Playoffs?! The Final Four College Football Playoff (or Plus-One or “Event”) Options and Why “Four Team Plus” Helps More Than the Rose Bowl

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Football, Sports
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In what is the biggest leak to come out of the smoke-filled BCS conference rooms yet, USA Today obtained a document provided to the conference commissioners that outlines the four college football postseason options that they are focusing upon.  (The complete document can be found here.)  So, here are what the powers that be are looking at right now:

1. Current BCS System with Adjustments – Basically keep everything as is now except for actually stacking the deck even more in favor of the power conferences by (a) eliminating automatic qualifier (AQ) status EXCEPT for contracts between conferences and bowls (AKA only the Big East would lose AQ status in reality) and (b) eliminating the cap on the number of participating schools from each conference.  Even as someone that fully believes Brett McMurphy’s statement from last week that although there are technically twelve voices in the room regarding a college football playoff, the only six that matter are the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC, Big 12 and Notre Dame, this “we’re keeping the status quo and screwing the little guys even more” option seems to be thrown out there as posturing and won’t be taken seriously.

2. Original “Plus One” – It’s what I’ve called the “unseeded plus-one” up to this point, where all of the bowl games are played as normal and then select the national championship option thereafter.  I’ve written about unseeded plus-one and semi-seeded plus-one options previously.

3. Four Team “Event” (heaven forbid anyone calls this a “playoff”) – The “seeded plus-one” or four team tournament that most fans think of when discussing college football playoff scenarios.  There are some various sub-proposals here using neutral site, bowl and campus site options.  My “BCS Final Four” proposal from over a year ago, which is personally the college football postseason format that I’d use if I were the Grand Pooh-bah of Sports, essentially looks like option 3(B) on the BCS document.

4. Four Team Plus – The Rose Bowl would always take the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions, even if they are in the top 4.  Then, the 4 highest ranked teams outside of the Rose Bowl participants would play in 2 other games.  The national championship matchup would then be determined after those games are played.

Wait a second… that “Four Team Plus” option sounds really familiar.  Here we go:

The Halfway There Compromise: A BCS Plus-One Proposal that the Big Ten and Rose Bowl Could Live With

Every once in awhile, the blind squirrel that writes this blog finds the nut.  I wrote that Bon Jovi-fueled masterpiece back in December when the thought of a college football “event” still seemed like a distant dream.  I’ll re-emphasize here what I stated in that older post: the point of that proposal is a compromise, NOT a perfect solution.  As I’ve stated above, if it were up to me, I’d go with the BCS Final Four option.

(As a reminder, I proposed that the 2 highest ranked teams that won their bowl games would advance to the national championship as opposed to having a brand new ranking after the bowls were completed.  This would eliminate concerns that teams would leapfrog each other depending upon how strong or weak their bowl opponents were or that teams that lost their games could still advance to the title game.  Once again, it’s not perfect, but we wouldn’t have a perfect system even if we had a 4-team playoff, as we’ve seen with the debates on whether it should be limited to conference champs or not.)

Most of the college football commentators out there seem to be positioning the Halfway There Compromise option as strictly out there to placate the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Rose Bowl.  However, if that’s truly the case, why did Big Ten athletic directors and Jim Delany openly talk about a seeded 4-team playoff using campus sites and then a neutral site championship game open for bidding, which is the antithesis of protecting the Rose Bowl and would cause the most change to the status quo (at least as far as 4-team formats go) out of any proposal?  I think a lot of college football fans are quick to point fingers at Jim Delany and the Big Ten for “selfishly” protecting the Rose Bowl, yet they need to know that their own conferences have some direct incentives to see this happen, too.

Take a step back and think about why preserving the traditional Rose Bowl in the Halfway There Compromise can help everyone else.  (Hint: 6 is more than 4.)

Guess what happens when you take the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions out of the semifinal/quasi-semifinal pool?  The Halfway There Compromise effectively opens up 2 more spots in games with national championship implications for a total of 6 without having to add another round to the postseason.  Using a trusty abacus, you can calculate that it’s a whole lot easier to accommodate 5 power conferences when there’s 6 spots available in the Halfway There Compromise than when there’s only 4 spots available in a 4-team “event”.  Even beyond the power conferences, it’s also a whole lot easier for the non-power conferences to get a spot when you take the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs out of the equation.  As a result, fans may see this proposal as a way to placate the Big Ten/Pac-12/Rose Bowl trifecta, but it’s also a way to open up more access to the top tier games for both all of the power conferences and the non-power conferences below them compared to a strict 4-team “event” while keeping the postseason length to only two rounds.

Think about it: don’t you think the ACC would rather be in a system where they aren’t competing with the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs for a “quasi-semifinal” spot in the Halfway There Compromise compared to 4-team semifinals that would include those Big Ten and Pac-12 champs?  How about Notre Dame?  The Big East?  Even the Mountain West, Conference USA and all of the other current non-AQ conferences?  Granted, I don’t see the SEC and Big 12 being that enthusiastic about this plan, but who knows?  Eliminating downside risk with guaranteed money every year means a whole lot more than windfalls in great seasons where conferences shoot the moon.  Contrary to popular belief, the SEC isn’t guaranteed a spot in the national championship race and they don’t want to be left out in terms of access or money for a year if their champ ends up being ranked #5 or lower at some point.  (It has happened before and it will happen again.)

Now, plenty of people way more connected than me (such as Andy Staples of SI.com) are steadfast in their belief that it’s going to be a 4-team “event” in the manner that, well, the Big Ten ADs seemed to favor with campus stadiums as semifinal sites.  I agree that’s the most likely scenario.  However, there’s much more to the Halfway There Compromise than the knee-jerk reaction that this is all about the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Rose Bowl getting their way.  It may end up being just as beneficial to everyone else simply because there would be 2 more spots at the table without having to create an even larger “event”.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

(Image from Gridiron Grit)

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Comments
  1. Penn State Danny says:

    Chaos!

  2. tomdauwwg says:

    Love the coach Mora!

  3. jtower says:

    Hook ‘em

  4. greg says:

    Hawkeyes!

  5. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

  6. Chas. says:

    The Four team “event” must only include conference champions in order to maintain the value of the regular season. No more back door champs that don’t even play in their conference title game. The ACC is destined to be ticked off unless ND joins them because the four teams will almost certainly come from the SEC, XII, PAC & B1G.

    • JohnCassillo says:

      If they’re going to go this 4 teams plus Rose Bowl route, there should be some additional stipulations. Top 12 teams have ability to qualify, any conference champ among those gets an auto-bid. The rest of the spots are taken by at-large squads. So if the ACC and Big East are as weak as they were this year, they don’t receive an invite.

    • Brian #2 says:

      The SEC and Big 12 will never agree to that, nor should they. The public does not want to see a #20 ranked ACC champ in a playoff over a #3 ranked team that happens to be one game behind in the conference standings to the #1 ranked team.

      • Joe says:

        That is why in order to qualify for the “4-team event”, there should be a stipulation that the conference champions must be ranked in the top 10.

  7. cutter says:

    Here’s Andy Staples input on the proposals–It’s called “BCS status report includes one great idea, six worth trashing”;

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/andy_staples/04/04/BCS-change-options/index.html#ixzz1r80ImVeY

    From his article:

    The winning proposal for determining a champion is marked 3D on the document obtained by USA Today:

    “Semifinal games at campus sites, championship-game site selected through a bid process if the negotiation period with the current bowl organizations that is provided for under our current contract does not conclude successfully. The championship game would not be branded as a bowl game even if a bowl organization serves as host.”

    *****

    Staples thinks the worst porposal is the one that has the Big Ten and Pac 12 champions playing in the Rose Bowl regardless of their rankings. He states:

    Colleague Stewart Mandel summed this up best on Twitter. “Only college football,” Mandel wrote, “could come up with a four-team playoff with three semifinals.” Hopefully, that proposal exists because Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said something to the effect of “Do us a solid and throw the Rose Bowl a bone in that document.” That is the only reasonable explanation for an idea so convoluted that it can’t be read aloud with a straight face. Unfortunately, there is another potential — and highly plausible — explanation.

    It remains quite possible that the people who gave you the outsourced postseason are going to find a way to screw this up, too.

    *****

    I have to agree with Staples. If this setup had been put in place last season, then LSU would have played Stanford and Alabama would have played Oklahoma State while Pac 12 champion #5 Oregon would have played #10 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Even if the Ducks had won the RB, which team would they have vaulted into the playoff? It’s not going to be LSU or Alabama. If Oklahoma State beats the #2 Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl or Stanford beats #1 LSU at the Sugar Bowl, then Oregon isn’t going to be in a playoff in lieu of those two teams. In sum, Oregon is in a no-win situation in terms of the playoff.

    If they’re going to do a four-team playoff, let’s use option 3D and use the top three conference champions along with one at large program representing the highest ranked non-conference champion available. Seed them 1 thru 4, have them play the semi-final games at the home stadiums of the higher rated teams and then have the championship game at a bowl location or a neutral site. In 2011, the four teams would be LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Oregon. The Rose Bowl gets Stanford (11-1) and Wisconsin (11-2).

    IMHO, I’d rather see an eight-team playoff, but since this appears to be as far as TPTB want to go, then so be it.

    • joe4psu says:

      cutter,

      Like you I would prefer an eight team playoff and 3D would be my preference otherwise. I would change “non-conference champion” to “non-conference champion or lower level conference champion” though. Let’s not forget about BCS busters like TCU and Boise.

      If they’re going to do a four-team playoff, let’s use option 3D and use the top three conference champions along with one at large program representing the highest ranked non-conference champion available.

      • cutter says:

        Thanks for the edit. I agree that it should be non-conference champion or lower level champion so past programs like Utah (when it was with the MWC), TCU (also when it was with the MWC and briefly with the Big East) and Boise State (now to be part of the Big East) could have participated.

        One of the things that’s irritated me in the past is that outstanding teams from minor conferences were essentiallly shut out of a chance at a national championship because of their circumstances. Commentators would point to their strength of schedule or say that they couldn’t compete on a week-to-week basis in a major conference, yet the system would give them no real opportunity to prove their worth outside of a BCS bowl game. I was at the Fiesta Bowl game where Boise State beat Oklahoma and saw Utah beat Alabama at the Sugar Bowl a few years back as well. While some individuals would call might be inclined to call those one off incidents (such as TCU’s Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin in the 2011 Rose Bowl), I’d like to see them given an opportunity to play it out on the field and decide it there.

        In an eight-team playoff, the champion has to win three games against top competition and might well have to do it at the stadium of a higher rated team. To me, that’s test enough along with the regular season resutls to crown a national champ.

        I also feel that this’d provide a compelling story line in the post-season (along with all the discussion about the four opening games). While all the teams I’ve mentioned above have moved or will move to BCS conferences, there may be others that emerge out of the MWC or Conference USA in future years that put together a perfect 13-0 season and be rated high enough to participate in an eight-team playoff.

  8. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I understand the idea of the Pac-12 and Big Ten’s exemption from the quasi-semifinal enlarging the pool, but that’s mostly just spin.

    What could happen just as often is a #1 Alabama (13-0) facing a #5 Florida (12-1) that it had just beaten in the SEC title game, a #3 Oklahoma (11-1) facing a #4 Florida State (12-1) … and a #2 USC (13-0) facing a #10 Wisconsin (10-3).

    Or… #1 Ohio State (12-1) facing a #14 Oregon (10-3, an upset winner over previously #1 USC in the Pac-12 title game) in the Rose Bowl while #2 LSU (12-1) faces #5 Virginia Tech (12-1) and #3 Oklahoma State (12-1) faces #4 USC (12-1).

    The winners of which games deserve to go the national title games in those scenarios? Why?

    The point is, everything is still just as subjective as it has always been. It would still be subjective with a 4-team playoff, but choosing the four teams in the playoffs would be far more straightforward and there would be zero question as to who would go to the national title game once said matchups are made.

    • ccrider55 says:

      What is subjective about one conference champ defeating another conference champ? The only subjective thing is the assigning an unreliable ranking based on votes and neutered computer programs ( or even worse, the proposed forming of a committe). In the B1G/PAC/RB plan you at least have a very attractive in it’s own right playoff…oops, event between 2 conference champions (decided on the field) determining who should advance (again, decided on the field).

  9. Gil says:

    First off, thank you for linking to the complete document. Reading the proposals in context helps quite a bit. Namely, the commissioners seem to be rewriting the entire postseason.

    Bowls for the last twenty years have been losing money and fans’ interest. The second half of the document outlines two additional options under consideration, which would see the BCS directly set bowl matchups for as many as eight bowls in addition to the semifinals. This to me its obviously

  10. Gil says:

    to improve ratings and interest. In that light I can’t imagine them following through with any plans to stage semifinal games outside the bowl structure. That means we will see the championship played well into January.

    I’ve seen a lot of negativity about option 4. It’s really not different from option 2, especially if the BCS is choosing bowl participants anyway. It will not guarantee a true champion, but it will increase interest in all the major bowls, which is all they really care about.

    • @Gil – That’s really the proper perspective on the “4 team plus” option. It’s really the traditional plus one except that there are two bowls/games featuring the 4 highest ranked teams that aren’t participating in the Rose Bowl. Hence my choice of calling it the “Halfway There Compromise”, as it’s literally halfway in between the traditional unseeded plus one and the seeded 4-team playoff.

      • jj says:

        Isn’t the problem with it that there is no obvious demarcation point? No way this doesn’t expand to all 4 BCS bowls at some point.

        Didn’t someone toss out this: (1) play all bcs bowls on new years day; (2) return to 2 campuses for games among 4 BCS winners; (3) last 2 play championship game on MLK day. That seemed cool. I think the tickets for everything would sell.

        Your breakdown was better than the USA today piece. Thanks.

      • morganwick says:

        How about, keep the Rose Bowl, then highest ranked conference champion outside those two plays next highest ranked team outside top 2 or Rose Bowl matchup, 1 v. 3 if Big Ten and Pac-12 aren’t in top 3?

  11. Brian says:

    If a big selling point of the ridiculous Rose Bowl plan is more access (6 teams instead of 4) while just keeping 2 rounds, then you might as well just go to the “traditional plus-one” with 8 teams playing in the 4 BCS Bowl Games, keeping all conference tie-ins ie Big Ten & PAC-12 Champs in the Rose Bowl, SEC Champ in Sugar, etc. That means 8 teams (or 4 bowl game winners) technically have a shot instead of just 6 (or 3 bowl game winners) once the bowl games are completed and then you decide which 2 teams get to play in the title game. If the Rose Bowl gets to have their tie-in, then so should the Sugar Bowl with the SEC and so on. No special exceptions.

    Seriously, if the “Four Team Plus” is really an option, it should be automatically behind the “Original Plus One” Plan as they are basically the same thing but with more teams having access and no special treatment for just one bowl and the Big Ten / PAC-12. Of course, now you’re having to decide which 2 (out of 4) bowl game winners get to play in the BCS Title Game, but that’s not much different than deciding which 2 (out of 3) – but at least it’s more straight-forward, easier to understand, more fair, and allows more access overall.

    All that said, both plans are dumb as they are basically just playing a few more non-conference games before deciding who gets to play in the BCS Title Game and we would have the same problems that we have now – what if #1, #2, and #3 are all playing in separate bowl games? What it #1 has to play #3 in a bowl game while #2 gets to play #8? Forget it…Option 3 is the only one that makes sense with 3D (home semi-final games) being the superior option.

    • Brian says:

      Brian,

      There are already 2 Brian’s on here. Please adjust your name to avoid confusion about who is posting.

      If a big selling point of the ridiculous Rose Bowl plan is more access (6 teams instead of 4) while just keeping 2 rounds, then you might as well just go to the “traditional plus-one” with 8 teams playing in the 4 BCS Bowl Games, keeping all conference tie-ins ie Big Ten & PAC-12 Champs in the Rose Bowl, SEC Champ in Sugar, etc. That means 8 teams (or 4 bowl game winners) technically have a shot instead of just 6 (or 3 bowl game winners) once the bowl games are completed and then you decide which 2 teams get to play in the title game. If the Rose Bowl gets to have their tie-in, then so should the Sugar Bowl with the SEC and so on. No special exceptions.

      That’s a good idea, but it has several well-established facts that counter it.

      1. The Rose Bowl tradition is more important to the B10 and P12 that the other bowl traditions are to their conferences. All the others have expressed a willingness to drop their tie-in. Thus, it really isn’t such special treatment (the Rose Bowl also makes more money than any other bowl, and everybody will share in that value).

      2. Only the Rose Bowl has two conferences tied in. A true plus one spreads out the champions too thin (SEC, ACC and B12 champs are all separated). The four teams plus model lets high ranking champs be paired in other games.

      3. The other conferences would probably extract some concession from the B10 and P12, like the two highest ranked game winners advance no matter what (RB winner not in the top 4 has no NCG chance). That means in some/many years there would be two true semifinals with the Rose Bowl on the outside looking in while the champs from the other conferences would always have a shot at the NCG if the make the “top” 6.

      Seriously, if the “Four Team Plus” is really an option, it should be automatically behind the “Original Plus One” Plan as they are basically the same thing but with more teams having access and no special treatment for just one bowl and the Big Ten / PAC-12. Of course, now you’re having to decide which 2 (out of 4) bowl game winners get to play in the BCS Title Game, but that’s not much different than deciding which 2 (out of 3) – but at least it’s more straight-forward, easier to understand, more fair, and allows more access overall.

      Picking 2 out of 4 actually is a lot different from picking 2 out of 3. There would be much more complaining about match-ups and game sites. The true plus one could easily put #3 in a position with no chance at the NCG unless #1 or #2 lose, while in the four teams plus #3 can win and advance in many years.

      I really don’t see more fairness or more access in a true plus one (#8 doesn’t have a shot at the NCG even if they win, they can just knock out the high seed they are playing).

      All that said, both plans are dumb as they are basically just playing a few more non-conference games before deciding who gets to play in the BCS Title Game and we would have the same problems that we have now – what if #1, #2, and #3 are all playing in separate bowl games? What it #1 has to play #3 in a bowl game while #2 gets to play #8? Forget it…Option 3 is the only one that makes sense with 3D (home semi-final games) being the superior option.

      Both plans have serious problems, but having more OOC games before deciding who plays in the NCG isn’t one of them. That’s the best thing about them. If #1-3 play in separate games, then the two highest-ranked winners should go to the NCG.

      A four team playoff makes the least sense to me of these choices. We don’t know who deserves to be in it unless you blindly believe the BCS ranking to be 100% accurate, and if you believe that then the current BCS is fine since it always pairs #1 and #2. 3D gives huge advantages to the home teams based on a faulty ranking system, and likewise excludes a team or two that maybe should have been in the top 4.

  12. frug says:

    Hate, hate, hate any playoff that is used within the current bowl system. This leads to (essentially) unseeded playoffs which create more problems than they solve.

    Either return to the old system and add plus one CG with the participants selected after the bowls or a four team playoff with the first two games on campus and the old system for the bowls. Speaking as a Big 10 fan I have no problem with the Rose Bowl being B1G#2 vs. PAC#2.

    • frug says:

      Wow. Just realized this was much more a rant than an idea or reasoned observation. Sorry.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Of those 4 options, 3 is the only one with a chance of happening.

      1. Fixes nothing. Lucy yanking the football away from Charlie Brown (the fans) after getting our hopes up that FINALLY we’d make significant progress and get an actual earned and legitimate champion.

      2. Doesn’t really fix the major problems. Bama vs LSU joke happens again, just one round later.

      If the commissioners choose either option, that will leak well before any vote is taken by the presidents to finalize the agreement. The fan and media reaction would be highly, highly negative, and the presidents would likely send them back to the negotiating table.

      4. So ridiculous, unnecessary, and just plain stupid that feedback would probably ultimately be the loudest and worst of those 3. Guaranteed bitter controversy in years a 3rd semifinal is added. Simple soundbites such as, “Once again, the out of touch college football egghead elites found a way to F up something so simple” will take root. Major PR blunder.

      So #3 seems the obvious horse to bet on.

      However…one or more other options or variances may still emerge, because:

      While it says no options are off the table, it makes it clear the conference commissioners who run the system have pared their preferences to the four. “There is no a leader in the clubhouse,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock told USA TODAY Sports, “and frankly, that’s just fine at this stage.”

      Many university presidents are yet to weigh in, he said.

      And those are the ultimate decision makers whom the commissioners serve, not the other way around. If for some reason option 3 really does have fatal flaws at the moment that lead to the idiocy of option 4 being proposed, they may have other ideas.

      • Brian says:

        Playoffs Now,

        Of those 4 options, 3 is the only one with a chance of happening.

        Really? You were all about Emmert mentioned 8 teams so that can happen despite the guys in the room saying it wasn’t being considered. But information about what is being discussed comes out and you can dismiss 75% of the options out of hand.

        1. Fixes nothing. Lucy yanking the football away from Charlie Brown (the fans) after getting our hopes up that FINALLY we’d make significant progress and get an actual earned and legitimate champion.

        First, you assume the current system needs fixing which isn’t automatically true. Second, it fixes a couple of things people have complained about – AQ status being the primary one.

        2. Doesn’t really fix the major problems. Bama vs LSU joke happens again, just one round later.

        Which are the “major problems” again? You seem to assume everyone agrees on what those are which is far from true. I’m personally with you on a non-champ getting a rematch for the NC, but many people don’t have a problem with that, for example.

        If the commissioners choose either option, that will leak well before any vote is taken by the presidents to finalize the agreement. The fan and media reaction would be highly, highly negative, and the presidents would likely send them back to the negotiating table.

        I don’t think the commissioners will make a decision before going to the presidents. I think they’ll each have a preferred list of choices and the presidents will tell them which ones they can live with in order of preference and which ones are a no go. Once the commissioners get back together to share that info, they’ll see what options have survived and where the preferences are. Then they’ll go back to the presidents to get an OK on the preferred plan. That’s just my guess of how it will happen.

        I think people will bitch about it no matter what options are presented to the presidents and what the final decision is. There isn’t a really clear consensus on the details.

        4. So ridiculous, unnecessary, and just plain stupid that feedback would probably ultimately be the loudest and worst of those 3. Guaranteed bitter controversy in years a 3rd semifinal is added. Simple soundbites such as, “Once again, the out of touch college football egghead elites found a way to F up something so simple” will take root. Major PR blunder.

        Of course it’s unnecessary, it’s a CFB postseason. The feedback would be mixed, but mostly negative because the media types wouldn’t be getting what they want and they shape the feedback. There’s no need for controversy if they simply say the two highest-ranked winners advance. Or they can use the BCS rankings which playoff proponents seem to blindly trust the top 4 teams in perfect order after years of bitching about them picking the wrong top two.

      • bullet says:

        PlayoffsNow

        I agree about #1. Actually, it makes the current system worse. It may be just a fallback position in case nothing else can be resolved.

        At least one source said #2 was not under serious consideration, but it wasn’t dead. If they have actually looked at what it would produce, they can’t consider it an improvement.

        I’m with you on #4, but at least it is a better version of the +1 in that it actually has some form of seeding. But it still leaves the two team beauty contest and the Rose Bowl winner may not play as tough an opponent as the other two.

        They want public acceptance and #1 and #4 will generate a lot of negative reactions. #2 will produce the negative reaction once the public sees the results. I prefer the current system to a +1 and I don’t like the current system at all.

    • Brian says:

      frug,

      Hate, hate, hate any playoff that is used within the current bowl system. This leads to (essentially) unseeded playoffs which create more problems than they solve.

      1. There is no such thing as unseeded playoffs being proposed. A true plus one and the four teams plus model provide more games to inform the decision about which teams should play in the NCG. They aren’t playoff games except when the B10 and P12 champs aren’t in the top 4 teams chosen and the other two games become seeded semi-finals.

      2. I don’t agree that this would cause more problems than it solves. A playoff assumes the ranking system is correct, and almost everyone seems to think the BCS system is frequently wrong. The extra games provide more evidence. That may clarify things, or it may muddy the picture. Either way, more data is better.

  13. Frank, it looks like I could be a day late to the party. With so much steam headed for 4 teams, I don’t know if this is applicable anymore.

    http://nittanylionsden.com/2012-articles/january/a-6-yes-6-team-playoff-proposal.html

    My reasoning however is that the major five conference MUST make themselves strong and stronger. If the ACC can be left out 5 of 6 years (as they would have been in 2006-2011 if a seeded 4-team playoff would have been instituted), how can they sign on? Theoretically, the SEC could be in the same boat. How ridiculous would Slive and the conference ADs/presidents look if they signed up for a playoff which shut them out 1 or 2 or 3 years in a row? Again, theoretically, with the 4-team seeded, it could happen. I think the power players are too greedy for that.

    If there are 5 power conferences, why not have 6 teams make the playoffs?

  14. Using the bowls in an unseeded playoff is a bad idea; it will be confusing and a bigger fiasco than the BCS is currently. If they are going to go with a playoff, the need to do it right.

    • Brian says:

      It’s not a playoff if they use the bowls, and it doesn’t have to be confusing. Either say the two highest-ranked winners advance, or re-rank them with the BCS formula and take the top 2. Neither of those is confusing.

  15. gregenstein says:

    Here’s the problem with your “Bama vs. LSU” argument. While I agree it’s a garbage matchup when selecting only 2 schools to play for the title, I have no problem allowing a 1-loss, non-conference champion into the event/tournament/playoff. I can make no argument for including Wisconsin last year that excludes Alabama from a playoff that makes any sort of sense.

    No, it doesn’t really fix the problem. Of course in my mind, the problem is that Okie State didn’t have a shot. If LSU and Alabama had beaten Okie State and Stanford, I don’t think there’s a person who could argue those two teams didn’t deserve to play for the title. To me though it’s not a joke national championship matchup if they both had to play 1 out of conference “bowl game” to get to the title game.

    The only problem I have with Frank’s “don’t re-rank them after the bowls” argument is that you have 6 teams playing, but realistically at most 5 of them have a chance at the title game. If we ever happen to wander into a dream scenario where it’s #1 vs. #6 in the Rose Bowl and #2-#5 playing in other bowls, team #6 has absolutely zero chance of playing for the title despite having beaten #1 in the Rose Bowl. Because they are #6, it will not matter who wins the other games. They will be ranked below them. To me, you have to re-rank the teams, but to put emphasis on the winning performance, only allow bowl winners to advance. If you lose, you don’t even get re-ranked by the computers/pollsters.

    It’s still subjective but at least then team #6 has a reason to play.

  16. Denogginizer says:

    Go B1G Red

  17. Aaron says:

    Not that I want to stop talking about playoffs, but are they seriously talking about pruning the number of overall bowl games?

    See “Enhancing the Bowl Experience with Additional Adjustments to the Post-Season”

    So long, Independence Bowl.

    • Brian says:

      Yes they are. Apparently the commissioners are strongly in favor of going to a 7 win requirement, and the presidents probably support that, too. That means losing 10-12 bowls, probably.

  18. duffman says:

    @ Frank,

    I am still unclear why this is not the best solution :

    Rose Bowl = #1 vs #4 (B1G and PAC where possible)
    Sugar Bowl = #2 vs #3 (SEC and ACC/B12 where possible)

    Winners meet in BCS MNC game on MLK weekend.

    my question is, is this a +1, or is this a 4 team playoff? It looks like the same thing to me, but others seem to see it as two distinct outcomes.

    .

    On a related, but non related point. The NCAA needs to step up and come to the aid of the fans instead of gouging them. Passing a 4 night hotel room with a 450 per night charge (1,800 for a hotel room when the normal rate is a 1/3 of that is robbery) just to get a ticket seems the peak of dishonest behavior! The NCAA should have discounted rooms and charters in conjunction with their corporate partners if they really were about helping the students and fans. The collusion between the NCAA and Stub Hub / Ticketmaster also needs to be first on the table before this “playoff” is allowed to progress further.

    • Brian says:

      duffman,

      I am still unclear why this is not the best solution :

      Rose Bowl = #1 vs #4 (B1G and PAC where possible)
      Sugar Bowl = #2 vs #3 (SEC and ACC/B12 where possible)

      Winners meet in BCS MNC game on MLK weekend.

      As to why this may not the best solution, it all depends on the point of view. Potential problems:

      1. The Rose isn’t always B10 champ versus P12 champ.
      2. The Orange and Fiesta and Cotton are locked out of the semis.
      3. The Sugar Bowl favors the SEC over the ACC or B12 regardless of rank.
      4. The system stretches the season out even longer rather than bringing the NCG closer to 1/1.

      my question is, is this a +1, or is this a 4 team playoff? It looks like the same thing to me, but others seem to see it as two distinct outcomes.

      That is a four team playoff. A plus one is when you play the bowls as normal and then have a NCG. The defining feature is that there are more than 2 games that could provide a team to the NCG. Using the bowls as semi-finals doesn’t change that it is a playoff.

      On a related, but non related point. The NCAA needs to step up and come to the aid of the fans instead of gouging them. Passing a 4 night hotel room with a 450 per night charge (1,800 for a hotel room when the normal rate is a 1/3 of that is robbery) just to get a ticket seems the peak of dishonest behavior! The NCAA should have discounted rooms and charters in conjunction with their corporate partners if they really were about helping the students and fans. The collusion between the NCAA and Stub Hub / Ticketmaster also needs to be first on the table before this “playoff” is allowed to progress further.

      The NCAA never claimed to be helping the fans, though. I agree the prices are ridiculous, and my answer is to not pay them. This is one reason why bowl attendance is down, as only locals and the rich can truly afford the games anymore.

      • Yeah, the main pillar of the proposal in the first place is to protect the Big Ten and Pac-12 relationships with the Rose Bowl without exclusions (no “if possible” caveat). As I’ve pointed out, there are incentives for other conferences to support the proposal, but the Big Ten and Pac-12 certainly wouldn’t be fighting for it if the result is to allow others into the game.

  19. “(As a reminder, I proposed that the 2 highest ranked teams that won their bowl games would advance to the national championship as opposed to having a brand new ranking after the bowls were completed.”

    Help me out here, I never was very good at math. But if you take the two teams ranked highest prior to the games, doesn’t that mathematically eliminate #6 from having any chance whatsoever of playing for the title?

    I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing, in a year say where a conference champ is not that highly ranked. But it also kind of defeats the purpose of having them in the “playoff” at all, doesn’t it?

    • Brian says:

      singlewhitealcoholicseekssame,

      “(As a reminder, I proposed that the 2 highest ranked teams that won their bowl games would advance to the national championship as opposed to having a brand new ranking after the bowls were completed.”

      Help me out here, I never was very good at math. But if you take the two teams ranked highest prior to the games, doesn’t that mathematically eliminate #6 from having any chance whatsoever of playing for the title?

      Yes, it does. #5 is very limited. #4 also has limited ways to make it, while #3 has more. #1 and #2 are the only teams with a clear path.

      Scenarios (assuming a win for the RB team listed):
      1. Rose = 5/6, semis = 1/4 & 2/3

      Neither Rose team can advance, so they are true semi-finals. 1-4 can advance.

      2. Rose = 4/6, semis = 1/5 & 2/3 or
      Rose = 4/5, semis = 1/6 & 2/3

      #4 or #5 will advance if #1 loses. 1-5 can advance.

      3. Rose = 3/6, semis = 1/5 & 2/4 or
      Rose = 3/5, semis = 1/6 & 2/4

      #3 will advance if #1 or #2 loses. #5 will advance if #1 loses. 1-5 can advance.

      4. Rose = 3/4, semis = 1/6 & 2/5

      #3 or #4 will advance if #1 or #2 loses. 1-5 can advance.

      5. Rose = 2/6, semis = 1/5 & 3/4 or
      Rose = 2/5, semis = 1/6 & 3/4 or

      #2 will advance. #5 will advance if #1 loses. 1-5 can advance.

      6. Rose = 2/4, semis = 1/6 & 3/5

      #2 will advance with a win, #4 will advance if #1 or #3 loses. 1-5 can advance.

      7. Rose = 1/4, semis = 2/6 & 3/5

      #1 will advance with a win, #4 will advance if #2 or #3 loses. 1-5 can advance.

      8. Rose = 2/3, semis = 1/6 & 4/5

      #2 or #3 will advance. 1-5 can advance.

      9. Rose = 1/3, semis = 2/6 & 4/5

      #1 or #3 will advance. 1-5 can advance.

      10. Rose = 1/2, semis = 3/6 & 4/5

      #1 or #2 will advance. 1-5 can advance.

      I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing, in a year say where a conference champ is not that highly ranked. But it also kind of defeats the purpose of having them in the “playoff” at all, doesn’t it?

      This system isn’t a pure playoff, so #6 still serves a purpose because they can upset a higher-ranked team and knock them out.

  20. Read The D says:

    Unlike what seems to be the majority here I don’t hate Frank’s halfway there proposal. It takes CFB from 1 game that really matters to potentially 4.

    I would take it a step further, however. Keep the bowl tie-ins for all BCS bowls, then start making selection rules based on the final BCS (or whatever it becomes) rankings.

    Rule 1: You must win your bowl game to be qualified for the National Championship. (I believe you should probably re-seed after the bowls.)

    Rule 2: No team below #6 in the final rankings is qualified for the National Championship. (per what Gregenstein noted above)

    Rule 3: If no teams ranked 1-4 are in the Rose bowl, a seeded playoff takes place and the semi-finals are held at the higher ranked tie-ins bowl. For example:

    Rose tie-ins #6 vs #10
    Sugar #1
    Fiesta #3
    Orange #11

    Fiesta would host the number 2 team (Alabama last year) since they are the higher seeded tie in. Sugar would host #4.

    Rule 4: The highest ranked tie-in plays the next highest ranked team that is not in the same conference at the higher ranked tie-in’s bowl. For example:

    Rose tie ins #2 vs #4
    Sugar #1
    Fiesta #5
    Orange #11

    Sugar would play the highest ranked remaining team. If that team is the 2nd place team in the SEC, they would not rematch in the Sugar Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl tie in, as the next highest ranked, would be moved to play in the Sugar.

    Rule 5: Unless #3 & #4 are in the Rose Bowl, #1 & #2 should not play each other in a semi final.

    Rose tie ins #3 vs #11
    Sugar #1
    Fiesta #2
    Orange #5

    Sugar would play #4 and Fiesta would play the Orange Bowl’s tie in #5 as the next highest seed.

    I’m sure there are others that make sense. These don’t have to be well publicized, just rules for the Bowls to live by.

  21. Playoffs Now says:

    In the real world, reaction to option 4 has been nearly universal:

    “Four Teams, Plus One Cup”

  22. ChicagoMac says:

    Assuming we can’t get a true 16 team playoff, I love the Four Teams + 1 setup.

    With 2 stipulations;
    A. You have to be a conference champion to be included (Or ranked in top 4 for ND)
    B. Flex-scheduling of the 3 “semifinal” games
    C. Managed bowl selection

    This is the system that allows more teams to be in the mix for a championship in August. It would encourage better non-conference scheduling and it would best preserve the importance of the regular season.

    This is great for Television and the fans because it realistically means there will be many more games played each season with National Championship implications.

    Flex scheduling above means you play the three semifinals in order such that at least one team in each game has a chance to play for the national championship. Example:

    #1 Ranked team from SEC
    #2 Ranked Team from B12
    #3 Ranked Team from P12

    You would play the Rose Bowl before the other two semifinals such that when the P12 team played its game it would have a chance to go to the NC game.

    Managed Bowl selection to account for situations like Alabama last year when they are clearly one of the best teams but would have gotten left out of the championship mix because of point A above. This process would be throwing a bone to the best teams each season that did not win their conference championship game. Andrew Luck taking on the brilliant Alabama Defense for instance.

    Why I love this setup. Last year Georgia played LSU for the SEC championship but they had no chance for the National Championship. Under the system above they could have been playing LSU with an outside chance at eventually playing for the National Championship game.

    Also, why not give the conferences the opportunity to mix-up their Conference Championships…For instance, if the #2 team in the West division is a BCS top 5 team and the East Division champion is not in the Top 10, then the #2 team in the West division can be selected for the Conference Championship game.

    Who complains about this system? Traditionalists get their intersectional bowls. The Regular season still means a helluva lot. Conference Championship games mean something. TV guys get many more interesting regular season matchups, the pundits get to spill a ton of ink each November explaining what happens if Team X beats Team Y and vice versa.

    • Bamatab says:

      Trust me on this, if the Rose bowl/B1G/Pac 12 get their stipulaion, then the SEC will get their stipulation of teams not having to be conference champions. It will be a compromise between the 3 conferences (and possibly the Big 12). I think that the only way non-conference champions are excluded, is for option 4 chosen (since the B1G/Pac12 will be compromising their Rose Bowl bids, the SEC would compromise their non-conference champs stipulation).

      • ChicagoMac says:

        @Bamatab you are probably correct. What if they got together and strong-armed the NCAA into letting the conferences have some flexibility on the Conference Championship games such that the SEC could have had Bama play LSU in the Georgia Dome last season?

        Also, the managed bowl selection process could be something of a giveaway to the SEC, right? If the SEC has 9 great teams in a particular season, one is involved in the National Championship discussion and 8 more might get to play in the most compelling non-championship Bowl matchups.

        • bamatab says:

          @ChicagoMac, the SEC would never trade a LSU/Bama SEC championship game for a LSU/Bama national championship game (or a chance at it). I truely believe that a 4 team + 1 format will be tied to a non-conference champions being eligible.

      • Brian says:

        Bamatab,

        Trust me on this, if the Rose bowl/B1G/Pac 12 get their stipulation, then the SEC will get their stipulation of teams not having to be conference champions. It will be a compromise between the 3 conferences (and possibly the Big 12). I think that the only way non-conference champions are excluded, is for option 4 chosen (since the B1G/Pac12 will be compromising their Rose Bowl bids, the SEC would compromise their non-conference champs stipulation).

        The only caveat I would add is that this assumes allowing non-champs is the top concession the SEC wants, which I think is true but only Slive really knows. If there’s something else they want, they might get that instead. And if they get this, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some limits or adjustments (2 teams max in the semis, 3 teams max overall in the BCS bowls, non-champs can’t host a semi, etc).

        • bamatab says:

          Brian, I doubt there would be any stipulations. Allowing the B1G/Pac 12 champ (if they are in the top 4) play against potentially a below top 10 team is a huge advantge. If the SEC gets their non-conference champ provision, there won’t be crazy stipulations. It’ll just be the top 4 team play for the chance to play in the NC game, and the B1G/Pac 12 get to keep their Rose Bowl bids.

          • Brian says:

            I don’t consider capping a conference at 2 in the semis, or 3 or 4 in the top bowls or whatever else “crazy” limits. I think every other conference would want a limit of 2 teams from a conference, so that’s not a B10 thing. Capping the number in the major bowls would be supported by the lesser and major conferences, too.

            And cry me a river about a B10 or P12 champ potentially playing a team below #10. First, you know it wouldn’t happen all that often, and even when it does the other champ is just as likely to be low ranked as high, further reducing the frequency with which that would be important. Second, you know the rankings aren’t accurate anyway and #10 can easily be better than #5 (many games have shown this). No team below #5 (of the 6 chosen, not strictly #5 by rankings) would have a chance to play in the NCG if they simply say the highest-ranked winners advance. Even if they redo the rankings after the three games, that’s still probably true. Either way, it means a low-ranking champ can’t make the NCG so the only advantage it could be is as a slightly lesser opponent for the other champ in the Rose Bowl. Unless that other champ is a top 2 team, it would require an upset in a semi-final to gain them NCG access anyway.

            This plan will have years when the Rose Bowl is not a factor as the winners of the other 2 games will be known to make the NCG. That can’t happen to the semi-finals. I also don’t see you complaining about the SEC frequently getting homefield advantage in the semis.

          • In my original Halfway There Compromise post, I proposed that the quasi-semifinals use the 4 highest ranked teams that would have automatically qualified under the current BCS system. Essentially, any team that would have been a purely discretionary at-large team under the BCS system couldn’t be in the quasi-semifinal. I’d tweak that so that any conference champ would be eligible. So, you’d have the following pool (excluding the Rose Bowl participants):

            All top 4 teams
            All conference champs
            Notre Dame if it’s in the top 8

            The quasi-semifinals would take the top 4 out of this pool. This actually seems pretty plausible to me simply because it is very similar to what all of these conferences have agreed to before in determining who should be eligible for a BCS bowl. It also shows the path to a Notre Dame compromise where if it’s in the top 8, it’s treated like a conference champ (which is fair to me since that’s a legitimately good team if it’s in the top 8), but if it’s below that threshold, it’s treated like any other team that didn’t win it’s conference.

          • bullet says:

            Why should Notre Dame be treated specially in the contract? I don’t see anything fair about it. I see no reason why the conferences should write in special items for Notre Dame (other than financially) treating them different than any other independent or the MAC champ. The reality is that the bowls will choose them if its within the rules and they are any good at all. But they should have to earn a spot in a championship just like anyone else. The other 11 participants aren’t representing their conferences by doing otherwise.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Why should Notre Dame be treated specially in the contract? I don’t see anything fair about it. I see no reason why the conferences should write in special items for Notre Dame (other than financially) treating them different than any other independent or the MAC champ.

            I don’t see any special treatment in Frank’s proposal, and I don’t understand your fairness complaint. If it makes you feel better, I’m sure Frank will acknowledge that the “Notre Dame” clause in his plan applies to all independents, but the others are very unlikely to ever see the top 8. That’s a very big parenthetical reason you glossed over, too.

            All his plan says is a top 8 independent gets treated like a conference champ for eligibility concerns. Below #8, they can’t make the playoffs. His plan allows for the top 4 regardless of champion status plus all conference champs and any independents in the top 8. From that pool, the top 4 make the playoffs.

            Say #1-4 are all conference champs, and two are in the Rose Bowl. That would leave a top 8 independent and the other conference champs as the only teams left to fill the other two playoff spots. Teams #5-8 could easily all be conference runners-up, meaning a #9 ND is skipped over for #10 and #12 conference champs. That doesn’t seem like special treatment to me.

            The reality is that the bowls will choose them if its within the rules and they are any good at all. But they should have to earn a spot in a championship just like anyone else. The other 11 participants aren’t representing their conferences by doing otherwise.

            Why is being #8 for ND any different than it is for a conference champ? If a #8 P12 champ would deserve a spot, so would a #8 ND.

          • bullet says:

            Notre Dame gets a deal noone else does. Brian, you’re arguing just to argue.

            Also its a 4 team playoff proposal. Notre Dame gets an advantage over anybody in a conference by only needing to be #8.

          • @bullet – There are a couple of reasons why there would be a “Notre Dame rule”.

            First, remember what Brett McMurphy said last week: there are only 6 voices that matter, and one of them happens to be Notre Dame. For the purposes of these discussions, Notre Dame is treated as an equal with the other power conferences and has effective veto power over the non-power conferences. That’s simply how the system is set up whether we agree with it or not. So, just as there’s going to be a lot of discussion about how the Rose Bowl is treated because 2 of the 6 voices that matter (the Big Ten and Pac-12) have a direct interest in it, there’s also going to be a lot of discussion about how Notre Dame is treated. When 50% of the voices that matter want certain protections, it doesn’t matter if 100% of the entire outside world disagrees with such protections.

