Category Archives: 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.

40 Comments

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

Bud Elliott’s 2019 Blue-Chip Ratio

Bud is part of Vox’ new Banner Society group, which means I got this year’s analysis of talent accumulation via an emailed newsletter instead of by post.  In any event, here’s the list of all the teams that have signed more four- and five-star recruits than two- and three-stars over their previous four signing classes, based on the 247Sports Composite:

Entering 2019, 16 teams meet the Blue-Chip Ratio mark.

  • Ohio State 81%
  • Alabama 80%
  • Georgia 79%
  • LSU 64%
  • Florida State 61%
  • Clemson 60%
  • USC 60%
  • Penn State 60%
  • Michigan 60%
  • Texas 60%
  • Oklahoma 60%
  • Auburn 58%
  • Washington 54%
  • Notre Dame 54%
  • Florida 53%
  • Miami 51%

Bud finds no surprises there, and neither do I.

The most interesting part of his analysis — and granted, it’s a small sample size, but still — is the hint of concentration.

The increasing number of teams might not be a trend, but increasing separation between the haves and have-nots? That could be.

In 2014, no team was above 75%. In 2015, only Alabama was. In 2016 and 2017, it was still just Alabama. 2018 saw Ohio State get into that super elite class.

Now 2019 has three of the four highest Blue-Chip Ratios ever (Alabama in 2017 was at 80%). Frequently, a team comes close to the 80% mark, but never have the top three all been anywhere near this high. And Georgia is fractions of a percentage point from cracking the 80% barrier with Alabama and Ohio State.

This is over a four-year period, remember, so for Georgia, next year’s ratio will take into account Smart’s classes after the 2016 transition.  As Bud notes, a high percentage is no guarantee of title success, but you’re not winning a natty without a high percentage.

How well does this list match up with whom Vegas believes will win the national championship?

Extremely well. The top 10 teams in the Vegas odds are all BCR schools.

Among the non-BCR teams, Oregon has the best odds at 33/1, while Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Wisconsin are at 50/1. That makes sense in some ways, since Oregon has a Heisman Trophy candidate QB, Justin Herbert, who will need to play more like his 2017 self. I’ve theorized that the first non-BCR team to win a title will do so due to having a special quarterback, and Oregon was the most recent non-BCR team to come close, thanks to Marcus Mariota.

Nebraska and Wisconsin could rack up wins thanks to easy schedules, but would face real questions about their ability to win three straight games against presumably BCR schools, in the Big Ten Championship and two Playoff games.

But for the most part, non-BCR teams do not make the Playoff.

**********************************************************************

UPDATE:  A graphic graph.

Screenshot_2019-08-08 Bud Elliott on Twitter 👀That Penn State Blue-Chip Ratio trend line Maybe why myself, 38Godfrey ralph[...]

There isn’t another program on that chart that can match Georgia’s climb.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, Recruiting

“There’s no beating the South for college football.”

Ian Boyd takes a look at how some of the teams in our neck of the woods are likely to fare making the CFP field this season.  I like the way he frames his analysis.

Infrastructure check

Does this team have offensive tackles and an overall line that won’t limit them when they face teams with NFL players on the DL? If you can’t win battles in isolation in the trenches, either protecting your QB or blocking for your RB, then that’s going to be trouble.

How is the defense up the middle? Are there proven veterans at the nose, linebacker, and safety that will allow the team to have flexible gameplans and match up against great offenses without getting blown away?

Championship gear

Does this team have elite facets or game changing players that can allow them to overpower even the best opponents? For instance, the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide were impossible to handle up the middle of their defense. The 2019 Clemson Tigers ended up being able to fling the ball around on anyone with Trevor Lawrence and had an all-NFL DL.

Schedule

Even good or great teams can be derailed by an unfavorable scheduling draw. Schedule is a regular reason that top 25 caliber SEC teams go 8-5.

As you might imagine, Georgia manages to check all his boxes.

Georgia

Infrastructure check

The loss of infrastructure on defense is why I had the Dawgs pegged for a step back in 2018. They lost CB/Ni/Di swiss army knife DB Dom Davis, Roquan Smith, their nose tackle, a starting safety and the other ILB, both OLBs, it was a lot. They also lost the Sonny Michel/Nick Chubb tandem although that never seemed as dire given the way they’ve recruited at RB.

For 2019 their OL is insanely massive and well blooded by actual games and not just the physical practice culture that Kirby Smart encourages. Fromm is also back and although all their WRs are green it’s a good bet that whoever has received the 1st team offseason reps will be ready to go with their junior QB.

The offense was good last year too though, defense is the question. The middle of the defense looks more solid for 2019 with some older vets now established at ILB after taking some lumps in 2018 and the DL now restocked with blue chips that have had some seasoning.

Championship gear?

The Dawgs will run on teams this year and it’ll be hard for most squads to do much about it. Granted, Texas shut down their rushing attack in the Sugar Bowl, but Georgia will have taken some lessons from that experience and most teams got railroaded up front.

