“If you win it, you get in but you don’t have to win it to get in.”

Nick Saban defends a college football playoff format with the four highest ranked teams because there isn’t sufficient parity between the conferences.  He’s right about that.  But here’s the part of what he had to say that I found interesting:

Saban also used parallels with the NFL’s and college basketball’s respective playoff models to defend his point…

“I think the same thing in basketball. Last year, Kentucky and North Carolina played early on and one of them beat the other. And nobody cared. Everybody’s looking forward to them playing again but in college football, if that happens, it’s like ‘How did this happen? This can’t be.'”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds like he just described college football’s meaningful regular season.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

22 responses to ““If you win it, you get in but you don’t have to win it to get in.”

  1. Go Dawgs!

    I eat the peels of my apples, coach, but I don’t eat the peels of my oranges. Discuss.

  2. Mayor of Dawgtown

    I think Saban unknowingly and inadvertently put into words the very thing that some of us fear the most–a D-1A NCAA football playoff may render the regular season almost meaningless in the eyes of many.

    • Sanford222View

      That is exactly what I am afraid of with this whole thing. I like the idea of a four team playoff. I would be happy using the BCS formula to determine the the four teams. The main thing they need to tweak with that formula is the polls used/who is voting. Having the coaches vote is horrible as we all know they don’t have the time to cast an educated vote. They probably need to really look into what each computer poll uses as its criteria as well. Some of those seem awfully shaky to me as well.

    • Slaw Dawg

      Agreed. But I’m slowly, reluctantly beginning to conclude that’s where this will all wind up. An 8 game SEC schedule in the 14 team era (and I guess the same even in a 16 team era with, what, San Diego State and UConn as the newest SEC members?), and a “play off” type format that will permit multiple “wild cards” and devalue the regular season. College football will be just another sport, and us old timers will be left telling stories about the good ol’ days to our grandkids until their eyes glaze over and they go back to watching the national soccer championships.

  3. Macallanlover

    Yawn….here comes the tired “meaningful regular season” argument again. When you are culling down to the top 5%, the regular season cannot be rendered meaningless. Now when you get to the extreme and have 30+%, some with losing records, you have a case. 4-8 teams MAKES the season mean something….unlike what happened last year. Hard to take Satan seriously, his roster management process shows he doesn’t grasp the meaning of CFB. He is a pro kind of guy, amateurism and student athletes are foreign concepts to someone who strategizes throwing kids to the curb after their “tryout”. He should be comfortable with the NFL season and playoff concept.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Camel’s nose under the tent is the potential problem here Mac. 4 teams, then 8 teams, then 16 teams, then 32…..Pretty soon we’ll be at the basketball level. If there end up being 4 “superconferences” with 16 teams each in a “superdivision” (64 teams) and we have a 32 team playoff you only will have eliminated half the teams from the “playoffs” with the regular season. NFL playoffs only worse.

      • Hackerdog

        But that CAN’T happen Mayor. Because the powers that be only has the best interest of the fans in mind. Or fairness. Or something.

      • Macallanlover

        Hard to refute that since it is not what is proposed. Easy way to dodge the issue. I am not in favor of a 16 or 32 team playoff either, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t so what is right. My Gawd Martha, they want to pave roads in the county…pretty soon we will all be living on concrete and have no room for crops. We will all starve to death!

        Wisdom should prevail, but you cannot dismiss something that is better because of what can happen if it is later abused. Nothing wrong with two aspirin, never led me to take the whole bottle.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          So there is no misunderstanding I favor a 4 team playoff picking the 4 best teams based on the BCS rankings and have said so for a couple of years now. But all the machinations going on which indicate a deviation from that should concern anyone who cares about the future of NCAA football and SEC football in particular. And I am against overpaving the county, too.

  4. FisheriesDawg

    People look at me like I’m crazy when I say it, but any system that would have allowed Alabama to have a shot at the national title this past year is a non-starter for me. If only the voters had put Oklahoma State in the #2 spot like they should have, we might not be having ANY of these discussions.

    • Spence

      These discussions will never ever stop. And thank God we don’t have to hear Bama fans complain cause there is nothing worse.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I dunno. Hearing Florida fans complaining is pretty bad, too.

        • stoopnagle

          I kind of enjoy their pain. Especially after an 8 win season with a loss in Jax. That sort of grousing I can get used to.

