But they’re settling it on the field!, continued.

I hate to keep interrupting the narrative, but these pesky stories turn up and they’re worth bringing to your attention.  There are two for you today.

First up, the expansion of the 1-AA tournament from 16 to 20 teams is being met with some approval, mixed with a little “we’ll figure it out as we go along”.  (h/t Team Speed Kills)

“I think any time you’re able to provide more access, so more institutions can be part of the tournament, it’s a good thing,” said Massachussetts athletic director John McCutcheon, who chairs the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee. “We’re going to have some learning-curve issues to deal with, probably, the first year that we move to this format, but I think all in all it’s going to be a positive addition to the playoffs.”

More interesting to me, though, is the criticism from one of the coaches whose team plays in the title game.

Montana coach Bobby Hauck, whose Grizzlies are in the championship game for the second straight year and seventh time overall, has a much different opinion.

“It’s a disastrous decision on every level,” he said…

That’s pretty cut and dried.  What’s the problem?

… Montana athletic director Jim O’Day and Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb are on the championship committee, and both opposed changing the current format.

While he supports more teams having the chance to play in the postseason — there are 118 FCS teams — O’Day said he’s very concerned about the physical toll the lengthened season will have on the players and the economics of the switch.

“When we assessed it from our point of view at the University of Montana, we figured it was probably going to cost us another $100,000 to keep the kids over Christmas,” O’Day said. “The dorms are closed, the dining services at the university are closed, so we’ll have to be (living) off campus and eating off campus…”

Also, competition.

… University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach Russ Huesman said he liked the 16-team format because with only a few exceptions every team in the field had a chance to win the title.

“I think every team that’s in the tournament should have a chance to win the tournament, and that’s not the case (with the expanded field),” he said. “They’re adding four teams that have no shot to win the thing.”

Ultimately, Huesman said, the NCAA “can do what they want. My job is to win games and try to get in it.”

Now there’s a ringing endorsement.  Seriously, some probably see that as a feature not a bug, as Cinderellas tend to spice up a multi-round tournament.

The other story is for those of you who pooh-pooh all that “devalue the regular season” concern about a playoff that people like me have.   There’s nothing to worry about, right?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

21 responses to “But they’re settling it on the field!, continued.

  1. Puffdawg

    “My job is to win games and try to get in it.”

    Two things-
    (1) Remember when I said the focus would change from winning the conference to winning 80% of your games? That quote sums it up.
    (2) Does this quote lead you to believe there will be more competitive out of conference games?


  2. jt

    I get that one of the arguments against a playoff would be that teams might rest their starters to gear up for the playoff run, and I would agree if college was set up the same way as the NFL.

    Would the season schedules then be changed to eliminate the traditional end of year matchups?

    I just can’t see us sitting starters against Tech, or ‘bama doing the same against Auburn, etc.


  3. hodgie

    This devealuethe regular season argument is old and tired and is invalid. Let’s look at it from the other side. If a team like the 2009 UGA bulldogs loses a game, essentially they have no chance of making it to the Natl Champ game. Therefore, thheir regular season was devalued after Ok St. I don’t get this arguement and I think it is wrong.


    • hodgie

      My typing was horrendous on this comment. Sorry, I was doing it through my phone. Please no comments about how my statements must be stupid because I can’t spell. I really get tired of seeing that posted on here too.


    • Hackerdog

      You’re looking at it backwards. Because one loss can cost you a shot at a national title, each game is very important.

      On the playoff side, you can look at the NFL Colts, who will probably approach their final 3 games like pre-season tuneups and play their starters a series or two. That’s because those games don’t matter at all.


  4. Noonan

    Let me tell you whose regular season was devalued: Auburn in 2003.


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    The comments by the Montana athletic director bring into focus a baseline argument against an extended playoff: these are still college students who play college football for a college. That’s sort of the flip side of the all about the money problem.

    I know I’m gonna get flack about the money, which is true to a large extent. However, a line is crossed somewhere when a college football team is back in town staying in hotels and eating in restaurants or outside banquest facilities, just so they can play a game that’s financially lucrative for the institution.

    The same thing probably goes on at FBS Schools with the bowl practice schedule, but if and when a playoff schedule looks more like the NFL, and they’re playing regularly while school is out, they’re just that much farther down a slippery slope to being totally used for revenue and toward being licensed fund raisers for the athletic departments. Maybe I’m spitting in the wind but there is such a thing as too much.


    • rbubp

      I think you’re exactly right, and I think that and the travel/wear and tear issue on 1. the players, and 2. the fans’ wallets, are the best, most practical reasons any playoff would have to be limited.

