Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

“What does that even mean?”

His team’s bragging rights smashed by a last minute upset at Pitt, Danny White is broken but unbowed.

“If it’s a power anything, it’s a Power 6,” White says. “Our conference was better than one or two of the so-called Power 5 last year.”

As Stewart Mandel pointed out, at least according to Sagarin, that ain’t even close to right.

Screenshot_2019-09-26 Stewart Mandel on Twitter Seriously, Danny White https t co fCYQhy0x2W https t co fIGY0FSKoC Twitter

But what do you expect from a guy who thinks college football’s postseason has been in “a kind of beauty pageant mode”?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Thursday morning buffet

Get you some.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, Stylin', The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

“The only thing that can knock the SEC out of the Playoff is parity.”

If you’re one of those folks who thinks rooting for SEC rival programs is a virtue because overall, a stronger conference aids in Georgia’s quest to make the CFP field, Dan Wolken throws cold water on your logic.

These arguments about conference supremacy, however, feel more like a relic of the BCS era in college football and not particularly relevant to what happens with the College Football Playoff. In fact, at this point, it may be better for the SEC’s playoff aspirations if it had just two good teams and 12 others who couldn’t run a basic dive play without tripping over the line of scrimmage.

Until proven otherwise, the CFP selection committee places a high value on two things, in exactly this order: 1) Power conference teams having zero or one loss, and 2) Winning a conference championship. Which means the worst thing for any league, including the SEC, would be having a bunch of top-10 caliber teams that are more likely to beat up on each other rather than have one emerge unscathed.

Like it or not, he’s got a point.  To date, no two-loss team has cracked the semis.  And if conference weakness mattered all that much, would we easily assume, as we all do, that Clemson’s all but a lock to go again this season?

So if you were feeling guilty about rooting for Tennessee and South Carolina to go down last weekend, maybe let it go.  Watching programs like those go down in upsets is almost as much fun as watching the Dawgs win.  Why deprive yourself?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

When it comes to the CFP, are we missing the forest for the trees?

As much as we debate the preferred size of the playoffs, it feels like we give somewhat short shrift to the process that actually determines which schools make the CFP field.  A couple of recent pieces help make that point.

Mike Griffith talks to Roy Kramer about that.  Here’s what Kramer says about the BCS, which he played a part in putting together.

Six years into the current College Football Playoff system a four-team selection criteria has proven vague and inconsistent, leaving questions and controversy brewing. Concerns are pointed at a 13-member panel that includes sitting athletic directors and a cloaked voting process. 

Indeed, former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer said there’s a reason he believed cold, hard numbers should be more heavily relied upon than human opinions in determining national championship playoff qualifiers.

It’s why he designed the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) the way he did leading into its application prior to the 1998 season.

“We were concerned with regionalism and the emotion,” Kramer said, explaining why the BCS relied on a pre-determined formula of computer rankings and polls rather than the veiled committee approach used by the current College Football Playoff.

“It’s very difficult to totally separate yourself.”

You would think that the people who brought you the CFP, who had the sensitivity to take the Coaches Poll out of the equation, would have absorbed that lesson, but that there are ten out of thirteen members of the selection committee with conflicts would surely indicate otherwise.  And there appears to be almost zero discussion about that.

How to inject more objectivity into a flawed subjective process?  Well, one way would be to take an NFL-lite approach and convert the field made up exclusively of conference winners.  The problem with that, of course, is that you’d have to do a serious remake of the P5 conferences to make the math work.  I don’t think college football is ready to take the steps needed for that.

Which leaves us, perhaps ironically, looking back to the BCS, as Allen Kenney explains.

course, the BCS was not without its faults. The primary point of criticism centered around its hodgepodge formula. It tabulated rankings based on a mesh of opinion polls and proprietary computer ratings that infamously removed margin of victory from their algorithms at the direction of the BCS architects.

At the end of the regular season, the BCS spit out opaque numbers. Between a conglomeration of conflicted pollsters and dodgy analytics, the system as a whole lacked accountability for its results.

