“You have to look at the eye test.”

You hate to see it.

American Athletic Conference commissioner Michael Aresco strongly criticized the College Football Playoff selection committee for dropping undefeated Cincinnati another spot in its rankings — behind three two-loss teams.

During an interview Wednesday on SEC Network’s The Paul Finebaum Show, Aresco said the CFP selection committee needs to do some “soul searching” and is “undermining its credibility with rankings that defy logic and common sense and fairness.”

“I never thought I’d say it, but if this continues, bring back the BCS and the computers because it would be a fairer system than what I’m seeing now,” Aresco said. “This is the seventh year [of the CFP], and it does appear the deck is stacked against us and against other [Group of 5 teams].”

It took him seven years to figure that out?  It was obvious from the get go.

It’s important to note that what Aresco is complaining about isn’t that one of his programs should be in the CFP semifinals.  No, he’s upset that Cincinnati finds itself behind Iowa State, Florida and Georgia.  But, honestly, what does he expect?  His crisis was engineered from the moment the powers that be put the decisions in the hands of a hackish selection committee.  And I use the word “crisis” loosely — it’s a feature, not a bug, in the eyes of the CFP.

At least the Coaches Poll was only a segment of the BCS math.  Now, you’ve got the likes of Florida’s Scott Stricklin sitting in the room that makes the final decisions, pretending he’s not sticking his thumb on the scale for his school (and most likely, Georgia, because it makes the Gators’ win look better).  Not that Stricklin is the first nor the last with an obvious conflict weighing in.

Gary Barta’s fumbled explanation of the standings and the reasoning behind them is just evidence that these guys are making up as they go along, with the primary goal being to make sure the money goes where it needs to go.  It’s just more obvious this season because 2020 is such a cock up when it comes to talent evaluation and because the pandemic has squeezed the finances of so many P5 athletic departments.  Make no mistake, though, it’s been the CFP’s underpinning all along.

That being said, going back to the BCS formula won’t solve the problem.  Not when the Coaches Poll gets a third of the weight of the standings.  Nothing has changed with these jokers.  If they really want to get rid of the appearance of bias and conflict of interest, as well as focus on making sure the field is comprised of the best (The most deserving?  Fuck their feelings.), then devise a new formula.  Say, half derived from advanced stats and related computer algorithms and half from a much larger pool of selectors (a couple of hundred, at least) who select the top teams not by ranking them individually but through approval voting like we do here with the Mumme Poll.

Not that that’s gonna happen.  Can’t mess with the money.  Sorry, Michael.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

26 responses to ““You have to look at the eye test.”

  1. Biggen

    I don’t understand why we can just seed the playoff (be it 4 or 8 teams) with the AP poll. You have a very large sample size of voters that way to minimize favoritism.

    Instead we have this overly complicated method of determining who is ranked by a Mason-like guild of people in charge. I know I’m Capt. Obvious here but this is all purely done for TV. It’s like the Curse of Oak Island on the History Channel. They know damn well there is no treasure on that island but damned if they aren’t going to still milk that lucrative TV money pretending that it is still there waiting to be found! 8 seasons in and all they have found is a few surface coins with metal detectors!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Derek

      One of the reasons the BCS died was because the AP ended their participation. In a remarkable and rare feat of lack of self interest these days, they noted that they were in the business of reporting, not making, the news.


  2. 79dawg

    Since you brought it up again (I resisted the urge to post something similar to this in some of the threads yesterday, or was it Tuesday?):

    I would rather go back to the “old” bowl-way with the AP and coaches voting for the champ, than either what we have now or the BCS.

    Four teams is not a “true” playoff – would be fine going to an 8-team playoff made up of P5 champs, the best G5 (if they are in the top 10 of the polls) and 2 (or 3 if no G5) highest ranked teams in the polls.


  3. Of course they would never do it, but seriously, the AAC’s only chance was to cancel their championship game this weekend, and let Cincinnati come to Athens and play Georgia.

    Put up or shut up. You screw Tulsa, but it is THE chance to maybe have an argument for Cincy in the playoff. Beat Georgia in Athens, and you can make a case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek

      Cincy knows that if they won, that they’d still get screwed. The only way it all goes wrong for the committee is if A&M loses in Knoxville. Barring that they’ll be able to kick any wannabes to the curb and say they got the four best in.

      Would they take a two loss team over an undefeated mid major? They’re hoping we never get to know that.


      • mp

        I believe they absolutely would take the Big12 winner in that case…


      • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

        Wins/losses are relatively unimportant to the committee. They mostly want the games that will draw the most eyeballs; wins and losses are a factor in that decision, but that’s about it. ND has played well this season and may deserve to get in, but they are always a threat to get in because… eyeballs. Cincy is in a similar position to past UCF teams. I say to Cincy: come play 10 games in the SEC and win 8-9. If you do that you get cred. I do worry that a snubbed Cincy team will be a dangerous bowl opponent; if we get them we need to be focused.


  4. Ran A

    Snore – Cincinnati doesn’t belong in the discussion – period.