            Second, Brian makes my point in terms of on-the-field access. It’s a trade-off. While you may look at ND as getting special treatment by “only” needing to be #8, conference champs that are lower than #8 get to be automatically included in the quasi-semifinal pool, so that’s arguably getting special treatment just because you’re a member of a conference as opposed to being independent. Once again, we’re just taking the top 4 of that pool that I’ve outlined, which simply says that if ND is #8 or higher, it gets to be part of that pool. We can apply that same standard to other independents like BYU, too. If there are still 4 teams part of that pool ahead of ND in the rankings, the Irish don’t get a spot in the quasi-semifinals. Furthermore, if ND is #9, it doesn’t get to be part of that pool even though, in the case of last year, every single conference champ besides the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 champs would have been part of the pool despite being ranked lower than #9. This is simply recognizing that independents need to cross some ranking threshold to be considered on par with a conference champion.

            The only way to completely move away from giving any independent an advantage or disadvantage is to go to a pure 4-team playoff based on rankings without regard to conferences at all. If we aren’t willing to do that, then the next aim should be to at least mitigate BOTH the advantages and disadvantages to being an independent. To me, saying that *any* conference champ that is #9 or lower ought to get in over a Notre Dame team ranked #5-8 is punishing ND for its independence. By the same token, ND shouldn’t be treated as the equivalent of a conference champ in all circumstances, either. Many non-ND fans are very focused on the possible advantages that ND would get as an independent under this rule, but aren’t recognizing that there would be corresponding disadvantages under a system that allows for access for lower ranked teams simply for winning their respective conferences. Therefore, we should at least balance those advantages and disadvantages out so that there’s a happy medium that makes some sense in practice.

            Regardless, non-ND fans can’t kick ND to the curb just as non-Big Ten/Pac-12 fans can’t kick the Rose Bowl to the curb. Those 3 entities represent 50% of the vote that has the actual power to make the changes to the college football postseason.

          • bullet says:

            @Frank
            Why can’t you just say the top X teams (with limits on the # of non-champs) and not do any special rule? And basically you are saying BYU can’t be considered unless they are in the top 4, but Notre Dame can.

            I can see a lot of reasons for at least 9 of the 12 to vehemently oppose it. And 6 do have public voices even if they don’t really have a vote. That’s the reason access has been improved.

            Notre Dame is justified in asking for a better financial deal than the MAC, but for inclusion in a semi-playoff-No.

          • @bullet – I’m totally fine with that. Like I’ve said, if it were up to me, I’d just have a top 4 playoff with the 4 highest ranked teams without regard to conference affiliation. My proposal is based upon the thought that there are likely some (if not most of the) others that don’t think the same way.

            I’m also perfectly fine with BYU and Army getting the same treatment as ND, too. The practical matter, though, is that BYU and Army aren’t even part of the discussions at all (not even as part of the non-AQ contingent), so they can’t advocate for themselves in the manner that ND is able to. Note that Navy and Army don’t get the benefit of the ND rule in the current BCS system, so I’d surmise that ND won’t be doing any other independents any favors in the negotiating room. (This is even though ND arguably has a closer relationship with Navy compared to any other school.)

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Notre Dame gets a deal noone else does.

            No, they really don’t. BYU and Army and Navy can have the same deal, not that they’ll ever sniff the top 8. The special deal for ND to worry about is in the revenue distribution, not in the playoff access.

            Also its a 4 team playoff proposal. Notre Dame gets an advantage over anybody in a conference by only needing to be #8.

            No, they don’t because the top 4 eligible teams make it. ND can’t get in just by being #8. They also have to only have 3 eligible teams (anyone in the top 4 plus any conference champs except B10 and P12) ahead of them. #8 is the cutoff for consideration, not automatic participation. ND gets it worse because at #9 they are eliminated while the other conference champs aren’t. See my example above, where a #12 conference champ makes it but #9 ND can’t.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Why can’t you just say the top X teams (with limits on the # of non-champs) and not do any special rule?

            You could, but unlike you not everyone believes an overrated runner-up in a conference should get in over a conference champ. Otherwise, last year could have easily been 3 SEC West teams and 1 B12 team despite AL and AR not really beating anybody all year. What happened to proving it on the field as all the playoff proponents claim? All of a sudden a popularity poll is more important than game results? A ranking system nobody trusts to pick the top 2 is suddenly a perfect choice for picking the top 4 in order?

            And basically you are saying BYU can’t be considered unless they are in the top 4, but Notre Dame can.

            No, you are saying that. Frank never said that.

          • bullet says:

            @Frank
            I’m sure ND will advocate for themselves. The bowls will also if they are part of any playoff. I just don’t see why anyone else would support it. There may be reasons to support a Rose Bowl 4+ exception, but not to support a Notre Dame exception.

            And from the standpoint of the non-playoff bowls, a Notre Dame rule is unnecessary. Notre Dame will be picked over any roughly equivalent school in the country.

          • @bullet – The macro-level reason why there would be support for a Notre Dame rule is that the TV networks would like it and they may push it in order for them to provide maximum rights fees. To me, it’s a fairly easy give for the other power conferences. Notre Dame doesn’t displace any of them often enough that they’re that worried about Irish access if the networks kick in a few more dollars.

            The micro-level reason is that ND’s vote may very well end up being a crucial one for determining what actually gets implemented, so they’ll horse trade their vote in exchange for those who will support an ND rule. If we still use the “Seven Founders” as the basis for the votes that count, ND basically counts as 2 votes in conjunction with the Big East. Even without the Big East, ND supporting one format over the other could end up being the deciding one.

            For instance, if the Big Ten and Pac-12 are in unison which many people believe to be the case, if they get ND onto their side, they effectively have a power block of 3 of 6 (or 4 of 7) to bargain for what they all want. In fact, I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. ND is actually pretty tight with the leadership of the Big Ten and Pac-12 (not enough to join a conference, but they agree more often than not on overarching college football issues).

            Plus, the ACC and Big 12/Texas are going to play nice with ND because they will hold out hopes that the Irish will eventually join them (even of that chance is minuscule).

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            You think an over-rated Notre Dame should get in over better teams from the Big East or MWC or a conference runner-up who played a tougher schedule? And there is no team in the country who gets more over-rated when they are good than Notre Dame.

            I think a limit on non-champs is a good idea. I just think the indies and non-champs should all be put in the same pool.

          • bullet says:

            @Frank
            On your politics, we do know the SEC, Big 10 and Pac 12 are talking to each other and attempting to decide what the proposal will be. Maybe there are only 3 votes that really count.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            You think an over-rated Notre Dame should get in over better teams from the Big East or MWC or a conference runner-up who played a tougher schedule?

            How do we know those other teams are better (serious question)?

            And ND schedules harder than anybody else (it doesn’t mean their SOS is #1 every year, but they will generally play MI, MSU, PU, USC, Stanford and Navy plus some other quality teams like UT, BYU and Pitt every season and those are all by choice). No BE or MWC champ plays a tougher schedule, and rarely does a conference runner up.

            As to your question, I don’t want ND to get in over “better” teams. I also don’t want them to be skipped over by lesser teams just because they are an independent. ND last was top 8 in the final regular season AP poll in the 2005 season, then 1993 before that.

            In 2005 they were 9-2 with a 3-pt OT loss to MSU and a 3-pt loss to #1 USC. Ahead of them were 12-0 USC, 12-0 TX, 10-1 PSU and 9-2 OSU, and behind were 10-1 OR, 9-2 AU, 10-2 GA, 9-2 Miami and 10-2 LSU. The only other 10-1 teams were #11 WV and #14 TCU.

            ND made the Fiesta Bowl that year and got beaten soundly by #4 OSU.

            And there is no team in the country who gets more over-rated when they are good than Notre Dame.

            FSU? MI? Any king that’s been down for a while? Everyone in the SEC (they can’t all be top 10 teams every year)? Nobody may get more overrated, but a lot of teams get equally overrated.

            I think a limit on non-champs is a good idea. I just think the indies and non-champs should all be put in the same pool.

            That’s punishing independents for existing, so I disagree.

            On your politics, we do know the SEC, Big 10 and Pac 12 are talking to each other and attempting to decide what the proposal will be. Maybe there are only 3 votes that really count.

            That wouldn’t surprise me. The B10 and P12 will protect ND to a certain extent and the SEC will basically represent the B12′s interests, too (Slive’s voice is much more powerful than a lame duck Neinas’s). The only other voice is Swofford for the ACC and all the lesser leagues. It’s a lot easier for 3 people to have a discussion and reach a compromise than 12.

          • bullet says:

            Notre Dame’s strength of schedule has weakened over the last decade. And like anyone else, they are dependent on the strength of their opponents that particular year. They had a long stretch where Stanford, Michigan St., Purdue and Navy, who they played every year, were all pretty weak. And they have started to have the problem of getting mid-season opponents. There were some years where they had MIchigan, USC and Boston College and sometimes one other varying school who were anywhere close to them in talent. They were playing schools like W. Michigan, Tulsa, Nevada (before their big year) mid-year, as well as Washington State, Vanderbilt,etc.

            So many years, Notre Dame’s schedule has been far weaker than the champs of the major conferences.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Notre Dame’s strength of schedule has weakened over the last decade.

            There was a brief dip when the previous AD went to the 7-4-1 model, but they are 6-5-1 now and SOS is back to elite.

            Here’s a comparison to OSU, who was almost always the B10 champ/co-champ and regularly played 1 elite OOC game annually. I also added AL for diversity.

            Sagarin’s SOS ranks (ND, OSU, AL):
            2011 – 25, 30, 15
            2010 – 22, 70, 14
            2009 – 37, 50, 2
            2008 – 50, 46, 28
            2007 – 24, 53, 30
            2006 – 18, 38, 30
            2005 – 14, 2, 59
            2004 – 5, 35, 73
            2003 – 1, 15, 3
            2002 – 14, 30, 15
            2001 – 14, 37, 36
            2000 – 24, 33, 13

            Ave = 20.7, 36.6, 26.5

            I don’t think ND needs to apologize for anything there. They topped AL in 7 of 12 years and were on par with them in 3 other years, leading to a better average.

            Let me clarify that I don’t consider his rankings as the gospel or anything, but they’re convenient to find. I tend to think his methodology isn’t correct (I’d emphasize elite opponents more and consider mediocre and bad teams as about the same).

            And like anyone else, they are dependent on the strength of their opponents that particular year.

            Of course everyone is dependent on that, so it’s a non-factor to me. Everyone else has a conference schedule vulnerable to that, ND has their set of rivals.

            They had a long stretch where Stanford, Michigan St., Purdue and Navy, who they played every year, were all pretty weak.

            They weren’t as bad as you think, apparently. When MSU was down, PU was up. Navy had several strong years recently, and they are often better than an IN or Vandy. I think the past few years from Stanford have balanced out the down years.

            And they have started to have the problem of getting mid-season opponents. There were some years where they had MIchigan, USC and Boston College and sometimes one other varying school who were anywhere close to them in talent. They were playing schools like W. Michigan, Tulsa, Nevada (before their big year) mid-year, as well as Washington State, Vanderbilt,etc.

            And nobody else plays teams at that level? As I said above, part of that was the 7-4-1 model that is now gone. WSU was a neutral site game in TX, and WSU was good for the first half of the decade so scheduling them was not out of line.

            So many years, Notre Dame’s schedule has been far weaker than the champs of the major conferences.

            It might seem that way, but the numbers say otherwise.

          • bullet says:

            Thanks for the effort to get that data. Specifically I was thinking about that 2007-9 era where they were as low as 50. In the 90s, their schedule was pretty strong. They slipped this decade as those numbers show them with a much higher SOS in the first part of the decade.

            I’m surprised Ohio St. is that low, but Sagarin, in particular, has considered the B10 weak for several years.

            The mix of scheduling weak and elite opponents and its effect is debatable. Notre Dame has traditionally had several elite opponents. But in recent years they started to mix that with 7-8 who had a 1% chance of beating them. So they only had to focus on a few games (at least when they were a better team). If you had Michigan, Ohio St., Penn St. and 9 MAC teams on your schedule, is that harder than 3 MAC teams and 9 who were Iowa/Wisconsin types? If you are an elite team, I think the answer is the latter is tougher. You can beat the 3 elites and noone else can compete if you have the 1st schedule.

            My point wasn’t that Notre Dame’s schedule is always weaker or necessarily deliberately weaker, but at times it has been. Certainly during that 7-4-1 era you discussed when Michigan St. and Stanford were struggling and Navy had its normal limitations and Michigan had RichRod. With MIchigan St. and Stanford both up and Michigan back, it changes the dynamics. Still, Sagarin only had them in the 20s the last couple of years.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Thanks for the effort to get that data. Specifically I was thinking about that 2007-9 era where they were as low as 50. In the 90s, their schedule was pretty strong. They slipped this decade as those numbers show them with a much higher SOS in the first part of the decade.

            I know where you are coming from. I was a little surprised to see ND’s average be so good. They did have a few bad years, but the conference teams had much worse years. All I wanted to show was that ND’s schedule is at least competitive with the those in the major conferences, so they shouldn’t be held back from a playoff spot based on that.

            I’m all for a ranking system that factors in SOS strongly, so teams that had an easier path that season have to have a better record to advance. I just want that to apply to everyone equally, be they AL, ND or Boise.

            I’m surprised Ohio St. is that low, but Sagarin, in particular, has considered the B10 weak for several years.

            Sagarin’s rankings have been anti-B10 for a while. OSU also suffers for playing 1 tough OOC game and then 3 MACs at home, especially with the MAC being down. Add in playing IN, a weakened PU, a Zooked IL, and a RichRod MI team, and that hurt.

            The mix of scheduling weak and elite opponents and its effect is debatable. Notre Dame has traditionally had several elite opponents. But in recent years they started to mix that with 7-8 who had a 1% chance of beating them. So they only had to focus on a few games (at least when they were a better team). If you had Michigan, Ohio St., Penn St. and 9 MAC teams on your schedule, is that harder than 3 MAC teams and 9 who were Iowa/Wisconsin types? If you are an elite team, I think the answer is the latter is tougher. You can beat the 3 elites and noone else can compete if you have the 1st schedule.

            I like to use the “expected losses for a team of X strength” method for SOS. Playing 1 good team presents the same risk as about 5 bad teams, and 1 elite team is like 8 bad teams. I don’t think Sagarin balances it this way, though. The point is, bad teams are essentially byes and all that matters is the number of top teams.

            My point wasn’t that Notre Dame’s schedule is always weaker or necessarily deliberately weaker, but at times it has been. Certainly during that 7-4-1 era you discussed when Michigan St. and Stanford were struggling and Navy had its normal limitations and Michigan had RichRod. With MIchigan St. and Stanford both up and Michigan back, it changes the dynamics. Still, Sagarin only had them in the 20s the last couple of years.

            Yes, but just because their SOS has some down years is no reason to exclude them. The same is true for everybody.

    • Brian says:

      ChicagoMac,

      Assuming we can’t get a true 16 team playoff, I love the Four Teams + 1 setup.

      I’m pretty sure you can’t get a 16 team playoff in the near future.

  23. ChicagoMac says:

    Too many people are thinking about designing the best system based on what we know in mid-December each college football season rather than designing the best system for what we know in August.

  24. Josh says:

    Here’s a simple solution for keeping the rose bowl happy, make the Rose bowl THE national championship- permanently. Call it the Dan wetzel compromise.

    • zeek says:

      Why would that make the Rose Bowl happy? They want the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs every year.

      • Josh says:

        Hosting annual national championship > Big Ten vs PAC-12 champs.

        • @Josh – From a pure matchup standpoint, that might be the case, but the Big Ten and Pac-12 wouldn’t be fighting for the Rose Bowl in the first place if it wasn’t about the exclusivity. So, they’re all intertwined together.

        • Brian says:

          Josh,

          Hosting annual national championship > Big Ten vs PAC-12 champs.

          Not to the Rose Bowl.

          • ccrider55 says:

            What Brian said. To me the Rose Bowl is the ultimate achievement on the field. Getting into the NC game has seemed nearly as much politics as play.

            Two conferences are willing to make it impossible for both to have a representative in the NC game. They are showing how a playoff should work. The conference season games are the preliminary rounds that decide who will carry the conference banner into the Rose Bowl (semi) and potentially the NC.

          • rich2 says:

            Brian, what evidence can you offer to suggest that the Rose Bowl Committee would prefer continued lower overall participation in Rose Bowl events, significantly less revenue, significantly lower tv ratings and significantly less media interest and therefore wish to continue to carry Big 10 vs PAC-12 instead of being the PERMANENT host for the CFB Championship game that is the outcome of a NCAA Playoff. Josh, of course you are correct.

          • @rich2 – It’s not a question of the Rose Bowl’s preference. Instead, it’s the fact that the Rose Bowl wouldn’t be getting protected in the first place if the Big Ten and Pac-12 weren’t protecting it. So, it’s a false choice to ask whether the Rose Bowl would rather be a permanent national championship host instead of a Big Ten-Pac-12 game because the whole reason why they have a seat at the table at all is because the Big Ten and Pac-12 are the ones fighting for the Rose Bowl by proxy (and that seat at the table goes away if they remove their Big Ten/Pac-12 tie-ins).

          • Brian says:

            rich2,

            Brian, what evidence can you offer to suggest that the Rose Bowl Committee would prefer continued lower overall participation in Rose Bowl events, significantly less revenue, significantly lower tv ratings and significantly less media interest and therefore wish to continue to carry Big 10 vs PAC-12 instead of being the PERMANENT host for the CFB Championship game that is the outcome of a NCAA Playoff.

            How about the Rose Bowl complaining every they had to host a BCS NCG instead of the B10/P12 champs? Even then, the Rose gets 75% of the viewers as the BCS NCG and made and paid much more than any other bowl before the BCS forced equal payouts.

            What evidence do you have of “continued lower overall participation in Rose Bowl events” or that the Rose would prefer a NCG?

        • morganwick says:

          It’s worth remembering that when it started, the Rose Bowl was an “east-versus-west” game pitting a team from what would become the Pac-12 against any team from further east. It’s really more a historical accident than anything else that it became Pac-12 v. Big Ten full-time. Is it really enough of a “tradition” that making it the national championship every year wouldn’t be better, especially the way the BCS has ruined the “tradition” already?

          • Brian says:

            morganwick,

            It’s worth remembering that when it started, the Rose Bowl was an “east-versus-west” game pitting a team from what would become the Pac-12 against any team from further east. It’s really more a historical accident than anything else that it became Pac-12 v. Big Ten full-time.

            It was no historical accident. It was based on a common understanding of amateurism and the status of blacks as people.

            From Wikipedia (feel free to read their source for the full story – a book in this case):

            “It was because in 1946, The Big Nine and PCC were of the same accord when it came to treating players as amateurs, as compared to the semi-professional status that the Southern Universities proposed. Also, the Big Nine and PCC both had the same attitudes towards desegregation and allowing African-Americans to play football.[18] Many other universities were still segregated.”

            There were bumps along the way, but that started a deal that lasted over 50 years before the BCS messed with it and 61 of the past 66 years.

            Is it really enough of a “tradition” that making it the national championship every year wouldn’t be better, especially the way the BCS has ruined the “tradition” already?

            Yes, to the Rose Bowl it is definitely enough of a tradition that it is better than hosting the NCG. It is to real B10 and P12 fans, too.

  25. Eric says:

    Sidestepping the national championship question for a minute, does anyone think the larger bowl coalition might be an attempt to recreate some of what we had before there were so many contracts between conferences and bowls (back to poll and bowl). I can imagine what they want is a system in the 2nd tier bowls where there might be a few tie-ins (Big 12 in Cotton, Big Ten and SEC in Citrus), but for the most part, they want the bowls to be able to compete based on reality at the end of the season each year.

    This might mean that a bowl which would never sign a contract with the Mountain West, might select Boise State if they go 11-1, or might take the 3rd place PAC-12 team in a year instead of the 5th place Big Ten team (or vice-versa). It would also let the schools weigh their options if they got multiple offers (consider opponents, destination, where they were at more recently, money, etc)/

    • Brian says:

      Eric,

      Sidestepping the national championship question for a minute, does anyone think the larger bowl coalition might be an attempt to recreate some of what we had before there were so many contracts between conferences and bowls (back to poll and bowl). I can imagine what they want is a system in the 2nd tier bowls where there might be a few tie-ins (Big 12 in Cotton, Big Ten and SEC in Citrus), but for the most part, they want the bowls to be able to compete based on reality at the end of the season each year.

      This might mean that a bowl which would never sign a contract with the Mountain West, might select Boise State if they go 11-1, or might take the 3rd place PAC-12 team in a year instead of the 5th place Big Ten team (or vice-versa). It would also let the schools weigh their options if they got multiple offers (consider opponents, destination, where they were at more recently, money, etc).

      I think that is the idea, to end up with better match-ups because the bowls have the flexibility to shift teams around. It seems to me there are huge issues, though. Conferences have preferred locations for their bowls, bowls have preferred conferences for history and fans, bowl sponsors have preferences and expectations of quality level, etc. Do the bowls maintain a specific hierarchy or do they rotate the match-ups around? How does TV schedule the games not knowing what to expect? How are bowl payouts set? How much do sponsors get charged?

      I agree with using geography as much as possible, but that also means you miss out on some good match-ups because of travel issues for P12/MWC teams coming east or ACC/BE/SEC/B10 teams headed west. As with most things, I’d really prefer to see a fleshed out plan of how it would work.

      • Eric says:

        I think if you want to do this and have the big conferences willing put in their big bowls, then the way to do it is a free market approach. Let every bowl call the schools and make offers. The schools agree to whichever one they want which should take into account the money coming in and desirable location. The bowls will be offering to teams their sponsors prefer most.

        In the end, you’re still going to end up with the best bowls going to the same conferences, but the added flexibility gives you room to make the specific match-ups more attractive or let some mid-majors in.

        • Brian says:

          That was the really old system, and it resulted in bowls locking up teams in October. It also meant 6-4-1 teams getting in over 10-1 teams from a small conference. I think they want to reduce that bias with their plan, which is why I want to see the details.

  26. vp19 says:

    This is somewhat OT, but according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Colonial Athletic Association may increase its exit fee from the current $250K to $1 million at its meetings next week. Look for Georgia State to hightail it to the Sun Belt in a number of days.

    • @vp19 – I’m actually even more interested in whether George Mason and VCU bolt to the Atlantic 10 immediately since that could trigger Butler also moving from the Horizon (and there would be a further trickle-down realignment after that).

  27. Tom says:

    The playoffs should be a 4 team playoff with teams selected by coaches and sportswriters voting after the current BCS and other bowl games are played. The four teams play one week after the BCS championship game. The final two teams play on the Saturday before the Super Bowl game.

    The limited number of teams in this playoff method would make the college officials happy since the players are students. This system would not extend the football season for most teams beyond the current length for bowl teams.

    • Brian says:

      Tom,

      They currently complain about 1 game being on 1/8, and you want to double that and have another game 2 weeks later and think that will make them happy? Good luck with that.

  28. duffman says:

    Directors Cup updates came out today

    http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/nacda/sports/directorscup/auto_pdf/2011-12/misc_non_event/apr5dI.pdf

    Stanford still seems like the winner yet again with about 200 points to #2 Ohio State, but here is the B1G schools ranked :

    # 2 Ohio State
    # 3 Penn State
    # 7 Wisconsin
    #10 Michigan
    #13 Minnesota
    #16 Indiana
    #19 Michigan State
    #31 Purdue
    #35 Illinois
    #41 Iowa
    #55 Nebraska
    #58 Northwestern

    .

    Capitol One – Men’s : Top 20 standings
    # 6 Ohio State

    Capitol One – Women’s : Top 20 standings
    # 9 Illinois
    #12 Penn State
    #15 Minnesota

    On the Capitol One, the high point sports of Soccer, Football, and Basketball have been played – This leaves Lacrosse, Outdoor Track & Field, and Baseball for the men’s sports that can still move the needle. I am still not sure why Lacrosse is a major sport considering 4 of the 6 major conferences (B1G, BXII, PAC, SEC) were not in the tournament last year! Were they just trying to give the Big East and ACC some free points?

    • Brian says:

      duffman says:
      April 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Directors Cup updates came out today

      http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/nacda/sports/directorscup/auto_pdf/2011-12/misc_non_event/apr5dI.pdf

      Stanford still seems like the winner yet again with about 200 points to #2 Ohio State, but here is the B1G schools ranked :

      # 2 Ohio State
      # 3 Penn State
      # 7 Wisconsin
      #10 Michigan
      #13 Minnesota
      #16 Indiana
      #19 Michigan State
      #31 Purdue
      #35 Illinois
      #41 Iowa
      #55 Nebraska
      #58 Northwestern

      It’s good to see the B10 continuing to do well across the board. Eventually someone may top Stanford again. If not, at least you don’t worry that they’re cheating to make it happen.

      Capitol One – Men’s : Top 20 standings

      I refuse to even acknowledge the existence of the ESPN Cup. The 3-1 points ratio for sports they televise is crap. Outdoor track and field is 3 times more important than indoor track and field? Lacrosse and soccer are 3 times more important than wrestling or hockey or swimming or …? Baseball (a southern and western sport mostly) is 3 times more important than hockey (northern and eastern) or wrestling (midwestern and eastern)? Women’s volleyball is important but men’s isn’t?

      Amazingly, the results seem to work out well for ESPN-owned conferences (SEC, ACC).

      • morganwick says:

        And the amount of importance placed on the FCS championship is ridiculous.

      • duffman says:

        Brian,

        Cheating or not, being Stanford, with a massive endowment, allows them to win by default every year because they can field the most teams. By the end of the spring their massive number of sports will widen that 200 point lead they have on Ohio State. I usually just look at who is #2 every year as the winner.

        • Brian says:

          duffman,

          Size isn’t the problem so much as they have a lot of good teams in sports with fewer total competitors, so they rack up points. Only the 10 best sports each for men and women count, so it isn’t sheer numbers. OSU has 36 varsity sports to Stanford’s 31, too.

          Look at where they score:
          In winter, OSU outscored Stanford 501 to 494.75. They both scored in these 7 sports – W basketball, wrestling, fencing, M swimming and diving, W swimming and diving, M track and field, W track and field. OSU also scored in M basketball.

          The difference was the fall. Stanford won it with 382 to FSU’s 351, but FSU was weak in the winter. OSU only scored 206 (12th place) with football having a down year. Stanford scored in 6 of 8 possible sports (football, M cross country, W cross country, field hockey, W soccer and W volleyball) while missing out on 2 (M soccer, water polo). OSU scored in 5 of those 6 (missed on W cross country), but 3 sports made the difference. Stanford scored 60 in W CC, and outscored OSU by about 50 in both football and M CC. That’s 160 points, or essentially the whole gap in fall (the rest was W soccer – 36 and OSU doing better in W volleyball by 14)..

    • Richard says:

      Not a bad showing for the B10.

      3 of the top 10 (more than any conference) and 7 of the top 20 (over half the conference and more than double any other conference).

      I credit the BTN.

      • mnfanstc says:

        Being a homer here—but, just can’t help it… Final winter standings come out April 19th. My beloved Gophers will move up min of 80 points for their great year in Men’s Hockey. Third Frozen Four appearance in 10 years–previous two resulted in NCAA Champs 02,03—this year was cool since Gophs were picked to finish no better than mid-pack in WCHA.

        Would love for some of the Gophers winning going on in the non-revenue sports to transfer to the football and basketball teams. (with Mbakwe coming back, Tubby might have a B1G contender next year–woohoo!)

        • mnfanstc says:

          Oops… should clarify that at Minnesota, men’s hockey IS a revenue sport… Several other winners (i.e. women’s hockey, wrestling, swimming…) are non-rev…

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Women’s gymnastics championships will take place this weekend.

      The 12 qualifying teams by conference are as follows:

      SEC (5) – Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, LSU & Alabama;
      Pac-12 (4) – Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA & Utah;
      Big Ten (2) – Ohio State & Nebraska; and
      Big XII – Oklahoma

      • Brian says:

        And the championship is in Atlanta, so the GymDawgs have homefloor advantage.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Brian – I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a college girls’ gymnastics meet or not, but its not like fans are waving their arms and screaming obscenities hoping a 90 pound girls falls off the balance beam.

          I find it interesting that you so strongly defend the god-given right of Big Ten teams to go to the Rose Bowl to play a California team in 42 of the 61 Pac/B1G match-ups since 1947, while you whine about the Cap One, Outback, and Gator Bowls all being played in SEC territory.

          • Brian says:

            I haven’t been to one in a long time. I’d feel a little creepy as the old guy by himself watching teenage girls. Besides, they totally inflate the scores. I was mostly kidding about home floor advantage, although the lack of travel probably helps a touch and so does the encouragement when doing well. UGA has been really good at gymnastics for a while, so them doing well wouldn’t be a shock regardless of location.

            You are comparing apples and oranges with the bowls. The B10 has the right to play in the Rose if it wants to maintain that tradition, and it does just fine except when playing USC. That’s partly because good USC teams are really good, and partly because it’s a home game for them. Don’t take that to mean I think it is always fair to play USC in LA, but the tradeoff is getting to play in by far the greatest bowl game of them all (ask any neutral media member who has
            been to all of the majors) and maintain the tradition. The Cap 1, Outback and Gator don’t have the tradition for the B10 and aren’t nearly as prestigious. Any of them could be replaced by another bowl with no loss, such as the Peach repacing the Cap 1.

            The FL bowl games are extra annoying because the SEC, especially UF, doesn’t travel to B10 country (since 1992, UK has done it 7 times, AL 1 and Vandy 1). You can’t say that about the P12 (52 times total). It’s also annoying because SEC fans like to brag about winning these home games as if playing in FL doesn’t help them at all.

  29. Playoffs Now says:

    If the BCS negotiators are seriously considering this ridiculously convoluted, confusing, and unsatisfactory Four Teams Plus One Cup plan, it means they are willing to play the national championship game 7-13 days after New Year’s Day. The obvious response should be:

    So why not do the sensible, logical, easy 8-team playoff that so many outside the BCS negotiating room (including several school presidents) are advocating? It solves so many problems but only extends the season one friggin week compared to at least half the options under heavy consideration. One extra week, affecting only 2, 3, or a max of 4 teams per year.

    If finishing close to New Year’s really is so high on the presidents’ wish list that there is little willingness to compromise on that aspect, then option 3D can get it done on or very near New Year’s, before school starts again. A good compromise and start. But if options 2, 4, and variations of 3 are under serious consideration, then it means that other factors were more important/problematic to negotiators than the season extending into the Spring semester, which it would for 2 schools. One friggin week longer.

    Hopefully Presidents Crow, Adams, and their 8-team supporters can convince their cohorts to do the right thing.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      BTW, January 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19 are in mid-January, not late-January. Jan 20th might be debatable (but not really, math says it is mid-Jan, too.)

      Can’t believe I actually have to explain this.

      • morganwick says:

        But! But January 16 and later are late January if you throw out “mid-January” and only have early January and late January!

      • greg says:

        January 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19 are roughly the time the 2nd semester starts, which is what is important, not some semantic debate about mid- or late-January.

        Can’t believe I actually have to explain this.

    • Brian says:

      Yes, that plan would have a late NCG and that’s one of the things going against it when and if it is presented to the presidents.

      Beyond that, you are horribly wrong as always. Your plan isn’t sensible, logical, easy or the “right thing” to do. It doesn’t solve more problems than it creates and clearly extends the season which the presidents have been vocal about opposing in general.

      You should also note that the other plans could conceivably move up any bowl they use a few days so the NCG is on 1/4ish.

      • cutter says:

        Actually, Brian, Playoffs Now is the one who is correct and you remain the one who is horribly wrong.

        An eight team playoff format has been set out to be sensible, logical, easy and the right thing to do. It’s inclusive enough to include teams that are national championship calibre (including ones from minor confernences), yet leaves a big enough inventory of name programs to play in the major bowls. It certainly recognizes the reality that there are five major conferences competing in college football these days plus two prominent independents. The system also recognizes and awards regular season play by awarding conference champions and teams who have had exceptional seasons (both from the major and minor conferences).

        An eight-team playoff would extend the season for two teams into mid-January. The first and second rounds of the playoff could be completed in late December with the NCG two weeks later. If the bowl season ends up on or around 1 January, then the presidents would have largely completed their goal of getting the football season wrapped up prior to school starting the following term. There would be no need to change the way the regular season is played and a playoff of any nature would make the conference championship games even higher stakes than they are now.

        There are no difficulties for putting together an eight-team playoff in terms of logistics, travel or timing. The major problems involve recasting the decades long relationships between the bowls and the conferences along with the presidents’ concerns about the perceptions surrounding college football given the recent spate of public relations problems caused by recent rules violations by major programs.

        • Brian says:

          cutter,

          An eight team playoff format has been set out to be sensible, logical, easy and the right thing to do.

          Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

          There is no logic involved either way, and 8 isn’t any more or less sensible than anything else. It clearly isn’t easy as the there are all kinds of arguments over timing and locations and eligibility, and nobody has ever offered any evidence that it is the “right thing to do.”

          It’s inclusive enough to include teams that are national championship calibre (including ones from minor confernences), yet leaves a big enough inventory of name programs to play in the major bowls.

          According to whom? Does it include everyone that is NC caliber? Does it include some that aren’t? How much inventory is “big enough” for the major bowls, and what are you basing that on?

          It certainly recognizes the reality that there are five major conferences competing in college football these days plus two prominent independents.

          Are there 5? What are we basing that on? There certainly aren’t two prominent independents (sorry Army, Navy and BYU). Even if there are 5, that doesn’t show that 8 is the correct number of teams to use in a playoff.

          The system also recognizes and awards regular season play by awarding conference champions and teams who have had exceptional seasons (both from the major and minor conferences).

          That’s a complete and total lie. Some versions do that, but it is not inherent in an 8 team playoff that conference champs get rewarded. It takes extra rules to reward champs, and people don’t agree on those rules. Some say 8 champs, some say 6 and others 5 (somebody has probably called for 4, too). Otherwise it would be the top 8 teams from some ranking system regardless of status. Last year that would mean the third place team in the SEC West gets in, but not some conference champs with better records (at least one had a better resume, too).

          This gets to the obvious problem of the ranking system and why it should be trusted.

          An eight-team playoff would extend the season for two teams into mid-January.

          You are assuming a schedule that hasn’t been agreed upon by the decision makers. They might not see it the same way.

          The first and second rounds of the playoff could be completed in late December with the NCG two weeks later.

          TPTB don’t seem to see two weeks in late Decemeber when they can play, only one. That pushes everything back another week assuming they keep the rest of your schedule. Of course, the presidents have also said they want to move the NCG earlier, not later, which might pose a problem.

          If the bowl season ends up on or around 1 January, then the presidents would have largely completed their goal of getting the football season wrapped up prior to school starting the following term.

          No, they wouldn’t have because their goal was to move up the NCG several days. The other bowls are already earlier.

          There would be no need to change the way the regular season is played and a playoff of any nature would make the conference championship games even higher stakes than they are now.

          That is factually untrue. The NCG is already a playoff, and by definition it wouldn’t make the stakes higher than they are now. A larger playoff only ups the stakes as much as the winners of the CCG have access to the playoff, and that is not a universal thing. Last year’s B10 CCG wouldn’t have meant any more unless the winner was promised a playoff spot, and not all playoffs do that..

          There are no difficulties for putting together an eight-team playoff in terms of logistics, travel or timing.

          Right. Except for all the problems with logistics, travel and timing.

        • Eric says:

          I agree with Brian here. An 8 team playoff absolutely effects the value of regular season national games. If you live in Ohio and #2 Oklahoma State is playing in October, you don’t have a lot of reason to watch. It’s not directly impacting the national title and unlikely to matter to your team. Compare that to in a 2 team playoff where it’s a lot bigger position they are in and a game that matters a lot more. A 4 team playoff can probably get away with the games still mattering enough to not hurt regular season value too much, but I don’t think an 8 team playoff can.

          • joe4psu says:

            I disagree. The more teams whose games are determining playoff teams later in the season the more interest there is in more games. If we had an eight team playoff made up of five or six conference champions and the rest filled out with at-large/wild card bids then every included conferences division race and eventual CCG are of interest to fans of other conferences. When late season games are determining seeding, especially if there are on campus games, they are more interesting.

            When the system limits to too small a group those that have a legitimate chance at the championship it necessarily limits the number of fans whose teams are involved in meaningful late season games. The NHL and the NBA have obviously gone too far in allowing the mediocre into the playoffs just to have more games. Having eight of 124+ teams involved in a playoff is NO WHERE NEAR that. NCAA basketball is a whole different can of worms with post season conference tournaments that make the regular season meaningless. If I were the NCAA I might consider holding conference tournaments AFTER the field of 64/68(?) has been determined and only including the schools that AREN’T in that field. Then the regular season matters but all the undeserving teams still get to play in post season tournaments for no reason.

          • Eric says:

            joe4psu,

            I disagree because they aren’t aiming at keeping just end of regular season games big, they want them big the entire season. I agree the last couple 2-3 weeks are probably bigger with an 8 team playoff, but I think the first two and a half months are much more regional. In September/October, if there just aren’t enough games with clear national title implication to make them huge. Keep in my mind that this last year, we had LSU vs. Oregon week 1 and that everyone knew that it could very well be a national title elimination game. LSU stood some chance at coming back if they lost just because of the SEC’s recent strength, but only if they were perfect the rest of the way and if they got lucky with others losing. All of that disappears with an 8 team playoff.

          • Richard says:

            joe4psu:

            I wouldn’t have watched LSU-’Bama Part I (or a whole host of games) if an 8-school playoff had been in place.

            Plus, remember Pitt’s upset of WVU in RichRod’s last year as a Mountaineer? All over the country, if you mention that game, any college football fan would remember it. If an 8-school playoff had been in place, no one would as that upset would have been virtually meaningless.

            Same with UCLA-Miami in 1998. I still remember that game, close to 15 years later even though it didn’t involve my school, my conference, or a team that I liked. Would I have cared if an 8-team playoff had been in place? Heck no! That upset would have been irrelevant.

            What an 8-school playoff (with automatic bids for conference winners) would do is up the importance of conference games and make OOC games essentially exhibition matches, as for the schools in power conferences, winning your conference would be the one sure way to get in, and what happens elsewhere is almost irrelevant.

          • bullet says:

            I don’t agree that 8 would diminish the regular season. As Richard points out, it enhances the conference significance. And if you had, as would be likely since they are almost certainly getting rid of the AQ, the top CHAMPIONS of conferences getting in (instead of the champions of the top CONFERENCES), that 1 intersectional game is still relevant. It’s less likely to be an elimination game, but it might still be. The reality is very few teams have a shot of going 12-0 or 11-1 and the game is still popular. Kentucky draws over 60,000 fans a game and hasn’t won a conference title since 1977 and hasn’t been to a major bowl since the 50s.

            Clearly at some point the regular season is diminished. With 24 (like in FCS) there is no question it would be. But I don’t agree that 8 does. IMO that number is somewhere around 16-and even that depends on how many conference champs get in and how many wildcards. If you are letting in 9-3 teams who aren’t champs regularly, it will diminish the regular season.

          • Richard says:

            “It’s less likely to be an elimination game, but it might still be.”

            If it drops down from being 90% likely that it will have a bearing on who goes to the title game to 10%, I won’t bother to watch.

            As for interest, I don’t expect a dropoff in attendance, but it very well could kill off TV ratings for OOC games and lessen the ratings for games featuring teams ranked in the top 5 nationally.

  30. OT says:

    One thing that may have slipped people’s radar:

    The president of the University of Montana cleaned house last week by firing both the head football coach and the AD.

    The reason: both allegedly covered up multiple assault incidents involving football players and co-eds, which allegedly involved the use of “date rape” drugs.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304177104577312063371349858.html

    The scandal in Griz country is unfolding, though away from intense media spotlight because Montana isn’t exactly Penn State or Duke.

  31. OT says:

    Another housekeeping item:

    Comcast has decided to pull the plug on the mtn., which will go dark on May 31:

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Closing-Bell/2012/04/05/the-mtn.aspx

    One would expect CBS Sports Network to pick up the slack by airing more Mountain West events next season.

    Wonder what Hawai’i football will do now? Go back to Oceanic Time Warner Cable?

  32. ESS EEE CEE says:

    Another week, another college football scandal. This time, the University of Arkansas is involved.

    Bobby Petrino is all but toast, this time for 1) screwing around behind his wife’s back, 2) putting his mistress on his payroll, and 3) covering up everything behind his boss’ back

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/andy_staples/04/06/petrino.arkansas.leave/?xid=cnnbin

    ESS! EEE! CEE!

    ESS! EEE! CEE!

    ESS! EEE! CEE!

    • Eric says:

      Given his success and Arkansas standing in the SEC, I think he would have been fine with just the accident, with the affair, and even with the lying, but add in that the affair was with someone he directly hired and I think it’s just too much and he’ll be gone as soon as the lawyers go through the paperwork to make this is an inexpensive as possible.

      • Brian says:

        Money isn’t an issue. He has a morals clause they can use to fire him for free. It’s figuring out who they can replace him with that will cheat enough (in football, not with a mistress) to compete with Miles and Saban.

    • duffman says:

      I am guessing he is gone

      Paying a new hire 50K – 60K is a ticket to sexual harassment and not sure any state institution would take that on just to save a football coach. He could have survived the affair, and could have survived most everything else. Even if they could payoff her fiance and his wife, no lawyer for the university is going to want to get entangled with the mess from hiring a woman you are banging on the side on the state nickel.

      http://nwahomepage.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=321062

      This was the second 911 call and clearly indicates a man and a woman involved in the incident. Larry Hendren may have inadvertently provided the smoking gun when he called to protect the motorcycle from possibly being stolen.

  33. frug says:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2012/04/06/bcs-college-football-georgia-president-michael-adams-rips-big-ten-pac-12-stances/

    The Rose Bowl exception did not come from the PAC:

    We as a group never discussed that,” Oregon State president and Pac-12 CEO group chairman Ed Ray said to the Wall Street Journal. “This is the first time I’m hearing it. But that doesn’t mean that people weren’t in conversations where all these things came up and somebody suggested it.

    Also, based on what UGA’s prez. (who has two degrees from tOSU) said, it does not appear that the Rose Bowl idea is especially popular.

    This is not 1950, or 1960,” Adams said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “There are great schools in the [Atlantic Coast Conference] and the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12. I think it’s time to put everybody on an equal footing. I just reject the notion that the Big Ten and the Pac-12 ought to be treated differently in this process.

    While he doesn’t claim to represent anyone else, it is tough to see imagine anyone else feeling any different, especially since the idea doesn’t seem to be of much interest to the PAC or Big 10 (who proposed a four team playoff with on campus semifinals)

    • Eric says:

      I sadly don’t think either commissioner is really going to stand up for the Rose Bowl’s place. It feels like it did with the division where it seemed neither OSU or Michigan’s AD went in with the proper perspective on the Ohio State/Michigan games place in the season. Sadly, there won’t be the uproar this time and the Rose Bowl is probably going to be an after thought to most people in 10 years.

      It’s worth fighting for, but I don’t think they will, not in a way that will maintain what it is.

      • frug says:

        Depends on what you considering “fighting for” to mean. There’s no doubt that they will do whatever is necessary to ensure that it is B1G-PAC exclusively from now on. The only question is whether they will accept a system that takes runner ups or requires champs.

