Picture Me Rollin’ in a College Football Playoff: Is it a Hologram or is it Real?

Posted: April 24, 2012 in Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
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A few years ago in writing one of my myriad college football postseason proposals, I noted that while the general public supported a college football playoff as an abstract concept, the problem was that no one could agree upon what the playoff should look like.  With the countless proposals that I’ve seen in the comments to this blog and online elsewhere (along with fierce debates as to what would be best), that has certainly proven to be the case.

However, as the powers that be of the college football world gather around at the BCS meetings in Hollywood, Florida starting Wednesday to discuss a college football playoff, it seems that the top people following the business of college sports (Teddy Greenstein from the Chicago Tribune, Brett McMurphy from CBS Sports, Pete Thamel from the New York Times, Ralph Russo of the Associated Press and Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com) have come to a general belief that there will be a 4-team playoff with the semifinals hosted at neutral sites (which could be either current bowls or bid out to other venues).  The most progressive proposal of having semifinal games being played at on-campus sites from the Big Ten and Jim Delany (who also proposed the supposedly reactionary proposal of the 4 Teams Plus format that would have sent the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs to the Rose Bowl no matter what) seems to be dead.  A proposal that only conference champs would be included in the playoff also seems to be on life support.  Instead, we’ll likely see some type of format that will take the 3 highest ranked conference champions and then the next highest ranked team as a wild card (who could be a conference champ, non-champ or independent).

Now, pretty much all of the reporters and their BCS sources caveat their statements that different proposals are still in play, whether it’s the unseeded plus-one (where the bowls are played with traditional tie-ins and then the national championship matchup is decided thereafter) or the 4 Teams Plus.  As Brett McMurphy noted, the unseeded plus one would actually be the format that would cause the least amount of consternation for the commissioners themselves, yet the public has been conditioned so heavily with the expectation that there will be a 4-team playoff that anything less than that is going to receive massive blowback.  In previous years, the commissioners might not have cared, but the atmosphere is such that they want to get a system into place that will have enough public support that discussions about the postseason format can legitimately be avoided for the next decade plus.

The critical question for me (and likely for the powers that be) continues to be revenue… or more importantly, how the college football playoff revenue is split.  As I’ve stated several times before, the fact that a playoff system might garner two or three times as much TV money as the current BCS system is meaningless unless we have an understanding as to how such revenue is distributed.   Let’s put it this way: the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, Big 12, ACC and Notre Dame aren’t giving up the 90/10 split in postseason revenue that they have today in order for the non-power conferences to receive all of the financial upside of a playoff.  The challenge is finding a system that provides guaranteed income advantages to the power conferences that makes contractual sense and without sounding off blatant antitrust alarm bells (even if the legal reality is the chances of the power conferences losing an antitrust case are remote).

I place the emphasis on guaranteed income because university presidents, even ones in conferences that have had a lot of on-the-field success such as the SEC, would rather guarantee themselves a baseline level of income in down years as opposed to shooting the moon in years where they win the national championship.  As a result, don’t expect there to be super financial rewards (if any) for conferences that make the playoff compared to what a league would receive would receive for making the Rose Bowl or other BCS (or whatever the equivalent will be) bowls.  Highly variable pay based upon on-the-field performance of individual teams (or whether the placekicker hits a field goal in overtime) simply isn’t how university presidents roll, folks.

That issue of how to split revenue is why I don’t believe we can completely take an unseeded plus-one or a variant of the 4 Team Plus format off the table, even if neither would make much of the general public very happy.  For instance, think of a scenario where the 4 Team Plus format was altered where it wasn’t just the Big Ten and Pac-12 that were guaranteed Rose Bowl access.  On top of the Rose Bowl, the SEC, ACC and Big 12 champs could have “contractual tie-in” spots (since auto-qualifier status is technically being eliminated) in the other quasi-semifinals (let’s say that they’re rotated among the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and Cotton Bowls) along with a wild card that is the next highest ranked team other than those champs.  Would SEC commissioner Mike Slive still have the same negative reaction in that scenario?  How about the ACC and Big 12?  I don’t think this scenario would end up happening, but also don’t believe it’s that crazy if you’re thinking like the commissioner of one of the power conferences.

To be clear and reiterate what I’ve said previously, what I’d personally like to see is the “BCS Final Four” proposal that I wrote about nearly a year and a half ago, which is pretty similar to the 4-team playoff with neutral semifinal sites proposal on the table.  The main difference that I proposed then was that the semifinals would be rotated among the BCS bowl venues but would be separate from the BCS bowls themselves.  The semifinal sites in any given year would then get preferences to host the conferences that they have contractual tie-ins with if they are in the top 4.  So, in the years where Pasadena is a semifinal site, the Rose Bowl (the venue, NOT the game itself) would get assigned a semifinal matchup with a Big Ten and/or Pac-12 team if applicable.  We could even make Pasadena a permanent semifinal site where it could host both a semifinal and the Rose Bowl annually.  This as a way to at least throw something towards the Big Ten/Pac-12/Rose Bowl triumverate that preserves their relationship but doesn’t take away a permanent Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup in the Rose Bowl (the game) itself while still allowing top 4 Big Ten and Pac-12 teams regular trips to Pasadena for semifinal games.

As someone whose high school and college years spanned the Clinton era in the 1990s, I have fantastic memories of listening to Tupac Shakur and watching the old traditional Big Ten/Pac-12 Rose Bowl when it was the biggest college football game of the year, but I can understand if many people don’t want either of them to come back onstage in 2012.  I have a melancholy feeling about all of this since I’ve pushed for a playoff for such a long time on this blog, yet I also don’t want to see the Rose Bowl unalterably become a consolation game.  It’s the price of progress in college football.

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

(Image from Freshness)

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Comments
  1. wmtiger says:

    Go Wolverines!

    Like

  2. GreatLakeState says:

    MgoBlue!

    Like

  3. greg says:

    Hawkeyes.

    Like

  4. GreatLakeState says:

    How can the BCS Bowls be considered neutral sites for a Big Ten team? Just a continuation of the SEC having home field advantage.

    Like

    • @GreatLakeState – There’s certainly the possibility that the semifinals and a very strong possibility that the national title game could be played in places that aren’t current BCS bowl sites such as Indianapolis. The revenue maximizing model would to put up all of those games for open bidding by different locales.

      Like

    • Kevin says:

      I agree. The whole thing kinda stinks. At least most of the 4 would be conference champions which eliminates most but not all of the ranking issues with the current system.

      I would also prefer to see the tourism dollars spread around the country instead of the south and west.

      Like

    • frug says:

      http://espn.go.com/ncf/notebook/_/page/120424bcsissues/examining-bcs-issues

      A four-team setup would create two semifinals, which might take place within the current bowl structure, but most likely will not. The semis could take place at on-campus sites belonging to the higher seeds, a plan Delany advocates, or at neutral sites like Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and Detroit’s Ford Field. The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis? Beats facing LSU in NOLA.

      “Yes, has to be,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith recently told ESPN.com. “If you go neutral sites, you’ve got to have one in the Midwest. You’ve just got to.

      [Emphasis mine]

      Looks like the Big 10 (or at least Ohio St.) has already taken this into consideration.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’m sure the SEC will find a way to whine and cry their way out of having to cross the Mason-Dixon line for a semifinal. Heaven forbid their fans should ever have to travel long distances multiple times.

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        • Brian #2 says:

          It has nothing to do with SEC fans “whining and crying”, and everything to do with the fact that people generally do not want to travel to the cold, snowy Midwest in the middle of winter. Same reason why Super Bowls are typically held in the South and West.

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          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            #2 – that’s also the same reason that B1G fans travel so well to exotic locals such as Pasadena, New Orleans, Texas and Florida. People that I know who live in the Midwest don’t like cold weather either. Bowl games are a great excuse for B1G fans to get out of the cold and out of the house for a week.

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          • Brian says:

            Brian #2,

            It has nothing to do with SEC fans “whining and crying”, and everything to do with the fact that people generally do not want to travel to the cold, snowy Midwest in the middle of winter. Same reason why Super Bowls are typically held in the South and West.

            Actually it does.

            http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-big-ten-playoff-plan-fading-fast-at-bcs-meetings-20120425,0,4588049.story

            “A source said as much Wednesday morning, and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley just made brief comments to that effect, saying “there’s too much at stake” to play the semifinal games on the road.”

            UF hasn’t voluntarily left the state of FL in 20 years, and as you can see he doesn’t want a road game. Apparently it’s not a problem to force road games on everyone else, but heaven forbid it happens to them.

            Fans don’t need to travel for the semis if they don’t want, the locals will sell them out. Semis aren’t bowls games. They don’t need people to stay for a week and spend millions in town.

            Super Bowls are held in warm weather sites because the tickets are for corporate types who don’t really care about the game and because the media will complain if they can’t play lots of golf. The teams don’t get huge ticket allocations, and the fans are not a concern of the NFL. They are much more concerned about TV.

            It not like Dallas was a bastion of warmth, and NYC should be ice cold. Detroit and Indianapolis are also not warm.

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          • Brian says:

            Alan from Baton Rouge,

            #2 – that’s also the same reason that B1G fans travel so well to exotic locals such as Pasadena, New Orleans, Texas and Florida. People that I know who live in the Midwest don’t like cold weather either. Bowl games are a great excuse for B1G fans to get out of the cold and out of the house for a week.

            Tons of people vacation in cold weather places, too (NYC, CO/Utah for skiing, etc). B10 fans travel for bowls because they have to, and they are already on vacation from work. There is the huge bonus of the Rose Bowl being the greatest sporting event experience in America and the tremendous tradition associated with it. Escaping the weather is a plus, but it isn’t that cold by Xmas for much of the midwest. Don’t SEC fans travel to bowls outside of the south despite not needing to escape the weather?

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – Prior to ESPN creating bowl games for programming purposes, bowl games were established by local communities in order to spur tourism in a typical down season. I would submit that if the local Chambers of Commerce in many Midwest and Northern cities thought that local tourism would be boosted by a bowl, they would apply to the NCAA for a bowl game. There’s probably a reason that they largely haven’t. I’m assuming that studies have been conducted stating that its not worth the effort to stage a bowl game in Chicago, or Minneapolis, or Indianapolis, or Green Bay, or Cleveland. Bowls have been certified and have failed in Toronto, Atlantic City NJ, East Rutherford NJ, Dayton OH, Toledo OH, Cleveland OH, Pontiac MI, and NYC. Currently, the only bowls north of the Mason-Dixon line are the Pinstripe Bowl (NYC), the PizzaPizza Bowl (Detroit), and the Humanitarian Bowl (Boise). None of those bowls are big money bowls or are highly attended. I think its largely because of the weather. You may not, but when Shreveport’s bowl pays out more than Detroit’s, I think my assumption is more reasonable.

            I don’t know if you have ever attended the Outback, Citrus or CapOne Bowls, but I have. Based on my observations and conversations with Iowa, Penn State, and Wisconsin fans, the weather is a big reason they love to travel to bowls.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            You can’t separate the game from the weather. The northern games have no tradition and are mostly bottom tier bowls. Regardless of weather, they aren’t attractive events. You call them low money, but the Pinstripe pays $2M, or 10th most for a non-BCS bowl. It takes time to build an event though, and bringing B12 teams to NYC doesn’t help.

            I’m not saying the weather isn’t a factor, I’m just saying it isn’t the only factor.

            I don’t know if you have ever attended the Outback, Citrus or CapOne Bowls, but I have. Based on my observations and conversations with Iowa, Penn State, and Wisconsin fans, the weather is a big reason they love to travel to bowls.

            I don’t make bowl trips, but I do talk to people that do. Weather is a factor, but a top bowl game is a bigger thing. If you moved the Pizza Pizza Bowl to Miami, it wouldn’t suddenly draw 30k B10 fans.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        Oh, and based on your link, it’s interesting to see the major issues each conference blogger took on:

        B10 – getting some true neutral sites for northern teams
        P12 – preserving the Rose Bowl
        ACC – champs only
        B12 – restoring the CCG (talking about doing it with just 10, but I don’t see that getting approved)
        BE – the loss of AQ status and what that means for the BE (Fewer major bowls? No Boise?)
        SEC – screw champs, we have the highest payrolls and should get all the playoff slots

        Like

  5. Denogginizer says:

    Go B1G Red

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Note the end, where he says the presidents are collegial and a split, like we had at the beginning of the bowl coalition, isn’t likely to occur.

      Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Actually there can be a more ominous interpretation of:

        “I don’t see anything changing.”

        As in no actual playoff will be agreed to.

        Am hoping (and expecting that ultimately) your interpretation is correct, but maybe things behind the scenes have regressed recently.

        Since Delany has already proposed a 4-team playoff, regardless of what is said or done in the interim, anything short of that would be viewed by the public as a failure, be a huge PR disaster, and most of the blame would be assigned by the public to the Rose Bowl, P12, and most of all the B1G. Perception will be that either he backtracked or never meant it and put us through a long charade for greedy purposes. His hand is far more limited than last time, so ultimately a compromise will probably be reached.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Article mentions the presidential oversight committee. There are a lot of traditional powers on it-USC, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Texas, Florida and Louisville are the AQ conference representatives.

      http://www.bcsfootball.org/news/story?id=4809846

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Screw Dodds. I hope the B10 does take its ball and go home.

      Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        I hope the B10 does take its ball and go home.

        So do I. Since things have gone too far now to revert to the old nonsense that you wish for, the most likely result of this would be the rest of the conferences forming a 6-team playoff of say the top 4 conf champs and 2 wildcards. When the B1G and P12 eventually have to surrender to fan/coaches/AD/Prez pressures, that will expand to an 8 team playoff. Plug n play, LOL.

        It won’t get that far. Dodds often talks in public for strategic reasons. We’ll ultimately get a 4 team playoff in some form or other, with compromises on both sides. However I would not be shocked if nothing good comes out of this week’s meetings, and the real solution is formulated when the presidents hold conference meetings next month.

        Ya know, I’d be fine with bending to the Rose Bowl if it produces something like they automatically get to host a semi-final whenever a P12 or B1G team makes the playoff 4 (and B1G-P12 all the other times) or just when both make the playoff 4, or always bid out the semi-finals and make the Rose Bowl the permanent title game site. Lots of ways to slice this up, depending on who really wants what.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          So do I. Since things have gone too far now to revert to the old nonsense that you wish for,

          Yes, the entire history of CFB is nonsense. As opposed to these brilliant playoff systems that let the worst team that gets in win the trophy on a regular basis because they were hot at the start of the playoff. That makes much more sense.

          the most likely result of this would be the rest of the conferences forming a 6-team playoff of say the top 4 conf champs and 2 wildcards.

          No, it wouldn’t. They’d stick at 4 with a 3/1 split and just all get more access with the B10 not there. The presidents don’t want more than 2 rounds, at least not now.

          When the B1G and P12 eventually have to surrender to fan/coaches/AD/Prez pressures, that will expand to an 8 team playoff.

          Exactly how would there be presidential pressure since the presidents would make the decision in the first place? They already ignore fans and coaches regularly, and ADs have no power here. As always, only the big money boosters would matter.

          And even if the B10 came back, the other presidents are unlikely to expand to 8 teams. I hate to burst your bubble, but they don’t like the calendar implications for adding a third round.

          It won’t get that far.

          True. I’d prefer it, but it won’t happen. Delany and the presidents don’t have the balls for it.

          We’ll ultimately get a 4 team playoff in some form or other, with compromises on both sides.

          There are no compromises from both sides when they decide on 4. That is one side losing and the other getting everything they want. Nobody is fighting for 8. The SEC will get their preferences handed to them on a platter except for having to allow the top 3 champs in (the SEC would prefer a straight top 4 so they can get 3-4 spots every year by buying poll votes).

          However I would not be shocked if nothing good comes out of this week’s meetings, and the real solution is formulated when the presidents hold conference meetings next month.

          Nothing good or bad will come out of these meetings. All they’re doing is dotting i’s and crossing t’s on the top 2-3 plans to take back to the presidents. The presidents can undo all of this by saying no to all of the top plans, or demanding major changes to them.

          I’m just waiting to see how bad the final result is before I stop watching CFB.

          College football is dead. Long live NFL lite.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Don’t get your dober down yet. Perhaps I’m too much of an optimist but it ain’t over til it’s over, the fat lady hasn’t begun warming up, etc.