  5. fisheriesdawg

    Cincy had better be careful…they’re probably going to end up playing one of these teams in the Peach Bowl. The last thing they want to do is give a team that may otherwise be disappointed/unmotivated a good helping of motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tony BarnFart

      The great thing is that I suspect that the team they play (ahhhhhemmm) is in the unique position of being both immensely talented AND chomping at the bit to keep stretching its new found legs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • bigjohnson1992

        Might bring back memories of the sugar bowl with Hawaii and Colt Brennan. Gotta be my favorite and the most satisfying dawgs game I’ve ever watched on tv. Rose bowl was close.


        • Tony BarnFart

          The Rose Bowl was the most nostalgic and magical but the first half had me in a tailspin of “here we go again, with big game letdowns.” Hell, we were down 17 pts. The last 20 minutes of regulation was like watching a prize fight.


  6. atticus34

    Who give a rats ass? Cincy? Play someone and then cry. We would beat them by 21


    • armydawg

      And we will in the bowl game if projections are accurate. I promise that we will eliminate Cincy from the discussion in a way that will shut them up permanently.


      • spur21

        Cincy = Hawaii


      • Got Cowdog

        I’m fine with this. We aren’t backdooring into the playoffs, why not see what Cincinnati has?
        Put up or shut up Bearcats.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Down Island Way

          Pick a sporting event (male/female)…there can and always will be an upset not seen coming, seems like when a (playoff/bowl) football team has 2-3-4 weeks to prepare for an out/over matched opponent, Cinderella takes the check and goes home with a big fat “L”…not gonna’ sit here and say UGA hasn’t lost in bowls games it should have won, ucf/cinn and whom ever wants to get in the arena with the bammers or the clempsons at playoff time, go ahead, high % of the time a severe ass whipping is in order….you will never see those ad’s get all pissy in September about playing in the cfp, it’s always after the fact and they know damn good and well there aren’t getting invited…


  7. otto1980

    Ditch the playoff, bring back the BCS


  8. originaluglydawg

    NO human based polls in any formula ever. There is just too much bias. Even I would have bias..a lot of it. Computers fly and land the jets you fly on. They put the nose tire on the center stripe on every landing. They can easily find the best four teams out of twenty or out of twenty thousand.


  9. The Truth

    We live in a world of supercomputers, right? Seems I read several articles a month that says “We ran 10K simulations based on the data…”

    OK, find the best data, feed the computers matchups between all teams with winning records (can we at least agree you should have a winning record to qualify for the playoff?), and whichever four teams have the best overall record in those millions of simulations are your participants in the playoff.

    On the other hand, don’t you think if they just outsourced the effort to the wise guys in Vegas, they’d come up with the appropriate four teams?


  10. Like someone suggested yesterday…call it an Invitational. Then the can choose whatever group of voting members they want, meet where they want, televise what they want, and offer any explanation they want for who they invite. Bring Billy Payne in to show them the Augusta way. First rule would be “no whining” or you’ll never get an invite.


    • rigger92

      Ive been saying for years now, the problem is that ESPN markets an invitational tournament as a playoff. It has never been a playoff and people just have to accept its just viewer ratings. Usually, there is a start player or two on a great team and they win all the games, so the goalposts line up and there isnt controversy. If they try this wankery over 8 teams, its just going to be worse. People just want to see the “big boys” tough it out at the end of the season.


  11. Granthams Replacement

    The computer modeling would be flawed even more due to little cross conference play this year.


  12. originaluglydawg

    Would this be fun?
    If a team is not picked for the playoffs and really believes it has been screwed, have a provision where they can, at their own expense, challenge the eventual winner to a game to be played in the Benz or some other super facility two weeks after the playoffs end.
    They would have to make the challenge before the first playoff game was played. (to keep them from jumping in if the eventual winner has a crippling injury to their QB or something like that).The challenger also has to front (for example) two or three million bucks.(the amount could be based on a percentage of their football budget so that poorer schools could consider it too)
    Should they win, they get crowned National Champs and get their money back. They get to donate the fronted money to some charity. They get fat off TV money and spoils.
    If they lose, they forfeit the cost of the game, while the fronted money goes to a charity of the winning teams’ choosing.
    And the challenger get’s no TV proceeds should they lose.
    If multiple teams feel that they want to take the challenge, the highest ranked one gets the opportunity.
    There are charities out there that would still be enjoying UCF’s money if this were in place.
    It would be fun. There’s a lot of problems with it. But it would be fun.
    If a program REALLY believes it’s the best, they’d have the opportunity to put up or shut up.
    I know this sounds ridiculous.


  13. memdawg

    We should just start over. There are currently 65 Big Five football teams if you include Notre Dame. Make it Big Six instead of Big Five. Six regional football conference with 11 teams in each. All of them play in a round robin rotation and have a conference championship game. Or, make it 12 teams each with divisions. Don’t care as long as everyone has a conf championship game. The six conference champions go to an eight team playoff plus two at-large teams that are determined by the BCS formula. Mid-majors have a shot. Regular season matters. Rivalries stay in place. Strength of schedule matters for mid-majors and anyone who doesn’t win their conference. First round of playoffs (four games) played in NYD bowls. Higher ranked teams play in the bowl closer to home. Semis second Sat in Jan. Finals Sat after that.