      • I posted this before…but if the 4-team playoff model that everyone prefers http://www.nittanylionsden.com/2012-articles/march/the-playoff-is-almost-here.html
        would have been in place the past six years, here are your Rose Bowls.
        2011 No. 4 Stanford against No. 10 Wisconsin
        2010 No. 4 Stanford against No. 6 Ohio State
        2009 No. 18 Oregon St against No. 8 Ohio State
        2008 No. 17 Oregon against No. 8 PSU
        2007 No. 7 USC against No. 13 Illinois
        2006 No. 18 California against No. 7 Wisconsin

        Many of these matchups are equal to or literally the same as what we got. Few are unappealing. None are snoozers.

        • Brian says:

          allthatyoucantleavebehind,

          I posted this before…but if the 4-team playoff model that everyone prefers would have been in place the past six years, here are your Rose Bowls.
          2011 No. 4 Stanford against No. 10 Wisconsin
          2010 No. 4 Stanford against No. 6 Ohio State
          2009 No. 18 Oregon St against No. 8 Ohio State
          2008 No. 17 Oregon against No. 8 PSU
          2007 No. 7 USC against No. 13 Illinois
          2006 No. 18 California against No. 7 Wisconsin

          Many of these matchups are equal to or literally the same as what we got. Few are unappealing. None are snoozers.

          Same – 2007
          Equal to – none
          Less than – 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006

          Unappealing – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
          Snoozers – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

          That’s a terrible track record.

          • frug says:

            How 2011 or 2010 any less appealing than what actually happened? I mean do you instantly dismiss any game just because it doesn’t feature conference champs regardless of how good the teams playing are?

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            frug: Actual quality of play aside, Wisconsin, Illinois, Stanford, Oregon St, @ Ca are all generally unappealing from the standpoint of many fans (that’s coming from someone with a degree from Stanford).

            ’08 was probably the closest to a marquee matchup but far less so than the USC-PSU match-up that occurred instead.

          • frug says:

            That’s why I only mentioned ’10 and ’11. I mean was #4 Stanford really all that different from #8 (or whatever they were) Oregon? And yeah #4 Stanford vs. #6 Ohio St. isn’t quite as good as #2 Oregon vs. #4 Wiscy, but it is hardly unappealing.

            I was also note that while there is not question Illinois (especially at 9-3) is a pretty lousy draw, the TV ratings for the 2007 game was right in line with other years.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            How 2011 or 2010 any less appealing than what actually happened? I mean do you instantly dismiss any game just because it doesn’t feature conference champs regardless of how good the teams playing are?

            Yes, I do. I said so earlier. What make a great Rose Bowl is pairing the B10 champ and the P12 champ. Everything else is less appealing to me and to the Rose Bowl.

            2011
            Actual game – P12 champ #5 OR vs B10 champ #10 WI
            His game – P12N runner up #4 Stanford vs WI

            2 champs is better than 1, so his game is less than the actual game.

            2010
            Actual game – MWC champ #3 TCU vs B10 champ #5 WI
            His game – P12N runner up #4 Stanford vs B10 co-champ but BCS at large #6 OSU

            1 champ is better than 0, and the actual game had higher ranked teams, too. The trade off of getting no champ but B10 vs P12 instead of B10 champ vs MWC almost made it a draw.

          • frug says:

            Alright they may be marginally less appealing, but less appealing does not necessarily mean unappealing (and in 2010 and 2011 it did not).

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Alright they may be marginally less appealing, but less appealing does not necessarily mean unappealing (and in 2010 and 2011 it did not).

            I said they were less than the actual games and you just acknowledged that. Unappealing is in the eye of the beholder, and true Rose Bowl fans find anything but the match-up of B10 and P12 champions unappealing. I specifically didn’t list 2010 and 2011 as snoozers. I did list the games with #18 Cal, #13 IL, #17 OR and #18 OrSU (none of them champs) as snoozers and you didn’t argue it.

            I will say that the 2010 and 2011 match-ups wouldn’t have been unappealing in any other bowl or as an OOC game. But in the Rose Bowl, they are unappealing.

          • Okay, Mr. Sunshine, tell me your “rating” of the Rose Bowls we actually had. Your criticisms seem so “biting” but without a context of what you thought of the ACTUAL Rose Bowls…it’s meaningless.

          • Brian says:

            allthatyoucantleavebehind,

            Okay, Mr. Sunshine, tell me your “rating” of the Rose Bowls we actually had. Your criticisms seem so “biting” but without a context of what you thought of the ACTUAL Rose Bowls…it’s meaningless.

            I did tell you. Anything with both champs was appealing. Anything without was unappealing. Games with low ranked non-champs were snoozers. So were bad games with non-B10 teams.

            (By season, not the 1/1 year)
            Appealing – 1946-2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011
            Unappealing – 2001, 2002, 2004-2007, 2010
            Snoozers – 2001, 2002, 2007

          • Ha, your 2005 and 2006 Rose Bowl dislike is laughable! Texas/USC national championship game for the ages…and national No. 3 and Big Ten runner-up (by a 3 point loss on OSU’s home field) against the Pac-10 champ USC. Yeah, awful matchup. I’m surprised you even watched!

            In all seriousness though…I see now that you are a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist…and change is bad, in whatever form. No real reason for you or me to rant at each other any longer. Agree to disagree, I guess.

          • Brian says:

            allthatyoucantleavebehind,

            Ha, your 2005 and 2006 Rose Bowl dislike is laughable!

            Not for Rose Bowls it isn’t. Your problem is that you can’t separate the game from the Bowl. You never developed a proper appreciation for the Rose Bowl, so you can’t understand why it is different from the other major bowls or the NCG.

            Texas/USC national championship game for the ages…

            While exciting, the defense was terrible all night and there were some really boneheaded plays like the pitchback fumble. It would have been a really good NCG (separate from the Rose Bowl), but was a bad Rose Bowl.

            Now #1 USC versus #3 PSU would have been a great Rose Bowl matchup (USC would have won big). Pair that with a #2 UT versus #4 OSU Fiesta Bowl, a #7 UGA versus #6 ND Sugar Bowl and a #11 WV versus #22 FSU Orange Bowl and we’re talking a really good postseason (FSU is the only weak link, but the Ornage would still be happy to have them).

            and national No. 3 and Big Ten runner-up (by a 3 point loss on OSU’s home field) against the Pac-10 champ USC. Yeah, awful matchup. I’m surprised you even watched!

            You’re assuming I did watch.

            And again, a good game on paper is not a good Rose Bowl. Much better:

            Rose – #1 OSU vs #5 USC
            Sugar – #2 UF vs #3 MI
            Fiesta – #10 OU vs #4 LSU
            Orange – #11 ND vs #14 WF
            Extra Bowl – #6 UL vs #8 Boise

            Again the ACC champ is the weak link, and dropping to 4 games left two spare teams so I added a fifth bowl to absorb them. I guessed the Fiesta would take LSU over ND, and the Orange would jump on ND.

            In all seriousness though…I see now that you are a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist…

            It took you this long? It’s not like I’ve been hiding it in any way.

            and change is bad, in whatever form.

            That’s not true. There are positive changes, but a playoff isn’t one of them. I think multi-year scholarships was a good change. I think the limited oversigning restriction from the SEC was a good first step.

            Some positive postseason changes:
            Eliminate AQ status
            Eliminate the NCG
            Eliminate the BCS
            End the season on 1/1

            No real reason for you or me to rant at each other any longer. Agree to disagree, I guess.

            Fair enough. This is mostly an issue of opinion, and few people are likely to change their minds.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – under your revisionist plan where the planets revolve around the Rose Bowl, you conveniently avoid your Buckeyes’ thrashings by Florida and LSU in the BCS NCGs.

            Also, you may think that a #2 Florida v. #3 Miami in the 06 Sugar Bowl may be a better match-up, but the Sugar Bowl committee and the citizens of New Orleans would most likely disagree, especially since this was the first post-Katrina Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

          • Brian says:

            Alan from Baton Rouge,

            Brian – under your revisionist plan where the planets revolve around the Rose Bowl, you conveniently avoid your Buckeyes’ thrashings by Florida and LSU in the BCS NCGs.

            First, it’s not just the Rose Bowl. I also preserve the Sugar, Ornage and Fiesta if you bothered to notice. I’m really not trying to avoid OSU losses. It’s entirely possible that USC would have won in 2006 and 2007 anyway. If you had asked me before the FL game, I would have told you the same thing about the Rose Bowl.

            Also, you may think that a #2 Florida v. #3 Miami in the 06 Sugar Bowl may be a better match-up, but the Sugar Bowl committee and the citizens of New Orleans would most likely disagree, especially since this was the first post-Katrina Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

            I went purely by conference champ and ranking. With no NCG, #2 FL was available and had to go there. I’m sure the home fans loved having LSU, but would they have preferred #3 Miami to #11 ND at least?

    • @frug – Anyone find it strange that Adams said that the 4-team playoff would diminish the importance of winning the SEC championship? I don’t get that one, especially when in the next breath he says that he wants an 8-team playoff.

      What’s interesting is that perception that the 4 Team Plus plan favors the Big Ten and Pac-12 may kill it even though it’s an improvement over the original unseeded plus-one from the standpoint of the likelihood of getting knockout (or de facto knockout) games. I can understand it from the SEC’s perspective, though, where they’d say that they would want to keep the Sugar Bowl in the same manner in that type of setup.

      • bullet says:

        He said it diminishes the importance of the Southeast Conference. He didn’t use the word championship. That could be interpreted as saying having 4 teams diminishes their advantage, as with two teams they have a better chance of getting in with their strength of schedule. From the context, I suspect that is what he was saying.

    • Brian says:

      frug,

      Nobody has claimed where the 4 teams plus plan came from yet. Adams’s hypocrisy amuses me as he chastises others for promoting what is in their best interests and then promotes an 8 team playoff because it is best for the SEC.

      I also like his insecurity as he professes that there are good schools in other conferences, too, as if that was a factor in the 4 team plus plan. He seems a touch jealous of the relationship the B10 and P12 have.

      • bullet says:

        I think anyone would be offended that 2 (or 3) conferences are trying to decide everything and then tell the rest what the answer is.

        I don’t think there’s any hypocrisy in his 8 team proposal. Slive hated it and he still proposed it in 2008.

        • Brian says:

          Why is someone (nobody has leaked who) proposing an idea suddenly 2 or 3 conferences trying to dictate the solution? Why is the proposal so offensive, but the B10, P12 and SEC meeting privately doesn’t bug you at all?

          Adams’s hypocrisy is clear. He whines about others suggesting something in their best interests, and then turns around and does the exact same thing a few sentences later.

    • frug says:

      Ok, based on this article it looks like the Rose Bowl exception is a non-starter so I think I can go ahead and guess what we will end up with; a four team playoff made up of the 3 highest ranked conference champs and the highest team that is not a top 3 CC (i.e. another conference champ, a conference runner up or indy.) The championship will played at a neutral site and the semifinals will be played at the home stadiums of the highest ranked conference champs unless an indy is in the top 2.

      Everyone gets the key things they want (specifically. the B1G and PAC get on campus semis, the SEC gets a shot at two playoff bids and the midmajors and independents have access to the playoffs).

      The Rose Bowl will probably be pissed but the PAC and Big 10 will overwhelming back this plan anyways since it makes it easier for the the lesser schools to make the Rose Bowl and gives the big dogs the chance to make a small fortune hosting a playoff game.

      • Brian says:

        frug,

        Ok, based on this article it looks like the Rose Bowl exception is a non-starter so I think I can go ahead and guess what we will end up with;

        Based on Adams? His own conference disagrees with him. I’m not saying there aren’t reason to think it won’t happen, but Adams popping off isn’t one of them.

        a four team playoff made up of the 3 highest ranked conference champs and the highest team that is not a top 3 CC (i.e. another conference champ, a conference runner up or indy.) The championship will played at a neutral site and the semifinals will be played at the home stadiums of the highest ranked conference champs unless an indy is in the top 2.

        What rating system are you predicting, or haven’t you thought that far yet?

        Everyone gets the key things they want (specifically. the B1G and PAC get on campus semis, the SEC gets a shot at two playoff bids and the midmajors and independents have access to the playoffs).

        I think the B10 and P12 would rather protect the Rose Bowl than get home semis. They may see removing the BCS restrictions so the Rose can still always pair B10 and P12 as protection enough, and you didn’t specify if that would happen, but I think that would be the primary concern for them. The biased rankings rarely will give them the home game anyway.

        The Rose Bowl will probably be pissed but the PAC and Big 10 will overwhelming back this plan anyways since it makes it easier for the the lesser schools to make the Rose Bowl and gives the big dogs the chance to make a small fortune hosting a playoff game.

        There is no way the B10 and P12 “overwhelmingly back” this plan. At best they quietly acquiesce to avoid aggravating the Rose Bowl further.

        • frug says:

          You’re right, I didn’t specify what ranking system will be used, but it will almost certainly be different than the current. I will also say that with BCS restrictions and qualifications removed all the bowls will go back to the old system and make deals with individual conferences. In the case of the Rose Bowl I suspect it will be the highest ranked Big 10 and PAC-12 teams that are not in the playoffs.

          Also, has the SEC said they disagree with Adams regarding the Rose Bowl exemption? I haven’t read that.

          • frug says:

            Also, I’m not sure where you are getting the idea that the rankings are biased. Even with the current BCS system during the 5 game BCS era (ie the last six years) either the Big 10 or PAC champ would have hosted a playoff game 3 times based on my proposal which means a champ could expect about a 1 in 4 shot of hosting a playoff games. Given how many millions of dollars that would be worth I think most schools will like those odds.

          • ccrider55 says:

            I haven’t said I disagree with Adams, but that doesn’t mean I don’t.

            We won’t hear anything definitive from conferences until a deal is basically done.

          • ccrider55 says:

            B1G/PAC champs want to play where they are suppose to, in the Rose Bowl.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            You’re right, I didn’t specify what ranking system will be used, but it will almost certainly be different than the current.

            I was just curious if you had some thoughts on it. I think that will be a significant part of the negotiations. I think people are getting tired of the coaches having so much say since they all admit they don’t watch other games. The computer polls have received constant abuse, too.

            I will also say that with BCS restrictions and qualifications removed all the bowls will go back to the old system and make deals with individual conferences. In the case of the Rose Bowl I suspect it will be the highest ranked Big 10 and PAC-12 teams that are not in the playoffs.

            I assumed that was your thought, but it’s better to have you say it.

            Also, has the SEC said they disagree with Adams regarding the Rose Bowl exemption? I haven’t read that.

            The SEC has said things against the 8 team playoff ever since Adams first proposed, which is what I was referring to. I’m sure the SEC is against the “four teams plus” plan on general principles because they hate the B10 and are a little jealous of the relationships between the B10, P12 and Rose Bowl. The SEC wants to hurt the Rose Bowl in order to hurt the B10.

          • frug says:

            @ccrider55

            Yes, but if it’s the only thing they want they never would have joined the BCS.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frug;

            True, but there were strong misgivings at the time. I suspect that now the actual experience has them believing it was a mistake.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Also, I’m not sure where you are getting the idea that the rankings are biased.

            A few reasons come to mind:
            1. The coaches poll has a preseason bias that carries through all season.
            2. The coaches admit they don’t watch other games, but they have 1/3 of the vote.
            3. Teams like AR being in the top 6 despite not beating anybody (3rd place in their division).
            4. Glass ceilings for non-AQs like Boise and TCU over the years.
            5. Nobody watching late night P12 games before voting.
            6. Early losses hurting less than late losses.

            Even with the current BCS system during the 5 game BCS era (ie the last six years) either the Big 10 or PAC champ would have hosted a playoff game 3 times based on my proposal which means a champ could expect about a 1 in 4 shot of hosting a playoff games. Given how many millions of dollars that would be worth I think most schools will like those odds.

            I’m guessing some of the conferences will make the host school share some revenue from the game. The local businesses will prosper, but I could easily see the B10 making teams share the profits much like with bowl games.

          • ccrider55 says:

            As hosting would be a matter of conference agreements the bulk of generated revenue would go to the conference, least in the B1G and the PAC.

          • frug says:

            I get what you are saying, but I don’t see how any of those hurt the Big 10 and PAC’s chances of hosting playoff games. The rankings may be crappy, but the biases in the rankings actually benefit the Big 10 and PAC-12.

            Also, I don’t think revenue sharing would make schools less likely to support a playoff. It just means they will get a decent payoff when anyone in the conference hosts the playoffs instead of a massive payoff when they host it themselves (though they still won’t have to share concessions and stuff like the suspect)

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            Especially after the Rose was forced to take TCU, I think they wanted out of the BCS. They were reluctant to join at the beginning and were right as they lost so many years of a true Rose Bowl (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2011). The B10 and P12 were also reluctant to join the BCS because of the Rose Bowl. They did OK in the BCS regardless, but the degradation of the Rose Bowl still hurt them.

            My guess is that the they are all going to have to make a choice between sending both champs to the Rose every year or being part of the playoff and the best available teams from the B10 and P12 go to the Rose Bowl. It will hurt the Rose a touch not to always have the champs, but having other conferences in it hurt it worse in my opinion.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Potential hosting a playoff doesn’t hold a candle to earning a place on the Rose Bowl, both from the conferences and their members perspective.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            I get what you are saying, but I don’t see how any of those hurt the Big 10 and PAC’s chances of hosting playoff games. The rankings may be crappy, but the biases in the rankings actually benefit the Big 10 and PAC-12.

            Are you looking at the same rankings I am? The ones that love the SEC and hate the B10? Since coaches don’t watch games, they are more susceptible to media influence and the current lovefest for the SEC at ESPN has an impact there. The impact shows when AR is #6 based on getting whipped twice in their own division and their best win was over the SEC East runner up SC when SC didn’t have their star RB. On 11/20, the SEC was #1, 2, 3 (all in the West), 12 and 13. By December, they had 4 in the top 9. Meanwhile, the B10 champ lost 2 nailbiters and needed a CCG win to reach the top 10.

            Also, I don’t think revenue sharing would make schools less likely to support a playoff. It just means they will get a decent payoff when anyone in the conference hosts the playoffs instead of a massive payoff when they host it themselves (though they still won’t have to share concessions and stuff like the suspect)

            I wasn’t arguing, just pointing out they probably wouldn’t be reaping millions like you said.

          • frug says:

            @ccrider

            Not from a financial standpoint, and it’s not even close.

            The fact, the Big 10 and PAC could have left the BCS after the 2005 season but chose not to, instead settling for a system that (virtually) ensured a PAC-Big 10 Rose Bowl 7 years out of 8. At this point the Big 10 and PAC’s biggest priority is preserving exclusive access to the Rose Bowl while still maximizing postseason revenue. The four team playoff I described does that.

          • frug says:

            @Brian

            None of those things has any effect on the likelihood of the Big 10 and PAC hosting playoff games. When their champs are worthy they have no problems finishing at the top of the rankings.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            None of those things has any effect on the likelihood of the Big 10 and PAC hosting playoff games. When their champs are worthy they have no problems finishing at the top of the rankings.

            I wholeheartedly disagree. When a bias favors other people, being “worthy” is not a level field. That means the likelihood of the B10 and P12 hosting playoff games is reduced.

            Hosts:
            2011 – LSU, AL (maybe OkSU instead)
            2010 – AU, OR
            2009 – AL, TX
            2008 – OU, FL
            2007 – OSU, LSU
            2006 – OSU, FL

            SEC – 6 or 7
            B12 – 2 or 3
            B10 – 2 (and since then, the B10 has been slammed by the polls)
            P12 – 1
            ACC, BE, other – 0

            Why should anyone but the SEC like the current system or believe it is fair?

          • frug says:

            Well remember that

            A. I said they wouldn’t be using the same system (probably)
            B. There isn’t a single one of those years where a Big 10 or PAC-12 team got passed over by a less deserving team from another conference. The fact is, the bias in the polls is against the non-AQ’s. The Big 10 and PAC benefit from the system and are rewarded (in terms of hypothetical playoffs seeding) from it.

          • frug says:

            Note that when I say polls, I am including the BCS computers which are prohibited from factoring in MoV.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Well remember that

            A. I said they wouldn’t be using the same system (probably)

            Yes, but you don’t get the final say. Besides, the past is the only data we have to work with.

            B. There isn’t a single one of those years where a Big 10 or PAC-12 team got passed over by a less deserving team from another conference. The fact is, the bias in the polls is against the non-AQ’s. The Big 10 and PAC benefit from the system and are rewarded (in terms of hypothetical playoffs seeding) from it.

            Should a B10 or P12 team have made the top 2 and didn’t? Maybe.
            Should B10 or P12 teams have been ranked higher than they were? Definitely.

            2006 – 11-1 MI was #3 behind 12-1 FL but MI’s lone loss was at #1 OSU 42-39. If AL deserved to be #2 this year, then MI should have been #2 then. Also, 10-2 USC was #5 behind 10-2 LSU and 11-1 WI was #7.

            2007 – 10-2 USC was #7. Teams #2-6 all had 2 losses as well (all but 1 were 11-2, but USC played 9 P12 games plus ND and NE).

            2008 – 11-1 USC was #5 and 11-1 PSU was #8. The top 8 all had 1 loss except 12-0 Utah at #6. OU, TX and TT were #1, 3 and 7, FL and AL were #2 and 4.

            2009 – 10-2 IA was #10 behind 10-2 GT (who they whipped in a bowl game). 10-2 PSU was #13 behind 9-3 VT and 9-3 LSU.

            2010 – 11-1 MSU was #9 behind 11-2 OU and 10-2 AR.

            2011 – 11-1 OkSU should have been #2 but was #3 behind AL. 11-2 WI was #10, behind 10-2 AR at #6 and 10-2 SC at #9.

            The polls also hurt the little guys, but clearly the SEC has been the biggest beneficiary.

          • bullet says:

            Brian, IMO the B10 normally gets over-rated. USC almost never gets under-rated. Name teams have an advantage. But I do agree the Pac (other than USC) does get under-rated since noone sees their games. And the result of the Florida-Ohio St. game would indicate that the B10 got significantly over-rated that year, not under-rated. We didn’t get an opportunity to see if the SEC was over-rated this year.

            I do agree with your basic point that the polls are a lousy system, just not on where the bias is. They are hung up on their preseason predictions, over-value the latest games and who lost last, and emphasize # of losses over who they lost to (Oregon/Stanford last year is a prime example). And there is some regional bias.

            The coaches poll seemed to me to be a little better than the AP poll, maybe because coaches know more about what it takes to win and may have recruited some of those kids. However, I think that has changed over recent years. Maybe the BCS is encouraging coaches (or whoever happens to fill out the ballot) to favor their own conference more. Maybe TV allows the writers to do a better job than they used to. But overall, the two polls are much more alike than they used to be.

          • frug says:

            In 2006 Michigan would have been ineligible to host the playoff game anyways since they didn’t win the Big 10 so that’s not really an issue.

            As for the other years? Well, I’m a Big 10 fan but I still don’t see a single year where a Big 10 or PAC team got boxed out of the top 2 (or three in years like 2011). They may have been underrated, but not at the top which is where it matters.

            The teams that actually got bit by the BCS were Utah, TCU, and BSU.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Brian, IMO the B10 normally gets over-rated.

            Pre-season, maybe, but not so much lately. Look at last year before the CCGs. The B10 had 3 10-2 teams, and they all trailed 5 other 2 loss teams, with 2 of the 3 also trailing another 2 loss team. WI was 6 places behind OR and MI was 11 spots behind VT. How is that overrated?

            USC almost never gets under-rated. Name teams have an advantage. But I do agree the Pac (other than USC) does get under-rated since noone sees their games.

            Agreed on all of that.

            And the result of the Florida-Ohio St. game would indicate that the B10 got significantly over-rated that year, not under-rated. We didn’t get an opportunity to see if the SEC was over-rated this year.

            I don’t really buy that. It was one game, FL played better than they had most of the season, and OSU played poorly. I won’t extrapolate that one game to the entirety of both conferences.

            I do agree with your basic point that the polls are a lousy system, just not on where the bias is.

            Maybe it’s because you are an B12/SEC fan and I’m a B10 fan. Everyone sees things that reinforce their opinions and doesn’t see the things that refute them.

            They are hung up on their preseason predictions, over-value the latest games and who lost last, and emphasize # of losses over who they lost to (Oregon/Stanford last year is a prime example). And there is some regional bias.

            I agree totally, except I think there is more than a little regional bias. Look at how the Heisman votes are so skewed by region.

            The coaches poll seemed to me to be a little better than the AP poll, maybe because coaches know more about what it takes to win and may have recruited some of those kids. However, I think that has changed over recent years. Maybe the BCS is encouraging coaches (or whoever happens to fill out the ballot) to favor their own conference more. Maybe TV allows the writers to do a better job than they used to. But overall, the two polls are much more alike than they used to be.

            I’ve always preferred the AP poll. Not that I think it’s necessarily more accurate, but the writers have fewer conflicts of interest. They also are more open about their ballots. Getting out of the BCS helps, too. Part of it is also I believe the writers fill out their own ballots and at least make an effort to be right.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            In 2006 Michigan would have been ineligible to host the playoff game anyways since they didn’t win the Big 10 so that’s not really an issue.

            Says who? I didn’t realize that rule was being assumed. You said the B10 and P12 never got screwed out of a top 2 place and I’m showing they might have in 2 of 6 years.

            As for the other years? Well, I’m a Big 10 fan but I still don’t see a single year where a Big 10 or PAC team got boxed out of the top 2 (or three in years like 2011). They may have been underrated, but not at the top which is where it matters.

            I didn’t claim there was another year where they should have been in the top 2 but weren’t, necessarily, but 2007 USC had a case for #2. The other years matter because they have to get into the playoff to have a chance, so if they are consistently underrated they lose opportunities.

            The teams that actually got bit by the BCS were Utah, TCU, and BSU.

            They may have, it’s hard to tell. The unanswerable question is what their records would have been in a major conference. For any one game they could compete, but would they have been 12-0 or 11-1 if they had to play 8-9 AQs every year?

          • frug says:

            Well I was assuming the rule because I thought we were talking about the plan I outlined above.

            And even as a Big 10 fan I can say that in 2006 the Big 10 was probably overrated. OSU and Michigan both got manhandled in their bowl games. Yes it was only 2 games, but they both got beat badly and looked slow compared to Florida and USC.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Well I was assuming the rule because I thought we were talking about the plan I outlined above.

            I just meant I was answering your statement about top 2 teams, not dealing with whether or not they would host a game in that instance. There are only 6 years of data, so eliminating one seemed unwise.

            And even as a Big 10 fan I can say that in 2006 the Big 10 was probably overrated. OSU and Michigan both got manhandled in their bowl games. Yes it was only 2 games, but they both got beat badly and looked slow compared to Florida and USC.

            Especially with the long layoff, B10 teams were very different in bowls than at the end of the season. And like most explosive offenses, OSU suffered from the time off. They also got fat and lazy on the banquet circuit. The team that played FL was not representative of the regular season team. MI may also have been a little down about barely losing at OSU, then getting screwed by the voters. It probably hurt their bowl prep.

            That said, if you say the B10 was overrated you are also saying the P12 was underrated.

            What gets me, though, is the 2003 NCG. Miami was a huge favorite and OSU won. Nobody used that game to say Miami was totally overrated, but they did with OSU/FL just a few years later.

          • frug says:

            @Brian

            I agree the PAC was underrated. Anyways, it’s not just my subjective opinion, the numbers bare it out:

            http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/2006.html

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            I agree the PAC was underrated. Anyways, it’s not just my subjective opinion, the numbers bare it out:

            http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/2006.html

            No they don’t. Those numbers don’t say anything on the subject.

            Overrated is always an opinion, because it depends on how you view a conference to have been
            rated in the first place. You can’t even objectively say a team is overrated unless it is very blatant because there is no truly objective measure of how good a team is that is universally accepted.

          • frug says:

            You’re right. But the numbers do show that the Big 10 was only about the 4th best conference in the country (and a fairly distant fourth). The fact that the Big 10 as a whole got destroyed in the bowls implies that Ohio St. and Michigan were never really the 2 best teams in the country, but very good teams that rolled through a weak(ish) conference.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            But the numbers do show that the Big 10 was only about the 4th best conference in the country (and a fairly distant fourth).

            No, they don’t. They show the B10 was 4th best in those stats. That’s not the same thing. It also says nothing about how to weigh conference strength (focus on the top, or on depth, or on the bottom, or what) and why conference strength shold even matter.

          • frug says:

            http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/about/glossary.html

            Scroll down to SRS for an explanation of methodology. It’s not hard to understand. It uses MoV and SoS (which is also explained) to determine the projected margin victory/loss if a team played an average FBS team on a nuetral field. The conference numbers are the just the average of all the conference’s teams.

          • Brian says:

            I didn’t mean that they didn’t explain it, I meant that the results just apply to their system. If you don’t agree with their methodology, then you don’t get the same results. Stats don’t discuss what they mean, they just are. That’s why they aren’t to be trusted.

          • frug says:

            Well I doubt you are going to find any objective system that would rank them much differently. The conference didn’t have any real depth and the dreadful bowl record (2 for 7) showed they were pretty weak at the top as well.

    • bullet says:

      I’m surprised. I think its a mistake for both. Georgia State is still too much of a commuter school. Now they are going to be big time in a small time conference while surrounded by giants.

      In the CAA they could differentiate themselves. They could be an affordable alternative drawing in people not willing to pay the ticket prices FBS requires and still connecting with students.

      There’s certainly talent in Georgia, but I think Georgia Southern would have a much better chance of succeeding in a Sun Belt setting. They have the advantage of being a long ways from the Bulldawgs, Yellow Jackets and Falcons.

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        I’m surprised. I think its a mistake for both. Georgia State is still too much of a commuter school. Now they are going to be big time in a small time conference while surrounded by giants.

        I’m not surprised and I’m not convinced it’s a mistake. The SB adds Atlanta and an up and coming school, and GA St moves up with a chance to lose less money. I don’t see how your last sentence is any different from them staying in the CAA.

        In the CAA they could differentiate themselves. They could be an affordable alternative drawing in people not willing to pay the ticket prices FBS requires and still connecting with students.

        They are still going to be much cheaper than GT or UGA, especially for students. Plus, I’ll bet students take them more seriously as a I-A than a I-AA.

        There’s certainly talent in Georgia, but I think Georgia Southern would have a much better chance of succeeding in a Sun Belt setting. They have the advantage of being a long ways from the Bulldawgs, Yellow Jackets and Falcons.

        GSU is a long way from Atlanta. The SB isn’t looking to add Statesboro. I’m sure GSU would have liked the chance to move up.

        • zeek says:

          I’m with Brian on this. I think they’re following the Big East model with USF/UCF, and it makes sense for both sides.

          Yeah, they’ve got built-in disadvantages as a commuter school, but I think the move is the right one.

          • beIN Sports USA says:

            Georgia State would have no chance to play against Georgia and Georgia Tech at home if Georgia State were to remain in the CAA.

            Now that Georgia State is in the Sun Belt, Cheryl Levick can cook up deals with both Georgia and Tech to play in the Georgia Dome every other year. Way too much money to be made.

            ==

            Also, only a matter of time before Georgia State ends up in the BIG EAST, especially if the Comcast (NBC Sports Group and Telemundo Group) – Qatar Media (beIN Sports USA) partnership currently being discussed comes to fruition and the BIG EAST gets its monster payday.

            (Qatar Media is willing to pay 2x to 3x what ESPN and FOX are willing to pay for any sports TV property.)

            beIN Sports USA would become the dumping ground for Tier 2 and Tier 3 BIG EAST events after 7pm Eastern Time (when no live European soccer is available), leaving Tier 1 events on NBC and NBC Sports Network.

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        http://blogs.ajc.com/georgia-state-sports/2012/04/07/georgia-state-has-accepted-an-invitation-to-join-sun-belt/?cxntfid=blogs_georgia_state_sports

        This AJC blog points out several reasons why GA St would move up. And I’m thinking they’ve earned the right to be called GSU from now on. GA Southern is going to have to deal with it.

        Reasons:
        1. The CAA exit fee is probably about to quadruple.

        2. Greater FB revenue, from guarantee games and bowls and maybe even TV.

        3. Better cultural fit. The CAA is a northeastern and mid-atlantic league except for GSU. The SB is a southern league.

        4. Reduced travel time and expenses. Their closest CAA FB opponent is over 550 miles away, and the farthest is 1350 miles away. In the SB, the closest is 200, 4 are closer than 500 miles, and the farthest is 825 miles. That’s good for the athletes and the budget.

        5. The consultant’s report said GSU is in a good place to move up and the SB is the best fit.

        6. GSU already has more than enough revenue to compete in the SB.

        7. GSU was actually a charter member of the SB.

        As for why the SB would add them:

        1-5. Atlanta

        6. The SB may lose some teams to MWCUSA.

        7. GSU already has the budget to be competitive.

        • bullet says:

          1 and 2 are definitely true. But 2 comes with more expenses.
          3 I don’t agree about this because of the nature of the schools. While Sun Belt is more southern, the CAA has a lot of commuter schools while the Sun Belt has more rural schools. Its one of the reason the Sun Belt wants a school like Georgia State.
          4 Travel time difference will be negligible. CAA is heavily concentrated in Virginia. Sun Belt is scattered across the South. Lafayette, Jonesboro, Monroe and Denton aren’t particularly close. And UNT and the Florida schools are the only ones easy to get to by air.

          And the reason for neither of them to do it:
          Eastern Michigan

          What is different about UCF and USF is that neither is so much in the shadow of a giant. UGA is 75 minutes from the Georgia St. campus. Georgia Tech is so close the two schools shared a dorm for a few years after the Olympics. Tech is on the Northwestern edge of downtown and Georgia State is right in the center.

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          1 and 2 are definitely true. But 2 comes with more expenses.

          Yes, it will cost more but the consultants knew that and the report still suggested the move.

          3 I don’t agree about this because of the nature of the schools. While Sun Belt is more southern, the CAA has a lot of commuter schools while the Sun Belt has more rural schools. Its one of the reason the Sun Belt wants a school like Georgia State.

          Those are two different types of culture (regional versus type of school), and I won’t argue your point since you didn’t argue mine. I think the north/south difference is bigger, though. Plenty of big conferences blend rural and urban schools just fine (P12, ACC, B10, SEC). The SB wants GSU for the Atlanta market and recruiting, I assume.

          4 Travel time difference will be negligible. CAA is heavily concentrated in Virginia. Sun Belt is scattered across the South. Lafayette, Jonesboro, Monroe and Denton aren’t particularly close. And UNT and the Florida schools are the only ones easy to get to by air.

          The CAA has 6 VA teams, but also has teams in ME, MA, NH, RI, NY, PA, DE and MD. The average trip for GSU will increase by several hundred miles. You can downplay that all you want, but it takes time and costs money to go that much further and Orono, Maine is hardly next to a major airport. The SB gives them some potential bus trips which saves a lot of money, too.

          And the reason for neither of them to do it:
          Eastern Michigan

          What’s your point? They’ve been in the MAC since 1972. They never had to move up. Yes, they are in a Detroit suburb next to Ann Arbor, which is somewhat similar to GSU. That isn’t an argument not to move up, it’s a reason to think they may never be great. Duke and Vandy have worse records since 1972 than EMU and they seem to be doing OK. Kent State was worse, too.

          What is different about UCF and USF is that neither is so much in the shadow of a giant. UGA is 75 minutes from the Georgia St. campus. Georgia Tech is so close the two schools shared a dorm for a few years after the Olympics. Tech is on the Northwestern edge of downtown and Georgia State is right in the center.

          That’s all true. But GSU is in a top 10 city, and GT is a little brother with a relatively small fan base. GT will always outshine GSU, but UGA fans (the default fandom for residents with no ties to a school) in Atlanta won’t care that GT is also in town. Plus, GSU can play GT and/or UGA fairly often to build their fan base. GSU isn’t trying to compete with UGA or GT for players, and doesn’t even need to steal fans. GSU can grow a local fan base due to their size and plenty of people that can’t afford UGA or GT tickets.

          • bullet says:

            Eastern Michigan moved up from Division II to the MAC. They’re in the same county as Michigan and are regularly at the bottom of the MAC. Its been 25 years since they won a MAC title and haven’t threatened for years. Their attendance last year was 4,267. They are dead last in attendance over the last 4 years (11,030) and the last 16 (11,055). They have cracked 15k in attendance 3 times since 1996 (as far back as I have the numbers). Over 4 years, Kent is next to last at 13,473. Over 15 years, only Kent, Akron, FIU and FAU are under 13k besides Eastern Michigan. And San Jose is the school just above those 5. Pattern is commuter schools in minor conferences in pro sports markets. And all but Kent and Akron have bigger name schools close by.

            Idaho is a different situation, but they are another school with bad attendance who was decent in FCS but lousy in FBS. They were better than Boise when the two moved up in 1996.

            Georgia State might be very successful in FCS. There are limits to what they can do in the Sun Belt. And I believe that, coupled with their proximity to the two flagships and the Falcons will drag down their attendance. And empty stadiums (they play in the Georgia Dome as I’m sure you know, but others might not) turn off recruits. So its a vicious cycle.

            And they are sacrificing basketball. Most of the current Sun Belt schools have never been any good at basketball and the trend has been downward. The CAA is improving with 2 final 4 teams in recent years. They may well move up to a level with the MWC/CUSA, MVC and A10 as the best of the rest after the Big 6 (and possibly better than some of the Big 6 at times).

          • bullet says:

            Texas St. is another school I think is taking a big gamble moving up. Their students party in Austin. It will be real hard for them to develop a strong following. On the contrary, UTSA has great potential. Their risk is that they are moving up too quickly and may harm the program the way Buffalo did by moving up before they were ready to compete.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Eastern Michigan moved up from Division II to the MAC.

            40 years ago. It’s hard to say things haven’t changed since then.

            They’re in the same county as Michigan and are regularly at the bottom of the MAC.

            MI has a lot fewer counties (83) than GA (159) despite being much larger and slightly more populous. Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti are neighboring cities that are exurbs of Detroit. They are farther apart than UNC and Duke.

            Its been 25 years since they won a MAC title and haven’t threatened for years. Their attendance last year was 4,267. They are dead last in attendance over the last 4 years (11,030) and the last 16 (11,055). They have cracked 15k in attendance 3 times since 1996 (as far back as I have the numbers). Over 4 years, Kent is next to last at 13,473. Over 15 years, only Kent, Akron, FIU and FAU are under 13k besides Eastern Michigan. And San Jose is the school just above those 5. Pattern is commuter schools in minor conferences in pro sports markets. And all but Kent and Akron have bigger name schools close by.

            I never disputed EMU has a terrible record, but can you honestly say they would be better off in I-AA? They’d lose even more fans, lose money and lose prestige. That’s my point. Their future is crappy due to location, not which division they’re in.

            Idaho is a different situation, but they are another school with bad attendance who was decent in FCS but lousy in FBS. They were better than Boise when the two moved up in 1996.

            EMU wasn’t decent since WWII.

            Georgia State might be very successful in FCS. There are limits to what they can do in the Sun Belt. And I believe that, coupled with their proximity to the two flagships and the Falcons will drag down their attendance. And empty stadiums (they play in the Georgia Dome as I’m sure you know, but others might not) turn off recruits. So its a vicious cycle.

            They also might not be any good in I-AA because fans prefer the top level, especially in a city where they have both. I see no reason why they can’t compete in the SB. The 1 advantage of the GA Dome is they might get some bigger name teams to play at GSU for the recruiting benefit and to be near their fans in Atlanta.

            And they are sacrificing basketball. Most of the current Sun Belt schools have never been any good at basketball and the trend has been downward. The CAA is improving with 2 final 4 teams in recent years. They may well move up to a level with the MWC/CUSA, MVC and A10 as the best of the rest after the Big 6 (and possibly better than some of the Big 6 at times).

            So they are moving to a league they should be able to win fairly often, and that’s a bad thing? It seems like a good way to build the fan base to me. The CAA may play better hoops, but fans still take I-A more seriously.

          • bullet says:

            I think EMU would be better in I-AA. The factors hurt them anywhere, but they would have a chance to be more successful in I-AA (generating more interest) and would spend less to offset less revenues. 44 (22 women’s to offset) scholarships + higher coaching salaries + higher facility costs eat up that extra 500k a year from a money game real quick. I don’t think its a coincidence that the MAC and Sun Belt are having trouble sustaining basketball success while the CAA and MVC do well. Football is eating up resources.

            Montana made the decision to stay in I-AA. Part of that was due to the instability of the WAC, but part was the idea that it was much better for them to be successful at I-AA than to be a Wyoming, or worse yet, an Idaho.

            IMO there are only a handful of schools who haven’t already made the jump who could be successful in I-A. Montana would have a better chance than most others. I think Georgia Southern could be successful. Commuter schools in pro sports markets near AQ schools are doomed. And schools in crowded markets should be cautious (Appalachian State-already 5 I-A schools in NC). The whole South is pretty saturated except for Georgia and Virginia (I think Old Dominion could be very successful in I-A with time-James Madison maybe). Actually west of the Mississippi is pretty saturated except for California-and only UC-Davis and Cal Poly don’t fall into the commuter schools in pro sports markets near AQ schools categories. Parts of the midwest aren’t crowded, but there aren’t many schools that could pull it off. Noone in WI or MN plays Division I fb except the B10 schools (and some question whether Minnesota does). Maybe Missouri St or Illinois St. could pull it off with the right timing and situation. There aren’t many state schools or large privates in the northeast (with the exception of the Ivies who have no interest) so there aren’t many candidates there-Delaware would be similar to Montana. That’s less than a dozen and several couldn’t do the jump now.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I think EMU would be better in I-AA. The factors hurt them anywhere, but they would have a chance to be more successful in I-AA (generating more interest) and would spend less to offset less revenues. 44 (22 women’s to offset) scholarships + higher coaching salaries + higher facility costs eat up that extra 500k a year from a money game real quick. I don’t think its a coincidence that the MAC and Sun Belt are having trouble sustaining basketball success while the CAA and MVC do well. Football is eating up resources.

            Look at where the leagues are. The CAA is in hoops-centric part of the US as is the MVC. The MAC and SB are in football territory. That’s the bigger factor in hoops success.

            Montana made the decision to stay in I-AA. Part of that was due to the instability of the WAC, but part was the idea that it was much better for them to be successful at I-AA than to be a Wyoming, or worse yet, an Idaho.

            GSU isn’t Montana.

            IMO there are only a handful of schools who haven’t already made the jump who could be successful in I-A. Montana would have a better chance than most others. I think Georgia Southern could be successful. Commuter schools in pro sports markets near AQ schools are doomed. And schools in crowded markets should be cautious (Appalachian State-already 5 I-A schools in NC). The whole South is pretty saturated except for Georgia and Virginia (I think Old Dominion could be very successful in I-A with time-James Madison maybe). Actually west of the Mississippi is pretty saturated except for California-and only UC-Davis and Cal Poly don’t fall into the commuter schools in pro sports markets near AQ schools categories. Parts of the midwest aren’t crowded, but there aren’t many schools that could pull it off. Noone in WI or MN plays Division I fb except the B10 schools (and some question whether Minnesota does). Maybe Missouri St or Illinois St. could pull it off with the right timing and situation. There aren’t many state schools or large privates in the northeast (with the exception of the Ivies who have no interest) so there aren’t many candidates there-Delaware would be similar to Montana. That’s less than a dozen and several couldn’t do the jump now.

