Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

Saturday morning buffet

A few odds and ends to get your weekend going:

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Filed under ACC Football, BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Crime and Punishment, Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Nick Saban Rules

Why the CFP is better than the BCS.

Cha-ching, baby.

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“If a team can finish ninth in its conference and then be crowned national champion, your playoff is too big.”

Michael Elkon noticed something about the latest Final Four…

After a year in which college basketball was roundly criticized for being boring, too physical, too slow, too defensive and increasingly unpopular, the Final Four and the Championship Game got the best TV ratings in decades. Both the Final Four and the tournament as a whole got their highest ratings since 1993.

Like 2015, 1993 featured the rare trio of No. 1 seeds reaching the Final Four.

… and draws a useful conclusion for college football from that.

So what does this mean for college football? Simple: the tournament is an endorsement of modern-day college football in two important respects.

First, the 2015 tournament shows it’s much better to have the best teams playing the semifinals than it is to have a stagecoach full of Cinderella. Yes, it was fun to see VCU, Butler and George Mason make Final Fours, but the viewing public tuned out because it gauged that these were not the best teams in the country. In contrast, put together a Final Four with three No. 1 seeds and another perennial power, and you have TV gold.

Right now, the College Football Playoff is designed to produce that exact formula. It aims to take the four best teams in the country, not the four that have gone 4-0 in a tournament.  [Emphasis added.]

Two things in response:  he’s right and ultimately it won’t matter that he’s right.

The same people who are responsible for the current enlarged basketball playoff field – and would have been happy to bloat things even further had some broadcaster been willing to pay for the privilege – are making the call on college football’s postseason.  And there are too many elements of a perfect storm out there waiting for just the right moment to spring Bill Hancock’s next breathless announcement about how this time they’ve really got things nailed.

If I can mix aquatic movie metaphors for just a minute, we’re all just waiting for someone to say they’re gonna need a bigger boat.

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“I was told the reason we had a [selection] committee is we were going to take all that stuff out of it. ”

You didn’t really believe that, did you, Gary Patterson?

Actually, no.

It’s never been adequately explained by committee folks how TCU could be good enough to be No. 3 after 11 games, but fall three places after winning its final game by 52 points.

Patterson said Wednesday he had inkling that would happen. On the field before that Iowa State game, he told Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads, “We’re not going to the playoffs.”

“I’m pretty good at gut feelings,” Patterson added. “I watched all the articles during the week. I actually thought that was the kiss of death moving to three.”

That 2007 Georgia team knows how you feel, brother.

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“Where there’s a cluster, you cluster.”

And the CFP selection committee, to what should be absolutely nobody’s surprise, has decided to cluster on a weekly basis again this season.

ESPN salutes the committee’s dedication.

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Today’s winner in “The Most Irrelevant Question” contest

I can’t imagine an answer I could be less interested in learning than the one to this query.

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More cowbell, please.

It’s no secret ESPN wants the CFP to move the semifinals off New Year’s Eve to a more broadcast friendly January 2, and that the CFP folks are resisting the push.

So what happens if ESPN is correct in its concern about the ratings?  I mean, it’s not just the date that may be an issue.

Of course, even if the semifinals were to move to Jan. 2 — or somehow stay on New Year’s Day — the numbers would be hard pressed to match last year. The Rose Bowl (14.8, 28.2M) and Sugar (15.2, 28.3M) bowls were the highest-rated and most-watched college football games since 2010, topping the previous four BCS championship games. A confluence of factors led the strong numbers, including the novelty of the playoffs and the high-profile nature of participants Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Oregon. Those will be difficult to replicate next season, regardless of the schedule.

I expect the “high-profile nature” of those games to repeat – that’s kind of the whole point to the structure of the CFP –  but the novelty issue is obviously a different story.  At some point the same people who felt the need to juice up college football’s postseason from the BCS to the CFP will get the shakes again, and then what?  They’ll probably give in to the WWL on no longer competing with the ball dropping on Times Square (and why not, since this is about garnering a more broad-based national audience, anyway), but when even that doesn’t fix things, they’ll have little choice but to choose to take the next step.

When you’ve got postseason fever, there’s only one cure.

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