At least you can’t lobby a computer.

Kevin Scarbinsky wildly overstates the impact of the verbal jabbing going on this offseason about the SEC from the likes of Bob Stoops and Rick Neuheisel, but I won’t say there isn’t a grain of truth at the heart of the point he’s trying to make.

College football’s postseason has always been a subjective thing from a selection standpoint and anything that’s arrived at through a subjective process is something that third parties can try to influence.  Human nature being what it is, if you can try, you’re gonna try.  In the case of the BCS, we saw coaches lobby furiously.  We watched Herbstreit and Danielson go at it at the end of the 2006 regular season.

That was in a situation where computers drove some part of the selection process, at least.  Now that the entire choice of the semi-finals pool is in the hands of human beings, it’s not logical to expect less lobbying of the decision makers.

Will it work?  That’s hard for me to say.  I suppose if there were some enormous crest of public sentiment about a particular team getting in – or, more to Scarbinsky’s fear, a certain conference being denied a second choice – I could see the committee members perhaps being swayed by that.  But the likelihood is that when it comes to public sentiment, there will be all kinds of cross currents swirling about that will undercut a specific position. There will simply be too many agendas in play.  (ESPN loves multiple agendas.)

That’s not to say that I don’t have a concern about lobbying.  But my worry is about the internal kind, the in-the-arena types on the committee pushing the others by using their resumes to advocate a choice.  For some reason, I haven’t found myself assured by Jeff Long’s reverence for transparency.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

26 responses to “At least you can’t lobby a computer.

  1. AusDawg85

    I wonder if there is a model where teams play a balanced schedule and then the best records automatically qualify for a playoff?


  2. 69Dawg

    I have said all along that this committee arrangement was not necessary and was only done to make sure the SEC did not have multiple teams in the 4 team playoff. I felt that a better way was to let the committee design the parameters they thought were best to pick the four teams and let a computer company create a program to rank the teams based on those parameters. Let the fans know what the parameters are but take the human element out of it. If you have ever been on jury duty where there was a big split in the jury, you will know that this committee will not end well. The strong will intimidate the weak, the guys who have been in the arena will dismiss those that have not and the SEC will get screwed.


    • Macallanlover

      What makes you think the SEC deserves two spots in a four team playoff? With five power conferences, none deserve two spots. Get the 5 conference champs a spot at the table and then you can have a 2nd team several years. The title is tarnished by legitimate portions of the country that say they weren’t represented…and they are right. The quickest way to blow up a playoff system is to give half the spots to one conference.

      I feel the 2011 fiasco where Bama and LSU were given both BCS title game spots and excluded all other regions of the country. Hard to argue that is a “national title”. LSU earned their spot, Bama didn’t. Now THAT is making the regular season games mean nothing for those who argue that concept incorrectly about playoff expansion. No, this committee will not do something that dumb.


      • Cojones

        Sorry, old friend, but they will do something that dumb. They have already started what with the “Quality of the cupcakes”, “playing all conference members of your own conference” and other select innuendoes by Delany and now pressure from each conference (which you view as righteous and I can’t say I disagree too much) to undercut the strength of the SEC.

        The problem is that the legislatin’ lobbyin’ assholes have already started two months ago. As with any subjective choosing , the best you can do is to keep the schmoozlobbying conferences to a low ebb while waiting to go to 8 teams to constitute a real “Playoff” and, at the same time, lowering most of the subjectivity into polls. The polls that carry the top 8 teams to their perches would be only ensnared in subjectivity at the 7-9-ranked team level. So be it, but we are beginning to see the folderol involved wih selecting 4 teams is just double the two-team selection politics of the BCS.

