What the BCS got right

As Roy Kramer put it,

“All the people who thought it was bad for college football enjoyed last night, didn’t they?” said Kramer, a former SEC commissioner. “We thought we could add a little excitement and interest to the college game and I think last night demonstrated it.

“What was interesting is how many people in Tuscaloosa were watching the game in Eugene, Oregon, and how many people in South Bend, Indiana were watching the game in Waco, Texas. For all the critics, well, I’m a little prejudiced. We saw enormous excitement play out last night.”

Yeah, we did.  Well, maybe except for Stewart Mandel, who’s a little miffed over last weekend’s SEC schedule.

Saturday was the most chaotic, season-altering set of games in 2012, and the SEC played almost no part in it. In fact, if you didn’t watch a single SEC game Saturday (And why would you, with such offerings as Alabama-Western Carolina, Auburn-Alabama A&M and Texas A&M-Sam Houston State?), you were no less entertained or informed. LSU’s dramatic 41-35 win over Ole Miss was the lone exception, and even there, the biggest highlight was Les Miles’ postgame press conference.

And yet, despite seven conference teams facing FCS foes, one team (Missouri) losing to a 5-5 Big East squad (Syracuse) and another firing its coach (Tennessee’s Derek Dooley) for losing to Vandy, no conference had a better weekend than the SEC.

All of that rather conveniently ignores that the upper level SEC squads beat themselves up over the past few weeks.  All of Alabama’s, Florida’s, Georgia’s, LSU’s, South Carolina’s and Texas A&M’s losses have been to each other.  Considering those teams occupy the 2, 3, 4, 7, 9 and 12 slots in this week’s BCS standings, I don’t think that’s something worth sneering at.

And that gets to the larger message here.  The regular season, college football’s crown jewel, the thing the sport does differently and better than any other, by and large does a good job of separating the wheat from the chaff.  It’s not perfect, as seasons like 2004 demonstrate, and I can understand the justification for a four-team playoff on those grounds.  But here’s what I never have gotten:

… You’ve heard it: The whole college football season is a playoff. I know that’s the lame line that BCS supporters used to defend their indefensible system … but it still rings true. What other sport has this? Baseball’s individual games were always teetering on irrelevance anyway because there were so many of them; now eight teams make the playoffs, so the games mean even less. The NBA and NHL don’t even pretend that the regular season matters — especially the NHL, which, every now and again, just for fun, cancels entire seasons. Each week matters in the NFL, but no one week in October or November turns the entire league upside down.

This is only true in college football. Sure, you can say — people do say — that a playoff wouldn’t change any of that. The regular season would still be epic … only now there will be a playoff at the end!

Everything good will stay good, but now the bad will be good too! The incredible tensions of week-to-week college football will remain, but December and January will now light up! Everyone gets a new car! Trees will be made of chocolate! Televisions will start pouring beer!

Maybe. But you might know the line from Inherit the Wind: “Progress has never been a bargain. You have to pay for it. Sometimes I think there’s a man who sits behind a counter and says, ‘All right, you can have the telephone, but you lose privacy and the charm of distance. … Mister, you may conquer the air but the birds will lose their wonder and the clouds will smell of gasoline.'”

A college football playoff is progress. We want it — almost all of us. But I can’t help but think that we will be giving up something too. Days like Saturday will still be amazing, I have no doubt about that. I wonder though, if they will be quite as amazing.

They won’t be.  They can’t be.  There simply won’t be as much on the line.  What’s happened over the last two weeks would just offer programming fodder for ESPN’s Playoff Selection Show under a four-team playoff format.  Go to eight teams and all you’re talking about is who has to travel for the first round.  Oh, and how the ninth-ranked team in the country got screwed.

I get why change is coming.  On one level – multiple major-conference undefeated teams deserve more than a one-game format – I can accept it.  But I’ll never understand why playoff proponents find it so easy to dismiss what saddens people like me.  My worst fear is that one day they’ll come to appreciate that.  Unfortunately, by then, the horse will be so far out of the barn that it won’t matter.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

119 responses to “What the BCS got right

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Preach on!

  2. Mark

    I can’t think of a year since 1983 that a team outside the top 4 won a national championship or deserved to win a national championship. A 4 team playoff is plenty. 8 is too much and more than 8 would be devastating to the regular season. Having said that, the 4 team playoff would make this past weekend less meaningful. Kansas St. would be out of it regardless, but Oregon would likely have still been in the playoff. By default, when you are playing for 1 of 4 spots, it’s half as intense as playing for 1 of 2 spots.

  3. kckd

    How exactly did the BCS make it more interesting? Didn’t we all do this before? Didn’t we watch to see if the teams in front would lose? I’m not getting it. If you want to argue not having a playoff makes it exciting go ahead, but geeze, it was always this way. you had to hope the guy in front of you lost. The BCS didn’t introduce that concept to this game.

    • Mark

      I agree kckd. I remember watching games from all over based on the rankings. The BCS didn’t cause this. Many of us grew up doing it because it was so important for the guy in front of you to lose for you to have a shot. Remember when Miami went from #5 to #1 because they beat #1 Nebraska, UGA beat #2 Texas, #3 Auburn barely beat Michigan and didn’t score a TD to do it (I think it was 9-7 or something like that). I don’t remember who the number 4 team was. But everyone was watching those bowl games hoping that the right teams lost so their team could end up #1. The BCS didn’t cause or create that. It was the polls that caused and created it. The BCS did do something for college ball that was missing. It gave them a marketing device they could use all year long to talk about the championship. I think it created more interest in the game and spread the love of college FB to more people.

      • gastr1

        Another thing the BCS did was give even more power to the conferences, to the point that they can treat schools like free agents and shuffle their memberships at will. Don’t ever forget what we lose by allowing the BCS to effectively run the sport: potentially almost all that is holy, i.e., traditional rivalries.

  4. Smitty

    Mandel needs to check out this weekend’s slate of SEC games. Thank you very much.

  5. Both K State and Oregon dropped out of top 4. Right now, they are out of the playoffs. Even with the loser of UGA-Bama dropping and Oregon moving up, they still have two difficult games left. There’s still a lot of high drama left. A 4 team playoff ruins none of that.

    I visit this blog daily, and I love it. But the BCS apologist angle is just a bit much.

    • Garageflowers

      UGA was 5 in the BCS rankings last week. With a four team playoff, all they have to do is beat GT and Bama to make it. I would not have enjoyed the K State or Oregon games nearly as much as I did in this scenario. In fact, I may not have even watched. That will be lost with a playoff.

      • wnc dawg

        This. A lot of This.

      • “All” they have to do is beat Bama? And how exactly is that watering down the regular season? I don’t get it.

        • wnc dawg

          Yes, “all”. If there was a 4 team playoff, I would not really’ve cared about those games b/c I would have known UGA had a shot regardless.

          • You’re talking about one very specific situation. The only reason UGA would’ve had a shot because they were playing a top 4 ranked team in their final game while being in the top 5 themselves. I appreciate your passion for UGA, but this is about improving the overall system of CFB, not just UGA’s chances.

