The Way Things Should Be

By DJ Byrnes on December 8, 2011 at 3:00p
120 Comments
RT @leh0n: My hog has influenza. Who contaminated my hogA SCENE MUCH LIKE THIS LED TO MY COLLEGE DECISION

There are a couple of things which keep me from enjoying college football as much as I might otherwise. One, I have a pretty big problem with everybody making money off college football except for the players risking bodily injury. (And please, save me  your "OMG SCHOLARSHIP!!!" pleas. Would you work your job if your employer paid you in gift certificates to their own store?) The second is the ridiculousness of college football's "postseason."

On Saturday, Army and Navy will put the capstone on the 2011 college football regular season, whom we hardly seem to know. Now it's time for a series of exhibition games leading to the only bowl game which means anything: the national title game. Of course, according to the Bill Hancock, "President" of the BCS, the BCS has once again delivered justice to us meek college football fans

Every free-thinking person knows what a poorly shrouded charade the BCS is. There's the blatant cronyism and corruption. There are people like LSU scheduling the likes of Western Kentucky in Novemer in attempts to avoid a late season loss. Its mysterious formula includes Coaches' Poll, which allows people like Nick Saban to vote Oklahoma State #4, thus helping his team reach the title game. It also includes the Harris Poll, which was considered a joke even before it allowed a former SEC commissioner to place five SEC teams into the Top 11. All of this absurdity, however, begins to make sense when viewed with the millions-of-dollars-at-stake in the background. It's a story as old as time itself. 

And yet, here we are talking about Dollar Store band-aid ideas like a "plus-one play-off system" and a couple hundred more bucks in stipends. If Mark Emmert can make millions of dollars while sitting at the head of an archaic, unncessary institution... why must college football fans settle for a four team play-off? So we can have this debate all over again in 10 years... when all these schemers are retired? Why do we have to tolerate whatever dumb-assery Bill Hancock is shoveling us this year in defense of the shambolic system which lines his pockets? It's all especially infuriating considering the solution to all of this is (almost) literally under college presidents' noses.

In December 2004, my 1.1 high school GPA and I were beating back collegiate suitors for my substantial academic talents. After one of the most storied recruiting processes in academia history, I was down to four choices: Youngstown State, Wright State University, San Jose State and the University of Montana. While I was heavily leaning towards putting my life on the line in pursuit of an education in Youngstown, my decision turned one fateful night while idly flipping through television channels. I happened to stumble upon the 2004 D-1AA Championship Game. The 2004 banger featured James Madison University and the Grizzlies of Montana. The Grrrrrrrrizzlies would go on to lose to JMU by 10, but during one intro-from-commercial, the ESPN2 camera panned Montana's fans. They were drunk. They were wild. In other words, they were my type of people. I decided then and there I was striking west to continue to my academics. 

If you know anything about the Football Championship Subdivision (as D-1AA was later renamed), you know Montana is somewhat of a powerhouse. I will confess, coming from being raised as a fan of one of the most successful programs in the nation, it was a lot harder to get excited for "Montana vs. Northern Arizona" than it had been for "Ohio State vs. Iowa". All of that changed, however, once the play-offs rolled around. 

I have tasted the fruit of a college football play-off system, and not a sorry-ass "plus-one playoff" either, but a real play-off. Let me tell you, my friends, it is a fruit as glorious and ripe as any you will find in your local Kroger isle. 

RT @goshdarnheck you married? Got kids?? Pets?? Dog? Cat? Bugs? You got any bugs?? Beetles??? Spiders????? You know how it is then ehTOURNAMENTS HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO SETTLE DISPUTES

In 2006, Montana advanced to the semi-finals. Since Washington-Grizzly Stadium doesn't have any lights, ESPN brought in lights for their Friday night broadcast. Of course, Steve Baylark gutted Montana for 169 yards on the ground, 76 yards receiving and two touchdowns; but I remember thinking how I was more excited for that game than any Ohio State bowl game not being played for a national title. I mean, what sort of sports fan doesn't enjoy a semi-final game? Especially with a unique visitor coming onto your team's home-turf and trying to take your team's chain? Seems a little more exciting than an exhibition put on by the geniuses behind TaxSlayerPro.Com, no? 

The idea of a play-off being vastly superior to the current system isn't groundbreaking. But it's funny to watch people act as if heaven and earth must be moved to bring a play-off to the highest level of college football. If lower caliber athletes can handle the rigors of these extra games (while balancing an academic schedule without an army of tutors behind them), why couldn't somebody like Trent Richardson? And if that's a deal-breaking issue, then I'm sure most fans and players would sacrifice early season games against inferior competition in exchange for tournament games. 

Using the FCS-model (which, by the way, has expanded to twenty teams), also eliminates the "OMG BUT WILL FANS TRAVEL!?!?" farce, since all games are played at the higher seeded team's home field. If Ohio State can pack 105,000+ into the Horesehoe to watch a 5-3 Buckeyes team face-off against freaking Indiana... then I think their fans would shell out the cash to watch a second round match-up against somebody like Alabama. And to dovetail on that idea, Buckeye fans wouldn't take up a chance to watch the Buckeyes play somewhere like LSU's Death Valley? (We'd have to wait until roughly 2024 to see that match-up in the regular season.)

If you want to claim " BUT EVERY GAME COUNTS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL", I will first laugh at you and then show you "The Game of the Century" from earlier this year. After that, I'd point you to college basketball and their 68-game tournament. (Which, by the way, is the biggest money maker for the NCAA.) Did the fact a 68-team tournament is looming in March take away from your enjoyment or anticipation of the Duke-Ohio State game? Are you any less excited to watch the basketball Buckeyes bang in Kansas on Saturday? I doubt it. (And is it not refreshing to see college basketball powerhouses schedule games against each other?)

And to you "OMG BUT ITS A TRADITION" contrarians, I would argue the only tradition in the bowl system is United States Dollars. Doubt me? Then I present Texas playing in the Rose Bowl.  The piss-poor Big Ten sent TEN teams bowling this year. TEN. Here's the best thing about a tournament system though, even given the proliferation of bowls. There's no reason why non-tournament teams can't play in bowls. Ohio State and Florida could still play in this year's Gator Bowl under this model. Sure, the Sugar/Rose/Orange/Fiesta Bowls will lose prestige, but who cares? They sold their soul a long time ago, and those fat-cats have made plenty off this farce of a system already. It's not that play-offs wouldn't be profitable -- they would be -- it's just the money being made off the games would go to the schools and the NCAA and not to the BCS and their strip club slush funds. (And would eventually just be going to the schools once the new super conferences secede from the NCAA.)

I also think I've had it with the SEC getting to play all these bowl games on their own turf. Montana, for example, has lost two home play-off games to teams from south of the Mason-Dixon line since 1986. Before you write it off as mere happenstance, consider Montana has made the playoffs every year since 1986 as well. The SEC has unquestionably been the most dominant football conference since Florida put a pregnant Troy Smith six feet under; but, they rarely travel north of the Mason-Dixon line -- even for out-of-conference regular season games. I wonder how much somebody who's used to 70 degree days in December could adapt to playing football in the Horseshoe, Camp Randall or Bronco Stadium on a 10 degree December day with 8 inches of snow on the ground?

