Just winging it.

Tony Barnhart’s got a useful list of things to know about our new college football playoff overlord here.  There are plenty of items there that, well, if they don’t outright make sense, at least raise some questions about what’s going on.  Like this, for example:

How is the selection committee going to work?

The committee, chaired by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, will meet several times during the season to discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of the teams that could be chosen for the national semifinals. With all kinds of data at their disposal, the committee will come up with a Top 25 ranking several times during the course of the year.

“We just felt that it was helpful for college football to have some kind of measuring stick out there from our selection committee,” Hancock said.

The committee will not in any way be bound by the rankings they produce when they make their choice of the four teams.  [Emphasis added.]

A measuring stick that doesn’t measure anything… what’s the point to that exercise?  Other than giving ESPN more meaningless programming fodder, that is.

19 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

19 responses to “Just winging it.

  1. DawgPhan

    programming fodder and more name recognition for the committee members. good for them.

  2. John Denver is full of shit...

    All I know is, this years Michigan State team would have been left out of the 4 team playoff…Here is to hoping-oh joy- that next years Georgia team doesn’t face the same possibility…

  3. AusDawg85

    6 years before the expansion to 8 teams? I’ll take the under on the 12 years in the contract and put the line on 6 years…seems about right.

  4. Always Someone Else's Fault

    The main goal of the committee is to create public demand for more playoff inventory (or are they still calling it a more legitimate national champion)? 25 team lists 4 times a year maximizes the rate at which the committee credibility erodes. is it just me, or is this thing going to be essentially DOA?

  5. Cousin Eddie

    looks more like a government run committee every time I see something on it. Why don’t they just come out and say it, ESPN will pick the 4 teams and we will put it off as out decision.

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    “A measuring stick that doesn’t measure anything… what’s the point to that exercise? Other than giving ESPN more meaningless programming fodder, that is.”

    Spot on Senator. Americans like to know the score, all the time, and ESPN will feed the need.

  7. uglydawg

    Next we’ll be told that “you can keep your favorite team…period”

  8. Rick

    I’m not sure what the complaint here is. We watch college football because it interests us, right? A significant part of that interest is how the post season will shape up. So, yes, I suppose that’s what these interim rankings will be for, and yes ESPN will probably dedicate programming to it.

    Would you prefer that we be left completely in the dark for the entire season? Why even bother broadcasting the games?

    It seems similar to the way the federal reserve releases it’s minutes every month to give insight into it’s thoughts on monetary policy. The policy isn’t bound to reflect the contents of those discussions, but it usually does and IMO it’s way better to get that indication of which way the wind is blowing and let it percolate through the public conciousness and feedback into the evaluation process. I think the same reasoning applies here.

    • Since by their own admission the in-season rankings will have no bearing on the playoff field, can you explain exactly what’s being illuminated here?

      They intend to be bound by nothing other than making sure the big conferences get theirs in the end. It’s going to look just like what happened at the end of the 2007 regular season. Except it’ll be behind closed doors.

      • David K

        2007 involved a bunch of reporters and coaches changing the ordering of their ballots based on how they felt. Yes, the media swayed the opinion away from the Dawgs, but a bunch of people still had to vote to make it happen. As a homer I was pissed we didn’t get in, but completely understand why we didn’t. This meeting of a handful of people behind closed doors to decide everything is much different than the AP and Coaches Polls not sliding us up to #2 because we were next in line.

      • Rick

        Your first sentence borders on non sequitur. What is being illuminated is the ‘if the season ended today…’ view on the playoffs. If you don’t find that compelling, that’s certainly your right, but I sure as hell do.

        Are you arguing that in-season rankings should influence the final seeding? That seems bizarre.

        • Speaking of non sequitur

          A significant part of that interest is how the post season will shape up. So, yes, I suppose that’s what these interim rankings will be for, and yes ESPN will probably dedicate programming to it.

          So which is it? Do they count or not? According to Hancock, they don’t. According to you, they seem to.

          • Rick

            I think that’s entirely up to you, I am having a hard time figuring out what you even mean by ‘count’. If you mean that the committee has some objectively defined restrictions on how far the final ranking can diverge from earlier rankings, then I would guess (and hope) not. I assume, though, that you just mean that the final rankings should reflect previous rankings, modulo whatever has happened in the intervening time.

            In that case, I think everyone agrees that this is exactly what the interim rankings are, and how they ‘count’. Am I missing something?

            • All I mean is what is the point to the exercise, if the regular season “rankings” have no impact on the shape of the postseason pool? As far as I can tell, it’s just a shiny coin, meant to distract. YMMV, of course.

  9. David K

    6 conference winners, all conferences must have minimum 14 teams and a conference championship. Include 2 highest ranked teams that didn’t win their conference based on BCS formula ranking. Seed the teams based on the same rankings 1-8. 7 total games played at regional bowl sites. Done. Take this selection committee mess out of it. Make it about winning your conference.

    • Not a bad solution for a super division I-A in football – question is whether the small guys and the NCAA would go for it

    • Macallanlover

      Exactly David. That is when we will have reached the sweet spot of a playoff that cannot be legitimately bitched at (although it will be a small minority).

      I think it is logical for the Committee to have their own Top 25 so they don’t have to use the silly ones that evolve from pre-season rankings based on zero on the field accomplsihments…just bias. I have no idea why they would say it will have no bearing, of course it will. Now let’s hope they don’t take their first straw vote until, at least, the end of September.

  10. hassan

    A measuring stick that goes out the window at the whim of the committee? Who is running this thing? The NCAA Rules Infractions committee?

  11. uglydawg

    The whole things gonna be a Charley Foxtrot and then morph into a SNAFU and end up a FUBAR… Maybe we should just forget naming a NC because there probably isn’t a team that could beat every other team out there..but a playoff will ensure that “some” team beats enough of them. Maybe being SEC champs and winning a bowl game afterward should be enough…this is going to be the most geo-correct thing you’ve ever seen. Teams from the NE that couldn’t win a mumbly-peg championship game in another part of the country will be “in”. Teams from parts of the country with small viewer ratings will gets less consideration. Big names will buy big attention….it’s gonna suck.
    By this new critera…who do you think this years contestants would have been? Ohio State? Duke? Sanfofd? Alabama?