            • Garageflowers

              wnc dawg got exactly what I was trying to say. I would have really not cared about those two games. They would have had no affect on Georgia’s chances for a title. Two exciting games for me would have been lost. I’m not necessarily saying the regular season will be watered down, but what makes college football so special to me would have been watered down. I think we are okay with 4 teams, but am also worried that what/who brought about the 4 team playoff are going to push for more teams in the future. The BCS is really a 2 team playoff. I live on Tobacco Road and only watch a handful of regular basketball games a year, if that. I don’t even really watch the tournament anymore. I will be extremely sad if that happens to college football.

    • wnc dawg

      When you accept the need for a playoff “on one level”, I hardly see how that is BCS apologizing.

      The 4 team playoff will be very exciting and have it’s own days in the sun. But to not recognize something fundamental in cfb will change because of it is disingenuous.

      • So what will change? I’m really curious. If we were going from 2 to 16, or even 2 to 8, I could see your point. But what about a four team playoff causes a fundamental change to CFB? Most of BCS “supporters” on this blog point to the regular season, but rarely does a top 4 team lose and stay in the top 4 (Bama was a HUGE exception). They might have a better chance of getting back into the title picture with 4 teams, but that doesn’t lessen the meaning of the regular season. It enhances it. Because now you have a few more games that mean something. So, seriously, what is the fundamental shift?

        • wnc dawg

          So going from no brackets to brackets is no big deal?

          Granted, there will be more games where people are interested b/c the field of eligible teams doubles from the current system. But that does not mean that the regular season is more important. It means more teams get to lose more games and still have a chance at a national title. A two loss team playing for/having a shot at the nc was the furthest outlier in cfb. With a 4 team playoff, it won’t be much of an outlier anymore. That is just one example of it being fundamentally different.

          As I said, I don’t think a 4 team playoff is all bad, but it’s not a silver bullet either. There are tradeoffs that will be made.

          • Yes, it’s a big deal, but that doesn’t mean it’s “fundamentally different.” Everything you just outlined, to me, makes the regular season that much more important. Not less. No fundamental shift at all. Nothing “fundamental” about it. Going to 16 teams…yes, that’s a fundamental shift.

        • SCarolinaDawg

          Check back after the first playoff year’s TV numbers come out for the other bowl games. Even the BCS stained that. I went to the Sugar Bowl between Michigan and VT last year. One of the worst sporting event experiences of my life, right up there with the baseball regular season. Everyone wants their cake and to eat it, too. Well now you get to eat it, except it’s not a cake, it’s a turd sandwich.

  6. Rocket Dawg

    My thoughts exactly. We are eventually going to water down the regular season so much that it won’t feel as good when you win or sting as much when you lose. There’s always next week.

    When I will stop watching is when a coach gets crucified for not resting his starters before the “playoff push” instead choosing to play the first string against a Tech or other end of season rival. With a playoff that becomes almost a meaningless game. For all of you who grumble about “It’s Yech it will never be a meaningless game”, no it won’t in the near future, but a generation from now with a college football fan base that grew up with playoffs will it still matter as much if your ticket to the post season is already punched?

  7. NC Dawg

    Mandel makes it sound like there’s an SEC scheduling conspiracy. If so, the conference members would almost certainly vote to reduce the number of required league games, so as to lessen the chances that that regular season loss that almost inevitably comes during the long grind of the SEC season. Come on, the typical SEC season is a true trial by fire. That’s guaranteed by the mandated league games, no matter which division you play in. Do I like the cupcake games in November? Not so much, but it’s certainly understandable, since the league games are almost invariably street fights. That’s why I had no real problem with playing GSU after UGA locked up the SEC East. Show me where Notre Dame or any of the Oregon/K-State “giants” are facing this sort of gauntlet.
    And, yes, I’ll hate to see the regular-season slugfest fall by the wayside, even though it has ruined many a fine weekend for me over the years.

    • The Lone Stranger

      And yet, counterintuitively, the Domers have a unanimous #1 in the computers column. I have watched more than the odd ND game, and that is not a juggernaut as I understand the term.

      As for Mandel, haterz gonna hate.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Actually Sagarin has Notre Dame #2 on strength of schedule. Check out their schedule – they have a few easier games on there, but they sure aren’t dodging anybody, and they couldn’t have known that Michigan, Michigan State, and USC would suck so badly this year.

      I personally think it’s easier than a lot of SEC teams’ schedules, but as of this weekend it’s not easier than Georgia’s. Throw in the SEC championship and then yes, it’s easier.

      We could end this stupid strength of schedule conversation by expanding to nine conference games or simply scheduling one less pure cupcake game – UCF instead of Buffalo, NC State instead of Florida Atlantic, whatever. I know we would lose the revenue, but I have gotten where I plan some chores on those games and just listen to the radio or check in on the game from time to time.

      And I am all for getting rid of the stupid Tech game except for every four years or so – let’s just rotate in one Georgia team every four years, throw State into the mix, whatever. The reasons have been exhausted on this blog, but seriously…what are we getting out of it?

      • Irwin R Fletcher

        Uh….Notre Dame is 30th in schedule rank according to Sagarin and #4 in the country when you include margin of victory.


        Georgia’s schedule gets beat up pretty good…and rightfully so…considering we’ve only played 2 teams in the top 30. However, as most have said…a win over Bama and a top 2 ranking would negate any schedule issues. However, if you are looking for games that could better our resume…Ole Miss beating MSU, Vandy destroying Wake, and Florida beating FSU would be in that category. On the other hand…I hope Florida loses.

  8. Macallanlover

    So overly dramatic Senator. It is over stating the case, or muddying the water with irrelevant facts (comparisons with baseball’s 162 game season) that loses credibility to me. We all have the same concern about keeping the regular season holy, but a 4 or 8 team playoff does nothing to jeopardize that. To say there is no appreciation for the regular season is simply false, so why even use that argument? Anyone stating that being among the best 8 of 120 is too easy is smoking some powerful stuff. Rather than take the negative “look what we are giving up”, some prefer to take the more exciting” look what we are creating” by building on a flawed model.

    We all want to take care of the baby’s security Senator, but some of us want to take it outside and expand the experience of life. The only thing good about the BCS was it beat the days where schools were locked into bowl alliances. The really bad thing was we felt we had actually accomplished a way to crown a national champion. In truth, that was just an interim step to get us moving in the right direction, but a baby step isn’t the total journey. The regular season will be enhanced by getting to a playoff, not watered down. Is there a point where that changes? Certainly, but 7% inclusion level isn’t anywhere near the horrible examples cited in the arguments of antis. Easier to have a better discussion when the extreme positions aren’t used to mislead.

    UGA has clinched the SEC spot for the 5th time, remember any let down in the approach to the GT game the previous 4 times? Think FSU is letting off the gas against FU? Bama gonna play the scrubs in the 2nd Qtr against Auburn this Saturday? College football isn’t the NHL or NBA. Nor is it college basketball or golf. Too few regular season games to waste any, too little time for a big playoff to take over. And too many passions to put on the back burner.