            GSU doesn’t need to win to be “successful” in moving up. That doesn’t mean they won’t win, but the finances said they should jump. If they become middle of the road in the SB they’ll be fine.

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            CAA generally is more of a hoops centric area than the Sun Belt, but I wouldn’t agree on the MAC vs. MVC. Ohio and Michigan aren’t hoops averse. Iowa and Nebraska aren’t hoops centric. Both have teams in Illinois and Indiana.

            The MAC teams seem to have a hard time maintaining success. EMU, Ohio, Miami, Ball St. have all come and gone. In the Sun Belt, WKU (VERY hoops centric) and ULL have had fairly good traditions but are struggling now. South Alabama was pretty decent back when the Sun Belt was a basketball league but have been down since the league took up football (although their decline preceded their own addition of football).

            IMO the drain from football takes resources away from basketball which makes the whole conference weaker. Its different in well financed leagues like the AQ conferences. But the budgets are a lot tighter in the MAC and Sun Belt.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            CAA generally is more of a hoops centric area than the Sun Belt, but I wouldn’t agree on the MAC vs. MVC. Ohio and Michigan aren’t hoops averse. Iowa and Nebraska aren’t hoops centric. Both have teams in Illinois and Indiana.

            Come on. MBB is a distant second in OH and even MI (except at MSU). The MVC has 7 of 10 teams in the MBB states of IN, IL, MO and KS. The MAC has 2 of 12 schools in IN and IL and 9 of 12 in OH and MI. Clearly there is more MBB interest in the MVC than the MAC.

          • bullet says:

            Ohio St., Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio U. Ring a bell? Michigan St, IU. The MAC core states had 6 teams in the sweet 16 this year. MVC states had KU and IU, only 2. Now that’s only one year, but the schools in Ohio and Michigan are not strangers to basketball success.

            Creighton has one of the better MVC programs and Nebraska is definitely a football state.

          • bullet says:

            And it is official. Georgia State moves to the Sun Belt in 2013 and will play football there in 2014.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Ohio St., Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio U. Ring a bell? Michigan St, IU. The MAC core states had 6 teams in the sweet 16 this year. MVC states had KU and IU, only 2. Now that’s only one year, but the schools in Ohio and Michigan are not strangers to basketball success.

            No they aren’t, but that means absolutely nothing for this discussion. CFB >>> MBB in OH and MI. Is the CIncinnati area a little different? Sure, but that isn’t really part of OH anyway. That’s KY/IN.

            The CFB interest is much greater in the MVC area than the MAC area. It just is.

  34. Eric says:

    I posted something similar higher up, but when comparing playoffs, I think this is the one question that isn’t asked nearly often enough, but is probably forefront in the ADs/Commissioners/Presidents minds is…..

    ****”How will this effect NATIONAL interest in games played in September, October, and early November (most of the season)?”

    Think about all of the games we had last season that had higher audiences because of their national title implications. Here is just a couple.

    1. LSU vs. Oregon played week 1 last year and was seen as a national title elimination game or at least close to it. A loss by either team meant at the least that they would need to win out and have pretty much every other team in the nation lose.

    2. Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State played on a Friday night in the mid-to-late part of the season and I stayed home and payed attention to it because I knew Oklahoma State was either the front-runner for the national title game (with LSU) or was likely out based on the game.

    3. Michigan State vs. undefeated Wisconsin was a game of national significance because of the national title. In an 8 team playoff, it wouldn’t have been half as big especially when you consider that they are in different divisions and Wisconsin was the front-runner in their division win or lose this game.

    • Richard says:

      Exactly. An 8-team playoff with guaranteed spots for the champs of power conferences would essentially turn OOC games in to preseason/exhibition games and most people would have little reason to care about games outside their conference.

      I think many presidents are cognizant of that (unlike proponents of 8-team playoffs). On the other hand, that doesn’t mean they’d be _against_ the idea. it would raise the importance of conference games to conference members while lowering the importance of conference games featuring teams in the top 5 to fans outside the conference & OOC games to everyone. In other words, conferences that have their own TV network (Pac and B10) may not have a problem with it. Conferences that are more desirable based on how often they have teams in the top 5 nationally (SEC & I believe B12 as well) may not like it so much (though the SEC wouldn’t mind a regionalization of the sport, perhaps, has they have a big fanbase of fervent fans as well).

      • I disagree. The OOC games RIGHT NOW are little more than a preseason/exhibition game. That’s all the entire college football season is right now, except for a few teams that can remain in the championship hunt. AND THE SPORT IS WILDLY POPULAR.

        OOC games which draw more eyeballs (like the Pac-12/Big Ten alliance in 2017+) will become more prevalent as TV dollars matter more. I don’t see the creampuff games disappearing altogether, as schools still want to have winning records and those are hard to come by if you’re playing 9 conference games plus 1-2 challenging non-conference games.

        What will happen though (as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer) is that the non-Big 5 conferences will precipitously fall off in talent level. MAC schools (instead of averaging 40-15 losses to the Big Ten) will average 55-10 losses to the Big Ten. MAC schools might even become “transfer” programs, where they enroll freshman and play them early if they are good, only to see the Big Ten snatch them up as transfers for their last two years or so. The extra scholarship money and exposure will be worth it in the future.

        The Big Ten won’t need D-1AA schools in the future to ensure wins. The lower conferences will become that for them.

        • Brian says:

          allthatyoucantleavebehind,

          I disagree. The OOC games RIGHT NOW are little more than a preseason/exhibition game. That’s all the entire college football season is right now, except for a few teams that can remain in the championship hunt. AND THE SPORT IS WILDLY POPULAR.

          There’s no need to shout.

          That said, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games and the Jerryworld games draw a lot of attention now. A large part of that is tied to NCG implications. Your second statement is just ridiculous as it dismisses the entire season, which you later acknowledge is wildly popular. The fact is that the few teams in the NCG hunt are what drive interest in games outside of your region, especially for conference games. Outside of the fans of the two teams, who on earth would have watched OkSU/ISU last year if the top 8 were going to make the playoff anyway? Having more teams involved is designed to keep more local fans interested, but that isn’t a problem for CFB as you point out.

          OOC games which draw more eyeballs (like the Pac-12/Big Ten alliance in 2017+) will become more prevalent as TV dollars matter more.

          Prove that. Teams used to play a lot more high profile OOC games, but have switched to softer schedules in recent years while TV money is rising. The B10 and P12 can benefit from their games because they own networks, and those games are likely to replace games of similar caliber, not add to them. Since TV deals are based on conference games (and maybe locked rivalries) according to the experts, OOC games don’t have the same value for other conferences.

          I don’t see the creampuff games disappearing altogether, as schools still want to have winning records and those are hard to come by if you’re playing 9 conference games plus 1-2 challenging non-conference games.

          What will happen though (as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer) is that the non-Big 5 conferences will precipitously fall off in talent level.

          That’s not going to happen. The big guys already win essentially every recruiting battle. They can’t take any more players, so they don’t have a way to achieve this talent drain. If anything, recent history has shown the opposite will happen as the other conferences get more exposure and more players choose to be a star on a lesser team rather than a backup for one of the big guys.

          MAC schools (instead of averaging 40-15 losses to the Big Ten) will average 55-10 losses to the Big Ten. MAC schools might even become “transfer” programs, where they enroll freshman and play them early if they are good, only to see the Big Ten snatch them up as transfers for their last two years or so. The extra scholarship money and exposure will be worth it in the future.

          Talented players already choose the top schools for more exposure. As a balance, the lesser teams generally develop players more and play more upperclassmen. So it will stay rare for a young star to emerge in the MAC, and then he’d have to sacrifice a year to transfer to the B10. With the NFL approaching, that seems an unlikely path for players to take when they can just star for another year or two in the MAC. Players get drafted from those leagues all the time, and that’s the only reason the players want exposure.

          The Big Ten won’t need D-1AA schools in the future to ensure wins. The lower conferences will become that for them.

          Not everybody in the B10 plays an annual I-AA, and clearly they don’t guarantee wins (ask MI). The B10 already plays plenty of MACrifice games for wins.

          • joe4psu says:

            Brian,

            You and others can keep saying that good early season games are popular because of the screwed up system but that doesn’t make it true. Quality games will be popular when we have a playoff too. And there will be many more games that matter during the course of a season so overall interest will be up.

            The casual fan who is interested in an Alabama v Clemson game, an OSU v Miami game or an OU v FSU game because they involve big name, quality football teams will be just as interested when they have an influence on possible at-large/wild card entries to the playoff, not to mention seeding for campus home games. Also, people will be less likely to lose interest in the losers of these games because they will have a much better chance of playing meaningful games the rest of the year.

            The idea that the crazy cfb system MAKES it popular is as flawed as the idea that playing more games on tv would hurt game day attendance that held back the sport for years.

          • Brian says:

            joe4psu,

            You and others can keep saying that good early season games are popular because of the screwed up system but that doesn’t make it true.

            You can keep saying that and it doesn’t make you right, either.

            Quality games will be popular when we have a playoff too.

            We’re talking degrees of popularity, not saying the games will suddenly lose all fans. That said, even diehard fans will care less about them when a loss isn’t nearly as important. LSU/OR would have lost all interest for me if the NCG wasn’t on the line, and I’m not a casual fan.

            And there will be many more games that matter during the course of a season so overall interest will be up.

            The casual fan who is interested in an Alabama v Clemson game, an OSU v Miami game or an OU v FSU game because they involve big name, quality football teams will be just as interested when they have an influence on possible at-large/wild card entries to the playoff, not to mention seeding for campus home games.

            No, that casual fan will know there is a big playoff coming in a few months and will largely ignore the regular season. They’ll watch a game if they happen to be home and not busy, but there’s no pressing need because the “important” games come later.

            Also, people will be less likely to lose interest in the losers of these games because they will have a much better chance of playing meaningful games the rest of the year.

            I don’t accept your premise. Did people stop watching OR after the LSU loss? No. They watched even more because a second loss would kill their chances at the NCG. If you knew the top 8 would get in, the OR/USC and OR/Stanford games would have been much less intriguing.

            The idea that the crazy cfb system MAKES it popular is as flawed as the idea that playing more games on tv would hurt game day attendance that held back the sport for years.

            Just because you don’t like the system doesn’t mean it isn’t good for the sport. At best, a playoff will trade an increase in some fans with a loss of others. Your inability to see the problems with a larger playoff doesn’t make them disappear. And televising more games is hurting attendance now for some schools. It’s been great for the big boys, but other schools have suffered as the big screen HDTV has trumped the $100/person game experience.

          • joe4psu says:

            We will have to wait and see how things play out. In the meantime I’ll keep banging my head off of my desk every time someone claims that an 8 team playoff is somehow comparable to what has happened to college basketball because of a 64/68 team field that only meets AFTER bogus post season tournaments that further degrade the regular season.

            You guys are killin’ me. I need to go to my happy place.

          • Neil says:

            @Brian said: The fact is that the few teams in the NCG hunt are what drive interest in games outside of your region, especially for conference games. Outside of the fans of the two teams, who on earth would have watched OkSU/ISU last year if the top 8 were going to make the playoff anyway?

            The fact is, the Oklahoma State/Iowa State game drew a 3.0 rating. The Friday night before in the same time slot and on the same network a meaningless NCAA basketball game drew a 2.4 (Michigan State vs North Carolina). The Saturday before OSU/ISU game at noon on ESPN the Penn State/Nebraska game which did not have national championship significance outdrew it.

            So I guess I’m partially seeing the point in regards to an 8-team playoff, but it’s not as though that game had huge significant viewership that it should be used to “prove” any point.

            Cheers,
            Neil

          • Brian says:

            Neil,

            The fact is, the Oklahoma State/Iowa State game drew a 3.0 rating. The Friday night before in the same time slot and on the same network a meaningless NCAA basketball game drew a 2.4 (Michigan State vs North Carolina). The Saturday before OSU/ISU game at noon on ESPN the Penn State/Nebraska game which did not have national championship significance outdrew it.

            You’re comparing the wrong things. Of course OkSU/ISU didn’t draw a big number. It’s a terrible game on paper, ISU has no fans, and OkSU is not a king. The comparison is what that game would have drawn if OkSU was at no risk of dropping out of the playoff. What did the game draw last year when there were no NCG implications?

            The meaningless hoops game you mentioned was an early season OOC game between 2 powers and played on an aircraft carrier. The other CFB game was 2 kings in a more popular conference.

          • Brian, in a playoff world, OkSt-Iowa State ratings would have dipped but not have disappeared altogether. OkSt still would be fighting for the chance to play in the Big 12 title game or win the Big 12 title. That makes it relevant to all. Not AS relevant, granted, but still relevant.

            What you WON’T concede to us is that your PSU/Nebraska game (which outdrew OkSt/ISU in the current system) would have blown the roof off of the ratings in a playoff system. Both teams would be fighting (PSU at 8-1 and Neb. at 7-2) for not just a spot in the Big Ten title game (as they were…but nobody really cared outside of Big Ten country) but for a spot in the national title game THROUGH the Big Ten title game (which would cause EVERYONE to care).

            This is the perfect example of how a playoff helps ratings. There are/were games like this all over the country that go from regional significance to national significance with a playoff that included conference champions.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Can we set the record straight on the Oklahoma State v. Iowa State TV ratings?

            The game was on a Friday night and drew a 1.3 for adults 18-49. The Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush” reality show drew a 1.5 in the same demographic.

            http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/11/21/friday-cable-ratings-gold-rush-tops-cable-okla-st-iowa-st-friday-night-smackdown-sanctuary-flying-wild-alaska-more/111365/

            I’m a pretty big college football fan, but I missed that game in order to attend my son’s high school game. Millions of dads across the country probably did the same thin

    • bullet says:

      The bigger $ are the money generated by the schools, rather than TV. And the indirect benefits of football are very much tied into getting fans on campus and staying connected. The Presidents are concerned about the regular season, but that isn’t just TV. And while those games may not be elimination games anymore, they are also comparisons against some other conference you may face later. The SEC rarely faces the Pac 12 in bowls. The Big 10 doesn’t face the ACC much. An 8 team playoff would make those postseason matches less rare.

      And in reality, there are far too few of those types of games. With an 8 team playoff there might be more.

      • Richard says:

        Schools don’t schedule OOC games now with a shot at the national title in mind (it’s all about maximizing ticket revenues and, to a lesser extent, TV revenues). I don’t see that changing.

        As for what money is bigger, yes, right now, ticket revenues still generates more money than TV, at least at the kings (though it already doesn’t at a place like Northwestern or Vandy or Stanford, or Baylor, where attendance is relatively small and the TV revenues from the league are at the top). It most definitely isn’t true for NFL teams, and even for baseball, with it’s gigantic inventory of games, the TV revenues from the new big TV deals are becoming more than ticket revenues.

        In the future, I expect higher growth TV revenues (and thus importance) than ticket sales.

        The conferences that have their own TV networks (B10 and Pac) and even the other conferences that are getting and expect to get paid richly for their tier 1 rights (looking at you, B12) should be very concerned with bracket creep, as a 16-team playoff can very well kill off their cash cow.

        • Brian says:

          http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/ncaa-finances.htm

          Here’s some relevant data from USA Today’s database from the 2009-10 season.

          OSU
          Ticket sales – $39.5M (32%)
          Concessions, etc – $4.5M (3.7%)
          Contributions – $27.3M (22%)
          NCAA/B10 distribution – $23.9M (19%)
          Other media rights – $2.3M (1.9%)
          Royalties – $12.8M (10%)
          Other – $17.2M (15%)
          Total – $123M

          So for now, gameday is worth about 2.7 times the media money (counting contributions for gameday) for OSU. I’ll assume this is representative for a FB king.

          IN
          Ticket sales – $13.3M (19%)
          Concessions, etc – $2.7M (3.9%)
          Contributions – $18.5M (27%)
          NCAA/B10 distribution – $24.2M (35%)
          Other media rights – $0M (0%)
          Royalties – $5.0M (7%)
          Other – $5.6M (8.1%)
          Total – $69.3M

          For IN, game day is only about 40% more valuable than the TV money and that’s due to contributions for hoops. Clearly a hoops king doesn’t do as well as FB king from gameday.

          MN
          Ticket sales – $21.5M (27%)
          Concessions, etc – $1.8M (2.4%)
          Contributions – $7.3M (9.3%)
          NCAA/B10 distribution – $21.5M (27%)
          Other media rights – $0.3M (0.4%)
          Royalties – $8.6M (11%)
          Other – $17.7M (22.5%)
          Total – $78.7M

          For MN, gameday is again worth about 40% more than the TV money. Higher ticket sales covered the lack of contributions compared to IN, so this is probably near the low point. I’d check NW, but they’re private so the data is not available.

          Changing Value

          That was all a snapshot from 1 year. Let’s look at the trend for the 2 categories.

          2004-5
          OSU – 59.3/13.3 = 4.5
          IN – 18.0/14.0 = 1.3
          MN – 24.7/12.4 = 2.0

          2007-8
          OSU – 73.4/25.3 = 2.9
          IN – 26.6/23.7 = 1.1
          MN – 27.3/19.5 = 1.4

          2009-10
          OSU – 71.3/26.2 = 2.7
          IN – 34.5/24.2 = 1.4
          MN – 30.6/21.8 = 1.4

          The start of the BTN made a sizable impact, and the new TV deal will grow that significantly. A FB king will get more from gameday for a long time, but the lesser FB programs are getting close to equal.

          It’s important to remember that these are only revenues. There are also gameday expenses while there is no expense to TV money.

    • Valid point, Eric. I think you need to qualify your “national audience” though.
      1. Casual sports fans. (Watch some NFL playoff games and Super Bowl. Rarely watch NFL regular season. Watch a few March Madness games and maybe the Final Four/Champ game for NCAA bball. Watch game 7′s of NBA playoffs and World Series. Occasionally turn on other games.)
      2.Casual College football fans. (Watch a game almost every Saturday. Watch a few bowl games. Watch the BCS title game.)
      3. College football die-hards. (Watch multiple games every Saturday. Watch most bowl games.)

      LSU-Oregon in week 1 is never going to attract group 1. Group 3 would never miss that game. Group 2 is really the group you’re looking at for this debate.

      You might be right about Group 2 turning it off b/c it doesn’t have national title implications with a playoff…BUT would they tune in to LSU at Ole Miss AND Oregon at Oregon St. in November because of the national title implications that are DIRECT implications and not nebulous, hazy implications (like with our current system).

      Conferences want to maximize their own TV dollars. If the conference championship is a DIRECT road to the national title, more conference games will have appeal to the casual college sports fans (and maybe even the casual sports fan).

      • Brian says:

        You answered your own question at the beginning. The casual fan will just ignore the regular season outside of his team/conference with a larger playoff. You’ll lose group 2 for the early OOC games and for the later conference games. They’ll wait for the playoff, and maybe even miss the first round of that.

      • Eric says:

        You are very right in that there is a very diverse group of fans we are talking about and that very much complicates the debate. I think of the fans more on a sliding scale rather than in distinct groups though. The more important you make a game, the more neutral fans (no direct interest) you have watch it. You’re also very right that the matrix changes as the season goes on. I think it helps to look at things on a month by month basis.

        1. September: This month is dominated by non-conference games. I’m not suggesting these would go down to basketball level irrelevancy (to a neutral fan). They’d still be much bigger than that, but at the same time, I see only downside in this month if you switch to an 8 team playoff. There are a lot of games between undefeated teams this month and with a single loss likely of destroying a national title chance, September big games (or close ones involving big team) are more exciting to watch given higher stakes. In an 8 team playoff, a single loss now would be unlikely to throw any team out of the race and thus single games would likely not be as big, and we definitely lose part of the TV audience this month.

        2. October: The first half of conference play dominates this month. I understand arguments about this being more important with an 8 team playoff. That may be true, but at a national level, I think there is still less interest for the following reason: what happens in another conference doesn’t effect you that much. As an Ohioan, maybe these early season Big Ten games feel bigger than ever with a playoff spot on the line, but an undefeated Florida or USC losing feels like a lot smaller deal. For that reason, I think national following for games drops in October with an 8 team playoff.

        3. November: This is a transition month. Early on, I think the same rules as October apply. Later in the month though, playoff stakes in games start to become clear. In the current system, at this point, we usually have 3-5 teams we are watching very closely for any loss. With an 8 team playoff, we’d be following more teams, but usually less attentively. We would however, be more likely to get games directly between 2 teams who both are realistic playoff teams (and thus elimination games). For these reasons, I think the last couple of weeks will vary by season, but will give a slit nod to the playoff in the last couple of weeks and a slight nod to the current system in the month as a whole.

        4. December/January: I think CCG week is a lot bigger with playoffs since these games will directly determine teams going to the playoff. I think the playoffs bring in far more than the BCS bowls currently do.

        Overall: The biggest games are always disproportionately more than lower games. I think they could make a decent buck extra for the end of November, CCGs, and bowls. I don’t think it’s enough to make up for the first 3/4 of the season though. I think this changes with 4 teams though and they might make more (even though I don’t exactly support that either).

        • bullet says:

          Since so few teams really have a chance for a national championship in the current system, I don’t believe that any significant numbers of viewers will quit watching games outside their region if the playoffs get expanded. Big games will still get big audiences.

          I think the only way playoffs hurt the regular season if it is too easy to get in. See basketball where 20% of the schools get in and 40-50% of the big schools get in. That would require at least 24 teams (+ bb is coupled with the conference tourneys) and is dramatically different than anything that is being proposed. I haven’t heard anyone other than Leach propose anything more than 16. And you never know whether he is being serious and you probably shouldn’t pay attention to him even if he is.

          Now unless the bowls are part of the playoffs, they do get made less important with each expansion (and I think that has happened already with the BCS). That’s a trade-off I’m willing to accept, but there are ways to include some bowls. The bowls have already diminished themselves by over-expanding and by the sleazy actions of some of them. I don’t think the backroom deals and lobbying (to use a nice word) have been a good thing for college football. It was different when there were only a few bowls (in the 60s it was the Rose, Cotton, Sugar, Orange, Sun, Peach, Gator, LIberty, Tangerine (Citrus), Bluebonnet and maybe a couple of others–Fiesta didn’t start until 71). With the explosion of bowls in the 80s and 90s it started downgrading them.

          • I think the commissioners realize this, bullet. And, now the NCAA has turned power of the bowls over to them. The commissioners will make bowls harder to get to…and it will make the regular season (and the bowls too) more appealing. ESPN cheapened the bowls (and thus the conferences’ own TV deals) with allowing nearly every team in. Look for the major conferences (and even the smaller ones) to support moving the win minimum to 7.

        • All right. I’m going to use your categories now, melded with my categories. 1 is little interest. 2 is soild interest. 3 is must-watch TV.

          1. September
          Currently…
          Casual sports-1
          Casual CFB-2 (because of the intriguing OOC games and new-season excitement)
          DIehard-3
          With 4 or 6 team playoff…
          Casual sports-1
          Casual CFB-2
          Diehard-3

          2. October
          Currently…
          Casual sports-1
          Casual CFB-1 (some good games but the excitement has worn off mid-season)
          DIehard-2
          With 4 or 6 team playoff…
          Casual sports-1
          Casual CFB-2
          Diehard-3

          3. November/end of regular season
          Currently…
          Casual sports-1
          Casual CFB-2
          DIehard-3
          With 4 or 6 team playoff…
          Casual sports-2
          Casual CFB-3
          Diehard-3

          4. Post-season
          Currently…
          Casual sports-2
          Casual CFB-2
          DIehard-3
          With 4 or 6 team playoff…
          Casual sports-2
          Casual CFB-3
          Diehard-3

          I see no difference in September, a small increase in October, and a significant increase in November and the post-season. March Madness lasts about 5 weeks…I don’t know why college football (with much, much more popularity as a sport) can’t sustain twice that amount (November and December).

          (The BIGGEST spike of all, if you’re a TV exec, comes from the casual fan’s interest in Nov./Dec….that is millions and millions of eyeballs…)

          • I’ve said this before, but I believe that as long as a playoff isn’t too large. (IMHO, the max would be 8 teams), there wouldn’t be that much impact on the interest of early season games. The NFL is the prime example of balancing interest throughout the regular season and then the playoffs with a massive number of casual and diehard fans. Do I believe the Cowboys-Giants NFL opener this year will have higher stakes than the Michigan-Alabama college opener? No. However, that doesn’t mean that the Cowboys-Giants game doesn’t have *any* value, which has been borne out both on-the-field (where NFL teams that start out 0-2 have a VERY difficult time making the playoffs) and the TV ratings (as NFL regular season ratings continue to skyrocket). The point is that each win or loss in the NFL in the regular season has some stakes attached to it even in September and that hasn’t been diminished by a playoff.

            If you have an 8-team playoff where the 5 power conference champs receive bids along with the 3 highest ranked wild cards, it’s not as if though those early season non-conference games don’t mean anything since they will carry a ton of weight in who gets the 3 wild card spots. At the same time, the conference championship games at the end of the year will have massive amounts of interest.

            Generally, I think purists overestimate the impact on regular season games when you’re talking about a limited playoff field of 4 or 8 teams. With a limited number of 12 or 13 games to winnow a field of 100-plus teams, you’re not giving much up interest in September while greatly expanding interest in November and conference championship games.

            Now, if the playoff is too large (and IMHO, a 16-team playoff with auto-bids for all conferences), then I would agree with the view that the value of the regular season would be diluted. It wouldn’t be as bad as basketball, but that large of a playoff with 5 wild card spots would really devalue a lot of games that are high stakes in the current system.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            I’ve said this before, but I believe that as long as a playoff isn’t too large. (IMHO, the max would be 8 teams), there wouldn’t be that much impact on the interest of early season games.

            That’s probably true in net erms, depending on how you define “too large,” “that much” and “early season.” Especially weeks 1 and 2, many CFB fans are so excited for FB to be back that they’ll watch anything. For more casual fans, I think you will see an impact for all but the top tier games, though.

            The NFL is the prime example of balancing interest throughout the regular season and then the playoffs with a massive number of casual and diehard fans.

            I wouldn’t say that. Tons of people pay no attention until the playoffs, or even until the Super Bowl. The NFL just starts with a higher base number.

            The point is that each win or loss in the NFL in the regular season has some stakes attached to it even in September and that hasn’t been diminished by a playoff.

            That’s just not true. The stakes have certainly been diminshed by the ever expanding playoff. When there was only the Super Bowl, each loss meant a lot more than it does now because you couldn’t finish second and advance. Now you can aim for 10-6 because of all the wildcards.

            If you had to win your division to advance, those 6 games would mean a lot more. Instead, they are like all the other games but with some tiebreaker potential. You can’t compare CFB and the NFL too closely, though, because they are quite different. 9-7 can win the SB, 10-2 has a really tough time making the NCG. Even with a CFB playoff, the lack of parity means 9-3 will have a hard time making it. The point it, losses will always mean more in CFB because the lack of parity means lots of teams will have very few losses.

            If you have an 8-team playoff where the 5 power conference champs receive bids along with the 3 highest ranked wild cards, it’s not as if though those early season non-conference games don’t mean anything since they will carry a ton of weight in who gets the 3 wild card spots. At the same time, the conference championship games at the end of the year will have massive amounts of interest.

            They don’t mean nothing, but they mean less. OR/LSU was a NCG elimination game for OR (12-1 with a loss to #6 USC and wins over #4 Stanford and #2 LSU probably would have gotten OR in). Now it would be for seeding. Even with 4 teams it would only be for home field. That’s a huge drop in importance, and because of it you’ll lose some viewers

            The CCGs will have some interest, but it really depends on the situation. Any top 5 team is probably in unless they lose to a low-ranked team. If two #6-10 teams are playing, everyone knows the winner will advance and the loser is out. If a low ranked team is playing, they need an upset and then a lot of luck to have a shot at the playoff. Knowing there will be 3 more rounds of games, I think the CCGs lose a lot of importance to all but fans of that conference.

            Take last year:

            SEC – #1 LSU was in win or lose, and #14 GA had to win to get in. The net national interest would be lower, because LSU couldn’t be eliminated.

            ACC – This was an elimination game for VT. Clemson wouldn’t move up enough to make it, and VT would fall too far. The net national interest might be up a little since VT could make it, but it still wouldn’t be big.

            P12 – Like the ACC, this would be an elimination game for OR. UCLA had zero chance to advance, and a loss to them would have crushed OR’s hopes. The interest level might be up a little, but the game was so lopsided it wouldn’t matter for long.

            B10 – The winner would advance and the loser wouldn’t. That was basically the same stakes, so no change in interest (winner made the Rose, loser dropped out of the BCS pool).

            CUSA – An elimination game for UH, but of less interest because it was only for entrance to the playoff. Last year UH could have made a NCG argument with a win (13-0 UH, 11-1 OkSU or 11-1 AL – UH still would have been skipped over but it would have been a very loud argument for a division runner up to get in over an undefeated conference champ).

            So I think the net total would be less interest in the CCGs last year, not “massive interest.”.

            Generally, I think purists overestimate the impact on regular season games when you’re talking about a limited playoff field of 4 or 8 teams. With a limited number of 12 or 13 games to winnow a field of 100-plus teams, you’re not giving much up interest in September while greatly expanding interest in November and conference championship games.

            1. I think playoff proponents underestimate the impact on the regular season. They undervalue the loss in September and overvalue any November gains. They are really wrong about CCGs. All of that has to be true, otherwise many “purists” would support a playoff or many playoff proponents would change their stance.

            2. There are other factors at play in this argument that playoff propnents ignore. Purists believe that a playoff will fundamentally change CFB for the worse. Telling them how much money a playoff might make is not a counter argument.

            3. Purists also know that a playoff will change the fan base. It may be a net increase, but it will be at the cost of losing a lot of long time fans who won’t tolerate the changes. Since most/all of those who would be lost are also purists, they see that as a bad thing.

            4. Purists have seen playoffs hurt other sports, especially the regular season. CFB has by far the most important and special regular season in all of major American sports. They don’t see an appropriate risk/reward balance, because you can never recover from the damage once you do it.

            Now, if the playoff is too large (and IMHO, a 16-team playoff with auto-bids for all conferences), then I would agree with the view that the value of the regular season would be diluted. It wouldn’t be as bad as basketball, but that large of a playoff with 5 wild card spots would really devalue a lot of games that are high stakes in the current system.

            If you see it at 16, can you not understand that others see the exact same problem at 8 or 4 or even 2? It’s all shades of gray, and not everybody agrees where we are on the scale.

          • joe4psu says:

            Frank said:

            The point is that each win or loss in the NFL in the regular season has some stakes attached to it even in September and that hasn’t been diminished by a playoff.

            Brian said:

            That’s just not true. The stakes have certainly been diminshed by the ever expanding playoff. When there was only the Super Bowl, each loss meant a lot more than it does now because you couldn’t finish second and advance. Now you can aim for 10-6 because of all the wildcards.

            If you had to win your division to advance, those 6 games would mean a lot more. Instead, they are like all the other games but with some tiebreaker potential. You can’t compare CFB and the NFL too closely, though, because they are quite different. 9-7 can win the SB, 10-2 has a really tough time making the NCG. Even with a CFB playoff, the lack of parity means 9-3 will have a hard time making it. The point it, losses will always mean more in CFB because the lack of parity means lots of teams will have very few losses.

            I say:

            The individual games may not be quite as important but the addition of further stakes, the additional playoff spots, has added importance to many games and has increased interest overall. There is definitely a tipping point where the post season drastically waters down the regular season but the NFL has not reached that point and an 8 team playoff out of 120+ schools is unlikely to cross that line either.

            The fact that 10-6 is a solid record in the NFL is another positive that you discount. The popularity of regular season games is increased when both teams actually have a chance to win. As you point out, that cannot be said for many games in college football and that is a negative not a positive to overall popularity.

            People/schools/conferences wanting to hold onto power, instead of looking at the greater good, is not a good argument against change and often leads to mistakes. I have often heard it said that American businesses weaken themselves by looking only at quarterly and yearly dividends while other companies have passed them by by planning for the future. The “AQ” people willing to maintain greater control of a weaker product are short sighted and these people will be judge poorly historically. In the future we will look at the people who fight against a playoff with the same ridicule that we look at the NCAA for refusing to allow schools to televise their own games in the past.

          • Frank and joe4psu…totally agree.
            Brian…well… :)

          • Brian says:

            joe4psu,

            Frank said:

            The point is that each win or loss in the NFL in the regular season has some stakes attached to it even in September and that hasn’t been diminished by a playoff.

            Brian said:

            That’s just not true. The stakes have certainly been diminshed by the ever expanding playoff. When there was only the Super Bowl, each loss meant a lot more than it does now because you couldn’t finish second and advance. Now you can aim for 10-6 because of all the wildcards.

            I say:

            The individual games may not be quite as important but

            No, There is no “but.” Frank said the games meant more and I said they didn’t. You are agreeing with me.

            … but the addition of further stakes, the additional playoff spots, has added importance to many games and has increased interest overall.

            I said nothing about interest, or importance to specific games, but you are arguing like I did. You don’t get to tell me what my position is and then why it’s wrong.

            There is definitely a tipping point where the post season drastically waters down the regular season but the NFL has not reached that point and an 8 team playoff out of 120+ schools is unlikely to cross that line either.

            I didn’t say this, either. I will note that where that point is is purely a matter of opinion, though.

            The fact that 10-6 is a solid record in the NFL is another positive that you discount.

            Not to me it isn’t. But as I said, you can’t compare CFB and the NFL on records because they are 2 different animals. The NFL is designed for relative parity and CFB isn’t. I like CFB and hate the NFL, so I see no positive in rewarding a 62.5% season. MLB has the same problem for me.

            The popularity of regular season games is increased when both teams actually have a chance to win. As you point out, that cannot be said for many games in college football and that is a negative not a positive to overall popularity.

            And yet CFB is the second most popular sport in America, so it can’t be much of a detriment.

            People/schools/conferences wanting to hold onto power, instead of looking at the greater good, is not a good argument against change and often leads to mistakes.

            This is the worst argument ever. First, I have no power to hold onto. Second, I don’t care about the “power” of individual schools or conferences. Third, why do you get to determine what the greater good is? Has it ever entered your mind that others might disagree about what the greater good is? That some don’t see maximimzing revenue as the goal of CFB? That placating entitled fans isn’t the top priority?

            I have often heard it said that American businesses weaken themselves by looking only at quarterly and yearly dividends while other companies have passed them by by planning for the future.

            That’s probably true, at least some of the time. Other times, they crush the competitor in the short term. Usually this is said when another country is economically ascendent and the US economy is struggling (Japan in the 80s, for example, and now China).

            The “AQ” people willing to maintain greater control of a weaker product are short sighted and these people will be judge poorly historically. In the future we will look at the people who fight against a playoff with the same ridicule that we look at the NCAA for refusing to allow schools to televise their own games in the past.

            I don’t accept your premise that CFB without a playoff is a weaker product, either. It’s a different product, plain and simple. I can honestly say I couldn’t possibly care any less about how history judges me for my opinions about CFB. You really should define “we” in that statement, because you might be surprised. There will be plenty of people reminiscing about the good ole days before a playoff for decades.

  35. beIN Sports USA says:

    The following companies will give ESPN, Inc. a run for its money for the global TV rights to the college football “plus one”

    1. A potential partnership being discussed between Comcast and Qatar Media Corporation

    (You are reading the above correctly: Comcast, which controls 51% of NBC Sports Group and 51% of Telemundo Group via NBCUniversal, is actively talking to the Emir of Qatar.)

    2. FOX Sports Media Group

    3. A partnership between CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting (Turner does have international assets such as truTV Asia and Canal Space Latin America among others. The NBA currently airs on Canal Space south of the border.)

    4. Mark Cuban (a long shot at best)

    Let the battle royal begin…

    ==

    Also, don’t be surprised if Comcast and Qatar Media were to partner up to bid on the media rights to the BIG EAST in the next cycle.

    Qatar Media can definitely use U.S. rights to BIG EAST basketball, as its beIN Sports USA channels will be practically dead after 7pm Eastern Time unless beIN Sports USA can get its hands on U.S. college sports.

    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/can-anyone-stop-al-jazeera–452797.html

  36. StevenD says:

    I really like option 4 (Rose Bowl plus 2 semi-bowls). It’s not perfect, but it’s probably the best we can hope for at this stage. Personally I think the NCG should be played between conference champions, so putting the B1G and P12 champions in the Rose Bowl is a step in the right direction. It would be nice if the two semi-bowls were restricted to conference champions, but that’s probably not going to happen. Nevertheless, at least one of the semi-bowls is likely to be a matchup between conference champions.

    Conference champions playing on New Years Day — what could be better than that? My biggest complaint about the current system is the proliferation of meaningless BCS bowls. With the top two teams going to the NCG, the BCS bowls are left with arbitrary matchups of lesser teams. Four BCS bowls (with talk of a fifth) — besides a big payday, what’s the point?

    I hope that the current discussions lead to a complete overhaul of the BCS bowls. We should have just three special bowls on New Years Day (with the NCG one week later) and leave the other bowls to sort out their own matchups for themselves.

    I realize that many people would prefer to have just two special games (seeded semi-finals), but I have two problems with this. First, six conference champions (from the five major conferences plus a high-flying minor conference champion) do not fit neatly into two games. With three special games (Rose Bowl plus 2) the potential exists for six conference champions to fight for a place in the NCG.

    The second disadvantage of seeded semi-finals, especially if they are held at campus sites, is they undermine the traditional bowls. Most people will naturally focus on the semi-finals and the NCG, leaving the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls to run meaningless exhibition matches. A significant advantage of option 4 (Rose Bowl plus two) is it reestablishes the importance of the three New Years Day bowls.

  37. ChicagoMac says:

    Three questions:

    1. If there are on-campus semifinals is it generally understood that the losers of these games are finished for the season or is it possible that they might go back into the Bowl game pool?

    2. Has there been any discussion at all about removing the rules for conference championship games? It strikes me that if they just did away with the rules about the need for 12 teams and separate divisions, then it could help foster a much better system.

    3. Is there any benefit to the TV business to play the semi-finals before the Christmas holiday?

    • Brian says:

      ChicagoMac,

      1. The general sense is that if you lose you’re done, especially since they seem to want to play the semis after Xmas, but nothing is set in stone yet. I personally think they should not be back in the bowl pool.

      2. There has been no leak about it if it is under discussion. It would require an NCAA rule change, which is much harder than changing the BCS. I see no reason for the little guys to say yes.

      3. Right around Xmas is terrible for TV ratings, generally. Playing on or before 12/18 would be great for TV.

    • frug says:

      1. Have thought about that and it’s tough. Denying the losers the chance to play in bowls kinda screws the players since they don’t get a good trip (the host is just playing the home team and the visitor has to play in the opponents house). Personally, I would like to see them put back into the bowl pool, but I doubt the bowls would be thrilled by that since the teams would likely be demoralized. (Imagine if teams high ranking teams that lost in the NCAA tournament were allowed to then play in the NIT).

      2. One of the conferences (can’t remember which) proposed a rule that would allow conferences with less than 12 members to hold an “invitational” to generate more revenue, but it went nowhere, and with all the power conferences except for the Big XII already at 12 (or planning on getting there) I doubt there is any desire to lower the threshold. If I squint I could see someone like the SEC (and possibly the ACC and Mount USA) pushing for an end to the divisional round robin requirement but I doubt it would go anywhere unless/until conferences start expanding to 16 teams.

      3. Probably. They aren’t any really great bowl matchups before Christmas so the networks would like the content. Plus, it would give them more time to hype the championship.

      • ChicagoMac says:

        @Brian/@frug. Thanks for the replies.

        Re #1: I see your point about putting losing teams back in the bowl pool but I wonder if overall it isn’t better for the bowls for those teams to be part of the pool. The bowls are better off with 2 more quality teams in the mix than vice versa right?

        Re #2, I assume it would actually be somewhat trivial to get the NCAA to change the rules if the people sitting in the BCS meetings agree this is the best path. There is a POV that says the divisions have created more problems than they’ve solved, consider all of the controversy about division alignment in each of the major conferences, let alone the obvious issues that have cropped up because one division of a conference is significantly stronger at the top than the other division.

        If we started today and said OK, conferences can host a championship game or ‘invitational’ but they are not required to would the SEC divide into divisions? Would the B1G? I don’t think it is obvious that they would, maybe it makes sense to remove this mandate and let the conferences decide the best fit? If you did this in conjunction with removing conference restrictions on # participants in any playoffs and/or biggest payout bowls both the SEC and B1G might decide this makes a heckuva lot of sense.

        Re #3, that is what I thought on the TV stuff. It seems logical then that if they go with a 4 team seeded playoff with campus hosts then you’ll likely see that game played on a December Saturday somewhere b/w the 13th and 19th or thereabouts, right?

        • bullet says:

          The championship game is a rule designed to get a conference champion when there are too many teams for a round robin. I think its a good rule and shouldn’t be changed. Allowing a championship game between the top 2 is just an extra game to play an extra game. Same goes for allowing a 10 team conference to have a ccg. That the rule was even used in FBS was a fluke. It was designed for a division II conference and the SEC discovered it and took advantage.

          Easing the rules is contradictory to what college officials have been espousing (not that that has stopped them before). With a ccg under current rules or a playoff, at least there is a real purpose for the extra games. Having someone beat another team twice to win a conference championship (as would happen many, many times-it even occurs with divisions although they play very different schedules to get there.) doesn’t make sense.

          As for #3, the stories have suggested they are looking at the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so there would be no chance for the losers to get back in the bowl pool. The one week they won’t use would be the week right before Christmas. There was one report that they looked at moving up the season a week, so they prefer to avoid the 13th to 19th because many schools have finals during that period.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @bullett I don’t disagree with any of that but I think there is a different way to look at it.

            You state that “easing the rules is contradictory to what college officials have been espousing” but this whole discussion is based on them easing the rules so there can be at least one more game on the calendar.

            The ccg are now part of the landscape in major college football, there is no going back on that now, so why not make the most of it?

            You state that it is ” just an extra game to play an extra game” but it is more than that, it is about empowering the conferences to help facilitate the best of what most agree will be an abbreviated playoff system.

            Regardless of any of the proposals that are adopted the system is still going to be under constant pressure to provide even more access. If we empower the conferences to figure out what is best for them at the local level it *might* lead to a better/stronger postseason overall.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @Brian
            No. They set up the divisions to maximize regular season TV money which is much more than the CCG is worth.
            Are we just supposed to take your word for this stuff or just assume it is true because you declared it so?

            I think we’re all smart enough to understand that OSU v. Michigan and PSU v. Nebraska are some of the B1G’s most valuable regular season inventory. Having said that:

            Do you have any evidence that shows [(Neb v. PSU) + (Wisconsin v. Michigan St)] is any more valuable than [(Neb v. Wisconsin) + (PSU v. MSU)]? If it is in fact more valuable to have king v. king + another game as opposed to having 2 games involving kings then do we know that the marginal value is greater than whatever cost there is to have a dreaded rematch in the ccg?

            Unless you have something to show otherwise, we’re left to believe the B1G folks and go with the notion that they set up the divisions based on competitive balance while trying to honor as many of the many rivalries as they could.

