Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

The saddest thing you’ll read today.

Bobby Johnson is a member of the CFP selection committee this year.  As a member of the committee, he is subject to the same recusal rules as everyone else.

Except there is no school for which Johnson is recused, because… well, because Vanderbilt.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

The difference between the SEC and the Big 12

Heather Dinich, of all people, speaks truth to power about CFP expansion.

Only when there is a major controversy will we see major change. If the Big 12’s spot on the bubble becomes permanent, then a conversation about expansion becomes valid. If the SEC is left out of the playoff? It expands faster than Alabama writes checks to Nick Saban.



UPDATE:  This would really make certain heads explode.

Now, Urban Meyer’s team is clearly the overwhelming favorite to repeat — my colleague Stewart Mandel also picked them to win the conference. But it’s not far-fetched that the Big Ten could have two teams earn a playoff spot in 2015. That’s how talented Michigan State is. The Spartans are led by a talented senior QB in Connor Cook. They have both an experienced O-line and a fierce group of D-linemen. They can also win big points with the committee if they can knock off defending Pac-12 champ Oregon when the Ducks visit East Lansing in Week Two. The bad news for Mark Dantonio? MSU has to visit Columbus to face the Big Ten’s resident powerhouse, and Ohio State is loaded.

I can’t wait to hear Herbstreit’s take on that.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, SEC Football

Feelings, nothing more than feelings

Barry Alvarez believes stats serve a purpose in his role as a member of the selection committee.  They exist to help support his personal feelings about a team.

“We found that the statistical and analytic side of the stats that we were charting supported what he was seeing, that yep, [Mississippi State] is a really productive team and a team that’s going to win a lot of games and beat good teams,” he said. “It was very validating for him to come up with his opinion of a team early on and then have the statistical and empirical data match that or validate that.”

How fortunate for the statistics – and Barry.  Because nobody wants to walk into the room armed with little more than a smile and a ‘Well, here’s what I’m seeing, these are my opinions,’ line for the others.

That being said, you think Alvarez would have come to a different conclusion if he couldn’t find any stats in support for it?  Me neither.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Stats Geek!

Could a two-loss SEC team be kept out of the playoff?

Allan Kenney asked me on the podcast he did with me last week what sort of event I thought could trigger a serious demand to expand the CFP before the end of the existing deal.  One scenario I thought had a decent chance of generating such a demand was the SEC failing to put a team in the four-team semi-finals.

So read this, and imagine the excuse making, complaining and demanding for a revised playoff format that would come from the SEC being shut out from a national title shot because of what Bert refers to as “the wrong two losses”.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

Thursday morning buffet

Do I need to tell you what to do here?  I didn’t think so.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, See You In Court, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Wednesday morning buffet

Hump day.  Get ‘yer buffet on.

  • 100 years ago… Vanderbilt was a football powerhouse.
  • Three overrated college teams, based on advanced stats – and Georgia isn’t one of them.
  • Georgia opened preseason practice yesterday almost complete from a health standpoint.  Amazing.
  • The CFP announced yesterday that it’s expanding travel help to players’ families to cover the semifinals.  That’s a nice gesture, but it’s hard to see how you square that with amateurism.  Maybe someone could ask Stacey Osburn for a comment.
  • Pruitt on Leonard Floyd“So the good thing about Leonard is he can help everybody else right. Until we figure out the other pieces of the puzzle he’s gonna kind of do all three.”
  • More Pruitt“Sometimes your second team strong safety is better than your second team free safety,” defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. “So when you’re starting free safety gets hurt, it’s not real smart to put in the worse player.”
  • Even more Pruitt“This league is a physical league. You better be big up front. You better have big people so you can sustain over the course of the year…”
  • Matt Hinton says yes, the SEC West is that good.  Which makes you wonder what kind of expansion pressure will be brought to bear on the CFP if the SEC gets shut out of the semifinals because the West ate its own.
  • And Grayson Lambert sees a lot of similarities between what Virginia and Georgia run in their offenses.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Jim Delany opens a new front.

And unlike some of his other crusades, this one might leave a mark.

Delany pointed out that, starting with the 2016 season, Big Ten football schedules will move from eight to nine conference games and will mandate one Power 5 non-conference opponent. The other two non-conference opponents must be Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

In other words, no Jacksonville State (at Auburn Sept. 12) or Charleston Southern (at Alabama Nov. 21) or anyone else from the Football Championship Subdivision.

A year from now, the Big Ten will be the only Power 5 conference with all of these rugged scheduling components: Nine league games, at least one Power-5 non-conference opponent, all 12 regular-season games against FBS schools and a conference championship game.

“We think it’s what our fans want,” Delany said. “We think it’s what our players want. And we think it’s what the College Football Playoff committee wants.”

Not necessarily in that order, of course.  And if you don’t think this is a sales pitch served to the selection committee that will be honed and repeated ad nauseam, with a side of sneer at the Big 12’s and the SEC’s scheduling, think again.

“I’m not sure that people have paid as much attention to the (College Football Playoff) guidelines for selection of teams,” Delany said. “There are about eight paragraphs that deal with the issue of when resumes look similar, similar record, similar resumes. Conference champions are going to get the first tiebreaker consideration. And strength of schedule is going to get the second.

“So if you start looking at schedules that have FCS teams that have some 20 fewer scholarships, I think that’s a consideration. I think, if you’re playing more conference games and you’re in a strong conference that, typically, is going to give you a stronger strength of schedule resume. I think winning a conference championship game gives you an advantage.”

If they weren’t paying attention before, Big Jim will make sure they’re paying attention now.

Will the SEC react?  Probably not in the short run, anyway.  But let’s see what happens after the first time the conference doesn’t have a representative in a four-team playoff field.


UPDATE:  It may be what the fans, the players and the selection committee wants, but…

Eh, don’t sweat it, fellas.  It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a bigger playoff field.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, SEC Football