        It’s just more “Sturm and Drang” built into the media representation of a 4-team chosen playoff. It is what it is when these few people pretend that, as a group, they can be “subjective”. One little innocuous-seeming dustup being pushed by the press is the Ok-Ala 2014 bowl game. It ain’t just about “Baghdad Bob” Stoops taking a poo-poo issue with Sabin; rather it’s about reducing the perceived strength of the SEC conference before the 2014 schedule is played and is judged “subjectively” by these fine people that no one has faith in concerning objective selection of the best 4 teams.

        It sucks and will continue to do so until politicians place on their resumes that they served on the 4-team selection panel for CFB as their ticket to the masses. Then, and only then, will we start the process of a true 8-team Playoff along with all the concommittant crap that goes along with that process.

        So let’s just you and me sit back and enjoy (and share) our favorite libation while the numbnuts parse it out. Here’s to good drinkin’, Mac.


        • bennyfranklinandthejets

          Agreed. This committee is ostensibly objective. Impossible…why should delusional Delaney think that they should have equal say!? Big 10 should get half of 20% weight in the vote. No conference championship AND crazy top heavy conference. PAC 10 is the same way. Easy conference runs. Big 12 is better–more competitive teams. ACC? Less competitiveness than the others. The agenda, by definition is anti-SEC. Anybody remember when the Rose Bowl mattered?


  3. Keese

    So what do you suggest then? Because the BCS and multiple “polls” we’ve had to determine things in CFB has been ridiculous. C’mon give this a chance to like


  4. JG Shellnutt

    I think everyone is scared about this. SEC fans are worried that unfairly we WON’T get 2 teams in the playoff. The rest of the country is worried the SEC WILL get two teams in.


  5. There’s no way any conference will get 2 in. How can you say you have the best team in the country when you weren’t even the best team in your league? The only way two ever get in from the same league will be if 2 unbeatens at #1 and #2 in a championship game and the game gets decided in the last minute.


    • How can you say you have the best team in the country when you weren’t even the best team in your league?

      Because you’re not. You’re saying you’re one of the four best in the country.


      • I agree, Senator. I seldom disagree with Mac and Thomas, but this is about the best 4 teams. Not the best conference champions, or anything else.

        It’s perfectly reasonable, and certainly possible, that the best 3 teams in the country, or maybe 3 out of 4, come from the same conference. There’s no question that 2 of the best 4 teams the last 3 years have been from the SEC.

        And Notre Dame in 2012, clearly was NOT one of the best 4 teams. There were at least 4 or 5 teams in the SEC who would have waxed Notre Dame. And maybe a few more.

        But SEC or no, it should be the best 4 teams in the country that are selected. Further, it’s possible to win the SEC Title, or another conference title, and not be the best team in your League. It’s a long diatribe to try to explain that, and out of respect for Homer and some others, I won’t.

        Not that conference championships aren’t to be respected, or that they don’t deserve special consideration, they do (if they have a championship game). But suffice to say, that scenario can certainly happen.


        • I think both of you misunderstand my perspective. I think there is a case for 2 teams from the same conference in the play-off. The instant classic where two teams who were #1 and #2 and unbeaten entering the conference championship game probably deserve to have a 2nd bite at the apple. I don’t want 2011 all over again where LSU won the game fair and square on the field in the regular season and a conference championship game in convincing fashion just to face Alabama again. I also wouldn’t want 2012 where we lose in the game of the year just to be sent home to watch a Florida team make the final 4 because they were sitting at home on championship weekend.

          I want the 4 best teams as well, but the committee is not going to be inclined to put a 2nd team from a conference into the play-off over a conference champion with a solid resume. Honestly, I can’t blame them for that.


      • I think I have a research project on my hands to try to take the past and apply it through a committee member’s lens. This should be fun or extremely time-consuming/wasting.


  6. I knew it would be a disaster the instant I heard Condi Rice was selected.


    • From the halls of the guy who hired Bert to the AD who couldn’t keep him and the Luddite who doesn’t like the series of tubes, the Selection Committee will fight our countries battles with integrity and transparency. All Condi is saying is give peace a chance. And Stanford and Notre Dame too


      • Macallanlover

        Condi is one of the best choices on the committee, due to her integrity and intelligence. She has ties to the south and west coast. You don’t have to be have been in the arena to be qualified for the Committee, Archie is qualified in all areas, imo. The ones that should be challenged are the ones with current ties to a school/conference.


