Some thoughts as we head into the weekend:

(1) Mr. Numb Existence – Somehow, I ended up with the Mr. Numb Existence Award this week in the BlogPoll that’s given to the pollster with the individual ballot closest to the overall result.  This occurred even though I deviated from the overall poll almost immediately by putting TCU at #2 instead of Auburn.  Regardless, and I say this as someone that has long been skeptical about the top-to-bottom quality of the non-AQ conferences, but TCU can and will pretty much kick the crap out of everyone this season.

(2) Mo Money, Mo Texas – Shortly after posting this generally blase post about the initially underwhelming projected financial figures for the Longhorn Sports Network, our good friend Chip Brown from Orangebloods.com reported that ESPN came in with a bid to pay Texas $12 million per year, which is a massive game-changing number on its face.  This swung the pendulum in the public eye from “Why did Texas do this?” to “Texas could almost afford to pay Cam Newton if it wanted to”.  The one reservation people should keep in mind is whether this $12 million per year includes radio and other media rights, as well, which this Austin American-Statesman article intimates.  If that’s the case, then the $12 million figure isn’t necessarily that crazy.  Ohio State’s radio and multimedia rights deal with IMG and RadiOhio is worth an average of $11 million per year, which is all on top what the Buckeyes receive from the Big Ten TV contracts.  It’s unclear how the ESPN arrangement will interplay with the Texas deal with IMG, which is the primary multimedia rights holder for the school and is running the search for the Longhorn Network partner.

A question that I’ve been continuously getting is, “Why would ESPN be willing to pay so much for maybe one Texas football game per year and a handful of non-conference basketball games?”  Well, one has to consider that since the Big Ten Network has been formed, ESPN has been overpaying for college sports in large part to prevent other conference networks from coming to fruition.  Those networks represent extra competition to the Mothership itself along with taking away properties from its ESPN Regional syndication arm.  The Worldwide Leader had to pay both the SEC and ACC hundreds of millions of dollars in Godfather offers in order to keep them bolting to competitors and starting their own networks.  In contrast, ESPN has just destroyed the chances of a Big 12 network ever forming by paying a mere $12 million per year to Texas.  When you look at it that way, $12 million is a complete bargain compared to what ESPN had to ward off potential competition from the SEC and ACC.

(3) Return of the WAC – Oh, poor WAC.  This summer, it looked like it might nab BYU for non-football sports and possibly start a chain reaction where the Mountain West would start crumbling and the WAC could pick up the pieces.  Instead, the MWC embarked on its own smack-down raid by grabbing Nevada and Fresno State on top of conference headliner Boise State and BYU ended up taking its non-football programs to the WCC, which left the WAC wondering if it would even have enough members for a football conference in 2011.  It’s been a rough go-around for a non-AQ conference that has sent its champion to BCS bowls 3 out of the last 4 years.

At least the WAC will receive a reprieve with Nevada and Fresno State agreeing to stay until 2012, which is when replacements Texas State and the University of Texas-San Antonio come in for all sports and hockey/skiing power Denver joins as a non-football member.  Rejection was still in the air for the WAC, though, as Montana declined an invite.  (Note that Texas State, UTSA and Montana are all currently FCS schools, so the new WAC members will be moving up to the FBS level.)

Also, as discussed by a number of commenters, Hawaii is possibly the next most likely school to declare independence with a possible home for non-football sports in the Big West.  I vacillate back-and-forth as to whether it’s a good idea for Hawaii to become an independent.  In theory, it ought to be able to fill out its football schedule because of the extra game exemption provided by the NCAA, but we have already seen the Big Ten schools essentially abandon playing  in Honolulu because of a combo of high costs and the desire to play more home games.  As more BCS leagues go to 9-game conference schedules, Hawaii is going to face more challenges scheduling AQ teams than before.   Finally, who knows whether the Big West schools are really going to be willing to shoulder the costs of sending non-football sports to the Honolulu, which means that Hawaii might need to hold onto its relationship with the WAC.  On the other hand, Hawaii is uniquely attractive to a network like ESPN because its home games fit perfectly into late-night time slots on the mainland.  Thus, it’s possible for Hawaii to get a BYU-type TV deal in place, which would make it more than worth it financially to become independent.

It appears that the conference realignment game will see the most action at the non-AQ level for the next few years besides an addition or two by the Big East… unless it decides to follow one of my “modest proposals” for the league that I’ll present next week.  Until then, have a great weekend with Illini-Gopher football, Illini-Saluki basketball, Derrick Rose vs. John Wall and hopefully Julius Peppers decapitating Brett Favre.

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Comments
  1. cfn_ms says:

    I’m inclined to think nothing meaningful will happen until and unless Texas decides what they want to do. If they want to stick around the Big 12, my guess is that they add BYU and one more w/in the next five years and are done with it, and nobody goes over 12. They want to go to the Big Ten, we’re all heading towards superconferences. They want to break up the current Pac-12 and bring all their friends along for a 12 – 16 team Western league, they can probably pull that too.

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  2. M says:

    Favre has played an entire season with a broken hand and currently has too many bones in his ankle. Even decapitated he’ll still play and have a higher passer rating than whoever the Bears have at qb.

    The timeline for the Big East is ~6 months (to start in 2012), so I doubt anything is imminent, especially if there is a disagreement over the football-only/all sports setup. Of course, if I were in charge of the Big East I would want to make the announcement about adding TCU just after 7-5 Pitt locks up the BCS berth.

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  3. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    With all of the new teams about to go on probation next year (Auburn, UNC, Alabama, Georgia), Hawaii should be able to get those OOC games no problem…a game at Hawaii is better than a bowl in Texas any day!

    (Kind of a tongue-in-cheek post…)

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    • Bamatab says:

      I don’t know what makes you think that Bama and UGA will go on probation. Both schools didn’t play the players in question until the NCAA gave them the OK to play them. So those two schools are ok

      Now Auburn and UNC will probably get hammered. If Auburn doesn’t sit Cam, the NCAA make take multiple swings with that hammer. At least UNC sat their players that are in question.

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      • jj says:

        Not saying this is it, but i think maybe we need a death penalty case to quell things.

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        • Bamatab says:

          This Cam deal could end bad for the SEC. From everything that I’ve heard, Auburn wasn’t the only team “bidding” on Cam (they just won the bid). Also, Miss St turned in the evidence to the SEC office and Slive sat on it. I hate to say it being a SEC guy, but I’m thinking that the NCAA won’t be very pleased with the SEC when this whole thing shakes out.

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      • Michael in Indy says:

        I think Boise State and/or TCU will be able to handle it if a one-loss team finishes ahead of them in the BCS standings. They’d be angry, but they’d be able to deal with it.

        But if the NCAA rules that Auburn must be stripped of the victories that brought them to the national championship game, Boise and TCU are going to puke.

        My goodness, I hope the NCAA can get this investigation done quickly.

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  4. greg says:

    My first Hawks game at NW this week. 40 and rainy.

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  5. Gopher86 says:

    So do you think that Larry Scott would take a look at Hawaii? I know he was talking about getting the Pac 12 a foothold in Asia. It doesn’t look like the most valuable property on the surface, but it truly is the lone Pacific property.

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    • cfn_ms says:

      The Pac-12 interest in Hawaii is basically zero. Right now the rumor mill has the MWC getting Hawaii for football only and Hawaii parking their other sports in the Big West. That’s pretty much the best case for Hawaii, to be honest.

      MAYBE the Pac-12 might have interest in putting together some kind of long-term 2:1 deal where every season the league hosts Hawaii for 2 games and visits for 1. I sincerely doubt there’d be interest for anything beyond that, especially since (I think) further expansion needs a 12-0 vote, and I doubt Hawaii could even muster 6 yes votes.

      As far as the “foothold in Asia”, there’s little evidence that Hawaii has been able to do anything in terms of monetizing that yet, which means that even if that’s a serious strategy instead of just marketing talk, there’s little reason to think that adding Hawaii would make a serious dent in that strategy.

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      • Richard says:

        Plenty of Pac10 teams have been willing to do home-and-homes with Hawaii, because the “Hawaii exemption” means a home-and-home with Hawaii essentially gives you a free home game. Not sure how willing the Pac12 would be continuing these deals with Hawaii with a championship game, though.

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  6. jj says:

    No picks? How about this um 30000 purdue 8?

    I’ll be curious to see the proposals and whether any involve the dwarves. Always leave em wanting more, what a showman!

    I also can’t believe they haven’t named the divisions yet. The allies planned the invasion of Normandy faster than this.

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    • Bullet says:

      Simply North/South. Except for WI/NW, it fits. And the numerically challenged Big 10 might as well be somewhat geographically challenged also.

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  7. The Pitt beat writer from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicated that he’s hearing that the Big East wants a football-only expansion, meaning that UCF and Villanova (with Temple as a back-up if Nova doesn’t move up) would be “Plan A” and TCU is unlikely.

    http://bit.ly/c0bvYr

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    • m (Ag) says:

      Well, if the Big East isn’t adding TCU, and isn’t going to 12 teams, I say we require them to have a 1 game playoff with the MWC for an automatic spot.

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    • cfn_ms says:

      I think it would be foolish for TCU to turn down even a football-only invite. Their program isn’t going to be this hot forever, and getting AQ status would be HUGE boost for them. I can’t think of any upgrade possibilities for them other than BE (B12 has zero interest, ditto for Pac-12), which means they ultimately have even less leverage here than BE.

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      • loki_the_bubba says:

        There comes a point where any institution must have some self-respect. TCU has done all it can to better itself in the environment they’re in. To be given a invitation to second-class citizenship is an insult they should refuse.

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        • jj says:

          I agree with Loki. I really think all the “dissed” programs need a conference call about a new league. Call it the big reset or something.

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    • Jake says:

      I thought that was a possibility at first, but after reading the statement from Marinatto about the Big East being able to handle more basketball teams, and the statement from TCU’s AD about keeping all sports together, I’m thinking it’ll be full membership.

      Football-only membership is still a possibility (Temple did it before, right?), but it’s certainly much less appealing.

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      • Phil says:

        I am almost at a loss for words at the idea that the Big East solution would be Nova and UCF when TCU is out there.

        If Nova/Temple and UCF is the Big East expansion, you might finally see the fans of the Big East fb teams head to Providence with torches and pitchforks.

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      • @Jake – That would be the logical approach and I actually think Marinatto understands this. However, the BE presidents have a way of making illogical decisions, which worries me as someone that would like to see both the BE and TCU come out ahead here.

        What people will need to understand is that if the BE doesn’t add TCU, it will have nothing to do with the conference executives in Providence. It will also have nothing to do with the Catholic schools. Instead, it will mean that the football schools are not on the same page, because if they truly did stick together as a whole, they would be able to enact the changes that they wanted. The real reason why there’s been such gridlock in the BE is that the football members support expansion as a *concept*, but have no agreement whatsoever on who to expand with or how to expand.

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        • Phil says:

          Based on your previous statements I assume you think Syr and UConn are the FB schools that want to stay with as much of the status quo as possible.

          Could Syracuse, who along with Pitt screwed up the idea of an Eastern all sports conference when the Big East was formed, then was screwed over by politics during the ACC raid, be dumb enough to think the Big East is best served by minor tweaking? Where do they think they are going to end up if the Big East ever falls apart?

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    • jj says:

      Makes sense for them. This is by far the nuttiest of rhe major leagues.

      Like

  8. Bullet says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=5793192

    UK freshman center ruled ineligible for getting too much money playing for a club team. It took awhile, but I suspect this Cam Newton deal will take a lot longer to resolve, probably another 6-18 months. Lots of stuff out there now, but its hard to determine what’s mere internet rumour and what’s real statements.

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  9. David Brown says:

    If the BE wants TCU as a football ONLY member, then they are extremely shortsighted. Exhibit A was last night’s Pitt/UConn game in East Hartford, where Pitt lost to the Huskies. Think about it, the BEST case scenario for the BE Conference is Pitt “win” the Conference with an 8-4 record, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (The 4th or 5th best team in the SEC West likely will end up with the same record). If I am the BCS, that game, and the ramifications of it, (Along with the comparison of how TCU & Pitt played Utah), should be reason enough for the BE to lose their automatic BCS berth to the Mountain West.

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    • Phil says:

      The Big East does not deserve a BCS bid this year, but let’s not get carried away.

      In the 5 years since the Big East reorganized they are 3-2 while the ACC is 1-4, and the leader for the ACC bid this year lost to an FCS team.

      Which conference should lose their bid?

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      • @Phil – Very true. It was also only a year ago that Cincinnati was a missed Texas field goal away from possibly making into the national title game. Granted, Cincy ended up getting destroyed by Florida in the Sugar Bowl, but it’s not as if though the BE has completely lacked in quality teams over time. The BE, whether fair or not, is always on a short leash with college sports fans because when it has down seasons like this year, there’s no Ohio State, Miami, USC, Texas or Alabama that garners constant respect and people would “miss” if they were shut out of the BCS.

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        • cfn_ms says:

          They’ve also had almost certainly the two worst seasons by AQ leagues in the BCS era: 2004 and 2010. Plenty of quality campaigns, but those were two MASSIVE stinkers. As the league most often in the sights of the BCS critics, they simply can’t afford to lay eggs like this year has been.

          I’m thinking that there’s a pretty reasonable chance that barring meaningful expansion the BE would be stripped of their AQ status as a way of throwing a bone to the little guys.

          In other words, TCU may need the BE more than the BE needs them… but it might not be wise for the BE to press the issue and risk finding out otherwise the hard way.

          Like

          • Phil says:

            I won’t defend 2010, but picking on the Big East about 2004 is kind of unfair, since that the was the transition year that they only had 5 members after the ACC raid.

            Out of the Big East and MWC, TCU and Boise St are BY FAR the best teams right now, but with BYU and Utah leaving the MWC has no depth compared to the Big East.

            All in all, though, I would be totally in favor of the BCS threatening Big East management to pull the auto-bid if they don’t invite TCU, if that’s what it would take to get the Providence mafia to do the right thing.

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          • Jake says:

            @Phil – that would mark the first time the BCS powers-that-be have actively done anything to help TCU. I’m not holding my breath.

            Now I’m going to drink myself to sleep and try to forget what was very nearly the worst day in the history of TCU football. Hopefully we don’t get passed by LSU in tomorrow’s BCS standings. We should have imploded the stadium this morning instead of waiting three weeks.

            Like

      • David Brown says:

        Phil, no one in their right mind thinks the BE is close to the ACC. When it comes to football, BE<ACC<SEC, BIG 10, PAC 10, and yes Big XII (Even minus Nebraska). The logic of the BE, is to protect basketball schools such as St. Johns & Georgetown (And of course, the NY & DC markets). However, those schools (As well as every hoop school in the BE) are NOT on the level of ACC schools UNC & Duke. Even if they were, it still would not matter (Look at how Kansas an their elite hoops program, was rejected for the PAC, in favor of schools like Texas Tech & Colorado).

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        • Phil says:

          Your original comment was strictly about the BCS autobid. I didn’t say the Big East was better than the ACC.

          If an impartial observer was looking at the BCS, it is probably the conference whose representative is 2-9 in the last 11 games (as the ACC’s is) that would be forced to justify their future inclusion.

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  10. Jay says:

    I was really hoping that it would be possible for no team in the Big East to have a record above .500, but I just worked out the math…. At least one or two of them has to win 7. Oh well!

    Either way, it’s ridiculous that one of those sad sack squads will crack into the BCS and a team like Stanford or Boise will get left out.

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      If Alabama beats Auburn and there are otherwise no upsets in the Top 4, I think this will be the bowl lineup:

      Orange: #12ish Virginia Tech vs. #9 Ohio State
      Sugar: #4 Auburn vs. #3 Boise State
      Fiesta: #5 Nebraska vs. Pitt
      Rose: #8 Wisconsin vs. #7 Stanford
      BCS: #1 Oregon vs. #2 TCU

      Reasoning:

      An undefeated Oregon is in the BCS title game, guaranteed. TCU will be #2 because it has distanced its lead on Boise and is close behind an unbeaten Auburn; a loss by Auburn would seal the deal.

      The Rose would get the Big Ten champ. Could be any of four teams; I guessed Wisconsin. As for its other team, it would almost certainly take an 11-1 or 10-2 Stanford.

      The Fiesta gets the Big 12 champion and, this year, the last choice at-large team, which includes the Big East champion since the BE isn’t tied to a specific BCS bowl. In other words, the Fiesta this year will be Big 12 champ vs. the last choice Big East champ. I’d guess Nebraska vs. Pitt in a blowout win for the Huskers.

      The Sugar gets the SEC champ, Auburn, and the Orange gets the ACC champ, Virginia Tech. One of them will have to take the #3 team, Boise State, because of the “Kansas State rule” that guarantees the #3 team a bid in one of the BCS bowls. It’s not going to be the Orange because Virginia Tech has already played Boise State this year, so Boise will go to the Sugar to face the Tigers.

      The Orange Bowl has had less than stellar ratings in recent years, so it will choose based on who brings the most fans to the games and eyeballs to the TV sets. My gut just tells me that Ohio State would edge out LSU and Alabama, especially if OSU wins out to finish 11-1.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Actually, that top 4 provision (otherwise known as the “KSU rule”) only applies to schools in BCS conferences, but I think the uproar & negative political ramifications would be so great if all the BCS bowls passed over an undefeated #3 Boise St. that hasn’t lost in 2 years that the Sugar would feel compelled/pressured to take Boise (they’d be able to fill their seats with Auburn fans, anyway).

        Like

        • Paul C says:

          Actually I think Boise will catch TCU after it’s all said and done. They are ahead in the polls, and play a stonger close to their schedule.

          Like

      • jtower says:

        I believe that if the Rose Bowl loses a team (PAC or BigTen) to the BCS game and a non-aq team qualifies for the BCS they have to take that team this year.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Only if a non-AQ team hadn’t already made it to the title game.

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          • Jake says:

            @Richard – apparently it doesn’t matter – if TCU makes the title game, Boise still earns the automatic qualification and goes to the Rose. I asked the guy at BCS Guru (he’s a lot better at this than Jerry Palm, who I don’t think is even paying attention), and he said the BCS had made statements to that effect.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @myself – nevermind, they’ve revised their position on that one. Although the Rose might prefer Boise to Stanford anyway.

            Like

  11. HerbieHusker says:

    added

    Like

  12. cutter says:

    I just finished reading Dan Wetzel’s book “Kill the BCS” and it makes not only a compelling case for setting up a playoff system, but it does an excellent job point out all the shortfalls in the BCS and the bowl system. For a brief synopsis of the book, see http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/10/college_football_playoff_propo.html

    One thing that’s interesting about the book is why the BCS conferences maintain a system that clearly handicaps them in terms of revenue potential (the book talks about a playoff system generating about $750M in revenue).

    Wetzel and his co-authors essentially conclude that the conference commissioners (particularly Jim Delany) are willing to forego the much greater revenue potential with a playoff system in order to control what is essentially a “smaller pie” money-wise with the BCS.

    Wetzel states that if a playoff system were put in place and the revenue was distributed among all the conferences, it would supplant the television revenue as the main source of funds in college football. Right now, the Big Ten can use its superior earning power through televions as leverage against the other conferences. But if a second revenue source was put in place with a play off system, the B10 (and the other BCS confernces) would lose a lot of their power to set and influence policy, scheduling, etc.

    The book is an interesting read, especially for those who have been following the expansion saga this past year. If the Pac 16 had come to fruition, it’s Wetzel’s opinon (and probably the opinion of most people who read this blog), that college football would have taken a major step toward a playoff system.

    “Kill the BCS” also does a very good job talking about how much schools lose going to bowls, how the poll system (human and computer) are flawed, why the BCS is unfair, etc. He also sets up a sixteen-team playoff that has all the games at the higher ranked teams stadium with the championship game at the Rose Bowl. Wetzel also feels that the bowls could happily co-exist with a playoff system because right now, they’re being subsidized with BCS bowl money (which comes out to a little over $150M right now).

    Once you read the book, it becomes fairly obvious why the BCS system is pretty nutty and how all or most the arguments supporting it fall short. Even before I read the book, I supported a playoff system–now I’m even more in favor or it.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      They don’t (and I haven’t yet heard their defenders) successfully rebut the key reason Delany and other leaders in the power conferences oppose a playoff, which is the fear that a 16-team playoff would dilute the regular season to such an extent that the massive TV money the power conferences are getting now would go down. Compare college football with college basketball. The TV money flowing to college basketball is not much less than the TV money going to college football, yet in college basketball, the vast bulk of the money goes to the NCAA for the tournament games, while regular season college basketball games just don’t garner the same revenue dollars regular season college football games do.

      The problem is that these guys are not casual fans; because of their job, they will watch all the college football games they can even if it is one massive preseason and every team gets to enter a football playoff. Yet, take out casual fans from the equation, and the big TV money the power conferences are getting right now likely would diminish. In college basketball right now, generally no one watches regular season games besides those their own team plays (and maybe other games in their conference). I know that’s true for me. In college football, pretty much any matchup of a top 5 team vs. a decent opponent is must-see TV every week, because those games have a ramification on the national title race. No regular season college basketball game is that important.

      It may be the case that a 16-team playoff would increase the total TV money flowing in to college football overall, but if the power conferences would actually lose money under such a system compared to the current setup (because the college playoff TV money would be distributed more evenly, like it is in college basketball, and the TV money for regular season games would go down because those games would matter less), why would they be for such a system?

      All the other reasons (for and against) are just window dressing and don’t really matter.

      Like

      • cutter says:

        Richard – The key reason why the power brokers in college football oppose the playoff system isn’t because it “dilutes” the regular season. The primary cause revolves around the ability to control the sport and to keep it at arm’s length from the NCAA.

        As Dan Wetzel points outs in the article attached below:

        Refresh our memory, BCS acolytes: Why must college football never have a playoff?

        Oh, yes, that’s right. Because a postseason tournament would devalue the sport’s singularly meaningful regular season.

        But if regular-season wins and losses mean so much, how did Boise State drop two places in the AP poll after eviscerating Hawaii 42–7 last Saturday? How do the Broncos fall from No. 2 to No. 4 after outgaining the Rainbows 737 yards to 196?

        So please spare Boise the platitudes about the sanctity of college football’s regular season. And spare us Talking Point No. 2: “We believe the bowl system wouldn’t survive a playoff,” predicts BCS executive director Bill Hancock.

        http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1177192/index.htm

        *******************

        When I hear an argument about viewership changing because regular season games aren’t as meaningful, it sounds like the argument made against baseball have a wild-card as part of its playoffs. Also, do you think the NFL would be as popular as it is with a poll system deciding who goes to the Super Bowl like the one in college football? No one would dream of setting up a system like that in prof football, and yet you’re defending it in CFB.

        NCAA basketball and football are apples and oranges. Basketball has many more games, fewer traditional rivalries and a class of highly talented players who are essentially transients who stay for one or two years enroute to the professional careers. I pose the same question to you as I would about pro football–would you have an NCAA final based on polls after all the games are played? Or perhaps a plus-one system where the top four teams in the nation are selected by a committee to decided the NCAA champion?

        Would a playoff change the regular season dynamic? Sure, but to say yes doesn’t mean the change would be for the worst. Fans would be looking to see if their team is still playing for home field advantage, if their conference champions (which means automatic qualification) and who would be the likely opponent in the first round as the playoff rankings are discussed with the same fervor as the BCS standings are right now.

        The other thing I would add is that teams which started out slow, but got better through the season would have a chance to make a big impression during the playoffs.

        The first coach I heard to advocate a 16-team playoff was former Michigan HC Lloyd Carr. I attended a fantasy football camp a few years back and during the Q&A session, he said he came around to the idea of a playoff during the 1999 season. Michigan had gone 9-2 during the regular season and was out of the NC title race, but he felt he had a national championship calibre team. UM went on to beat Alabama in the Orange Bowl that season, but Carr said it would have been a lot more fun/interesting if the setting was in a playoff game at Michigan Stadium.

        I think the final point is just basic fairness. Wetzel’s book starts with the contrast between Joe Paterno and Jim Delany and how each of them sees the BCS. Paterno has had four PSU teams go undefeated and not get the national championship. Does that seem even remotely fair? How about Auburn back in 2004? What about the Utah team that went undefeated and beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl? Cincinnati had a perfect record last season, but no chance to really prove itself on the field in a playoff setting.

        Check out this link for an interview Wetzel had on the BTN plus an excerpt from his book:

        http://cfbexaminer.info/2010/10/18/episode-24-dan-wetzels-plan-to-kill-the-bcs/

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Baseball viewership has been going down since the wildcard was instituted, so that doesn’t exactly support your point. I don’t watch the NFL regular season because those games don’t matter enough for me to care, and I’m convinced that the reason why the NFL has taken off in popularity is because of fantasy football, not so much because those games matter all that much.

          Power does have something to do with it, but you don’t live in the real world if you don’t think power should matter in making a decision. Otherwise, why would Texas want to stay in the Big12 even though it could get as much money (and a growing ownership stake in the BTN) in the BigTen? Still, money is also a big reason.

          You try to brush off the college basketball comparison, but then, every sport is apples and oranges, so by your logic, we can’t ever compare playoff systems between any sport. The point stands, though, that in a sport with an expanded playoff, more money from playoffs would mean less money from the regular season, and you haven’t been able to give an example that shows otherwise.

          Personally, my ideal is a Mandel plan plus-one. In that world, Boise (and PSU before that) would still have a shot at the title.

          Finally, I actually don’t like a system where a team that starts off weak can recover and win by finishing strong. That’s a system where early games don’t matter as much as later games, so I’m not going to start paying attention until late in the season. I think it’s great that teams that have their stuff together right from the get-go are rewarded while teams that lollygag in the beginning before getting serious are punished.

          Like

        • Lots of great debate here. If you haven’t read them before, I’ve written a few times on playoff and plus-one scenarios:

          https://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2006/07/28/the-best-of-both-worlds-a-modest-proposal-for-a-college-football-playoff-that-keeps-the-bowls/

          https://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/the-presidential-commission-on-the-establishment-of-a-college-football-playoff-system/

          https://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/reexamining-the-plus-one-college-football-option/

          Personally, I’d like an 8-team playoff with the 6 BCS conference champs and 2 at-large schools using the bowls (which I wrote in the 2006 post). However, I just don’t think it’s a realistically going to happen with all of the various entrenched interests.

          Originally, I didn’t like the plus-one option, but I’ve come around to it a lot more lately, which I noted in the 2009 post. Ultimately, I believe that’s the best that college sports fans can hope for in the near future (and really, it’s not a bad compromise as it does keep the traditional bowl and it does still place a great value on the regular season).

          The overarching issue is that none of this is happening in a vacuum, meaning that the various BCS conferences and the bowls themselves have a lot invested in the current system. It may very well be the case that the BCS conferences are leaving absolute dollars on the table by avoiding a playoff, but the point is that’s less important than the relative ability to truncate dollars and access to the non-AQ conferences from the perspective of the BCS. So, if there’s going to be any change, it’s not going to happen by just smashing or completely eliminating the system that we have now. We’re more likely to go back to the pre-BCS bowl system without a national championship game at all. It shouldn’t shock people that when you present the BCS conferences with a pure “all or nothing” playoff system, they end up reflexively reacting with “nothing”. The unseeded plus-one is likely the best (if less than perfect) compromise for the time being.

          Like

          • Jake says:

            @Frank – compromise is nice in theory, but the bowls have to be excluded from the playoff. They simply take too much money from the sport and there’s no justification to keep supporting the exorbitant salaries that their execs enjoy while athletic programs are being cut. And as fun as a bowl game is (and I had a blast in Glendale [okay, mostly Scottsdale, Glendale’s a dump] back in January), a playoff game at [insert your team’s home stadium here] would blow the doors off the Fiesta Bowl. No, I’m not interested in settling for what the BCS folks are willing to hand out. College athletics are in crisis, and a real playoff is not only possible, it is inevitable and essential. You want to avoid a 96-team NCAA basketball tournament? Here’s your chance.

            As for the plus-one, I’m not sold. First, a playoff system would bring in more meaningful games, and they would be played at home stadiums, far from the greedy claws of the bowl games. And a plus-one still doesn’t ensure an undisputed champ. Under all the plus-one scenarios I’ve seen, Boise would have had no shot at a national title last year. A playoff needs eight at a minimum, but 16 is optimal. That way all the conference champs get in (yup, even the Sunbelt), with room for a few at-large teams. Anything more than that and you start extending the season well past where it already goes.

            And any threat to go back to the old pre-BCS bowl system is a bluff. They may leave money on the table by resisting a playoff, but they won’t forfeit the money they’re already making. That BCS title game (the one actual playoff game in FBS football, mind you) is far too lucrative.

            Like

          • @Jake – I understand everything that you’re saying. I’m just looking at it this way – no matter how much people might want it, you can’t *force* the BCS conferences to drop the bowl system and create a playoff, which is essentially what would have to happen in order to create a pure playoff system. It might be what the vast majority of sports fans want and it could even be the most lucrative overall scenario for everyone, but as I’ve stated, if it’s an “all or nothing” choice provided to the BCS conferences (which is what the vast majority of playoff proposals are), then they will always choose “nothing” and then there’s no movement at all. It’s not a real “choice” for the BCS conferences to make the bowl system completely into an NIT-esque consolation round. As much as that sounds like an “easy” solution under many playoff proposals, within one year of that system being in place the general public will understand that for all intents and purposes, all that does is slap a Rose Bowl label on today’s Capital One Bowl game, which simply isn’t going to fly for the powers-that-be. It’s no different than, say, reforming our federal tax code and taking into account the ideas presented by the deficit commission earlier this week. If we had a completely clean slate, it would be easy enough to implement those ideas in theory, but the fact of the matter is that it’s anything other than a clean slate – there is a whole lot of history for various tax incentives and breaks along with powerful and large constituencies with different reasons to support to the status quo.

            That’s the thing that I always caution playoff supporters about – there is NO clean slate in college football, which means that any type of postseason reform can’t start out with, “Let’s blow up the system and start from scratch.” As long as that attitude prevails among playoff supporters, no one will get anywhere on this issue. So, if supporters really want change, it’s going to have to find a way to provide a legitimate carrot to the BCS conferences to come to the table as opposed to a stick. I can tell you right away that a 16-team playoff with auto-bids for every conference is a complete non-starter. It doesn’t matter whether that’s fair or not – the BCS conferences will literally secede from the NCAA before that ever happens. If you have a limited playoff with only auto-bids for the BCS conferences plus a handful of at-large bids (essentially the same types of teams that would make the BCS bowls today), then I think you can at least start the conversation. That’s not what fans of non-AQ schools want to hear, but that’s the only way there’s even a chance of a playoff system coming to fruition.

            Even then, you’re going to get a ton of pushback as these bowl committees are a whole lot more influential and powerful than the general public gives them credit for – you can’t just “wish them away” and relegate them all to consolation round status. That’s why I believe the plus-one is the most likely “next step”, which is how college football has always worked (as opposed to radical leaps). It took a century to get the Bowl Alliance into place (which still didn’t include the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Rose Bowl), several more years to incorporate the Big Ten/Pac-10/Rose Bowl triumverate into the BCS system, and then another several years to get the BCS to agree to open up 2 more at-large slots plus a qualifying method for non-AQ conferences. It’s probably not enough of a change for playoff supporters, but the reality is that if any change is going to happen, it has to be *driven* by the BCS conferences as opposed to being *imposed* on them.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            Also, a playoff doesn’t mean getting rid of the bowls. They can stick around as a sort of NIT for college football. They’d get lower TV ratings since they’d mean even less than they do now (if that’s possible), but the vast majority of them would stick around. A couple of the weaker ones might fold, but certainly not more than the fifteen games that would be added by the playoff.

