My (Hopefully) Final College Football Playoff Proposal: Four Team Bowl Event with a Flex Wild Card

Posted: April 26, 2012 in Big Ten, College Football, Sports
Tags: , ,

Change is here: the BCS commissioners have announced that they are recommending a 4-team college football playoff to the university presidents.  While the details of how that 4-team playoff is going to be structured is still up in the air (along with how the revenue is split among the conferences and schools), we’re in the midst of what will arguably end up being the most important college football story of our lives.

With that in mind, I’m submitting what will hopefully be my last college football playoff proposal.  As always, I try to be realistic balancing the real world financial and political interests of the various entities that have leverage (as opposed to simply throwing out a plan just because I like it).  There’s no ambiguity that there are going to be 4 teams playing into eliminations games.  The real debate right now is about how those 4 teams are chosen.  For the purposes this discussion, I’m going to assume that there will be some type of publicized BCS-type ranking system as opposed to a selection committee*.  Maybe the inputs for that ranking will be different than what the BCS formula uses today, but that’s another discussion for another day.

(* Personally, I don’t believe that a selection committee is going to provide any value beyond a BCS-type ranking system or even just using a largely objective poll similar to the AP.  (Note that I agree with those that believe that the coaches’ poll is garbage as the voters have a direct self-interest in the outcome of the poll.)  A selection committee is beneficial for the NCAA Tournament since they’re tasked with culling through midmajor squads and even power conference teams that haven’t received much media attention to determine team #68 that gets in and #69 that doesn’t get in.  By comparison, we’re only looking at a 4-team playoff for college football, and as stupid as many voters might be, there’s going to be fairly high public awareness of the top 4 to 6 teams.  That’s the type of situation where the “wisdom of crowds” approach is more effective as opposed to having only a handful of committee members making a decision where the impact of an outlier is far too great.

There are also a couple of practical considerations to using a BCS-type ranking as opposed to a selection committee.  First, the general public wants to be able to follow a ranking from week-to-week.  Part of the very essence of the regular season is following who is #1 (or #4) and having a reasonable idea as to who needs to win or lose in a given week in order to change that ranking.  I think asking the general public to hold its breath and wait until the first weekend in December to find out who is really in the top 4 according to the criteria established by the decision-makers isn’t going to work.  Once again, this is NOT the NCAA Tournament where the decisions are really about seeding and the worst that the committee can do is make a mistake with team #69 that doesn’t have a legitimate shot at winning the national championship, anyway.

Second, any committee member is going to have to invest in a closet-full of Kevlar vests.  Do you want to be the one of 10 people whose names are publicized that tells an Alabama fan base whose team has been ranked #2 in the polls all year that the Crimson Tide isn’t going to a 4-team playoff?  I’m not joking – those committee members are going to need round-the-clock security outside of their homes.  At least if there’s some type of poll combined with some computer rankings, any negative ire is directed toward a faceless system instead of specific individuals.  Some type of ranking that you can follow from week-to-week where everyone knows where they stand at any given time greatly disperses the haterade (even if it can’t ever be completely eliminated).)

The main debate about selecting the 4 participants in a playoff revolves around whether only conference champions should be allowed.  On the other side is simply using the top 4 teams in whatever ranking is used regardless of conference affiliation.  In the middle is a proposal to use the 3 highest-ranked conference champions plus 1 wild card team that would be the highest-ranked team outside of those 3 league champs (so it could be a conference champ, non-conference champ, or an independent such as Notre Dame).

My personal view on this issue is very practical: if we finally get a college football playoff and still end up with a split national championship with the final AP poll, then that’s a massive fail.  I understand the argument that limiting the participants to only conference champions provides some emphasis on “earning it on the field”, yet the practical reality is the general public and, more importantly, the TV networks paying for a playoff aren’t going to accept a system where the #2 team in the country would not be participating yet the #10 team would be involved (which is what would have happened in 2011).  I believe a lot of hardcore college football fans that support a conference champs-only have been mistakenly mixing their disdain for Alabama being chosen over Oklahoma State for a #1 vs. #2 national championship game last year (where I completely agree with the furor) with an argument that Alabama should not even be in a 4-team playoff (which I can’t justify if the purpose of a playoff is to figure out who the best team in the country is).  I’m one of the biggest Big Ten guys out there, yet I’m in agreement with SEC commissioner Mike Slive in principle on this issue: there’s no real way that I can support a system that would have allowed #10 Wisconsin in over #2 Alabama last year.

With that backdrop, here is one last college football playoff proposal for your consideration, which is what I call the “Four Team Bowl Event with a Flex Wild Card”.

FOUR TEAM BOWL EVENT WITH A FLEX WILD CARD

A. TEAM SELECTION CRITERIA

1. Top 3 teams in the new ranking system (whatever it might be) are automatically in the playoff regardless of conference affiliation.

2. The #4 team in the rankings is automatically in the playoff it is a conference champion or independent.

3. If the #4 team in the rankings is not a conference champion or independent, then:

a. The #5 team is in the playoff if it is a conference champion;

b. The #6 team is in the playoff if it is a conference champion and the #5 team is not a conference champion;

c. The #4 team is in the playoff if neither the #5 team nor #6 team are conference champions.

Rationale: Originally, I liked the 3 conference champions with 1 wild card slot proposal as compromise between the desire to reward conference champions with the need to ensure a legitimately elite conference runner-up doesn’t get shut out by a pedestrian conference champ.  However, I saw some of the commenters on this blog discuss some hypothetical formats where the top 3 teams without regard to conference affiliation would be guaranteed access to a playoff and started to think that this would be the best way to go.  Once again, I’m trying to be practical here.  When I think back to what has been the single most common complaint about the BCS system over the years, it has been an argument over who should be in the national championship game between the #2 team and the #3 team.  It hasn’t happened every year during the BCS era, but when it has happened, that’s where we have seen the most angst and heartburn among fans.  If much of the impetus behind finally instituting a playoff (besides cashing in on a pile of TV money) is to provide clarity and answers that the public has been craving for years, then having a #2 vs. #3 semifinal specifically is critical.  In that sense, ensuring the #3 team is in the playoff whether it’s a conference champ or not is just as important as having the #2 team there.

It’s the fourth spot in the playoffs, which is what I call the “Flex Wild Card”, that I believed needs to have some provisions granting some preferences to a conference champions (but not so much that it would prop up a low-ranked conference champ).  As the last team in, it’s more expendable than the top 3 teams – the public isn’t as bothered by seeing a #1 vs. #5 game in a playoff (compared to not seeing a #2 vs. #3 game) if there’s reasonable justification.  So, if the #4 team is a conference champion or an independent, then there’s no issue and it’s automatically in the playoff.  However, I can see being bothered if a conference runner-up is at #4 while a conference champion is sitting right behind it at #5 or #6.  The prime example of this is last year’s rankings, where Stanford was #4 in the final BCS rankings and Oregon was #5 despite the fact that Oregon had beaten Stanford and was the Pac-12 champion.  In that scenario, it would seem that Oregon’s achievement of being a conference champ should usurp Stanford’s ranking.

However, if the public is going to take the system seriously, a playoff participant can’t be too far down in the rankings.  That’s why I limited this Flex Wild Card spot to only swapping out a non-conference champion (as long as it’s not an independent) at #4 if there’s a conference champion at #5 or #6.  My eyeball review of past BCS rankings indicates that there’s typically a drop-off after the top 6 teams in most years and my feeling is that a #1 vs. #6 matchup doesn’t seem that far removed from a #1 vs. #4 matchup, whereas once we get to a #1 vs. #7 or below matchup, that starts looking out of place in a playoff.

Note that I treat an independent (AKA Notre Dame) as the same as a conference champion if it is in the top 4, but it is not treated as such if it is a #5 or #6 team for the Flex Wild Card spot.  My approach to Notre Dame is that it should be “football Switzerland” – it shouldn’t receive any advantage for not being a member of a conference (which is what a lot of non-Irish fans focus upon), but it also shouldn’t receive any disadvantage for not being a member of a conference (which is what a lot of non-Irish fans freely ignore).  A new college football playoff should not be a vehicle to structurally force Notre Dame into a conference (and note that any rule providing a disadvantage to independents will also apply to Army and, until it joins the Big East, Navy, which won’t be looked at too kindly by the people in Washington that would rather hitch on the always popular bandwagon of bashing the BCS than dealing with a stagnant economy, rampant unemployment and massive deficits).  Now, the only way that you can truly treat Notre Dame neutrally is if you take the top 4 teams in a ranking straight up with no conference restrictions.  If a system is anything other than that, then the goal should be to mitigate any advantages or disadvantages to independence.

There’s also another practical aspect regarding Notre Dame, which is as much as non-Domers might claim that they’re not relevant any more, there’s not going to be any TV executive anywhere that is going to be happy paying for a 4-team playoff where a top 4 Notre Dame team isn’t involved, and those TV people are the ones making this playoff possible in the first place by throwing so much money on the table.  I get asked pretty frequently why Notre Dame has its own seat at the BCS table and my response is always that it’s very simple: Notre Dame brings money into the system while rarely taking a BCS spot, so it’s the best of both worlds.  That’s why the power conferences are more than happy to deal with the Irish in a pragmatic fashion.  In contrast, the current non-AQ conferences don’t bring much money into the system at all while frequently taking a BCS spot, which is the worst of both worlds.  So, it’s those non-power conferences that truly stick in the craw of Jim Delany and Mike Slive.  Notre Dame is a complete red herring for college football fans.

To summarize: this playoff proposal would take the top 3 teams regardless of whether they are conference champs, while a #5 or #6 conference champion can jump a #4 team that’s not a conference champion or an independent.

Now that we’ve got the team selection covered, let’s move onto where the semifinals will be played.

B. SEMIFINALS USING THE BCS BOWLS WITH TIE-IN PREFERENCES

Beyond the 4-team playoff recommendation, there were a couple of other key stories that came out of the BCS meetings.  First, Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com wrote this with respect to the Rose Bowl:

Tuesday will be known as the day the Rose Bowl gave in. Maybe just as little. And not officially. But it was the day when Delany, the biggest public defender of the Rose, sounded a lot like the stuffy ol’ Granddaddy was joining the party.

“I would say there is an expectation there will be significant change,” Delany said of the postseason in general.

What he’s saying without saying it is that the Rose/Pac-12/Big Ten won’t bust that playoff party. At least that’s the way it looks. They’re in. All the way. Get used to it. That’s what the last 10 years have been about. Five times since January 2002 “foreign” teams have played in Pasadena. In the previous 55 years it was only the Big Ten and Pac-8/10

Then, Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com reported this regarding playoff format possibilities:

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.

What this means is that (1) the Rose Bowl is willing to become a semifinal game, which means giving up the traditional Big Ten/Pac-12 on a frequent basis on paper but (2) there is a proposal to allow the bowls to use their traditional tie-ins to slot the semifinal games, which could allow the Rose Bowl to get back one or both of its traditional conference partners with national championship implications.

As soon as I read McMurphy’s flexible BCS bowl/semifinal proposal, it instantly jumped out at me as the direction that I believe the overall system will head toward.  If Jim Delany and Larry Scott are serious about protecting the Rose Bowl while keeping their respective conferences’ relationships with Pasadena as strong as possible even with participating in a 4-team playoff, then this seems to be the way to go.  To expand upon this:

1. A BCS bowl gets to host a semifinal if it has a tie-in that’s a playoff participant.

2. When there are more than 2 BCS bowls that have tie-ins with semifinalists, the higher-ranked teams get bowl placement priority (e.g. if #1 LSU plays #5 Oregon in a semifinal, the Sugar Bowl gets the game instead of the Rose Bowl because the SEC tie-in is ranked higher).

3. If two or more teams from the same conference are semifinalists, then the highest ranked team from that conference gets the traditional bowl tie-in.  The lower ranked team(s) could be placed at bowls that have tie-ins with other semifinalists (e.g. #1 LSU would have gone to the Sugar Bowl last year, while #2 Alabama would have played #3 Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl because that’s the Big 12 tie-in).

4.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that both the Big Ten and Pac-12 have semifinalists, they will play in the Rose Bowl regardless of ranking.

5.  One or two BCS bowls per year are designated as semifinal sites on a rotational basis in the off-chance that one or more semifinal matchups does not have any teams with any bowl tie-ins.

6.  The BCS bowls that are not hosting semifinals are free to choose any team that it wants outside of its contractual tie-ins.

Reasoning: This system appears to be the best that the traditionalists can do in terms of protecting the prestige of the Rose Bowl without completely throwing away the Big Ten/Pac-12 tie-ins.  Most proposals seemed to go one way (making the Rose Bowl a semifinal or championship locale without regard to the Big Ten and Pac-12) or the other (removing the Rose Bowl completely from the semifinal rotation).  The system here meets those two extremes in the middle, and as you’ll see below in applying this system to previous years, it’s really a net benefit to the quality of the Rose Bowl matchup and the Big Ten/Pac-12 pairing would not have been lost any more frequently than it has been usurped in the current BCS system.

C. HOW THE SYSTEM WOULD HAVE WORKED HISTORICALLY

Using the BCS rankings from prior years, here’s how the semifinals and BCS bowls would have looked from 2005 to 2011 (semifinals in bold):

2011
Rose Bowl: #10 Wisconsin vs. #4 Stanford
Sugar Bowl: #1 LSU vs. #5 Oregon
Orange Bowl: #15 Clemson vs. #6 Arkansas
Fiesta Bowl: #3 Oklahoma State vs. #2 Alabama

2010
Rose Bowl: #5 Wisconsin vs. #2 Oregon
Sugar Bowl: #1 Auburn vs. #3 TCU
Orange Bowl: #13 Virginia Tech vs. #6 Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl: #7 Oklahoma vs. #4 Stanford

2009
Rose Bowl: #8 Ohio State vs. #7 Oregon
Sugar Bowl: #1 Alabama vs. #4 TCU
Orange Bowl: #9 Georgia Tech vs. #5 Florida
Fiesta Bowl: #2 Texas vs. #3 Cincinnati

2008
Rose Bowl: #8 Penn State vs. #17 Oregon
Sugar Bowl: #2 Florida vs. #3 Texas
Orange Bowl: #19 Virginia Tech vs. #4 Alabama
Fiesta Bowl: #1 Oklahoma vs. #5 USC

2007
Rose Bowl: #1 Ohio State vs. #4 Oklahoma
Sugar Bowl: #2 LSU vs. #3 Virginia Tech
Orange Bowl: #5 Georgia vs. #8 Kansas
Fiesta Bowl: #6 Missouri vs. #7 USC

2006
Rose Bowl: #1 Ohio State vs. #5 USC
Sugar Bowl: #2 Florida vs. #3 Michigan
Orange Bowl: #14 Wake Forest vs. #4 LSU
Fiesta Bowl: #10 Oklahoma vs. #7 Wisconsin

2005
Rose Bowl: #3 Penn State vs. #1 USC
Sugar Bowl: #7 Georgia vs. #8 Miami
Orange Bowl: #22 Florida State vs. #6 Notre Dame
Fiesta Bowl: #2 Texas vs. #4 Ohio State

Out of the last 7 seasons, the Rose Bowl would have hosted 4 semifinal games, including 3 that would have been traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-12 matchups.  Overall, the Rose Bowl would have only had a non-Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup once under this system (compared to twice in real life under the current BCS system).  The Sugar Bowl is the obvious beneficiary with the recent SEC dominance allowing it to host semfinals for the past 6 years, while the Orange Bowl wouldn’t have hosted any semifinals at all during this time period.  The Fiesta Bowl would have hosted the semifinals 4 times.

The upshot for me: this is about as good as the Rose Bowl is going to get in terms of preserving both its prestige and relevance when faced with the reality that we’re going to have a 4-team playoff.  Let’s see if the Big Ten and Pac-12 end up getting behind a proposal to this effect.

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

(Image from USA Today)

Advertisements
Comments
  1. vp19 says:

    Reasonable idea. I like it.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      That’s ok, but only if there is also a max of 2 teams per conference in the playoffs. For a million reasons, not the least being that a team shouldn’t be given the title of champion without playing at least one of the best teams from another conference in the post-season.

      A better and simple way that would put more importance on winning conference championships, and thus the regular season, while handling the odd year with too many CCG upsets:

      1. If there are 4 conference champs ranked in the top 5, no wildcard team unless the wildcard is ranked in the top 2.

      2. If there are 3 conference champs in the top 5, only the top wildcard gets in.

      3. If there are 2 conference champs in the top 5, only the top 2 wildcards get in.

      4. If there is only 1 conference champ in the top 5, the top 3 wildcards get in.

      5. If there are no conference champs in the top 5, then everything is so messed up that it is impossible to discern who are the top 4 teams based on the regular season, automatically triggering an 8-team playoff! (Though in the spirit of compromise I’ll settle for just the adoption of rules 1-4…)

      (In all scenarios, independents are pooled and the highest-ranked independent is treated as a conference champion. SOS is heavily factored into the new BCS ranking system.)

      Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Another alternative would be to assign a sizable amount of points in the BCS ranking formula for winning conference championships (along with SOS heavily factored in, too.)

        Like

        • ChicagoMac says:

          @Playoffs Now

          I really like your idea about giving a conference championship game bonus. That combined with a SOS formula that gives weights to Home/Road/Neutral being given a much more prominent role in the BCS algorithm would solve a lot of problems.

          I like this idea MUCH better than adding a bunch of if/then scenarios to the criteria.

          My last hope for a reform here would be that the BCS commissioners sit down and agree to commit to B1G/ACC challenge like concepts across the board. B1G v. PAC, ACC v. SEC, and Big12 v. BigEast.

          Like

    • Greg Hanson says:

      hey stupid notre dame hasn t played any body yet. let them play georgia , florida ,Lsu ,alabama , miss. st .. they just don t play the good teams where they re from .. COME SOUTH IF U WANT TO PLAY A GOOOOODTEAMROLL TIDE GO BAMA

      Like

  2. Christian in Texas says:

    Hook ’em

    Like

  3. frug says:

    I’m big fan of the blog but I must say that I absolutely hate everyone of these proposals. I hate them even more than the current system and I support a four team playoff.

    A. Saying the top 3 get in no matter what but team number might be replaced is not only unfair it’s hypocritical. If the top 3 get in no matter what then why not the fourth? Is there so sort of magical property that drops the value of team 4 compared to team 3? You then make things even worse by treating an independent the same as a conference champ which IS a structural advantage for the indies. It is in no way, shape or form unfair to say that independents (who are not conference champs) should be treated the same as a conference runner up (who also are not conference champs)

    You need to either go straight top 4 champs are create a wildcard that everyone has the same access to.

    B. Getting the bowls involved in anyways only makes things worse. Period. Remember that the original stated purpose of the BCS was to create a 1 vs. 2 championship. However, the decision to include the bowls in the process lead to where we are now which is 5 bowls (one of which rotates), 10 teams, a caste system, a ranking system composed of 8 different inputs (none of which anyone trusts) and an esoteric selection process that is suppose to somehow combine tradition, merit based access and free market principles and fails at all three.

    Like

    • Frug says:

      Sorry for the double post/continued rant (and from my phone none the less), I have a couple points I need make regarding issues and just philosophical complaints.

      A). For all the talk of the power conferences preferring to deal with ND than the mid-majors, it soon won’t matter since barring further aggressive expansion the Big 5 and ND will soon be the numerical minority for the first time since division split so they better get used to it.

      B. There will not be political issues if Army were blocked. For the past 14 years no way has ever complained that Army and Navy don’t get special BCS access and payouts like ND so there is no reason to expect things would change. And make mistake about any general gets face time with a member of Congress is going to waste it whining about the being blocked out of a playoff that everyone on Earth (incudling Army’s players, coaches and fans) knows they would never qualify for at a time when steep military cuts look imminent despite the military having the hardest recruitment issues since Vietnam.

      B. Giving the Rose Bowl the right to take the PAC and Big 10 regardless of rank is an absolutely terrible idea since the biggest complaint about the current system is unfair. Everyone needs to play by the same set of rules.

      C. The reason the other conferences have been placating ND has little do with the Irish bringing more money to the table (they did when the BCS was founded but their viewership and quality if play have eroded to the point that TV networks are not going to pay a premium that would outweigh the costs of adding ND to the mix) and everything to do with not wanting to do the Big 10 or, way less likely, the ACC a major favor.

      Like

      • @frug – I know we’ve discussed this elsewhere, but a few points:

        (1) I can’t emphasize enough how much Jim Delany and Mike Slive would rather 1000 times over have a #4 Notre Dame team in a playoff instead of a #4 team from any of the non-power conferences. Letting in the non-power conference is a material access and financial concession on the part of the power conferences, but providing access to ND isn’t any real concession at all: they make more TV money every year and rarely actually give up a playoff spot. Like I’ve, Notre Dame is a massive red herring. The power conferences aren’t looking to cut their access out at all.

        (2) Even if we grant your argument that the politicians won’t fight for Army and Navy, remember who the 4th independent is: BYU.

        Which school used Congressional pressure that led to the breakup of the old Bowl Alliance and provided access to non-power conferences in the then-new BCS system? BYU.

        Which state’s attorney general has gone the farthest in exploring an antitrust challenge to the BCS? Utah, the home of BYU.

        Which senator has spent the most time actually organizing hearings in Washington against the BCS while railing against the system publicly more than any other politician? Orrin Hatch, Senator from Utah and alumnus of BYU.

        Call me crazy, but we’re not ending up with a system where BYU would be screwed out of a playoff team it’s a top 4 team.

        Notre Dame has TV/fan base/bowl power and BYU, Army and Navy all have direct political power at the highest levels in Washington. Even of the powers that be really did want to shut out access to the independents, the price of political scrutiny is too much, especially when the reality is that those independents wouldn’t have taken a playoff spot in the last generation.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Couple of points:

          1. The issue of making exceptions for independents is nowhere near my biggest problem with the proposal

          2. You keep talking about dealing with ND instead of non-AQ’s because they would rarely take up a playoff spot, but in the BCS era only once (2009) has a non-AQ finished in the top 4 in the final BCS rankings. Non-AQ’s are no more a threat to take playoff slots than ND is especially now that Utah and TCU are both in power conferences.

          3. On BYU causing legal or political problems:

          A. Utah’s AG can not sue on their behalf. He was originally planning on filing suit on behalf of Utah St. (whom he does represent) but they will have equal access to the playoffs regardless of the final deal.

          B. His threat to sue on behalf of USU was empty anyways because he admitted that Utah could not afford to finance a lawsuit against the BCS on its own and in the 10 or so months since he first discussed the possibility no other AGs or governors have shown any interest in joining his crusade.

          C. Unlike the old Bowl Alliance days BYU will no longer be able to cry persecution since the other conferences can simply note that BYU put itself in its current position by declining the chance to join the Big XII. Twice.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      frug,

      “It is in no way, shape or form unfair to say that independents (who are not conference champs) should be treated the same as a conference runner up (who also are not conference champs)”

      I answered this more completely on the last post, but still:

      Yes, it is. Independents didn’t fail to win their conference, only the runners up did. A 12-0 independent has achieved something the runners up didn’t. There are no 12-0 runners up. They are not equivalents. If it makes you feel better, make them into 3 tiers: champs, indies, losers. The difference is an indie can be equivalent to a champ (12-0 versus 12-0 or 13-0) while a loser can only be equivalent to an indie (11-1 is 11-1 after all). Frank’s plan treats them as 3 tiers.

      Like

      • Rich says:

        Brian, I agree with you in general but I would caution that a 12-0 indie season isn’t always going to be a superior achievement to an 11-1 runner-up season. As an example, look at Alabama last year compared to BYU last year. For the sake of discussion, let’s say that BYU won all 12 of their regular season games. This would not have been the superior achievement because BYU’s strength-of-schedule was around 90th in the country whereas Alabama’s was around 18th. I just think we have to be careful when we talk about records without context.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Rich.,

          That’s all true. I just wanted to note that an undefeated indie did something a runner up didn’t (be perfect). That doesn’t mean the runner up didn’t have more good wins or isn’t the better team (see the 12-0 non-AQ champ versus 12-1 AQ champ), but I think some people are shortsighted when they automatically lump all indies with the runners up.

          By SOS accomplishment, LSU was by far the best team last year. That didn’t get them a trophy, though.

          Like

          • Rich says:

            You’re right. A 12-0 Notre Dame would probably be one of the two best teams as their schedule is usually pretty good.

            Like

    • “You then make things even worse by treating an independent the same as a conference champ which IS a structural advantage for the indies. ”

      This is incorrect. Here’s how the FTT system works wrt independents:

      If an independent is #4, they’re in.

      If an independent is #5 or 6, they’re NOT in. A #4-ranked conference runner up can ONLY be displaced by a conference champ, NOT an independent. So if last year’s rankings were:

      #1 LSU
      #2 Bama
      #3 OK St
      #4 Stanford
      #5 Notre Dame
      #6 Oregon (P12 Champ)

      then the playoff would have been #1 LSU vs #6 Oregon and #2 vs #3. Notre Dame would NOT have been put in, since they’re not a conference champ.

      Like

      • @Matthew Smith – Correct.

        The only truly unbiased way to deal with independents is to have a straight top 4 ranking without regard to conferences.

        If there’s anything other than that, then there’s going to have to be ways to mitigate the bias for or against independents. As I stated in my post, I think a lot of people focus on any advantage that independents (or really just Notre Dame) receive, yet don’t take into account disadvantages. Even in a 3 conference champs plus wild card format, should a #4 Notre Dame not get into a playoff because SEC runner-up Alabama gets the wild card spot at #2? I know a lot of conference champ partisans think that’s OK, but I certainly don’t (and more importantly, the TV networks that are paying for this playoff won’t think that’s OK, either).

        So, that’s what I’m trying to address here. Essentially, there shouldn’t be any reason why a top 4 Notre Dame team is excluded form a playoff. However, it can’t get the benefit of moving into that playoff from outside of the top 4, while a highly ranked conference champ has that opportunity. That’s a fair trade off to me because at the end of the day, we can’t just say “Screw Notre Dame” even if we want to. That’s simply not how the powers that be and TV networks are thinking at all.

        Like

        • Pat says:

          Independents only play 12 games due to no CCG. That’s an advantage not afforded most of the major conferences that, in effect, play a first round playoff game as their 13th game; One less chance to screw up. Same advantage Alabama had this past season. Shouldn’t there be some sort of penalty to teams that only play 12 games?

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Are you suggesting that Notre Dame should be penalized but not the Big 12 champion?

            Bear in mind that it wasn’t only this past season’s #2 team (Alabama) who bypassed a CCG during its run to make the NCG. It was also the team who had the biggest beef with Alabama’s inclusion in the game, #3 Oklahoma State, whose league no longer holds CCG’s. For that matter, the #4 team, Stanford was much like Alabama in that it failed to make its own league’s CCG. Heck, while we’re talking about the 12 games vs. 13 games issue, if Notre Dame and BYU had had stellar seasons and finished ranked #5 and #6, then there could have been five out of the top six teams playing only 12 games. Only LSU would have played 13, and only LSU would have finished the season undefeated despite playing one more game than the rest.

            Like

  4. hskrfb fan says:

    Frank,

    About a month ago, I suggested something similar to what you are proposing now (except I proposed having the Big 12 paired up with the Cotton Bowl). I didn’t get much of a response. I just thought we needed a Final 4 compromise that the Rose Bowl could live with. Here was my idea:

    hskrfb fan says:
    March 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    No matter what the fans seem to want, it looks like the best we are going to get is a 4 team playoff in the next couple of years. How about the following as a compromise:

    “Plus One/seeded 4 team hybrid”

    Use 2 of the 5 major bowls to host the semifinals.

    Jan 1st Rose Bowl: B1G champ vs P12 champ
    Jan 1st Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs at large
    Jan 1st Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs at large
    Jan 1st Cotton Bowl: B12 champ vs at large
    Jan 1st Fiesta Bowl: ND/Big East/other conf champ vs at large

    Jan 8th National Championship – awarded to the highest bidder years in advance (like the Super Bowl). No other “Bowls” are allowed between Jan 1st (2nd in some years) and the National Championship game.

    The Rose Bowl is allowed to have the following semi-final match ups between the B1G vs P12: 1 vs 3, 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3, or 2 vs 4 but not 1 vs 2 or 3 vs 4. If only one of the B1G or P12 champ finish in the top 2, the Rose would then host a semi-final game. If only one of the B1G or P12 champ finishes #3 or #4, then they would lose that champ to another bowl.

    The Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta would host a semifinal match if their conference partner finished in the top 2. They would lose their conference champ to another bowl if they finished #3 or #4.

    One of the biggest issues to solve is what system should be used to seed #1 – #4 (BCS, committee, a new formula).

    I think at least 3 of the participating teams should have to be conference champs. Non-Conference champs should have to be seeded either #3 or #4.

    2011-2012 example:

    Semifinal 1 would have been at the Sugar Bowl: #1 LSU vs #4 Oregon (no Stanford because only 1 non-champ is allowed)
    Semifinal 2 would have been at the Cotton Bowl: #2 Ok St vs #3 Alabama (Ok St gets the higher seed because they are a conference champ)

    The winners of the Sugar & Cotton Bowl would then play in the National Championship game at a neutral site on January 8th.

    I know this plan isn’t perfect or simple, but I think something similar to this could work.

    Like

    • @hskrfb fan – Good stuff. I think the powers that be took your idea because it’s something that’s definitely on the table.

      Like

    • duffman says:

      @ hskrfb fan

      I would go the step further to make it more fan friendly

      [i]Use 2 of the 5 major bowls to host the semifinals.

      Jan 1st Rose Bowl: B1G champ vs P12 champ
      Jan 1st Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs at large
      Jan 1st Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs at large
      Jan 1st Cotton Bowl: B12 champ vs at large
      Jan 1st Fiesta Bowl: ND/Big East/other conf champ vs at large[/i]

      a) You pick 2 (or 3 bowls when you have a 5 team scenario like 2004 – 2005 where Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Auburn, Utah, and Boise State were all undefeated at the end of the season) of the 5 and have the “playoff”

      b) Go back to Frank’s suggestion of moving the championship game to the MLK weekend to allow fans more time to make their travel plans and get time off from work on a holiday weekend. The beauty of the New Years day game is that you have a national holiday that allows fans to travel better. Playing the following week for a game like football just makes sense because you are moving that many more people and contestants. It is not like basketball where you are moving 16 players and 3,000 tickets in the school allotments.

      c) The only other issue would be to force lesser teams in an early december “playoff” game (see 2004, 2008, and 2009 below as examples) for undefeated teams with weaker regular season schedules. This at least compensates for the weaker schedule, and winnows the playoff “herd”

      Looking at every year since the BCS, here is a sample of outcomes :
      (goal of narrowing 0 loss or 1 loss teams, and excluding most 2 loss teams)

      1998
      UTn 12-0, FSU 11-1, KSU 11-1, tOSU 10-1, UCLA 10-1, TAMU 11-2
      Sugar = Tennessee vs Ohio State
      Orange = Florida State vs Kansas State

      1999
      FSU 11-0, VT 11-0, UNL 11-1, KSU 10-1, Wisc 9-2, UAT 10-2
      Orange = Florida State vs Kansas State
      Fiesta = Virginia Tech vs Nebraska

      2000
      OU 12-0, FSU 11-1, Miami 10-1, Wash 10-1, VT 10-1, OSU 10-1
      Cotton = Oklahoma vs Oregon State
      Orange = Florida State vs Virginia Tech
      Fiesta = Miami vs Washington
      If OU went undefeated, play best of Orange / Fiesta winners

      2001
      Miami 11-0, UTn 10-1, Oregon 10-1, CU 10-2, UNL 11-1, UF 9-2
      Orange = Miami vs Nebraska
      Sugar = Tennessee vs Oregon

      2002
      Miami 11-0, tOSU 13-0, UGA 12-1, U$C 10-2, Iowa 11-1, KSU 10-2
      Orange = Miami vs Iowa
      Fiesta = Ohio State vs Georgia

      2003
      U$C 11-1, LSU 12-1, OU 12-1, UM 10-2, UTx 10-2, UTn 10-2
      Rose = Southern Cal vs Michigan
      Sugar = LSU vs Oklahoma

      2004
      U$C 12-0, OU 12-0, AU 12-0, Cal 10-1, Utah 11-0, BSU 11-0
      Fiesta = Southern Cal vs Boise State
      Cotton = Oklahoma vs California
      Sugar = Auburn vs Utah

      or

      December 9th “playoff” game between Utah 11-0 vs Boise State 11-10 (plus 1)

      Cotton = Southern Cal vs Oklahoma
      Sugar = Auburn vs winner of Utah vs Boise State

      2005
      U$C 12-0, UTx 12-0, PSU 10-1, tOSU 9-2, ND 9-2, Oregon 10-1
      Rose = Southern Cal vs Penn State
      Cotton = Texas vs Oregon

      2006
      tOSU 12-0, UF 12-1, UM 11-1, LSU 10-2, UL 11-1, Wisc 11-1
      Fiesta = Ohio State vs Louisville
      Sugar = Florida vs Wisconsin
      Orange = Michigan vs LSU

      2007
      tOSU 11-1, LSU 11-2, OU 11-2, UGA 10-2, VT 11-2, U$C 10-2
      Rose = Ohio State vs Southern Cal
      Sugar = LSU vs Virginia Tech
      Cotton = Oklahoma vs Georgia

      2008
      OU 12-1, UF 12-1, UTx 11-1, UAT 12-1, U$C 11-1, Utah 12-0
      Cotton = Oklahoma vs Boise State
      Sugar = Florida vs Utah
      Orange = Texas vs Alabama
      Rose = Southern Cal vs Penn State

      or

      December 9th “playoff” game between Utah 12-0 vs Boise State 12-0 (plus 1)

      Cotton = Oklahoma vs winner of Utah vs Boise State
      Sugar = Florida vs Texas Tech
      Orange = Texas vs Alabama
      Rose = Southern Cal vs Penn State

      2009
      UAT 13-0, UTx 13-0, UC 12-0, TCU 12-0, UF 12-1, BSU 13-0
      Sugar = Alabama vs Boise State
      Cotton = Texas vs TCU
      Orange = Cincinnati vs Florida

      or

      December 9th “playoff” game between TCU 12-0 vs Boise State 13-0 (plus 1)

      Sugar = Alabama vs winner of TCU vs Boise State
      Cotton = Texas vs Cincinnati

      2010
      AU 13-0, Oregon 12-0, TCU 12-0, Stanford 11-1, Wisc 11-1, tOSU 11-1
      Sugar = Auburn vs Ohio State
      Fiesta = Oregon vs TCU

      2011
      LSU 13-0, UAT 11-1, oSu 11-1, Stanford 11-2, Oregon 11-2, Arkansas 10-2
      Sugar = LSU vs Stanford
      Cotton = Oklahoma State vs Alabama

      .

      The biggest issue is when you only have 1 or 2 undefeated teams at the end of the regular season because you are playing 2 or 3 extra teams instead of just head to head. The second biggest issue is when you have 5 or 6 undefeated teams at seasons end, which may already correct itself with CCG in the ACC / B1G / PAC / SEC. the last issue is how to deal with a team who’s only loss is a CCG to a team with multiple losses.

      Like

  5. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Congrats Frank. You created the Mike Slive dream scenario that results in Brian’s head exploding.

    Last season, if LSU had lost a close game to Arkansas, the final BCS rankings likely would have been #1 Alabama, #2/3 LSU, #3/2 Arkansas, and #4 OK State. The Sugar Semi gets #1 Bama and #4 OK State. I’m going to randomly assign the LSU/Arky Semi to the Orange since they didn’t get any semis under your proposal.

    While your proposal is fine with me, I’d go with the three highest ranked conference champs and a wildcard. Since the beginning of the BCS, under this proposal would have resulted in never going past #5, and that only would have happened three times, I believe.

    Also, what are your thoughts regarding timing of the games and location of the NCG? I’d permanently slot the Fiesta for the late afternoon slot on 12/31 with the Orange played at night on 12/31. The Rose gets its traditional 1/1 late afternoon slot and the Sugar get the evening 1/1 slot. The Cotton can go back to its traditional early afternoon 1/1 slot, with the CapOne moving to 12/31 with an early afternoon kick. Nobody else plays on or after 12/31 or 1/1. Period.

    The NCG goes to the highest bidder and is played on MLK Day. Everybody is done by 1/1, except the finalists. Plus a two-and-a-half week break helps the traveling fans and the game hype.The semis and the other bowls remain a reward and/or vacation. The NCG is a business trip.

    Like

    • Alan, who would have had the SEC tie-breaker to go play Georgia for SEC champ? There is a possibility that Arky would have lost to the Dawgs…which would have changed the final polls. Plus, remember, polls are always fickle. It’s very likely that the pollsters would have elevated OkSt over the SEC #3 (and BCS #3) in your scenario…thus pushing that team to #4 and out of the playoff. Pollsters did it to Michigan in 2006 in favor of Florida.

      I can live with a straight top 3 as a Big Ten fan…you are right that it would make the cocky SEC suckers happy…but in reality, the SEC will never have the top 3 teams in the country.

      Like

      • bamatab says:

        It would’ve depended not only on who ended up ranked number 1 after Arky beat LSU, but how far the 2nd ranked SEC was ranked behind the 1st ranked. The SEC 3 way tiebreaker reads like this:

        The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC championship game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC championship game.

        So in this scenario if Arky would’ve jumped Bama to 1st in the BCS standings, then Bama would’ve been declared the SEC champ because they would’ve been only one or two places behind them and would’ve won the head-to-head matchup. But if Bama would’ve gone to 1st in the BCS standings, and LSU would’ve stayed in the top 5 or six, then LSU would’ve been crowned SEC champs.

        I’m not sure if any other conferences do a 3 team tiebreaker like this, but I don’t think I’m a fan of it.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          After 2008, the Big 12 changed its tiebreaker. In the event of a 3 way tie after head to head and record vs. next highest team in conference, its the top team in the BCS unless the 2nd team in the BCS beat them and is ranked within 1 spot in the BCS.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      Alan from Baton Rouge,

      Congrats Frank. You created the Mike Slive dream scenario that results in Brian’s head exploding.

      No, I gave up on having a decent ending to this a long time ago. Now I’m just morbidly curious how bad they want to make it. I’m resigned to dropping CFB after 2013 except maybe the occasional OSU game. Everyone will have so ruined the game for me by then that it wouldn’t be enjoyable anyway. On the bright side, it will free up a lot of time and money for me.

      Like

      • greg says:

        Brian, you bitch about not watching the game anymore, so do us all a favor and stop posting here.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          No, I say I will stop watching it in 2 more years. The game won’t be officially ruined beyond repair until then.

          Like

          • mnfanstc says:

            Come on Brian… I am a stubborn Pollock, and even I have adapted to some changes I do not like… I probably should have never got into watching/attending Gopher football games, but I love watching, and will continue. I was not even a “twinkle in Ma’s eyes” the last time the Gophers won a Rose Bowl (let alone went). I think I saw where you’re a tOSU fan… The likelihood of your team playing in the “plus 4” is a lot better than mine (at least at present). WIth Mr. Gator at the helm, you should have a legit winner (as long as he keeps the crooks out) 🙂

            Me, I have to thank God for Gopher wrestling, volleyball and hockey… (maybe next year’s BB, too)

            Like

          • Brian says:

            mnfanstc,

            Come on Brian… I am a stubborn Pollock, and even I have adapted to some changes I do not like…

            So have I, but I have my limits. I’m not asking anyone else to “boycott CFB” or anything, but the changes are reaching a point where the sport annoys me more than I enjoy it. I stop watching TV shows when that happens, and I’ll stop watching CFB. I’ve given up other sports for the same reason.

            I probably should have never got into watching/attending Gopher football games, but I love watching, and will continue. I was not even a “twinkle in Ma’s eyes” the last time the Gophers won a Rose Bowl (let alone went). I think I saw where you’re a tOSU fan… The likelihood of your team playing in the “plus 4″ is a lot better than mine (at least at present). WIth Mr. Gator at the helm, you should have a legit winner (as long as he keeps the crooks out)

            Hopefully we have a strong 2013. I’ll still keep tabs on how OSU does after that, but without devoting all the time and energy to the sport I do now. A quick web surfing will tell me all I need to know.

            Me, I have to thank God for Gopher wrestling, volleyball and hockey… (maybe next year’s BB, too)

            People keep telling me CFB is cyclical, so MN’s return to the top is just a matter of time.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      12/31 night is the worst time. People are out partying, not watching TV. The Sugar has tried that but gave it up. Now it does allow you to leave the Sugar and go out to Jackson Square and celebrate New Year’s with 10,000 of your closest friends who you have never met, but ESPN wouldn’t be happy because of low ratings.

      Like

    • morganwick says:

      If one semifinal doesn’t have an obvious tie-in bowl, I’d award it to the bowl that lost a team to the other semifinal, the Fiesta in this case. Only if that team doesn’t have a tie-in bowl do we have to pick a bowl at random.

      Also, how long has the Chick-fil-A bowl been on New Year’s Eve night?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        The Peach Bowl has bounced around a lot.

        2007-2011 12/31
        2005-6 12/30
        2004 12/31
        2003 1/2
        2001-2 12/31

        It keeps going like that throughout its history. The past 5 years on 12/31 is the longest it has stayed on one day ever.

        Like

  6. When are the semifinals going to played, Frank? There seemed to be a fair amount of smoke for them moving BEFORE New Year’s Day…to get the championship game earlier and the CFB season over before the NFL playoffs get too heated.

    But the Rose Bowl wouldn’t move…right?

    Like

    • @allthatyoucantleavebehind – It’s a good question. The Rose Bowl certainly wouldn’t move, so my guess is that playing the semifinals on New Year’s Day is a strong possibility.

      We’re going to see the tension between what’s best for the fans (games played between Christmas and New Year’s Day) and what’s best for TV (games played on January weeknights). Judging by history and the fact that part of the whole reason why we’re talking about a playoff now is because of the TV money on the table, I think the TV people will end up winning here.

      Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      What makes the most sense to me would be to hold the just one week after the semifinals, so long as at doesn’t fall on the day of an NFL game. Or it could be held every Martin Luther King Day, which, IIRC, is the second Monday of every January.

      I just think it’s more important to limit lag tag in order to maintain fan interest and to not allow this big, new college football playoff to get completely drowned out by the NFL.

      Allthatyoucantleavebehind, (or can I just call you “Bono” for short? 🙂 ),

      I think a big issue is “taking back New Year’s Day” in order for the postseason as a whole (non semifinal bowls and other major bowls alike) to be optimized. Fan attendance is maximized on that day because it’s a relatively easy time fthor people go get off of work for, and TV viewers are still fairly accustomed to New Year’s Day being THE day of the year for college football.

      Don’t get me wrong. I think there’s plenty of logic in having pre-New Years semifinals. Let’s say, for example, that the presidents wanted the game held after fall semester ends, but at least three days prior to Christmas, and that they wanted the game on or close to a weekend but not on a Sunday. That could definitely work. No matter which day of the week Christmas is, there’s always going to be a Friday, Saturday, or Monday that falls on December 19, 20, 21, or 22. Those dates are about two weeks after CCG weekend, so it still allows some turnaround time for traveling fans to make arrangements, and it’s close-but-not-too-close to Christmas for many fans to fit game into their holiday vacation time. At the least, it could be done on a 3-4 day weekend and not in the middle of the week like some recent NCG’s have been held.

      But all that is likely a moot point. There is still a prevailing sense to maintain the tradition of the bowls and to bring back New Years Day as Bowl Day.

      Like

  7. Thanks for doing this, Frank. I (like Frug) quibble a tiny, tiny bit with “independents” getting a special rule for being #4…but your argument for ND preference makes sense.

    I hope this goes from your keypad to God’s ears…

    Like

  8. Robber Baron says:

    While reading the blogosphere I came across a pretty simple eye test to judge whatever system emerges (I wish I could remember the source so I could properly credit it.)

    Can you explain it to very casual fan or a non-fan in just a sentence or two?

    Using that particular eye test even this valiant attempt is a *massive fail*. Since this blog is a huge proponent of realpolitik and pragmatism, I think it should understand the value of such a test. After all, I imagine that the expected massive gains in television money this new system generates will come in part from attracting the eyeballs of casual sports fans, and not just the attention of us realignment/post-season structure addicts.

    I understand that there are many factors at play here, but I believe part of the answer lies hidden in what Frank wrote above.

    “The upshot for me: this is about as good as the Rose Bowl is going to get in terms of preserving both its prestige and relevance when faced with the reality that we’re going to have a *4-team* playoff. ” There’s your problem. Why try to reconcile prestige with relevance while self-imposing the constraint of such a small field?

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      It has always seemed to me that a plus 1 system with bowl tie ins is the easiest and best way to go.

      Something like this:

      Rose: Big 10 v. Pac 12

      Orange: SEC v. ACC

      Sugar: Big 12 v. Big East + ND/Indep.

      Fiesta: Wild Card v. Wild Card

      +1 game one week later

      Easy. Keeps present bowls and bowl dates in place. Makes Jan. 1 much more relevant. What is the problem with this?

      Like

    • Robber’s Friend: “Hey Robber, explain to me the CFB playoff.”
      Robber: “The top 3 teams get in and the fourth is either Notre Dame or the next highest ranked conference champ.”
      Robber’s Friend: “Where do they play the games?”
      Robber: “The semifinals are played in the bowl sites that are tied into the highest ranked teams’ conferences. The championship is in a different city every year, like the Super Bowl.”
      Robber’s Friend: “Cool.”
      Robber: “I know, right?”

      (Sorry, I used three sentences instead of 1 or 2.”

      Frank is going into INCREDIBLE detail in this thread for junkies like us who KNOW and CARE about all the details. It’s not that complicated.

      Like

      • Robber Baron says:

        I think you should reread all the incredible detail Frank wrote. I don’t think you quite got his selection system right.

        Like

        • morganwick says:

          “The top 3 teams get in unless the #4 team didn’t win their conference and team #5 or 6 did.”

          Like

        • I read it. It has a lot of details for specific situations that are necessary for all of the crazy scenarios that arise. But it’s essence, for the casual fan or non-fan, isn’t confusing. The casual fan doesn’t ask during NCAA bball season, “Why is the Final Four game being played in City X this year?” The casual fan just cares about the teams. And for people who follow CFB, a bowl affiliation system (Rose Big10/Pac-12, Sugar SEC, Fiesta Big12, Orange ACC) isn’t that hard to remember either.

          Football isn’t bball, so it’s going to be a different playoff.

          Like

  9. Phil says:

    Frank-

    The only thing I have an issue with is your “Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that both the Big Ten and Pac-12 have semifinalists, they will play in the Rose Bowl regardless of ranking.” Why should the #1 and #2 teams have to meet in the SEMIFINAL just because the #3 and #4 teams happen to be from the Big Ten and Pac12?

    Either have a true four team playoff that tries to settle on the field who the best team is or don’t.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      It’s still a 4 team playoff. The winner is still going to have to win 2 games, it’s just the 1st might be harder. I think it would be bad in most other sports, but here it balances the traditional elements of the game with the playoff and I like it.

      Like

      • Phil says:

        It is “a” 4 team playoff, but instead of a true 4 team playoff that tries to settle who is the best team, the Rose Bowl contortion means that the 4th seeded team in the playoff could have an easier road to the final than #2.

        Have a playoff or don’t. Stop with the “conditions”.

        Like

        • gregenstein says:

          That’s not realiity for college football. There are going to be conditions. If you want no conditions, how do you determine who gets in? There’s a dozen or so FBS conferences, so even if you take only conference champs and shut out Notre Dame and BYU, you have to rank them. If you allow independents, who are say 11-1, then by default you have to allow a way for another 11-1 to enter even if you make it slightly easier for the indy. Especially with last year where a 2-loss Oregon team would have likely been in the tournament.

          Like

          • Phil says:

            What is so complicated about the 3 highest ranked conference champs plus the highest ranked team left (conf champ, 2nd place team, indy, whatever) as the 4th team? Seed them based on their rankings, 1 plays 4, 2 plays 3?

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Putting the Big Ten and PAC-12 teams in the Rose Bowl when they make it is no more or less complicated than a setting up a system of 3 champs/1 wildcard.

            Different things seem convoluted depending your perspective. To you, shifting the seeds seems completely unnecessary, to me that’s basic common sense and ever having 2 teams from any conference seems absurd.

            Like

    • I like it too. The SEC gets their concessions (top 3 seeds are automatically in and no semifinals in the north)…the Big10/Rose/Pac-12 get their concessions (Rose gets preference).

      Like

  10. Playoffs Now says:

    OBTW, going back further, the (albeit extremely flawed) BCS rankings would have produced playoffs of:

    2004 – USC 1, OU 2, Auburn 3, Texas 4* (* denotes teams that didn’t win their conference)

    2003 – OU 1*, LSU 2, USC 3, Michigan 4

    2002 – Miami 1, Ohio St 2, Georgia 3, USC 4

    2001 – Miami 1, Nebraska 2*, Colorado 3, Oregon 4

    2000 – OU 1, FSU 2, Miami 3, Washington 4

    1999 – FSU 1, VA Tech 2, Nebraska 3, Bama 4

    1998 – Tennessee 1, FSU 2, Kansas St 3*, Ohio St 4

    Total playoff appearances 1998-2011 would have been:

    6 – USC
    5 – Ohio St, OU
    4 – Texas
    3 – LSU, Oregon, Miami, FSU, Bama
    2 – TCU, Auburn, VA Tech, Michigan, Nebraska, Florida
    1 – Okie St, Wisconsin, Cincy, Penn St, Georgia, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, Kansas St

    Very likely we’d have different national champions in several years if we’d had these mini-playoffs instead of the 1 game beauty contests.

    Also pretty clear that 4 teams were not enough in 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2007-11, in 8 of 14 years. Hopefully they’ll only approve this 4-team experiment for 4 or 5 years. If it hurts the regular season they can then roll it back, but since it won’t we can thus easily move to the best solution: Add an earlier round of the 4 highest-ranked conference champs hosting 4 wildcards on campus the Saturday before Christmas, after finals are over. All then becomes right with the world.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Interesting note: 8 of 9 with 3 or more are kings and 11/15 with two or more. Penn St. only made it once.

      Like

    • nitpicking: in 2004 Utah at #6 was a league champion, so they would have leap-frogged Texas. There were enough good teams that year that it would have been nice to see more in a playoff, but I can’t think of any absolute must-haves that wouldn’t have gotten in. Cal and Texas had their shots at USC and Oklahoma and couldn’t make it happen, so it’s reasonable that they’d have been left out. After #6 Utah there really wasn’t anyone hugely compelling (though Boise and Louisville were both very quality teams).

      Like

  11. Eric says:

    I’m still perfer conference champs (and independents) only, but I’ll admit I like the rules here better than the 3 champs/1 wildcard. Oddly I bet your set-up would probably result in more conference champs on average than than 3champs/1 wildcard since I’d guess the #4 team is more likely to be a non-conference champ than the #3 team (#2 team is in regardless of set-up and #1 will probably almost never be a non-champ).

    As for the bowl placement, I agree it’s the best we traditionalists are going to get. Once home field advantage was off the table, this is probably best period as its one of the few set-ups which allows the Rose Bowl to remain the goal for most the seasons.

    Like

    • @Eric – Yes, you’re correct. On paper, this proposal sounds like it would have fewer conference champs than a 3 conference champs/wild card system, but over a period of time, it’s more likely that the top 3 teams are all conference champs with the #4 team being a team that’s a conference runner-up.

      Like

  12. Brian says:

    Frank,

    I agree with you about the selection committee. Only an idiot would agree to take that job with the level of emotion that surrounds CFB any more. An improved, more objective system is the way to go. I think they’ll put more emphasis on SOS, and preferably have more transparent computer formulas.

    As for which 4 teams get picked, I know we disagree.

    The best plan for every conference except the SEC and maybe B12 is to have 4 champs, but clearly they all want to sell their souls to the TV devil. Even then, they have to see the need for a 2 team limit because the more teams a conference gets into the playoffs, the more credit they get the next year. This skews the perception so those teams get ranked higher, leading to even more playoff slots, and the feedback continues. As long as humans are involved in the system at all, it is unwise to let anyone dominate the playoffs. Use 2011 as an example. If AR had beaten LSU, and GA won the SEC CG over AR, the rankings could easily have been: #1 AL, #2 LSU, #3 AR, #4 GA. That would go over really well nationally, I’m sure.

    That means everyone should support at least 3 champs being in. Based on the BCS era, those would always be top 5 teams in the current rankings (usually top 4 – #5 was only 3 of 14 times).

    These are the BCS rankings for the top 4 champs in the BCS era:
    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

    Taking the top 4 champs, here’s how often a team would get in over 14 years:
    #1 – 13 (OU wouldn’t have been #1 in the current version of the BCS I don’t think)
    #2 – 12
    #3 – 11
    #4 – 7
    #5 – 5
    #6 – 4 or 5
    #7 – 1 or 2
    #8 – 1
    #9 – 0
    #10 – 1

    I have absolutely no problem with a team outside of the top 6 getting into the playoff once in a while. If they don’t deserve to win it all, then they’ll lose. Due to the lack of quality OOC games these days, we really don’t know how well teams in different conferences compare. The objective criterion of winning your conference removes that doubt while never allowing a bad team into the playoff (not like the BCS AQ system for the BE). 2011 was an anomaly with WI at 10, but even then you’re talking about a team with two last minute losses and several big wins. The human polls had WI at 8, too, so the wisdom of crowds said they were even better than the rankings indicated. If the worst thing that happens in the system is that the #8 team gets in, then things are going well.

    Nobody can convince me that a ranking system can conclusively determine the top 4 teams with no error every year, so #5 or #6 may well be among the 4 best. Even #7 and #8 could belong in that group. In 11 of 14 years, the top 6 contained at least 4 champs. That leaves 3 years where there were 3 champs in the top 5 and the 4th was slightly lower.

    As bullet pointed out on your previous post, the only years using a wildcard would yield a different result than the top 4 were 2006, 2008 and 2011.

    2006
    top 4 = 1-4
    3 + 1 = 1, 2, 3, 5
    champs = 1, 2, 5, 6

    2008
    top 4 = 1-4
    3 + 1 = 1, 2, 3, 5
    champs = 1, 2, 5, 6

    2011
    top 4 = 1-4
    3 + 1 = 1, 2, 3, 5
    champs = 1, 3, 5, 10

    As you mentioned, AL was a borderline #2 in 2011 in the rankings and OR probably would have been in front of Stanford in the polls in this system, so the top 4 champs could easily have been 1, 2, 4 and 8.

    That said, adding a 4th champ to a 3+1 system only resulted in replacing #3 with #6 twice and #2 with #10 once. I see huge benefits to most of the conferences for keeping it 4 champs (better access, equal revenue splits, equal media attention, etc) and minor downsides. #2 AL hadn’t beaten any top teams all year (AR was #6 based on beating nobody) and lost to LSU at home. They hadn’t earned anything at that point. I still don’t consider them any better than LSU since LSU had a much better overall resume.

    My personal view on this issue is very practical: if we finally get a college football playoff and still end up with a split national championship with the final AP poll, then that’s a massive fail.

    Let’s use last year as the worst case scenario. #1, 3, 5, and 10 enter a playoff while #2 and #4 meet in a bowl the same day as the semifinals. If #1 beats #10 and #5, they are outright champs. If #3 beats #5 and #1, they are outright champs. If #5 beats #3 and #1, they are outright champs over #2.

    So the only question would be if #10 beat #1, and that would prove your system was wrong to exclude them anyway. Say #3 beats #5 and #10, while #2 beats #4. I think #3 wins outright again. So the only split title potential I can see is if #5 beats #3 and #10 or if #10 wins it all.

    Now let’s plug in the teams:
    1. OR beats OkSU and WI, AL beats Stanford
    No split because AL was #2 largely by virtue of playing LSU close. If a lightly regarded B10 champ beat LSU, people would rethink how good AL was and beating a lightly regarded Stanford team that OR also beat wouldn’t change that. OR beating OkSU and WI would win all titles.

    2. WI beats LSU and OkSU, AL beats Stanford

    WI’s wins: #1, 3, 17, 20, 22; losses: #17, unranked
    AL’s wins: #4, 6, 22; loss: #1

    No split again, and for the same basic reasons. The LSU win calls into question how good AL really is, and the OkSU win shows WI could beat a variety of teams (LSU = D and ST, OkSU = O). OkSU would have beaten OR to make the NCG, so beating Stanford wouldn’t seem that impressive.

    3. WI beats LSU and OR, AL beats Stanford

    WI’s wins: #1, 5, 17, 20, 22; losses: #17, unranked
    AL’s wins: #4, 6, 22; loss: #1

    No split again, and for the same reasons. The LSU win calls into question how good AL really is, and the OR win shows WI could beat a variety of teams (LSU = D and ST, OR = O). OR also beat Stanford, so AL beating Stanford wouldn’t seem that impressive.

    My point is, by winning two playoff games even the lowest seed will almost always earn both titles. It also calls into question the ranking system which is the only basis for wanting to split the titles in the first place. I just don’t see this as likely. Look at the past few split titles:

    2003 USC/LSU – both undefeated
    1997 MI/NE – both undefeated
    1991 Miami/UW – both undefeated
    1990 CO/GT – 11-1-1 vs 11-0-1
    1978 USC/AL – 12-1 vs 11-1

    The last 3 times, it involved 2 undefeated teams which can’t be the case here. So that means you expect a split title after 1 team wins a 4 team playoff and the other wins a bowl when both teams have blemished records and only 1 was a conference champ. I just don’t see that happening.

    In a nutshell, I think you’re using a once every 50 years sort of occurrence to justify your position and that makes no sense to me. If it does happen, the bigger problem is why your ranking system was so wrong that a low ranked champ could win the playoff.

    I understand the argument that limiting the participants to only conference champions provides some emphasis on “earning it on the field”, yet the practical reality is the general public and, more importantly, the TV networks paying for a playoff aren’t going to accept a system where the #2 team in the country would not be participating yet the #10 team would be involved (which is what would have happened in 2011).

    Isn’t “earning it on the field” the whole basis for going to a playoff? Beyond that, being a champion is an objective criterion. No formulas, no popularity contests, no eye test. You either won your conference or you didn’t (or you’re independent). i see no reason to trust a popularity poll over actual objective results.

    Get back to me when you have details on a new and improved ranking system, and maybe I’ll change my mind. But I have zero faith in the current system or it”s components to be accurate.

    I believe a lot of hardcore college football fans that support a conference champs-only have been mistakenly mixing their disdain for Alabama being chosen over Oklahoma State for a #1 vs. #2 national championship game last year (where I completely agree with the furor) with an argument that Alabama should not even be in a 4-team playoff (which I can’t justify if the purpose of a playoff is to figure out who the best team in the country is).

    I don’t think I’m mixing them. AL getting in over OkSU was an embarrassment and showed everything that’s wrong with the current system. That’s separate from a runner up not deserving to be in a 4 team playoff. I think the point of the whole season is to determine who the best team is. A large part of that is proving to be the best in your conference. If you aren’t the best team in your division, you can’t be the best team in your conference. And if you aren’t the best team in your conference, you can’t be the best team in CFB. The playoff is to compare the various conference champs because there aren’t enough OOC games to really know how they stack up.

    AL did absolutely nothing to show they were the best team in the country last year. They lost at home to LSU, and thus lost their division. LSU won the division and the conference. The playoff should have compared LSU to other champs.

    I’m one of the biggest Big Ten guys out there,

    Clearly you aren’t, or you would never utter the sort of filth that’s about to come out of your lips (well, fingers, but you get the idea)

    yet I’m in agreement with SEC commissioner Mike Slive in principle on this issue: there’s no real way that I can support a system that would have allowed #10 Wisconsin in over #2 Alabama last year.

    And I can’t imagine supporting a system dumb enough to allow a division runner up in over a conference champion. You people are addle minded.

    Now, as to your plan:

    A. Team selection

    Your plan is fatally flawed because it doesn’t limit the number of teams from one conference. This could have easily resulted in an all-SEC playoff last year. It’s short-sighted and ill conceived. Taking the top 3 champs also means a max of 2 teams from 1 conference, assuring a spreading of the wealth both literally and figuratively.

    B. Using BCS bowls for the semis

    I won’t argue this, I’ll just point out how sad it is. They are ruining every good thing about CFB. On the bright side, I’m going to have a lot more free time in future falls/winters as I stop watching CFB almost entirely (maybe entirely).

    Rose Bowl
    1946-2013
    RIP

    CFB
    1869-2013
    RIP

    Long live NFL Lite. Perhaps they’ll go all rollerball and start removing rules in the playoffs to get more violence to drive ratings even higher. I really hope the players unionize and start going on strike soon so you can all reap what you’ve sown.

    No matter how you try to spin it, Frank, it’s still a crap sandwich. No amount of garnish is going to change that. And no, replacing champs in the Rose Bowl is not a net benefit. When the best you can say is it’s no worse than the BCS, that tells you all you need to know.

    C. History

    I don’t share your optimism for how that would have turned out. I see bad Rose Bowls and bad tradeoffs. I also completely disagree about this preserving “both its prestige and relevance.” The RB would only be relevant when it hosts a semi, just like the other bowls. It’s prestige would also drop to being the same as the other bowls. It would also lose it’s status within the B10 and P12 as making a semi would become the goal, with it being in the RB as a minor bonus. Late in the season if there are higher ranked teams, B10 teams will be rooting to make the Sugar or Fiesta instead of the Rose.

    ___

    Questions:

    1. Why should the ACC support this plan? The other AQs get some benefit from your hosting plan but the ACC and the Orange Bowl suffer. Do they want to play road game semifinals against the SEC and B12 and P12?

    2. Why should the BE and the non-AQs support this plan? The rankings are biased against them, so the top 3 rule really hurts them. They have a much better chance of making the top 4 champions.

    3. Why should the B10 support your plan? It kills everything special about the Rose Bowl and increases the homefield advantage for the SEC and B12 and P12 in the postseason.

    4. Why should the presidents support your plan? It doesn’t shorten the season as they said they wanted (or are you moving up the semis and didn’t mention it?).

    5. You said nothing about revenue sharing. That’s a huge factor because maybe they can buy the support of the non-AQs. On the other hand, everybody wants a bigger piece of the pie and the huge growth in revenue will cause issues as everyone fights for more. It’s especially important since your top 3 plan doesn’t limit the number of teams from a conference. How much do teams 2, 3, and even 4 from a conference make compared to team #1? With AQ status gone, what portion of the revenue has to be shared equally and how much is based on appearances? Are wins rewarded with even more cash, or just berths in the playoffs? It’s hard to say who should support a plan when the biggest issues aren’t discussed.

    Like

    • 1. Does the ACC really get shafted? If you go back to 1991-2002…between FSU and Miami (who wasn’t actually an ACC team at the time, but humor me), the Orange Bowl would have hosted the semifinal almost every season. It’s cyclical.
      2. Cincy, WVU, and Louisville all had cracks at top 3 rankings in recent history. The BE and non-AQs will be happy to get a share of the revenue and access.
      3. I know your heart is set on 1943-1998 when it comes to the Rose…but that’s all over now. Frank SHOWED you above how the Rose gets MORE Pac-12/Big Ten matchups with his plan than it has the past few years. You can’t keep claiming that every plan sucks because we’re not in 1997 anymore…that argument is frustrating for the rest of us.
      4. Presidents don’t care about that.
      5. “Dear non-AQs, Would you like no money (status quo) or some money (playoff)? Love, the AQs.” It’s not going to be as contentious as you think. They don’t have much leg to stand on.

      Like

      • Phil says:

        As a fan of a Big East team-

        If the current BCS bowls are going to make a lot of conference tie-ins, the Big East should should be on the side of the playoff being 4 conf champs. The BE won’t get a current BCS bowl tie-in because of the risk of their champ being a very unattractive team as well as bad geography. So, in that case a BE champ that doesn’t make the playoff will most likely drop all the way to a 2nd tier bowl, so you might as well vote to maximize the number of champs in the playoff.

        If as rumored there would be some kind of committee that puts together the matchups for the current BCS bowls each year, the 3+1 is a lot more acceptable. In that case, an undefeated BE champ has a shot at the playoff, a 1 or 2(depending on the school) loss BE champ has a shot at one of the current BCS bowls, and a champ like UConn was a few years ago should just shut up and enjoy their Champs Bowl game.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        allthatyoucantleavebehind,

        “1. Does the ACC really get shafted? If you go back to 1991-2002…between FSU and Miami (who wasn’t actually an ACC team at the time, but humor me), the Orange Bowl would have hosted the semifinal almost every season. It’s cyclical.”

        Yes, they get shafted but not for the reasons you think. The Orange is much less of an ACC bowl than the Sugar, Fiesta/Cotton and Rose are for their home conferences. Miami is forever away from most ACC teams, and they don’t have a long history with the game. This plan helps the other 3 a lot with home bowl advantage.

        You can’t count BE teams for them because they would have had to beat other ACC teams to get there. FSU or Miami would have suffered more losses.

        As for cyclical, Miami was top 10 from 2000-2003, but not since. Before that was 1994, and then the long run from 1985-1992. In other words, it’s been a while and they’ve never been strong in the ACC. FSU was top 10 from 1987-2000, but not since. At some point this is the new normal for them since the SEC is getting many of the top recruits from FL now. Also, remember the scholarship limits were higher back when Miami and FSU were both powers in the 80s. FSU rode the momentum after Miami fell back, but it’s been 11 seasons now for them. How long is the cycle for these two?

        Will they improve at some point? Sure. That doesn’t mean the ACC will get the same respect the polls lavish on the SEC, though.

        “2. Cincy, WVU, and Louisville all had cracks at top 3 rankings in recent history. The BE and non-AQs will be happy to get a share of the revenue and access.”

        WV is gone and UL may be soon. The big 5 may be looking to demote the BE to MWCUSA level for money. Why would the BE be happy about that? As for the non-AQs, why should they be happy about a system that denies them access if they don’t get a bigger share of the money? They have the numbers to cause problems if they so choose (they can side with the B10/P12/RB if they don’t get paid off – 80 schools saying no would be a veto).

        “3. I know your heart is set on 1943-1998 when it comes to the Rose…but that’s all over now.”

        1946-1997. And I’ve freely admitted that’s over. That doesn’t make the replacement any better than it is, though. It’s a pale imitation of the Rose Bowl no matter what spin you try to put on it.

        “Frank SHOWED you above how the Rose gets MORE Pac-12/Big Ten matchups with his plan than it has the past few years. You can’t keep claiming that every plan sucks because we’re not in 1997 anymore…that argument is frustrating for the rest of us.”

        Not every B10/P12 match up is a good Rose Bowl, and he didn’t make any increase in good Rose Bowls as I pointed out. I promise you my former frustration as all of you conspire to destroy my favorite sport was worse than you tiring of not liking my frank evaluation of these pseudo Rose Bowls.

        “4. Presidents don’t care about that.”

        They said they did, so I’m taking them at their word.

        “5. “Dear non-AQs, Would you like no money (status quo) or some money (playoff)? Love, the AQs.” It’s not going to be as contentious as you think. They don’t have much leg to stand on.”

        Dear SEC, would you like to give us a bigger slice of the pie or should we all back the traditionalists and block your playoff? Love, the majority of I-A.

        Now that AQ status is gone, the big 5 have less of a legal excuse for treating some teams as second class citizens. That why they’ll push to share much of the revenue based on performance. The little guys will push to increase the share promised to them since they know they will never get access again. All negotiations over splitting hundreds of millions of dollars per year are contentious, and they should be.

        I’m not saying the non-AQs can’t be bought off, but they will have to be bought off. The big boys may drop from getting 80-90% of the pie to getting “only” 75%. That’s still a huge raise for them while making a huge budget impact for the little guys, too.

        Like

    • jbcwv says:

      I’m sorry if your fandom is going to be collateral damage in all of this, but as a fan of a school that really hasn’t benefited from a century of institutional inertia in college football as much as the one you enjoy watching, I have to surmise that whatever new scheme is chosen is going to be perceived as a major step forward for the sport for a big bulk of college football fans. The Rose Bowl is great, and all, and is fun to watch, but frankly it’s peripheral to everyone who isn’t a fan of a Big10/Pac12 team. It most assuredly does not represent everything that’s good about college football for the majority of fans for whom the Rose Bowl is irrelevant to their team. If concessions have to be made to it in the new system, so be it. But the perspective in some quarters that it matters more than anything else is itself, to be honest, one of the bad things about college football.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        jbcwv,

        “I’m sorry if your fandom is going to be collateral damage in all of this,”

        No you’re not, but that’s OK. I don’t care about random strangers’ fandom either. I’m not asking for sympathy. I just think both sides should be heard so an opinion isn’t taken as a blanket fact accepted by everyone. Since this was Frank’s last proposal (maybe), it was also my last chance to respond to one of his plans.

        “but as a fan of a school that really hasn’t benefited from a century of institutional inertia in college football as much as the one you enjoy watching, I have to surmise that whatever new scheme is chosen is going to be perceived as a major step forward for the sport for a big bulk of college football fans.”

        Those are two separate issues to me. I fail to see how this system would help the little guys any more than the BCS, but maybe they get paid a little more. They will get less access to top games.

        I don’t think I’ve ever denied that the majority of fans support this sort of change. I think the balance is closer than most people think because the polls generally don’t account for the large number of older fans that don’t use the internet much and don’t follow the sport as closely.

        The core supporters are young fans that grew up in the BCS era and the fans of non-AQs who profited from the BCS system as well as the prior reduction in scholarships per team and increased TV access. Those aren’t the only supporters, by far, but it is the core of the movement.

        But, as I’ve said before, the fly diet argument carries no weight with me. The majority is often wrong on matters of opinion.

        “The Rose Bowl is great, and all, and is fun to watch, but frankly it’s peripheral to everyone who isn’t a fan of a Big10/Pac12 team. It most assuredly does not represent everything that’s good about college football for the majority of fans for whom the Rose Bowl is irrelevant to their team.”

        That’s all true, but I honestly couldn’t care less about any of those people. People who can’t appreciate the Rose Bowl for what it is don’t matter to me. I’ve heard plenty of non-B10/P12 people who do appreciate it for the pageantry, the experience and the tradition, so it’s not just me. The Rose Bowl is fundamentally different than all the other bowls, but you have to have attended one to fully appreciate it. There’s no reason for most people to have been to one, so I don’t hold that against them.

        “If concessions have to be made to it in the new system, so be it. But the perspective in some quarters that it matters more than anything else is itself, to be honest, one of the bad things about college football.”

        I think making concessions to the Rose Bowl (and all the major bowls) is probably the wrong choice. I think the middle ground is more offensive to both sides than just starting from scratch. You can’t serve two masters, so CFB needs to admit that it’s abandoning it’s history and just move on. Keep the bowls in the background and just have the playoff.

        The Rose Bowl does matter more than everything else in traditional CFB, but that’s because it was the essence of CFB. Two conferences agreeing to play because they shared similar values on topics like integration and amateurism, and rules like no other bowls but the champs going to the Rose. The B10 team with the longest Rose Bowl drought winning the tiebreaker (not the highest ranked team or using stats) showed the value of the game and was the embodiment of amateur athletics. The OSU faculty refusing to let the team go to the Rose Bowl one year because they felt sports was getting too powerful showed what the values were.

        The Rose Bowl is only slightly more important than the other major bowls in the modern NFL lite the fans want, and that’s because it has two conference tie-ins and makes the most money by far.

        Like

        • morganwick says:

          “People who can’t appreciate the Rose Bowl for what it is don’t matter to me. I’ve heard plenty of non-B10/P12 people who do appreciate it for the pageantry, the experience and the tradition, so it’s not just me. The Rose Bowl is fundamentally different than all the other bowls, but you have to have attended one to fully appreciate it. There’s no reason for most people to have been to one, so I don’t hold that against them.”

          See, here’s the thing: the Rose Bowl is and has always been a fancy exhibition. Forget about 1997, the Rose Bowl has been stuck in 1964 (the last year before the AP performed the first experiment in holding a poll after the bowls). For all that the Rose Bowl is, college football left it behind a long time ago, and the dawn of the BCS era (really the Bowl Coalition/Bowl Alliance era) is just the point where college football left it so far in the dust it was finally forced to play catch-up. Without the Rose Bowl we might have gotten an 11/5 system a decade ago.

          “I think making concessions to the Rose Bowl (and all the major bowls) is probably the wrong choice. I think the middle ground is more offensive to both sides than just starting from scratch. You can’t serve two masters, so CFB needs to admit that it’s abandoning it’s history and just move on. Keep the bowls in the background and just have the playoff.”

          Finally, something we agree on.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            morganwick,

            See, here’s the thing: the Rose Bowl is and has always been a fancy exhibition. Forget about 1997, the Rose Bowl has been stuck in 1964 (the last year before the AP performed the first experiment in holding a poll after the bowls).

            Exactly. That’s the beauty of it.

            For all that the Rose Bowl is, college football left it behind a long time ago, and the dawn of the BCS era (really the Bowl Coalition/Bowl Alliance era) is just the point where college football left it so far in the dust it was finally forced to play catch-up. Without the Rose Bowl we might have gotten an 11/5 system a decade ago.

            No, CFB really didn’t “move on” until recently. And the BCS didn’t catch it up so much as the BCS made enough concessions to it for it to grudgingly agree to join while holding its nose. The problem CFB has had for a while is it wants to move on but it also wants to hold on to everything. You can’t do both. It’s better to do the best playoff you can than try to appease traditionalists and ruin the bowls and the playoff at the same time.

            I really think there was almost zero chance of a 16 team playoff with or without the Rose Bowl 10 years ago or even now. Most people, especially TPTB, don’t want one. If you polled the people on this blog, I’d be surprised if more than about 10% really want an 11/5 playoff and this blog is very pro-playoffs.

            Finally, something we agree on.

            That was the fundamental problem with the BCS. It tried to serve 2 masters, so it served none. There are clearly better and worse ways to stage a playoff, and they seem determined to pick one of the worst ways as they continue to straddle the fence. We each would prefer to land on different sides of the fence, but we can certainly agree that taking pickets up the butt isn’t good for anybody.

            As a staunch traditionalist, I’d much rather see them just honestly stage a playoff and leave the bowls alone than try to use the bastardized version of the games as semifinals some years and bowls the other years. It’s more offensive to me to claim that some semifinal with MI versus LSU is a Rose Bowl than to say there’s a playoff and the top B10 and P12 teams that don’t make the playoff will play in the Rose Bowl.

            Like

    • jcfreder says:

      Brian — we get it, you hate the proposed changes. But I simply don’t agree with the idea that the old days were better. What’s so great about massive chaos in determining a “mythical national champion” each year? For as much talk about “every regular season game matters” as I hear from various quarters here, exactly why did the regular season games matter so much — because avoiding a loss gave you a better chance of some sportswriter from halfway across the country penciling in your team a notch better than some other team? On some level, why keep an objective score on the scoreboard at all if the “champion” ends up being decided in a beauty pageant by 120 people, none of which have seen all the games and many of which have conflicts of interest?

      The push from the stone age to the Bowl Coalition to BCS to the new “4-Team Event” is largely based on a desire to actually crown a legitimate champion. I think a 4-team playoff is the best possible way of doing so while also preserving the integrity of the regular season. Let’s face it, when there are only 4 golden tickets, every game is still going to matter.

      As for the format, I like a lot of your thinking, Frank. The powers that be have to focus on setting up a system that is not set up for failure. A four-team “all champions” plan would have kept out a #1 Oklahoma team one year. That simply cannot happen. (I’m a Wisconsin grad and I don’t think the #10 champ last year should have been in the semis) Any system has to have the confidence of the public at large. At the very least, that means #1 getting in.

      The problem with a “three champion, one-wild card system” is that it leaves the possibility, albeit a slim one, that the #2 team would be left out. That can’t happen either. Really, forcing conference champions into the semis leaves open the possibility that a bunch of upsets on conference championship week puts a majority of the top 3-5 teams out of the semis.

      Ultimately, I’m in favor of just taking the top 4. But if the powers that be just can’t fathom that, then something similar to Frank’s system is probably the way to go.

      As for the semifinal sites, I’m fine with the bowls being a part of that process, because I do think the pageantry and tradition of those games adds value (and likely would be destroyed if the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta suddenly turned into the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th most important games of early January.)

      Assigning based on conference tie-ins makes sense. I’m not sure whether the Rose would be interested in Big Ten champ vs. non Pac-12 team in the semis, but they can opt out of that if they want. Just don;t let the Rose have a #1 P12 vs. #2 B10 semifinal.

      Like

      • Peder Rice says:

        How does a Three Conference Champs, One Wildcard leave out the #2 team in the BCS rankings?

        Like

      • Eric says:

        It’s not a more legitimate champion. It’s a type of champion more people like, but is no more legitimate. I hated that Alabama was given a chance this year, but to me they are still far more legitimate champions than UConn basketball was last year. Legitimacy is all in the eye of the beholder.

        Like

        • jcfreder says:

          There’s only some truth to this. There is value in coming up with as legitimate of a champion as you can. 4 teams seems like the sweet spot, where virtually no legitimate contender is omitted, and it’s small enough that you reduce randomness (and keep the importance of the regular season) as much as possible, as can be a problem with a 64-team tournament.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            The sweet spot is in the eye of the beholder. An undefeated #5 team is going to quibble with you about it.

            A large part of your legitimacy is based on the rankings being accurate, but if they are accurate then you don’t need a playoff. If they aren’t accurate, you are regularly screwing over teams that should be in the playoff and you lose legitimacy.

            The 8 teams or more proponents recognize the failure of the rankings so the compensate by going larger, but that also means more undeserving teams can get hot and win which also undermines the legitimacy.

            How you weight the various risks determines where you think the sweet spot is.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        Brian-you sure are sending out a lot of those negative waves-but jc it depends on what you value.

        Another Texas fan and I were discussing the impact of the Texas loss to Georgia in 1984 Cotton Bowl on the Miami program and someone said, “That’s what I love about college football. Here it is 25 years later and you are still debating that.” You don’t have those sorts of discussions about college basketball. If you like uncertainty, you like the old system. If you like 15 winners instead of 1 (sorry-with 35 bowls there are still not 35 winners) you like the old system. If you like the tradition of champs going to one bowl with that as their ultimate goal-B1G/Pac to Rose, SWC to Cotton, SEC to Sugar, Big 8 to Orange, ACC to anywhere that will take them, you like the old system. If you dislike TV setting the agenda, well sorry, that cat is out of the bag.

        Now if you like the top teams getting to play instead of sleep-walking through a bowl games and losing by 1 to inferior teams like Texas and Nebraska did in the 84 bowls, you prefer a playoff. If you dislike that teams that bring fans get the good slots instead of the best teams, you prefer a playoff. If you dislike that an Alabama gets invited over Oklahoma St. when if the SEC team were Mississippi St. and the Big 12 team Oklahoma, the Big 12 team would almost certainly have been invited, you prefer a playoff. If you prefer on the field selecting champions instead of questionable polls, you prefer a playoff. If you really don’t like sleazy bowl execs and their groups getting money instead of cash-strapped athletic departments, you prefer a playoff. If you dislike TV setting the agenda, tough luck.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          Now if you like the top teams getting to play instead of sleep-walking through a bowl games and losing by 1 to inferior teams like Texas and Nebraska did in the 84 bowls, you prefer a playoff. If you dislike that teams that bring fans get the good slots instead of the best teams, you prefer a playoff. If you dislike that an Alabama gets invited over Oklahoma St. when if the SEC team were Mississippi St. and the Big 12 team Oklahoma, the Big 12 team would almost certainly have been invited, you prefer a playoff. If you prefer on the field selecting champions instead of questionable polls, you prefer a playoff. If you really don’t like sleazy bowl execs and their groups getting money instead of cash-strapped athletic departments, you prefer a playoff.

          Right on to the infinite power.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        jcfreder,

        Brian — we get it, you hate the proposed changes. But I simply don’t agree with the idea that the old days were better. What’s so great about massive chaos in determining a “mythical national champion” each year? For as much talk about “every regular season game matters” as I hear from various quarters here, exactly why did the regular season games matter so much — because avoiding a loss gave you a better chance of some sportswriter from halfway across the country penciling in your team a notch better than some other team? On some level, why keep an objective score on the scoreboard at all if the “champion” ends up being decided in a beauty pageant by 120 people, none of which have seen all the games and many of which have conflicts of interest?

        Yes, I do, but for multiple reasons. It’s not just the loss of tradition. I think they are making bad decisions for a playoff, too. You’re welcome to your opinions and they’re perfectly valid, but I don’t see Frank’s proposal eliminating the beauty contest aspect in any way. He’s taking the top 3 from the contest instead of the top 2 like the BCS. Where is the big improvement? If you put any 4 CFB teams in a bracket, they all have a shot at winning. That doesn’t make the winner the best team of the season.

        The push from the stone age to the Bowl Coalition to BCS to the new “4-Team Event” is largely based on a desire to actually crown a legitimate champion.

        No, it really isn’t. The champ is at best slightly more “legitimate” than the BCS champ. The playoff is driven by money and bad rules for BCS selection. There wouldn’t be a playoff being implemented now if the BCS had started off with a no runners up rule in the first place and the polls weren’t so biased. The multiple times when the wrong team was picked for the NCG ruined the BCS, and now they want to do the same thing but with 2 more teams. They aren’t fixing the root problems.

        I think a 4-team playoff is the best possible way of doing so while also preserving the integrity of the regular season. Let’s face it, when there are only 4 golden tickets, every game is still going to matter.

        In the sense of 4 versus 6 or 8 or more, I agree. If a good ranking system is used, the top 4 should contain the best team. Since I don’t believe there is a good ranking system currently, I think using champs is a nice way to add some objectivity into the process.

        As for the format, I like a lot of your thinking, Frank. The powers that be have to focus on setting up a system that is not set up for failure. A four-team “all champions” plan would have kept out a #1 Oklahoma team one year.

        Under the current system, do you really believe OU would have still been #1 in the final rankings? OU was a distant 3rd in the AP poll (#1 USC 1595, #2LSU 1580, #3 OU 1491). Taking that as representative of the Coaches and Harris polls (generally true), which are 2/3 of the current rankings, OU would have been #3 in the BCS. So that would be #3 OU being left out in favor of #7 FSU (#5 was OSU and #6 TX, both didn’t win their conference)

        The problem with a “three champion, one-wild card system” is that it leaves the possibility, albeit a slim one, that the #2 team would be left out. That can’t happen either.

        Why not? Why are you so certain that the rankings are absolutely correct about who is #1, #2 #3 and #4? And since you believe so strongly in those rankings, what is the need for playoff? You already know which is the top team.

        As for the semifinal sites, I’m fine with the bowls being a part of that process, because I do think the pageantry and tradition of those games adds value (and likely would be destroyed if the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta suddenly turned into the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th most important games of early January.)

        That value will be destroyed anyway. Any time the games aren’t semis they’ll be meaningless to most of the fans.

        Like

        • morganwick says:

          “There wouldn’t be a playoff being implemented now if the BCS had started off with a no runners up rule in the first place and the polls weren’t so biased. The multiple times when the wrong team was picked for the NCG ruined the BCS, and now they want to do the same thing but with 2 more teams. They aren’t fixing the root problems.”

          You are implying there was always a right team to be picked for the NCG. In 2004, 2009, and 2010, I’m not sure there was, because the BCS had to pick from among at least three undefeated teams. I’m not sure there was a right team in 2007 either. And how do you know when the polls aren’t acting biased?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            morganwick,

            “You are implying there was always a right team to be picked for the NCG.”

            I didn’t mean to imply that. I meant to say that especially in the early years, the process selected a wrong team several times and not just for the NCG.

            1998 – #3 KSU (11-1) was passed over for #8 UF (9-2) for an at large bid. This lead to the “KSU rule” that automatically gets the #3 (or #4 if #3 is a champ) team into the BCS. Strike one.

            2000 – 11-1 FSU was #2 despite losing head to head to #3 Miami (also 11-1, and ranked #2 in the human polls). Miami’s loss was to 11-1 #4 UW which was also ranked below Miami in the polls. This lead to the “quality win” bonus being added to the formula. In addition, #11 ND was an at large and got demolished by OrSU (#5 and 8-10 were skipped). Strike two.

            2001 – NE was #2 in the BCS despite CO killing them in their last game and being ranked #4 in the human polls. Meanwhile, OR was #2 in both polls and had to watch NE get crushed by Miami for the title.

            2003 – USC was #1 in both human polls but the computers hated them, while OU was coming off a CCG blowout loss so they were #3 in the human polls but they still were BCS #1. LSU won tht title, but they should have played USC so the AP split the title. To be fair, this was a tough situation for the system to handle, but it got it wrong and a human element could have prevented it. This situation led to a lessening of the SOS factor in the formula. Strike three.

            In 2004, 2009, and 2010, I’m not sure there was, because the BCS had to pick from among at least three undefeated teams. I’m not sure there was a right team in 2007 either. And how do you know when the polls aren’t acting biased?

            2004 – 5 perfect teams, so the system was a little overwhelmed. I think it got it as correct as it could by picking the two AQs that didn’t play a I-AA team. More importantly, this was the year Mack Brown successfully lobbied to get ranked ahead of Cal so UT got the last BCS spot. UT may well have been the better team, but the public lobbying followed by several voters moving UT up and Cal down showed how easily the system could be manipulated. Strike 4.

            2009 – Again I think the system made the best choice and had AL play UT despite UC, TCU and Boise also being perfect.

            2010 – The same thing is true, with TCU being left out. I think the system made the best possible choice.

            So in all 3 of those years, I think the system did fine with the NCG. I also believe the system was right in 2007. You can make good arguments for several of the teams that were left out, of course, but my opinion is that the BCS got it right.

            I assume the polls are always biased, because all humans are. I’m just giving my opinion of how things turned out.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            Wait, I thought you were complaining about the polls being biased being a reason not to rely on rankings, and then you explain situations in 2001 and 2003 caused by the computers coughing up an insane result no sane person would have sided with over the poll preference?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I do believe the polls are biased, but we know the computers are handcuffed. My point was that fan anger caused by the BCS picking the “wrong” teams several times is what drove the playoff movement. It doesn’t matter if the system was actually right or wrong if it was widely perceived as wrong. I gave the most common examples of when the fans were upset with the system.

            Many of these mistakes were foreseeable and fixable, but the BCS didn’t foresee them or fix them.

            Like

          • This actually begs the question: have the BCS rankings really been *that* bad since the formula was overhauled in 2005? I’ve looked back quite frequently at the past BCS rankings for all of these postseason proposals and what I’ve found that, in virtually all instances, the most that you might be able to quibble with a team’s position (at least within the top 8 or so) is one spot. Now, one spot can make a huge difference when only 4 teams make a playoff, but my point is that at least the current BCS rankings haven’t produced results where you would say a team is being ranked 5 spots higher or lower than where it should have been (unlike the pre-2005 BCS rankings).

            That’s why my proposal here has focused upon how the *last* team that gets into the playoff qualifies. As I’ve looked back at the final BCS rankings since 2005, the one thing that I had a problem with was how often a #4 team wasn’t a conference champ while there was a conference champ sitting right behind it at #5. As I’ve said, the most that I can really argue for most teams over time is that they might be one spot off in the rankings, meaning that the difference between the #4 and #5 team is almost always negligible, so that’s a situation where it’s fair to give a preference to a team that has “achieved something”. Now, I know that we can get into a debate that the #2 and #3 teams should have to “achieve something” as well, which I understand, but that belies the reality that the top question that we have historically wanted to know the answer to during the BCS era (and what has resulted in more calls for a playoff compared to anything else) is specifically who would win a #2 vs. #3 game. That’s really the most important matchup that the playoff is adding compared to a current system, so that’s the reasoning for me protecting the top 3 teams no matter what.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank,

            I’d say two places is more fair, as the human polls differed from the BCS rankings by that much several times. I also think many people would argue that the rankings (largely poll driven) are farther off on non-AQs and ND than just 2 spots. But generally, the rankings do an OK job.

            Like

    • gregenstein says:

      @Brian – “If AR had beaten LSU, and GA won the SEC CG over AR, the rankings could easily have been: #1 AL, #2 LSU, #3 AR, #4 GA.”
      ————————
      You’re playing a pretty big “what if” game there. Still, it’s not that hard to limit a conference to 2 participants. Frank’s listed the real participants, or least what they would have been, based on real data. There’s going to be nightmare scenarios with any situation, such as conference champs ranked lower #5, and it’s not that hard to dream up. The conferences that host title games are at greater risk because often times, one division is weak. That division champ, as Nebraska was a few years ago playing Texas and Florida last year playing Auburn, can have a lucky day and beat the juggernaut (they didn’t in both of these cases). Still, we’re playing the “what if” game, so you could end up with a #1 vs #10 and #5 vs #14 in the tournament. I don’t see how that settles anything.

      I think reality has shown that no more than 2 teams from each conference would end up in the tournament, so just because there’s a statistical possibility of a 4 teams from the same conference entering, I’m willing to live Frank’s system because history shows it’s very, very unlikely that 4 teams from the same conference would ever all be at the top with the #4 team being the conference champ.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        @greenstein
        As I mentioned above, 3 teams from one conference out of 4 is sufficient to threaten the legitimacy and (perhaps more importantly) the TV value of the system. I think they have to be proactive rather than reactive to avoid the nightmare scenario. In 1971, the Big 8 had the top 3 in the final poll, so having 3 is not a huge “what if.” And we have bigger conferences with divisions that make such a scenario more plausible.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        gregenstein,

        @Brian – “If AR had beaten LSU, and GA won the SEC CG over AR, the rankings could easily have been: #1 AL, #2 LSU, #3 AR, #4 GA.”
        ————————
        You’re playing a pretty big “what if” game there.

        I am, but bullet has played the same game and he supports a playoff. All I did was ask what if the outcome of 1 game changed (AR beats LSU). Plenty of people suggested at the time that the likely result would be SEC teams ranked 1-3 the next week. Simple math says LSU was at best 1/3 likely to win the tiebreaker and play in the CCG, so I supposed GA played someone else. GA had a lead on LSU, so it isn’t unreasonable to suggest they might have beaten AR or AL if things went right. Assuming GA beat #1 AR in the CCG, the SEC being 1-4 seemed entirely plausible. OkSU would still have the worst loss of the bunch, and GA would have just beaten #1 in their 13th game. The point is, they almost certainly would have had 3 SEC teams in the top 4 with a chance for 4.

        Still, it’s not that hard to limit a conference to 2 participants.

        No, it isn’t but Frank’s plan doesn’t limit it so I pointed that out. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do if you see a potential flaw?