      Nonetheless, “playoff creep” would always be a problem, the Senator is right about this. I think, though, it’s pick your poison: death by opinion and controversy or death by opinion and controversy. So when we get that out of the way, would you rather argue about who the best team is and why we don’t get better OOC matchups after the regular season ends and why my team plays the same damn inferior Big 10 opponent again and again, or would you rather argue about how to structure the playoff?

      In short, we can whine and bitch over anything. Do you want to play the games or think about playing them?


  6. wheaton4prez

    The “value of regular season” comparison with the NFL is debunked with simple math.

    NFL: 37% – 12 of 32 teams are represented in the play-offs.

    8 Team D1 Play-off: 6% – 8 of 120 teams represented.

    16 team D1 Play-off: 13% – 16 of 120 teams represented.

    Making that difference even more substantial is that NFL teams play 17 game seasons. D1 teams typically play 12-13.

    D1 football has effectively zero risk of diminishing the importance of regular season games by adopting an 8 or even a 16 game play-off.


    • Hackerdog

      Your argument is obviously deficient.

      First, let’s look at the SECCG between Florida and Alabama ranked #1 & #2. Under an 8 or 16-team playoff, both teams would still get in the playoff, regardless of the outcome. Let’s say Tebow has a sore shoulder. We all know how poorly UF plays when Tebow has a sore shoulder. Do you think Meyer’s goal would be to risk Tebow’s health on a conference championship game, knowing that his shoulder would be no better for the playoff, and he may possibly lose Tebow (if he further injured himself) for the duration of the playoffs? Or would he sit Tebow, concede the loss, and try to keep his powder dry for the playoffs?

      The obvious answer is #2. And that is called, devaluing the regular season.


      • wheaton4prez

        First you say that my argument is deficient. Then you don’t even address the argument that you replied to. Interesting.

        Regarding the argument you made, I think it’s complete hyperbole to suggest that any devaluing would affect a group of games resembling an entire season.

        You could argue that a play-off might devalue one game for one team that finds itself in the circumstance of playing the #1 or #2 team in the nation at the end of the season. Does that sound like devaluing “the regular season” as in the other 1000+ games? Is there any other game during the entire season where you could say that a team could have taken a knee on and not risked dropping from the top 8?

        There are two ways in which such a situation could be avoided. One would be to award higher seeded teams with the choice of venue. So, those teams could pick a bowl location for the first play-off game that is closer to home. Also, if the rankings included weight for points, losing big, even to a top team, could cause a significant drop in the rankings.


        • Hackerdog

          You argue that the regular season wouldn’t be devalued, then deny making that argument, then make the argument again. Interesting.

          And what is complete hyperbole is taking an example that I give where the SECCG is rendered meaningless and extrapolating that to misrepresent my argument as stating that every single regular season game for every single team would be meaningless.

          In order for a team to lose and remain in the top 8, the team would need to be ranked highly. But I don’t think the planets need to align for it to happen.


          • wheaton4prez

            Every “Regular Season” is comprised of many games. No?

            Your example of one game that MIGHT be compromised, by itself, is not the entire “Regular Season.” No?

            Therefore, it is hyperbole to suggest that the entire season (commonly referred to here as “the regular season”) would be devalued by a play-off when what you really mean is that one game out of the 1000+ games comprising the regular season MIGHT be compromised.

            In order for a team to know that they can take a game off it would, in most cases have to be one of two undefeated teams and it would have to occur at the end of a season where there weren’t many other teams with comparable records. This happens once, if at all, per season. In other words, only when the planets align.

            On that scale, I say so what? I already pointed out a way that something could be at stake for such a game. But, even if there wasn’t, is this seriously what these dire warnings about devaluing the regular season are all about? One game every 2-3 years where a top ranked team knows they can lose and still be in?


            • Hackerdog

              You’re making the straw man argument of 1000+ regular season games again when it obviously doesn’t apply.

              I gave an example of a game from this year that would no longer matter under a playoff system. That you don’t like that fact doesn’t give you license to ignore it.

              Here’s another inconvenient fact for you. A playoff of 8 games or more would have to include the 6 BCS conference champions as automatic qualifiers. Given that the UGA vs. GA Tech game has no bearing on the conference championship (or FLA vs. FSU, or USC vs. Clemson), then those games become much less meaningful in terms of playoff standings. Teams would be more likely to rest starters in those games in order to prepare for conference championship games and the playoffs.

              Ultimately, I think those games may even stop being scheduled in favor of more cream puffs as tuneups for the games that really count (playoffs).