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            @jake
            NCAA rules state the playoffs should have no more than 50% automatic qualifiers. I don’t think a playoff benefits from Sun Belt and MAC schools getting autobids. Ben R.’s Miami team would have made it as a wildcard in a 16 team playoff (they were #11 in BCS) and the rest of the Sun Belt and MAC champs wouldn’t have been competitive.

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            @ Frank

            I think we will eventually see a 16 team playoff, but it will take a while. The money IS huge and the big conferences will figure out a way to keep most of it. Some administrators are opposed to +1 because they see if as the 1st step on the road to a 16 team playoff.

            I like Mandell’s +1 (not as ideal, but as an improvement), but it will give B10/P12/Rose Bowl concerns since it makes the traditional matchup there less likely if you seed the top 4 teams into bowls.

            Personally, I like the present system better than the most discussed (and the one you discuss in your link)post-bowl +1.
            #1 New Year’s Day matchups are not equal and you could have #1 and #2 already playing.
            #2 You could have #1 and #2 being the same before and after even if they played.
            #3 Teams in bowls have vastly different motivations and as a result, the results are much less predictable and representative than the regular season. If it were a playoff game, the motivations would be similar.
            #4 My belief and recollection (without looking at it year-by-year in detail) is that #1 and #2 are usually much clearer BEFORE the bowls than after. The after bowl +1 is simply the present system with an added game that has no logic other than generating $ for bowls. In the last two years: 2009 Alabama and Texas were #1 and #2 both before and after. 2008 OU and Florida were #1 and #2 before with Texas a close #3 and noone really considering Utah, Boise, USC or Penn St deserving. After Florida was #1 and there was a logjam with Texas, USC and unbeatens Utah and Boise all arguing to be #2 or #1.

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          • Bullet says:

            Because of the problems with the +1 systems, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an 8 team playoff before a +1.

            With the increased TV contract $, though, I think the financial pressure on the AQ schools for a playoff has eased.

            I was really surprised to see the B12 and BE vote against the +1 study last year after the SEC and ACC came around, especially since some of the coaches and ADs in those conferences had been for a playoff.

            Like

          • @Bullet – Someone with a greater understanding of NCAA rules might be able to confirm the real answer, but I thought part of the attraction of the plus-one system to the BCS conferences is that the NCAA wouldn’t look at that as a “tournament” that it would have the right to control under NCAA by-laws. The NCAA is on the record that it would not interfere with or attempt to take control of a plus-one system (whether seeded or unseeded). In contrast, I thought that an 8/12/16-team playoff with 3 or more rounds would be defined as a “tournament” that the NCAA would *have* to control under its by-laws, which is a massive reason why the BCS conferences are avoiding it like the plague no matter how large the potential revenue might be. The maintaining of *control* by the BCS conferences is every bit as important as the money here.

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            @Frank
            Don’t know about the by-laws, but if it would require NCAA by-law changes, I agree, they would try very hard to avoid a “tournament.”

            They could get it passed easily. They could probably keep control easily, but they would have to make a lot of promises and compromises.

            Those age & race demographics you posted on the NCAA bb fans has to concern the NCAA. 96% of their revenue comes from the tourney. Some of the schools would probably like to secure the NCAA with a piece of the fb revenues.

            Like

        • jj says:

          you know what’s crazy is that most playoffs do diminish the regular seasons (NBA, NHL for sure), but a small one in NCAAF would be great. With 120 teams there are just too many what ifs. there has to be a fix. I’m for an 8 teamer.

          Like

          • Jake says:

            As I elaborated on above, eight’s a bit small – you need to at least include all of the conference champs. 16 works really well, and is still a very small percentage of the total. It’s 13.3 percent, which is exactly half of what MLB takes to the postseason. And that’s a pretty exclusive postseason. Some would argue that it’s already too big and is hurting the sport’s interest, but I feel that a slightly larger postseason would actually make MLB more interesting by keeping more teams in the hunt. Shorten the regular season if you must.

            I agree that the NBA and NHL take too many and really diminish the regular season. Over half of each league makes the second season, which is sort of ridiculous. I think the NFL does it about right. Just enough playoff teams to keep fans hoping well into the season (the Cowboys are still alive after today, if you can believe it), not too many to water it down.

            Like

        • Jake says:

          @cutter – Amen, brotha!

          Like

    • Pat says:

      I also read “Kill the BCS”. Downloaded it to my eReader from Amazon and really enjoyed it. Didn’t realize how corrupt the bowl system is and how much money the schools lose playing in the lower level bowls. I’m now in favor of a playoff of either four or eight teams. Kinda like the recommendation from Stewart Mandel for the four team Plus-1. It’s a good start. Sixteen teams might be too many.
      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/stewart_mandel/11/03/mailbag/index.html

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I’m fine with and support a plus-one. It’d keep the regular season games important while virtually allowing any school a shot at the national title.

        Like

        • Bullet says:

          +1 as it is usually discussed (not Mandel’s version) picks teams after the bowls. That would be less fair and vastly more controversial than the current system (How about #1 Oregon vs. #2 Ohio St. in the Rose Bowl having to play someone else a week later for the championship? How about 2005 or 2009 where the top two teams were the same before and after the bowls-do you beat them twice?). Mandel’s version is hard for the Big 10 and Pac 12 to swallow as it significantly decreases the chance of a traditional Rose Bowl when you have two seeded bowls.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, I thought up a way to satisfy the Rose Bowl, BigTen, Pac12, and still implement the Mandel Plan.

            What you do is to have no tie-ins to any BCS bowl except the Rose. In exchange for not getting tie-in’s, the other bowls rotate around the semifinals. If both the Pac12 and BigTen champ are in the top 4, they meet in the Rose and that becomes a semifinal (and Semifinal Bowl 2 doesn’t get a semifinal). In all other cases, Semifinal Bowl 1 gets the #1 & #4 seeds and Semifinal Bowl 2 gets the #2 & #3 seeds. Rotate around. 6 year contract. Elevate the Cotton Bowl to have 4 non-Rose BCS bowls. Over 6 years, the non-Rose BCS bowls get 3 semifinals & 1 championship game. The Rose would get the championship game twice over 6 years (in exchange for missing out on semifinals and the more likely possibility of losing a BigTen or Pac12 champ than having them both in the top 4 in the same year). It’s inevitable that some bowl would get screwed out of a semifinal (both BigTen and Pac12 champ in the top 4 one year); give them the extra championship game in the next contract (or if 2 bowls lose out, cut the length of the next contract to 5 years and give those 2 bowls 3 semifinals while the other 2 get 2).

            Everyone wins.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            SEC won’t give up their Sugar Bowl tie in; hard to see the ACC giving up their Orange Bowl tie in as well…

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          • Richard says:

            The SEC gave up the Sugar Bowl tie-in up before, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it in the future. Back in the days of the Bowl Alliance, all the non-Rose bowls had no conference tie-ins. The ACC tie-in to the Orange has little history behind it, and the Orange Bowl probably would prefer to ditch their ACC tie-in since that league hasn’t produced a top team in many a year.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Well, I mean, it’s more of a pride thing. If you’re the SEC, would you let the Big Ten and Pac-10 keep their Rose Bowl matchup if you get bumped around?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Again, they didn’t have a problem with that during the Bowl Alliance days. Plus, the eastern members of the SEC probably wouldn’t mind going to the Orange Bowl instead. If JerryWorld is elevated to a BCS bowl, 3 of the 4 sites would still be in or close to SEC territory.

            You have to remember that the history & attachment that other conferences have with certain bowl games just doesn’t match the history & attachment that the BigTen & Pac-whatever have with the Rose Bowl. The Sugar Bowl only took the SEC champ every year starting in 1973 (and I don’t remember hearing much outrage when the Sugar Bowl didn’t pick an SEC team for 4 out of 5 years from 1995-1999; in contrast, imagine if the Rose Bowl didn’t pick a BigTen team for 4 out of 5 years).

            Like

          • zeek says:

            I get all of that. I just mean, from a perception perspective, Slive doesn’t like to be perceived as being behind anyone else in line; just the vibe I get from the guy, that he would stick up for something like the Sugar Bowl tie-in even though it really doesn’t mean anything historically as compared to the Rose Bowl tradition. That’s all I really meant.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Even with concessions, the matchups won’t happen that often. That’s the issue. From 1998-2009, it would have happened 6 times out of the 12. And 3 of those time would have been because neither team was in the top 4. Can the P12 and B10 live with that?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            Which matchups?

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            I was referring to Big 10 vs. Pac 12. 6 out of the 12 years of the BCS they would have been matched, 3 times outside the 4 team playoff, 3 times within. The other 6 years only one of the 2 conferences had a team in the top 4 of the BCS.

            Theoretically you might still have a 2nd place team in the Rose Bowl creating a B10/P12 matchup, but the champs would have only met half the time. And that is assuming you adjust the rules to make sure its in the Rose Bowl if they play. And that would be hard to do as they wouldn’t know until the 1st week in December.

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          • Bullet says:

            Personally, I’m fine with them meeting less in the Rose Bowl, but I’m primarily a B12/SEC fan. The P12/B10 ADs definitely wouldn’t like it and I’m not sure the conference’s fans would like it.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, got it. I think taking one champ out of the Rose Bowl is less problematic because the Rose could still choose a replacement from the BigTen or Pac12 to create a BigTen/Pac12 matchup, which is what they care about most.

            Like

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Also read the book. Would love to have an off-season discussion on this site of the book. Probably too much “present tense” stuff right now happening to worry about the future of the BCS/playoff.

        Great book! Read it immediately…or at least ask Santa for it.

        If the BCS wants to save itself, they’ll implement a “plus one” utilizing their current BCS bowls (add another on January 1 for a bit extra money, those greedy pigs). But the system is broken and if the NCAA ponies up and makes a real playoff, the BCS (and powers-that-be) will falter. They don’t want that to happen…so I bet they do a little “plus one” that buys them another 10-15 years of sapping the colleges dry and remaining in power.

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          hmm…. the NCAA can “pony up” as you say, but it’s wasted money if the PAC12 and Big10 don’t participate.

          Further, Delany has enough power to kill the idea before the NCAA “ponies up” money to fund a playoff.

          Btw, one more anti-playoff reason no one is addressing: home field advantage. How many Rose Bowls does USC win if they have to play every other in C-bus or AA?

          And if you are a B10 fan in favor of a playoff without the southern and western teams having to play in the snow, then I point my accusing finger at you and shout: “TRAITOR to your team!!”

          Like

    • Bullet says:

      The real issue for the conferences is that the NCAA controls the NCAA bb money (it funds something like 96% of the NCAA budget) and the conferences control the fb money. The tourney vastly drawfs what they would get if there was no tourney.

      A 32 team fb tourney would produce lots more money and diminish the regular season. A 16 team fb tourney would produce lots more money-and I think any thoughts that it would diminish the regular season are way overblown. An 8-12 team tourney would produce lots more money and definitely have no impact on the regular season. Its control. It also probably isn’t a coincidence that back in the early 90s when there was some movement toward a playoff, a player testified that he thought players should get a share and the SEC voted the next week unanimously to oppose a playoff.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        It will certainly have an impact. Right now, every game featuring a top team matters because one loss means they don’t control their own destiny. Put in a 16-team playoff, and losing a game (or even 2-3 games, for SEC schools) won’t matter much.

        I don’t want a situation where Florida or OSU are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs and thus rest their starters against FSU or Michigan.

        Like

        • Bullet says:

          Those games are so big it wouldn’t happen. And the margin for getting in isn’t that big. I had previously looked at what would happen with a 16 team playoff, using BCS rankings and giving 8 automatic bids (AQ6 + 2 other conferences), some years you do get 3-three loss wildcard teams, but some years you get 0. It comes out to 11-3 loss wildcard teams over 6 years.

          There aren’t that many teams in the tourney w/16 (NCAA bb is almost 50% of major conference teams-who ALSO get a conference tourney) and there aren’t that many unbeatens or 1 loss teams going into the final weekend who would be safe.

          In any event, with 4, 8, 10 or 12, there clearly is no issue with the regular season, but they still avoid the playoff. With 12 (assuming 6AQ + 1 reserved for a champ from the rest of the conferences), I looked all the way back to 96 and a 3 loss wildcard team never got in and a number of 2 loss teams got left out.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Will 4, there’s no issue with the regular season. I wouldn’t go beyond that. Again, if a power conference school is pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot with 2 losses, there’s less of a reason for me to care about a game like Alabama-SCarolina earlier this season. I likely wouldn’t have watched it. Under the current setup, I did.

            Also, you want incentives to be aligned. Do you want coaches resting players for _any_ games? With an expanded playoff, that’s the rational thing to do if the game essentially doesn’t matter.

            Like

        • Robber Baron says:

          Right now we may easily end up in a situation where undefeated teams will not go to the championship game. BSU and TCU have been top teams all season long. If they don’t go, their games will not have mattered at all. I hate the mentality that right now every game counts. No they don’t. Only the hyped up games count. There are a ton of games out there that will help determine conference races that would all be much, much bigger if they had a playoff spot on the line.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, that’s why I support the Mandel Plan. My version would keep traditional rivalries as much as possible, even if that means #1 meets #2 in a semifinal (#1 met #2 in the SEC title game and no one complained). That way, pretty much every school does have a shot at the title, and regular season games still matter as much as they do now.

            Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          thank you Richard!! so at The Game in 2006, would tOSU and Michigan have “rested” certain players? who knows, but certainly the “sudden death” aspect is gone cuz both teams would have made the playoff. And if you remove the “sudden death” aspect, do the teams play with the same passion, the same do-or-die? I say no.

          Like

          • Jake says:

            That’s weird. I keep hearing from you Big Ten folks about what a big deal OSU-Michigan is, and how it goes back to the states fighting a war or something, and how people in those states just hate each other. If the rivalry is really just about two teams vying for a title, then it really isn’t any more special than any other rivalry, is it? If it was a real rivalry, both of those teams could be 1-10 going into the game, and everyone would still play their hearts out. And any coach who sat a star player in such a game would have a very short tenure. Army and Navy almost never have a title or postseason berth to play for, and that doesn’t stop them from going all out. NFL teams rest players because the rivalries aren’t real – it’s just theater played by a bunch of mercenaries. That difference is one of the reasons I watch college football.

            Also, under Wetzel’s playoff system, seeding would be extremely important, and it would be extremely rare, given the number of teams, that anyone would be able to clinch home field advantage through the first three rounds after 11 games. You’d have to go undefeated to (maybe) guarantee it, and there would frequently be 1-loss teams that wouldn’t even be in the top four. Every team in at least the Top 20 or so would have something critical to play for every week.

            Suggesting that Wetzel’s proposal would diminish the regular season is ridiculous. Comparing college football to college basketball or baseball? Get out. If you want a meaningful comparison, look at the NFL, the closest thing we have. They manage to have an engrossing regular season AND postseason. While some of the games at the tippy top of the rankings might not matter quite as much if D1-A added a playoff, many more games would matter a whole lot more as teams battle for seeding and to get those final berths. Right now, no one really cares about the Big East and ACC races (or the MAC, C-USA, or Sunbelt, for that matter) except to point out what a joke the BCS system really is, but if they had auto-bids to a playoff, you bet people would care. And since this is a Big Ten-centric board, it’s worth pointing out that not many people outside the Midwest care that much about your conference race right now because none of your teams are in BCS title contention. But again, playing for an auto-bid, we would.