            The lesson the triumphret learned is that the Rose Bowl is between the B1G and PAC champs. A “bone” being thrown to them (conference runner-ups) is going to help them remain the grandaddy of them all long term?

            Any system relying on polls is flawed and will result in marginalizing conferences, as we have seen. Media money driving this process necessarily will lead to media influencing the selection. WWE on the gridiron. It directly contradicts what playoff proponents espouse. Selection is not qualification and advancement.

            Pseudo playoff without the B1G and PAC? Fine by me.let’s play the Rose Bowl. Let the rest play in the national, err, a bit over half of the national championship/selection (and see how maximized that crippled system is able to maintain. I’ll probably tune in, but there is no probably as to watching the Rose Bowl.

            Sorry to rant. Just can’t take a selection process being called a playoff and the assumption that the RB/B1G/PAC need it more than what they already can have on their own long term.

            …(steps off soap box).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            Don’t get your dober down yet. Perhaps I’m too much of an optimist but it ain’t over til it’s over, the fat lady hasn’t begun warming up, etc.

            The lesson the triumphret learned is that the Rose Bowl is between the B1G and PAC champs. A “bone” being thrown to them (conference runner-ups) is going to help them remain the grandaddy of them all long term?

            Any system relying on polls is flawed and will result in marginalizing conferences, as we have seen. Media money driving this process necessarily will lead to media influencing the selection. WWE on the gridiron. It directly contradicts what playoff proponents espouse. Selection is not qualification and advancement.

            Pseudo playoff without the B1G and PAC? Fine by me.let’s play the Rose Bowl. Let the rest play in the national, err, a bit over half of the national championship/selection (and see how maximized that crippled system is able to maintain. I’ll probably tune in, but there is no probably as to watching the Rose Bowl.

            Sorry to rant. Just can’t take a selection process being called a playoff and the assumption that the RB/B1G/PAC need it more than what they already can have on their own long term.

            …(steps off soap box).

            Stay positive if you can, but the realist in me knows the fight is over. They are determined to ruin CFB, and it will take down the Rose Bowl in the process. I doubt the B10 and P12 have the balls to stay out this time, so everything that is good about CFB will crumble.

            The only interesting option now would be if the B10, P12 and some others split from the NCAA and formed a rival group, but I don’t think they could get a big enough group to matter. It’s only a matter of time until players are paid, they don’t have to be students and there are no “scholarship” limits. In other words, the NCAA will become the SEC West.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            They fought the pay for play fight in the 50’s (see the brief break up of the PAC). I don’t know if the presidents will actually go for it beyond some possible locality cost of living adjustment (living in Ames as opposed to LA or NYC) as it will have to apply to all sports of both genders in order to pass muster.

            Like

  6. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

  7. Christian in Texas says:

    Hook ’em

    Like

  8. Josh says:

    Why not make the actual bowl games the national championship game? (i.e. the way it was before the double hosting model). And have semi finals at neutral sites and/or on campus?

    Like

    • Other Mike says:

      @Josh I was just about to type the same thing. My personal “best of all worlds” scenario:

      Semifinals at higher seeds’ home fields (twist: seed #1 gets to pick their opponent). Winners jointly agree upon a top-tier bowl to select (but at least one must have a traditional tie-in). The other 3 or 4 unselected bowls may invite whomever they want. Bowls keep their predetermined dates regardless of whether they host the championship; the logistics of moving one bowl out of the four back a week would be nightmarish.

      Yeah, it’s a tad mad sciency. And apparently it’ll be too profitable to bid the games out to even consider playing the semis on college campuses. Sigh.

      Like

  9. morganwick says:

    “Instead, we’ll likely see some type of format that will take the 3 highest ranked conference champions and then the next highest ranked team as a wild card”

    Where are you getting this? The Chicago Tribune link is broken, but it’s not in any of the other linked articles…

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Where are you getting this? The Chicago Tribune link is broken, but it’s not in any of the other linked articles…

      He’s guessing, as is everybody.

      It was in one of the flurry of articles in the last few weeks with unnamed sources. I hope everyone is taking these anon sourced articles with a huge grain of salt, because day to day they are often conflicting and some are laughable in their obvious sowing of agendas. One a day or two ago was clearly BCS Bowl BS spewer Bill Hancock spinning the bowl’s wish list, with some of his, er, the anon sources’ main points being contradicted in 2 other similar articles the same day.

      Like

    • Yeah, I almost interpreted the “conference champ proposal as being dead” to mean that a literal top 4 would be accepted into the playoff. I have a hard time believing that, as it seems to marginalize many of the conference championship games.

      But…if the Pac-12 and Big Ten are passionate enough about the Rose Bowl, I suppose they could…if the rankings were…
      1. Alabama
      2. Oklahoma
      3. LSU
      4. Arkansas
      5. Oregon
      6. Wisconsin…

      …they could say you can have your top 4 in the playoff…we’d rather have our 5 and 6 play in the Rose Bowl.

      I don’t know though…seems like an ugly concession to me.

      Like

  10. Playoffs Now says:

    Remember how so many here were oh so certain that we couldn’t possibly have an 8-team playoff because anon sources said the conference commissioners and presidents were extremely adamant that the post-season end earlier, around New Year’s Day? How the academic universe would collapse if any football team played a minute into the Spring semester? How going past NYD would hurt the title game by competing with the NFL playoffs? How all of these formed insurmountable hurdles that wouldn’t be compromised for?

    Well here’s another anon source from today (FWIW):

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7851441/source-bcs-exploring-neutral-site-4-team-playoff-format

    The source said the commissioners would prefer to play the national semifinal games on New Year’s Day and have the winning teams play in a championship game about a week later.

    LOL

    Some never learn. Take all these anon sources with big grains of salt, and don’t give so fixated on trying to create absolutes that support your worldview and wishes. Compromise entails fluidity, lots of things are still on the table, we can’t be too sure what is or isn’t an option.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Unfortunately for you, that is not what people said. We said the presidents want to get the NCG closer to 1/1 than it is now, not stretch out an extra week or two as people like you were suggesting. We never said the CCs gave a rat’s ass about academics, and they are the ones making these plans. The presidents aren’t debating this yet. They could very easily accept the plan but demand the semis and NCG move up 2-4 days, sending everyone back to meetings to figure out the issues with TV and the bowls.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I think they just ought to let the Rose fall out of the semi-final rotation (assuming it goes to the bowls). With the Rose and Fiesta, the major bowls are too western based. Nearly 80% of the schools are more or less east of I-35 but 50% of the major bowls are in Arizona or California, over 1000 miles west of I-35.

      The Rose could keep a Big 10/Pac 12 matchup every year, even if it was runnerups. With semi-finals, that type of matchup would occur much less frequently than now.

      I don’t think the rest of the bowls and conferences should gum up the system to satisfy the Rose with one exception. Again, assuming the bowls are semi-finals, the Rose, in the years it held semi-finals, could always get Big 10/Pac 12 if both were in and could get one of them if only 1 was in. Now that would mean that sometimes a #1 would play a #2 in the 1st round, but with only 4 teams, that’s not a huge issue.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        I think they just ought to let the Rose fall out of the semi-final rotation (assuming it goes to the bowls). With the Rose and Fiesta, the major bowls are too western based. Nearly 80% of the schools are more or less east of I-35 but 50% of the major bowls are in Arizona or California, over 1000 miles west of I-35.

        Perhaps they could just rotate through Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans to appease the SEC some more. Maybe mix it up with Tamps Bay or Jacksonville on occasion since they have NFL stadiums. Or just say screw it and play in Athens, Gainesville, Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge so the SEC teams don’t have to even take a bus ride to their games most years.

        Like

  11. Brian says:

    Frank the Tank,

    it seems that the top people following the business of college sports have come to a general belief that there will be a 4-team playoff with the semifinals hosted at neutral sites (which could be either current bowls or bid out to other venues). The most progressive proposal of having semifinal games being played at on-campus sites from the Big Ten and Jim Delany (who also proposed the supposedly reactionary proposal of the 4 Teams Plus format that would have sent the Big Ten and Pac-12 champs to the Rose Bowl no matter what) seems to be dead. A proposal that only conference champs would be included in the playoff also seems to be on life support. Instead, we’ll likely see some type of format that will take the 3 highest ranked conference champions and then the next highest ranked team as a wild card (who could be a conference champ, non-champ or independent).

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7851441/source-bcs-exploring-neutral-site-4-team-playoff-format

    From Schlabach’s article:
    The source said the conference commissioners also are eager “to take back New Year’s Day.” Last season, 35 college bowl games were played between Dec. 17 and Jan. 9. Of the traditional New Year’s Day bowl games, only the Rose and Fiesta bowls were played on Jan. 2 (New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday this year, a day reserved for the NFL). The Sugar Bowl was played on Jan. 3 and the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4.

    The source said the commissioners would prefer to play the national semifinal games on New Year’s Day and have the winning teams play in a championship game about a week later.

    I see they have successfully made every bad decision except to go beyond 4 teams. I hope they burn in hell for ruining CFB. I can see I will have lot more free time on future Saturdays and all through December and early January.

    They will kill the bowls by playing the semis on 1/1, and the NFL will still drown out the NCG. The semis will have to be in the 4:30 and 8:00 slots, leaving the 1:00 slot as the only opening for a bowl. That hurts the Rose by moving it up, but the network won’t have a choice. No other 1/1 game will get much traction either. I’m guessing games after 1/1 will be frowned on, so they’ll need the 7 win rule to kill off some bowls and make room for the big bowls moving to December. What a cluster f***.

    The critical question for me (and likely for the powers that be) continues to be revenue… or more importantly, how the college football playoff revenue is split.

    Agreed.

    BCS system
    1. AQ from a non-AQ league: $26.4 million – 18% of the net revenue
    2. Non-AQs in total if their is no BCS team: $13.2 million – 9%
    3. AQ: $22.3 million – 15%
    4. At large: $6.1 million – 4%
    5. ND: $6.1 million if it participates, $1.8 million if it does not – 1/66th of the net BCS revenue.
    6. Each FCS conference will receive $250,000.
    7. Army, Navy or BYU: $6.1 million if picked; otherwise each will receive $100,000.

    So the AQs generally receive 80-90% of the money.

    NCAA hoops:
    Values are assigned to units that are awarded for each stage of the championship to which a conference’s teams advance. Payments are based on a rolling six-year average rather than a single year to lessen the financial pressure on any individual institution to advance in the tournament. The NCG game doesn’t count in the total, so a team maxes out at 5 games (6 if they win a play-in game too, but that’ll never happen).

    Last year the big 6 got about 60% of the hoops revenue to give a ball park number. The big benefit of this system is the 6 year running average to smooth out revenue streams. The ADs and presidents will want to consider something like that.

    So those should be the limits of the CFB playoff revenue split. I’d expect it to be closer to the BCS model since the non-AQs will rarely contribute, but the non-AQs will probably demand a slightly bigger piece of the pie in exchange for losing major bowl access by opening up the bowls to a free market (no 2 team limit). I’ll guess they come out with a 85% split for the big boys except when there is an elite non-AQ (more rare with the best of them moving up).

    I think a big fight will be over how the BE fits in. The MWCUSA can claim to be about as good on paper, and the BE has no real defense to that. Perhaps they create a three tier system with the big 5 on top, the BE and MWCUSA in the middle and the others on the bottom. The lower two tiers would get a bump every time one of their teams made it, of course.

    As a result, don’t expect there to be super financial rewards (if any) for conferences that make the playoff compared to what a league would receive would receive for making the Rose Bowl or other BCS (or whatever the equivalent will be) bowls. Highly variable pay based upon on-the-field performance of individual teams (or whether the placekicker hits a field goal in overtime) simply isn’t how university presidents roll, folks.

    This is why I think they should borrow from the NCAA model and smooth it out over several years.

    So, in the years where Pasadena is a semifinal site, the Rose Bowl (the venue, NOT the game itself) would get assigned a semifinal matchup with a Big Ten and/or Pac-12 team if applicable. We could even make Pasadena a permanent semifinal site where it could host both a semifinal and the Rose Bowl annually. This as a way to at least throw something towards the Big Ten/Pac-12/Rose Bowl triumverate that preserves their relationship but doesn’t take away a permanent Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup in the Rose Bowl (the game) itself while still allowing top 4 Big Ten and Pac-12 teams regular trips to Pasadena for semifinal games.

    It sounds like their plans will prevent this. They want the semis in bowls on 1/1. So the Rose is either B10/P12 or a semi (rarely, if ever, both). They are ruining the greatest thing about CFB and it’s merely an afterthought to all the money-grubbing fans driving this.

    As someone whose high school and college years spanned the Clinton era in the 1990s, I have fantastic memories of listening to Tupac Shakur and watching the old traditional Big Ten/Pac-12 Rose Bowl when it was the biggest college football game of the year, but I can understand if many people don’t want either of them to come back onstage in 2012. I have a melancholy feeling about all of this since I’ve pushed for a playoff for such a long time on this blog, yet I also don’t want to see the Rose Bowl unalterably become a consolation game. It’s the price of progress in college football.

    1. I was never a Tupac guy, and you should be ashamed to compare him to The Rose Bowl as if he was ever that important and impactful. The Rose Bowl is The Beatles.

    2. You picked your poison. You chose to support ruining CFB to get a playoff. I hope you enjoy seeing the Rose Bowl destroyed by your beloved playoff, because it will be ruined.

    3. A playoff isn’t progress. It’s a money grab at the expense of the players. Progress would be research leading to better helmet designs to reduce concussions, or making teams treat players like human beings instead of commodities, or having the same rules for coaches as for players, or having a level playing field because every school is ethical, or actually catching wrongdoers in the act and punishing schools equitably.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      ***They will kill the bowls by playing the semis on 1/1, and the NFL will still drown out the NCG. The semis will have to be in the 4:30 and 8:00 slots, leaving the 1:00 slot as the only opening for a bowl. That hurts the Rose by moving it up, but the network won’t have a choice. No other 1/1 game will get much traction either. I’m guessing games after 1/1 will be frowned on, so they’ll need the 7 win rule to kill off some bowls and make room for the big bowls moving to December. What a cluster f***.***

      I thought you were a traditionalist! That’s pretty much going back to the way it used to be. It was the Cotton and sometimes Sugar in the early slot, the Rose in the afternoon and the Orange in the evening. You didn’t have 7 bowls on New Year’s Day. Everyone else was before New Year’s. There were no 6 or even 7 win teams in bowls. That was a good thing.

      The bowls’ greed has over-saturated the market with uninteresting games and prevented the best games from happening sometimes. As competitive as these athletes are, its hard for me to believe most don’t want a chance to play for a national championship.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        I thought you were a traditionalist!

        I am.

        That’s pretty much going back to the way it used to be.

        My memory must be foggy. When did we have a 4 team playoff before that ruined everything else?

        It was the Cotton and sometimes Sugar in the early slot, the Rose in the afternoon and the Orange in the evening. You didn’t have 7 bowls on New Year’s Day. Everyone else was before New Year’s. There were no 6 or even 7 win teams in bowls. That was a good thing.

        I’d be OK with that, but that’s not what we’re talking about. This is 2 semifinals in supposed major bowl games on 1/1, moving the Rose from its time slot as well as killing its value. That’s all the major bowls ruined. For quite a while there were more than just the three major bowls on 1/1, there were also some lesser games in the early slot. That gave you something to flip to if one game was boring. But I could get behind just having 3 majors if they were actually major bowls and there was no corrupting playoff.

        The bowls’ greed has over-saturated the market with uninteresting games and prevented the best games from happening sometimes.

        The NCAA allows new bowls to form, so blame them for the number. I agree they need to thin the herd. As for uninteresting games, ESPN needs programming during the down days of December. It’s not like anybody has to watch those games, but they beat what else is on TV for me. The bowls can prevent the best games due to contracts and bad team choices, but it can also be sheer luck. Some good games on paper stink on the field, and vice versa.

        Like

  12. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/48974/big-ten-announces-primetime-schedule

    I hate to go off topic so soon, but the B10’s prime time schedule is out and some people here might be interested. Please note this is only games the B10 controls the rights to. Away or neutral site games may also be at night (AL vs MI, for example, and MI @ ND) but aren’t included here.

    14 night games (6 on ABC/ESPN, 8 on BTN):

    Thursday, Aug. 31
    Boise State at Michigan State, 8 p.m., ESPN

    Sept. 1
    Indiana State at Indiana, 8 p.m., Big Ten Network

    Sept. 8
    Vanderbilt at Northwestern, 8 p.m., BTN

    Sept. 15
    Notre Dame at Michigan State, 8 p.m., ABC
    Utah State at Wisconsin, 8 p.m., BTN
    Ball State at Indiana, 8 p.m., BTN

    Sept. 22
    Syracuse at Minnesota, 8 p.m., BTN
    Louisiana Tech at Illinois, 8 p.m., BTN

    Sept. 29
    Wisconsin at Nebraska, 8 p.m., ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2

    Oct. 6
    Nebraska at Ohio State, 8 p.m., ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2

    Oct. 13
    Ohio State at Indiana, 8 p.m., BTN

    Oct. 20
    Penn State at Iowa, 8 p.m., BTN

    Oct. 27
    Ohio State at Penn State, 6 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2
    Michigan at Nebraska, 8 p.m., ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2

    OSU – 3 (NE, @IN, @PSU)
    NE – 3 (WI, @OSU, MI)
    IN – 3 (ISU, BSU, OSU)
    MSU – 2 (Boise, ND)
    PSU – 2 (OSU, @IA)
    WI – 2 (USU, @NE)
    MI – 1 (@ NE)
    IA – 1 (PSU)
    IL – 1 (LT)
    NW – 1 (Vandy)
    MN – 1 (SU)
    PU – 0

    Takeaways:
    1. Urban Meyer is a big story
    2. MSU fans will bitch about no night B10 games
    3. TV people expect AL to kill MI and hurt their value for night games
    4. 10/27 is the best day of the season. WI/MSU will probably be at 3:30, with OSU/PSU at 6 and MI/NE at 8.
    5. On 9/8 – more people in the library or at the game for Vandy @ NW?
    6. PU will carry some anger from no night games into the old oaken bucket game. 3 for IN? Really?
    7. Remember MI has 2 other night games – AL and ND, so only 1 here isn’t surprising.
    8. WI gets no help at home in B10 play.

    Like

    • cutter says:

      I imagine that whatever arrangement that is produced for the four-team playoff will maximize the opportunities for the conferences to send at least one team into the tournament. That’s why I’m a bit quizzical about the proposition that Notre Dame be considered a de facto conference champion in terms of getting into the playoff. I’m hard pressed to imagine that any conference would actually support such a proposition if a 3/1 arrangement is set up with the top three conference winners plus one wild card team being among the four chosen.

      There’s no incentive for the SEC to adopt that proposition when they feel that their conference is the best in CFB. While the Pac 12 has its ties to Notre Dame (primarily with USC), I can’t see them supporting ND getting such a status either (especially since the Irish don’t participate in a conference championship game). DeLoss Dodds has talked about some sort of arrangement between the Big XII and Notre Dame, but is the rest of the conference leadership going to go along with that–especially if the Big XII eventually does get up to twelve members and stages its own conference championship game.

      The only two conferences that could possible end up winning the Notre Dame sweepstakes and joining them for all sports are the ACC and the Big Ten. I suppose either one of them could support such a position in hopes of currying favor with Notre Dame, but is there any other incentive to do so? The Big Ten has courted Notre Dame at least two tiimes (and probably more) and been told no. The B10 is looking at an exceptionally lucrative boost in their revenue in 2016 (along with the extra money in the playoffs), so it’s not an immediate money issue for the conference (although getting Notre Dame would absolutely be a big bonus for the B10). The ACC has five programs (Boston College, Miami, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Pittsburgh) that used to be in the Big East and are used to seeing ND keep its football program at arm’s lenght from the BE. While I don’t know how much sway they’d have with the ACC leadership, I can’t imagine they’d like to see their chances for getting into the national championship tournament made potentially more difficult because Notre Dame was made a defacto conference champion. If that were to be done, then it might actually end up being a motivator to expand the playoff beyond four programs. Does the extra money that ND would get the ACC or Big Ten offset the possible limitation to access for a playoff that would be created if Notre Dame was considered a defacto conference? Does not giving ND defacto conference status for a playoff actually provide Notre Dame a motivator (major, minor or otherwise) to joining a conference because doing so might give them greater access to it?

      I’m someone who grew up in the pre-BCS era when January 1 was a highly-anticipated date for college football games. This obviously predates ESPN and the massive coverage of regular season games today, which means that it was considered pretty special for someone with an interest in football, and more specifically, in college football. I also attended two Rose Bowls, two Fiesta Bowls, one Gator Bowl and four Insight Bowls, so I’ve been around the events, have seen how the communities gear up for them, etc. (I used to live in the Phoenix area).

      The expansion of the playoffs to four teams is now changing that emphasis and the bowls are moving back into the pre-BCS era again. Instead of January 1 being the focus of the college football offseason, the first Saturday of December with the conference playoffs along with the national championship semi-finals and final games will be the core events in that time frame. The bowls will be taking a step back in time to the more traditional role of being post-season exhibition games as a reward to the teams participating and the fans of their programs.

      I’m sorry that it seem like they’re going away from having the conference semi-final games at the home stadiums of the higher rated teams. There are 20 programs with stadiums that seat 80,000 or more people in college football and most of them are likely sites for a semi-final game more years than not. There’s probably around ten more with capacities between 70K and 80K that would also do nicely and could readily take on the logistics of puting on such a game in the late December time frame. Oh, well.

      Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      Re: 3. That game will still be a night game. As a neutral site game though, it isn’t subject to the Big Ten contract.
      9. Nebraska is still a national television draw.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        3. I noted that about AL/MI, as well as MI/ND, at the beginning. These are just the B10 owned games.

        9. Agreed, especially since they are still in their first rotation through major teams and stadiums.

        Like

    • wmtiger says:

      B10 gets the tv rights to the Bama vs Michigan game as M is considered the home team…

      Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        That is not correct. For starter Bama is the home team in the contract. Secondly, in a one-and-done neutral site game usually the organizer of the game works out a television deal directly with the networks. The conference contracts are avoided. Reading the contract for this game, that also appears to be the case here. Jerry has worked out his deal with ESPN.

        The only discussion of rights looks to be a disclaimer about Michigan signing their rights over to the Big Ten, something I have a feeling is in every home and home Big Ten contract. That is basically what preserves the rights for BTN on rebroadcasts of games.

        http://www.annarbor.com/2011/10/04/2012%20College%20Football%20Agreement.pdf

        Like

        • wmtiger says:

          Info I got online couldn’t have been more wrong…

          Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            It is hard to tell based on the contract. It looks like they may ultimately be running the game through the Big Ten based on the wording. But without seeing another Big Ten contract for a high profile series say (Alabama/Penn State) it isn’t clear how or if it differs.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Yeah, the PAC just banned one and done neutral site games for this very reason.

            Like

  13. Eric says:

    Good write-up, although I don’t agree about this being progress (although acknowledge I’m in a minority in that view). I hope the unseeded plus one ends up working out. I doubt it at this point, but it’s the best I’m left to hope for. (I would have preferred home sites and the losers going to bowls though).

    I think more than likely they have neutral site games not labeled as bowls and I really hate that. I think they’ll do it since that will, for the time being, let them both have a playoff and the name draw of the current BCS Bowls. Over time that will slip though and this is a recipe for destroying the bowl system as a big event. When none of the teams in the playoff are going to “bowls,” then we are regulating the very notion of a going to a bowl to be a cancellation prize.

    Like

    • Josh says:

      Here is a thought. If there is serious concerns about making fanbases travel twice, why not make the “four team event” a singular event? Why not have all four teams come to one location? Just like the final four. You can split the allotment 4 ways instead of two, because undoubtedly there will be some fans that do travel twice. Plus, how unique would that be? There could be an early session, say it kicks off at noon, and a prime time session. They could sell tickets so that fans would have to buy both sessions. Four fan bases, one day, one locale.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        The concern is for the cost to the fans, not for being able to sell out the tickets. You’d now be asking fans to stay for a 8+ days, or leave and come back. That’s not cheaper than going to two different places.

        Like

    • jcfreder says:

      I’d be surprised if the semis end up being on New Year’s Day, at least if the B10 and P12 end up buying into it, for reasons Brian mentioned. Unless they play one semi in the early afternoon and one in prime time, you start messing with the Rose’s traditional time slot. But the upside to that tripleheader is that you really end up “owning New Year’s Day” as an official put it in one of the stories Frank linked to.

      But at the end of the day I can’t see the B10 and P12 opting out of the system because we all know they’d end up caving in eventually, like with the Bowl Coalition.

      Like

      • Phil says:

        As someone who has been in general a huge cfb fan my whole life, and specifically a fan of a school not in the B10 or Pac12, I think people are completely underestimating the damage done to the Rose Bowl if the playoff semifinals are also on New Year’s Day.

        Right now, fans tailor their viewing of the mess of SEC/B10 early games and the night BCS game depending on matchups and how the games are progressing, but the one constant for the day is that you watch the Rose Bowl. If the semifinals are that day you have to watch them in their entirety and you will be much more likely to bail on watching the Rose Bowl.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          I mentioned this above, but the focus of the college football season will be moving away from the bowl games and to the conference championship games in early December along with the semi-final and final games in the playoff. While it’s not ideal to have those games on the same date of the Rose Bowl in terms of overall game interest, I’m hard presssed not to think that attention surrounding the RB will be lessened regardless of when it’s played.

          What I imagine will happen is that college football fans will change their viewing habits and attention away from the bowls and more towards those conference championship games and the playoffs. The major bowls will still be in place and with only a four-team conference playoff, they’ll still attract a number of top teams that should draw plenty of interest.

          But I suspect the bowls will take a step back in time to the pre-BCS era when they were post-season exhibition games that were rewards for the teams and their programs. If you go even further back to the time when the final polls were voted on before the bowl games were even played, then that is probably closer to what we’re looking at here.

          Assuming Oregon and Oklahoma State were in a four-team playoff last year, then the major bowl lineup could have had Kansas State in the Fiesta against perhaps a SEC team (Arkansas, Georgia or perhaps South Carolina) and Stanford would have played Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl instead of Oklahoma State in the Fiesta. The Sugar and Orange Bowls would have remained as they were (or not seeing as there will no longer be AQ status). While the teams might have changed, the stakes would remain the same since none of those games since none of them had any bearing on the national championship.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Would having the semi-finals before New Year’s help the bowls by giving them exclusive use of New Year’s Day or would it hurt by taking focus off New Year’s? Could go either way.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I think it would help the bowls because many people will keep the 1/1 habit of watching bowl games. It’s not like there is a lot else to do. Sharing 1/1 with the semis would be horrible.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I’d watch the Rose Bowl regardless, as long as it is B1G champ vs P12 champ.

            March maddness is an abberarion. There is a reason that other sports highlite the finals. The hardcore fans would like to see semis and preliminaries, but even those who rarely ever watch a particular sport will tune in to a final. For example, compare ratings for the Olympic qualifiers to that of the actual Olympic Games. I don’t even know where, when, how most take place, and only a few names based on the last Oly cycle.

            An attempt at a playoff is an attempt to generate, at a lesser level, super bowl type viewer interest and numbers. The semis won’t .

            Like

        • @Phil – I completely agree. If there’s one thing that I believe the Rose Bowl does NOT want, it’s to share New Year’s Day with the semifinals. I believe the Rose Bowl would accept other concessions because they have little other choice, but being the biggest game on New Year’s Day is the one thing that they could (and should) fight for.

          Like

  14. Other Mike says:

    Open question for the forum: How much do you trust the news coming out of the playoff summit, given that final negotiations are possibly just down the road? What’s posturing, and what’s not?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Some is posturing, but most I believe. However, I suspect the Presidents aren’t going to let the commissioners make decisions this time (and I’ve seen quotes to that effect). So, I think whatever the commissioners come up with is still just a 1st draft. That means the Presidential oversight committee is very important. And so it will be really hard to get a decision by mid-summer.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Other Mike,

      Like all news, none of it is trustworthy but the gist of it is probably fairly accurate.

      Like

  15. Adam says:

    Play the semifinals ANYWHERE but the BCS bowl locations. Please. Otherwise what the hell, I give up.

    Like

    • BigTenFan says:

      The bowl games should remain bowl games – NOT semi final games.

      The Semi Finals should be played at a neutral site (not a BCS bowl location) the week following the CCG’s.

      I would start the college football season a week earlier, that way the CCG’s could be played the last weekend in November, and the semi finals could be played on the first weekend in November – that would allow the losers in the semi final games to be selected by bowl games (with enough time to prepare travel plans accordingly) – so as long as the PAC 12 Champ or Big 10 Champ is NOT in the NCG, they could still both play in the Rose Bowl.

      Also, I agree the key here will be determining how the revenue will be split – for instance, Notre Dame has been nationally irrelevant for nearly 20 years, would likely have not even participated in a 4 team playoff even once since the BCS’ inception, and have seen their TV numbers fall dramatically since the 90’s.- do they still get $1.8 million dollars per year for having a losing record, while an independent like BYU gets $100,000 for 10 or so wins? I think participating schools/conferences should receive a large chunk of the revenue, then all other conferences/independents receive a equally like amount for not participating. It would be outrageous for ND to get the same deal today that they did in 1998 (I’m sure the overall # will be higher, but with inflation/percentage of total revenue factored in, it should be less) – they are still a big time brand, but their position today isn’t nearly as strong as it was in 1998.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        My opinion on this is strong, but varies depending on if semi-final losers can be a different bowl game.

        If the answer to that is no, then I absolutely want the semi-final games to be bowl games. The worst possible thing for the whole bowl system will be for the notion of going to a bowl game at all be seen as a negative. If the semi-final games are going to be the last two games for two teams, then they need to be bowl games themselves.

        If the answer is yes (which I hope is true), then don’t brand them as bowl games, but let the losers into the big bowls still.

        Like

    • Dont worry all but the Rose and maybe surger bowl will be gone in 5 to 10 years once they expand the playoffs.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Adam,

      I think we agree on something. Based on the poor decisions they already are leaning toward, I’ve already given up.

      College Football
      1869-2013

      RIP

      Like

  16. Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

    “It’s the price of progress in college football.”

    @Frank – For many of us, on more giant step along the commercialization of college football is not progress.

    Like

  17. Kevin says:

    I got a chuckle out of Florida’s Foley and his comments about home sites for playoff games that was reported the Chicago Tribune. He says there is too much at stake to play a road game for the semifinal. Excuse me but the northern schools have played everything on the road. It’s ridiculous. Now Deloss Dodds says let the Pac 12 and Big Ten do their Rose Bowl thing. In a few years their coaches will be moaning because they can’t compete for a MNC.

    The whole thing is getting f’d up.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Dodds is just pi$$ed he can’t buffalo his way into either conference on his own terms. Why would the B1G or PAC worry about a championship game that by definition can’t be considered “national” if they aren’t participating in it?

      Like

  18. Great Lake State says:

    Except for the fact that so many Big Ten teams get invited to marginal bowls, It seems like it would be in the B1G’s interest to have an 8 team playoff and scrap the BCS. The Rose Bowl would still survive and compete with far fewer bowls. It would also make it more likely that two B1G teams would be in the playoff (and assuming at least one PAC team was as well) it would make the Rose Bowl (as a playoff venue) even more significant.

    Like

  19. OnrocK says:

    All i care about is that they get rid of the computers & use a seeding committee to determine which team make the playoffs & what their ranked.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I actually kind of like the computers. In the sense that they value what they are designed to value maybe they aren’t objective, but in the sense that they don’t value late games over early ones, they are (and voters almost never are).

      I don’t want a committee mainly because it’s a recipe for an expanded playoff in my opinion. As soon as a #2/3 (or worse #1) team most people think deserves in (regardless of whether it does or not) is left out, people will trump up how we need a bigger playoff. A committee could probably do the job better, but I’d rather the public opinion prevail so as to lessen a push for a bigger playoff.

      Like

    • frug says:

      The computers are better than the humans.

      Like

      • greg says:

        At this point, the computer algorithms are hamstrung by the limitations imposed by humans.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Totally agree, but they are still better than the coaches’ poll and Harris Poll.