The real fear will be from a revitalized defense that has too much speed, physicality, and want to for teams to find openings. A secret about Georgia that has been revealed a few times is that their anti-spread strategies aren’t astounding. They have good sub-packages, they use the tite front and some other fronts that help them, but their schemes aren’t really the secret. What they do well is matchup to your personnel and then play hard and fast with great athletes that play hard. When they have it going at every level they can make things hard.

Schedule?

Florida has problems with Georgia because they’ve lacked the size and ability up front on defense to withstand the Dawgs’ downhill run game. The rest of the east still hasn’t caught up. They draw Notre Dame at home after playing Arkansas State and before a bye week and then from the SEC West they draw @Auburn and Texas A&M at home in back to back weeks. This is probably the easiest schedule in the SEC.

Gut call

The Dawgs will out-talent and out-physical their competition, Notre Dame will make them look good with a solid season after taking it on the chin in Athens, and they’ll advance to the SEC title game. There, even if they lose, they may still have a resume that puts them in. Or they could beat a non-Alabama squad and create a path for a double SEC entrance mirroring the 2017 season. At any rate, I think they’ll get in.

I might quibble with his overly broad assessment of Georgia’s schedule, but the rest is solid.

His other Southern picks to make the playoffs are Alabama (duh) and Clemson (duh, duh).  His picks to miss include Florida (not enough dominant players to overcome the schedule), Auburn (“boosters may send some flowers to Bob Stoops…”) and TAMU, all of whom appear on Georgia’s schedule.  I can live with that.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

Best’s got nothin’ to do with it.

Another season, another crisis.

If it felt like something changed with Clemson’s emphatic win against Alabama in the College Football Playoff national championship game, the lingering residue is reflected in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll. And it’s not just that Clemson is ranked No. 1 ahead of Alabama, but the margin: The Tigers got 59 first-place votes, the Tide only six.

But let’s not get sidetracked here.

More telling than who’s No. 1 is this: College football’s most exclusive tier is still occupied by only two programs. The same two programs…

… Keep scrolling the rankings beyond ‘Bama, and the names are familiar, too.

The order is different than a year ago. Georgia and Oklahoma have moved up a spot each, while Ohio State has dropped two. But the makeup of the top five in the preseason rankings is the same as it was in August 2018, and it’s hard to quibble.

Oh, you thought I meant this was a crisis for you or me?  No, no, no… it’s a crisis for poor ol’ Mickey, which has to struggle to find a way to entertain Short-Term Attention Span America.

You’ve come a long way from fretting over the Rematch, baby.  Moving the goal posts is overdue.  Fortunately, he’s here to help.

Eh, who cares about having the best, or even the most deserving, in the playoff field?  Let’s just skip straight to healthiest.  Hell, let’s outsource the selection committee to a few wise souls at ESPN while we’re at it.   Think of all the attention that would get.  Boredom problem solved.

33 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

Tired of the fatigue

This is a fun read from Bill Connelly and there’s a quick take from it I’d like to share with you.

One premise of his is that 2018 was essentially the opposite of 2007, which still remains, in my humble opinion, college football’s greatest season of the BCS era.

There’s always wackiness beneath the surface, but the national title race, the most direct source of entertainment, wasn’t all that entertaining.

Only four teams ranked in the top two in the AP poll at some point during the season: Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia. For reference, seven did in 2017, and there was an average of 5.8 over the past six years. Not since 2009, when Alabama, Texas and Florida took over as the top three in Week 4 and squatted on those spots for the rest of the regular season (Alabama and Texas played for the title), have we had such a by-the-book title race.

By bringing this up, am I attempting to jinx us into a wild title race this fall? You betcha. Remember the amazing 2007 season, which featured a decade’s worth of surprise contenders and plot twists? That year featured 11 different top-two teams. The 2008 season featured nine. I’d settle for seven this year.

Are we entering a time of the super program, when a handful of teams have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack?  Or was 2018 simply an anomaly?

David Hale thinks it’s the former, and that we’re already well within it.

David’s conclusion is that it’s problematic for college football in that it’s a recipe for fan fatigue.  If so — and, to be fair, that’s something that’s yet to register in TV ratings — what exactly can college football do about it?

Not much, I’m afraid.  The knee jerk response is to suggest expansion of the CFP, but if these programs have truly separated themselves from the remaining 126 or so others, then all expansion does is postpone the inevitable.  Sure, four additional teams will have the opportunity to chase their postseason dreams, but if you’re not an Alabama or Clemson, what’s gonna change when you face them in the quarterfinals?

Throw up your hands, blow up the CFP and take us back to the chaos of the bowl game era?  For a variety of reasons (read:  money) that ain’t gonna happen.

The only thing I can come up with is cutting the scholarship limits down from 85 to, say, 65.  That would serve to spread the wealth more equitably.  More parity would mean more chances for regular season upsets that would affect the shape of the playoff field and might also serve to reduce the gap David charts between the cream and the merely upper tier.

Then again, if all you really care about in the end is seeing college football’s very best programs face off for a national title, is the current state of affairs troubling?

14 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Stats Geek!