The hateful eight

I guess you can file this under “a stopped clock is right twice a day”, but even though I don’t want to see any further playoff expansion, Paul Johnson is on the mark to argue that if college football is going to head down that road — and it will — the powers that be should at least make the selection process more objective than it currently is.

“I’m an old guy – I came out of the I-AA deal where, if you won your conference, you went to the playoffs,” he said. “I just think you could take more of the subjectivity out of it.”

Johnson was highly successful at Georgia Southern, which won four national championships in Division I-AA (now FCS) playoffs. The FCS playoffs now includes 24 teams, beginning on Thanksgiving weekend, going three weekends into December and concluding in January.

Johnson’s solution would give automatic berths to the champions of the five power conferences – the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The highest-rated champion from the other five conferences (American Athletic, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt) would also get a bid, as would two wild-card teams.

“At least only the wild cards would be subjective,” he said.

Admittedly, I would get a kick out of one thing that would happen in the wake of Johnson’s proposal being adopted.  Big 12 expansion would turn out to be a complete waste of time and effort.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

14 responses to “The hateful eight

  1. Go Dawgs!

    How about we just give automatic bids to the five conference champions and make the lowest ranked pair of them meet in a play-in game?

    I’m kidding, of course, but I really think that most years four teams will be enough to crown the “deserving” champion. Heck, I can think of several years in the BCS era where there were only two teams that really had a strong claim to it Or fewer.


  2. Brent Henry

    I don’t always agree with the Johnson….
    but when I do, it’s about the playoffs. Not 24 teams, but….
    Every other sport decides it’s champion with a playoff. If you have never been to a AA playoff game, the excitement is amped up 10 fold from a regular season game. Imagine what that would feel like I’m Athens in mid December….
    Just saying


    • Macallanlover

      True, this makes me feel sleazy for being so in step with him but this is almost 100% of where I think we need to go, and go immediately. I would just say the highest rated non-power 5 team gets one spot (would include Army, ND, etc.) The discussion of 24, or anything more than 8, is something I could never agree with, or support. Eight is the best number as it would insure all credible teams are included, and is the largest number that works in the available timeframe. You could get by six, imo, but that would involve byes which are just too advantageous to be subjectively handed out.


  3. 81Dog

    some of us seem to agree with Paul Johnson. Me, too. What comes next, dogs and cats living together??????


  4. No matter what is decided upon, internal politics will come into play, and a number of fan bases will whine for the next six months.


    • Macallanlover

      Can’t disagree with that but they have no real case when enough doors are opened on how they fell short….including how they scheduled. Will the 2-3 highest ranked teams not chosen wine? Sure they will, but they have no credibility, thus no audience. Let them cry, everyone doesn’t get a trophy at this level just because they played the game, all they can ask is to have a system that offers a path to get there.

      With all major conference champs included, and a spot for the small conferences, with room for legit runner-ups and highly rated teams, no one has a legit complaint. That is all you can do, so who cares. With a major conference excluded, and no chance for a Group of 5 to get in, some have a legit whine currently.


  5. I like to keep my life and thinking simple….If Paul little Johnson is for it… I’m against it.


  6. ASEF

    Silly Paul. That’s Phase 3 Playoffs, not Phase 2.


  7. CB

    What would be the problem with going back to the BCS ranking system and just taking the top 8 ranked teams? P5 conference champions will end up ranked in the top eight 99% of the time anyway, but on the off chance that one conference has the three top 5 teams and another just sucks then we’ll still get the best 8.

    I’m also desperate for first round home and away games


    • Macallanlover

      That last sentence should not be underestimated, and is why schools could not afford to take a game off to rest their players even if a conference title was sewn up. And you do not deny a conference champ a spot, it is the biggest flaw in the four team playoff. Minimize the subjective picks, which are media driven. Don’t let ESPN have the influence to keep an entire conference from being represented, it gives an entire region of the country a legitimate whine. By putting all 5 title winners in, every one of their schools can say they had their chance and didn’t earn it.


  8. I don’t think Johnson is wrong and an 8 team playoff where the 5 major conference champions get an automatic bid is where I think we are headed.

    The other three teams will probably come from a combination that he described where it is the highest rated champion from the other conferences and then 2 at large teams.

    I think the highest rated champion from the other conferences might get passed over if Notre Dame is ranked higher though.


    • Trbodawg

      This system allows for two “at large” bids. ND can have one of them. I wanna see North Texas whip up on THE OSU….


  9. CPark58

    I’ve always liked a six team model where Power 5 champions automatically make the playoff and the top two “at large” teams have a play in game for the 6th spot. Then a 6 team bracket where the top two ranked teams earn first round byes. Only one extra game but it allows an for undisputed champion, gives Cinderella a chance, AND most importantly maintains the importance of the regular season.

    And while we are venturing into never never land: Each player should recieve a percentage of the conference revenue (not profit, as they don’t control the profitability) generated over their collegiate career in an account and is eligible to receive it upon graduation or career ending injury. Go pro early and that player’s forgoes his account and it is distributed to the rest of the team.

    None of that will ever happen but it’s fun to talk about.

    Oh yeah, and make officials available to the media. Still angry about the unsportsmanlike on AJ.