            Furthermore, this:
            In the B10 CCG not selling out for a rematch, even though 1 of the 2 teams is desperate for a Rose Bowl bid for the first time in decades. It’s also in the millions of people not watching LSU/AL II.
            Is not very good evidence that rematches are bad for ratings/fan interest. Its quite possible that less people would have gone to Indianapolis to watch MSU v. Wisconsin if they hadn’t played an extremely exciting game with a miraculous and controversial finish where the home team won previously. It is also quite possible that LSU v. AL II had relatively weak ratings because Alabama fans were resigned to the fact that there were only two outcomes and neither one of them were good: 1. They would either lose to LSU again or 2. they would win but the joy of the victory would be usurped by them questioning why the second win should count for more than the first.

          • Brian says:

            ChicagoMac,

            “No. They set up the divisions to maximize regular season TV money which is much more than the CCG is worth.”

            Are we just supposed to take your word for this stuff or just assume it is true because you declared it so?

            The regular season is worth about $220M per year right now. The CCG was supposed to get around $24M per year. Unless the B10 people are complete idiots, they focused on the regular season.

            I think we’re all smart enough to understand that OSU v. Michigan and PSU v. Nebraska are some of the B1G’s most valuable regular season inventory. Having said that:

            OSU/MI is more valuable than any other game. It is on a separate tier from the other 5 due to the rivalry.

            Do you have any evidence that shows [(Neb v. PSU) + (Wisconsin v. Michigan St)] is any more valuable than [(Neb v. Wisconsin) + (PSU v. MSU)]?

            Do I need any? TV money is based on the top games, and game value isn’t linear. A battle of kings plus a battle of princes is worth a lot more than two king/prince games because of the casual fans a king/king game can draw that a king/prince game can’t.

            Various people have posted links over the past couple of years detailing how TV values games and teams and packages. Maybe one of them will provide you with a link.

            If it is in fact more valuable to have king v. king + another game as opposed to having 2 games involving kings

            It is.

            then do we know that the marginal value is greater than whatever cost there is to have a dreaded rematch in the ccg?

            Unless you have something to show otherwise, we’re left to believe the B1G folks and go with the notion that they set up the divisions based on competitive balance while trying to honor as many of the many rivalries as they could.

            Of course they did it for those reasons, too. Having balance in power and fan interest is part of trying to maximize the TV value. Rivalries also draw more fans than a game otherwise would, which is a bonus. it all works together. If they lose balance or the rivalries, they lose fans and thus lose TV money.

            “In the B10 CCG not selling out for a rematch, even though 1 of the 2 teams is desperate for a Rose Bowl bid for the first time in decades. It’s also in the millions of people not watching LSU/AL II.”

            Is not very good evidence that rematches are bad for ratings/fan interest. Its quite possible that less people would have gone to Indianapolis to watch MSU v. Wisconsin if they hadn’t played an extremely exciting game with a miraculous and controversial finish where the home team won previously. It is also quite possible that LSU v. AL II had relatively weak ratings because Alabama fans were resigned to the fact that there were only two outcomes and neither one of them were good: 1. They would either lose to LSU again or 2. they would win but the joy of the victory would be usurped by them questioning why the second win should count for more than the first.

            Yes, I’m sure that another few thousand fans wouldn’t have shown up if WI and MSU were playing for the first time for a shot at the Rose. MSU fans don’t care at all about the Rose Bowl they haven’t played in since the 1987 season, they really wanted to watch a rematch of a game they already won. WI fans may have been more interested in revenge this year, but I doubt it. They would have been 11-1 without the MSU loss and been in the top 6 at least. More importantly, the neutral fans that are counted on to provide a large part of the crowd are much more likely to want to see a new match-up than a rematch.

            You also fail to explain LSU/AL in any logical way. The numbers were way down because neutral fans didn’t watch. A rematch will not lead to more neutral fans watching.

        • Brian says:

          ChicagoMac,

          Re #1: I see your point about putting losing teams back in the bowl pool but I wonder if overall it isn’t better for the bowls for those teams to be part of the pool. The bowls are better off with 2 more quality teams in the mix than vice versa right?

          I actually think it hurts the schools and the bowls to add the losers to the mix. These teams would have almost zero notice to plan and travel. Fans would be crushed by seeing their team lose and then be expected to pay last minute rates for tickets, flights and hotels. The bowls will get disheartened teams with fans not willing to travel, so they make no money for the community. You get one postseason opportunity. if you lose, you aren’t getting a consolation game.

          Re #2, I assume it would actually be somewhat trivial to get the NCAA to change the rules if the people sitting in the BCS meetings agree this is the best path. There is a POV that says the divisions have created more problems than they’ve solved, consider all of the controversy about division alignment in each of the major conferences, let alone the obvious issues that have cropped up because one division of a conference is significantly stronger at the top than the other division.

          That’s a bad assumption. Getting the cost of living adjustment was shot down by the little guys. The option for 4 years scholarships almost died (over 60% were against). Changing the rules to benefit the big boys is not easy anymore.

          If we started today and said OK, conferences can host a championship game or ‘invitational’ but they are not required to would the SEC divide into divisions? Would the B1G? I don’t think it is obvious that they would, maybe it makes sense to remove this mandate and let the conferences decide the best fit? If you did this in conjunction with removing conference restrictions on # participants in any playoffs and/or biggest payout bowls both the SEC and B1G might decide this makes a heckuva lot of sense.

          I think most conferences would still split. Right now, the B10 will get a CCG rematch basically 50% of the time. Without divisions, it would be 73% of the time. That impacts the money they can make on the CCG. For the SEC, it is 29% versus 62%.

          Now what could happen for the B10 is to try 3 pods of 4:
          West = NE, WI, IA, MN
          Central = MI, MSU, NW, IL
          East = OSU, PSU, PU, IN

          Everybody plays 3 in pod, 1 whole other pod and 1 from the third pod (locked opponent or rotating). For example, OSU gets PSU, PU, IN, MI, MSU, NW, IL and 1 from the west (say NE) for two years. The next two years they get PSU, PU, IN, MI, NE, WI, IA, MN. That means OSU gets PSU, PU, IN and MI every year, and the west teams 10 times in 16 years (at least 2 in every 4). That would make for a rematch 63% of the time, though.

          Removing the cap on conference teams is good for the SEC and B10, but bad for almost everybody else. Expect others to say no.

          Re #3, that is what I thought on the TV stuff. It seems logical then that if they go with a 4 team seeded playoff with campus hosts then you’ll likely see that game played on a December Saturday somewhere b/w the 13th and 19th or thereabouts, right?

          No. The leaked info says they are thinking of playing the semis just after Xmas (12/27 or so) to avoid interfering with finals for both semester and quarter schools.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @Brian

            Why are we assuming a rematch is a bad outcome?

            Didn’t the B1G just opt to put OSU and UM in opposite divisions, while moving their traditional end of season game, in part to afford the possibility of an OSU v. UM ccg?

            Do you believe that last year’s Pac12 championship b/w Oregon and whoever got creamed by the Ducks drew better ratings than the possible rematch b/w Oregon and Stanford?

            More often than not, isn’t it true that a rematch involves a game in which the road team lost?

          • Brian says:

            ChicagoMac,

            Why are we assuming a rematch is a bad outcome?

            Because fans have shown they aren’t as interested in the second game. If the series goes 2-0, we already knew which team was better. If it splits 1-1, why should the second win count for more? Some match-ups may prosper a second time, but that is the exception.

            Didn’t the B1G just opt to put OSU and UM in opposite divisions, while moving their traditional end of season game, in part to afford the possibility of an OSU v. UM ccg?

            They didn’t move The Game from the end of the season. The B10 probably split OSU and MI with the hope of a rematch, but fans forced The Game to stay as the last game. Getting a rematch the next week will not do as well as the B10 hopes, I don’t think. The B10 was hoping to move The Game earlier so there would be several weeks between games. As it is, there wouldn’t be nearly as much national attention on either The Game (if a rematch is locked already) or on the CCG (unless one is a top 2 team).

            What the B10 wants is a pair of kings playing in the CCG, and that will usually be a rematch (they all play at least 2 of 3 every year). They didn’t count on having to keep The Game as the last game of the season, though.

            The WI/MSU rematch didn’t even sell out, which tells you something for the first ever B10 CCG.

            Do you believe that last year’s Pac12 championship b/w Oregon and whoever got creamed by the Ducks drew better ratings than the possible rematch b/w Oregon and Stanford?

            It was 6-6 UCLA, so maybe not, but Stanford doesn’t pull a lot of eyeballs. A rematch of a previous butt kicking wouldn’t have drawn very well. A 9-3 type of UCLA team would have been a bigger draw.

            More often than not, isn’t it true that a rematch involves a game in which the road team lost?

            Probably, since teams win at home more than on the road. That doesn’t mean it will be more interesting as a rematch, though. AL lost at home and got a rematch. WI lost at MSU and got a rematch. Neither were very popular.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @Brian

            Doesn’t the B1G action in setting up the divisions/schedules actually point to either no preference or perhaps actually a preference on rematches in the ccg?

            Look, if they wanted to maximize the times King vs. King plays in ccg without a rematch they would have put OSU/UM in one division and then NEB/PSU in the other and had no preference towards scheduling King vs. King in cross division games.

            Instead they split OSU/UM and protected their annual game in the cross-division setup. That decision lowered the odds of King v. King in ccg while raising the odds that if there was a King vs. King ccg matchup that it would be a rematch. Then, just to prove how nutty they were they went on to guarantee that PSU and Neb play each year in their cross-division game each season which further lowered the odds of King vs. King match while once again handicapping themselves by increasing the odds that if it is a King vs. King matchup that it would in fact be a rematch.

            It seems to me that either ccg rematches aren’t as big of a negative as you assert or someone up in Park Ridge has some explainin’ to do?

            Where is there solid evidence that fans don’t like rematches in ccg?

          • Brian says:

            ChicagoMac,

            Doesn’t the B1G action in setting up the divisions/schedules actually point to either no preference or perhaps actually a preference on rematches in the ccg?

            No. They set up the divisions to maximize regular season TV money which is much more than the CCG is worth. The schedules are a standard round robin in division with a locked rival and 2 rotating crossover games, so I fail to see how that has any impact on it. If you are referring to which crossover games NE got first, that again was designed to maximize the impact of adding NE and getting on TV. If they really wanted more rematches, they would have kept the 9th B10 game.

            Look, if they wanted to maximize the times King vs. King plays in ccg without a rematch they would have put OSU/UM in one division and then NEB/PSU in the other and had no preference towards scheduling King vs. King in cross division games.

            Only if they were idiots. The regular season is much more important than the CCG, so they did what was best for the regular season.

            Instead they split OSU/UM and protected their annual game in the cross-division setup. That decision lowered the odds of King v. King in ccg while raising the odds that if there was a King vs. King ccg matchup that it would be a rematch.

            They had to lock The Game as it is by far the most valuable regular season game in the B10′s inventory. All 12 teams would agree with that. They didn’t want to keep it on the last weekend, but finally realized the fans might actually hunt them down and kill them if they moved it. Then, just to prove how nutty they were they went on to guarantee that PSU and Neb play each year in their cross-division game each season which further lowered the odds of King vs. King match while once again handicapping themselves by increasing the odds that if it is a King vs. King matchup that it would in fact be a rematch.

            By splitting 2 and 2, they maximimzed the odds of getting a king/king CCG. By making each king play at least 2 others each year, they locked in 4 highly valuable games every year for the TV deal making everyone lots of money. You don’t seem to grasp that the regular season is an order of magnitude more important than the CCG, so decisions were made with the regular season in mind.

            It seems to me that either ccg rematches aren’t as big of a negative as you assert or someone up in Park Ridge has some explainin’ to do?

            It seems to me you don’t understand the relative values of the regular season and the CCG.

            Where is there solid evidence that fans don’t like rematches in ccg?

            In the B10 CCG not selling out for a rematch, even though 1 of the 2 teams is desperate for a Rose Bowl bid for the first time in decades. It’s also in the millions of people not watching LSU/AL II.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @Brian Trying again.

            Right now, the B10 will get a CCG rematch basically 50% of the time. Without divisions, it would be 73% of the time. That impacts the money they can make on the CCG. For the SEC, it is 29% versus 62%.
            You are inferring rematches are bad because conferences would get less TV money as a result. I think that is a silly argument. Specifically:

            I think Oregon v. Stanford this past season would have drawn better ratings than Oregon v. UCLA did.

            I think an SEC ccg of LSU v. Alabama would have outdrawn the actual matchup of LSU v. Gerogia.

            In general, I think if you paired the #1 and #2 teams in a conference for an end of season game with playoff implications for both you are going to get better ratings than if you paired the #1 team against the conferences 3rd, 4th, 5th or whatever best team. I’m confident this is true even if #1 v. #2 in the conference is a rematch and the alternative is not.

            Do you disagree?

            Because fans have shown they aren’t as interested in the second game. If the series goes 2-0, we already knew which team was better. If it splits 1-1, why should the second win count for more?
            Here, you seem to be suggesting that fans aren’t as interested in the second game because…well I’m not sure what you are saying. Do Alabama fans feel conflicted over their rematch win? What about Badger fans? Was there a huge debate after LSU v. Alabama figuring out whether or not Alabama was superior? If so I missed it.

            I just think its a specious argument to infer “rematches are bad”. As a result, I don’t think it necessarily means conferences would automatically choose a division setup to reduce the number of rematches in a ccg.

          • bullet says:

            I’ll disagree with you about rematches. I definitely preferred a 10-2 UGA team vs. LSU instead of someone they had already beaten (especially in such a boring game). I didn’t watch the BCS AL/LSU game but did the first. And even though it ended in a rout, it was more interesting than the dreadfully painful 1st AL/LSU game (and apparently a lot more than the 2nd). In the Pac the problem was that USC, the best team in the south, was on probation. Now that would also have been a rematch. But I bet a OR/USC rematch would significantly outdraw an OR/Stanford rematch, even though the latter two were higher rated. Part of that is USC. Part is that both USC and OR will have won something. And part is that more people watched OR/Stanford when Stanford was unbeaten than the two USC games.

            Rematches aren’t always the same, but they are still re-runs. People prefer new programming to re-runs.

          • Brian says:

            ChicagoMac,

            “Right now, the B10 will get a CCG rematch basically 50% of the time. Without divisions, it would be 73% of the time. That impacts the money they can make on the CCG. For the SEC, it is 29% versus 62%.”

            You are inferring rematches are bad because conferences would get less TV money as a result. I think that is a silly argument.

            I’m not trying to infer it, I’m saying it. Rematches generally cost conferences money.

            I think Oregon v. Stanford this past season would have drawn better ratings than Oregon v. UCLA did.

            Big deal. UCLA was a bad 6-6 team. An OR scrimmage might have outdrawn that game since the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

            I think an SEC ccg of LSU v. Alabama would have outdrawn the actual matchup of LSU v. Gerogia.

            And you are dead wrong. The NCG was down a ton from all previous NCGs because it was a rematch.

            In general, I think if you paired the #1 and #2 teams in a conference for an end of season game with playoff implications for both you are going to get better ratings than if you paired the #1 team against the conferences 3rd, 4th, 5th or whatever best team. I’m confident this is true even if #1 v. #2 in the conference is a rematch and the alternative is not.

            Now you are discussing something totally different. We were talking about rematches, and now you’re bringing in conference order and playoff implications. That’s two more giant variables that makes for a much longer a murkier answer.

            The answer will depend on the national rankings of each team, the brand names of the teams, when the first game was played, what the first game was like, where the first game was played, what the schedules for each team were, where the CCG is played, which conference it is and any extenuating circumstances.

            I refuse to write out separate answers for every possible variation of all of those. In short, a rematch is bad. There could be a worse alternative, but not usually.

            Last year:

            ACC – Clemson/VT was a rematch of a bad game that was another bad game. No good alternative because VT won the division by 2 games.

            B10 – WI/MSU was a rematch of a close game and was another close game to tie the series 1-1. WI/MI or MSU/PSU would have drawn more fans if either king had won their division.

            P12 – OR/UCLA was a bad game but not a rematch. OR/USC would have been much better even as a rematch since USC was 2 games ahead of UCLA.

            SEC – LSU/GA was a new match up. It would have outdrawn LSU/AL easily.

            Do you disagree?

            Yes, because you are worng.

            I just think its a specious argument to infer “rematches are bad”.

            Good for you. That doesn’t change the fact that rematches are bad.

            As a result, I don’t think it necessarily means conferences would automatically choose a division setup to reduce the number of rematches in a ccg.

            Division setup has nothing to do with it. Scheduling is what determines the frequency of rematches in the CCG. Division setup has to do with balance and rivalries and making the regular seaqson be successful. If the regular season is good, the CCG will be OK.

            CCG rematches are not ideal, but they are unavoidable unless you get really big or play a very short conference schedule. If you have to have a rematch, you want it to be king/king many weeks after they first played a great game. The B10 split their kings which gives them the best chance at a king/king game, rematch or not.

    • Eric says:

      I really hope they get put back in the bowl pool for 2 reasons.

      1. I want the idea of ending a good season with a bowl to remain. The winners go to the national champion game/bowl (which should be given a bowl name imo) and the losers should still get a bowl game like the rest of the succesful teams in college football.

      2. I think we need those two teams in if we want to preserve any semblence of the traditional line-ups. The Rose Bowl is the biggest deal, but not the only. I want to see Big Ten/PAC-12 champs in Rose Bowl as often as possible and it’s not going to be very common to see both at all if 4 teams make a playoff.

      • Brian says:

        Eric,

        It’s really sounding like you won’t get them, and it’s really for the best. The calendar they are talking about makes it almost impossible to handle logistically, and I think you are ignoring the money aspect for the host. The bowl needs fans to travel, and playoff losers are not going to send fans a long way for a weeklong bowl trip.

        Just accept that the bowl system as we knew it is essentially dead once a playoff is apporved. You get one or the other, and the whiny playoff proponents have won. I hope they choke on it.

        • joe4psu says:

          Brian,

          I agree that there are issues but is losing in the opening round of a playoff any different than losing a CCG? Both may cut down on the number of people who would travel for a bowl game but to what extent? Won’t people that want to use bowl week as a vacation still do that?

          Limited time to make travel plans is a definitely an issue, conflicts with finals is an issue and having the kids play an additional game or two is an issue. The thing is, bowls are exhibition games surrounded by a week of festivities not the consolation games for a playoff. There are probably still plenty of fans that would take advantage of a bowlcation.

          • bullet says:

            I think an even bigger issue is whether the players would want to do it. Some may want the vacation or the chance for redemption, but a lot will probably want to be done for the year.

          • In my 6-team model (or in others’ 8-team proposal), where the first round happens the week after the CCGs…I think a bowl trip would still be highly desirable. If the final 4 games happen after Xmas, there is no way anyone would turn around and travel again (except for a trip to the NC game 10 days later.

          • joe4psu says:

            How many kids would not being interested in a vacation hot spot and the gift bags that these bowls provide? A day or two after a playoff loss and they’ll be thinking about beaches, video games and shopping sprees. Think about it, the teams that will be in the playoffs would likely be selected for the better bowls. It’s no guarantee. A school like Boise could lose a playoff game and end up in a crap bowl but I think that would be the exception. Actually, if the conferences have the same tie-ins then the bowl opportunities are the same as they are now. A bowl could drop a school down the list if it expects that their fan base wouldn’t travel but that hasn’t been proven to be the case yet.

          • Brian says:

            joe4psu,

            I agree that there are issues but is losing in the opening round of a playoff any different than losing a CCG?

            Yes, for two main reasons. First, the stakes of a semifinal are generally higher so the loss will hurt more. Second, based on the calendar there isn’t time for the players and fans to recover emotionally before the bowl. The day after #3 PSU loses their shot at a national title, how willing would you be to spend $2000 per person on tickets, a hotel and airfare? How excited will the players be?

            Both may cut down on the number of people who would travel for a bowl game but to what extent? Won’t people that want to use bowl week as a vacation still do that?

            I think the extent would be huge. Those people can plan ahead to vaction somewhere, but not for a bowl anymore. That’s the difference. If budget is a factor at all, they’ll go to the Caribbean or something instead because they can buy tickets in advance. Maybe they’ll pick a nice bowl site and vacation there with the hope of getting tickets if their team plays in the game, but I think the numbers would be way down.

            Limited time to make travel plans is a definitely an issue, conflicts with finals is an issue and having the kids play an additional game or two is an issue. The thing is, bowls are exhibition games surrounded by a week of festivities not the consolation games for a playoff. There are probably still plenty of fans that would take advantage of a bowlcation.

            And those festivites would start literally 2-3 days after a team just blew their chance to win it all. Do you really think players or fans would be up for that?

            You can make a much better case for it if the semis are held the week after the CCGs, but I’m assuming the post-Xmas calendar that was mentioned at the BCS meetings.

          • joe4psu says:

            Brian,

            The turnaround is a huge issue, probably too big to overcome without time between games. I was thinking about this when I said that travel and conflicts with finals would be issues but didn’t go into detail. Simply, I understand that if the playoff games are after finals they may cause turnaround issues with the bowls. If the playoffs are earlier they are more likely to conflict with finals. I’m sure this is why the idea of starting the season earlier has come up. I’m all for that.

            I hadn’t thought much about this in the context of playing a CCG AND a playoff AND a bowl. These three events would attract different crowds to some extent but exactly how much crossover would there be (he asked himself unwilling to do any research before posting)? Regardless, a playoff to determine the national champion is my top priority. Whether a team can be in the playoffs and play in a bowl is way down on my list. I only got involved in the converstation because I thought some fans would want the bowlcation and the players would enjoy the bowl experience.

          • Brian says:

            joe4psu,

            The turnaround is a huge issue, probably too big to overcome without time between games. I was thinking about this when I said that travel and conflicts with finals would be issues but didn’t go into detail. Simply, I understand that if the playoff games are after finals they may cause turnaround issues with the bowls. If the playoffs are earlier they are more likely to conflict with finals. I’m sure this is why the idea of starting the season earlier has come up. I’m all for that.

            I’m sure you did consider it. I just wanted to make clear that my point is built on the foundation of the word from the BCS meetings saying the semis would be post-Xmas. I wouldn’t voice it as strongly if the first round was earlier in December.

            I would point out that the non-AQs still don’t have much reason to say yes to letting AQs that lose in the playoff then get slots in the top bowls too. Those slots would potentially go to the top non-AQs instead, so they would lose a lot of money and the chance for major bowls if they said yes. What’s in it for them? No good bowl is going to take a non-AQ that lost a playoff game. That’s half of I-A with no reason to say yes, and the BE might join them. Even the ACC might say no.

            I hadn’t thought much about this in the context of playing a CCG AND a playoff AND a bowl. These three events would attract different crowds to some extent but exactly how much crossover would there be (he asked himself unwilling to do any research before posting)?

            Aye, there’s the rub. Now you need to pony up 3 times in a month to see your Lions on top of what you already pay for season tickets. Are you up for the extra $2-3k on short notice every year?

            Regardless, a playoff to determine the national champion is my top priority.

            This mindset makes no sense to me. I’m not mocking you or anything, I just literally can’t understand it. My intial thought is how on earth can finding the “correct” national champion be that important. I just don’t see that as the point of CFB. My next thought is how did you get fooled into thinking that a larger playoff determines the “correct” champion any better than a vote or a single NCG.

            Whether a team can be in the playoffs and play in a bowl is way down on my list. I only got involved in the converstation because I thought some fans would want the bowlcation and the players would enjoy the bowl experience.

            At least this make sense as a non-priority. The obvious solution to me is to make teams pick their poison – bowl or playoff. If the bowl experience is important, then don’t risk the playoff.

          • Good points, both of you.
            Brian is slipping some ideas in there though that I want to address. “No. 3 PSU just had its championship dreams dashed in a playoff loss…” We haven’t been No. 3 in a long time. If you look at the top 5-6 teams over the past 5 seasons, there are only a few teams that are repeatedly in the top 5-6. PSU isn’t one of them. PSU fans–in this example–wouldn’t get tired of watching an amazing team play. Yes, “dynasty depression” can hit sometimes…think USC in 2007-2008 maybe…where a team’s fans are “disappointed” with an 11-2 season. But that’s a different story. Remember too that some fan bases are larger than others…and more dispersed. When I lived in SD, I was dying for a Fiesta Bowl or Rose Bowl appearance by PSU. I was ready to jump at the chance to go. It never happened though. If 11-2 PSU lost in the first round (December 8th, let’s say)…and then was relegated to the Rose Bowl on Jan 1 (Brian will like that language :) ), enough East Coast fans would travel to meet up with all the West Coast fans and fill up the PSU ticket allotment easily.
            Again, I think my system can work from all angles.

          • Brian says:

            allthatyoucantleavebehind,

            Good points, both of you.

            I like to think there is at least some method to my madness.

            Brian is slipping some ideas in there though that I want to address. “No. 3 PSU just had its championship dreams dashed in a playoff loss…” We haven’t been No. 3 in a long time.

            2005 was a long time ago?

            If you look at the top 5-6 teams over the past 5 seasons, there are only a few teams that are repeatedly in the top 5-6. PSU isn’t one of them.

            True, but PSU was #8 in 2008 and #9 in 2009 so they’ve been top 10 three times in six years. At least 100 schools would trade results with PSU in a heartbeat.

            You do understand I said PSU solely because he’s a PSU fan, right?

            PSU fans–in this example–wouldn’t get tired of watching an amazing team play.

            I find it hard to believe that immediately after an emotionally crushing loss PSU fans would be eager to spend $2000 on a bowl trip for the next week. I won’t say you’re wrong, but I remain skeptical.

            Remember too that some fan bases are larger than others…and more dispersed. When I lived in SD, I was dying for a Fiesta Bowl or Rose Bowl appearance by PSU. I was ready to jump at the chance to go. It never happened though.

            Sure you were. But that’s not the same as paying that same money to watch a bowl a week after PSU lost a NCG chance. The time is a major factor.

            If 11-2 PSU lost in the first round (December 8th, let’s say)…and then was relegated to the Rose Bowl on Jan 1 (Brian will like that language :) ), enough East Coast fans would travel to meet up with all the West Coast fans and fill up the PSU ticket allotment easily.

            We were discussing the result if the semis were played under the proposed schedule from the BCS meeting, with the semis after Xmas. Losing on 12/27 is a lot different than losing on 12/8 in terms of going to a 1/1 bowl.

            Again, I think my system can work from all angles.

            I’d hope so, it’s your system. That doesn’t mean the rest of us have to agree.

    • Brian says:

      I doubt it, since we never seem to win anything.

      As for the article, I don’t even bother reading crap like that. The media is always slamming OSU, even if they have to make stuff up. Amazingly now everything that went wrong at FL is Meyer’s fault, not the players or other coaches. This despite Meyer crusading against how dirty things were in the SEC while he was there. Of course everyone blames the coach that is no longer there. Did he make mistakes while at FL? I’m sure he did. But frankly, UF can burn to the ground and take the rest of the SEC with it for all I care.

      • duffman says:

        Brian,

        It was not a slam piece on Ohio State. It was a slam on Urban Meyer not coming down on drug issues at Florida. My question to you was how this would play out in Columbus? Which is why I posed it as making a deal with the devil.

        • Brian says:

          It’s playing out just like I said – as yet another attack piece on OSU. Would they have written this article if Meyer was still at ESPN? Or coaching in the SEC or almost anywhere else? Not in the eyes of Buckeye fans.

          Like I said, I didn’t read the article. I skimmed part of it since you linked it and asked, but I’d rather watch grass grow than read an article like that. All I saw were unnamed sources all over the place. That’s a “reporter’s” way of just saying whatever he wants.

          OSU fans won’t be tolerant of drug issues on the team (we already had that with Cooper), but I believe it’s up to the AD to control that more than the coach. The AD sets the minimum punishment policies for the school and coaches can only add to that. If you don’t want drugs, then the AD should set stiff penalties and enforce them.

        • PSUGuy says:

          tOSU will not let it slide…they simply can’t.

          I mean they got slammed pretty hard for having players get a couple hundred dollars of free stuff or for things they owned, then having a head coach lie about it. Basically, breaking NCAA rules, but nothing illegal.

          If actual illegal stuff starts to flow, and I have to believe tOSU will be under a pretty watchful eye from the NCAA still, the punishment they receive will make what they got look like a wrist slap by comparison.

          • Brian says:

            Breaking the law is not against NCAA rules. Punishment from the NCAA is not an issue.

          • Brian, please remember you said this when trying to drum up a lynch mob against PSU for Sandusky’s crimes. The NCAA has its rules and the USA has its rules. The NCAA can’t enforce rules that aren’t in its bylaws but are in the USA’s.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Regardless of whether it can or cannot…I have to believe if the allegations of that article come true at tOSU (athletic leadership turning a blind eye to illegal activity to protect athletics) the “Loss of Institutional Control” tag would start to get thrown around.

            IMO, that threat of LoIC is the reason tOSU can’t, and I have to believe won’t, allow it to happen.

          • Brian says:

            I said the same thing multiple times when talking about PSU, if you bother to look. The NCAA never had any place in this based on what was known publicly. Maybe after a trial brought out more info the AD could end up with a show cause or something, but that’s pointless. The B10 also has no place in it.

          • Brian says:

            PSUGuy,

            Have you heard any mention of the NCAA going after UF for this? If not, why would they go after anyone else?

          • PSUGuy says:

            Nope, heard not a thing (about NCAA going after UF).

            They might go after tOSU…again IF similar rumblings are heard…because of the recent problems they just had. It’d be a “second strike” type offense whereas UF at worst could always claim “hey, it was Meyer and he left before it became wide-spread and we cleaned up.”

            IMO, the convo could go something like:

            NCAA: “So you just had violations and while serving out the punishment, had allegations that the coach you just hired may have behaved inappropriately at his last job…and you didn’t even think to keep tabs on things?”

            tOSU: “…”

            Could be wrong, but that certainly doesn’t sound like a good recipe.

      • Steve says:

        Great article by Matt Hayes. Looks Like Urban left a sleazy mess at Florida, worse than most had expected. I hope the B1G doesn’t turn into a cesspool like the SEC. Definitely not a slam on Ohio State.

        • Brian says:

          Funny how now that Meyer’s gone it all his fault. Why didn’t the AD force somethign else to happen? Why didn’t the players stop doing this stuff? Why was it all just fine as long as FL was winning or Meyer was out of coaching? Why weren’t there any named sources?

          • frug says:

            Read the article, there were named sources. Meyer even went on record to confirm an incident he had never before spoken about publicly.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Read the article,

            No. I won’t give that hack another click (and note that Ive said that about him for a bunch of previous articles, it’s not just this one).

            there were named sources.

            Not in the part I skimmed. It was all former player this and sources that.

            Meyer even went on record to confirm an incident he had never before spoken about publicly.

            I really don’t care. It was all at FL, and every good team in the SEC is completely dirty in 18 different ways. I wouldn’t worry about all the dirty recruiting at AL if Saban came to coach at OSU either. What happens in the SEC stays in the SEC.

            If Meyer has issues at OSU, then I’ll worry about it.

          • Brian says:

            And BTW, I heard from someone who did read the article and said there is a whopping 1 named source to go with the multiple uses of unnamed players and “sources” in the article.

          • frug says:

            Why are you automatically assuming that relying on unnamed sources is somehow bad journalism? Unamed sources are necessary for investigative reporting which is necessary to hold powerful individuals and organiztions responsible for the actions they take (remember, it was an unamed source that brought down Richard Nixon)

          • Brian says:

            Yes, talking about the former football coach is just like exposing Watergate. The threat level for talking is the same.

            Unnamed sources are bad journalism because Hayes could just as easily be making it all up, or it could all be sour grapes from a few malcontents.

          • frug says:

            Losing millions of dollars a year because Meyer could hurt your draft stock is a pretty big threat (and one pointed out in the article).

            Plus, if you believe that the stakes should effect the journalistic techniques used then you should then have no problems with sports reporters using anonymous sources since sports are not as important as politics.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Losing millions of dollars a year because Meyer could hurt your draft stock is a pretty big threat (and one pointed out in the article).

            Yes, and that’s very likely, too. A he said, he said spat in the media will immediately cause a player to drop several rounds in the draft. With the new slotted rookie salaries, losing millions per year is really hard. You’d have to have zero faith in the NFL executives, who have repeatedly shown they don’t care what you do as long as you play well, to think the word of the former coach alone will black ball you. Every player has several other coaches that know him.

            Plus, if you believe that the stakes should effect the journalistic techniques used then you should then have no problems with sports reporters using anonymous sources since sports are not as important as politics.

            You have it exactly backwards. If the writer had a serious reputation as a journalist and the publication did too, then you can get away with unnamed sources when their lives might actually be at risk. Hayes is a hack, Sporting News is just a sports paper, and there were no serious risks to the sources. That gives it all zero credibility.

            If the Sporting News wants to be seen as on par with message boards and blogs, then they should by all means continue this style of “journalism.” If they want to be taken as a serious source for sports journalism, they won’t. Simple as that.

          • frug says:

            The article actually details the potential consequences that players face (or at least believe they face) for speaking out and discussed the fact that Meyer had in the past gone out of his way to protect certain players in the draft (most notably disguising disciplinary actions as injuries) and had connections to coaches in the NFL (Bill Belichick for one), but as long as you refuse to read the artcile there is no sense in prolonging this debate.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Last I checked, plenty of players have left FL since Meyer did. Many are in the NFL. Are all of them afraid of Urban, too? Is he the mafia now, where people are scared for the rest of their lives?

      • frug says:

        You do realize that every major college sports school feels the media (or in the case of ND everyone else) is out to get them whenever they are cast in a negative light. So either the media is engaged in a giant consiparcy to destroy college sports or fanbases just overract to this stuff.

        • Brian says:

          Yes, and OSU has more evidence than others to back up the claim. Mutliple media types have admitted that they intentionally will stir up stuff about schools like OSU to get clicks, etc. I didn’t see any media members retracting all their false stories last summer as claim after claim was refuted by actual evidence. That is how the media operates now, and I wish them all ill. They are so busy looking for stories, they’ve long stopped worrying about the truth.

        • joe4psu says:

          I’m not a big Bobby Knight fan but I agree with him more and more on the media. Did he say they are one step above or below prostitutes? To be honest I think much more highly of prostitutes. I don’t begrudge someone for using the attributes/resources that they have to make a living and unlike the media they don’t pretend to be something they’re not while f*ing you.

          • frug says:

            Bobby Knight’s media critiques would carry more weight if he hadn’t taken a job at ESPN as soon as he retired and appeared on every talk show he could get himself booked on when he was pushing his autobiography.

          • joe4psu says:

            Like I said, I’m not a big Knight fan. To his credit though, he has stayed pretty true to his outspoken ways. How many people have called Calipari out for leaving programs after successful runs but with NCAA violations? He’s swimming with the sharks but I don’t think he can be confused for one.

  38. bullet says:

    Interesting article on the variability of discipline policies among various schools. UGA and UK have the strictest policies on drugs in the SEC. Florida is the loosest.

    http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2012/03/30/georgias-problems-reaffirm-ncaa-needs-uniform-drug-policy/?cp=5

    • ChicagoMac says:

      I applaud UGA, who appears to have strict policies that they actually enforce.

      I suspect there are many schools where they just don’t strictly enforce their policies which makes the whole thing sort of a charade.

  39. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    3 of the 4 college baseball polls have been released. Purdue is ranked in all 3. #18 in USAToday coaches’, #19 in Baseball America, and #22 in Collegiate Baseball. The NCBWA comes out later today.

    After taking 5 of 6 against then-ranked #3 Arkansas, and then-ranked #1 Florida, order appears to be restored for my LSU Tiger baseball team.

    Michael in Raleigh – FSU is now #1 in 2 of the 3 polls, and App St is ranked #30 in Collegiate Baseball.

    • duffman says:

      Alan, your Tigers are 7-2 vs Top 25, UK is 7-2 vs Top 25. Somehow FSU is #1 and they are just 2-2 vs Top 25, go figure!

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Time for FSU to stop being the best college baseball program never to win a national championship (something like 15 CWS appearances, which is top five all-time, yet no NC).

      As for App State… heckuva season. Maybe they can be the next Fresno State, circa 2008?

    • BoilerTex says:

      Purdue does seem poised to keep their track record of winning the Big Ten baseball championship every 104 years alive.

  40. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    duff – like CBB, baseball polls aren’t that important. As long as the Tigers win 20 conference games, I think they’ll be a national seed and host for the regional and super-regional rounds.

    The Tigers play UK in Lexington in 2 weeks.

  41. Steve says:

    Another expansion rumor from a BYU blogger. One of the more interesting comments;
    All of the Big 12 schools want to issue expansion invitations this summer. Every school in the conference is in favor of adding more teams sooner than later. The only point of debate is what the shopping list should look like. There are a lot of forces at play pushing the Big 12 towards getting bigger. Fox and ESPN both want more media markets. Dr. Pepper and Jerry Jones want their championship game back. ADs want to make sure their teams aren’t an after thought on the first week of December, etc.
    That doesn’t mean there aren’t any viable 10-team scenarios, but every effort will be made to find a workable (and profitable) 12-team model first.
    http://sportsbyshoganai.posterous.com/

    • bullet says:

      I haven’t heard DeLoss Dodds say anything different than that he prefers 10.

      However, I think the Big 12 would be making a long run mistake if it is surrouded by 12-14 team conferences with much bigger media markets while it only has 10 teams. By shear numbers, the other conferences will outshine them in publicity. They should add 2 teams if they come close to breaking even. With a championship game that shouldn’t be hard. Obviously they should get FSU/Clemson if possible. Among more likely teams, they should go for Louisville and preferably one other eastern team. BYU would seem to be the most valuable team out there, but they are on too much of an island and CSU and UNM, other connecting possibilities have terrible football teams now. They also add complications with the no Sunday play and apparently their BYU TV issues. WVU is already on an island, so it would be preferable not to create another in the opposite direction.

      I’ve read several places that BYU and UL are all but in, but I’ve also read that BYU is out and that the Big 12 is looking east. I suspect Big 12 expansion is even more up in the air than the BCS changes. I haven’t read anything on expansion committee meetings lately. The SEC, ACC and Big 12 renewals for TV all still remain unfinalized. So it seems unlikely ACC schools would make any decisions on moving or staying until those 3 numbers get more finalized.

      • frug says:

        I think if the Big XII decides to expand BYU will join. I know they like the exposure they get as an indy, but if BYU passes on the Big XII again they are likely to be shut out of the power conferences forever. They might try and convince the Big XII to let them keep their non-football sports in the WCC for a couple years since the higher ups have made clear they don’t want to leave the WCC schools (all of whom are religiously affiliated) out dry after the conference was willing to work with them.

    • vp19 says:

      Here are the expansion possibilities he lists:

      BYU/Louisville

      Louisville/Rutgers

      Louisville/Clemson

      Louisville/Florida State

      Florida State/Clemson

      Notre Dame, Boise State, and Cincinnati remain long-shot candidates.

      I like the Louisville/Rutgers tandem...if Rutgers is interested. But it may be reluctant to cast its lot with the Big 12 if the ACC or, less likely, the Big Ten are ostensible possibilities.

      • zeek says:

        I don’t think Rutgers has a choice. If the Big 12 offers, they accept on the spot in my opinion. And in the long run, that makes it easier to jump to the Big Ten or ACC rather than from the Big East.

        • zeek says:

          For what it’s worth though, I think Louisville/Rutgers makes more sense than Louisville/Cincinnati.

        • frug says:

          UCONN has already said it would accept a bid to any other AQ conference and it’s tough for me to imagine that Rutgers feels any different. (Admittedly that statement was made before the Big XII expanded its grant of rights, but I doubt their opinion has changed)

        • vp19 says:

          If the Big 12 is serious about getting a large metro market, Rutgers gives you New Jersey, with some spillover into New York and (to a lesser extent) Philadelphia. Playing in a conference with traditional kings Texas and Oklahoma — as opposed to the fairly new king that was Miami in the Big East — could iift Rutgers’ football profile (and recruiting) in a way it’s never experienced before. I think Rutgers has more upside in football than Connecticut, and the recent UConn basketball scandals don’t help its case much, either.

          • Phil says:

            I would be at the front of the New Brunswick mob holding torches and pitchforks if Rutgers was stupid enough to turn down the Big 12. Obviously there are things (especially geography) that make the Big Ten or ACC a better option, but a school that wasted the 80′s and early 90′s because they initially turned down the Big East should be ecstatic to find any chair when the music stops.

          • zeek says:

            The other thing to keep in mind is that the travel argument is somewhat overstated.

            WVU probably takes longer to get to from the Big 12 campuses than Rutgers. You land in Pittsburgh and then bus to Morgantown for most of the non-revenue sports, I’d guess.

            So the travel argument for Cincinnati over Rutgers doesn’t make that much sense considering you already have WVU on the fold.

            At this point, you go with the best media play and that’s Rutgers over Cincinnati. Rutgers pulls in good TV ratings in the NY; easily the best of the non-kings given that they’ve got most of the top ESPN/ESPN2 rated games viewed in that market.

            If BYU or Clemson isn’t willing to sign on and you have to get to 12, then Louisville-Rutgers should be the default play.

          • Read The D says:

            I contend that if the Big 12 is going to continue to expand eastward it needs to jump to 14 instead of 12 to create an eastern block. You can throw TCU and Baylor into an Eastern division.

            My Big 12 wish list would look like this:

            1. Florida State
            2. Clemson
            - If the sky fell and the first 2 committed I would call Virginia Tech immediately.
            3. Pittsburgh
            4. Maryland
            5. Miami
            6. Louisville
            7. BYU
            8. Rutgers
            9. UConn
            10. Memphis

          • bullet says:

            @zeek
            It isn’t so much the travel as the rivalries. Its harder for schools on islands to develop mutual rivalries with other schools. Neinas and the Oklahoma St. president have both talked of the midwest/natural resource commonalities of the Big 12.

            Rutgers is in a very different world than the rest of the Big 12. It would clearly be better for them than staying in the Big East, but it wouldn’t be a good match.

            I’d be inclined to go with a UL/UC pairing if no ACC schools were available (Pitt would be good but has already made their choice). That would clearly NOT be the best financial choice. But as long as it was close to UL/BYU or UL/RU, that would be ok. In basketball it would be an excellent choice. In football, UC is comparable to or better than BYU and RU competitively (over the last 10-15 years). The biggest issue with Cincinnati (other than their TV value) is that their budget is very low by AQ standards so the question would be if they have the committment to remain competitive.

            Good rivalries can make for compelling TV and most certainly can make for good gates which can offset lower TV revenue.

          • zeek says:

            That’s an entirely fair take on the situation, and I agree with most of those points.

            I think that the powers at OU and some of the other schools on their side agree with that point of view re: Rutgers v. Cincinnati.

            Not sure what Dodds thinks of all this though. I know his point of view has trended towards maximizing revenue for the Big 12 and so he probably favors staying at 10. But if pushed towards 12 by the situation outside the Big 12, he might push for Rutgers to maximize the TV value of the 11+12 additions.

          • bullet says:

            Dodds never met a $ he didn’t like.

            If $ are more for expansion, he will be easily persuaded.

          • vp19 says:

            Cincinnati officials recently announced that for the time being, at least, it would keep all its home games at Nippert Stadium and not play at Paul Brown. I’m sure if the Big 12 offered an invitation, it would play its bigger conference games (Texas, Oklahoma) at the Bengals’ lair.

          • frug says:

            Though I hate to see the round robin for football and double round robin for BB go away I agree that there is strength in numbers. While the Big XII doesn’t have to worry about teams leaving because of the grant of rights, it looks like some major changes may be coming to college football’s postseason and the Big XII doesn’t want to be in a minority position during those negotiations.

          • Brian says:

            Yeah, you have to think they’ll get back to 12 despite the wishes of the coaches. I’ll miss the round robin too, but the money and the power issues make 12 a nececssity I think.

      • Travel9 says:

        Does anybody really think that ANY university in the BIG 12 wants to be in the same league as Boise State? BSU is very weak academically.

        I mean look at this school:

        Boise State University 21,179 students $61 million Endowment $11.2 million in research

        Some other universities that are a much better cultural fit for the BIG12

        Colorado State
        New Mexico
        Nevada
        San Diego State
        University of South Florida
        Central Florida
        Memphis

        Boise State and that business community did a great job getting that football program to the highest of levels in the last 12 years. But seriously folks; besides a football team that may get some decent tv ratings 2-3 times a year, what do they offer a league of large research universities?

  42. Christian in Texas says:

    late add

  43. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7798429/arkansas-razorbacks-fire-bobby-petrino-coach

    Arkansas finally made the decision to fire Petrino. It was inevitable once the lies to the AD came out.

    I’m curious to see if they get a coach this spring/summer or let an interim coach (who wasn’t even the DC at OSU) stay head coach for a whole season.

    Will a coach be willing to drop his team after spring ball to move to AR? Probably, but it won’t look good and most coaches worry about that a little. Malzahn just took the AR St job, and he’s an AR native and an offensive coach like Petrino.

    Maybe they pick up a recently fired coach like Butch Davis, but the issues at UNC might make that tough.

    Would an experienced HC take the job for just a year with a chance to get the gig full time? I doubt it, unless it’s someone who is basically retired.

    Anyone have an outside the box idea for them?

  44. Brian says:

    http://www.cleveland.com/buckeyeblog/index.ssf/2012/04/big_ten_basketball_how_the_ohi.html

    For the hoops fans on here, this is a quick look ahead at the B10 for next year. It focuses on OSU (it is a Cleveland paper), but the beginning is about how the league should look.

    Hoosiers pre-season #1 or 2 seems to be the prediction, Duffman. Will anyone sleep in IN before November (except during IU football games, of course)?

  45. bullet says:

    Frank, any thoughts on Guillen? I thought he had put out a racial slur from the way people were talking. Then I read all he said was that he admired Castro (although he denies it now). He’s clearly stupid saying things like that in Miami, but a suspension and the universal condemnation?

    • zeek says:

      Miami is a different place. Especially with the fact that they put the new Marlins Park at the site of the old Orange Bowl in Little Havana. Considering all the outreach they’ve done to the local community over the past few years while building the stadium, they really had no choice but to trot him out to apologize and then suspend him given the local backlash that was brewing.

      That area is a somewhat complex place in terms of South Florida politics, and they have a long-term memory, especially given what happened there with Elian Gonzalez.

      The community there is almost entirely Cuban/Hispanic and extremely poor. Many are also resentful of the deal that the Marlins got in order to move down there, which will probably end up severely constraining the city/county’s budget when those bonds do have to be paid off…

    • Brian says:

      There is no rational discussion of Cuba in Miami. It’s like discussing Palestine in NYC. It’s a third rail topic because of a very vocal minority. Guillen can think whatever he wants, but he has to know better than to ever talk politics or religion publicly. That’s just public life 101.

    • @bullet – Not surprised that Ozzie Guillen has gotten in trouble so quickly (and I like the guy as a White Sox fan), but as Brian noted, saying anything sympathetic at all about Castro in Miami specifically is going to incur the wrath of the public there. He actually said something similar about Castro in the newspaper in Chicago a couple of years ago and there was zero uproar about it. The main instance where he got in trouble in Chicago was using homophobic slur about Jay Mariotti, where he then apologized and marched in Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade.

      What ought to be really condemned, as Sports by Brooks reminded us out in scathing fashion yesterday, is that Bud Selig came out in support of the Marlins suspension of Guillen even though he directly championed the Orioles visit to Cuba in 1999 over objections from the Marlins and Miami community and sat right next to Castro chumming it up during the games there:

      http://sportsbybrooks.com/wrong-guy-apologizing-for-legitimizing-castro-30012

      Pretty blatantly hypocritical seeing that Bud Selig directly gave Castro arguably the best photo op of his entire regime.

      • bullet says:

        When I saw Selig was condemning him in the scrolling notes on ESPN last night I figured it was some sort of racial slur. I was surprised this morning when I read what it was actually about. This does seem like a local thing that Selig should stay out of. Short of admiring Al-Qaeda or Hitler, politics doesn’t seem like something the league should be involved in.

        • Phil says:

          That’s the point. The scale is different, but to Cubans this IS the equivalent of admiring Hitler. Influential liberals in the media and Hollywood may have rehabilitated his image, but Castro’s reign has been marked by the same camps, long prison sentences and executions for political opponents as most historical thugs.

  46. Other Mike says:

    Open question(s) for the forum from a longtime reader, infrequent poster:

    How long do you think the Big Ten waits to expand again, if ever? We waited ~20 years between home-run adds 1 and 2, are we in for 20 more? (To what degree is the conference’s m.o. “Texas/ND or Bust”?) Or could things be expedited with the coming TV negotiations in 2016?

    • frug says:

      Unless their is a massive restructuring of college football as the result of the playoff negotiations (and none of the proposals outlined would be sufficient to cause one) or the Mount-USA merger (and I doubt the NCAA is going to start adding confereence semifianls anytime soon) there is virtually zero chance of the Big 10 expanding prior to the TV negotiations unless it involves ND (Texas would also do it but the Big XII grant of rights makes that impossible).

    • @Other Mike – My personal opinion is that the Big Ten won’t expand without a Notre Dame/Texas-type power involved. The fact that the Big Ten let Missouri go to the SEC without batting an eye indicates that the conference isn’t going to be expanding just for markets. Now, if Rutgers or UConn goes on a 10 or 20-year tear in football and starts winning national championships, then that could change the equation, but that shows how high of a bar there is if a school isn’t already at the king level.

      • zeek says:

        This is especially true now that it’s at 12. I know that expansion wasn’t for the CCG and all of that, but that made it a lot easier to grease the addition of Nebraska (as well as the 11 team schedule of 8 games).

        12 is an extremely stable position to be in…, the bar to go to 14 requires finding 2 schools that can justify it.

        Not anywhere near the position where the Big Ten was before of going to 9 or 10 or 11, when it was just about finding 1 school that fit because after watching the SEC publicly toy with the idea of 13 before moving relatively quickly on 14; I doubt the Big Ten wants any part of that…

      • Other Mike says:

        My personal opinion is that the Big Ten won’t expand without a Notre Dame/Texas-type power involved.

        How long a shot is Oklahoma, in your mind? Are the academics really that big a dealbreaker, or does OkSU force their hand?

        I ask because I’ve long felt they’d be great for conference cohesion, if you’re going to add Texas. By themselves, UT seems a bit of an outlier, if only geographically. But Oklahoma seems a natural link between Nebraska (already a great fit) and Texas, do they not?

        Then again, I seem to recall rumors of the CoP/C putting a limit of two on the number of former Big Xii schools the B1G would be willing to accept.

        • frug says:

          The academics are a dealbreaker regardless of whether they are willing/able to ditch Okie St.

          • Other Mike says:

            Can that be said conclusively? Seems to me if you’re willing to take ND sans AAU membership, you never had an AAU rule to begin with.

          • frug says:

            They made clear that ND was an exception and be willing to bet all the money in my pocket that if UNL’s AAU membership had revoked prior to their acceptance Missouri or Rutgers would currently be in the Big 10.

            I will say that even if the Big 10 were willing to accept Oklahoma academically, they would insist that Okie St. not be part of the package and by all appearances Oklahoma is either unwilling or unable (or both) to ditch the Cowboys.

          • joe4psu says:

            Other Mike,

            There is no AAU rule or a rule that schools must reside in contiguous states. At least there wasn’t when the B1G expansion process began:

            Big Ten looking to add 12th team – Cory Giger, The Altoona Mirror
            http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/525178.html?nav=742

            “There are no restrictions regarding expansion – potential additions are not required to be in the AAU, and they do not have to be in (or adjacent to) the eight Big Ten states,” league spokesman Scott Chipman wrote in an e-mail.

            I don’t recall anything official but after Nebraska was kicked out of the AAU there may have been rumblings and grumblings that the conference didn’t want to be “embarrassed” by any further additions. Lack of AAU membership wouldn’t keep ND out of the conference of course but anyone else may now have to meet that standard.

            So I don’t think there are any rules written in stone but there are elitists. While some may look at a school like OU that is serious about improving it’s academics, many OU people were excited about the Pac-10/12 opportunity for that reason from what I’ve heard, and think “we can help, they can grow into a fine B1G institution”, others look down on them.

          • frug says:

            During the expansion search Jim Delaney stated that while there was no firm rule requiring AAU membership the conference considered universal AAU membership part of its identity. Nebraska’s president also publicly stated that the Nebraska probably would not have received a Big 10 invite without AAU membership.

          • SideshowBob says:

            I don’t think the academics are a dealbreaker (though they would be a singificant negative) but Oklahoma St absolutely is.

            I think that the Big Ten would be willing to take Oklahoma with the right team 14. I have no doubt that they’d take Texas/Oklahoma for 13/14 if that were on the table.

          • joe4psu says:

            frug,

            During the expansion search Jim Delaney stated that while there was no firm rule requiring AAU membership the conference considered universal AAU membership part of its identity. Nebraska’s president also publicly stated that the Nebraska probably would not have received a Big 10 invite without AAU membership.

            More’s the pity. It may be helpful to have schools that aren’t in the business of research to provide a different perspective. And ND may appreciate a little diversity.

          • frug says:

            As much as I think a UT-OU combo would be good for the Big 10, there is no way the conference would go for it. You need 4 votes to block and NW and Michigan would almost certainly oppose it and I think Wisconsin and Illinois would also (Wiscy voted against Nebraska at the AAU and according to reports after the Nebraska/AAU debacle Illinois joined Northwestern and Michigan in telling Jim Delaney not to go after any more borderline academic schools).

          • frug says:

            @joe

            I’m not sure how much of a different perspective Oklahoma would really be. They were recently upgraded to Tier 1 research rank and have (supposedly) set an unofficial goal of AAU membership within 10 years.

            As for other schools? There just are not that many undergraduate focused schools that would be of interest to the Big 10. I suppose Boston College could have some value if they were paired with ND but that’s about it.

          • joe4psu says:

            The B1G’s loss on OU. I think they could be VERY valuable, maybe invaluable, in luring UT. And you’re right about undergrad focused schools. I think that the only other school that is in that category, now, that has even been on the radar is Syracuse. Did they just give up on research or do they have other issues? That’s a strange situation.

          • There are 4 non-AAU private schools that I see having value to the Big Ten in a hypothetical situation: ND, BC, Syracuse and Miami.

            As for Oklahoma, I agree with those that believe that they shouldn’t get nixed right away by the Big Ten on the basis of academics. It’s effectively on the same academic tier as Nebraska and its football value is unquestioned. However, if OU has to take Oklahoma State (and I believe that’s the case), then I can see where that’s a non-starter academically.

          • Mack says:

            As long as T. Boone Pickens is alive, Oklahoma cannot make a move without Oklahoma State. T. Boone has been as generous with Oklahoma politicians as he has with his alma mater.

          • Brian says:

            Other Mike,

            Can that be said conclusively? Seems to me if you’re willing to take ND sans AAU membership, you never had an AAU rule to begin with.

            Yes, it can probably be said conclusively for now after the grumbling from the COP/C about NE. The B10 doesn’t have a carved in stone AAU rule obviously, but they consider being an elite research university part of the character of the conference. ND is an exception because of location, history, the quality of the school, rivalries and their value.

            Only school USNWR rates higher than ND and isn’t AAU: #11 Dartmouth

            ND is #19 and the other 17 above them are AAU. The next schools are #22 Georgetown, #25 WF, #29 Tufts, #30 BC, #33 William and Mary, #38 Lehigh, #38 Miami, #45 Yeshiva and #50 GW.

            So in the top 50, there are only 4 I-A schools that aren’t AAU and all are private (ND, WF, BC, Miami). The B10 would accept any of them academically.

            OU is #101, tied with NE. The presidents don’t really want another NE academically, but that isn’t to call OU a bad school. NE came in as #12 in the B10 academically, and the COPC doesn’t want to continue that trend. If OU is trending up (presidents know these things) and OkSU was out of the picture and OU was tied to UT, then I think the presidents would consider it in a few years. Right now, they don’t want to expand anyway.

            Context:
            NW – 12
            MI – 28
            WI – 42
            IL – 45
            PSU – 45
            OSU – 55
            PU – 62
            MN – 68
            MSU – 71
            IA – 71
            IN – 75
            NE – 101 & not AAU

            Candidates that might fit better:
            VT – 71
            RU – 68 & AAU
            MD – 55 & AAU
            UT – 45 & AAU
            Miami – 38
            BC – 30
            UNC – 29 & AAU
            UVA – 27 & AAU
            Duke – 10 & AAU

          • Brian says:

            joe4psu,

            frug,

            “During the expansion search Jim Delaney stated that while there was no firm rule requiring AAU membership the conference considered universal AAU membership part of its identity. Nebraska’s president also publicly stated that the Nebraska probably would not have received a Big 10 invite without AAU membership.”

            More’s the pity. It may be helpful to have schools that aren’t in the business of research to provide a different perspective. And ND may appreciate a little diversity.

            I don’t understand your view. You think a group of elite research schools should invite a school that isn’t to get a fresh perspective? The whole point is to be a group of like-minded institutions. That’s what keeps the schools on the same page and makes the CIC work best. The B10 wants to be constantly improving their academic reputation, not diluting it.

            That said, I think the NE president was wrong. As AAU members, the B10 schools all knew NE was coming up for a vote. As long time members, I have to believe they knew how the vote was likely to go. But they could use NE’s argument about the separate medical school and the strong agricultural research to justify to themselves the addition.

            One thing I promise is that the B10 isn’t going to invite a lesser academic school in the hopes it entices ND to join. First, I don’t think they let ND influence them that much. Second, why would ND want a lesser school they have no history with? Adding a top school like BC to pair with ND is different, but they wouldn’t invite BC ahead of time and hope ND came later.

          • Brian says:

            joe4psu,

            The B1G’s loss on OU. I think they could be VERY valuable, maybe invaluable, in luring UT.

            You make it sound like taking just OU right now is an option. At best OU comes with UT, and both would have to wait for their rights to return from the B12 to move (2018ish?). There is no way OU comes first and hopes UT follows. I doubt that OU can separate from OkSU, and that’s a dealkiller in the current environment. Maybe if I-A splits and the B10 has to get to 16, but that’s unlikely in the near future.

            And you’re right about undergrad focused schools. I think that the only other school that is in that category, now, that has even been on the radar is Syracuse.

            BC and Miami, too.

          • frug says:

            I thought about Syracuse but the fact that they just lost AAU makes that less likely. It would be one thing if they had always been an undergraduate focused university like ND, but the fact that their research department has basically collapsed (they were the only AAU schools whose research budget actually shrank during the evaluation period) means they will be seen as a school that is simply in decline. They may not be true, but it’s the perception many will have.

            I also toyed with Miami, but I’m hesitant. To begin with, they are completely radioactive until the Shapiro investigation is finished and sanctions (if there are any) are announced. Second is the fact Miami is just a bad cultural fit. They play off campus, have the worst fanbase in major college sports, embrace their “Thug U” image and (most significantly) they are the poster child (and not entirely unfairly) for corruption which is in direct opposition to everything the Big 10 claims to stand for (think Bielema saying the Big 10 didn’t want to anyway embrace SEC recruiting tactics.)

            As for BC, like I said if I squint I could see them in the conference, but as good as their undergrad programs are, their grad programs are just as mediocre. (They are ranked in the 400-450 range in the AARW/Shanghai Express rankings)

          • frug says:

            In quasi-related note, that while Miami isn’t an AAU member they are not as singularly focused ND or BC either. (Their research department is already well ahead of ND and BC and their new president used to be at Wisconsin and pushed for the ACC to start setting up a CIC style academic wing/research consortium.)

            I actually thinks that makes them less appealing to the Big 10 (at least in the short term) since it makes harder for the conference to spin that the school is not an AAU member simply because it is not a priority (and the fact that their undergraduate reputation is weaker than ND and BC won’t help)

          • bullet says:

            I think Miami got embarrassed by their Thug U reputation and is trying to change it. Obviously, they have a ways to go with all the Shapiro stuff. But I think there has been a real effort to clean things up.

            As for OU, they do seem to be making major strides to improve. They also have a former Senator as President, which helps their political influence and getting them taken seriously.

            I wonder what the Big 10 Presidents would think of Syracuse. They seem to be moving away from being a research based university. That doesn’t mean they are in decline, but it means they are looking at a model very different from the Big 10.

          • frug says:

            That said, I think the NE president was wrong. As AAU members, the B10 schools all knew NE was coming up for a vote. As long time members, I have to believe they knew how the vote was likely to go.

            I actually think that the Big Ten CEOs truly believed that Nebraska was going to win that vote which is why Wisconsin and Michigan were willing to vote against their own self interest by voting against Nebraska (Nebraska losing AAU membership hurt the CIC way more that it helped the AAU). Remember, Nebraska was only three votes short meaning if Wisconsin, Michigan and UChicago (we don’t know for sure how they voted but I’m guessing it was against UNL) had reversed their votes UNL would still be in the AAU (and knowing what they know now I suspect those three would change their votes if they could).

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            It’s just a guess on my part, but I think they knew it was a done deal. I think they had a set number of no votes, which freed others up to say yes to not embarrass NE..

    • bullet says:

      I thought it would be hard for any conference to go beyond 12 without a king (i.e. Texas, Notre Dame, FSU or Miami-none of the others are moving). Texas A&M was perhaps the one possibility that might justify it (UCLA too, but they aren’t going anywhere), but I figured that was doubtful.

      But the SEC didn’t even hesitate with A&M. The ACC jumped on PItt and SU. The CUSA/MWC seems to be getting told bigger is better. Also the $ have gotten so big that the ccg is not as big a piece of the pie anymore. So going to 14 is less likely to be dilutive.

      I think the B1G takes a long hard look in 2016. Texas will almost certainly be tied into a TV contract by then and I don’t see Notre Dame giving up independence that quick. So the B1G will explore expansion with ACC or Big East schools, most likely Maryland and Rutgers. They aren’t going to wait for Notre Dame. They will go to 14 if it makes financial sense and stay at 12 if it doesn’t.

      One wildcard is the commissioner. Delany will be retired by the time TV contract renewals come up again.

      • frug says:

        They aren’t going to wait for Notre Dame. They will go to 14 if it makes financial sense and stay at 12 if it doesn’t.

        They could might go to 14 if the money is right, but they won’t past that without ND because the Big 10 will always leave a chair at the table for the Irish (or at least until they join another conference).

    • Brian says:

      Other Mike,

      Open question(s) for the forum from a longtime reader, infrequent poster:

      How long do you think the Big Ten waits to expand again, if ever? We waited ~20 years between home-run adds 1 and 2, are we in for 20 more? (To what degree is the conference’s m.o. “Texas/ND or Bust”?) Or could things be expedited with the coming TV negotiations in 2016?

      Further expansion likely will require some major change in CFB:
      1. ND or TX ask to join
      2. TV money skyrockets and the B10 needs to renegotiate their deal
      3. Some change force superconferences

      I think the B10 is likely set for the upcoming TV deal. Unless the coming playoff forced ND’s hand, no other change is imminent that could drive further expansion that soon. Once the new deal is set, the B10 will stay the same for a long time.

      If I had to guess, the B10 will be at 12 for a very long time.

      • PSUGuy says:

        Personally, I see the future as the very close relationship with the Pac-12 creating a de facto 24 team conference.

        • Pat says:

          @PSUGuy
          I agree, the B1G and PAC-12 will remain at 12 and work even more closely in the future.
          1. Maybe a new bowl game between the two conferences.
          2. I wonder if the B1G will set up their next TV contract to expire at the same time as the PAC so
          the two conferences can negotiate as one, thereby, gaining more leverage with the
          broadcast networks.
          3. Would both conferences consider a formal scheduling alliance with Notre Dame where
          the Irish play maybe 8 games against the two conferences each year in return for some
          support in not getting locked out of a new BCS playoff and for some late season games that
          might ease the scheduling burden in November that is faced by most independents. ND
          would still have 4 random games to schedule Navy and three others, while remaining, for the
          most part, independent. The B1G and PAC would benefit with higher TV ratings by playing 2
          home games each year with ND.

          • Ross says:

            The ND scheduling idea is actually interesting; however, even if ND wanted to do that, how would ND work into the bowl game scenarios? If they go 8-0 against the B1G and Pac-12…shouldn’t they basically be in the Rose Bowl?

          • ccrider55 says:

            Not in the conference? Then not in the Rose Bowl!

          • PSUGuy says:

            Notre Dame already has a “scheduling alliance” with the B1G / PAC…every year they play Michigan, MSU, Purdue, and USC.

          • frug says:

            And Stanford.

            I just don’t see any reason to add ND into the mix. I don’t think one extra home game against the Irish is going to make that big a difference for the TV package (especially considering ND’s recent ratings struggles)

  47. mnfanstc says:

    IMHO… The pro-playoff crowd and the “purist” crowd are not going to be happy no matter what comes out of the FBS (BCS) “leadership” meetings.

    As a long-time sports fan (with primary interest in my home school’s sports), I am ready for real change in Div 1A college football. It is beyond time for the big charade to come to an end, and for Div 1A college football to determine a champion on the field–NOT by opinions or computer programs. (Don’t even try to argue the regular season as “playoffs”). I, like many, am tired of the same old, same old, where the talking heads (particularly on ESPN) continue to push the same teams/conferences day after day, week after week, year after year. Let teams determine their own future on the field…

    There are 11 Div 1A (FBS name goes away due to real playoff now) conferences and an Independents “Group”.

    You have a 16 team bracket. You take the 11 conference champions and 5 wild-cards. To keep some semblance of the “old-school” way, the 5 wild cards would be the 5 highest ranked teams outside of the conference champions (by polls/computer/whatever you want). If one Independent or more is among the Top 16, they are in.

    Seed the bracket via the “old-school” way (by polls/computer/whatever you want).

    Scenario as follows: Playoff format will eliminate the lower tier Toilet Bowls. Can keep higher tier (i.e. Cotton, Cap One…) bowls. Ideally, reduce total bowls to say…16. With 16 team playoff and 16 bowls, a more reasonable number of school’s teams will be rewarded with post-season play. Opportunity exists for play with a true champion determined on the field.

    Round 1– 8 games played at campus of higher seeded school. Could play week after conf championships, or in place of early bowl week in mid-Dec.

    Round 2– next 4 games played at campus of higher seeded school. Play during second bowl week at end of Dec (following Xmas holidays).

    Round 3– semifinals (2 games) rotated semis each year through the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange Bowls on New Year’s Day.

    Round 4– Championship Game played at location bid out a’la the NFL Super Bowl with the game played the week after New Years.

    Perfect… 16 out of 120 is reasonable for playoff, while also rewarding other schools outside the top with bowl opportunities.

    Playoff game schedules can (and will likely need to) be fine-tuned to work around exams/holidays like the current toilet bowls are…

    • ccrider55 says:

      If you don’t argue the regular season as playoffs then you need a 128 team bracket…

      • Brian says:

        Great minds and all that. For proposing a radical new direction for CFB, he seems to have a lot of unnecessary ties to the past in there (polls, bowl, etc).

    • Brian says:

      mnfanstc,

      IMHO… The pro-playoff crowd and the “purist” crowd are not going to be happy no matter what comes out of the FBS (BCS) “leadership” meetings.

      I generally agree, but I’ll make one point here. I think we all tend to oversimplify this topic to purist versus playoff proponents. There are a full spectrum of opinions that we lump into two groups. The “purists” covers everything from reverting to the old bowl system to keeping the BCS to tinkering with the BCS (no AQs, tweake the formula, etc) to a true plus one. The playoff proponents want anything from a 16 team seeded playoff to 12 to 8 to 6 to 4, and they all differ on how many conference champs should get in and other details (dates, locations, etc). With such a diverse set of views, there is no way to please everyone.

      Another factor many forget is that the “purists” often support starting a minor league football system that can have all the things that playoff proponents want to corrupt CFB with. They just don’t want it in CFB.

      As a long-time sports fan (with primary interest in my home school’s sports), I am ready for real change in Div 1A college football. It is beyond time for the big charade to come to an end, and for Div 1A college football to determine a champion on the field–NOT by opinions or computer programs.

      I see/hear this argument so damn often. What does it actually mean? How will a larger playoff determine the champ “on the field” any more than the BCS does? Won’t some combination of polls still be used to pick the participants and seed them? That’s what the BCS does. Won’t the selected teams play until 1 team is left? That’s what the BCS does. Please explain the logic that the playoff system will follow the same approach as the BCS but just with more teams and suddenly the BCS formula will perfectly pick the top X teams and seed them correctly when nobody seems to trust the BCS formula to distinguish #2 from #3.

      If the answer is to use a human committee to fix the BCS formula issues, why does that not apply to the BCS as well? Which brings us back to why only having 4 or more teams determines the champ “on the field” while 2 teams doesn’t count. Did the World Series and Super Bowl fail back before they added extra rounds of playoffs?

      (Don’t even try to argue the regular season as “playoffs”). I, like many, am tired of the same old, same old, where the talking heads (particularly on ESPN) continue to push the same teams/conferences day after day, week after week, year after year. Let teams determine their own future on the field…

      Unlike a team winning enough games to make the top 2 and then win the NCG, you mean? Apparently that isn’t determining their future on the field.

      The best answer to what you’re describing would be a pure double elimination tournament with 128 slots. Play 6 weeks to determine seeding, have a bye week, then play an 8 week tournament (they may want a break before the final 4) with the top 8 getting a bye in round 1. No polls have any outcome beyond seeding, and you could just draw randomly instead. Lose twice and you’re done, so the whole thing is on the teams.

      There are 11 Div 1A (FBS name goes away due to real playoff now) conferences and an Independents “Group”.

      You have a 16 team bracket. You take the 11 conference champions and 5 wild-cards. To keep some semblance of the “old-school” way, the 5 wild cards would be the 5 highest ranked teams outside of the conference champions (by polls/computer/whatever you want). If one Independent or more is among the Top 16, they are in.

      Since you hate the “old school” way so much, why use it here?

      Seed the bracket via the “old-school” way (by polls/computer/whatever you want).

      Since you hate the “old school” way so much, why use it here?

      Scenario as follows: Playoff format will eliminate the lower tier Toilet Bowls. Can keep higher tier (i.e. Cotton, Cap One…) bowls. Ideally, reduce total bowls to say…16. With 16 team playoff and 16 bowls, a more reasonable number of school’s teams will be rewarded with post-season play. Opportunity exists for play with a true champion determined on the field.

      Round 1– 8 games played at campus of higher seeded school. Could play week after conf championships, or in place of early bowl week in mid-Dec.

      Round 2– next 4 games played at campus of higher seeded school. Play during second bowl week at end of Dec (following Xmas holidays).

      Round 3– semifinals (2 games) rotated semis each year through the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange Bowls on New Year’s Day.

      Round 4– Championship Game played at location bid out a’la the NFL Super Bowl with the game played the week after New Years.

      Perfect… 16 out of 120 is reasonable for playoff, while also rewarding other schools outside the top with bowl opportunities.

      Playoff game schedules can (and will likely need to) be fine-tuned to work around exams/holidays like the current toilet bowls are…

      You keep trying to use the “old school” to accomplish your new system. If you want something new, then drop the old stuff. Why use the bowls at all? Do you really think that is going to appease anybody?

      And please notice that even plenty of playoff proponents have decried 16 as much too large and having a very negative impact on the regular season.

      • bullet says:

        As you say Brian, there is a spectrum. I prefer less than 16. If you have all 11 champs and 5 wildcards, IMO it doesn’t harm the regular season, but definitely waters down the playoffs. Most years, the Sun Belt and MAC champs have no business being there. My preference if it were 16 would be the top 8 champs and 8 wildcards. That would produce a pretty good playoff group. However, IMO it would have an impact on the regular season as you would regularly have 3 loss teams still getting in the playoffs.. I don’t think it would be significant, but there would be some negative impact.

        Even if you prefer larger numbers, there is a strong argument for stopping at 8 now (the same argument applies to stopping at 4 now) in that you are going into uncharted territory. You could see the impact of 8 (or 4) before moving to a higher number.

        • “most years” the lower champs don’t deserve a shot!?!? How about never? Major CFB is a different animal than other sports and even other levels of minor CFB. You CANNOT provide “equal” access to every team of the 120. The teams aren’t all equal, and it cannot be done. Nor should it.

          If the Sun Belt champ goes undefeated and upset the 2-3 SEC/ACC opponents on its schedule, they have a chance to earn the at-large bid (in a 4 or 6 team playoff). You don’t need to create a hideously monstrous system of 16 and insure every season’s 10-3 Sun Belt champ gets a fair shot at a national title.

          • bullet says:

            I don’t think a Sun Belt team has ever justified a shot yet, but that Miami team with Ben R. in 2003 was pretty good. I believe they only lost at Michigan (if my memory is correct then their only loss was to the #4 team in the country). The Marshall team with Randy Moss was pretty good. They were unbeaten in 1999. Both were top 12 in the BCS.

          • greg says:

            bullet, Miami(OH)’s only loss in 2003 was their opener at Iowa, losing 21-3. Iowa finished 9-3 that year and 8th in the country.

            Brady Hoke’s 2008 Ball State team had an undefeated regular season, peaking at a #12 ranking, before losing the MAC title game to Buffalo(!) and the GMAC Bowl to Tulsa.

          • bullet says:

            Thanks greg. I knew it was a solid Big 10 team.

          • Brian says:

            Bullet,

            To further your point, Boise State was just the WAC champion when they won the Fiesta Bowl over OU. That was a lower champ that deserved a shot. Utah was just the MWC champ when they whipped AL in the Sugar Bowl. They deserved a shot. You should never say in advance that certain teams have no chance.

          • mnfanstc says:

            If “equality”, or more accurately, “inequality”, is an issue (and to a degree, it is), then the big boys (the haves) should do what likely is inevitable—break off the big 64, creating 4- 16 team conferences with championship determined on the field with bracket of 4. I think SI’s Mandel might have written an article about doing precisely this (during initial B1G expansion fun)… I think I recall other articles about same thing (Big 64) in other places as well (i.e. Sporting News…)… Think Frank might even have had a piece regarding this back when BigTen was courting…

          • zeek says:

            The reason why that’s not inevitable though is because the “big boys” all have different wants and needs.

            Texas could be a part of a 16 team conference, but they’ve indicated clearly that they want their own area and their own local platform at this moment in time. Even the prez indicated that he liked the more localized 10-12 team models and was less inclined towards the 14-16 school models that are geographically centered around other regions with the “Texas group” as an add on…

            Notre Dame is even farther from the concept than Texas.

            The Big Ten and Pac-12 aren’t going to go to 16 without those schools, and I’m not sure the SEC wants to go to 16 if they want to stay with the more traditional setup with only 8 games.

            I could see the ACC or Big East at 16 more easily, but again, the conference format becomes somewhat unwieldy there.

            The past couple of years have shown more than anything that there’s going to be a variety of models in play based on where the different groups of schools have their needs…

  48. Brian says:

    http://www.ecu.edu/news/stateofuniversity.cfm

    As Frank tweeted, the ECU chancellor said the MWCUSA will have 4 divisions (see link to transcript in my link). We would have heard if the NCAA had changed any rules to allow semifinals, so I’m curious what they are planning. Are they going with rotating pods or standard divisions or something else?

    Current teams (pending known moves):

    CUSA East – ECU, Marshall, UAB, USM
    CUSA West – Tulane, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP
    MWC Mtn – USAF, CSU, WY, NM
    MWC West – UNLV, NV, Fresno St, HI

    It sure seems like they should just have 8 team divisions instead unless they expand a lot. The two middle pods might like to play each other but I doubt ECU is looking forward to playing NV and vice versa.

    • bullet says:

      I wonder if ECU is just putting pressure on to get more eastern teams. They are talking move-ups like Appalachian St. and UNC-Charlotte which the rest don’t seem to have much interest in. It seems like San Jose, Utah St., North Texas, Louisiana Tech and FIU have been getting the most mentions, along with UTSA who is already committed to moving up. I’ve read that all of those have had campus visits.

      It may be that they are staying two conferences for now and looking for 12 in each half so they can have two ccgs. They really have to figure out their structure 1st. Completely dissolving both apparently gives up too much in exit fees and NCAA tourney revenue (to Memphis mainly). So do they merge into CUSA or do they just do an alliance for now? If they merge into CUSA, they probably don’t go beyond 20.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        In hindsight, I wonder if App State failed to strike while the iron was hot. Maybe if ASU’s intentions to move up were announced within a year or two of the Michigan game (’07) instead of waiting until 2011, things may have been different.

        Instead, the freaking Sun Belt is passing over a team with perhaps the most famous upset in college football history and three FCS national titles (and draws over 30,000 fans for games against the likes of Furman, Elon, and NC Central; imagine the crowds for real competition!) in favor of a school that has never even played a down of football, it’s pretty depressing.

        About a year ago, I had pictured ASU simply replacing UCF, who I figured would join TCU to become the Big East’s 10th football member/18th overall, and that would be that. That idea was a longshot, sure, but I figured ASU was as attractive as any team in the Sun Belt but drew better crowds and more of a history of winning than anyone in that league, which gave them an edge. The MWCUSA idea hadn’t even materialized yet.

        Then the next thing you know, A&M and Mizzou left the Big 12, three Big East teams left, 1/3rd of C-USA left, and C-USA decided to semi-merge with the MWC rather than try to replace everyone with 1-AA teams like App or Sun Belt teams.

        I guess I understand how ECU fans feel. If App State were in Charlotte instead of Boone, they’d be a shoo-in for C-USA; if ECU was in Raleigh instead of Greenville, they’d already be in the Big East.

        • Brian says:

          Michael in Raleigh,

          In hindsight, I wonder if App State failed to strike while the iron was hot. Maybe if ASU’s intentions to move up were announced within a year or two of the Michigan game (’07) instead of waiting until 2011, things may have been different.

          Instead, the freaking Sun Belt is passing over a team with perhaps the most famous upset in college football history and three FCS national titles (and draws over 30,000 fans for games against the likes of Furman, Elon, and NC Central; imagine the crowds for real competition!) in favor of a school that has never even played a down of football, it’s pretty depressing.

          You follow this more closely than I do, so let me ask:

          Wasn’t ApSU looking to jump straight to CUSA, and didn’t want the Sun Belt? Is it possible they told the SB “no thanks” when approached so the SB moved on? Is it possible the SB heard the talk about skipping over the SB to jump to CUSA and decided they didn’t want a member who blatantly didn’t want to be there? Or was that more the attitude of the fans than the school?

          About a year ago, I had pictured ASU simply replacing UCF, who I figured would join TCU to become the Big East’s 10th football member/18th overall, and that would be that. That idea was a longshot, sure, but I figured ASU was as attractive as any team in the Sun Belt but drew better crowds and more of a history of winning than anyone in that league, which gave them an edge. The MWCUSA idea hadn’t even materialized yet.

          As I think I said at the time, I never unedrstaood why you thought that. The history of winning in I-AA doesn’t mean a ton to the I-A conferences looking to add I-AA members. They’re really looking for markets and stability, and ApSU offers neither. Clearly CUSA would rather have a I-A tested school than add a I-AA. That is, in part, a way to indicate they are better than the conferences that will add a I-AA.

          I guess I understand how ECU fans feel. If App State were in Charlotte instead of Boone, they’d be a shoo-in for C-USA; if ECU was in Raleigh instead of Greenville, they’d already be in the Big East.

          I disagree with you about ApSU. I think the I-AA label prevents CUSA from adding them. The Sun Belt would have asked them a while ago if they were in Charlotte, though, and after a couple of years in the SB then CUSA might start sniffing around.

  49. Brian says:

    http://bcftoys.blogspot.com/2010/03/20-year-ap-top-25-trends.html

    A statistical look at how I-A and scheduling has changed since 1989. I-A has grown from 106 to 120 teams. Independents have dropped from 25 to 3. The number of games between teams that ended the year in the AP top 25 has stayed about constant, which is a shame with the move to 12 games. More of those games are conference games now due to expansion bringing the independents into conferences. So if you’ve felt like you’re seeing fewer elite OOC games, you are. But, it’s not all because teams are afarid to schedule hard anymore. It is a shame that the 12th game has added absolutely no top 25 games but it isn’t surprising. I’m curious to see what the latest expansion and move to 9 conference games plus the B10/P12 deal do to the numbers.

    The drop in independents:
    1989 – 25
    1991 – 19
    1993 – 11
    1999 – 7
    2003 – 4

    • bullet says:

      That drop in indies, helped spur the drive for a playoff of some sort. In the 80s, Notre Dame, Penn St., FSU and Miami were powers and independents. It allowed a lot of #1 vs. #2 matchups during that decade in the bowls. There were still years like 83 when UNL and UT were #1 and #2 all season and committed to different bowls. Both sleep-walked through their bowl game and lost by 1. But there were a lot of years the tops teams met. Then with more in conferences, you started getting more split titles in the 90s and more times when the top teams couldn’t meet.

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        Pre-BCS, these are the #1 vs #2 bowl games (year is the season):
        1995 Fiesta – NE/FL
        1993 Orange – FSU/NE
        1992 Sugar – AL/Miami
        1987 Orange – OU/Miami
        1986 Fiesta – Miami/PSU
        1982 Sugar – GA/PSU
        1978 Sugar – PSU/AL
        1971 Orange – NE/AL
        1968 Rose – OSU/USC
        1963 Cotton – TX/Navy
        1962 Rose – USC/WI

        That’s 11 total games, only 5 of which involved an independent.

        I don’t disagree that the loss of indies was a factor, but the number of #1 vs #2 games is always overblown. That was the bigger factor, the number of split titles.

        • frug says:

          Worth noting that ’92, ’93 and ’95 took place during the bowl coalition which was created to do the same the BCS eventually did (create #1 vs. #2)

          That means 5 of 8 for the pre-coalition/allaiance/bcs days.

          • Brian says:

            Good point. That’s also 8 games in 30 years, or a not so common occurrence. It’s even rarer if you remember that there have been annual bowls since 1916 (5 since the 30s, 8 since they 60s).
            The only independents involved in a 1/2 game were Navy in the 60s, PSU in the late 70s and 80s, and Miami in the 80s. The lack of independents wasn’t a factor. The split titles in 1990 and 1991 were the big drive for a 1/2 game.

  50. duffman says:

    Basketball is back where it belongs!

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7801992/indiana-hoosiers-lead-revised-top-25-plenty-changes-elsewhere

    from ESPN

    # 1 Indiana
    # 2 Louisville
    # 3 Kentucky
    # 5 Michigan
    # 8 Ohio State
    #10 Michigan State

    Tobacco Road not in the Top 10
    #11 North Carolina
    #15 Duke

    Other B1G schools in the early Top 25
    #22 Wisconsin
    #24 Minnesota

    • BoilerTex says:

      I for one welcome our new Hoosier overlords.

      • duffman says:

        Purdue is not exactly chopped liver there Tex!

        • Mushroomgod says:

          Purdue will suck next year. By 2013-14 they’ll be decent again, as the ’12 and ’13 classes are both solid.

          • Mushroomgod says:

            In the meantime, IU will have put up banner #6.

          • duffman says:

            shroom, where have you been?

            The discussion of Cody jumping even coming up is what blows me away in modern college basketball. No one is immune from the “one and done” disease, and it certainly is not helping the sport at the college level. As you pointed out, and Tex glossed over, PU is not exactly looking at a cupboard bare! UK has shown “one and done” can win it all, but the math still favors the multi year teams with upperclassmen.

          • bullet says:

            @Duffman
            I was pretty sure that John Wall team was too inexperienced to win it all. It had the talent, but fell short in the regionals vs. WVU. More experience could have gotten UK past a hot UConn team last year. This year’s team was just so much better than everyone else. And they will lose their top 6 players. And they only played 7 heavily. It will be a very green team next year.

  51. Michael in Raleigh says:

    The way I would like go see the playoff set up is for the top three conference champions (as determined by a transparent selection proces, like the NCAA tournament has done as of late) to receive bids. A fourth team, also determined by a transparent committee,would be the “best” among the independents and teams that did not win their confrence. Teams which did not win their conference could only be seeded third or fourth, but independents could be 1, 2, 3, or 4. Top two seeds would host a first round game in early December. Championship game would be January 2. Semifinal losers wouowl game or not. January 1 bowl games would return with the Sugar at 11 AM ET, Fiesta or Cotton at 2, Rose at 5, and Orange at 8:30.

    Notre Dame wouldn’t have much to complain about in this format. Neither would the SEC, except that it wouldn’t have two teams able to host semifinals. The Big Ten and Pac-12 should be all right with this; chances are pretty good that in any given year at least on league’s champ would be in the Rose Bowl, which is no worse than what we’ve had for the past 15 years, anyway.

    In recent years, this would have been the setup:

    2011

    Oregon at LSU
    Alabama at Oklahoma State

    2010

    Stanford (or Wisconsin, depending on thetee’s choice) at Auburn
    TC

    2009

    Cincinnati at Alabama
    TCU at Texas

    2008

    • I can live with this, Michael. but my skepticism remains over whether the five major conferences would sign off on a system where their champs could be left out of the equation (either by a poll or by a committee). That’s a LOT of money and exposure to give up on by agreeing to a system that excludes major conference champs.

      • bullet says:

        That’s why, while I think a 4 team playoff is the most likely option to be selected, an 8 team playoff is still remotely possible this go round.

    • Kevin says:

      Michael, Could the 4th team also be a conference champion but deserving of that 4th seed? ie. like a Big East champion?

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Yeah. Sorry, I was typing that post on my phone and it got a little messed up. I’ll try to clarify.

        The fourth team would either be the top “wildcard” (i.e., not a conference champion), the top independent, or the “fourth best” team in the country to win a conference championship.

        I could indeed see the five major conferences agreeing to this. As it is, most leagues except for the SEC are left out of the [two-team] playoff[s] in any given year, anyway. No ACC team has made the national title game since the 2000 season. No Big East team since the 2002 season. No Big Ten team since the 2007 season. So, while the “Big Five” conferences would be left out of a four-team playoff in most seasons, it would be a lot less often than in the two-team playoff system that’s currently in place.

        Eight teams is just entirely too radical of a change. Conference realignment may change quickly, but postseason formats change at a glacial pace, especially in college sports. It took until 1992 to come up with the Bowl Coalition, which finally allowed conferences the opportunity to deliberately set up a #1 vs. #2 national title game, rather than the haphazard way those games were set up in the many decades beforehand. It took six more years to get the Big Ten and Pac-10 on board, creating the BCS and legitimizing the #1 vs. #2 arrangement. But it’s been another 16 years since then, most years with calls for a multi-round playoff. Jumping to 8 teams from 2, when even 2 teams were too much to ask for a generation ago, is just not going to happen.

        The other part of my idea is to reinforce the prestige of the bowls by putting all of the best games back on January 1. Sugar Bowl followed by Cotton/Fiesta followed by Rose followed by Orange, all leading into the national championship game on January 2. Maybe one of those games would serve as the national title game for Jan. 2, maybe not. But I do think that viewership would improve by consolidating the games back to January 1, and it would help with attendance, too, since more fans are able to get off from work around Jan. 1 than later in the week.

        Why a committee to pick the four teams? For transparency. The computers use secret formulas and aren’t held accountable for the way they may vault one team into the national title game over another. The polls, especially the Coaches’ poll, have blatant bias affecting schools’ chances of winning a national title, and there is almost zero accountability for it. With the NCAA tournament, on the other hand, there’s been so much transparency over the past few years that almost anyone can respect the process of how members come to their decisions of who gets in and who doesn’t, and how the bracket is arranged, even if not everyone agrees with the result.

        • Brian says:

          Michael in Raleigh,

          The fourth team would either be the top “wildcard” (i.e., not a conference champion), the top independent, or the “fourth best” team in the country to win a conference championship.

          I could indeed see the five major conferences agreeing to this. As it is, most leagues except for the SEC are left out of the [two-team] playoff[s] in any given year, anyway. No ACC team has made the national title game since the 2000 season. No Big East team since the 2002 season. No Big Ten team since the 2007 season. So, while the “Big Five” conferences would be left out of a four-team playoff in most seasons, it would be a lot less often than in the two-team playoff system that’s currently in place.

          Conferences that have been missing the NCG a lot now will be happy to let the SEC take 2 spots every year so there are 2 spots left rather than just 1 (and get it rubbed in their faces every year that your champ can’t even get in over a runner up in another league)? I’m not so sure about that. Only the B12 and SEC should consider that a decent outcome.

          Conference realignment may change quickly, but postseason formats change at a glacial pace, especially in college sports. It took until 1992 to come up with the Bowl Coalition, which finally allowed conferences the opportunity to deliberately set up a #1 vs. #2 national title game, rather than the haphazard way those games were set up in the many decades beforehand.

          I don’t like your phrasing there. You make it sound like CFB always wanted a playoff and it took a long time to get one. There wasn’t a BC or BA or BCS earlier because it wasn’t wanted. I also object to “haphazard” since it is a completely inaccurate description. The conferences had the bowls set up systematically in the way they wanted. The SEC played in New Orleans, the SWC in Dallas, the P10 in LA, the B10 in LA and the Big 8 in Miami. Independents and runners up filled in the other slots to provide interesting OOC match-ups.

          It took six more years to get the Big Ten and Pac-10 on board, creating the BCS and legitimizing the #1 vs. #2 arrangement.

          If the BCS was legitimized, there wouldn’t be a push to expand theplayoff.

          But it’s been another 16 years since then, most years with calls for a multi-round playoff.

          That’s not true. There were not persistent, non-fringe calls for an expanded playoff until recently. The mainstream complaints were about fixing the formula for quite a while.

          The other part of my idea is to reinforce the prestige of the bowls by putting all of the best games back on January 1. Sugar Bowl followed by Cotton/Fiesta followed by Rose followed by Orange, all leading into the national championship game on January 2. Maybe one of those games would serve as the national title game for Jan. 2, maybe not. But I do think that viewership would improve by consolidating the games back to January 1, and it would help with attendance, too, since more fans are able to get off from work around Jan. 1 than later in the week.

          That’s all good. It would certainly be great to see all the major bowls on 1/1 again. But why not follow the B10′s brilliant plan and play all the games at the same time so nobody can possibly watch all of them?

          Why a committee to pick the four teams? For transparency. The computers use secret formulas and aren’t held accountable for the way they may vault one team into the national title game over another. The polls, especially the Coaches’ poll, have blatant bias affecting schools’ chances of winning a national title, and there is almost zero accountability for it. With the NCAA tournament, on the other hand, there’s been so much transparency over the past few years that almost anyone can respect the process of how members come to their decisions of who gets in and who doesn’t, and how the bracket is arranged, even if not everyone agrees with the result.

          I’m with you on the downside of the human polls and the current computer polls. I don’t buy your transparency argument for a committee, though. Knowing what data they use and what result they came up with doesn’t tell me much at all. The issue is why did you pick A over B and the committee rarely gives satisfying answers. They’ll quote a supporting stat or two, but not explain how the committee came to decide that factor A is more important than factor B. More annoying is that the committee changes their preferences every year so teams don’t know in advance what they “should” do. Also, MBB is much better suited to that approach because they have so many more games and so many more slots to fill.

          The impact of biases is much stronger in picking the top few in CFB. There aren’t enough games to really know how good each team is or how conferences compare. Picking a top four correctly is near-impossible and the committee will probably get death threats from upset fans. Not only do they need to pick a top 4, they also have to seed them correctly. Unlike in hoops, the seeding is hugely important for a 4 team playoff with home semifinals.

          That’s why I’ve advocated for using objective criteria to narrow the pool. The best way to do that is to use conference champs and independents only. But assuming you insist on a wildcard, you need a new and improved version of the BCS system. A committee can replace the human polls easily enough, but there is still a need for objective input from computers. A range of validated computer rankings (the exact formula can be a proprietary secret as long as a reputable source has verified the code, but the input data and general methodology must be public) should be used. Each methodology should be scrutinized by appropriate statisticians and/or mathematicians for validity as well as the code being checked for errors or bias. What I wouldn’t do is use the 2/3 human, 1/3 computers formula. Give the computer output to the public and the committee, and let the committee factor in outside factors to make a decision. You could have the computers narrow the pool (EX. the computers pick the top 4 champs and the people then pick the top 3, and the computers narrow it to 4 teams for the wildcard and the people pick 1) and help with seeding to reduce the bias while allowing humans to factor in the unquantifiable.

          • bullet says:

            The reason they use 6 computer polls is that they don’t have enough data to generate a valid computer poll. They hope with 6 that it offsets the errors in the individual polls. I doubt that is statistically valid. The randomness from having a sample size of only 12 games is too high. With basketball you’ve got over the 21 game minimum to get something valid in the computer polls. I don’t think a statistically invalid computer poll (which with only 12 games all of them are) should be part of the system. I prefer the basketball system where they use their computer system (the RPI) as a tool, not as a determining factor.

            The bowl system was VERY haphazard. Maybe the Rose and Cotton were setup the way the Big 10, Pac 8/10 and SWC wanted them, but the rest was a mess with backroom deals in October and teams going whereever they could find a place.

            And unless you consider the early 90s recent, the cries for a playoff are not recent. The NCAA established a committee then and it was expected they would start a playoff. Then a Free Shoes U. player stood up and said the players should be paid. The next day the SEC voted unanimously to oppose a playoff and the movement died. Maybe in the 70s when there were 25 teams in the basketball tourney (and only conference champs and independents), 4 teams in Division III playoffs for a couple hundred schools, no wildcards in pro baseball or football, and a handful of bowls, there wasn’t much discussion. But during the 80s it wasn’t just fringe. And by the early 90s it was pretty strong.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            The reason they use 6 computer polls is that they don’t have enough data to generate a valid computer poll. They hope with 6 that it offsets the errors in the individual polls.

            That’s part of it, although they self-limited the polls too. Another part is that they specifically chose models that use very different methodology since they didn’t have the expertise to prefer one type. The current models are all over the place in approach, and that’s a good thing. Some are predictive, some aren’t. Some use lots of info, some don’t.

            One common complaint from experts in the field is that some of the approaches try to use statistical techniques but don’t do it correctly. That’s what I mean by getting the method validated. You may not agree with someone else’s model, but it should be mathematically valid and not use inappropriate techniques (no stats methods based on large data sets when you only have 12 games, etc)

            I doubt that is statistically valid. The randomness from having a sample size of only 12 games is too high. With basketball you’ve got over the 21 game minimum to get something valid in the computer polls. I don’t think a statistically invalid computer poll (which with only 12 games all of them are) should be part of the system. I prefer the basketball system where they use their computer system (the RPI) as a tool, not as a determining factor.

            Using it as a tool is mostly what I want, but I ‘d use it to cull the field solely because it’s the only way that lacks intentional bias. Let the computers tell us if Boise or Houston or another non-AQ deserves to be considered, and then let humans make the final decisions. Computers are better are fairly evaluating data, so the key is to get good computer systems. It’s not like they can’t afford to pay some people to make good models.

            Humans are not able to objectively compare Boise to Oklahoma or Utah to Alabama. They just aren’t, so they need unbiased help making a rough cut. After that, let the people make the decisions.

            The bowl system was VERY haphazard. Maybe the Rose and Cotton were setup the way the Big 10, Pac 8/10 and SWC wanted them, but the rest was a mess with backroom deals in October and teams going whereever they could find a place.

            For the other teams in the major bowls, yes, but that was how the major conferences wanted it. Thus, I don’t consider it haphazard. It got out of control when offers started coming in October, but it was designed by TPTB at the time. The newer bowls are much more haphazard as conference ties keep shifting.

            And unless you consider the early 90s recent, the cries for a playoff are not recent. The NCAA established a committee then and it was expected they would start a playoff. Then a Free Shoes U. player stood up and said the players should be paid. The next day the SEC voted unanimously to oppose a playoff and the movement died.

            It’s a question of magnitude. At no time in the 90s did I believe a playoff was the preference of the majority or likely to come about. Just because it gets studied or a few people ask for it isn’t the same as the current groundswell of support. They are qualititatively different.

            Maybe in the 70s when there were 25 teams in the basketball tourney (and only conference champs and independents), 4 teams in Division III playoffs for a couple hundred schools, no wildcards in pro baseball or football, and a handful of bowls, there wasn’t much discussion. But during the 80s it wasn’t just fringe. And by the early 90s it was pretty strong.

            Yes it was fringe in the 80s and no it wasn’t that strong in the 90s. Maybe it had pockets of support and you were in one, but that was not the national tone of the discussion like it is now.

          • Actually the models are NOT all over the place. Other than Billingsley (whose methodology is pretty wacky) the other five tend to correlate pretty strongly. Which isn’t surprising, given the substantial restrictions on what kind of data they can and cannot consider. If anything, they really could use a lot more variation between the models.

            On the flipside, of course, human polls are just as, and perhaps even more, random, biased and error-prone than the computer models.

          • Brian says:

            Matthew Smith,

            Actually the models are NOT all over the place. Other than Billingsley (whose methodology is pretty wacky) the other five tend to correlate pretty strongly. Which isn’t surprising, given the substantial restrictions on what kind of data they can and cannot consider. If anything, they really could use a lot more variation between the models.

            Their results are similar, but they don’t all get there the same way. All 6 are different in that respect. There may be an even wider range of models out there to consider, though. Maybe they should incorporate a more stats driven one too (like FEI). If all 6 converge on an answer by the end of the season, maybe they are getting a correct result.

            On the flipside, of course, human polls are just as, and perhaps even more, random, biased and error-prone than the computer models.

            I’d say the humans are more random (from people voting to make a point to coaches bumping up a former job or conference mate) and obviously more biased.

          • The issue w/ the computer models is that by so heavily restricting what the models can consider, the end results are almost inevitably very similar (except for Billingsley of course). If all you can see is W/L and who you played, then there just isn’t all that much room for variation. It’s when you start balancing that out with impact of HFA, impact of margin, weighing of recent games more than older ones, actual game statistics (such as the FO models) etc. that you start seeing meaningful differences that actually represent competing philosophies of how to rate teams as opposed to just a slightly different math formula.

          • Brian says:

            Matthew,

            I’m all for adding that type of diversity to the models as well. I was just pointing out that the current models actually vary in their mathematical approaches.

            I thought they only strictly forbade using MOV for the models, but they chose models that weren’t driven by other stats. Maybe not.

        • Another “caveat” the Big 5 could implement is to force any “wild card” to be ranked No. 3 or higher. It would make a lower-ranked “big 5 conference” champ get into the 4-team playoff more easily.
          In 2008, Pac-12 champ USC would have eclipsed No. 4 Alabama.
          In 2009, the big boys could have elbowed TCU out with this format (allowing Pac-12 champ and No. 7 Oregon in the playoff).
          in 2010, No. 5 Wisconsin could take No. 4 Stanford’s (the second Pac-12 team) spot.

  52. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/60597/no-turning-back-for-spurrier-gamecocks

    Any GA fans read this interview with Spurrier?

    His thoughts on the Georgia-South Carolina game moving from the second week of the season to the sixth week in 2012.

    “I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”

    • bullet says:

      He’s always bad-mouthing Georgia. He bad-mouthed Coach Goff and ran up the score whenever he had the chance. In the game at Athens when they had construction at Jacksonville, he was passing in the final minute and scored to win something like 52-17.

      When he was QB at Florida on his way to the Heisman, Florida was top 10 and unbeaten and UGA beat them and he’s never been able to get that out of his craw. He just hates Georgia and the feeling is mutual.

      • Brian says:

        That was always his MO at UF, but he didn’t have much room to talk at SC until recently. I just wondered if his critique resonated or not. I know UGA has several players suspended this year, but has that really been a regular thing for UGA lately? I figured you would know. I don’t follow UGA that closely.

        • bullet says:

          UGA had about a dozen players arrested last year. Nothing atypical for college students (maybe there was one that was a fight-but the rest were typical-just a large # of them). Things like DUI, not paying parking tickets. Nothing like the 3 Tennessee players who got arrested for armed robbery. They had a rash of idiots who drove without a license. I think they had 4 different players get arrested for that within 12 months. They have had a number of players suspended. UGA has one of the toughest drug testing policies in the country. There was an article in the AJC 2 or 3 days ago (a followup on the drug testing in the SEC article that I posted following that Meyer article) saying that UGA and UK were among only about 6 schools in the nation so strict.

          Richt is a good very devout man. He will help the players, but he’s not going to tolerate repeated problems. They played the Coastal Carolina game last year with 2 walk-ons at running back. 2 running backs were injured and 2 were suspended. The next game they only had 1 scholarship running back and he wasn’t at 100%. I believe one of those suspended is now playing for LSU. They’ve kicked probable starters off the team who just kept getting into trouble, including a QB and RB who would probably be starting this year (and maybe last year as well).

          So, they’ve had a lot of suspensions. They’ve made some bad choices in recruiting. But part is that they don’t tolerate things that other schools will (no excuse for the arrests, but definitely a factor in the suspensions).

          • Brian says:

            OK. I just couldn’t remember back beyond last year whether this was actually a trend or not. Spurrier always liked to get his licks in (“You can’t spell Citrus without UT” is a classic).

            Winning the game is always the best revenge. Take it from an OSU fan that endured the Cooper years and all the smack talk from up north.

          • bullet says:

            Now this is what you don’t want to see. 4 members of Auburn’s MNC team have been accused of robbery. The first of the 4 to go on trial was found guilty yesterday.
            http://www.ajc.com/sports/ex-auburn-player-convicted-1416011.html

  53. Carl says:

    We are …

  54. Penn State Danny says:

    Since Rutgers is the only remaining member of the original Big East (aside from the recent return of Temple), does that make Rutgers more ripe to picked off by one of the Big 5 conferences?

    That way all of the original “founders” of the BCS would be taken care of. My hunch is that the Big 12 does indeed take Louisville and Rutgers.

    Following this speculation, BYU remains an independent and the BE may yet fold in to MWCUSA.

    We shall see…

    • bullet says:

      One interesting point is that only Rice from the old SWC isn’t in one of the 6 current AQ conferences. TCU got in the Big 12 this year and SMU and UH got into the Big East (even if its only 1 year of AQ status).

    • Andy says:

      I wonder how they’d split the divisions?

      East

      Rutgers
      West Virginia
      Louisville
      Iowa State
      Kansas
      Kansas State

      West

      Oklahoma
      Oklahoma State
      Texas
      Texas Tech
      Baylor
      TCU

      Doesn’t seem very balanced. But I can’t really see any better way to do it.

      And if you replace Rutgers with BYU, I’m not sure how you do that either. You can’t have BYU and WVU in the same division, can you? So maybe move TCU to the East?

      • Read The D says:

        Rutgers is a fit only in that it is a state school and they supposedly deliver a market.

        The more I think about it I would think Memphis is a better fit with that group: Decent market, makes regional sense, has potential to improve, well funded, bowl tie in, rivalry with Louisville.

        Rutgers brings no interesting value. I think Memphis could offset the fact that nobody cares about their football with their basketball tradition. A conference with Kansas, Louisville, Memphis, and West Virginia is attractive. I would prefer UConn to Rutgers.

      • Read The D says:

        To add, Big 12 should make the biggest push possible for a Pittsburgh-Maryland combo. Both are rivals with West Virginia, which could stabilize your eastern wing. Maryland needs money. Could also increase Big 12′s attractiveness to Notre Dame if their hand is ever forced into joining a conference.

      • Eric says:

        No real good way for the divsions at all. I don’t think you’ll end up with all both superpowers and all the Texas schools in one division though. That would give us one division that is geography ideal, holds all the recruiting advantages, and the biggest names. I think they either split Texas and Oklahoma or split up the Texas schools somehow or both (I’m guessing the compromise is just one though and probably spliting the Texas schools).

      • frug says:

        (Protected crossovers are listed side)

        If Baylor demands an annual game with UT
        This Division That Division
        Texas Oklahoma
        Texas Tech Oklahoma St.
        Baylor TCU
        K-State Kansas
        West Virginia Louisville
        Rutgers Iowa St.

        Basically a modified zipper alignment. There is decent parity though That Division is stronger at the top while This Division has better depth.

        If Baylor dose not have to play UT annually
        This Division That Division
        Texas Oklahoma
        Texas Tech Oklahoma St
        Iowa St. Baylor
        West Virginia TCU
        Louisville K-State
        Rutgers Kansas

        Keeps the Big East schools together, gives both divisions two Texas schools and has a more even distribution of strength than the other model. (Note that for this model you can play around with all the crossovers except for UT-OU, I just went with this one because I seemed it seemed to provide the most balance for the rivalries)

        • frug says:

          Wow that didn’t keep my formatting at all. Still, I think you get the picture.

        • vp19 says:

          Let’s try this modified zipper, where each group of two plays its mirror group annually:

          Division A: Texas, Texas Tech/Oklahoma, Kansas State/Rutgers, Louisville
          Division B: Baylor, Texas Christian/Oklahoma State, Kansas/Iowa State, West Virginia

          With a 9-game schedule, teams have 7 permanent games (a la the current Pac-12 setup), then alternate groups of two from the other division. For example, Iowa State would play its five Division B rivals and Rutgers and Louisville annually, then play either Texas and Texas Tech or Oklahoma and Kansas State as its other two games, getting each of those four to visit Ames once every four years.

          This enables the four Texas schools to play each other annually; same for the Kansas/Oklahoma schools.

          • frug says:

            That works, if they are willing to put OU and UT in the same division but I’m not sure that is really plausible. I know the coaches in Norman in Austin would prefer it, but I no one else seems to the like the idea. Not only would it make the CCG less valuable from a TV perspective, but it would have serious financial and competive balance issues. Division A teams would be guarenteed annual home games against the conference’s big draws but B’s would not. Plus UT and OU would probably combine to win Division A (at least) 4 years out of 5 while Division B has no real dominant teams.

          • Eric says:

            Very small correction: Only the California schools have 7 fixed games. No one else has a fixed crossover at all.

          • Eric says:

            vp19,

            I also want to comment that I really like the idea of 2 permement crossovers for the Big 12 and think that set-up is perfect if those are the teams. The only team probably not too happy would be Iowa State, but maybe maybe they wouldn’t even hate it too much.

  55. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    The hot rumor in Baton Rouge is that Minnesota’s Tubby Smith is the top candidate to take over LSU’s basketball team. What do you Gopher fans think? The knock on him with some LSU fans is his age (60) and lack of success at Minnesota. Is that a realistic criticism?

    • Brian says:

      Alan,

      I think that’s fair. His age is what it is, and he wasn’t the highest energy guy at UK either.

      His results at MN:

      8-10, 9-9, 9-9, 6-12, 6-12 in the B10 good for 6th, 7th, 6th, 9th and 9th. 2 NCAA bids (1st round losses), 1 NIT runner up (this year) and 1 NIT 1st round loss. That’s 38-49 in conference play (103-64 overall) and 1 good NIT run in 5 years.

      It’s not like MN hasn’t had past success, making the NCAA in 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1999 in their best stretch. LSU has a better history thanks to Dale Brown, so maybe Tubby can succeed more there. Having fewer elite hoops teams to compete with will help him.

    • bullet says:

      As a UK fan, Tubby is one of the best game day coaches out there. The problem was that he wasn’t a very good recruiter. Whether he couldn’t do it, wouldn’t do it or wouldn’t recruit the top talent for fear they would leave, he didn’t get the job done. In his later years, UK was not at the talent level of other top teams. That was the only time in my memory (other than isolated years) you could say that. After he won a championship his 1st year with Pitino’s talent, Kentucky went 13 years before returning to the final 4. It had never been more than 9 years before.

      • Ross says:

        UK fan here as well, Tubby’s biggest problem was definitely his lack of recruiting prowess. I tend to believe it was more of a choice; he is a good coach and knows it. I think he believed he was a good enough player developer that he didn’t need to pursue top talent that may come with an ego, may cause team chemistry issues, or that he might not have been able to successfully recruit to Kentucky.

        The relative lack of talent ultimately did him in at Kentucky, even if it was a mutual breakup. 2003 still hurts. I frequently watch clips of UK dismantling #1 Florida at home that year.

        • bullet says:

          I thought I was going to have to choose between rooting for Texas or Kentucky in the final 4 in 2003. I was out of the country and it wasn’t until the semi-finals that I even found out who was there.

          I’ve disliked Marquette since 1968. UK beat them in the SE regional semi-finals in Lexington. They stayed for their consolation game and rooted against UK playing Ohio St. in the finals. Ohio St. won by 1 and UK fans were outnumbered by people rooting against them in their own arena. Not sure that’s happened at any NCAA game since then.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      False alarm, Gophers. LSU hired North Texas HC Johnnie Jones. He’s an LSU alum, former player, assistant coach and Dale Brown protege.

      • mnfanstc says:

        Personally, I believe the Tubby to LSU was a false alarm all along… There may be some gamesmanship going on (as has been for a couple of years). Tubby has been stumping to get a new practice facility built on-campus for facilities upgrade. I’ve heard that an upgrade to the facilities would potentially help his recruiting efforts here. With new university president this past year and outgoing AD, major coaching contract negotiations have been put on hold… I think between that and the facilities “issue” there may be some “chess” being played.

        When Tubby came to Minnesota, he stated he was here for the long haul… Decent school, considerably less pressure than UK, a chance for him to blaze a new trail at place where BB program had fallen disastrously (Academic scandal during Clem Haskins reign in the 90′s).

        While Tubby hasn’t produced a B1G champion since he’s been here… his first season was biggest turnaround in school history. Took 9 win team to 20 wins in that season. Postseason 4 of 5 years. He’s had some bad luck with injuries (Mbakwe and others just this year) and with some recruits (Royce White comes to mind) getting in trouble. The AD forced Royce out. Some transfers (Devoe Joseph, Colton Iverson)—no one besides the players and the coaches know the innate details.

        He did a great job this year, especially with all the injuries, with the NIT run. Looks like Mbakwe will be back along with some pretty good recruits… Gopher’s could make some noise going forward.

        Minnesota is not UK, KU, or Carolina… but, the Barn does hold upwards of 14,000 fans, and like men’s hockey… you win routinely and the fans will come…

        • Brian says:

          As weird as it is, MBB is averaging something like 400 transfers every year in D-I (more than 1 per team). Everyone has bad luck with transfers.

  56. bullet says:

    MWC/CUSA pods
    I was thinking and wondered if this would work. I know they couldn’t do pods in the normal sense and have semi-finals then a ccg since they wouldn’t have played everyone in their half. But what if they had 24 teams with 4 divisions, A through D.
    They had everyone play 11 games.
    Then they had ccgs, A champ plays B champ and C champ plays D champ.
    Then, the week AFTER the two ccgs, they had their 12th game. The winners of the ccgs would play and the losers would play. Everyone else would also be paired that weekend for their 12th game. What would make most sense would be to keep regional and have the other 5 in division A play comparable teams in division B that they hadn’t played already (if you did straight 2nd vs 2nd and 3rd vs 3rd you would get rematches). Similarly, the other 5 in Division C play the other 5 in Division D. So everyone gets 12 games and they effectively get semi-finals and finals. Its just that the semi-final would technically be the conference championship games.

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      MWC/CUSA pods
      I was thinking and wondered if this would work. I know they couldn’t do pods in the normal sense and have semi-finals then a ccg since they wouldn’t have played everyone in their half. But what if they had 24 teams with 4 divisions, A through D.
      They had everyone play 11 games.
      Then they had ccgs, A champ plays B champ and C champ plays D champ.
      Then, the week AFTER the two ccgs, they had their 12th game. The winners of the ccgs would play and the losers would play. Everyone else would also be paired that weekend for their 12th game. What would make most sense would be to keep regional and have the other 5 in division A play comparable teams in division B that they hadn’t played already (if you did straight 2nd vs 2nd and 3rd vs 3rd you would get rematches). Similarly, the other 5 in Division C play the other 5 in Division D. So everyone gets 12 games and they effectively get semi-finals and finals. Its just that the semi-final would technically be the conference championship games.

      I posted a similar idea before. Your plan would require both conferences to grow to 12, though.

      Assuming no NCAA rule changes, they have several choices:

      1. They merge into one conference

      They can create their own semi-finals as part of the 12th week (flexible scheduling is legal in the NCAA) and play a standard CCG.

      2. If they work together but stay separate

      They would no longer qualify for the extra game, so they’d have to play 10 fixed games, play the semis in the 11th game and a pseudo CCG in the 12th. In part that just assures them all of a flexible OOC game in the 12th week, with a flexible conference game in week 11.

      3. If they work together and each has 12 or more teams

      Then they qualify for your plan. They can have 11 games fixed, then the CCG for the division winners. The 12th game will be a CG for the two conference champs and can be another conference game as you say or an OOC game against the other conference for the others.

  57. Brian says:

    OSU opened up practice today to students, faculty and staff. Due to pouring rain, they had to move it inside the practice facility but still had about 3000 people there. Meyer let students on the field for the scrimmage and let them surround the line of scrimmage for the kicking game.

    How many kickers are used to this view? http://twitpic.com/99sz7c

    • Ross says:

      There was a good chance the Michigan practice would be closed to the public as well. I think they ended up leaving it open, but it was available on the BTN, regardless.

      • Brian says:

        OSU still has their spring game next week for everybody to watch. This was a special thing for students. It was supposed to include a tour of the locker room, too.

  58. Brian says:

    http://twitter.com/#!/darrenrovell

    Darren Rovell with some spring game attendance info:

    “Spring game attendance: Bama (78,526), Georgia (44,117), Auburn (43,427), FSU (40,631), South Carolina (34,513), USC (34,153)”

    “More Spring Game attendance: LSU (33,000), Clemson (28,000), Mizzou (18,614), Boise St (17,123), UNC (17,000) & Pitt (4,607)”

    No shock that AL has the most, but that’s a huge gap. How about a little credit for Boise? That’s a pretty good number for a non-AQ. Maybe the loss of so many players has fans curious what to expect this year.

    OSU is hoping to break the record this year by topping their 2009 record of 95,722. If the weather is good, I think they’ll do it with Meyer being here.

    He also has some pricing info:

    “USC is charging $10 for non-students to watch the spring game. Parking in Coliseum lots is $15. What other programs are charging?”

    “Other spring game ticket prices: Mizzou ($3), Wisconsin, Auburn ($5), Ohio State ($7), Notre Dame ($12)”

    “Other spring game prices: Texas Tech $5, Boise State $7, Nebraska $10, Mississippi State $25 (w/Sugarland concert)”

    “Looks like Notre Dame charges $10 at sponsor Meijer, $12 pre-sale & $15 at the gate for the Spring Game. Incredible.”

  59. bullet says:

    LIttle off topic, but thought many of you might find this interesting. All 9 of our Supreme Court justices attended Harvard or Yale Law School and we have had 28 years of Harvard & Yale in the White House. And never one from the Big 10:
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/15/opinion/greene-presidents-big-ten-jinx/index.html

    • Brian says:

      B10 grads just aren’t slimy enough to prosper at that level of politics.

      • wmtiger says:

        Takes $ and friends in high places to get far in politics…

      • Ross says:

        Plus, really, how much of becoming president has anything to do with your school of choice? Geography, politics, and parents all play way larger roles. Plus, come on, how many of those presidents that went to Ivy League schools got there on merit alone? I don’t know the answer, but I would guess around half, if that.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Gerald Ford played football at Michigan.

          • duffman says:

            Gerald Ford was appointed, not elected. The last president with roots in a state school was Truman at Missouri. Even that is an tainted as he was supposed to go West Point but did not. Truman attended school, but did not graduate, and did so later in life as WW I and / or the depression blocked his path.

            The bigger issue is not B1G grads that became president, but state school grads that became president. Step back at look at the bigger picture to get a better view! Our president come from the Ivy League, the Service Academies, and a few elite private schools for the most part. So much for the common misconception that anybody can grow up to be president. The United State Senate works pretty much the same way, and the house is getting that way. Is it any wonder the Supreme Court would be any different, or that folks would see a different outcome when judges are appointed by presidents?

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            Be honest. The military academies aren’t providing presidents anymore (they’ve only produced 3 total). That ended a while ago. Carter was the last academy man to be president (others – US Grant, Eisenhower). The vast majority of current politicians avoided military duty like the plague, at best getting a sweetheart appointment in the NG or reserves where they never had to do anything (GWB). GHW Bush was the last of the WWII presidents (all of them from Eisenhower to Bush I served), and the last to see true active duty. Before Clinton, FDR was the last not to serve and he was Assitant Secretary of the Navy or something during WWI.

            Politicians are a different breed now, and the percentage in congress who served has gone way down (not a shock as the WWII generation went away). Korea and Vietnam produced no presidents so far (McCain came close, obviously), Iraq I was too small, and Iraq II and Afghanistan are too recent.

            Now everyone is Harvard or Yale law, because that’s who runs the world.

          • duffman says:

            Brian,

            I agree, but using Ford in the first place meant Carter was in the mix by default. I tend to agree about it being more narrow in Harvard and Yale, but I think Nixon was Duke, and Georgetown was in there someplace. The more limiting factor may be the clubs at the elite schools. Kerry and Bush jr were both Skull and Bones, and even the “poor boys” like Nixon and Clinton had the helping hand from the elite to at least get their foot in the door.

            Sadly, I think having a Service Academy or a state school grounded president would be good for the country, but I am not expecting it in my lifetime anymore. The power of grassroots or “local boy makes good” in modern politics has gone the way of the Dodo bird I fear. Some of the best and brightest may have given their lives in service before they ever had a shot at a run for the Oval Office. As noted above, we only got Ford because he was appointed, and did not win via the vote of the citizens.

          • bullet says:

            We’ve had a lot of military service. Truman, Ike and Reagan were Army. JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter and GHW Bush were Navy. Interestingly, before that there were 6 in a row w/o military service-Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt. But before that only Grover Cleveland, Van Buren and the two Adams didn’t have some military service.

  60. bullet says:

    http://chronicle.com/article/Further-Big-12-Expansion-Is/130446

    Expansion committee meets Wednesday. Expansion is “very possible” in the coming months. League hasn’t reached out to anyone since October, although several candidates have approached them. League primarily looking east. Louisville and BYU are only schools mentioned in the article.
    Seems to indicate that it is becoming more likely than not that the Big 12 does expand.

    Clemson AD in separate article has said there has been no contact with the Big 12. None of this is inconsistent with back channel discussions. But Louisville is still the most likely #11. IMO there still needs to be a viable #12 (although the article says 11 is possible).

    • bullet says:

      Article is old, from January 24. I was searching only items updated in the last week, but this one slipped in. In conference realignment, that is pretty dated.

  61. bullet says:

    Chronicle of higher education also has a subscription article on basketball attendance. 1st paragraph (which is available w/o subscription) says 70 of the Division I basketball programs have dropped in attendance by 20% or more in the last 4 years.

  62. Brian says:

    For lack of anything else to talk about, how about a little on topic poll?

    On a scale of 0-10 for your personal preference, please rank the following CFB postseason options (listed in order of least change from now). If you don’t care about details you can rate the overall concepts (#1-10), but if you care about details then rate the subsets (a-h). I tried to include all the plans I’ve seen recently. This is the top 32 that came to mind.

    1. Keeping the BCS in some form
    a. Keep the BCS as is
    b. Drop AQ status
    c. Drop the 2 team per conference limit
    d. Add a champs only rule for the NCG
    e. Some combo of b-d (please explain)

    2. Revert to the old bowl system

    3. True plus one
    a. NCG at a major bowl site
    b. NCG put up for bid nationally
    c. Conference champs only rule for NCG
    d. Must win your bowl game rule for NCG
    e. Some combo of a-d (please explain)

    4. Plus one variant
    a. Keep the Rose Bowl as is and seed the other top 4
    b. Keep the Rose Bowl as is and seed the other top 4 champs (including independents)
    c. Keep the Rose Bowl as is and pair the other top 4 (preserve more bowl ties by not seeding)
    d. Keep the Rose Bowl as is and pair the other top 4 champs (including independents)
    e. Other (please explain)
    f. Conference champs only rule for NCG
    g. Must win your bowl game rule for NCG
    h. Some combo of a-g (please explain)

    5. 4 team playoff
    a. Top 4
    b. Champs only (includes independents)
    c. Top 3 champs + 1 wildcard

    6. 6 team playoff (please explain)

    7. 8 team playoff
    a. Top 8
    b. Champs only (includes independents)
    c. Top 4 champs + 4 wildcards
    d. Top 5 champs + 3 wildcards
    e. Top 6 champs + 2 wildcards

    8. 12 team playoff (please explain)

    9. 16 team playoff
    a. Top 16
    b. All 11 champs + 5 wildcards

    10. Other (please explain)

    The sheer number of options show why it is so hard to reach an agreement. All of these have some fans, I think.

    • Brian says:

      I’ll start.

      10
      2. Revert to the old bowl system

      9
      1e – Drop AQ and add a champs only rule for the NCG

      8
      1b, 1d

      7
      1a

      6
      1c
      3e – bid out the NCG, champs only & must win bowl for NCG

      5
      4h – champs only, must win bowl, don’t care how the other bowls are done

      4
      3e – bid out NCG, must win bowl for NCG
      3e – bid out NCG, champs only for NCG
      4f
      4g

      3
      3a

      2
      5b

      1
      5c

      0
      5a, 6, 7, 8, 9

      • bullet says:

        @Brian
        We do agree on one thing. We like the current system better than any of the true +1 systems.

        • bullet says:

          A true +1 keeps the bad parts of either system, whether you prefer the traditional system or whether you prefer a playoff.

          • Brian says:

            The one good thing about a true +1 is that if you ignore the NCG you almost have the old 1/1 back.

          • duffman says:

            The question is how you play out unequal ends to seasons.

            1 undefeated team – like LSU this season – victory lap in a bowl game
            2 undefeated teams – play the BCS game to settle it
            3-4 undefeated teams – rare, play 2 bowl games with winner going to MNC BCS game

            There should NEVER be more than 4 teams competing for a MNC in any given year. If you want to be in the MNC, win your season. Boise State did not do it, Oklahoma State did not do it, nor a host of other teams. Reward excellence, and not second place. Michigan vs Ohio State or LSU vs Alabama rematches in the MNC just does not cut it. I am not even for a non conference rematch like LSU vs Oregon this past year. If you have that rare season where we had 5 undefeated teams, let the lesser fleas play each other at the end of the season to see who makes the 4.

            If say Boise State plays Alabama in the MNC game, and the Tide roll the Broncos 50 – 7, are advertisers and viewers going to be happy with that? If say Boise State had to play Houston prior, with only 1 advancing, that at least limits the downside of blowouts.

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          We do agree on one thing. We like the current system better than any of the true +1 systems.

          I do because the current system can be adjusted to bring the NCG closer to 1/1. A true +1 will end too late. It also devalues the bowls to have another game after them like they are just another set of OOC games. On top of that, I don’t trust them not to let #1 be a non-champ that loses a bowl and still plays in the NCG.

      • mnfanstc says:

        10– #9.b or #9.a (16 teams)
        9– #8 (12 teams using 16 team bracket–Top 4 get byes first round (total of 11 games))
        8– #7.c (8 teams top 4 champs plus top 4 wild-cards)
        7– #6 (6 teams using 8 team bracket–Top 2 get byes first round)

        Realistically, the aforementioned choices are what I most prefer… any multi-team (above 5 teams) playoff to determine a national champion on the field of play… If it ends up anything less than that it likely is still no more than “crowning” a “champion” by opinion.

    • bullet says:

      10-#10 10 teams-top 6 champions, a 7th if they meet criteria (top 25-otherwise additional wildcard) and top 3 wildcards who may or may not be conference champs.

      9 #8-probably go with 8 champs/4 wildcards
      9 #7d (5 champs + 3 wildcards)

      7 #6-4 champs, 2 wildcards
      7 #9a (8 champs + 8 wildcards would be my preference over top 16, but both are better than 9b)

      6 #5c

      3 #4
      #1b

      2 #1a,#1c,#1d

      1 #2, #3

      I like 10 teams since it is inclusive without allowing in a bunch of teams who have no realistic chance of winning. It also keeps the big conferences involved nearly every year even without an AQ. 8 teams isn’t as inclusive of the minor conferences (their champs tend to be underrated) and 12 doesn’t really add valuable teams to a 10 team tourney. But I would be pleased with anything from 8 to 12 teams. The lack of inclusiveness of 8 teams isn’t as big a deal as it was two years ago as the BE, MWC and CUSA keep getting weakened. The new TV contracts, unfortunately, will probably widen the gap.

      I prefer an early December date for the 1st round so that teams aren’t rusty, but a January 1 traditional bowl quarterfinal in any sort of 8 or greater team playoff could preserve the bowls while still having a playoff.

      I don’t like the beauty contests of the traditional bowl system. I also don’t like the market driven selection. Wyoming could get invited to the Sugar Bowl in 1968, but it just wouldn’t happen now. Any true +1 isn’t any different except that there is 1 more game. So I prefer the current BCS to either of those alternatives. The massive amount of money and conference realignment have already diminished what, IMO, were the best parts of tradition.

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        I won’t argue your opinions, so I’ll just comment on this:

        “Wyoming could get invited to the Sugar Bowl in 1968, but it just wouldn’t happen now.”

        Boise was an at-large selection in 2009-10. #1-10 all made the BCS (Boise was #6). The Fiesta still could have chosen #11 VT or #14 BYU instead. Without the two team limit, #12 LSU and #13 PSU would also have been choices. I think they still might have taken #6 BSU (12-0 WAC champ) over #12 LSU (9-3 SEC West runner up) and #13 PSU (10-2 3rd place in B10).

        There were also some highly ranked Boise, TCU, Utah and HI teams that got in as highly ranked non-AQ champs. Some of them would have been chosen by the old system, too.

        • bullet says:

          Boise-the 1st time, TCU, Utah and Hawaii would never have gotten in without the BCS requirements to take those other champs that met the requirements. The bowls were complaining constantly. And without Boise winning that Fiesta vs. OU, I don’t think Boise would have gotten in later.

          • Brian says:

            But Boise did get in, so that’s 1 in 14 years. Compare that to Wyoming as basically 1 in 60 years. My point is, the little guys never had much access but it no worse now than before. If anything, the little guy has a better shot now.

    • vp19 says:

      7. 8 team playoff – d
      To placate the Rose Bowl, it would be a Big 10 vs. Pac quarterfinal — even if the teams were #1 and #2. The other quarterfinal bowls would be Big 12 champ vs. at-large (Cotton), SEC champ vs. at-large (Sugar), ACC champ vs. at-large (Orange). The highest-ranked conference champ would play the lowest-ranked at-large, the lowest-ranked conference champ would play the highest-ranked at-large, and the #2s in both categories.

      5. 4 team playoff – c

      9. 16 team playoff – b

      4. Plus one variant – f

      6. 6 team playoff – 5 champs (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac, SEC) + 1 wildcard; top two advance to semifinals.

      8. 12 team playoff – 5 champs (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac, SEC) + 7 wildcards; top four major conference champs advance to quarterfinals

      3. True plus one – b, c

      1. Keeping the BCS in some form – d

      2. Revert to the old bowl system

    • cutter says:

      The only option I would like to see if 7d, which has the top five conference champions with the three wildcards.

      I would add the caveat whereby a conference champion has to be in the top twelve of the ranking system being utilized. If there are one or more conference champions who don’t fit that bill (like Clemson from last year), then it goes to four or fewer conference champions with four or more wildcards.

      I would like to keep the bowl system relatively intact, so options 8 and 9 are off the table. Go beyond 8 teams and the inventory of really good name teams left for the major bowls goes down to nothing. The Rose, Cotton, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange could have a number of really good matchups–we’ve looked at possible bowl line ups ad infinitum after eight teams were picked for the playoffs and it was a largely appealing lineup.

      The current BCS and the old bowl system are unsatisfactory for anyone who thnks the teams should settle it on the field and not be largely beholden to computers and human polls. The Plus One and four-team championship is problematic because it leaves out more playoff calibre teams than the eight-team playoff. The idea of setting aside the Rose Bowl for the Big Ten and Pac 12 is assinine–but that’s already been dissected at length.

      Whatever disagreement there is among the fans about the type of playoff is one of those things that anti-playoff people argue–since no one “agrees”, it’s just too hard to do. Well, that’s a bunch of b.s. If TPTB set up an eight-team playoff with a combination of conference champions and at large teams, it doesn’t take too much imagination to figure the majority of fans, media, etc. would be behind the proposal.

      • Brian says:

        cutter,

        The only option I would like to see if 7d, which has the top five conference champions with the three wildcards.

        I would add the caveat whereby a conference champion has to be in the top twelve of the ranking system being utilized. If there are one or more conference champions who don’t fit that bill (like Clemson from last year), then it goes to four or fewer conference champions with four or more wildcards.

        I would like to keep the bowl system relatively intact, so options 8 and 9 are off the table. Go beyond 8 teams and the inventory of really good name teams left for the major bowls goes down to nothing. The Rose, Cotton, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange could have a number of really good matchups–we’ve looked at possible bowl line ups ad infinitum after eight teams were picked for the playoffs and it was a largely appealing lineup.

        The appeal of those games is highly debatable, especially after the top 8 are gone. You’re basically trying to promote the next tier of bowls to the majors and thinking fans will be satisfied with that. NE/SC (#9 vs #20) and MSU/UGA (#16 vs #17) were fine as Cap 1/Outback Bowls, but they would not be appealing Sugar or Orange or Fiesta Bowls to a lot of people. A new generation wouldn’t know any better, but current fans would know they aren’t the same and the ratings would drop accordingly.

        Average ratings 2002-2010:
        NCG 16.4
        Rose 12.4
        Fiesta 8.7
        Sugar 8.6
        Orange 8.1
        Cap 1 6.3
        Chick-fil-A 4.7
        Alamo 4.4
        Holiday 4.3
        Cotton 4.1
        Outback 4.1

        So basically, the bowls will get about half their old ratings. Yes, the playoff will get bigger numbers, but the bowls will not be the same and you act like they will be.

        The current BCS and the old bowl system are unsatisfactory for anyone who thnks the teams should settle it on the field and not be largely beholden to computers and human polls. The Plus One and four-team championship is problematic because it leaves out more playoff calibre teams than the eight-team playoff. The idea of setting aside the Rose Bowl for the Big Ten and Pac 12 is assinine–but that’s already been dissected at length.

        I have a problem with every sentence in that paragraph (besides your opinions).

        1. I’ve asked this several times and never gotten any sort of answer. What does “settle it on the field” mean since the BCS already does that but apparently that doesn’t count? Why does going to 4 or 8 make it OK (I’ve heard it from both groups)? You add the caveat that it should “not be largely beholden to computers and human polls” and yet you’ll have that same issue for any playoff, especially if you use on campus games based on seeding. What’s the difference?

        2. What are “playoff caliber” teams? Isn’t that determined by the size of the playoff, not the other way around? Or are you saying that more than 4 teams every year are NC worthy? Based on past years, that means several teams with 2+ losses get in every year. At what point do teams stop deserving a chance at the title? 3 losses? Your phrasing indicates that even an 8 team playoff leaves out “playoff caliber” teams. Where do you draw the line?

        3. The Rose Bowl has been set aside for the B10 and P12 since 1946 by mutual agreement. It seems odd to me that you consider continuing a long tradition “asinine.”

        Whatever disagreement there is among the fans about the type of playoff is one of those things that anti-playoff people argue–since no one “agrees”, it’s just too hard to do.

        It’s not hard at all. But it’s pointless if you end up with just as much bitching as before.

        Well, that’s a bunch of b.s. If TPTB set up an eight-team playoff with a combination of conference champions and at large teams, it doesn’t take too much imagination to figure the majority of fans, media, etc. would be behind the proposal.

        It must take a lot of imagination, because I don’t see a majority of fans supporting it. There are the traditionalists that barely tolerate the BCS (or don’t tolerate it) that won’t agree. There are the 4 team fans that will see 8 as overkill that will ruin the bowls while allowing undeserving teams a shot at the title. There are others that will object purely on pragmatic grounds (when the games are played, too many games for students, etc). Then you have the staunch non-AQ fans that will demand every champ gets a shot because they are sick of getting screwed. Many will come to accept it over time, but that’s not the same thing as supporting it.

        Look at your first sentence. The only thing you want is option 7d (8 teams, 5 champs, 3 wildcards), and you expect the proponents of any other system to gladly accept 8? Why will everyone else be so flexible when you aren’t?

        • bullet says:

          @Brian
          Noone will seriously argue that the #9 team is the best team in the nation. That’s the difference.
          With a 2 team BCS there is a beauty contest in most years and its not settled on the field. This year Alabama was chosen over Oklahoma St. In 2010, Auburn and Oregon were chosen over TCU. In 2009 there wasn’t much argument, but Texas and Alabama weren’t the only unbeatens. Cincinnati, TCU and Boise were also. In 2008 Oklahoma and Florida were chosen over Texas, Alabama, USC, Penn St. and the two unbeatens, Utah and Boise St. In 2007 LSU was chosen over about 5 other highly ranked 2 loss teams. In 2006 Florida was chosen over Michigan, Wisconsin, Louisville and unbeaten Boise St. 2005 was the rare case where it was clear who the top two were.

          • Brian says:

            You say that, but you know it isn’t true. If an undefeated non-AQ is #9 you know for sure that plenty of people will believe they could be the best team but got screwed by the polls.

            Most people don’t believe #5 could be the best team. You can’t get these people on the same page.

            Just because 8 is where you draw the line doesn’t make it logical or natural or generally accepted. His rigidity in only liking 7d shows that.

          • bullet says:

            I say it and I know its true. I don’t recall any Tulane, Marshall or Hawaii people thinking they were the best team in the nation despite being unbeaten, even if they believed they deserved a shot at a top team. There’s a difference between seriously arguing they are the best team and believing they are better than some of the teams ranked above them.

            The #9 will almost always believe they should be in the top 8, but we have the same situation with #69 in the basketball tourney. And we have the same situation in a different form with the traditional bowl system, where someone always believes they deserved it more. Bowls halfway pretend they are about merit, but they aren’t.

            I didn’t say 8 was generally accepted. Most would say the number of teams with a realistic shot is almost always less than that. But there have been several times in the last decade where it wasn’t clear that #5 wasn’t as good as #2 or #1. Its because of those occassions that I prefer 8 over 4. Some people like 16 for fairness because you can give every champ a shot, not because they realistically believe the MAC or Sun Belt champions will ever win the tourney.

            My philosophy on it is that championships are good-they do it in every other NCAA sport. Tourneys just for the sake of tourneys aren’t necessarily good (i.e. 68 in basketball + conference tourneys is too much). Tourney games should mean something–A 99-54 1st round basketball game just tells me there are too many conferences in division I. And the regular season should mean something but being perfect isn’t essential. Finally, something we agree on, polls are biased and play too big a role now.

            10 teams is my favorite right now for several reason:
            1) Inclusion-there’s room for a minor conference champ
            2) Completeness-it should get anyone who can reasonably argue they are #1
            3) Conference completeness-it will almost always include every major champ
            4) Consistency-a practical matter-they’ve got 10 teams now in the BCS and don’t have to reduce
            It also means whatever selection method, while it may not pick the “true” best 10, is big enough to include the best team (doesn’t mean they will win-but at least they get to play for it). It will not be likely to have routs as a 16 team tourney would with all the conference champs. 16 just to have avoid byes is having a game for the sake of having a game. And with only 10, you are rewarding conference champions while leaving room for co-champs like Texas in 2008 or extremely strong 2nd place teams like Alabama this year.

          • Eric says:

            We do get people seriously arguing that UConn was the #1 team in the country the year they came in 9th in Big East basketball.

            I don’t see any year in BCS history that in my opinion the 5 team deserved to be crowned champs, certainty no year where anyone outside the top 3 champs and top at large deserved to be. (I could buy that teams ranked as low as 20 (if they were hot at the end) could win it if given a chance though).

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I say it and I know its true. I don’t recall any Tulane, Marshall or Hawaii people thinking they were the best team in the nation despite being unbeaten, even if they believed they deserved a shot at a top team. There’s a difference between seriously arguing they are the best team and believing they are better than some of the teams ranked above them.

            You have a poor memory, then, because I remember plenty of HI fans convinced they were going to spank UGA and prove they should have been in the NCG. That was probably a minority of HI fans, but still. Certainly Utah and Boise and TCU fans thought they were NCG material.

            The #9 will almost always believe they should be in the top 8, but we have the same situation with #69 in the basketball tourney. And we have the same situation in a different form with the traditional bowl system, where someone always believes they deserved it more. Bowls halfway pretend they are about merit, but they aren’t.

            Since when did the bowls pretend to be about merit except for the conference champ spots? The BCS pretended it was about merit perhaps, but that wasn’t the bowls.

            I didn’t say 8 was generally accepted. Most would say the number of teams with a realistic shot is almost always less than that. But there have been several times in the last decade where it wasn’t clear that #5 wasn’t as good as #2 or #1. Its because of those occassions that I prefer 8 over 4.

            I didn’t say you said it was generally accepted, but cutter’s argument was that everyone would accept 8. That’s what I initially was responding to, so you’re actually agreeing with me about that.

            Some people like 16 for fairness because you can give every champ a shot, not because they realistically believe the MAC or Sun Belt champions will ever win the tourney.

            Some, yes. Are you saying nobody believes the WAC, MAC or SB champ would ever win? I’ve gotta believe there are a few who believe a year will happen when everything comes together, like Villanova winning in hoops. You know, like Cubs fans.

            Finally, something we agree on, polls are biased and play too big a role now.

            Amen.

            10 teams is my favorite right now for several reason:
            1) Inclusion-there’s room for a minor conference champ
            2) Completeness-it should get anyone who can reasonably argue they are #1
            3) Conference completeness-it will almost always include every major champ
            4) Consistency-a practical matter-they’ve got 10 teams now in the BCS and don’t have to reduce

            1. That’s a good thing.
            2. Yes, plus several others who don’t have a case
            3. Is that a good thing? Shouldn’t each champ need to earn it by being elite? Or are you looking at that as a bonus from a pragmatic viewpoint of getting everyone to agree?
            4. 10 teams makes for ugly brackets, though. Do 6 teams get 1st round byes, or do 2 teams get double byes? Getting a bye is a huge advantage.

            You’re also looking at 4 rounds, so how do you fit it all in? Do you worry about 4 more games (up to 18 for a team that plays at HI and in a CCG)?

            It also means whatever selection method, while it may not pick the “true” best 10, is big enough to include the best team (doesn’t mean they will win-but at least they get to play for it). It will not be likely to have routs as a 16 team tourney would with all the conference champs. 16 just to have avoid byes is having a game for the sake of having a game. And with only 10, you are rewarding conference champions while leaving room for co-champs like Texas in 2008 or extremely strong 2nd place teams like Alabama this year.

            I’d expect routs with 10. Not as many as with 16, obviously, but I doubt they disappear. As for 16, the advantage is you don’t have to favor certain teams with a bye. That takes some of the seeding bias out of the system.

          • frug says:

            I don’t see any year in BCS history that in my opinion the 5 team deserved to be crowned champs

            Based on the numbers, you can make a case that 2007 #6 WVU was the best team in the country. They were 9th in points scored and 8th in fewest points allowed despite playing a tough (but not brutal) schedule.,

          • frug says:

            I’ll also toss in 2006 Boise St. who was number 5 in the final AP poll.

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            Maybe there were some Hawaii fans thinking they were the best, but they were a small enough minority I never heard any. Utah, Boise and TCU were all top 8 per the BCS rankings so they were different. Marshall and Tulane were outside the top 8.

            I would say conference completeness has three purposes-1 pragmatic buy-in; 2 national interest; and 3 accounting for balance. You might have a year with a conference with a lot of balance and 10-2 teams get left out in favor of several 11-1 teams that really weren’t as good. And given the limited number of games between conferences, its very hard to judge that.

            You are right that a bye is a definite advantage. So seeding does give teams a benefit. I would have 6 byes-for the top 6 champions. Wildcards would have to win a play-in game. That is similar to the NCAA basketball tourney back when it was 25 teams and a handful of conference champs got seeded to the sweet 16.. So if they won the 10 team tourney, they would have to play 4 extra games. They would normally be the exception. But occassionally having a team play 4 extra games (FCS has a 24 team tourney, Division II and III 32) and giving teams the benefit of a bye would be a trade-off for the other benefits of going beyond 8. And not having all teams play 4 and not having as many blow-outs would be a benefit of not going all the way to 16 and eliminating byes.

            There will occassionally be routs, but not ones that were pre-determined. Nebraska blew out Florida and USC blew out Oklahoma in “title” games. WVU blew out Clemson. But would we really want to schedule LSU vs. Northern Illinois or Albama vs. Arkansas St.?

          • bullet says:

            @Eric
            2008 is a prime example of a messy year.
            BCS rankings end of year:
            1 OU 12-1
            2 FL 12-1
            3 TX 11-1
            4 AL 11-1
            5 USC 11-1
            6 Utah 12-0

            Texas beat OU head-to-head by 10 points on a neutral field, same margin as Florida in the BCS title game, but lost out in a 3 way tiebreak in Big 12 South. Utah beat Alabama in the bowl worse than Florida did in the SEC title game. USC had one week where they lost (like everyone else but Utah), but after their Rose Bowl win, many thought they were really the best team. So #3, #5 and #6 all had arguments either after, or before the bowls, that they might have been better than Florida.

            And in 2007 they had the ultimate messy year with only Hawaii #10 unbeaten and only Ohio St. #1 and Kansas #8 (weak schedule, bad loss to Missouri) with 1 loss. LSU, VT, UGA, OU, MU, USC all had 2 losses (and most had been ranked #1 at some time or another during the season and 4 were conference champs).

            Now you might not believe #5 or #6 “deserved” the national championship, but the dividing line was very, very thin between #1 and #2 and #5 or #6 those years.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Maybe there were some Hawaii fans thinking they were the best, but they were a small enough minority I never heard any. Utah, Boise and TCU were all top 8 per the BCS rankings so they were different. Marshall and Tulane were outside the top 8.

            HI was #10. That’s not much different from top 8. I’m not saying the opinion was realistic, and I admitted it was a subset of HI fans that thought that, but #10 can beat #1 on any given Saturday. It’s about luck of the bounce and match-ups.

            You are right that a bye is a definite advantage. So seeding does give teams a benefit. I would have 6 byes-for the top 6 champions. Wildcards would have to win a play-in game.

            That helps level things some. It’s still too many for my tastes, but at least being a champ has a little meaning.

        • cutter says:

          Brian-

          The definition for insanity is repeating the same action over and over with the expectation he or she will get a different result. I read the first paragraph of your response and stopped when you said you couldn’t figure out what “settle it out on the field means”. Well, if you want to go through your crazy little song and dance where you ask questions with obvious answers, parse words from any response as a response and add in a healthy dose of insult, then I’m not playing.

          College football will get a playoff. The main question is whether four teams–roughly 3.3% of Division 1-A football–or eight teams representing 6.7% of the teams in the division are going to have a shot at a national championship (whereas the NFL has 37.5% of its teams in its version of the playoffs).

          College football will continue to consolidate. The major conferences will either get bigger and/or Division 1-A will contract and we’ll still have a playoff with the conference championship games being the de fact first round. It’s only a matter of when and how.

          I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy the sport and post-season pretty much regardless of what the powers that be will do in the end. I trust it will include a mix of playoff games plus the traditional bowls–except the Rose Bowl will have the runner up between the Big 10(16) and the Pac 16 where 12-1 Ohio State plays 12-1 Texas in Pasadena because Michigan and USC went undefeated and are hosting playoff games in Ann Arbor and Los Angeles.

          One final note. For your own sanity, keep your powder dry and don’t bother to generate a response to this. Just let it stand on its own merit and let others write the comments to it.

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            The definition for insanity is repeating the same action over and over with the expectation he or she will get a different result. I read the first paragraph of your response and stopped when you said you couldn’t figure out what “settle it out on the field means”. Well, if you want to go through your crazy little song and dance where you ask questions with obvious answers, parse words from any response as a response and add in a healthy dose of insult, then I’m not playing.

            The answer isn’t obvious. We have a 2 team playoff right now, but that apparently doesn’t settle it on the field. Why does playing a NCG not count as settling it on the field? That means you aren’t really complaining about settling it on the field, you’re complaining about something else.
            Why is the bright line at 4 or 6 or 8 or 10 or 12 or 16 and not at 2?

    • Option 6. Six-team playoff.
      http://nittanylionsden.com/2012-articles/january/a-6-yes-6-team-playoff-proposal.html

      The upsides of this option are everywhere…it’s less than 8…more than 4. It makes the major five conferences VERY happy, while preserving the semblance of “fairness” to the mid-majors.

      The negative…it adds a whole EXTRA round. A team could theoretically play 16 games if they make the championship game.

      • Brian says:

        I put that in there just for you. You didn’t rate any of the other systems, though. Are you saying 6 teams is a 10 and everything else is a 0 to you, or were you just indicating your favorite?

        • I think that an 8 team or greater model drains too much “regular season” money away from the major conferences. Give all of those proposals zeroes.

          I’d give proposal 3 a “9″ rating. I think that the top 3 conference champs plus a wild card would cover most scenarios that matter in CFB. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel or destroy the bowls.

          The plus one stuff is so-so. If it were clear-cut that the top rated teams BEFORE the playoff games/Rose Bowl would move on, that’s acceptable. But a re-vote scenario after bowl games is AWFUL.

          • bullet says:

            I don’t agree that an 8 team model harms the regular season, but I do agree with another point you bring up. Unless you use the New Year’s Day bowls as quarterfinals, any sort of playoff diminishes the bowls. And the more teams you add, the more it diminishes them.

  63. bullet says:

    Interesting interview with BYU AD. Discusses current state of conference realignment (not much imminent-but that could change quickly-”There are obviously conferences that are still jockeying.”) and what he does as an AD to keep prepared for changes. Also makes the comment when talking about scheduling that two years is “long term.”

    http://www.heraldextra.com/sports/colleges/byu/holmoe-says-byu-ready-to-make-things-happen-but-nothing/article_dbad85ea-8633-11e1-858f-001a4bcf887a.html

  64. frug says:

    CU’s new plan to stop the school’s infamous 4/20 pot smoking celebration? Closing the campus to everyone by students and faculty and spreading fish fertilizer over the North Quad.

    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/04/14/cu-hopes-to-snuff-out-420-pot-event/

  65. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Congrats to Purdue’s baseball team. Along with Kentucky, Louisville, and Virginia, there are showing that college baseball can be successful outside of the deep south and west coast. Purdue is ranked in all four polls: #16 in Baseball America; #17 in USAToday; #17 in NCBWA; and #22 in Collegiate Baseball.

    Collegiate Baseball, the most accurate of all the polls, has LSU as their #1 team after sweeping Alabama this past weekend by a combined score of 22-4. Next weekend, my Tigers play at #2 Kentucky.

  66. Eric says:

    Questions for other traditionalists. Let’s assume for a minute that they decide on a 4 team playoff and that it’s three conference champs and one at large (independent, other conference champ, or runner up). Let’s also assume that the semi-seeded option is not used (sadly it seems unlikely at this point). Which would you prefer?

    1. Home field semi finals in late December. Rose Bowl would very rarely have Big Ten and PAC-12 champs.
    2. Use BCS bowls as first round. Rose Bowl stays out of rotation and usually doesn’t have both Big Ten and PAC-12 champs.
    3. Use BCS bowls as first round. If Big Ten or PAC-12 champ makes it to semi-finals, then Rose Bowl is that game even if it’s not the 2 conferences against each other (although they would play each other if both made the semi-finals). This would always mean one champ was in the bowl and maximize the importance of the bowl, but would lead to it being less Big Ten vs. PAC-12.

    I’m personally very divided. I’m slightly leaning to #3 even though it means missing out more than the other options simply because it keeps the place/goal of going to the Rose Bowl high.

    • Brian says:

      4. Leave the Rose Bowl as is and let everyone else ruin CFB. I’d rather have a pure Rose Bowl than be in the playoff.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Amen.

      • Eric says:

        I agree, I just don’t think that’s an option they’ll really consider at this point.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        OK by me.

        If the Big Ten ops out of the National Title hunt, there’s no way Notre Dame will ever join them.
        :-)

        • Brian says:

          Why? I thought ND opted out of the National Title hunt after Holtz left.

          I’m fine with ND staying independent, so that’s fine by me.

      • largeR says:

        An additional amen, with a hallelujah to ND staying out of the B1G, and the hope that the AP continues to vote a national champion! If a Pac 12/B1G school deserves to be NC, the AP can vote them in, and the NFL lite-ers can have their 8-12-16-24 team playoff.

  67. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/ncf/story/_/id/7820284/usc-trojans-espn-radio-agree-national-broadcast-deal

    ESPN Radio now has a deal to carry all USC home football games. There goes a chance to listen to an actual game when in the car on Saturdays.

  68. frug says:

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/04/mike_slive_doesnt_like_footbal.html

    Headline of the article is that Mike Slive doesn’t like the Rose Bowl exception in a hypothetical playoff, but the more interesting stuff comes a little later with quotes from the C-USA, Atlantic Sun and (former) Sun Belt commissioners.

    Banowsky (C-USA)

    Unless the revenue finds a way to some academic programming, you’re just going to be replacing new locker rooms on an annual basis, building new suites every two years and your coaches’ salaries will be astronomical

    Gumbart (ASC)

    [the] league values remaining branded as Division I and wants to have a give-and-take with Football Bowl Subdivision schools, especially related to basketball scheduling with power-conference teams.

    “But one of the hardest things to do when people are behind closed doors and speaking is to trust them,”

    Waters (SB)

    [eliminating] AQ status for conferences suddenly makes access difficult for some schools to ever reach.

    “For every action, there’s an equal or opposite reaction,” Waters said. “In a lot of cases, you’re picking what part of the poison you want.”

    later

    Waters believes the real question regarding schools losing money on athletics is what the expectations are for each university.

    “If you’re willing to take those kind of losses to remain part of the club, such is life,” Waters said. “There are private clubs all over the country where people are spending money to be part of a club that they can’t afford.”

    • Brian says:

      “Slive said if the day ever happens when college athletes are paid, they will be unaffiliated with the universities.”

      That was worth noting.

      • duffman says:

        Hello

        Columbus Buckeyes sponsored in part by the Ohio State University
        vs
        Tuscaloosa Tide sponsored in part by the University of Alabama
        ;)

        While in jest, this was discussed on this very blog 2 years ago by myself and a few others.

        • Brian says:

          Except for the sponsored by parts and the rights infringement, a minor league is the correct solution to many problems in CFB.

          Pay the players, no academics to worry about, have a playoff, etc. Meanwhile CFB can return to its roots and get rid of the faux fans that really want NFL lite.

          • bullet says:

            I’d like to see more of that in bb. You get rid of the one and dones. If you do a rule like baseball where its HS or after Jr year in college, you probably would get more in either a minor league or JC ball.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I agree it would help hoops, too. The problem with a 3 year rule is the PA has to approve it and they don’t want it in the NBA. My hope is to send all the 1 and dones to the minor league where they can ignore school. My method – make each scholarship slot binding for 3 years so if a player leaves after 1 year, the school has a hole on the bench for 2 years. That will prevent the UK all-mercenary team approach and spread those players out or stop coaches from recruiting them altogether.

  69. Mike says:

    Andrew Luck on WVU

    http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/48416/luck-details-wvu-big-east-exit-big-12-move


    “We didn’t really leave the Big East. It left us,” Luck said. “We had joined a conference that had certain schools like Virginia Tech, and now we were finding ourselves with only one original member.

    “The conference had fundamentally changed.”

    [snip]

    “We couldn’t afford to find ourselves on the outside looking in,” Luck said.

    He watched schools like Houston, even with its hall of famers and Heisman winner, get pushed out of the adults’ table at college football. It took TCU 30 years to win its way back in.

    “It’s much easier to stay in than get knocked out and try to get back in,” Luck said. “That was always the fear. I’m not trying to say the Big East is on the outside looking in, but clearly, with the loss of so many good teams in the last 10 years between VT, Miami, BC, Pitt, TCU, there’s a lot of top 20 football teams that had left and are playing in other conferences.”

  70. A couple of college football playoff updates from CBS Sportsline:

    Former SEC commissioner and “Godfather of the BCS” Roy Kramer advocates for a 4-team playoff with the top 3 conference champs and a wild card:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/18602273/postseason-change-inevitable-but-godfather-of-bcs-advises-caution

    How to split the new playoff revenue is really the most complicated issue and could determine which playoff system is actually chosen:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/18608456/how-to-divide-bigger-pie-becomes-focus-of-bcs-groups

    • bullet says:

      The sub-groups are really interesting. Delany is put with two of his biggest critics from the mid-majors. Slive is with two lesser conferences. Swofford is with two irrelevant conferences and the Big 12, Pac 12 and Notre Dame are together. Is the last group studying the most serious proposal as it includes 3 of the 6 votes that count?

      • Brian says:

        Does anyone else picture Delany sitting down, opening a newspaper and just reading it during his “meetings” with those two?

    • bullet says:

      The revenue split issue SHOULDN’T have anything to do with which method is chosen, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. I’ve always felt revenue distribution is where this whole process could blow up and we could be back with the current BCS. I think going back to pre-BCS bowl system is an idle threat. Noone wants to give up the money.

      Reasonable people should be able to figure out a way to split the money, but everyone won’t necessarily be reasonable.

      • Brian says:

        Maybe it shouldn’t, but it definitely will. Why should the little guys support a plan if it benefits the big boys more than them? They want more access and a greater share of the money. I don’t think they’ll accept neither, but you can probably give them one or the other.

        As for reasonable decisions, reasonable people can disagree on what is reasonable. It doesn’t mean they can reach a compromise. See politics and religion.

        • bullet says:

          And playoffs vs. bowls.

          • Brian says:

            Exactly. My point is that what Mike Slive considers reasonable for the SB to get may be very different from what Karl Benson thinks is reasonable for the SB. It’s not automatic that there is a “reasonable” compromise to be had.

    • wmtiger says:

      Agree 100% on the revenue distribution, its one of the reasons dwhy the B10 wants to keep the Rose Bowl and still be included in any playoff.

    • Brian says:

      Some important things from Kramer:

      So, does Kramer see a four-team playoff that could work?

      “There are basically two questions,” he said. “Where do you play the games and how do you pick the Final Four?”

      Kramer doesn’t like the idea of playing the semifinals on campus.

      “On campus is viable if your primary goal is to fill the stadiums,” he said. “But on campus takes away a little of the grandeur of college football in the postseason.”

      So Kramer suggests the powers that be find a way to cut a deal with the New Year’s Day bowls to host the semifinals.

      So how do you pick the Final Four? Here is where it gets tricky.

      There is going to be some demand for a selection committee because the current BCS formula has come under so much criticism. The coaches poll represents a clear conflict of interest. The coaches are held accountable for only one poll per season — the last one. The Harris Interactive Poll has had all kind of issues and, please, let’s not even discuss the computer polls, with its secret formulas.

      Still, a selection committee, Kramer says, is not the answer.

      “We had to come up with a [BCS] formula because no one wanted to be on a selection committee,” he said. “Having a committee to pick 64 basketball teams is a lot different than a committee picking four football teams. Picking 1 and 2 and maybe 3 would be easy. But the number of people who think they should be No. 4 would be significant. It will not eliminate controversy. In fact, there will probably be more controversy.”

      Kramer has done some thinking about who should be in the Final Four. Earlier this year he told our Dennis Dodd he was leaning toward a four-team playoff that would include conference champions only.

      Now Kramer believes the way to go is to pick the three highest-rated conference champions. The fourth spot would be a “wild card” that would go to the highest-rated non-conference champion.

      1. As I’ve said before, a selection committee is problematic. Plenty of people are willing to choose teams 32-35 in hoops, but picking 3-4 and cutting 5 is different. That is a high stress job with only negative results for the people.

      2. Controversy may well increase by expanding from 2 to 4. The settling it on the field notion doesn’t really work.

      3. Conference champs only is the way to go, but his SEC ties led him to change his mind to support AL and the SEC’s current position.

      4. On campus sites aren’t a no brainer. Those in the south and west see no benefit to them. Apparently Kramer doesn’t consider travel a concern.

      5. He’d prefer to use the major bowls as semis. The only reasonable way I see to do that assuming the presidents stick to their guns about the calendar issue, is to move those two games up while leaving the others on 1/1 (1:00 – Cotton, 4:30 – Rose, 8:00 – Orange, with semis in the Sugar and Fiesta on 12/27, for example). Play the NCG on about 1/4. No bowls are allowed on 1/2 or 1/3. I suppose Kramer prefers leaving them all on 1/1 (completely kills the other 3 bowls, tough) and playing the NCG on 1/8.

      • frug says:

        So Kramer suggests the powers that be find a way to cut a deal with the New Year’s Day bowls to host the semifinals.

        I hate hate hate the idea of using the bowls as semifinals (or finals for that matter). If you are going to do that, then just go back to the old system, play the Rose, Sugar, and two of the Orange/Cotton/Fiesta bowls on New Years and select two of those teams to play in the NCG (i.e. a +1)

        Remember the main reason the Rose Bowl signed off on the addition BCS NCG (which meant the Rose Bowl would never again host a national champ) was it (more or less) guarenteed them a tradition PAC/B1G matchup three years out of four (which was far better than the 4 game BCS system offered).

  71. BigTenFan says:

    My opinion on the best system, without question, would be:

    4 Team playoff w/ semi finals played on the campus of the higher rated schools (keeps the stadiums full and alleviates travel concerns).

    The conditions would be as follows:

    1. The top 3 “ranked” conference champions are automatically included and are seeded in the order of their “ranking”.

    2. The 4th seed is the next highest rated team (whether a conference champion or a non conference champion) after the first 3 are selected.

    2B.) If an undefeated conference champion(s) is in the top 8 of the season ending “rankings”, that team (or the highest rated of these teams) automatically qualifies ahead of team who failed to win their conference.

    To me, the above system is as flawless as you can get for a 4 team playoff. You can’t make it perfect, but the above is as good as you are going to get.

    • BigTenFan says:

      Looking back, the only year where there would have been controversy because of this system, in my opinion, would have been 2009, but there were 5 undefeated conference champions that year – no way around controversy if that happens with any 4 team playoff.

      • wmtiger says:

        #5 never has a chance in a 4-team playoff in any system unless you seed them after the 1st round games… And they shouldn’t…

      • bullet says:

        As a Texas fan I would say there would be controversy in 2008 as well. Your system would have #1 OU-B12, #2 FL-SEC, #5 USC-P10 and #6 unbeaten Utah-MWC, leaving out #3 Texas who was co-champ with #1 OU but lost on tiebreak. And in 2007 it would be hard to choose the 4 best champions because virtually everyone had 2 losses. Ohio St. at 11-1 would be the only easy choice. 2004 had 5 unbeatens as well.

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          UT was notB12 co-champs with OU. They may have been co-champs of the South division (Does the B12 award co-championships for divisions?), but OU played in the B12 CG so they were the sole B12 champs. UT may have lost that game to MO, we’ll never know.

          It doesn’t really change your point, but your terminology is wrong . True co-champs are like IA and OSU in 2002 when both were 8-0 (and didn’t play each other, obviously). Co-champs by name only are like OSU and PSU in 2008 when both were 7-1 but PSU beat OSU. Yes, there was a 3-way tie in the B12S that year, but the B12′s rules said OU was the Division representative to the CCG. OU had to win a game UT didn’t, so the sympathy level would drop. Besides, #10 OSU gave UT all they could handle in the bowl.

          • bullet says:

            My statement was correct. Texas was a co-champ with OU—of the Big 12 South. So was Texas Tech.

            And yes, Texas may have lost to Missouri, but they lead them 35-0 at halftime when they played them earlier in the season before coasting in.

          • bullet says:

            This was a year where 4 are difficult to pick (as I said when explaining why I liked 10-not that there is the remotest chance anything above 8 gets approved this year).

            That Texas team played a perhaps unpredecented 5 straight games against teams rated in the top 11 (Missouri was #4 of 5 and rated 11 at the time). They lost the 5th game on the road on a TD with 1 second left. They beat the #1 ranked team by 10 on a neutral site. So they had serious reasons to claim they were the best team that year. Of course, they lost later than Florida and OU and had their tough competition mid-season instead of late, so the pollsters forgot about it. Alabama last year had one regular season win against a team ranked in the final top 25 and played Arkansas and LSU at home.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            My statement was correct. Texas was a co-champ with OU—of the Big 12 South. So was Texas Tech.

            In the technical sense, it was correct (assuming the B12 gave out co-championships – I don’t know if they did or not). But you implied they were conference co-champs since you mentioned OU as the B12 champ and then referred to UT as a co-champ with OU. It would be like an IA fan saying OSU won the 2002 National Title and IA was their co-champ. That implies a split national title, not sharing a B10 title. I’d consider both a lie by implication.

          • Brian says:

            Also, your second post is why I said it didn’t change your point. UT had an argument, although that argument sounded better before the Fiesta Bowl. I will continue to say that UT’s beef should be with the B12 for having bad tiebreakers and not with the larger system, be it the BCS or a playoff. A smart set of tiebreakers would have eliminated TT and then used head to head, especially since it was a neutral site game.

          • Josh says:

            I would like to see the 4 team playoff be determined by the following:

            If a conference champ finishes in the top four of the BCS standings, it is automaticaly in the playoff.

            If a team finishes in the top 3 of the final BCS standings, it is automatically in the playoff. In this scenario, the next highest rated Conference champ will go to the playoff.

            The playoffs since ’98 would look like this:

            1998: 1. Tennessee 2. Florida State 3. Kansas State 5. UCLA
            1999: 1. Florida State 2. Virginia Tech 3. Nebraska 4. Alabama
            2000: 1. Oklahoma 2. Florida State 3. Miami 4. Washington
            2001: 1. Miami 2. Nebraska 3. Colorado 4. Oregon
            2002: 1. Miami 2. Ohio State 3. Georgia 6. Washington State
            2003: 1. Oklahoma 2. LSU 3. USC 4. Michigan
            2004: 1. USC 2. Oklahoma 3. Auburn 6. Utah
            2005: 1. USC 2. Texas 3. Penn State 7. Georgia
            2006: 1. Ohio State 2. Florida 3. Michigan 5. USC
            2007: 1. Ohio State 2. LSU 3. Virginia Tech 4. Oklahoma
            2008: 1. Oklahoma 2. Florida 3. Texas 5. USC
            2009: 1. Alabama 2. Texas 3. Cincinnati 4. TCU
            2010: 1. Auburn 2. Oregon 3. TCU 5. Wisconsin
            2011: 1. LSU 2. Alabama 3. Oklahoma State 5. Oregon

          • Josh, your set-up is perfect. Simple, mostly fair. The lowest seed to ever make it…No. 7. Most years you have a 1-4 or 1-5 seed playoff.

            There will be years where the top 2/3 or so aren’t cut and dry (2008 is a PERFECT example of how any playoff system would fail)…but this system would be perfect.

          • Josh says:

            I would support giving conference champs home field advantage. I would use the BCS standings as an RPI type rating system to determine playoff participants and a committee to seed the field. So teams aren’t necessarily seeded where they are ranked. Example 2003:
            4. Michigan @ 1. USC and 3. Oklahoma @ 2. LSU
            Or 2011:
            4. Oregon @ 1. LSU and 3. Alabama @ 2. Oklahoma State

          • joe4psu says:

            Josh,

            A big part of the problem people have had is with the BCS ranking system itself. How would ranking the teams based on that system be seen as adequate? If the “BCS” system is to be used instead of a committee it needs to be adjusted. How would you do that?

            I would support giving conference champs home field advantage. I would use the BCS standings as an RPI type rating system to determine playoff participants and a committee to seed the field. So teams aren’t necessarily seeded where they are ranked. Example 2003:
            4. Michigan @ 1. USC and 3. Oklahoma @ 2. LSU
            Or 2011:
            4. Oregon @ 1. LSU and 3. Alabama @ 2. Oklahoma State

          • Josh says:

            Why not go back to the BCS standings before they only used the polls? If I remember correctly it had strength of schedule, average ranking, average computer ranking, a sliding scale for “quality wins” and maybe one or two other factors.

          • @Josh – It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The original BCS standings had all of those factors because the public supposedly didn’t like the pre-BCS reliance on the human polls and then those factors were thrown out because the public then didn’t like it when the BCS standings disagreed with the human polls. The pendulum seems to swinging the other way again toward the public criticizing the use of polls since we’re a few years removed from not using those factors coupled with a lingering distaste for Alabama getting into the championship game, but rest assured, I think it will just one season of the whatever rankings are used disagreeing with the pollsters for the “objective” criteria to get realigned so that it effectively backs up the pollsters (as opposed to ever conflicting with them). Generally speaking, the pollsters reflect public opinion, so they ultimately side with them over the computers.

          • frug says:

            @Frank

            I thought the best solution to people being upset that the computers don’t match up with the human polls was to just discontinue the coaches’ and Harris Interactive poll. The AP poll would still be around, but I doubt people are going to be infuriated when the computers disagree with just one poll.

          • bullet says:

            Josh
            I think the strength of schedule component and # of losses was dropped after Nebraska at 10-1 got in the BCS game after losing something like 62-24 to Colorado, when almost everyone thought it should be Colorado (10-2) or Oregon (9-2). Colorado was the Big 12 champ after upsetting Texas in the Big 12 ccg (a team they lost to 41-7 earlier in the year). It was a little bit of an academic point that year since anyone was going to get crushed by #1 Miami.

    • wmtiger says:

      I might make 2b; top 6 instead of top 8…

      • BigTenFan says:

        Wmtiger -

        I made it top 8 instead of top 6 because, my opinion, is that conference championships SHOULD matter the most. The regular season is what makes college football so special – such a small margin for error. If you aren’t the best team in your conference, you can’t be the best team in the country – that is how I look at it. Conference championships should be sacred in college football. There are exceptions, and I understand that. I almost went with top 6 myself, so I wouldn’t have any real objection to that, I think the mid majors & Notre Dame would, which is why I think 8 would be the more widely appealing number, but I’d have no problem with top 6, it’s actually what I’d prefer.

        Josh – I no way, shape, or form would I support any system that allows a conference runner up to get a home field game against a conference champion. That simply isn’t right, which is why I strongly prefer my system to yours. You have to be penalized for not winning your conference in some way, and your system doesn’t do that when we have a situation like 2001 or 2011. If you don’t win your conference, you should rarely make the playoff, but if you do, you sure as heck don’t deserve a home game.

        Bullet –

        I have NO sympathy for Texas in 2008 – they lost a game they shouldn’t have, and because of that, they didn’t win their conference. If you don’t win your conference, I don’t want to hear it. All you had to do was beat Texas Tech & you were in – it was Texas’ fault they didn’t get there, not the system. Most agree that a playoff must be limited in the number of teams it accepts, because every additional team that gets in makes the regular season mean less & less. Two is too few, I think 4 still preserves the regular season (and makes it feel like a playoff all year long), but allows 4 truly deserving teams in with conference championships being the way to achieve your ultimate goal.

        2007 would have come down to the polls, just as it always has. Nothing would have changed in that regard. Like I said, you’d always argue why #5 should have gotten in, but that is part of the appeal – it keeps SOME of the controversy in college football, which is part of the sports appeal IMO.

        There were 5 undefeateds in 2004, but only 4 of them qualified for the playoffs – Boise State was outside the top 8 that year.

        • bullet says:

          Every other team (except Utah) lost a game they “shouldn’t have” as well in 2008. OU lost their showdown with Texas in Dallas. Florida lost at home vs. Ole Miss. USC lost at Oregon St. Texas Tech lost at OU. Alabama lost the SEC title game to Florida. Texas was in a 3 way tie for the division title with 2 other 11-1 teams. They were shut out by the BCS (used for breaking ties) just like Oklahoma St. got shut out this year.

          IMO to be fair and complete, its absurd to set up a system with arbitrary rules that can shut out potentially the best team in the nation. And Texas had a VERY good argument that year. It wasn’t like the conference champ had a better record or beat them head-to-head. Texas actually had the same record and beat OU head-to-head. (to Brian-to cutoff your comment-the system doesn’t HAVE to be fair and complete and you have trade-offs in meeting those criteria vs. limiting the number of games).

          • BigTenFan says:

            What happened in 2008 was a Big 12 problem, not a national championship problem. The Big 12 (and most conferences for that matter), need a better way to determine a division champion. The Big 12 said that Texas wasn’t even deserving to go to the CCG, you think it is OK for them to play in the CCG without being crowned the true division champion (based on the tiebreaker)? I will never be OK with that. Texas needed to win 1 more game and you were in.

            We will simply never be in agreement on this – my opinion is that conference championships should always remain sacred in college football, therefore, there should be almost a requirement that you have to win one to participate in the national championship playoff. In certain RARE circumstances, I understand that the two best teams in the country come from the same conference….the only years I think there is a legitimate argument for that in the last decade would be Alabama/LSU in 2011, & OSU & UM in 2006. That is my subjective opinion, but the rule I will always go back to is this: win your conference first, then worry about the national title. If you win your conference you give yourself a chance, if you don’t, you’re unlikely to get in.

          • bullet says:

            We probably won’t agree. I couldn’t more TOTALLY disagree with you. In Alabama’s case they lost to their conference champion at home and beat only one team from the final rankings during the season. In Michigan’s case, they lost to their conference champion on the road. In each case their conference champ was an unbeaten #1 ranked team. There is a FAR better argument for excluding Michigan or Alabama. Saying Michigan and Alabama were the only ones you would make a case for directly contradicts you claim that conference titles should matter. They both got beaten on the field by the leading contender.

          • BigTenFan says:

            Your missing my point – they both ONLY lost to the #1 team in the country – I’m saying that is the ONLY time I am OK with a non conference champion making the national championship playoffs – if their ONLY loss was to their conference champion who is the #1 rated team in the country. That’s the only time I think it is actually OK to let a non conference champion in.

            You think a team should get in if they are a conference runner up for dropping a game against a conference dungeon dweller? If Alabama & UM, as conference runner ups, didn’t deserve to get in, who the heck does? I’d PREFER that the 4 team playoff ONLY include conference champions, however, I understand that, every once in a while, there are situations where 2 really great teams are in the same conference. In those instances, exceptions should be made, but only in those instances.

            If a team gets in that didn’t win their conference, I’m arguing that their ONLY real excuse is losing to the #1 team in the country, that also happened to be in their conference.

            If you are arguing that 2006 UM & 2011 Bama should be excluded from a playoff, you are arguing for a conference champions only playoff, period. Those are the two best examples of this last decade of conference runner ups that deserved a shot – please give me a better example in the last 10 years.

          • bullet says:

            I just did. Texas. And Texas Tech was #7, so they weren’t a cellar dweller.
            I think its far more important who you beat than who you lose to. Tulsa lost 4 games last year, every one to a team who was unbeaten and top 10 at the time. Doesn’t mean they are deserving. Alabama beat Arkansas. Period. And I look at it that if you lost to the #1 team and finished behind them in the conference standings, they’ve already proved they are better than you and deserve it more.

            Playoffs can and do have upsets. But I believe the purpose is to find the best team. Not just throw in a team because ESPN talking heads think they belong. If you have a limited playoff, a team that’s lost to and been behind a #1 team in an 8 or 9 game conference schedule doesn’t have as good an argument for being involved as a team with the same record in a different conference. Or a team in a 3 way tie who beat the team who won the tiebreak. The difference with Texas 2008 over Michigan 2006 (who admittedly lost on the road) and Alabama 2011 was that Texas didn’t finish behind anyone else except in BCS polls.

            I prefer a larger playoff so you can deal with 3 way ties. And you can have a space for an Alabama who was an outstanding team or a Michigan who lost by 3 points on the road. But if you are limiting it to 4 and taking a 2 or 3 loss team ONLY because they were conference champs over a 1 loss team from a 3 way tie (there could be other reasons such as strength of schedule)-I don’t buy that as achieving what I believe is the goal of the playoffs. I agree that conference championships should be important. I just don’t buy that they are the only thing that is important. You could theoretically have an 11-1 team that lost 1 game on the road by 1 point when their star QB was out getting displaced by a 7-6 UCLA team that only got into the conference championship because USC was on probation and then pulled an upset over Oregon. If we were to get into 4 major conferences instead of the 5.5 we have now, that sort of scenario could become much less remote a possibility.

          • ccrider55 says:

            And people wonder why there was a significant sigh of relief when the PAC didn’t become 16. The B1G has more than their share of egos, but they have a better sense about when to let the past go more or less quietly.

          • Brian says: