Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

Picked Six

And there it is…

… aka “Kirby Smart’s chance at redemption”.


UPDATE:  Prime time.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

Luck of the Irish

You gotta hand it to the selection committee.

While Brian Kelly’s departure obviously shook up the college football landscape, it also could have potentially hurt Notre Dame’s College Football Playoff chances. After Notre Dame opted to promote defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to become the team’s next head coach, CFP committee chairman Gary Barta has acknowledged that the move will likely help Notre Dame in playoff discussions.

“We met last night as a committee as we got the weekend underway, and we talked about Notre Dame, the continuity, the quickness [of hiring Freeman to replace Kelly],” Barta said of Notre Dame on College GameDay Saturday morning. “And I can tell you, it is still part of our protocol, but based on our conversation last night, I’d be really surprised if it factors in at all in the conversation evaluating Notre Dame.”

With three teams a seeming lock in the semifinal field, if it comes down to Georgia and Notre Dame for the final slot, what’s the committee going to do?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

“”I thought there was a chance we’d get to the end today.”

Wrong, bacon breath.

On Wednesday morning, College Football Playoff staff members had a hotel meeting room reserved for a potentially historic news conference to announce playoff expansion — a floor-to-ceiling backdrop with the CFP logo, a two-team audio/visual staff with a sound system and a lectern and chairs for the media.

By early afternoon, it was all disassembled.

“I thought there was a chance we’d get to the end today,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “We didn’t, and there were good and appropriate reasons why we didn’t.”

Here’s where they’re at:

In other words, same as it ever was.  It sounds like there’s still a group out there who think they’re gonna get Greg Sankey to vote against his interests and agree to an eight-team format with conference champ AQs.

“I think that an eight option is still alive,” Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said.

“I’ll let Craig speak for himself,” Sankey said. “I was part of a group that brought forward a recommendation of six conference champions and the six best remaining teams. Or I can stay at four.”

Does that sound like a man who’s ready to be convinced, or a man who knows he’s got sufficient leverage?

I’ve said this already, but if there’s a group still letting their hurt fee-fees force a meaningless confrontation over format that winds up leaving the current structure in place, I hope they keep sucking their thumbs for years to come.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Today, in making it up as they go along

Are you shitting me, Gary?

It’s not like I care about Notre Dame, the program, and, given the way the current selection committee rankings are, it’s likely that this will turn out to be a moot issue, but to tell the players suiting up for ND who’ve bled and banged all season, “sorry, we decided to block you from the CFP because Brian Kelly’s a greedhead” seems like a less than optimal way of doing it for the kids.

Although I would enjoy watching Barta deliver that message in person to the team… well, mainly I’d enjoy watching the team tell Barta where to stick his protocol.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

The net ypp, she burns.

If some of y’all don’t remember why I track net yards per play on a weekly basis, let me remind you.

As a general rule of thumb based on the last four seasons, you’d better create a net YPP of 2+ if you want a realistic shot at the CFP (the four-team version, that is).  And if you want to win, you’d better wind up north of 2.5.  It doesn’t matter how you get there — track Alabama’s numbers over those four years, for example — just that you do get there.

Now, I only track that metric for the SEC.  Fortunately, I know somebody who looks at D-1.  Here’s how that shapes up this week:

Funny how the top four on that list also happen to be the top four teams on the selection committee’s list.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Stats Geek!

Your Alliance can’t save you now.

With Utah’s 38-7 blowout of Oregon — the game wasn’t as close as the score indicates — the Pac-12 will miss the CFP for the fifth straight season.

That sound you hear is Greg Sankey’s phone ringing as George Kliavkoff calls to find out how soon they can get that 12-team playoff vote scheduled.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Pac-12 Football

One out of two ain’t bad

For what it’s worth, according to ESPN’s CFP predictor, if ‘Bama beats Georgia in the SECCG after both teams run the regular season table, that won’t have much of an effect on the Dawgs’ chances to move on.

In other words, Alabama probably has to beat Georgia twice to win a national championship, while Georgia only has to beat ‘Bama once.  Which is more likely?


Filed under Alabama, BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

The articulate Gary Barta

Other than as broadcast fodder for Mickey, these weekly CFP rankings are a complete waste.  Worse, they’re an opportunity for someone to do a bang up job of sticking their foot in their mouth.

Enter the CFP chair and current Iowa AD, Gary Barta, who did a masterful job of insertion with this:

Oy.  As Bruce Feldman put it,

And before any of you go, “Senator, I thought you were big on statistical data…”, I am, but I’m even bigger on consistency.  And there’s the rub.  If stats are your reason for ranking Michigan ahead of Michigan State, fine, but explain why stats don’t apply so much in the case of Oregon.  Here’s why I say that:

I’ll wait.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

If perfect is the enemy of the good, is the good the enemy of mediocre?

Andy Staples is an unabashed fan of playoff expansion, and more power to him for that.  I am a little bit amused by his recent enthusiastic piece on the resurrection of the 12-team format ($$).  Here’s how he characterizes the original proposal, which became tainted by its association with history’s greatest monster, Greg Sankey:

The original plan called for the automatic bids to go to the six highest-ranked conference champs regardless of the autonomy status conferred upon them by the NCAA. It was admittedly a more elegant solution that ignored major college football’s caste system and provided a better chance for less financially robust leagues to put teams in the CFP.

But something, something, Texas, Oklahoma, trust destroyed intervened.  And now we get the latest version of football’s greatest invention since white bread.  Here’s how Staples sees everybody winning now:

… It might be worth it to Sankey to try to horse trade approval of the compromise in exchange for a smoother exit for his league’s 15th and 16th members.

If that happened …

• The SEC would get something it wants (more at-larges and maybe Oklahoma and Texas sooner).

• The Big 12 would definitely get one thing it needs (legislated legitimacy) and probably something else it needs (a better TV deal than it would have gotten).

• The Big Ten would get something it wants (conference champions getting most favored nation status and more at-larges).

• The ACC would get something it needs (a guaranteed spot for when the league is down) and something it could use later (more at-larges for when 2016 happens again).

• The Pac-12 would get something it needs (a guaranteed spot).

• The Group of 5 leagues would get something they need (a guaranteed spot in the Playoff, which is not as good for them as the original proposal but is much better than what they get now).

If you missed consideration for “the best”, or even “the deserving”, you’re not alone.  Money doesn’t care about any of that.  The P5 will slap this together, throw in the obligatory praise about helping the kids, move on and collect the checks.

And anyone who thinks the carousel is going to stop at twelve is seriously deluding themselves.  Expansion will only end when there’s nobody willing to pay more for it.  But y’all enjoy the brackets!


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

“It’s 12 or back to four.”

Sankey’s not budging on an eight-team playoff format, but it sounds like he’s agreed to throw the Alliance a bone:  the “5+1”.

The debate over eight appears over. Now, there’s a new model, as college football leaders are not done haggling over playoff expansion formats just yet.

At their meeting last week, a group of conference commissioners introduced a new alternate 12-team postseason model that guarantees a berth to each Power 5 champion, sources tell Sports Illustrated.

The model is almost identical to the one a subcommittee introduced over the summer—aside from one change. The alternate model grants automatic bids to the Power 5 champions plus the highest-ranked Group of 5 champion. The subcommittee’s proposal gives automatic access to the six highest-ranked conference champions. Each format completes the field with six at-large selections based on rankings.

That just reeks of the best of the best, doesn’t it?

They know what the weak sister P5s are.  They’re just haggling over the fee.  Which is all the CFP is about, anyway.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness