“… we have to be able to make the case we played the toughest competition possible.”

Stewart Mandel explores the possibility that a four-team playoff may result in regular season scheduling becoming more challenging, possibly by design (Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione suggests the possibility of a selection committee, à la what the NCAA does with basketball) or by necessity, which is the position Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s influential AD finds his school in, given that it can’t be a conference champ.

“If you’re going to be an independent in a world with a limited number of postseason spots in a playoff or plus-one, you have to rebut the pretty strong presumption that conference champions should be there,” said Swarbrick. “We all assume the SEC champion will be in position to be there next year, so as an independent, we have to be able to make the case we played the toughest competition possible.”

Interesting that he mentions a particular conference there.

You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?  If D-1 football goes down this road and incorporates a strength of schedule component into its playoff criteria, that’s going to run smack into the SEC’s current insistence that its eight-game conference schedule is tough enough.  What will Slive do if the computers and/or a selection committee say otherwise?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, SEC Football

35 responses to ““… we have to be able to make the case we played the toughest competition possible.”

  1. Billy Mumphrey

    Why do I get the feeling the powers that be are going to make this much more complicated than necessary?


  2. TennesseeDawg

    Take all 120 D1 teams and start the playoffs in week 1. Then we can have a true champion.


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Tennessee, I trust that is with a touch of humor. it made me smile at the possibility of an early upset of a big football factory, causing a ONE GAME SEASON.


      • TennesseeDawg

        But we need to settle it on the field! It’s the only way to be sure!


      • UGLYDAWG

        But a loss would simply put you in the losers bracket…not to end the season but to play other losers. So you would have no idea what your schedule would be from one week to another. It would work with some sports, but football…nah.


        • ScooBoo

          So it’s double elimination now? Sweet!


          • UGLYDAWG

            Nope. Losers brackets would stay just that. After a loss, you’re playing for the sake of the game……………………………………………………………………………………..
            This whole thread is just a spoof……ain’t it?


            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Basically that is what we are supposed to have now with the regular season. It is when the regular season results are ignored that things get questionable. Last season 2 teams played each other twice and split but the one that won the last game got the crystal trophy. Is that right or fair? UGA never got to play Bama. How do we know that the SEC East Champs wouldn’t have kicked the Tide’s asses? Same for Oregon. Bama got a second chance. Some really good teams didn’t get a first chance.


  3. Joe

    I think it goes against a 9 game schedule. Now each team has the chance for one more win vs at least a loss for one of the conference teams. It is better to stay at 8 IMO for SOS. Losses, even in conference hurt more than a weak win OOC. Look at the TCU and BSUs of the world; their weak SOS wins always counted for more than a tough SOS loss. (Absurd when you think about it).


  4. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Funny to hear those comments from Notre Dame, who gets Top 10 billing heading into every season because their schedule looks so easy.

    Hey, since everyone else is going to 9 games in conference, maybe Notre Dame can start scheduling some SEC teams.


  5. Cousin Eddie

    “limited number of postseason spots in a playoff or plus-one”

    The creep up has begun already, last month it was a plus one now it is a playoff or plus-one.


  6. WarDawg

    Senator, do you think there’s *any* chance that the 8 conference games tough talk is simply part of the TV deal negotiations? If the networks think that the SEC *needs* 9 conference games, that would obviously impact their (the SEC’s) leverage in marketing the product. To me, the 9 conference games is the trump card that the SEC is waiting to play when they’ve reached the limit of what the networks are willing to offer.

    Or is that just wishful thinking on my part that we get to 9 games sooner rather than later?


  7. DawgFaithful

    God I hope you’re right Senator. If strength of schedule was a key factor in deciding like Basketball, we would have to go to a 9 game conference schedule. For what its worth, I prefer a 6 team playoff with the top 2 teams getting a first round bye. Thoughts?


  8. Connor

    I really hope that they go with a selection committee if a four team playoff is instituted. Nothing says objective fairness like a group of people cloistered in a room deciding who gets in and how they will be seeded. What an improvement that will be over the debacle that has ruled the sport for the last 15 years.


  9. Comin' Down The Track

    Why is it that every single thing about Notre Dame piss me off? They’re like the dim blonde girl in high school who sits in the front row, memorizes her notes, makes straight A’s but still doesn’t know what any of it means. Gah, what a bunch of pansies.


