Frank the Tank Mini-Mailbag: Derrick Rose Postmortem and an 8-Team College Football Playoff

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Big Ten, Chicago Bulls, College Football, Sports
Tags: , ,

Time is a bit cramped this week with Thanksgiving upon us, so I’ll be tackling one mailbag question below this week. Also, I need to wallow a bit in my misery about Derrick Rose being out for the rest of season with a torn meniscus in his right knee after having just been out for 18 months for a torn ACL in his left knee. If you were following my Twitter feed on Friday night when the injury occurred, you probably were hoping that I didn’t have access to any sharp metal objects – it was a dark, dark evening. As a 35-year old Chicago sports and Illini fan, I’ve seen more than my fair share of debilitating sports moments, but nothing has been as bad as these back-to-back Derrick Rose injuries. I had dreamed of the Bulls somehow landing D-Rose in the draft back when he was still not even halfway done with his high school career at Simeon and the night that the franchise won the 2008 NBA lottery with a 1.7% chance was the greatest off-the-field sports moment that I had ever witnessed (if that makes sense). By the end of his rookie season, he had quickly vaulted to one of my 5 favorite athletes of all-time (the others being Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Frank Thomas and Illini era Deron Williams). So, this has been an excruciating process to witness and there’s a palpable feeling here that Rose may end up on the list of “What might have been?” athletic enigmas such as Gale Sayers, Bill Walton and Bo Jackson. From an overall Bulls team perspective, the franchise is now in the “basketball hell” danger zone where they’re not good enough to win a championship yet not bad enough (even with Rose being out and presumably trading Luol Deng and his expiring contract) to realistically tank to get a legit shot at a top 5 lottery pick in next summer’s loaded draft. (Granted, I’ll keep praying for the sports gods to throw us the bone of Rose’s fellow Simeon alum Jabari Parker ending up in a Bulls uniform.) In summary, thank goodness for the Blackhawks!

Now for our mini-mailbag question for the week (with a full-blown mailbag coming after Thanksgiving):

Yes, I believe that it’s inevitable for the playoff system to go to 8 just as it was only a matter of time that we went from 2 teams playing for the championship to a 4-team playoff. I would never have said that 2 years ago, but the tea leaves are there for further playoff expansion. Now, as I had intimated in playoff system proposals posts previously (such as this one about a hypothetical 4-team playoff system 3 years ago that actually turned out to be fairly close to what the CFP will look like), the critical question is, “Does this make sense for the Big Ten and SEC?” Anyone can slap together a playoff system that he or she personally would like to see, but the challenge is always about whether the power conferences would ever agree to it.

In this case, there’s a fairly heavy incentive for the power conferences to eventually expand the playoff to 8 teams if they can do the following: all 5 power conference champs would receive an auto-bid. That provides a host of benefits for the power conferences compared to the 4-team system, such as (a) a guaranteed playoff slot annually and all of the money that comes with that, (b) guaranteeing that their respective conference championship games become de facto annual playoff games under their complete control and all of the money that comes with that and (c) making each divisional race within each of those power conferences have national title implications in a way that would increase the competitive and media value of the regular season and all of the money that comes with that.*

(* Yes, I know that the Big 12 can’t take advantage of (b) and (c) as of now. We’ll see how long that lasts, as noted in my last post.)

Going one step further, there’s also an easy and logical framework to get that in place by using the bowls and their traditional bowl tie-ins:

Rose Bowl: Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ
Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. at-large
Orange/Peach Bowl: ACC champ vs. at-large
Fiesta/Cotton Bowl: Big 12 champ vs. at-large

If that looks familiar, it’s because I proposed that system in one of the earliest posts on this blog over 7 years ago. The irony is that this playoff system could expand the number of participants to 8 yet the bowls would actually revert back to their traditional roots more compared to the current 4-team system (i.e. there is truly a traditional Rose Bowl every year no matter what). In essence, it’s both progressive and traditionalist. Just imagine what a TV network would pay for those 4 games split up on New Years Eve and New Years Day, 2 semifinal games a week or two later, and then the national championship game on the open Sunday between the NFL’s conference championship games and the Super Bowl.* The Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Big 12 are all already receiving $40 million per year for their top non-playoff bowl contracts above and beyond what they’re receiving for the 4-team playoff, so there really isn’t any cap for how high those rights fees can go if those games are converted to single elimination playoff games. That’s going to be really difficult to resist.

(* Yes, these games are getting played in January as opposed to the common fan request of playoff games during December. Note that December TV ratings are materially lower than January TV ratings, the bowls are a contractual mechanism that allow the power conferences to maintain control over the postseason, and the platitudes that university presidents, conference commissioners and athletic directors have given about the length of the football season are mind-bogglingly disingenuous considering how much they have all whored themselves for the almighty dollar in almost every other conceivable way. Drawing a line in the sand about 2 or 4 teams at the most playing beyond New Years Day is completely arbitrary, especially considering that the other revenue sport of men’s basketball has a season that runs from Midnight Madness in October to the national championship game in April.)

Access for the non-power conferences would likely be a hot topic, although I’d have a hard time seeing the power conferences automatically giving them a national championship playoff slot every year.* There might be some type of provision similar what is with the current BCS system, where a top 12 non-AQ champ or top 16 non-AQ champ that ranks higher than an AQ champ would get a bid.

(* Yes, I know that’s not necessarily fair when the power conferences automatically get their own slots while the non-power conferences don’t receive automatic access. Like I’ve said, what matters in reality is what the Big Ten and SEC would agree to.)

I also have a difficult time seeing a playoff ever going beyond 8 teams (and an NCAA Tournament-style system that provides an auto-bid for every conference would be a non-starter for the powers that be), so any traditionalist arguments about further “bracket creep” are tougher to take seriously at that level. The power conferences can get favored access status for their conference champs and preserve or even enhance the financial values of their respective regular seasons, conference championship games and bowl tie-ins under an 8-team system that wouldn’t be possible in a 16-team scenario. The facts that (a) the 8-team playoff that I described above is such low hanging fruit financially with relatively little disruption to the current setup and (b) there will inevitably be controversies arising from who gets in and who gets shut out of the 4-team playoff are going to be driving forces behind an eventual expansion of the playoff system. The powers that be can state all that they want that the current CFP deal will go the full 12 years, but there will surely be an assessment in a few years about what an 8-team playoff would be worth in the marketplace that will open their eyes to change once again.

We’ll get to some other mailbag questions about the state of college sports and conference realignment soon. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

(Image from Wikipedia)

Advertisements
Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawks going bowling.

    Like

  2. tomdauwwg says:

    Spartans > Gophers

    Like

  3. Wainscott says:

    Gobble Gobble!

    Like

  4. Wainscott says:

    If there is an 8 team playoff (and I hope there is not one), I could see an opening for the first round of games on Christmas Day ( day the NFL avoids at all costs), the Semi’s on New Years (natural fit), and the Title Game a week later (Probably on Friday night to avoid the NFL playoffs while allowing fans to travel easier and miss less work than a Monday night game). Otherwise, the season stretches too long into January, and will lead to conflict with NFL playoffs on Saturdays and Sundays, fans not travelling to random sites on random, non-holiday weekends, and middling ratings vs. holiday time.

    I mean, a neutral site semi final on the second Monday in January is not going to be the ratings generator TV will want, and good luck getting out of town fans to skip work to travel. If such games did work, there would not be the present effort to bring more meaning to New Years, to move title games closer to New Years, and avoid random night games in January with half-empty stands (as those who can afford tickets work hard to make money, and working hard means not taking random vacations to travel to football games).

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Nobody travels around Christmas Day. That would be a non-starter. You either have to do as Frank suggests or have the first round a week after the conference championship games at home sites. Then you have to figure out if the 4 losers are done or if you try to “reward” them with a bowl.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        I left out that in this plan, the first round would be home games for the higher seed. Under any date arrangement, you cannot have 3 neutral site games. I hope the leaders that be aren’t that stupid.

        As for having it a week after conf title games, that’s hard core finals time for colleges, so I don’t see the Presidents allowing games then.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Final game is a different animal. It will be more of a corporate event than a bowl game type event. A New Year’s game nearly a month after the conference championship game will work.

          It will be neutral site semi-finals that will be a challenge. I think they will be a big enough event that it will work. A lot of these schools draw 70-100k fans. They will only have ticket allotments of 20-30k or so.

          How well those semi-finals work may be a function of where they are at.
          Atlanta is pretty easy to reach for most of the eastern teams. But it gets cold and isn’t as appealing a spot as Miami. So what’s the strategy? Have the Peach be the January 1 bowl when its not quite as cold (of course, we’re expecting snow tomorrow in Atlanta) and is easy for the ACC schools and their opponents to reach so they might be more likely to make the trip to Miami for the next round? Or do the reverse and make the 2nd round easier to reach and have Atlanta as a quick trip with Miami being the New Year’s vacation?

          Same thought process with the Fiesta and Cotton. Or do you rotate and hope for the best? Also, the Big 10 might prefer the Cotton as a semi-final to avoid 2 long trips if they get to the semis.

          Like

        • @Wainscott – The NFL actually has long been fine with having games on Christmas Day. In 2011 (the last time that Christmas Day fell on a Sunday), they had a nationally-televised prime time Bears-Packers game (unfortunately won by the evil Cheeseheads). Other games were shifted to Christmas Eve on Saturday (along with the normal Monday night game on the 26th). Plus, I just see the playoffs being inextricably linked to the bowls, which makes home sites untenable. Remember about thinking like a university president: the big dollars are made from (a) TV rights and (b) high revenue corporate suites as opposed to most of us plebeian fans in the stands. Home sites might not affect the TV rights that much, but those corporate suites would absolutely be affected. Even the most posh college stadium environments (like at Ohio State and Alabama) can’t compare to what’s in most NFL stadiums and, more importantly, those suites can’t be sold months or even years in advance in the way that they can with neutral sites. Now, I think the powers that be care about traveling fans at some level (they’d prefer filled up seats compared to empty seats), but I don’t think that they care enough to forgo the much more lucrative locked-in suite revenue that would come from neutral sites.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Frank, you are incorrect in that the NFL does not like games on Christmas. For example, in 2011, all games but SNF were moved to Saturday to explicitly avoid playing on Christmas. SNF was the only game on Christmas Day that year.

            As for thinking like a President, I believe I am in thinking that the ratings of Christmas day games would far exceed ratings on other days due to the lack of competition (except from the NBA). I also think Presidents know that three different neutral site games cannot be filled up.

            Moreover, TV loves showing passionate fan bases. TV would much rather show Alabama vs. Baylor at Bryant-Denny than at a neutral site like Nashville. (TV would really love northern games where snow falls–ratings are higher because its more dramatic. I linked to articles on a past posts).

            Like

          • @Wainscott – Yes, I noted that most NFL games in 2011 were shifted to Christmas Eve on Saturday. However, the point is that the NFL doesn’t avoid the day entirely (and what’s more important is what they’ve been doing recently television-wise as opposed to the 1970s/1980s when holidays were more sacrosanct – 9 of those 18 games that you listed occurred over the past 9 years). Plus, the NBA isn’t competition that can be easily dismissed – those Christmas Day matchups that always feature the highest profile teams and superstars are actually much more formidable TV ratings competition compared to, say, the NHL Winter Classic on January 1st.

            Most importantly, I don’t think we can underestimate why the bowls are financially and legally important here: they are the contractual mechanism that allow the 5 power conferences to receive their own auto-bids (via their respective bowl tie-ins) without having to grant the non-power conferences the same type of access. It looks a bit different if you just put those same schools into a playoff pool and have them play matchups at home sites. I’m not saying that’s necessarily fair, but it’s important logistically in selling an 8-team playoff to the leaders of the power conferences.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            In the 90+ year history of the NFL, only 17 games have been on Dec 25th.:

            http://www.profootballhof.com/history/story.aspx?story_id=634

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Frank:

            1) NBA gets good ratings because it puts on good matchups and because it has no competition. The Packers-Bears game crushed the NBA in the ratings in 2011. The NBA also goes through phases of good players and bad. This is the most marketable the NBA has been (this being 2010-now) since your boy Jordan hung ’em up in 1998. As for me, I’d sooner watch the Yule Log than suffer through the NBA on ABC, and I know I’m not alone.

            2) In my proposal, the semi finals would be on New Years, like how it is in the 4 team playoff. None of that would change, so I don’t see major bowl opposition.

            3) I actually think on campus games is a big selling point of conference leaders, as presumably it would keep at least some of the revenue from the game, or at least, get concessions and the like out of it. A nice little perk.

            4) I agree that the holidays are less sacrosanct now (or in Thanksgiving’s case, an orgy of consumerism on the National Football Holiday), which is why I believe that CFB could cement a new tradition with three high profile games on Christmas. It could own the holiday.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            “Plus, I just see the playoffs being inextricably linked to the bowls, which makes home sites untenable. Remember about thinking like a university president: the big dollars are made from (a) TV rights and (b) high revenue corporate suites as opposed to most of us plebeian fans in the stands. Home sites might not affect the TV rights that much, but those corporate suites would absolutely be affected. Even the most posh college stadium environments (like at Ohio State and Alabama) can’t compare to what’s in most NFL stadiums and, more importantly, those suites can’t be sold months or even years in advance in the way that they can with neutral sites. Now, I think the powers that be care about traveling fans at some level (they’d prefer filled up seats compared to empty seats), but I don’t think that they care enough to forgo the much more lucrative locked-in suite revenue that would come from neutral sites.”

            Frank,

            I get your point, but the law of diminishing returns has to come into effect at some point when teams if teams are playing four neutral site games in a row: (1) CCG, (2) quarterfinals, (3) semifinals, (4) NCG. No working adult could have both the time and the money to go to all four games. Fans would have to pick and choose which games they would attend, and the seats would thin out. If your plan actually came to fruition, college presidents would EXPECT far below sellout crowds.

            Now, I agree that television revenue would offset the lesser revenue from fans. But I think that the corporate suites for all those games would not be able to sell for as much, especially in CCG’s. For instance (and this just a hypothetical), if Coca-Cola, an Atlanta-based company, is willing to pay, say, $400,000 for a suite each year at the SEC championship, it probably would be less willing to spend that much if the crowds reduce down by 40%, especially if there is a more valuable Atlanta-based playoff game worth investing in. Corporations want to put big bucks into big events, and if there is such an increase in big events, that makes the events, well, not quite as big.

            As it is, starting next year, teams that advance to the NCG will finish the season with three straight neutral site games. Let’s see what kind of effect there is on attendance and on corporate spending on suites. Heck, in the ACC, they have a hard time fulling selling bowl tickets and CCG tickets, and that’s with fans being asked to attend two neutral site games, not three. Even the more popular Big Ten has had trouble selling out tickets to the game in centrally located Indianapolis. The SEC has not had such trouble, but starting next year, there will be three straight games, and your proposal would have four.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Michael
            That’s why I like the idea of a home game the week after the ccgs for the first round. There’s no more expense than a normal home game. There shouldn’t be any trouble (although its true in FCS, some schools have had better attendance in regular season than playoffs) getting fans to show up.

            They will have time to plan for the bowl trip during the Christmas Holidays when many people have time off.

            Then there will be a little time for the title game.

            I don’t share your concern about the title game at all. It will be more corporate and less fans so it will sell out. But will the semi-final in 3 straight weeks in January work? That’s a risk.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Michael in Raleigh,

            “Even the more popular Big Ten has had trouble selling out tickets to the game in centrally located Indianapolis.”

            Just as a note, you can blame WI (or the lack of OSU/MI) for that. They were in both CCG’s and neither one sold out. This year’s is almost sold out (roughly 300 singles plus some suites are all that’s left) already.

            Like

          • Brad Smith says:

            Why not just use the current CFP EXACLTY – not a modified version? Just add an earlier Round 1 that feeds into the current structure?

            The only questions would be:

            1) Are there autobids for anyone?
            2) What are the selection committee guidelines? Weigh in favor of conference champions? Strength of schedule? Sexiness?

            Round 1 would be at the home sites of highest-seeded conference champions in the December 20-23 time frame. There are plenty of bowl games played in this window and travel would not be a significant concern because of the localized fan bases.

            Winners move on to the semi-finals at the already existing, pre-determined CFP semi-final sites. Losers would be among the conference candidates to fill out Rose, Sugar, and Orange Bowl slots and other bowl tie ins. Group of Five would still get an Access Bowl bid – but no one would have an automatic CFP playoff bid.

            2013 Example – assuming higher ranked teams win this weekend and selection committee favors conference champions in seeding and no auto bids.

            ROUND 1 – Friday, December 20 and Saturday, December 21
            #8 N. Illinois at #1 Florida St., at Tallahassee, Florida
            #7 Baylor at #2 Ohio St., at Columbus, Ohio
            #6 Stanford at #3 Auburn, at Auburn, Alabama
            #5 Alabama at #4 Oklahoma St., at Stillwater, Oklahoma

            Selection committee picks: PAC 12 champ Stanford, despite 2 losses and undefeated MAC Champ N. Illinois and one-loss Baylor….ahead of 1-loss AAC and MWC champs UCF and Fresno St. and 2-loss Missouri, South Carolina, Oregon, and Clemson.

            ROUND 2 – Semi-Finals – December 31, 2013
            Chik-Fil-A Bowl: #1 Florida St. v. #5 Alabama
            Fiesta Bowl: #2 Ohio St. v. #3 Auburn

            Consolation: January 1, 2014
            Rose Bowl: Stanford v. Michigan St. (Ohio St. replacement)
            Sugar Bowl: Missouri (Auburn replacement) v. Oklahoma St.
            Orange Bowl: Clemson v. LSU
            Cotton Bowl: Baylor v. Oregon

            NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – January 10, 2014
            ?? = Amazing!!

            Like

      • bullet says:

        And unless you move the season up a week, that first round in December does impinge on finals. But having home sites limits the impact. FCS, Division II and Division III are doing games the first 3 weeks in December so it would be hard for FBS to use that as a legitimate argument.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          FBS does use that argument that games must not conflict with finals.

          Now, I’m not debating the merits of having games then, only stating what I feel FBS presidents will say/do/argue. I understand the FBS argument and I agree it seems to fail because of what FCS does. Nevertheless, it is made, and the presidents ultimately run the show.

          Christmas is by and large a wasted TV day, CFB could own the day/night if it wanted–a day and night where everyone is home watching tv anyways.

          Like

          • gregenstein says:

            I have yet to see a conference realignment or playoff proposal that legitimately considered the impact on the study habits of the students, whether it be for finals, mid terms, or just plain old homework.

            Where was the cry from Oliver Luck stating that WVU javelin throwers are getting totally screwed? Or that the women’s basketball team spends more time during the semester in Texas than it does in Morgantown? Nowhere. They will not even throw it out there as a argument. In fact, they tout the benefits to their “student athletes” of competing against the best rather than the impact on their GPA.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Actually Oliver Luck has complained to the Big 12 office. The office has relaxed some rules that meant some late night travel for some of the non-rev WVU athletes. There were some having to get in at 3 am and go to class the next day.

            Like

          • Brad Smith says:

            Just to reiterate, FCS will have 8 teams playing next weekend – December 13 and 14.

            Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Yes, the other slant for an incremental approach to take is to keep the existing CFP but have play-in games for the semi-finals. If too many schools balk at playing an extra week in December, that requires pushing the start of the football season back a week, playing the Conference playoffs the week of Thanksgiving, then the quarterfinal play-in games hosted by the higher ranked team what is presently the conference championship game weekend.

        With that, the 12 “Big Bowl” slots go to the four semi-finalists (as at present), the four losers from the play-in games, and four additional picks, with the same mix of conference replacements for semi-finalists and at-large picks as at present. That allows the twelve schools for the big bowls to be picked the Sunday of CCG weekend, to allow the smaller bowls to make their picks, and then the line-up for the big bowls are set the Sunday after National Quarterfinal Weekend.

        Like

    • MIRuss says:

      All,

      I do believe there is enough time between the last conference play-off game and New Year’s to “Squeeze In” a quarter final or first round game for the schools that will be participating and it doesn’t have to be on “Christmas” or interfere with “Finals” (Again, I laugh out loud when I type this). With the exception of once every 7 years, Christmas falls on a Monday thru Saturday, opening up a time where you would have the opportunity to play the Saturday right before Christmas and presumably after finals (When Christmas falls on Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs) or the Saturday right After Christmas (If it fell on Friday.) That would still leave a week before the January 1st Bowls on Saturday to get a week of practice in. When the Christmas holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, things get trickier. But I believe the above would hold for a Sunday Christmas (Play Christmas Eve on Saturday, like normal) and then play on Chrismas Eve on Friday before a Saturday Christmas.

      Going into January is just a non-starter for me. I want college football over by the 1st week in January and I can’t imagine travelling to see my team play after the holidays.

      Otherwise…It’s all good.

      Like

  5. vp19 says:

    Love the 8-team concept with five automatic bids for the simple reason it takes much of the “beauty pageant” concept out of the playoff process; if you win the title in one of the power conferences, you deserve to play for the national championship, and that is that — you can’t be denied just because you’re not a “king” or don’t draw big TV ratings. Just make sure the three other teams are the three highest through a sort of BCS rating, and I doubt you would have many years when a team ranked in the top 5 wouldn’t qualify.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Good in theory. Bad when an unranked Texas beats #3 Nebraska in the first B12 title game in 1996.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Bad? For the ranked team maybe. But no, that’s why you play the games.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Bad in the sense that the entire regular season is devalued if an unranked team is in the same playoff system with top-ranked teams based on a season worth of success. I don’t think Nebraska would merit inclusion for losing to Texas, but that doesn’t mean Texas should get a crack at, say, Alabama, because it won one game.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            I don’t see why Nebraska WOULDN’T merit inclusion if its one of the two best remaining schools ~ even after the loss ~ once the five conference champions are slotted in.

            The inclusion of the at-large schools allows the quality of season to be recognized.

            And if its not among the best two remaining schools after losing to Texas (or, in some future strong Huskers team, losing to a fluke Big Ten East representative after the top two schools are both ineligible due to NCAA infractions), then it shouldn’t have lost to an unranked Texas (or future equivalent). Good is as good does.

            Like

          • Larry says:

            (Even as a Nebraska fan) Texas won. If that were the rule at the time, then UT should be in the play-offs.

            If you really want to have a guard against such a scenario, then you could have a qualifier “Conference champion ranked in the top 12/16/whatever” but I don’t think any power conference would ever want a rule that would keep their champion out of the playoffs.

            Like

          • Brad Smith says:

            This is why you have the selection committee. Say NO to auto bids. The selection committee can be instructed to weigh heavily conference championships, but it wouldn’t pick Duke or Arizona St. to go to the playoff over Alabama.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            If Texas won the conference championship with that win, then they’d already be in before attention turned to which at-large school to pick. And in either case, if Nebraska is still considered to be a top four team even after the loss, then they’ll get in.

            The job of an eight team playoff is to try to ensure that the top four from the season are in the mix. If it includes the top four, and a team isn’t a top four team is left out in favor of some “less deserving” school that is also not a top four team … well, those are the breaks.

            Like

        • Wainscott says:

          http://espn.go.com/blog/pac12/post/_/id/30370/what-do-we-call-ucla

          Had UCLA defeated Oregon in that game, it would be in a playoff with guaranteed spots for power conf champions. And that would have been simply absurd.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            No, it shows rankings are a poor way to set up a “playoff”. On field results trump rankings.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I agree on field results trump rankings, But a guaranteed slot to a title game winner is not necessarily rewarding on field results. Its rewarding one specific on-field result. That’s a big difference. I’m all for rewarding a full body of on field results over one game.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Its rewarding one specific on-field result.”

            No, they weren’t invited to the CCG, they earned it on the field.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I would argue that a .500 record is not “earning it on the field,” especially when compared to other, more deserving teams that would get left out as a result.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_UCLA_Bruins_football_team

            2011 UCLA would not have earned squat. Going 5-4 in conference play should not allow for any opportunity to compete for a national title.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Don’t dis on UCLA, etc. because others were ineligible. They won their division, and had they won the CCG I’d suggest its the presumption of superiority (that is manifest in polls) in certain teams/divisions/conferences that should be questioned.

            Like

          • Of course, a big chunk of that was actual division champ USC being ineligible. Had that not occurred, it would have been a very good CCG of USC against Oregon.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @ccrider55:

            I’m not dissing on UCLA as much as a .500 team in a power conference. That it was UCLA is merely incidental.

            But it goes to the very point and purpose of the playoff system: If the point is to conclusively determine the best team, then there should not be any guaranteed spots for any conference. If its to reward power conference teams with a shot at the title, then yes, there should be guaranteed spots. But the two are not necessarily the same thing.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “If the point is to conclusively determine the best team, then there should not be any guaranteed spots” period.

            Agreed, but why sanctify rankings/projections? Rankings are an abstraction usefull only because a full round robin of D1 is impossible. Using reg season as preliminary elimination rounds shouldn’t ever exclude #1 (barring upsets, but then were they actually #1?). We aren’t trying to decide #2, and we shouldn’t crown #1 prior to the competition.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Rankings are very flawed, and only a round robin would truly determine the top. But its the best practical way to sort through the teams. And by the end of the year, they tend to be fairly accurate (at least at the very top–there is always room to argue once you get below 4 or so. One of the other problems with the playoff system is that sorting through the jumble of equally worthy teams will cause some to get slighted.

            Take this year for example. Ala and FSU are uniformly considered #1 and #2. OSU is generally considered #3. You could make excellent arguments from 4-10, but in an 8 team playoff, at least 2 (likely more because of guaranteed slots) are going home. A Playoff just redistributes the controversy from #2 vs #3 to #8 vs #9.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            And I don’t care what some team that feels slighted thinks if they didn’t win their conference. And I don’t care if it is the result of the biggest upset of all time. They didn’t earn the guaranteed spot.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I don’t think the rankings are accurate at all. They are based on a lot of irrelevant factors: brand name, who was thought higher of in preseason, who the pollster has seen, who lost last, who was in a big game and looked good. The coaches don’t even watch the games and sometimes don’t fill out their own ballots. Writers are often lazy and not very bright.

            Giving an automatic bid serves 2 important purposes;
            1) It gets representatives from around the country; and
            2) It mostly eliminates the poll biases (at least with regard to the P5, who realistically, are going to have the best team every year).

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            But you’ll still need rankings, if for no other reason than to set up playoff brackets and select at-large teams.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Yes, but under what you propose, a conference that was not respected that year could have its 2 loss champion get left out. For example, Stanford this year.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Possibly, but not likely. Depends on the other schools. Obviously, in an 8 team playoff, you will have non-conf champs in the playoff. Its more if the schools are reasonably close. A 2 loss Stanford is not odious to me as much as, say, a 4 loss Stanford would be.

            Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        The point is, where does Nebraska stand AFTER losing to an unranked Texas? If after taking the SEC, BigTen, PAC-12 and ACC champions, it is not in the top 2 at-large schools, is it really one of the top four teams in the country?

        Its impossible for any system with “X” teams to ensure that “the Best X” teams are in the playoff, leading to interminable arguments over “the right” way to pick them, but who said the job of an eight team playoff is to ensure that the best eight are in the mix? That seems to me to be a false premise.

        Instead, if the best four teams in the country end up in the playoff, the system has done its job. Two of the top four are almost certainly going to be found among the P5 champions, so two at-large picks will almost certainly ensure the top four are in the mix.

        The Go5 is going to want to keep their spot in a big money bowl, but if there are two other big money bowls in the system, then a guaranteed spot for the best Go5 champion in a big money bowl and a spot in the playoff if they are ranked 16 or better might be enough to bring them onside.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          “Its impossible for any system with “X” teams to ensure that “the Best X” teams are in the playoff”

          It’s impossible to know who the best teams are, especially if we don’t count losses that “shouldn’t” have happened. I don’t have a problem if Neb was left out. They lost – to an unranked team – in the most important game of the season to that point.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Off-point, but in fairness to Nebraska, that was an under-performing Texas team. Ricky Williams, future Heisman winner and NFL rushing champion was the #2 running back. Priest Holmes, future NFL rushing champion was #3. Shon Mitchell, a sophomore, who later injured his knee and was never the same was the #1 running back. James Brown, the QB not the singer, did play in NFL Europe and the Arena League for a number of years. Defense was a little suspect, but the offense didn’t perform up to potential very often that year.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            I agree, but that’s the point. Shouldn’t a #2 team take care of business against a team that just wasn’t what could be? Do they get a pass? Was, for one game, UT the #1 team and we accomidate based on that one particular game?

            Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Moreover, if that were the case, then Ohio State, who has clinched a B1G title game berth, would be better off resting starters vs Michigan and rest up for Michigan State, knowing that beating MSU guarantees them a slot in the playoffs.

      Like

      • @Wainscott – I think an 8-team playoff is still limited enough where that issue is unlikely to arise. Any national title competitor would still want to protect itself by being highly-ranked enough to garner an at-large bid in the event that it loses its conference championship game, so that’s a disincentive for any team to take a game off. That’s very different from the NFL or NBA.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Fair point, and I wonder how the committee would treat a school that did that when considering an at-large slot vs how it would treat a major injury.

          This scenario though is a big reason why a 16 team playoff would kill everything unique and special about CFB vs. the NFL professional model.