    • Faulkner

      Who had the worse loss? Alabama showed that they belonged in that game the way they smacked LSU around. Okie State beats Iowa State and all is well. If they allow only conference champs in the future then we will be having this argument again when the #7 big whatever champ gets to play for a title but the #3 seed gets left out because they didn’t win the conference. Horseshit.

  5. Always Someone Else's Fault

    And to suggest that one of the 4 best teams in the country should be excluded because they lost in OT during the regular season to the top team in the country is a non-starter for me. OSU/Alabama was a debate. Alabama-Stanford or Alabama-Oregon wasn’t. And if you exclude Alabama, then you have to apply the same logic to Stanford. And then Arkansas. Now you have LSU, OSU, Oregon and Boise State playing for it all.

    That would have been (A) entertaining, (B) geographically diverse, and (C) a competitive fraud.

    Preventing a Re-Do of the Rematch is no way to plan a playoff. The original took an incredible series of unlikely events, starting with LSU’s remarkable good fortune to face the Big East and P12 champions in the regular season. I’d call the odds of a Repeat of a Rematch 1,000 to 1 if the BCS was left alone entirely. Designing a playoff system to make a 1,000 to 1 possibility an impossibility seems like going after a fly with the proverbial hammer. Anyone advocating it on that basis, IMO, has an ulterior motive, and that’s an anti-SEC bias. I simply cannot believe I’m seeing it here.

    • FisheriesDawg

      It isn’t an anti-SEC bias. The SEC would have still likely won the national championship last year had the loser Alabama squad not been given a second chance after they failed the first time around. Honestly, the ideal system in my mind is to stick with the BCS (though the rest of the matchups outside of the MNC game need to be seriously tweaked), re-instate strength of schedule (a plus for the SEC), and eliminate teams that don’t even win a share of their conference title (if I’m king of CFB, I don’t let leagues without championship games claim co-champs for this purpose if one team has a head-to-head win over the other.

      At the very least, LSU should have been given a shot at a rubber match with Alabama to even things out if we’re going to allow rematches. If we are going to get an expanded playoff, perhaps we could go down that road and make each round a best-of-three series.

      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        Mostly in agreement – but there you go again with the “let’s correct last year’s injustice” as your concluding point. You can’t, and it’s not worth warping the system moving forward to correct something which is done, over with, and a downright fluke when you think about it.

        I can see many instances when the SEC has 2 worthy teams for a 4 team play-off – and plenty of scenarios in which other leagues would qualify as well. In 2008, I would want to see both Texas and Oklahoma in a playoff. In 2006, I would want Michigan and Ohio State. We very well might be saying the same thing about Oregon and USC in 2012. And I can see plenty of scenarios where it’s Georgia in that sort of mix moving forward.

        That’s why I consider the sentiment an anti-SEC bias. It penalizes most the conference most likely to have 2 teams in that Top 4 conversation: the SEC. But I prefer a Top 4 rather a conference champion approach as a fan of the game, no matter the conference. Any system which guarantees lower-ranked conference champions jumping over higher-ranked teams is doomed over time to more controversy and expansion pressures than the season we just witnessed.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I agree with your post. The real problem for the other conferences is the likelihood that 2 SEC teams will make the top 4 every year and the possibility that 3 SEC teams might make it. I think there even exists the remote possibility that all 4 slots could be from the SEC. Here’s a hypothetical scenario: Bama goes undefeated, LSU loses only to Bama. UGA goes undefeated,USCe loses only to UGA. UGA beats Bama. You would then have 1 undefeated SEC champion and 3 1-loss SEC teams one of which is a Division Champion. In such a situation it is possible that they could be ranked 1,2,3 and 4. In such a situation the SEC would rake in all the $$$$. The other conferences won’t stand for that.

        • FisheriesDawg

          I was against having a conference loser play for the MNC before last year, though. I didn’t think Michigan had any right to play Ohio State again in 2006 even though that would have kept Florida out of the game (which would have been great as a UGA fan). I didn’t think Nebraska had a right to play in the game in 2001. I didn’t think Oklahoma had a right to play in the game in 2003.

    • Macallanlover

      I would have no problem with a rematch had it been earned, not awarded. Alabama had a good team last year, one worthy of being in playoff with a chance to prove they were better than than teams who did not have a shot at all. For them lose at home, then sit out another tough game until the BCS game was……well, queer.

  6. stoopnagle

    Here are your choices:

    A) LSU v Stanford and Alabama v Oklahoma St
    B) LSU v Wisconsin and Oklahoma St v Oregon

    A would have gone a long way towards settling it on the field, eh?