        Frank’s listed the real participants, or least what they would have been, based on real data. There’s going to be nightmare scenarios with any situation, such as conference champs ranked lower #5, and it’s not that hard to dream up.

        But apparently the nightmare scenarios only count against the all champs model. I should ignore what can go wrong with the top 4 plan, or the top 3 + 1.

        I think reality has shown that no more than 2 teams from each conference would end up in the tournament, so just because there’s a statistical possibility of a 4 teams from the same conference entering, I’m willing to live Frank’s system because history shows it’s very, very unlikely that 4 teams from the same conference would ever all be at the top with the #4 team being the conference champ.

        I don’t think history has shown that at all. We were 1 game away from an all SEC top 3 in the regular season, and the CCG could easily have maintained that. Getting all 4 would be a fluke, I agree, but 3 is foreseeable and fixable with a simple rule change/addition.

        Like

    • Eric says:

      Brian,

      I feel for you and feel largely the same, but once it was determined that we were going to get a playoff and that it was going to be neutral site game, I don’t think there was a way to better preserve the Rose Bowl than this. Really it comes down to options being the following:

      1. Keep the Rose Bowl outside the semi-finals. It’s always Big Ten and PAC-10 here, but will likely only rarely have both champions.
      2. Make it a semi-final on a rotation and put the Big Ten/PAC-10 teams in when possible. This would have left it as a semi-final in years with no Big Ten/PAC-10 teams involved and might left outside when the teams are in.
      3. Make it a semi-final when one champion is in the semi-finals. This would allow it to remain Big Ten vs. PAC-12 champs when neither conference makes it and when both make it, but will also allow for years with only one team from the conference and the other champion looking for an outside bowl.
      4. Make it a semi-final only when both champs are in the semi-finals. This would make sure the bowl was always Big Ten vs. PAC-12, but it likely wouldn’t be used as a semi-final bowl all that often.

      That’s pretty much all our options with where we are at. If none of them make you willing to keep watching a lot of football I understand, I was the same way with the Ohio State-Michigan game when they were threatening to move it up. With that said, I think option #3 is probably the best in terms balancing the need to a) keep the Rose Bowl the goal throughout the regular season and b) make it as much Big Ten vs. PAC-10 as possible.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Eric,

        I feel for you and feel largely the same, but once it was determined that we were going to get a playoff and that it was going to be neutral site game, I don’t think there was a way to better preserve the Rose Bowl than this.

        I do, but my post was already way too long so I didn’t give my alternative proposal(s). I’ll do that later.

        Really it comes down to options being the following:

        1. Keep the Rose Bowl outside the semi-finals. It’s always Big Ten and PAC-10 here, but will likely only rarely have both champions.
        2. Make it a semi-final on a rotation and put the Big Ten/PAC-10 teams in when possible. This would have left it as a semi-final in years with no Big Ten/PAC-10 teams involved and might left outside when the teams are in.
        3. Make it a semi-final when one champion is in the semi-finals. This would allow it to remain Big Ten vs. PAC-12 champs when neither conference makes it and when both make it, but will also allow for years with only one team from the conference and the other champion looking for an outside bowl.
        4. Make it a semi-final only when both champs are in the semi-finals. This would make sure the bowl was always Big Ten vs. PAC-12, but it likely wouldn’t be used as a semi-final bowl all that often.

        That’s pretty much all our options with where we are at.

        That’s more or less it, yes.

        If none of them make you willing to keep watching a lot of football I understand, I was the same way with the Ohio State-Michigan game when they were threatening to move it up. With that said, I think option #3 is probably the best in terms balancing the need to a) keep the Rose Bowl the goal throughout the regular season and b) make it as much Big Ten vs. PAC-10 as possible.

        There is no good answer, and even traditionalists will disagree on the least terrible choice.

        Like

        • gregenstein says:

          Old Way – Conference affiliation gets you into the bowl. Voters give you a title by assuming Team A would beat Team B.
          BCS Way – Similar, as the BCS is mostly based on voters anyway. Still only matters for top 2 teams ranked. Team A plays Team B, but often Team C is better is many eyes than Team B.
          New Way – Kicks the can down to a 4 team cutoff. Invariably, polls will be put into a computer, and it will be combined with some other factors like Strength of Schedule, but in the end, this just shifts to a 4 team “BCS Way” with subjective data put into it, mostly rankings.

          Even using pure conference champions would require ranking the conferences since there’s only 4 slots. So who ranks the conference champs? Pollsters and computers with data. So basically, it’s the “New Way” that would rank only 16 teams (or however many conferences there are).

          In the end, the pollsters still are mostly just deciding the participants. They get to pick 4 now instead of 2 (or 1 previously). I’m OK with Frank’s method just as it leaves room for lower level conferences to get in.

          I’m OK with requiring at least 2 participants be conference champs or independents, and I’d go 3 conference champs if they all are ranked in the top 6 and 2 of them are top 3. Then you just take whatever team happens to be ranked highest. Also, the top ranked independent gets treated as a conference champion if they get into the top 5. That way, ND or BYU still has a path to get there without having to be #1. This also has the effect of ensuring teams ranked #1-#3 get into the playoff unless it is an incredibly bad year for top ranked teams against a weak opposite division in their conference championship games. In that case, you’d have #1, #2, and whatever rankings the top 2 conference champs happen to occupy, which still likely would be top 8 or so. I’m fine with 3 teams from the same conference I think if you can’t find a 3rd conference champion in the top 6 or indy in the top 5.

          Like

    • TX_Andy says:

      Brian, I agree with almost all your points. Wanted to add that I’m having trouble with the tv networks wanting the highest ranked teams. They had the two highest ranked teams last year and the ratings were terrible. Had we skipped #2 for #3, the ratings would surely have been much higher. Not to mention that the conferences should be equally concerned about ratings for the regular season and CCGs, so they wouldn’t want to make those games irrelevant.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        TX_Andy,

        That’s a valid point about the rankings. The TV people don’t really know what they want because they don’t have any comparable data to draw conclusions from. If you asked them in advance, I’ll bet they would’ve thought the AL/LSU rematch would do pretty well. Certainly most writers thought so and mocked those of us who expected a big drop in ratings.

        CFB playoffs will be a new experience for TV and they won’t know for sure how fans will react to rematches, or mixed seeding or a bunch of other issues.

        Like

        • morganwick says:

          And it’s hard to tell how much of the blame for the recent bad ratings belongs to the game being on ESPN instead of a broadcast network. I know I’ve been boycotting the BCS the last two years for that reason. Not because of my desire for a playoff, but for selling out even though the BCS itself is a sellout. Go figure.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            True, but they have a little more data for that I think. They can look at relative numbers for a whole range of sports on ABC versus ESPN. You may have been protesting the selling out, but how many fans were driven away by Fox’s horrific coverage and came back for ESPN?

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            Honestly, from what I’ve seen of it (because even my boycott hasn’t been as solid as I’d like) the BCS on ESPN kind of feels like any other fall college football game. That’s part of the problem with ESPN’s coverage of any sport, really. They don’t do as good a job as they should making big events feel like big events, just because of the sheer tonnage of events they cover making it harder to stand out. The NBA Finals is really only rescued by being on ABC, while Monday Night Football is rescued by the graphics package and the steady drumbeat of pregame coverage all day.

            I didn’t notice Fox’s coverage being all that bad, but then I’m hardly an “awful announcing” guy anyway, who’s overly critical and nitpicky about game coverage.

            Like

  13. Read The D says:

    As a Big 12 fan and Dallas resident, I hope the Big 12 gets out of their contract with the Fiesta Bowl and into a contract with the Cotton Bowl. No matter what the selection system turns out to be, the bowls hosting the tie-in semi-finals, while not perfect, seems to make the most sense across the board. Travel will be much easier to Arlington for most Big 12 fans than to Glendale.

    Semi-finals aside, making travel arrangements to a national championship game 7-10 days out will be an expensive little vacation.

    B1G fans could get screwed the most in this scenario. A semi-final in LA, or any other bowl for that matter, followed by a championship game in Miami? Brutal. I predict the Championship Games will struggle with attendance.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      NThis is a great point, and it would be my #1 sales pitch to the Big 12 current/future B12 commish if I were in charge of the Cotton Bowl.

      Speaking of the Cotton, I think they’ve got a great chance of being part of the semifinals rotation or NCG rotation, in some form or fashion. The reason is that there have been five major bowls since the 2006 season (and 10 participants): Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and BCS NCG. With four bowl games that include two semifinals, there could only be eight participants in the major bowls. Enter the Cotton Bo

      The Fiesta could become the home of the top non champion, including Notre Dame, who doesn’t make the playoff, and could be the home for a Big Ten or Pac-12 champ who was displaced from the Rose Bowl. It could host a semifinal when a Big East or other non big Five league champion finishes in the top two. There would still be a place for it as a major bowl game. But I completely agree that the Cotton would make a lot more sense for the Big 12 going forward.

      Like

    • This was going to be my next question for Frank. He’s completely left out the Cotton Bowl of his above scenario. Before this week, it was considered a 99% certain thing that the BCS would be adding a 5th bowl. But this week, we’ve heard virtually nothing about it.

      The “conference tie-in” element is going to be fascinating (and perhaps worth another blog, Frank). On the one hand, the bowls don’t want to be tied into a dud (like the ACC and Orange these past years). On the other hand, if the Rose and Sugar get easy access to the semifinals because of their affiliations, it would behoove the others (Orange, Fiesta, Cotton?) to have their own meal tickets. I also like Michael’s rules for options.

      Semifinal Tie-in
      Fiesta–Notre Dame or conference runner-up
      Rose–Big10/Pac12
      Sugar–SEC
      Orange–ACC
      Cotton–Big12

      Other affiliations (which follow the above tie-in)
      Fiesta–highest ranked Pac-12 (not in Rose Bowl) or highest ranked Big10 (not in Rose Bowl) or highest ranked Big12 (not in Cotton or Orange) or Choice
      Rose–Big10/Pac12 or Choice
      Cotton–highest ranked SEC (not in Sugar) or highest ranked Pac-12 (not in Rose or Fiesta) or highest ranked Big10 (not in Rose or Fiesta or Orange) or Choice
      Sugar–highest ranked ACC (not in Orange) or highest ranked Big10 team (not in Rose or Fiesta) or Choice
      Orange–Notre Dame or highest ranked Big12 (not in Cotton) or highest ranked SEC (not in Sugar or Cotton) highest ranked Big 10 (not in Rose or Fiesta) Choice

      (Another way to look at it…in order of ranking)
      Big Ten–Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar
      Pac-12–Rose, Fiesta, Cotton
      SEC–Sugar, Cotton, Orange
      ACC–Orange, Sugar
      Big 12–Cotton, Orange, Fiesta

      Using Frank’s criteria above…it could look something like this.

      2011
      Rose Bowl: #10 Wisconsin (Big10 tie-in) vs. #4 Stanford (Pac-12 tie-in)
      Sugar Bowl: #1 LSU (SEC champ) vs. #5 Oregon (Pac-12 champ)
      Orange Bowl: #15 Clemson (ACC Champ) vs. #7 Boise St (choice)
      Fiesta Bowl: #3 Oklahoma State (Big 12 champ) vs. #2 Alabama (top 3) (runner-up tie-in)
      Cotton Bowl: #8 Kansas State (Big 12 tie-in) vs. #6 Arkansas (SEC tie-in)

      2010
      Rose Bowl: #5 Wisconsin (Big 10 champ) vs. #2 Oregon (Pac-10 champ)
      Sugar Bowl: #1 Auburn (SEC champ) vs. #3 TCU (top 3)
      Orange Bowl: #13 Virginia Tech (ACC champ) vs. #11 LSU (SEC tie-in)
      Fiesta Bowl: #6 Ohio St (Big10 tie-in) vs. #4 Stanford (Pac-10 tie-in)
      Cotton Bowl: #7 Oklahoma (Big 12 champ) vs. #8 Arkansas (SEC tie-in)

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Read the D,

      The Cotton makes a lot of sense to me, too. It’s not like there is a lot of history with the Fiesta Bowl. And with CO and NE and MO gone, the desire to go to Phoenix has to be way down. ISU, KU and KSU might prefer it, but I have to think everyone else prefers Dallas.

      Any word from the B12 on a switch, or are they maybe waiting for the new plan and a new commissioner to make a change?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Lots of rumblings about the Cotton getting in the BCS in some way, but I haven’t heard any serious discussion of a switch. Problem is that Cotton has the history and now, a stadium, but doesn’t have the weather. San Antonio or Houston have much better 1/1 weather.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          The game is indoors, so that’s what really matters. People can go play golf in SA or Houston for a few days and come back for the game.

          Like

  14. Peder Rice says:

    I’m still somewhat concerned about the amount of time between the CCGs and the Semifinals, provided that the semifinals are played Jan 1st.

    So…. let’s make it a 5-team playoff with a play-in game! 3 top conference champions, 2 wild card teams, with the play-in game played the week after CCGs at the home site of team #4

    Like

    • Peder Rice says:

      Gotta love his Sun Beast articles. But I really do think the allure of a play-in game or games will be too strong and that we’ll see an expansion of the playoff within a few years.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Mayans???? Bear Bryant DID coach at Kentucky. And they were one of 6 once beatens in 77 winning on the road against one of the others with the Bear at Alabama also one of 6 (UK on probation of course, but they could have been caught after the fact). And stranger things have happened. And had the Alabama player not made a bonehead fumble on his way to a TD, we would have had TCU vs. Oregon for the national championship a couple years ago. Strange moments like the Alabama player coming off the bench to tackle the Rice RB in the Cotton Bowl. Its seems like Alabama keeps coming up in all my random thoughts about strangeness in college football. Maybe its when Rice beats Alabama for the championship we have a Mayan moment.

      Loki, how is Rice’s recruiting coming? Do we all need to get prepared?

      Like

  15. bullet says:

    I had come to like the 3/1 over a straight top 4 because of the imprecision of ANY ranking system. I like your system with a couple of caveats.

    Last year had UGA upset LSU (as it looked like might happen in the 1st half), we still likely would have had a top 3 of Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma St. The system should try to get the best team and with a 3/1 we would be leaving out at least 1 of what were generally accepted as the best 3 teams. Most likely LSU, who would have still had the best resume. Your system would include them. And many people look at a “conference champion” as black and white, but in at least 3 cases in the BCS era, it would have been decided by the same “biased” rankings as a straight top 4 selection would be (1998 Ohio St./WI Big 10, 2002 Ohio St./IA Big 10, 2008 OU/UT/TT Big 12). And why should 1 game on December 7th or October 31 vs. a division rival matter more than someone else’s loss or multiple losses on different dates. LSU could easily have been shut out last year with a resume better than all or virtually all of our past once beaten national champions (and better wins than virtually all of the unbeaten champs).

    My caveats would be
    1) I like PN’s proposal to limit the number of teams from a conference to 2. There is just so little interleague play that the rankings are imprecise and it just invites controversy if someone doesn’t play anyone good outside their league. And if you can’t get in the top 2 in your conference, its hard to argue you are the best (again it could have been difficult had Arkansas upset LSU last year-but it could also threaten the whole legitimacy if it was almost all one conference-let alone TV ratings issues);
    2) Your system does give an advantage to independents over conference members. They haven’t won anything. There are only 3 out of 125. Because they choose that, the other 122 shouldn’t have to bend over backwards for them. They could choose to join a conference and get the conference champion rules. That’s THEIR choice. Instead, give them the same rules as someone else who hasn’t won a conference-top 3; or top 4 if #5 and #6 are not conference champs.
    3) If you add rule 1), I am a little concerned about KISS. It becomes top 3 + next best conference champ if in top 6, otherwise #4, but only 2 teams from a conference, so it then resorts to the next highest ranked team not from that conference (theoretically it could get down to #15 but practically, it would never slip below #6-and that could in rare occassions with a lot of ccg upsets result in only 1 conference champ in the playoff).

    Note that a lot of these selection issues and the problems of a selection committee are because of the choice of only 4 teams. 8 teams isn’t happening now, but it makes all of these issues much easier to deal with.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I disagree completely about it punishing independents. It doesn’t let independents get skipped over at #4, but it doesn’t let them skip over anyone from #5 or #6 either.

      Basically speaking, his plan comes down to this, the top 4 each year are always in, but the #5 or #6 team can replace #4 if #4 lost its conference and the #5 or #6 team didn’t.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        It doesn’t punish indies. It rewards teams who win conferences. It puts indies on the same status as a team in a conference except that they have chosen not to have the opportunity to get the conference champion “bonus.”

        Treating indies like conference champions gives them an advantage over teams in conferences. They can have the same result and get a better consequence than a team in a conference. Now it does punish teams who don’t win a conference, which is important to some.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      In trying to figure out a simple way to explain my modification, it would be based on a hierarchy of rules:
      1. No more than 2 teams from a conference could be invited.
      2. Only top 6 teams eligible, subject to rule 1
      3. Top 3 are selected, subject to rule 1
      4. Next highest ranked conference champion is selected, subject to rules 1 and 2
      5. Next highest team is selected subject to rules 1 and 2 (applicable if no conference champion was #4,#5 or #6 or, top 3 + next conference champion included 3 or more from same conference)

      Like

      • Read The D says:

        @bullet I like how you’re thinking. There needs to be a hierarchy of rules or conditions. Mine would be:

        1. No more than 2 teams from a conference.
        2. #1 & #2 must be selected.
        3. Top 3 conference champions are selected, as long as the champions are ranked in the, let’s say, top 6 based on Frank’s premise. If selections from rule #2 are not conference champions, then only the top 2 conference champions are selected.
        4. The next highest ranked teams are selected, subject to rule #1.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      I had come to like the 3/1 over a straight top 4 because of the imprecision of ANY ranking system.

      A lot of playoff fans seem to gloss over that little problem.

      And many people look at a “conference champion” as black and white, but in at least 3 cases in the BCS era, it would have been decided by the same “biased” rankings as a straight top 4 selection would be (1998 Ohio St./WI Big 10, 2002 Ohio St./IA Big 10, 2008 OU/UT/TT Big 12).

      http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-footbl/archive/081011aaa.html

      Not quite true. In 1998, OSU would have won with the modern tiebreakers but which tiebreaker depends on whether you use the current divisional ones or the ones for when the CCG isn’t played. By the divisional ones, OSU wins because they beat MI but WI lost to MI. By the no CCG rules, OSU would win by BCS ranking, but if you ignore that they would instead win for beating MI. So as a result, the biased rankings really wouldn’t have made the decision.

      In 2002, OSU was 13-0 while IA was 11-1 with an OOC loss. By the no CCG rules (IA is in the West), OSU would win by BCS ranking, but also by higher winning percentage. Again, the rankings wouldn’t really be the deciding factor.

      It doesn’t really change your point, but I wanted to clarify that.

      And why should 1 game on December 7th or October 31 vs. a division rival matter more than someone else’s loss or multiple losses on different dates. LSU could easily have been shut out last year with a resume better than all or virtually all of our past once beaten national champions (and better wins than virtually all of the unbeaten champs).

      Why should 1 game on 1/1 or 1/8 versus a divisional rival matter more than a game on 11/5?

      My caveats would be
      1) I like PN’s proposal to limit the number of teams from a conference to 2. There is just so little interleague play that the rankings are imprecise and it just invites controversy if someone doesn’t play anyone good outside their league. And if you can’t get in the top 2 in your conference, its hard to argue you are the best (again it could have been difficult had Arkansas upset LSU last year-but it could also threaten the whole legitimacy if it was almost all one conference-let alone TV ratings issues);

      I’ll point out that I mentioned the same thing when critiquing Frank’s plan. At least a 3 champs + 1 limits the damage to 2 teams from 1 conference.

      2) Your system does give an advantage to independents over conference members. They haven’t won anything. There are only 3 out of 125. Because they choose that, the other 122 shouldn’t have to bend over backwards for them. They could choose to join a conference and get the conference champion rules. That’s THEIR choice. Instead, give them the same rules as someone else who hasn’t won a conference-top 3; or top 4 if #5 and #6 are not conference champs.

      My counter argument is that an indie also hasn’t lost anything like the non-champs have. they really are 3 different tiers of achievement:

      1. Won conference
      2. Won nothing
      3. Won nothing and lost conference

      I have less issue with it if the indie has a loss, but a 12-0 indie has clearly achieved something the 11-1 runner up didn’t and that should be acknowledged somehow.

      3) If you add rule 1), I am a little concerned about KISS. It becomes top 3 + next best conference champ if in top 6, otherwise #4, but only 2 teams from a conference, so it then resorts to the next highest ranked team not from that conference (theoretically it could get down to #15 but practically, it would never slip below #6-and that could in rare occassions with a lot of ccg upsets result in only 1 conference champ in the playoff).

      That’s an issue with any rule based system, true.

      Note that a lot of these selection issues and the problems of a selection committee are because of the choice of only 4 teams. 8 teams isn’t happening now, but it makes all of these issues much easier to deal with.

      Will it make it easier? One group will still clamor for top 8 while another will want 8 champs, and the middle will be 4-6 champs and 2-4 wildcards. That seems like the exact same argument. People may be more willing to compromise then, but that isn’t a given (this is where revenue distribution becomes an issue again).

      2011:
      Top 8 = LSU, AL, OkSU, Stanford, OR, AR, Boise, KSU (SC at #9, so almost got 4 of 8 from SEC; as is, 3 champs and 5 runners up)

      Top 8 champs = #1 LSU, #3 OkSU, #5 OR, #10 WI, #15 Clemson, #18 TCU, #21 USM, #23 WV

      Top 6 + 2 = #1 LSU, #2 AL, #3 OkSU, #4 Stanford, #5 OR, #10 WI, #15 Clemson, #18 TCU

      Top 5 + 3 = #1 LSU, #2 AL, #3 OkSU, #4 Stanford, #5 OR, #6 AR, #10 WI, #15 Clemson (3 SEC teams)

      Top 4 + 4 = #1 LSU, #2 AL, #3 OkSU, #4 Stanford, #5 OR, #6 AR, #7 Boise, #10 WI (3 SEC teams)

      I think it’ll be hard to sell people on needing 3 SEC West teams in a playoff, because what is the purpose of the season then. But to get to 2, you’d need to dip to #18 getting in by these rules. A smarter approach would add a 2 team limit, and then you get this:

      Top 4 + 4* = #1 LSU, #2 AL, #3 OkSU, #4 Stanford, #5 OR, #7 Boise, #8 KSU, #10 WI (2 teams from SEC, P12 and B12)

      That seems like a more reasonable compromise, but the SEC would probably kick and scream about it.

      Like

  16. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Kind of unrelated, but I disagree with those who say that Boise State & San Diego State might bail on the Big East for anyone other than the Big 12, which would only take them in a dire, Big East-like, oh-crap-Texas-Oklahoma-Kansas-Ok. State-and Kansas State-just-left type of scenario.

    It might have been different if TCU, Utah, and BYU were still in the MWC; adding Houston and SMU to that league might have made the MWC just appealing enough for Boise and SDSU to want to return. But that’s not reality.

    The Big East, as incredibly weakened as it is, is still indisputably the sixth most appealing conference for TV value and for competitive ability. The best that remains in the MWC are Fresno, Hawaii, Nevada, and Air Force. In CUSA, there’s ECU, Southern Miss, and Tulsa. Almost every Big East team is as good or better than those programs.

    The Big East is going to have a heck of a hard time getting any kind of bowl lineup that compares favorably with even the Pac-12 or ACC. It would be a minor miracle to get a tie-in for its conference champion at the Outback/Capital One tier. More likely, the conference champ will go to the Champs Sports Bowl or Liberty Bowl, bowls reserved for the #3 ACC team and #8 SEC team. But it will still get a lineup far better than the Mountain West or CUSA. Its TV money will also be far greater. Marinatto, as much as he’s bumbled through conference realignment, is going to be able to sell somebody on the size of the TV markets and the future potential of large schools like Houston, UCF, and maybe even Temple.

    As for the Big East’s bowl lineup, if I were Marinatto, I would start setting it up so that it’s as friendly towards Notre Dame as possible. It’s the only way the Big East will have a decent place for its conference champion and runners up. Besides, I would imagine Notre Dame is trying to build an affiliation with another conference (most likely the ACC) in order to make sure it is setting itself up for the best bowl lineup of its own.

    Like

    • Phil says:

      Besides the BCS bowls and the ones owned by ESPN, are the other bowls free agents when it comes to TV contracts? I would think the best bet for the Big East, if as rumored they sign with NBC, would be NBC using dollars and ND-contingencies to get a couple of bowls (Gator? Holiday?) that might be happy with the $$, extra exposure and chance at ND every few years.

      Like

  17. JMH says:

    I like the ideas in Frank’s proposal, but the one issue I question is the use of conference tie-ins to determine which bowls host the semifinals. Seems like there may be too many potential problems, such as certain bowls getting the semifinals more than others and not knowing (for TV scheduling purposes) which games will host the semifinals until early December.

    My guess is they will set it up so each of the 4 current BCS bowls get a semifinal every other year, with the bowls free to contract with conferences however they like in the other years. For example, in even years the semifinals might be the Fiesta and Sugar bowls. The Rose and Orange bowls could contract with whoever they like for their games – presumably, the Rose would contract with the Pac Twelve and BIG Ten for their champions or highest ranked team not in the Final Four, while the Orange would feature SEC vs. either Big Twelve or ACC. In odd years, the Rose and Orange would host semifinals, while the Fiesta might contract with the Big Ten and Pac Twelve and the Sugar would be SEC vs. either Big Twelve or ACC. Note – this would also be a way to (legally, I think) keep minor conference teams out of these bowls unless they are in the Final Four.

    For the Final Four, or whatever they will call it, I imagine the teams will be selected by an objective criteria while a Committee is established to set the match-ups. Sort of like the NCAA hockey tournament, where my understanding is that they use the Pairwise rankings to determine who gets in and have a Committee to set the match-ups. So last year for example, if the Fiesta and Sugar hosted then the Committee could decide based on geography, historical conference tie-ins, etc., that LSU as #1 goes to the Sugar Bowl and Alabama as #2 goes to the Fiesta. Assuming the other two teams are Oklahoma State and Oregon, they Committee would have to weigh geography, conference tie ins and, maybe regular season match-ups (LSU played Oregon during the regular season). I could see the match-ups being LSU-Oklahoma State and Alabama-Oregon to avoid a regular season rematch, as well as the better geographic pairing.

    Just some thoughts, will be interesting to see how they set it up.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I think this will be a serious concern, but hope it’s not. They’ll probably be OK with 2 semi-finals being a day apart, but I doubt they’d want more than that, which is why I think you are right and they’ll set-up more of a rotation (an ESPN article mentioned an rotation as the favorite right now too without mentioning tie-ins).

      One way around this could be to move all the bowls to January 1st and 2nd. Have the Rose Bowl and another BCS bowl Years Day and have 2 other ones on January 2nd. The specific time for the January 2nd bowls can be waited on until they know which games are semi-finals.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      I do like the hockey model for that. Be objective in picking the teams but let humans weigh all the variables for placing teams.

      Like

    • @JMH – I like your idea, as well, if only that it provides a mechanism to avoid rematches or intra-conference matchups in the first round. It’s kind of like what was the MLB playoff format up until this year, where the wild card team couldn’t be paired with the winner from its division in the first round (even if that’s what would have happened if it were straight seeding based on record).

      Like

  18. Craig Z says:

    Overall I like the proposal. But I’m not sure about a #5 or #6 conference champ jumping a #4 non-conference champ. I can see an outcry if a team from one of the Big 5 conferences gets left out for Boise State or even a Big East champ.

    Like

  19. Andy says:

    Interesting that a few weeks back Brian tried to claim to me that his posts and opinions on here weren’t ridiculously biased against the SEC to the point of being delusional, yet after reading through his last few days of (near constant) posts, he has become more and more shrill in his disdain for all things SEC. I already said this before, but I think now it’s very much safe to say that anything he says about the SEC is tainted with his own strong dislike for them, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

    Like

  20. http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/49124/midwest-venues-interested-in-hosting-playoff

    Schlabach said all neutral sites is preferred? That’s new. I’m all for that. Keep all “BCS bowls” on January 1, 2, 3….put neutral site semis on one day somewhere around Dec 26-29 (depending on the year)…championship 10-13 days later (before January 10 though).

    Like

    • FranktheAg says:

      I’m a fan of all neutral sites as well. Just eliminate the bowl tie-ins completely from the 4 team playoff system.

      Like

  21. Gil says:

    The more I think about this plan the more I like it. My only complaint is that teams that don’t play a conference championship game benefit at the expense of those who do. Looking back to last season, Oklahoma St. and Alabama both sat idle while LSU played a risky game against Georgia. I’m reminded of Mark Cuban’s abortive “bracket buster” plan, something along the lines of letting the top four teams not already in a CCG play each other. Failing that I might still prefer to see at least three conference champions automatically qualify (though I agree that any team ranked lower than 6th is probably not qualified).

    Like

    • In rugby tournaments internationally, they play bowl, plate, and cup games (maybe another level? I can’t remember). Essentially, you have more games to be played (with some minor “awards”) because people would rather have more rugby played than less. They aren’t necessarily 3rd and 5h place games (more like 5th and 9th place games).

      I’ve suggested this before to US sports audiences (to no reception), but why not have a third place game for every conference that has a CCG? Play it in the home stadium of the division that won more games than the other. (So, if PSU and Michigan were #2 in Leaders and Legends and the Legends won more league games…then PSU would travel to Ann Arbor on CCG Saturday for a “third place” game).

      This also changes the Heisman race. Richardson and Luck sat at home while RGIII tore it up on the last Saturday of the season. Guess who won the Heisman?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        1. Americans don’t like consolation games, so it would struggle to break even.
        2. The current rules don’t allow it and nobody seems excited enough about the prospect to get a rule changed.
        3. Why would these teams want to risk the extra loss? Why would their conferences? All you’re doing is assuring that a bunch of the bowl teams will coming off a loss that knocked them into a lesser game. Winning won’t vault anyone up the rankings, they’ll just slide above some of the losers.