        • Do you remember when America didn’t torture people and unlawfully imprison even those who cannot or will not be convicted in a court of law or a court-martial? I do. Condi is part of that horror show. She has absolutely no integrity whatsoever.


          • Macallanlover

            Why don’t you swim on down to Cuba and free the murdering bastards? Just let me know where you plan to bring them when you get them out. Or you could just come across what used to be a border. If it were up to me they wouldn’t be alive when you arrived and we wouldn’t be wasting money coddling them.

            You should save your sympathy for what you Leftists are doing here, and the misery that will spread. There will be plenty of truly innocent people around the world suffering while you help weaken the one country that was strong enough to help those in need, and defend the barbarians. I will take Condi Rice’s integrity over the scum you support, and defend. Horror my ass!


            • Condi doesn’t know enough about college football to be a member. I heard her on Colin Cowherd, and she knows as much about college football as the average woman, which is little. Colin tried to probe her knowledge, but her answers were so general that she could have used the same response in addressing funding for the B-2 bomber. I want passionate, knowledgeable fans on there.

              Plus, I think putting someone on the committee from the political realm was just a bad precedent.


            • Dog in Fla

              Hey, where’s my suicide machine?

              Way to harsh my mellow! Where’s my suicide machine? Oh, never mind…

              At least she got to play an integral role in aiding and abetting the chickenhawk cowards into pulling off something even Goebbels couldn’t do. Even he did Nazi that as being a super-good idea:

              “Getting to do something Goebbels couldn’t do”

              Because I’m sure that roast would be one of the few to top the appalling sight of this:

              Conservatives gathered at the Plaza hotel in Manhattan Monday night to roast the former Vice President at an event where many of the biggest laugh lines touched on the most controversial policies of a key architect of his administration’s War on Terror.

              At the gathering, hosted by Commentary, figures including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey drew a mix of chuckles and winces with jokes that left few lines uncrossed, according to three guests.

              Senator Joe Lieberman “said something to the effect that it’s nice that we’re all here at the Plaza instead of in cages after some war crimes trial,” recalled one person who was there.

              No, it isn’t.

              “There were some waterboarding jokes that were really tasteless,” the guest said. “I can see the case for enhanced interrogation techniques after Sept. 11 but I can’t really endorse sitting there drinking wine and fancy dinner at the Plaza laughing uproariously about it.”

              Cheney himself told one waterboarding joke, the attendees said, which he attributed to Jay Leno. It centered on a one-shot antelope hunting contest in Wyoming in which the loser had to dance with an Indian squaw.

              Cheney’s shot got caught in the barrel, producing a dispute over whether it counted as a hit or a miss — and Leno, according to Cheney, joked that Cheney wanted to go catch the animal with his bare hands and waterboard it.”



          • Tom

            Obviously, you do not know what you are talking about. The lady has integrity to spare.


        • Cojones

          Don’t forget that some powerful politician gave her legs a thumbs up in Canada. That’s an outside influence that wants to widen the playing field and run it up the middle. And the Catholics on the committee are going to be influenced by the Pope. Has anyone sent His Holiness some good SECCG film to help our cause? I would like a member of the Italian Cabinieri to represent. They are as trustworthy as our FBI.

          Archie? You think a guy from Mississippi is going to lobby for a team that had pesky Bulldogs hanging onto his leg every time he chose to pass? And that memory is supposed to make him happy? I think not.

          There’s not even a “Tranny” on that committee to represent the new GTCC (Gay, Transsexual, Crossdressing, Cocksuckers) community in CFB.


  7. Reipar

    Let’s just move to eight already and fix the problem before it ever becomes one.