          Like

        • charlie says:

          for the computers, it isn’t necessarily the limitation imposed by the programmers themselves, but the mandates from the BCS. if the BCS says “no more SOS”, then all of the programmers have to take it out

          the bigger issue with the computers is the fact that there are tons of coefficients which aren’t made public. the coefficients are necessary because without them, an undefeated Sun Belt team would have the exact same final outcome as an undefeated SEC team. but, the issue is that when no one is privy to what the coefficients are, the programmers get to blind (and biasly) choose which conferences are best. this is part of what everyone is talking about when they say that there needs to be more transparity

          Like

      • vp19 says:

        Agreed. Computers don’t show prejudice towards “brand names,” always the problem in the beauty contest that is college football.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      OnrocK,

      According to Roy Kramer, nobody wants to be on the committee. They get no pay and I can guarantee they’ll get death threats for the results. It’s much easier to pick bubble teams in hoops where those left out couldn’t win the title anyway.

      Like

      • I’m sure they could find people if they actually paid them a reasonable amount for their trouble rather than making it volunteer. Some non-BCS bowls pay CEO’s $500k+, I’m sure that $500k-$1M in playoff money could be found to put 5-10 committee members on a salary to own the results.

        Like

  20. BigTenFan says:

    Can someone explain why the FCS & NFL both allow higher seeded teams to host playoff games in determining their champion, but for some reason there is “too much at stake” for FBS college football? What a stupidly idiotic comment by the Florida AD.

    The guy has been just fine with Florida playing bowl games in state, but when you present a logical playoff plan to him that is used by both college football & the NFL, there’s just “too much at stake”. What a load of crap.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      In the NFL they earn the seed through division/conference record, not through a poll/ranking system. It is an actual bracket. Sometimes a supposedly better team is left out and a “weaker” team qualifies. Them’s the breaks, live with it. No AFC/AFC Super Bowl…ever.

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        That’s why this argument of not using conference champions (at least top 3) to seed the 4 team playoff is very weak. The ranking system is very flawed by it’s nature as there is very little cross sectional play. At least by taking the top 3 or 4 conference champions you would reduce the eyeball test problem but would never eliminate it.

        The important part is getting the right 4 teams.

        Like

        • John O says:

          Conference champs should be ranked by fewest losses, with ties broken by strength of schedule (2/3 opp win pct, 1/3 opp-opp win pct). Select the best 3. Use the same criteria to select an at large team. This way everything is settled on the field w/o any biases of any kind mucking things up.

          Like

          • Kevin says:

            @John O I like your approach. Seems very objective to me. Unfortunately Slive is going to push for his best 4 approach which is biased towards ranking systems etc…

            Like

          • Under your proposal, say hello to MAC-rifice every week and goodbye to 99% of interesting OOC games. Next!

            Like

          • frug says:

            Yeah, using fewest losses is a horrible way to do things. You need to incorporate SoS before the tiebreaker otherwise no will play a decent OOC schedule, to say nothing of Hawaii (who may well have played the weakest schedule of top 20 team in the history of college football) making the playoffs back in 2007.

            Like

        • StevenD says:

          I think we should be ranking conferences, not teams. Then the four highest ranking conferences would automatically send their champions to the play-offs.

          Conferences could be ranked in various ways: previous season bowl results, current season OOC matches, or interconference challenges (like the recently announced matches between the B1G and the Pac12). In my opinion, the conference that wins an interconference challenge should automatically qualify (i.e. send their champion to a semi-final).

          Like

          • Brian says:

            It’s incredibly hard to rate conferences in a way people will agree upon the results. How do you weight depth versus the strength at the top? How do you allow for different sizes (14 vs 10)? Why should the previous year matter? Why would OOC games be a good measure (match up dependent)? Why is the challenge winner always the better conference (scheduling is rarely fair)?

            Like

    • Brian says:

      BigTenFan,

      Can someone explain why the FCS & NFL both allow higher seeded teams to host playoff games in determining their champion, but for some reason there is “too much at stake” for FBS college football?

      Because the SEC is a bunch of wussies afraid to man up like a I-AA or NFL team. If they can’t have the advantage, then it’s horribly unfair.

      Like

      • Brian #2 says:

        Yes, the conference with what, 6 or 7 straight wins in the BCS national championship game, is afraid.

        What a strange fantasy world you live in.

        Like

  21. duffman says:

    The 2 Commandments of the college football MNC – with help from the good book on concept

    .

    The First Commandment

    Hear, O BCS/NCAA, the Fan of One team is the Fan of All Teams ; and you shall love the Fan of All Teams with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

    a) No matter what happens, for once the BCS/NCAA needs to stop acting like the minority of folks who always have good seats at the expense of the folks who actually make it all possible. Let the corporate folks buy the suites above, but give the lower seats back to the actual fans. End all this pre sell to corporate folks, and the money changers like Stub Hub and Ticketmaster, and split all the lower seats right down the middle, with the ticket offices of the 2 schools actually in the game controlling ALL these seats.

    b) No matter what happens, make the travel windows and locations the most friendly to students, families, alumni, and fans of the actual schools participating. Be it via Frank’s suggestion of playing on MLK weekend, or similar things that make actually affordable to folks with limited budgets and work schedules that are not friendly to taking non holiday mondays off. Not only will this help the fans, but it will also help the “student” athletes have the fewest missed class days. If the NCAA is all about education, why not take the lead on this.

    c) I know this blog is full of lawyers and political folks, but for once kick these folks out of the room and get some folks that actually have their feet on the ground at the table to get some different views on what is best for the future. If they keep drawing from one end of the gene pool, I have a feeling that long term the decisions made will not be good for the folks needed to fill the seats and the folks needed to watch on television. Maybe have some folks that actually played the game, some engineers, some masons, and some deep thinkers all sit down in a room and see what they come up with. Why are folks making 500 K per year getting free tickets at the expense of the fans who pay their dues game by game? If you want better decisions it usually helps if folks have some of their own skin in the game.

    d) Get the NCAA out of the hotel and ticket scalping business! what good is any playoff proposed if the only folks who will get to see the event must pay 400 a night with a 4 night minimum, and then must pay 800 a ticket via Stub Hub / Ticketmaster for a ticket with a face value of 150 dollars. if such a payoff would be a boon via the media deal alone, how about passing some of the savings back to the current and future fans who actually attend the game. I see greed harvesting the baby boom generation for every penny they can squeeze, but sow some goodwill seeds back for the next crops of future fans.

    .

    The Second Commandment

    You shall love your neighbor’s conference as your own.

    a) If game theory is the better route over public choice theory then maybe the best way to get to a solution is have stakeholders negotiate in good faith for the common good. Does Delany want the best deal for the B1G and Slive want the best for the SEC? Sure, but in doing so they may be creating obstacles so great that no one moves forward. Sometimes I actually think this is the objective in the same way the Democrats and Republicans rail at each other while both pick the pockets of the average citizen. Maybe forcing you to negotiate the best deal for your opponent allows a common ground to form from the discussion.

    b) Neutral sites need to be near the middle, so all can attend. I thought about this and looked at host cities with “reverse” college teams. Since the vast numbers of college football fans come from either the B1G or SEC then use them as the host cities, but pick travel friendly cities with poor historic success in their conference. For the B1G, Lucas Oil makes the most sense, and for the SEC, LP Field fits a similar environment – feel free to suggest others – on neutral, regional sites. Nebraska is now in the B1G so the claim to second place that the B12 has enjoyed in the BCS era no longer applies. Perhaps Denver for a PAC / B12 site, and Charlotte for a Big East / ACC site could be secondary options.

    c) As fans of one conference, let down your walls for once to unify with fans from other conferences for the common good of the group as a whole. There are times when I feel like Delany and Slive are out playing golf with a cordial relationship, but present another face to the general fans to extract more money for fewer folks. If Ohio State and Alabama fans put money into the pot, why does FOX and ESPN take it out? It seems like local / regional wealth transfer is better than transferring it to the east coast where it goes to an area with no real passionate college fans. If college football is a regional thing, then perhaps the best solutions will arise for environments that reward this level of friendly competition.

    .

    Apologies on rambling, but I keep seeing the current path of college football through that classic final narration from “Casino” with a bit of paraphrasing.

    The game will never be the same. After the playoffs, the big corporations took it all over. Today it looks like Disneyland. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior’s college money on the tickets and hotel rooms. In the old days, school foundations knew your name, what you drank, and where you sat. Today, it’s like checkin’ into an airport. And if you order room service, you’re lucky if you get it by Thursday. Today, it’s all gone. You get an alumni show up with four million in a suitcase, and some twenty-five-year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his Social Security Number. After the participating schools got knocked out of the box, the corporations tore down practically every one of the old bowl alliances. And where did the money come from to rebuild the pyramids? TV money. But in the end, I wound up right back where I started. I could still pick winners, and I could still listen to the games on the radio with people back home. And why mess up a good thing?

    Like

  22. Tweets from EVERYONE at the BCS meetings indicate that there is going to be a 4-team playoff. The reporters that spoke to Jim Delany like Teddy Greenstein and Pete Thamel that it’s impossible to interpret his comments as anything other than agreeing to a playoff and that the Rose Bowl is on board, too.

    The hammer from BCS Director Bill Hancock: “I can officially say that the status quo is off the table.”

    Looks like the commissioners will get down to 2 or 3 proposals and take them back to the university presidents, who have the final say:

    Larry Scott likes champions only, while Mike Slive wants a straight 1 through 4 playoff. There is a consensus that whatever ranking is used will be different than the current BCS ranking.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      LIke that last comment-different than the current BCS ranking.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      A straight 1 through 4 would be different than a 3+1 in only 4 years-1998, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

      In 1998 Ohio St. was #4 behind #3 Kansas St. I believe Ohio St. lost to #9 Wisconsin and lost the tiebreak.

      In 2006 #4 LSU would have gotten in behind #3 Michigan. LSU was behind Arkansas who lost to #2 Florida in SEC title game.

      In 2008 #4 Alabama would have gotten in behind #3 Texas. Alabama was #1 but lost in SEC title game to Florida.

      In 2011 #4 Stanford would have gotten in behind #2 Alabama.

      Stanford really didn’t deserve to be #4 ahead of Oregon and might not be with a different ranking system. Alabama was a good team, but there wasn’t a big gap from 1 to 6 that year. LSU didn’t win their division and the other team didn’t win the title and there wasn’t much gap between 2 and 10 that year. None of those 3 are worth fighting for to get in the playoffs. I don’t remember much about Ohio St. 98. There were a lot of upsets that year and a lot of 1 loss teams behind Tennessee-FSU, KSU, OSU, UCLA, AZ, WI. 2 loss teams A&M and Florida were 6th and 8th, respectively. Unbeaten Tulane was #10. The different thing about OSU from the other 3 is that there was no conference team ahead of them. But UCLA who won their conference was right behind.

      If you don’t even include 1 non-champ, the caliber of teams left out is a lot higher than the ones mentioned above. Having a 2nd non-champ doesn’t add much based on the past 14 years.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        A straight 1 through 4 would be different than a 3+1 in only 4 years-1998, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

        Even more reason to only allow champs and independents, because that means 3 of the top 4 were champs 10 of 14 years.

        In 1998 Ohio St. was #4 behind #3 Kansas St. I believe Ohio St. lost to #9 Wisconsin and lost the tiebreak.

        In 1998, OSU lost to MSU. OSU and WI didn’t play. WI went to the Rose Bowl because OSU had been there more recently. Needless to say, that tiebreaker no longer applies. Based on the current tiebreakers, OSU would have won the B10.

        In 2006 #4 LSU would have gotten in behind #3 Michigan. LSU was behind Arkansas who lost to #2 Florida in SEC title game.

        #5 USC would have gotten in instead of LSU in a 3+1, correct? I’ll take a #5 champ over a #4 runner up any day (or #3, but you skipped over the 4 champs option).

        In 2008 #4 Alabama would have gotten in behind #3 Texas. Alabama was #1 but lost in SEC title game to Florida.

        #5 USC would have gotten in instead of AL in a 3+1, correct? I’ll take a #5 champ over a #4 runner up any day (or #3, but you skipped over the 4 champs option).

        In 2011 #4 Stanford would have gotten in behind #2 Alabama.

        #5 OR would have gotten in instead of Stanford in a 3+1, correct? I’ll take a #5 champ over a #4 runner up any day (or #2, but you skipped over the 4 champs option).

        In summary, that’s only 3 times a 3+1 would be different from 1-4 (I’ll trust you on the other years), and each time #5 would have made it instead of #4. The 3+1 is clearly better to me.

        As for all champs:
        1998 – 1, 2, 4, 5
        1999 – 1-4
        2000 – 1-4
        2001 – 1, 3, 4, 8
        2002 – 1, 2, 3, 6
        2003 – 2, 3, 4, 7
        2004 – 1, 2, 3, 6
        2005 – 1, 2, 3, 6 or 7 (ND was #6)
        2006 – 1, 2, 5, 6
        2007 – 1-4
        2008 – 1, 2, 5, 6
        2009 – 1-4
        2010 – 1, 2, 3, 5
        2011 – 1, 3, 5, 10

        Frequency:
        #1 – 13
        #2 – 12
        #3 – 11
        #4 – 7
        #5 – 5
        #6 – 4 or 5
        #7 – 1 or 2
        #8 – 1
        #9 – 0
        #10 – 1

        I’d much rather take 4 champs and live with the rare inclusion of a team outside the top 6 of the BCS poll.

        Stanford really didn’t deserve to be #4 ahead of Oregon and might not be with a different ranking system. Alabama was a good team, but there wasn’t a big gap from 1 to 6 that year. LSU didn’t win their division and the other team didn’t win the title and there wasn’t much gap between 2 and 10 that year. None of those 3 are worth fighting for to get in the playoffs. I don’t remember much about Ohio St. 98. There were a lot of upsets that year and a lot of 1 loss teams behind Tennessee-FSU, KSU, OSU, UCLA, AZ, WI. 2 loss teams A&M and Florida were 6th and 8th, respectively. Unbeaten Tulane was #10. The different thing about OSU from the other 3 is that there was no conference team ahead of them. But UCLA who won their conference was right behind.

        OSU was the best team in the nation in 1998. They were preseason #1 and were crushing everybody. They were averaging 38.25 – 9.0 wins until they blew a lead at home against MSU in the rain to lose 28-24 after leading 24-9. Their closest win was a 10 point bowl win over #6 TAMU. 8 players were drafted from OSU that next draft, including 3 1st round picks and a 2nd rounder. That was Cooper’s best team at OSU and maybe OSU’s best ever. They should have played TN instead of FSU in the NCG, especially after Weinke got hurt. OSU would have beaten TN if Cooper didn’t prevent it by trying to coach. TN only lucked in because AR made that stupid fumble.

        If you don’t even include 1 non-champ, the caliber of teams left out is a lot higher than the ones mentioned above. Having a 2nd non-champ doesn’t add much based on the past 14 years.

        Is it? We don’t really know that. I’ll take the top 4 champs and trade #4 for #5 or #6 half the time. #1 only missed because the BCS poll was dumb enough to leave OU at #1 after a loss. #2 and #3 would rarely miss, either. I can live with #7-10 getting in on a rare occasion because I don’t trust the polls at all to be accurate.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Even more reason to only allow champs and independents

          Why include independents?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Because every team deserves a chance at winning the title. Not including independents bars ND, BYU, Army and Navy (for now – some may be in conferences soon). That’s fundamentally wrong, and worse than the glass ceiling in the BCS that kept the non-AQs out of the NCG. At least the non-AQs technically were eligible for the NCG.

            Conference runners up had a chance to win their conference and blew it. An elite independent deserves a shot. That’s not to say I wouldn’t accaept limits on them, like having to be ranked higher than the 3rd champ (they obviously would have to outrank the 4th champ), and be in the top 6 (maybe even top 4). There is no fair reason to exclude a 12-0 independent at the top of the rankings, though.

            Even from a pure PR perspective, CFB would be stupid to forbid certain teams from winning the title, let alone barring the service academies in an election year. Even without any limits, ND would have taken a whopping 1 slot in 14 years of the BCS era. Why take a PR hit for no gain? I just don’t see any logic in it.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Yes and the indys could have had a shot at winning a conference but they choose not to. I don’t see any difference at all between an elite independent and an elite conference runner up. None.

            (As for the service academies being locked? Yeah, that could be a problem if any actually believed that Army had any chance of making the national title. The thing is that will never happen since the combination of a service commitment and size restrictions make it impossible for them to assemble an elite team and everyone from Army’s players to their coaches to their fans and the politicians know it.)

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Yes and the indys could have had a shot at winning a conference but they choose not to. I don’t see any difference at all between an elite independent and an elite conference runner up. None.

            That’s because you’re an anti-ND guy apparently (and I’m no fan of them). Clearly a 12-0 independent is different from an 11-1 division loser or a 12-1 CCG loser. A 12-0 independent deserves a shot at the title, a runner up doesn’t. If you want to make being undefeated a stipulation for an independent I wouldn’t support you, but at least your argument would make sense (if 1 loss eliminates the runners up, why doesn’t 1 loss eliminate an indy?)

            There is not (nor should there be, IMO) a rule requiring teams to be in a conference to play I-A football. Thus, no school should be punished for not joining a conference. With the current push to kill CFB and replace it with NFL lite, that rule is probably coming in a decade or so so they can have massive “conferences” of 16+.

            (As for the service academies being locked? Yeah, that could be a problem if any actually believed that Army had any chance of making the national title. The thing is that will never happen since the combination of a service commitment and size restrictions make it impossible for them to assemble an elite team and everyone from Army’s players to their coaches to their fans and the politicians know it.)

            Of course they won’t, and BYU most likely won’t either. But you want to antagonize people by banning them from the playoffs. It serves no purpose but to aggravate people that may come back to bite you in the ass some day. Do you want more congressional hearings and an investigation into why the federally funded service academies don’t get an equal share of the playoff revenue at a time when the government is short on cash? Nothing will come of it, but it’s an unnecessary hassle and bad PR. Your refusal to see that surprises me.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Do you want more congressional hearings and an investigation into why the federally funded service academies don’t get an equal share of the playoff revenue at a time when the government is short on cash?

            Seeing as they already get almost $2 million dollars less from the BCS than Notre Dame does and no one complains I doubt anyone is going to care especially since the service athletic departments at the service academies already turn a healthy profit.

            Also, remember that the only way politicians are going to raise a fuss over this is if Army asks them to and can you really see the generals that run West Point having any desire to get involved in a political debate over college football at time when they have much larger priorities?

            Like

          • @frug – I’ll have to disagree with you here. Unfortunately, politicians (at least the incumbents) and generals would LOVE to talk about a college football playoff instead of larger priorities like the stagnant economy, high unemployment, massive deficits and multiple wars. “We need fairness in determining the college football champion” is a universally agreeable statement along the lines of “We need to have a better future for our children”. (Or as Helen Lovejoy would say, “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!”) Almost no one disagrees general overarching statements like those (even if the details about how you address those statements might wildly diverge from person to person), which is why politicians from both parties will gladly spend tons of time blowing that hot air. To be fair, we encourage this as members of the general public. How much more time have all of us spent discussing or thinking about formulating this college football playoff compared to how to not leave our children with a crushing national debt? So, the politicians and everyone else in the federal power structure (including the military) are reflecting what we’re interested in as a whole and would gladly take the opportunity to shift the public focus from the tough issues to ones like a college football playoff.

            Putting aside the political argument, there’s a pretty clear market-based argument. The TV networks *want* Notre Dame involved (or at least the chance that Notre Dame will be involved) and they’ll pay for it. Maybe it won’t be a huge amount, but it would certainly cover whatever share that ND would receive on an annual basis. In contrast, the TV networks won’t pay that much more for all of the non-AQ conferences combined to be involved in a playoff to cover what those non-AQ conferences are likely going to ask for financially.

            So, if you’re the Big Ten, SEC or one of the other power conferences, Notre Dame is a very easy give. Whatever people might think of ND, they more than pay for themselves while rarely actually taking a playoff spot. In contrast, the non-AQ conferences *don’t* pay for themselves and they have a much higher chance of taking a playoff spot. Believe me when I say this: Jim Delany has MUCH MUCH MUCH more heartburn about how to deal with the non-AQ conferences than ND. It’s not even close. ND is a complete red herring for fans – the power conferences are perfectly fine with dealing with them as a pragmatic matter because the Irish are a net revenue generator. It’s the non-power conferences that really stick in the craw of the powers that be because Delany and Slive don’t think that they bring any real additional money to the system.

            Like

          • frug says:

            And on the subject of why a top indy should not being included in a conference champs only scenario imagine this:

            1. Penn St. 13-0
            2. Michigan 12-1 (loss to PSU in CCG)
            3. LSU 11-2 (SEC champs)
            4. Oklahoma 11-2 (Big XII champs)
            5. ND 10-2 with losses to Michigan and MSU
            6. Oregon 11-2 (PAC champs)

            Michigan has the better record, higher ranking, beat the Irish head to head and beat the only other team that beat Notre Dame. But based on your system ND gets in and Michigan doesn’t. The reason I oppose letting independents take part in conference champs only system is that it gives the indies a structural advantage. If you want independents to take part either go straight top 4 or add a wildcard to ensure that everyone is playing by the same set of rules.

            (for the record here would be my preference

            1. Conference champs only
            2. Conference champs and a wild card
            3. Straight top 4
            4. Independents treated as conference champs)

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Frank

            If the politicians were so concerned about fairness for the service academies they would have demanded that Army and Navy be given the same access to the BCS that Notre Dame gets. And while the politicians might like the attention they get from beating college football, the officers that are running West Point aren’t going to want to distract attention away from their attempts to stop a curtailing of military spending (which looks imminent as part of the attempt to control the budget) at a time they are facing their most difficult recruitment environment since the end of the draft.

            As for the market based issues, remember that

            A) I was talking about my personal preference not what I thought was actually going to happen (I think a 3 champs and a wild card system is most likely)

            and

            B) even if I wasn’t I’m not sure that Notre Dame is going to be able use the economic argument anyways. Their viewership has completely collapsed over the past two years and the fact they are no longer annual contender means that the TV networks are going to be less likely to pay a premium for the chance to broadcast them. In order for including the Irish to make economic sense they not only have to pay for themselves but they also have to generate a large enough profit for the conferences to justify reducing their own access to the playoffs. To be honest, at this point the reason that the other conferences put up with Notre Dame has nothing to do with the Irish generating extra revenue and everything to do with not wanting to the Big 10 or ACC a major favor. (Of course this all moot since the Irish have already said they will join a conference if it is necessary to compete for the national title)

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            And on the subject of why a top indy should not being included in a conference champs only scenario imagine this:

            1. Penn St. 13-0
            2. Michigan 12-1 (loss to PSU in CCG)
            3. LSU 11-2 (SEC champs)
            4. Oklahoma 11-2 (Big XII champs)
            5. ND 10-2 with losses to Michigan and MSU
            6. Oregon 11-2 (PAC champs)

            Michigan has the better record, higher ranking, beat the Irish head to head and beat the only other team that beat Notre Dame. But based on your system ND gets in and Michigan doesn’t.

            First, it’s not my system. My system is the old bowl structure.

            Second, I said I could understand putting limits on the independent. In your example, 3 champs outrank ND and apparently OR and all the other champs weren’t very impressive. I could see taking a 4th champ instead of a ND team that is outranked by 3 champs or isn’t ranked high enough. What I don’t see is taking a runner up the blew a shot at the title.

            Third, I fail to see any justification for shutting out a 12-0 ND that isn’t based on bias, and you haven’t even tried to present one.

            The reason I oppose letting independents take part in conference champs only system is that it gives the indies a structural advantage. If you want independents to take part either go straight top 4 or add a wildcard to ensure that everyone is playing by the same set of rules.

            What structural advantage? ND plays as hard a schedule as many/most AQ champs according to the computers. The B12 champ only plays 12 games, too, so the number of games isn’t a reason.

            You are the one imposing a different set of rules for ND. You’re saying that no matter how good they are, they should be shut out.

            Like

          • frug says:

            No no no.

            Saying conference champs with no exceptions is one set of rules for everyone. Saying you will simply take the top 4 ranked teams is one set of rules for everyone. Creating a wildcard that everyone is eligible for is one set of rules for everyone.

            A different set of rules would be saying that independents could qualify but no other non-champs could. That’s one set of rules for the independents and one for everyone else and that is completely unfair.

            If Notre Dame doesn’t like the rule then they can leave the NCAA and found their own system. That isn’t bias.

            As for your example, leaving out a 12-0 Notre Dame team would be no different than if Ohio St. and Iowa both went undefeated (as they did in conference play a few years ago) and one was left out because only one team can be the designated champ. Sure it would be painful but rules are rules and that would be bound to happen sometime.

            One the subject of structural advantage, the answer is that don’t have to worry about one game blowing a shot at the postseason like a conference team does. As I showed above, Michigan outplayed Notre Dame is every single metric its just that their one loss came at the wrong time.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Saying conference champs with no exceptions is one set of rules for everyone.

            No, it really isn’t. It says these 116 can do X to make the playoffs and those 4 can go screw themselves. No matter how good they are, they can’t make it because frug doesn’t like ND.

            Saying you will simply take the top 4 ranked teams is one set of rules for everyone. Creating a wildcard that everyone is eligible for is one set of rules for everyone.

            Yes, those are. The first is a horribly misguided set of rules, the second set less so, but at least they apply to everyone.

            A different set of rules would be saying that independents could qualify but no other non-champs could.

            And thus we reach the heart of the dispute. I don’t see an independent as a non-champ because they didn’t fail to win a conference. You do see them as a non-champ, because you are a poor, misguided soul (that’s a joke, if you can’t tell).

            If Notre Dame doesn’t like the rule then they can leave the NCAA and found their own system. That isn’t bias.

            Right. And if blacks didn’t like Jim Crow they could go back to Africa. That isn’t bias.

            As for your example, leaving out a 12-0 Notre Dame team would be no different than if Ohio St. and Iowa both went undefeated (as they did in conference play a few years ago) and one was left out because only one team can be the designated champ. Sure it would be painful but rules are rules and that would be bound to happen sometime.

            1. No conference can have the outcome now. Everyone plays a round robin and/or a CCG, so you can’t have 2 12-0 co-champs.

            2. Assuming for the sake of argument that it did happen, though, both can be conference champs and eligible for the playoff. Conferences have tiebreakers to choose a BCS representative because only 1 team can physically fill that spot, but that doesn’t prevent them from having co-champs. A playoff has 4 spots, so co-champs can both make it.

            3. It’s bound to happen? The B10 had 11 teams with an 8 game schedule for 18 years, and only once did two teams go 8-0. Even then, 1 of them lost an OOC game. In fact, only 6 teams went 8-0 at all in those 18 seasons. So let’s go back to the 10 teams days, since 10 seems more likely than 11 for a conference. There were never undefeated co-champs since MSU joined in 1953, and I’m only looking at conference games. In fact, the previous time it happened was in 1943 (6-0 in a 9 team league) and again 1 of the 2 lost an OOC game. The same is true for 1935 and 1930. In 1926 both lost an OOC game. So you have to go back to 1923 to find 2 undefeated teams (4-0 and 5-0 in an 8 game season, both 8-0 overall), and that’s the only time it ever happened. I’m willing to take the once every 116 years risk, especially since nobody is even running that risk right now.

            During the BCS period, the 12th game became permanent making go undefeated even harder. Currently every conference plays a full round robin or a CCG, and many are moving to 9 conference games. I don’t see this as a major stumbling block.

            On the subject of structural advantage, the answer is that don’t have to worry about one game blowing a shot at the postseason like a conference team does. As I showed above, Michigan outplayed Notre Dame is every single metric its just that their one loss came at the wrong time.

            1. You made up a fake season to illustrate a point. There’s a limit to how much weight I can give that evidence.

            2. Sure they have to worry about losing 1 game blowing their chances. In the real world, 10-2 ND is unlikely to be ranked #5. In 2006 and 2002 (the only two times ND has been 10-2 before the bowls), 10-2 ND was #11. As I’ve said many times, you could have rules limiting a ND (top X, above the 3rd champ, undefeated, etc) but still provide access to the playoff that is fair to them. In your fake season, MI could have won their way in but didn’t. You’ll never make me feel sorry for a team in that position no matter how screwy your fake season is. The CCG was part of MI’s playoff and they lost. Isn’t that how playoffs are supposed to work? Maybe next year MI will try to persuade the B10 to drop the CCG because then they could have made it in the playoff.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I’ll have a couple of replies and then I’ll probably be done since it is clear that we simply have fundamentally different views on this

            1. You refuse to give my made up season full weight but keep talking about a 12-0 Notre Dame team. I don’t see why my hypothetical season is any less valid than yours.

            2. Like it or not a conference champs only rule is one set of rules, and there is simply no disputing that. It means everyone has to accomplish the exact same thing to qualify for the post season. Admittedly, it makes it impossible for independents to make the post season, but they know how to solve that problem.

            3. Black people didn’t choose to live in Jim Crowe, the independents chose not join conferences.

            4. I’m not arguing all this because I am biased against Notre Dame, I am arguing this because it is not fair to make exceptions for some schools but not others. Just like it is unfair that Notre Dame gets $1.7 million more than Army, Navy and BYU and gets special access rules that the other independents receive with no clear justification (at least the power conferences set up a system that showed how other conferences could theoretically reach AQ status).

            Like

        • Thanks for the data here guys. Good work.

          I’m in between the two of you. Il ike 3+1. I think conference champs is great…with a caveat that a non-champ (conference runner-up, independent) ranked in the top 3 gets in automatically. It puts emphasis on winning your conference but allows access.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            It’s always best to use data when possible in these sorts of discussions. It’s why bullet and I can calmly disagree about the subject, because each side has some facts to support it.

            As much as I value champs, even I agree there needs to be a line beyond which a runner up gets in instead. This whole discussion is about where to draw the line. I think most people will support the top 3 champs getting in (lowest 3rd champ in BCS era was #5), even if they prefer a pure top 4. Nobody can convince me that the ranking system is really accurate enough to reliably separate the 4th and 5th best teams, so I prefer the objective criterion of winning a conference. Others prefer to trust the polls, but I don’t see that as being approved. Almost nobody wants to see 3 teams from 1 conference make the playoff which is what a pure 1-4 could allow.

            The real debate is about the 4th team. I prefer the 4th champ or an independent, but there must be some criteria to assure they belong to satisfy the mob. Potential rules:

            1. The 4th champ must be in the top X to get in. X could be anywhere from 5-10.
            2. An independent must be ranked above the 4th champ and in the top X to get in. X could be anywhere from 4-8.
            3. An independent must be ranked above the 3rd champ to get in. That means #4 at worst, and usually top 3.

            I don’t like letting in runners up because they haven’t earned anything and I don’t trust the accuracy of the polls. That said, I’m guessing they will mandate that a top 2 team gets in regardless and I would understand their reasoning.

            Realistic rules that I think most could accept:
            Top 3 champs and then the “wildcard” is:
            1. #1
            2. #2
            3. An independent ranked higher than the 3rd champ or in the top 4
            4. A top 6 4th champ
            5. A top 6 runner up to one of the top 3 champs or independent
            6. A top 6 runner up in another conference

            I’d clearly prefer to just stick to champs since you rarely get a 4th one outside of the top 6, but these rules would restrict you to top 6 teams in the playoff. It lets an elite runner up get in, but gives a little preference to a champ or a top 4 independent. If you have to allow runners up, I like my last 2 rules that reward being in the tougher conference rather than getting upset in a weak conference. I’d rather have a #5 AL than a #4 Boise.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          So really its just 3 years out of 14 where there were two non-champs in the top 4 counting Ohio St. as a champ.

          So how would you feel Brian if Ohio St. lost the tiebreak and was excluded because the Big 10 based their championship on who won most recently, despite Ohio St. being “the best team in the nation?” Would you still be willing to say, its tough? They lost one game, so we don’t care that they are co-champs? Only champs should get in?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            So really its just 3 years out of 14 where there were two non-champs in the top 4 counting Ohio St. as a champ.

            Right. I could have let it slide, but you had the facts of why WI “won” wrong anyway so I had to fix it.

            So how would you feel Brian if Ohio St. lost the tiebreak and was excluded because the Big 10 based their championship on who won most recently, despite Ohio St. being “the best team in the nation?” Would you still be willing to say, its tough? They lost one game, so we don’t care that they are co-champs? Only champs should get in?

            I’d be mad at the coach for blowing the damn game. I’m still mad at Cooper for that and several other losses (to MI and in bowls). I wouldn’t be mad at the playoff system for excluding OSU, just like I wasn’t mad at the system for OSU missing the Rose Bowl in 1998. I blamed Cooper for losing a game he should have won.

            I believe in rules, so I wouldn’t be mad at them when they worked against me. That’s not to say I wouldn’t complain about bad rules even before they impacted me, but I always kind of liked the idiosyncratic rule of sending the team with the longest Rose Bowl drought. That’s pure CFB. It’s certainly better than falling back on BCS rankings which is what everyone would do now.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Thanks for the correction. Like I said, I didn’t really remember what the deal was with Ohio St. in 98. There were so many upsets late in the season that year.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            When it happens to your team, you tend to remember. I’m guessing the 2008 B12 title going to OU will be all most fans remember in 10 years, but I think you’ll remember a little more about it.

            Like

  23. bullet says:

    Kristi Dosh weighs in on the financial side:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/dollars/post/_/id/609/college-football-playoff-a-big-moneymaker

    Saying $600 million to $1.5 billion. Notably, says January 1 is much better financially than the week before. May be why they want to take back January 1.

    Like

  24. bullet says:

    Foxsports makes it sound like Hancock and Delany are optomistic an agreement will be reached.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/College-football-playoff-making-good-progress-despite-naming-issues-BCS-meetings-Bill-Hancock-042512

    Interesting that the only ones talking are Hancock and Delany with one quote so far from Scott. There are some Slive quotes I’ve seen, but they probably came from before the meeting.

    Hancock’s comment that they are about mile 20 of the marathon and have conquered Heartbreak Hill is amusing. What they don’t tell you about the Boston Marathon is that yes, Heartbreak Hill at mile 16 is tough, but you start a long steady incline at around mile 21 and that can be tougher than a short hill. The BCS hasn’t tackled the monetary issues at mile 21 yet.

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      Forde just posted an article that’s very one-sided with Slive.

      http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–college-football-playoff-closer-to-a-reality.html;_ylt=AmHSrlDFjWADhG1XIZEeKMw5nYcB

      If I am Forde I would be holding picking winners and loser until everything is settled. Also, I don’t automatically think that if we move to a 4 team playoff that Slive is somehow the winner.

      Also, with the ACC expansion, their membership has added a few northern schools to their mix so I can’t imagine their entire membership is in favor of southern sites.

      ND probably doesn’t care where the games are played.

      Like

      • Brian #2 says:

        Agree. The SEC is only the winner if the status quo remains in place, which they have dominated for the better part of a decade. If I were Mike Slive I would have zero interest in changing a thing. Unbiased observers have to hand it to him for being open to change at all.

        Like

  25. Playoffs Now says:

    “Hurry in now, for the Toyota 4-Team Event!”

    Like

    • Brian says:

      It’s ridiculous that they can’t say the word playoff. Do they really think the presidents and the fans can’t see through their spin?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I think it may be the lawyers they are listening to. If it is an “event,” it is just another set of bowls that they can control they way they want (including revenue distribution). If it is a playoff they may get more into anti-trust issues or simply violations of NCAA by-laws.

        Like

        • greg says:

          I’ve wondered if we discussed “event” around here. I agree with bullet and my assumption has been that they do that to avoid the NCAA getting their hands on it.

          Like

  26. frug says:

    On the topic of neutral sites for the semis I saw one interesting proposal which he conference would have a desiginated stadium if one its teams were ranked in the top 2 (i.e. the Big 10 would be Indianapolis (or Chicago if they were willing to play outside), the SEC would be Atlanta, the Big XII could be Jerryworld or even Arrowhead, etc.) This would eliminate the infastructure issues and still give the high ranking teams an advantage (just like in the NCAA tournament where the highest ranked teams are put in their natural regions).

    Like

    • largeR says:

      I doubt that could be worked out. You would not know who the teams are until the first or second Sunday in December. IMO way too late for site selection.

      Jimbo should just bend over for Mikey and say, ‘we want the semis in those neutral site meccas of New Orleans and Atlanta’. S e sea west champ hosts in New Orleans and the east champ in Atlanta. Sounds fair to me. Also have the west number 2 at the east champ, and vice versa. I think Mikey might go for that!

      On a serious note, just leave the !@#$% Rose Bowl alone for the PAC/B1G, Delo$$!

      Like

      • frug says:

        That was my first thought, but if they can get things together for a home game on a week’s notice is it really unreasonable to think they could do it at a neutral site as long the possible semifinal locations are established before the season?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          But then the SEC might have to play a road game and they’ve made their stance on that issue clear. Everyone should have to play in SEC territory at all times just in case an SEC team is in the game.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          The stadiums aren’t going to reserve the time for a possibility at getting one of those games. If they can get something else, they will. There needs to be a committment for the neutral sites.

          Like

      • largeR says:

        Regarding my previous post; on second thought, Mikey would be whining about the exclusion of Arkansas last year, so that would necessitate a play-in game(call it the first round), in maybe,………….Birmingham!

        On selection Sunday for NFL-lite, I suggest they have a selection panel made up of all the S e seePN talking heads, who after, maybe six hours of on the air discussion for filler, cast anonymous(for safety) ballots for their favorite four(or five) S e see teams. Perhaps, on occasion, a Big 12 or ACC school could be included to counter any perception of exclusion. Everyone who wants playoffs!?, could have them, and those of us loving the PAC/B1G/Rose Bowl on New Years day at 1PM(my time, not yours) could enjoy our version of college football.

        Like

  27. BigTenFan says:

    Both excuses for not playing home Semi’s are total BS. Here is a post a put on a forum, but it is relevant here, so I will repost:

    I guess the current system gives you serious incentive to be #1 or #2 & I think to continue that excitement in the new postseason model, that same emphasis should still be in place. If you don’t grant home games to higher seeds & the semi’s are hosted at “neutral” sites, quite frankly, there isn’t much difference in being rated 1 or 4 most of the time.

    Even more importantly, as I stated above, every other “major” level of football (including the pros) grants higher seeded teams home playoff games…I can’t think of one legitimate excuse as to why it should be different in FBS college football, and here are the counters to what I’m sure you’re going to throw out there:

    1.) “Logistical Nightmare” – BS. I can guarantee you, with the tickets you would sell to this game, that you can find a way to staff it – I don’t care if your school is on Xmas break. Further, and even more importantly, if you go to this “4 Team Event” model, the way to execute it properly would be to start the CFB season 1 week earlier, play the CCG’s the last week in November, & play the semi’s the first week in December. This solves two issues – 1.) Most universities wouldn’t be on Xmas break yet (and it would actually fall in the dead week before finals) 2.) It allows the losers of the semi final games to be selected by bowls – (which, in many years, could still allow the Big Ten champ & PAC 12 Champ to play in the Rose).

    2.) Small Stadiums – Sorry, but this one doesn’t work either, even though the SEC is looking for a reason not to travel north. Since 2002, if the 1 & 2 team hosted, here are the hosts and the number of times they would have hosted since 2002:

    Ohio State – 3
    LSU – 3
    Oklahoma – 2
    USC – 2
    Texas – 2
    Florida – 2
    Alabama – 2
    Miami – 1

    I’d be willing to bet that, in almost every instance in the last decade, hosting the game on a campus site would have resulted in higher seating capacity than whatever “neutral” site they would choose.

    And don’t give me this crap about “well what if TCU, Boise State, or Utah end up hosting a playoff game?”. 1.) That would have happened since the inception of the BCS &, more importantly, 2.) TCU, Boise State, & Utah will all be in “BCS” level conferences by the time this system in put into place, so it will be even more unlikely that they will be able to finish ranked in a position to host anyway.

    This is simply the SEC/Texas saying “We have a great advantage right now and we’d rather not mess with it”. Bull****.

    If Slive wants a straight 1-4 getting in, I’d be OK conceding that if he’d allow the 1 & 2 rated teams to host a semifinal. If he gets his wish on “neutral site” semi finals, than 3 conference champs get in & one runner up – no straight 1-4. If he gets his way on both, I’d rather the Big Ten pair with the PAC 12 and keep the Rose Bowl and not even be included in the Slive system.

    Like

    • @BigTenFan – All of that makes sense, but the money (and remember that it’s all about the money) is really made from corporate sponsorships and luxury suites as opposed to sheer butts in the seats. A stadium can make as much from selling one suite that seats 10 people as it would from 1000 normal seats. That’s where neutral sites have a massive advantage since you’re able to guarantee months or even years in advance the sale of those high margin suites and sponsorships.

      What we’re seeing here (whether it’s right or wrong) is that the traveling fan is going to end up being at the short end of the stick. Traveling fans are better off with on-campus sites, but neutral sites provide for more luxury suite and sponsorship opportunities (along with a big-time bid in order to become a host). If there have to be neutral sites, traveling fans are better off having the game played between Christmas and New Year’s or, at the very least, on a weekend, yet the TV networks want games to be in January (meaning semifinals on New Year’s Day at the *earliest*) and weeknights in order to maximize their audiences.

      Since the playoff system is going to be ultimately paid for by the bowl committees/stadium owners and TV networks, guess whose interests will likely (if not definitely) prevail?

      Like

      • BigTenFan says:

        I will guarantee that you will see stadiums for the Nat’l title at 80% capacity if you play “neutral sight” semifinal games – you’re asking fans to spend A LOT of money & get a lot of time off work in that scenario.

        You’re completely right in that there is probably more money in the “neutral site’ semifinals, however, the home semifinals make the regular season more meaningful (which will drive TV ratings up), allow the losers of the semi finals to participate in bowl games (which also provides more money for the conference), & is the standard way that champions are determined in football at every other major level.

        In terms of “which proposal is the more common sense approach”, it is undoubtedly the home semifinal model. Add to this that the PAC 12 is arguing for it vehemently, & the Big 10 would gain a competitive advantage from it, I still have hope that it could potentially happen.

        Of course, logic hasn’t shaped the history of college football, money has, so you will probably be right in the end.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The national title game will be full no matter what. Now it might be non-chalant locals instead of rabid fans, but it will sell out.

          Like

          • BigTenFan says:

            Sure, if you price the tickets right….non-chalant fans aren’t paying a premium for those seats.

            I guess the positive is that you will make the NC game more accessible for fans who are willing to get work off to go….because not many people can afford to travel to a BCS bowl over the New Years Holiday, then turn around the next week, take off work, pay for an air ticket/hotel, & buy a game ticket after just spending all that money to do the same thing a week earlier.

            Like

          • Brian #2 says:

            Agree on the championship game. But the attendance at semifinal games held at neutral sites will be spotty. How many people really will shell out over $1000 total to travel to a semifinal game, and then turn around and shell out even more for the national championship? If you are going to travel, most people will hold out for the championship game.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Don’t need to price the tickets “right.” Corporate types will fill the stadium if fans don’t. NCAA final in basketball does just fine in domes after 3 weekends of games.

            Doing 3 weeks in a row with an 8 team field in football would be difficult, but I think semi-finals in a 4 team field will do fine. There is, however, definitely a risk there. That may actually be an argument for a bowl semi-final. Have the multi-day bowl experience in a nice location. The final can be a fly-in, fly-out affair in Indianapolis.

            Like

  28. Something that I observed from yesterday:

    The quotes from the supposedly “reactionary” Jim Delany were actually much less hardline than the comments from “progressive” Larry Scott when it came to the Rose Bowl, using campus sites for semifinals, and only including conference champs. It was also instructive in the Pat Forde piece that was linked above that it appeared that Delany and Mike Slive were more aligned than not in the meetings.

    The media has made a lot of the Big Ten-SEC rivalry, but when you think about it, outside of the Rose Bowl issue (which is admittedly a major one), the two conferences and their respective commissioners might have different opinions but that doesn’t mean they are *fundamentally* different leagues. The Big Ten and SEC can end up with any of the 4-team systems that are being proposed and it would ultimately work for them (or at least preserve their power). Does playing on campus sites really hurt the SEC that much? Not really, and based on the past decade, it would have helped them more often than not. In turn, does playing semifinals at neutral sites really hurt the Big Ten? There might be an argument for the actual on-the-field games, but off-the-field, the Big Ten is every bit as strong as a traveling fan conference as the SEC, which is part of the reason why the Big Ten has so much influence in the current bowl system. In terms of the money (and it’s really all about the money here), neutral semifinal sites are just as good for the Big Ten as they are for the SEC. Even if the Big Ten were to have reduced access to the Rose Bowl, *all* of the other major bowls would take the conferences’ teams in a heartbeat.

    In contrast, the Pac-12 actually has much more to lose with a reduced value Rose Bowl and neutral sites for the semifinals. The Rose Bowl tie-in masks the fact that the Pac-12 bowl lineup beyond that is worse than the Big 12 and even the much-maligned ACC, which is a result of the fact that the Pac-12 schools don’t travel very well as a group. While the Orange, Fiesta and Sugar Bowls jump at the chance for Big Ten teams, none of them really go out of their way for Pac-12 teams (and the Fiesta is actually in a Pac-12 market). Heck, outside of when USC and UCLA play in the Rose Bowl, the Big Ten team usually has the crowd advantage (and that’s in LA). The Pac-12 fan bases are also much less likely to travel multiple times to neutral sites compared to the Big Ten and SEC, which is why they chose to hold their conference championship game on campus. Therefore, the Rose Bowl tie-in and the use of on-campus sites is a much more critical issue for the Pac-12 compared to the Big Ten and I believe that’s being reflected in Larry Scott not being nearly as “open minded” as fans have thought/hoped he would be.

    Like

    • BigTenFan says:

      “In turn, does playing semifinals at neutral sites really hurt the Big Ten? There might be an argument for the actual on-the-field games”

      The on the field games are what dictate perception – regardless of the SEC’s opinion – New Orleans isn’t a “neutral site” game. The SEC has played national title games in its backyard now for a number of years – the least the Big Ten can demand is getting a semi final game at home, like is standard in EVERY other major form of football.

      I think conceding neutral site home games will result in empty stadiums & an unnecessary competitive disadvantage for the Big Ten. The Big Ten has had to travel away for postseason play for the entire history of college football….if we are moving to a playoff format, the playoff format should reflect the standard playoff format of other types of major football – home games for the higher seeded teams.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      The outside view is that the Big 10 just whines about traveling because they lose (although not as much as perceived-its mainly because its most high profile team-Ohio St. has done poorly recently in major bowls). As Frank says, these are bowls. The Big 10 is not a road team and often has as many fans as the SEC/Pac 12 team. There are probably more midwesterners in Florida than southerners (at least from Orlando south)! Jacksonville is a very southern city, but Miami is not.

      Like

      • BigTenFan says:

        LOL. Ok…Penn State is at a “neutral site” when they played USC, in LA, at the Rose Bowl a few years ago. Iowa has played Florida in Florida twice in bowl games over the course of the last decade & we’ve played Texas in Texas – your definition of a “neutral site” is obviously different than mine.

        Like

        • frug says:

          To be fair, the Big 10 is responsible for both those situations. They have fiercely guarded the Rose Bowl for years and it was Jim Delany’s idea to set up the New Year’s Day Florida based Big 10-SEC challenge.

          Like

          • BigTenFan says:

            I’m not saying the disadvantage provided by the bowl system isn’t the Big Ten’s fault, I’m saying there is NO reason that, in moving to a playoff format, the Big Ten shouldn’t vehemently support a system that is STANDARD practice when it comes to determine a football champion, and it also happens to level the playing field in terms of the game locations.

            Perhaps even more important, the Big Ten’s biggest “ally” (in terms of conferences), the PAC 12, also supports the home game semi final model. The Big Ten should lay down an ultimatum saying they won’t accept a system that doesn’t provide home semifinal games.

            As Frank mentioned above, perhaps Delany will follow the money though, rather than when is in the best competitive interest of his conference.

            Like

          • frug says:

            The problem is the only way for the Big 10 to issue an ultimatum is to threaten to hold out of the playoffs, but that isn’t really feasible. As unfair holding the playoffs in warm weather locales may be it still wouldn’t damage the conference nearly as much as holding out of the post season.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            The reason most post season bowls are in warm climates is that is where most people would strongly consider taking a vacation in the winter, aside from skiers who would be on the slopes anyway.