    • UGA has clinched the SEC spot for the 5th time, remember any let down in the approach to the GT game the previous 4 times? Think FSU is letting off the gas against FU? Bama gonna play the scrubs in the 2nd Qtr against Auburn this Saturday?

      All those schools are still in the MNC hunt, so why would any of them let their foot off the gas this week? (For that matter, ‘Bama hasn’t clinched the SEC West.)

      Sorry, Mac, but when I read your response, all I can do is thank you for making my point.

      • Macallanlover

        Guess i assumed you would extrapolate to that thought to other years when the “MNC” wasn’t a factor (2005 for UGA, 2010 for SC, a few times for FU and teams from other conferences with championship games, etc, etc,) But you knew that didn’t you? You read my response and that is what you got out of it? I realize I am a poor communicator but there was more meat than that.

        I agree there is room for disagreement on the issue of what size playoff, but feel the conversation should be straight forward and not spun. This example of how teams do not “lay down” when a spot is secured is very much “on point”. And this doesn’t even get into the 8 team idea would still only have 4 home field slots for the opening round. No gimmees under the 4 or 8 team ideas, to say they are comparable to the examples shown is inaccurate, imo. You may not agree, but I most certainly did not support your points.

        • Cojones

          Mac, it’s not right for you to assume that the Senator meant you. He meant me and everyone else who tries to put an analytical mask on what we say, but fall short when trying to do that with an 8-team argument. He fails to see that he indicts himself for the same reasons. He can’t understand why we don’t “get it” whereas we don’t understand why he doesn’t “get it” and weakens his argument with the “fears”, “slippery slope”, “poor communicator” and other fear-mongering ratcheting epithets meant to denigrate your argument.

          At least he hasn’t called you a tautologist yet.

          • Macallanlover

            Good thing, I wouldn’t know whether to slap him or buy him a double of Macallan 25 year old and a nice maduro.

    • Mark

      Ask Oregon, who is at the moment being left out of the BCS national championship game if the regular season loss they endured matters more now, or if it would matter more if there was an 8 game playoff. I think it’s an easy call. Oregon is still in the MNC race with an 8 game playoff but their out of it (without some major help) now because they lost their regular season game late. By definition, that means the 8 game playoff would make the game Oregon just lost, less meaningful.

      • What is this 8 game playoff you speak of?

        • Ty Webb

          The inevitable next step.

        • Cojones

          It’s the final number to be reached to be able to call this a “playoff”. Right now it is BCS “plus one”, but many refer to it as a playoff. It isn’t. If you incuded 8 deserving teams, it becomes a “plus one plus one” in the BCS beholder’s mind, but many of us maintain it then and only then can be called a playoff.

          There is no need to go to 16 or 32 teams like the fear mongers want you to believe, rather it’s the final number to be arrived to with no need whatsoever to go further.

    • Hackerdog

      I can always count on the playoff proponents to immediately start spouting nonsense. If you just love brackets, then have the decency to say it. But when you start insisting that what has happened with literally every other sport could never, ever, possibly happen in college football, just because, well it’s just too much bullshit for my poor meter.

      • I feel like I’m in an alternate universe of BCS apologists. I didn’t even know this world existed until I started reading this blog. It’s amazing. Are you guys paid by the “Every Game Counts” foundation? A 4 game playoff does nothing to harm the regular season. It enhances it. If any team in the top 4 right now loses any of their remaining games, they are out of the top 4. These are all deserving teams. It’s not like George Mason playing in the Final Four. Take a breath, fellas.

        • You know what’s almost as annoying as these supposed “BCS apologists”? It’s when playoff proponents start labeling people as “BCS apologists” just because they worry about the slippery slope/bracket creep argument. Just because one doesn’t like the idea of a playoff does not somehow make them a “BCS apologist”. At least in my case, it just means that I don’t trust the guys planning this playoff to not screw the pooch with the regular season.. It’s never been about the four team playoff for us. It’s been about the inevitable 24 team playoff that saddens us. Why can’t you guys seem to get that?

          • The Lone Stranger

            My point as well.

          • Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. I don’t understand how you guys want to keep a seriously flawed system because we “might” have bracket creep down the line. If expanded to 8, is that the end of the world? I guess I’m of the view that I’d rather possibly include a few undeserving teams instead of excluding a few deserving teams.

            • Two things: an eight-team playoff won’t “possibly” include a few undeserving teams. It’ll guarantee them.

              And because of that, it won’t stop at eight.

              • Matter of opinion. But you’d rather have deserving teams shut out then? Just go ahead and say that. And when UGA gets the Auburn treatment one year, we’ll just call it the breaks.

              • Cojones

                Senator, You can’t seriously be that blind to an Oregon, KSU, or other 1-loss team from being represented in a playoff. We may believe we are the better conference, but a lot of people would have an interest in proving otherwise on the playing field. That’s one reason many of us propose that 8 teams, while not being perfect, would be the best # of teams to be inclusive of a national champion. Using nebulous descriptions and dire warnings for not having 8 teams because you think (and “guarantee”(let’s see, where have I heard that word before)) it includes “undeserving” teams….who in hell says a team in the top 8 is “undeserving”? Please explain how that would happen.

                • Rocket Dawg

                  The point that is being lost on those of you who are bracket lovers are the facts that:
                  1) It won’t stay at 4, when enough teams at #5 piss and moan about being left out it will expand to 8.
                  2) When it expands to 8 it won’t be the eight best teams. Do you honestly think that Jim Delany is going to sign off on a playoff format that doesn’t guarantee the Big 10 (or 14-18) a seat at the table? Using this year’s rankings the top 8 would have Notre Dame, Oregon, K-State, and 5 SEC schools. No Big 10, no ACC, and no Big East/non AQ teams. That will never fly, instead we will get an 8 team playoff with a mid-teen rated Big 10 champ, fringe top 10 ACC Champ, and a Big East/Non AQ team not even in the Top 20.

                  Quite honestly I would rather just have the old days pre BCS back so we can all sit around and bitch after the bowls.

        • Let me rephrase that. Just because one does not like the idea of “an expanded” playoff does not make one a BCS apologist.

          • Cojones

            Now it’s called an “expanded playoff” while many of us don’t feel that 4 teams constitute a playoff. And just because some of us feel that 8 teams only would constitute a playoff does not make us “dilutionists” insensitive to 16 and 32-team playoffs. It could mean that, by having for 8 teams at the gitgo, a larger group would be formed to resist the “slippage” to larger number of teams.

            A “slippery slope” exists because of fears of a larger, more representative number causing a mindset of uncaring among fans for the number getting even larger because of the playoff process in other sports. There is no “slippage” if you get the # correct to begin with. I haven’t read posts that seriously propose more than 8; many have stipulated that 8 teams constitutes a playoff.