While this year's 2011 FCS tournament, as noted above, has 20 teams, I've eliminated the play-in games from the bracket-we-should-be-watching-unfold due to its play-in games conflicting with "Championship Saturday". Tomorrow would be the start of the second round of this hypothetical tournament. I'll let you marinate on what-could-have been and weigh it against what-we're-gunna-watch. Just to be a dick, I used the latest BCS rankings for the seedings. Sure, there are two re-matches in the first round, but I think they're outweighed by games like Wisconsin at Boise State, Baylor at Oregon and Michigan at Stanford. BEHOLD, COLLEGE FOOTBALL POST-SEASON (AS IT SHOULD BE):

RT @woodmuffin: Livetweeting my imminent demise at the hands of CyberClown hacker gang. It is the Earth year 204X and laughter is the only crime

If Alabama and LSU were the two last teams standing out of that bracket (and they probably would be), then that's a pill I'll gladly swallow. And no, I don't think there should be any automatic slots awarded to conference winners. All conferences chased the conference championship money-bag, but there is no reason a 6-6 UCLA team should even have a chance to qualify for the tournament. Will there be teams left out and arguments about that? Yes, but at least in the end, the champion is crowned for coming out of a tournament instead of being awarded a berth in the title game by an unknown algorithm

It's an idea that obviously has support with fans. It also has the support of the players. Why are we wasting time and money trying to replace broken windows on a house that needs a new foundation?

120 Comments

Comments

DallasTheologian's picture

Don't like the prospect of OSU being tempted to rest its starters for the scUM game or any game for that matter.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Would never happen, potential home games would always be at stake.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

3 Yards And A Cloud of Dust's picture

Everyone knows the answer why this won't happen...(whispering voice)...follow the money.

The people behind the BCS, the major bowls, advertisers, the networks and the NCAA don't do this to perpetuate the spirit of competition, fellowship....it's the money.

They pay lip service to the complaints, turn a deaf ear and count their (our) money.

The ONLY way change will happen is if the money stops flowing. 

That means a boycott by fans (ultimate source of the money) or an intervention by Congress (look under "worthless" at dictionary.com).

Despite our venomous hatred of the system and our frustration that the masters behind the system are unwilling to change - we're not going to stop watching, going to the games, buying the overpriced Nike "throwback" unifrorms or the other trinkets and trash with our favorite team's logo.

It may be my own personal campaign - but years ago I stopped buy stuff, stopped supporting the advertisers and very, very rarely go to games.  But, I still watch my Buckeyes on TV or listen to the games on the old fashioned Marconi thing on the shelf in my bar.

We all talk a good game, but to bring about real change would require a significant sacrifice that I don't think enough people are willing to make.

On this planet, in this timeline - money is the driver.

WMBuckeye's picture

Brilliant DJ!!!

Proud to be a Buckeye in SEC territory...Long Live the Vest!!
Class of 2003 OSU/ATI "Where the men are men, women are few and the sheep are scared.."

achillesx's picture

I couldn't agree more!  VERY well written!!  Now what the hell do we have to do to get this idea moving?  I bet if we somehow got Delany to either step down or be fired, it would be much easier!

BuddhaBuck's picture

And this is the way the NCAA SHOULD see this....

Don't text while driving.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Amen.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

BuckeyeChris's picture

What I also love about this concept is the thought/possibility of Alabama (for example) playing IN Wisconsin (for example) .... in December!  Love...Love...Love.... !!!

 

Which is why I know that the BCS/ESPiN/SEC would never, ever, ever let this happen. 

WMBuckeye's picture

Jackpot!!!! +50000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000!!!

Proud to be a Buckeye in SEC territory...Long Live the Vest!!
Class of 2003 OSU/ATI "Where the men are men, women are few and the sheep are scared.."

onetwentyeight's picture

you can just begin to imagine all the shenanigans B1G stadiums would begin to pull to keep their field conditions as crappy as possible prior to games ( "What?! there was a blizzard!", etc) 

 

See: that one random bowl game a few years ago when LSU lost to Penn St after a monsoon in Florida, with the field being mud basically. 

 

 

SaintTressel's picture

I haven't spent much time pondering this, but offhandedly I don't think home games in Wisconsin etc would necessarily promote a fair or just postseason system.

On another note, this 'southern teams come north' idea is expressed frequently by fans--I would be shocked if more then 10 players on Wisco's football team would prefer to play a december home game vs a neutral site game in a warmer climate. Football in bitter cold is miserable.

fwiw those would be really intriguing games to watch

BED's picture

I think the point is more we're used to the cold, and the jorts-wearing southerners aren't.  Think about what happens when the Chargers have to play in Foxboro.  New England has an advantage, even if the players would rather be in Sunny San Diego.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

F O U R's picture

Jim Delaney is the main reason this will never happen.  ESPN figured out a way to make money out of televising card games.  They could make bazillions off of a College Football Playoff.  Mike Slive is the biggest playoff advocate out there.  Why wouldn't Alabama's or LSU's smash mouth football work in the cold?

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

Don't you just love how the southern boys can't come play in the north?  They all wear long sleeves when its mid 50's. haha

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

buckeyedude's picture

It's funny. At times when I vacation in Florida in the winter, and the highs are in the low 60s and I'm wearing swim trunks, the natives have winter coats on or heavy sweaters and stocking hats.

 
 

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

16 teams would almost be too many. I think 8 would be good, maybe 10 and you give #1 and #2 a bye...  i think injuries would dilute the championship game or semi's. The teams wouldn't be the same as they were during the regualar season. JMO    Too many teams means more complaining, imaine LSU getting beat by a team in the first round, then everyone would be bithing that the best teams are playing in the title, I'd still love to watch it though.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

cplunk's picture

I say we move to the "Three Desperate Star" system of determining the championship. This year's Desperate Star selection committee would be Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Tila Tequila. Those three get together and vote. Impress those three and you're in.

The committee rotates every five years or so. The last committee would have been Tara Reid, Britney Spears, and, well still Paris Hilton.

Much more fair than the BCS....

Seriously, if you're doing sixteen teams and you want the regular season to count, then just dictate that the top four or six ranked teams are the conference champions in ranked order. If you don't win your conference, you can get in but you can't be ranked higher than 7.

If you want the regular season to matter even more, keep that rule but also eliminate conference championships and give the top 6 spots to the top 6 ranked regular season champions.

 

onetwentyeight's picture

That would be a travesty!

No Kim Kardashian (or any Kardashian, for that matter..) on the selection committee??? 

 

cplunk's picture

And the controversy begins....

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

Sullinger update: told coach he woke up dancing this morning but Matta doesn't know what that "entails" lol

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

BrewstersMillions's picture

So you'd have the NCAA get away from 'neutral site' games in favor of rewarding teams with a home playoff game or two for having a better year than their opponent? I don't like this talk.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

BED's picture

Neutral sites (read SEC or PAC12 home games)

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

BED's picture

I've been advocating a 16 team playoff in my circles which calls for AQ for each of the 11 conference champs, and 5 at large bids (using BCS-esque rankings).  You'd then seed from a similar set of rankings, with 16 playing at 1, 15 at 2, etc. in the home stadiums (God, just think of LSU or Florida playing in the Shoe or at Camp Randall in Dec/Jan).  The second round would be similar.  Third round could be BCS Bowls.  Final rotated among bowl sites or big NFL stadiums (How sweet would a Champ game at JerryWorld be?).

The non-playoff teams could still play in the Mattel Rock'em Sock'em Robots(R) Bowl, or whatever, just like the NIT happens for non-bracket teams for BBall.

/SOLVED

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

BED's picture

Also, I love my idea because it screws Notre Dame over hard.  Always a bonus.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

onetwentyeight's picture

OH YES. that too. Love it. 

BED's picture

Won't let me edit, odd.  Second round would be BCS Bowls (brain-fart).  Third could be rotated among 4 BCS bowls like MNC game is.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

onetwentyeight's picture

* Wistfully daydreams about a CFB playoff * 

 

 

Flava Flav's picture

Although your point is spot on, the FCS doesn't use the system illustrated in you bracket. The only way to preserve the regular season is to maximize conference champions. That means C USA, MAC, WAC, MWC, Big East all get automatic bids and are then ranked (as FCS does) by committee or BCS-type system for the bracket.