            The damage to the conference by holding out of a playoff would be equaled by the damage to the playoff system, especially if joined by the PAC. Like Brian, I don’t want a headlong rush to become the NFL lite and would prefer the B1G/PAC/Rose Bowl stand solid whether it changes the proposal or causes a split in CFB.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @ccrider

            Yes the playoff would be damaged if the PAC and Big 10 held out, but the damage would not be equal. When the BCS contracts expire in 2014 there would be 125 teams in D1-A of which only 24 will be in the Big 10 and PAC, so the non-Rose Bowl schools would have almost all the leverage. Eventually the inability to play for the national title would spark will severely damage the conferences’ recruiting and spark a fan revolt forcing the holdouts to join (to say nothing of the fact the non-RB schools could just pass a rule banning conferences that don’t participate in the playoffs from playing in bowl games).

            Remember, the PAC and Big 10 eventually caved and joined the BCS in exchange for some rather mild concessions by the bowls and other conferences so I expect the same will happen this time.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frug,

            Did the MWC, WAC, etc suddenly acquire great power and influence? D1 is already on 2 levels. A holdout would involve 24 of the 60-70 teams that matter. A swath from Pennsylvania through the Midwest, Rocky Mountains, SW deserts, and to the entire west coast Would be involved. Without them it could not be a “national” championship.

            The B1G and PAC did give in last time, and really had strong negative reaction when the true Rose Bowl in effect did not happen. You may be right and it will happen again, but I think you are underestimating their leverage. If they do split do you anticipate that all other conferences and teams will stick with the SEC league, or will some explore their options?

            Like

          • Frug says:

            Let’s see, the playoff block would give the mid-majors access to NCG while the Rose Block would only help the Big 10 and PAC so who do think the small schools will back?

            Reason that the SEC/ACC/SWC/Big 8/XII/ Big East waited until the Rose conferences to around before formalizing their agreement (the Bowl Alliance/Coalition were the result of deals between the bowls and conferences not NCAA action) was they needed the Big 10 and PAC’s votes in order to lock out the mid-majors. This time they have said they won’t block the same schools.

            In short, the reason the mid-majors have leverage is because this time their votes matter and will become even more important since the have nots will soon be the majority inD1-A.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            You miss the point. Without the Rose group there is no “N”CG. It is just a group claiming something that isn’t possible. A playoff to a big Bowl.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Without the Rose group there is no “N”CG. It is just a group claiming something that isn’t possible. A playoff to a big Bowl.

            No actually it would still be the national championship it’s just two conferences would not make their teams eligible for the title. Saying that it wouldn’t be national title game regardless of the fact that 80% if the teams and the NCAA say it is would be like saying the winner of March Madness wouldn’t really be the national champ if the Big Sky conference chose not to take part. If someone chooses to hold out that is fine but that doesn’t devalue everyone who follows the rules.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        The outside view is that the Big 10 just whines about traveling because they lose (although not as much as perceived-its mainly because its most high profile team-Ohio St. has done poorly recently in major bowls).

        There are several separate issues that get lumped together here.

        1. Travel as a competitive disadvantage for the team. This is a factor when playing USC in LA, LSU in NO, and FL in Miami. Both teams get there a week in advance so it isn’t a huge deal, but it is a factor.

        2. Travel costs for fans. This is a huge disadvantage for the B10. We have to shell out millions to southern and western economies while those fan bases don’t even need a hotel.

        3. Weather issues as a disadvantage for the team. Bodies adjust to the local weather (northerners wearing shorts while southerners wear long sleeves in the same temps), so northern teams are adversely impacted by suddenly being in balmy weather. The impact is lessened by the use of indoor practice facilities, but it is still true. Conversely, when you see cold weather at a bowl game, you frequently see warm weather teams struggle (see 2009 Champs Sports Bowl – WI vs Miami in 40 degree weather).

        4. OSU recently in major bowls is just wrong. It’s only the NCG that’s been a problem. OSU is 5-1 in BCS bowls not for the NC. OSU is 1-2 in NCG, with the two losses most recently. If you only consider since 2006, OSU is 2-3 and on a 2 game winning streak. OSU had two bad losses. That’s it. Everything else is overreaction.

        2011 – no major bowl
        2010 – won Sugar
        2009 – won Rose
        2008 – lost Fiesta in the last minute
        2007 – lost NCG (to LSU in NO)
        2006 – lost NCG badly
        2005 – won Fiesta
        2004 – no major bowl
        2003 – won Fiesta
        2002 – won Fiesta/NCG
        2001 – no major bowl
        2000 – no major bowl
        1999 – no major bowl
        1998 – won Sugar

        As Frank says, these are bowls. The Big 10 is not a road team and often has as many fans as the SEC/Pac 12 team.

        It’s not just the number of fans at the game, but everything that goes with it (travel costs versus just driving for the game, all the locals you interact with, the weather, etc). You also paint a false picture of most bowls if you also consider the “neutral” fans (locals and corporate types) that lean towards the home teams too.

        There are probably more midwesterners in Florida than southerners (at least from Orlando south)! Jacksonville is a very southern city, but Miami is not.

        You don’t generally fill a bowl up with 80 year olds from Boca. And this says nothing about New Orleans or LA which are also road games. Would you consider UGA or UT playing OSU in Cleveland a neutral site if tickets were split like a major bowl (17.5k for each team, 46k local/corporate)?

        Like

  29. bullet says:

    A little off topic, but Atlanta is planning on giving the Falcons what they want-an open air stadium, while giving the SEC and NCAA what they want-a weather protected stadium. The will replace the Georgia Dome with a retractable roof stadium. The SEC ccg, Peach Bowl, NCAA bb tourney (and convention uses) were so important they thought about keeping both stadiums, but decided it wasn’t feasible financially. Sportswriter wonders why the public should pay to replace the 1992 vintage Dome:

    http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog

    Like

    • Brian says:

      This is such a bad idea. The Dome is fine, and if Blank doesn’t like it he can build his own damn stadium. I’m sure he still gets a discount from Home Depot for materials.

      Like

  30. Read The D says:

    Why can’t the semifinals be worked into the existing bowl tie-ins? #1 and #2 should at least have a home-bowl advantage. If the B1G or PAC are #1 or #2, let the Rose Bowl host a semi. If SEC is #1 or #2 let the Sugar Bowl host. That preserves the bowl tradition, which I enjoy, and maintains corporate sponsorship capabilities. Play the Cotton Bowl, Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day every year and the Sugar and Fiesta on January 2nd.

    Like

    • @Read the D – That appears to be one of the options on the table now:

      Sources also told CBSSports.com that one of the many formats the BCS is considering is a model that would allow the bowl games the flexibility to host a semifinal game — if it’s not scheduled — if its anchor team qualifies for the playoff. In other words, if the Rose Bowl is not scheduled to host a semifinal game, but the Big Ten or Pac-12 champion qualifies for a four-team playoff, then the Rose Bowl could host a semifinal. This also would be the case for an SEC champion and the Sugar Bowl or a Big 12 team and the Fiesta Bowl.

      Also, the commissioners discussed the bowl teams that lose their anchor teams would be allowed to replace those teams based on a “free market system.” In other words, they would be able to take whatever team they wanted that would fill their stadium, meaning the smaller market schools would likely never get selected for the major bowls.

      http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/18831663/status-quo-is-dead-for-bcs-but-its-up-for-debate-whats-still-alive

      To the extent that the Rose Bowl is willing to give up a guaranteed annual Big Ten/Pac-12 game to participate in the new system (and their director has indicated that they are), this proposal jumps out at me as the one that I believe we’ll end up with. It at least preserves a portion of the tradition (and as opposed to losing a #1/#2 Big Ten or Pac-12 team to the championship game like today, they actually keep that team) while making the game (along with the other bowls) more relevant again and not a consolation prize. There could also be a provision that if the Big Ten and Pac-12 *both* end up in the top 4, then the Rose Bowl gets that matchup guaranteed. That’s probably going to be the best the traditionalists are going to get in terms of a 4-team playoff proposal.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        If the Rose was willing not to be 1 of only 4, it might be easier to preserve their B1G/Pac tradition. If there were 6 or 8 bowls that had semi-finals, the Rose wouldn’t have to be a semi-final without the matchup they wanted. One logical and easy model would simply rotate-Rose and Sugar get semi-finals one year, Fiesta and Orange the next. If there were 6, the semi-final would directly interrupt the normal matchup 1 in 3 years. With 8, 1 in 4. It would still lose the champions when they were in the playoffs, but it wouldn’t be as disruptive as getting the semi-finals every other year. So maybe you have LA, Phoenix, New Orleans, Miami, Dallas and New York (or Atlanta or Nashville or Orlando).

        I suspect the model above won’t be approved because of 2 reasons: 1) Benefits to 1 (or 2) bowls at the expense of others (the Orange would absolutely hate this) that could have long term detrimental impacts on the other bowls; and 2) Money. All that pre-selling of suites can’t be done if you don’t know where it will be at.

        Like

      • Eric says:

        That probably is the best we can hope for at this point. Where we are at now, I am slightly split at whether it’s better to have the Rose Bowl as a semi-final only if both Big Ten and PAC-12 teams are in or if just one. In years when only one makes it, you either end up with that team hosting the Rose Bowl and the other champion in another bowl or a Big Ten vs. PAC-12 game that is missing a champion. The former keeps the Rose Bowl the ultimate prize through the regular season, the latter keeps it Big Ten vs. PAC-10. I think I’m inclined with the former, but will have to think about that.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Frank the Tank,

        To the extent that the Rose Bowl is willing to give up a guaranteed annual Big Ten/Pac-12 game to participate in the new system (and their director has indicated that they are), this proposal jumps out at me as the one that I believe we’ll end up with.

        This is a horrible decision and everyone involved at the RB and the B10 and P12 should be shot. There is no Rose Bowl without the 2 champs, just a game played in the same stadium. It will lose a lot of interest really quickly as real fans realize even the Rose Bowl Committee doesn’t care about the Rose Bowl any more. Sure, the semis will be popular when they are played there, but no more so than the other semifinals. But when they don’t have a semi, the game will suffer tremendously and they deserve it. I hope they lose a bundle because of this.

        It at least preserves a portion of the tradition

        No. No, no, no. That’s not how tradition works. You can’t preserve a portion of a tradition, it’s all or nothing.

        (and as opposed to losing a #1/#2 Big Ten or Pac-12 team to the championship game like today, they actually keep that team) while making the game (along with the other bowls) more relevant again and not a consolation prize.

        Great. They lose the other champ instead, and have to replace it with a team from a different conference. Massive improvement.

        And you are entirely wrong about the bowls. This will render them completely irrelevant to the public. The semifinals that take place instead of the actual bowls will be important, but all the other years they might as well not even bother to stage a game as far as most of the public is concerned. Add in that the bowls and semis will be played on or near the same days and all the media coverage will be on the semis and finals, too.

        There could also be a provision that if the Big Ten and Pac-12 *both* end up in the top 4, then the Rose Bowl gets that matchup guaranteed. That’s probably going to be the best the traditionalists are going to get in terms of a 4-team playoff proposal.

        Hey, look! A slightly different color of crap sandwich. That’s much better.

        I hope everyone involved loses billions on this and the government steps in to take away the tax break for donors as well as forcing an equal revenue distribution.

        Like

        • @Brian – I understand that anything other than the pre-BCS Rose Bowl is going to look like a “crap sandwich” from your perspective. So, it’s really a matter of degree: is it crappy, crappier or crappiest? I would argue that this proposal, at least with respect to the Rose Bowl, is crappy, the current BCS system is crappier and always taking the Big Ten/Pac-12 champs to semifinals outside of the Rose Bowl is crappiest.

          The old Rose Bowl is never coming back (and I sympathize with the thought that isn’t a good thing), but it’s essentially a choice, now: either the Rose will have the ability to get a top 4 Big Ten/Pac-12 champ as a semifinal host (yet not be guaranteed that it’s a Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup) or it can guarantee a Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup by not hosting semifinals but it would be made up of conference runners-up more often than not. That’s the reality at this point.

          Like

    • Read The D says:

      I looked at the past 6 years with this model and the semi-finals and/or Rose Bowl games would be as follows, using the 3+1 model:

      2011:
      Sugar – 1. LSU vs 5. Oregon
      Fiesta – 3. Oklahoma St. vs 2. Alabama
      Rose – 10. Wisconsin vs 4. Stanford

      2010:
      Sugar – 1. Auburn vs 4. Stanford
      Rose – 2. Oregon vs 3. TCU

      2009:
      Sugar – 1. Alabama vs 4. TCU
      Fiesta – 2. Texas vs 3. Cincinnati

      2008:
      Fiesta – 1. OU vs 5. USC
      Sugar – 2. Florida vs 3. Texas
      Rose – 8. Penn St vs 4. Alabama

      2007
      Rose – 1. Ohio St. vs 4. OU
      Sugar 2. LSU vs 3. Virginia Tech

      2006
      Rose – 1. Ohio St. vs 5. USC
      Sugar – 2. Florida vs 3. Michigan

      2005
      Rose – 1. USC vs 4. Ohio St.
      Fiesta – 2. Texas vs 3. Penn St.

      2004
      Rose – 1. USC vs 4. Texas
      Fiesta – 2. Oklahoma vs 3. Auburn

      Can’t see the PAC and B1G saying no to this. They would have an awesome match-up every year and 3 out of the last 6 years the Rose Bowl has had a traditional PAC v B1G match-up.

      Like

      • Read The D says:

        *Not past 6 years, past 8 years.

        Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        3 out of 6 isn’t 6 out of 6…

        Like

      • bullet says:

        But it also makes my point. 6 times Sugar, 5 times Fiesta, 5 times Rose. Never Orange.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          Going by that article, in years when they are one or two, if you let the higher Big Ten/PAC-10 champ get the Rose, let the Big 12 the Fiesta, and the SEC get the Sugar, then there is almost no point to a rotation. It’s probably reasonable to assume we get the ACC more involved than lately and maybe even a Big East team (they’ve been close a few times), but those schools make up such a large amount of the #1 and #2 schools that they should probably just have the bowls straight out based on who makes is #1 and #2.

          Big Ten/PAC-12: Rose (and preferably the Rose Bowl is big enough that they’d be given this even as #3 or #4 if it is going to be included like this, but that’s not what the article said).
          ACC: Orange
          Big 12: Fiesta
          SEC: Sugar
          Independent/Other conference/Runner-up: Cotton (Probably need a 5th BCS bowl)

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Read The D,

        I looked at the past 6 years with this model and the semi-finals and/or Rose Bowl games would be as follows, using the 3+1 model:

        [results deleted]

        Can’t see the PAC and B1G saying no to this. They would have an awesome match-up every year and 3 out of the last 6 years the Rose Bowl has had a traditional PAC v B1G match-up.

        They’ll bend over and take it because they have no choice. Every decent idea has been shot down as not favoring the SEC enough.

        That said, I don’t see all these “awesome match-up”s you talk about. That description only applies to a true Rose Bowl, and I only see 1 of those (2009). And just FYI, “a traditional PAC v B1G match-up” does not mean just any two teams from those conferences. The traditional match-up is of the 2 champions only.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Read The D,

      Why can’t the semifinals be worked into the existing bowl tie-ins?

      They can, but there will be major repercussions.

      #1 and #2 should at least have a home-bowl advantage. If the B1G or PAC are #1 or #2, let the Rose Bowl host a semi.

      How is playing in LA an advantage for the B10?

      If SEC is #1 or #2 let the Sugar Bowl host. That preserves the bowl tradition, which I enjoy, and maintains corporate sponsorship capabilities. Play the Cotton Bowl, Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day every year and the Sugar and Fiesta on January 2nd.

      The Sugar would love this. The game in the Rose Bowl stadium might be more prominent, too. The Orange would be screwed. The Fiesta or Cotton would do OK, and the other would be screwed. The ACC, BE, B10, independents and all non-AQs would be giving a permanent advantage to the B12, P12 and SEC.

      The non-semis would also be crushed by all the coverage of the 2 semis. They’d be better off playing all the bowls on one day (1/1) and the semis a different day (1/2) to at least give the bowls a little time in the sun, so to speak.

      Like

  31. I would like to see the Top 3 in the BCS automatically make it. For the 4th team, you take the highest remaining BCS ranked conference champ from the ACC, B12, B1G, P12, SEC, or ND. This format would leave a chance for a non BCS conference to get a team in, meaning they really cannot complain too much.

    So using the BCS rankings since it started and the current conference setups (not perfect but IMO close enough to project) you would have seen the following the last 14 years:

    B12 sending 13 teams
    SEC 12
    P12 11
    B1G 10
    ACC 8
    Big East 1
    ND 1

    That means only one mid major would have made it in the last 14 years. That is about as exclusive as you can get. As to having the best teams making the Final Four, we would see the following:

    BCS #1-#3 make it every year
    #4 would make it 4 times
    #5 four times
    #6 three times
    #7 twice
    #8 once

    So 11 out of the 14 years the 4th team in would have been a Top 6 BCS team. And every year a Top 8 BCS team. This would keep the importance of the regular season. It would also allow for years where a conference has two really good teams for both to make it.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      I think we’ll probably see a selection committee and some form of RPI (strength of schedule) but with winning a conference championship providing heavy weight in their selection point system. No official limitation of slots to conference champs, but in effect the SEC’s “I need a Mulligan because I choked at home” team won’t be getting a spot when there are at least 4 power conference champs or independents with 1 or less losses, sufficient SOS, and all ranked in the top 6 or 8.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      King Otto,

      I would like to see the Top 3 in the BCS automatically make it.

      I wouldn’t, and I’ll explain why (beyond my tradionalist preferences) in a minute.

      For the 4th team, you take the highest remaining BCS ranked conference champ from the ACC, B12, B1G, P12, SEC, or ND. This format would leave a chance for a non BCS conference to get a team in, meaning they really cannot complain too much.

      Of course they could and would complain. The commissioners said they are doing away with AQ status, and here you are writing it back in the rules. You are forcing the non-AQs to be top 3 to get in, but as your numbers show a #8 AQ champ could get in. That’s begging for complaints and lawsuits.

      [deleted info]

      This would keep the importance of the regular season. It would also allow for years where a conference has two really good teams for both to make it.

      It would also allow for 3 or even 4 teams from 1 conference to make it if the rankings say so. Take the SEC last year and make a couple of tweaks. Say AR beat LSU so all 3 teams were 11-1 and probably ranked 1-3 in the polls. Say GA won the CCG over #1 AL, so the end result is:

      #1 LSU – 11-1 non-champ
      #2 AR – 11-1 non-champ
      #3 AL – 11-2 non-champ (only losses to #1 and #4)
      #4 UGA – 11-2 champ
      #5 OkSU – 11-1 champ

      That’s an all SEC playoff because of your rules. That would sure go over well with the public.

      You put way too much faith in the rankings to be accurate. How sure are you that #3 is really better than #4 and #5 every year? Subjective rankings are a terrible way to choose teams.

      Like

  32. bullet says:

    Any sort of playoff impinges on the bowls. One of the reasons I am more and more comfortable with that is in the facts in this article. More than 35% of the Big 10 bowl seats went unsold from 8 teams going to bowls. And that doesn’t include 2 schools who haven’t reported yet-PSU and NW, who were probably the worst performers. And if you exclude the Rose bowl, the other 7 schools had 47% of their tickets unsold. After the top tier bowls, its costing schools money to go to bowls. There’s a strained system that’s sending money outside the system. The article talks about Delany changing to support an “event.”

    http://thegazette.com/2012/04/26/on-iowa-daily-briefing-4-26-12/

    Like

    • bullet says:

      And those stats are for the best traveling conference in the country.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Are they?

        How did the SEC do, since most of them had more of a commute than a trip to get to a bowl?

        Driving distances to bowls:
        FL – Jacksonville (71 miles)
        LSU – New Orleans (80 miles)
        Auburn – Atlanta (108 miles)
        Vandy – Memphis (215 miles)
        MSU – Nashville (281 miles)
        AL – New Orleans (290 miles)
        AR – Dallas (337 miles)
        SC – Orlando (430 miles)
        GA – Tampa (472 miles)
        Average = 254 miles

        PU – Detroit (309 miles)
        OSU – Jacksonville (860 miles)
        MI – New Orleans (1055 miles)
        NW – Houston (1106 miles)
        MSU – Tampa (1229 miles)
        PSU – Dallas (1379 miles)
        NE – Orlando (1435 miles)
        IA – Tempe (1523 miles)
        WI – Pasadena (1982 miles)
        IL – San Francisco (2132 miles)
        Average = 1301 miles

        An SEC fan on a budget could have reasonably commuted to 3 or even 4 of their bowls, while it is not an option for the B10 fan. Considering how many of their alums already live in those cities, the SEC fans may have driven to most of the games. The B10 does have alumni in the south, but not in those same quantities.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      There are a few important details to remember:

      1. Stubhub and the like provided a ton of tickets to B10 fans much cheaper than the official prices. So while the schools didn’t sell the tickets, it doesn’t mean the fans didn’t go.

      2. Sandusky happened. I know PSU wasn’t in your numbers, but still.

      3. 6-6 OSU with a coaching change happened, and the bowl was in Jacksonville. There was zero interest from the fan base compared to a typical bowl year.

      4. IL was an at large pick with no coach that just ended a historic year by going 6-0 then 0-6 to play in CA against a 6-7 team with no coach.

      5. IA played in the same bowl the year before and also played in the state in the 2010 regular season.

      6. PU played in Detroit but was expected to sell a ton of tickets to a crappy bowl.

      7. MSU just missed the BCS (again) while MI made it, and even the Cap 1 passed on them.

      I’m not arguing the bowls aren’t a racket because we all know they are. They also have mandatory hotel stay requirements (x rooms at certain price levels for y days) that make it worse. But some of that money turns around to form a bigger payout, too. They sound more impressive if they can say they pay $2M, even if you basically give them half of it to give back to you.

      There are also way too many bowls.

      That means the current bowl system is broken, but it doesn’t mean the concept of bowls is broken.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        A lot of what you discuss is very typical for other conferences, especially, #3, #4, #5, #6 and #7. And if this happened to the Big 10, its worse for the ACC, Pac 12, Big 12, Big East and the minor conferences. Stubhub (or the like) is here to stay. The schools are paying to go to bowls. And that doesn’t count the $1-$2 million they usually spend for taking players, cheerleaders, band members, staff, friends of the president, prominent alumni, etc. All the hotel stay requirements and the high ticket prices mean the typical fans are really paying. The current bowl system doesn’t make sense for the schools or fans.

        Reducing the number of bowls will help. But some of the problems don’t go away simply by keeping 6-6 teams at home. And it will be hard to reduce the number of bowls until either; 1) they fail financially or 2) they do some equalization of the practice rules that give bowl teams a huge benefit for the next year. Maybe a winter practice for the non-bowl teams in a way that doesn’t interfere with finals.

        Like

  33. mnfanstc says:

    If a person really takes a step back and looks at the current situation… This really all has snowballed from inception when 2 schools were “awarded” the “national championship” in 1869. Princeton was 1-1, Rutgers was 1-1. The following year Princeton was a powerhouse at 1-0, and they were “awarded” the “national championship”.

    To be fair, there obviously weren’t that many programs until the turn of the 20th century. However, titles continued to be “awarded” based on media outlet votes.

    In 1902 the first “Tournament East-West” was played with Michigan defeating Stanford 49-0. 1916 marked the first year of the “Tournament of Roses”. 1923 was inaugural game at the “Rose Bowl” in Pasadena. It mattered not whether teams played here in regards to the “national championship” discussion, as in many years, multiple teams were “awarded” the “national championship”.

    The “Tournament of Roses” was the only “bowl” game until the 30’s. In 1940 there were 5 bowl games—the “Tournament of Roses”, the “Orange”, the “Cotton”, the “Sugar”, and the “Sun” bowl.

    In 1950 there were 8 bowls, 1960 there were still 8 bowls. By 1970 there were 11 bowls. 1980 there were 15 bowls. 1990, there were 19 bowls. In 2000, there were 25 bowls, and in 2010 we now are drowned with 35 bowls (70 teams out of 120 are “rewarded”).

    As has been discussed in this forum, the bowls were originally developed by communities to attract tourist dollars. Nowadays, you add in television money to that equation; hence, the large number of new bowls since the advent of cable (ESPN) in the 80’s.

    In today’s time where we are drowned by media, the “BCS national championship” seems to be the only discussion (regarding FBS fb) going on by our friends at ESPN. The problem is we as fans recognize that FBS is the only division, and only NCAA sanctioned sport where the championship is NOT played out in a tournament style playoff. For years, until ’95 when the Bowl Alliance was formed, it seemed generally acceptable to have more than one school “share” a “national championship”. Now, there is waste laying on the table, as in many cases, schools have a real argument that they were left out of the opportunity to play for the “BCS title”.

    It’s obvious at this point that we are not going back “old school” (for better or worse)…
    So, why not retain the major bowls and their tie-ins, and THEN play out the plus 1, 2, 3, or 4…

    Take the top 4 teams after the bowls… (Get rid of some of the early toilet bowls, and move the major bowls where they should be—on Jan 1.) Have semi’s week after New Year’s, and championship the week after that. Then all games retain importance, AND, we can settle the “Title” on the field.

    Is it too late for something like this???

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I’ll start as a Devil’s advocate against your Plus 1 Plus 2 more
      4 teams play an extra game vs. doing it before the bowls
      fans have to do the extra trip since you have the neutral site bowl game added
      Colleges start to complete with the NFL for air time
      Football becomes a 2 semester sport stretching out to mid-January.
      1 game-the bowl-gets vastly more emphasis than it deserves as it has been a month since any of the other 12 or 13 games have been played-pollsters have very short memories.
      Bowls add 1 more game with very different opponents, creating relatively easy roads for some and harder for others as their opponent may be more or less motivated and stronger or weaker.
      We’ll have to listen to Delany whine that his conference had to play a road game in Los Angeles and a tough opponent so it isn’t fair for the Big 10 and press for the Rose Bowl to be played in Detroit every other year.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Actually, probably Indianapolis, not Detroit. Then they could do the Rose Parade around the Speedway and get it over with very fast since all the participants would be freezing.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        It isn’t Delany that complains about the Rose Bowl being a road game, it’s the fans. He loves that game and wouldn’t mess with it if that was an option.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      mnfanstc,

      “Is it too late for something like this???”

      Yes. They’ve decided on 4 teams and the calendar will prevent them from using your suggested timing. CFB can’t compete with the NFL playoffs successfully, and the presidents don’t want the season that long..

      Like

  34. frug says:

    Knight Commision recommends tying revenue distribution from a playoff to academic performance.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/brett-mcmurphy/18842221

    Schools would be placed in three tiers. Tier I schools are those with a 70%+ GSR, Tier II 60-69% and Tier III <60%. Under the proposal 50% of the new revenue would be split evenly by the Tier I and II schools with the other 50% being split by the Tier I schools. The Tier III schools would receive none.

    Like

  35. Boom goes the dynamite:

    (1) BCS itself announces that a 4-team playoff will be proposed to the university presidents (there are variants on how it would work, but they are all based on 4 teams)

    (2) No more AQ status (at least in name) after this TV cycle

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/brett-mcmurphy/18843675/bcs-releases-playoff-proposals-for-2014

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Even if you like 8 or 16, starting at 4 is a reasonable conservative move. It allows you to guage the “unintended consequences” Delany mentions. And you can gauge the intended consequences as well.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Anyone else find it striking the absolute lack of quotes from anyone other than Delany, Slive and Hancock (and a handful from Scott)? I’ve heard absolutely nothing from Neinas, Swofford or Marinatto.

      Like

  36. Penn State Danny says:

    To quote Vice President Biden: This is a big Freakin’ Deal.

    Well, maybe I am paraphrasing more than quoting. This is after all a family blog.

    Like

  37. Eric says:

    This situation is exceedingly unlikely, but I had a random thought earlier of a way we could end up with three straight Ohio State vs. Michigan games.

    Let’s image we have an almost repeat of 2006. Ohio State and Michigan are both undefeated and #1 and #2 in the country going into the game at Ohio State. Ohio State wins the game, but the two play the next week in the Big Ten Championship. Michigan wins the rematch in close game. The two end up ranked #2 and #3. With a strict 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 playoff, they’d play again in the first round of the semi-finals.

    Like

  38. wmtiger says:

    Really like the thought of the top 3 conference champions + a wildcard. It really makes the conference championship critical, regular season doesn’t lose any importance. It allows dominant teams that slip up just one game (usually to a team with a worse loss, in the division), at least a chance to be in the playoff…

    An 11-1 Ohio State, Oklahoma or Alabama is likely more deserving than the 4th best conference champion. If the 4th best conference champion is more deserving (higher ranked), they’d obviously get in, in front of the 11-1 OSU, Sooners or Bama..

    Like

    • bw says:

      I agree with the 3 conference champions plus one wildcard as well. It essentially makes conference championship week a quarterfinals while not just keeping the integrity of the regular season but enhancing it. You really allow for a quality team that struggled early and maybe dropped a game (or even 2 depending on the year), but has improved and is playing its best by the end of the year to have a shot at a title. Which is really the whole point of sports isn’t it, to get better during the season and be the best and peaking at the end? So many years teams with that profile have ended up blowing out someone in a meaningless bowl game when they should of been championship contenders.

      Great that this is finally happening.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Given the results of the past 14 years, there isn’t any compelling reason to have a 2nd wild card (2006 LSU, 2008 Alabama, 2011 Stanford). The only issue would be in a potential 3 way tie. Say, for example, Arkansas beat LSU last year. We would have had the top 3 ranked teams all in the SEC West. Who do you leave out?

        Like

        • bullet says:

          In the polls in that scenario, I have little doubt that LSU would end up #3 since they lost last. But their schedule was vastly stronger which would have given them better computer rankings, so its hard to say how the BCS would have ended up.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Just to be fair, we could leave out all three. Especially if GA had won the CCG.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        bw,

        You really allow for a quality team that struggled early and maybe dropped a game (or even 2 depending on the year), but has improved and is playing its best by the end of the year to have a shot at a title. Which is really the whole point of sports isn’t it, to get better during the season and be the best and peaking at the end?

        That was never the point to me. The point to me is to reward teams that are consistently the best all year long, not just any team that could eke it’s way in and ride a hot streak in the playoffs. It’s ridiculous to me that people celebrate a 9-7 wildcard team that gets hot and wins the title. Those 7 losses should have meant something more than a lack of homefield.

        So many years teams with that profile have ended up blowing out someone in a meaningless bowl game when they should of been championship contenders.

        Maybe it’s because the other team viewed it as a meaningless bowl game. If they were so good, they shouldn’t have blown the early game.

        Like

  39. Eric says:

    So do we know if they have it narrowed down to 3 senarios?

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I guess this somewhat answers my question. Seems still a lot of possibilities, with not much thrown out. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/53998428-77/playoff-bowl-team-bcs.html.csp

      Like

    • Eric says:

      Actually this ESPN article is probably the best sum up I’ve seen so far. http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7859613/the-bowl-championship-series-different-look-2014

      “Hancock said the commissioners had about “two to seven” variations of a four-team playoff to consider.”

      It says the most popular plan is using BCS bowls as semi-finals and then says this:

      “Under that plan, two semifinal games would be rotated among the Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls each season. The Rose Bowl isn’t yet completely on board in sacrificing its traditional affiliations with the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences to host a national semifinal game every two years, but the source said the issue “would be resolved favorably.”

      I don’t like the fact that it doesn’t say anything about the Rose Bowl hosting having anything to do with actually having Big Ten or PAC-10 teams in it.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It doesn’t say that because they won’t do that. They’ll force the Rose to either be a regular part of the rotation or not a part of it at all. I’m sure the Cotton would be happy to take it’s place in the rotation.

        Like

  40. frug says:

    For those keeping score at home, Ron Zook had the same number of players drafted in the first round as LSU, Florida, FSU, tOSU, PSU, Michigan, UNL, UGA, Miami, Oklahoma and Texas…COMBINED.

    Like

  41. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    NFL Draft 1st round scorecard.

    By Conference:

    9 – SEC
    5 – Big XII
    4 – Pac-12 & B1G
    3 – ACC
    2 – Ind, Big East & MWC
    1 – CUSA

    By School:

    4 – Alabama
    2 – Stanford, USC, Baylor, OK State, LSU, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Boise State, and Illinois
    1 – Texas A&M, Miss State, BC, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Memphis, West Virginia, Syracuse, Iowa, and Wisconsin

    Like

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