  10. RobDawg01

    My two cents…on TennesseeDawg’s Year long tournament

    -Make EIGHT, 16 team conferences with two divisions of 8 teams each. It’s headed in this direction anyway. Schedule: 7 intra-division games, 2 rotating Conference games, 3 OOC.
    -Win your Division and play in the Conference Championship Game the first week of Dec.
    -Win the Conference Championship and Seed an 8 team Tournament of Champions based on the AP Poll.
    -Quarterfinals in Rotating Bowl games the Second week of Dec.
    -Semis at Rotating current BCS Bowls on Jan 1
    -Championship at Rotating Current BCS Bowl the following week.

    Additionally, ALL Bowl Games are no longer held to Conference affiliation (may maintain it if desired – looking at you Rose Bowl), 7 Wins required for a Bowl Berth. All bowl money must be equally distributed to all teams in the conference (see below for the “why”)

    Results in…
    -More Div 1 (or whatever you want to call it) Teams – 128 – vying for the NCAA National Championship. Current Non-AQ schools will be happy and anti-trust lawyers not, yay
    -Regular season still matters as much as it has in the past
    -Will force the independents to choose a Conference or get off the bus Looking at you ND…see next
    -Out of Conference Games won’t help/hurt NC hopes (more marquee match-ups OOC)…Hello University Presidents – More money due to more sellouts instead of half full FCS match-ups against mid-level FBS teams trying to pad their Bowl resume. Imagine the possibilities (Vandy could schedule Oklahoma instead of UT Chatt for example and as long as they win the SEC East, they aren’t knocked out of the NC. If it’s normal Vandy…it won’t matter anyway). ND can still keep their traditional match-ups like USC and not be punished for it.
    -Cinderella stories could happen and new legends born
    -Multiple regions will get to attend the “tournament” games due to the rotational set up.
    -“They” get what “they” want – more money, more money, more money *The National Champion and runner up will be playing in 3 “bowl” games* Therefore the stipulation in revenue sharing within the conferences.
    -The fans get what the fans want – better games all year, better bowl games in stadium near you, a national champion determined on the field


    • DawgPhan

      the game you are looking for is the NFL…their draft is in a couple of months…you should get heavily involved in that. College football is not for you and your proposal is pretty bad. thanks for playing.


      • RobDawg01

        DawgPhan, i agree, haha.

        I guess I’m not proficient in relaying my sarcasm. What I “proposed” encompasses a good many of the arguments for and against a playoff, what the result could end up being and how I imagine the conference commissioners/university presidents meeting to be as a fly on the wall.

        Lay it out on paper and the above is what I “think” you get in the end.

        I’m an old fart and like the good old days…but they aren’t coming back.


    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      Lovely. Win a crappy conference, go straight to Go, collect $200, get run 70-33 in a “playoff” game. What a credible system.


      • UGLYDAWG

        At least Rob’s given it some thought. We’re all kind of left grasping at straws.
        Something tells me that we’re going to be looking back to post 2012 as the good old days.


  11. BMan

    The SEC champ will still have played a 9-game SEC schedule, just with the 9th game coming in the SECCG. The conference big wigs will probably deem that enough. Not sure I agree, but my guess is that will be their defense of something like this.

    For the record, I voted in the Senator’s poll for nine conference games so that rivalries could be preserved.


    • dawgohol

      Well then the Pac-12, Big Ten, and ACC will have 10 conference games b/c all 3 of them play a conference championship game too.

      That would be a ridiculous justification. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try using it.


  12. Bright Idea

    An SEC team can better survive 1 loss from a 9 game schedule as opposed to 1 loss in an 8 game schedule for playoff consideration. Of course 7-1 is better than 7-2 I guess.


  13. Cojones

    Way too involved, RobDawg01. Select the winners of the 8 strongest bowl shedules, they get seeded for selection of 4 winners to decide the NC matchup. Lots simpler, involves 16 teams at beginning and you still get your bowl games. Of course bowl matchups become the focal point since you don’t want #1 and #2 ranked teams to play at the git-go. While nothing is perfect, this is simpler and has 16 teams vieing for NC.


  14. 69Dawg

    This just makes my head hurt.


  15. Cojones

    Have you joined “old farts for nine” yet?