This one’s for the playoff expansion crowd.
Reactions to the Sunday release of the College Football Playoff semifinal matchups were lukewarm at best.
The Vegas response summed it up when Alabama opened as the biggest favorite in the seven years of this postseason format. The spread is anywhere between 18.5 and 20 points for the New Year’s Day game in Arlington — another expected dud in the semifinal round of these playoffs.
Entering the year, 12 semifinal games have been contested since the inaugural playoff in 2014.
The average margin of victory in those games: 21.3
Only three of the 12 have been one-score games while four were decided by more than 30 points.
The author calls that a problem, but the problem isn’t what he thinks it is. The real problem is that in the majority of seasons, there aren’t more than three teams that are genuinely worthy of national championship consideration. And playoff expansion won’t do a damned thing about that.
12 responses to “TFW the numbers are trying to tell you something”
The powers that be aren’t looking at the scores, they’re looking at the ratings. And yes, I know this is not exactly a blazing-hot take.
Oh, I know. I’m just trying to puncture some of the expected excuse making that’s coming. 😉
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Just to stimulate discussion, is there any data out there to support the idea that playoff expansion will pick up a worthy team or two that gets hot late in the season? Any examples like this year’s UGA team in prior years? I know we got burned 2, maybe 3 times in the BCS era when we had very deserving teams left out.
Analogize to the basketball tournament: Indiana in 81, Villanova in 84.
That’s the kind of reasoning you make when you elevate an expanded postseason over the regular season.
Which is to say I’m sure we’ll be hearing more and more of it in the years to come.
Understood. Just had an impulse. I do that. 😉
This year? A 3 v 6 game would be tOSU v OU. Oklahoma got its qb on track & looks like it’s old self. Meanwhile Ohio hasn’t played enough to knock off all the rust or fix their secondary. I would watch it.
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Now do 1 vs 8
But your point is well taken that this year’s slate is less appealing than usual, combined with the predictability of Bama and Clemson.
I hear all the pearl clutching about teams like Cincinnati “deserving a chance” from the shills on ESPN, but Ohio St buried them in 2019. It’s about finding the best team, not making the less talented teams and leagues feel better about themselves. Now I hear “we’re tired of Clemson and Alabama” from the talking heads. Me, too, but the solution is the rest of us need to step up to their level. A, quota system that lets the PAC 12 and Group of Five teams pretend they have a shot in the name of inclusivity is stupid. ND is a top 4 team this year, and they’re a 20 point dog to Bama after getting housed by Clemson. Sure, Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati are nice stories, nut championship worthy? Please. The BCS got started partly to avoid “champions” like 84 BYU (beat nobody good}) or worse, 90 Scripps Howard champ GTU (the final straw).
Expand it to 16 teams if you want. The extra wear and tear on the best teams may trip someone up, but the 2 best teams are obvious most years. 4 is actually perfect, if your agenda is finding the actual best team. As opposed to, say, a TV money cash grab.
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The problem is that there are usually 2+ teams in a single conference capable of winning it all, but the current format locks one of them out unless that team has a scripted A on their helmet.
UF, UGA (with Daniels), A&M and Bama are all capable with a few breaks.
Clemson, OSU, and possibly ND represent all of the rest. Either need to expand the playoffs or the SEc needs to play less conference games and play more power 5 OOC games IMO
If the playoff is not
Where’s the BCS when you need it
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I wouldn’t mind a system where every conference played only 8 conference games and we dedicated 1 or even 2 weekends (one being the mid-November former cupcake week) for Conf. vs. Conf seeded challenges. Rotate them and include a combined Group of 5 pool ranked 1-14 and let them fill out the needed 6th spot for an even rotation. Just 1 weekend of that would give you a million data points. Do it twice (maybe late-October as well) and everybody would have had their proverbial shot at respect.
You could have filler options for basement dwellers when conference size didn’t provide a matchup for everyone.
This gives everybody the proverbial novelty game / “taste” that they usually have to wait for with bowl season, while circumventing the layoff, opt-out, IDGAF’edness that has seemingly spoiled the bowl season.