        Like

        • Totally agree on 1 and 2.
          Totally disagree on 3.
          You don’t think OSU fans would fill up the Shoe to see cross-division opponent Nebraska come in for a 3rd place game? Or, vice versa, Nebraska fans would fill up Memorial to see OSU come in to play? And it absolutely could/would affect teams up and down the rankings. If the SEC played one (let’s say #2 Alabama vs. #6 Arkansas) and the Pac-12 played one (#4 Stanford vs. UR Arizona State) and the Big 10 played one (#13 Michigan vs. #19 PSU), there would certainly be room for teams to move up as well as down. I know it’s “different” than anything with have now, but it’s really just a hybrid of two institutions we already have (exhibition post-season bowls and conference championship games)…played on the home field of a proud CFB team.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            allthatyoucantleavebehind,

            “Totally agree on 1 and 2.
            Totally disagree on 3.
            You don’t think OSU fans would fill up the Shoe to see cross-division opponent Nebraska come in for a 3rd place game?”

            If the tickets were affordable, and the weather was nice and OSU didn’t already play NE, maybe. But nobody would have time to prepare, so the out of town fans would have a tough time making it. Tickets sales and distribution would be tough, too (OSU isn’t used to dealing with single tickets, let alone having less than a week). Would this be managed by the B10 or up to the home school? All 12 schools would have to contingency plan every year, which is expensive.

            Like most fans, I don’t see the purpose of a 3rd place game. It would have been MI/PSU last year. MI would risk losing a BCS slot and PSU wanted nothing to do with a game, but even without the scandal they couldn’t have moved into the BCS. That’s all risk and no reward for the conference. I don’t see this doing well on TV or even in person, especially if you get rematches.

            Scenarios:
            1. Both teams are in the BCS pool – Why risk 1 team falling out by losing a consolation game?

            2. One team is in the pool and the other is just outside – Why risk 1 team falling out by losing a consolation game? Does it somehow help the B10 to swap which school is in the pool?

            3. One team is in the pool and the other is well outside – Why risk the 1 team falling out by losing a consolation game?

            4. Both teams are outside of the pool but are close – The B10 might get 1 more team in the pool (you won’t move up much by beating an equivalent team), but the other team will take another loss and drop down. Is that worth it?

            5. Both teams are outside of the pool but 1 is close – The B10 might get 1 more team in the pool if the close team wins (you won’t move up much by beating a lesser team), but the other team will take another loss and drop down. Is that worth it?

            6. Both teams are outside of the pool and neither is close – One team will move up some, but the other team will take another loss and drop down. Is that worth it?

            I fail to see the net benefit to the B10 here. These are not money making games in any sense (ticket sales, TV, more BCS bids), they risk costing money instead, and on top of that there is the injury risk to the players.

            Like

          • Great points. I’ll give you that. But… 🙂

            As a Big Ten fan, I’d rather watch the Big Ten consolation game over the ACC championship game. Essentially, the Big Ten gets two marquee match-ups to sell to TV stations. If one of the teams in the consolation game is a KING (like OSU, UM, Neb, or PSU), then the game will do well for ratings, regardless of the impact. It’s about inventory. If the Big Ten (and other conferences) can find a way to squeeze out ONE MORE game, I think they will.

            Again, your points are all valid, but I think the financial reward could overshadow the risks you mention.

            Like

  22. Eric says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand the arguments for including runner-ups in a playoff, but I have to say that after years of defending the BCS, it sure seems strange to hear a lot of playoff supporters OK with a set-up that could have 2 SEC teams playing 2 PAC-12 teams for the title. That is no more (and arguably less) decided on the field than the current system.

    Like

  23. Eric says:

    Another issue to consider with the set-up is the prospect of rematches. If Florida and Alabama play in the SEC title game and Florida ends up #1 and Alabama #4 (and both make the playoff), do you match them against each other?

    Like

  24. jcfreder says:

    The powers that be dont want to see a cold-weather team host a semifinal? Some Big Ten grumblings about never getting the Floridas of the world up north?

    OK, how about this – the new system uses conference tie-ins. But the Rose Bowl is only a semi if both the B10 champ and P12 champ is part of the semis. If the B10 champ is involved (and gets home-field) but the P12 champ is not involved (freeing that team to play Big Ten #2 in the Rose Bowl), the B10 champ hosts a game at Soldier Field in the “Chicago Bowl.”

    Like

    • Brian says:

      It’s an interesting thought, but it won’t happen. At best an indoor neutral site would be allowed, but never at the expense of the Rose.

      Like

  25. Eric says:

    Thinking things through and ignoring my preferences, this is what I think is going to happen.

    1. The semi-finals will at least initially rotate among the current BCS bowls. Sugar and Fiesta will get them the first year, Rose and Orange the 2nd (they’ll want to divide the Sugar and Rose and will delay making the Rose Bowl a semi-final just as they did the national championship).
    2. They’ll try to tie the semi-final teams in with the bowls. They probably stick to 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 though.
    3. The door will left open to bidding the semi-finals out later.
    4. It will be 3 champion and 1 at large.
    5. A new BCS formula will be used.

    All in all, compared to Frank’s plan, I expect to be disappointed.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      One last thing. I think they will reluctantly guarantee the Rose Bowl’s time slot. When it is a semi-final, both semi-finals will be on New Years. When it’s not, one will be on January 2nd.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      Of course 2nd seconds after I post this, Frank gives a link suggestion I’m wrong 🙂

      Like

  26. ESPN has a new report this afternoon saying that the commissioners are leaning toward a proposal that uses the bowls as semifinal sites with the slotting determined by tie-ins (similar to my proposal) and that it would “solve the Rose Bowl problem”:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7863041/four-team-playoff-plan-link-national-semis-sites-conferences-bcs-bowls

    The people that have mentioned the Cotton Bowl (or some other bowl) being incorporated as a 5th BCS bowl have a good point that this needs to be addressed. If they go to the bowl hosting the semifinals model, it would make more sense that the Cotton would get the Big 12 tie-in, but the Fiesta sure wouldn’t want to give it up. Whoever *doesn’t* get the Big 12 tie-in is effectively prevented from ever having a chance to host a semifinal, so that’s going to be a major issue.

    Maybe the Cotton and Fiesta can share the Big 12 tie-in so that each bowl has it every other year? Any other ideas?

    Like

    • Eric says:

      You could have one bowl that is designated as the semi-final whenever you have a Big East/non-AQ/independent/2nd team from a conference. Maybe Cotton goes to the Big 12, and Fiesta gets that.

      Like

      • @Eric – Yes, I was just thinking of something along the same lines, where the Fiesta’s “tie-in” is “everyone else”. I doubt that they’d be enthusiastic about that, but maybe the trade-off is that they always gets first pick in the BCS bowl (or whatever we’ll label the system going forward) selection process.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Alternating would help solve Phoenix fatigue or Dallas fatigue. I imagine Sooner fans are tired of Phoenix. Oddly, 3 of the last 4 Longhorn BCS appearances have been in Pasadena.

          Like

    • Other Mike says:

      How often does it play out that the Rose Bowl is B1G vs. PAC in that scenario? I don’t see how this solves anything.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        It depends the details. Straight up taking the top 4 teams doing strict 1vs.4 and 2 vs. 3 seeding (rather than letting say #1USC play #3 Penn State) is probably both the worst and most likely scenario. With that you get 7 times when it was a semi-final game and 7 times when it wasn’t.

        When it was a semi-final game, it had Big Ten vs. PAC-10 once (2005, #1 USC vs. #4 Ohio State). The other 6 times, it had only one of the conferences represented.

        When it wasn’t a semi-final game, it had 3 years where you had Big Ten champ vs. PAC-10 champ, 3 years where one champ was missing, and 1 year where you actually had most champs missing (they were the #3 and #4 ranked teams that year).

        To sum up, out of 14 years, you have 4 times when it would have been Big Ten champion vs. PAC-10 champion and 8 teams when you would have had Big Ten vs. PAC-10 at all (assuming the bowl always gets a replacement when its not a semi-final).

        Not as good as I hoped for. If you change the rules though so that the Big Ten and PAC-10 always play when both make it to the playoff, the numbers do improve some.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Frank,

      Does anybody really owe the Fiesta anything? They bought their way in over the Cotton not that long ago, so the Cotton should get to return the favor. The Fiesta can get “other” and maybe even have dibs on ND when they aren’t in the playoff as a sweetener. That will give ND sort of their own bowl, so both will feel special.

      Like

      • greg says:

        No one owes the Fiesta anything AND they have done more to damage the bowl system’s reputation than anyone. So Jerry may just buy his way in and no one would care.

        Like

      • @Brian – Oh, I don’t think the Fiesta Bowl is owed anything at all. However, part the reason why they got in trouble in the first place and can afford massive quantities of hookers and blow is that the Fiesta Bowl committee is insanely flush with money. It’s really the wealthiest bowl besides the Rose Bowl by a substantial margin and can win any bidding war, even against Jerry Jones. Look at its payouts for the second tier Insight Bowl that it also owns for the Big 12 #4 and Big Ten #4/5 teams – it’s lavish for the selections they’re getting in return. Plus, there’s the practical travel destination issue, where Phoenix is a very popular and natural winter travel destination for most “normal” people while Dallas isn’t. Dallas works well for the schools in the heart of the Big 12, but Phoenix is more desirable for everyone else.

        I agree with your suggestion with making the Fiesta the de facto tie-in home for anyone outside of the 5 power conferences that is a semifinalist.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I just look at it as the B12’s choice mostly, and the BCS bowl payouts will get equalized anyway if they host semifinals, so the Fiesta loses any advantage there. Other than ISU, KSU and KU, I think the rest of the B12 would prefer Dallas. It’s much closer, and thus cheaper to get to, and that’s important to a lot of fans. It also is helpful for recruiting in TX. If fans want a bowlcation, they can start in San Antonio and move to Dallas for the game.

          Like

  27. Brian says:

    Frank,

    As promised, here is my counter proposal. Just to be clear, I’m not predicting this will happen, but I think it would be a good compromise system.

    Givens:
    1. A 4 team playoff
    2. A desire to get reasonably broad-based support
    3. A desire to find the best team over the most TV friendly teams

    A. Team selection
    Take the top 3 champions plus the next highest ranked team. This keeps a balance between the rankings (top 4), the objective criteria (winning a conference) and the diversity necessary to keep CFB healthy, and also caps a conference at two teams.

    B. Timing
    The playoff should be completely separate from the bowls.
    1. Start the season 1 week earlier
    2. That moves the CCGs to Thanksgiving weekend
    3. Take CCG weekend as a bye for the playoff teams instead (play Army/Navy only)
    4. Play the semifinals on the second weekend in December
    5. Play the finals roughly 2 weeks later in primetime on a weeknight (let TV decide what day) so the NCG is done a few days before Xmas. The advantage is no team gets a long layoff but everyone has time to prepare. This will avoid the rusty offenses that ruin many top games.

    C. Locations
    The semifinals and NCG should be played at neutral sites. Two diverse sites (N & S, E & W, etc, never two in the same conference footprint) should be chosen in advance for the semifinals, and the teams should be placed to avoid homefield advantage (no game within 250 miles of campus) and rematches. Within those constraints, the teams get to choose their preferred semifinal site in rank order.

    The NCG site should be bid for, but must rotate geographically as well. No favoritism for any area. The NCG must be in a warm weather location or indoors (no Soldier Field) to minimize weather impacts on the game, but the semifinals may be outdoors. The bowl sites may bid for any of these games, but they get treated like any other city.

    D. The bowls
    The major bowls return to 1/1 or earlier. No games are allowed after 1/1. The major bowls can make tie-in deals for champs as always, but otherwise a committee will make pairings in the best interests of CFB, not one individual bowl. Lower bowls can get a conference tie-in, but the committee will decide which team gets in to make the best games. Payouts will drop, but so will mandatory ticket and hotel purchases. The 7 win rule will also be instituted to eliminate the worst of the games. This returns the bowls to what they were supposed to be, exhibition games as a reward for a good season that drive some tourism for the host sites. Conveniently, the bowls would provide a nice denouement to the season and set up positive feelings for next season.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I can see the allure in that. I am somewhat divided between that and Frank’s suggestion here. I like the idea of the bowls themselves being the focus on New Years Day again and I like the idea of that being the end of the season. On the flip side though, I want the Rose Bowl to be the focus in the Big Ten (the build-up is always bigger to me than the actual event) and that is easier with it being the highest prize still. I’d also worry some about attention disappearing after the national championship game. I suppose keeping the rest of the big ones on January 1st would mitigate that though.

      Very interesting idea. I hadn’t consider scenarios with the national championship in December before.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I like the earlier games because we’ve all seen what happens to rhythm offenses when they take 6 weeks off before their game. Between the rust and the opposing coaches having forever to prepare, the game isn’t a true representation of a match between the teams that season. By never having more than 14 days between games, both teams will be sharp and coaches won’t have a ridiculous amount of time to prepare. I think that will give the truest results possible.

        The TV ratings will be great since it’s days before Xmas, and the media has time to overanalyze it and then prepare for 1/1. New Years won’t be the same, but it’ll still feel somewhat important and the hint of tradition with the season ending on 1/1 will be nice for the traditionalists.

        I think the bowls suffer a worse fate if they get converted to semifinals and share the limelight, plus the game performances are always worse with that much time off. For those who like it, the semifinal losers could enter the bowl pool since they’ll have time to recover emotionally.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      I think the biggest problem is that with the championship already done, everyone would tune out and the bowls would get no attention.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        The nouveau fan boys would tune out, but they never really liked the bowls anyway. Those use to 1/1 bowls will still get to have them and they’ll be back to what they used to be. I admit the bowls will be down, but I think they’ll do much worse sharing time with the semifinals.

        Like

        • frug says:

          I think the best idea is to hold the semis the week before the New Year’s bowls and the championship the week after.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I considered it, but Xmas is 7 days before 1/1. I didn’t want major games in the dead week between the holidays or on Xmas eve. I also didn’t want to extend the season past 1/1 (a major complaint of fans). My plan gives 1/1 back to the bowls and runs the playoff while teams are still sharp. The bowls will feel almost like the prelude to the next season, and won’t be as important as before the BSC, but they will return to being exhibitions which is what they are supposed to be.

            I clearly said I didn’t expect my plan to happen, I just think it would be the best compromise for everybody (I actually consider the fans and not just the TV people’s desires).

            Like

        • bullet says:

          I think your idea to avoid having the bowls overwhelmed by a playoff might work better if the championship game kicked off bowl week (on the 27th or 28th) instead of being totally separate. And you would have roughly 3 weeks between games instead of the 6 you get now. One of my complaints about a true +1 is that the bowl games, which are very unrepresentative and sometimes sloppy because of the long lag, get way too much weight in the final poll.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Well, I’d only have the NCG a few days before Xmas so that’s not much different. They could start playing bowls right after that (12/23-12/24, then again on 12/26-1/1). I just happen to prefer a pre-Xmas game to one between the holidays. I think that dead week is bad for TV, too.

            Like

        • morganwick says:

          I can sum up the fate of the bowls in two words: Pro Bowl.

          (Mind, I’m one of those “nouveau fan boys”; my interest in college football was nonexistent before 2004.)

          Like

          • Brian says:

            They won’t be that bad, because the teams will still want to play and win. They will be greatly diminished, but that’s inevitable with a playoff. At least let them have 1/1 to themselves to provide one day of programming.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            I was specifically referring to no one caring about the Pro Bowl when it was played the week after the Super Bowl.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Do you really think it would be any different if the bowls were the week before the NCG?

            Like

          • frug says:

            I actually do think it would be a different. I suspect once the championship is played most people will kind of tune out. And I think the problem that fans have with games being played after New Years is the shear number. If it was just one I doubt it would matter much.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @Brian,

            I think the ideal situation would be for the semifinals to be held the Monday, Friday, or Saturday before December 23rd, and for the national championship game to be held as soon after New Year’s as possible, leaving 10 days-2 weeks between games and avoiding competition on Sundays with the NFL.

            The sites for the semifinals could be the same sites of the big four bowl games, but they would not actually be considered bowl games. For example, the Rose and Sugar bowl sites could host the #2 vs. #3 and #1 vs. #4 games, respectively. The following year, the Cotton and the Orange Bowl sites (I’m demoting the Fiesta Bowl for now) could host semifinals. The national title game could be held about two weeks later at a site that has been bid out, Super Bowl-style.

            Meanwhile, the big four bowl games (Cotton, Orange, Sugar, Rose; I’m demoting the Fiesta Bowl) could still be held on New Year’s Day itself. Tie-ins to conferences could remain the same, with the Cotton replacing the Fiesta for the Big 12’s tie-in. Conference runners-up would replace conference champions if the conference champ had made the playoffs. (I understand that this waters-down the traditional Rose Bowl a tad, but no more so than it’s already been watered down. Besides, I doubt people like Frank complained much when his B1G runner-up Illini went to the Rose Bowl after the ’07 season in replacement of Ohio State, who would have been in my version of the playoffs.) People would watch in huge numbers on this Bowl Extravaganza day, and, personally, I think it would serve as a terrific lead-in to the national title game a couple days later while still serving as genuinely great games unto themselves.

            Using Frank’s system for determining team participants, these would have been the matchups in 2011:

            Semifinal #1 held at the Sugar Bowl: #1 LSU vs. #4 Oregon, Monday, December 19
            Semifinal #2 held at the Rose Bowl: #2 Alabama vs. #3 Oklahoma State, Monday, December 19

            Winners of the above games play on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at a site that was bid out.

            On January 2, 2012, not January 1 so as to avoid a conflict with the NFL, the following games would be played:

            Rose Bowl: B1G Champ Wisconsin vs. P12 runner-up Stanford
            Cotton: B12 runner-up Kansas State vs. At-large*
            Sugar: SEC 3rd place Arkansas vs. At-large*
            Orange: ACC champion Clemson vs. At-large*

            *The at-large pool would include BCS participants such as Michigan, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia as well as MWC champion TCU, top ten team Boise State, and 12-1 Houston. In other words, we’d still have a great afternoon of games!

            Under the same system for the 2010 season, these would have been the matchups:

            Semifinal #1 held at the Cotton Bowl: #1 Auburn vs. #4 Wisconsin, Saturday, December 18
            Semifinal #2 held at the Orange Bowl: #2 Oregon vs. #3 TCU, Saturday, December 18

            Winners of the above games play Monday, January 3, 2011 at a site that was bid out.

            New Year’s Day Games:

            Rose Bowl: B1G co-champ Ohio State or Michigan State vs. P12 runner-up Stanford
            Cotton Bowl: B12 champ Oklahoma vs. At-large*
            Sugar Bowl: SEC runner-up Arkansas vs. At-large*
            Orange Bowl: ACC champ Va. Tech vs. At-large*

            *At-large pool: Ohio State/Michigan State, 11-1 Boise State, 10-2 LSU, 12-1 Nevada, 10-2 Oklahoma State, 9-3 Alabama, Big East champion UConn.

            Now, I know this is probably unrealistic if the bowl games themselves are also going to serve as semifinals, but that’s the way I’d do it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “I actually do think it would be a different. I suspect once the championship is played most people will kind of tune out.”

            Yes, they will. I’m not disputing that, and it doesn’t bother me. The playoff fans aren’t going to watch the bowls in the future anyway. I don’t think bowl fans will tune out, especially since it’s a holiday. I’m not trying to make 1/1 a big event, I specifically want it to be a denouement. A little something to ease the transition into the offseason. The playoff makes it impossible for the bowls to be important no matter when they are played in my opinion, so use them as way to ease the withdrawal of CFB junkies..

            “And I think the problem that fans have with games being played after New Years is the shear number. If it was just one I doubt it would matter much.”

            I think the problem was everyone going back to work after a long vacation and they are playing these weeknight games. It’s hard to travel, and it’s also hard to get off work in time to get home for the games. TV might love weeknights, but fans mentally equate weeknights with crappy games like MACtion. I don’t think it works well for “major” bowls at all.

            Anyway, it’s all opinion and I’m sticking with my preferred plan which I know no part of will be implemented except maybe the 3+1.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Michael in Raleigh,

            “I think the ideal situation would be for the semifinals to be held the Monday, Friday, or Saturday before December 23rd, and for the national championship game to be held as soon after New Year’s as possible, leaving 10 days-2 weeks between games and avoiding competition on Sundays with the NFL.”

            I considered that, but I still think the break is too long. Give teams 1 extra week and start the playoffs. Anything longer ruins the momentum of the season in my opinion. I wouldn’t even give the extra week for pros, but these are college students with finals coming up so a chance to heal and catch up on school seems appropriate. It also keeps Army/Navy on it’s own weekend while never having a down period.

            One of my biggest peeves with the BCS and really all bowls is the long delay before the game. We all know you don’t see the same team in the bowls that played in November, and I want to avoid that.

            “The sites for the semifinals could be the same sites of the big four bowl games, but they would not actually be considered bowl games. For example, the Rose and Sugar bowl sites could host the #2 vs. #3 and #1 vs. #4 games, respectively. The following year, the Cotton and the Orange Bowl sites (I’m demoting the Fiesta Bowl for now) could host semifinals. The national title game could be held about two weeks later at a site that has been bid out, Super Bowl-style.”

            I’m not totally against letting those cities host semis, but I want more diversity. There’s no reason to exclude most of the nation from hosting a game. You can set minimum weather requirements for outdoor sites (average high/low for the expected date) that eliminate much of the country, but there is no reason to exclude indoor sites. Maybe Denver and Chicago and NYC and Boston and DC and Charlotte want to host semis and the weather is OK, or maybe it has to be Indy or Detroit or St. Louis or Minneapolis. They all deserve equal consideration and rotation with the south and west. These are playoff games, not bowls with a week of activity. The point is to find the winner, not raise local tourism.

            “Meanwhile, the big four bowl games (Cotton, Orange, Sugar, Rose; I’m demoting the Fiesta Bowl) could still be held on New Year’s Day itself. Tie-ins to conferences could remain the same, with the Cotton replacing the Fiesta for the Big 12′s tie-in. Conference runners-up would replace conference champions if the conference champ had made the playoffs. (I understand that this waters-down the traditional Rose Bowl a tad, but no more so than it’s already been watered down. Besides, I doubt people like Frank complained much when his B1G runner-up Illini went to the Rose Bowl after the ’07 season in replacement of Ohio State, who would have been in my version of the playoffs.)”

            There’s no need to defend yourself. I explicitly said the best way to do a playoff is to completely separate them from the bowls. Making concessions to the Rose is the worst sort of compromise. I’d personally prefer to see the two champs play, but barring that a replacement from the same conference is the logical answer. A playoff automatically reduces the stature of the Rose, so there’s no point worrying about it once you accept it will happen.

            “People would watch in huge numbers on this Bowl Extravaganza day, and, personally, I think it would serve as a terrific lead-in to the national title game a couple days later while still serving as genuinely great games unto themselves.”

            This is what I disagree with. A decent number of people will watch because it’s 1/1, but the casual fans won’t watch at all because it isn’t part of the playoff. More fans will watch a game or maybe two, but mostly just casually view it because these are pure exhibitions again. That belief is also why I went ahead and moved the playoff up. I don’t believe playing the NCG later helps the bowls anyway, so play it earlier to get the best performances and the truest outcome.

            Like

  28. frug says:

    So that’s two first rounders and two second rounders for the Zooker. Texas, Florida, Florida St., Miami and Michigan still shutout.

    Like

    • @frug – Only Zook could manage to do so little with so much.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        BTW, in response to your tweet, Frank, only Jenkens is a FL kid. Mercilus is from OH, Tavon Wilson was a product of the DC pipeline (thanks to Locksley) and Jeff Allen was a native IL kid. Zook could recruit (well, he and Mike Locksley). He just wasn’t as good at the other stuff.

        Like

      • frug says:

        Adjusted for resources and environment you can make a very strong case that Ron Zook is best recruiter in college football. The problem is, as great a recruiter he is even worse as a coach. He has to be the worst game to ever be given back to back AQ jobs. I will never forget him going for it on fourth down inside the 20 with less than 2 minutes on clock and no timeouts down by 10 against Ohio St in 2008. And 2011.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Should read:

          “He has to be the worst game coach to ever…”

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Was it Zook or his assistant (the one who established the DC pipeline) that did the great recruiting?

          Like

          • morganwick says:

            Will someone give that assistant a job of his own?

            Like

          • frug says:

            Mike Locksley was the guy with the DC connections and he was definitely a big part of Zook’s recruiting success, but Zook was an elite recruiter at Florida (even after adjusting for the great amount local talent) so I think Zook does deserves most of the credit (though Locksley does deserve a lot)

            Like

          • Richard says:

            morganwick:

            They did. New Mexico gave Mike Locksley their head coaching job. Then he went and punched one of his assistants in the face, finished 1-11 his first 2 years, and lost his first 4 games in Year 3 before getting canned.

            Just because a guy can recruit doesn’t mean he can coach (as all of you who follow the Zooker should be be aware).

            Like

      • jokewood says:

        What’s particularly puzzling about Zook is that his staff did a great job identifying talent and a solid job developing it.

        Rashard Mendenhall, Arrelious Benn, Martez Wilson, Corey Liuget, and AJ Jenkins had long, impressive offer lists coming out of high school. Given the bust rate with high school prospects, Zook deserves some credit for developing these guys into top 3 round picks.

        The rest of the Illinois guys drafted over the last few years — Whitney Mercilus, Mikel Leshoure, Jeff Allen, Tavon Wilson, Vontae Davis, Jon Asamoah, Michael Hoomanawanui, Will Davis, Nate Bussey — were lower-rated high school prospects with neither OSU/UM/ND/PSU offers nor major SEC/national program offers. Zook and his staff did a great job finding talent that bigger name college programs did not want. He then developed them into players that the NFL wanted. But he somehow could not put it together into a winning package on the field.

        Like

      • frug says:

        I’ve often wondered if there were a way to combine Zook’s recruiting skills with Weber’s game coaching abilities. You would be unstoppable.

        Like

  29. curious2 says:

    Rankings are simply not objective and can not be the sole criteria.

    If there is a playoff among 4 teams, then 3 of those schools must be conference champions with the 4th team being the top ranked remaining team.

    How can they there be objective rankings when teams outside a specific conference are playing against different teams with different levels of competitition?

    Rankings alone will never create an objective, credible criteria for a very basic reason: almost all the top ranked teams will be in different conferences and will have played at most against only one non-conference top ranked teams, meaning a top 20 top ranked team.

    From a political perspective, including the top 3 conference champions focuses attention on the conferences and their own playoff. And provides the basis for greater equality in sharing playoff revenues.

    Finally what does a “top” ranking even mean? A team loses one very close game in the early season to a top 10 team can end up finishing strong. A team that starts out very strong can be weakened by injuries during the season.

    The wildcard 4th team is necessary to allow for inclusion of other possible worthy teams.

    Including the top 3 conference champions and the top rated remaining team from a practical perspective allows the SEC or whoever a chance to get 2 conference teams in the playoff just as surely as going simply by a subjective ranking system.

    The real purpose of a playoff in my opinion is not necessarily to find out who is the true top team but provide a platform for the major conferences to compete against each other to find out how their conference champions compare.

    Like

  30. Josh says:

    Obviously the National Championship is the major point of debate and the main reason reform is being discussed. However, there hasn’t been much discussion in regards to the second page of the memo USA Today obtained. That being the enhancement of the bowls in general. This is more likely to have a greater impact on our individual rooting interests than the National Championship (i.e. only 4 teams being involved). Is there any insight as to what should be done or what is being discussed? (Besides raising the minimum qualifying wins to 7)

    Like

    • I think it’s all in flux. The bowls are the cart…the playoffs are the horse. Once they decide what the playoffs will look like (New sites? Bowl sites? Double hosting at bowl sites? Semifinals before New Year’s? On New Year’s?) then they can decide about the bowls.

      I do think we’ll see 6-win teams eliminated and a decrease in bowl numbers. Those lousy pre-Christmas bowls will be replaced by the decent bowls that were previously played after Christmas…as the Christmas-New Year’s gap is going to be filled with playoffs and/or bowls that were previously on New Year’s Day. None of us understand why the Big Ten/SEC have three bowls concurrently on New Year’s Day around noon.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Josh,

      It sounds like a BCS type system will still exist for the top bowls, but with fewer restrictions. Expect it to be more like 5 vs 6, 7 vs 8, 9 vs 10, 11 vs 12 and 13 vs 14 (obviously there will be some mixing of ranks to avoid rematches, conference games, etc). The games will be more geographically focused (no BE in CA or P12 in FL), too. Beyond that, the bowls will probably be about the same but with the 7 win limit.

      At least, that’s my general understanding of what they’re talking about.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        Fewer restrictions will lead us to more 5 vs. 6, 7 vs. 8 in sometimes, but will also lead us away some times. A 3rd deserving conference team might be able to get in now, but on the slip side, you the less well known teams (unless undefeated) probably stand less of a chance. Say for instance we have 12-1 UConn out of the Big East ranked #8 and 10-2 Penn State out of the Big Ten ranked #15. Under the old system UConn would be in the BCS as Big East champs, but you might now get Penn State in instead.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          From a couple of things I read, they actually want to fix that by setting the games by rank and geography and maybe storylines. The lack of restrictions is designed to let them take the next 10 teams and make the 5 bowls (or however many), rather than counting the number from one conference or any of that stuff.

          That was my understanding, but it doesn’t mean I’m correct.

          Like

  31. Michael in Raleigh says:

    RE: Frank’s Tweets

    “@McMurphyCBS Key question is if the WAC dies, what happens to Boise State’s non-football sports? Big West and WCC didn’t want them. 51 minutes ago”

    “More conference realignment RT @McMurphyCBS: C-USA adding UTSA in 2013, North Texas, FIU & La. Tech also likely http://t.co/WimhKbf8 1 hour ago”

    None of this is shocking, but it’s certainly disappointing. I felt there was a reasonable chance for Appalachian State, my alma mater, to join Conference USA, but those hopes have dimmed almost completely. Consider that App State has pulled in over 30,000 fans 2-3 times a year for the past 3 or 4 years and averages more fans per game than any Sun Belt, MAC, or post-2011 season WAC school, and there’s certainly an argument to be made for them.

    Sure, it would help if ASU was located in Charlotte or Raleigh rather than in the small town of Boone in the mountains, but it’s not as though there is no attention paid to ASU in the state’s largest markets. Moreover, I would think App State would have a head start over the likes of North Texas or FIU given that they’re recognizable due to the Michigan win and 3 FCS national titles. ASU also provides cross-state ECU and former SoCon rival Marshall with a genuine rival and a geographic bridge to the schools who are hundreds of miles to the west.

    Instead, ASU can’t even get into the Sun Belt, while, UNC Charlotte, who has never played a down of football, and Georgia State, who has played only two years, do? It’s all a bit head-scratching.

    Even more confusing is how the notion that expansion for these two conferences is about markets is consistent when Louisiana Tech from Ruston, Louisiana is being considered. Is it just because they’re FBS already? Well, it’s not stopping CUSA from adding UTSA, which itself won’t play FBS football until this year? What about the fact that Louisiana has less than half the population of North Carolina, or that CUSA already has a Louisiana presence via Tulane?

    Meh, I hate the taste of sour grapes!

    Like

    • Brian says:

      On the bright side, the WAC has an opening for ApSU. How’s that sound?

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        At this point, I think the WAC would take us!

        But, no, I don’t think that would be a good move. The WAC is not going to be at all lucrative. Fiscal responsibility has to come into play at some point, and it makes far more sense to be in the lower-profile but extremely geographically friendly SoCon than to join the WAC.

        For that matter, if we’re talking silly hypotheticals, I doubt the MAC would make financial sense, either. I just don’t see ASU fans getting any more excited about playing Central Michigan, Miami (OH), and Ball State than they do for games against familiar rivals like Furman or Georgia Southern or non-conference games like Montana. C-USA would have excited people because of a potential rivalry with Marshall and ECU and because Tulsa and Southern Miss offer some intrigue, but the MAC, WAC, and Sun Belt? Not so much.

        I’m betting that App State ends up in the CAA as a replacement for Ga. State because the CAA needs a minimum of six full-time members to play football in order for the league to sponsor the sport. Losing Ga. State brings them down to five full-members who play football. Richmond, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and a few others are football-only affiliates.

        Maybe, down the road, CUSA or the Sun Belt will be so decimated that they’ll have to take App State, but who knows if those leagues will even be a part of the FBS at that point? I just think there’s eventually going to be a push for a split within the FBS because 124 members ranging from Ohio State to Louisiana-Monroe just makes less and less sense with every addition.

        My frustration is that App State is obviously not ever going to be confused with the Texas/USC/Florida’s of the world, or with just about any AQ-level program. However, it has the infrastructure and financial backing to be on par with an ECU, Southern Miss, Nevada, or Fresno State’s, each of whom I believe would make the cut if there ever was a divisional split taking the top 80 or so FBS programs and leaving the rest behind. App State has poured somewhere in the range of $60 million into athletics facilities over the past four or five years and has earned its share of headlines in the college football world. One would think ASU ought to at least be given some consideration to be in an FBS conference.

        ————————————-

        BTW, Brian, I was living in Indiana at the time of the Michigan upset, but one of the funniest “urban legends” I heard from friends after that game is that over 1,000 Ohio State fans traveled down to Boone in the weeks & months after it and bought over $1,000,000 worth of Appalachian State merchandise.

        Other than footage of the game itself, which I watched at least once every month for almost three years, my favorite videos on youtube for a long time were the fans’ reactions at the ‘Shoe, Michigan State, and Beaver Stadium. ASU got a lot of Big Ten fans that day, and even though I wish I had either been in Ann Arbor that day or at least in Boone, it was still pretty fun to live in Big Ten country those years. 😉

        Like

        • Brian says:

          There were a lot of yellow shirts on campus that fall. I’m guessing a lot came via the internet rather than driving to Boone, though.

          Like

        • Eric says:

          I never heard of Appalachian State before the Michigan game, but afterward you did see their shirts around Columbus.

          On the day of the game, we were heading up to visit family in Michigan. One of my cousins has lived in Columbus his whole life, but is a huge Michigan fan and since we were going to see family up there anyway went to see the game. That was his first game ever.

          Like

    • Josh says:

      As far as BSU goes if the WAC dies, even if the Big West and WCC won’t take them, I’d imagine the Big Sky Conference would. Not ideal, but Montana, Idaho State and Eastern Washington could all prove to be rivals in the non-football sports.

      Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Michael – LA Tech and Tulane may be in the same state but they have no fan base overlap. Ruston is located in North Central LA, while New Orleans is in SE LA. The only people in North Louisiana that follow Tulane actually went to Tulane, and 80% of Tulane’s student body is from out of state.

      While Ruston is a small college town, its 60 miles from Shreveport, which is the #83 DMA, and 30 miles from Monroe which is the #137 DMA. For a little perspective about those media market sizes, Champaign/Springfield/Decatur is #82, Madison is #85, and Columbia/Jefferson City is #138.

      While LA Tech’s following in Louisiana pales in comparison to LSU, they have more of a fan base than Tulane, UL-Lafayette, or UL-Monroe.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Boone is 70 miles from Winston Salem, which, along with Greensboro (only 20 miles farther), is part of the #46 TV market. It’s only 100 miles from Charlotte, which is the #25 market, and it’s only 85 miles from Asheville, the #37 market. Boone us a part of each of those markets footprints.

        Granted, Louisiana has more fertile recruiting grounds, but App State’s local recruiting grounds cannot be accurately described as “Appalachia.” Charlotte, the Winston Salem/Greensboro area, Raleigh/Durham, and Greenville/Spartanburg, SC have all been big places for ASU’s recruiting. Each of those places have had their fair share of star players make it to the NFL level.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Mike, I have no doubt ApSt. recruits all those areas, but would those areas hear about teams that play ApSt.? As a way of comparison, Northern Louisiana had 6 Rivals250 recruits in the 2011-13 classes. The area of NC to the north and west of Charlotte had 1. If you were UAB (roughly between Ruston & Boone) where would you rather visit? Plus, the fact that NC has 4 FBS schools probably doesn’t help ApSt.

          Like

    • Richard says:

      Mike, I’m quite certain that ApSt. can get in to the Sun Belt if they wanted to, but the Sun Belt isn’t really a step up (and almost certainly will be relegated to DivI-AA when FBS splits up anyway).

      ApSt. would have a bit of a valid beef with CUSA preferring LaTech over them, however,
      1. LaTech is more centrally located (7 schools in the new CUSA within a 9-hour drive of Ruston vs. 3 within a 9-hour drive of Asheville) and these poorer leagues, travel costs do matter.
      2. Northern Louisiana and environs is a more fertile recruiting region than the mountains of Appalachia.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Louisiana Tech IMO is for 2 reasons;
      1) They really have the only consistently decent program in the WAC or Sun Belt.
      2) They have a relationship with Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and some of the MWC schools from their joint time in the WAC.

      Its been mentioned that Texas A&M wanted to get into the SEC for many years before they finally joined. I saw an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today which was an interview with former UGA coach and AD Vince Dooley where he talked about the SEC talking to Texas and Texas A&M in the past. Interestingly, he said A&M was very interested, but ONLY if Texas came along-and Texas wasn’t interested. I suspect that was around 1990. In 2012, they probably wouldn’t have joined the SEC if Texas was interested.

      Well Vince’s son Derek used to coach at Louisiana Tech and since before that time, they have been working the CUSA and trying to get in.

      Like

  32. Rich says:

    The competitive purpose of a playoff isn’t to determine the best team but rather to determine a champion. The only way to determine the best team in any sport is to conduct a round robin schedule where all the teams play each other. This is impossible for most sports but especially college football. Sub dividing all the FBS teams into conferences is a great way to manage determining a champion. Ideally, we’d have 16 conferences of 9 teams playing 8 conference games with the 16 champions going to a seeded playoff. The primary financial purpose of a playoff is to generate revenue and I am fully confident that the stooges making the decisions will find a great way to fail to maximize the revenue available from a playoff – like incorporating the thieves in the hideous blazers and their shakedown schemes disguised as bowl games.

    If there is a playoff to determine a champion on the field that is even halfway legitimate, then I don’t see how an AP poll voting a team #1 that doesn’t win the playoff is a split championship. Because there will be a playoff champion, there will be no other champions no matter how old the AP poll is or what circumstance would see the AP voters choosing a team other than the playoff champion. I think this is a concern about something that would A) likely never happen and B) be irrelevant if it does happen.

    Any plan that incorporates bowls and tie-ins is bound to be too convoluted to result in the most perfect system (no system will be 100% perfect but we should be striving to form a more perfect system). Forget the bowls, please! They are a drain on the colleges and should be kicked to the curb. The salaries of each of the thieves in the hideous blazers could fund at least ten scholarships per year instead of the sleaziness that has been well documented. From a logistic standpoint and from a concern about over-taxing fan bases, I prefer on campus sites for semi-final games. That seems dead, however. So, any neutral site ought to be decided on the best bidder for the games. If that happens to be a bowl site, so be it. But the bowls don’t have an inherent right to these games. They’ve exploited the colleges for long enough.

    I think any polling system is fatally flawed because of all the biases and inherent conflicts of interest. Computer polls are only as good as the data going into them and I’m afraid the data going in is garbage. I strongly believe a blue ribbon panel made up of individuals, whose only full time job is to watch every college football game either in person, live on TV or on tape, is the best way to select playoff participants (assuming there will be only four participants and not every conference champion, for example). I understand Frank’s point about the wraith of fans of a team that might get left out. But I think the fear for their safety is exaggerated.

    For me, if we’re limiting the playoffs to only four teams, then we should take the four best conference champions so long as they are among the top five teams. Whatever number of conference champs that are not in the top five, then “wildcards” who are in the top five can replace them. Any independent in the top four should qualify. I don’t think this is overly complicated and it seems most fair to me in the rare event when a non-champ is one of the two or three best teams and the fourth best champ is not highly ranked. However, if it were up to me, I would never include a non-champ in a playoff in college football. I’ll reiterate: the goal of a playoff is to crown a champion, not determine the best team. If that sounds dissonant to you, then I would ask that you take a few minutes and think about that.

    Like

  33. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I find it interesting that after the Big East’s expansion goes through in 2013, there will be at least 6 of the 11 FBS conferences (ACC, SEC, B1G, P-12, Big East, & the MAC) who have CCG’s. The Sun Belt should have one eventually, too, with the additions of South Alabama and, later, Ga. State and UNC-Charlotte bringing football membership to 12. CUSA could just have a CCG of its own if it expands back to 12, or it might simply share a CCG with the MWC. The WAC, whose existence as a football league is greatly in doubt, will be the only league not to have one even if it still manages to be around 5-6 years from now.

    So, quite possibly, the Big 12 could be the only FBS league without a CCG in a few short years. It does make me wonder if there will be any sort of pressure on that league to expand to 12 so that it isn’t the only league whose championship isn’t determined by a 13th game.

    Thoughts?

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I can see them not wanting to be the only one left out. I like the traditional alignment though and hope someone sticks with it.

      Like

    • I don’t think the Big 12 cares what the bottom end of 1-A does, nor should they care. I do suspect they’re heading to 12 soon, but more for the same reasons the other four good leagues are doing the same (primarily TV money) than because they give a rip what the SBC or MWC is doing.

      Like

    • Even if the Big 12 doesn’t go to 12, they can still dub a conference champ (like they did with OkSt last year) who is considered for the playoff.

      I think they’ll be back at 12 once things are decided about the playoff in July.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I don’t think the other conferences will pressure them. They don’t want anyone telling them what to do.

      I think there is a perception and visibility issue. If another conference is 40% bigger, they will get more publicity.

      Like

  34. loki_the_bubba says:

    Texas-San Antonio confirmed to be heading to CUSA.
    Text of the meeting notice:

    U. T. San Antonio: Authorization to accept invitation from Conference USA and to negotiate and finalize terms for athletic conference membership, including possible future membership in a new athletic conference

    RECOMMENDATION
    The Chancellor concurs in the recommendation of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs ad interim, the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, and President Romo that authorization be granted to The University of Texas at San Antonio to accept an invitation from Conference USA (CUSA) to become a member, and to negotiate and finalize terms for athletic conference membership. Approval of U. T. San Antonio’s entrance in CUSA also includes approval of admittance to the potential new conference.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION
    On December 18, 2008, the U. T. System Board of Regents approved the U. T. San Antonio Athletic Initiative Business Plan. The Plan provided for 1) development of a Competitive Athletic Complex, 2) addition of a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) football program, and 3) advancement of the intercollegiate sports programs to position the University for an invitation to an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference.

    On July 26, 2011, U. T. San Antonio accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), an FBS conference. U. T. San Antonio is not scheduled to officially join the WAC until July 1, 2012. However, since U. T. San Antonio accepted the invitation to join, three member institutions have declared their intent to leave. As a result, the WAC will have only four remaining institutions that participate in FBS football.

    Officials at CUSA contacted U. T. San Antonio in March 2012 to initiate a discussion about the possibility of U. T. San Antonio leaving the WAC to join CUSA. President Romo, Athletic Director Lynn Hickey, Head Football Coach Larry Coker, and several prominent community supporters visited with CUSA Commissioner Britton Banowsky on April 5, 2012, and discussed U. T. San Antonio’s position regarding joining CUSA.

    There is a possibility that CUSA members, including U. T. El Paso, will become members of a new athletic conference resulting from some form of consolidation between the CUSA and Mountain West Conference (MWC) institutions.

    The current plan is that two conferences, CUSA and the MWC, will merge and form a conference ultimately expected to include 18 to 24 members. The 12 current members of the CUSA are: U. T. El Paso, Tulane University, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of East Carolina, Marshall University, Rice University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Memphis, University of Tulsa, Southern Methodist University, University of
    Houston, and University of Central Florida. Eight of these universities will be joining the new athletic conference. The four universities that are not joining the new athletic conference are the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of Houston, and the University of Central Florida. Teams joining the new athletic conference from the MWC are: University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of New Mexico, Colorado State University, Air Meeting of the U. T. System Board of Regents – Academic Affairs Committee

    Force Academy, and University of Wyoming. The following three universities that were planning on joining the MWC this year are also joining the new athletic conference: Fresno State, University of Nevada-Reno, and University of Hawaii (football only).

    Joining CUSA (and potentially the new athletic conference) will provide greater national visibility and association with universities of similar enrollment, academic standing, and community size. U. T. San Antonio has determined that a move to this new conference is consistent with the University’s strategic plan to increase its national prominence in support of its goal to become a national research university. Competing in the new conference would leverage U. T. San Antonio’s efforts to upgrade the competitiveness of all 17 sports teams, particularly in football and men’s and women’s basketball.

    There are no exit fees involved with U. T. San Antonio’s departure from the WAC. The initiation fee payable to CUSA is $2,000,000, and will be covered through a combination of Athletic Department funds and conference revenues payable to U. T. San Antonio pursuant to the new member agreement. U. T. San Antonio reports that revenues generated by CUSA (and potentially the new athletic conference) from television and the NCAA are likely to be significantly greater than those earned by the WAC.

    Like

  35. Neil says:

    I hate this proposal. It means that in 2006 and 2008 #6 Louisville and #6 Utah lose out to #3 Michigan and #3 Texas respectively.

    The compromise between Top 4 only or Conference Champs only is obvious. Take the Top 3 rated conference champions (which will be the #1 – #3 seeds in the playoff) and then the 4th member of the playoff is either the 4th ranked conference champion or an at-large team (which would include ND, since as an indy, they can only ever be an at-large selection) if said at-large team is ranked at least 4 spots higher than the 4th rated conference champ.

    People whine about the injustice of keeping a 2011 Alabama out of the playoffs but say nothing about keeping a 2006 Louisville squad or a 2008 Utah team out.

    Like

    • Consider that in 2008 Texas getting bumped by Oklahoma was VERY controversial, and that in 2006 Michigan was generally considered to be the legitimate #2 team in the country (and was only bumped to avoid a rematch; if “we can’t have a rematch” wasn’t a consideration, they’d have finished the regular season #2). Given the teams’ respective resumes, it seems fairly reasonable how it would have shaken out in FTT’s proposal.

      Also note that in contrast to 2008, in 2004 Utah would have bumped Texas. Which makes sense, as 2004 Texas’s resume was weaker than 2008’s (and at least arguably 2004 Utah’s resume was a bit stronger than 2008’s).

      Like

      • Neil says:

        But both Michigan and Ohio State in 2006 proved to overrated in their respective bowl games. But at least Ohio State won their league. The controversy surrounding UT and Okla included Texas Tech since all three finished as co-champions of the Big 12 South. If the Big 12 conference rules gave the Sooners the opportunity to win as the South representative in that game, so be it. They ultimately were the Big 12 champs as a result. I think they got it right considering the fact that Texas had difficulty beating the 10th ranked Buckeyes that year while OU didn’t do their usual fold against #2 and returning champ Florida in the NC game. In my eyes, if a playoff were in effect, Utah deserved the opportunity to prove themselves as a conference champion ranked in the Top 6 that year. And I have little doubt they’d have handled Texas as they did Alabama that year.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Utah handled a demoralized Alabama team. No telling how that game would have happened during the season. And Florida beat OU on a neutral field by the same 10 point margin Texas did on a neutral field. As for Texas winning close against Ohio St., they did win, something Florida didn’t do at home against Ole Miss that year. So because of that game, should we have thrown Florida out in favor of Utah?

          As a Texas fan, I have no trouble with that 2004 team being excluded. They finished behind and lost to OU, who was in the top 3. The 2008 situation was very different. But there were 5 teams with very good arguments that year.

          The argument for 2006 Michigan is that they lost on the road by only 3. 2011 Alabama didn’t have any argument except the eyeball argument. They looked really good and they had a really good defense. But they didn’t beat anyone ranked except Arkansas and Penn St. (who was not ranked in the final poll) They didn’t play anyone except #29 Arkansas among the top 50 offenses in the country. In a 4 team playoff, they could, however, point out that they had less losses than all but 2 conference champs.

          Like

          • Neil says:

            If you don’t win your conference you simply shouldn’t be in a limited numbered playoff system. That was true early on in the NCAAs. At-larges didn’t get to go until much later expansion took place. The only reason why we likely won’t get that for the Football Final Four is because of Alabama last year, an incident that isn’t likely to happen again for another decade.

            Frank’s compromise proposal isn’t the solution to this problem. The one I suggested is because it rightly places a #5 USC and #6 Louisville in 2006 over Michigan and LSU and rightly places a #5 USC and #6 Utah over Texas and Alabama while ensuring that a #2 ranked Alabama gets in over a #10 ranked Wisconsin. If this compromise were adopted, an at-large team would rarely make the playoffs, which is how it should be.

            When it expands to 8, then revisit the at-large selections.

            Like

      • When discussing fairness, you can’t really take into account the eventual bowl results from past years. We never have that hindsight at the time…so we can’t take it into account now. You have to use the body of work during the season to determine your participants.

        Like

  36. texmex says:

    My fear is that all these compromises for playoff system will end up in a complex playoff format as a result of trying to satisfy everyone. Everyone needs to remember why a playoff is even being discussed in the first place. The Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange bowls have become football games nobody cares about other than fans of the participating teams. Declining ratings and attendance have gotten the attention of the powers that be.

    So when a playoff is being discussed, the powers that be need to understand why nobody gives a flip about these BCS games

    1) Scheduling – weeknight games after people are back to work is a power down especially when these games don’t have implications at that point. The games just aren’t stop down especially when they’re kicking off after 8 pm on the east coast and not ending closer to midnight. People are back to their normal routine of the work week. It just isn’t pulling in the casual fan.

    2) Quality of Teams – not to pick on ACC/Big East, but it’s diluting the matchups when the best teams aren’t involved. There are too many non-BCS bowl games that are more attractive than the BCS games. This has further de-valued the brand of the BCS games since they really aren’t the most attractive matchups.

    So now what?

    **The BCS format should consist of 5 bowls/10 teams – 2 playoff games and 3 non-playoff games
    **The 10 BCS teams should be the top 10 teams in the country. You want these games to be interesting? Get the best of the best playing against each other, regardless of conference affiliation.
    **Play the 2 playoff games the 4th weekend of December. The 4th Saturday will always be on or between the 22nd and 28th
    **Play the 3 non-playoff BCS games on January 1st
    **The national championship game will be at a bid out site two weekends after the semi-finals games. Either work something out with the NFL so they can play it on Saturday night, or play it on Sunday night since the NFL doesn’t televise wildcard games Sunday evening.

    Like

    • If the bowls are excluded from the playoff structure, kiss the Cotton Bowl-as-BCS-bowl idea goodbye. They can’t have 4 playoff teams plus 10 BCS bowl teams. If the bowls are part of the semifinal round, you can guarantee that they’ll pick up the Cotton to keep 10 teams involved.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        They can’t have 14? Would it be that hard to imagine the current Cotton and Cap 1 as BCS games? They both often have higher ranked teams than the current BCS games due to weak BE and ACC champs lately. By removing restrictions on more teams from a conference, you could basically have 1-14 in those games (maybe a lower champ that has a tie-in).

        Comparable games
        2011
        a. Orange – #15 Clemson vs #23 WV
        b. Cotton – #6 AR vs #8 KSU
        c. Cap 1 – #9 SC vs #20 NE

        2010
        a. Fiesta – #7 OU vs UConn
        b. Cotton – #11 LSU vs #17 TAMU
        c. Cap 1 – #16 AL vs #9 MSU

        2009
        a. Orange – #9 GT vs #10 IA
        c. Cap 1 – #13 PSU vs #12 LSU

        2008
        a. Orange – #12 UC vs #19 VT
        b. Cotton – #25 MS vs #7 TT
        c. Cap 1 – #15 GA vs #18 MSU

        2007
        a. Rose – #7 USC vs #13 IL
        b. Cotton – #6 MO vs AR
        c. Cap 1 – MI vs #12 FL

        2006
        a. Orange – #6 UL vs #14 WF
        b. Cap 1 – #7 WI vs #12 AR

        Considering the Cap 1 and Cotton are restricted to 2 conferences each, I think an unrestricted game could easily be BCS worthy.

        Like

  37. We all know about politics and posturing when it comes to the commissioners (hence, Delany’s unflinching “The Rose Bowl is on board” statement, when we all know how much flack he received for the PERCEPTION that the Big Ten was blocking a playoff b/c of the Rose).

    The SEC also is playing this game. Their desire to have a straight “top 4” playoff is a disingenuous political statement by Slive to remind everyone everyone with how awesome the SEC has been. The articles written this past week all have made SPECIFIC mention of the SEC in this light (“THEY would want the top 4 after all since they are so amazing…”), which in many respects is a political/PR move.

    But when he goes back to the college presidents and tells them he’d like to set up a system that might (some day in the future) keep an SEC team out of the championship scenario by NOT making provisions for conference champs (2000, 2001, and 2005 are all seasons where no SEC team was in the top 4 at all)….and tells them that one system could make the SEC championship game an even MORE lucrative TV contract chip (by making the game a de facto national quarterfinal game) or the system he prefers could make the SEC championship game LESS relevant and important…we’ll see what they actually say.

    It’s a win-win for him. When a conference champ (3 CC +1 at-large) system is approved…he can tell his league that he fought proudly in defense of their awesomeness but the other cowardly leagues were afraid of them. In reality, he’ll get what he wants…a protected spot in the big playoff.

    Like

  38. Eric Upp says:

    Let’s say the playoff does use the BCS bowls and they want to add one more to keep it at 10 teams. Are we sure it will end up being the Cotton? Obviously they make the most sense, but I’m guessing they’ll be a bidding process. Any other bowls likely to offer more in anyone’s opinion? For instance, maybe the Peach Bowl feels it would be a bigger jump for them than the Cotton does and offers more. I guessing the Cotton Bowl would be willing to pay the most though with Jerry Jones, but am not sure it’s a foregone conclusion.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Jerry has the stadium. I doubt anyone could top him. The trick is that the Cotton is important to the Big 12.

      I don’t think they would really want to add a 2nd Florida bowl. Orlando has an old stadium, although they have the resources. But I think they’re fine with B1G2 vs SEC2.

      Atlanta, Tampa, Memphis, Houston and San Antonio might bid, but I think its JerryWorld.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I agree with the Citrus Bowl. In theory they could move up, but they have done very well where they are at.

        Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        If it’s not the Cotton, with its historical relevance to many Big 12 schools combined with the awesome-stadium factor, then who’s to stop a brand new bowl developing as the fifth BCS bowl in some place like Indianapolis or New York? What exactly gives a leg up to Atlanta or Orlando, and how does the B1G get convinced to just give another BCS bowl right in the heart of SEC country? Moreover, how would bowl games with less historic prestige and comparably lesser stadiums in cities like Memphis or San Antonio have any edge over modern stadiums with more experience hosting huge events (ala, the Super Bowl)?

        Like

        • bullet says:

          San Antonio has some advantages. They have the E/W geography that Dallas has with better weather. They are a better tourist city. They have a lot of amenities without being a giant metropolis the way LA, Phoenix, Miami and Dallas are. They always do a good job with the Alamo Bowl. And they have done the NCAA final 4. I don’t think a bowl in Indianapolis has a snowball’s chance. New York is possible, but a long shot.

          Like

          • frug says:

            Indianapolis is unlikely, but it may be the cost of getting the Big 10 to go along. Ohio St.’s AD has already that if the semis are held at neutral sites there “has to be one in the Midwest”.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I lived in Central Indiana. Noone wants to go to Indianpolis in late December.

            Like

          • @bullet – Yes, as soon as the indications were that there would be neutral site semifinals played after Christmas, that effectively killed off cold weather sites as options. Now, I think that they can still be options for the national championship game itself since that game is effectively travel-proof, but the semifinals are going to be dependent upon traveling fans and I think desirable locations (meaning warmer weather locations) are a larger factor than distance from the participants.

            I’m going to put up a full post on this over the next day or two (maybe even tonight), but that’s partly why I believe a Central Florida bowl is going to be part of this BCS bowl mix. Orlando has the better location while Tampa has the better facilities. In either case, it’s not very hard to sell your wife and kids to go to Disney World, college kids to stay on the beach or retired alums who probably already live in Florida to take a short trip compared to going to places like Indy or Atlanta.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            @bullet – Yes, as soon as the indications were that there would be neutral site semifinals played after Christmas, that effectively killed off cold weather sites as options.

            I don’t agree. I think that battle is yet to be fought. I think many northern presidents and ADs are going to fight against the built in disadvantages they have. If they can’t play on campus for BS “logistical” reasons (read: southerners wet themselves just thinking about cold weather), then there’s no reason they can’t play indoors at an NFL stadium. It’s a playoff, not a bowl game. Nobody needs to sped the whole week there. If the southerners don’t want to travel, let the locals fill the seats.

            Now, I think that they can still be options for the national championship game itself since that game is effectively travel-proof, but the semifinals are going to be dependent upon traveling fans and I think desirable locations (meaning warmer weather locations) are a larger factor than distance from the participants.

            I don’t think the semis will have trouble selling to locals. These aren’t bowls that need a week of events to justify the payout, this is a semifinal giving away TV money. They just need to cover their payout in ticket, hotel and restaurant revenues.

            I’m going to put up a full post on this over the next day or two (maybe even tonight), but that’s partly why I believe a Central Florida bowl is going to be part of this BCS bowl mix. Orlando has the better location while Tampa has the better facilities. In either case, it’s not very hard to sell your wife and kids to go to Disney World, college kids to stay on the beach or retired alums who probably already live in Florida to take a short trip compared to going to places like Indy or Atlanta.

            It seems natural the bigger bowls would get promoted, and that’s Dallas, Orlando (bad stadium), Tampa, Atlanta and Tempe in that order. The Cap 1 pays $850k more than the Outback.

            Like

  39. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/7871430/utah-state-aggies-san-jose-state-spartans-join-mountain-west-conference-according-report

    USU and SJSU are dumping the WAC for the MWC. That’s 2 of the 3 defectors UTSA mentioned in their memo. That leaves Idaho, New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech or Texas State as the third. LT to CUSA seems the logical choice.

    Like

    • Mack says:

      UTSA is likely to know Texas State’s options, and I think that is the Sun Belt. Both LaTech and N.TX want invites to CUSA and have a good chance of getting them, especially if CUSA expands back to 12 teams. For LaTech it is CUSA or bust since the Sunbelt does not need 3 LA teams and the two LA schools it has are not going anywhere.

      Like

  40. Brian says:

    http://www.buckeyextra.com/content/stories/2012/04/29/conferences-must-sell-presidents-on-playoff.html

    An article talking about the sale job the conference commissioners still have left to the presidents. Also a reminder that the revenue distribution topic hasn’t been touched yet and promises to be contentious.

    Like

  41. Brian says:

    Some NFL draft stats for everyone. As expected, the SEC dominated round 1. The B10 caught up later. Remember, these numbers aren’t adjusted for conference size, so some did better than it looks.

    Round 1
    SEC – 9
    B12 – 5
    B10, P12 – 4
    ACC – 3
    BE, MWC, Indies – 2
    CUSA – 1

    Total
    SEC – 42
    B10 – 41
    ACC – 31
    P12 – 28
    B12 – 25
    BE, MWC – 12
    WAC – 11
    CUSA – 10
    MAC – 8
    SB – 6
    Indies – 5
    FCS – 23

    Top Colleges
    Alabama 8
    Georgia 7
    Oklahoma 7
    Boise 6
    Cal 6
    Iowa 6
    Miami 6
    Michigan State 6
    South Carolina 6
    Wisconsin 6
    Baylor 5
    LSU 5
    North Carolina State 5

    Like

    • Other Mike says:

      Brian, are you on Reddit?

      Like

    • Brian says:

      http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/49054/big-ten-and-the-nfl-draft-the-last-decade

      Some B10 NFL draft nuggets:

      Draft picks from 2002-2011
      1. Ohio State: 66 total draft picks
      2. Iowa: 42
      3. Nebraska: 41
      4. Michigan: 40
      5. Wisconsin: 39
      6. Penn State: 38
      7. Purdue: 27
      8. Michigan State: 25
      9. Illinois: 22
      10. Minnesota: 14
      11. Northwestern: 13
      12. Indiana: 12

      In case anybody wondered why OSU dominated the B10 under Tressel, this would be a large part of it.

      2012
      6 – MSU, WI, IA
      4 – IL, NE, OSU, PSU
      3 – MI
      2 – PU, NW
      0 – IN, MN

      Adding in 2012
      1. OSU 70
      2. IA 48
      3. WI 45
      3. NE 45
      5. MI 43
      6. PSU 42
      7. MSU 31
      8. PU 29
      9. IL 26
      10. NW 15
      11. MN 14
      12. IN 12

      Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        I really don’t want to sound like a snarky PSU fan but its not hard to attract talent when you’re paying them…

        Like

        • Brian says:

          OSU wouldn’t know. Ask AL (Albert Means) or AU (Cam Newton). Or are you saying that’s O’Brien’s plan since he seems to be recruiting better than JoePa?