          Like

          • morganwick says:

            The collapse of the WAC and concurrent growth of superconferences, as well as the success Northern Illinois has had recently, has made me much more skeptical about what would now be a 10/6 system compared to what was once an 11/5 system, but one reason I liked it was the one element of the NCAA Tournament that never gets any respect: precisely the fact the bottom few teams on the bracket would never, ever, ever get in if we just took the best 64, 65, or 68 teams. People always say that the regular season doesn’t matter in college basketball, but when you consider how fast the difficulty level in the first round ramps down for the top four seeds, it’s clear seeding does matter in a way that isn’t so much the case for lower seeds and wouldn’t be the case if we just took the 64-68 best teams. By the same token, in an 11/5 system there’s a lot of incentive to grab one of the top few seeds above and beyond simply getting the auto bid or qualifying for an at-large, and thus get a glorified guarantee game against whatever schlub C-USA or the Sun Belt sacrifices to the altar; as such, I don’t think it would destroy the regular season as much as the purists fear. Of course, that would require the university presidents to grant equal access to the champions of every conference, and we know they’d never do that.

            Like

        • vp19 says:

          If such bids weren’t automatic, you can be sure a non-“name” team that wins a conference title, such as Wake Forest in 2006 or Washington State in 1997, wouldn’t be considered for an 8-team playoff simply because of name value (or lack thereof). If you win a championship in one of the “big five” conferences, you’ve earned your way to the playoffs — and that should be true whether you’re Alabama or Iowa State. If not, why should ISU, Wake or WSU even bother to compete?

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Those are fair points, but any such guarantee would have to come with a minimum ranking to avoid unworthy teams having one good game and getting an equal shot at a championship as undefeated or one loss power conf teams.

            I don’t agree that simply winning a conf title means you earned your way into the playoffs if the division winner is merely the least bad team in a particular division. A 6-6 UCLA would not have earned a shot at a national title because USC was ineligible and it upset Oregon simply because it happens to be in the Pac 12. Otherwise, why would schools in non-power conferences compete?

            Plus, the 1997 WSU Huskies were ranked #11 pre-Rose Bowl. 2006 Wake was #15 pre-Orange Bowl. Not quite the same level of injustice vs. unranked Texas or 6-6 UCLA, who only qualified for any bowl at all after losing to Oregon because it played in a conf title game, as they were 6-7 post conf title game.

            Like

          • I guess it’s all about what is more bothersome. In legal ethics, there’s the old adage that justice is better served by letting 100 guilty people go free than to send 1 innocent person to prison. The corollary here is that it’s better to let a lower-ranked team that wins its conference championship game into the playoff than to continuously shut out other deserving teams from the playoff altogether (which has occurred multiple times over the life of the BCS). Last year’s Wisconsin team that won the Big Ten championship might not have been an exemplary playoff team, but they at least controlled what they did on the field in a high stakes game. At least for me, that’s easier to wrap my head around as justifiable than 2009, where there were 5 undefeated teams that won their respective conference championships and multiple power conference teams with the same record. On balance, a deserving team getting shut out from an opportunity for a title shot is worse than a supposedly undeserving team being let in (IMHO).

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ Wainscott. No, I disagree.

            If some 8-team playoff travesty is actually agreed upon by the PTB, then the Conference Champs get in no matter their record, no matter how putrid their season.

            THAT is the key component that keeps the regular season nail-biting and viable. And THAT is what is important; keeping the importance of each and every game.

            Let’s take Wiscy last year as an example. If you say that Wiscy has to meet some threshhold, then assuming only 3 losses is the threshhold, why would Wiscy fight to win that game in Indianapolis?

            Further, that gives Nebraska an easy path to the playoffs (that is. they play a team with no hope). That is bad for Nebraska’s chances in the playoff.

            Put another way, the CCGs are devalued by some rule that excludes certain Conference champions. If Wiscy has has a chance, no matter its record, then the CCG will be hard fought.

            Further, if Nebraska cannot beat a 7-5 Wiscy, then Nebraska doesn’t deserve to be in the playoff.

            Further, why punish ‘Bama? In this scenario, ‘Bama would have gotten the 8th seed Badgers in the first round. Woot Woot!!! (for ‘Bama). You might hate that for ‘Bama; but you’d love that for YOUR team.

            Finally, stop thinking like a fan and remember to think like a Pres and a Commissioner. The point is the $$. The B1G gets the $$ even if pathetic 8-5 Wiscy is the B1G rep. in the 8-team playoff. NO WAY any power 5 conference agrees to any limitation that says their conference champ does not get a slot. Period. End. Of. Discussion.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Why play a championship game then? Upsets don’t count? That is what a playoff is for. You upset a higher seed…you move on. (Except for getting a do over in the BCS 😉 )

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @BuckeyeBeau:

            While a conference might not agree, they very easily could be outvoted by the other conferences if it would mean more potential teams for them in the playoffs. Using the old “Think like a President/Commissioner” line doesn’t automatically impact that one bit, as at the end of the day, Presidents/Commissioners are a very selfish/greedy lot. The money will be there for the playoff regardless of automatic bids, since it will feature top teams competing for a title.

            Also, you use an example as having a Loss cutoff, which is unexplained. As opposed to an amalgam of rankings that have been used, in combination with whatever the playoff committee will cook up. Just Losses will not be it, though.

            Furthermore, Wisky is a perfect example of why an 8 team playoff would be bad. In fact, I’m trying to point out some of the problems that arise with an 8 team playoff, and discussions like these illustrate the point very well.

            @Frank: I’ve always thought the push for a playoff was designed to compensate for 2004 Auburn, but the cure might be worse the disease here.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “The money will be there for the playoff regardless of automatic bids, since it will feature top teams competing for a title.”

            But it has to compensate for diminishing income for all the reg season games not influencing the playoff. That’s a lot of games and income.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @ccrider55:

            Within a playoff, upsets happen. The issue is more the universe of teams that should comprise the playoff. If both teams, based on a season-long body of work are determined to belong in a playoff, then upsets are not the issue.

            This is also why the forced division set up is a problem that could easily be rectified if conferences were able to plot the two top teams in the conf in a title game, rather than worry about even divisions.

            Like

          • gregenstein says:

            Wainscott – I don’t think you’ll ever see it come to pass that a conference champ from a Power 5 conference would not be admitted to a playoff, no matter how said champion was determined. To prove this point:

            -I recall a Nebraska team that lost it’s final regular season game and thus missed the conference title game. Under the 8 team playoff, they probably still get an invite as at-large, so point is moot.
            -Everyone remembers Alabama winning the National Title a couple years ago without even winning their conference. Again, they probably get an invite if an 8 team playoff existed that year.
            -Everyone remember 2003? That was the year USC and LSU split a national title. In a 8 team playoff, they both are in the dance.

            In other words, the best thing you are hoping to do is prevent a “bad” from entering the playoffs. Statistically, it’s very likely that, at a minimum, 3 of the AQ champs will be the best of their conference. So you’ve got 3 deserving champs (probably all ranked in top 10 and 2 of them for sure top 6) and 3 at-large bids that go to the best of the rest according to the beauty pageant. So at worst, a bad conference champ is preventing the #5 or #6 BCS team from entering the playoffs. That’s an acceptable casualty when you’re talking about having a decent playoff.

            I’ll say this too, it increases the importance of the regular season for the Power 5 teams. if you’re in a weak power conference division, every one of those games means something.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @Wainscott.

            Per my post below, I oppose ANY playoff. So, in that sense, I agree. This is a disease and none of it is good.

            But, as also noted below, there is the common cold and there is flesh-eating bacteria. If we are going to be diseased, let’s have the least painful one.

            In that regard, FtT’s imagined 8-team playoff is not the worst imaginable disease particularly if the conference champs from the P5 get automatic berths. There are many pluses that appeal to this traditionalist including preserving all the bowls and returning the Rose bowl to a pure B1G vs. PAC with no “losses” to the NCG.

            On the other hand, I think more beauty contests, polls and computers is MORE disease. With FtT’s suggested format, 5 teams are ‘selected’ by on-the-field performance (no matter how putrid their records). The beauty contest then is only for the remaining 3. The percentage gets better. now it’s 100% beauty contest; next year again 100%. Booooo!!!!

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “In legal ethics, there’s the old adage that justice is better served by letting 100 guilty people go free than to send 1 innocent person to prison.”

            1. Legal and ethics don’t really go together.

            2. Many people disagree with that basic tenet of the law. They’d much rather convict all 100 guilty people and a few innocent ones accidentally.

            3. The law fails at its adage anyway, based on all the overturned convictions from DNA evidence in the past few years. That just gives more fuel to those who want to convict all the guilty ones anyway.

            4. That adage definitely doesn’t apply to many other areas of life, such as national (or even self-) defense or medicine. Who’s to say it does or should apply to CFB?

            I’ve said this before, but one fundamental problem is that fans fall into different camps. Some fundamental splits:

            a. best team all year vs best team in the postseason

            b. most deserving team vs best team

            c. AQs vs non-AQs

            d. bias vs fair

            e. home sites vs neutral sites

            f. objective (computer rankings, etc) vs subjective (eye test, etc)

            g. autobids vs best teams

            h. everything that is good and special about CFB vs a playoff

            Fans don’t agree on what the postseason should be, who should be in it, how to evaluate teams, where games should be played or anything else. You’ll never please them because they want different things.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            a. best team all year vs best team in the postseason

            b. most deserving team vs best team

            c. AQs vs non-AQs

            d. bias vs fair

            e. home sites vs neutral sites

            f. objective (computer rankings, etc) vs subjective (eye test, etc)

            g. autobids vs best teams

            h. everything that is good and special about CFB vs a playoff

            I think the difference is more evaluating these differences. Everyone wants the best team all year to be the champ. But determining who that is is pretty difficult. Same on your b. I think the most deserving team should get in because the methods of evaluating the “best” team are BS. The AQs vs. non-AQs has to do with strength of schedule and balancing the number of games and health of the student-athletes. Its not “fair” to leave out some champs, but the price is too high for many. Some people have preference for home or neutral, but most just want something that works. Computer rankings aren’t objective. With 12 games you can’t do a meaningful sample. Eye tests are virtually worthless because of the bias of the observers (good defense is better than good offense, AQ better than non-AQ, brand name better than non-name, etc.). Autobids are practical. They also deal with the flaws in “objective” and “subjective” rankings. People disagree on what is good and special. I think bowls have become a greedy, hypocritical manipulation (cue Brian’s comment on schools….) with a lot of meaningless games even the teams and their fans don’t care about.

            I don’t think people are so set on their differences, just on their evaluation of the various items.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And I very strongly agree with Frank. If you have a playoff, its not legitimate if a team that might be the best doesn’t even get to play. If “not the best team” wins because you have 8 instead of 4, at least the “best team” had a chance on the field of play instead of being shut out in a committee room.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            f. objective (computer rankings, etc) vs subjective (eye test, etc)

            g. autobids vs best teams

            h. everything that is good and special about CFB vs a playoff

            “Everyone wants the best team all year to be the champ.”

            No, they don’t. I’ve seen people say they want the best team at the end of the year no matter if they lost a few games early.

            “But determining who that is is pretty difficult.”

            It’s literally impossible. There isn’t enough data.

            “Same on your b. I think the most deserving team should get in because the methods of evaluating the “best” team are BS.”

            But many people prefer to reward the highest SOS and/or best wins rather than try to evaluate which team is actually best. See this year’s narrative comparing teams based on their SOS, not how they’ve actually played (and I’m not saying OSU would be top 2 if the narrative changed).

            “Computer rankings aren’t objective. With 12 games you can’t do a meaningful sample. Eye tests are virtually worthless because of the bias of the observers (good defense is better than good offense, AQ better than non-AQ, brand name better than non-name, etc.).”

            It depends who you ask. Many people swear by stats/computers and think any human input is a crime. Others think the numbers are bunk and shouldn’t be considered at all.

            “Autobids are practical.”

            They are? How so? They stirred up a long argument on here already.

            “I think bowls have become a greedy, hypocritical manipulation”

            I think they always were. Why does everyone suddenly care about it now? It’s been over 100 years.

            “with a lot of meaningless games even the teams and their fans don’t care about.”

            In general, player interviews disagree with you. Most players really enjoy their bowl experiences, even if they are crappy bowls.

            Fans grow more cynical all the time. If their team isn’t in the BCS/playoff anymore, they don’t care. That’s a fan problem, not a bowl problem.

            “I don’t think people are so set on their differences, just on their evaluation of the various items.”

            I think they are. I think some people would physically fight over it given the chance.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “And I very strongly agree with Frank. If you have a playoff, its not legitimate if a team that might be the best doesn’t even get to play.”

            That’s a lovely sentiment, but completely useless. What does “might be the best” actually mean? Any team with a 1% chance of winning the playoff? The hottest teams in December? The best records over the season? The top teams in the polls?

            I’d suggest that a lot more than 8 teams could claim that they might be the best team in any given year.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            Autobids are practical in that they are a practical solution to the problem of evaluating teams accurately.

            There ARE people who swear by computers. I’m guessing very few of those are math people. If you understand statistics you know that with 12 games you just don’t have a reasonably sized sample. Computers are more valid with basketball where there is a bigger sample size. And ultimately, computer rankings are a subjective evaluation of what is important. Garbage in, garbage out.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            “I’d suggest that a lot more than 8 teams could claim that they might be the best team in any given year.”

            I’d like to see you make that argument on any given year. 2007 maybe. I can’t think of any others.

            Like

          • frug says:

            There ARE people who swear by computers. I’m guessing very few of those are math people. If you understand statistics you know that with 12 games you just don’t have a reasonably sized sample.

            Actually, computer rankings/projections in CFB have proven to be amongst the most accurate of any sport in spite of the small sample size (at least when they aren’t banned from considering MOV). The extreme disparity and incredible year to year stability of the sport are the primary causes.

            The disparity causes teams to very quickly establish how good they really are and the low volatility makes it easy to test various systems.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “Autobids are practical in that they are a practical solution to the problem of evaluating teams accurately.”

            To you, maybe. Lots of other people clearly disagree.

            “There ARE people who swear by computers. I’m guessing very few of those are math people. If you understand statistics you know that with 12 games you just don’t have a reasonably sized sample. Computers are more valid with basketball where there is a bigger sample size. And ultimately, computer rankings are a subjective evaluation of what is important. Garbage in, garbage out.”

            But human polls or committees are completely subjective. They have clear biases built in and do nothing to really prevent them from influencing the result. The computer people swear by them because they treat each team equally in the math, not adjusting for brand name, conference reputation, personal relationships with the coaches, etc.

            You can easily apply GIGO to human polls and the committee, too.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “I’d like to see you make that argument on any given year. 2007 maybe. I can’t think of any others”

            It’s trivial. Every undefeated team can claim that, and frankly so can almost any 1 loss team. Even a 2 loss team with extenuating circumstance could make the claim. There is so little crossover in schedules that all those claims have some validity.