            Anyway, if you want a true national champion and you want to improve the health of college athletics around the country by bringing boatloads more money to the sport, Wetzel’s plan is hard to beat. If you care about the tradition of bowl games that are scamming their participants out of millions of dollars, by all means support the status quo or the compromise of the “plus-one” plan.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I doubt a playoff would bring boatloads more money (it would bring more, but wouldn’t improve the bottom line of schools in the power conferences), and I actually care more about the health of student-athletes than about the satisfaction of jersey-cheerers vicariously living through those student athletes.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @Richard – A rising tide lifts all ships. Believe it or don’t, but a playoff would not only bring more money to each and every conference by itself, but it would also stimulate interest in the regular season, making it an even more valuable commodity. Yes, even for the Big Ten. If Jim Delaney is more concerned about having a bigger slice of a smaller pie, then he isn’t effectively representing the best interests of the schools in his conference.

            And I was talking about the health of the athletic programs. More money to the schools and the NCAA means we stop cutting wrestling, gymnastics and all of those other non-revenue sports. For men and women. But if you want to bring up the issue of playoff games impacting the health of football players, why don’t you check with the FCS schools? Their tournament is one round longer than Wetzel’s proposal. And under his system, only eight teams (the first round winners) would be playing more games than they do currently.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Their game isn’t as violent because their players are smaller, and while you hold it on faith that an expanded playoff would generate more interest in the regular season, I’m quite sure the opposite would happen. I know that I, for one, would stop paying attention to games that don’t involve my team or conference and spend my time on more valuable matters.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @Richard – You don’t want to be convinced, fine. A playoff means more teams are in the hunt, which means more games have meaning. That means more people watch. You might not be one of them, but they’ll be watching. Heck, if we had a playoff, that Northwestern win over Iowa would have been relevant nationally. I’d have set my DVR, at least.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            ….on the other hand, neither Oregon vs. Cal or Auburn vs. Georgia would have been relevent nationally. Maybe for seeding purposes, but I for one wouldn’t bother tuning in to a game if all that is at stake is whether Oregon gets in the playoffs as a #1 seed or a #7 seed.

            The thing about the NFL that makes a relatively large playoff work is the parity there. Pretty much any team can beat almost any other team in any given week. There’s much less parity in the college football, so when it became obvious that Oregon would be a shoo-in for a 16-team playoff (about the midway point, after they beat Stanford), I don’t know why any neutral fans would watch any remaining Oregon games. Yes, football junkies would still care about seeding, but making virtually no games must-see TV for neutral fans (except for schools on the playoff brink late in the season) is a sure way to decrease interest in the regular season. I know that if a 16-team playoff was adopted, I wouldn’t pay attention to any games that didn’t involve my school or conference (just like in college basketball). I mean, why should I care? No single game in the regular season will have national title ramifications. The title hunt wouldn’t start until the playoffs start.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            BTW, last week, I wanted to watch the TCU vs. SDSU game (couldn’t, because it was on Versus), to see if one of the national title contenders could avoid being upset and have it’s title hopes extinguished. Under a 16-team playoff scenario, I could care less, because that game would be virtually meaningless to a neutral. TCU would be going to the playoff as winner of the MWC, win or lose, and I’m not going to tune in just to see how TCU’s seed might be affected.

            Like

    • Bullet says:

      We are at real risk of having the ultimate BCS nightmare. No, not TCU vs. Boise in the championship game, but Oregon vs. Auburn setup the 1st week in December, with Auburn forced to forfeit all its wins between BCS day and the bowl game. Do you change all the matchups?

      The 2nd worst nightmare would be Auburn winning and having to forfeit all its wins right after the bowl.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        that’s not a BCS-specific nightmare. It’s a CFB nightmare. We’d be saying the same thing if we had a playoff. Hear it: “OMB, Auburn’s gonna run the table and kill everybody in the 16-team playoff. what do we do?”

        Like

    • m (Ag) says:

      I certainly would watch a lot less college football if they moved to a playoff system. The amount of playoff games I’d watch wouldn’t nearly make up for the amount of regular season games I’d lose interest in. Heck, I’ve watched a fair amount of Boise games the last few years; if there was a playoff system I doubt I’d ever watch them unless they made the final game. Beyond that, turning college football into a junior version of the NFL will hurt the college game over time.

      Moving to a playoff system will lead to a loss in viewers over the regular season; they will not make it up in a few week playoffs.

      Playoff advocates constantly demean people like me. Yes, I like it that games all through the year matter. If you want to say that TCU or Boise State are somehow getting ‘screwed’ because they’ll get to play in a multi-million dollar bowl game, just not the one you want, I think that’s sad. If you want to say they should be the real champs, that’s fine. I’d rather the BCS didn’t call the top-rated game a ‘championship’, because I can acknowledge there are different opinions about the whole thing.

      Of course, the issue noone ever cares about are the hits the 20 year old athletes take to their bodies. This isn’t FCS level athletes, the top teams are closer to the NFL in terms of the speed and force that they hit with. I don’t want them playing an NFL length season so playoff advocates get a few more games to bet on.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        This is the other point, to. It’s hard for me to think of playoff proponents as being fans of college football players. Fans of games where they can vicariously get their rocks off, perhaps, or maybe fans of differently colored jerseys, but 50 years from now, I bet even the Boise players would rather not have taken 3-10 extra games of hits (over their college careers) than had the chance to play a playoff.

        Like

        • Bullet says:

          Every college sport including Division III non-scholarship fb has a playoff. A lot of states have high schools playing 16 games. All those athletes seem to like the chance to compete against the best for a championship. Whenever the NCAA expands championships in non-revenue sports, the argument is always that it is to increase the chances for student-athletes to participate in championships. I can’t imagine the Boise players not wanting to have had a shot.

          Maybe a number of the handful of players getting 180k to sign and then spending a career in the NFL really would prefer not to. But the overwhelming majority of players end their career in college. And that includes those big strong fast players at James Madison and Appalachian St. and others in FCS.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            No other sport is as violent or as physically damaging to athletes’ bodies as football. I’m positive that college basketball, volleyball, etc. players would like to play more games, but there’s a reason why most FBS college football players are actually against a playoff.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think those people on the B10 hockey thread might disagree.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’ve never heard anything indicating FCS players don’t like their playoff-and quite a few FCS players end up in the pros. There is little difference on the impact on the players between FCS and FBS-there are lots of 300 lb linemen in FCS-again, ask Michigan and Virginia Tech-and Minnesota and Kansas and Ole Miss. I’ve never seen any survey indicating FBS players oppose a playoff (I’m not saying there isn’t one-but I’ve never heard of it). Of course, the bowls ARE a lot of fun. But short of a 24 or 32 team playoff, the bowls don’t have to go away.

            Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        Why does a playoff have to be a 16-team playoff (or more)?

        I think it should 4 teams, no more. Last year, for example, Alabama’s close game against would have been just as urgent if there was only a 4-team playoff. Had Alabama lost, the playoffs would have been (1) Texas, (2) TCU, (3) Cincinnati… and either Alabama or Boise. But Alabama would lose control of its own destiny if had lost just one game.

        Anything beyond 4 teams DOES devalue the regular season. If the season ended today, I wouldn’t want to see LSU AND Stanford AND Wisconsin AND Nebraska still get a chance at the national title, especially since they’ve clearly had inferior seasons to the top four teams.

        Like

        • Robber Baron says:

          Don’t be dense. The reason some people want as many as 16 teams in a playoff is to guarantee that any team can play its way to a championship without having to go through the beauty pageant of the poll process. With only 4 teams we would still have the nauseating arguments about 1-loss SEC or BigTen teams being more deserving than undefeated MWC or WAC teams.

          There is no guarantee that a playoff this year would include LSU, Stanford, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Some of us just want a playoff of conference champs. Rewarding a conference championship with a playoff berth makes the regular season plenty compelling if you ask me.

          Oh wait, I forgot to infuse my argument with some all-caps. Here we go: A playoff of champs WOULD make for a compelling regular season.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Under a 4-team playoff (Mandel Plan), there wouldn’t be any nauseating arguments like that because pretty much any undefeated title contender would make the playoff, and in my view, any team that’s already lost has no leg to stand on; they controlled their own fate and could have made the playoffs by winning out but didn’t do so.

            BTW, that same argument applies for a 16-team playoff as well; you’d have arguments about whether this 3 loss team is more deserving than that 2 loss team, etc., so why don’t we go to a 32-team playoff, or a 64-team playoff?

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            Only so many teams have a realistic chance at winning so you don’t need 32 or 64. I never liked the idea of bb going from 48 to 64. I once favored a 16 team fb playoff (with not all conferences getting auto bids), but because 16 teams don’t have a realistic chance, I like the idea of 10-12 now with the bottom 4-6 teams having to play-in. 10-12 invites the major conference champs while still giving a shot to the TCU’s, Boise’s, Utah’s and Hawaii’s.

            8 could do the same thing, but wouldn’t work politically. I don’t think the major conferences would settle for only 1 wildcard of their own. And in recent years, the 3rd or 4th best team could have been left out. 2009 FL, 2008 AL, 2007 MO (#1 prior to Big12 ccg) would all have been the 2nd wildcard and left out in an 8 team playoff with 6 autobids + 1 for the non AQs.

            The MWC did propose 10 BCS teams with 8 in a playoff by seed and 2 in the 5th BCS bowl. Again, politically, I don’t think the majors would like the possibility of their champ being #9 or #10 and stuck in the other bowl (ACC vs. BE a lot in recent years).

            I suspect choosing the top 4 would be more controversial than the top 2. And #4 most years, does have a chance to win 2 games.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            Lighten up, man. There’s no place for name-calling on this thread.

            Like

          • Robber Baron says:

            My apologies, Michael. I just thought that last year’s 5 undefeated teams made it obvious that 4 is not enough. I like the idea of a team being defeated on the field at least once before being told they aren’t the best, or given a chance to prove they are.

            What I like best about having a tournament of conference champions is that it eliminates the arguments about some conferences having advantages over others. Some play 9 conference games, others 8 or 7. Some want CCGs while others don’t. As long as each conference has a playoff bid it can organize itself any way it wants.

            An 11-team tournament is actually not unthinkable. The 5 conferences with tie-ins to the Rose/Sugar/Fiesta/Orange can keep them, with those games serving as a second round. The other 6 conferences can have an opening/play-in round for the 3 open spots in the Sugar/Fiesta/Orange.

            Having to win your conference makes the regular season compelling, I think. Maybe we will no longer get the entire country watching the top 2 ranked teams the last few weeks, but we will get heightened interest in any teams still in contention for the 11 conference crowns.

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            Drastically reducing the value of non-conference games (a side affect of taking every conference winner) is surely not going to make college football better.

            People do watch the whole country now. People in one region pay attention to what’s going on in conferences much more than they would with your system. Having the big conferences forced to subsidize the small conferences even more will reduce the interest in the big conferences quicker than it will spur interest in the regional schools that make up the small conferences.

            Like

          • Robber Baron says:

            In that case, how about we only take the best 8 conference champions? Their quality can be judged based on each league

            Like

          • Robber Baron says:

            … ‘s OOC record. That would make OOC games matter, no? It would leave the possibility of punishing a great team from an awful league, but maybe there is a fair way to tweak the formula to be a fair blend on the champ’s record and its league’s OOC record.

            Like

      • MAC Country says:

        Urban Meyer has said this very thing. These kids can’t take all the extra hits that they would in a playoff. Plus, how do you recruit? If you have to have a team that may have to play the first playoff game in Madison, the second in Tallahassee and the third in Pasadena.

        Like

        • Bullet says:

          IMO the weather is an excuse the B10 schools use for getting beat by the SEC schools.

          Now recruiting is impacted by who you are playing against. If you are in a pass happy league like the B12 is now, you need a high scoring offense and a different type of defense than in the more traditional B10.

          Like

          • MAC Country says:

            The Big 10 is very competitive with the SEC. I think it is 16-16 in the last 32 bowl games between the 2 conferences. The weather is something fans of a Big Ten team use when they lose. What I’m saying is how do you recruit a team to play in Dec in both environments? Which is likely to happen in a playoff. There are only so many schorlarships available. Unless you are Auburn.

            Like

          • MAC Country says:

            And I remember ESPN making excuses for LSU last year in their bowl game against State Penn. I wonder if it occurred to them that SPU was playing on the exact same field. LOLs.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Bullet, other than Ohio State, the Big Ten does fine in games where we’re matched up evenly.

            That’s just a media thing since Ohio State imploded spectacularly earlier in the decade.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            MAC Country – the SEC is 2-0 in BCS NCGs and 3-1 in all BCS games against the Big Ten.

            I was at the Cap One bowl this year and didn’t hear the announcers, but Penn State proved to be better “mudders” than LSU. Those terrible field conditions probably hurt LSU with their speed advantage more than Penn State. But the difference in the game from my perspective was that Penn State had good QB play and LSU had horrible QB play, although Jefferson probably would have been just as bad in the sunshine.

            As a LSU fan, I’d rather have my team lose Cap One bowls (Iowa & Penn St.) against Big Ten teams, and beat Big Ten teams in the Sugar Bowl (Illinois) and the BCS NCG (tOSU).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bullet: I’d almost be for a 16-team playoff if it meant games are played at the higher seed’s home site before the title game. You may dismiss the effects of weather, but your team will rarely play a team with enough talent to derail a national title contender in cold weather while SEC teams never will. At least with a 16-team playoff played at home sites, southern team some times will have to win games played in sleet, snow, freezing wind, and below-freezing temperatures on a frozen muddy field to win a national title.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            BTW, I looked it up:

            Since PSU joined the BigTen, here are the BigTen’s record in bowl games against SEC teams:

            PSU: 5-2
            Michigan: 5-2
            Iowa: 3-1
            Minnesota: 2-0
            Wisconsin: 2-4
            MSU: 1-2
            Illinois: 0-1
            Purdue: 0-2
            Northwestern: 0-2
            OSU: 0-6

            18-16 not counting OSU (Bucky’s the main school dragging us down).

            Mind you, all except one of these bowl games were played in SEC territory, far from BigTen weather and environs.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            @Richard,

            I think it’s overstated how much Big Ten teams themselves actually play cold weather games. It’s November 16th, and we have yet to have highs lower than about 55 degrees. It might be colder in Wisconsin or Michigan, but I doubt it’s any colder over in Columbus.

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            That bowl record also disproves the weather theory. The further north, the better they seemed to do.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Richard – if Big Ten fans and schools are not happy with their bowls in warm weather climates that are located in the heart of other conferences, they should pull out of the those bowls, including the Rose Bowl. Why not establish a bowl in Green Bay for the Big Ten champion to host?

            One of the reasons that Big Ten schools travel so well is that fans want to get away to a decent climate in late December.

            For most of the season Big Ten schools play in ideal conditions and the college football season is over before really the cold weather sets in. The Big Ten, unlike the NFC North does not play in frozen tundra conditions in late late December and early January.

            If you want to play a game in miserable conditions, come to Baton Rouge or Gainesville in early September with a 115 degree heat index on the field at kick-off.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            Northern teams being able to win in warm/temperate climates doesn’t mean southern teams can win in cold climates.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Scenes from the 2000 Snow Bowl, errr Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana.

            Like

  13. Patrick says:

    Frank and everyone,

    A discussion came up today at work about Auburn and their supposed cheating ways. With the FBI involved this whole Cam Newton thing looks very serious, with Auburn in big trouble.

    Auburn could get the death penalty for football, that would be HUGE! A major program in the SEC getting shut down. Could that be a big enough earthquake to start another round of expansion / re-organization? The SEC would be out looking for at least one suitor, maybe as many as three. Would Texas A&M be at the top of the list to replace Auburn in the SEC West if they did in fact receive the ‘death penalty’?

    It will definitely be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      IIRC from the SMU days, to get the death penalty you need two major violations in a five year period. I’m not sure Auburn, if guilty, will qualify.

      Like

      • Bullet says:

        Auburn, although they are 3rd all time, just 1 violation behind from SMU and Arizona St., hasn’t been caught on a major since 93 according to one article I saw. Though they were on probation in the 1st part of this decade, but even so, it was more than 5 years ago.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      I don’t see the NCAA doing that to Auburn. Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but while the NCAA maybe OK with dealing a near-fatal blow to the football program of a small school like SMU, I just don’t see them severely damaging the financial interests of a school that’s one of the top 25 brands around and also wound one of their top conferences.

      A lesson really should be dealt, though. I thought Alabama got off far too lightly in the Albert Means incident. If what ‘Bama got in their 5 years of probation (2 year bowl ban; 21 scholarships docked) is the last step before the death penalty, then there’s seems to be a major gap in the punishment scale. What should be done is lengthening the punishment period to a decade for buying a player. Say a 6 year bowl ban that is cut in to 3 two-year periods (2 years on, 2 years off) spread over 10 years so that innocent students who had nothing to do with the incident can still go to bowl games during their college careers along with a (phased in) maximum scholarship limit of 65 for the offending school.

      I think the NCAA has to make the offending school uncompetitive for a decade straight. Maybe then, coaches & boosters would think twice about trying to gain an advantage over a 4 year period (or reach the national title game with a special player) by buying a player.

      Like

      • Bullet says:

        The real problem with the death penalty is that it punishes the school, current players and your conference mates. It was the death blow to the SWC. Most people don’t think they would do it again, given how severely it hurt SMU and everyone around them.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Exactly, which is why the NCAA should do what I detailed below. That way, no innocent current players get punished, but coaches/boosters would think twice about wounding their program for a decade. I don’t understand why the NCAA leaves such a huge gap in their punishment spectrum. It’s as if our criminal code had punishments for everything up to 5 years in jail, but then it’s the death penalty (or life sentence) for everything beyond that. It’s screwed up.

          Like

      • Richard says:

        Thinking it over, the maximum penalty before the “death penalty” should be 10 years probation, slowing decreasing the minimum scholarships for the school down to 65, and a 5 year bowl ban in the last half the 10 years. That way, no current player who thought he signed up with a legit school would be unfairly punished, but the school/administration/fans would still have to suffer for a decade. Any players/coaches that sign up in the future would at least know what they’re getting in to.

        Like

        • Patrick says:

          http://www.dawgsports.com/2006/7/16/1376/16504

          Article from 2006 by a blogger about the nearly constant probations and violations of Auburn over the last 50 years.

          Including a link to this 2003 ESPN article… http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=1617370
          that says “Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden said on tape two years ago that boosters were funneling thousands of dollars to football players when he became coach in 1993, a time when the Tigers already were on NCAA probation.

          “They were paying players cash, $12,000, $15,000 to sign,” Bowden said on the recording. “All I was told to do was shake hands and say, ‘Thank you. I appreciate how much you love Auburn.”‘

          Death Penalty is a massive blow, but when nothing else changes the culture….maybe it’s nessesary. No program can be bigger than the NCAA and it’s rules. Auburn should be very worried especially with their long history of probations and violations. Also the FBI is involved.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            I still think decade-long probation, 65 scholarship limit, & 5 year bowl ban should do the trick of changing the culture. Not sure why there aren’t more people enthusiastic about this.

            Like

      • jj says:

        The NCAA needs a coach licensing system. Violations also follow the coaches’ licenses. Maybe coordinate with NFL.

        Like

    • Bamatab says:

      Auburn won’t get the death penalty (for the reasons already given by some of the previous posters). But they will get hammered on this one and here is my thoughts on why. Keep in mind that that my thoughts are coming from a Bama point of view, but this is how most of the “in-touch” Bama fans view things over on the plains.

      Rumor has it that they made a conscious decision back in 2008 to go back to the old 70s/80s SEC/SWC (actually all the major schools used to do this to some extent) way of doing things (for a look at an example of the way auburn worked back in the early 90s, take a look at this 60 Minutes special http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieX-pNMnwFE). This was Saban’s 2nd year at Bama and we had just come off an undefeated regular season with two consecutive top 3 (depending on which recruiting service you look at) recruiting classes. Auburn decided that they needed to do something or they wouldn’t be able to compete with a Saban led Bama.

      Auburn has always done this, but to a much lesser extent after Bowden and Tubberville came aboard. As a matter of a fact, Bowden was appalled by what he found when he hired on (just read the article that Patrick linked), he tried to put an end to a lot of the practice when he got there, but still had to keep some of the previous “commitments” that were already in place. When Tubbs got hired, the PTB (really a faction within auburn led by Bobby Lowder and Pat Dye) tried to reinstate it and did to some extent, but with Bama getting hit they (and the rest of the SEC schools) decided to tone things down a bit. Also their failed ousting of Tubbs to get Petrino, finally swung the power at auburn away from Lowder/Dye and things toned down a bit further. Then in 2008 with the preceived downward trend of the auburn football program and the upward trend of Bama’s, the Lowder/Dye faction regained enough power to finally oust Tubbs and find someone that would do things the old way. Basically Dye chose Chizik (who had worked at auburn previously and whom he knew would do things the way he wanted) a coach with a 5-15 head coaching record.

      Auburn, in this past recruiting class, racked up a top 5 class after going 8-5 while Bama just won the NC. Now auburn might be a top 20/top 15 football program, but for them to get a top 5 recruting class after an 8-5 season with a no name coach and while Bama had just come off 2 undefeated regular seasons and a NC is beyond suspicious in my book. If the NCAA looks hard enough, I think Cam won’t be the only one found with extra money in their pocket after they signed with auburn.

      Now I think that the Slive should be worried as well. There are supposedly several schools that are not pleased with how the SEC has handled this situation so far. Miss St turned in evidence back in January and Slive sat on it. One of Slive’s goals when he took office was to keep the SEC schools probation free. Now it appears that in this instance, Slive tried to do this by sitting on the evidence that MSU gave him. This really ticked off MSU, so they went around Slive’s back and started leaking this info to the media and has now turned in their evidence to the NCAA. I think another twist to this might turn out to be that auburn and MSU weren’t the only schools bidding on Cam, which may have been another reason that Slive tried to sit on it. But if this didn’t come out and Slive did sit on it, it could’ve turned the SEC into the SWC part 2 (most folks outside the SEC already think this anyways). There is a reason that the FBI is invovled and it isn’t to look into slandering chargers as some of the auburn fans seem to think.

      Again, this is coming from a Bama fan and thus I am bias. But I think the NCAA will hammer auburn if for no other reason than to send the SEC a message that we better not go back to the old ways of doing things.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        Thank you for the comments; very interesting; have a good friend up here in Indiana who’s a ‘Bama fan (raised down there). He has said similar things to me. This is the first time I have read/heard ANYTHING that made sense of the Chizik hire. When I heard about it, i was like “who? WTF?” I mean, Auburn should be getting a BIG NAME. LOL.

        Anyway, thank you for the perspective (even tho’ we’ll “edit” it cuz of your ‘Bama leanings).

        Like

        • Bullet says:

          Chizik was defensive coordinator on the undefeated Auburn team in 2004 and then on the national champ Texas team in 2005 (TX paid big bucks to get him from Auburn). So it does make some sense. He had Auburn ties and had very successful defenses in two different locations.

          Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        @Bamatab,

        As an FSU fan, I’ll just say that your thoughts on Auburn and the SEC pretty much sum up why I was relieved FSU didn’t join the SEC this past summer. FSU has enough problems as it is. They need to stay associated with schools who keep themselves from being investigated by the NCAA (other than UNC, who’d never been in trouble before).

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Yeah, thanks for the insight. Unless they start handing out 10-year probations, 5-year bowl bans, and more severe scholarship reductions, though, I’m not sure “the hammer” isn’t one of those plastic toy hammers you get 5 year old kids.

        BTW, I think it’s ridiculous that Slive came out and said whether to sit Newton is Auburn’s decision.

        Like

        • Vincent says:

          Auburn won’t get the death penalty; it and other BCS programs are the college sports equivalent of Goldman Sachs, “too big to fail.” Especially with CBS and ESPN wanting to keep its games on TV.

          Like

      • zeek says:

        This is why I keep coming back to this site. Thanks for the information; great to hear it from a perspective most of us wouldn’t know.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Auburn will be a little shorthanded for Alabama. For those who didn’t see the end of the Auburn-UGA game, its not Cam Newton. 2 Auburn defensive players got ejected for throwing punches and will miss the 1st half of the Alabama game. Given their defense, it may not be much of a loss.

        Auburn defensive lineman Fairley took a cheap shot (WAY after the play) with his helmet at the back of UGA’s QB and got flagged. Later in the final minute with the game decided, he took a dive at the UGA QB’s knee well after the ball was released and knocked him out of the game (he was helped off the field). Refs didn’t throw a flag. So next play, some of the UGA players piled on Fairly for their own penalty. There was some scuffling and one of the other Auburn players threw a punch (after Fairly was already out of the pile) and got ejected while both sides got flagged. Fairly paraded around the stadium apparently proud of his cheap shot. Auburn fans congratulated the player who took the punch (he did it well after Fairly got out of the pile) On the next play another Auburn player threw a punch, got ejected (only Auburn got a flag). UGA’s coach Richt, who gets criticized in Atlanta for not being mean enough to his players, graciously had UGA take a knee with 30 seconds left so noone else got hurt.

        All I can say is, ROLL TIDE!!!!!!

        Like

      • dchorn says:

        Bamatab,
        Quick question since your the resident expert on Alabama things??? I read a tiger droppings post that the FBI was in on this deal so fast because of another investigation involving the failed Colonial Bank?? Is there any truth to this or more “tin foil” than reality?? Just curious….

        By the way…Roll tide in 2 weeks..

        Like

        • dchorn says:

          http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/messagetopic.asp?p=22719839

          fyi- link to post…probally just talk mout of church, but found the post curious…

          Like

        • Bamatab says:

          dchorn – I’ve heard some of those rumors for sometime now. Not so much for the bank fraud but more for the corruption that stemmed from the casino/gamble ordeal. The FBI caught and arrested some of our state reps for taking bribes in regards to legalizing gambling in the state. This was big news and caused a lot of state reps to get voted out and new ethics reform to be the big issue going forward in the state. A lot of the folks that were giving the bribes (Milton McGregor & the Fine-Geddie lobby group) have strong ties to auburn and are supposedly some of their big money men along with Rane & Lowder.

          This article that was linked in the Tigger dropping thread (http://www.thetuskegeenews.com/articles/2010/10/21/opinion/doc4cbf59b3eea05796017322.txt) is the first that I’ve seen where the bank fraud tied in. But that make sense as well. Lowder has been the man running their athletic department for years (he was/is on the board of trustees and basically most of the other trustees are somehow indebted to him, supposedly).

          From everything that I’ve heard, this can’t end well for auburn. There are folks connected to Bama that have supposedly heard some of the tapes that are supposedly out there and they claim that there is no way that the NCAA can afford to let auburn slide on this. Again, that is just some of the things that I’m hearing (which is probably 3rd or 4th hand news), so take it with a grain of salt.

          Like

          • dchorn says:

            wow….the scary thing is if even half of this is true (still deabateable) this makes SMU look like a church bingo game…This has the potential of being a game changing event for the sport..At the least, one hell of a Grisholm novel…

            Like

          • Richard says:

            If even half if this is true, should Auburn even be considered for the national title game right now? The wheels of justice at the NCAA grind slowly, but if I was a coach or Harris poll voter, I’ve got to consider just how right it would be to even place Auburn on my ballot if I’ve investigated the issue myself and believe that Auburn broke the rules to gain an unfair advantage on everyone else.

            How tragic would it be if Auburn denied Boise or TCU a shot at the national title and then it turns out that Cam Newton shouldn’t have played the entire season?

            Like

          • Bamatab says:

            I’ll be going to a meeting tomorrow which is basically a North Alabama “fans” meeting that has some ties to the Tiderinsider and Bamamag websites. Here is the link to the meeting website: http://www.nati.myevent.com/

            Their main speaker tomorrow is a poster that calls himself redfish. He is an ex-bama player and apparently has a source(s) close to this situation. He has been out in front of this story from before the first major scoop was broke by ESPN/NYT. He has called just about every story break on this at least several days in advance. The only thing he has been off on was that he predicted that auburn would be force to sit Cam for the UGA game. But he now claims that basically it was “recommended” that auburn sit him, but they ignored the “recommendation” since in the end it is up to the school to sit a player and not the NCAA. Keep in mind that a player in ineligible if a player was shopped by anyone (even to a school that he didn’t sign with) until the NCAA has fully investigated it. I think that most will admit that there is enough out there to say that he was at the very least shopped to MSU. Redfish stated over the weekend to expect something new come out from Chris Low sometime either this week or the next

            Anyways, if I hear anything new at the meeting that I can repeat (they usually have a standing policy of not posting certain info from these meetings) I’ll share.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Richard – you or Cam Newton are innocent until proven guilty. I know the NCAA doesn’t have to comply with due process, but how tragic would it be if Auburn is denied a shot at the BCS NCG based on allegations alone?

            It was tragic that Auburn was denied a shot at the 2004 BCS NCG when USC used an ineligible player. Unfortunately, we didn’t know for sure until 2010.

            Selfishly, as a LSU alum and fan, I’d like to see a quick resolution against Auburn so my Tigers can play in the SEC CG, if we beat Ole Miss and Arkansas. LSU has more to gain than any team by the hammer quickly falling on Auburn.

            While things don’t look good for Auburn or the Newton family, we just don’t know all the facts yet. Until all the facts are out and it is proven that cash changed hands, and that Auburn boosters were involved, and the Cam had knowledge of what Daddy Newton and Kenny Rogers were doing, I’m not ready to hang a young man or a university, even though its in my team’s best interests to do so.

            Like

          • jj says:

            Bottom line IMO – both he and Auburn need to man up and talk. Quit playing lawyerball. This isn’t a court and the silence is pregnant. No way, I’d pass over others in the vote if I had one. Look at Vince Young. We don’t need another like that.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Alan:

            Someone here posted that Cam’s father confessed to NCAA investigators that he shopped Cam to Miss St. That’s an NCAA violation even if Auburn did no wrong (and even if Cam himself didn’t know of it). We don’t know if that confession actually took place, but NCAA investigators surely do. Even if it is impossible to speed up the justice process, if NCAA investigators know a rule was broken, I really think it behooves them to let the public know as well, so voters can make up their minds on whether Auburn deserves a shot at the national title or not.

            To use your example, everyone is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, but depending on the severity of the crime, suspects are held with or without bail in jail until their trial.

            I’m not calling for Cam Newton to lose his elgibility/be kicked out or Auburn to be punished yet, but if the justice system did things the way the NCAA did, we’d be letting suspected murderers and rapists run around and carry on with their normal lives until they were convicted. In this instance, there is not much you can do to change the results of games where a heavily suspected NCAA rule offender played, but you should be able to prevent a heavily suspected offender from playing until he is cleared.

            Frankly, I’m not sure if Auburn wants the death penalty or not.

            Like

          • Bamatab says:

            Alan, actually the NCAA doesn’t have to tie auburn with a pay to play deal for Cam to be ineligible. They just have to prove that one was requested in regards to MSU. Most people interpret the NCAA rules to read that if a player or representitive (family or agent) asks for money from ANYONE to attend school ANYWHERE, he is ineligible to play ANYWHERE until the NCAA clears him.

            Here are the by-laws that reference player ineligibility:
            NCAA Rule 10.1 Ethical Conduct section (c) says that it is a violation for a student-athlete or institutional staff member to have “[k]nowing involvement in offering or providing a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete an improper inducement or extra benefit or improper financial aid; (Revised: 1/9/96).”
            Violation of said rule by a student-athlete renders that athlete “ineligible for further intercollegiate competition, subject to appeal to the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatment for restoration of eligiblity.”

            NCAA Rule 12.1.2 Amateur Status section (b) states that an individual loses amateur status and is therefore ineligible if the individual “[a]ccepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation.” Section (g) states that an individual is ineligible if he “[e]nters into an agreement with an agent.”

            NCAA Rule 12.3.1 Use of Agents states “An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in
            any sport.”

            NCAA Rule 12.3.1.1 Representation for Future Negotiations states “An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she enters into a verbal or written agreement with an agent for representation in future professional sports negotiations that are to take place after the individual has completed his or her eligibility in that sport.”

            NCAA Rule 12.3.1.2 Benefits from Prospective Agents states that “An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she (or his or her relatives or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from:
            (a) Any person who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletics ability. The receipt of such expenses constitutes compensation based on athletics skill and is an extra benefit not available to the student body in general; or
            (b) An agent, even if the agent has indicated that he or she has no interest in representing the student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation and does not represent individuals in the student-athlete’s sport.”

            NCAA Rule 12.3.3 Athletics Scholarship Agent states that “Any individual, agency or organization that represents a prospective student-athlete for compensation in placing the prospective student-athlete in a collegiate institution as a recipient of institutional financial aid shall be considered an agent or organization marketing the individual’s athletics ability or reputation.”

            NCAA Rule 13.01.1 Eligibility Effects of Recruiting Violation basically states that if a school commits a violation in recruiting an individual, then that individual is only ineligible with respect to playing for the school that committed the infraction.

            There are other rules within the overall Rule 13 that basically deal with boosters and prohibit their contact with any prospective recruit.

            NCAA Rule 16.02.3 Extra Benefit states “An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution’s athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete’s relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Receipt of a benefit by student-athletes or their relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body (e.g., international students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability. (Revised: 1/10/91).”

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            From Auburn’s standpoint, they would already have had to forfeit 10 games if he was ineligible, so why not give him the benefit of a doubt on UGA and Alabama?

            And professionalism, which is the issue here, isn’t the NCAA’s biggest crime. Its academic fraud. That threatens the whole institution, not just the sports program.

            Its really hard to understand anyone defending all this other than diehard Auburn fans. Once you sort out known facts from internet rumour you have:
            January MS St. reporting violation to SEC being asked for money from someone purporting to represent Newton.
            July MS St sending more information.
            MS St former player confirming he reported the request for money.
            Rogers saying on radio Newton’s Dad asked him for money.

            Except for Rogers, all of this was before he played a down for Auburn. I don’t know how you can doubt that someone asked for money claiming to represent Newton. There are plenty of recruiting violations out there, you don’t need to make up a whopper to report to the SEC office. Maybe it was a seedy agent who didn’t have authorization. But you can’t doubt that something happened.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, from reports out of Florida, Newton committed academic fraud when down there as well, and unlike the allegation about being paid, neither Newton or his father has denied the validity of the academic cheating allegation.

            As for Auburn suspending him or not, sure they may have to forfeit the season anyway, but I would imagine that thumbing their nose at the NCAA would make it more likely that they get the death penalty or something like 10 years probation, 5 years bowl ban, & more drastic scholarship reductions.

            Is Auburn daring the NCAA to hand it the death penalty?

            Like

  14. jj says:

    Pennsylvanians are officially insane. I was watching modern marvels and they showed that in pa they have giant wine selling machines at grocery stores that you put your license in and then a dude oks the sale via Internet access to state officials watching a webcam. WTF! I’ve been a lot of places and never seen shit this crazy. PSUguy – WTF?

    Like

    • jj says:

      Ontario has the beer stores run provincially, so I guess this is something like that. But Jesus. The guy explaining it is all like, oh this makes the customer feel normal. Really? I’d be all like, I don’t want my 3 am boones run recoded for posterity, thanks anyway weirdo.

      Like

    • 84Lion says:

      PA was an old-line “bible belt” state that hung onto the old “Blue Laws” longer than neighboring states. I remember when I was a kid (1960s) the only stores open on Sundays were news agents, gas stations, and drugstores. Even then if memory serves the hours were very limited.
      In concert with that, the “state stores” are still the only places to buy wine and liquor (there -may- be some individual wine stores these days but not sure about that, haven’t been back to PA in years). Beer must be bought at a “beer distributor” and I believe you must buy a case or some such, you cannot buy it by the six-pack.
      Of course the wine/liquor thing is a boondoggle for the state, they can charge high prices and people can either pay or go without.
      Why Pennsylvanians have not repealed this idiocy is beyond me.
      BTW, I agree about the wine vending machines, no way I’d want my liquor run recorded. Bad enough if you use a credit card that there’d be a record of the transaction.

      Like

      • jj says:

        Thanks! I couldn’t get over the on line vending machine. I guess modern marvels did its job!

        Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        Actually, they’ve introduced 6-pack shops across the state that sell only that. The idiocy that permeates with that operation though is you are only ever allowed to buy 12 beers at a time. I mean its no problem if you do buy more, you just have to take it outside the store, leave it on the street, and come right back in…there’s a reason you always go to a 6-pack shop with a buddy.

        As for the liquor stores…I have to admit I prefer them to what I’ve lived with elsewhere. Their prices actually tend to be reasonable (but more importantly are consistent) and they always have a consistent stock. I really get tired of having to dumpster dive through the bad part of town to find the one place that has more than Johnny Walker red for its scotch selection.

        Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          PSUGuy – you would not that problem in South Louisiana. Any grocery or convenience store has a sufficient supply and variety of alcohol, beer and wine to satisfy the tastes of most customers.

          Like

        • @PSUguy – My relatives from Philly always gawk in amazement at how you can purchase any type of liquor in a normal grocery store in Illinois. Those beer store/liquor store laws in places like PA and MA would drive me nuts.

          Like

        • 84Lion says:

          PSUGuy, I live in Georgia. It is so nice to be able to buy beer and wine in the grocery store. And the euphemistically-named “package stores” that carry hard liquors have a great selection of not only liquors but import beers, specialty wines, and so forth. Oh, Georgia still has that “Baptist Bible Belt” mentality that gives you gems like “package stores” (believe it stems from the days when people exited the store with the liquor in a brown bag or “package” so nobody knew what you bought – ya right!) and no liquor sales on Sundays (gives everyone good reason to overbuy on Saturdays). But it’s miles better than PA ever was.
          There’s a big liquor store up the interstate from where we live, great prices and they have a particular brand of rum I like. If we had state stores I doubt they’d carry a specialty item like that. Don’t kid yourself – the free market rocks!

          Like

  15. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    add

    Like

  16. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    again

    Like

  17. Abe Froman says:

    Some more details are emerging on the Texas-ESPN deal. Apparently the 12 million includes exclusive rights to footage shot by the trainer of the women’s track team.

    http://www.kxan.com/dpp/sports/longhorns/former-ut-womens-track-manager-jailed

    Like

  18. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Just announced – College Game Day at Wrigley Field for the Northwestern/Illinois match-up.

    Like

  19. zeek says:

    Holy Crap, Frank,

    College Gameday at Northwestern/Illinois game at Wrigley. That’s going to be huge. I wish I would have been able to go.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      To expound, it seems as if the Northwestern win over Iowa made them decide against Ohio State @ Iowa, so they just went with the novelty of the NU/Illinois game due to a lack of an important BCS determining game out there.

      Like

      • gas1958 says:

        What?! Surely the UM-UW game has more currency, especially after UW put up 83 on IU.
        They might make three digits against the Michigan defense. I’ll the under/over number is around 80 for this game.

        Like

        • jj says:

          Our collective moms could have put up 83 on those guys. The defense was basically – stand around. I think wisky will beat um, but one never knows. I’m tired of watching rich rod anyway. I think his job is secure after yesterday and I think that’s probably good for the rest of us.

          Like

      • StvInIL says:

        They will see a less competitive game with the Persa less Northwestern squad heading into wrigley. The Illini need a win badly. Their vonted defense has evaporated over night but thier offense may have finally found its self. but if you are a NU fan you must think, why could not these a-hole show up any time in the past 3 years. Why now when a freshman redshirt QB will take the helm? The kid does not have the wheels that Persa does and Persa’s wheels are a significant part of the offense. Look for this one to ook like that Iowa NU game of last year when their untested backup suddenly had to get in the game after Stanzi went down.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Key difference:

          Evan Watkins will have a week to practice instead of being thrown in to the game cold. Vandenberg was much better the next week aginst tOSU (taking the eventual BigTen champs to overtime) than he was coming in cold against NU last year (when he had trouble completing simple passes). With a week of practice, the NU coaches will be able to adjust the gameplan to fit Watkins’ strengths (very tall; much more of a traditional pocket passer) and hide his weaknesses (much less athletic/mobile than Persa).

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Dunno, that worked out fine for Purdue against Northwestern didn’t it?

            All of Illinois’ tape of Northwestern features the exact opposite of what Northwestern will put under center this coming weekend, a 6’6″ pro-style QB who can take big strides but is not as quick as Persa in terms of evasion and getting downfield. We’ll see what happens, but like Richard said they’ll do their best to prepare him.

            It’s way different coming in to play on the day of when everything’s a calamity due to the loss of the starter. They have 5 days to prepare him and set up a game plan that he can put into effect.

            Like

          • StvInIL says:

            Richard,
            Yeah, I understand that there is a big difference between getting 80% of this week’s practice reps, 20% and 0%. I think big freshman may look competent enough to be in the game over two quarters, but I don’t have any confidence in him winning this game. He’s bound to make one or two mistakes and they will probably lead to points for the other guys. I look for him to look more seasoned against Wisconsin in the finally but still yet Wisconsin is a team that’s going places and has an ax to grind with upstart Northwestern at home. The X factor with an athlete like Persa is that he can make things happen with his legs when things freak down. He can either extend the play or fun for a first down. Watkins is not as much a stiff a Adam Webber is but hes one of those guys that looks like a god runner only after he gets down field. Getting past the line of scrimmage will be the problem. The wildcats do have another kid, Kain Colter out of Denver, who is a gifted runner at QB. I hope he gets a few snaps to change things up.

            Like

          • StvInIL says:

            Zeek, how about Purdue? They (coaching Staff) reminded me of the old lady that lived in the shoe fable. Looked in the cupboard and all they had were carrots so she made carrot soup. The record won’t be anything to crow about but the boilers have had a number of people have to step in and have real stepped up. They will have a nice competitive summer camp to look forward to I think.

            Like

  20. jj says:

    Iowa better do this! Com’n guys, save the season!

    Like

  21. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    New BCS rankings by conference.

    SEC (6) – #2 Auburn, #5 LSU, #11 Alabama, #13 Arkansas, #17 South Carolina, #21 Mississippi State

    Big XII (5) – #8 Nebraska, #10 Oklahoma State, #14 Oklahoma, #15 Missouri, #19 Texas A&M

    Big Ten (4) – #7 Wisconsin, #9 Ohio State, #12 Michigan State, #20 Iowa

    Pac-10 (3) – #1 Oregon, #6 Stanford, #22 Arizona

    ACC (3) – #16 Virginia Tech, #24 Miami, #25 Florida State

    MWC (2) – #3 TCU, #23 Utah

    WAC (2) – #4 Boise State, #18 Nevada

    Looking ahead to week #12, there are four games matching ranked teams.

    #8 Nebraska at #19 Texas A&M
    #9 Ohio State at #20 Iowa
    #13 Arkansas at #21 Mississippi State
    #16 Virginia Tech at #24 Miami

    #1 Oregon, #2 Auburn, #3 TCU, and #23 Arizona have open dates.

    Potential upsets include:

    #4 Boise State v. Fresno State (6-3) on Friday
    #6 Stanford at Cal (5-5)
    #7 Wisconsin at Michigan (7-3)
    #14 Oklahoma at Baylor (7-4)
    #23 Utah at San Diego State (7-3)
    #25 Florida State at Maryland (7-3)

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Florida State kicked the snot out of Miami and is unranked by the AP and the Coaches. Both schools have 3 losses. What ever happened to the head-to-head rule?

      Like

    • cutter says:

      In his book, “Kill the BCS”, Dan Wetzel describes a 16-team playoff with eleven automatic qualifiers from all the conference champions plus five at large teams.

      If the season ended today and using the BCS standings as a ranking system, here’s how the first round of the playoffs might look paired up with the potential second round playoff opponent. The conference champions listed below are best guesses based on current records.

      #16 Florida Intl (Sun Belt Champion) v. #1 Auburn (SEC)
      #9 Ohio State (B10) v. #8 Nebraska (B12)

      #15 Central Florida (C-USA Champion) v. #2 Oregon (P10)
      #10 Oklahoma State (B12) v. #7 Wisconsin (B10)

      #14 Northern Illinois (MAC Champion) v. #3 Texas Christian (MWC)
      #11 Alabama (SEC) v. #6 Stanford (P10)

      #13 Pittsburgh (BE Champion) v. #4 Boise State (WAC)
      #12 Virginia Tech (ACC Champion) v #5 LSU (SEC)

      Some of these games wouldn’t be compelling unless one of the schools from the minor programs decided they were Appalachian State incarnate. But I’d say half of those contests would be extremely compelling.

      Because the conference champions are automatic qualifiers, that would mean Michigan State (9-1, #12 in the BCS) wouldn’t be going to the playoffs–the Spartans would be playing in the Rose Bowl instead–probably against Arizona (7-3). But if MSU were to move up one spot in the standings, they would be in (and the Spartan fans would be watching the Alabama-Auburn game with interest, not to menion Oklahoma-Oklahoma State).

      Another couple teams on the outs would be Oklahoma (8-2) and South Carolina (7-3). The Gamecocks have a chance to get in if they win the SEC championship and the same goes with Oklahoma (who would have to beat 9-1 Oklahoma State in the process).

      Arkansas and Missouri are a couple of 8-2 teams that are also on the outside looking in and hoping that the teams ahead of them pick up a lose or two. Iowa (7-3) might be able to make up some ground with a victory over Ohio State to squeeze into the playoff and Michigan ends its season as a possible spoiler with Wisconsin and OSU

      TCU and Boise State would have all the incentive in the world to win out in order to get the #1 or #2 slot if Oregon or Auburn loses and have homefield advantage for most of the playoffs if they stayed in their current spots.

      I’m sure there are other stories and rooting interests I haven’t identified, but that’s a short list off the top of my head.

      If the higher seeded teams did win, then the second round of games would look like this:

      Nebraska at Auburn
      Wisconsin at Oregon
      Stanford at Texas Christian
      LSU at Boise State

      Like

      • Moe says:

        Why is it that everyone who has read that book comes off as a playoff zealot? I have heard Wetzel talk on the local talk radio here in Indianapolis, and he comes off as somebody who can only see his point of view, and is completely oblivious to how the college football sausage is really made. The 16 team playoff he imagines will never happen. It doesn’t matter what you think, or what logic you use, it just won’t happen. I read part of Wetzel’s recent article in Sports Illustrated, and found it very unimpressive. He basically finds a couple of facts that support his argument, and completely ignores everything else. I say death to playoff favoring idiots like him. I like college football the way it is now, when every single game means something. I don’t think we should change everything because a team like BSU or TCU plays a cupcake schedule and has been able to do ok in a couple of bowls. If you love playoffs so much, then watch the FCS. Let the rest of us watch College Football the way we have for decades.

        Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Every single game DOESN’T mean something. As soon as Alabama lost to South Carolina by two touchdowns, everyone was talking about how Alabama would get right back into the championship picture if they ran the table. In other words, Alabama’s loss to South Carolina didn’t count.

          Another thing: Did all of Cincinnati’s games count last year? Did Texas’s ten point win over Oklahoma in 2008 count? Did either of LSU’s two losses in 2007 count?

          I think the regular season could still be even more meaningful if there was a 4-team playoff, because then games would “count” for more than just the top two teams that earn their way get voted into the title game.

          Like

          • ohio1317 says:

            I’ve long thought that the current system has been great for college football TV contracts because of two reasons:

            1. There is a ton on nationally important games. Everyone with any hope of going to the national championship hopes the #1 and #2 teams lose (and everyone else above them). This creates a lot of games that are significant on a national level (something that pretty much never happens in college basketball). We’ve had years where teams move from 7 to the top in just the last couple of weeks. This often gives a lot of fanbases reason to very closely watch a lot of other schools.