10 - Conference auto bids
6  - At large

BED's picture

Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, SEC, PAC12, ACC, MWC, WAC, MAC, C USA, Sun Belt

11 auto bids

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

cplunk's picture

Nah, just do ten. Leave out the SEC. They'll have five schools bogusly ranked in the top ten anyway, so they'll get five of the six at large bids every year.

BED's picture

+1,000,000

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

3cent's picture

I always wondered how they can do the last BCS poll when all the regular season games arent over (Army vs Navy). Doesnt the outcome of that game affect the computers since the computers are based off of who played who and who did they play and so on.

cplunk's picture

That is a really good point

theDuke's picture

finished with the first paragraph. truest thing i've ever read. ever. really.

theDuke

WMBuckeye's picture

Proud to be a Buckeye in SEC territory...Long Live the Vest!!
Class of 2003 OSU/ATI "Where the men are men, women are few and the sheep are scared.."

BuckeyeChief's picture

Man, what a tragedy. My first (Navy boss) LPO's son had got accepted the day of the first shooting. I hadn't heard from him for awhile, and after the second shooting called him to check on his son, turns out the first incident kept him from attending and he went to JMU instead.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

WMBuckeye's picture

To add to the tragedy, this morning on my way into work NPR ran a story about Dover AFB and what happens to the unidentified remains..just sick/disgusting/heartbreaking. This incident just tops the day off. Glad to hear your LPO's son made a different choice.

Proud to be a Buckeye in SEC territory...Long Live the Vest!!
Class of 2003 OSU/ATI "Where the men are men, women are few and the sheep are scared.."

Scott's picture

Good work, DJ. I'd like the winners of the Fiesta, Orange, Sugar, and Rose to create a national final four (this might be the plus-one system?). All other bowls still preserved and the major four keep their prestige. Either way, some form of playoff is the way to go.

Class of 2008

btalbert25's picture

I'm not crazy for auto bids for a conference champ that is determined by a conference championship game.  As DJ said that's just a money grab.  There have been flukes where teams win the conference title despite not being that great.  Like K-State the year we played them in a BCS title game.

I don't have a problem with a neutral field model either where you have regionals.  Or maybe you have a neutral site for the title game that rotates around like the NCAA football playoffs have. 

I'd be more inclined to shave down the number of teams to 8-12.  Even 12 is pushing it.  I just see no way in hell Michigan or Baylor would be able to get hot enough to win it all.  I don't know how it shakes out, but you are absolutely correct about one thing.  The only tradition that matters with the bowls are US dollars.  I'd even argue that the only tradition that matters to the schools and conferences are the US dollar.  The fans are the only ones that care about the pagentry of it all.  To be sure, tradition is great and it's the reason many of us love the program, but I'm a firm believe that schools would sell out tradition in a heartbeat to make a few more bucks. 

Hoody Wayes's picture

The B!G's moving on Penn State. I think expulsion is possible, because of the league's dedication, to its brand:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ap-pennst-bigten

Orlando Buckeye's picture

I said last year when we were talking expansion that we should kick Penn St out and stay 10 teams.  Of course, it had nothing to do with all this recent mess.  I just thought they should go be the king of the Big East and lend them some legitimacy and we could stay the Big 10.

theDuke's picture

anything would be better than what we see now. even in 08 when the buckeyes went, i think every buckeye in the country knew we werent' the best (most deserving) team. side note: i went to the game anyways and will always relish that amazing feeling of seeing an LSU fan start crying when we jumped out 14-0--- anyways, you can cut it however you want, 16 teams, 18 with byes for the top two or a "play-in" game for the last two spots. i will keep dreaming i guess. 

theDuke

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Yes, the passion and intensity of the I-AA playoffs is great. I've seen it too.

But......

How's that passion and intensity in September? How's that passion and intensity for .500 teams in October and November that are out of contention and have nothing to play for? At least under the current model, 2/3 or more of the teams have something worth playing for in November. This won't be so if you get rid of the bowls and go to a playoff.

Case and point: USC.

2008 attendance: 92.72 percent capacity.

2009 attendance: 90.59 percent capacity.

2010 attendance: 85.36 percent capacity

2011 attendance: 79.92 percent capacity

Despite having their best team since 2008 this year, Southern Cal's attendance is WAYYY down from the previos years. Gee, I wonder why. No shot at a postseason, maybe?

Not all conferences are stacked with fans as loyal as the SEC and B1G. If half the teams are eliminated from any sort of postseason contention by the end of October, attendance will suffer dearly. And so will athletic budgets. Ever been to an NFL game in December where the home team has been eliminated from playoff contention? The stadiums are half full, if that.

Keep the bowls. I love watching conferences taking on each other for bragging rights. Add a plus-1, but with a qualifier that you must win your conference to be eligible.

I like that every game matters. I love the early season matchups and the emotion that goes with a win. I hated the emotion of losing to Texas, and USC. But it makes all the other victories that much sweeter. The hype, buildup, and emotion of a premier early season college matchup is 10000x better than any early season NFL matchup. We'll still care about these matchups because we're rabid CFB fans. But the average fan will not care. TV ratings would certainly suffer.

BED's picture

No reason we can't keep the bowls as a consolation prize, ala the NIT.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Ehh, perhaps. I MIGHT be able to be persuaded on an eight team playoff, but not sixteen. No way no how. It will water down the regular season. It's inevitable.

What's wrong with a plus-1 of the four highest ranked conference champs? If you say "You must win your conference", then teams that don't win their conference have no gripe and it makes the conference games matter even more, and it still ensures that the WHOLE SEASON matters. Inclusive enough that a 2010 TCU or 2008 Utah wouldn't be left out, but exclusive enough that Alabama, Stanford, and Boise would be left out because they didn't win their conference, along with Clemson and WVU who aren't one of the four highest ranked conference champs. You know what's funny? Wisconsin would be the fourth highest ranked conference champ. They're 10th in the BCS thanks to an upset in the ACC title game (which nobody really watched, but they probably would have if it had national title implications for VaTech... same goes for the C-USA title game... had Houston won, they'd have been one of the four highest ranked conference champs). Is anybody going to argue that a team ranked below 10th deserves a shot?

BED's picture

I just worry that a WVU or VaTech would cruise through their easy conference, stay undefeated, and knock out a one loss OSU/Wisky/Stanford/Boise/etc.  I think all conference champs deserve a shot, regardless of their conference.  UCF could've beat the Big LEast representative last year in a game coming out of C USA.  That's why it has to be 16, since there are 11 conferences.  I think the top 5 non-champs should get at larges.  Boom, regular season still matters.  You have to win your conference or be in the top 10ish in the polls.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

btalbert25's picture

I don't know, did Purdue continue selling out games all year with the hope of a bowl game in site?  I could've walked up to Nippert Stadium and bought tickets to any of UC's game and they were in contention for a BCS bowl every week.  For the most part, fans are going to flock to some schools, like Ohio State, despite having an off year.  Some schools can't sell out no matter how good their team is.   You can still keep bowls, and if there's a 8-16 in my opinion the season is more meaningful because it gives a team with 1 or 2 losses reason to keep fighting. 

MAC teams don't really have anything meaningful to play for every year. They aren't going to win a title.  Maybe, MAYBE if one goes undefeated they see a BCS bowl, but no prayer of landing in a title game.  In a playoff model with 16 teams, they may actually have a chance at playing for something real.  Not just whatever consolation bowl 20,000 fans will drive to Nashville to watch.  It may actually improve recruiting at some of the smaller schools and conferences and give college football something it needs PARITY.

 

DJ Byrnes's picture

USC is an anamoly in college athletics. There will be people there when the team is good. There won't be when it isn't. 

I'm not a wizard by any means with numbers, but I still think people would come to see their teams in places like Columbus, Madison, College Station... etc. etc. etc. Case in point: Buckeye attendence this year.

Every game doesn't matter. That's the myth. Tell me... how much does "The Game of the Century" mean if Alabama beats LSU? (Or even the fact the possibility exists in the first place.)

Also, tell me games against a team like Penn State "means the same" as a game against Akron? 

Not saying it's Angels in Concert, but you don't agree its a VASTLY superior system to the one we have now? How can anybody be satisfied with this, other than the SEC? (Which, by the way, only had two good teams this year... but somehow were placing 5 teams in the top 12.)

 

**sry if this rambling doesn't make sense, im in a rush to go meet my mom to bash on some city bbq

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

DJ,

You're almost making my case for me. Under my scenario of only allowing the four highest ranked CONFERENCE CHAMPS to playm the "Game of the Century" would have meant even more. As would have the ACC title game, B1G title game, Bedlam, and even the C-USA title game. Under your scenario, Ohio State/Texas, Ohio State/USC, Boise/Oregon, Boise/Georgia, LSU/Oregon, Oklahoma/FSU, and all the other premeir non-conference games would mean less. Oh, they're playing for seeding, that's right.

Flashback to 2005..

Under your scenario: "Ah, shucks. We lost to Texas. We'll have a tough time getting at least we can still get a home game in the first round of the playoff, maybe the second too. But I don't think we're going to get one in the semi-final though. Oh well."

In all actuality though, I was speechless after the game, went right home. Didn't want to go out or talk to anyone. It's an awful feeling. But you know what? All the feelings are amplified when every game ACTUALLY matters (beyond seeding), and the joys of beating #2 Texas in Austin were the inverse of what I felt the previous year and were amplified that much more.

acBuckeye's picture

I'm with you Humble. Late-season NFL games rarely mean a damn thing for the top teams in the league. A college football playoff would do the same thing for a team vying for a national championship. I.e., "its late November, Team A is 11-0 and is preparing to play their final game to close out the regular season, but they already have the number 1 seed locked up. Team A ends up losing that last game, but WHO CARES!! At least they have that number 1 seed still!!"

Nope, i want no part of that. I realize that there have been instances where a late-season loss still didn't hamper a team's shot at a title, but those are rare b/c usually it does. Plus, you then have to rely on other teams losing, which makes you winning your game that much more important. Okie State would be playing LSU had they beaten Iowa State. With a playoff, they still have a shot at the title despite losing that game, rendering it meaningless.

I don't like the BCS, but instead of a playoff i'd prefer the old bowl system. More of the "exhibition" games meant something, and the New Year's games usually all had a hand in determining the NC. It was a ton of fun to watch. If after all of that there was a split champion, who freaking cares?? Is anybody really crapping their pants that tOSU shared the 1970 title with 2 other schools? Not me. I'm like, "Its our 6th national title..... sweet."

These are just a few of my points to not have a playoff. I know i'm in the minority though.

DJ Byrnes's picture

An L is always an L to me. *shrug*

I see your points and it's a reasoned position & respect it. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this matter. 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Nail on the head.   Great article.   Imagine the pandemonium of a third round game in the Shoe! **sighhh* a guy can dream can't he?   

"pregnant Troy Smith"- HA

I'm all for anything that screws ND and that coach of theirs.

 

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

Baroclinicity's picture

Why should any of those bottom teams like Michigan, Va. Tech, Oklahoma, South Carolina etc. get a shot to win it all? 

Prepare to water down the regular season.

Plus one, or top 6 with the top 2 getting a first round bye covers the issues. 

DJ Byrnes's picture

Same reason schools like Gonzaga get to play for the crown.

Entertainment and Money. ((With a much bigger % of that pie going to the people it should be going to))

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Baroclinicity's picture

DJ, my problem with this line of logic is that you are comparing basketball games to football games, and I don't believe that's appropriate in this case.  When you have games that are less important on an individual basis like in basketball, a playoff is the way to go.  In football, 12 games... each one matters.  Look at our basketball game Saturday.  Does it matter if we beat Kansas?  Would be nice, but not really in the grand scheme of the season.  As bad of a match up as it was, was LSU vs. W. Kentucky important?  Significantly for LSU if they wanted to win it all.  You can't reward teams in the bottom half of that bracket for not coming out each week and taking care of business, or teams that schedule cupckes in the non conference like Va. Tech.

Doc's picture

They let bullcrap teams into the basketball tourney.  They have a shot of winning it all too.  At least this scenario is played out on the field.  Not in bored rooms and backdoor meetings.  Let the players play and let the chips lie where they may.  A 16 team tourney would be titties.  The bowls could take the non participants or even some of the early exits and still make $$$.  DJ has hit the nail on the head.  It makes way to much sense to be implemented, unfortunately.

"Say my name."

BED's picture

This.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

boojtastic's picture

Acknowledging that I am in the minority, I still firmly believe that a college football playoff would be a disaster for the fans.

On most years, the delta between the #2 team and the #3 team is far greater than the delta between the #16 and #17 teams. Instead of squabbling about the two best teams in the country, we will be bickering about the 16th and 17th teams in the country, which is considerably more obsessive, petty, and shameful. (See NCAA basketball "bubble watch.") If you believe that the odds of the #16 team doing anything in the tournament are imperceptably small (which they probably are), then why have they been included at all? What great claim does Georgia or Clemson or Baylor have to this hypothetical soiree that Michigan State does not? You think the kerfuffle between OKState and Alabama was stupid? Wait until MSU and Georgia get into it. I hear Sparty bites. 

The prize isn't only a shot at the national title; bowl teams have opportunities for practice that non-bowl teams do not. 

Even worse, and contrary to popular opinion, a playoff will not  proove that the winner is the best team in the country, as advocates so often claim. Bowl loss notwithstanding, no one can convince me that the 2006-7 Buckeyes were anything but the best team in the country. Imagine LSU had six major injuries over the course of the playoff and still managed to win up until the championship game where it lost on a last second field goal to a four-leaf-clover-crapping Clemson squad. Tournament results notwithstanding, would 1-loss LSU have a claim to a national title over a 3-loss Clemson team? If so, what's the point of the playoff in the first place? If not, we need to reassess the criteria we're using to determine worthiness for a national title. On years like this, where the BCS is at its weakest, a similar argument can be crafted for roughly half of the bracket. One needs only to look to the NCAA basketball tournament to be reminded that upsets are regular occurrances. So in reality, the existence of a playoff breeds more controversy.

Baroclinicity's picture

This, this, and more this.

Menexenus's picture

Great post!

Real fans stay for Carmen.

BrewstersMillions's picture

It's not about declaring the BEST team. Even the NCAA tourney doesn't answer that. Last year's OSU squad was better than Kentucky and UConn. What the tourney does is give you a clear cut champion. There is no mystery who is your champion. There is no Auburn claiming to be a champ and USC being declared a champ. You know who your winner is.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

btalbert25's picture

Who is to say UConn wasn't a better team though, they won their preseason tourney, conference tourney, and NCAA tourney.  They always rose to the occasion when their back was against the wall.

boojtastic's picture

What good is being a champion if it doesn't mean being the best?

throttlefinger's picture

Champions are determined how they perform when everything is on the line. Was Dallas better on paper than the Heat? Is Chris Moneymaker a better poker player than Phil Helmuth? Or Texas when they played USC in the Rose Bowl. Hell, the Bucks weren't the best team when they won the national champion. Your take on best is purely subjective. Sure, no one can tell you that the 2006 Bucks were the best team. But they weren't when it mattered...and that makes a champion. Like it boxing, styles make fights and some teams just have another's number. But when the lights are the brightest is when true champions overcome the challenges and not be denied their standing as top dog.

Also, the playoff curbs the "what if" discussion. The arguments in your previous (great) post speculates MSU fans being pissed. It's an empty calorie bitch when you have a playoff. The team didn't perform when it truly mattered. Bucks hoops would've beaten KY 4 times out of 5. YET they lost when it mattered. That makes them the inferior team in the big picture.