            2013
            Obvious cases:
            AL, FSU, OSU, NIU, Fresno – undefeated

            Decent cases:
            OkSU – 1 fluke loss
            Baylor – 1 road loss to a great team on a bad night/matchup
            Clemson – 1 loss to a great team on a bad night/matchup
            UCF – 1 close road loss to really good team
            MSU – 1 road loss due to bad calls
            WI – 1 road loss to great team on a bad night/matchup and 1 loss due to bad refs
            Auburn – 1 road loss to a really good team on a bad night/matchup
            MO – 1 OT loss to a really good team on a bad night/matchup

            That’s 13 teams with an easy case right now, and most of them legitimately could win an 8 team playoff. A few of them will lose, but I think it makes my point. It depends what you consider a valid case.

            Like

          • Brad Smith says:

            What happens when the MWC or AAC (miraculously), on the whole, has a better year than the PAC 12 or Big Ten? The PAC 12 and Big Ten champions get an automatic bid merely because they are part of a “big five” conference? The MWC and AAC champ do not get an auto bid because they are not?

            Say NO to auto bids. They are lame and perpetuate the myths and flaws of the system. The “big five” have their bowl-ties and contracts – and they can and should still have that. But keep automatic bids out of the playoff.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Brad Smith,

            “What happens when the MWC or AAC (miraculously), on the whole, has a better year than the PAC 12 or Big Ten?”

            Hell freezes over? Dogs and cats living together?

            Seriously, feel free to point out any season for which you could make the case for that happening. The middles and bottoms of those conferences are terrible every year.

            “The PAC 12 and Big Ten champions get an automatic bid merely because they are part of a “big five” conference? The MWC and AAC champ do not get an auto bid because they are not?”

            Exactly.

            Like

      • jj says:

        All I know is that MSU gets f’d year after year in the BCS system. There needs to be a 100% do this on the field and you are in rule. Anything less than that is BS.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          jj,

          “All I know is that MSU gets f’d year after year in the BCS system.”

          No, they screw themselves.

          2011 – A dumb penalty likely cost them the CCG, then they fell out of the BCS top 14. How is that anyone else’s fault? They lost their chance on the field and were ineligible to be picked for the BCS.

          2010 – They shared the B10 title but WI won the tiebreakers, following objective rules based on the W/L results of games played. OSU was ranked higher and got chosen by the BCS for an at-large spot because MSU got crushed by IA. How is that anyone else’s fault?

          1998-2009, 2012 – They lost too many games to be a BCS option. How is that anyone else’s fault?

          Like

          • JJ says:

            Don’t care to rehash it a billion times.

            Obviously, an OSU guy is going to like the beauty contests.

            You and i know full well that “deserves” has got nothing to do with bowl selection.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            JJ,

            “Obviously, an OSU guy is going to like the beauty contests.

            You and i know full well that “deserves” has got nothing to do with bowl selection.”

            I never claimed “deserves” has anything to do with it. But you claimed MSU got f’d year after year by the BCS. They were only BCS worthy in at most 2 of the previous 15 years, which makes the “year after year” part of your claim questionable. Of those 2 years, they weren’t even technically eligible in one of them.

            So where is the getting f’d year after year by the BCS?

            Like

  6. Pennstate Danny says:

    Two random thoughts:

    1) You really didn’t get that many comments back in 2006.
    2) Two and a half Men is STILL on the air.

    Like

  7. Boiler Bart says:

    On the road to 68, too many in basketball too many in football.

    Like

  8. Pat says:

    Go Blue!

    Like

  9. ccrider55 says:

    Regarding the unreasonable expectation of fans in the previous post, I’m a fan of Bill Moss:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/washington-state-ad-bill-moos-keeps-no-bowl-160420180–ncaaf.html

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I think that’s a bad attitude by an AD. Now President Powers at Texas referred to some of those who respond like those nasty e-mails as people who go home and kick their dog when the team loses. He doesn’t listen to those people. But a blackball list is not a good idea for your customers.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Bill Moos stood firm with Phil Knight while building a university program at U of O. He got bought out and the ducks had an AD with no degree (see: problems with compliance, administration, T9, etc), but who did get the corporate foothold entrenched at the U of Swoosh. Moos gave up 1/4 mill per year to become AD at WSU. His separation agreement gave him that if he didn’t take an AD position west of the misisiippi.

        While I probably would take Powers position I understand and admire a competitor (former all coast OL for the Cougars) building a team that pulls in the same direction, and has reasonable expectations and/or can reasonably articulate disagreement. Buying a ticket and professing support (while expressing the opposite?) does not bestow ownership rights.

        Like

  10. BuckeyeBeau says:

    I think most know where I stand on all this. Even though I applaud B1G expansion, I am, at heart, a traditionalist. I oppose this current soon-to-be four team playoff. I hate the BCS system. The old Bowl system was fine. I have no problem with more than one team claiming a national championship. I think people who insist that there be only one national champion and only one method of determining the NC are the equivalent of overly-indulged self-entitled children.

    Yes, I realize that is at odds with 95% of this Board and 99.9% of CFB fans. I know this makes me a dinosaur and I don’t care. You are all wrong. GET OFF MY LAWN.

    That being said, I must sadly concur that, for the reasons set forth by FtT, an 8-team playoff, as set out by FtT, actually has more compelling logic than the current 4-team playoff. As Frank says, it has a tremendous traditionalist component that will be mesmerizing. Plus all the $$.

    Makes me a bit nauseous, but I don’t see how the PTB can possibly resist (particularly if done as FtT describes).

    All the bowls protected. The only thing needed is a couple of neutral-site semi-finals.

    If it has to happen, here is my wish: the B1G only goes along by insisting that one semifinal must ALWAYS be in the North.

    It is somewhat of a consolation prize that a 16-team playoff has no such compelling logic. So, maybe 8 and we’re finally done?

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Ironically, the fiction of “no games during December finals” is likely the only thing preventing a 16 team playoff (let alone the 32-team FCS playoffs, where there are still debates about teams who got slighted and left outside the field of 32).

      I actually agree with you. I would be content with old bowls, with the twist of then matching up 1 vs 2 afterwards. CFB is unique because of its ad hoc post-season structure. If you need a professional style, neat and easy playoffs, that’s what the NFL is for. But talk to me when the #1 seed sits everyone in the last week of the season to rest up for the playoffs–especially after you’ve paid full price for your ticket to see a glorified pre-season game.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        @Wainscott. That’s why I love this board. I know at least 5% of the people on here would be perfectly happy to return to the old bowl system. Can’t find that anywhere else.

        Btw, I understand your dislike of “undeserving” teams with putrid records. But, in fairness to Wiscy, UCLA and Ga. Tech, it’s not their fault they ended up playing the CCGs. In all cases, NCAA sanctions prevented a better team from that division making the CCG.

        Any 8-team playoff needs to take that into account. No P5 conference should suffer just because 1, 2 or more of its teams are on probation.

        okay okay. I’m laughing …. barely got that written before I started laughing.

        I withdraw the point. But stand by my view that Conf. Champs go regardless of how pathetic they are (like Wiscy was last year).

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          @BuckeyeBeau:

          And admittedly, UCLA in 2011 is an extreme example, like Texas over Nebraska in 1996. But also, those teams did not exactly tear it up non-conference either. Certainly some conferences and divisions will have off years, and non-conference schedules will be strong or weak, but its not like any of them took care of business. OSU this year doesn’t have the best schedule, but they are getting it done (and hardcore-style in the last few weeks).

          Likely, there will be guaranteed slots, but those guarantees might make the playoff look more foolish than comprehensive in some years.

          Now, I’m surprised though that you’re not more upset with the possibility of Frank’s system stretching 3 or 4 weeks into January. I would think that would be unacceptable to a traditionalist such as yourself.

          Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            You make a good point about the season stretching into January. I had neglected that aspect.

            But FtT proposed that the quarterfinals were done in the traditional big bowls. “Just imagine what a TV network would pay for those 4 games split up on New Years Eve and New Years Day.”

            I think, for me, it’s a “choose-your-battle” decision.

            If we must end up with some sort of 8-team playoff, at least keep the bowls in place, keep the Rose Bowl, et. al., on Jan 1st and keep the whole of CFB looking like it has looked for a century plus. Then tack on semis the following weekend and the NCG on January 14th.

            The extra week for the semifinals has basically become tradition. This year there are what? like 8 bowls post-Jan. 1st. Basically, I am resigned to bowls post Jan. 1st. My guess is that will continue even in the Playoff Era.

            So, the only real addition here is the second extra week that takes the last two teams to a NCG in the second week of January.

            I’m not a fan; but I don’t abhor it. Having the NCG in mid-January is better than pushing the traditional bowls backwards into December.

            Assuming the Rose Bowl must remain on January 1st, the only other alternative is bad too: having the quarterfinals in the mid-december bowls or in mid-december game at stadiums on campus. That won’t fly. Too many teams/students playing during finals. With a mid-January NCG, that’s only two teams playing that late. All the rest are back to classes. That is probably a compromise the Presidents/Chancellors are willing to make.

            Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “I have no problem with more than one team claiming a national championship. I think people who insist that there be only one national champion and only one method of determining the NC are the equivalent of overly-indulged self-entitled children.”

      You aren’t as alone as you may think. The media echo chamber makes it seem more so, and they have no reason/incentive to not promote centralizing the attention on one, controlled event.

      Like

    • morganwick says:

      College football has been taken over by a lot of Johnny-come-lately general sports fans who have no real connection to any of the colleges and thus absolutely no idea what to make of it or, at this point, even what it was like before ESPN and the NCAA v. Board of Regents decision de-regionalized it.

      Since it HAS been de-regionalized, though, that “ad hoc postseason structure” is out of date (unless you want to somehow put the genie back in the bottle). College football is now a national sport, and it makes no sense for it not to be decided on a truly national basis. You just need to do it in a way that protects what can be protected.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        My god, that’s just so reasonable. How dare you challenge my emotion-laden rant with calm rationality !!! Booooooo!!!!! 🙂

        Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      Mr. Beau,

      IMHO, we are where we are because the traditional system often had split titles, without the “top” teams playing one another on the field…

      Once Cable TV arrived and grew into 24/7 OVER-coverage of everything—some form of a “playoff” in D1A was inevitable. We have been in an experimentation stage led by the power conferences and the power media (largely E%^N). Thankfully, the BCS in it’s current form is going away. IMHO, the powers that be have seriously diminished the value of all the bowls not titled “BCS championship”. This is due largely to way too much focus on who will play in, or become the (mythical) national champion (read: biggest beauty queen). TPTB turned the BCS into a weekly pageant based on idiot math (i.e. computers), and idiot (biased) voters (whether media or coaches). As a college football fan, this BS cannot be pushed out the door soon enough—imagine FSU and/or tOSU losing this weekend… see absolute BcS chaos. It’s bad enough when you have a potential felon that may be playing a game against another team (beauty queen) that gladly slithers in (by a whisker).

      A lot of the beauty queen BS inherent with this system will remain with the new 4 team “playoff”, especially considering all the hoopla with this “committee” (aka–pageant voters).

      Hence…eventually, there will be an outcry (the rumblings have already started) to expand to a more legimate number—8.

      IF the “power 5” conference champs are in—that removes 5 from the beauty pageant—meaning that only the last 3 are in a beauty contest… Unfortunately, I do not know a way around the contest, unless you stop at 5, or only consider conference champions across the board (doubt that’ll happen– read: Notre Dame).

      I dunno… 5 champs, 3 wildcards— as a fan, I can live with it. Field a mini-tourney to determine a champion on the field, and retain a little more value in the other bowls, ’cause the focus will be less on one or two teams, but on several—as there is more opportunity.

      Use the pageantry to seed 1 through 8. Higher seeds get first round at home. Bid out semi-finals and finals to bowls and/or individual cities/stadiums… Seems to me that it could work without entirely diminishing the value of the season.

      Like

  11. frug says:

    Two big problems with your proposal jump at me immediately

    1) It’s unseeded. I’d be shocked if they agreed to that, especially since they have said that the 4 team playoff will be seeded.

    2) You break up the SEC and Big XII. The only way those conferences are going to be make as much as Big 10 and PAC will make from the Rose Bowl is by playing each other. Remember, the SEC and Big XII had agreed to have their champs meet even before the playoff deal was in place.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “Remember, the SEC and Big XII had agreed to have their champs meet even before the playoff deal was in place.”

      A preemptive move? Had/if we reach four super conferences the CCG’s would be qtr finals, rose/whatever the semis, but no room for selections.

      Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      I just assumed the 8 would be seeded. But now that you mention it, I guess it would not be seeded since the Rose would be B1G vs. Pac, etc.

      Maybe you only seed for the semis?

      I assume some sort of selection committee would be used to select the other 3 teams. So, the Committee picks the other three and then meets to seed for the semis?

      As for the other point, you might be right. All five P5 conferences would have to agree. My guess is the $$ would be pooled in some way, so all 8 teams got some sort of equal share of some pot (maybe above a certain dollar line per first round bowl game).

      As noted, I don’t want this, but if we have to have it, I have no problem with an unseeded first round and I have no idea why the conferences would strongly resist no-seeding.

      Like

      • frug says:

        As for the other point, you might be right. All five P5 conferences would have to agree. My guess is the $$ would be pooled in some way, so all 8 teams got some sort of equal share of some pot (maybe above a certain dollar line per first round bowl game).

        I wouldn’t go quite that far; the ACC already makes less than the other 4 so I don’t think they would be in much of a position to demand an equal split*, but I don’t foresee the SEC or Big XII agreeing to split up unless they are guaranteed the same amount they could make by staying together (which isn’t really feasible) or the Big 10 and PAC agreed to split also (which isn’t going to happen).

        *This brings up another issue; I’m not sure the Orange Bowl would accept Frank’s proposal either. They only agreed to continue their current tie in with the ACC after the SEC, Big 10 and ND agreed to team up to ensure the OB a strong second team every year and even then the ACC had to agree to take less than the other major conferences are getting for their top tie in.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The Sugar is an issue. I think the Orange would be just fine with a playoff game regardless of who the 2nd team was.

          Like

          • frug says:

            I don’t think Orange Bowl would have a problem with serving as a playoff game; I think that without a strong guaranteed second tie in they would insist on just going At-Large vs. At-Large. They have tried the ACC vs. AL over the past 8 years and it has been a disaster.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Yes, but this at-large would be one of the top 8 teams in the nation. And probably top 5 as there are usually a couple of conferences with somewhat lower ranked champs.

            The Sugar Bowl is a complication because:
            1) the money;
            2) the attention it gets; and
            3) if you keep the Big 12 and SEC together, based on history, it makes it a really tough road for those two conference champs.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Stanford was ranked #4 in the country a couple years ago and that game featured record low attendance…

            But I do agree that the Sugar Bowl would be the bigger issue.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The Orange is in a weaker position than the Rose, Sugar, and whatever bowl the B12 decides to back. If they start threatening to match at-large with at-large, the power conferences would just say “sure, you can do that . . . outside of the 8-team playoff. We’ll just have the Atlanta bowl match ACC with at-large and leave you out in the cold.”

            The P5 conferences hold the power here. The bowls (particularly those without a strong relationship to a power conference to stand up for them) are left to say “yes sir, may I please have another” . . .

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            If the SEC and Big XII stick together then at least 1 bowl is going to have to be AL vs. AL no matter what.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “If the SEC and Big XII stick together”

            Big “if”, IMO.

            I foresee all the power conferences getting the same base amount. Those that get extra teams in will get a little bit more. If that’s the case, I doubt the B12 and SEC would want to match their champs up on each other.

            In fact, the biggest question mark to Frank’s plan is whether the B10 would be willing to start their quarterfinal game on hostile turf every year. Especially with 3 eastern teams now with little attachment to the Rose & much closer to other bowls.

            Like

          • frug says:

            “If the SEC and Big XII stick together”

            Big “if”, IMO.

            I disagree. Inertia is the natural state of things and in 12 years it will be tough to pry them apart, especially since they can make more money together.

            I foresee all the power conferences getting the same base amount.

            Why would they agree to that? From the moment the playoff was announced the Big 10, PAC, SEC and Big XII made clear they didn’t want any form of equal revenue sharing in the bowls. Hell, at one point a PAC official said that the Big 10 and PAC should be reimbursed for the money they left on the table by agreeing to equal revenue sharing in the BCS (which capped the Rose Bowl payout even though it was far and away the most profitable bowl game).

            Like

          • gregenstein says:

            @Richard – “In fact, the biggest question mark to Frank’s plan is whether the B10 would be willing to start their quarterfinal game on hostile turf every year. Especially with 3 eastern teams now with little attachment to the Rose & much closer to other bowls.”
            ————————–
            To guarantee a spot in the Rose Bowl every year? Are you kidding? Do kids like candy?

            I personally have no problem with the conferences uses traditional bowl tie-ins to kick start the playoff if that’s what they want to do. I doubt it ends up being that easy though. I imagine the SEC, Big 12, and ACC like having a shot at getting in the Rose Bowl even if it is an outside chance most year. It will be nearly impossible to put that genie back in the bottle now.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            frug:

            “Why would they agree to that? From the moment the playoff was announced the Big 10, PAC, SEC and Big XII made clear they didn’t want any form of equal revenue sharing in the bowls.”

            Except that they agreed to split the playoff money equally, so that’s not really true.

            Like

  12. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

    Like

  13. Nick In South Bend says:

    So for ranking purposes, would the bowls choose the At-Large teams (wildcards really), or would the At-Large teams choose the bowls?

    For instance, the Sugar Bowl would love to have a southern team, so they may want to pick a team like Clemson to play a top ranked Florida. But what if Clemson is ranked as the highest At-Large team? Would both a top ranked Florida and a top At-Large ranked both be punished to make the Sugar bowl happy? Or would the At-Large spots be auto-filled by ranking (the highest rated At-Large being matched with the lowest rated P5 Conference Champion) regardless of geography?

    Like

  14. Brian says:

    I disagree on several points.

    1. I strongly believe the presidents will hold the line on the CFP staying at 4 teams through the 12 year contract. They resisted the lure of playoff money for a very long time, so waiting a few years for a contract to end would be trivial for them.

    2. I’m not convinced your bowl alignment would be adopted. People fought for seeded playoffs and the SEC and B12 paired up to match the B10/P12 combo in bowl money. Why would they drop their new Sugar Bowl deal? Why would the ACC agree to be stuck on the outside? Why would the Orange and Fiesta agree to always get an at large and not a champ? Why would the Peach agree to be demoted?

    3. People fought to not honor championships and suddenly they’ll reverse course and give autobids? It’s possible, with a shift from 4 to 8 meaning all the AQs can get an autobid, but seems unlikely to me.

    4. If they agree to AQ autobids for the ACC, B10, B12, P12 and SEC, then they’d have to give one to the top non-AQ champ. There’s also the question of how ND gets treated. Are they lumped in with the non-AQs for that spot? Is there a special rule for them?

    5. Traditionalists might favor your plan, but that’s generally the kiss of death for an idea.

    As a traditionalist, I think they are better off cutting ties to the bowls and starting from scratch for a playoff. That’s especially true with an 8 team playoff. Pick other neutral sites for playoff games and restore the old ties to the bowls with the best remaining teams. I don’t think they’ll do this, but they should.

    I agree the games should all be in January. 12/31 or 1/1 for the quarterfinals, semifinals that second Monday and Tuesday, and then the finals 2 weeks later. All games at neutral sites, but the quarters could be at bowl type sites while the others are regional domes. The semis and finals would be true neutral sites like the Super Bowl.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      1. I agree they aren’t likely to change in the 12 year cycle.
      2. Did the Cotton agree to be demoted? The Big 12 and SEC took over the Sugar Bowl. What the Orange, Peach and Fiesta want is not irrelevant, but its not their call. The fact that they had so much say in the past is one of the flaws in the old system.
      3. They fought auto-bids for 2 reasons that aren’t as relevant. One was the non-AQs. The gap is bigger now and the non-AQs have a better shot in an 8 team than a 4 team. The second was that 4 wasn’t enough for all the best teams. With 8 you still get 3 wildcards and a team like Alabama 2011 gets in.’
      4. Realignment gutted the MWC and BE. They aren’t as relevant. They can buy the non-AQs out with the possibility of getting in the 8 team playoff (better than the 4) and $ and a slot in a 6 bowl system like now.

      The biggest obstacles IMO are:
      1. The Sugar deal with the Big 12 and SEC;
      2. The logistics of filling stadiums for 3 weeks of games; and
      3. Fear of the unknown by the Presidents who don’t want to harm the regular season.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        “2. Did the Cotton agree to be demoted? The Big 12 and SEC took over the Sugar Bowl. What the Orange, Peach and Fiesta want is not irrelevant, but its not their call. The fact that they had so much say in the past is one of the flaws in the old system.”

        No, it’s not their call. But they have a lot of money/influence to use to try to help themselves, and those bowls have allies in the conferences.

        “3. They fought auto-bids for 2 reasons that aren’t as relevant. One was the non-AQs. The gap is bigger now and the non-AQs have a better shot in an 8 team than a 4 team. The second was that 4 wasn’t enough for all the best teams. With 8 you still get 3 wildcards and a team like Alabama 2011 gets in.’”

        The SEC would want the chance to get 8 of 8 spots because they think they deserve it. They have no reason to support anyone else getting a guaranteed spot. If they draw a line in the sand, the others will cave again.

        “4. Realignment gutted the MWC and BE. They aren’t as relevant. They can buy the non-AQs out with the possibility of getting in the 8 team playoff (better than the 4) and $ and a slot in a 6 bowl system like now.”

        Nope. The instant they give autobids to others but not the non-AQs, they get sued. That’s why they gave them a spot this time, and they can’t reverse course now.

        “The biggest obstacles IMO are:
        1. The Sugar deal with the Big 12 and SEC;
        2. The logistics of filling stadiums for 3 weeks of games; and
        3. Fear of the unknown by the Presidents who don’t want to harm the regular season.”

        Those are 3 of the biggest ones, sure.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          But they didn’t GIVE the best Go5 champion a playoff autobid, they gave the best Go5 champion an automatic big bowl spot. Status quo would be to guarantee the best Go5 champion an automatic big bowl spot, the Go5 ambit claim would be a guaranteed playoff spot, and negotiations over a guaranteed or qualified playoff spot starts with that negotiating range.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            They gave them a top 7 game spot, on par with the other top teams. The top 7 would all be in the playoff now. Would they settle for a top 6 bowl when the top 4 are quarterfinals? Would the other major bowls shift to become the semifinals instead of bowls (no double hosting in the playoffs)?

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      1. I strongly believe the presidents will hold the line on the CFP staying at 4 teams through the 12 year contract. They resisted the lure of playoff money for a very long time, so waiting a few years for a contract to end would be trivial for them.

      Agree. Anyhow, it took decades for them to agree to a 4-team playoff, long after the point when most fans and sportswriters were agitating for it, so I can’t imagine them jumping to 8 anytime soon.

      But where there is money to be made, the presidents usually cave in eventually.

      2. I’m not convinced your bowl alignment would be adopted. People fought for seeded playoffs and the SEC and B12 paired up to match the B10/P12 combo in bowl money.

      I am not convinced either. I think Frank is right that the bowls would be the quarter-finals. The other popular suggestion is to hold the quarter-finals in early/mid-December. But that means half of the top teams would come into their bowl game on the heels of a loss, not a very attractive idea.

      If the quarters are in December, there is also the issue of the players missing finals, but they’d probably find a way around that if it made sense financially, which it doesn’t. Assuming you expand the playoff at all, it just makes so much more sense to leverage the bowls, which already exist and are proven money machines.

      Yes, I think they would seed the quarter-finals. If you buy the notion of a playoff, it just doesn’t make sense to set up the possibility that #1 vs. #2 will play in the Rose Bowl, and the winner still has two games left to play if it wants to win a championship.

      3. People fought to not honor championships and suddenly they’ll reverse course and give autobids? It’s possible, with a shift from 4 to 8 meaning all the AQs can get an autobid, but seems unlikely to me.

      The reason they “fought not to honor championships” was because there’s five power leagues and only four playoff spots. They also had to provide a way for Notre Dame to qualify, and despite what some fans want, there is no appetite among the college presidents to “force” ND into a conference.

      Well, if you’re going to let ND in without forcing them to win a conference, it’s hard to come up for a rational argument for categorically excluding a very strong team that came in second in its league, if that team is clearly better than a hypothetical UCLA that could’ve won the Pac-12 with a 7-6 record.

      With an 8-team playoff, you can auto-bid the P5 champions, and still have three slots left over for ND (in the years when they’re good enough), deserving #2’s, and strong mid-majors. In that scenario, I think the auto-bid crowd would get their wish.

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        “despite what some fans want, there is no appetite among the college presidents to “force” ND into a conference”
        … or to be more precise about why that’s a dominant solution to the game, there’s no appetite among four P5 conferences to “force” ND into the fifth.

        Like

    • Brad Smith says:

      This is why you simply take the current CFP system, with rotating semi-finals and the contracts between the conferences and bowls. All you do is add a Round 1 in December, before Christmas. In 2014-15, the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl have contracted to host the semi-finals and not host the SEC-Big 12 and PAC 12-B1G matchups. The system is in place. But in 2015-16, the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl would host those matchups, while the semi-finals are hosted by the Orange and Cotton Bowls. The system is already in place.

      Just add an extra round to determine who plays in the semi-finals.

      And, keep the selection committee. No auto bids, but a preference towards conference championship in the selection process.

      Easy.

      Like

  15. Carl says:

    “Uh, oh” for MM.

    Like

  16. Andy says:

    I think 4 teams is plenty. 8 would cheapen the playoffs. If you’re not in the top 4 at the end of the year then you probably don’t deserve a national title.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      But how do you know the top 4 is right?

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        …by advancing through your conference first? To qualify for a final “X” number of playoff spots?
        🙂

        Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        Agree with Andy, which makes me nervous.

        As to “how do you know who the top 4 are”, if you’re only boderline top 4/5, you shouldn’t have the chance to play for a championship anyway.

        My choices would be: 1. old bowl system; 2. single game championship game for teams chosen after the bowl games.; 3. BCS; 4. 4 game playoff.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          2007 and 2008 the gap from #1 to #6 or #8 was pretty narrow. All those schools had arguments. You could pretty much put any of them #2. And in both those years, the BCS #1 lost to #2.

          Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        That’s why an eight team playoff … even if it ends up top-six and two lower ranked conference champions, its still highly likely to include the four strongest teams.

        Like

    • Redwood86 says:

      As long as conference OoC scheduling varies widely (e.g. – Pac-12 v. Big-12 and much of the SEC) and conferences do not play the same number of conference games (plus a CCG), it will remain very difficult to determine which are the top 4 or 5 teams.

      For example, Alabama played a pathetic 4-game OOC schedule (only 1 “real” team and it is mediocre) and the two teams it played outside its division are also pathetic. So, the Tide played 6 divisions games, of which 4 could be characterized as challenging, and 5 weaklings, and 1 mediocre team. How can we judge Bama on that basis?

      FSU demolished the one other good ACC team, and played nobody OoC, except a very down Florida. It is pretty easy to see that FSU has a great offense, but what do we really know about its defense? That said, they are my #1 right now.

      tOSU played nobody OoC, and has struggled against its so-called challengers in the BiG. Even against teams like Illinois, their defense looks pathetic.

      Baylor got to #5 without playing ANYBODY, then advanced to #3 just by beating a not-that-good Oklahoma.

      Meanwhile, the Pac-12 played the strongest OoC schedules and an extra conference game, basically putting themselves at risk for 1-2 more losses than any other conference. Yet now the consensus is that the conference does not have a top-4 team. How does that make sense?

      IMO, the only team right now that has a clear claim to the NCG is FSU. If Alabama wins its next 2, they will also. Beyond that, no team has a very strong argument.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Redwood86,

        “tOSU played nobody OoC, and has struggled against its so-called challengers in the BiG.”

        1. OSU was up 31-14 on WI in the 4th quarter. WI is #14 and probably underrated since the ASU loss was questionable. OSU held WI’s top 10 rushing attack to 104 yards, almost 200 yards below their average.

        2. Braxton Miller’s knee was injured against WI and NW.

        3. OSU’s defensive captain and starting safety broke his ankle against WI and couldn’t play against NW or since.

        4. ESPN Stats and Info blog recently wrote about how much better Miller has been running lately.

        “Even against teams like Illinois, their defense looks pathetic.”

        OSU defense isn’t that bad.

        NCAA stats:
        ppga – #8
        rushing ypga – #6
        total ypga – #12

        Advanced stats:
        D FEI – #20
        D S&P+ – #18
        DNP – #6 (difference in net points)
        D F/+ – #17

        “Meanwhile, the Pac-12 played the strongest OoC schedules and an extra conference game, basically putting themselves at risk for 1-2 more losses than any other conference. Yet now the consensus is that the conference does not have a top-4 team. How does that make sense?”

        Playing a tough schedule doesn’t make you good. OR and Stanford both have 2 losses. OR got blown out by AZ. Stanford lost to USC and Utah. Why should either be considered a top 4 team? OR was #2 until they lost. Stanford was top 5 before they lost.

