents; if you really want to do a playoff, don’t all of the conference champions have to be in?

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  7. RedCrake

    RedCrake’s “The Whole Season is a Playoff”

    BCS supporters and other general anti-playoff ne’er-do-wells are fond of saying that the whole regular season is a playoff. In my infinite facetiousness, I propose we take them at their word and actually make the whole regular season a playoff.

    That’s right…. 120 team playoff — lasting the whole regular season. How would the teams be seeded? Pre-season polls of course (since the writers know everything before the season anyway).

    #120 Western Kentucky vs. #1 Florida.

    Sorry Western Kentucky…you’re eliminated after Week 1….your season is over.

    After 3 weeks when the number are no longer even, highest seeds start getting byes.

    Georgia’s season would have been over after Week 1. Just think of all the trouble that would have saved us. Oregon has their best team in years but they would be out after Week 1 as well.

    Just think of all the coaching carousel possibilities.

    Entertaining insanity, I tell you.

    While my tongue may be planted firmly in cheek, this isn’t really any crazier than some of the other aspects of modern college football.

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  8. Uh, I’d be pretty stoked about option #2.

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  9. KingDawg

    If strong OOC games were “required”, a playoff would not be nearly as necessary most years. The required OOC games would work as follows.

    Fifty teams would be included. There would be two semi-random games played by each team during the season. Each team would be guaranteed one home and one away game. Two weekends would be pre-determined for these games.

    The fifty teams would be selected as follows:
    (1) Any team in the top 25 standings from the previous year based on BCS or some other agreed upon method.
    (2) The top 25 teams over the last 5 years average based on the same method that were not in the top 25 the previous years.
    Each team would have one game against a team from group 1 and one game against a team from group 2.
    No team could play a team that is already on its schedule.

    The “selection show” is held in the spring and televised nationally for almost guaranteed great ratings.

    You can tweak the numbers to 40, 50, or 60 teams if you like.

    Under this scenario, it is unlikely teams would be so untested at the end of the year (Boise, TCU, Cincinatti, even Texas, Bama, and UF are untested out of conference). It would not make things perfect but it would clear up a lot of confusion about undefeated teams. Once-beaten teams would still exist however their OOC strength would be easier to judge.

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  10. Puffdawg

    Anybody watching the Hawks game? Two moron commentators begging for playoff who can’t name all the undefeated teams. Comical.

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  11. Mayor of Dawgtown

    While I admire the Guru’s inventiveness, you only have to go back 1 year to see his proposal is unworkable. Under his plan, for 2008 Texas is out of the playoff but Oklahoma is in–and Texas beat Oklahoma during the 2008 season. That is exactly what so many thought was wrong with the BCS in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the BCS. But do we need to replace it with something equally bad or worse?Only fair way to do it is a 16 team seeded playoff similar to the old basketball playoff. Will somebody get left out? Sure. But with that many schools in it the top team will at least always be included. In 2008 the 2 best teams, Utah and Texas were excluded.

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    • Unworkable?

      Don’t blame what happened to Texas last year on the BCS. That’s the Big XII’s fault. The solution to that is for the conference to adjust its formula for picking a division champ.

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      • rbubp

        Or for Texas not to lose to teams other than Oklahoma.

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        You can’t just say the conference champ is in a playoff and exclude other more deserving teams like Texas in 2008 and UGA in 2007 and have a workable playoff that produces a really worthy champion. The comment wasn’t about the BCS. It was about the Guru’s idea.

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        • You can’t just say the conference champ is in a playoff and exclude other more deserving teams like Texas in 2008 and UGA in 2007 and have a workable playoff that produces a really worthy champion.

          You can if you refashion D-1 into a smaller block of, say, eighty schools arranged in eight power conferences. In my opinion, “win your conference to play for the national title” is by far the best way to structure the postseason.

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          • Puffdawg

            Senator,

            If there were a playoff implemented and only conference champs from the current setup were invited, would you think that to be “fair?”

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            • No – giving the winner of the Sun Belt a playoff slot while denying, say, Florida one (remember, UF beat Troy 56-6) doesn’t work.

              There are too many D-1 teams currently to make a conference-champs only playoff format feasible. That’s why I think you need to lop off the forty weakest programs and form a new power division.

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