Plus, you don't have Dorkverines calling themselves national champions when they "shared" it with Neb in '97. It all goes away. 

boojtastic's picture

Thanks for the interesting and thoughtful feedback. This being the internet, I naturally take issue with some of your points:

Single elimination tournaments (unlike the Heat-Mavs example you gave) exacerbate anomalies like flukes, injuries, and matchup issues. It's why I'm okay with playoffs in sports like hockey, (pro) basketball, and baseball, yet balk at playoffs in sports like football where a series is impossible. Instead of being an equivalized test of skill, you might as well have a twelve-sided die (http://xkcd.com/904/). That being said, there is still a certain amount of randomness that must be accepted. We all understand and acknowledge that; the goal should be to minimize it while selecting the best team in the country.

Secondly, if you argue that championships should be determined exclusively when everything is on the line, then you are necessarily diminishing the importance of the regular season. That doesn't sit well with me, and it certainly doesn't bode well for the sport as a whole. Get ready to see diminished attendance and muted support for early season games. Hell, Ohio State-Akron might as well be Spring Training.

Finally, the fact that Michigan State has no right to argue that they should be included in the National Title discusion (they don't), doesn't mean that they wont. Being in the tournament would mean an edge in recruiting, extra time for significant practice, boatloads of money, and (perhaps least importantly to a low seed) a shot at the belt. If that weren't enough, ESPN looks to hang onto football storylines as long as possible. If you don't think SportsCenter would stoke the flames, then good for you. It means you don't watch ESPN anymore. Bravo.

That said, anything to take away '97 from Michigan works for me.

throttlefinger's picture

My man Boojtastic,

Anomalies are the bane of sports. Kansas vs. North Carolina...there's no way a Wilt lead team SHOULD lose. But they did. I think that's what makes sports special. You can't rest on your laurels. Don't know if you're old enough (Frack, I hate the sound of that) but I was at OSU when  Buster D upset Tyson. It was mayhem. Tyson came in under-trained and less focused. Boxing, like football, requires you to be more focused. A playoff is simliar. You need to be on your game EVERY game (hope the caps aren't making me an annoying f*ck.) I like that the Bucks can't look past Toledo no more they can a first round game against a B12 team. Complacency breeds poor performance...and delivers an unsatisfying Buckeyes fan experience.

Secondly, a regular season should showcase your strengths. Less and less that has been about who you play than the outcome. I think they should play less Akron games and more Texas/LSU/USC games. Speaks volumes about our program, which will have dividends on the recruiting and poll front. Current system, pardon me, is built for pussy programs.

MSU didn't win the B10 championship. All their bluster is laced with empty calories. They have zero say.

And actually my man, I have stopped going to espn.com. Cnnsi.com and this site. Believe it or not, enough. ESPN has become the anti-sports fan site. The way they stoked the tattoo scandal without doing due diligence into the real impact (as well as give Miami and Boise State a pass) showed me that they aren't a real new network. The LBJ reporting didn't help either. 

Enjoy the exchange. Glad we can have it in these hollowed 11 halls.

 

boojtastic's picture

Most civilized conversation between strangers on the internet since...ever...

You make many good points. I still think I'm right, though, and the lack of alcohol in my blood is making me jittery. 

throttlefinger's picture

That makes two of us. I just saw "bourbon-marinated" on my menu and my taint gave a tired sigh. Time to show all who's in control

cplunk's picture

Why do we need a clear cut champion?

throttlefinger's picture

Because it gives better closure to the season. And satisfaction. Personally I find the supposition about who was the better team tiring. You may not need it when there are two clearly superior teams (e.g. when Texas played USC). But when there isn't, a playoff and championship gives the season a definitive winner (and more enjoyable vetting process)

acBuckeye's picture

Arguing about who has the better team, school pride, etc. is all a part of what makes major college football so great though! I don't need a clear-cut champion. I need my team to win all their games. That's what's important.

cplunk's picture

^ THIS

I want to beat TSUN, win the B1G, and win the Rose Bowl with my level of desire in that order. I also enjoy watching other B1G games and games in the other conferences among their conference leaders. I like to talk trash with fans of other schools, drink beers with them, and argue about our teams. That's what is fun about college football.

There was nothing wrong with the game in 1997 that required the BCS, a plus one, or a playoff to fix.

 

btalbert25's picture

That's what makes the tournament great though.  In my opinion it makes the best team prove they are worth it.  If we had a 16 team playoff this year and LSU lost in the first round, they proved they weren't the best team.

Butler would never get a chance if basketball was run the same way as football.  While more talented teams may have been in the tournament, there were few teams that were better than Butler.  They were experienced, extremely sound fundamentally. 

Last year TCU should've been given a chance.  They were number 3 but I think they were the best team.  People can disagree with me and that's fine, thing is, WE'LL NEVER KNOW BECAUSE THEY DIDN"T GET A CHANCE .  Wisconsin was quite honestly deserving of a shot.  Ohio State was just as good.  Last year there were 5 or 6 teams who quite honestly could've been considered one of the 2 best teams in college football.  I'm sorry losing one game, or not losing at all shouldn't exclude you. 

If you are the best team, prove it!  let's do something beside letting a computer and biased coaches and some of the morons who voted ridiculously in the Harris Poll dictate who plays for a title.  Look at the results of the voting in the polls and tell me this is a good way to determine a champion.   If Michigan got a shot this year, and won it all, good on them, they were better than we thought and shame on LSU, BAMA, Ok State, and Stanford for allowing it to happen.  That's the problem with this system, we don't know how good teams are, we just think so based on arbitrary numbers that are spit out of a computer and Strength of Schedule.  We don't know how Bama would do against Big 12 or B1G teams, because they rarely ever play them, not ones of significance anyway. 

boojtastic's picture

Last year there may have been 5-6 teams with a claim to #2, but every year there are 5-6 teams with a claim to #16.

Baroclinicity's picture

In my opinion it makes the best team prove they are worth it.

Not necessarily.  It shows who's hot at the end of the year (which could be the best overall).

 

edit:  Bah, quoted the wrong line... meant to quote the next one about LSU not being the best in your scenario.

Doc's picture

The only way a TRUE Champion could be crowned in any sport would be for every team to play every other team.  Unrealistic ain't it.  A playoff gets us closer than this BCS bs.  Again, DJ got it right.  Nice article.

"Say my name."

acBuckeye's picture

YES!!! This is why a return to the old bowl system would be the best option, IMO. Like you said about the 2006 football squad, the same could be said about last year's Buckeye basketball team. NO doubt in my mind they were the best team in the country last year.

Menexenus's picture

I'm trying to figure out which "OMG" position I inhabit.  I'm thinking "OMG, BUT ITS A TRADITION" fits best.  (Those who are interested in "contrarian" positions can find mine here:  http://www.elevenwarriors.com/blogs/menexenus/do-we-really-need-a-playoff-system-for-college-football  .)

 

Real fans stay for Carmen.

dmurder's picture

Heard that Tom Herman will be the OC.

Any thoughts on that?

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

Jason Priestas's picture

Hearing QB coach.

Nappy's picture

ESPN is reporting Charlie Cheeseburger going to be HC at Kansas

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7332830/kansas-jayhawks-h...

 

Fan of bacon since 1981

AcrossTheField11's picture

Q: How many morbidly obese head coaches can a football program employ in a 3 year span? 

A: 2.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

Irricoir's picture

Good job DJ.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

BoFuquel's picture

Anyone checked out The Official Gator Bowl site, for ticket info. Who is that a pic. of on that tic?

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

tampa buckeye's picture

Haven't seen it likely will not be a sell out. I'll get mine game day.

tampa buckeye's picture

If you dont like the bcs its really simple dont watch it.  I don't plan on watching any of the games and certainly not bama vs lsu.  

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Oh, and by the way, your system won't eliminate any controversy whatsoever. In fact, it may even create a little more.

#17 Michigan State - "WTF?! How did we get screwed like this? We crushed Michigan, and they're in and we're not?!!!!!"

#18 TCU - "Wow. We beat Boise State, but take two losses and we're out. One loss to a Heisman Winner by two points, and the other in overtime. And we're out? We won the Rose Bowl last year! We beat Wisconsin! We actually won our conference, unlike Boise! Oh, and beating Boise is something Georgia wasn't able to do, so why are they in with three losses?!"

#19 Houston - "So... 12 wins isn't good enough. You take one loss, and you're out of it? Virginia Tech has more losses than us, and they haven't beaten a team that's currently ranked! So why are we out? Georgia has three losses and only one win over a ranked opponent! And how did Auburn get ranked this week after being destroyed the week before and idle this weekend?"

#20 - Nebraska "Rabble rabble rabble FIVE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!" (/northwestern'd)... (silence)

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Also, can we please stop comparing this to college basketball? Big upsets in football are MUCH more rare than big upsets in basketball. Top 5 teams lose to unranked teams all the time in basketball. Several times a year. That rarely happens in football. Maybe once or twice a year. (only one Top 5 team has lost to a currently unranked team this year in football).

Food for thought: In the history of the BCS, teams ranked 10th or lower have a 3-17 record (i discounted VaTech vs Cincy '08 since both teams were ranked in double digits... so if you want to get technical, they're 4-18). Those wins are against teams ranked 8th, 7th, and 9th in the final BCS standings (a 13 over an 8, an 11 over a 7, and a 10 over a 9... really nothing of a monumental upset anywhere in there). Furthermore, teams that rank more than five spot below their opponent in BCS games are 1-12 all time, the lone win being #19 Va Tech over #12 Cincy in 2008 (not much to distinguish between 12 and 19 when you get that far down int he rankings... the disparity between #1 and #8 is much larger than the disparity between 12 and 19, I think we all could agree).

 

Anyway... yeah... a 16 team playoff is just a dumb idea. Talk about watering down the regular season so we can watch LSU crush Georgia (again), Alabama murder Clemson, and Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma (again). Didn't two of those teams just lose their conference championships JUST THIS PAST WEEKEND to those exact opponents? In convincing fashion too! DJ, I'm sorry, but that bracket illustrates the absurdity of a 16 team playoff.

I'll give you this, you MIGHT be able to convince me on an 8 team, as long as all 8 were conference champs. I don't want rematches. They're lame. That's what makes CFB so unique: you often only get one shot in the season to beat your opponent... better make it count. If you're truly the best, then you'll make it count.

cplunk's picture

^ THIS

Hate having non-conference champs in the playoff. The regular season should matter. A lot. If you didn't win your conference you don't really have a beef at getting left out.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Furthermore, teams that are ranked 7th or higher in the final BCS standings are 23-4 all time against teams ranked 10th or lower in any bowl game (BCS or non-BCS) during the BCS era, meaning they actually do a pretty decent job of ranking the teams. In the case of the four teams ranked 10th or lower that DID beat a team ranke 7th or higher, none of those 7th or higher teams WON THEIR CONFERENCE. I don't see an issue with a plus-1 if you codify that you must also win your conference. No one would bitch as long as they knew they had their chance. This year it would be LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Virginia Tech, Alabama, Boise, and Stanford would have no gripe if the conference champ rule were in place because they would have at least known they had their shot. Clemson wouldn't have a grip because they're not ranked high enough (is anyone in Clemson really arguing they deserve a shot at a national title), and neither would West Virginia. As long as you set the rule in stone in the sense that teams know what they need to do to be guaranteed their shot at a title, then you'll have far less complaining.

NC_Buckeye's picture

My problem with Wetzel is that he and many other playoff advocates want to fundamentally change college football so they can replicate the magic of the college basketball tournament.

Please just stop. It's not that magical. (I'm one of those Buckeyes who could care less about basketball. As in I don't follow it at any level.)

And anyone who knows a current football player... let's conduct a poll. Ask them how they feel about going to the Gator Bowl. Cause I'm betting that they're excited about going somewhere, anywhere. Especially after this season.

It's the cfb fans (other than Wake Forest and Miss State) who couldn't care less about the Music City Bowl. Most likely, the players and their fans are psych'ed about going to Nashvillle.

I hope Delany is successful in deconstructing the BCS and just going back to the old MNC system.

 

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I share your sentiments, NC.

I do favor a plus-1 (on the condition that it's the four highest ranked CONFERENCE CHAMPS, not just the four highest ranked teams... you should not be able to win a national championship without winning your conference. That's just stupid. I know the pros have a wild card, but the pros also have 32 teams and a salary cap and teh ability to make trades and improve their team in season and sign free agents etc etc.. and much more evenly matched teams in the long run.... you get the point. It's not a good comparison). But given the choice between an old school bowl system pre-BCS or a full-fledged 16 team playoff, I'll take the pre-BCS system. I don't know how many times I need to pound it into people's skulls: the regular season will become extremely watered down if you go to a playoff. It's inevitable. Did you watch #1 Kentucky vs. #5 UNC play their basketball game this past Saturday? No? Why not? Well, you most certainly watched Oregon vs. LSU play their football game on the first weekend of the season this year.

throttlefinger's picture

Think it will make for stronger scheduling and less late November cakewalks. I watched KY vs. UNC because I love college basketball. It's compeitive during the season AND very competitive during March Madness. As DJ's example points out, DIII regular season didn't suffer. Just made the post-season more exciting. There's no proof to the contrary. Point being THB, if you love college footbal, you'll watch any time there's a good matchup, be it during the season or post. And wouldn't rather see the Bucks play a couple times in Dec AND January? 

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Of course we'll watch. But we watch even more given how the current system is structured. I'm a rabid college football fan. I watched this year's Backyard Brawl (Pitt-WVU to the lay person), but not with nearly the same emotion and anticipation as I did back in 2007 when the game had implications for my team. The system has provided a huge ratings boost for ALL CONFERENCES and even MAC ratings are way up for games against AQ teams.

Trust me, if you go to a playoff, regular season ratings will fall. Maybe not a ton, but enough that it will have an impact on the budgets of smaller schools. There are 15 games in a 16 teams playoff. That will not make up for the slight decrease in ratings suffered by the bottom half of FBS teams. Trust me on this. These people are not stupid. If a playoff would be more profitable in the aggregate, we'd have one.

throttlefinger's picture

See that point yet I believe a playoff would heighten that emotion not decrease it. And respectfully disagree about the intelligence of those people who call the shots. Most are just greedy and too chickensh*t to mess with their cash cow (ie salary)

btalbert25's picture

To me, if you have an 8-12, I think that's a good number playoff, the regular season still matters.  People will still tune in to see if Marshall can upset Ohio State, and every game still matters because if you lose more than 1 you are still in great jeopardy of being left out in the cold. 

Will there be controversy about who number 8 or number 12 should be?  Sure, but who cares.  Outside of those numbers a case can always be made that their resume isn't good enough.  This year though, are we really sure that Oklahoma State doesn't have a valid claim?  Boise? Stanford?  Not really.  Our logic has to be well Oregon lost to LSU, Stanford lost to Oregon, clearly LSU is better than Stanford.  Or we have to compare losses.  Well Boise lost to a crappy team, so did Oklahoma State, but Bama lost to LSU.  Bama has to be better.  It's such BS it's not even funny.   

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Like I said, you might be able to persuade me on an 8 team playoff. Certainly not 12, but 8. In either case, you're going to have people complaining when they're left out.... Unless you codify that you MUST WIN YOUR CONFERENCE.