        Like

  17. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10042813/decision-possible-charges-jameis-winston-delayed

    The Jameis Winston decision is more than 2 weeks away. If he’s charged with a felony, then the FSU administration has to decide whether or not extraordinary circumstances exist that would allow them to waive his automatic suspension.

    In other words, the BCS NCG will be set before we know if Winston will be playing in the postseason. OSU could get passed over for an FSU team missing their starting QB again (1998).

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      IF he was charged, the political correctness police would NEVER let the administration allow him to play in that game….football is powerful but not THAT powerful…..see what happened in the PSU situation….and unlike what happened in the PSU situation that would also be the correct moral call……

      Imagine the pressure on that prosecutor…..so much so that it will probably be some type of group decision….

      So….what do you guys think the odds are he’s charged??? I’ll go with 20%.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        If that letter from the FSU professor is real about the stuff that goes on in classes, I’m not certain. They may make the innocent until proven guilty argument.

        Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I really, really hope that he is innocent, but it’s impossible to make a judgment. If he’s not, I of course want him behind bars for a long time. Likewise, I would be extremely embarrassed as a Florida State fan if FSU made a special exception for him if he’s charged. “We want to win the national championship” is not cause for an exception.

      Given the way that many, many athletes can be shady characters, I shouldn’t be shocked by anything these days, but the news about Winston floored me. He had quickly become my favorite FSU athlete in years. Obviously I’ve enjoyed his athletic accomplishments, but I have also enjoyed watching his confidence and his unusual maturity for his age, leading teammates who are older and more experienced than he is.

      @mushroomgod,

      I know as much as you know about the case, but I think it’s pretty unlikely he’s charged. 20%, as you said, sounds accurate. He can’t be convicted on her word versus his word alone, and he supposedly has witnesses who corroborate his story. But who knows what the investigators may find.

      I will say that it is pretty disturbing that there was not a more thorough investigation last December. People’s memories get hazier as time passes, so piecing together a timeline has to be a lot more difficult now than it would have been back then.

      Like

    • Andy says:

      Brian, for OSU to get passed over they’d need to beat MSU, which is far from certain.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        What part of “could” don’t you understand?

        Like

        • Andy says:

          OK, sure. Don’t really understand a #3 ranked team whining about maybe being “passed over” by a #2 ranked team though…

          I doubt it will come to that anyway. MSU has been looking pretty good lately.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            The argument would be whether the voters would have put FSU #2, if they knew in advance that FSU would be missing Jameis Winston.

            I reckon enough would have to keep FSU 2nd, since by algorith, the computer rankings don’t care.

            Like

  18. Pablo says:

    FtT

    Agree with your thinking that an 8 team playoff would actually help regular season interest.

    A good example is in this year’s ACC Coastal competition. Duke, VT, Miami and GT are all still competing for the Division title and a chance at being ACC champs. Schedulers must be happy that UVa (VT), Pitt (Miami) and UNC (Duke) are hosting meaningful games. However small their chances of being ACC champions, fans can hold to their fantasy. In an 8 team playoff, with P5 champs auto qualifying, all these teams and games have national championship implications.

    Like

  19. Great comments everyone. A few follow-up thoughts:

    (1) Auto-bids – As others have noted, the main impetus behind the auto-bids is to remove as much use of polls/computers/committees as possible in qualifying for the playoff. I was very much a supporter not having any conference championship requirement in the new top 4 playoff, but moving to 8 is a different story. The larger the field gets, there’s both greater flexibility and desirability to have objective on-the-field qualifiers.

    (2) At-larges – Still, there’s the reality that there are 2nd (or even 3rd) place teams in power conferences, independents and non-power conference schools could very well be good enough in a given year to justifiably play for the playoff, so there needs to be room for at-larges (and I think 5 auto-bids/3 at-larges is a good balance as a whole).

    (3) Selection and Seeding – I now realize that I didn’t address this in the post, but I’d still have a committee or BCS-type ranking system to choose the at-larges and seed all of the participants. Now, the bowls would be locked with their respective conference champ tie-ins, so the at-larges would be slotted based on the optimal high/low seed matchups (with flexibility to make switches based on avoiding rematches or intraconference games). The semifinal matchups would then be based on straight seeding.

    (4) Sugar Bowl/SEC/Big 12 Relationship – I’ve seen this come up and I agree that it’s an issue. My thinking (and I acknowledge that it could be faulty) is that when push comes to shove, the SEC cares more about getting an optimal matchup to allow it to advance the national championship and would cry bloody murder if a #1 SEC team had to face a #2 or #3 Big 12 team in a Sugar Bowl quarterfinal, whereas the Big Ten and Pac-12 don’t sweat having a #1 vs. #2 Rose Bowl quarterfinal matchup at all because the relationship and branding with the Tournament of Roses and each other as conference partners is so much deeper. I’m not saying that’s necessarily smart of the Big Ten and Pac-12 if they’re looking to maximize their national titles, but the SEC has certainly shown to care much more about seeding. At the same time, the money could certainly be worked out where all of the power conferences would receive equal shares for their respective champs just as it has been done under the BCS system and will be done for how the actual CFP playoff money (which is distinguished from the contract bowl money).

    In putting together hypothetical matchups since 2006 using the setup that I proposed (I picked that date since that was when the ACC and Big East realignments centered around Miami took effect), the 8-team playoff generally looks very good in terms of distributing the teams well and avoiding “too good” of a quarterfinal game. However, having the SEC and Big 12 champs face off in the Sugar Bowl on top of the Big Ten/Pac-12 Rose Bowl, would have really made this type of playoff setup look a lot worse in several seasons.

    (5) Non-Power Conferences – Personally, I don’t have much of an issue with allowing one slot to be taken up by the top non-power conference champ. It would have made the playoff look a little bit worse over the last couple of years, but not so much that including that access ought to kill the 8-team playoff altogether. I do think the power conferences are going to be more forceful in protecting its turf when it comes to national championship access, though. It’s one thing to provide a high profile bowl slot (which could still be done in this proposed system on top of the playoff bowls), but national title access is another matter.

    Like

    • frug says:

      My thinking (and I acknowledge that it could be faulty) is that when push comes to shove, the SEC cares more about getting an optimal matchup to allow it to advance the national championship and would cry bloody murder if a #1 SEC team had to face a #2 or #3 Big 12 team in a Sugar Bowl quarterfinal

      But wouldn’t that be countered by the years a #4 SEC team got to face a #10 Big XII champ?

      At the same time, the money could certainly be worked out where all of the power conferences would receive equal shares for their respective champs just as it has been done under the BCS system and will be done for how the actual CFP playoff money (which is distinguished from the contract bowl money).

      As I said above, why would they all agree to this? The Big 10, PAC, SEC and Big XII all made clear as soon as the playoff was announced they were done with equal revenue sharing which simply put an artificial cap on the Rose Bowl payout and would have done the same to new Sugar Bowl?

      Like

      • @frug – On the first point, the SEC is so full of themselves (somewhat justifiably based on the past 7 years) that they believe that the scenario you’ve outlined would happen so rarely (i.e. that the SEC champ wouldn’t be a top 2 team) that they’re not interested in any chance of handcuffing themselves. They’re the ones that pushed pure seeding and not having any conference champ requirement in the 4-team playoff more than anyone. The SEC’s position has been driven by the belief that not only is their champ automatically national title-worthy, but that they should have 2, 3 or even 4 teams per year that can compete in a playoff.

        On the second point, the 5 power conferences did agree to share the *playoff* money equally (an average of around $250 million per year, so about $50 million for each power conference). That hasn’t been emphasized in a lot of the news articles about the playoff with all of the focus on how the contract bowls would work, but the power conferences absolutely colluded and agreed to split that equally. Once again, that’s separate from the non-playoff contract bowl money from the non-playoff Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls. So, for example, the Big Ten would receive a $50 million playoff share and then $40 million for each non-playoff Rose Bowl game on top of that. The non-power conferences are the ones that are going to end up splitting their collective playoff share unequally amongst themselves using a ranking system.

        Like

        • frug says:

          the 5 power conferences did agree to share the *playoff* money equally (an average of around $250 million per year, so about $50 million for each power conference). That hasn’t been emphasized in a lot of the news articles about the playoff with all of the focus on how the contract bowls would work, but the power conferences absolutely colluded and agreed to split that equally. Once again, that’s separate from the non-playoff contract bowl money from the non-playoff Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls.

          But that’s exactly my point; right now the B1G, PAC, SEC and XII can split their playoff money evenly and still bring home a huge check from the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl that they don’t have to share at all, and the B1G and SEC also get a big Orange Bowl check they don’t have to share at least 1/3 of the time one top of that. Under your proposal they wouldn’t.

          As to your first point, that still doesn’t make much sense to me. There is no reason to believe that the Big XII champ is going to consistently be better than whatever AL they would slotted against. Also, Jim Delany’s original proposal (on campus semi-finals) called for the games to be seeded 1-4 and 2-3.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            You might still see side deals for the non-playoff bowls (like the current Orange deal, but involving other bowls), but I very much doubt that the playoff money won’t be shared equally. Stiffing the ACC just doesn’t garner that much more extra money when it has to be shared 4 ways.

            Like

          • frug says:

            You might still see side deals for the non-playoff bowls (like the current Orange deal, but involving other bowls), but I very much doubt that the playoff money won’t be shared equally.

            I tend to agree, which is why I think Frank’s proposal is unlikely.

            Like

    • I doubt that the major conferences feel this way, but I think that the more access you allow to the national championship the better it is for the sport as a whole. I personally prefer a conference champions only model for any playoff because I hate the subjectivity of picking the “best” at larges. (Though I know that’s not going to happen) But assuming that they do go to eight teams (and I agree with you that eight at least is inevitable), I think they would be best served by including the top one or preferably two conference champions of the 5 non-power conferences. The more schools have access to the title, the more interested their fan-bases will be. While most of the group of five schools don’t have the fan and alumni bases of the power five schools, most of those schools are growing in terms of student and alumni population much faster than most power five schools are. Since alumni tend to be the most interested fans anyway, the more access you provide, the more interested parties/viewers you will have and the more valuable your playoff will be. One of the reasons that March Madness is so popular in the college football wasteland of the Northeast is that the smaller private schools which have a larger alumni/fan base there than anywhere else in the country still have a place in the tourney (though few make it past the first weekend.)

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Frank the Tank,

      “(1) Auto-bids”

      I still don’t see why the SEC would cave on this. They believe they deserve at least 4 spots every year and want the chance to take all 8.

      Part of their argument will be that if they give auto-bids, they’ll have to fight about criteria. What if the ACC or B12 lose 2 or more teams? Do they keep their spot? If there are locked bids, why won’t the G5 demand one as well? How is ND accommodated under this plan?

      “(2) At-larges – Still, there’s the reality that there are 2nd (or even 3rd) place teams in power conferences, independents and non-power conference schools could very well be good enough in a given year to justifiably play for the playoff, so there needs to be room for at-larges (and I think 5 auto-bids/3 at-larges is a good balance as a whole).”

      If you aren’t the best in your conference, how can you be the best in the nation?

      “(3) Selection and Seeding – I now realize that I didn’t address this in the post, but I’d still have a committee or BCS-type ranking system to choose the at-larges and seed all of the participants.”

      Why add so much bias and controversy?

      “(5) Non-Power Conferences – Personally, I don’t have much of an issue with allowing one slot to be taken up by the top non-power conference champ. It would have made the playoff look a little bit worse over the last couple of years, but not so much that including that access ought to kill the 8-team playoff altogether. I do think the power conferences are going to be more forceful in protecting its turf when it comes to national championship access, though. It’s one thing to provide a high profile bowl slot (which could still be done in this proposed system on top of the playoff bowls), but national title access is another matter.”

      The genie is out of the bottle. They can’t reduce access in the next iteration without getting sued. The top 7 games will all be in the playoff. They won’t deny the G5 access that they had before.

      Like

    • neomodernism says:

      5 autobids for the P5 champions
      1 autobid for highest ranked G5 champion
      2 at large bid for the top 2 remaining teams

      Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Some dedicated playoff access for the Go5 would be ABOUT the P5 protecting their turf ~ in that case, against anti-trust challenges and political interference.

      Like

  20. Richard says:

    BTW, the non-power conferences can still be appeased by guaranteeing them a spot in a “top 6” bowl. If the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Cotton are the quarterfinal bowls (and I’m sure the B12 would choose to tie-in with the Cotton), the Fiesta and Atlanta bowl could alternate one of the semifinal spots between them. The other year, one of them would take the leftovers: highest-ranked non-power conference champ that doesn’t make the playoffs + whoever else they want (the “whoever else” part could be split by the Fiesta & Atlanta bowl in deals with conferences just like the Orange does now).

    As the only league without a semifinal spot in it’s territory (or AZ or AtL), the Big10 could very well demand that the other semifinal has to be in or close to B10 territory. They could get some support from the SEC and ACC as well if they choose a rotation of StL, Indy (both in or close to SEC territory) as well as DC and NYC (both in or close to ACC territory). If the rotation is limited to StL & DC, that could get even more buy-in from the SEC and ACC.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Richard,

      “BTW, the non-power conferences can still be appeased by guaranteeing them a spot in a “top 6″ bowl.”

      1. You can offer it, but that doesn’t mean they actually will be appeased by the offer. They get a top 6 bowl spot now, but the playoff would have the top 7 games. The #8 game will be less than it is now.

      “If the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Cotton are the quarterfinal bowls (and I’m sure the B12 would choose to tie-in with the Cotton), the Fiesta and Atlanta bowl could alternate one of the semifinal spots between them. The other year, one of them would take the leftovers: highest-ranked non-power conference champ that doesn’t make the playoffs + whoever else they want (the “whoever else” part could be split by the Fiesta & Atlanta bowl in deals with conferences just like the Orange does now).”

      Why would they agree to potentially have to take the 2nd best G5 champ?

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Did I word it badly? I meant the best G5 champ if they don’t make the playoffs.

        As for the G5, they don’t really hold the leverage. They hold their breathe long enough and the P5 could just break away.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “Did I word it badly? I meant the best G5 champ if they don’t make the playoffs.”

          As I read it, they had to take the best G5 champ available. So if one made the playoff, they had to take the 2nd best champ. Thus my confusion.

          “As for the G5, they don’t really hold the leverage. They hold their breathe long enough and the P5 could just break away.”

          Their leverage is a law suit. The NCAA has enough legal issues now, plus congress has that proposed bill to protect student-athletes. They don’t need an anti-trust suit on top of it all. It’s easier to just have 6 autobids or none.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “The NCAA has enough legal issues now…”

            The D1 football championship isn’t an NCAA event.
            Not that legal concerns wouldn’t be taken into account by the current organizing body, but the NCAA is involved only obliquely.

            Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Not guaranteeing a spot among eight is why the Go5 would NEED appeasing … but IMV its easier to appease a group if you offer them “forward progress”. Moving from the “big six bowl for the best Go5 champion if they are top-12 or top-16 and better than an AQ champion” … to “guaranteed access in a big six bowl for the best Go5 school, independent of ranking”, to “guaranteed access a big six bowl for the best Go5 school, a playoff spot if they are a top-16 school” would constitute “forward progress”.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          BruceMcF,

          “Not guaranteeing a spot among eight is why the Go5 would NEED appeasing … but IMV its easier to appease a group if you offer them “forward progress”. Moving from the “big six bowl for the best Go5 champion if they are top-12 or top-16 and better than an AQ champion” … to “guaranteed access in a big six bowl for the best Go5 school, independent of ranking”, to “guaranteed access a big six bowl for the best Go5 school, a playoff spot if they are a top-16 school” would constitute “forward progress”.”

          1. You’re adding the top 16 autobid provision. That wasn’t in Richard’s proposal.

          2. Top 16 how? I thought they were using a committee. Would anyone trust a committee to not be biased in deciding whether a non-AQ champ was #16 or #17? Are we reverting to the BCS? Seeing as how Sagrin has NIU #3 right now, I doubt the power 5 want to see computer polls in use any more.

          3. I think you mis-view the bowls. The top 6 are all likely to be part of the playoff (quarters and semis). They aren’t allowing double hosting now, so they probably wouldn’t for the semis in the future. So if the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange, Cotton and Peach are part of the playoff, what are they offering that G5 champ? What next-tier bowl would step up knowing they’d be stuck with a G5 team that often?

          Like

  21. Richard says:

    Oh, and my suggestion is to fit all the quarterfinal games in on NYD.
    1. That makes it more fair to the teams (no team has the advantage of an extra day of rest for the next round).
    2. NYE is a poor day for football.

    (all times Eastern)
    11AM: Orange
    2:30PM: Cotton
    6PM (3PM local): Rose
    9:30PM: Sugar

    Like

    • Brian says:

      But they can probably make more money the other way, and not risk overlapping games when they can show pre-game and post-game crap instead.

      Maybe a 1/3 split, but probably 2/2.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        A lot of people work on NYE.

        Also, a lot of people party. I think the NYE games will be a dud compared to even the early NYD games of the same caliber.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          They seem to believe they can change habits. Not sure they can.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “They seem to believe they can change habits. Not sure they can.”

            I don’t know. Lots of people don’t go to parties, or go to the kind of parties where they could watch the games anyway. Many people don’t work on NYE, especially in the demographics that are CFB fans. You also have many general sports fans with nothing much better to do than watch major CFB games. If sports can do well on Christmas and Thanksgiving, I think they’ll do fine on NYE.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            But lots of the casual fans they need to get good ratings do go to parties. Most people do work New Year’s Eve. Usually offices knock off early, but people aren’t at home at noon. I don’t think they will do well with the noon and 4 pm New Year’s Day bowls. I don’t think the late bowl will change people’s habits either. This isn’t the NFL.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “This isn’t the NFL.”

            Thank goodness it’s not.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “I don’t think they will do well with the noon and 4 pm New Year’s Day bowls.”

            Why not? Those games already do well.

            “I don’t think the late bowl will change people’s habits either. This isn’t the NFL.”

            People have said that about a lot of things, but it turns out that sports fans love to watch games. I think plenty of people will manage to find a TV at their party or bar.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “I think the NYE games will be a dud compared to even the early NYD games of the same caliber.”

          But TPTB in CFB and their media consultants disagree. They’re betting on NYE being successful. Until they’re proven wrong, I have to assume they’ll maintain that plan in the future.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, with 6 bowls, they don’t have enough slots in one day (and while other bowls can move around, the Rose, with it’s conferences backing it, will not move off its traditional time slot; same with the Sugar now).

            It is, however, possible to fit 4 games in to one day.

            Like

  22. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Kentucky announced a $110 million renovation to Commonwealth Stadium yesterday. They plan to be ready for the 2015 season.

    http://www.thenewcws.com/2013/11/25/new-kentucky-home-cws-designs-reveal-vision-for-uk-footballs-future/

    Capacity will drop from 67,606 to 61,000, but add 20 new suites and 2,300 club seats. Also, they will build a new press box and add a 200 seat “recruit suite” in the middle of the UK student section.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Out of curiosity, is the capacity reduction stem from replacement of bench seating with individual seats or something else?

      Like

    • bullet says:

      That’s really interesting. With expansion at the Mississippi schools, UK will drop to 13th in SEC capacity. 11 of the last 14 years, UK has exceeded 62,000 in average attendance. 2 years they’ve been over 69, another over 68, once over 67, once over 66, once over 65, 4 times 64k-65k, once over 62. The only years lower were 2006 with 57,330 and the last two years when the team has been pitiful and even lost to Western Kentucky-60,007 in 2011 and 49,691 in 2012.

      So they are clearly taking the major league baseball approach. Reduce capacity and raise ticket prices. IMO that approach is a long term disaster for the schools. The main purpose of college football is to connect the alumni. The trend for on campus stadiums is to bring alumni back to campus.

      Maybe they are saying they only want to connect with rich alumni. But not too many students leave college already rich. You aren’t going to re-connect if you wait until they are in their 40s.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Its hard to tell from the design, but is there easy expansion if UK finds that demand outpaces supply to warrant future expansion?

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          “…but is there easy expansion if UK finds that demand outpaces supply…”

          They can price according to demand until it reaches an equilibrium?

          Like

      • michael says:

        The trend seems to be for schools making their stadia smaller, at least in some regions of the country. UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Washington all reduced their stadium sizes in recent years.

        Like

  23. sienafan says:

    How about use the format used by the 2 most popular leagues in Australia, the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFL_finals_system

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      For getting a playoff out of a single round robin conference in a professional sport, I like it (OTOH, having lived in Oz for a decade, I’m used to it). The problem is that it’s a four round playoff system, when even stretching from two to three round in NCAA FBS Football is going to require a push.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Americans also aren’t big on giving teams second chances in a playoff. I think it would be almost impossible to sell it to the public. With as few games as CFB plays, why should a playoff loser get a second chance at the title?

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Its just a form of double elimination like baseball.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Baseball and football are completely different. Baseball fans are used to series and wouldn’t mind an 11-8 postseason record for the champ. College baseball does double elimination, but not most sports. Football uses single games and fans expect the loser to be eliminated.

            Like

  24. Wainscott says:

    In his weekly Mailbag, Stewart Mandel notes, as an aside, that BCS bowls do not like taking conference game losers in part because of concerns that the fanbase recently paid to travel to a neutral site for a title game:

    “Thus, if facing a choice between a 10-2 Wisconsin team riding a seven-game winning streak and an 11-2 Michigan State squad fresh off a loss (and with a fan base that just spent travel dollars going to Indianapolis), I’d expect the Orange Bowl to select the Badgers.”

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20131127/auburn-ohio-state-bcs-mailbag/#ixzz2lrc0Q28y

    (The question deals with Wisky vs. MSU getting a BCS bid).

    Even the BCS bowls consider the willingness of fans to travel to a SECOND neutral site game 3-4 weeks after a conference title game. Certainly implies that the PTB are cognizant that even the most die-hard fans have limits on the means/ability/desire to travel to multiple neutral site games in a short amount of time.

    Also, for Andy, Mandel notes (100% correctly, in my view) that Mizzou is ranked so high partly because its record came in the SEC, and would have been penalized by 4-5 slots in the polls if it had an identical record in the B1G. He also nails that identical success in the B1G would be lead to stories that are less positive as to Mizzou’s success/program and more negative in the “See, even new, non-traditional powers can come into the B1G and have success–see how bad the conference is” way. Which is fair, since the SEC is home to the last 6 BCS champs.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I think the key is a disappointed fan base. They want conference ccg winners. They don’t want the losers. Its the same with schools that had fewer than expected wins. Fans don’t turn out as well.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Agree completely, but as we’ve seen (and has been pointed out by others above) there is only so many neutral site games that fans will travel to in a, say, 6 week period, regardless of winning the conf title game.

        Like

    • Andy says:

      Wainscott the Kansas Fan:

      Missouri won at Indiana by 17 pts. Won at Vanderbilt by 23 points. Won at Georgia by 15 pts. Beat Florida by 19 pts. Lost to South Carolina in double overtime by 3 pts. Beat Tennessee by 28 pts. Beat Kentucky by 21 pts. Won at Ole Miss by 14 pts. And in several of those games they were missing their star QB and some key defensive players.

      Missouri has nothing to apologize for.

      Missouri would likely be ranked higher if they were in the B1G because they’d likely be 11-0 instead of 10-1.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        @Andy: I am not a Kansas fan. You only make yourself look dumber by falsely stating otherwise, and by attempting to discern other posters supposed fan allegiances as if we are all in one big conspiracy against you/Mizzou. So stop.

        Also, please re-read what I wrote: I said ” if it had an identical record in the B1G.” I don’t care to spend my time debating what some team’s record would be if it played in another conference. All I know that I am in agreement with a noted CFB writer who wrote that a 1-loss Mizzou in the SEC would be higher ranked than a 1-loss Mizzou in the B1G, because of the esteem the SEC is held in vs. the B1G.

        I mean, I pay Mizzou a complement and you still go off the rails. Lesson learned. Sheesh.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          1) I only assumed you were a Kansas fan because you were a strong proponent of Kansas joining the B1G. I’m not sure why a non-Kansas fan would want that. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

          2) If Mizzou was 10-1 in the B1G they would deserve to be ranked lower than the #5 ranking that they have now because it would mean that they would have a loss to a B1G team. There’s only one B1G team ranked higher than either Missouri or their one loss, South Carolina, and that’s Ohio State. If Missouri were in the B1G then they would have gotten Nebraska’s spot, and would have Nebraska’s schedule. Nebraska doesn’t play Ohio State this year. That means Missouri would have either a worse loss than the one they have now, or they would be undefeated. Also, judging by the number of quarterback injuries in both leagues, if Missouri were in the B1G odds are James Franklin wouldn’t have missed 4 and a half games with an injury. The SEC is just more physical and violent. So that would also bolster Missouri’s chances of being undefeated in the B1G, as Missouri’s only loss, a narrow defeat in double OT, came when they were missing their starting QB and where the backup had a mediocre to poor game.

          3) I’m not sure how stating that Missouri is ranked higher because of their conference affiliation is supposed to be a compliment. Maybe I just don’t understand what you’re getting at. It seemed to me that you were saying that Missouri is somehow getting the benefit of the doubt that isn’t necessarily because of their performance but rather the brand their associated with. Was that not what you were getting at?

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I believe he was just pointing out a current example of a SEC team getting the benefit of the doubt, because of conference affiliation. The same thing we were saying when six SEC teams get into the top five preseason. 😉

            Like

          • Andy says:

            The benefit of the doubt for the SEC was earned in the last several bowl seasons, and the doubt of the B1G was earned there as well. We’ll see if history repeats this year…

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            1) Apology accepted. But don’t confuse proponent of school with being fan of school, as they are not necessarily the same. I’m not a particular fan of Maryland, for example, but I feel UMd was an excellent choice for expansion. And for KU, I feel the basketball program has tremendous value. But that’s neither here nor there.

            2) Strictly comparing 10-1 in B1G vs 10-1 in SEC. I have no idea what a prospective schedule would be, as I don’t know if divisions would have been different with Mizzou instead of Nebraska.

            3) Not benefit of the doubt as much as benefit of playing in a conference both widely perceived to be and actually tougher. As such, a 10-1 record in SEC is considered better than a 10-1 record in the B1G, and the holders of such records are rewarded (SEC) or docked (B1G) accordingly. Most, myself included, consider a one loss team in the SEC as having accomplished more and more deserving of a higher ranking than a 1-loss team in the B1G. That’s due to the overall success of the SEC, including regularly beating the B1G in bowl games and having the last 7 national champs.

            In short, its both brand and performance. Which is true throughout college football. (Ex. Undefeated MAC teams behind multiple 1 and 2 loss power conference teams).

            Nor is it Mizzou specific. Auburn is getting the same treatment, even through they beat GA with one of the more insane/flukeish plays in recent times. But the SEC has earned on the field such extra points/respect.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Fair enough. I do think schedule matters, though.

            A team that had beaten Michigan State, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Penn State but had lost to Ohio State would have a pretty decent schedule.

            A team that had beaten Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa, Penn State, Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana but lost to Michigan would not be so good.

            There’s really no easy road in the SEC. Even in a year where the East is clearly down, Missouri’s going to end up playing 5 conference opponents that will end up with 8 or more wins, plus potentially another one in the conference title game. Ohio State will play one in the regular season, and a second one in the conference title game.

            As for your support of Kansas in the B1G, I really don’t get it. They’re marginal AAU in academics. Their state has maybe 2M people. They have one of the worst football programs in the country. I guess there’s basketball, but the B1G is already really good at basketball so I’m not sure how much that moves the needle. But whatever. If you just need to expand for expansion’s sake I guess they’re about as good as you can do without trying to poach a conference with some actual strength.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Andy, if you weren’t blinded by the rivalry, you’d recognize that a fan of a Big Ten school might favor adding Kansas because (1) they are a college basketball fan or (2) is a fan of a Big Ten East school who wants more than a few actual Big Ten schools in their division, so they prefer two western adds to balance the Rutgers/MD adds. So there’s two reasons aside from cheering for Kansas.

            And congrats on Mizzou getting to Atlanta, that’s a great year to year turn-around story. And I’ll be cheering for the Tigers to beat the Tigers. The Other Tigers (TOT) are “Roll Tigers”, so what does one yell to support the Mizzou Tigers?

            Like

          • duffman says:

            BruceMcF says:
            December 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm
            Andy, if you weren’t blinded by the rivalry, you’d recognize that a fan of a Big Ten school might favor adding Kansas because (1) they are a college basketball fan or (2) is a fan of a Big Ten East school who wants more than a few actual Big Ten schools in their division, so they prefer two western adds to balance the Rutgers/MD adds. So there’s two reasons aside from cheering for Kansas.

            As a basketball fan I would love Kansas in the B1G. As KU is also an AAU school, a flagship, and has B1G history they would be an easy team to add. In the earliest threads on here I supported adding both Missouri and Kansas to the B1G along with Nebraska and Maryland because Rutgers did not have football or basketball power. It was an eyeball grab so Rutgers got the nod.

            Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        I don’t think Mo. is as good as you do. For example, compare what Wisky and OSU did to IU, v. what Mo. did.

        I think MSU-Mo and Wis.-Mo would be very good games.

        I don’t think Mo. is as good as OSU.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          Mizzou got Indiana on the road early. OSU and Wisconsin got Indiana at home late. Indiana has regressed over the course of the year. In the game following their game with Missouri, Indiana beat Penn State by 20 pts, and then had close losses to Michigan State and Michigan. Since then they’ve fallen into a free fall. I don’t follow them close enough to know why, but they seem to not be the team that they started out as.