            Several here never wanted 4 in the first place, so they have considered that the present setup is too much and anymore added is a catastrophy. It’s like a last ditch stand of anti-playoff fans to prevent a true playoff.

        • well said. I would add the point that expansion to 8, 10, or even 16 teams would not destroy the integrity of the season. Why? you still have to play well and win big games to get in that group of 8 or even 16! teams.

          Additionally, and I can not emphasize this enough, more than any other sport, rivalries in college football mean a lot. We as fans LOVE beating our rivals. how much fun are all of you having watching UF stumble and bumble every week knowing, we have beaten them 2 years in a row? I for one love it, and yes, losing to USC three years in a row is terrible awful, and I can’t wait to set the universe back in order next fall.

          • Cojones

            I’m with you. Lately I have heard and read a great deal of appreciation from fans for this year. Hope they remember the good stuff when we have our next loss, this year or next.

      • Macallanlover

        Assume this was directed at me since I am one of the few here to prefer playoffs. First of all, it is disappointing to see my remarks characterized as BS, or mistating my remarks to say “unreasonable expansion” could never occur. I have never, ever said that. I have always said I would oppose that type expansion, and I have always acknowledged the legitimacy of that concern if not contained. But I have always said we should not oppose doing the right thing because some may take it to the excess (like saying you shouldn’t take 2 aspirin because it might lead to the patient overdosing and taking the whole bottle.

        This “nonsense” I spouted took issue that the regular season would not survive a minimal playoff, and that teams would continue to play every game hard. I have heard nothing, from you, or others, that provides evidence that refutes that observation. Unlike your position in this response, I acknowledge there is room for a debate. I didn’t label the Senator’s post as nonsensical, nor BS, I just think it painted an unbalanced view of the pro-playoff position. I am surprised because you are usual more level and balanced in your comments, this response is more “it doesn’t agree with my thinking so go away”. Bracket creep lover? No one has ever accused me of that before, in any sport. I abhor what has happened to college basketball, MLB, NBA, NHL, etc.

        • The Lone Stranger

          The longstanding assumption (and I know we’re never supposed to assume, but come on now with all the dollars afloat) from comments here and the tenor of this blogspot is the principle of creeping expansion. Any healthy sceptic has to know that with money knocking at the door The Playoff Model never stays at 4 teams. And that is when good ‘honest’ competition turns into a bullrush over the profit motive. I mean, does anyone believe that the 4-Letter network will promote (and possibly pimp for its darlings) LESS under a framework that includes playoffs? This cowpoke don’t.

        • Mac, it’s going to happen in CFB, too, no matter how much you reason otherwise. Money rules, as this morning’s vote by Maryland’s Board of Regents to seek admission to the Big Ten sadly illustrates.

          They will grow the playoffs as long as there’s somebody out there willing to pay for the privilege.

        • Hackerdog

          Fine. I’ll just say that your BS is unintentional and misguided. I take exception with your dismissing every argument against a playoff as overly dramatic nonsense.

          You insist that comparisons to other sports with playoffs are irrelevant. I don’t know how you can seriously make that assertion. The only examples we can study of sports with playoffs are college basketball, NFL, NBA, NHL, college baseball, etc. And you’re insisting that, somehow, college football is completely unique and unable to be corrupted by the influences that led to those other sports (all of them) expanding their playoffs beyond a reasonable size. That’s why I call BS.

          We also state that a playoff would diminish the regular season. Now, that isn’t arguable. It’s an obvious truth that should be beyond debate. The only questions should be, does it diminish the regular season too much, and are the positives of a playoff enough to justify diminishing the regular season? But you don’t go there. You go in the opposite direction and insist, based on nothing, that a playoff would actually enhance the regular season. That’s why I call BS.

          You want a 4-team playoff. I don’t think that would be bad. But a 4-team playoff is the gateway drug toward a 24-team playoff. You say you abhor the bracket creep that has occurred in every other sport. At the same time, you’re encouraging college football to take the first step in a process that will inexorably lead to bracket creep.

          • The Lone Stranger

            “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” — Aristotle / Burke / Napoleon / Hitler / W. / Joker Phillips

          • Macallanlover

            1. I do not dismiss every argument as overly dramatic, I think using the term “baseball’s regular season” as a comparison to CFBs’ is a stretch to the degree it must only be used to deflect serious discussion by sending the debaters off into another solar system. That is intentially inflammatory.

            2. I think implying a limited playoff, that included less than 10% of the entrants, would devalue the regualar season is simply not true, and gave examples where CFB teams did not “lie down” by not showing up for last season games. It is used to bolster the “devalue” theme, and doesn’t hold water. We all know this, so why state it as fact.

            3. I think having a limited playoff would enhance the regular season, that isn’t BS, it is my honest opinion. Since I feel the regular season games would continue to be hotly contested (see #2), by adding a ticket to a true playoff with the winner getting the 1st NCAA National Championship title (and ongoing) would make the regular season games more significant. This is based on the conference title currently being the highest, earned title a team can reach, so expanding the legitimacy of a national title, based on outstanding performance during the regular season enhances the value of regular season games. I understand you don’t accept that, but it is because you (probably) feel the current system’s way of crowning a “national champ” is acceptable….I don’t. We start from different positions so it is not surprising we don’t agree at the end. But it is a sincere difference in opinion, it isn’t BS at all.

            3. Bracket creep is as unacceptable to me as you. But I think what you call “bracket creep” is trying to correct an obvious flaw. I don’t support a 4 team playoff because it will necessitate anothe expansion. It is a great step, but a half step. The next expansion will not occur because it is inevitable but because it is a half-ass solution. Four teams of a 120 school field with a 12 game regular season doesn’t satisfy the need insure there is enough representation. I think six is the minimum but that would bring about the need for byes. Eight is my number because it allows the Big 5 conference champs, plus any independents, mid majors, or the very elite of the remainder not included. Only a small (2% maybe) would bitch about the legitimacy of the winner earning it on the field. That is as close to perfect as I can see, and I think those arguing about 8 versus nine would be drowned out. Then, there is no need for expansion.

            4. I would fight hard against any expansion beyond that, and it would be easier because to beat back because all legit contenders are already included. I could support a 4 team playoff when/if we ever get to 4 sixteen team Super Conferences with the remaining teams having a seperate division. Of course those 4 conferences would be divided into 2 divisions with the winners playing for each SC title….so we would be back to eight teams again.

            I get the concern about the growth in other sports but think football has some natural barriers that protect it (minimum of one week between games, and travel logistics of super-large fanbases.)

            • Hackerdog

              1. Baseball is only used as an example of a sport with a postseason. You dismissing it since it has 162 games is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. You may as well dismiss it because the ball is round. You’re right. You’re just missing the point.

              2. Stating that a playoff wouldn’t devalue the regular season is simply your speculation. And citing CFB games where the superior team played all out against an inferior team is specious because we don’t have the playoff yet. There is a playoff in the NFL, and exactly that kind of thing happens. But you insist it would be impossible for it to happen in CFB for some, unspecified reason.

              3. Your faith that a playoff would stop at 8 teams is completely unfounded. Sure, if your only goal is to let the best teams in the country play, then 8 would be enough. In fact, it would be too many. But you also miss the point of the 8 vs. 9 argument. Once you fall that far, the teams aren’t arguing that they’re better than the #1 team. They just want access to the post season. That’s the reason college basketball expanded to 68 teams and is currently trying to drum up support for further expansion. Not because the #69 team thinks it can beat Kentucky. Because the #69 team wants a post-season check. If you think the #9-12 football teams in the country will be content to go to a middling bowl rather than miss out on the massive playoff dollars, then I have some nice, coastal property in Stateboro you may be interested in.

              4. I wouldn’t mind super conferences too much, although it would be a shame to blow up the SEC. However, you’re still too optimistic about the extra games. People said we could never add an eleventh regular season game, and then a twelfth regular season game, and then a conference championship. But we did. The fact is, FCS schools play a 12 game regular season schedule and then play a 5-game playoff. And you think this kind of expansion would be impossible in the FBS, why exactly?

              • On #3, I love that you say his faith that a playoff would stop at 8 is unfounded…while your faith that it would expanded to a 16, 32, inevitably all the teams ever, is….founded. Based on what? The last time the FBS expanded to 8 teams?

                • Hackerdog

                  It’s based on the fact that every other playoff in every other sport has been expanded. I just don’t buy the argument that college football’s playoff couldn’t possibly expand for no particular reason.

                • Macallanlover

                  I find the group of antis here offering the same answers regardless of what the question is. Similar to Presidential debates when you get the stump speech excerpt to any, and all, questions. So it is sort of a waste of time to engage them because their forecast of what they think will happen trumps yours. Look at the response below: when has ANYONE said it wasn’t possible to see future expansion? Never have I seen anyone even come close to that position. Once again, a rebuttal to a position not even in question, but it makes the other side look stupid because of the completely erroneous position attributed to them.

                  Similar to the “value of the regular season argument” when you bring up last year’s fiasco where regular season winner LSU had to face Bama, and a one and one record results in Bama claiming a title. When you bring up the “what happened to the value of the regular season” the response is “the purpose of the BCS was to get the two best teams into a bowl game”. True, that is their mission (don’t know if they accomplished it or not) but the answer has nothing to do with the question. Slight of hand puppetry again. I only respond because of the slanted way the arguments get presented on this issue, but even that little effort is of questionable value because they make little pretense of acknowledging value to counter positions.

                  • Hackerdog

                    Good point Mac. You didn’t say that future expansion would be impossible. You only said that 8 teams would be a perfect playoff that would need no further expansion and that you would fight hard against any expansion beyond that.

                    First, we can obviously throw out what you would, or wouldn’t fight for. Slive, Delany, et al don’t care what you want any more than they care what I want. So what you will fight for, or against, will have absolutely no impact on what we get.

                    And your 8-team playoff being perfect and in no need of further expansion is based on nothing more than your current preferences. And you’re of two minds about that. You say that you want to identify the best team, which will require 8 teams. But your 8-team playoff is also to include all conference champions as well as mid-majors and independents. If you really think that mid-majors deserve consideration as the best team in the country over a team such as the second-best in the SEC, or other power conference, then you’re delusional. But you shouldn’t let that stop you.

                    And the need for expansion will be decided, again, not by you and your desire for your own, personal, CFB utopia. But by conference commissioners and broadcasters after the maximization of earnings. If they think they can get some more money by going to 12 teams, or 24 teams, or more, they will absolutely do it. And if you think otherwise, you’re still delusional.

                    As for LSU and Alabama last year, you’re just misunderstanding the answer you’re getting. The BCS is supposed to identify the two best teams in the country. It does that pretty well. And because the top 2 play for the championship, rather than the top 8, or 16, or 32, regular season wins and losses are important. Stop and read that last sentence a few times. If you just gloss over it, as you have apparently done many times, you will miss the point.

                    So, I’m happy to address your questions and points with reasoned, logical answers and counter-points. However, like the politicians in your post, I doubt you will take the time to understand them and continue your, “BRACKETS BABEEE!!!” sloganeering. Maybe you can put it on a bumper sticker.

                    • So if it’s all up to the suits in CFB and you guys just know we’ll have a 32 team playoff within 20 years, then why are you complaining? Like you just said, you have no control over it. So, to me, seems like you have 2 options: 1) Get over it. The playoff is here and, if we’re to believe what you guys are saying, it will inevitably get bigger or 2) Give up on college football and start watching European soccer b/c their playoff system is tiny.

                      Complaining about the playoff at this point is pointless. You’ve missed the boat. It’s here. 1998 is not coming back. You’re welcome to join the rest of us that love this awesome addition to CFB. If not, I’ll be glad to take any extra UGA tickets you have in the future.

            • Ty Webb

              This % stuff is total BS. Saying an 8-game playoff allows less than 10% of the “entrants” in ignores the reality that in any given season there are MAYBE 25 teams with legit NC quality. That’s a huge maybe, and that means a third of the serious teams make the playoffs. The rest, as we’ve always known, are cannon fodder.

              • Macallanlover

                Sorry, not BS, you are very confused on this. Let me take a more basic way of explaining this: we are attempting to compare the various leagues/sports methods of reaching a playoff winner. In no case has anyone pared the list to the subjective “worthiness” of the field. So 7% of the total pool is dramtically different than 8-12 of a pool of 30 teams. Percentages do put the light on the issue, and it would if you could come up with the percentage of worthiness of MLB teams, NCAA basketball team, etc. The point would be even more dramtic in my opinion (in fact it would be more than 200% of the “worthy” in many sports), but I have no way to address the subjectivity of that. That introduces a whole new field to argue about with absolutley no one agreeing on the number because there is no way to determine that.

  9. First of all, let’s start with the obvious here first….

    1)You don’t have to be a literary type to appreciate the use of a GREAT quote from Inherit the Wind. How many of you had flashbacks to 9th grade English class. I know I did. My teacher loved the book so much that he played the movie for us after we finished the book. The point is a perfect one. That said, we are giving up very little because weekends like this saturday will still exist for spots in whatever the playoff evolves into

    2)Mandel, who in general has been a voice of reason through the years, has become decidedly hostile toward the SEC. his tweets spawned some dork on sbnation penning a parrot piece on the SEC schedules. There are so many things wrong with his logic that I don’t really know where to begin.

    Riddle me this…in all of your years watching UGA football, how many times have we had a cupcake like this in the final stretch? I have been watching since 1976 and I can’t count 3 games like this in November.

    Second, the notion that it is some type of “evil plan” by Slive is so preposterous I don’t even know how to react. Instead of thinking that It is more likely a result of the scheduling conflicts created by expansion this season, he assumes that it is because we want our teams to lose “early” so they can climb into contention. Well that theory makes no sense given the fact that the team that is ranked highest in the SEC was the one to lose most recently.