Both sources of discontent can be easily remedied. For starters, the public’s familiarity with quantitative computer models has grown significantly since the heyday of the BCS. The use of analytics has become ubiquitous across pro sports, and the media now relies more on advanced stats in sports analysis as a whole.

College football isn’t hurting for widely cited statistical tools. For example, Bill Connelly’s S&P+, Brian Fremeau’s FEI, and ESPN’s FPI have all been refined over time. Stat geeks have even come up with metrics such as Strength of Record, ESPN’s system for evaluating the quality of a team’s overall resume.

As such, we now have superior statistical rankings with more public credibility than predecessors such as the Colley Matrix and the Billingsley Report. Those in charge of administering the new BCS could license however many computer models they deemed necessary and make their formulas available as a boost to transparency.

Honestly, I’m surprised that Mickey hasn’t made a few suggestions about taking things in that direction, given that it controls two of those measures.  (Hell, maybe it has, but is getting some resistance.  Those selection committee perks are sweet, after all.)

Am I off base here, or do you share my concern about bias and conflicts?  If you do, how would you reform the selection process?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Two dipshits walk into a bar…

Imagine sitting on a bar stool, nursing a cold one, minding your own business, maybe watching a little football on the TV over the bar, when up sidles this guy

“We were shut out of the playoff and if we went six or eight, we would have been in,” Meyer said. “I just don’t know. The first people you think about are the student athletes. How do you do that? Then, bowl games are gone. … You would have to expand the roster then for a couple more games. When are they played? The spring semester starts usually around Jan. 10, Jan. 8. Are you going to play once the semester starts because there are going to be players that are moving on to the NFL? I’m not part of the conversation. I think there is certainly going to be more and more of it. But at this point in time I don’t see how you do it.”

… and before you could say, “But, Corch, you know you’d be arguing the exact opposite if you were still coaching there”, you’re both joined by this guy.

“A lot of people are going to keep their mouths shut on this topic because they’re afraid they’re going to get a call.  I don’t care.  I only care about the game.  I want the game to improve, I want the game to be better.  I want more access for those involved.”

While no solution is simple, one relatively easy fix could be expanding the College Football Playoff.  Double the number of teams invited and watch the sport’s popularity explode, Brando believes.

“You can’t tell me that by going to eight teams in this playoff you wouldn’t be doing that.  Imagine the interest you’d have with teams ranked somewhere between, say, fifth and sixteenth in the last month of the season jockeying for positions five through eight. “

Brando seems to be alluding to the illusion of parity the NFL has built their empire on.

At that moment, you realize there’s only one way left to respond.  You motion to the bartender and say, “Check, please”.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Friday morning buffet

One day ’til college football, and counting.

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Filed under ACC Football, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Pac-12 Football, SEC Football, The Evil Genius

They can leave their hats on.

GTP old timers can recall why I started the Mumme Poll here.

The inspiration for the Mumme Poll came from the final 2007 regular season Coaches Poll and Tony Barnhart’s post breaking down some of the more curious ballots cast.  (You can read that post here.)  The poll is named in honor of perhaps the most questionable vote of that Coaches Poll – Hal Mumme’s ballot listing Hawaii as the number one team in the country.

The Coaches Poll voting was rife with bias and conflicts of interest.  The best thing the CFP accomplished was putting the coaches vote out to pasture.

That doesn’t mean there’s no longer a problem with bias and conflicts of interest.  It’s just morphed into something equally dumb.

Ten of the 13 members of the College Football Playoff selection committee are recused from voting on certain schools this season, according to a release Thursday from the CFP.

The recusal policy remains the same as it has in the past five years, stating, “A recused member is permitted to answer only factual questions about the institution from which the member is recused but shall not be present during any deliberations regarding that team’s selection or seeding.”

When more than three-quarters of your voters have to excuse themselves from voting, that’s a pretty good sign you’re not doing it right.

Maybe I need to bring the Mumme Poll back.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs