The Delany Party Like It’s 1997 BCS Bowl Proposal: Why It’s a Brilliant Chess Move (Unless You Want a Playoff)

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Big Ten, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

As I was sitting in a post-Thanksgiving coma simultaneously enjoying fireronzook.com: The Sequel (let me pour one out in honor of the multiple first half 2-point conversion attempts over the years) and being mortified of the start of the Caleb Hanie Era in Chicago (*pounding head against the wall*), I started thinking about the last post that I wrote regarding the potential of a new BCS system that would only run the #1 vs. #2 national title game with all other bowls going back to their traditional tie-ins.  Effectively, it would be a reversion to the old Bowl Alliance system with the exception that the Big Ten and Pac-12 would send #1 or #2 ranked teams to the national championship game.  (Note that even though the Rose Bowl/Big Ten/Pac-12 triumvirate was technically not a part of the Bowl Alliance, the Big Ten still benefited by sending teams to Bowl Alliance bowls in 2 of the 3 years of the system’s existence.) It was subsequently reported that the genesis of such proposal was from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.  This is not surprising when you recall these quotes from last year about defending the BCS system:

“The notion,” Delany said, “that over time by putting political pressure on, it’s just going to get greater access, more financial reward and more access to the Rose Bowl, I think you’re really testing. I think people who have contributed a lot have, what I call, ‘BCS defense fatigue.’

“If you think you (WAC Commissioner Karl Benson) can continue to push for more money, more access to the Rose Bowl, or Sugar Bowl. I have tremendous respect for Boise and TCU. … I think they are tremendous teams that can beat any team in the country on a given day. I think the only question is, ‘Does one team’s 12-0 and another team’s 12-0 equate?’ And that’s where the discussion plays out, not whether or not they’re elite teams or deserving access to the bowl system.

“I’m not sure how much more give there is in the system.”

* * * * * *

“I think the system does provide access and opportunity for a team like Boise State or TCU to play in the championship game,” Benson said. “But we’ve also proven that it’s a lot easier to get to No. 4 than it is to get to No. 2.”

Benson said he supports the BCS, but wants even more access and more revenue. This is not a popular subject with Delany.

“We gave up the Rose Bowl, the SEC gave up access to the Sugar Bowl, others were included but they never had access to any of this before,” Delany said. “You have to understand who brought what to the table. Who’s continuing to give and who’s continuing to get.”

Delany, then, not so subtly drew a line in the sand.

“The only thing I would say, if you think you (the non-automatic qualifying leagues) can continue to pressure the system and we’ll just naturally provide more and more and more,” Delany said. “I don’t think that’s an assumption that our presidents, athletic directors, football coaches and commissioners necessarily agree with.

“Karl (Benson) says we like this contract and we want more. Well, we’ve got fatigue for defending a system that’s under a lot of pressure. The pressure is for more. It’s never enough.”

As you can see, the last thing that Jim Delany and the Big Ten want to do is provide more access to the non-automatic qualifier programs.  Ever since the formation of the BCS, the non-AQ conferences have been relentless in seeking more access, trying to drum up political opposition and pushing for a playoff.  While plenty of AQ fans want to see a playoff, it’s the non-AQ crowd that have always garnered the most hatred toward the BCS.

So, here’s what’s brilliant about Delany proposing to revert to an old school bowl format: the non-AQ conferences are now defending the current BCS system.  The debate has been completely changed from providing more spots to non-AQ schools or a playoff to whether the current access to top bowls for non-AQ programs will be maintained.  Delany and the Big Ten presidents may or may not be truly pushing this proposal, but in either event it’s an incredible tactical maneuver to deflect the constant pressure on changes to the BCS overall.  What’s scary to the non-AQ schools is that this is pretty legitimate threat since the bowls, TV networks and AQ conferences (except for maybe the Big East) would all certainly prefer the Delany Proposal.  Therefore, the non-AQs are now having to fight for the status quo as opposed to trying to get anything more.  Delany completed turned the BCS access issue on its head.

Whether you hate the BCS or not (and I’ve certainly had many proposals to change it over the years here, here, here and here), the fact of the matter is that the Boise States and TCUs (pre-joining-the-Big-East-then-the-Big 12) of the world would’ve never had access to the top bowl games without the BCS system in place.  The irony is that the AQ conferences may be the ones that ultimately dismantle the BCS and it would be the worst thing that could ever happen to the non-AQ leagues.  The Delany Proposal would result in multiple direct tie-ins for the power conferences without any slots for any non-marquee names.  As they say, be careful for what you wish for if you want to see the BCS get killed off.  You might just end up getting it and won’t like the results.

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

(Image from Orlando Sentinel)

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Comments
  1. Christian in Texas says:

    Hook ’em.

    Like

  2. frug says:

    …since the bowls, TV networks and AQ conferences (except for maybe the Big East) would all certainly prefer the Delany Proposal.

    I’m not sure the ACC would back this proposal. On the open market its #1 would be (at best) the 7th most valuable property behind the B1G #1 and #2, SEC #1 and #2, PAC #1 and Big XII #1, and could well rank as low 12th behind the PAC and Big XII #2’s, SEC and B1G #3’s and ND. Considering there will only be 8 or 10 “premium” bowl slots (depending on what happens with the Cotton Bowl) I doubt the ACC would jump at ditching the BCS.

    Like

    • Rich says:

      The Cotton Bowl would actually make it 12 premium bowl slots. Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, Cotton and Whatever-the-title-game-will-be-called Bowl.

      I think you’re right about the ACC because prior to 1992, the ACC sent teams to one of the major bowls just a couple of times. They were mostly relegated to games like the Peach, Gator and Liberty Bowls. However, with Va Tech, FSU and Miami, the ACC has more options besides Clemson for attractive participants.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Rich,

        Bowls like the Peach and Gator were more important back then than they are now. As you correctly note, the ACC has also changed a lot by adding VT, FSU and Miami. I think the ACC champ will be desirable for a major bowl.

        Like

      • frug says:

        I wasn’t counting the championship game since that won’t have a tie in, and I doubt the ACC wants to bank on qualifying for that thing every year.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          No, but it would open other slots for them to fill (if SEC 1 -> NCG, and SEC 2 -> Sugar, maybe ACC 1 is a better choice than SEC 3, for example).

          Like

    • @frug – I think a lot of people are underrating the value of the ACC champ due to a few recent “meh” seasons. When Florida State is playing well, every bowl would take the Noles. It’s just that they haven’t been doing so lately, so we’ve kind of forgotten how much they can drive ticket sales and TV ratings as a national contender. Virginia Tech also has a good traveling fan base and there are several very strong schools from a TV perspective (i.e. Miami, Clemson). The ACC is on par or even slightly better than the Pac-12 in terms of bowl desirability, but the public perception seems to be skewed because the Pac-12 has the Rose Bowl locked in. Once you get past the Rose Bowl, I’d argue that the ACC’s bowl lineup is better than the Pac-12. Now, I agree that the Big Ten, SEC and Big 12 champs are more desirable than the ACC champ most years, but that doesn’t mean that the ACC will get shut out of the top bowls. I don’t think the Orange Bowl has been bothered by the ACC champ tie-in as much as having to get stuck with Big East teams to play them on multiple occasions. The ACC champ versus Big Ten #2 or SEC #2, on the other hand, is a very attractive matchup.

      Like

      • Rich says:

        I think the Orange would be quite happy with Va Tech playing Michigan, Georgia, or Wisconsin this year.

        Like

      • frug says:

        Yeah, top to bottom the ACC probably has better tie ins, but what I was referring to (and what Delany’s plan would have the largest effect on) is the top tier bowls, and the PAC is protected by both the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl (it is tough to imagine a scenario where its number 2 doesn’t end up there outside of maybe a Big XII #2-ND match up).

        As for desirability of the ACC, you have to remember that their fanbases (with a couple exceptions) travel poorly which means the only options are the Orange Bowl and maybe the Sugar Bowl (and that would mean giving the SEC permanent home field advantage) and only Florida St and Miami are big TV draws. And with the Hurricanes likely to be hit with sanctions that will set the football program back a decade (at which point they may no longer be relevant), from the bowls’ perspective it’s FSU or bust. (V-Tech is has a decent brand, but it’s not a glamor program and until it can start winning national titles (or at least stop choking in big games) it is not going to advance much).

        As for the Orange Bow, they had made clear they would drop their tie in with the ACC right now if they could and just go At Large vs. At Large.

        All that said, I admit that it is entirely possible they COULD get their champ a decent tie in, but they are already guaranteed that now, so why would they want to take that risk?

        Like

        • Richard says:

          The Pac #3 can’t beat out either the B12 #4 or B10 #4/5 for an Insight Bowl slot (the Holiday has a lower payout, which is why the B12 #5 goes there), so I seriously doubt the Pac sends their #2 to the Fiesta all the time. Most likely is that the B10 alternates between sending their #2 to the Fiesta and Sugar (with the B12 #2 going to the Sugar half the time and Pac #2 going to the Fiesta half the time) and SEC #2 going to the Orange. The other half of the time, the Cotton (with an increased payout) may take the Pac/B12 #2 vs. SEC #3.

          Like

      • vp19 says:

        What you say may be true, but there are only four ACC members with real football cultures — Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech. (Georgia Tech can join the club from time to time.) Any major bowl with an ACC tie-in runs the risk of having one of the other members get in (e.g., Wake Forest in 2006). On the whole, ACC teams — with their smaller constituencies and relatively meager football interest — are a bigger gamble for bowl travel than the Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC.

        I’m sure top-tier bowls would like to tell the ACC, “goodbye to your automatic bid, though we’ll be glad to take Clemson, FSU or Virginia Tech as an opponent when one of them has a strong year. Get back to us when you finally treat football as more than a prelim to your sainted basketball.”

        I can only imagine what they would tell the Big East.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      I’m not sure the ACC would back this proposal. On the open market its #1 would be (at best) the 7th most valuable property behind the B1G #1 and #2, SEC #1 and #2, PAC #1 and Big XII #1, and could well rank as low 12th behind the PAC and Big XII #2′s, SEC and B1G #3′s and ND. Considering there will only be 8 or 10 “premium” bowl slots (depending on what happens with the Cotton Bowl) I doubt the ACC would jump at ditching the BCS.

      I’ve seen multiple people make that argument, but I disagree on several points.

      First, all conference commissioners are optimistic and believe in their product. I don’t think Swofford assumes the ACC will stay down. Eventually FSU and/or Miami and/or Clemson and/or GT and/or someone else will rise up and equal or better VT. Having VT 3 of the past 4 years (and them going 1-2) hasn’t helped as the VT fans have Orange Bowl fatigue by now. The ACC’s top team has good value in most years. In terms of value, I’d say the current value is close to the 7th place you estimated. However, that assumes the SEC stays dominant. An elite FSU could easily be a top 3 value, for example.

      Second, the ACC hasn’t been a bad deal for the Orange Bowl as much as they’ve been partnered with a lot of undesirable teams (weak BE champs, KU, Stanford, etc). The Orange would love to drop the at larges it gets stuck with, but it dreams of years where Miami or FSU are top 10 ACC champs. Look at the past 10 match-ups:

      January 2, 2002 Florida 56 Maryland 23
      January 2, 2003 USC 38 Iowa 17
      January 1, 2004 Miami (FL) 16 Florida State 14
      January 4, 2005 USC 55 Oklahoma 19
      January 3, 2006 Penn State 26 Florida State 23
      January 2, 2007 Louisville 24 Wake Forest 13
      January 3, 2008 Kansas 24 Virginia Tech 21
      January 1, 2009 Virginia Tech 20 Cincinnati 7
      January 5, 2010 Iowa 24 Georgia Tech 14
      January 3, 2011 Stanford 40 Virginia Tech 12

      2002 the ACC provided a weak MD team, but the orange got UF so it wasn’t bad for them.
      2003 the Orange got a pseudo Rose Bowl, but no ACC team as they played in the NCG.
      2004 they got a golden matchup of FL teams.
      2005 was the NCG, so no complaints.
      2006 they got a Bowden/Paterno game with lots of hype.
      2007 Ugh. WF and UL.
      2008 Ugh. KU. Good game, though.
      2009 Ugh. UC.
      2010 Not bad. GT had a strong year and was getting hyped for bringing back the option.
      2011 Ugh. Stanford (top 4, but no fans). VT got thumped.

      Four of the last 5 match-ups have been bad for the Orange, but UL, KU, UC and Stanford weren’t the ACC’s fault and 3 of the 5 ACC teams were top 11. The real problem is that the somehow the Orange seems to get stuck with bad teams in a year when the ACC isn’t great, so neither team is a draw. The other bowls get a strong BE champ (WV under RichRod) or have a strong anchor team (UGA/HI). The Orange gets highly ranked teams with small fan bases like KU and Stanford.

      Third, the ACC never gets 2 BCS teams now. Someone will want to lock in the ACC champ if the system reverted, so the ACC doesn’t lose anything in the process. They’d probably get a better bowl match-up than they have lately, too. The better games will provide the ACC with more hype, which will raise their profile, which will help their teams get better, which will raise their profile even more.

      The BE will have an issue with this because they know nobody would lock them in without ND and maybe some others grouped with them. The non-AQs will complain because it will make things harder for them, but fewer people will listen with Utah and TCU in AQ conferences and BYU independent. Boise is the only non-AQ left that has had more than 1 elite season, and they may end up in the BE.

      I’d love to see this system:

      NCG by BCS
      Rose – B10 #1 vs P12 #1
      Sugar – SEC #1 vs at large
      Cotton – B12 #1 vs at large
      Orange – ACC #1 vs at large
      Fiesta – first pick vs at large

      Rules:
      1. An improved BCS formula determines who plays in the NCG (no rematches, no conference non-champs, computers can use points)
      2. The 5 bowls get to replace an anchor team lost to the NCG in order (just like now).
      3. The Fiesta gets first pick to fill one spot since the others have tie ins.
      4. The bowls sit down to meet to pick their at large teams. As a group, they try to agree on the best match-ups for everybody involved. If they fight over certain teams, they move to #5.
      5. The remaining picks are done with ordered lists. Each bowl makes a list from 1-4 of who they want. The value each bowl assign to each team determines who goes where. Bowls that get their top choice one year lose priority to get their top choice the next year.

      EX. Everybody wants 1 team
      Sugar – A, B, C, D
      Cotton – A, B, D, C
      Orange – A, C, B, D
      Fiesta – A, B, D, C

      The Orange gets C. Since the Sugar rated D lower, D goes to the Cotton or Fiesta with the other getting B. They can decide like adults or use the rotation order. The Sugar gets A but loses priority for the first pick next time there is a tie.

      EX. A mix of choices
      Sugar – A, B, C, D
      Cotton – B, C, A, D
      Orange – A, D, B, C
      Fiesta – A, C, B, D

      B goes to Cotton, C to Fiesta, D to Orange and A to Sugar. Again, the Sugar would lose priority in a tie for A next time.

      EX. Everybody agrees
      Sugar – A, B, C, D
      Cotton – A, B, C, D
      Orange – A, B, C, D
      Fiesta – A, B, C, D

      In this case of all being equal, the first pick rotates every year to whomever will have the NCG the next year. The picks continue to rotate in that order.

      The bowls continue to share one TV deal and have equal payouts like now, and the Rose keeps its time slot. One other BCS bowl is played on 1/1 after the Rose in the night slot. The others happen on the next 3 available nights (skip Sunday) with the NCG on 1/8.

      All the lower bowls can continue to have 2 tie ins, but they don’t have to have any (a change from current NCAA rules). Conferences may not have more ties ins than half the number of total teams in the conference (that includes 1 BCS slot for the conferences with a tie in). The point of this is to give the lower bowls more freedom to make interesting pairings. In return, each bowl has to tell the NCAA in advance what their payouts are so that there are no bidding wars. Only after all the tie-ins slots are filled can bowls begin to fill the at large spots.

      Allowable tie-ins:
      ACC, SEC 7
      B10, P12 6
      B12 5

      I’d really like to force the NCG to be at a truly neutral site, but that would require three sites to be ready to host it every year which is not practical. Since I can’t do that, then, I will force the inclusion of indoor sites in the north in the NCG rotation. St. Louis, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Detroit are all reasonable choices (and Chicago or anywhere else that has a big, roofed stadium in the future). It can rotate through 6 sites (the 5 big bowls plus 1 northern city) as part of each TV deal. The northern cities can bid to see which gets picked, or rotate.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Brian,

        You made a well thought-out post. I do want to make a minor correction. You said that the 2003 Orange Bowl featured no ACC team because that team was in the NCG, which that year was the Fiesta Bowl. The teams were actually Ohio State and Big East champ Miami. The ACC champ was a Florida State team that entered the Sugar Bowl with a 9-4 overall record (soon to be 9-5 after losing to Georgia) and a 7-1 ACC record. The one loss was to NC State, who, in my opinion, was the best team in the ACC that year in spite of its 6-2 league record. That Phillip Rivers-led team finished with a win over previously top ten Notre Dame, who had earlier thumped FSU in Tallahassee, with a 10-3 overall record and a top ten ranking.

        But your main point is dead-on. The Orange Bowl has been hurt more by a lack of brand name opponents for the ACC champ than by the ACC champ itself. Still, though, repeated lopsided losses by the ACC teams don’t help, and the ACC has itself to blame for that.

        I do think the Orange Bowl would be thrilled to lock in the ACC #1 vs. the SEC #2 or the Big Ten #2. At-large picks will become a thing of the past for pretty much all bowls.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Yep. I only caught it after I posted, but it was too late by then since you can’t edit. I thought about posting a correction, but it’s a minor details compared to my overall point.

          Like

      • frug says:

        That’s a well thought out post, but I still don’t see how you can do at large bids like this. The massive number of bowl games and lack of independents means everything is going to have a dual tie in.

        As for why the ACC would be scared, the simple answer is that this could be a likely scenario:

        Rose: B1G #1 vs. PAC #1
        Fiesta: Big XII #1 vs. PAC #2
        Sugar: SEC #1 vs. Big XII #2
        Orange: SEC #2 vs. B1G #2

        In that case the ACC’s best case is a matchup against Notre Dame in either the Cotton Bowl or Capital One Bowl.

        Like

        • charlie says:

          @frug – I agree with the dual tie-in scenario, however, you made the omission as to the NCG, which means that from those match-ups, 2 at-large bids will open up (unless you want to just have the bowls move down the pecking order, so NCG = B1G #1 vs SEC #1, then Rose’ll be B1G #2 vs Pac-12 #1 and Sugar’ll be SEC #2 vs Big XII #2)

          another option as well would be promoting the Cotton Bowl back to Tier 1 status, which would open up 2 more bids. I think with the NCG and the Cotton, there’ll be plenty of room for the ACC #1 in the new system (however, the ACC #2’ll definitely get left behind)

          Like

          • frug says:

            Yeah, I was asuming everyone would just move up if the team got selected for the championship. (That is certainly how the Rose Bowl (and therefore the PAC and B1G) would want it, and the Sugar would also want to gaurentee a SEC team every year)

            Like

        • Brian says:

          frug,

          At large bids aren’t that hard. It’s basically the exact same as now, except there are no automatic bids for anyone. All the other bowl contracts will be like now, the nth choice after the BCS. So at worst, the ACC champ goes to the Chik-fil-A Bowl against a more evenly matched opponent, giving them better chances to win bowls.

          Most of the big bowls would prefer flexibility to having 2 locked teams since conference strength varies from year to year. Plus, my system gives them all a chance at ND or SEC #3 or whomever they want each year. Nobody would get stuck with 7-5 UL or 8-4 UConn or …

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Its like conference realignment and security. Bowls will lock up teams as they did before the BCS for fear that they get left without. One in the hand is worth two in the bush.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I’m saying as part of the system that they agree not to lock in 2 teams. In exchange, they get equal payouts and the rotating NCG. If they want to lock 2, then they miss the NCG rotation as well as chances at ND and such.

            Like

          • frug says:

            The national championship will continue like it is now; a separate game. They aren’t going to put it back into a rotation like they did under the old BCS system.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Sorry. I wasn’t clear. I meant their site would be taken out of the rotation for double hosting. Clearly the NCG will stay separate.

            Like

      • gregenstein says:

        My biggest problem with this is that you are not allowing conference non-champs at all. I’m willing to concede your “no rematches” clause (though I somewhat disagree with it…if your only loss all year is to #1, how bad is that??) if you agree two teams from the same conference can play for the title so long as they haven’t played each other that same year.

        As long as we’re considering 1-loss teams for entry into the Title game, I’d rather err on the side of having a 1-loss team within the same conference than a 1-loss team from a weak conference.

        Also, I don’t think it is good to DQ automatically any non-champ. The Big 12 currently has no CCG, so it’s easy to figure there could be a bunch of 1 loss teams at the top. I can remember several years where the Big Ten had co-champions before the 12-team format. If the #1 team in the land comes from the SEC, for example, I can’t see automatically excluding Texas or Oklahoma if both have 1 loss. I remember a few years ago Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma were all tied in their South division. It was a crap shoot picking the winner of that division. If the winner of the “rock-paper-scissors” 3-way ends up losing the CCG to a cross division weakling, I wouldn’t automatically throw out the other 2 from the NCG who didn’t get the shot at weakling.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          gregenstein,

          My biggest problem with this is that you are not allowing conference non-champs at all. I’m willing to concede your “no rematches” clause (though I somewhat disagree with it…if your only loss all year is to #1, how bad is that??) if you agree two teams from the same conference can play for the title so long as they haven’t played each other that same year.

          I would allow co-champs, like the B10 used to have. Both OSU and IA were 8-0 in conference in 2002, for example. But if your conference has a championship game or you play a full round robin, there is no excuse. The BE and B12 play everybody, so they can’t get one. The ACC, B10, P12 and SEC all have a CCG, so you either lost to the conference champ or didn’t win your division. Either way, they are out.

          Let me point out that I think the CCG format as used today is flawed. I’d much rather see conferences eliminate the CCG and play as many conference games as possible instead (I’d say 10 is a reasonable max). Regardless, there shouldn’t be rematches in the CCG. I’d say whoever lost the head to head is excluded from the game if you insist on crossover games. I’d also only use division games to determine the division champs. For the B10 this year, that means MSU wins the Legends (only 4-1 team). WI would win the head to head tiebreaker in the Leaders over PSU (both 4-1), but MSU beat WI. So I’d make it MSU/PSU instead.

          As for a loss to #1, I’m not saying it’s a bad loss at all. But you’ve already shown they are better than you, so why should you get a second chance instead of someone else getting a first chance? History has shown that people are often wrong about which teams are the best. Rather than assume another team will lose, they should get a chance to show their merit. My other issue with it is it makes the first game meaningless. Why should splitting the series 1-1 earn one team a NC while the other has to go 2-0?

          As long as we’re considering 1-loss teams for entry into the Title game, I’d rather err on the side of having a 1-loss team within the same conference than a 1-loss team from a weak conference.

          I’d lean the other way. Within one conference, we have a pretty good feel for how good the teams are. We have very little data that lets us compare different conferences. You assume a conference is weak, but does that mean it’s best team can’t be good? Didn’t Boise win a BCS game as a WAC member? Utah as a MWC member? Didn’t Miami dominate while in the BE? Was the ACC any good when FSU was on top? Conference strength and team strength are not the same thing.

          Also, I don’t think it is good to DQ automatically any non-champ. The Big 12 currently has no CCG, so it’s easy to figure there could be a bunch of 1 loss teams at the top.

          There could be, but they all played each other. If the B12 decides one is the best, then we already know how the other teams compare to them. We don’t know how another conference champ compares.

          I can remember several years where the Big Ten had co-champions before the 12-team format.

          Co-champs are both champs. I’d accept both if they hadn’t played each other.

          If the #1 team in the land comes from the SEC, for example, I can’t see automatically excluding Texas or Oklahoma if both have 1 loss. I remember a few years ago Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma were all tied in their South division. It was a crap shoot picking the winner of that division. If the winner of the “rock-paper-scissors” 3-way ends up losing the CCG to a cross division weakling, I wouldn’t automatically throw out the other 2 from the NCG who didn’t get the shot at weakling.

          UT or OU wouldn’t get thrown out for having one loss. They would get skipped if they didn’t win the B12. Otherwise you are asking everyone to believe that it is known for sure that teams 2-4 are all in the same conference.

          To me, your problem isn’t with my system as much as it is with how conferences decide their champions. I agree that many conferences have a bad system, but it’s a separate issue.

          Part of the problem is that there are 2 different views of how to determine champions. One side views I-A as one big conference and wants to take whatever 2 teams might get rated highest. The other side views conferences as regionals, and only the champs progress to the next level. A similar dichotomy exists in how to determine a conference champion. Should you consider the whole season, or only the conference games?

          My view is that OOC games are fun and provide fodder for national discussions and conference comparisons, but that conference games should determine conference champions. An 8-4 team that lost all 4 OOC but swept the league deserves to win over an 11-1 team that it beat head to head to me. On the national stage, both teams are eliminated from the NCG to me because one couldn’t win it’s conference and the other couldn’t win OOC.

          There will be parity years when a 2 loss conference champ may get in, and I’m OK with that. I’m also OK with a 13-0 UH getting a shot if all the other AQ champs lose too many games. At some point the little guy has to be given a chance to prove himself. Other people may draw that line at 3 losses instead of 2, and I might be willing to consider that. If you tell me a 10-3 SEC team should always get in over 13-0 UH, then I think you’re biased. 11-2 could be part of a reasonable discussion.

          I would also be happy to discuss adding a minimum resume requirement to my 2 rules, such as 2 wins over BCS top 25 teams or 4 over top 50 or some such.

          Like

  3. Penn State Danny says:

    OK, I will mention what everyone else is not. What about the Big East?

    If the BCS stays, are we SURE that they lose their AQ status?

    If the Delany plan comes to fruition and there are NO automatic qualifiers (technically), do ANY of the rumored teams make the jump to the BE? Why would they?

    If there is a switch to the Delany plan, in essence, the BE has to disband for football. If they do, what happens to UConn, Cincy, USF, Rutgers and Louisville?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Penn State Danny,

      OK, I will mention what everyone else is not. What about the Big East?

      What about them? They get what they earn in the Delany system. I assume the financial sharing would be about the same as now, except nobody is promised anything. First team = $25M and second (and third, etc) team = $7M. Any conference that sends nobody is part of what used to be the non-AQ pool, and they all split $50M equally (includes the independents).

      If the BCS stays, are we SURE that they lose their AQ status?

      If the current BCS system stays, they can still completely change the AQ system. They could easily decide the BE loses it’s AQ status with the loss of so many teams and TCU not joining. The MWC is probably a better conference right now, but TCU is leaving and Boise might. The short answer is, nobody knows what will happen.

      If the Delany plan comes to fruition and there are NO automatic qualifiers (technically), do ANY of the rumored teams make the jump to the BE? Why would they?

      I’m sure some still do, because the BE has more prestige than their current league. They’ll get a money bump, too. Would Boise join for football only under this plan? Probably not.

      If there is a switch to the Delany plan, in essence, the BE has to disband for football. If they do, what happens to UConn, Cincy, USF, Rutgers and Louisville?

      The BE doesn’t have to do anything. They can rebuild and be on a tier between the top 5 and the others (at worst on par with the MWC and CUSA in CFB). Their basketball will keep them a level above those conferences overall, though.

      Like

    • m (Ag) says:

      If the Delaney plan happens, there is still a good financial reason for the proposed Big East schools coming together for football.

      They’re taking the best tv draws remaining West of the Mississippi and putting them in one division, while keeping the best tv draws remaining East in their own division. This creates the best package for television they can hope for, with a conference title game for extra cash at the end of the year. They won’t get great bowl tie-ins, but they will likely be better than they would be in the MWC or CUSA; probably 3 bowl tie-ins in the West and 3 in the East, with bowls getting to pick from one division or the other.

      The only real problem is what the football-only schools do with their other sports. If you were starting for scratch the obvious idea would be to have each division as a separate conference for non-football sports (and they could even add some West Coast schools for these sports). However, at this point Houston and SMU probably won’t accept not being with the TV draws out East for basketball.

      Once the Big East schools join, the Mount USA merger will still likely happen for the same reasons; they will then be the best left, and will get the best contract banding together.

      Like

  4. tomdauwwg says:

    Spartans > Badgers

    Like

  5. Brian says:

    The Meyer hiring has me doing some looking back and looking forward to see what may lie ahead for OSU.

    Before all the scandal, 2011 was supposed to be a great year for OSU. A talented SR QB, good OL, a bunch of talented RBs, a SR WR, and a young but talented defense all guided by a revered coach. Assuming all the opponents played about the same against OSU, and nobody was suspended or fired, I think it would be fair to say that OSU could be 11-1 or 12-0 right now and playing for the B10 title as the favorite. While not an elite team like LSU or AL, they’d be ranked #3 in the human polls probably (#2 if 12-0) and would jump to #2 in the BCS with a CCG win. Then they could lose to LSU in the Superdome in the NCG (again) and have everyone complain about the overrated B10 and how OSU never wins anything, etc.

    Instead, Tressel and Pryor were gone and several guys missed 5-10 games. All of that lead to 6-6 and Urban Meyer getting hired.

    2012:
    The first year under a new coach always requires some adjustment, but rarely does a new coach get a team with so much talent. They should be competitive in every game. The 2012 slate:

    Miami (OH), UCF, Cal, UAB, @ MSU, NE, @ IN, PU, @ PSU, IL, BYE, @ WI, MI

    The OOC slate is soft, so the team has 4 games to learn the system well. The B10 road games are pretty tough, so they will lose 1 or 2 of those probably (IN is bad, PSU will be down, WI and MSU will be good but have issues). The home games are a little easier, so OSU should go 3-1. Put together that’s a realistic 9-3 while learning the new system.

    6-2 in conference might win the Leaders next year, too. WI loses 11 starters, including their QB, plus the K and P. PSU will likely be down with a questionable QB, new coaches, perhaps weakened recruiting and losing 12 starters. IL, PU and IN seem unlikely to top 6-2 either. Even 5-3 might win the Leaders with the right tiebreaking wins. WI also plays NE and MSU, and PSU has NE as well. That means 10-2 or 9-3 and possibly playing for the B10 title. I expect the Legends champ to be about 10-2 next year too, looking at schedules, maybe 11-1 for MSU. That means the CCG should be up for grabs. So I see OSU ranging from 8-4 to 11-2 and in the Rose Bowl (barring major injuries, etc)

    2013:
    The second year is when new coaches really kick things into gear, generally. OSU should have Braxton Miller in his third year of starting, and plenty of talent around him. The OOC schedule is incomplete, but this is what we know:

    Vandy, FAMU, @ Cal, TBA, WI, @ NW, BYE, IA, PSU, @ PU, BYE, @ IL, IN, @ MI

    Again the OOC should be 4-0. If OSU avoids the trap @ PU, then the season should come down to WI, PSU and @ MI. All 3 of those are winnable, especially with 2 at home. That means an 11-1 season is realistic. That should win the Leaders and have OSU favored in the CCG. That means anywhere from 10-2/10-3 in the Cap 1 to 13-0 and in the NCG is realistic.

    Obviously both years could go much worse, but I think those are realistic estimates.

    In future years, OSU’s schedules look pretty balanced. They seem to pair WI and PSU together, and MI and a major OOC foe together. One pair is at home while the other pair is on the road. The addition of the ninth B10 game in 2017 could throw a monkey wrench into the works as far as balance, but who knows.

    Like

    • Jeff says:

      Haha 2011 isn’t over, 2012 hasn’t started. Of course every game on the 2013 schedule looks winnable. Michigan is going 13-0 in 2013, so you may have to adjust your OSU record to 11-2.

      Like

      • jj says:

        I will take that wager.

        Like

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Wolverine fans are second only to the Domers with the perennial ‘we’re back!!’ delusions.

        In 2013 TSUN will go 9-3 and the painful Flintstone “umm….ahh…err…” interviews will be wearing thin even in Ann Arbor (whore!)….but just wait until 20154 by gum!!!

        LOL

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Jeff,

        All I said was 11-1 was realistic. I even included 10-2 as part of the range. How is that not a plausible scenario? It’s not like I said these were predictions.

        As for MI undefeated in 13-0, it’s certainly possible. That wouldn’t prevent OSU from being 11-1 and right in the middle of my range.

        Like

    • cutter says:

      Have you factored in when Urban Meyer has his mental breakdown, chest pains or difficulty breathing? What about when his family revolts because he’s sleeping on his couch because he can’t delegate as much as he wants because he’s shepherding around a new coaching staff? What about the reaction to Columbus talk radio and the media if Ohio State doesn’t live up to those expectations?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I figure he has at least 3 years before that kicks in.

        Like

        • charlie says:

          having time removed from a situation to reflect is always a good thing. meyer’s said that alot of his burn out was due to his top assistants leaving and him having to pick up all the slack. now that he realizes that relying on assistants for everything is the key, I think he’ll pursue that route. keeping fickell on the staff was an outstanding move. and, ad gene smith has said that ohio state has no problems shelling out the big bucks to get meyer the best assistants. even if one of meyer’s future top assistants leaves down the road, I think ohio state won’t have a problem paying for a top notch replacement. while meyer will always be himself and work extremely hard (I think I read he’s already out on the recruiting trail), I think he’ll be fine for at least half a decade, if not longer. and, worst-case scenario: keeping fickell on the staff will always allow a future HC waiting in the wings for the buckeyes

          Like

  6. Brian says:

    So how weird would it be for Rick Neuheisel to win the P12 but not get to coach the Rose Bowl because he was fired for not winning enough?

    I don’t give UCLA much chance at OR, but it’s an odd situation to be sure. If I was UCLA, I think I would have waited until after the CCG just in case. Any coach who wins the P12 deserves to coach the Rose Bowl, even if he’s a lame duck at the time.

    Like

    • redwood86 says:

      Are you kidding? Really???

      If you want to get a good new coach, time is of the essence. Stanford basically had no options last year but internal staff and has-been retreads because Harbaugh left so late in the game.

      UCLA “”won” the Pac-12 South because the team that just beat them 50-0(!) is ineligible. UCLA fans are trying to run the UCLA AD out of town because his attitude (as reflected in post-game comments over the weekend) was the same as yours.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        No, I’m not kidding. The game is Friday and everybody already knew he would be gone if he lost. If he did win, you can fire him effective after the bowl and look for a new coach while letting the current staff deal with the game. Waiting until Saturday to make it official wouldn’t cost them any candidate that really wanted the UCLA job.

        I’m not saying they wait until 1/2 to fire him and start a search, but he would deserve to lameduck coach the bowl.

        Like

  7. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/7291739/syracuse-police-turn-information-district-attorney

    The US Attorney’s Office is taking over the Fine case, with the Secret Service doing the investigating. Apparently this is because the federal laws don’t have the same statute of limitations issues that the NY laws do.

    I know it’s a generalization, but I can’t imagine it’s ever a good thing to have the Secret Service investigating you. I’m guessing they are a little better at it than the local cops, and they certainly are better funded.

    Like

  8. Penn State Danny says:

    Frank: I just re-read all of your old proposals. I still like your 8 team playoff with the 6 BCS conference champs and 2 at large teams based on BCS standings.

    Assuming the favorites win during the final week, the 8 teams would be: LSU, OK ST, VA TECH, OREGON, MICH ST (or is Wisconsin favored??), WVU, BAMA and Stanford.

    Undefeated Houston would be left out in the cold. Of course, if the BE kept its spot and Houston joined, they could replace WVU. In that case, your system would be perfect.

    Like

  9. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX #1 LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

  10. herbiehusker says:

    add

    Like

  11. greg says:

    Go Hawks.

    Like

  12. bullet says:

    Its just the media and especially ESPN ignore anyone outside the power teams and top 25 mentality that has created Delany’s reality. Sugar Bowl-1968 Wyoming, 1971 Air Force. Navy was in the Orange in 1961 and Cotton in 1963. If you go back into the 40s and 50s you find schools like St. Mary’s, Holy Cross, Santa Clara. Good teams who weren’t in the top conferences weren’t totally ignored. Miami used to be a nobody and the ACC was a minor conference, but good teams got in. Deregulation of the airline industry giving big schools an ability to send mass quantities of fans and the end of the NCAA TV monopoly also contributed. It hasn’t always been like it was in the decade or so before the BCS. And, of course, the Big 10 didn’t even send a 2nd team to bowls in the 60s.

    Despite Delany’s bluster, the Big 10 and SEC have not alone created the bowl system’s success (and excess).

    So Delany wants to return to a limited period in college football history where only a small group of schools had access. The latest TV contracts have dramatically widened the gap between the Big 5 and the rest. Instead of $.75 million per school vs. $5-$9 million per school, its more like $1.5 million vs. $20 million. Restricting the remainders’ access is unbridled greed and excess.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Speaking of airline deregulation and flights to bowl games, American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection today but says it will be business as usual.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        They were the only major US airline that didn’t go bankrupt after 9/11. Everyone else got relief from their unions, so this had to happen eventually.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Article I saw said they want to lower labor costs. Not sure that will enable them to do business as usual, although nothing much probably happens over the next couple of months until proposals come out. At that point the unions MIGHT cause trouble. Or they may see the inevitable and try to steer it to their best advantage while allowing AA to stay in business.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            It’s a tough fight for the unions when their fellow members at every other airline already had to make similar concessions. They won’t get too much support from fellow members that already gave up the same things. They can’t have higher labor costs on top of the ridiculously high fuel prices.

            Like

        • Mack says:

          Continental Airlines did not go bankrupt after 9/11 although they did file in 1983 and 1990. Still had low costs in 2001 from when they exited in 1993.
          :
          Southwest has never went bankrupt.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Southwest isn’t grouped with the “major” airlines since they aren’t full fare. The aviation industry separates those groups for traditional, if not good, reasons..

            Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      Delany never said it was just the SEC and B10 that created this. He certainly implied that the non-AQs did next to nothing to build the system and the TV revenue and that’s fairly accurate.

      You mentioned a few anomalous games, but they were definitely the minority. And some of those teams you mentioned used to be competitive. They aren’t now, just like the former powers who dropped to I-AA (Yale, etc).

      I don’t think Delany wants to limit access, I think he wants a free market system. If the bowls value a WAC team over a B10 team, then they’ll pick them. If they value the big boys more, tough crap. The little guys can earn their access over years just like the big boys did.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        They were the minority, but they did happen. In the 80s up to the turn of the century, they didn’t happen. Rice, TCU and SMU contributed. But they are all non-AQ now (at least until next year).

        The big conferences have repeatedly tweaked the formula to try to keep the non-AQs from even making the field from which the bowls can choose. The point margin was removed from the computer systems the year after a non-AQ threatened to break into the system. Now that probably wasn’t primarily the Big 10 since they have the most attractive teams of any conference. But the BCS as a group definitely wants to limit access. And they want the perception to make it harder for the non-AQs to recruit against the mid-level AQ teams. And if a non-AQ team gets picked, they only get the lower payout that the 2nd AQ team from a conference gets.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          The BCS has gotten more and more inclusive every contract. There is no way a 7-5 UL would have sniffed a major bowl in the old days, or a 2 loss MWC champion (TCU may be in if UH loses). Many more non-AQs have gotten in than ever did in the past.

          The non-AQs make more than the AQs for making the BCS, too, they just choose to share it with more people.

          For the 2011-12 season:
          • The share for an automatic qualifier from one of the five non-AQ conferences (i.e., a conference without annual automatic qualification) will be approximately $26.4 million – 18 percent of the net revenue. (Those conferences have elected to divide the revenue among themselves according to a formula they have devised.)
          • If no team from the non-AQ conferences participates, those conferences would receive approximately $13.2 million – 9 percent of the net BCS revenue.
          • The net share for the automatic-qualifying team from each AQ conference will be approximately $22.3 million.
          • The share for each team selected at-large by one of the bowls will be $6.1 million.
          • Notre Dame will receive $6.1 million if it participates in a BCS game; its share will be approximately $1.8 million if it does not – 1/66th of the net BCS revenue.
          • Each FCS conference will receive $250,000.
          • If Army, Navy or BYU becomes an automatic qualifier or is selected at-large, it will receive $6.1 million; if not selected, each will receive $100,000.

          http://espn.go.com/i/ncf/bcs/2011BCSGuide2.pdf

          Like

  13. jj says:

    Good piece Frank.

    I’d kinda prefer the old tie ins. The BCS gives false hope / expectations. This year is a great example. I kinda want them to get in, but Michigan is looking to squeak in on the last week and boot a bunch of “lesser” teams.

    The only bowl I care about is the rose because win or lose, getting to it is a controllable win for your program, especially now with the championship game and loss of poll considerations. In other words, If you win, you get the just reward.

    The at-large bowls are just not the same.

    Like

  14. duffman says:

    Latest Sagarin numbers BCS in BOLD

    B 12 Average Rank = 55 / 10 = 5.5 = unchanged
    SEC Average Rank = 295 / 12 = 24.6 = dropped 1.8
    PAC Average Rank = 297 / 12 = 24.8 = dropped .9
    B1G Average Rank = 530 / 12 = 44.2 = dropped .7
    ACC Average Rank = 672 / 12 = 56 = rose 1.4
    B E Average Rank = 522 / 8 = 65.3 = dropped .3
    IND Average Rank = 268 / 4 = 67.0 = dropped 2.3
    MWC Average Rank = 622 / 8 = 77.8 = dropped 1.2
    CUSA Average Rank = 1024 / 12 = 85.3 = rose 2.1
    WAC Average Rank = 683 / 8 = 85.4 = dropped .1
    MAC Average Rank = 1340 / 13 = 103.1 = dropped .7
    S B Average Rank = 995 / 9 = 110.6 = unchanged

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL 2011 through results of NOVEMBER 26 SATURDAY
    The teams are now WELL CONNECTED, so all three ratings are UNBIASED.

    .

    Big 12 Average Rank = 55 / 10 = 5.5
    Kansas 2-10 81.87 #1 088
    Texas A&M 6-6 81.07 #2 012
    Iowa State 6-5 80.65 #3 029
    Texas 7-4 79.63 #4 014 #22
    Missouri 7-5 79.45 #5 018 #25
    Baylor 8-3 79.31 #6 016 #17
    Texas Tech 5-7 79.28 #7 044
    Oklahoma State 10-1 79.26 #8 003 #03
    Kansas State 9-2 79.09 #9 011 #11
    Oklahoma 9-2 78.98 #10 004 #10

    .
    .
    .

    SEC west Average Rank = 116 / 6 = 19.3
    Auburn 7-5 77.90 #11 034
    Mississippi 2-10 77.82 #12 108
    LSU 12-0 74.91 #20 001 #01
    Mississippi State 6-6 74.49 #22 031
    Alabama 11-1 74.35 #23 002 #02
    Arkansas 10-2 73.80 #28 007 #08

    .

    SEC east Average Rank = 179 / 6 = 29.8
    Tennessee 5-7 77.07 #13 051
    Florida 6-6 74.88 #21 033
    Vanderbilt 6-6 73.35 #32 039
    South Carolina 10-2 73.11 #33 015 #12
    Georgia 10-2 72.15 #39 017 #14
    Kentucky 5-7 72.13 #41 084

    .
    .
    .

    PAC north Average Rank = 160 / 6 = 26.7
    Oregon State 3-9 76.06 #15 081
    Washington 7-5 74.23 #24 040
    Oregon 10-2 73.94 #25 005 #09
    California 7-5 73.85 #27 030
    Washington State 4-8 72.63 #34 079
    Stanford 11-1 72.62 #35 006 #04

    .

    PAC south Average Rank = 137 / 6 = 22.8
    Arizona 4-8 76.27 #14 063
    UCLA 6-6 76.05 #16 052
    Colorado 3-10 75.97 #17 096
    Southern California 10-2 74.94 #19 009
    Arizona State 6-6 73.42 #31 035
    Utah 7-5 72.14 #40 038

    .
    .
    .

    B1G Legends Average Rank = 244 / 6 = 40.7
    Minnesota 3-9 75.15 #18 092
    Nebraska 9-3 73.68 #29 023 #19
    Michigan 10-2 72.17 #38 019 #16
    Iowa 7-5 71.03 #47 042
    Michigan State 10-2 70.23 #55 020 #13
    Northwestern 6-6 69.88 #57 062

    .

    B1G Leaders Average Rank = 286 / 6 = 47.7
    Ohio State 6-6 73.42 #30 041
    Penn State 9-3 72.21 #37 025 #21
    Indiana 1-11 71.01 #48 142
    Illinois 6-6 70.90 #49 055
    Purdue 6-6 69.51 #58 072
    Wisconsin 10-2 68.88 #64 013 #15

    .
    .
    .

    ACC Atlantic Average Rank = 327 / 6 = 54.5
    Maryland 2-10 72.25 #36 104
    Clemson 9-3 71.12 #44 028 #20
    Boston College 4-8 71.04 #46 090
    Wake Forest 6-6 70.46 #53 071
    Florida State 8-4 68.47 #69 026
    NC State 7-5 67.31 #79 064

    .

    ACC Costal Average Rank = 345 / 6 = 57.5
    Miami-Florida 6-6 71.11 #45 047
    Duke 3-9 70.87 #50 109
    North Carolina 7-5 70.54 #52 048
    Virginia Tech 11-1 69.29 #60 022 #05
    Georgia Tech 8-4 68.70 #66 043
    Virginia 8-4 68.04 #72 057

    .
    .
    .

    Big East Average Rank = 522 / 8 = 65.3
    Pittsburgh 5-6 71.13 #43 059
    Syracuse 5-6 69.36 #59 085
    Louisville 7-5 69.01 #62 056
    South Florida 5-6 68.85 #65 066
    West Virginia 8-3 68.52 #67 032 #23
    Connecticut 5-6 68.35 #70 078
    Rutgers 8-4 67.83 #76 049
    Cincinnati 8-3 67.29 #80 036

    .
    .
    .

    IND Average Rank = 268 / 4 = 67.0
    Notre Dame 8-4 73.91 #26 024
    Navy 4-7 68.91 #63 080
    Army 3-8 66.89 #84 113
    BYU 8-3 65.38 #95 045

    .
    .
    .

    MWC Average Rank = 622 / 8 = 77.8
    Boise State 10-1 70.56 #51 008 #07
    New Mexico 1-10 69.09 #61 171
    UNLV 2-9 68.49 #68 147
    TCU 9-2 67.84 #75 021 #18
    San Diego State 7-4 66.91 #83 053
    Wyoming 7-4 66.59 #85 069
    Colorado State 3-8 64.98 #97 137
    Air Force 7-5 64.11 #102 070

    .
    .
    .

    WAC Average Rank = 683 / 8 = 85.4
    Fresno State 4-8 68.27 #71 100
    San Jose State 5-7 67.84 #74 095
    Nevada 6-5 67.41 #78 067
    Louisiana Tech 8-4 67.27 #81 046
    Idaho 2-9 66.91 #82 134
    New Mexico State 4-8 66.47 #89 130
    Utah State 6-5 65.64 #93 074
    Hawaii 6-6 62.14 #115 093

    .
    .
    .

    CUSA east Average Rank = 542 / 6 = 90.3
    Marshall 6-6 70.26 #54 086
    ECU 5-7 67.96 #73 097
    UAB 3-9 66.02 #90 154
    UCF 5-7 63.87 #103 082
    Southern Miss 10-2 62.74 #110 037 #24
    Memphis 2-10 62.41 #112 183

    .

    CUSA west Average Rank = 482 / 6 = 80.3
    Rice 4-8 71.95 #42 094
    Tulsa 8-4 70.08 #56 027
    SMU 7-5 67.81 #77 068
    UTEP 5-7 65.93 #91 098
    Tulane 2-11 63.35 #105 173
    Houston 12-0 62.64 #111 010 #06

    .
    .
    .

    MAC east Average Rank = 742 / 7 = 106.0
    Miami-Ohio 4-8 65.83 #92 106
    Bowling Green 5-7 64.97 #98 103
    Kent State 5-7 64.32 #100 125
    Buffalo 3-9 64.30 #101 138
    Akron 1-11 63.24 #107 199
    Temple 8-4 60.69 #119 060
    Ohio 9-3 59.00 #125 076

    .

    MAC west Average Rank = 598 / 6 = 99.7
    Ball State 6-6 66.53 #86 102
    Toledo 8-4 66.48 #88 050
    Central Michigan 3-9 65.12 #96 139
    Western Michigan 7-5 63.58 #104 077
    Northern Illinois 9-3 63.24 #106 058
    Eastern Michigan 6-6 61.15 #118 118

    .
    .
    .

    Sun Belt Average Rank = 995 / 9 = 110.6
    North Texas 4-7 66.49 #87 129
    Florida Atlantic 1-10 65.56 #94 182
    Louisiana-Monroe 3-8 64.37 #99 131
    Troy 3-8 62.29 #113 146
    Middle Tennessee 2-9 62.25 #114 160
    Western Kentucky 7-5 61.47 #117 101
    Arkansas State 9-2 60.06 #121 054
    Louisiana-Lafayette 8-4 59.87 #123 087
    Florida International 8-4 58.75 #127 089

    .

    FCS Schools in FBS Schools range :
    132 South Dakota 6-5 Great West 63.15 #108 ==> Air Force (6-5) + Wisconsin (10-2)
    165 Missouri State 2-9 MVC 63.14 #109 ==> Arkansas (10-2) + Oregon (10-2)
    184 Western Illinois 2-9 MVC 61.47 #116 ==> Missouri (7-5)
    140 South Dakota State MVC 5-6 60.40 #120 ==> Illinois (6-6)
    112 Cal Poly-SLO 6-5 Great West 60.03 #122 ==> SDSU (7-4) + Northern Illinois (9-3)
    208 Idaho State 2-9 Big Sky 59.32 #124 ==> Washington State (4-8) + BYU (8-3)
    117 Indiana State 6-5 MVC 58.77 #126 ==> Penn State (9-3) + Western Kentucky (7-5)

    Like

    • duffman says:

      Is the B12 ranked too high?

      6 out 10 schools in the conference are in the BCS including a 7-5 Missouri and a 7-4 Texas. I thought about what Alan said about head to head and I think Bullet’s response on the SEC vs B12 matchup. I Went back and added back the former B12 schools as the teams are still the teams even tho the conferences do not match up perfectly. SEC vs B12 head to head :

      LSU 12-0 vs OK St. 10-1 (OU left) = winner LSU
      Alabama 11-1 vs OU 9-2 (OK St left) = winner Alabama
      Arkansas 10-2 vs UNL 9-3 = winner Arkansas or Nebraska
      Georgia 10-2 vs KSU 9-2 (ISU left) = winner Georgia
      USC 10-2 vs Baylor 8-3 (UT left) = winner USC
      Auburn 7-5 vs Missouri 7-5 = winner Auburn or Missouri
      Florida 6-6 vs Texas 7-4 (BU left) = winner Florida or Texas
      Vanderbilt 6-6 vs TAMU 6-6 = winner Vanderbilt or TAMU
      Miss State 6-6 vs ISU 6-5 (KSU left) = winner Mississippi State
      Kentucky 5-7 vs Texas Tech 5-7 = winner Kentucky or Texas Tech
      Tennessee 5-7 vs Colorado 3-10 = winner Tennessee
      Mississippi 2-10 vs Kansas 2-10 = winner Mississippi or Kansas

      The B1G / PAC / SEC are done with their season but 6 B12 schools still have yet to draw even until they play their last game to get to 12. If the home teams win you would have Oklahoma State 11-1, Kansas State 10-2, Oklahoma 9-3, Baylor 9-3, Texas 7-5, and Iowa State 6-6. This gives you a head to head that looks like this:

      LSU 12-0 vs Oklahoma State 11-1 = winner LSU
      Alabama 11-1 vs Kansas State 10-2 = winner Alabama
      Arkansas 10-2 vs Nebraska 9-3 = winner Arkansas or Nebraska
      Georgia 10-2 vs Oklahoma 9-3 = winner Georgia or Oklahoma
      USC 10-2 vs Baylor 9-3 = winner USC
      Auburn 7-5 vs Missouri 7-5 = winner Auburn or Missouri
      Florida 6-6 vs Texas 7-5 = winner Florida or Texas
      Vanderbilt 6-6 vs TAMU 6-6 = winner Vanderbilt or TAMU
      Miss State 6-6 vs Iowa State 6-6 = winner Mississippi State
      Kentucky 5-7 vs Texas Tech 5-7 = winner Kentucky or Texas Tech
      Tennessee 5-7 vs Colorado 3-10 = winner Tennessee
      Mississippi 2-10 vs Kansas 2-10 = winner Mississippi or Kansas

      .

      I think either way – as a 10 or 12 team league – the SEC is better top to bottom than the B12 and the B1G is better top to bottom than the PAC. Here is the B1G vs PAC top to bottom, with both as 12 team conferences:

      Michigan State 10-2 vs Stanford 11-1 = either
      Wisconsin 10-2 vs Oregon 10-2 = either
      Michigan 10-2 vs U$C 10-2 = Michigan
      Nebraska 9-3 vs Washington 7-5 = Nebraska
      Penn State 9-3 vs Cal 7-5 = Penn State
      Iowa 7-5 vs Utah 7-5 = Iowa
      Purdue 6-6 vs Arizona State 6-6 = Purdue or Arizona State
      Ohio State 6-6 vs UCLA 6-6 = Ohio State
      Northwestern 6-6 vs Arizona 4-8 = Northwestern
      Illinois 6-6 vs Washington State 4-8 = Illinois
      Minnesota 3-9 vs Oregon State 3-9 = Minnesota or Oregon State
      Indiana 1-11 vs Colorado 3-10 = Colorado

      Just looking at the schedules I would put the conference rankings as :

      #1 SEC
      #2 B12
      #3 B1G
      #4 PAC
      #5 ACC

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        duff – once again, you get it.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          Alan, last year I picked the Ducks on here early on and they wound up in the MNC. This year I picked your Tigers at the beginning, and here they are. Either I am lucky, or just watch too much football! Seriously tho, I just can not buy that the B12 is better without Nebraska, which is what I have said all year. I think Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State should all be in the BCS. I am just not as sold on Baylor (a balanced team will contain RG III, and they struggle on the road) , Texas (That 1 point squeaker at home vs BYU, and TAMU giving them that win) , and Missouri (who is solid mid level team, but not BCS worthy) all seem above their actual ability. At least the B1G 10-2 teams lost to respectable teams, but OU dropping one to Texas Tech and OK State dropping one to Iowa State seems to taint their records more. Michigan State’s losses to good teams seem more respectable than the B12 losses to lesser schools.

          I said all along Penn State does not really have an offense, but they do have a defense. When you get to bowl time I think the B1G will do better than predicted if they play equal B12 teams. I will grant the B12 can put points on the boards (as evidenced by a team like TAMU) but I am suspect of their defenses. Top to bottom in conference I still think the SEC and B1G have the better defenses. If a school like TAMU actually had a defense they would be at the top of the B12 right now. I would probably put Oregon ahead of both OK State and OU yet that second loss is killing them in the BCS. If the BCS is going to put Southern Mississippi in the BCS, they might as well put Arkansas State in there as well. Arkansas State only lost to Illinois and Virginia Tech, but nobody is rushing to put them in the BCS mix.

          I really would like to see Stanford play Michigan State or Oklahoma State play Georgia to see how good the B12 really is. You know what they say about computers – Garbage In, Garbage Out.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            @Duffman
            Ohio State may have a better name, but they were 6-6 in a weaker conference. Wisconsin lost to them.
            Iowa State is 6-5.
            Michigan lost to Iowa. Guess what? Iowa lost to Iowa State.

            You’re basing Ok. State’s loss based on school name, not on this year’s results.

            Tech’s biggest losses were Ok. St. and that same Iowa State team. 3 of their 7 losses could have easily gone the other way. Oklahoma just fell asleep the first half. Tech has a potent offense. OU forgot to score for half a game.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            As much as the computers love the B12 and hate the B10, this is what duffman is talking about:

            Sagarin for BCS:
            OSU 51
            ISU 22
            TT 29

            Sagarin using points (like people do):
            OSU 31
            ISU 48
            TT 60

            OSU was a much better loss according to a non-biased system (computers don’t care about school names or reputations) that is allowed to consider the actual scores. OSU is a much worse loss only if the scores are not a factor.

            Just to be clear, I’m not saying Sagarin has a perfect formula by any means. But it shows how the opinion differs greatly from one case to the other. Duffman isn’t crazy to think of OSU as a better loss.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I don’t think #31 vs. #48 is that dramatic a difference to make one a good loss and another a bad loss.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I wouldn’t call separate them as good and bad either. I would certainly call one loss better than the other, though. And remember that rankings are not linear. Still, # 48 of 120 is generally in the realm of 7-5 or 6-6 teams while #31 is more typically 8-4. For an all B10 comparison, PSU versus IA is very similar in Sagarin’s ratings. I wouldn’t call IA a bad loss exactly for a good team, but certainly PSU is a better loss and that IA loss is shaky. And #60 would be more like PU, and that is a bad loss for a good team.

            The other thing to factor in is that duffman believes that defense is important, too. The B10 defenses have been looked better than most of the B12 this year (in part because of playing B10 offense, I’m sure). He may value a more balanced team (good on O and D) more highly than a more lopsided team (great O, bad D – looking at you TT). You may disagree with him about that.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        @Duffman Good work above on all the rankings.

        I don’t agree with your comparison at all after LSU. Alabama/OU is slight advantage Alabama and USC/Baylor is a tossup.
        Missouri, Texas, A&M and ISU all win, the latter two easily. Texas Tech destroys Kentucky.

        Colorado/Tennessee and Kansas/Ole Miss are scoreless ties which get abandoned after noone can score in the first ten overtimes. Actually, Colorado probably beats Tennessee. Tennessee couldn’t beat a bad UK squad that didn’t have a QB.

        Computers do have the Big 12 too highly rated, but they aren’t that far off. Note that prior to the LSU game, Arkansas had a schedule strength comparable to Boise St. in the mid 40s (I think it was #43 vs. #45). That’s the argument for Oklahoma St. if they get by Oklahoma (which even if it wasn’t OU, I would be pulling for OSU because it makes the BCS a mess) which is that they have had a tougher road in their wins. Should Tulsa be in the top 10 because they have lost to OU, OSU, Boise and Houston and beaten everyone else decisively?

        Like

        • duffman says:

          bullet,

          USC 10-2 vs Baylor 8-3 (UT left) = winner USC
          I give the edge to USC because Spurrier would contain RG III, and it would be played on a neutral field which affects Baylor more. USC is well travelled in playing in hostile environments, but Baylor was pounded in the hostile confines of Kyle. The only other big venue schools in the B12 are OU and UT, and Baylor gets both at home.

          Auburn 7-5 vs Missouri 7-5 = winner Auburn or Missouri
          I think this is a low scoring game, with some advantage to Auburn. Sure Cam is gone, but the Auburn Tigers only lost to LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, and Division winners Clemson and Georgia on the road. In a neutral site game you have to think that Auburn will bring more fans.

          Florida 6-6 vs Texas 7-4 (BU left) = winner Florida or Texas
          Two big names that are both down this year. In a neutral venue I really think this is a toss up. Not impressed with either this season, and feel neither is worthy of a BCS spot in the Top 25.

          Vanderbilt 6-6 vs TAMU 6-6 = winner Vanderbilt or TAMU
          I do not think this is an easy win for TAMU because this year Vanderbilt actually has an offense to go with their normally stingy defense. If it was offense only I might agree to give TAMU the edge, but this year TAMU does not have a defense. I think this is a much easier win for Vanderbilt than TAMU for this particular year, especially at a neutral site. Alabama put 5 TD’s up on the Dores, but but Georgia had to hit 4 FG’s. I do not think anybody else put up more than 3 TD’s on the Dores in regulation all season. TAMU is not beating Vanderbilt with only 3 TD’s and no defense.

          Miss State 6-6 vs ISU 6-5 (KSU left) = winner Mississippi State
          Look at who Mississippi State lost to and how close the games were. I think on a neutral field, ISU gets beaten pretty solidly by MSU. The only schools who really scored on Mississippi State were Arkansas and Auburn, and both those games were road games for the Tigers. Everybody seemed to be able to put up points on Iowa State.

          Kentucky 5-7 vs Texas Tech 5-7 = winner Kentucky or Texas Tech
          I will give Tuberville the benefit of the doubt for knowing how to play Kentucky. I watched the UK vs UL game and UK was in it to the end, and could have won that game. I think UK has an ugly offense and it is painful to watch. That said they had a defense that kept them in the Georgia game 19-10, and beat Tennessee 10-7 for the first time since Reagan was in his first term in the White House. I think if you took the UK defense, and TAMU’s offense, you could have had a serious BCS team. I still see this game as a toss up, and not sure why you think TT would blow UK out?

          Tennessee 5-7 vs Colorado 3-10 = winner Tennessee
          Tennessee put up 45 points on 8-3 Cincinnati. I feel Colorado could not do the same, and that Tennessee would beat Colorado easily for this reason.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        I would say this year seems much tougher than usual to compare the teams between conferences. Michigan, Penn St., Nebraska, Arkansas, South Carolina, Stanford, Kansas St., Virginia Tech, Clemson are all hard to judge just how good any of them are.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I’ll throw out a top 25 for discussion. There seems to me to be several gaps-a top 8, a next 10, a few good but unproven and then the everybody else.
          1 LSU
          2 OSU (I think their wins give them the edge over AL)
          3 Alabama
          4 Virginia Tech
          5 Oregon
          6 Houston (I could put them 6 to 18, but noone’s beaten them yet so they get benefit of a doubt)
          7 Oklahoma
          8 Boise St. (dominated Georgia)
          gap
          9 Georgia
          10 Stanford (who have they beaten but USC?)
          11 USC
          12 Michigan St.
          13 Wisconsin
          14 Kansas St.
          15 Arkansas (losing by 24 to LSU and Alabama-well I could rank Tulsa if you wanted someone who only lost-but badly-to top 10 teams)
          16 South Carolina
          17 Baylor
          18 Clemson
          gap
          19 Michigan
          20 Nebraska
          21 TCU
          gap
          22 Texas (seems high, but who else? voters are having a hard time finding 25 teams to vote for)
          23 Penn St.
          24 Florida St.
          25 Notre Dame

          Like

          • Just curious wrt VA Tech way above Stanford. Who has VA Tech beaten? No one on this list (compared to Stanford’s wins over #11 and #25 on this list). And they got waxed at home by #18 Clemson (as opposed to #5 Oregon).

            Heck, why VA Tech over Arkansas (only got beat up by #’s 1 and 3, beat up #16) or Boise (tougher schedule, their home loss to TCU, rated by you nearly = to Clemson, was a nail-biter, and beat up Georgia) or even Wisconsin (generally dominant, including against #’s 20 and 23 here, and their losses were nail-biters)?

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Here is a raw base of teams for the top 25.

            LSU 12-0
            Alabama 11-1 : loss to LSU
            Virginia Tech 11-1 : loss to Clemson
            Stanford 11-1 : loss to Oregon
            Oklahoma State 10-1 => Oklahoma left : loss to Iowa State
            Arkansas 10-2 : loss to LSU + Alabama
            Georgia 10-2 : loss to Boise State + USC
            South Carolina 10-2 : loss to Arkansas + Auburn
            Oregon 10-2 : loss to LSU + U$C
            U$C 10-2 : loss to Arizona State + Stanford
            Michigan State 10-2 : loss to Notre Dame + Nebraska
            Wisconsin 10-2 : loss to Michigan State + Ohio State
            Michigan 10-2 : loss to Michigan State + Iowa
            Oklahoma 9-2 => Oklahoma St left : loss to Texas Tech + Baylor
            Kansas State 9-2 => Iowa State left : loss to OK St + Oklahoma
            Nebraska 9-3 : loss to Wisconsin + Northwestern + Michigan
            Penn State 9-3 : loss to Alabama + Nebraska + Wisconsin
            Clemson 9-3 : loss to Georgia Tech + NC ST + USC
            Baylor 8-3 => Texas left : loss to KSU + TAMU + OK St
            Notre Dame 8-4 : USF + Michigan + U$C + Stanford
            Florida State 8-4 : OU + Clemson + Wake Forest + UVA
            Virginia 8-4 : UNC + So Miss + NC ST + Virginia Tech
            Georgia Tech 8-4 : UVA + Miami FL + Va Tech + Georgia
            Rutgers 8-4 : UNC + UofL + WVU + Uconn
            West Virginia 8-3 => USF left : LSU + SU + UofL
            Cincinnati 8-3 => Uconn left : UT + WVU + Rutgers
            BYU 8-3 : Texas + Utah + TCU
            27 schools above this point
            SEVEN WIN SCHOOLS
            Auburn 7-5 : LSU + Alabama + Arkansas + Georgia + Clemson
            Missouri 7-5 : ASU + OU + KSU + OK St + Baylor
            Texas 7-4 => Baylor left : OU + OK St + Missouri + KSU
            UNC 7-5 : Ga Tech + Miami FL + Clemson + NC ST + Va Tech
            Iowa 7-5 : ISU + PSU + Minnesota + Michigan State + Nebraska
            Washington 7-5 : UNL + Stanford + Oregon + U$C + Oregon State
            Cal 7-5 : Washington + Oregon + U$C + UCLA + Stanford
            Utah 7-5 : U$C + Washington + ASU + Cal + Colorado
            NC State 7-5 : WF + UC + Ga Tech + FSU + BC
            Louisville 7-5 : FIU + Marshall + UNC + UC + Pitt

            Non AQ conferences (8+ win teams only) :

            Houston 12-0 : SoS 111
            Boise State 10-1 => New Mexico left : SoS 51
            Southern Mississippi 10-2 : SoS 110
            Arkansas State 9-2 => Troy left : SoS 121
            TCU 9-2 => UNLV left : SoS 75
            Ohio 9-3 : SoS 125
            Northern Illinois 9-3 : SoS 106
            Tulsa 8-4 : SoS 56
            Temple 8-4 : SoS 119
            Toledo 8-4 : SoS 88
            La La 8-4 : SoS 123
            FIU 8-4 : SoS 127
            La Tech (lost by 1 point to 12-0 Huston, 2 points to 10-2 Sou Miss) : SoS 81

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Matthew
            RE: VT-good question. I guess my favorable impression is that they had two key games, both on the road, against Georgia Tech and UVA and won both comfortably. Stanford had one key game and laid an egg at home. Boise had two, beating UGA and losing to TCU. And while VT didn’t play a Georgia, they also didn’t play Colorado State, New Mexico and UNLV. It was actually possible to lose to all their conference opponents. Arkansas struggled against a bunch of bad teams (Troy, Vandy, Ole Miss). If Wisconsin were 11-1 I would probably have them 4th, but they did find a way to lose two and unlike Oregon, it wasn’t a against #1 and #11.

            USC is another team to question, but every time I saw them they looked very good. Obviously, they weren’t when they got stomped by ASU.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Matthew,

            A quick CFN question for you. Why doesn’t CFN use their season ranking formula during the season? It would seem an appropriate part of CFN’s weekly BCS analysis article to compare the BCS rankings, human polls and computer polls to CFN’s formula. I realize that as with all resume systems, it gets better as the season continues, but I think it would be interesting. It wouldn’t take much work to adapt it, but it would shuffle a lot as the season progresses as teams lose elite status or become bad.

            For those that don’t know, this is how CFN ranks every team at the end of the season:

            The Formula’s Components:
            1. Wins. – If you win, everything else falls into place. Each win counts as 1.
            2. Quality Wins – The number of wins over teams that finished with a winning record. Each win counts as 1.
            3. Elite Wins – The number of wins over teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each win counts as 1 with a road win over an Elite team getting an extra 0.5. Also counting as 1 is a road win over a team that finished with three losses or fewer (but the extra 0.5 isn’t added). A win over a team that finishes with three losses in a bowl game or a neutral site game counts as one.
            4. Bad Loss – The number of losses to teams that finished with three wins or fewer or a loss to a FCS (DI-AA) team. Each loss counts as minus-1. Take away an additional 0.5 for a Bad Loss at home.
            5. Bad Win – The number of wins to teams that finished with three wins or fewer, or a win over a D-IAA team. Each win counts as minus 0.25.
            6. Elite Loss – The number of losses to teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each loss counts as 0.25.
            7. Point Differential – Points for minus points against divided by 100.
            8. Winning Percentage – To take losses into account, winning percentage is in the mix. Total wins is the tie-breaker followed by winning percentage.

            Like

          • So Clemson wasn’t a key game? B/c they got rolled pretty good there. UVA was a “key game” b/c it meant the division title, but it’s hardly like UVA was actually a strong opponent. IMO limited credit there.

            I find it odd that you’re only looking at games in terms of importance compared to opponent quality. I’d think the emphasis would be reversed. IMO VA Tech hasn’t beaten a single strong team, and the best team they’ve beaten was Georgia Tech, who really isn’t all that good.

            wrt CFN’s system, I don’t know why they don’t use it during the season. Probably some combination of it being a fair amount of work to run weekly, and it being a fair amount of work to play with the arbitrary bucketing on a weekly basis (what’s the week 7 equivalent of a 10-win team? 6 wins? 5 wins?). Of course, I’m not remotely a fan of that system (it makes Billingsley look mathematically legitimate), so I’m probably not the person to really ask about it.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            You’re right about strength of wins and that’s a good argument against Virginia Tech.

            Clemson was a good test, but it wasn’t viewed as a “key” game since it was cross-division and relatively early. GT was more important because it was division and a loss put them in bad shape. In contrast, everyone at Boise knew UGA was a critical game for them even though it was ooc and the 1st game of the season.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Matthew,

            I like the system because it is honest about what it is. It doesn’t try to say which teams are better than others, it tries to measure what different teams have accomplished during the season. It isn’t the best method, but it’s the most honest one I’ve seen.

            With a couple of tweaks, it would be similar to some of the computer models that are out there that are non-predictive.

            Like

  15. Boise State is going to the Poinsettia Bowl this year, which is where they’d be every year without the BCS. This is a a brilliant move by Delaney. Eliminate the BCS and the Boise States of the world are no better than Tulane’s undefeated team with Shaun King at QB way back when. It’s that BCS game (and the potential for one) that has allowed Boise to build off of one magical season and sustain their program.

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      swass – you bring up Tulane and its a shame that but for Tulane President Scott Cowen raising a sh*t-storm over the 1998 undefeated Tulane Green Wave being relagated to the Liberty Bowl (which at the time featured the C-USA and MWC champs), Boise St., TCU, Utah, and Hawaii never would have had a whiff of a Rose, Sugar, or Fiesta invite.

      Now, my poor Greenies get skull-drug by the likes of Rice.

      Like

      • Alan- It is indeed sad to see how far Tulane has fallen. Bad luck, bad decisions and a little thing called Katrina have devastated that entire athletic department. It’s too bad, because a strong program in New Orleans would be a natural fit for the Big XII right now.

        Like

    • OT says:

      Boise State will go to the Las Vegas Bowl this season.

      Las Vegas Bowl (read: ESPN Regional Television, Inc.) wants nothing to do with TCU and its small fan base.

      The Poinsettia Bowl has a dilemma:

      1. Take 10-2 TCU and end up with 40000 empty seats

      2. Take San Diego State and sell out the Q

      My bet: Poinsettia Bowl will take San Diego State.

      TCU will drop to the Independence Bowl.

      New Mexico Bowl will be given cash (by the Military Bowl) to take Wyoming instead of Air Force.

      That will allow the Military Bowl to take Air Force.

      Like

    • cutter says:

      How brilliant a move is this by Delany when he openly admits that a playoff system would generate “three to four times the revenue” that the present BCS/bowl system does? If he really wants to maximize the revenue that the schools get, then he’d be steadily working towards getting a playoff system implemented.

      Instead, he’s fishing for minnows with this proposal. What exactly does it mean for the major conferences if one few non-AQ team isn’t in a BCS bowl? Those teams would get around $17M gross for their appearance in one of those games. Take around $3M off the top of that in expenses and we’re talking around $14M–about $1.16M per each of the twelve teams in the B1G.

      Hell, if a playoff system netted $500M (which is low by most estimates) and each team in Division 1-A received an even slice of the pie, then you’re looking at around $4M apiece for each of the 123 teams in the division. I’m not saying that’s how the money would be divided, but it’d sure be more than the BCS/bowl system (and FWIW, that figure above doesn’t include the additional money the bowls would pay for the teams not eligible for the playoff).

      Money-wise, this isn’t exactly the most stunning proposal out there. Now if you say it’s a strong tactical move that will consolidate “power” amongst the larger conferences and keeping the post-season out of the hands of the NCAA while maintaining one of the most assinine post-season setups in modern sports, then I say mission accomplished.

      Like

      • charlie says:

        @cutter – frank mentioned in a post awhile back (can’t find the link at the moment) that for the Big 5 conferences, it’s not necessarily about creating more overall revenue which would be split with the non-AQs as much as it’s about keeping the revenue disparity between the AQs and non-AQs. at the moment, that gap is huge, and be reverting to the old bowl system, that gap stands to be widened a bit. remember, it’s not necessarily about simply creating more overall revenue as much as it’s making sure that the B1G and Pac-12 play in the Rose Bowl, and none of the non-AQs ever get to

        Like

        • cutter says:

          @charlie – I think there’s an element here that you miss. Delany’s actual goal isn’t to increase the revenue disparity between the AQ and non-AQ teams. He could do easily increase that difference with a college football playoff by several fold given the revenue projections that even he and other major conference commissioners have admitted exist.

          What Delany & Co. want to do is to protect their brands by keeping the non-AQ teams and conferences “poor”. The major conference commissioners do not want to see minor programs get the type of financing a playoff could provide them. By limiting the amount of revenue they get, that means they don’t have the level of resources to fund stadium improvements, coaching salaries, infrastructure, etc. that would make them more competitive with the AQ programs.

          Programs like Utah, TCU and Boise State are great stories, but the major conference commissioners do not want them proliferating. BSU knocking off Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl might be a great story, but if you’re the commissioner of the Big XII (or any other major conference), you don’t want to see that repeated by a bunch of other teams from the Mountain West or Conference USA.

          Because television coverage has grown so much and because teams have 85-scholarship limits, the barriers to entry for a mid-major to become markedly more successful have been reduced. I don’t think anyone here would have imagined 20 years ago that Boise State would beat Georgia in a regular season game, but that happened just this year.

          That’s the reason why you’re seeing Delany putting the squeeze on the non-AQ program IRT the post-season. It’s not about the money–it’s about protecting the brand.

          Like

      • Jim in Florida says:

        He was talking just BCS to Playoffs not all bowls to playoffs. And even with that I still think he is wrong. I just do not see where all this playoff money is going to come from. Significant games will end up taking place between roughly the weekend before Christmas and Christmas weekend. TV ratings are bad during this time frame sure there are a couple of exceptions like the NBA Christmas game but even NFL games take a ratings dip during this time. The bowl games on during this time are dirt cheap for there TV rights so they don’t need a big number to be profitable. Add to this that games will either have to be spread out during the week or you are doubling and tripling up on Sat games. This is not exactly going to get Networks into a crazy bidding war for an unproven tv event.

        Then you have the unintended consquences of the playoffs. The mid tier teams depending on getting to bowls for fundraising when they are never in position for a playoff birth are they going to be able to continue to fund the department as is? How bad is fan base erosion going to be in the long run when teams even at the Iowa or Michigan St level make a playoff maybe once every 15 years and teams like Purdue maybe once every 50 if ever. The playoffs will only increase the difference between the haves and have nots.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          @ Jim in Florida: I know you’re not a fan of Dan Wetzel, but read some of the comments in a column of his from 22 September that I linked earlier about a college football playoff and television ratings:

          The BCS also weakens regular-season television ratings (where another critical revenue stream exists) by eliminating so many teams early and turning 95-plus percent of late season games into local affairs.

          With a playoff, for example, last year’s three-way Big Ten race between Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State would’ve been important nationally, because the winner (or even the second- and third-place team) would’ve been in a playoff. That would’ve driven up interest, ratings and revenue.

          “People would be watching to see who the eight (playoff) teams are going to be,” said Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, noting that earning a BCS bowl bid produces little such bump. “It would build interest. It would enhance the season.”

          Instead, few outside those fan bases paid any attention to the Big Ten because it had no bearing on anything that impacted them. Almost no one remembers the race now. Just because the BCS badgers ESPN to repeat its “Every Game Counts” mantra doesn’t mean it’s true.

          “There is empirical evidence that leagues with playoffs receive a ratings increase,” said West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, who previously spent decades as a professional sports executive, pointing, in part, to the NFL’s booming popularity.

          The bowl lobby’s argument is the opposite of reality – that a playoff would decrease interest in the regular season. They try to compare football and basketball, two dissimilar sports in a bit of red herring ridiculousness. The whole thing is profoundly absurd. Many television executives will tell you regular-season ratings would soar with a playoff. So, too, will smart college administrators.

          “I don’t know how anybody could put that out there,” Dodds said. “It’s the [opposite]. A playoff builds the season.”

          The thing is, the bowl system isn’t designed to help the sport. “We’re not about college football,” Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett told Jacksonville TV station WJXT last year, noting he was more concerned about economic impact.

          The BCS isn’t even a system created to crown a champion. No other sport in the world has anything close and never will. It makes no sense. It’s merely a way for bowl games to maintain their lucrative stranglehold on the sport.

          And the sport is choking right now.

          END OF ARTICLE EXCERPT

          You can find the article at this link: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=dw-wetzel_stop_realignment_start_football_playoff_092211

          I think you’re on the wrong side of the argument here about the effect of a playoff on college football and on television ratings. As DeLoss Dodds points out, the longer a team has an opportunity to get in a playoff as the season progresses, the stronger the overall interest. I’d also add that a playoff system that awards a conference champion would keep that interest throughout the season.

          One immediate example of this is the Big Ten Championship game between Wisconsin and Michigan State. Both teams are 10-2 and neither of them have a chance at playing in the BCS championship game. But in a playoff scenario, the winner of the B10 CCG takes on much greater importance because the winner still has a shot at winning the national championship versus the current system where the victorious team plays in the Rose Bowl.

          I’ll also add that the bowls aren’t likely going to go away. As you point out, they aren’t expensive to run, so as long as they remain profitable and ESPN wants to put them on television, they’ll continue to exist. If Oregon, Stanford and let’s say Wisconsin were seeded in an eight-team playoff, the Rose Bowl would have (if they were off probation) a ten-win USC team playing a ten-win Michigan or Michigan State team. We’re not talking a huge drop off here in terms of getting interesting and marketable games together–imagine Nebraska v. Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl or Arkansas and Boise State in the Sugar Bowl. All those teams would be potentially outside the eight-team playoff, but still in place for the bowls.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            @ Jim in Florida: I know you’re not a fan of Dan Wetzel, but read some of the comments in a column of his from 22 September that I linked earlier about a college football playoff and television ratings:

            I also disagree with Wetzel and have no respect for his opinoins, and I’ll show you why using parts of your excerpt.

            The BCS also weakens regular-season television ratings (where another critical revenue stream exists) by eliminating so many teams early and turning 95-plus percent of late season games into local affairs.

            No proof, just a statement of opinion as fact. I watched a lot of rivalry games this past weekend. I wouldn’t have watched many of them if there was a playoff. I know that’s anecdotal, not real proof, but it already makes me think he’s wrong.

            With a playoff, for example, last year’s three-way Big Ten race between Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State would’ve been important nationally, because the winner (or even the second- and third-place team) would’ve been in a playoff. That would’ve driven up interest, ratings and revenue.

            Really? Even with ESPN badmouthing the B10 non-stop? Were more people really going to watch MSU/PU on 11/20 because of a playoff?

            “People would be watching to see who the eight (playoff) teams are going to be,” said Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, noting that earning a BCS bowl bid produces little such bump. “It would build interest. It would enhance the season.”

            Make up your mind. He’s saying the race for the top 8 matters, while Wetzel just stressed the conference race. Which is it? The race for rankings or the race for a conference championship? Isn’t the conference race more important under the BCS, unless you can make the NCG?

            Instead, few outside those fan bases paid any attention to the Big Ten because it had no bearing on anything that impacted them. Almost no one remembers the race now.

            Plenty of people remember the race. Since nobody was in the chase for a top spot, the rest of the country wouldn’t have cared that much anyway. They would have viewed the teams as largely interchangeable in my opinion.

            Just because the BCS badgers ESPN to repeat its “Every Game Counts” mantra doesn’t mean it’s true.

            Replace ESPN with Dan Wetzel and “Every Game Counts” with “the BCS sucks and playoffs rule!!!” and the sentence is the same.

            “There is empirical evidence that leagues with playoffs receive a ratings increase,” said West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, who previously spent decades as a professional sports executive, pointing, in part, to the NFL’s booming popularity.

            Really? Where in CFB has that been shown? Or do you mean in pro football where viewership is driven by gambling and fantasy teams? Or maybe in other college sports? Or is it only pro sports?

            The bowl lobby’s argument is the opposite of reality – that a playoff would decrease interest in the regular season.

            So everyone that disagrees with him is not in touch with reality. He is literally calling everyone who disagrees with him insane.

            They try to compare football and basketball, two dissimilar sports in a bit of red herring ridiculousness.

            What about his comparison above using the quote from Luck? What did he compare CFB to? Maybe the NFL, and maybe other sports too.

            The whole thing is profoundly absurd. Many television executives will tell you regular-season ratings would soar with a playoff.

            Will they put that in writing in terms of huge contract increases from Day 1? Do they have any actual evidence, or just hope? How many execs would say the opposite? I notice he said many, not most or all. There are a lot of TV execs, so I bet you could find plenty of minority opinions that “many” people held, too.

            So, too, will smart college administrators.

            So now all college administrators who disagree with him are also stupid. So that’s two names he has called people.

            “I don’t know how anybody could put that out there,” Dodds said. “It’s the [opposite]. A playoff builds the season.”

            Really? With 120 teams, a playoff will get most of them more viewers in November? Or will it get more viewers for teams 5-12 (assuming 8 teams), and fewer for everyone else? Will a loss by #1-4 matter at all?

            The thing is, the bowl system isn’t designed to help the sport. “We’re not about college football,” Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett told Jacksonville TV station WJXT last year, noting he was more concerned about economic impact.

            I don’t think anybody really said it was. That said, what does “help the sport” even mean? The bowls were designed to bring money to the host cities and reward good teams. Does rewarding players help the sport? Does having something to aspire to besides the NCG help the sport? On the other hand, does gutting the tradition of bowls help the sport? Does putting all the focus on winning the NCG help the sport? Does making every decision about money help the sport?

            The BCS isn’t even a system created to crown a champion.

            Completely untrue. The sole purpose of the BCS was to make sure #1 and #2 would play each other every year in the bowl season. Before that, it was infrequent. The BCS is all about crowning a champion.

            No other sport in the world has anything close and never will.

            The fly diet argument is never worthwhile. What other sports have in no way changes anything. Popular and correct are not the same thing. That sentence could apply to any system, and just as equally is an argument for the BCS as against it. Every sport is different, so it would make sense to me to have different ways of determining a champion. A team sport that can be played once a week is not a team sport that can play 4+ times a week, nor is it an individual sport. Why should they all decide a champion the same way?

            It makes no sense.

            Back to name calling. That’s three times in one excerpt.

            It’s merely a way for bowl games to maintain their lucrative stranglehold on the sport.

            And the sport is choking right now.

            Yes, CFB is doing horribly. That’s why ratings, popularity and TV values are rising so much.

            END OF ARTICLE EXCERPT

            Thank God.

            I think you’re on the wrong side of the argument here about the effect of a playoff on college football and on television ratings.

            That’s a reasonable opinion. Nobody actually knows what would happen. We do know how we would react personally, though. Many of us would not react the way Wetzel says people will.

            As DeLoss Dodds points out, the longer a team has an opportunity to get in a playoff as the season progresses, the stronger the overall interest.

            Every team should make the playoffs by that argument. Thus, the regular season should be eliminated entirely and just have a playoff. A 128 team double elimination tournament would be about the same length as the current regular season, I think.

            You also ignore all the teams that have no chance at a playoff. How do they react to missing out? What is the net effect overall, not just for the top teams?

            I’d also add that a playoff system that awards a conference champion would keep that interest throughout the season.

            That would mean no at large bids, or else the conference championship doesn’t really matter. that forces you to 12 teams at most (11 conference champs and 1 independent), and many of them wouldn’t deserve a shot (MAC, Sun Belt, WAC, new MWC, maybe CUSA, maybe BE). So that probably means 4 teams with no at larges except for an independent. In other words, a plus one and not the grand playoff scheme that Wetzel advocates.

            One immediate example of this is the Big Ten Championship game between Wisconsin and Michigan State. Both teams are 10-2 and neither of them have a chance at playing in the BCS championship game. But in a playoff scenario, the winner of the B10 CCG takes on much greater importance because the winner still has a shot at winning the national championship versus the current system where the victorious team plays in the Rose Bowl.

            So that means 7-5 UL also has a chance at the NCG? And that’s supposed to be a good thing? Also, don’t speak about the Rose Bowl like it’s a bad thing. That’s a great reward for a good season. It’s certainly better than having to play at LSU in December for a chance to play again, with a good chance of losing and just going home. No week of special events, no free trip to CA in December, no staying in a 4 star resort for a week, no continuing a decades old tradition for your school, just a two day trip to lose a game in the cold and flying back home. What a reward.

            I’ll also add that the bowls aren’t likely going to go away.

            Not entirely, no. But will they be anything more than road games? Will the major bowls still feel important? Or will the top bowls now become mediocre bowls and everything else slide down the scale? How many of the bowls will have to go? The numbers say each season should have roughly 71 teams bowl eligible, and there are 35 bowls (including the NCG). How many people will lose jobs in those host cities? How many businesses will close?

            As you point out, they aren’t expensive to run, so as long as they remain profitable and ESPN wants to put them on television, they’ll continue to exist.

            Some will survive in some form, yes. Nobody has ever disputed that. That doesn’t mean that a playoff won’t kill the bowl system though. It just means there will be zombie bowls (they kind of look the same, but they’re a shell of their former selves).

            If Oregon, Stanford and let’s say Wisconsin were seeded in an eight-team playoff, the Rose Bowl would have (if they were off probation) a ten-win USC team playing a ten-win Michigan or Michigan State team.

            First, you are assuming an 8 team playoff and that’s no guarantee. Why wouldn’t there be playoff creep and grow it to 12 and then to 16? Every other playoff has had that issue.

            Second, USC isn’t available. You’d get 10-2 MI against 7-5 UW if they stuck with the tie in. Yeah, that’s not a drop off at all from WI/OR. I’m sure that wouldn’t hurt the Rose Bowl’s ratings or status. On the other hand, the Rose could drop all their tradition and take some one like 10-2 TCU or 9-3 KSU and also lose status and viewers.

            We’re not talking a huge drop off here in terms of getting interesting and marketable games together–imagine Nebraska v. Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl or Arkansas and Boise State in the Sugar Bowl. All those teams would be potentially outside the eight-team playoff, but still in place for the bowls.

            Too bad your own example proves you wrong. Boise is #7. Are they not in the playoff as an at large? Who’s there instead – the BE champ (maybe 7-5 UL) or #8 Arkansas?

            Rose – 10-2 MI vs 7-5 UW (or TCU, or KSU or UGA after a loss, etc)
            Sugar – 10-2 AR vs (or maybe SC since AR is top 8 right now)
            Fiesta – 9-3 OU vs 9-3 NE
            Orange – 10-3 Clemson vs whoever the Rose doesn’t have

            The Rose would get a terrible match up if it stuck with the P12, and a bland one without the tradition. The Sugar may be down to SEC #4 which wouldn’t thrill them. The Fiesta would take it for the traditional rivalry, but it’s a far cry from what they used to get. The Orange would get another weak game, but they’re getting used to that by now.

            A playoff is not a panacea. It at least diminishes the bowls while killing some of them. It allows teams that don’t deserve a shot in my opinion to play for a title. Why should I favor that?

            Like

          • cutter says:

            Brian – Here’s a few points I’d like to make in rebuttal:

            1. I find it intersting that you say you wouldn’t watch some of the rivalry games if there was a playoff, but you don’t state really state why you wouldn’t do that. For example, would you be less inclined to watch tomorrow’s Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game because the stakes behind the game would be changed? Does getting the Big XII championship and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl against Stanford (under the BCS setup) make this game more compelling to you than the possibility of the winner getting into an eight-team playoff (and in the case of Oklahoma State, hosting the first round playoff game)? If yes, then count yourself among the minority.

            Because the reality of the situation is that the stakes behind the rivalry games have changed and will continue to change. Forty years ago, Michigan-Ohio State decided which team would go to the Rose Bowl–the only post-season bowl for the Big Ten. By the mid-70s, that changed when the conference allowed more than one team to go to the post-season. What happens then? Michigan loses to Ohio State and ends up playing Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

            After the Ten Year War between Schembechler and Hayes ands and the 1980s begins, the Big Two/Little 8 profile of the Big Ten begins to change a bit. UM and OSU are still dominant, but not to the extent they were in the 90s. The 90s began to see some major changes though–Penn State joins the B10, scholarships are reduced, television revenue and exposure increase. The conference becomes more competitive overall and the winner of the Michigan-Ohio State game is no longer deemed conference champion like they were just twentysome years previous.

            We certainly see that take place in the 2000s. Michigan will beat Ohio State and go to the Rose Bowl once and lose to OSU twice and still end up in the Rose Bowl. The time when Michigan-Ohio State decided it all had firmly passed. Now that Nebraska has been added, the Big Ten has a conference championship game and the two teams are in different divisions, the stakes of the game have changed again. Heck, the way it’s set up now, either one of the teams could still lose that game and end up in the Big Ten Championship game–and the possibility exists that it could be a rematch of the previous week.

            Yet through all these changes, the larger interest still exists for The Game. That said, what actually makes it more compelling is when the teams are both competitive with one another–something that’s not happened with regularity these last two decades. I’d be hard pressed to imagine that if the stakes changed again and that the winner of this game was still in the playoff running that late in the season that interest would drop off among the demographics that watch this game. Instead, I would imagine that fans from other teams would be interested because (a) they were also jockeying to get into the eight-team playoff and (b) because seeding is important when it comes to home field advantage.

            (2) Most college football fans want to see a playoff over the BCS system. CNN conducted a poll in January 2009 that had 59% of respondents in favor of a playoff, 36% in favor of the BCS and 5% with no opinion. Quinnipiac University also did a survey during the same time frame that was 63% to 26% in favor of a college football playoff (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/29/poll-college-football-pla_n_406579.html).

            What you’re saying in most of your post represents a minority opinion–and I do mean opinion. I haven’t seen you quote or cite any television executives, conference commissioners, athletic department directors, etc. who say that a college football playoff isn’t more profitable or won’t improve ratings. Outside of Bill Hancock, I don’t think there’s anyone of note who feels this system truly and consistently pairs up the #1 and #2 teams each year as well–which we know is the BCS’ prime goal. Most people will say that the teams should play it on the field via a playoff system.

            If any other sport–either professional or college–adapted this sort of system to select two teams to play in a championship game, they’d be laughed out of existence. Could you honestly see major league baseball or the NFL or the NHL or the NBA doing something like this? How about all the other college sports out there? Should we just scrap the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and take the top two seeds at the end of the regular season and have them play one another to decide the championship?

            (3) You get rather hyperbolic when you talk about the a playoff system gutting the bowls–there’s simply no evidence for that. There are 35 bowls right now–if anything, the bowl system is gutting the bowl system because there’s so many of them right now. Also, with the advent of the BCS, the bowl system is operating on an almost rigid tier system now. First, there’s the conference championship game, then the BCS bowls, then the New Year’s Day non-BCS bowls and then pretty much everything else. The bowl system and the way it’s currently set up is its own worst enemy.

            We both know the reason why they exist–they’re inexpensive to run, they provide marketable entertainment for ESPN and the local communities feel they profit by running them. Absolutely none of that changes if an eight-team playoff system is set up and you’ve really made no compelling case for anyone to think otherwise. You worry about how this will effect businesses and host cities, but you make no room to talk about how the host college communities will do if they’re part of a playoff. If you want a rough number for how many college football bowl games will close shop, I’ll give you one–it’s zero. Because as long as Division 1-A can expand their ranks (and it will happen if a playoff system is adopted and programs can at least get a share of the money), there’ll be teams to play in bowl games.

            You also seem to bypass the majority of college students who have to pay fees to support their university’s athletic departments. Why should the burden be on them–when they have to worry about books, tuition, board, student loans, etc.–when a playoff system would provide more money and remove the onus on them to support the football team financially? There are I believe 22 profitable athletic departments that are self-supporting. Put a few million extra dollars into the ones that are losing money and I suspect you’d put a majority of them in the black.

            And by the way, do you know who else besides the fans and television viewers would like to see a playoff? It’s the players. In a poll from August 2011, ESPN showed that over 60% of players in the AQ and non-AQ conferences wanted to see a playoff. See http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5452896 That poll also show the players like the bowls as well. In an eight-team playoff, there’s plenty of room in the post season for a playoff and for plenty of bowl games.

            (4) Final note. I don’t think you read my playoff system very well when you talk about it (inevitably) expanding to 12 or 16 or having a 7-5 team among the teams playing. So let me lay it out for you here:

            A. The conference champions from the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC will get autobids provided that conference champion is in the Top 15 of the rating system selected. That means there’d be no 7-5 teams in the playoff.

            B. Three at-large bids will be given to the three highest teams in the rating system. If one of the conference champions mentioned in (A) above isn’t in the Top 15, then that conference forfeits its autobid and an additional at large team will be selected.

            In the case of B, the three teams that would currently get the at-large bids would be Alabama, Stanford and Houston. So yes, that would mean a 11-1 Boise State team wouldn’t get in along with a 10-2 South Carolina or a 10-2 Michigan or a 10-2 Arkansas or perhaps even a 10-2 Oklahoma State. Why is that? Two reasons–because conference champsionships count and the regular season does matter. Win a conference chapionship in one of the five major conferences and finish in the Top 15 and you’re in. Have a great season, end up highly ranked and you might get an at large game. Come out of a minor conference and lose a game and you’re out of the playoff. It’s that simple.

            If college football were to adopt a 12- or 16-team playoff system, then CFB would reduce the inventory of teams available for the bowls and yes, I could see that really hurting the bowl system–something that nobody really wants. ESPN likes it because they’re cheap entertainment, the local communities want it for tourists and economic impact, the players like them because of the trips and the fans like them because it gives them a warm weather destination to visit.

            When all the games are done on Saturday and the composite computer polls are out (there’s a website that lists 92 of them to give a final rating of the teams), then we can revisit this with how an eight-team playoff system would look like along with which teams would be available for slots in the bowl games.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            1. I find it intersting that you say you wouldn’t watch some of the rivalry games if there was a playoff, but you don’t state really state why you wouldn’t do that.

            Rivalry games are the essence of what CFB is all about to me, so I enjoy watching them. If a playoff is introduced, that’s the powers that be declaring that all that matters are money and National Championships. At that point, I will lose almost all my interest in CFB. I’ll still follow OSU some, and thus generally know how the B10 is doing, but the rest of the conferences would be of zero interest to me.

            For example, would you be less inclined to watch tomorrow’s Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game because the stakes behind the game would be changed? Does getting the Big XII championship and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl against Stanford (under the BCS setup) make this game more compelling to you than the possibility of the winner getting into an eight-team playoff (and in the case of Oklahoma State, hosting the first round playoff game)? If yes, then count yourself among the minority.

            Bedlam is on at the same time as the B10 CG, so I’m not going to watch it anyway. But in the general sense, winning your conference is much more important than getting to a playoff to me. The bowls are just supposed to be for fun. I promise you, I will never watch a second of an 8 or more team playoff in CFB that doesn’t involve OSU, and even then I would only watch the championship game. A plus one (preferably unseeded) is as far as I’ll go, since I believe there are times when more than 2 teams have a legitimate claim.

            I could not possibly care less if my opinion puts me in the minority. The majority is often wrong. See the fly diet argument.

            Because the reality of the situation is that the stakes behind the rivalry games have changed and will continue to change. Forty years ago, Michigan-Ohio State decided which team would go to the Rose Bowl–the only post-season bowl for the Big Ten. By the mid-70s, that changed when the conference allowed more than one team to go to the post-season. What happens then? Michigan loses to Ohio State and ends up playing Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

            No, that’s where you are dead wrong. The stakes have never changed. The Game is about beating Michigan, period, and the stakes are always pride and bragging rights. The rewards for winning or cost of losing haven’t changed that. That’s why rivalry games are so special. The stakes of every other OSU game have changed as you say, but never The Game.

            Yet through all these changes, the larger interest still exists for The Game.

            That’s because TV gave it a national audience back when there was only 1 game per week, and the game was important since both teams were often in the top 5. It was and is a pure rivalry, not some generic game that may impact playoff seeding.

            That said, what actually makes it more compelling is when the teams are both competitive with one another–something that’s not happened with regularity these last two decades.

            Wrong again. First, the series has always had long winning streaks. That’s nothing new. Second, the games are almost always competitive (except under RichRod). Cooper went 2-10-1 but 6 of the losses were one possession games. Tressel went 6-1 before RichRod and 4 of the wins were one possession games. The teams were competitive with each other.

            I’d be hard pressed to imagine that if the stakes changed again and that the winner of this game was still in the playoff running that late in the season that interest would drop off among the demographics that watch this game.

            Then get a better imagination. The playoff implications would have no impact on the game for true fans. Nationally it would, I’m sure. What would really hurt it nationally is when losing the game doesn’t cost you anything but pride. Why watch a game if winning and losing actually doesn’t matter? You seem to forget that older fans are not nearly as pro-playoff as young fans. Just because the average internet fan is excited for a playoff doesn’t mean that is representative of CFB fans.

            Instead, I would imagine that fans from other teams would be interested because (a) they were also jockeying to get into the eight-team playoff and (b) because seeding is important when it comes to home field advantage.

            I’d guess you are wrong. If they are going to get in anyway, you only watch if your team will play them.

            (2) Most college football fans want to see a playoff over the BCS system. CNN conducted a poll in January 2009 that had 59% of respondents in favor of a playoff, 36% in favor of the BCS and 5% with no opinion. Quinnipiac University also did a survey during the same time frame that was 63% to 26% in favor of a college football playoff (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/29/poll-college-football-pla_n_406579.html).

            First, those polls are crap and you know it. Depending on wording, methodology, demographics and timing, you can get almost any result from a poll on the subject.

            Second, the fly diet argument is always a bad one. Popularity does not mean an idea is good or correct.

            What you’re saying in most of your post represents a minority opinion–and I do mean opinion.

            Why would I care that I’m in the minority? I’m not a tween that has to mindlessly follow the cult of public opinion. And I didn’t try to represent my opinion as fact. Instead, most of my response was pointing out how hero Wetzel did exactly that in the excerpt you love so much. i don’t believe either side has many facts on this issue, because nobody really knows what would happen.

            I haven’t seen you quote or cite any television executives, conference commissioners, athletic department directors, etc. who say that a college football playoff isn’t more profitable or won’t improve ratings.

            I never said it wouldn’t make more money. It probably would. So what?

            As for ratings, nobody knows what would happen. You can quote people guessing if you want, but that’s all it is. What I did point out was that Wetzel said “many” TV execs say something but since there are a lot of TV execs, that’s a meaningless statement. He doesn’t have the evidence to say a majority of execs, even, and thus he is also using the fly diet argument.

            Outside of Bill Hancock, I don’t think there’s anyone of note who feels this system truly and consistently pairs up the #1 and #2 teams each year as well–which we know is the BCS’ prime goal.

            I think lots of people of note believe that. I don’t know if they’ve been asked about it or quoted. Where do you think Delany stands on it?

            Most people will say that the teams should play it on the field via a playoff system.

            That’s unrelated to the question. You were talking about whether the BCS paired 1 and 2, and then say people would prefer a playoff. Those are two separate issues. That’s asking if a sweater is red and being told most people would prefer blue.

            If any other sport–either professional or college–adapted this sort of system to select two teams to play in a championship game, they’d be laughed out of existence.

            So what? Why are you obsessed with popularity and following the crowd? Every sport is different. What is best for them may well be different. You also continue to assume that the other sports have a superior methodology with no supporting data.

            If anybody but MLB impose different rules for half of their teams, they’d be laughed out of existence, too. And yet, MLB continues to have the DH in the AL only as if the opinion of others really doesn’t matter. Has that destroyed MLB when I wasn’t looking? If any other sport put in special rules to protect just one player on the field, they’d get laughed out of existence. Yet the NFL has all sorts of rules to protect only QBs. Is the NFL gone? Did people stop watching it?

            MBB uses a 68 team single elimination tournament while the NBA uses rounds of long series. College BB uses a double elimination system while MLB plays rounds of long series. Why should CFB and the NFL be the same?

            Could you honestly see major league baseball or the NFL or the NHL or the NBA doing something like this?

            Professional sports are only about money. They use professional athletes that have no other responsibilities and play 6-9 month seasons with mandatory off season work. The leagues don’t care if the “right” teams win or not, just how much money they can make. If you can’t see how all NCAA sports have a different mission, then I feel sorry for you.

            How about all the other college sports out there?

            First, you need to eliminate sports that can play several times per week since they are different animals. What does that leave? Oh yeah, just football.

            Should we just scrap the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and take the top two seeds at the end of the regular season and have them play one another to decide the championship?

            First, most people think march Madness is great fun but that it does a terrible job of determining the national champion. Most people think it is much too large to be a good system. Since you are all about popularity, that should be important to you.

            Second, D-I hoops has over 300 teams and about 34 conferences. In addition, MBB can play multiple games per week (4 or more). Also, MBB has no other postseason tradition than a tournament. MBB is not the same as CFB. Thus, their methods for determining the champion don’t need to be the same. That said, I’d supersede the tourney and only take a top 4 of conference champions and let them play best of 3 series to find a champion. Semifinals one weekend, finals the next. The next 64 teams can form the March Madness tourney to keep TV occupied.

            (3) You get rather hyperbolic when you talk about the a playoff system gutting the bowls–there’s simply no evidence for that.

            I used simple math and your own example. The numbers show that about 71 teams are bowl eligible on average every season. There are currently 35 bowls, so the teams are maxed out. If you take teams for a playoff, then you must kill some of the bowls completely. What evidence does that need?

            In addition, all the bowls must slide down the progression from where they were since the top teams are not available. That also hurts the bowl system. The Rose Bowl becomes more like the Capital One Bowl (8 team playoff) or the Outback Bowl (16 teams). Does that require more evidence, since it is the logical result of the top teams being gone?

            If you don’t believe that demoting the bowls hurts them, then any discussion with you is pointless.

            The bowl system and the way it’s currently set up is its own worst enemy.

            No, playoff zealots like Wetzel are the bowls’ worst enemy.

            We both know the reason why they exist–they’re inexpensive to run, they provide marketable entertainment for ESPN and the local communities feel they profit by running them. Absolutely none of that changes if an eight-team playoff system is set up and you’ve really made no compelling case for anyone to think otherwise.

            I wasn’t trying to make a case. I wasn’t pointing out all the things wrong with Wetzel’s excerpt. If you don’t understand how a loss in prominence hurts the ability of these bowls to help their communities, then read an economics book. Does the Rose Bowl help LA more than the Belk Bowl helps Charlotte? Of course it does, because it brings in more money. When the Rose is made less important, it can’t bring in as much money so the community suffers. People with businesses dependent on Rose Bowl attendees to stay profitable will suffer and some will close. I’d also argue that CFB and its fans will also suffer, but that’s an opinion that you are too close-minded to pay attention to anyway.

            You worry about how this will effect businesses and host cities, but you make no room to talk about how the host college communities will do if they’re part of a playoff.

            Bowl cities know they will have a game while host cities don’t. That’s a huge difference. Nobody in their right mind starts a business that is dependent on their local team hosting a playoff game every year to stay in business.

            If you want a rough number for how many college football bowl games will close shop, I’ll give you one–it’s zero.

            Wrong. Just plain, mathematically wrong. If 8 teams are taken away, the bowls can’t all exist. You are assuming a bunch of teams instantly join I-A and that’s a bad assumption. It takes years of planning plus an invitation to join a conference. The WAC can only promote so many I-AA teams.

            You also seem to bypass the majority of college students who have to pay fees to support their university’s athletic departments. Why should the burden be on them–when they have to worry about books, tuition, board, student loans, etc.–when a playoff system would provide more money and remove the onus on them to support the football team financially?

            First, you put the blame in the wrong place. It’s not CFB’s job to make the athletic departments a profit. The AD’s need to only spend what they have. Second, if the school presidents didn’t believe I-A CFB was an important part of the college experience for their students, they wouldn’t spend as much on it (see I-AA, D-II, D-III, etc). Third, the students choose to go to these schools. The fees aren’t secret or hidden. They pay them by choice.

            There are I believe 22 profitable athletic departments that are self-supporting. Put a few million extra dollars into the ones that are losing money and I suspect you’d put a majority of them in the black.

            Right, because there wouldn’t continue to be an arms race that pushes the cost to compete even higher. I’m sure all the top programs will cap their spending so others can catch up.

            And by the way, do you know who else besides the fans and television viewers would like to see a playoff? It’s the players. In a poll from August 2011, ESPN showed that over 60% of players in the AQ and non-AQ conferences wanted to see a playoff. See http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5452896 That poll also show the players like the bowls as well. In an eight-team playoff, there’s plenty of room in the post season for a playoff and for plenty of bowl games.

            Right. Except the BCS has a poll saying players are against it. Again, you can get any result you want from a poll depending on how you do it. Besides, why am I expected to listen to a 19 year old who barely made it into college and has never experienced a CFB playoff or a major bowl either most likely? Again, it’s a fly diet argument.

            (4) Final note. I don’t think you read my playoff system very well when you talk about it (inevitably) expanding to 12 or 16 or having a 7-5 team among the teams playing.

            And I don’t think you pay any attention to history if you don’t think it will expand. Most informed playoff proponents acknowledge that bracket creep is likely.

            As for your particular playoff proposal, I skimmed it at best. You were advocating Wetzel’s opinion and that’s what my response was about as I indicated in the first line of it. I was responding to playoffs in general and not your specific proposal.

            A. The conference champions from the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC will get autobids provided that conference champion is in the Top 15 of the rating system selected. That means there’d be no 7-5 teams in the playoff.

            You actually can’t guarantee that a top 15 conference champ won’t be 7-5, but I agree that it is almost impossible. I also don’t think 5 top 15 teams all deserve a shot at the title.

            B. Three at-large bids will be given to the three highest teams in the rating system. If one of the conference champions mentioned in (A) above isn’t in the Top 15, then that conference forfeits its autobid and an additional at large team will be selected.

            And I already hate your system. If you can’t win your conference, then STFU about a NC.

            In the case of B, the three teams that would currently get the at-large bids would be Alabama, Stanford and Houston.

            See above.

            So yes, that would mean a 11-1 Boise State team wouldn’t get in along with a 10-2 South Carolina or a 10-2 Michigan or a 10-2 Arkansas or perhaps even a 10-2 Oklahoma State.

            Fine by me. None of them deserve a shot at the title.

            Why is that? Two reasons–because conference champsionships count and the regular season does matter.

            Unless you are in a league that ESPN and the media like, and then neither one matters that much. Right, AL?

            If college football were to adopt a 12- or 16-team playoff system, then CFB would reduce the inventory of teams available for the bowls

            Really? 12 is the magic cutoff number for that effect? It doesn’t happen at 8?

            and yes, I could see that really hurting the bowl system–something that nobody really wants. ESPN likes it because they’re cheap entertainment, the local communities want it for tourists and economic impact, the players like them because of the trips and the fans like them because it gives them a warm weather destination to visit.

            So now you agree with all my points but magically have determined that the negative effects would you denied earlier only start at 12 teams, not 8. Gotcha.

            Like

          • Jim in Florida says:

            The BCS also weakens regular-season television ratings (where another critical revenue stream exists) by eliminating so many teams early and turning 95-plus percent of late season games into local affairs.

            I disagree completely here. The fan base for a sport is the fan base for the sport. Any increase in viewership for one game for the most part comes at the expanse of the viewership of another game. A playoff might drive additional viewership that normally does not watch a sport but it only works during that playoff if every other american sport is a guide. In the NFL the last 3 weeks of the regular season tend to have slighly worse ratings than the regular season as a whole (this is explained by the calander), MLB and the NBA see similar ratings. NCAA basketball does not see huge rating gains until the finals of conference tournments.

            In college football this is what will occur a game that has playoff implications will get a slight bump but at the expansive of ratings from another game but overall viewership of the sport will remain basically the same just like every other sport in America.

            “There is empirical evidence that leagues with playoffs receive a ratings increase,” said West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, who previously spent decades as a professional sports executive, pointing, in part, to the NFL’s booming popularity.

            I do not know the context of this quote but well it makes no sense or is just flat out wrong. It makes no sense because only 1 sport that can even remotely be called major in his lifetime has gone from no playoff to playoff and that is NASCAR which has seen its ratings drop since its introduction. Every other sport has always had (life of TV) a playoff so there is no test to tell what a playoffs effects on ratings are. Ratings are down for baseball but up for college football so what does that say?

            The bowl lobby’s argument is the opposite of reality – that a playoff would decrease interest in the regular season. They try to compare football and basketball, two dissimilar sports in a bit of red herring ridiculousness.

            Why is this ridiculous? The share of TV money in basketball is moving every contract more and more to the NCAA Tournment not towards the regular season. What about college football would protect its regular season value compared to college basketball? If anything it will harm it more. Basketball by its nature requires only 1 or 2 players to turn a program around while in football its more like 20 to 30 kids. Basketball about 20 percent of the teams make it to the post season in AQ conferences that number is closer to 40 percent while in football at most (using 16 teams) only 13 percent of teams make it to post season and the likely cap no single AQ sending more than 25 percent of its teams and more likely just 13 percent of its teams.

            I’ll also add that the bowls aren’t likely going to go away. As you point out, they aren’t expensive to run, so as long as they remain profitable and ESPN wants to put them on television,

            Anyone that thinks the bowls will live on with a playoff is just not looking at the reality of the sitution. As Brian says with a playoff the Rose Bowl at best bumps down to the Citrus than Outback bowl. But even this does not tell the whole story about the downward spire. Because of the playoff it takes all of the oxygen in the room. Except for the local beat reporters no one is talking about the bowls at all furthering their demise. Next and the most important problem there will be no time to play these games. Sunday is out because of the NFL. Sat is out because of college playoffs. Friday is also likely out because of college playoffs and Thursday might also be needed for these games. Basically the lack of time slots is going to drive the value down further and further until its the NIT and only a small handful of bowls are left in the first 5 years.

            Like

          • Jim in Florida says:

            . I find it intersting that you say you wouldn’t watch some of the rivalry games if there was a playoff, but you don’t state really state why you wouldn’t do that.

            Over time this is going to happen. In American pro sports there is what 3 real rivalries? And don’t give me crap like Cowboys Redskins either since only a very small subset of fans of those teams care. While college football is filled with rival games were nearly the whole fan base of the team really hates the rival. Create a different world were there has always been a playoff and tOSU and Michigan both get in to the playoffs for a huge chunk of it and is it anything like today?

            Does anyone watch IU/Purdue or FAMU/B-C if there is a playoff since everyone is going to watch the games that “matter” for the playoffs instead of the quirky rivals from teams that have no chance of ever playing in a playoff?

            (2) Most college football fans want to see a playoff over the BCS system.

            Most fans honestly do not know what is good for them. I am a FSU alumni and fan so a playoff is going to be great for me in the long run. The same goes for tOSU, Texas, USC and other powerhouses. Now if you are a fan of a program of Okie State, USCe, Iowa, and other schools at that level you will be lucky to see a playoff once every 15 years or more. If you are a fan of Vandy you will go your whole life without seeing a playoff. And this is before the haves again start pulling away from the have nots because why would Gunner Kiel ever even think of going to IU when he will never see the post season which will end up hurting his draft status.

            So the majority of fan bases will see the number of times they are in the post season drop which only makes them worse compared to the big name programs. How long are they going to continue to fill the stadium? How long are they going to continue to donate big checks?

            (3) You get rather hyperbolic when you talk about the a playoff system gutting the bowls–there’s simply no evidence for that.

            I touched on this already about when are these games going to be played along with Brian’s points. I will add here some evidence the 3rd place game as in the 3rd place game no longer exists because of lack of intrest. The NIT receives a whopping 2.4 million a year for its broadcast rights and they still have to play home games that do not draw regular season averages.

            To use the Outback bowl as an example most years they end up with the 4th place Big 10 and SEC team (2nd choice after BCS). Currently they make about 3.5 million in ticket sales you can cut that in at least half right off the bat. The game will now feature the 7th or 8th teams from the SEC and B1G and the game will be moved to the middle of the week most likely as the playoffs will want this date. ESPN pays 2.1 million for the TV rights. They sure are not going to pay that now. That is basically what they pay for the whole NIT. Outback pays 1 million for naming rights. Again they are not going to be paying that for a game with ratings that drop as much as it will drop due to playoffs and lower matchups. How is the Outback bowl going to survive?


            Final note. I don’t think you read my playoff system very well when you talk about it (inevitably) expanding to 12 or 16 or having a 7-5 team among the teams playing.

            Playoffs make more and more teams less valuable for TV contracts. Iowa produces some value for the B1G but not when there is playoffs which they will be lucky to see once every 20 years. The SEC will see no value with their TAM pickup. UCLA will have little value.

            One last thing despite railing against a playoff and their downsides college football already has a playoff system in place its called the BCS title game. It just happens its only 2 teams and luckly most people miss that its a playoff keeping most of the negatives aways but even still they can be seen. The Rose Bowl has seen a dip in popularity no longer being the most watched football game of the year as just one example.

            Like

      • Eric says:

        A playoff would NOT generate more money for schools in my opinion. It would generate more money than the BCS bowls do, but conference loyalty loses its value when you change the system (the very reason it’s gotten to this point to begin with). If there is less reason to care about your conference mates, then game involving them become less interesting and the conference TV values are hurt.

        Beyond that, it would greatly reduce the importance of national games in the regular season. I made an effort to watch Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State on a Friday night. With a playoff, that game would have no meaning to me, but because of the current set-up, I knew how important it (like all games top teams can lose) was to the national title picture and thus payed attention to score updates and turned in when I saw it getting close. There is no reason for me to do that with a playoff when at most I’m looking to see if a fringe team is going to make it.

        We’ve already seen in college basketball that making the postseason as profitable as possible can negatively effect conference TV contracts in the regular season by making conferences more regional (less national interest) and by dimming the importance of conference pride (even if there still is a lot of spillover from football).

        Like

        • cutter says:

          @ Eric – I would like to draw your attention to the response I made to Jim in Florida about television ratings and the impact playoffs would have on the regular college football season. I think you’re on the wrong side of the argument on this one–roughly akin to those individuals who thought the wild card system would set back major league baseball.

          I have a little trouble wrapping myself around your argument that a playoff system would make teams within a conference “less loyal” to one another and that would translate into lower interest for the game and would subsequently hurt television values. When you look at television ratings for college football games, the higher rated ones are those that have two marquee teams and/or involve relatively high stakes. The current system willows down the numbers of teams playing for high stakes much faster than a playoff sytem would. Also, as we’re seeing this year, the conference championship games have no meaning in terms of who is playing in the national championship game. LSU could lose to Georgia next Saturday and still play Alabama in the NCG. Doesn’t that sound a bit odd to you?

          Also keep in mind that the BCS system isn’t that lucrative to individual CFB teams. Last year, for example, the Big Ten received $37.2 in gross bowl revenue from the bowls. Each of the eleven schools received around $2.5M from the bowls or a little over $27M total. That means that slightly over $10M went to expenses for the bowls, including travel, lodging, mandatory ticket purchases and sponsorships, etc. By my calculations, the Big Ten teams received in net revenue around $73% of the gross.

          Extend that calculation (73% of the gross) to the entire BCS system with gross revenues of $272.8M and you’ll see that the teams would get a little under $200M net throughout Division 1-A. When you contrast that with some of the numbers put out for a playoff system (and we’ve said that the low figure on that would be $500M net in previous postings) and then add a discounted bowl system that includes the teams that didn’t make the playoff with it (say $100M net or half the figure above), then there’s just no comparison here–we’re talking about a $400M difference.

          Now if you feel the television networks are going to reduce the value of regular college season football by more than $400M per year because six additional teams are removed from the bowl system to make up an eight-game playoff set up that will include the bowls for the teams not participating, then I think you’re argument is on the wrong track here. Keep in mind that the current contract the Big Ten has with ABC/ESPN averages $100M per year. Do you really think the networks are going to their payments to college football by amount equaling four times annual averaage payment of the current contract ABC/ESPN has with the B1G because of a playoff system?

          Like

          • @cutter – A playoff could enhance the value of the regular season provided that such playoff is limited in both access and duration. The NFL really has the template for balance between the regular season and postseason – the regular season is compelling, but a big part of it is that access to the playoffs is fairly limited, so there’s real weight to the games every week. A wild card team will also need to win 4 playoff games to win the championship, which is equivalent to 25% of the 16-game regular season. Extrapolate that to college football and the absolute max postseason length should be 3 playoff games (25% of the 12-game college football regular season). That means that any college football playoff should not be any larger than 8 teams or else you really dilute the value of the regular season. The pace is actually consistent with the NCAA Tournament, which is three weeks long.

            Personally, I have no issue with an 8-team playoff (as I’ve suggested it before). I’d also be all for a plus-one system in various formats as they could also enhance the value of the bowls (in addition to more regular season games). What I’m not a fan of is a 16-team playoff proposal. The NFL playoffs are entertaining because you aren’t dealing with play-in games – they’re massive events right from the get go. Likewise, I don’t want to see the equivalent of those #1-seed vs. #16-seed NCAA Tournament games in the college football postseason. Every college football playoff game should be a blockbuster – neither the viewers nor players should have to sit through what would normally be early season MACrifice matchups with a playoff label slapped on them. It’s not a big deal for the NCAA Tournament because the #1 seeds can play another game against a legit team only two days later along with the risk of injury being much lower compared to football.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            @Frank: I would also cap any college football playoff system at eight teams with the five major conference champions (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12, SEC) getting autobids provided they’re ranked in the Top 15 of the rating system employed. The three other teams would be at-large selections. I may be borrowing a term from the BCS apologists here, but IMHO, anything more than eight teams (12 or 16 get most of the discussion) would dilute the worth of the regular season games and of obtaining a conference championship.

            Having eight teams also awards those programs that have done extremely well this year, but came short of their conference championship because of the mechanics behind the two-division confrence setup. This year has two perfect examples in Alabama and Stanford. Both teams lost one game, but because it was against their division champion, they couldn’t participate in the conference championship game. I wouldn’t want to exclude them from a eight-team playoff–they’d be logical choices as at-large teams.

            I also wouldn’t want to kill off the bowl system by removing too many teams from the “inventory”. In the present system, for example, if Wisconsin and Oregon were to win their conference championship games and end the season with 11-2 records, they’d go to the Rose Bowl. In a playoff system, they’d get seeded as one of eight teams and the Rose Bowl would get 10-2 Michigan or 10-3 Michigan State versus (assuming they were eligible and had lost to Oregon in a Pac 12 conference championship game rematch) a 10-3 USC team. To me, that’s certainly not a major dropoff for the Rose Bowl considering some of the past matchups they’ve had in the recent past.

            We’ll see what happens this year, but say LSU, Oregon, Wisconsin, Oklahama State, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin win on Saturday. The seeding for an eight-team playoff might go something like this:

            1. LSU (13-0)
            2. Alabama (11-1)
            3. Oklahoma State (11-1)
            4. Oregon (11-2)
            5. Stanford (11-1)
            6. Houston (12-0)
            7. Virginia Tech (12-1)
            8. Wisconsin (11-2)

            I’d have the first two rounds of the playoffs located at the home stadiums of the higher seeded teams with the championship game at a neutral site. One of the great incentives for winning out during the season is getting that higher seed and the home field advantage–every game counts.

            First Round:

            #8 Wisconsin at #1 LSU
            #5 Stanford at #4 Oregon

            #7 Virginia Tech at #2 Alabama
            #6 Houston at #3 Oklahoma State

            If the higher seeds were to win out, then the semi-final goes like this:

            #4 Oregon at #1 LSU
            #3 Oklahoma State at #2 Alabama

            Like any playoff systems, we’d be seeing rematches (Oregon-LSU, Stanford-Oregon), but we’d also be seeing some unique games (Oklahoma State-Houston would be an incredible offensive show). We’d also spare ourselves some of the inane conversations about who the #2 team is, why an undefeated team didn’t get a chance for the national championship, etc.

            We’d also know pretty much for sure that LSU and Alabama are the two top teams without any of the silliness or controversy that surrounds the BCS. If those two teams are able to defend their home turf against a combination of Wisconsin and Oregon for LSU and Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State for Alabama, then they have done all they need to in terms of getting a shot at the national championship.

            Like

          • charlie says:

            @cutter – I’ll start off by saying that I’m not a playoff advocate, but in the interest of playing devil’s advocate, I’ll put forth an idea:

            the biggest issue I see is that trying to get a BCS playoff up and running is trying to force the sport into a structure that it’s not. let’s analyze the nfl as an analog: there’s 1 league (nfl), which has 2 conferences (afc, nfc), each of which has 4 divisions (n, s, e, w). the playoff setup for the nfl makes sense: each division winner makes the playoffs, competing in its conference’s bracket, and then the 2 best non-division winners in each conference also make the playoffs. this means that the pool from which to select the “at-large” teams is shrunk. also, each division does not have a CCG, for instance, the browns (when we finally are ready to even play in the superbowl…sigh) and the ravens don’t have to play each other first to see who makes the playoffs, the regular season takes care of that

            now, for CFB, there is no higher structure to get into the playoffs. for an 8 team playoff, you’d take the Big 5 conference winners from their CCG as the first 5, then 3 at-large teams. this means that the pool for the at-large teams is massive, and, this system is wholey unfair to losers of the CCG (using this year as a perfect example, say LSU beats UGa, UGa gets screwed while Bama gets a free pass to the at large pool because they didn’t have to play in the CCG)

            planning this out, the best way for this to work would be to have the onset of superconferences (4 16-team conferences), these would be the B1G, SEC, ACC, and Pac-16. once these are in place, we’ll divide all the conferences into 3 groups: SEC + ACC, B1G + Pac-12, and then everyone else (the non-AQs). now, to achieve an 8-team playoff, the bids would work like this: each superconference sends its champion as decided by each CCG (4 teams), and the best (highest ranked) non-AQ would get a bid (1 team, 5 total so far). next, the best (highest ranked) team from each superconference group would get a wild card spot (so, the highest ranked, non-conference champion from the SEC + ACC, and the highest ranked, non-conference champion from the B1G + Pac-16 (2 teams, 7 total so far)). finally, the last wild card would be given to the highest ranked team not selected so far (from any conference, this would be the “at-large” bid (1 team, 8 total))

            this opens up access for the non-AQs, implements a playoff, and manages wild cards with a systematic approach

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @cutter
            For the purposes of inclusion, to add a UH who might be locked out despite beating everyone they played, I like either an 8 team playoff with a BCS 8 of 10 format or a straight 10 team playoff.

            In a straight 10 team playoff you include the best of the non autobid conference champs as long as they meet certain reasonable criteria (I’d accept top 25, but maybe you use top 14 like now), 5 conference champs and 4 at-large. There would be 2 games the 2nd week of December to narrow the field to 8 with the quarterfinals around New Year’s Day. The byes would be to the conference champs and the top seeded at-large.

            In a BCS 8 of 10, you invite 10 teams similar to now with 5 conference champs, 1 best of the rest conference champ and 4 at large, but only the top 8 seeds are in the play-off. The other two, regardless of whether they are at-large or the champ of the SEC, meet in the 5th game in an exclusive time slot, just as all the BCS bowls have now. The 2 minor differences in who you would invite are: a) that you wouldn’t be restricted to 2 teams from a conference and; b) you would have to invite a team if it would be one of the 8 in the playoff. Being in the top 8 wouldn’t guarantee a spot in the playoff if 3 automatic qualifiers were below #8, but you couldn’t skip anyone if they would be in the top 8 of 10. Now if, for example, the 6 automatic qualfiers were ranked #1 through #6 you would have to invite #7 and #8, but any qualifying team could be invited to the 5th bowl. So in that scenario a #14 Michigan and #13 Georgia could be invited over a #9 Stanford to make a more attractive bowl matchup, but you couldn’t invite a #14 Michigan, #13 Georgia and #12 Wisconsin and leave out a #8 ACC runnerup Wake Forest.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m beginning to think we actually will get a plus 1 in the next cycle. ESPN would love to have it. The advertisers would love to have it. The minor conferences want anything that generates more revenue and gets them a better chance. The SEC and ACC favored it last time. The possibility that Oklahoma State could get shut out this year in favor of Alabama and UT President Powers being the Big 12 BCS representative (I haven’t heard his opinion, but UT AD is very much a playoff proponent), probably puts the Big 12 in favor. The Big East has become a minor conference. That leaves the Pac 12 and Big 10 and the Pac 12 gets shafted by the bowl system and has become open to changes that increase revenue. If Delany is the only no vote, it happens. It may happen even if the Pac 12 and Big 10 vote no as long as everyone else is in favor.

            I’d be surprised if it goes all the way to 8 and I’m pretty sure its not going to 16, but there is a lot moving that makes a +1 more likely. The only thing moving the other way is that the increased TV contracts have relieved some of the financial pressures.

            Like

  16. jcfreder says:

    I’ll agree that the BCS has been very good to the non-AQs. To the extent the non-AQs push for a 16-team playoff (with 11 AQs), they are probably overplaying their hand.

    If Delaney supports this “back to the future” plan only as a bargaining chip to keep the current system largely intact, than fine. But if he actually thinks this plan will work, then he’s the one overplaying his hand. The BCS is part of an evolutionary process (going back to the Coalition and Alliance days) that has always resulted in more access to the championship game and more access to the major bowls. The press and public will be unsatisfied with rolling back that progress to go to a rigid tie-in model (if there remains a “coalition” model, then it is likely that there will be some access for the non-AQs so I’m not sure such a plan represents much in the way of actual change).

    Some of the powers that be have said that the AQ system is forcing the (sometimes very awkward) realignment among conferences. This is only partially true: it’s the money that is forcing the realignment, and getting rid of AQs changes nothing on that score. Schools will still try to move to conferences with bigger TV deals and better bowl tie-ins. To the extent that the Big East/ND can score a significantly better bowl deal than the MWC or CUSA, Boise, Houston and the like still have plenty of reasons to jump ship.

    Like

    • indydoug says:

      Well said, jcf.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I would say TV money is driving the aggressive conferences, not as much the schools moving so far. The MWC is only slightly more money than WAC, but is a better conference, so Boise, NV, Fresno and Hawaii have made that move. BYU wanted more exposure, money was secondary, so they left the MWC. Colorado has been wanting to go to the Pac forever to connect with alumni and wasn’t concerned with increasing TV $ at all, they just wanted to be comparable. Pac is more prestigious academically and athletically, so Utah was moving, massive TV $ increase was just a plus. A&M claims they are moving to position their university. TCU has been continually making steps up competitively. $ were nice, but they were moving anyway. Now the TCU-BE was partly about the AQ status as well.

      Nebraska, Missouri, WVU, Pitt and Syracuse are all moving primarily for security. But Nebraska wouldn’t have turned down the Big 10 even if the Big 12 was rock solid and the TV $ were equal. Syracuse was willing to go to the ACC 7 years ago and Pitt instigated the move. Both may have made similar $ in the Big East, so they may have moved anyway with an ACC invite. WVU and Missouri are pretty much security moves with WVU’s being a major $ payoff and Missouri’s uncertain whether it is a plus or a small negative.

      The Big East proposal is where both money and AQ are big factors. The MWC/CUSA merger proposal is primarily about a possible AQ.

      Like

  17. bullet says:

    Atlanta sportswriter points out some of the absurdities and inconsistencies of the pollsters and ESPN on Alabama being a “lock” to be in the BCS game and how noone else should be seriously considered. Notes that ESPN pushed LSU over UGA in 2007 because “LSU won their conference.” UGA was sitting in 4th ahead of #7 LSU before #1 Missouri and #2 WVU lost the last weekend. Alabama is clearly in a very good position, but only ESPN is pushing its inevitability.

    http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2011/11/28/for-its-latest-trick-the-bcs-renders-the-sec-title-game-moot/

    Like

    • jj says:

      Georgia winning and LSU and Bama gettin the NC game would be insane. I kinda hope it happens. I can’t stand the thing so I kinda ignore it – is this really possible?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yes, if the voters allow it. The computers would hit both AL and LSU for the loss, and the recency effect tends to mean voters will want to move LSU behind AL. If OkSU wins comfortably, I think they could crack the top 2 but it isn’t assured.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          That gives Oklahoma State its best chance. Since Boise dominated UGA, it cracks the invincibility theory of LSU and Alabama. And voters would have a problem with two non-champs. Oklahoma State might move into 1st in the computer polls.

          Like

  18. OT says:

    To no one’s surprise, Wazzu has whacked Paul Wulff.

    9 wins (4 of which were against FCS cupcakes) in 4 seasons are not good enough.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      It’s a bit of a shame as I think he finally had WSU turned around. If he could have kept a QB healthy this year, they might have been decent.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Was it Temple telling recruits a few months ago they would be in Big East?

      I don’t think anyone knows whether Big 12 goes to 12. Saw something the other day saying the Oklahoma State AD prefers 10. His President and T. Boone have been talking 12. OU is united on 12, but Castiglione has been all over the place. I suspect he prefers 10, but his President has said OU’s position is 12.

      Louisville is #11 today if they expand, but that could all change in a couple of years, or even one year.

      Like

      • Gopher86 says:

        Bohls tweeted the Big 12 leadership will be in NYC to discuss potential expansion:

        Like

  19. dchorn says:

    http://blog.mysanantonio.com/aggies/2011/11/aggies-athletics-cfo-admits-to-calling-am-president-putz/

    Ladies and gentleman, let me present the first annual realignment darwin award winner….

    I’m going to miss the Aggies

    Like

  20. Penn State Danny says:

    Send the Ville, Cincy, Boise and BYU (quit laughing) to the Big 14.

    Send Rutgers and UConn to the ACC

    USF, UCF, Houston, SMU back to CUSA.

    5 auto bids in the BCS.

    Like

  21. bullet says:

    Saw someone say FWIW, without a source, than Dan Mullen of MS St. was the leading candidate for Penn St.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Yep, but I think it’s more that he’s the first candidate than the leading candidate. He comes from the northeast and has coached up there.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/40177/sources-penn-state-interested-in-mullen

      Mullen is interesting because he was born in Philadelphia, grew up in New Hampshire and attended Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. He has coached in the Northeast and Midwest at places like Wagner, Columbia, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Bowling Green. Even though he has spent the past seven years in SEC country at Florida and Mississippi State, he knows the region around Penn State. As the blog Black Shoe Diaries put it, “Besides either A) Having direct Penn State ties, or B) Direct ties to other major programs in Pennsylvania, that’s about as good a personal/cultural fit as we’ll find.”

      Like

    • Bobestes says:

      Mullen had a dissappointing season. Its pretty typical for agents to float coaches names for jobs theyd never accept as a way to convince the locals they actually employ an underappreciated genius. See Nutt, Houston.

      Like

  22. duffman says:

    Franks Illinois team easing out in front of the Terps!

    Like

    • frug says:

      Well we did our job. Buckeyes you’re up.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        85-63 over #4 Duke good enough?

        4-2 B10 so far, no thanks to MI (nobody had any serious hope for IA). What are the odds the B10 wins 3 tomorrow to take the series for the third straight year?

        Like

        • @Brian – I think Michigan State and Minnesota will win. BC is absolutely terrible, so that ought to put the Big Ten over the hump with 3 wins, but that also means putting my trust into Penn State basketball (which I’m wary of doing). With UNC at home, I think they’ll take down Wisconsin (unfortunately). Indiana-NC State and Wake-Nebraska seem like tossups. On paper, the Big Ten ought to handle the ACC this year, but we (the Big Ten) always seem to give up a game or two that shouldn’t have happened (with the Michigan loss already in that column).

          Like

          • Brian says:

            WI might have had a chance before the UNLV loss, but UNC will be fired up now. Maybe Barnes’ ankle slows him down enough to help, but I just see them running past the Badgers.

            Like

        • zeek says:

          Doesn’t Big Ten just need 2 wins? 6-6 goes to the Big Ten right?

          Like

    • The Illinois offense finally moved the ball well and kept a good pace. They didn’t rush, but also didn’t wait until 10 seconds left on the shot clock before making a move toward the basket (which was happening a lot last week in Cancun). The next couple of weeks are going to really kick up the competition for Illinois with games against Gonzaga, UNLV (who just took down UNC) and Missouri on the schedule.

      Like

  23. indy doug says:

    Just curious, but I can’t see how the ACC this year was much better than Big East. Anybody have head-to-head records?

    Like

  24. indy doug says:

    ACC 3-3 vs BE this year. All close games with exception of UC’s 30 pt. blowout of NCSt. And is ACC top 2 (VT & Clem. that much better than BE’s (WVU & UC)? Clem. has lost 3 of last 4 including to NCSt. & VT’s best non-conf win is who,…. Ark St. or E. Car.? And they lost to Clem. by 20! I realize BE was down this year (& others) but why so much love for ACC?

    Like

    • duffman says:

      The ACC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney 😉

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Big East is 19-15 ooc vs. FBS while ACC is 19-16. I haven’t compared the detail schedules this year, but typically the ACC plays tougher FBS teams than the BE. The Big East usually tries to outdo the mathematically challenged Bigs and SEC for cupcake schedules. The ACC, like the Pac 12, usually plays pretty solid FBS opponents (although they do tend to play a lot of FCS teams).

      The main answer to your question is probably that Louisville at 7-5 has an excellent chance of being the conference champ in a round robin schedule. The ACC’s leading team is an 11-1 traditional team that probably falls in the “prince” category.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      indy doug,

      It’s hard to compare the two because of 12 teams versus 8 teams. However, the basic answer is that the top of the ACC is better than all of the BE and the bottom of the ACC is worse than all of the BE. The 8 BE teams are on par with the middle 8 of the ACC.

      The ACC is considered better because VT and Clemson have put together good seasons. VT’s schedule, while weak for a national power, is on par or better than everyone in the BE’s (except maybe Pitt) schedule.

      Comparing 11-1 VT to 7-5 UL as title contenders says a lot.

      Like

      • Phil says:

        I have been saying for a long time that the 8 team Big East like the middle of some of the 12 team conferences. The usual absence of a top echelon (except in years like 2006 and 2007) makes valid the criticism of the Big East having an automatic BCS bid, but on the other hand the fact Big East teams don’t have schools like this year’s Minnesota or Mississippi to play in conference means teams that finish 5-2 or 4-3 in conference are usually underrated.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          It’s mostly true. I wonder, though, how much lower the bottom of the BE would be rated if they had to play 2 or 3 top teams every year instead. Those extra losses would drop them in the computers in my opinion, down to where the Minnesota’s of the world are.

          Like

          • Phil says:

            Minnesota (N Dakota St), Duke (Richmond), etc. are considered at the level they are because of the horrible losses they have had, not because they lost to the top teams in their conference.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            That’s part of it, but 2 or 3 extra losses also drops you a lot. When a bunch of teams al beat each other, though, that prevents the lesser teams from dropping very far.

            Like

  25. duffman says:

    BCS question?

    If Alabama and LSU meet in the BCS game, why would the Sugar Bowl not get SEC #3? Arkansas or Georgia vs Michigan seems like a much better sell than Michigan vs Houston.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Any conference is only allowed two teams in the BCS unless (and this comes straight from the BCS website) #1 and #2 in the BCS are from the same conference and not conference champions.

      So the only way the SEC gets 3 teams is if UGA beats LSU and LSU and Alabama stay ahead of Oklahoma St., et.al. in the BCS standings.

      Like

    • frug says:

      They can have Georgia if they beat LSU on Saturday. Otherwise there is a two team cap on BCS bids per conference.

      Like

    • cutter says:

      For Duffman: If LSU is the SEC conference champion and Alabama is an at large BCS team, then the SEC is capped at two teams in the BCS. Georgia could not go to the Sugar Bowl because of that restriction.

      The exception to the rule would be if Georgia won the SEC championship, but Alabama and LSU go to the national championship game ranked #1 and #2 in the BCS. Per that scenario, all three teams would end up in the BCS with UGa going to the Sugar Bowl.

      However, depending on what happened to Houston and Stanford, it’s likely that Michigan wouldn’t be in the BCS then. UH would get an autobid because it was the C-USA champion and ranked in the Top 10 of the BCS while Stanford could also get an autobid if they were ranked #4 or better in the BCS rankings.

      Under that scenario, the SEC gets three teams in the BCS, Houston would be #4 and Stanford would be the fifth. The ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII and Pac 12 would provide the other five teams that get the ten BCS slots (2 for national championship game, 8 for the bowl games). That leaves Michigan outside the BCS looking in.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Refined BCS bowl predictions

        NCG: LSU vs. Alabama
        Rose: Oregon vs. Wisconsin
        Fiesta: Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
        Sugar: Michigan vs. Houston
        Orange: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia

        Fun Worst-Case Scenario Edition

        NCG: LSU vs. Alabama
        Rose: UCLA vs. Wisconsin/Michigan State
        Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Stanford
        Sugar: Georgia vs. TCU
        Orange: Clemson vs. Louisville

        Like

        • duffman says:

          So if the SEC CCG is 1 TD + EP for Georgia and LSU gets 2 FG’s (final score 6-7 UGA win) Alabama moves to #1, LSU drops to #2, and the Georgia folks get the Sugar Bowl for winning the SEC CCG?

          Like

        • bullet says:

          from the bowl standpoint, Okie St. vs. Stanford might be a bigger nightmare. But then maybe OU has Fiesta fatigue. Texas had a period of Cotton fatigue and a period of Holiday Bowl fatigue. Rose Bowl twice in a row and 3 in 6 was just fine.

          Maybe the B1G ccg limited sales is due to people waiting for the Rose Bowl.

          Like

          • frug says:

            Yeah, I’m guessing the TV networks would prefer Oklahoma, but I think Oklahoma St. might be better for ticket sales. Oklahoma normally travel well, but I think you are right that they might be getting bored with the annual trip to the desert. OSU fans, on the other hand, will pack the place in celebration of their first BCS game.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Indiana and Duke have November fatigue.

            Like

    • Mack says:

      And if OK beats OKSt in addition to a GA upset of LSU that is likely to leave AL#1 and LSU#2 with Stanford in the top 4.

      Like

  26. hskrfb fan says:

    Somebody explain to me why Wisconsin & Michigan State don’t seem to excited about the Big Ten Championship game. I’ve only been following this blog and Big Ten football since Nebraska’s move, but I assumed the Championship game would be a popular event for the inaugural year. Looking at ebay & stubhub, tickets are going for less than half of face value.

    If Nebraska, OSU, Michigan, Iowa, & PSU (pre-Sandusky) were playing, wouldn’t the demand be much higher? Does that mean Wisconsin & MSU are second tier when it comes to fan support? Are those teams typically less desirable for Bowl games? Someone please educate me.

    Thanks!

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.tiqiq.com/

      Current CCG prices from TiqIQ (average and low):
      SEC $353/138
      ACC $169/79
      CUSA $145/78
      B10 $126/27
      P12 $94/17

      Of course, these are resale prices since most (all?) of these CCGs are sold out already.

      Still, WI and MSU, this doesn’t look good.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Considering this is the first one, this does not look good. Still I am thinking some schools that are not there may have bought tickets early and are not going now. Weather may not be great this weekend.

        Like

      • greg says:

        Wisky fans are depressed that they aren’t in the national title hunt. Sparty fans are waiting for S.O.S.

        Maybe if it were outdoors like a lot of pundits demanded, there would be more people interested in going…

        Like

        • frug says:

          Yeah, I think you have hit on key thing, which is probably why PAC demand is also low.

          The B1G and PAC games don’t feature anything like the ACC game (where Clemson is fighting for its first BCS appearance ever (and first major bowl since ’81) and V-Tech still has an outside shot at the national title) or the C-USA game where Houston is looking to become the first BCS team from the conference.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          greg,

          The weather for Saturday night in Chicago is expected to be 40 degrees with a 60% chance of rain and 7 mph wind, so a wind chill around 35 degrees. Plus they would be playing on that pit of a field that the Bears use, so expect lots of slipping and several leg injuries. Does that really seem more likely to bring out the fans than an indoor game?

          Like

          • greg says:

            Brian, I was being facetious about the game being outside. I thought Indy was the 100% correct choice for the game. I hope Saturday’s attendance doesn’t change my mind.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Sorry. I saw someone else seriously propose that as an issue elsewhere, so I figured you also felt that way.

            I realize Chicago is bigger, but I don’t think that many neutral fans are planning to go anyway. I also like the centrality and neutrality of Indy over Chicago. WI would have a sizable advantage in Chicago over MSU.

            Like

          • The main advantages of Chicago as a championship game site (and this goes for the basketball tournament, as well) are (1) there’s a large cross-section of alums from all Big Ten schools living directly within the Chicagoland area to draw from (similar to SEC alums in Atlanta) and (2) waaaaaay more corporations and professional services firms that buy up tickets and skyboxes. The combo of both of those factors is why the Big Ten basketball tournament when it’s been held in Chicago has consistently been able to sell out the United Center more often than Indy even though the UC has 4,000 more seats than Conseco Fieldhouse.

            The single biggest disadvantage of Chicago is that Soldier Field doesn’t have a dome. Come hell or high water, the Big Ten championship game is always going to be played in prime time, and unless you want to risk encountering biting winds off of Lake Michigan at night (which as a lifelong Chicagoan that has been to many Bears games, I can tell you is a whole different level of discomfort), the game *has* to be indoors. It’s a deal killer in the eyes of the Big Ten.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank,

            Indy is only a 5 hour drive from Madison, and 4 from East Lansing, so it’s not like they can’t easily get to the game. It’s only 3 hours for all those Chicago area fans, too, so why can’t they make it to the game? I had to travel at least 4 hours for almost every OSU game I ever went to except when I was a student, and those weren’t CCGs.

            But to the bigger point, you are totally right. Chicago is a better host city than Indy in many ways (the convenience of the hotels to the stadium is nice in Indy), but Soldier Field is a deal killer. Not only is it smaller and outdoors with notoriously bad weather, but the grass is horrible.

            Like

    • jj says:

      I considered going, but I’m holding out for a rose bowl. It’s a big gamble but I only have so much time and money.

      Like

      • jj says:

        If it were in detroit or at lambeau I would probably go no question. Soldier Field? Maybe, but I’ve been there before.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          So it’s not an indoor versus outdoor thing so much as a venue you haven’t been to? If you had seen a couple games in all of the places already, would you go to any of them this year?

          Like

          • jj says:

            I’d go to green bay just because I’d like to go there sometime. I’d go to Detroit because it’s 20 minutes away. I’d probably go to Chicago because Chicago is fun. I’ve heard Indy is fun but I don’t generally like indoor football and it’s just far enough to be a pain to go to. Venue really matters for this type of event. When they announced it I thought is was ok. Now, not so sure. I’d say there’s a 50 50 chance I go right now.

            Like

          • jj says:

            Also, I looked on stub hub about a week ago and I think tickets were from the 80s up. That’s a long way from where they are now. I’m curious what the deal is.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            jj – having attended a few CCGs, my experience is that they are more like a business trip rather than a vacation, i.e. bowl games.

            I would also suggest that if you want to go to Green Bay sometime, go to a Packers game. They are a lot of fun. As you said, venues do matter and that’s why the B1G made a great decision by having its CCG indoors. Let the best team win, rather than the best mudders win.

            Like

      • acaffrey says:

        Isn’t this why the playoffs wouldn’t work as well for football? Who would travel to three straight road football games? Well, some people would. But most couldn’t. Especially sandwiched around the holiday season.

        March is different in that regard. Plus, the Big Dance is a made for TV event.

        I almost sound like a pro-BCS guy!

        Like

    • gregenstein says:

      I’d say:

      1. I think there’s a decided “meh” feeling to it because the B1G overall is down this year. A bunch of 2 or 3 loss teams. It would help if there was an unbeaten or 1 loss team. Two nice teams, but both had their NCG hopes dashed a long time ago. Result is little interest outside of Madison and East Lansing.

      2. This is a new thing for a conference based very largely on not rocking the boat. There’s no “tradition” to this game….yet.

      3. It would probably have better second hand prices if one of OSU, Mich, Neb, or PSU were involved as those are the biggest traditional fan bases. Wisconsin does usually travel pretty well though, so it’s a bit curious. Indy still is pretty far from Madison when you only have a week’s notice and there’s no national title hopes at stake.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Is this for real?

        http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/evg/2727703432.html

        if so, that is gas money and cash for concession stands, so I could get collectible swag!

        Like

        • jj says:

          Seems crazy. The detroit papers reported 2k sears going on sale to the public a day or so ago. I woul think those would sell.

          Get me a spot if it’s real.

          Like

        • frug says:

          Big Ten said it is not paying for seat fillers.

          http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/134758378.html

          Like

          • frug says:

            That said, supposedly there are tickets available on Stub Hub for 9 bucks…

            Like

          • frug says:

            Sorry for the triple post, but I just checked and they are selling some for $7.99. As long as they get a sellout the conference will avoid too much criticism, that said, this is not good for the Big Ten.

            Like

          • greg says:

            East Lansing/MI and Madison/WI are all within a reasonable drive. I just don’t get it.

            If a 10-2 Iowa was there, the hordes would descend. Instead, everyone is complaining that Ferentz should be fired for back to back 7-5.

            Like

          • Peter says:

            Factors I can think of:

            — Rematch.
            — Wisconsin has a huge home basketball game that same day.
            — People start hearing its not moving well and hold out to buy cheaper.
            — Indianapolis is a thoroughly uninspiring destination.

            The last is probably the big one in the “Honey, why can’t you just watch it on TV” calculus. Michigan State has known they were going for two weeks and pretty much everyone expected Wisconsin to nuke Penn State.

            Hosting the CCG in Indianapolis is dumb. I don’t care what they bid.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Peter – its a shame the B1G participants have not embraced the CCG. 20 years ago, when the SEC staged its first CCG, it was like travelling into the unknown. The B1G has 20 years of case studies from multiple conferences in which to draw from in order to do it right. From what I have seen and heard, the B1G has done it right as far as planning goes.

            B1G fans need to keep in mind that a CCG is like a business trip. If you can squeeze in something fun, that’s great, but unlike a bowl trip, its all about the game. Indy has a domed stadium, is not too a bad drive from most B1G campuses, and has a decent airport. From a flight standpoint, Chicago or Detroit would be better, but in Indy the B1G has something I wish the SEC had – a neutral site. When I walk in the Georgia Dome this Saturday, UGA fans will outnumber us Tiger fans at least 2 to 1.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            I think it’s mostly the down year aspect as well as the fact that Michigan State and Wisconsin each have 1 more loss than last year; Wisconsin especially had its sights set on a higher destination, but obviously, the Rose Bowl is still the best consolation prize.

            In any case, I also think it’s a combination of a lack of a great traveling team like the 4 national brands or Iowa. Wisconsin and Michigan State to me are right under Iowa in terms of their status as for traveling.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            I’d feel for you, but you are getting that exact same fan advantage in the NCG again. That’s 3 for 3 for LSU playing in New Orleans. I don’t think LSU has room to complain.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – I wasn’t complaining about the location of the SEC CG, but was pointing out the advantage of the B1G having a CCG in Indy, which appears to be a true neutral field. I like having the SEC CG in Atlanta regardless of the disproportionate fan support the East has over every team from the West other than Auburn. Personally, I love going to away games and being outnumbered 10 to 1. My Tigers don’t appear to have a problem traveling either.

            Regarding the BCS CG in New Orleans each year that LSU peaks, I seriously doubt there is any way that Saban or Miles could have planned for LSU peaking to coincide with the bowl rotation. That’s just good karma. USC is located even closer to the Rose Bowl than LSU is to the Superdome, but that proximity didn’t help the Trojans against the Longhorns a few years back. I also never hear of any B1G fans complaining about going to the Rose Bowl when USC is the Pac representative.

            I’m pretty sure your 2007 Buckeyes would have suffered the same fate no matter where the BCS NCG game would have been played.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            Brian – I wasn’t complaining about the location of the SEC CG, but was pointing out the advantage of the B1G having a CCG in Indy, which appears to be a true neutral field. I like having the SEC CG in Atlanta regardless of the disproportionate fan support the East has over every team from the West other than Auburn.

            I agree it’s a good thing. The problem right now, in my opinion, is that many of the traditional B10 fans have never accepted the concept of the CCG, so they aren’t excited for it this year. They’d rather just send MSU to the Rose because they went 7-1.

            As for Atlanta, I don’t think the SEC had many good options. Birmingham was even worse and it had weather issues. New Orleans is too far west.

            Regarding the BCS CG in New Orleans each year that LSU peaks, I seriously doubt there is any way that Saban or Miles could have planned for LSU peaking to coincide with the bowl rotation.

            They can adjust recruiting to make it more likely, but it’s not like they don’t try to win every year.

            That’s just good karma.

            Or bad BCS planning to let a power program host the NCG.

            USC is located even closer to the Rose Bowl than LSU is to the Superdome, but that proximity didn’t help the Trojans against the Longhorns a few years back.

            That year, no, but USC is 24-9 in the Rose Bowl. Doesn’t that seem a little suspect?

            UCLA is only 5-7, but they are 5-2 since 1962.

            Miami is 6-3 in the Orange Bowl and 5-1 since 1951.

            LSU is 6-7 in the Sugar Bowl, but that’s 7-7 if you add the NCG and 7-4 since 1939 (things were a touch different in the 1930s). It’s 7-3 since 1951 and 6-2 since 1961.

            The anomaly is the Cotton Bowl, where UT is 11-10-1.

            I also never hear of any B1G fans complaining about going to the Rose Bowl when USC is the Pac representative.

            Check your eyes and ears. That has been a constant source of complaints. The B10 has lost many potential National Titles or had great seasons ruined by facing USC and UCLA in the Rose Bowl (year is the season, not the bowl):

            1962 #1 USC over #2 WI – 1st ever 1/2 bowl game
            1965 #5 UCLA over #1 MSU
            1967 #1 USC over #4 IN – that’s not a typo AP #4 Indiana Hoosiers
            1972 #1 USC over #3 OSU
            1974 #5 USC over #3 OSU
            1975 #11 UCLA over #1 OSU – rematch from the regular season which OSU won 41-20
            1976 #3 USC over #2 MI
            1978 #3 USC over #5 MI
            1979 #3 USC over #1 OSU
            1983 unranked UCLA over #4 IL – that’s right, #4 Illinois Fighting Illini
            1985 #13 UCLA over #4 IA
            1989 #12 USC over #3 MI
            1995 #17 USC over #3 NW – yes, #3 Northwestern Wildcats
            2003 #1 USC over #4 MI
            2006 #5 USC over #3 MI

            That’s 15 big losses, and those are just the top 5 teams that lost to USC or UCLA since the B10/P12 agreement started. You don’t think OSU, MI, MSU, WI, IA, IL, NW and IN fans are mad about the home field advantage? That’s 8 of the traditional B10 teams. It was IN’s only Rose Bowl and NW’s only recent one. Only PU and MN don’t have that complaint, since they beat USC and UCLA respectively in their only Rose Bowl against an LA team (each has only been there twice).

            I’m not saying the B10 team should have won all of those games, but there were 5 major upsets and 10 games matching top 5 teams. That should have been 10 B10 wins and 5 losses rather than 15 losses. How much different is the history and reputation of the B10 and its teams if they have those 10 wins?

            By comparison, USC and UCLA are a combined 29-16, 20-8 since 1961. Their top 5 losses since 1946:

            1946 #5 IL over #4 UCLA
            1953 #3 MSU over #4 UCLA
            1955 #2 MSU over #4 UCLA

            1968 #1 OSU over #2 USC
            1988 #11 MI over #5 USC
            1998 #9 WI over #5 UCLA
            2005 #2 UT over #1 USC – not a B10 game, but listed here for fairness

            Call that 2 upsets and 5 match ups of top 5 teams.

            Rose Bowl stats since 1946 season (pro-B10 – pro-P12)
            Total games – 65
            B10 vs P12 – 60 (92%)
            B10 vs USC or UCLA – 35 (58% of 60)
            Top 5 team loses – 22 (63% of 35)
            Only 1 top 5 team in game – 7 (32% of 22)
            Top 5 match ups – 15 (68% of 22)

            Top 5 upsets: 2-5 (and the B10 5 were worse upsets, too)
            Top 5 match ups: 4-10 (USC also lost to UT)

            That’s a 2.5 to 1 advantage for USC and UCLA over the B10 in the Rose Bowl when a top 5 team loses. That’s homefield advantage and it’s highly annoying.

            That is why some B10 fans have called for the NCG to rotate through the north, too.

            I’m pretty sure your 2007 Buckeyes would have suffered the same fate no matter where the BCS NCG game would have been played.

            LSU was the better team after the injured players healed up, but not by that much. OSU won the first quarter and the scoring was even in the second half. With a different crowd, who knows how the momentum would have been effected? A few bad/dumb penalties turned the momentum in the second quarter and kept OSU from getting going in the second half. Having the home crowd made a definite difference. It might have been a different game in Detroit or Indianapolis where LSU wouldn’t have a crowd helping them rally when down and keeping them rolling when they were up. We’ll never know.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            Would the Big Ten Championship game be more interesting to the fans if the teams were playing to get a berth in the playoffs versus a place in the Rose Bowl against the Pac 12 champion (or some other team if the Pac 12 champion went to the NC game)?

            I’ve advocated an eight-team playoff with autobids for the five major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12, SEC) as long as their champions were in the Top 15 of the rating system being used plus three at large teams (or more, if the conference champions with the autobids didn’t get into the Top 15). In the case of the B10 CCG, Wisconsin and Michigan State would be playing to get a playoff berth next Saturday and not for a trip to Pasadena.

            The same sort of dynamic would be in place perhaps for the ACC championship game (although a Clemon win might not put them in the Top 15 of the rating system) and certainly for the Bedlam Game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. If USC were eligible for the post-season, then a Pac 12 championship game between Oregon and the Trojans would have the same dynamic. In the case of the SEC, while LSU could probably afford a loss and still get into an eight-team playoff as an at large team, Georgia would be playing to get the conference championship autobid instead of a berth in the Sugar Bowl if UGa did manage to win on Saturday. Finally, of course, Houston would also be playing for a chance to get to the playoff. Instead, under the current system, UH could go undefeated and not get a shot at the national championship.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            I know at least Duffman and I remember that #4 IU team. What was even more odd was that it was a 3 way tie-between IU, MN and PU. I think it was 30 years before PU won another Big 10 title and, of course, IU and MN haven’t since then.

            Stanford beat up on some favored B1G teams as well as USC and UCLA. The Rose Bowl has a substantial portion of non-Pac fans. The UT/USC game was 50/50. I don’t think its a home field fan advantage. Now there is an advantage to being AT home and not having to travel and be inundated by all the distractions. But its not the same as a home field advantage.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – I thought the B1G held their guarenteed slot in the Rose Bowl sacred.

            If there is so much dissatisfaction, as you suggest, with a B1G champion playing at a bowl where the likely opponent (when not on probation) is a home town team, why doesn’t the B1G send their champion to the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl in Detroit?

            Like

          • Purduemoe says:

            Living in Indy, a lot of my friends are Colts season ticket holders. For some reason they got offered the chance to buy tickets early, and a lot of them did hoping that a team like Nebraska would make it and the fans would pay big bucks for the tickets. Most of these people are Purdue, IU, ND, or reversible jacket fans, and didn’t have any hope or intention of going to the game. Thats why there are so many cheap tickets available in my opinion.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Moe – the Cotton Bowl (the bowl, not the stadium) does the same thing, as do the other college games held in Cowboys Stadium. While I’m not sure, I do not think Falcons season tickets holders are offered SEC CG tix.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            I really don’t think your playoff would make a difference. Going to the Rose Bowl is exciting for both teams. Winning a chance to go play LSU at LSU seems less exciting to me. If fans won’t travel 4 or 5 hours to Indy, how many would go to Baton Rouge? I think the playoff excitement would really only impact teams 3 and 4, the teams that might have had a legitimate gripe about not playing in the NCG. I’d much rather go to LA and play in the Rose than play a road game in December as a big underdog.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I know at least Duffman and I remember that #4 IU team. What was even more odd was that it was a 3 way tie-between IU, MN and PU. I think it was 30 years before PU won another Big 10 title and, of course, IU and MN haven’t since then.

            Even knowing it happened, it still seems unreal that IN made the top 5 in football.

            Stanford beat up on some favored B1G teams as well as USC and UCLA. The Rose Bowl has a substantial portion of non-Pac fans. The UT/USC game was 50/50. I don’t think its a home field fan advantage. Now there is an advantage to being AT home and not having to travel and be inundated by all the distractions. But its not the same as a home field advantage.

            Upsets will always happen, and certainly all the CA teams have an advantage there. I was just showing why B10 fans do get upset about it. The fact that USC has been there so often makes them the biggest concern, but I added UCLA since it’s their home field. Stanford is 5-6-1 overall and Cal 2-5-1, so they haven’t benefited nearly as much.

            The record is the definition of home field advantage. It isn’t necessarily a fan numbers advantage, although the local ticket sales can benefit them, but it is still home field advantage.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            Brian – I thought the B1G held their guarenteed slot in the Rose Bowl sacred.

            They do.

            If there is so much dissatisfaction, as you suggest, with a B1G champion playing at a bowl where the likely opponent (when not on probation) is a home town team, why doesn’t the B1G send their champion to the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl in Detroit?

            Because the weather is much nicer in LA, and midwesterners respect tradition. If a major bowl had developed in Detroit, you can bet that’s where the B10 champ would be playing.

            Last I knew, people were allowed to enjoy something and still complain about problems with it. That’s how things get better.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        gregeinstein,

        I agree the 4 kings would probably do better based on the size of their fan bases.

        For those WI and/or MSU fans that have complained about not getting enough respect from the B10, other B10 fans or nationally, please realize that this will be used as evidence against you in the future. You say you should be treated the same, that you are just as good, but your fans aren’t backing that up. Your teams are on par, but you aren’t acting like big boy fan bases. Part of being a king is having fans paying to support and follow them This is why the kings draw better TV ratings and get better bowls.

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          Wisconsin’s fan base is probably maxed out.(ie 50k plus at the Rose Bowl last year) I’ll be heading to the game with 20 others that didn’t buy tickets through our Athletic Ticket Office but I think the Packers success affects the Badgers to a certain extent. Plus there is a big instate basketball game between Wisconsin and Marquette on Saturday.

          Badgers fan travel extremely well to Bowl games and the NCAA tourney etc.. so it’s a little surprising. UW played NIU at Soldier Field in September and that game drew about 35k Badger fans.

          Living in Wisconsin I can definitely say that the casual fan interest died fairly significantly when they were defeated by MSU.

          I do think the 1 week turnaround also has an impact especially the week after Thanksgiving. I also think the local fan interest in Indy is probably fairly low as that is not exactly a football crazy location.

          Hopefully the CCG continues to grow along with fan interest.

          Like

          • greg says:

            Kevin,
            I agree that Wisky usually travels very well. When you mentioned 35k Badger fans at the NIU game, I thought you must’ve underestimated. I was at the 2007 IA-NIU game at SF, and it sold out the 61k and was probably 80 to 90% Hawk fans. Found the ESPN box from the Wisky game, and the attendance was only 41k. I can barely believe that, given how close the game is for most Badger fans. IA-NIU open next season in SF, I imagine it will also sell out.

            Here is an interesting article about the Wisky-NIU game not selling tickets. I don’t think it totally explains the low attendance, but NIU jacked up the prices compared to the Iowa game.

            http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/06/wisconsin-fans-not-flocking-to-soldier-field-for-niu-game/

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            Greg, The last 20 years that Wisconsin has been good they’ve always traveled well but it seems the fans have grown apathetic somewhat the last couple of years. Not sure if it’s the economy or the Packers or no more Alvarez etc..

            My opinion Iowa and Nebraska are probably the best traveling fan bases in the conference. Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan obviously travel great as well.

            As much as I don’t like to say it, Wisconsin is probably second tier, but only slightly. They’ll always play second fiddle to the Packers. The Packers generate state TV ratings in the 50’s or low 60’s. The Badgers usually generate a TV rating in the low to mid 20’s which is still good but you can see the disparity.

            Like

          • @Kevin – Wisconsin traveled extremely well to the Rose Bowl last year. It’s probably more of a letdown this year with them falling out of the national championship race, so winning the conference championship game likely feels like simply getting back to the same place that they were last season. I’d imagine that the Michigan State fans are much more motivated to travel as a Rose Bowl berth would be massive for them.

            Like

          • @Kevin – By the way, IMHO, the two most loyal fan bases in sports are Nebraska fans and Packers fans. They watch games and travel en masse like no one else (and I say this as someones that loathes the Packers with every fiber of my being). Being second place to the Packers in the state of Wisconsin is no big deal – getting 20.0 local ratings is still pretty massive for a college team.

            Like

    • Eric says:

      A small part of it is the newness. The big games we’re used to being regular season.

      I think the other big part though (and I’ve thought this in the past with other conferences) is the trade-off. How many traveling fans will go to both the Rose Bowl and CCG? If you know you are going to win the CCG, you’d rather be going to the Rose Bowl. If you know you are going to lose the game, you’d probably rather save your money and stay home. Granted the money difference is pretty extreme and a lot of fans can’t afford to go to the Rose Bowl but might be able to afford to go to the CCG.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Well, we’ll see how that works out in the future.

        Chicago will likely get the game if we have 3 or 4 more episodes like this, but most likely as the years pass and different teams cycle through (i.e. OSU or Michigan, etc.) the attendance will get better and people will get more used to looking forward to the game.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      The Boise people are upset. James putting them 24th, 7 places lower than anyone else, meant the difference between being 9th and 6th. Note that he had UGA, who Boise trounced (it wasn’t nearly as close as the 2 TD final score), in 11th. He still had Arkansas 3rd (so he thinks AL and LSU are 24 points better than anyone else in the country). OU was down in 17th. Penn St. was 18th while UNL was 20th.

      Like

  27. footballnut says:

    Has Illinois called Jim Tressell yet about that job opening?

    Like

  28. joe4psu says:

    Why was this not part of the discourse during the lynching?

    “in early November 2011, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported praise for Paterno: “sources said the deputy state prosecutor handling the case said that Paterno did the right thing, and handled himself appropriately in 2002 and during the three-year investigation that ended Friday.”

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Grand-Jury-Report-Par-by-Walter-Uhler-111129-781.html

    Like

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Maybe you should stick a post-it on it.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      It was mentioned about 87 million times by PSU people. You are conveniently ignoring the LEO who came out and said JoePa had a moral duty to do more. It’s dueling statements at best. I think most people made up their own minds about what his civic duty was in that situation.

      Like

  29. zeek says:

    ESPNCFBLive ESPN CFB Live
    Sources: Mike Leach has agreed to be the #WashingtonSt head coach #CFBLIVE

    I think this is the perfect school for Leach outside of a Big 12 school. Perfect league for his high octane system, and a school that needs a really high profile coach to bring recruits.

    Yeah, there are negatives to having a big personality, but for Washington State, you get whatever buzz you can and ride it.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      If he thought Lubbock was in the middle of nowhere, he should love the Paloose. At least it won’t be 140 degrees in the summer, so the sheds will be more comfortable.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      In all seriousness, this is a great hire for WSU. He can get them competitive pretty quickly. Nobody else must have shown much interest for him to go there, though. I’m surprised KU, ASU or even UCLA didn’t go after him. All would be a better job than WSU, and he has a record of success. That lawsuit seem to have really hurt him here.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        When you realize that he currently lives in the keys and is moving 3000 miles away for this, it shows that especially.

        Also worth noting that ESPN is sort of putting the freeze in coverage wise, only a small article at first on their main page under a bunch of other hirings and as Mandel points out:

        slmandel Stewart Mandel
        The Leach hiring apparently not significant enough to merit the first half hour of SportsCenter. A montage of Tim Tebow comebacks, though.

        Like

  30. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7298112/penn-state-nittany-lions-scandal-first-jerry-sandusky-sex-abuse-lawsuit-comes-new-accuser

    Well, the first civil suit in the Sandusky scandal is in and it’s a doozy. It claims over 100 incidents of sexual abuse at Sandusky’s home, at PSU and on bowl trips all while the boy was 10-14. He is one of the new accusers, not part of the criminal charges so far, and he has also gone to the police. If what he says is true, federal charges for transporting a minor across state lines would also be possible in addition to violations of the laws in those states hosting the bowls.

    The suit names Sandusky, PSU and The Second Mile.

    Like

  31. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/54601/ucla-bowl-waiver-approved

    UCLA’s bowl waiver has been approved. This is the very rare case of the NCAA doing something in advance rather than making schools wait to lose to apply, and then holding up the whole bowl selection process.

    Like

    • OT says:

      San Francisco Bowl will probably have Nevada vs UCLA even if BYU were to lose to Hawaii on Saturday.

      No way the WWL (which owns the Hawaii Bowl) would want Nevada in Honolulu again after the 2009 debacle (no traveling fans plus one player arrested for shoplifting.)

      Nevada is a good fit for the SF Bowl: 4-hour commute if I-80 isn’t blocked by snow.

      Like

      • OT says:

        Sorry, I meant “even if BYU were to BEAT Hawaii on Saturday.” That would make Hawaii not eligible for a bowl.

        Illinois is probably a better fit for the Hawaii Bowl than Nevada.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Miami didn’t get a waiver last year when they went 6-7 after losing their ccg. I guess noone wants a 7-5 Western Michigan this year (or 7-5 Western Kentucky). This gives the Pac 8 eligible teams and only 6 bowls (7 with Stanford getting in BCS).

      Like

      • Brian says:

        The fact that USC really won the division may have been a factor. UCLA shouldn’t be in the game, so why punish them for USC being in trouble?

        Like

      • OT says:

        Miami (Ohio) didn’t get a waiver because the MAC didn’t need Miami (Ohio) to fulfill its bowl contracts. Temple (8-4) didn’t go to a bowl last year.

        In contrast, the Pac 12 will need UCLA to fulfull its 7 bowl contracts.

        ==

        Don’t see the San Francisco Bowl being able to take a B1G team at this point now that UCLA will be available and Nevada will likely be available regardless of whether Hawaii were bowl eligible or not (because the Hawaii Bowl, the WWL, the WAC, and Nevada don’t want Nevada to go to the Hawaii Bowl again after the 2009 debacle: virtually no traveling fans and one player was arrested for shoplifting.)

        Like

        • bullet says:

          They’ve never allowed a team with a losing record to go before even when it left bowl slots open. The Big 10 hasn’t filled its Motor City slot in how many years? And Pac only has 7 contracts if Stanford gets the extra BCS slot. Don’t think that’s much of an argument. Now maybe Brian has a point.

          Like

        • frug says:

          Actually, North Texas made the New Orleans Bowl at 5-6 back in 2001, so it’s not completely unprecedented for a losing to make a bowl game.

          Like

    • @Brian – Looking forward to the battle of the coachless wonders in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl between UCLA and my Illini (as replacements for bowl ineligible Army). If that consensus bowl prediction holds, the Zook-led freefall actually ended up getting Illinois a better bowl destination than if they had won 1 or 2 more games. None of the bowls with actual Big Ten tie-ins want Illinois, but that also means that the team avoids going to Detroit or Dallas and instead may get to go to San Francisco for a New Year’s Eve game.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Nothing better than teams without their coaches battling for a bottom tier bowl. I’m guessing the IL fans won’t be flocking to SF for the game. IL could still end up in Hawaii, though. That’s CFN’s current projection. Of course, they also have OSU in the Insight Bowl instead of the Gator which is definitely a minority opinion.

        Like

      • OT says:

        Frank:

        The SF Bowl has backup agreements with ACC #9 (not available because Miami self-imposed a bowl ban,) WAC #4 (Nevada), and MAC #5 (i.e. Temple.)

        I expect the following:

        1. The Hawaii Bowl (which is owned by ESPN Regional Television, Inc.) to pass on Nevada even if BYU were to beat Hawaii on Saturday. The WWL really doesn’t want Nevada in Honolulu again after what happened in 2009: no traveling fans and one player arrested for shoplifting.

        2. Because Nevada sold out it allotment of 15000 tickets for the 2010 San Francisco Bowl (which was played on January 6, 2011,) the SF Bowl would love to get Nevada again as the “home” team now that Cal won’t be available to the SF Bowl (Cal should be headed for the Holiday Bowl.)

        I expect the SF Bowl to be a battle of Pistol Offenses: Nevada vs UCLA

        (The SF Bowl has no issue with repeat appearances. Boston College played in the last two SF Bowls vs USC and Nevada. The SF Bowl is more concerned with selling 40000 tickets. Cal, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Fresno State, and Nevada are always on the radar.)

        Illinois is a better fit for the Hawaii Bowl than Nevada (if Hawaii were not bowl eligible.) The WWL knows that. The WAC knows that. Nevada knows that.

        =====

        There will be plenty of horsetrading, wheeling, and dealing among the minor bowls, especially since the WWL actually owns 7 of them.

        The WAC is always open to taking a little bit of cash to swap out of certain bowls in order to minimize fan travel (example: Nevada fans want the SF Bowl but not the Hawaii Bowl.)

        One would expect the Mountain West to do the same given how picky some of the fan bases are (for example: most San Diego State fans only want to attend the Poinsettia Bowl; TCU rarely brings more than 3000 traveling fans to a minor bowl game; and the Military Bowl really wants Air Force this year and appears to be ready to pay the New Mexico Bowl to pass on Air Force and take Wyoming instead.)

        Like

  32. duffman says:

    IU did their part – Tan One is 7 – 0!

    Like

  33. zeek says:

    @MikeHumesESPN: Duke-Ohio St averaged 2.6 rating & 3,422,000 viewers; ESPN’s highest-rated & most-viewed ACC/Big Ten Challenge game ever”

    Saw this earlier, didn’t realize you could get those kinds of numbers for a basketball game. Solid numbers for a Tuesday night of basketball; obviously when it’s #2 vs #4 and OSU-Duke that plays into it; also, the lack of NBA right now also plays into that, but still really good numbers for a non-conference basketball game.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Especially since OSU is a football school. The MBB fan base is smaller than for FB (king in one, prince in the other at best).

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, well we’d better enjoy the Big Ten wins in the challenge the past couple of years, these games are going to get inordinately tough for the teams ranked 3-12 when Pitt/Syracuse join the Big Ten. Teams 1-2 always had it rough with UNC/Duke, but now the ACC’s depth could really shift the stakes the other way in a hurry.

        Like

    • acaffrey says:

      So? What was the rating in the NY Metro area? That’s all that matters in life.

      Like

  34. frug says:

    Well we won this challenge for the 3rd straight year (and with 3 games still left to play!) thereby proving now and forever that the Big 10 is better than the ACC.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I said this just above you, but while it’s good that the lesser basketball programs in the Big Ten have really stepped up, the ACC’s depth is going to go up dramatically with Syracuse and Pitt in the fold. Everyone from #3 through 12 is going to get way tougher opponents, so this series could bounce back to even or ACC-favored very abruptly.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Indiana turning the corner though could really help the Big Ten in this though; the Big Ten is going to need another top flight competitor to handle the ACC’s top 4-6 in the next couple of years.

        Like

      • frug says:

        Like I said “now and forever

        Like

      • Ross says:

        When the Big Ten still had 11 teams, they didn’t drop the worst team from the challenge. The ACC-B1G challenge actually tries to create competitive match-ups most of the time, and the teams you see not competing in the challenge will vary in their quality from year to year.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Well, since the ACC will have the 2 extra, why won’t they use their approach from when they had 1 extra the past 5 years and left the team that placed last at home?

          Maybe they won’t do that since they have 2 more, but I’d expect them to leave the two teams that finished last in the previous year’s standings at home based on the past 5 years.

          Like

          • Ross says:

            Well, I’m pretty sure the conferences work together to set the schedule anyway, which is why it tends to be competitive. I doubt the Big Ten would just let the ACC drop its bottom two teams.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Ross, they had been dropping the bottom team from last year before. Maybe they won’t now, but my guess is that’s the way it will be going forward. Only good thing in that is that bottom 2 aren’t completely consistent year to year so leaving one behind one year might be a better team another year.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            And plus, it’s not like it matters; it’s better RPI for the Big Ten to have Syracuse/Pitt in there instead of say WF/Ga Tech this year (or whoever the bottom two is). Not like there’ll be too many complaints. No one complained when the Big Ten lost 10 in a row.

            The programs improved; look at Northwestern especially which was flat out bad through the early 00s, but finally has a respectable program. Of course, we’re still working on the whole NCAA bid thing, but that’ll happen sometime.

            Like

  35. Brian says:

    http://www.the-ozone.net/football/2011/MeyerHire/NCAAWaiver.html

    In case anyone was curious how OSU can have 2 head coaches and work on hiring new assistants without firing anyone, OSU got a not uncommon NCAA waiver. The new staff will recruit only while the old staff coaches.

    Like

  36. Brian says:

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/uga/ticket-prices-for-georgia-1246354.html?cxtype=rss_news

    SEC CG ticket prices are dropping fast. From a peak average of $463, they’re down to $135 and falling.

    Like

  37. Michael in Raleigh says:

    On a different subject here… what is everyone’s opinion on what the Big 12’s makeup will be for the 2012-2013 school year?

    Considering it’s now freaking DECEMBER, only 7 months before the Big 12’s 2012-2013 school year begins, and it’s not a done deal yet for Missouri to leave or for West Virginia to join, I think A&M alone will leave and TCU alone will join. Logistically, it would be almost impossible for the Big East teams to schedule enough games to replace all the would-be games against WVU. I have difficulty seeing the courts allowing WVU to leave with such short notice, and this has less to do with the 27-month notification requirement that with the resulting logistics problems for everyone else. However, I am almost certain a settlement will be reached allowing WVU to leave for the 2013-2014 school year. Soon after that, Pitt and Syracuse will file their own suit allowing them to join the ACC that year.

    Likewise, with WVU being unable to join the Big 12 in 2012, I don’t think Missouri will be able to leave on such short notice, either.

    As for how the SEC would handle a 13-team league for one year, this is my solution…
    Tennessee would play Alabama and two other SEC West teams, as usual. Alabama would likewise play two other SEC East teams. Georgia and Auburn would also play each other and two other teams from their respective opposing divisions.

    Otherwise, all the permanent cross-division rivalries would take a year off and play Texas A&M instead. For example, Florida would host Texas A&M instead of LSU, and LSU would play at Texas A&M instead of at Florida. All the cross-division, non-permanent games that were scheduled for 2012 would be played as normal. Texas A&M would be ineligible for the SEC championship, and for the SEC champ’s autobid to the Sugar Bowl, but would be eligible for all other SEC-contracted bowl games, including at-large spots to the BCS games such as the NCG.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      So A&M’s first SEC schedule would be this, in some order:

      Vs. Kentucky
      At Mississippi State
      Vs. Vanderbilt
      At Ole Miss
      Vs. LSU
      At Florida
      Vs. Arkansas (in Arlington)
      At South Carolina

      There would be no Kentucky-MSU game, no Vandy-Ole Miss game, no LSU-Florida game, and no Arkansas-South Carolina game. In other words, no one’s losing any sleep because of a one-year hiatus from these matchups.

      For the Big 12, TCU simply takes A&M’s spot on the schedule.

      Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Michael – leaks out of Mizzou and Tennessee indicate that the SEC will reveal its 14 team 2012 schedule this weekend. Each team will play its 6 divisional opponents, keep its permanent cross-division rivalry game, and play one rotating cross-division game. According to the leak and as posted on Mr. SEC’s website, A&M and Mizzou will be each other’s permanent cross-division rival.

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Here’s the SEC schedule leak link.

        http://www.mrsec.com/2011/12/sec-schedule-info-starting-to-leak/

        Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        That’s interesting, Alan. If true, let’s expect Missouri to pay some heavy damages. I just can’t see West Virginia being able to escape the Big East as soon as July 2012. Therefore, the Big 12 would be a 9-team league for 2012 and all nine would have to scramble to replace Missouri’s spot on the schedule on a very short notice. More importantly, ESPN and Fox would have less inventory to work with and would have cause to renegotiate their TV contracts in a way that would disfavor the Big 12.

        The remaining questions, then, are how much Missouri has to pay the Big 12 and how and when WVU is able to leave the Big East.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Everything out of WVU is that they are gone. I don’t see a court trying to force them to stay, especially not a West Virginia court. It would be easier for everyone (other than the SEC) if the SEC had 13 and Missouri and WVU waited a year to move, but I think we’re beyond that. WVU joining the SEC and Mizzou staying in the Big 12 made a lot more sense from an overall viewpoint, but we’re beyond logical configurations as well.

          The only open questions are how much in exit fees A&M, Mizzou and WVU pay and whether the BE adds anyone in 2012 to get beyond 7. Or if they are ever able to add anyone.

          I’m beginning to think Boise and maybe even some of the BE fb schools are dragging out the BE expansion process into January so they can get a better feel for where the BCS is going. There is a major BCS meeting in January. There’s also the NCAA meetings, so there can easily be conversations there, where UL, UConn, Rutgers, etc. make a case for themselves as expansion targets.

          From the BYU AD’s comments (which I believe were posted here), there’s a lot of uncertainty about how much in TV$ the BE will generate (which is why BYU wanted to keep their home games TV rights at first). So whether they will retain an AQ could be a dealbreaker for Boise.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @Bullet:

            RE: “I’m beginning to think Boise and maybe even some of the BE fb schools are dragging out the BE expansion process into January so they can get a better feel for where the BCS is going.”

            Boise’s incentive to switch to the Big East has got to be waning. The guarantee of being in an AQ league would be for two years at the maximum, one year if it is unable to leave the MWC until 2013. (Being unable to leave the MWC until 2013 is entirely possible because since TCU wasn’t able to leave until 2012 after its announcement of leaving in 2010.) After 2013, autobids to BCS bowls may very well cease to exist. If that happens, a Boise will receive better television revenue from the BE than the MWC, but its best bowl tie-in will be something like the Gator, Alamo, or, if really lucky, the Capital One Bowl. Granted, those bowl games are more prestigious than the ones tied into the MWC, but they’re also much farther away, which would result in unsold tickets for Boise fans and therefore a worse financial hit than western-based bowl games. Boise would also have its 15 non-football sports relegated to the Big West or Big Sky, two leagues which it previously left because of their inferior level of competition. Meanwhile, the football team would have no greater access to what it is seeking most of all: a chance at the national title game, and access to BCS bowls that doesn’t require going 12-0.

            I can’t see Boise making the move without a guarantee that the Big East’s automatic bid persists beyond 2013.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Hints of Big East progress coming from, of all places, El Paso:

            http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college_ucf/2011/12/utep-athletic-director-bob-stull-says-c-usa-mountain-west-moving-toward-alliance-in-all-sports.html

            So we have the Big East on both coasts and the, at least appropriately named Conference USA, going coast-to-coast.

            Like

        • frug says:

          The problem is the Big XII can’t let Missouri leave until it is confirmed that WVU will join next season since the conference will not have a sufficient inventory of games to meet its contractual obligations to media partners with less than 10 teams.

          Like

          • Phil says:

            And the Big East needs to drag out the battle long enough so that even if WVU is gone for next year, it is too late for Syr and Pitt to do the same thing (Big East can’t drop below 6 teams).

            It seems the easiest solution would be for the Big 12 to make a deal with the ACC to not let Syr and Pitt join until 2013. Then the Big East can let WVU go now (and the Big East BB schools would be happy with any extra exit fee money they negotiate).

            Like

  38. Playoffs Now says:

    Meh, Delany’s proposal is just a discrete placeholder.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      Probably. I’ll admit, I kind of like it though. I hope they go with it and rename the BCS the 1 vs. 2 Bowl. Make it clear in the title all it is is a bowl game between the team rated number 1 vs. the team rated number 2.

      Like

  39. bullet says:

    This is over a month old, but its an interesting interview in the Tulsa paper with DeLoss Dodds, UT AD. About why UT started favoring equal revenue sharing of Tier I and II, “…the division of monies… would be almost grotesque.” With TV revenues virtually doubling, a spread of 30% started being $6-$7 million. (This is also relevant with regard to the non-AQs. The spread between the Big 5 and the rest has gone from WSU being $1 million ahead of the non-AQS and most schools $4-$9 million ahead, to the ACC schools at the bottom being over $11 million ahead of the non-AQs-these latest TV contracts IMO will lead to a further stratification in all sports).

    Interview:
    http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/article.aspx?articleid=20111005_92_B8_CUTLIN310926

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      I think DeLoss has some good points. I don’t think an argument can be made about not sharing revenue when you talk about donations etc… and even apparel sales and merchandise. Even non sporting event TV shows.

      Where I differ is TV money resulting from live sporting events because it takes more than just Texas to generate an audience. For example, if Texas was this financial Goliath and all of its competition resulted in effectively FCS budgets, the public interest and audience would erode.

      Texas’ financial stregth, popularity and TV appeal require some parity in terms of competition from their peers and that includes financial wherewithal to finance AD budgets.

      Like

  40. Playoffs Now says:

    Iceloaf for B1G commissioner:

    http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/2011/12/1/2602611/a-conversation-with-the-b1g-seatfiller-hoaxster

    …Over 2000 e-mail responses. Thought it up last night. Angry about the ticket prices I got for my B1G tickets. Stupid Michigan State and Wisconsin. Thought about trying to scapegoat Dan Beebe or the Pac-12 or Texas… but that’s a lot of work.

    The funniest thing was all the damn Spartan and Badger fans who crawled out of the woodwork. Can’t be bothered to drive 3 / 6 hours for their team and buy a cheapass 20 dollar ticket on stubhub, but FREE ticket? Nom nom nom. They should be disqualified…

    …I’m just guessing most of the folks that e-mailed were Occupying somewhere and now need something to do since they’ve been evicted. Occupy B1G has a nice ring to it, no?

    I bet he also posts on that Northwestern Board…

    Like

  41. bullet says:

    More SEC expansion fallout-UK’s Calipari says they may drop IU,UL or UNC if the SEC goes to 18 games (in other words-drop marquee rivalries so you can play home and home with Missouri).

    http://www.kentucky.com/2011/12/01/1978779/kentucky-basketball-notes-is-uk.html

    Like

    • duffman says:

      bullet,

      Thanks for the link. Killing the IU game would not make folks from either state happy. I read the comments and you would think the UK fans have no memory of the history if they drop IU before UL or UNC. If they dropped UL it would help recruiting for both IU and UK by not giving UL a spot on the national stage. If UL jumped to the B12, and IU & UK did not schedule them then the border would go back to the old days, and UL would drop in exposure.

      I am surprised tho, as UK has historically been unafraid to load up a tough OOC schedule. I am telling you look for the Tan One to sneak in on Dec 10th 😉

      Like

      • frug says:

        At his official website Calipari posted an article explaining the situation and included a vote at the bottom. Right now IU is the overwhelming (69%) choice to drop.

        http://www.coachcal.com/8802/2011/11/scheduling-scenario-for-the-big-blue-nation/

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I voted for UNC. UK has only played them regularly in the last few years. UL goes back to early 80s and IU goes back forever. Indiana and Kentucky are two states that worship basketball, maybe even more than Texas loves football. UNC could be played periodically like Kansas, who has been played occassionally. IU will come back.

          UK has, in recent years, played some real patsies that they would never have played before. Its been a UNC followed by a Big South cellar dweller.

          This year the schedule includes Kansas, Louisville, Indiana, North Carolina, Penn St. & St. John’s, but the rest is Radford, Samford, Loyola MD, Portland, Morehead St., Old Dominion, Chattanooga and UL Monroe. ODU was a 10 point game, but Morehead was 108-58, Radford 88-40, while Portland was 87-63. Now PSU was also a rout-85-47.

          Like

          • Mack says:

            Basketball kings are now scheduling like the football kings, all home games. Excluding SEC conference games Kentudky has 14 home games, 4 neutral site games, and 1 road game (Indiana) on this years schedule. I doubt NC, IN, or Louisville will agree to just playing at Rupp arena. The Rupp arena money games against cupcakes will survive to maximize revenue.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Yeah, Mack has it. The real reason for this is money, not schedule strength.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Mack,

            The IU vs UK was neutral back in the days of the Hoosier Dome. It has been home and home. Same with UK vs UNC and UK vs UL, as they have been home and home. For years it was the IU / UL flip with UK. When IU played host to UK, UK played UL at home. When UK hosted IU, they played UL in Louisville. I would like to see the Big 4 played again in Lucas but with MSU or PU getting ND’s old spot. It was a good game that all fans could drive to.

            Like

    • jj says:

      Now he’s a xhickenshit on top of a douche

      Like

  42. duffman says:

    For the B12 folks on here, looks official that Sherman got the pink slip @ TAMU.

    Anybody want to guess who gets that job?

    Like

  43. bullet says:

    A&M just fired Mike Sherman (25-25 in 4 seasons). It will be interesting to see who they go after. I’m betting they try to get an SEC coach or assistant.

    Like

  44. Brian says:

    With the WV win tonight, UC is virtually eliminated from winning the BE’s BCS bid. They could still tie for the league championship, but they would have to pass WV in the BCS rankings to get the BCS bid. If UC loses, UL wins the bid. If UC wins, WV gets the bid.

    How motivated will UC be against UConn? It’ll be senior day, but the result doesn’t mean much to them. If they win, WV goes to the Orange Bowl and UC goes to the Champs Sports Bowl leaving UL for the Belk Bowl. If UC loses, UL goes to the Orange and WV goes to the Champs Sports while UC goes to the Belk. Orlando is better than Charlotte, but it isn’t a huge difference.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Brian,

      Notre Dame is going to the Champs Sports Bowl. Word is that bowl game really wants an FSU-Notre Dame matchup. Whether that happens or not depends on the teams the Chick-fil-A Bowl chooses. That bowl is trying to avoid either a Clemson-Auburn rematch, which already is those teams’ season opener in Atlanta next year, or a Florida-Florida State rematch.

      Anyway, that leaves WV going to the Belk Bowl if UC wins, and probably Louisville going to the Belk Bowl instead of UC if UC loses because the Belk Bowl is probably going to take NC State, which has already played UC this year.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Note that the Liberty will get a BE team this year (instead of the CUSA champ; this may be dependent on Houston going to a BCS bowl). Would they get a chance at Louisville or WVU?

        They would have to jump the Belk Bowl.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Yeah, I forgot about that. So it’s Belk in Charlotte or Liberty in Memphis for the 2 that don’t make the BCS most likely since the Pinstripe will take Rutgers. The Liberty will be happy with either UC or UL, and the Belk would love WV.

        If UC loses, UL is in the Orange so the Belk gets WV. If UC wins, WV is in the Orange and the Belk gets UL (bad record but playing better late). The Belk could try for Rutgers instead, but the Pinstripe will pay them not to I think.

        My point it, it’s not great motivation for UC to win. The players may be down after getting eliminated from the BCS, while UConn is playing for bowl eligibility. It could make things interesting.

        Like

  45. cutter says:

    Cuban’s BCS Buster plan would turn anticlimactic season into thriller

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/12/01/mark-cuban-bracket-busters-update/index.html#ixzz1fOr9A1Xv

    Judging by the BCS standings, we’re about to watch a week of conference title games that mean absolutely nothing. That’s certainly an anomaly; in most years, what happens the first weekend in December will affect the national title picture. That doesn’t mean the people in charge of college football should ignore ideas that would make the sport more interesting and generate some serious coin in the process. In fact, one recent idea looks even better as we head into what ESPN — were it using some ridiculous theme for the week — would call Anticlimax Saturday.

    Remember in August when Mark Cuban revealed his plan for what essentially amounts to a set of two Bracket Buster games for college football? How great would a BCS Buster game be this year?

    Cuban’s plan involved a proposed change in NCAA legislation that would allow any conference without a championship game to send one team to play an extra game at season’s end. Independents also would be allowed to participate. Cuban’s hope is that the BCS would wait to set its matchups until after those games were played. This year’s circumstances offer some very interesting, very watchable scenarios.

    Foremost, Oklahoma State is stuck behind Alabama in the BCS standings. What if Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma to win the Big 12 title and then faced Mountain West champion TCU in a BCS Buster game? With a win against the Cowboys, the Horned Frogs might jump into the BCS top 14 and become eligible for an at-large bid to a BCS bowl. With a dominant win against the Horned Frogs atop a victory against the Sooners, Oklahoma State might gain enough momentum to pass Alabama in the BCS standings.

    “Imagine if you were Oklahoma State and you had the opportunity to play one more game for a spot in the national championship,” Cuban wrote in an e-mail. “That’s what this would provide them (if played this year) — another quality game against a Top 25 opponent the last week of the season. A win should move them ahead of Alabama, right? I think they’d prefer that over the Fiesta.”

    Indeed they would.

    And if the Mountain West didn’t want to do any favors for TCU — which is headed to the Big 12 — the league could instead send Boise State to Stillwater to face the Cowboys. Think that wouldn’t score in the ratings and in the minds of voters? It also wouldn’t hurt Oklahoma State, which would have already won the Big 12 title. If the Cowboys lost in the BCS Buster, they would still go to the Fiesta Bowl. They’re headed there anyway if they beat Oklahoma and Alabama remains No. 2 in the BCS standings.

    At the very least, the Mountain West could send Boise State to such an event so quarterback Kellen Moore could get a sendoff in an interesting game. If the Broncos don’t sneak into a BCS bowl, they likely will smash some overmatched opponent in a lower tier bowl that few will watch. Why not give one of the best programs of the past four years a bigger stage and a chance to make one final pitch for an at-large BCS bid?

    “If you’re Boise, you’re looking at finishing the season as a 50 point favorite against New Mexico and then a money losing trip to the Poinsettia Bowl?” Cuban wrote. “And you’re a top 10 team! You’re crazy if you can’t see how these games would be an extraordinary option. Not to mention the additional revenue.”

    That revenue would be significant. ESPN is paying millions for made-for-TV interconference matchups to start the season. Some network would do the same for fun marquee matchups at season’s end.

    Obviously, none of this can happen this year. But what has transpired this year proves even more that there has to be a better way to end the season. If the leaders of the sport still refuse to entertain the notion of a playoff, this would make an intriguing addition to the current system.

    The major stumbling block for Cuban and Brett Morris, the point man for the project, will be convincing schools to pass a new NCAA rule that would allow for the games. With sponsorship by outgoing Sun Belt Conference commissioner Wright Waters and consultation from John Infante, the Colorado State compliance wonk who authors the excellent Bylaw Blog, Morris crafted NCAA proposal 2011-87, which would allow for invitational games between teams from leagues that don’t have conference title games. When asked in August, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he wasn’t sure the Fighting Irish would be interested in the concept. For this to work — and by “work,” I mean “make lots of money” — Notre Dame probably would have to be on board.

    If Cuban and Morris can cull the votes, the concept should satisfy fans desperate for more interesting end-of-season games and the stick-in-the-mud conference leaders who keep standing in the way of a proper playoff. After all, this idea works completely within the framework of the BCS system. It simply provides a more interesting alternative.

    That, Cuban believes, would be the chief benefit for you, the consumer.

    “[It’s] the thrill of a completely unpredictable ending to the season,” Cuban wrote. “The drama of who would be invited, what teams should accept, what the matchups would be and the effects of the outcomes. (Would it push Oklahoma State into [the national championship] game?) And then the ability to go to a home game with a postseason atmosphere and a ton riding on it would be tremendous.”

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Are any of you UTx guys hearing anything about Mack Brown possibly retiring at the end of the season?

      The other rumor floating around here is that if Texas loses to Baylor, Mack might not have a choice.

      Like

      • greg says:

        I thought it was great when Mack “took responsibility” for last year by firing all his assistants. Who does he have to blame this year?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          All those new assistants who didn’t blend in to the Longhorn system fast enough?

          Like

        • bullet says:

          Given how young the team was (very few Jrs and Srs), player evaluation took a dive after the 2005 national championship, so maybe they got a little lackadaisical that far back and relied on earlier talent through 2009. That also coincides with the acceleration of offering players scholarships after their junior year when they are a little harder to evaluate.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        The rumour has been around for at least 10 days. I don’t think many are taking it seriously.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      cutter,

      I’m all for long posts, but you gave the link and then pasted his entire article. Posting the whole article is a copyright violation. May I suggest a couple of sentences that summarize it and/or a few lines of commentary next time instead of a copy and paste?

      As for Cuban’s idea, I like the general concept but see some issues with it, too.

      1. The conferences without a CCG (and independents) would have to drop a bye week and finish their seasons by Thanksgiving weekend like everyone else. This allows the Bracket Buster games on CCG weekend. It wouldn’t be hard to do, but the conferences would have to agree to give up the extra bye and the big stage this weekend for the benefit of maybe one team in their league. Would they agree?

      2. Either Army / Navy moves to Thanksgiving weekend or they are not eligible.

      3. There aren’t many available teams. ND and BYU, if they agree, plus B12, BE, WAC and Sun Belt teams. The MWC is merging with CUSA, and all the others have a CCG. ND, UT and OU probably don’t need the help to get into the BCS. Who’s going to play in these games?

      I would actually go the other way with the proposal. I would get rid of CCGs and instead let everyone play an invitational regular season game the last weekend (I think they need to change the rules to allow invitational games during the season, but maybe not). It would count as one of the 12 games, though, unless they change the rules to allow 13. Every conference could make up their own mind about what pairs to schedule in conference or whether they should be OOC games. Every team would have to know in advance whether or not they might be hosting a game, but they could find out the opponent later.

      Maybe the SEC chooses to pair the top 2 teams at a neutral site regardless of division, or maybe they pair the divisions in order (1/1, 2/2, etc), or maybe they play an ACC/SEC challenge. Maybe the B10 drops divisions entirely and uses the last week to pair teams of equivalent rank (1/2, 3/4, etc avoiding rematches), or maybe they just schedule 12 weeks instead. Who knows?

      Like

  46. Craig Z says:

    There are rumors that Illinois may move its club hockey team up to Division I.

    https://twitter.com/#!/LetsPlay_Hockey

    Like

    • zeek says:

      LetsPlay_Hockey Let’s Play Hockey
      Talk in club hockey says that Jimmy John’s founder Jimmy John Liautaud could be looking at funding Illinois’ jump from club to DI hockey.
      4 hours ago

      Well that’d fulfill the main pre-req for such a move: find a mega-rich donor willing to fund the $50+M needed for arena (expansion or hybrid or new standalone or whatever form it takes).

      And the timing would work out combined with Penn State’s move up and the BTHC formation. Not sure Minnesota or Wisconsin are too happy about losing non-conference slots for their rivals but BTN officials would be happy for more content.

      Now someone just needs to get Cuban on it for Indiana…

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Forgot to include that a big chunk of the money has to go to scholarships but everyone already knew that…

        Like

      • @zeek – I’ve been begging for an Illini D1 hockey team for a very long time. The club team has very good support where it sells out over 2000 seats regularly, so when you consider that’s lower level hockey, there’s definitely spectator demand for the sport there. Presumably, a women’s hockey team would need to be added simultaneously for Title IX reasons. As shown by Penn State, though, it basically takes a massive benefactor to start up a program in this environment.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Unless/until the athletic department becomes self sufficient I oppose adding any sports. Activity fees, while not as bad as some other places, are high enough already.

          Like

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, especially when you see how olympic sports are getting cut at some major universities along with other sports (Maryland’s example of 8 sports out of 27 in the line of fire); it’s just really hard to get any new programs going without a giant influx of cash.

          Like

    • jj says:

      I’d love to see it

      Like

  47. frug says:

    Congrats to the Huskies. It’s kind of a shame that the Little Caesars Bowl has the MAC #2 this year instead of the champ otherwise we could have seen an NIU-NU matchup.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      We’ve likely to get an entertaining matchup in Detroit either way.

      NU versus Toledo or Western Michigan could look like the typical Northwestern bowl games of the past three years: high scoring shootouts.

      Some of these MAC teams can put up points in a hurry; over/under could be 70 in a dome for a game like that.

      Like

  48. frug says:

    Peterson turned a $2 million dollar a year raise to stay at Boise.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/12/ucla-football-petersen-out-as-a-candidate-for-the-bruins-job.html

    While I’m guessing that after cost of living and local taxes make $1.9 million in Boise the same as $4 million in LA, turning down a larger budget and more prestigious job shows that Peterson really is happy where he is and isn’t leaving for anything short of an alpha level job like Texas (and even that might be enough)

    Like

  49. frug says:

    Guess I’ll kick off today’s rooting interests post by saying I’ll be cheering for Georgia, Clemson, and Okie St. Come on Cowboys!

    (Of course I’ll also be cheering for Illinois but that goes without saying… and is another sports)

    Like

  50. zeek says:

    Hold the phone on Houston. Could there be no non-AQ bid?

    I think we’re looking at enough upsets brewing that we could see Southern Miss or TCU in the top 16, but that’s the only way to get a non-AQ this year right if Houston loses?

    If Southern Miss and TCU don’t make it to the Top 16, then there’s no non-AQ?

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I’m guessing that slot would go to a possibly 10-2 OSU or 10-2 K-State or 11-2 Va Tech if any of those happens?

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Also of interest that it would mean that the Big 12 would have 3 BCS squads this year (imagine if OSU and OU didn’t lose last week and it could have been 4…).

        OU/OSU winner and WVU are practically locks, and if Southern Miss holds onto their big lead over Houston, TCU could end up in the non-AQ slot.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Huh? B12 (any conference, unless they have 2 non-champs ranked #1 & #2) can only have 2 BCS teams.

          Like

          • greg says:

            TCU and WVU are not B12 teams this year, but will be in the future. So zeek is saying 3, and almost 4, current and future B12 teams may have made the BCS this year.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, got it. If Michigan doesn’t get to #14, OU beats OSU, and VTech wins the ACC, the B12 may get 4 (OK State would have a shot).

            Like

      • Richard says:

        Unless Georgia upsets LSU, the BCS at-large teams will still be the second SEC team, Stanford, a non-AQ conference champ (TCU or SMiss), and Michigan if they get to #14. Potentially 10-2 OSU or 11-2 VTech if Michigan doesn’t get to #14. Boise likely would be more attractive than KSU.

        Like

    • frug says:

      Actually, if SMU holds on and TCU doesn’t move into the top 16, then there is pretty good chance that Boise would get an large bid, especially if OSU and V-Tech win.

      Under those circumstances, with its second pick the Sugar would probably looking at BSU, K-State (if they win), Houston and the Big East champ and you can make a decent case that Boise is the best TV draw of all them.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        A non-AQ conference champ just needs to finish ahead of the BE champ, and I expect one of SMiss or TCU to do that.

        Like

        • frug says:

          They have to be top 16 and finish ahead of the Big East champ to get an auto-bid.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            You’re right. Boise has a shot if several games fall the right way. Too bad the Little Sisters of the Poor can’t play tOSU this year.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            The way Georgia is playing right now, I would love to see Georgia vs Boise State in the Sugar Bowl. I get the feeling the current Georgia team is not the one from the beginning of the season. Like Virginia Tech last year! Va Tech dropped one to Boise State, then one to James Madison before roaring back and not losing another game till the Orange Bowl.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      One of TCU and SMiss just has to finish ahead of WVU, which isn’t very hard, to get a BCS bid. The big question is whether a big win by SMiss over UH would move them ahead of TCU.

      Like

  51. Tom says:

    @ Frank

    Sorry if you have already addressed this, but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the Illinois coaching search. Who would you like to see the Illini go after? I have always felt that Illinois should be a lot better than they have been historically, and I think the program, (while not necessarily a “sleeping giant” like Texas A&M or UCLA,) can be a consistent top 25 program.

    Like

  52. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Who goes to the national championship game if Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State and Georgia blows out LSU (ala K-State blowing out previously unanimous #1, lone unbeaten Oklahoma in 2003)? For good measure, let’s throw in Clemson over Virginia Tech.

    Would it be Alabama vs. Stanford? Would it still be LSU vs. Alabama?

    Like

    • zeek says:

      If there was some crazy scenario where Georgia beats LSU by 42+ points and Va Tech loses and OSU loses, then it does seem as if we’ll get an Alabama-Stanford matchup.

      That’d be a true oddity in the sense that you’d have non-division/non-conference winners in a national championship matchup.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        I don’t know that LSU has to lose by SIX touchdowns. Losing by 3-4 would be sufficient, if history teaches us anything.

        Remember that 2003 season. Oklahoma was far and away the #1 team that year. They had beaten Texas, who finished in the top ten, 62-7. The team was one of the most dominant ever…. Then the K-State game happened, and OU lost by 4 touchdowns. The system at the time, which gave more weight to the computers and to strength of schedule than it did to the polls, allowed Oklahoma to go to the national championship game against LSU instead of USC. BUT under today’s system, the polls would have dropped OU below the top two.

        So, with a loss of 20+ points, history indicates that the voters might be willing to drop even a team that has been absolutely dominant below the top two.

        The big difference between this year and 2003, though, is that there were two other major conference champions with only one loss.

        Under my scenario, all conference champions would have two losses or more, while 5 teams who did not win their conferences would have only one loss: LSU, Alabama, Stanford, Boise State, and Houston.

        Like

    • frug says:

      Under that scenario I’d guess LSU vs. Alabama again. LSU would argue it was unfair they had to play today anyways, and I’m guessing enough writers would buy that.

      Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Also, if Georgia manages to maintain the momentum it has (doubtful, although 10-0 early in the second is very impressive), I hope it silences a lot of the critics of Boise State. Beating the eventual SEC champion by 2 touchdowns in its backyard, three time zones and 2,000 miles away, is extremely impressive.

      Realistically, though, it’s much easier for people to say, “Georgia’s a different team now. Boise was exposed against TCU. Boise couldn’t handle an SEC schedule (as if ANYONE this year could).” It would be too much to ask for a rational thought process from non-AQ teams’ critics that raises any doubt about the invincibility of the almighty SEC.

      Like

  53. mstinebrink says:

    I have a tendency to disappear for long periods at a time. But, I thought that some of you might like to read [and provide constructive criticism!] on some statistics, etc. that I did in regards to Legends-and-Leaders:

    http://bydivineright.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/jim-delanys-mulligan-legends-leaders-2/

    I’m fighting some old battles [against an imaginary opponent, I suppose]. But, much like throwing stones at the BCS, it’s kinda fun!

    Like

    • mstinebrink says:

      P.S. My other long-term project is almost ready: a college football expansion index. I know, its a little late for that. But, has anyone ever come across the full data on college football fans per TV market, from Nate Silver? That remains a big of a bugger, in my index. Otherwise, here’s what I have for the B1G (20-to-80 scale, where 50 is an “average” B1G school, 60 is one standard deviation above average, etc.):

      62.01 – *Ohio State
      60.06 – *Michigan
      59.87 – Texas
      57.83 – *Penn State
      57.69 – Florida
      57.49 – USC
      54.27 – Texas A&M
      53.81 – *Wisconsin
      53.78 – UCLA
      52.85 – Notre Dame
      52.36 – Miami-Florida
      52.19 – *Nebraska
      51.98 – Alabama
      50.95 – Cal
      50.88 – Georgia Tech
      50.28 – Oklahoma

      Everyone else would be considered below average (i.e. wouldn’t significantly move the needle). And, obviously, there are some anomalies in there. USC & UCLA get a huge bump because of state population–this is where the fans per TV market would help to control that. Texas A&M gets the State of Texas bump–they’d be less valuable, as a travel partner for UT. There are some pipe dreams on there. And, obviously the landscape has stabilized quite a bit from when this was dreamed up. But, this was built with the assumption that all schools are free agents.

      The components that make up the index are all referenced to the 20-to-80 scale, and then the user will be able to tweak the weight given to the components, per conference, since conferences have different priorities, are located in different geographical areas, have different cultures, etc.

      Anyway, this is more of a tease than anything. Just wanted to share and am hoping that I can get this thing online for download before my wife gives birth and I disappear again, for several months!

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Something’s wrong with the methodology if Georgia Tech scores higher than Georgia and Miami scores higher than Florida State.

        Like

        • mstinebrink says:

          Perhaps. But, both of those can be traced to Nate Silver’s work on numbers of fans per school, which constitutes 45% of my “football brand” category (22.5% of the overall index score that I listed above). Silver had Georgia Tech (1.7 mil) with a lot more fans than Georia (1.1 mil), and Miami (1.3 mil) with 63% more fans than FSU (0.8 mil)! [I am highly skeptical of both of those numbers and my methodology helps to moderate Silver’s population counts…or else, we could just use his numbers as an expansion index.] Miami and Tech have the better academics, which does help, too. That said, FSU & UGA were two of the next 3:

          49.77 – FSU
          49.75 – North Carolina
          49.56 – Georgia

          Like

  54. zeek says:

    This Georgia-LSU game looks like 85%+ Georgia fans. I’m only seeing really tiny pockets of LSU fans in the lower bowl on TV.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Maybe it was just the noise while Georgia was dominating (until the Mattieu TD), but still this really feels like a Georgia home game.

      Like

  55. duffman says:

    Last day to see where things fall :

    LSU – playing #14 Georgia 10-2 : #1 computer
    Alabama – OFF : #2 computer
    Oklahoma State – plays #10 Oklahoma 9-2 : #3 computer
    Stanford – OFF : #4 computer
    Virginia Tech – plays #20 Clemson 9-3 : #10 computer
    Houston – Blown out by #24 Southern Mississippi 11-2 : #8 computer
    Boise State – plays 1-10 New Mexico : #9 computer
    Arkansas – OFF : #6 computer
    Oregon – Beat UCLA 6-7 by 18 points : #10 computer
    Oklahoma – plays #3 Oklahoma State 10-1 : #5 computer
    Kansas State – squeaks by 6-6 Iowa State : #6 computer
    South Carolina – OFF : #12 computer
    Michigan State – plays #15 Wisconsin 10-2 : #16 computer
    Georgia – plays #1 LSU : #14 computer

    cut off line for BCS

    Wisconsin – plays #13 Michigan State 10-2 : #19 computer
    Michigan – OFF : #15 computer
    Baylor – plays #22 Texas 7-4 : #13 computer
    TCU – trounced a 2-9 UNLV : #18 computer
    Nebraska – OFF : #20 computer
    Clemson – plays #5 Virginia Tech 11-1 : #21 computer
    Penn State – OFF : #23 computer
    Texas – plays #17 Baylor 8-3 : #17 computer
    West Virginia – beat USF 5-7 : #29 computer
    Southern Mississippi – trounced #6 Houston 12-1 : #29 computer
    Missouri – OFF : #22 computer

    On Deck :
    Cincinnati beat Uconn by 8 points, BYU at Hawaii, FSU, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech

    I still say the computer is biased and messed up!
    LSU #1
    Alabama #2
    Oklahoma State #3
    Stanford #4
    Oklahoma #5
    Arkansas #6
    Kansas State #6
    Houston #8
    Boise State #9
    Virginia Tech #10
    Oregon #10
    South Carolina #12
    Baylor #13
    Georgia #14
    Michigan #15
    Michigan State #16
    Texas #17
    TCU #18
    Wisconsin #19
    Nebraska #20
    Clemson #21
    Missouri #22
    Penn State #23
    West Virginia #29
    Southern Mississippi #29

    SEC #1, #2, #6, #12, #14 = 5 schools
    B1G #15, #16, #19, #20, #23 = 5 schools
    B12 #4, #5, #6, #13, #17, #22 = 6 schools

    Since all B12 playing today are high enough, the final BCS could contain 6 B12 and yet a B1G may not break the top 10! The #5 team in the B12 is better than all the B1G schools? I just can not buy that for a conference that lost Nebraska. On the flip side humans can see zero or 1 loss teams with bias, but the computer should not do the same. If Southern Mississippi was able to blow out Houston, a top team from a power conference would have pounded them into oblivion on a BCS bowl stage. A 2 loss Oregon at #10 in the computer still seems better than a no loss Houston at #8.

    The B12 schools were higher rated and numerous, even tho many had only played 11 games, and the ACC / B1G / PAC / SEC had already played 12! The B12 is just now playing their 12th game when the ACC / B1G / PAC / SEC are playing game #13. The computer had Houston at #8 and they were trounced by a Southern Mississippi (#29) team that lost to Marshall and UAB. The B1G and SEC schools that should have been above Houston all along are now fighting for a BCS slot and a better bowl. I am sorry but Houston, Boise State, and TCU should never be in the top 12 until the final week.

    I am flipping back between the UT vs BU and LSU vs UGA game. I can not help but think that 3 point loss to South Carolina, and the opener against Boise State is all that keeps Georgia from being undefeated. If Georgia was playing this kind of defense early in the season it would have been a 12-0 LSU vs a 12-0 UGA. If Georgia wins, and Oklahoma wins, could we see a Oklahoma vs Alabama MNC game?

    Like

  56. Richard says:

    With the CBS announcers harping on the ineptitude of the LSU offense (no first downs and something like 10 yards the whole first half), LSU may not make the title game if they lose, period. Man, Boise must really be kicking themselves.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I’m beginning to agree. I said earlier that Georgia needed a lot of scores, but Georgia’s the reason they’re not scoring.

      Georgia’s had some really big, wide open drops in the first half. They left a good 10-14 points on the table at least.

      LSU’s offense has been totally incompetent to this point. First SEC team since 2002 to not have a first down in the first half.

      That’s way more on their offense than Georgia’s defense.

      Like

  57. Robber Baron says:

    Will there be much outrage about the free points the refs gave LSU? They should have either called one of several blocks in the back on the return or at least seen that there was a fumble across the goal line that should have resulted in a touchback and possession to Georgia.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Probably not over the “fumble” (really a forward pass), as Mathieu was doing the commendable thing of giving the ball to the ref.

      Like

  58. zeek says:

    Actually, this Georgia result could hold Michigan and TCU out of the BCS. Michigan needs top 14 and TCU needs top 16, but if Baylor wins and Georgia keeps it close and doesn’t fall; then it’s hard to see how Michigan and TCU move up.

    Only other question: Is Houston going to fall that much? At this point, Houston has to drop big time unless LSU can roll up a big win in the 2nd half for Michigan and TCU to get where they want to go.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Bedlam may matter as well, though Brad Edwards doesn’t think OU will drop below Michigan even if they lose.

      TCU really needs Texas to mount a tremendous comback.

      I wonder how far up SMiss will go.

      Too bad ISU couldn’t pull off another upset today.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Well, now LSU’s defense has really stepped up and their offense is starting to run over Georgia’s defense.

        LSU up 28-10; that kind of margin may be enough for Georgia to fall below Michigan but we’ll have to see.

        Like

  59. Richard says:

    My wife thinks the LSU dance squad look like Las Vegas showgirls.

    Like

  60. GreatLakeState says:

    Looking good for Michigan. Houston who, despite their laughable schedule was given the benefit of the doubt all season, will surely fall out of the top twenty after getting smoked by #24 in the C-USA.
    An LSU blowout should drop Georgia a couple. If MSU wins, it’s a done deal, but I don’t want to have to count on that. The only thing that worries me is that Baylor score. Have to wait and see.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Houston given the benefit of the doubt all season? They were 8-0 or 9-0 and still only ranked about 15th in the country. In years past, TCU, BYU, Boise, and Utah were vaulted much higher much earlier in the season. Utah, for instance, was ranked #5 in early November last year for being undefeated, even though its two best wins were games against very mediocre Iowa State and Pitt teams. To me, Houston was treated with skepticism all year.

      Like

  61. Michael in Raleigh says:

    CBS and ESPN are soooo much better at covering college football than Fox is. Everything from the knowledge of the announcers to the availability of highlights to back stories… You would think Fox would put forth a more professional effort for its broadcast given the amount of cash it’s paying for the rights to it.

    Like

    • greg says:

      Fox barely covers college football, which is why their coverage is terrible. It will likely improve as their coverage rates go up starting next year. More Gus Johnson is always good.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        The Big Ten Network covers college football. FSN covers college football. Both do a respectable job, and both are under the Fox umbrella. All they need to do is use the best broadcast teams from cable and it would be a fine broadcast.

        Instead they spend as much time showing the bands as they do breaking down the game.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Evidently, the Fox production teams and FSN production teams are different (it may be hard for them to take a BTN production team).

          However, you’re right; it does make you wonder why Fox doesn’t just take one of their FSN production teams instead of using an obviously-NFL production team and putting them on college football.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        greg,

        I’ve got to disagree. Gus Johnson is horrible. I couldn’t watch the first 3 quarters because of him, and I had to watch the 4th on mute.

        Stop yelling already, Gus. Not every play is that exciting.

        Like

  62. Ross says:

    I seriously have wanted to mute the entire second half of Georgia-LSU. Their desire for an SEC rematch is just ridiculous.

    They already “awarded” a split title to LSU.

    Like

  63. zeek says:

    That pick 6 to me seals Georgia being ranked under Michigan in the next set of polls. This game is way too big a blowout for Georgia to not fall at least enough for that.

    Now the only question is what happens to the loser of Michigan State-Wisconsin relative to Michigan and TCU along with Houston’s fall and Baylor’s potential to go up.

    Like

    • frug says:

      The other possibility would be the loser of Bedlam staying in front of the Wolverines.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        That’s almost certain to occur (unless OU gets blown out, as the computers love the B12 this year). However, if UGa, the B10 title game loser, and Houston all drop below Michigan, it doesn’t matter what else happens even if Baylor goes above Michigan.

        Like

  64. Mack says:

    OK State is blowing out OK 24-0 at the half. If this continues and there is still an AL-LSU rematch that AL wins, while OK St blows out its opponent in the Fiesta bowl I predict that OK St will be #1 in the AP poll. Reason is a lot of AP voters that do not like the BCS will take an acceptable alternative to a rematch split. LSU will make this moot by winning the rematch and being the only undefeated team.
    :
    MSU is up 29-21 and looks like a different team in the second quarter. VT still has trouble with Clemson, now 10-10.

    S.MS is not going to jump TCU. No good wins and 2 bad loses. TCU is the only potential BCS buster if it makes it to the top 16. Houston will fall big time, as will OK if the 2ed half looks like the first half. Baylor will move up with its 24 point win over TX. The MSU/WI winner and GA should both fall below 16. So MI is in with TCU still a maybe. If TCU does not get in, the last spot options are VT (with a CCG loss), KS St, and Boise St.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      That sums it up pretty well.

      I really hope that if Ok. State wins, they go to the national title game. If they beat LSU, what’s Alabama’s argument then? Oklahoma State would have a conference championship, which Alabama would not have, and victories over top 25 teams OU, Baylor, K-State, Missouri, and LSU, a team which Alabama failed to defeat at home. An Ok. State victory over LSU would mean an undisputed national championship. An Alabama victory over LSU, paired with an Oklahoma State victory over #4 Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl, would NOT be an undisputed championship, as far as I’m concerned.

      Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      And as well as Oklahoma State is playing against OU, I would hope some coaches and Harris poll voters would reconsider their votes. Alabama is a very, very good team, but Oklahoma State has proven itself against better competition.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        I’ve been saying I thought Alabama would clearly stay above OSU, but after this, I’m not so sure.

        Oklahoma State is absolutely annihilating Oklahoma right now.

        That’d make 5 wins over ranked squads; I thought they’d have to win a gigantic blowout to get consideration above Alabama, and that looks like it’s happening.

        Like

  65. Richard says:

    Frank:

    Consensus seems to be that the Fiesta would take Stanford over Michigan. If OK State goes to national title game and Baylor (with RGIII) qualifies, they may take them over Michigan. If Stanford remains in the top 4, they get the final BCS spot over Michigan.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I think it’s going to be this:

      NCG: LSU vs. Ok. State
      Rose: Michigan State/Wisconsin winner vs. Oregon
      Fiesta: Stanford vs. Michigan
      Sugar: Alabama vs. West Virginia
      Orange: Clemson vs. TCU

      Highly-ranked but left out: Michigan State/Wisconsin loser, K-State, Arkansas, South Carolina, Boise State.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Is Michigan going to get into the Top 14 though?

        Clemson moving up? Baylor moving up?

        Who’s moving down: Oklahoma and Georgia for sure. But are we certain that Michigan State falls below Michigan now? Maybe they do, but that was an extremely close loss to Wisconsin. What about Houston, I think they fall out of the Top 14 as well, but I’m not too sure about that.

        Michigan could be #13 or #14 or #15 tomorrow depending on how all these questions are answered.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Houston is moving down, too. I can’t see them finishing in the top 14. I mean, good grief. They got smoked at home by Southern Miss with the opportunity to go to the BCS on the line. They’re top 20, not top 15.

          I’m pretty certain Michigan State falls below Michigan just because that’s how ridiculous voters are. UM was beat by MSU fair and square. MSU has more losses, sure, but that’s only because MSU earned a spot in a game UM didn’t earn. But again, voters overlook those things.

          Like

          • jj says:

            F Michigan. Seriously.
            If MSU and UM had flipped seasons, MSU would be out of the top 25.
            I don’t even want to be talkin about those asshats but they’re all calling me.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          3 loss Clemson jumps 2 loss Michigan? The ACC doesn’t get the love by the computers that the B12 does. OU and VTech could also drop below Michigan.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            That’s a fair analysis, I’m just saying that there’s a lot of questions to be answered, and the margin of error is extremely tight for both Michigan and TCU. They’re both looking like they’ll reach the #14 and #16 respectively, but who can say for certain right now…

            Like

  66. Mack says:

    TCU, Alabama and Stanford look like locks. That just leaves one spot. I expect Michigan to get this for the Sugar if Alabama is #2, but expect Fiesta bowl to select B12 team if Oklahoma State somehow manages to pass Alabama for #2. Since VT has not played anyone, they could fall out of top 14 after being blown out by Clemson for the second time 38-10. What is certain is the Rose Bowl will be OR vs. WI.
    :
    I thought MSU #82 would be the goat letting that TD pass slip through his hands, but #9 took it away from him at the end of the game by running into the punter. The B10 CCG was by far the best CCG this year.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      TCU is nowhere near a lock, as they have to get to #16 in the BCS standings first. If a non-AQ team doesn’t make the BCS, Michigan gets it for sure so long as they get to #14.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      How sure are we?

      Clemson might move above TCU, and if Houston, Oklahoma, and Georgia fall below TCU, they rise to #16. Still, that’s a tightrope and everything has to go right.

      My guess is we get Michigan at #14 and TCU at #16 tomorrow, but that’s zero margin of error for both teams. A lot of interesting stuff at play tomorrow night.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Though Michigan probably has more room for error. The more teams that drop below Michigan yet stay above TCU, the better for Michigan.

        Like

    • cutter says:

      Mack: I wouldn’t be so sure about the Fiesta Bowl selecting a Big 12 team if Oklahoma State goes to the national championship game. The only likely choice would be Kansas State (10-2), but how well do KSU fans travel and which matchup is easier to promote? I suspect they’d go Michigan-Stanford as their optimal choice.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Baylor could qualify for the BCS, and RG3 may make them attractive enough. The Fiesta could possibly match up the Heisman winner and runner-up.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          I don’t think the Fiesta Bowl can pick two private schools with relatively small fanbases if it has a viable alternative. It’s one thing to pick Stanford if paired with Michigan, or at least Kansas State or Boise State, who have a track record of traveling well, but it’s quite another to pair Stanford with Baylor.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            For that matter, West Virginia, as an incoming Big 12 member, may actually prove to be attractive to the Fiesta.

            The whole thing is interesting, though. After championship Saturday for the past several years, it’s been pretty cut-and-dry who’s going to the championship game and the BCS bowls. This is the most unclear since at least ’07, when LSU vaulted from No. 7 to No. 2.

            Like

      • Mack says:

        Its not about the better matchup for this year, but about retaining the B12 tie to the Fiesta bowl. If the Fiesta passes on 1 or 2 eligible B12 teams the B12 will go elsewhere when the current contract expires. Kansas State travels well enough, but they are not Michigan. If the Fiesta Bowl wants to get rid of its B12 tie, I am sure Michigan will be chosen over the B12 teams and that the B12 will explore ties with the Orange, Sugar, and Cotton (if promoted in the next BCS agreement) Bowls. Miami is just slightly further than Phoenix from B12 schools and air faires to Florida are usually cheaper.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          That’s a good point re: political aspects. Especially with Delany’s proposal on the table to blow up the BCS.

          Maintaining the Big 12 tie versus losing it to the Cotton Bowl or Sugar Bowl has to be extremely high on the Fiesta Bowl’s priority list. Especially given their scandals over the past 10 months.

          Like

  67. Andy says:

    I’m not sure TCU is a lock. They have to jump from #18 to #16 to qualify. Clemson will likely jump them. That means they would need to jump 3 teams. Who would those be? Georgia, Michigan State, Oklahoma? Not sure if those teams will drop that far.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Houston is the other team dropping; not sure how far they drop but I think it’s somewhere between 15 and 18; that might or might not be good enough for TCU to jump them.

      This is one of the crazier seasons with these at the margin finishes for Michigan and TCU in the votes…

      Like

  68. jj says:

    It’s not easy, being green.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      That was the best game of the weekend for sure. Really tough ending for Michigan State though, especially knowing the kind of chance they had to win if that running into the kicker didn’t happen…

      Like

      • jj says:

        that seems to be the story of our collective lives.

        oh well. shit happens.

        i’d like to take my dad to the rose bowl sometime, it’s like my personal moby dick or something. I madly seek it, but it eludes me in heartbreaking fashion.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      I believe you got karate chopped by Miss Piggy.

      Like

  69. Peter says:

    The Wisconsin-Michigan State game is going to be considered one of the most epic in B1G history.

    Like

  70. bullet says:

    Did MIchigan send out Big 10 officials everywhere? Some really bad officiating all day. LSU gets the free TD and free late hits all day. MSU makes that great catch touching the toe to keep the drive that gets ruled out of bounds. Can’t complain about the running into the kicker except that’s a horrible end to the game.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      That MSU catch was a terrific play, but he was out of bounds. Even if you think the toe was inbounds, he juggled the ball when he was lying on the ground out of bounds, so he didn’t have full possession of the ball until he was out of bounds.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Also, a Wisconsin loss would have helped Michigan’s BCS chances more.

        Like

      • Peter says:

        Yeah, good catch, but no way completed in the field of play.

        The running into the kicker is 5 yards per the rulebook. I don’t understand the call but Dantonio owned it.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          His toe was clearly down in bounds. When he had possession was debateable, but it looked like he had it to me when his toe was down. But then I only saw that replay once.

          Like

          • greg says:

            bullet, it was 100% not a catch. His toe was maybe momentarily in bounds, but the rest of his foot was out of bounds. I am not aware that the rule has been changed from one foot to one toe. Also, he bobbled the ball and didn’t complete the football play.

            That said, it was an amazing attempt by Kevin Martin, and he also had the great punt return called back by the (correct) running into the punter penalty. That guy makes plays, and as an Iowa fan I’m glad he is graduating.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’ve seen lots of toe dragging being called a catch. His toe was clearly down in bounds first BEFORE the rest of his foot was down on the white line. As for bobbling, I only looked at it the replay once so I may have missed that.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            He had it when his toe touched, but it came completely out when he hit the ground before he grabbed it again.

            Like

  71. frug says:

    Breakdown of the math of the BCS race:

    http://www.rollbamaroll.com/2011/12/1/2601897/bcs-calculations

    Short version, if Oklahoma St moves to number 2 in at least 5 of the computers they will need to steal about 25% of the second place votes from Alabama in order to make the title game.

    (And I should add that the author of this article just made a post predicting that OSU will pass Alabama.)

    Like

    • frug says:

      Also note that this assumes that Oklahoma St finishes no lower than #3 in either poll, which means (if they want to) west coast and south eastern voters could screw with the results.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I’m pretty sure OSU is #2 in all the computer polls. But the coaches had Alabama a unanimous #2. That’s a lot of votes.

      Like

  72. Peter says:

    Virginia Tech better drop below all of the B1G teams. No.5 in the country, AMIRITE BCS?

    Like

  73. frug says:

    By the way, this is Stanford’s nightmare scenario. If Oklahoma St moves to #2 and Alabama falls to three, Stanford would not be guaranteed a BCS bid. While it is unlikely they would be left out, there is decent chance the Fiesta Bowl could go Michigan vs. K-State/Boise St. which would leave them out in the cold.

    Like

    • Andy says:

      I don’t understand. Please explain.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        If you read the rules, #4 is guaranteed a BCS spot only if #3 isn’t guaranteed a BCS spot, but #3 (‘Bama) will be guaranteed a BCS spot.

        Like

      • frug says:

        From the always accurate Wikipedia:

        The third-ranked team will receive an automatic berth [to a BCS bowl] if it has not already received one, if it is a member of a BCS conference, and provided that its conference has not already earned two automatic berths, if there is room.

        If the third-ranked team did not require a berth using the previous provision, then the fourth-ranked team will receive an automatic berth if it has not already received one, if it is a member of a BCS conference, and provided that its conference has not already earned two automatic berths, if there is room.

        If Alabama is at number 3 Stanford will not be guaranteed bid.

        Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        frug is referring to the “K-State rule,” which was put into place after the 1998 season. K-State had been undefeated and lost in OT in the Big 12 title game. They finished the season 3rd or 4th in the BCS standings, but were shut out of the BCS and fell all the way to the Alamo Bowl, which was reserved for something like the third or fourth pick out of the Big 12. Anyway, the rule states that a team which finishes #3 or #4 in the BCS standings without winning its conference is guaranteed an at-large spot in a BCS bowl. (It’s to avoid another K-State situation.) BUT, that rule only has to be fulfilled for one team, not two teams. Therefore, if Alabama, which did not win its conference, finishes #3, then Alabama’s spot in the Sugar Bowl would fulfill the K-State rule and Stanford technically could get shut out of the BCS.

        As frug said, it’s highly unlikely that they’d be left out, but it’s possible. The at-large spots are most likely going to be Alabama, TCU, Stanford, and Michigan. Boise State, K-State, and Baylor are possibilities. Virginia Tech is a huge long shot.

        Like

    • zeek says:

      I don’t understand, how would they be left out? Isn’t Top 4 automatic unless 3 from same conference?

      Like

    • Richard says:

      You learn new obscure BCS rules every days. Michigan/Baylor is more likely that the Fiesta taking KSU (though I suppose Boise is a possibility). Would be really interesting to see what the Fiesta does if OK State goes to the championship game. Which 2 of Michigan/Stanford/Boise/Baylor?

      Like

      • frug says:

        Well the Fiesta Bowl is always the toughest to predict sense they love quirky matchups (remember TCU/BSU?) but under that scenario Michigan (if in the top 14) is pretty much guaranteed a spot unless the Fiesta Bowl wants to market the game as Luck vs. RGIII (and given the Fiesta Bowls history that is quite possible).

        If they are looking for a more conventional matchup, Michigan vs. Stanford would probably draw the most eyeballs, but I could them taking a Big XII team to build up goodwill with the conference in an effort to hold off the Cotton Bowl when the BCS contracts expire. (FWIW, I think KSU is viable since their fanbase is larger than Baylor’s)

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Yeah, what allows the Fiesta to more look at matchups instead of travelling fanbases than other bowls is that they evidently get a fair amount of neutral locals to go to their game, so they tend to look more at how much pizzazz a matchup generates than other bowls.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            That matchup actually had as much to do with traveling as it did anything else.

            That year, 2009, the five BCS pairings went this way:

            Alabama and Texas went to the NCG as No. 1 and No. 2. The Rose took Big Ten champ Ohio State and Pac-10 champ Oregon. The Orange took ACC champ Georgia Tech. The Sugar Bowl replaced SEC champ Alabama with Florida (i.e., at-large number 1). The Fiesta Bowl could not take a Big 12 team to replace Texas because the next-highest ranked B12 team was Oklahoma State at No. 19. It opted for Boise State (at-large No. 2) instead of Iowa (at-large No. 3), which was taken by the Orange. The Fiesta then chose TCU (at-large No. 4) over Cincinnati (Sugar) by default because TCU was the highest-ranked non-AQ team.

            Looking back at the standings, the only thing the Fiesta did outlandish was take Boise over Iowa. There really weren’t any viable alternatives that year. The No. 11 team that year was 9-3 Va. Tech. No. 12 was LSU, who was ineligible for the BCS since the SEC already had two teams in the BCS. No. 13 was Penn State, which was ineligible for the same reason. No. 14 was fellow non-AQ BYU. (It was a given that TCU was going to the Fiesta since TCU was more attractive than Cincy but less attractive than the other choices.)

            My point is that the Fiesta Bowl wasn’t really being as bold as many perceive it to have been in choosing Boise. All it did was choose a team from its own time zone with a great record and a track record of fans who traveled well.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I’d say that Iowa travels just as well and probably would have brought more eyeballs on TV.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            It was interesting how few of the SEC championship game tickets went to the schools. UGA and LSU got 16,000 each.

            Like

    • frug says:

      I’ll take a chance to pat myself on the back as I have been harping about this rule over on Jon Wilner’s website every time he mentioned that Stanford would be guaranteed a bid if they finished number 4 (and catching heat from Stanford fans for doing so). Never actually thought it would come into play, but it bugged me didn’t mention it.

      Like

  74. zeek says:

    Well, the Big 12’s dream scenario of 4 BCS squads is on the table. For sure, they’ll get 2 in Oklahoma State and WVU. TCU seems like it’s on the edge for #16 or #17, and if Oklahoma State ends up at #2 overall, they could get a 4th in a Fiesta Bowl replacement.

    Either way, that’d be a pretty ridiculous feat for them to accomplish.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Most ridiculous would be if that happens during a period of the conference’s history where internal turmoil was on public display. The conference almost collapsed, twice within 18 months. In the midst of great dysfunction and the loss of four members, one of which is among the all-time greats in the sport, the league is as strong as it’s ever been on the field.

      Like

  75. Brian says:

    Prediction:

    1 LSU
    2 OkSU
    3 AL
    4 Stanford
    5 Arkansas
    6 Boise
    7 Oregon
    8 KSU
    9 SC
    10 WI
    11 GA
    12 VT
    13 MI
    14 Baylor
    15 OU
    16 MSU
    17 Clemson
    18 TCU

    NCG – LSU vs OkSU
    Rose – WI vs OR
    Fiesta – KSU vs Stanford
    Sugar – AL vs MI
    Orange – Clemson vs WV

    Like

    • Richard says:

      I have to say that the idea of Alabama/Michigan back-to-back would be pretty cool (assuming that UM doesn’t get blown out, which, granted, is a fairly high probability).

      However, I’m cheering more for a positive B10 bowl record, and pretty much any other team would be easier than the Tide.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Alabama-Michigan this year would probably end up almost as disastrous as Alabama-Michigan State last year.

        Michigan just doesn’t seem ready for that kind of test, since Alabama is a legit top 3 team, whereas Michigan is reasonably a 10-15 kind of team. Going up against a national championship worthy squad is going to be a really rough challenge for Michigan.

        Alabama was disinterested last time against Utah, but I think they’d want to take it out on Michigan like last year against Michigan State. I just don’t see how that particular game ends well…

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I agree. Unless you’re a Spartan fan, in which case the game might turn out great. Nothing will erase their pain at being left out of the BCS for MI after losing the CCG, but MI taking the same sort of beating they took from AL last year will help salve the wounds.

          Of course MSU needs to actually win the Outback Bowl. They should get a top 10 SC team. That would get them a lot more respect nationally than beating WI would have.

          Like

    • Eric says:

      Generally agree with you, but in this scenario, Fiesta Bowl basically gets first 2 picks and Michigan would be there.

      The Sugar would actually go first picking a replacement for LSU and that would be Alabama. The Fiesta would then pick a replacement for Oklahoma State and then pick their at large spot. No way they slide over Michigan for both if the Wolverines are eligible.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I considered that for a while. I’m pretty sure they’ll take a B12 replacement team since they have multiple choices and they need to keep the conference happy. The tradeoff with Stanford is they get #4, Andrew Luck and a west coast team that should travel pretty well to a close. MI is a much lower ranked team but a bigger name. I’m not sure which way they’ll go. The Sugar will definitely lobby the Fiesta to take Stanford instead, and they might persuade Jerry Jones to help them if he sees it as good build up for next year’s game.

        It would definitely be better for MI (and the B10) for MI to go to the Fiesta and that’s what I’d prefer. Maybe I overcompensated in an attempt to be unbiased.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          It’s a perfectly valid look at their reasoning that I didn’t see. I don’t think there is a chance they take Stanford over Michigan, but it’s not impossible.

          Like

        • SideshowBob says:

          I don’t see the Fiesta taking Kansas St or Baylor in that scenario over a Stanford/Michigan matchup. Maybe if Oklahoma is available to be picked, but Michigan is such a bigger draw over the other Big 12 options that I think the Fiesta would be thrilled to go with a Rose bowl in the desert scenario.

          Like

          • Mack says:

            No longer an issue since NCG will be the LSU:Alabama rematch. Now if only the Rose Bowl invites Stanford against Oregon while the Sugar Bowl invites Wisconsin and Michigan State for a best of 3 rubber match we can really have rematch madness. The Orange Bowl could then invite VT to face Clemson to see if the third time is really the charm. That will only leave WVU to face Oklahoma St in the Fiesta. More likely is Stanford facing Oklahoma State in the Fiesta bowl with Michigan in the Sugar Bowl against WVU or at large (KS St, VT, Boise State or TCU which must be selected if #16 or higher in final BCS; otherwise, not eligible).
            :
            Now all that needs to be determined is what happens if LSU loses. Regardless of what Alabama proclaims will most college football fans consider the crown legitimate?

            Like

    • Brian says:

      http://bcsguru.blogspot.com/2011/12/no-rematch.html

      Projected BCS from the BCS Guru:

      1. LSU, 2. Oklahoma State, 3. Alabama, 4. Stanford, 5. Oregon, 6. Boise State, 7. Arkansas, 8. Kansas State, 9. South Carolina, 10. Wisconsin, 11. Baylor, 12. Virginia Tech, 13. Michigan, 14. Houston, 15. Oklahoma, 16. Michigan State, 17. Clemson, 18. TCU, 19. Georgia, 20. Nebraska.

      We have 5-7 reversed.

      The big differences are:
      UGA (me 11, him 19)
      Baylor (me 14, him 11)
      UH (me N/A, him 14)

      He’s probably closer, but I must have done pretty well for 5 minutes of thought and glancing at the standings.

      Like

  76. frug says:

    According to BCS Guru’s projections (and he really is the best at this stuff) OSU will narrowly slide past Alabama, Michigan will move into the top 14 and TCU be left out of the top 16.

    Like

      • Brian says:

        “CBS’s shameless and disingenuous cheerleading for Alabama ultimately will prove to have done more harm to the Tide than help. If CBS had done nothing, it’s likely it wouldn’t have caused enough voters to have such a revulsion to decline an LSU-Alabama rematch. Whereas Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson definitely made the difference in Florida’s favor in 2006, the opposite must be said in this case.”

        One can only hope this is true and that it changes CBS’s future coverage.

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        • Eric says:

          I agree. I eventually just left the game because I couldn’t stand it (combined with not liking the constant BCS criticism, that’s not what I watch games for).

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    • Richard says:

      Does he have a website? Well, that would pretty much guarantee Michigan a BCS slot. I just can’t see both Boise and Baylor beating out UM for a BCS slot. Fiesta vs. Stanford/Baylor/Boise would be much more favorable than Sugar vs. ‘Bama.

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  77. frug says:

    Big news, Sagarin has released his rankings and Alabama remained ahead of Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St. will need to top Alabama in each of the remaining rankings (and Alabama could stay ahead in Wolfe rankings) in order to move to number 2 without major help from the writers. (and that assumes no west coast or southeastern voters put Stanford at #3)

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  78. Andy says:

    CBS has the computer rankings up. They’re still using last weeks vote totals though.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/rankings/bcs

    OSU is gaining ground.

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    • frug says:

      Damn it.

      Alabama is ahead in two of the computers. OSU will need something like 38% of human voters now. Possible but unlikely.

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    • Brian says:

      OkSU got #2 in 4 of 6 computers. Dropping the high and low ranks means OkSU got 2.25 and AL 2.75. To get to BCS #2, they’ll need 37.5% of the voters to put them at #2 and the rest at #3. So for safety, they need 40% of the voters. That seems doable with their big win and VT getting whipped. I don’t think many voters will keep Stanford ahead of them, and LSU’s first half struggles may have some people rethinking how great the SEC is.

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