            2. Turns fans of teams into fans of conferences. If you like the Yankees, do you can really care if the rest of the AL East is any good? The reverse is probably actually true. The same is true in the NFL, NBA, etc. In college football, your conference mates success directly effects you, and thus there is a lot more interest in how they do which leads to more television dollars.

            I think a lot of this might be preserved in a 4 team playoff (although some would be lost). Anything bigger than that though, would be a big economic mistake for college football. Once you get to 8 teams, the reasons to pay attention outside your own conference drops considerably which directly impacts both of those money making factors I listed above.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Amen!

            Like

  22. greg says:

    Let me get this straight. If a BCS-conference team hosts a MAC or Sun Belt team in September, they are criticized for hosting “cupcakes”. But now those schools are going to be in a 16 team playoff? Give me a break.

    Also, everyone proclaiming to know exactly how the viewing public will react to changes (becoming more or less interested in specific games) is kidding themselves.

    Like

    • Robber Baron says:

      greg, maybe their inclusion in a playoff will redistribute some talent their way, and they will stop being cupcakes.

      But to me it is also an issue of fairness. These schools share a subdivision with us. We count victories against them as evidence of our worthiness. If they are good enough to bolster the resumes of our contenders, why not give them a shot and throw them into the tournament pool? Besides, it might be fun to have a Cinderella.

      You make a good point about people making judgments about what the public will or will not like having no expertise. I have that reaction every time I hear an argument about how less compelling the regular season will be with a playoff.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Well, in that case, why don’t the BCS conferences form for themselves another subdivision? Then they wouldn’t share a subdivision with any non-AQ school. Problem solved. Otherwise, do you propose to share with the FCS schools because of fairness? Why or why not?

        Like

        • Robber Baron says:

          Well, I’d like to stop playing FCS schools altogether. If the BCS conferences want to separate from the non-AQs, and stop playing them, that’s fine with me. Then those guys would go play for their own championship.

          Like

          • @Robber Baron – The current economic climate says that those FCS games aren’t going to go away at any point in the near future. With the rise in prices for guarantee games being charged by non-AQ schools, the FCS schools provide inexpensive buy games for BCS schools that they can play at home without a return road trip. As long as that’s the case, the BCS schools are going to do nothing to mess with the rule allowing 1 FCS game to count towards bowl eligibility every season. The non-AQ schools also better be careful about what they wish for if the BCS conferences split off entirely – the casual sports fan allure of the NCAA Tournament is to watch Davids playing Goliaths as opposed to Davids playing Davids. A completely non-AQ playoff would likely only be slightly more popular than the FCS playoffs today, while the BCS-only playoff would likely get the best sports ratings outside of the NFL. As a result, the non-AQ schools know that they need the AQ schools to be completely on board with (if not completely create) any playoff system, which means that those AQ schools are the ones that are going to continue to get the lion’s share of access and money if a playoff system is ever formed. The non-AQ schools really aren’t in a position to demand anything – they can use general public sentiment and complaining politicians to a limited extent, but real change has to come *from* the BCS conferences themselves.

            Like

      • Bullet says:

        The MWC proposal (except for giving the MWC an autobid along with the Big 6) was fair. Invite 10 teams, top 8 play for a championship, other 2 play each other.

        But politically you do have to have autobids for the big conferences. Do you think the SEC would vote for a system where S. Carolina could win the championship and not get in to the tourney? Or Texas A&M win the Big 12 and not get in the tourney?

        Like

    • cutter says:

      Greg – There’s a large part of me that totally agrees with you regarding the automatic inclusion of the conference champions from C-USA, Sun Belt and MAC. By and large, those teams would only be mildly competitive for the top three rated teams in a playoff right now. With the loss of Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada-Reno from the WAC next season, then I’d put that conference in the same situation.

      OTOH, the Mountain West has become fairly legitimate and will only remain so if TCU stays. The MWC is just as good as the Big East right now, if not better. There’s no real logic to make the BE an automatic qualifier right now if the Mountain West isn’t part of the BCS as well.

      OTOH, I don’t know how you don’t include them from the Division 1-A/FBS playoff picture without simply saying that the Top 16 teams will be based on a seeding system and not include conference championships. If that were to happen this year (and the BCS rankings were used), then the Big East wouldn’t have a team in the playoff. I don’t know if you could get any sort of buy-off on a playoff without including conference champions.

      In reality, with Wentzel’s setup, its essentially a de facto 12 or 13-team playoff anyway because the lowest seeded teams are probably not going to be competitive. If you think of it as a 12-team playoff with the top four getting byes, you almost have the same thing as the 16-team playoff with all the conference champions included.

      There are work arounds, I suppose. A minimum number of victories might be required of a conference champion. Perhaps the two lowest rated conference champions from that season aren’t included in the playoff (which would largely eliminate the new WAC and the Sun Belt in most years). That would mean the conference champions from the nine highest ranked conferences plus seven at large would be used.

      For example, if Boise State were already part of the MWC and was undefeated (along with TCU–they’ll play in a hypothetical last season game), then drop Florida International and replace them with Michigan State. The playoff bracket then would go something like this:

      #16 Central Florida (C-USA Champion) v. #1 Auburn (SEC)
      #9 Ohio State (B10) v. #8 Nebraska (B12)

      #15 Northern Illinois (MAC Champion) v. #2 Oregon (P10)
      #10 Oklahoma State (B12) v. #7 Wisconsin (B10)

      #14 Pittsburgh (BE Champion) v. #3 Texas Christian (MWC)
      #11 Alabama (SEC) v. #6 Stanford (P10)

      #13 Virginia Tech (ACC Champion) v. #4 Boise State (WAC)
      #12 Michigan State (B10) v #5 LSU (SEC)

      This sort of arrangement would definitely improve the games from the first round plus it would make the #1 and #2 seeds more valuable because the opponents against those teams would likely come from non-BCS conferences.

      The major bowls then would go something like this:

      Rose: Iowa v. Arizona
      Sugar: Arkansas v. Texas A&M
      Orange: West Virginia v. Oklahoma
      Fiesta: South Carolina v. Missouri

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Just take the Big 6 conference champions and add 2 at-large, the highest 2 schools other than conference champions.

        This year the two at-large would go to TCU and Boise State, since they’re the next two highest.

        Then again, there might want to be a stipulation that a conference champion must finish in the top 12 to qualify, thus getting rid of a team with too many losses that isn’t really worthy at 3+ losses.

        Then in this kind of year, you’d take three at-larges with LSU or whoever is #5 getting the third at-large.

        That’s all you really need to do. Keeping 2 at-large would ensure enough space for a worthy non-AQ team that ascends the rankings.

        For me, I think 16 is too much since I don’t think we should have all those 2 loss teams. If you couldn’t get through with mostly 1 loss teams or conference winners with 2 losses, I don’t think the teams should be in it. That’s just my opinion though.

        Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        “OTOH, the Mountain West has become fairly legitimate and will only remain so if TCU stays. The MWC is just as good as the Big East right now, if not better. There’s no real logic to make the BE an automatic qualifier right now if the Mountain West isn’t part of the BCS as well.”

        @cutter:

        BYU and Utah will be huge losses for the Mountain West. That said, the MWC will be a pretty impressive conference in coming years if two things happen: (1) TCU doesn’t leave, and (2) the teams that are good this year keep on track.

        TCU and Boise State are on track to both finish in the top 11 for the third year in a row. The new additions for 2012, Fresno State and Nevada, are 6-3 and 9-1 so far this year. Air Force is holding its own at 7-4. But the team that impresses me the most is San Diego State. They’ve had a close loss at Missouri, a loss at BYU thanks to a bad call in the replay booth, and a 5-point loss at the #3 team in the country. With Brady Hoke running the team, and with the southern California recruiting hotbed right in his backyard, SDSU stands to get better in the years to come.

        Even without BYU and Utah, this league has a chance to stay pretty good. Based on the field performance, I say the league should get an autobid. It’ll be tough, though, because the BCS isn’t run based on fairness, but rather on who’s in power. If the MWC has to appeal for an exception for not meeting one of the three criteria for getting an autobid, I just don’t seem them getting it.

        All this is moot if TCU leaves for the Big East.

        Like

    • @greg – This has always been my biggest problem with giving every single conference an auto bid. Football is not basketball in terms of toll on the human body – every additional football game is a very big deal and we should not be having players go through the motions of playing a massively inferior first round opponent in December or January in order to promote the illusion of “fairness”. If you’re going to put those players at risk, then every playoff game needs to be a blockbuster (there is no time, patience or need for the football equivalent of Duke vs. the MEAC champ in the NCAA Tournament). Also, the sheer size of the NCAA Tournament provides true depth – it’s OK to have those small conference auto-bids because virtually every other deserving major conference team still gets invited. In contrast, allowing every conference into a football playoff means that there’s a really wide high-low split between the power conference and at-large teams versus the bottom 4 or 5 auto-bid teams. I know it probably sounds elitist, but a college football playoff should be a limited and exclusive affair – 8 or 12 teams at the most with auto-bids for the BCS conferences (plus maybe the MWC if it keeps TCU) and then at-large bids based on something akin to the BCS rankings or the NCAA Tournament selection process. I’m just speaking as a sports fan – if these games are really supposed to be “do-or-die”, then I want “do-or-die” matchups as opposed to the equivalent of early-season MAC-rifice games.

      Besides, the FCS playoffs that playoff supporters often point to don’t even provide auto-bids to all conference champs. There’s no reason why the FBS level, where the reality is that there are truly huge differences between the quality of the conferences, should be any different.

      Like

  23. M says:

    The financial arguments for a playoff are a little dodgy. First of all, having the Ohio State/Nebraska/LSU type teams play 2-3 more home games each would obviously make money. I don’t know how that is such a realization for everyone. The financial comparison should be between adding 2-3 more games to the regular season against adding 2-3 playoff games.

    Second, Sun Belt teams often lose money going to bowl games. Is this news to anyone? The fact is that a bowl game, even a crappy one, is a great opportunity for these schools and their programs. If they break even or lose a little money, they still benefit overall. I would hazard that no Big Ten school has ever lost money on a bowl game.

    Third, the “slippery slope” argument is extremely valid to me. I would prefer a 4 team playoff, but at that point teams 5-8 will complain. If the playoff goes to 8, 9-16 will complain. The irony is that the larger the playoff, the more teams complain that they are left out. They won’t argue that they would win or that they could win, merely that they are better than one of the included teams.

    Added to that pressure is that, financially, expansion is always the right move. An 8 team playoff would make more money than a plus one (just as a 96 team basketball playoff would make more than the current 68).

    The “devaluing the regular season” argument is a little tricky. While it’s true that more games will “matter”, the games that have the most effect will be 8-2 teams playing each other instead of 10-0. For instance, last year’s SEC title game would have been effectively a scrimmage. The teams would still play hard I think, but the impact would be about the same as one the currently “worthless” bowl games. In contrast, with a 16 team playoff the LSU-Arkansas game this year would almost certainly be for an at-large spot.

    I definitely agree with Frank that if the presidents had to vote between a 16 team playoff or a return to the old system, the playoff would lose in a landslide.

    Like

    • Bullet says:

      Probably a number of B10 schools lost money in bowls. I know Big12 schools have. The schools are bringing more and more players, band members, administrative people, so the cost of going to a bowl game is more than some of the bowls pay. They haven’t lost money in BCS bowls, Citrus, Outback or Alamo, but beyond that they may have.

      Like

      • M says:

        If they want to bring every band member, assistant secretary and mascot, that’s their problem.

        Every Big Ten bowl pays out substantially more than it costs for standard away game.

        Like

    • Bullet says:

      Most of the President’s arguments against a playoff are pure hypocrisy, but the one argument that does make sense is interference with schoolwork. If you have 16, all 16 teams are probably playing mid-December when many schools have finals. With 8 you can start January 1. With 10-12, you are limiting it to 4 to 8 schools playing in mid-December.

      Like

      • StvInIL says:

        So start the season two weeks earlier. Many of these early games are often tune-ups against directional schools anyway. The playoff won’t encompass everyone, just an elite 8 – 12. Either way I worry about a lot of these students of whom many are academically behind. The all can be routinely enrolled in a couple of classes in the their frosh year to begin to get acclimated.

        Like

        • Bullet says:

          The mid-December games may impact more than just the fb players. You may have a lot of students travelling to the game.

          Its hard to start the season any earlier in the south. Even some of those September games get pretty hot.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          More importantly, no one’s in school that early. For the football factories, that isn’t a problem, but student managers, band members, cheerleaders, and a bunch of students involved with regular football programs would still be working summer jobs (not to mention you’d be missing the student section at games).

          Like

          • StvInIL says:

            ” you’d be missing the student section at games).

            ” yeah that would hurt a school like Northwestern but the football factories and schoools out in the country, it would mean more tickets for the locals.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Right, but there are more non-football factory schools than there are football factories.

            Like

      • Paul C says:

        Most Schools have a holiday break by mid december. They aren’t even in school. That’s what kills me.

        Like

  24. Playoffs Now says:

    Some that are good seeing, exposing, and explaining problems are awful at coming up with solutions. Wetzel’s solution is a joke, for multiple reasons. KISS:

    1) Make JerryWorld a 5th BCS Bowl

    2) Fill the 10 BCS spots using the same BCS system as now – 6 AQ champs and 4 wildcards

    3) Take the 5 winners of the BCS bowls and play them off, but don’t call it a playoff for legal reasons that allows the BCS conferences to keep their financial advantages (they are the ones who have to approve any playoff.) Since the BCS has already talked about a Plus One, such a post-bowls playoff is indeed possible without the NCAA taking control.

    4) Have #5 play at #4’s campus 7-14 days after the last BCS bowl.

    5) The next weekend have the winner play at #1’s campus while #3 plays at #2.

    6) Winners meet the next week at an actual legitimate championship rotated among the original 4 BCS bowls (or perhaps Jerry Jones can negotiate a deal with them to make it a 5 bowl rotation)

    ———-

    No games added during Dec finals. Only 5 schools would have extra games in Jan.

    At most one team might play 3 extra games, and no more than 3 schools would play 2 or more extra games. Given the difficulty of making sustained runs in a 10-team playoff over multiple years, for all but maybe a couple of schools that would average out at playing no more games during a players’ 4 year career than scheduling the Hawaii extra game once every other year. Thus the “Substantial increase in risk to players’ health” argument is bogus.

    ——

    A simple, Plus Four model that changes nothing in the regular season and bowls. All it does it take the 5 BCS bowl winners and adds 4 games to complete a playoff system. (OK, it makes one tiny change, BCS #1 and #2 aren’t matched up in a BCS bowl game.)

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      BTW, it is a complete joke to think anyone can honestly tell us who the 2 best teams are in college football this year (and most years.)

      The same pollsters/computers/mediots that tell us Oregon and Auburn are the top 2 also told us two weeks ago that Utah was #5. Now suddenly they all spin on a dime and talk about how awful Utah (and thus TCU must be overrated) when Utah is still 8-2, with wins against teams other supposed top 10 teams have struggled with, and still Top 25 in the BCS. So they totally blew it on Utah (and a dozen other schools per season) but are right on their current top 4?

      The same pollsters/computers/mediots that told us a month into the season that TX, this year’s most overrated team (by far) was top 5. Look at the massive volatility in the polls over just a few weeks in any given season, and yet after just 12 games they can tell us who the best 2 teams are? BS.

      Get a post-bowls playoff that starts with at least 8 teams going into the BCS bowls and you go a long way towards increasing the odds that the 2 best teams actually play for the title. Basic statistics. And keeping at 8-12 (maybe eventually 16) prevents it from becoming too watered down.

      Like

      • Bullet says:

        Also tells you how little the voters know. I posted that UT was overrated in Frank’s 1st poll. As a UT fan I could hope for better, but I expected a 3 or 4 loss season (not a 4 win season). Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley didn’t get enough Heisman votes last year either.

        Like

    • @Playoffs Now – This is definitely much more realistic than what Wetzel is proposing. No matter what system is put into place, the current BCS bowls won’t just be tossed aside.

      Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        I think the fastest path to a playoff is to simply start with a Plus One, since the BCS itself has already put that on the table. Once in place, it will inevitably evolve into a larger system.

        Like

        • @Playoffs Now – Agreed. College football typically takes incremental steps in that manner.

          Like

        • M says:

          …which is why the powers that be are so set against a plus one.

          Like

          • @M – It will be interesting to see how the powers that be approach this in the near future. I don’t necessarily think that they are completely against a plus one or playoff on principle, but rather are concerned about conceding any more control over the college football postseason that they have now. The Wetzel plan and 95% of the other playoff proposals that I see ignore this fact. That’s why giving all conferences an auto-bid will simply never fly – the BCS conferences won’t (and if I or any of us were paid to run any of them, wouldn’t spend more than two seconds even considering) giving up those advantages. However, a system that manages to keep the same types of access and revenue advantages with the BCS conferences that they enjoy today will at least get a hearing. It’s not what the non-AQ fans want to hear, yet it’s the only way that you can realistically ever get any type of playoff into place – the BCS conferences will need to have just as much (if not more) power under that system as they do today or else the proposal is DOA.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            or, even better, the AQ’s could walk and create their own association. If the NCAA tourney is so valuable, then walk for football only and keep other sports in NCAA. It’s not THAT hard to do… and then it becomes far easier to put together a functional 8 or 12-team playoff.

            Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      The argument that a playoff would reduce interest in the regular season and/or lead to resting players at the end is ridiculous in a BCS bowls-based 8-12 school playoffs that I propose. The substantial home field advantage in the later rounds of the playoffs would insure conf champs would continue to fight for the best records, since only 3 or 4 schools would get to host playoff games on campus. You think Ohio State would sit players and risk losing the chance potentially play Florida in Columbus in January instead of Gainesville? Unlike the NFL, the subjective voting element of the BCS system would keep even the #1 ranked team honest. Sit players in the final week(s) and the voters are likely to punish that school. You know how capricious mediots can be.

      Like

    • @Playoffs Now – By the way, I wouldn’t say that the “health” argument is necessarily bogus. I just don’t think players that are playing in what’s supposed to be a playoff game in January should have to go through the motions of playing a Sun Belt or MAC team in the name of “fairness” – that’s a lot of physical risk for very little return in a game that I don’t think will help determine who’s going to be champion very well. If it’s a game between 2 legit teams in an 8/10/12 team playoff, then that’s a different story. These players legitimately are putting their health on the line, so if we’re going to ask them to play extra games, then every single one of those games should be truly worth playing. The “play-in” concept is fine in basketball, but each extra game in football should be given great weight. Your proposed 10-team system does address this well, whereas I think the Wetzel proposal is so concerned about the appearance of “fairness” that it forgets that you can’t (or shouldn’t) add extra football games in the same manner that you can add extra games in other sports.

      Like

    • Bullet says:

      A variation on the MWC proposal (not giving them an autobid)-10 teams, 8 in a playoff, 2 play each other, keeping traditional bowl ties, would have produced this last year (rating is BCS):

      Rose #7 Oregon 10-2 vs. #8 Ohio St. 10-2
      Fiesta(Cotton) #2 Texas 13-0 vs. #5 Florida 12-1
      Sugar #1 Alabama 13-0 vs. #6 Boise St. 12-0
      Orange #3 Cincinnati 12-0 vs. #4 TCU 12-0
      Other BCS non-playoff #9 GT 11-2 vs. #10 Iowa 10-2
      Semifinals would be winners of two western bowls playing and winners of two eastern bowls playing, possibly using Fiesta or other bowls.

      In 2008 it would have been:
      Rose #5 USC 11-1 vs. #8 Penn St. 11-1
      Fiesta(Cotton) #1 OU 12-1 vs. #6 Utah 12-0
      Sugar #2 Florida 12-1 vs. #7 Texas Tech 11-1
      Orange #3 Texas 11-1 vs. #4 Alabama 11-1
      Other non-playoff #12 Cincinnati 10-2 vs. #19 VT 9-4
      Boise who was 12-0 and #9 in BCS would have been left out (as it was anyway). Ohio St. who was 10-2 and #10 and played in the Fiesta would have been left out in favor of a 3rd B12 team.

      2007 which was a wild year where LSU won w/2 losses:

      Rose #1 Ohio St. 11-1 vs. #7 USC 10-2
      Fiesta/Cotton #4 OU 11-2 vs. #5 UGA 10-2
      Sugar #2 LSU 11-2 vs. #6 Missouri 11-2
      Orange #3 VT 11-2 vs. #8 Kansas 11-1
      Other non-playoff #10 Hawaii 12-0 vs. #9 WV 10-2

      Frank’s #13 Illini would have been left out in favor of a 3rd B12 team.

      Like

  25. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    I sure hope the Illinois and Northwestern coaches don’t call any fly routes into the right field end zone this weekend.

    http://twitpic.com/36is5q

    Like

    • Richard says:

      The ivy would cushion the impact. That’s why it’s there.

      Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Yep, a legit concern. At least both teams should be prepared with the knowledge of how close the wall is to the field.

      Happened at Marshall when UH receiver broke his leg on some poorly placed carts (warning, somewhat gruesome video):

      Like

      • Richard says:

        In remember that. That’s worse than a wall. That’s just idiotic. No one thought players could run out of the end of the endzone? They had plenty of space elsewhere on that field to place those carts as well.

        Like

  26. jj says:

    Hoops poll!

    Others receiving votes: Texas 130, Wisconsin 113, West Virginia 43, Georgia 42, Minnesota 41, Florida State 37, UNLV 21, Wichita State 20, Richmond 18, Vanderbilt 16, North Carolina State 9, Connecticut 8, Colorado 7, Arizona 6, Mississippi State 6, Murray State 6, UCLA 4, Maryland 3, Ohio 3, Utah State 3, Appalachian State 1, Portland 1.

    App State

    Like

  27. ohio1317 says:

    I’ve long thought that the current system has been great for college football TV contracts because of two reasons:

    1. There is a ton on nationally important games. Everyone with any hope of going to the national championship hopes the #1 and #2 teams lose (and everyone else above them). This creates a lot of games that are significant on a national level (something that pretty much never happens in college basketball). We’ve had years where teams move from 7 to the top in just the last couple of weeks. This often gives a lot of fanbases reason to very closely watch a lot of other schools.

    2. Turns fans of teams into fans of conferences. If you like the Yankees, do you can really care if the rest of the AL East is any good? The reverse is probably actually true. The same is true in the NFL, NBA, etc. In college football, your conference mates success directly effects you, and thus there is a lot more interest in how they do which leads to more television dollars.

    I think a lot of this might be preserved in a 4 team playoff (although some would be lost). Anything bigger than that though, would be a big economic mistake for college football. Once you get to 8 teams, the reasons to pay attention outside your own conference drops considerably which directly impacts both of those money making factors I listed above.

    Like

    • ohio1317 says:

      Outside of the finical considerations (i.e. the reasons I care about, but the commissioners won’t) I want the bowls to be important for the schools and I want only the teams that earned the right to play for the championship to play for it.

      In that line, I personally hope we never have anything bigger than a 4 team playoff. MLB, NFL, NBA, college basketball, etc have all given us very exciting playoffs, but how many of the teams really earned the right to be called the best of a given year? I know there are flaws in any system, but I’d regard the college football BCS national champion as more legitimate than the Super Bowl champs, the World Champions, the NCAA basketball champs, etc more years than not. I know most would disagree with me on that, but how many years are the college football champs ACCOMPLISHMENTS not the best in the sport? Really there are very few years you can argue they aren’t the best. In contrast you end up with teams that couldn’t even win their division winning championships in other sports all the time.

      Like

      • Bullet says:

        While I agree with your philosophy, I don’t think 4 guarantees that. Most years you probably have 3 or 4 legitimate claims. Sometimes only 2. But many years you have 5 or 6. In 2007, which was an unusual year, maybe even 10-12.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I don’t think you can say you have a legitimate claim if you have 2 losses. Sure, no other team may be better than you (because everyone has 2 losses), but you still had a chance to claim your spot in the championship game on the field and you didn’t do it.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            LSU 2007 BCS Champions

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            @Alan,

            I think Richard’s point was that when LSU lost two games, it threw itself at the mercy of other teams losing. If Missouri or West Virginia had won, LSU would have themselves to blame for getting shut out of the nat’l title game.

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            But since everyone else did lose, it was very hard to pick who was #2 behind Ohio St.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, since no one won their spot on the field, I can’t get worked up about which 2 loss team got picked or not (just as I can’t get worked up about any team getting passed over for the NCAA tournament unless it’s a team that conpleted a 16 or 18 game conference slate with only 1 or zero conference losses).

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bullet – not really. The #3 team in the final BCS rankings prior to the bowls, was ACC champ Virginia Tech. LSU destroyed the Hokies earlier in the season 48-7. Big XII champ Oklahoma lost late in the season and had never been ranked higher than #4 in the BCS that year. Pac-10 champ USC had lost games 2 fairly close together when the BCS rankings first came out and never recovered. Georgia didn’t win its division and didn’t play LSU that year.

            LSU’s 2 losses were each in triple OT. One was on the road the week after an emotionally and physically draining victory against the defending national champion Florida Gators. In the other loss, Darren McFadden played the greatest game of his life. LSU played 8 ranked teams that year and defeated 6 teams that were ranked in the final polls, including the ACC champ and the Big Ten champ. Very few one loss or undefeated champions have ever played that difficult of a schedule.

            Whether Richard can get excited about it or not, LSU is the first school to win 2 BCS Championships and Tiger fans are very excited about that.

            Like

  28. Michael in Indy says:

    The only thing that really bothers me about college football is that teams who deserve a shot at the national title, post-regular season, don’t always get it. The #5, 6, 7, or even lower-ranked team has almost always done something to lose control of its own destiny. I don’t want to see a playoff just for the sake of seeing an entertaining “cinderella” story, or as a way of letting a two-loss conference champion redeem itself.

    With the two-team playoff, which is what we currently have, there’s usually reason to question whether the two best teams have truly made the title game. With 4 teams in a playoff, it’s a near-certainty that the two best teams are in the field. To me, having a playoff shouldn’t be about opening up the field for mere entertainment purposes; it should be about deciding definitively who the best team is.

    Sure, once in a generation, there will be more than 4 undefeated teams, as there were last year. But in the other 19 years or so, the #5 team has lost at least one game and thus lost control of its own destiny.

    Besides, the idea of adding any more than one more game to the season just seems completely unrealistic to the university presidents. Remember: we’re supposed to think like those guys, not like a fan. They could, perhaps, tolerate an extra game, post-bowl season, but no more than that

    Like

  29. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Best loss and strength of schedule (from CBSSports.com) for the BCS top-10. [I’m procrastinating on filing out time-sheets]

    #1 Oregon (10-1) SOS-75
    #2 Auburn (11-0) SOS-6
    #3 TCU (11-0) SOS-59
    #4 Boise State SOS-77
    #5 LSU (9-1) lost at #2 Auburn by 7 SOS-4
    #6 Stanford (9-1) lost at #1 Oregon by 21 SOS-52
    #7 Wisconsin (9-1) lost at #12 Michigan State by 10 SOS-67
    #8 Nebraska (9-1) lost at home to NR Texas (4-6) by 7 SOS-43
    #9 Ohio State (9-1) lost at #7 Wisconsin by 13 SOS-64
    #10 Oklahoma State (9-1) lost at home to #8 Nebraska by 10 SOS-31

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Wishful thinking typo on the #1 Oregon record. Should be 10-0. #4 Boise State is 9-0.

      But everyone on this board already knows that.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Hard to see why Oregon is ranked higher than TCU or (especially) Boise except for power conference favoritism. I think both 2 non-AQ teams have the defenses to shutdown and beat Oregon, and Boise even did so last year.

      Like

    • Bullet says:

      Sagarin has a VERY different view of schedule strength. It clearly likes the Pac 10 this year and doesn’t think much of Big 10. The top 8 SOS are all Pac 10. #9 is TT, #10 Texas, #11 Arizona
      Oregon SOS 22 (weakest in P10)
      Auburn SOS 37
      TCU SOS 69
      Boise SOS 82
      LSU SOS 27
      Stanford SOS 8
      Wisconsin SOS 83
      UNL SOS 55
      Ohio St. SOS 85
      Ok St. SOS 31 (they agree on one!)

      Like

      • Bullet says:

        Its interesting to look at Sagarin’s BCS ratings vs. his “better” ratings that take into account margin of victory.
        team BCS Predictor
        Oregon 2 1
        Auburn 1 9
        TCU 6 5
        Boise 12 4
        LSU 4 8
        Stan. 3 2
        WI 11 25
        UNL 5 16
        Ohio St 18 6
        Ok St. 7 15

        Like

  30. Bullet says:

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/15/auburn-hopes-to-get-clarification-from-sec-today-on-ejected-players/

    The implication is that Chizik is trying to get out of the suspension. He’s starting to look bad. He should be thinking about giving them extra suspensions. The SEC’s response was that Auburn has no appeal. No indication on whether UGA is trying to do something about Auburn’s Fairley who had the dirty hits that led to the problems, or the refs who didn’t call the late hit when they were looking right at it.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Auburn class on full display:

      Like

    • Bullet says:

      The first hit got flagged. The 2nd was in the last minute or two with the score 49-31. As the video shows, he deliberately took aim at the QB’s knee after he released and the ref was looking right at it and didn’t flag it.

      The 1st hit was pretty dumb too. He did go head straight in. That is dangerous for him.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        To be fair to the ref, it’s hard to judge intent in real time: was he deliberately trying to blow out the QB’s knee or did his momentum just carry him in to the QB’s shin?

        Like

        • Bullet says:

          The game announcer agreed with you-actually thought it should not have been a penalty-but a number of commentators shared my opinion. I think after the 1st hit, the intent was obvious. I’ve been on a lot of juries and there’s no reasonable doubt in my mind.

          Like

      • Bullet says:

        http://www.thewizofodds.com/the_wiz_of_odds/2010/11/auburn-cheap-shot.html

        Don’t know who does this site, but they have, in addition to video of the plays above, some body slams by Fairly. Alan can correct me, but I think the LSU QB is pretty big. It might have been a serious slam, but fortunately some other Auburn players got ahold of him and Fairly couldn’t lift him as high. The Auburn fans defending in the comments are pretty interesting too.

        Auburn-UGA is the oldest rivalry in the south. Saw a UGA site with the comment at the top-“Bama, we’ve hated Auburn longer than you.”

        Like

  31. jj says:

    Old topic, but the wrestler is on. What a great movie. I’d put this in top ten sports movies.

    Like

  32. Bullet says:

    Since we’re on the topic of the toll on players bodies, I’ve linked a short article commenting about the protection provided by helmets. Tre’ Newton, the leading Texas running back is wisely ending his career due to recurring concussions.

    http://www.kvue.com/news/Doctor-high-school-football-coach-talk-about-concussions-108306494.html

    Like

    • Bullet says:

      The size of players has dramatically increased as mentioned in the article. The starting O-line for the 69 national champ Texas Longhorns was 245-206-200-195-221. Recently, I’ve seen a HS team in Texas with an offensive line averaging 300 lbs. Newton’s concussions started in HS.

      There’s been dramatic improvements in weight training. But this also happened after unlimited subsitution rules came in. There aren’t many 300 lb linemen that could play 60 minutes.

      Like

  33. […] by Virginia and Syracuse, or Georgia Tech and Missouri, or Vanderbilt and Boston College?  Nope, the Longhorns and their quasi-freedom (see: item #2, if following that link) are the reason for the one-in-a-hundred probability. […]

    Like

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