    Additionally, there is a bit of a domino effect at work here, as the more SEC teams that have non-league games the less league available have to play. Additionally, because other conference are scheduling cup cake games in September, they have no availability this time of year. So again, its not as simple as SEC ADs dialing up the elite teams from the other BCS conferences and scheduling games.

    More broadly, the SEC schedules 8 league games. The Big 10 and ACC have 8. the big 12 has 9 but no championship game. the pac 12 has 9 with a championship game. Obviously, in aggregate those 8 are tougher than any other leagues 8 and are probably tougher than the Pac 12’s 9 given the level of competition and the physical nature of the SEC play relative to other leagues. While that answer absolutely pisses off SEC-haters, after watching USC-UCLA, Stanford-Oregon, and KSU-Baylor, you will have a hard time convincing me that football is nearly as physical as the SEC, and I recognize Stanford is as physical as ANY team in the SEC (if not more) but they are an anomoly. the SEC should schedule a 9th league game. that said, the SEC should only agree to such if ALL the other conferences agree that if there are 6 SEC teams in the top 10, they can all pound salt during bowl season. ALL 6 teams get into the “BCS” bowl games – in whatever definition that means. Of course, they would never agree to that because you have clowns like Delaney (or Michigan’s AD Branden- watch the 60 minutes piece last night) who think “exposure” contributes to success. Perhaps they should think about having a former coach in the AD who is deliberately undermining his successor. BUT I DIGRESS. The point is the SEC did not cook up some master plan to have all the teams ahead of them lose on penultimate weekend of the regular season.

    That said, why let logic get in the way of a good rant against the SEC? If you can’t achieve your desired outcome (i.e., an end to the SEC’s dominance as a conference), just hurl insults at your enemy.

    While I KNOW THESE THINGS go in cycles, the SEC is poised to get better not worse. Of the schools looking for coaches (UK, AR, AU, and UT), only AR seems to have a decent chance of ending up worse off (relative to Petrino). The other three will almost certainly hire someone better.

    3)with all that said, some of this backlash comes from obnoxious fans who flood the national media’s inboxes and twitter accts with insults and pro-SEC rants that make them look foolish for violating the old rule (that even applies in the online world) about not picking fights with people who buy ink by the barrel

    Bottom line- while I just spent the last 15 minutes on a rant, its all irrelevant. We control our own destiny. Beat Tech. Get ready for a physical war against Bama, and the national media can write whatever they please, but it won’t change the fact that we will play for the BCS title! that is really that matters right????

  10. David Jones

    The simple answer (at least as long as the playoff is 4 teams) is to require the participants be conference champs. Or at a minimum, guarantee the top 4 champs within the top 6 (with some provision for independents) to be in the playoff. If there are not 4 champs within the top 6, then invite at large teams.

    That would retain the importance of the regular season (though it would remove some of the incentive to schedule tough OOC games). Oregon is in danger of not even winning their division. KSU still has to beat Texas now to win its conference. Keeps the drama alive.

  11. Chris

    This watered down regular season jazz is pure hyperbole. Using extreme examples of maybe being able to rest starters vs a last-game-of-the-season rival is really reaching. To be in that position to be able to afford a potential loss in a 4 or 8 team playoff is so highly improbable it really is silly to use it as a supportive argument to keep the BCS. Look how far KSU dropped after losing to a 5-5 Baylor, and Oregon could have just played themselves out of a 4 team playoff. Plus, home field advantage, seeding, and byes would deter even the most conservative of coaches like Richt.

    A properly set up playoff would reward winning, just maybe not to the extreme this current 2 playoff team system does.

    • To be in that position to be able to afford a potential loss in a 4 or 8 team playoff is so highly improbable it really is silly to use it as a supportive argument to keep the BCS.

      You realize that if there were a 4-team playoff in effect this year, that’s exactly the situation Alabama would have found itself in, right?

      • Chris

        If they didn’t lose to A&M? I’m not sure what you’re getting at, but if you think Saban would ever rest players to risk home field advantage or seeding, you must not be aware of “the process” over in Tuscaloosa.

        Can a #1 team afford to lose the last game of the year with a 4 or 8 game playoff? Possibly, depending on certain variables. Does that mean a coach would risk that based on rivalry or aforementioned benefits of being higher seeded? Doubtful.

        • 2009 Indianapolis Colts

          You’re absolutely correct. A team already positioned well for the playoffs would never rest starters. It’s just never happened. Ever. Throughout time.

          • Chris

            Define “positioned well” in a sport that would have a 3% or 7% (4 and 8 team playoffs respectively) playoff inclusion rate compared to the a sport that has a 38% playoff inclusion rate.

        • Alabama lost to A&M and went from #1 to #4 in the BCS. In a four-team setting, all that would mean was losing the home-field advantage.

          • Look at the history of #1 BCS teams that lost. I guarantee you 90% of them fell out of the top 4. Alabama was so far and above everyone else that they stayed fairly high. Obviously there would be “flaws in the system,” as you casually mention about the 2004 BCS debacle, but a 4 team playoff is a much more legitimate way of finding a national champ.

            • The Lone Stranger

              What justifies them being “so far and above everyone else” other than some contrived media storyline, owing admittedly to a strong football history? Check out the oppontents on their schedule and it does not indicate to me that the Tide is all-powerful.

              • Chris

                I think you just made a great case for a playoff…

                BTW, I’m with you on the voters. The preseason polls are the worst as they help fuel this 2 team playoff popularity contest in the first place. Perception is reality, and the BCS is the beauty contest.

                • The Lone Stranger

                  I guess I did leave myself open on the blind side there! The inherent human bias is what has to be teased out but then, too, if that sentiment goes to far we get dropped into “1984” country. So, what the h*ll?

              • I’m not saying anything justifies it. I’m saying that’s the way it was according to the computers. It’s not necessarily my opinion, but that’s the way they were viewed and that’s why they didn’t fall as much.

            • Hackerdog

              What you’re saying is that Alabama was positioned well enough that they could afford a loss without falling out of the top 4. Even though the top 4 would still be very inclusive.

              • Top 4 out of what, 120? That’s 3.3%. By definition…exclusive. Besides, Bama couldn’t have known they were staying top 4 if they lost. The BCS is too unpredictable. They were fortunate. That rarely happens.

                • Hackerdog

                  Well, your 3.3% inclusion rate isn’t real. No Sunbelt team, even if it goes undefeated, is participating in a 4-team playoff. That’s why we’ll need our 16-team or 24-team playoff. So why include Sunbelt teams in the denominator proving how exclusive a playoff would be?

                  And I agree that the BCS is unpredictable. But it’s ironic that you only have to go back to the past two weeks to find an example of a team losing and remaining in the top 4. I don’t know how rare that example would be. Especially in a conference like the SEC. Only one of the last six national champions, from the SEC, went undefeated. So 5 of the 6 lost a game, or more, and finished in the top two in BCS rankings. That’s not very rare at all.