          I expect PSU to do better with a real live HC and not a figurehead, and MI will improve as the RichRod players go away (they fit his system, but not the NFL so much). I assume NE was down because of Callahan, ironically (NFL coach produces fewer NFL players).

          Like

          • PSUGuy says:

            Umm…tOSU wouldn’t know?

            Tressel got fired for lying about his players getting free tattoos and selling personal property. As a person interested in economics those count as “valued goods” and as such easily fall under the purview “paying players”.

            Santanio Holmes, recently of my Pittsburgh Steelers, has been quoted as being “taken care of” in college (in fairness, I believe that was via NFL agent).

            Then there’s this: http://www.buckeyextra.com/content/stories/2011/10/03/two-suspended-players.html

            And less we not forget Youngstown State…who had NCAA violations for improper employment while Tressel was head coach there and served them the first couple years Tressel moved on to tOSU.

            Now don’t get me wrong…that’s not “institutional” to tOSU, but it sure does seem to be institutional for Ohio…at least where Tressel goes anyway.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            PSUGuy,

            Umm…tOSU wouldn’t know?

            Exactly.

            Tressel got fired for lying about his players getting free tattoos and selling personal property. As a person interested in economics those count as “valued goods” and as such easily fall under the purview “paying players”.

            Lying isn’t paying. Some tattoo parlor owner giving away tattoos isn’t OSU paying, it’s a booster bartering with them and against NCAA rules. Players selling items OSU legitimately put into their keep isn’t OSU paying them.

            Santanio Holmes, recently of my Pittsburgh Steelers, has been quoted as being “taken care of” in college (in fairness, I believe that was via NFL agent).

            An agent paying him isn’t OSU paying him.

            Then there’s this: http://www.buckeyextra.com/content/stories/2011/10/03/two-suspended-players.html

            Also not OSU paying them.

            And less we not forget Youngstown State…who had NCAA violations for improper employment while Tressel was head coach there and served them the first couple years Tressel moved on to tOSU.

            YSU isn’t OSU, and Tressel was not implicated in the violations by the NCAA.

            Now don’t get me wrong…that’s not “institutional” to tOSU, but it sure does seem to be institutional for Ohio…at least where Tressel goes anyway.

            If it’s not institutional to OSU then why did you accuse OSU? And does the home of Terrelle Pryor really want to say this only happens in other states? He learned his values in PA.

            Like

  42. Other Mike says:

    Open question: What would it take for the B1G/PAC/(ND?) coalition to balk at a 4-team playoff? What would result if they did? (Revert to the old bowls, with the NCG a week later? A return to the pre-BCS system? Is there even a 1% chance that Slive & Co. have the chutzpah to start a playoff without B1G/PAC support?)

    Like

    • zeek says:

      We’re too far down the path now. All of the plans that were sent to the conferences (and ND) for review by the presidents had 4 team playoffs built in…

      The question at this point is how to incorporate the playoff with the current bowl system. And most likely we’re looking at a system where the 4 BCS bowls would rotate the 2 semifinals games. The Rose Bowl would probably be incorporated in a way where they would be able to select a matchup including a Big Ten or Pac-12 team if it’s their year…

      At this point, it’s hard to see how we don’t end up with a 4 team playoff.

      Like

      • Other Mike says:

        That’s surprising to me. I got the impression the summit in Florida was more of a “feeling out”.

        Are the plans for the presidents to select from publicly available?

        No chance, in your mind, that the Rose Bowl conferences, if they don’t feel sufficiently appeased, will block?

        What is the role of the presidential oversight committee in all this? Are they capable of blocking?

        Like

        • @Other Mike – It’s definitely not a “feeling out” process at this point. Jim Delany would not have been even entertaining the notion of a 4-team playoff at those meetings unless the preliminary feedback from the Big Ten presidents was in support of it at least conceptually. Previously, he just shut down all suggestions of a playoff because that’s what his orders from the presidents were. That has changed significantly in the past couple of months.

          Like

          • Ross says:

            Seems like the #1 and #2 ranked teams hosting the #3 and #4 teams in their footprints’ BCS bowls is fairly likely at this point. It’s a shame that in the midst of all of this hand-wringing and angst over finding a system that better determines the national champion the fact that the Big Ten will remain at a geographic disadvantage has been completely ignored. If they are going to use this system, then there should be a BCS bowl somewhere in the Midwest/Northeast.

            The closest BCS bowl to the B1G is the Sugar Bowl…

            Like

          • bullet says:

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/04/30/bcs-playoff-mandel-plan/index.html?xid=sbnation

            So new and different info. I think maybe we were getting the Slive/Delany/Scott viewpoints and now we are getting some others weighing in. Swofford promotes keeping it simple-top 4.

            There’s also talk of 6 bowls. Leaves room for Dallas and a New York bowl. Or Atlanta or Florida.

            I think when they dig into this link between #1 and #2 and traditional bowls, they will have the same objections as home sites. If you don’t know whether you are doing a Big 12 vs. wildcard or a national semi-final you aren’t going to get as much money. And national corporate groups can’t invite a client to some yet to be designated site, which won’t be known until 3 weeks before. Maybe those clients don’t golf (no Phoenix). Maybe they had a bad experience in New Orleans.

            Its a lot of hassle to keep the Rose Bowl happy. And it scares the Orange Bowl. As far as regionalizing the teams, they can do that by their pairing. If the semi-final sites are pre-designated, just make sure the Fiesta (or Cotton) and Rose are semi-finals in different years, as well as the Orange and Sugar. Assign the higher seed to a closer site (or the Big 10 to the Rose if they want that), just like the NCAA basketball tourney.

            If you get too many smart people in the same room, there is a tendency to make things way too complicated with unintended consequences. I think we are seeing that with this whole process.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            A couple of other nuggets:

            1. On campus semis are still alive. Mandel puts it at 60-40 in favor of bowls according to sources. The presidents could easily force that issue if they want.

            2. Those 6 bowls you mention will be on 12/31-1/2 and part of 1 TV package. I’m guessing that’s 2 on 12/31, 3 on 1/1 and 1 on 1/2.

            3. They are relaxing the BCS rules but not eliminating them. 3 teams and top 15 or so are likely rules to get the best 6 games.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Other Mike,

          Are the plans for the presidents to select from publicly available?

          No, or at least not yet. They are all variations of a 4 team playoff, so presumably it’s things like campus home games versus bowl sites versus neutral sites and calendar issues.

          No chance, in your mind, that the Rose Bowl conferences, if they don’t feel sufficiently appeased, will block?

          Unfortunately, no. Delany, Scott and Swarbrick don’t have the desire and/or the balls.

          What is the role of the presidential oversight committee in all this? Are they capable of blocking?

          Nothing is official until the POC signs off on it. They have veto power.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      I don’t think the presidents aren’t paying attention. They would have shut it down quicker if they had serious problems.

      I think the only real risk to blow it up is revenue distribution. That’s still possible.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        While I’m sure they are getting updates, I think the presidents have chosen to be largely hands off so far. They are going to wait to look at the financial details from the TV people and listen to their fans a little (campus versus bowl sites) before making any decisions. They are letting the commissioners eliminate the options with no chance, but I doubt they have put much thought into the details that separate the remaining plans.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Other Mike,

      Open question: What would it take for the B1G/PAC/(ND?) coalition to balk at a 4-team playoff?

      Taste, respect for CFB and its traditions and not being greedy.

      What would result if they did?

      A 4 team playoff of the top 4 (non-B10/P12/ND) played in the Cotton, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange Bowls. Make obscene cash and try to force those 3 to come begging to join, and then exact a price (no Rose concessions, perhaps).

      (Revert to the old bowls, with the NCG a week later? A return to the pre-BCS system?
      Is there even a 1% chance that Slive & Co. have the chutzpah to start a playoff without B1G/PAC support?)

      There’s a 100% chance Slive & Co. have the balls to do that.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Open question: What would it take for the B1G/PAC/(ND?) coalition to balk at a 4-team playoff?

        Taste, respect for CFB and its traditions and not being greedy.

        To be fair, just because something is a tradition doesn’t necessarily mean it is better than alternatives. Plus, at this point the glut of bowl games has devalued the bowl system so severely that a playoff is unlikely to how much effect on how people view even the strongest bowls (especially individuals born after 1980).

        Like

        • Brian says:

          frug,

          “Plus, at this point the glut of bowl games has devalued the bowl system so severely that a playoff is unlikely to how much effect on how people view even the strongest bowls (especially individuals born after 1980).”

          You do, of course, realize that is a small minority of CFB fans. They are the squeaky wheels, but they are nowhere near being the majority.

          Like

          • frug says:

            True, but they are the most important ones. Plus, like I said, just because it is especially one age group does not necessarily mean that it isn’t also true for others as well (even if it is not the same extent).

            And getting to my larger point, eventually people will look back and wonder what people thought was so great about the “old era”.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            True, but they are the most important ones.

            No, they aren’t. They’re the most important to TV people. The older ones are the big donors that are much more important to the schools. Obviously that will change over time, but for now it’s true.

            Plus, like I said, just because it is especially one age group does not necessarily mean that it isn’t also true for others as well (even if it is not the same extent).

            No, it doesn’t have to mean that. It is to a much lesser extent in older fans because they saw the heydays of the bowls and because they are wiser.

            And getting to my larger point, eventually people will look back and wonder what people thought was so great about the “old era”.

            Yes, the same ones that say that now will say that when they look back, too. The ones that don’t like it now will generally look back more and more favorably on the bowls. Some will switch camps due to unintended consequences or benefits or titles for their teams or something. Future generations won’t know any better. That doesn’t make the new system better.

            What was so great about the old era is they did all the work so an entitled younger group could come along and whine that it wasn’t exactly how they wanted it and ruin it.

            Like

          • largeR says:

            @Brian
            Right on, bro! Myself, having watched and attended CFB for over 50 years, I share almost all of your concerns and trepidations. As I not so eloquently spewed a few days ago, I would have been happy to see the B1G/PAC and Rose stick together with the remainder NFL liteing. As it appears that Scott and the PAC, along with the Rose, have bought into the playoff, we, the largely older fans of the B1G/Rose are just collateral damage.

            Obviously, the big bucks for the ‘U’s is the driving force, with that money demographicly derived. I will continue to support ‘my U’, but will spend very little on products advertised in the playoff. Such is life and getting old. I do wonder if some of the playoff driven desire by the ‘younger’ set is derived partly

            Like

          • largeR says:

            (screwy wordpress)
            I do wonder if some of the playoff driven desire by the ‘younger’ set is derived partly from all of the youth sport organizations that are largely available to the most recent generations. A ‘mindset of playoffs’, that goes hand in hand with all of the professional playoff expansion that has occurred in the last 40 years.

            Like

          • @largeR – That’s an interesting thought about youth organizations, although one could argue that they take the opposite tact these where “everyone gets a trophy” just for participating.

            My theory is that it’s more of the popularity of the NFL playoffs along with the expansion of playoffs in other sports where it has become so much more of the focus in comparison to the regular season. The NCAA Tournament is a prime example of this. In Major League Baseball, we’ve gone from each league’s regular season champ winning the pennant to 2 divisions to 3 divisions plus (now) 2 wild cards.

            The introduction of the national championship game in college football itself has also changed the attitude. I’m 34, so I’m really in the last generation that grew up with the old bowl system and the polls determining the champs. I don’t really think that was a better system, but can at least appreciate that New Year’s Day itself used to be a whole lot more entertaining and meaningful back then when multiple bowls had meaning. For anyone in their 20s or younger, though, all they know is that there’s a championship game that can be determined in a shady manner at times plus a bunch of consolation bowl games, so that certainly can look completely unsatisfactory compared to what they see in the NFL or NCAA Tournament.

            Like

          • largeR says:

            And, yeah, I realize bottom line bucks is the real reason for all of it.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            As an old guy, its kind of the $ driving the bowls that makes me willing to ditch (actually diminish) it. They are fun. But with TV such a big factor, the bowls repeatedly ignore smaller market and less known schools. The price of attending has gotten outrageously expensive both to the fans and to the schools. The schools have to repeatedly reign in the bowl excesses. The games with 6-6 or even 7-5 teams diminish all the games. A number of teams each year, clearly don’t really want to play. Players get disappointed that an outstanding season gets trumped by a Notre Dame or other higher profile school. And you had situations where the top 2 teams didn’t get to play. With 2 you have situations where arguably the best team is shut out. And its all run by a totally illogical beauty contest. Well there is some logic. The bigger conferences have constantly manipulated the formulas to keep the little guys out. The Presidents have justified it with arguments that they totally discredit with their other actions. The BCS taints the universities as they try to defend it. The Presidents are supposed to represent critical thinking and higher education, not higher hypocrisy. And I say this as someone who is a fan of schools who are beneficiaries of this system.

            The players get a chance to test themselves against the best. The schools aren’t giving the money away to sleazy bowl execs. The fans still pay, but they get a better show.

            Like

          • largeR says:

            @Frank
            I thought about the ‘trophy leagues’, because my kids grew up in them. At the time, I was like ‘ what the h’? But then, in the 80’s and 90’s many ‘developmental’ organizations came into being, with ‘travel’ squads and more(and better) competition, and playoffs. I saw this in soccer, volleyball, baseball and softball. It’s the norm and has been for some time. Funny you should bring up baseball too, because as I was writing, I thought about how much more I enjoyed baseball when there were only 2 champions(and later 4), than today with all the machinations to keep everybody in the race until the end.

            Like

          • frug says:

            No, they aren’t. They’re the most important to TV people. The older ones are the big donors that are much more important to the schools. Obviously that will change over time, but for now it’s true.

            A. If they are important to the TV people they are important to the universities. (Especially if you are a school/conference that makes a high ratio of TV money to donor dollars and/or gate revenues)

            B. While donors are certainly important at all but the very top schools older donors are not significantly more valuable than students who buy the most merchandise (by a huge margin) and tickets/concessions (again exempting the handful of schools with huge stadiums who rely more on alumni and locals to pack the thing).

            C. While any short term loss in donor dollars is (almost) certainly going to neutralized by new TV revenue, adopting a playoff model will likely create more donations once the younger generations overtake the older ones.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I just realized I phrased point B pretty awkwardly. What I meant was outside of the very top programs any losses in alumni dollars could/would be offset by more student spending.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “C. While any short term loss in donor dollars is (almost) certainly going to neutralized by new TV revenue, adopting a playoff model will likely create more donations once the younger generations overtake the older ones.”

            I don’t buy this. Why would the next generation bother to donate when the regular season means less and they have super ultra high definition full circle 3D TV coverage at home? People donate now to get better tickets. I think they’ll just expect the team to win and then maybe buy playoff tickets (more likely watch that from home, too).

            Like

          • frug says:

            People donate now to get better tickets.

            Maybe at the top programs but for most schools demand isn’t high enough for donations to make much of difference for ticket sales.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Is there any school where donations don’t get you better seats?

            You may not need donations to get tickets. At Texas that wasn’t necessary until the late 90s (and unless its changed in the last couple of years still isn’t for anyone who had season tickets back then), but donations always got you better seats.

            Like

    • frug says:

      Is there even a 1% chance that Slive & Co. have the chutzpah to start a playoff without B1G/PAC support?

      Seeing as they already worked around the Rose Conferences twice in the past 20 years (the Bowl Coalition and Bowl Alliance) I’d say the answer is most definitely (assuming that there were enough votes without the Big 10 and PAC)

      Of course given that the PAC actually supports a playoff (unlike the Big 10 which is only working on a deal because they don’t have a choice) there is no real risk of a holdout.

      Like

  43. bamatab says:

    Taking a break from the playoff speculation, here is an interesting article on the high school talent pools of each conference’s states based on the NFL draft dating back to the 1992. With it being written on the Mr. SEC site, it of course has a SEC slant. But I thought it made some interesting points.

    http://www.mrsec.com/2012/04/part-two-the-secs-talent-pool-is-only-getting-deeper/

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Of course, it helps the SEC’s and ACC’s numbers when you double count. The B10 has only one state where it has to split recruits with another Top5 school (PA) & the Pac has none. The SEC and ACC both have several. Split the recruits proportionally between the Top5 conference schools in a state, and the numbers go down dramatically.

      Specifically, the SEC has 1090 for 14 schools, or 77.9/school.
      ACC has 1045 for 14 schools, or 74.7/school.
      Pac still has 850 or 70.8/school.
      B10 has 60.0/school.
      B12 has 53.2/school.

      In other words, the SEC still leads, but only by a tiny bit, not an overwhelming amount, and the B10 & B12 lag, but that they aren’t several times worse off than the Southeast.

      Either Mr. SEC is math illiterate or he’s being disingenuous/dishonest. Likely both.

      Like

      • wmtiger says:

        He’s usually both.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Well the significance of that is that Notre Dame, Nebraska and Tennessee should never field a winning team again. The conference recruiting isn’t as important as where your team can recruit. Those 3 have always recruited nationally.

        And of course, he’s giving the SEC with 1 school full credit for the state of Texas.

        Like

        • frug says:

          While Nebraska has always recruited nationally they have never been as dependent on as ND or Tennessee. While Nebraska has a small population it turns out prospects at a very high rate and UNL has the state on lockdown.

          Like

  44. Eric says:

    I have to say that I really, really don’t like the idea of 6 BCS bowls. 5 already watered down the games and 6 is going to be worse. My guess is that it was probably the compromise to the Big Ten/SEC. They wanted the possiblity of 3 team making the BCS and the others didn’t want left out more often, so they’ll move the limit to 3, but give us 12 teams instead of 10.

    I wonder the criteria will end up being for getting in. My guess is that anyone in the top 20 is eligible to be selected for a BCS bowl if we are really going up to 12 teams. I think it will be at least 17.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      Other question is would the 2 new bowls be treated equal to the other 4? Would they be in the selection order rotating with everyone else (besides the Rose with its 2 tie-ins obviously) or would they maybe get the left overs and be playing December 31st (since they want the 6 bowls between December 31st and January 2nd)?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Basically, you are just looking at the Orlando bowl and Cotton being moved up. They’ve normally had pretty good matchups.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          With or without current tie-ins though? If they move them up to BCS status, do they keep the Big Ten #2, SEC #2, and Big 12 #2? Either way is going to effect the match-ups in the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta as they’ll either lose the ability to pick over those bowls or be in a rotation with them from the start.

          My guess is this is part of a big compromise and the bowls will be able to keep their tie-ins to #2 teams. The Big Ten and SEC (and Big 12) are going to have an easier time getting 3 teams in, but to help let other conferences keep access, they’ll just essentially be moving up bowls.

          If we say the Citrus and Cotton moved up and kept the tie-ins (I’m assuming a top 20 requirement), then 2011’s match-ups last year would have looked something like this:

          Sugar Bowl (semi-final): LSU vs. Stanford
          Fiesta Bowl (semi-final): Alabama vs. Oklahoma State
          Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Wisconsin
          Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Michigan State
          Citrus Bowl: Michigan vs. Arkansas
          Cotton Bowl: Kansas State vs. Virginia Tech

          Boise State may have replaced Michigan State or Virginia Tech in this set-up.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I think its the equivalent (not necessarily those bowls) w/o necessarily having tie-ins. Basically it means another B1G and another SEC team in the BCS most years.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Eric,

            “With or without current tie-ins though?”

            Without. Of the 6 bowls, at most the 5 current champs tie-ins would survive.

            “If they move them up to BCS status, do they keep the Big Ten #2, SEC #2, and Big 12 #2?”

            No. Those teams will be moved around to make better games.

            “Either way is going to effect the match-ups in the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta as they’ll either lose the ability to pick over those bowls or be in a rotation with them from the start.”

            They should get a runner up or uncommitted champ that provides the best matchup for their tie-in champ.

            “My guess is this is part of a big compromise and the bowls will be able to keep their tie-ins to #2 teams. The Big Ten and SEC (and Big 12) are going to have an easier time getting 3 teams in, but to help let other conferences keep access, they’ll just essentially be moving up bowls.”

            I think it’ll be like now. The top B10 bowl outside the group will technically have B10 #2, but it’s the pick after the 6 bowls take the best teams so it may really be B10 #4.

            “If we say the Citrus and Cotton moved up and kept the tie-ins (I’m assuming a top 20 requirement), then 2011′s match-ups last year would have looked something like this:

            Sugar Bowl (semi-final): LSU vs. Stanford
            Fiesta Bowl (semi-final): Alabama vs. Oklahoma State
            Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Wisconsin
            Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Michigan State
            Citrus Bowl: Michigan vs. Arkansas
            Cotton Bowl: Kansas State vs. Virginia Tech

            Boise State may have replaced Michigan State or Virginia Tech in this set-up.”

            Since they won’t keep the tie-ins, limit is 3 and maybe top 15 instead of 20 (with top 10 automatic unless they are a 4th team), try:

            Sugar – LSU/OR
            Fiesta – AL/OkSU
            Rose – #10 WI vs #4 Stanford
            Orange – #15 Clemson vs #13 MI
            Cap 1 – #7 Boise vs #11 VT
            Cotton – #6 AR vs #8 KSU

            Skipped – #9 SC (4th SEC), #12 Baylor (9-3 Baylor vs 10-2 MI), #14 OU

            Like

          • @Eric – It’s quite possible (and I’m going to guess quite probable) that the new games have #2 tie-ins with conferences such as the Big Ten and SEC.

            Let’s put it this way: (1) these bowls aren’t going to pay massive amounts of money to get into the BCS club in order to end up with *worse* matchups than what they have now and (2) the Big Ten and SEC don’t want to give up bowl bids that they have guaranteed in-hand today (even if in practicality, they’re usually net beneficiaries in an “open market” bowl bidding system). The Capital One would probably be willing to pay up to guarantee that it’s actually getting Big Ten #2 vs. SEC #2 (as opposed to what it has received in reality in every season since 2005, which has been Big Ten #3 vs. SEC #3 since both of those conferences have received a BCS bowl at-large bid every year). Outside of having access to Notre Dame once in awhile, the Capital One really doesn’t want/need access to anyone outside of the Big Ten/SEC (Pac-12 teams are pretty much useless to that bowl) and the Cotton is certainly going to want a Big 12 team every year.

            As bullet intimated, they’re really just going to be slapping a BCS (or whatever we’re going to call the new system) label on the Cotton and Capital One (or maybe the Outback Bowl gets the nod since the Citrus Bowl facilities are terrible and Tampa still has relatively close access to the Disney industrial complex in Central Florida, which can’t be underestimated as an influence since ESPN is likely paying for this whole shindig) without really changing the matchups themselves.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            I’m divided on what to think Brian. What you say makes sense, but if the Big Ten and SEC the new bowls are current Big Ten/SEC/Big 12 bowls, those conferences aren’t going to want them go away for nothing. I guess the end of the 2 team rule is something, but I’m still divided on what I think the outcome will be.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Eric,

            Expect the worst. They may surprise us and not achieve the worst possible 4 team playoff and 6 bowl system, but assume they will until proven otherwise. Then any decent decision they make is a pleasant surprise.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            I think the thing we lose in all the analysis is that depending on how the post-season is organized is that we’re looking at adding or losing just two teams to the major bowls over the current BCS system.

            If there are two semi-final games at college campuses (my preferred outcome) or at neutral non-bowl sites, then instead of just two teams not participating in the bowl games (although they play at bowl sites), we’d be looking at four. That means two programs that would normally be in one of the major non-BCS bowls would go to a BCS bowl (Sugar, Fiesta, Rose, Orange).

            If the bowls are used as the sites for the semi-final games with a neutral or bowl site hosting the championship game, then two teams are added to the BCS bowls over the current BCS system. No surpise the bowl organizers are lobbying for this result, especially those most likely to host one of the semi-final games if they’re tied to a particular conference (ex. Sugar Bowl and SEC).

            In the end, this isn’t really a seismic shift in the way things are done now–it’s more of a nudge. The more important development is the elminination of the AQ status, which may change some of the conference realignment dynamic. This will also give the bowls more leeway to pick teams they think will fill stadiums, get televsion ratings, etc. As Eric points out in his example, the Orange Bowl will be the most likely beneficiary of this arrangement in the near term as a program from one of the five larger conferences is likely to push out most any Big East program remaining in that conference in 2014 Also, if up to six bowls are clustered around New Year’s Day, then that means teams that felt like they deserved better status (ex. Kansas State) would be accomodated (although in the example above K-State plays Virginia Tech instead of Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl–perhaps that would be a step down for KSU in terms of opponent?)

            In fact if you swopped Arkansas and Virginia Tech in Eric’s example above, then the net changes from last year’s bowl lineup (in games that aren’t semi-finals) is that Michigan and V Tech would be in the Citrus Bowl and not the Sugar while Michigan State replaces West Virginia in the Orange (although if this were the 2000 Orange Bowl Committee making the selection, Michigan would be going to Miami and not Michigan State).

            One other observation that goes with this is the the bowls are going to have to clean up their acts. Dan Wetzel reminds us again in the article linked below that the bowl system is an epic example of crony capitalism with a recent history of outrageous expenses, etc. If the commissioners (and the presidents) don’t insist on cleaning up the way the bowls are run, then they’re going to look pretty foolish the next time one of these bowl presidents opts to have a $30,000 birthday party while charging the school for tickets for the band. See the link below:

            http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–bowls–extravagant-revenues-are-closely-examined-as-the-ncaa-mulls-a-playoff-system.html

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Eric,

      By raising the team limit to 3 from a conference, that will help. Removing the AQs so no more unranked BE champs make it will also help. Last year’s Cotton was #6 vs #9, so it was better than several of the BCS games. The Cap 1 was no worse than the Orange, and don’t forget that teams like Boise were skipped over and the new limits (it may be more like top 15) and system will be designed to reduce quality teams getting left out.

      Like

      • texmex says:

        6 BCS bowls does seem like de-valuing the process a little bit. Either way, they’ve got to stop letting Big East/ACC teams continue to participate that really don’t belong. That’s how games like the Cotton Bowl and Citrus Bowl become more popular. If they go to 6 BCS bowls, it needs to be the top 12 teams in the country

        I’m also not understanding the timing of all these bowls. They would really consider putting 2 games on 12/31? I can’t imagine the ratings would be very good as the only fans making sure to stop down would be those of the teams participating.

        Like

  45. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    200 years ago today, Louisiana was admitted as the 18th state of the Union and the first state west of the Mississippi River.

    Today is also the 209th anniversary of the greatest real estate transaction in the history of the world – the Louisiana Purchase. Without the Louisiana Purchase the Big Ten would only be the Big 9 or 10, as all of Iowa and Nebraska, and part of Minnesota were contained in the Louisiana Purchase, along with all of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and parts of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

    Like

    • frug says:

      The best part of that deal is that Jefferson’s administration only actually wanted New Orleans. But Napoleon needed cash and was tired of colonies and tell the US it was all or nothing, so Jefferson went ahead and bought 1/3 the continent in order to get one port.

      Like

  46. Eric says:

    Other interesting bit from the article bullet posted above was the bit about the campus home field not being dead, but with the commissioners “split about ’60-40.'”

    I would be very interested in hearing the details of home field scenarios.

    Like

  47. frug says:

    Texas St. is abanding the WAC in favor of the Sun Belt.

    http://texasstate.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1360831

    Seriously, when 1-AA teams are choosing the Sun Belt over you, it should be obvious that you aren’t long for the world.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      So the only teams that haven’t left the WAC (yet) for football by 2013 are Idaho, New Mexico State, and Louisiana Tech, with LT probably joining C-USA.

      Denver, UT-Arlington, Boise State, and Seattle will be in the league for non-football. But with only six total members, it’s still not enough for a viab conference
      Double round robin in basketball would only yield 10 games. What would those teams do the rest of the year?

      What a mess. I feel bad for some of these schools. Obviously I can understand why schools are leaving this conference but it sure does stink for those who are being left in the dust.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Its particularly hard in the west. There is the Big West which is trying to be a California bus league, the West Coast which is religious schools and the Big Sky which is FCS football. So if you are a public non-California FBS football and can’t get into the Pac 12 or Mountain West/CUSA you are out of luck. The Summit has some Dakota schools but is probably glad to have lost Southern Utah. The Southland is a Texas/Arkansas/Lousiana bus league. The MVC is a very good basketball league that doesn’t presently go any further west than Wichita.

        UTA will find a home. Some rumours have them going to the Sun Belt. They’ve talked about adding football (like DFW really needs 4 teams). NMSU will find a home. They have a good bb program. Denver, Seattle and Idaho will have a tough time. If Boise is left homeless, that’s their own fault. They helped damage the WAC by leaving and by scuttling the BYU to WAC project. If they are left homeless in a disentegrating WAC in their effort to get their football team to play on the east coast, that’s justice.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          UNT sources saying expansion announcements this week. Article says Texas St. to Sun Belt on Wednesday. The end is near for the WAC.
          http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20120430-unt-expected-to-join-conference-usa-this-week.ece

          Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Or, if Boise can’t get into the Big Sky, Big West, or WCC, maybe they’ll have to return to the MWC out of necessity. Big East football obviously would provide better competition and money, but Boise’s other sports HAVE to have a league to play in.

          Furthermore, if Boise were to return to the MWC, it makes one wonder if SDSU would want to stay in the Big East or return to the MWC themselves. They’re on an island enough as it is, and, short of the Air Force Academy joining, SDSU would be not just one but two time zones west of every other school in the league.

          One thing is for sure: there’s still a ton of realignment that’s going to happen, especially from the lower FBS levels on down.

          Like

          • OT says:

            The WAC will live on as a non-football entity:

            Boise State
            Idaho
            Seattle
            Denver
            New Mexico State
            Utah Valley
            Cal State Bakersfield

            (Sacramento State and Dallas Baptist are in the WAC for baseball only, though Dallas Baptist is likely to leave for the Missouri Valley for the 2014 season after all the other Texas schools leave the WAC.)

            One more school required for the WAC to get to 8 basketball schools. Candidates include Grand Canyon (Division II move-up), Incarnate Word (Division II move-up, though Southland is more likely destination), Texas-Pan American (more likely to land in Southland), Abilene Christian (Division II move-up, more likely to land in Southland), and UC San Diego (would prefer to be in the Big West instead.)

            Like

  48. cutter says:

    Dan Wetzel would like to see the top four teams in the playoffs, not the top four conferences. He also feels that the semi-final games should go to college campuses with the final game sent to the highest bidder.

    Not surprisiingly, he takes the bowls to task and points out the money that would be saved if campus sites were used instead of the bowl sites for the semi-final games. I like his answer to Hancock’s concerns about the media going to Manhattan, KS and wondering how Kansas State would be able to host them all (the answer lies in Green Bay, WI).

    He’d like to see on computer poll being used to rate the teams so that everyone would understand how they’re being evaluated. Teams could see, for example, how much weight is put on strength of schedule and put together their non-conference slate accordingly.

    Wetzel feels that bowl games lost their usefulness decades ago as a platform to promote the sport and that the bowls in toto have been horrible partners to college football. If the semi-final games are bid out to major cities, then CFB should get a much better deal from those entities than what the bowls have been able to offer over the years (especially with competitive bidding).

    See the article at the link below:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–potential-four-team-playoff-not-perfect–but-it-s-a-start.html#more-id

    Like

    • BigTenFan says:

      I usually don’t like Wetzel’s stuff, but I agree with points 2, 3, & 4 emphatically. We vehemently disagree on point #1 though.

      The problem with his argument on point one is that the PROCESS of determining conference champions IS OBJECTIVE. There is no subjectivity in determining the SEC champion – the SEC champion won it on the field.

      To me, it makes a lot more sense to let in a #5, 11-1 Big Ten champ (who OBJECTIVELY won their conference), rather than let in a #4, 11-1 SEC champ who the pollsters THINK is better than the OBJECTIVELY DECIDED Big Ten Champion. It was pretty much universally agreed in 2006 (prior to the NC game) that Michigan was a better football team than Florida (or at the very least, they were equals) – perception isn’t always in line with reality, so I’d rather stick to allowing 3 conference champs (rated inside the top 6) in the playoffs, with 1 wild card (that could be a conference champion or a conference runner up) – that way you place an emphasis on conference championships while guaranteeing all 4 participants are “rated” inside the top 6.

      I completely agree that the semi’s should be at the higher seeded teams stadium the week after the CCG’s and that you have to have won your conference to host a home game – to place even greater importance on the regular season.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        But in the event of ties, the conference champion is not objective. Maybe one wins because they beat the #4 team in the conference and the other didn’t. Maybe its because of the same polls that decide who’s #1 and #2. Most conferences nowadays have a provision to break their ties by the BCS if other factors don’t break the tie. Fact is determining the conference champion is not always objective. Its not like baseball where you can have a playoff.

        And Wetzel’s point is that determining the top 4 conference champions absolutely is subjective. You only pick 4 out of 9 to 11.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          But in the event of ties, the conference champion is not objective.

          1. Only conferences without a CCG can have a tie for the championship.
          2. In the event of a tie, the result can still be objective depending on the tiebreakers the conference chooses to use.
          3. Get over TX losing out to OU in 2008. They knew the tiebreakers in advance and didn’t complain about them. The rules were applied fairly and TX lost out. TX could have stopped that last TT drive and it wouldn’t have been an issue.

          Maybe one wins because they beat the #4 team in the conference and the other didn’t.

          That’s objective.

          Maybe its because of the same polls that decide who’s #1 and #2. Most conferences nowadays have a provision to break their ties by the BCS if other factors don’t break the tie.

          Those conferences have subjective tiebreakers, then, but they are designed to help the conference in the BCS.

          Every school in the conference has the ability to complain about the tiebreakers and lead a process to change them. If they don’t, then they should stop complaining about the results.

          “Fact is determining the conference champion is not always objective. Its not like baseball where you can have a playoff.”

          Right, because the winner of game 19 between 2 teams is clearly the better team, especially since one gets to play at home.

          “And Wetzel’s point is that determining the top 4 conference champions absolutely is subjective. You only pick 4 out of 9 to 11.”

          That’s a valid point, but taken out of context and distorted because that’s what Wetzel does. Of course choosing 4 of 11 is subjective. But it is generally less subjective than choosing #1-4 of 120, especially since the 11 had to do something to earn their status. The “wisdom” of crowds provides some guidance and the inclusion of non-champs in the rankings provides separation between the champs. Usually several champs stand out from the others on each end of the spectrum. To not acknowledge that is to be disingenuous.

          When is the last time the SB champ seriously deserved top 4 consideration? The MAC champ? The CUSA champ? When was the last time the SEC champ didn’t deserve to be considered? The B12 champ? How often is the BE or ACC champ a top 4 threat? In practical terms, it quickly changes to picking 4 of 4-5 (or maybe 6) not 4 of 11.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            The subjectivity can apply to any conference. You can still have ties in the division. We would have had a very messy one last year had Arkansas been able to win that final game against LSU.

            The point about 2008 is that it could happen again to another team. And while Frank points to Alabama as someone who shouldn’t have been left out, I’ve got more sympathy for Michigan 2006 who lost by only 3 on the road.

            And its still subjective with 4 of 11. With different schedules you are subjectively eliminating teams. Yes, SB, MAC, remaining WAC are pretty easy eliminations. But last year UH or Boise could have easily been unbeaten. It would have been pretty hard to evaluate them vs. Wisconsin with 2 losses for that 4th spot. Actually Boise was rated ahead of Wisconsin with 1 loss (but noone beat TCU in conference). And Clemson and WVU weren’t, at least on paper, that far behind Wisconsin.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “The subjectivity can apply to any conference.”

            Not at the conference champ level.

            “You can still have ties in the division.”

            Yes, but that isn’t a tie for the conference champion.

            “We would have had a very messy one last year had Arkansas been able to win that final game against LSU.”

            Agreed. I don’t know the SEC tiebreakers, but I seem to recall it would come down to the BCS.

            “The point about 2008 is that it could happen again to another team.”

            It could, but it’s really uncommon. Especially for 11-1 teams. You shouldn’t build a system around such rare occurrences, but instead accept that they’ll happen and just move on.

            “And while Frank points to Alabama as someone who shouldn’t have been left out, I’ve got more sympathy for Michigan 2006 who lost by only 3 on the road.”

            I have no sympathy for either, but I agree that MI had a better pre-BCS case than AL due to the road factor. If OSU and MI had played a few weeks earlier, MI might well have gotten the rematch.

            “And its still subjective with 4 of 11.”

            I know. I said it was. But it’s less subjective than 4 of 120. There’s an objective criterion that removes most of the teams.

            “With different schedules you are subjectively eliminating teams. Yes, SB, MAC, remaining WAC are pretty easy eliminations. But last year UH or Boise could have easily been unbeaten.”

            So you agree, it’s more like 4 of 6 in any given year. UH and Boise could have been unbeaten, but instead they weren’t even champs last year. TCU and USM were even easier to dismiss.

            “It would have been pretty hard to evaluate them vs. Wisconsin with 2 losses for that 4th spot.”

            I don’t think so. 12-0 Boise would have and should have trumped WI. 13-0 UH would have as well.

            “Actually Boise was rated ahead of Wisconsin with 1 loss (but noone beat TCU in conference). And Clemson and WVU weren’t, at least on paper, that far behind Wisconsin.”

            WI – 10
            Clemson – 15
            WV – 23

            That seems easier to choose from correctly than 4, 5, 6.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Dan Wetzel doesn’t like the bowls and doesn’t want to use them in any way, shape or form? Color me shocked.

      He’s still an obsessed hack.

      Like

  49. cutter says:

    Dennis Dodd ranks the best No. 5 teams in BCS history (1998 to 2011) that would have been kept out of a four-team playoff scenario if only the top four teams were used:

    1. Florida 2009 (13-1) (Alabama, Texas, TCU and Cincinnati were ranked ahead of them)
    2. USC 2008 (12-1) (Ranked behind #4 Alabama who lost SEC championship game)
    3. Wisconsin 2010 (10-2) (Ranked behind Stanford team with same regular season record)
    4. USC 2006 (11-2) (Lost to UCLA 13-9 in late game of season)
    5. Florida 2001 (10-2) (Lost regular season finale to Tennessee 34-32. UT lost to LSU in SEC Championship Game)
    6. Oregon 2011 (12-2) (Won Pac 12 Championship, but would be edged out of #4 spot by Stanford that Oregon beat during regular season))
    7. Ohio State 2003 (11-2) (#4 Michigan beat OSU 35-21 in season finale, both teams had same regular season record)
    8. Iowa 2002 (11-2) (Iowa was .28 behind #4 USC, but had better regular season record)
    9. Virginia Tech 2000 (11-1) (VTech’s only loss to season was game where Michael Vick was hurt)
    10. UCLA 1998 (11-2) (Lost “hurricane game” to Miami in early December)
    11. California 2004 (10-2) (Mack Brown more media-friendly than Jeff Tedford)
    12. Georgia 2007 (11-2) (#2 in AP, but computers liked LSU, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma more since they won conference championship games)
    13. Oregon 2005 (10-2) (One regular season loss by 32 points to USC)
    14. Tennessee 1999 (9-3) (Lost at Florida and at Arkansas during regular season)

    The conference breakdown is as follows:

    Pac 12 – 6
    SEC – 4
    Big Ten – 3
    ACC – 1

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/18912753/ranking-the-best-no-5-teams-1998-2011

    Like

  50. Larry says:

    It would be a better idea to take the top two plus the next two conference champs so long as they are in the top 6. If #3 wasn’t a conference champ and there are two conference champs #6 or higher – tough luck. This would have the advantage of spreading the bids amongst more conferences and giving teams a more clear picture of what they need to accomplish at the beginning of the year. It also strikes a better balance between things in the control of the teams (winning their conference) and the poll beauty contest. (All other selection rules the same as you suggested.)

    Home field for the first round makes the most sense because (1) half the fans wouldn’t have to travel twice and (2) higher seeds should be rewarded (3) Northern teams would occasionally get to play in their climate. I don’t expect this to happen though.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Weather wise, how much advantage would it really be for Big Ten teams to host playoff games?

      You don’t have to tell me twice that its’s a whole hell of a lot snowier and colder in the Midwest than it is out west or in the South. I lived in Indiana for five years and could not handle worse winters than that (props to you Michiganders, Chicagoans, and those farther west and north). But based on memories of life in the Midwest, that winter doesn’t really start until December, or halfway through November at the earliest. September is warm to hot. October is generally just about perfect(upper 50’s to upper 70’s) and November honestly don’t get into the 30’s until close to Thanksgiving. Therefore, it’s not as though most Big Ten teams experience a tremendous amount of cold weather football. It’s not like northern NFL teams like the Bears, whose regular season that extends an extra four weeks through the much colder December gives them a leg up on visiting opponents from dome stadiums or warmer climates.

      Seriously, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Michigan-Ohio State weekend the only (or one of only two) weekend where there’s cold weather across Big Ten campuses? Does that really give those teams THAT much of an edge over a visiting, say, Alabama, whose physical offense would adjust to cold weather’s challenges as well as anyone?

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        MiR – I’ve made the same argument on this sight a hundred times and the response is the sound of crickets. For most of the season the B1G plays in close to ideal football conditions. The Deep South in early September is another story with heat indexes over 120 degrees.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          I don’t like walking to my car when it’s that hot, sovthe idea of playing football in pads sounds downright brutal. I’m sure it was worse in Louisiana than here, but it hit 100 degrees something with 90%+ humidity like 20 days this past summer, including 12 days in a row. It was a stark contrast from Indiana. Of course, the winter was a breeze this year.

          But your point is valid: southern teams face more extreme heat than northern college teams with extreme snow/cold.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            They also have months of summer heat to adapt to the weather. They cramp up, but otherwise I think the fans suffer more than the players. A sudden jump to the cold would be a little different.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Alan,

          I’ve pointed out the actual temperature differences before. You not remembering them doesn’t mean they weren’t there.

          The weather for most of the season doesn’t matter for playoff games. Only December weather does. September can be miserably hot in the south, but that’s why there are more night games (LSU, especially) and southern teams playing each other.

          Like

      • BigTenFan says:

        I think the advantage would lie in the fact that pretty much every kid starting for a Big Ten school would have, at the very least, been through a northern winter – they know what it feels like outside in the first week of December in the north, and heck, they may have even played in snow once or twice in their career. Even if they haven’t played in it, they’ve definitely experienced it.

        Just for fun, I just randomly checked USC’s spring two deep, what I found was that 16/22 projected starters were from the state of California, and of the 6 that weren’t, only 1 was from a northern climate originally (Ohio). I’d be willing to bet the rosters at Florida, Texas, LSU, Etc. would look pretty similar.

        Say USC has to travel to Ann Arbor on December 7th. The daytime average on December 7th for Ann Arbor is 31 degrees with an average low of 25. The same averages in LA on December 7th are nearly 60 & 50 respectively. Your talking about kids who have probably never seen snow before, perhaps never experienced freezing weather before, being in a road stadium in the most harsh weather conditions they have ever played in.

        Perhaps I’m overstating it, but I do think it would be a big time equalizer for the Big Ten. We already have enough built in geographic disadvantages when it comes to recruiting – no way should they let the ONE geographic advantage we have slip away because “there’s too much at stake”.

        I hope the Big Ten presidents make a real stand on this point and say its home semi finals or bust.

        Like

        • bamatab says:

          I can understand the arguement of southern teams play northern teams at home because of home field advantages such as fan support and such. But in my opinion, to say that you have to have the freezing weather in order to beat a southern team seems like a cop out to me. If you have to rely on freezing weather in order to level the playing field, then that tells me that you admit that you don’t have the most talented team. Heck if southern teams should have to play northern teams in 30 degree weather, then northern teams should have to play southern teams in early September in 95 degree/90% humidity weather.

          Again, the home field advantage due to fan support I understand. The having to play in freezing weather arguement is a cop out IMO.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Get back to me when UF plays OOC games in another state. PSU came south in the heat to AL. OSU went to Miami in September. The northern schools do make those trips.

            When’s the last time AL went north in November (you always have an OOC game then)? AL has travelled to the B10 exactly twice since 1920 – PSU in 2011 and WI in November, 1928 (15-0 WI).

            And it isn’t that you have to have the cold weather to beat SEC teams, it’s that the SEC teams never have to face the disadvantage of a northern bowl. Different weather does disrupt a team, weather it’s a lot warmer or a lot colder or a lot of wind or rain or snow. Players have to adjust to that because their bodies are used to something else. Travel 1000+ miles into vastly different weather in the enemy’s territory and it feels a little different.

            B10 fans want an equal opportunity in terms of location, and if the at least some in the SEC weren’t concerned about the impact, the UF AD wouldn’t have said what he did. It works for D-III – I-AA and the NFL, but I-A has “too much on the line” for road games?

            Like

          • frug says:

            Northern teams do play down south early in the season for OOC games.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            I probably shouldn’t have suggested that northern teams won’t come south and play in September. I give PSU & OSU props for doing so. But you can’t blame 100% for not playing B1G teams in November since the B1G doesn’t play OOC games that late in the year.

            But I still say that the arguement that northern schools are at a disadvantage because you can’t play us in freezing weather sounds like you are trying to make excuses. If you are truely the better team, then you don’t need the weather to help you win. You should be able to do it straight up.

            Now like I said, I do understand about the travel distance and fan support aspect of the arguement. And I will go so far as to agree that there should be some northern bowls. But those bowls should be in domed stadiums like the one in Detroit and Indy. Southern fans aren’t going to want to sit outside in sub-freezing weather to watch a football game. And in the end that is what really matters. Heck that is the biggest reason why the B1G is playing their CCG in Indy. It would be hard for northern bowls to sellout their games in open roof stadiums.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bamatab,

            I probably shouldn’t have suggested that northern teams won’t come south and play in September. I give PSU & OSU props for doing so. But you can’t blame 100% for not playing B1G teams in November since the B1G doesn’t play OOC games that late in the year.

            Not normally, no, but part of that us by choice. IL was available the last 2 weekends in 2010, the last 3 in 2009 and had 1 OOC game in November in 2008.

            The future B10 schedules have 4 teams on byes in November in 2012, 6 in 2013 and 6 in 2014. But I’m guessing that any SEC team available then will be bringing in the Sun Belt flavor of the month or a I-AA team instead of having to travel.

            But I still say that the arguement that northern schools are at a disadvantage because you can’t play us in freezing weather sounds like you are trying to make excuses. If you are truely the better team, then you don’t need the weather to help you win. You should be able to do it straight up.

            But that isn’t the argument. The argument is that we never get to play the SEC straight up because most of the games are in SEC country, and the few that aren’t are still in warm weather locations. And that does favor warm weather teams whether you like it or not. The human body adjusts to the local weather, which is why a 75 degree day in April feels so hot compared to a 75 degree day in August. The northern teams are the only ones that have to make that adjustment, ever, and you can easily see the impact with northern players cramping more easily.

            Now like I said, I do understand about the travel distance and fan support aspect of the arguement. And I will go so far as to agree that there should be some northern bowls. But those bowls should be in domed stadiums like the one in Detroit and Indy.

            I’ve always said that. Even for the B10 CCG I prefer indoors so a storm can’t ruin the game. Certainly later in December is a bad time for a bowl game outside if you want fans to show up. But a playoff is not a bowl, and driving the local economy isn’t the point. Those games should be spread equally.

            Southern fans aren’t going to want to sit outside in sub-freezing weather to watch a football game.

            Northern fans don’t want to either, they just are willing to do it.

            Heck that is the biggest reason why the B1G is playing their CCG in Indy. It would be hard for northern bowls to sellout their games in open roof stadiums.

            Many B10 fans would prefer Chicago. I’ve repeatedly said it’s a bad idea, but I think the majority still want to see it. As for northern bowls, I bet B10/SEC in the Pinstripe bowl would do OK for ticket sales. Soldier Field would sell out, too. Sure you’ll have more locals than southern visitors, but how is that any way different from what the B10 faces?

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Brian,

            The B1G plays their OOC in the first weeks of the season. I applaud 2 heavyweights like PSU and Bama going head to head during the regular season as much as they have, but getting the SEC to shift those late season games against the likes of FSU / GT / Clemson seems unreasonable given the history of the rivalries. I would love to see IU vs UK football return but after that what long term rival could both conferences make sure went long term enough to build a rival?

            Asking Alabama to put PSU the week before the Iron Bowl seems a bit much, but getting a rivalry between Ohio State and Tennessee long term would draw national media support. The question is would the Buckeyes and Vols make the same long term commitment PSU and Bama did. Another thought would be Illinois vs Missouri now that it would be a B1G vs SEC game, or Nebraska vs Arkansas as a B1G vs SEC tilt.

            I know getting Florida to play outside of FL is tough, but how much of that is UF, and how much of that is the Tier 3 deals inside the state. FOX owns both mirrors down there, and they get the biggest $$$$ by having Florida schools play Florida schools. Sun Sports has UF and FSU I think, and FSFlorida has the Big East, Miami, CUSA, A-Sun, etc. In short FOX has a monopoly in FL, and not letting the teams play out of state keeps ESPN out of the mix. I think just saying it is all about UF is an incorrect statement. FOX wants all the schools to play at home with OOC teams they can pump up to fill FOX programming demand. If UF, FSU, and Miami went top heavy OOC, FOX would lose those games to ESPN / ABC / CBS.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Duffman
            Its all Florida. The former assistant AD at Florida is now Georgia’s AD and he is watering down the schedules and adding bad FCS teams. He’s starting to get some pushback and empty seats.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            When bashing Florida’s OOC schedule and lack of travel, it should be noted that the Gators do play LSU as their cross-division rival, and they play Florida State OOC every year. Most other teams don’t have an equivelent of the Seminoles on their OOC schedule, or the Tigers for their cross-division game. Just because Tallahassee and Baton Rouge are south of Interstate 10 shouldn’t be held against them.

            As a Tiger fan, I’m glad my team is willing to travel to Seattle, Tempe, Tucson, Blacksburg, Morgan Town, South Bend, Los Angeles, Chapel Hill, College Station, Tallahassee, Arlington, Atlanta, and even Columbus, but Florida just has to look up the road to find a consistently difficult OOC draw. If Tulane was a brand like Florida State, my Tigers might do the same thing.

            Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        Its not just about weather…its also about “home field advantage”.

        There is an acknowledged benefit to playing in front of a crowd that is at least rooting against the team you are playing. Playing Texas Tech in El Paso, Texas in Dallas, LSU in New Orleans, USC in Pasadena, or Florida in Orlando is a de facto home game for those teams.

        Explain to me why, when at every single level of football its acknowledged as an advantage, should all playoff games be played in a small(er) region of the United States. Especially when that small region provides an inherent advantage to a small sub-set of the FBS?

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Michael in Raleigh,

        Weather wise, how much advantage would it really be for Big Ten teams to host playoff games?

        Compared to having to play a road game, it would be a huge advantage.

        You don’t have to tell me twice that its’s a whole hell of a lot snowier and colder in the Midwest than it is out west or in the South. I lived in Indiana for five years and could not handle worse winters than that (props to you Michiganders, Chicagoans, and those farther west and north). But based on memories of life in the Midwest, that winter doesn’t really start until December, or halfway through November at the earliest. September is warm to hot. October is generally just about perfect(upper 50′s to upper 70′s) and November honestly don’t get into the 30′s until close to Thanksgiving. Therefore, it’s not as though most Big Ten teams experience a tremendous amount of cold weather football. It’s not like northern NFL teams like the Bears, whose regular season that extends an extra four weeks through the much colder December gives them a leg up on visiting opponents from dome stadiums or warmer climates.

        Go back and watch the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl. WI played in short sleeves while Miami players had full sleeves plus face covering gear on under their uniforms and were constantly huddled around heaters on the sideline. It was 50 degrees. Tell me that isn’t an advantage.

        Look at how the Tamp Bay Bucs do in cold weather games. Tell me that isn’t a disadvantage.

        The point is, it doesn’t have to be 10 degrees to impact southern teams.

        Seriously, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Michigan-Ohio State weekend the only (or one of only two) weekend where there’s cold weather across Big Ten campuses? Does that really give those teams THAT much of an edge over a visiting, say, Alabama, whose physical offense would adjust to cold weather’s challenges as well as anyone?

        Not every team is Alabama, and cold is a relative term.

        EX. OSU vs AL

        Columbus, OH averages
        12/1 – 47/28
        12/15 – 41/24
        12/29 – 38/20

        So unlike a regular season game, which will usually be in the 40s or maybe 30s, it should be about 10 degrees cooler post-Xmas and TV will want later games, making it even worse.

        Tuscaloosa, AL averages
        12/1 – 60/38
        12/15 – 57/35
        12/29 – 54/33

        So what starts as a 13 degree difference grows to 16 degrees in terms of the high, and AL is much less likely to have practiced at or below freezing unlike OSU. That is an advantage for OSU, but not a huge one.

        But there are colder places and more finesse teams.

        For 12/29:
        WI – 29/11 – even the high would be below freezing
        Miami – 74/62 – these players haven’t even sniffed jacket weather yet

        Are you saying that a 45-50 degree temperature swing, let alone winds or precipitation, wouldn’t have an impact on a team?

        Like

      • Think about what could be happening BEHIND the scenes with this debate.

        The bowls are scared to death of being marginalized. No, the Orange/Fiesta/Rose/Sugar will never disappear, but if the CFB powers decide to put semifinals in home stadiums and bid out the championship game, the BCS bowls will never be as powerful or important again. Never.

        Merely discussing home field semis MUST make the major bowls propose concessions. Like in Wetzel’s new article reminding everyone how corrupt the current bowl finances are (and his book Death to the BCS which made the same case in longer print)…the bowls might “win” the playoffs but they will have to become more “school and taxpayer” friendly. If the 10 million profit that the Sugar Bowl makes is cut in half, then the conferences and schools participating in the game get the other 5 million.

        Like

  51. bullet says:

    The definitive answer on the nonsense that the SEC is in the process of setting up a conference Tier 3 network that would pay them millions of $-from Mike Slive. He mentions all the talk and says that noone talking about it is from the SEC or ESPN.

    http://v4.texags.com/Stories/5027

    He doesn’t say it isn’t going to happen, but he clearly says that it is not decided on. Also makes it clear that with their committments to ESPN, it is difficult, 5500 events on ESPN over 15 years.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Also makes it clear that with their committments to ESPN, it is difficult, 5500 events on ESPN over 15 years.

      Surely there’s still plenty of quality content to televise:

      http://meat.tamu.edu/prime/archives/PC-1106.pdf

      Like

    • Andy says:

      Silve said at the Tiger Club in KC that he expects Missouri to be very, very happy with the new TV deal. The SEC will see a large increase in TV dollars, one way or another.

      He says they’re looking into different options. I’ve suggested all along that a likely solution would be an SEC network run by ESPN (due to existing obligations with ESPN). The SEC wouldn’t own the network, but ESPN would likely have to pay the SEC $100M+ per year for it.

      Leaked estimates had SEC tv dollars projected at $28M per school. It may be higher or lower than that but I expect it to be in that general area.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        If ESPN agrees to any deal along those kinds of options, they’re probably going to demand an extra 10-15 years to the terms…

        I doubt they’d agree to an expansion of $ that big without a guarantee that they’d have the content locked up for a much longer period of time…

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Slive is going to say people are going to be happy in public. He’s doesn’t want to raise ESPN expectations.

          ESPN is absolutely not going to give the SEC money because the SEC is powerful (as you will see a lot of SEC homers say–not talking about you Andy). The only way the SEC gets more than a token increase is if they do something different that makes ESPN more money also. If they can, they may get $28 million. But you have to realize that means increasing the value of the contract from $205 million a year to $392 million. Even getting to the $21 million/year/school that the Pac gets involves nearly a 50% increase in the value-to $294 million. And that’s just the SEC side. ESPN has to make something there too. I find it hard to imagine anything new they could do that would nearly double the value of the contract, at least that they are willing to do. They aren’t going to play Tuesday, Wednesday or even many Thursday games. They aren’t going to 9 game schedules. And anything that involves 3rd tier content has already been partially monetized by the individual schools.

          And for ESPN there is the issue of inventory. They already have all they need. They had to split the Pac 12 with Fox because they couldn’t handle all the coverage the Pac wanted. There are only so many time slots on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU(and not much coverage or value in the latter). And as the Big 10 found out in a more favorable cable TV economic climate, getting carriage of a new network is difficult.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            The SEC population footprint increased by about 40% by adding Missouri and Texas. Even if you want to only count the eastern half of Texas, that’s still about a 30% increase. So there’s that. And then there’s the idea of wrapping third tier rights up into an ESPN-run conference network. That would add a lot of content, especially basketball, baseball, and olympic sports. There’s plenty of room to make more money here. I’m sure they’re working hard on it as we speak.

            There are SEC fanatics out there quoting crazy numbers like $40M per year per school. I don’t buy that. But I think somewhere between $26M and $30M is very possible.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Andy,

            “The SEC population footprint increased by about 40% by adding Missouri and Texas. Even if you want to only count the eastern half of Texas, that’s still about a 30% increase. So there’s that.”

            Considering CBS and ESPN are already carried and viewed in TX and MO, even calling for a 30% increase is a huge stretch. How many more viewers will those networks get by TAMU and MO joining the SEC than they get now? That’s the real question, and the answer isn’t 30%.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Andy;
            I saw a Houston poster list the highest rated games in Houston over a couple year period. As I recall, 5 involved Texas (only 1 vs. A&M, rest vs. 4 different opponents), 3 involved Houston, 1 was A&M vs. OU and 1 was an SEC game. East Texas is not virgin territory for the SEC. And there’s no guarantee A&M does great things in that area. And there’s no guarantee you get many A&M games. Outside the state of Texas, LSU, Alabama, UGA, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and probably Arkansas and South Carolina are better TV draws than A&M. As ex-Big 12ers are keen to point out, the SEC is televised nationally, not regionally.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            no doubt Bullet and Brian, the two most anti-SEC posters on this forum, will be skeptical of the SEC’s ability to increase its TV dollars until the day it happens. Yours is the minority opinion.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Andy,

            no doubt Bullet and Brian, the two most anti-SEC posters on this forum, will be skeptical of the SEC’s ability to increase its TV dollars until the day it happens. Yours is the minority opinion.

            1. I didn’t say anything about “the SEC’s ability to increase its TV dollars.” I pointed out your short-sighted math. Those are not the same things.

            2. I see no evidence bullet and I necessarily agree, let alone that we are in the minority on this.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Andy,
            Since I grew up a UK fan and am married to a Bulldawg, I’m hardly anti-SEC. I do prefer a more traditional 12 team SEC than a 14. And I do believe in financial realism. I think those $28-$30 million figures FSU/Clemson to Big 12 proponents throw out are pretty unrealistic as well by virtue of the same math.

            Like

  52. OT says:

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2012-05-01/conference-usa-expansion-fiu-louisiana-tech-north-texas-san-antonio-charlotte

    Conference USA is going to 14 schools starting with the 2013-2014 school year.

    No “cage match” required between Louisiana Tech and Charlotte. They are both in.

    The 14th member of CUSA? Old Dominion.

    The CAA has lost Georgia State and Old Dominion. Looks like George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth will be the next ones to leave.

    ==

    CUSA East

    Old Dominion (bowl eligible in 2014)
    Charlotte (bowl eligible in 2015)
    Marshall
    East Carolina
    Florida International
    Alabama-Birmingham
    Southern Mississippi

    CUSA West

    Tulane
    Louisiana Tech
    Rice
    Texas-San Antonio (bowl eligible in 2014)
    North Texas
    Tulsa
    Texas-El Paso

    Like

    • Andy says:

      looks like the SEC/ACC non-conference fodder league.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Old Dominion and VCU got kicked out when CUSA was formed mostly from the Metro Conference. Charlotte left with the exodus to the Big East and the move to an all sports CUSA. They’re bringing the old gang back together. Now with WKU and South Alabama and Jacksonville for basketball, they could bring back the old Sun Belt under a new name.

      ODU, Charlotte, South Alabama, South Florida and UAB (as well as charter Sun Belt member Georgia State) have all added football since the heydey of the Sun Belt as a basketball conference in the 80s.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Maybe UTEP and UTSA or UNT move to the MWC after ODU and UNCC move up if Boise and SDSU don’t come back.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      That sound you heard was Michael in Raleigh’s head exploding as ODU got in CUSA over ApSU.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Dammit. A lot of alumni are pretty ticked off.

        Your post did make me laugh though.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. ODU said the report was premature. Although it may just be that their board hasn’t approved it yet.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          I’m completely neutral and even I have to admit it’s starting to seem a little weird. You’d think they would at least talk to ApSU about it.

          Like

  53. […] My (Hopefully) Final College Football Playoff Proposal: Four Team Bowl Event with a Flex Wild C… […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s