If it's just the Top 8, just look at the additional controversy created:

2010 - #9 Michigan State will argue that they have just as many losses as Stanford, and fewer losses than Arkansas, and they actually won their conference unlike the other two teams, and they actually beat a team in the Top 8, unlike the other two teams.

2009 - #9 GaTech will argue that their computer ranking is FOUR SPOTS better than #8 Ohio State, and Ohio State has a worse loss (Purdue).

2008 - #9 Boise State will argue that they are undefeated and ahve a higher computer average than Penn State.

2007 - #9 WVU will argue that they actually won their conference, unlike Kansas and Mizzou. #10 Hawaii will argue that they are undefeated.

You get the point. If you did Top 4 or Top 8 conference champs, then these teams would understand exactly why they weren't included.

This year it would be #1 LSU, #3 Oklahoma State, #5 Oregon, #10 Wisconsin, #15 Clemson, #18 TCU, #21 Southern Miss, and #23 WVU.

Look at that! All six BCS conferences represented, and two non-AQ schools repped as well. And the teams left out have no argument because they didn't win their conference. I think part of what upset people is the lack of understanding, but if you set that rule in stone, they'll have more understanding as to why they were left out.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Makes sense. But I still think four teams is the way to go. Top four rankings of conference champions would be better (which is pretty much a plus-one).

Then for everything else -- remove all rules and let it be on the bowls and conferences to figure out who's going where.

BTW, Humble none of this is ever going to be enough. If they finally go to a plus-one, then these same people are going to be clamoring for an 8-team playoff. If they go to an 8-team, then the rabble will be screaming for a 16-team. Etc. They won't be satisfied until cfb is totally fucked up. And then we'll get the analysts writing preachy articles about the "good ole days" and how money was the root of all evils in cfb's demise.

And that is why I'm for going back to pre-BCS with a MNC.

acBuckeye's picture

^^^ This. Old bowl system is the way to go. (my posts above state why)

btalbert25's picture

I just don't like the conference champs getting a shot.  It won't stop media outrage, it won't stop scrutiny of the system.  People will still be screaming for change when West Virginia and Clemson are included and Stanford or Bama are left out.  Even if the rule is set in stone it doesn't mean that people won't be outraged over Bama being left out but crappy teams like TCU, Clemson, Southern Miss, and WVU are allowed a shot for a title. 

The problem with the system now is fairness.  When the 2nd best team in the divsion of a conference is the 2nd or 3rd best team in the country it's just not right for them to be left out.  Conference title games rarely put the 2 best teams in the conference against eachother.  Maybe the conference should work more like a round robin, but that's just not the system we have.  Even then, The Big East champ wouldn't even compete in the B1G this year much less the Big 12 or SEC. 

I guess I just can't understand why a 16 team system is so wrong but an 8 team playoff with a team barely ranked is ok.  Regardless of whether they are a conference champ or not, they aren't a good team.

throttlefinger's picture

Think we need to walk before we can run. Agree that some strict, non-bending perimeters need to be in place, such as "only confernence champs". College basketball used to be about that before they expanded the field. My take is that a playoff, no matter the size, would effectively quash the majority of outraged fans. Keeping it to conference champions would maintain the importance of the regular season while giving an outright champ and satisfactionary ending to the season. I frackin hate debating at the end of the season...

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

well..then that brings in the same argument of "our 2nd is better than your 1st" and that's the problem

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

throttlefinger's picture

See that as an opinion not an argument. If you don't win your conference you don't get to the big dance. Simple as that. The more greys you give, the more arguments you present. Should boil down to the best in my conference against the best in your conference. Being 2nd doesn't matter. Or do a 1-A football equavalent of the NIT. 

btalbert25's picture

I just don't see how only conference champs makes the regular season remain important.  You could lose 3 or 4 games a year and still qualify.  That would make it even more irrelevant than a 16 team playoff.  You would be including crap schools every year. There would be no point in playing a non conference schedule at all.  The only way the whole season counts by only awarding conference champs is if you get rid of non conference games all together and every conference plays a round robin style schedule.  No divisions with a goofy money grab conference championship game at the end of it.  Take those top 8 and do a playoff.  Even then you probably don't have the 8 best teams playing, but that's the only way that every game matters in a system where conference champs play in an 8 team playoff.

 

btalbert25's picture

That can never happen though. That means the Buckeyes will never get 7 or 8 home games a year because you are only playing 8 or 9 games a year.  Fewer games equals far less money on ticket sales, and far fewer matchups to air on B1G network.  Unless it goes to superconferences, which you'd have to play 14 or 15 games and actually tack on games to the season, which is one of the big arguments against a playoff, well you'd be really making things hard on the kids who are already spread to thin by adding a nother 2 or 3 games to their season. 

majesticturkey's picture

One of the worst things to ever happen to college football was ESPN's analysis, because we're forced every day to believe that there's a best team. I do remember growing up and wanting to beat Michigan, to win our games, and to go to the elusive Rose Bowl. I remember how huge the Rose Bowl was, at 10 years old. I also remember watching the Sugar Bowl hoping against hope that a favorable outcome would give Ohio State a national championship.

But the fact remains that even that senseless hoping and the system of mythical and split championships is more compelling than watching Forrest Gump run headfirst into Adam Sandler's Waterboy character for 3 hours. At least under the old system when we saw a rematch it was between the LSU/Oregon variety, not the LSU/Alabama type.

throttlefinger's picture

AMEN. BCS was made by those who don't have fans in mind. Screw them and screw their system. 

btalbert25's picture

No system is perfect, but there's no way anyone can honestly think this system is great?  Sure the BCS bowls can have some nice matchups, but they are basically meaningless.  Of course the players love the bowls, they get to take a trip to some place nice when it's freaking cold in Columbus.  Add to it, they get a bunch of free shit, and there are team meals and all kinds of stuff they get to take part in.  Basically, all the improper benefits you can get in trouble for the other 51 weeks of the year, you are allowed to enjoy on bowl week.  So sure players will love bowls because they bowls pay them handsomely to be there.

If given the choice though, I bet the 2009 or 2010 Buckeyes would've much rather gone to a playoff where they had a chance to win something, other than the Rose or Sugar Bowl.  I'd certainly trade ipods and whatever else you get in a swag bag for the chance to prove that my team is the best.  Legends are made in playoff games.  How many people recall memorable games that players have in bowls?  Rarely are some considered to be legendary.  You can point to pro football though and some guys are remembered soley for how they played in a playoff or superbowl.  Basketball players, even if they go on to have great NBA careers are remembered for shots they sank, and runs their teams made.  Kemba Walker may never be a star in the NBA, but people will always remember what he did in 2011.  Christian Laettner will always be remembered for one play.  In 20 years will people outside of Ohio State remember Jake Ballard's rose bowl catch? 

I don't know, I'm just not in favor of a system that is so arbitrary, and even a plus one does little to fix that, because it's still going to arbitrarily pick which 2 teams from the 4 BCS bowls to meet up.  All BCS matchups are not the same.  I don't know.  It's a mess.  Seems to me the only correct way to do it is have some sort of playoff.

Or go back to the old ways, scrap the BCS, Scrap any idea of a playoff and we'll go back to completely arbitrarily naming a champ.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I can't believe a lot of you on here seriously cannot see that a playoff (especially a 16 team playoff) will render the regular season utterly meaningless. All the blue bloods will still dominate, because they can schedule manageable non-conference games in the regular season, lose up to three games in the conference, and still make the playoffs based on name, while Utah '10 (two losses) and Ball State '08 (one loss) continue to gripe because they have to sit at home just because three-loss teams like Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia are better name brands.

It won't solve anything, especially since last year your 16-1 matchup would have been yet another rematch from the previous frickin week (Alabama vs. Auburn) which the number 1 team already won on the road. Why does Alabama deserve another shot after shitting the bed three times that season? Great teams don't do that. I like college football because my national champions are 13-0, 14-0, 12-1, or at worst 12-2, and they're expected to win every game, unlike every other sport. I don't want a 2010 Alabama to get multiple chances and then run the table to be your 13-3 national champion while Auburn sits at home with a 13-1, just as many wins, fewer losses, but none of it matters. Hell, under your scenario of keeping a bowls, Auburn would have a chance to get a 14th win. So they could have been 14-1, to Alabama's 13-3. Sweet.

So if you want the regular season to mean less, go for the playoff route. At least I'll get to say 'Aww shucks, we lost" up to three times knowing that my team still has a national title shot.

You can't have the thrill of victory without the agony of defeat.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

And I'm sure you all would have loved it last year if Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, and Auburn made up the Final Four of your 16 team playoff. That would just be sooooo ZOMG ESSEEESEEEE SPEEEED FANTASTIC!

DJ Byrnes's picture

I wouldn't have a problem with it if they were the Final Four. At least they'd have earned it rather than being awarded favorable bowl match-ups based on the ESPN-hype machine which pulls the strings.

And conversley, what if Michigan/Wisconsin/PennState/OSU ended up in the Final Four? How much fun would that be?

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

acBuckeye's picture

^^^^^ + eleventy billion..... good stuff

throttlefinger's picture

The regular season will never be meaningless. Your take is rather extreme and only would be applicable 1 out of 8 playoffs. I'm OK with that given the current system which has repeatedly given unsatisfactory results. 

Am OK with a team having 3 losses if those three losses are against powerhouses, rather than the Iowa States of the world (wink Okie State). Your take supposes all schedules are equal, when that is far from the case. A playoff makes any soft pairing pay in the end.

 

btalbert25's picture

Why are people so concerned about every game counting anyway.  In the old system every game didn't count.  You could lose every non conference game and as long as you won your conference you ended up in the Rose Bowl or whatever bowl your conference went to.  The sport was immensely popular then. If anything what the BCS has done has made the casual fan tune in more.  It's become more of an event to watch, but clearly every game doesn't count.   Hell two times there have been undefeated BCS schools who didn't get a crack at the title.

The BCS has made the sport more popular but in my opinion it's not just because of the BCS.  Sure as time has gone by I think the casual fan has probably paid a bit more attention but let's be honest there are a lot of other factors that have contributed.  ESPN has become a much larger player, and has basically become the network that hypes most of these matchups.  The coverage college football gets now compared to what it did on ESPN in 1997 is far greater.  We have Thursday and Friday night matchups on ESPN that never existed before.  1,000 bowl games most of which are owned by ESPN and broadcast by ESPN. 

There's TV packages that allow us to view games from all over the country at all times of the day or night that wasn't available back in 1997.  Internet gives us access to the players, blogs where we can debate about teams, recruiting sites.  All of this stuff has impacted the popularity of the sport.  People did see a problem with the old system because there wasn't a true champion crowned.  The BCS came along to give us a champ.  It was popular, really popular for a while, but people want something better now.  College football is at a point where it's about to start losing interest. Scandals galore are all over the game.  How they choose a champ is causing problems, and the network that helped build college football into what it is today is pissing people off by only talking about 1 conference.  We're at a pretty crucial point in college football where fans just aren't happy. 

My guess is they add a plus one and it kind of chills everyone out for a little while, but after a few years of seeing more BS title games, another change will be demanded again and after another 8 or 10 years they'll come up with something else. 

buckeyepastor's picture

It's a small thing, maybe, but in rare instances where there are two teams in the country who are undefeated at the end of the regular season, to me it makes all the sense in the world to let them play each other and be done with it.  1-loss teams could argue all they wanted, but then they always will, no matter what.  

The only other issue I have is the number of schools. I know that basketball has a much larger pool of teams, but 16 seems bigger than necessary.   I know that it's what happens in college b-ball all the time and this gripe is mostly a product of what we've grown accustomed to, but say LSU, lone undefeated team, beats Georgia and K-State and Stanford and all other comers from their bracket, but then falls short against a 2 or even 3 loss team from the other bracket?   Personally, I think LSU has shown themselves to be superior to the other schools this year.   They aren't perfect, but they are the best team.  But no matter how good a team is, given enough games, they will ultimately lose to someone.  "Any given Saturday....."   But I guess I'd get used to that as I said it happens in B-Ball every year.    

I think I'd prefer it as an 8-team field.  The thought of Michigan or Clemson or Oklahoma even in the running, at this point, is ridiculous to me.   As the "odd man out" will complain whether they're the #9 seed or the #17 seed, I'd prefer to leave it at 8.   Hard to envision a year where more than 8 teams legitimately look like a national championship contender.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

cplunk's picture

Most years it is three, at most four that could legitimately be a contender. Make the playoffs be for 6 teams and give the top two byes and you've almost certainly included every true contender.

I'd still rather just go back to the old pre-BCS bowl system. If you won your conference you're a champion. There is no reason we have to have a "national champion" and its a little silly to think there is a fair way to pick one when you're dealing with 117 teams arranged haphazardly into different sized conferences.

A pro division, no matter how imbalanced, is still all pro teams. There isn't the same talent gap between the Indianapolis Colts of this year and the Green Bay Packers of this year as there is between Florida Atlantic and LSU.

Another Jason's picture

It is even sillier to think that anyone is going to be happier with NO national champion.  You can't unring that bell.  Your point actually makes more sense if you were arguing FOR a playoff.  Since you can't "pick" a champion out of 120 teams who only play a dozen or so games under wildly different circumstances, then you just have to find a way to "pick" the 8, 12, 16, 24, etc. best and let them sort it out by, you know, playing that sport you love to watch.

Best argument for a playoff?  More football > Less football.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I'm going to spend my down time this weekend figuring out a system that would avoid the controversies surrounding the BCS, as well as maintain the bowl system and the importance of the regular season. Of course, the basis for these will be the current system of BCS rankings (1/3 computer, 2/3 human coters), which I contend is actually a pretty accurate measure (given the fact that, as I've pointed out, teams with more than a 5 point spread in BCS ranking are 1-12 in BCS Bowls in favor of the higher ranked team, and teams ranked 7th or better in the BCS are 23-4 against teams ranked 10th or lower in ANY bowl during the BCS era). I'll examine every controversy from each year, and try to adapt a model that would have avoided that particular controversy (three of the biggest controversies come from teams who didn't win their conference championship that ended playing for a national title, so pardon me if I use that qualifier to some extent). Off the top of my head, I'm thinking the four highest AQ conference champs, two highest ranked non-AQ conference champs, and two at larges. I'll examine it when I have more down time, but this year it would be: LSU (SEC Champ), Alabama (at large #1), Oklahoma State (Big XII champ), Stanford (at large #2), Oregon (Pac-12 champ), Wisconsin (B1G champ), TCU (MWC champ), Southern Miss (C-USA champ). Big East and ACC champs left out, though had Va Tech won, they would have been in.

Last year would have looked like this:

2010: Auburn (SEC champ), Oregon (Pac-10 champ), Wisconsin (B1G champ), Oklahoma (Big XII champ), TCU (MWC champ), Nevada (WAC champ), Stanford (at large), Ohio State (at large)

Don't have a lot of time to get into this now, but judging by these two examples, this might be a plan I'd go for. Amazingly, Boise State would be out of it both this year and last year because they didnt't win their conference. But it's not as if the door is closed to them. Had they won, they'd have been in. If you want to be national champ from an average to below average conference, then you should at least have to win that conference.

 

throttlefinger's picture

One of the reasons I don't like the BCS is the specious and mysterious nature of the formula. BUT I think if it's used along with conference champions to make the selection, I'd be good. And I know how you don't like the comparison with college basketball but I wouldn't mind a committee be used for the at large selections.

That said, await your system with bated bacon and budweiser breath.