                  Where things would get much dicier is in an 8-team, or more, playoff that gives automatic berths to conference champions. In such a system, we would almost certainly see coaches playing to win their conference rather than playing for a perfect season. Especially if the perfect season leaves their teams weaker heading into the playoffs.

                  • Chris

                    What is ironic about a #1 team losing to a now ranked #9 team staying in the top 4 with only 1 undefeated BCS team left? To the victors go the spoils.

                    Do you not think Bama is a national title contender, or does a loss make a team illegitimate?

                    The 5 out of 6 SEC teams that didn’t go undefeated shows the strength of the SEC and lack of parity in college football. The national pundits were blowing their load all last week with the idea of 3 undefeateds keeping an SEC team out of the MNC.

                    • Hackerdog

                      What is ironic is that your original post was that a 4, or even 8, team playoff would still result in losses being devastating to a team’s championship aspirations. We need only look at Alabama to see that your point doesn’t hold up. Alabama is a good team. Perhaps the best team in the country. And it’s loss hasn’t meant the end of its title dreams.

                    • Chris

                      That wasn’t my point, perhaps you’re refering to what the Senator quoted me on.

                      But on your point, current events aren’t necessarily common events.

                    • Hackerdog

                      Your original post stated, “Can a #1 team afford to lose the last game of the year with a 4 or 8 game playoff? Possibly, depending on certain variables. Does that mean a coach would risk that based on rivalry or aforementioned benefits of being higher seeded? Doubtful.”

                      I agree with the Senator that a #1 team can absolutely afford to lose a game and remain in the top 4, or 8. Alabama lost a game and is currently #2. Georgia lost a game and is #3.

                      As for current events being uncommon, I don’t think that 5 out of the last 6 years, and if this year holds up, 6 out of 7, qualifies as uncommon. That seems to be the very definition of common.

          • The Lone Stranger

            At the root of alot of this are some compromised voters. Like I posted yesterday, somehow Alabama hopped over the Dawgs as a result of their glowing 49-0 destruction of a 1-9 W.Carolina team. All UGa did was deliver a similar wallop to a #6 Div.2 GSU team. But that did not cut it for the exalted football coaches who place their ballots for USA Today, today.

          • Dante

            You point requires that Bama have foreknowledge of where they would end up after a loss. Bama could in no way afford to take their foot off the gas because there was no guarantee 4 was as far as they would fall. IMHO, that they were just a few yards away from a win was the only thing that kept them as high as #4. But like Bama, I don’t know the exact outcome of pollsters and unspecified computer algorithms getting together to rank teams.

    • Mark

      “A properly set up playoff would reward winning, just maybe not to the extreme this current 2 playoff team system does.”

      You realize that’s the argument many of us are making. A playoff doesn’t reward winning nor punish losing in the regular season does. Why? Because the later we get in the regular season the more it becomes a defacto play off.

      • Chris

        Defacto playoff? Having to rely on variable conference and OCC schedules to hope teams get upset in front of you? That seems like a fair way to determine the top 2 teams to play for the crown of the sport.

      • Really? You realize that Florida State isn’t even ranked in one of the computers used in the BCS? And this is how we determine our champion.

  12. Will K.

    I don’t like when people use the argument of the BCS getting it right once in a blue moon as evidence for it being a good answer. The selection committee will be just as biased as the BCS system. They will take into account factors such as fan base, distance for the team to travel, amount of hotel revenue generated for the city (LSU not typically ever a favorite for Sugar Bowl), and so on and so forth. These kids just need to win their games and not get frustrated with all the red tape. I remember in 2007, I was standing outside of the Army ROTC building waiting for class to start, and Knowshon Moreno walked out, and I asked him how he felt about getting jumped by LSU and having to play Hawaii. He said with a huge smile, “I just go out there and have fun.” That’s what I’m talking about. GO DAWGS!!!! Moreno was one of my favorite DAWGS of all time.

  13. Connor

    Well said Senator and I couldn’t agree more. We should probably just enjoy what we have before it’s gone completely.

  14. rugbydawg79

    Man I Love this blog–and the passion of College Football !

  15. Patrick

    It’s simple, Senator.

    Playoff proponents can dismiss your sentiment because they believe that finding the most equitable way to crown a NC out of 120 teams should be the #1 priority of CFB.
    Everything else is collateral damage that will just have to fall into line, because that darn crystal football is why we are doing this in the first place.

    The rest of us know better, and it’s just a matter of time before we leave the sport because of it.
    For me, it will be sooner rather than later – because it will be when i look up and see Missouri on the schedule instead of Auburn.

    • Cojones

      What is it that you know better? You can leave it if a playoff threatens your love of the game. Take the other anti-playoff fans with you.

      We have been screaming for a playoff for years. When we finally approach it, darned if we didn’t decide to put off the decision by playing one more game for the championship. If you went to 8 teams that would mean another additional game, but for some reason (which none of you have conveyed yet), to you, it will mean the end of CFB. Yeah.

  16. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Long term the only playoff system that makes sense is to have 4 mega-conferences with a minimum of 16 teams each split into 2 subdivisions. That’s 64 teams. I actually favor having 20 teams in each conference with subdivisions of 10 teams for a total of 80 teams but that’s not a deal breaker for me. This new arrangement becomes the new top tier of CFB. The rest of D-IA is in another level and they can do whatever they want, like D-IAA and D-II, or not. At the end of the season each subdivision has a champion–that’s 8 teams. The subdivision champions play each other for the conference championship of each respective conference in what is a de facto first round of an 8 team playoff. Then the 4 winners play, and the 2 winners of that round play for the National Championship. This system preserves the integrity of the regular season and also allows a real champion to be crowned “on the field” without the subjectivity of the BCS or polls.The only downside is that it eliminates the situation like last season where the best 2 teams, a Bama and an LSU, are in the same subdivision and get to play in the final. I’ll give that up to have a system that is not all screwed up and subjective, though.

  17. Cojones

    Sorry that some of us keep stepping on your sensitive oracle toes. We, the insensitive brainless unwashed failed to see that we were not just venturing opinions on this subject, but all along were tolerated by the Grand Poobah of CFB “playoff” wisdom. How ridiculous of us not to see these connections you are making and stating in the name of reason, but are more stupid not to be timorous in your presence.

    Senator, you may see it that way in your magical gypsy’s glass orb, but some who sincerely think you are on the wrong track, say you are wrong. Big time. Your “They won’t be. They can’t be.” is not a prognostication, but a fiat passed to your minions who have the audacity to type opinions that are wrong. Well, well.

    Question: Are you trying to dictate fan public opinion because you don’t have proof of your sooth-saying and want to ramp it up before proof against your stand becomes evident? It won’t work. It can’t work. Too many are beginning to see the logic that selecting 4 does not constitute a playoff and pundits as well as others are questioning it publicly just like some of the rest of us CFB fans are questioning.

    If you are not willing to examine your opinion in the light that other post season playoffs are already tied in to mucho more games than are played in CFB and acknowledge that it is different, why should we buy any part of your pseudoreasoning? Stating that the game will be diluted and individual scheduled games won’t matter and comparing that to other sports as proof is fuzzy thinking. I can’t believe you are going full court press against a 12-game schedule sport and drawing proof from 60-plus game sports. You gloss over the apples and oranges differences. You try to get us to recoil in timerity by implying and downright stating that we are stupidly insensitive to what happens in the sport moreso than you. Just to prevent one more game (from 8 to 4 to 2 instead of 4 to 2 team games) from occurring that will somehow dilute the sport. Tsk, tsk.

    You are wrong, Senator. Eight games is the only number that implies playoff to many of us. Yes, #8/#9 positioned teams will get a discussion, but that is the flimsiest of all excuses to try and stop a national playoff in CFB to finally put to rest who the Natonal Champion may be. Selecting 4 teams falls short of that mark when 120 diverse teams and conferences are cosidered.

    • Your “They won’t be. They can’t be.” is not a prognostication…

      It’s a tautology.

      Again, I respect playoff proponents’ opinions, however poorly expressed. I concede that a four-team playoff is a fair tradeoff of pluses and minuses. I simply don’t understand why my concerns are so easily brushed aside.

      Maybe when the 16-school playoff format becomes a reality, you’ll understand.

      • Cojones

        Sorry for the poor expression, but what the hell, I thought I was just merrily blogging.

        I appreciate the fact that you defined the tautology that you used and that I expressed as a fiat.

        Your concerns are not brushed aside, just put into the perspective of the nonanalytical thinking that you propose, however poorly expressed.

      • Cojones

        By the way, using the 16, 32, ad nauseum numbers to frighten people out of proposing 8 teams means to me that you aren’t listening nor trying to understand.

        • You don’t sound frightened to me.😉

          • Macallanlover

            Skeered? Not me. Nor frightened, but very weary given the disparity in the size of the two forces on this blog. I post only to ensure some representation of us terrible folks who want to tear the game asunder…and to attempt to keep the discussion somewhat factual and away from fear-mongering.

    • Cojones

      You further state that you are saddened when we can’t “see” your worst fear. My worst fear is, after years of effort to get a playoff, it is siderailed until someone says, “Wasn’t that silly having fears of the unknown and predicting the end of the world if you don’t make everyone see your reasoning. There is no reasoning used here on either side that can translate into convincing those who will not see the other side’s point. It is all emotional without any reasoning.

      I just want to have a true playoff, not argue about every game as an affliction to reasoning it in the first place. This is absurd.

      • What are you talking about? The playoff exists. It’s not being siderailed. Quite the opposite – it’s having obscene amounts of money thrown at it. And it’s going to grow because of that.

        • Cojones

          Four teams are called “Add one” (meaning one game) to constitute a playoff. I reject that that expression being defined as a playoff and so do most CFB fans. You call it a “playoff” , but many of us disagree (according to polls I saw some time back). Eight teams diminishes the “Beauty Contest” that can be used to control CFB by the media.

          • Hackerdog

            You can reject calling your ass an ass and insist it’s an elbow. But that doesn’t mean you know what the hell you’re talking about.

  18. Russ

    Mandel is a tool.

    That is all.

  19. I have a hard time accepting your premise that there will be less interest with a playoff system. It just shifts that interest to the other teams fighting for the playoff spots. A playoff generates more viewers because there are more teams vying for the prize. You have the added interest in the top teams fighting for the home field advantage.

    • I understand your argument. After all, it’s been made many times before in connection with other sports that have expanded.

      There will continue to be interest, but it will be of a different sort. March Madness is a good example of that.

      • kckd

        As always on this subject, you overstate yourself. In the four team playoff there isn’t a team going into the last game of the regular season that can feel virtually safe this year. Not even Notre Dame. The only thing that would be a virtual lock is the SEC champion and for all intents and purposes it already is in this system too.

    • Hackerdog

      I doubt that it creates more interest. It just reallocates the interest. Instead of people watching the #1 ranked team to see if they can remain #1, they watch the #9 ranked team to see if they can jump into the top 8. The #1 ranked team’s game becomes much less important. Even if they lose, they won’t drop out of the top 8, or 16, or whatever. Casual fans of the #1 team can just tune in during the playoffs to see how things go.

      As the Senator said, look at March Madness. I don’t even pay attention to college basketball, beyond the occasional SportsCenter highlight, until March. At that point, I will fill out my bracket based on nothing more than historical cache (Kentucky and Kansas are usually good). Then, I’ll watch. But you couldn’t pay me to watch a game in January, because those games don’t matter.

      Same thing with Major League Baseball. I pull for the Braves, assuming they make the playoffs. I’m not watching any games before October. If the Braves are in the playoffs, I’ll watch. When the Braves are eliminated, I stop watching. Ditto for the NBA, etc.

  20. Boz

    Regarding the playoff – when exactly does the draw/decision on who plays occurr? At the end of the regular season or after the conference Championship games? There is a huge difference between the two. This is the case for this years SEC championship game (after assuming wins by UGA and UA) – UGA or Alabama losing would knock them from the top 4, but only because they play one more game than other teams playing a 12 game schedule.

  21. Always Someone Else's Fault

    8-conference champ model right now would mean #14 Nebraska and three teams ranked lower than that this year.

    8-best this year would mean, at this red-hot-moment, that getting drilled by the worst defense in FBS didn’t matter (K-State). That losing to Washington didn’t matter. 8-best would mean Alabama-LSU and Notre Dame-Stanford rematches in the opening round. And an Alabama-Georgia SEC-CG could become a first round-rematch if the winner stuck at 2 and the loser dropped to 7.

    Is 4 better than 8 or 8 better than 4? It’s a separate discussion. What is inarguable? That 8 makes the regular season a preface. A long and interesting preface, but a preface all the same.

    8 teams sounds great in the abstract. It quickly starts looking absurd when you actually start plugging in real-world scenarios. Yes, the BCS has generated a few absurd results. A 4 team playoff will as well. And 8 team playoff will generate them twice as frequently.

  22. kckd

    And Senator, if you want to be really honest about it. The BCS took a whole lot of excitement out of January first. Remember Lastinger and what time is it in Texas? That doesn’t happen with the BCS system. As many as three to four bowl games had an impact on the national championship at one time, now it’s only one and the rest are fluff. My point is that if straight up excitement and chaos is what you want, go back to the old way of the eighties.

  23. kckd

    Just for clarifications sake for those that don’t like the four team playoff, how would any of the teams feel secure right now that they would make it? And we are only one week from the regular season being completed for most and two weeks for all. I don’t think of the teams would feel secure, secure like OU felt going into the big 12 championship game in 2003, got their ass kicked, did not win the conference and then went on to the BCS championship game. Lots of excitement right there. Yes, the BCS system itself has produced a game or two that was utterly meaningless. Some even felt that LSU could’ve lost last year’s SEC championship and still went to the BCS championship game. The bowl games were not structured to provide a meaningful regular season. Indeed the BCS and it’s two team playoff has indeed made conference championship games unimportant.