          That said, Missouri’s 45-28 win in Bloomington wasn’t as close as the score indicates. Missouri had over 600 yards of offense in that game and could have easily scored over 60 pts if not for committing several turnovers.

          We may well find out how Missouri will do against one of those teams you listed as most are projecting Missouri will be in the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day. Possible opponents, in order of likelihood, are probably Michigan State, Wisconsin, or Ohio State.

          Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            IU got beat by Navy the 2nd game of the year. It’s the same team it’s been all year. I do follow them closely.

            Like

          • wmwolverine says:

            How many teams have they beat that are ranked?

            Like

          • Redwood86 says:

            What is impressive about beating an 8-win SEC team when 4 wins come against a pathetic OoC schedule and at least 1 more comes against a Kentucky or Arkansas? I mean, really, if you want to cite records as an indicator, you must consider SoS. The SEC is pulling a con, because they don’t actually play each other that much. Alabama did not play Mizzou, S. Carolina, Georgia, Florida, or Vandy. In other words they did not play the 5 best teams in the opposite division!!

            And while Mizzou did beat some decent SEC teams, they were all injury-plagued at the time – including South Carolina. I think Mizzou should be great next season, but it really is tough to determine how good they are right now.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Just look at computer rankings that take into account margin of victory, strength of schedule, etc. Missouri is top 5. Show me more than 5 teams with better resumes than Missouri. Missouri has 10 wins by 14 or more points each, and a double overtime loss to a top 10 team while missing their starting QB and best defensive player.

            Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Single team networks have no backup (except talking heads, coaches, and drunk fan call in filler shows) when the team is under performing. The LHN at least has multiple sports/events that can help draw local interest. Conference networks will always be able to offer more interest yearly. No matter who is down someone else has risen up.

        Like

    • frug says:

      I really recommend this whole article.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/astros-regional-sports-network-awash-in-losses-and-lawsuits/

      …what the Astros were scheduled to be paid for the broadcast rights to their games differs significantly from what they received. Forbes reported that the CSN Houston deal called for the Astros to be paid $56 million this year, but the network paid only $25 million because it didn’t have the revenue to meet its obligations.

      There are several factors contributing to CSN Houston’s bleak financial situation, but biggest is the network’s inability to reach agreement on carriage fees with the non-Comcast cable and satellite operators in the viewing area. AT&T-Uverse, Time Warner Cable and DISH Network have, thus far, refused to pay the $3.40 per-subscriber-per-month fee that CSN Houston demanded to carry the network… Overall, 60% of the homes in the viewing area don’t have CSN Houston.

      The question for Major League Baseball and the teams that have TV deals set to expire in the next few years — including the Phillies, Rockies and Diamondbacks — is whether the situation in Houston is particular to those teams (Astros and Rockets) and that market (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas) or a sign that the sports-rights fees bubble is losing air. Howard Megdal reported on Oct, 21 for Sports on Earth that a new, lucrative Phillies TV deal was expected to be announced within 30 days. We’re now five days past that window, and there’s been no such announcement. It’s a holiday week and all, so an announcement just before baseball’s Winter Meetings is still possible. It’s also possible the situation in Houston has given several parties pause.

      [Em. mine]

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I would guess its a little of both. The Astros have been terrible. The Rockets have been frustrating with all their injuries and 3 straight years as #9 in the west prior to this year and Houston is just a tough market. But everyone is complaining about fees.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          And remember, they asked $3.40 per month. That’s almost ESPN money, with (almost) no other channels significantly above $1.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            However, RSN’s usually can charge far more than other channels in their local areas. Evidently, people in Boston want to watch the Red Sox; people in StL really want to watch the Cardinals, etc.

            Like

  25. Rich says:

    If the Big 5 don’t want to give the other conferences an auto-bid in an 8-team playoff, then they should form their own football division. So long as MAC, MWC, et al are part of Div 1-A/FBS/Whatever, then they should be part of an expanded post season. I’d like to see the champions of the “Mid-Major” conferences and the top independent team have a playoff play-in to determine one Mid-Major representative in the 8-team playoff. Two of them get byes. Two others host games whose winners play at the teams that got byes. (If no independent team is worthy, then three teams get byes with one “first round” game.) The final two winners play in the Texas Bowl or Gator Bowl or wherever to determine the team that gets in the playoff. The home games, btw, because these schools have very little tradition of fans traveling to bowl games. I doubt bowls would want these games especially when they could get teams from larger conferences that are not in the playoff.

    As far as payouts, The Big 5 should split evenly between them 83%. Everybody else, including Notre Dame & the service academies splits 17%. This is probably more than equitable based on value each entity brings. The Big 5 should split their portion evenly regardless of teams in the playoff. This way, nobody can complain too much if both at-large spots are taken by the same conference. Let’s face it, some seasons will produce 3 worthy teams from the same conference. It won’t always be the SEC either. The old Big 8 had the top 3 ranked teams at the end of one season, I think it was 1971. In these circumstances a team should not be left out arbitrarily because of concerns over a conference getting three shares instead of two.

    Like

    • wmwolverine says:

      In an 8 team playoff, you might see one auto bid for an AQ champion (not likely) or a scenario where the top 5 conference champions (including the MAC, Sun Belt, America, MWC, CUSA) etc. receiving auto bids, so a Northern Illinois or Fresno could go ahead of a weak Power 5 champion… That might help solve the occasional 8-4 team winning its CCG. IMO it’s unlikely though as the Power 5 would rather a weak Power 5 champion is much, much preferable and the Power 5 are the deciders.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        Trouble is, a “weak” Power 5 champion almost certainly would be one that’s not a brand name, and there’s something wrong about depriving them of a once-in-a-lifetime playoff opportunity.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          A non brand P5 champ = weak?
          Really?

          Let the beauty contest continue…

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            If these proposed guidelines had been in effect in 2006, do you think Wake would have been assured a playoff spot in an 8-team tourney if it weren’t guaranteed?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            If Wake wins a P5 conference in an 8 team playoff scenario they absolutely should be in. What’s the point of a power conference if it isn’t to assure all its members basically equal treatment? Would you keep Vandy out if they won the SEC? It obviously can’t be good, it’s not a FB brand. And the SEC must be really down.

            Like

  26. mushroomgod says:

    Happy Thanksgiving WE everybody…………..

    What a football WE…..IU-Purdue; OSU-UM; Iowa-Neb; Minn-MSU; Wis-PSU; NW-ILL; ND-Stanford; A&M-Mo; Aub-Bama; USC-UCLA; Clemson-SC; Va-VT; Georgia-GT……not bad….

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Remember, Thanksgiving has been a football holiday since at least the early 1890’s. So you are properly observing the day and weekend by watching the blessed game in all forms.

      Like

  27. vp19 says:

    Duke’s AD compares conferences to fast-food chains. Why? Find out at http://www.dailypress.com/sports/teel-blog/dp-teel-time-kevin-white,0,1385903.post

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Way to bury the lead.

      “Should we realize the objective in 2016, should we realize the channel objective, we’re going to be in an incredibly strong position for the next 15-20 years,” he said. “In my opinion, I think it will happen, and I think it will be wildly successful.”

      The Big Ten “clearly became McDonald’s in our industry, and anyone that would argue with that doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” White said. “I think unfortunately there was a time 3-4 years ago where, I don’t know who we were. We weren’t Whataburger, but we were between Whataburger and Wendy’s. We had fallen into that position. And I think the SEC was clearly Burger King.

      “And I think we’re kind of snuggling back up into the Burger King position with the grant of rights [the ACC’s 15 schools signed one in April] everybody’s renewed solidarity and our new market position. It’s amazing how quickly we’ve regained what had been our historic position. We were in a bit of a free fall, but we’re right back, and … I attribute all of it and more to John’s leadership.

      Since White mentioned basketball, and the ACC’s broader footprint, I asked him about taking the basketball tournament north of the Mason-Dixon Line for the first time, to New York. The event is scheduled for Greensboro, N.C., in 2014 and ’15, Washington, D.C., in 2016.

      “We have a great history and tradition here,” White said, “particularly in Greensboro. That’s been the heart and soul of the ACC. So I think there’s a whole bunch of folks within our league that would like the tournament to retain some kind of association with Greensboro.

      “But at the same time, there’s a whole bunch of us that would love it, I don’t know how it all plays out, but I would like the ACC to have a very strong relationship with New York City. I’d be much less than honest if I didn’t say that. That’s the biggest media market in the world, great opportunity, and every one of our schools does LOTS of business up there, and I use that in the broadest context. … It’s right in the midst of our footprint, so to do something up there with some level of frequency is important. But to retain our historical roots in Greensboro is also important to me.”

      He’s the first to put a timeline on an ACCN. If they do start an ACCN in 2016, that’ll be right as the B10 is signing their new TV deal. The deal the ACC gets could be really important for determining if any future expansion losses hit the ACC.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        We were really agreeing way too much recently. I’ll differ with this as well. What matters is the deal the ACC gets when their GOR expires. They’ve tied themselves to their current deal.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          If an ACCN works well their next primary deal will be of less impact when the GOR expires. It might even provide for easier renewal.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “We were really agreeing way too much recently.”

          How dare we?

          “What matters is the deal the ACC gets when their GOR expires. They’ve tied themselves to their current deal.”

          My thinking was that this will start a ticking clock with the ACC and B10 on new deals. The ACC teams will have 7 years to see how much more UMD makes than they do. If it’s not much, the ACC is safe. If it’s huge, the tensions will really build. The ACC will have a hard time selling their schools that they’ll catch up on a big gap with their next TV deal if such a large gap exists.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I don’t think the Maryland, or the B1G is the measuring stick. They will compare with what the average of the B12 (not what their top two or three earners get) is, and what it projects to be.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I think the schools will compare to the conferences where they might go. The new deal for the B10 coming at the same time as the ACCN just makes for an easier comparison.

            Like

  28. opossum says:

    FTT’s scenario is the best solution to disputed football national championships available. The main political problem I see is that an 8-team playoff with autobids for the P5 conferences would force Notre Dame’s hand over time (or give them immediate cover for something they’ve already decided to do). I get the sense most conferences other than the ACC don’t want to accelerate Notre Dame’s full membership in any conference, and that the ACC doesn’t want to be perceived by Notre Dame fans as the driver in forcing them into a conference. So we’ll have a four team playoff for awhile.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      It doesn’t force ND to do anything. There are still at-large spots. True, they don’t have a shot at an automatic conference bid, but they also don’t run the risk of being upset in a CCG, and I think the Domers think they’re good enough to be top 5 (which would almost certainly garner an at-large bid).

      Like

      • rich2 says:

        Why should there be an automatic conference bid? I don’t understand the reasons for this stance other than narcissim — as in “egotistic admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride.”

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          With the “beauty contest” of non-automatic bids, schools that aren’t “brand names” are at a distinct disadvantage, all things being equal, for reasons that have nothing to do with their record or quality of play, and a “Cinderella season” for winning the ACC, B1G, Big 12, Pac or SEC doesn’t get its reward.

          Like

  29. Brian says:

    SJSU beat Fresno 62-52 today, knocking out one more undefeated team. Now we just need BGSU to beat NIU in the MAC CG and there won’t be a BCS buster stealing a BCS slot from a worthwhile team.

    NCG – AL vs FSU

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Oops. Let me finish that:

      Right now:

      NCG – AL vs FSU
      Rose – OSU vs Stanford
      Orange – Clemson vs WI
      Sugar – AU vs UCF
      Fiesta – OkSU vs NIU

      If AU loses, someone else might go to the Sugar.
      If Clemson loses, it hurts FSU.
      If OSU makes the NCG, MSU makes the Rose (if eligible) over WI

      Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      ” a BCS buster stealing a BCS slot from a worthwhile team”

      An example of why every conference champion needs to be in the playoff for it to have any validity at all.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        loki_the_bubba,

        “An example of why every conference champion needs to be in the playoff for it to have any validity at all.”

        Can you really say with a straight face that NIU deserves to be in the BCS this year? The versions of Sagarin’s ratings that use MOV have NIU as #25 and #47.and he has NIU with the #110 SOS. Their best win was @ IA, and IA has lost to all 4 top 25 teams they played. There are clearly at least 10 better teams this year.

        And note, I’m all for a rule that says every undefeated team should make the playoff over any 1-loss team.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Schedule as weak as possible? Sounds exciting…

          Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Schedule as weak as possible? Sounds exciting…”

            I’d consider adding a requirement for a win over a top 25 team, but that favors the AQs. The G5 have limited games where they can schedule such a team.

            Like

  30. Brian says:

    http://www.cleveland.com/datacentral/index.ssf/2013/11/all-time_big_ten_standings_and.html

    A fun little database of all the B10 season standings. You can search by year or by team. It also gives the records (B10 only and overall) for all teams over 4 periods – all-time, since 1953 (MSU), since 1993 (PSU) and since 2011 (NE).

    Like

  31. Brian says:

    One autobid rule that definitely should be part of any 8 team playoff – all undefeated teams get a spot. I don’t care if the committee and the polls and the stats don’t think they’re a top 8 team, any 12-0 or 13-0 team deserves a spot. They don’t need to be a high seed, but they have to get in.

    It should be a rule with 4 teams, too, but they won’t do it.

    Like

  32. Transic says:

    So is it still too early to congratulate UCF on winning the first ever AAC football championship?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      They have a share now and only need to beat SMU to win it outright. SMU is pretty bad. They got shut out 34-0 by UH Friday.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Starting QB was out and he might be back vs. UCF. Backup QB looked like starter Garret Gilbert over the past 4 years-3 interceptions. But Gilbert was leading the nation in total offense prior to getting injured last week.

        Like

  33. Mack says:

    How does this proposal expand revenue for the B1G and SEC? The 4 slot playoff and not sharing the Rose and Sugar bowls works better for 4 of the 5 P5 conferences versus putting the Orange and Fiesta on the same level as the Rose and Sugar (all quarter-finals). if the Go5 is given one of the 8 slots that is a reduction to what the P5 have now. The key to the 4 slot proposal was reducing the Go5 from up to 20% (2 of 10 last year, and this year if NIU beats BGU) of the slots to 8.3%. This was possible because the AAC took the hit, with the other 4 better off. To pull that magic again, it will need to become the Go6 with another power conference demoted.

    Like

    • frug says:

      This was possible because the AAC took the hit, with the other 4 better off. To pull that magic again, it will need to become the Go6 with another power conference demoted.

      I think it is interesting to note that the last two major changes to CFB postseason (the BCS in ’98 and CFB playoff ’14) were preceded by the collapse of a major conference (SWC in ’96 and Big East in ’13). (For that matter, the addition of a fifth BCS bowl in 2006 followed the near decapitation of the Big East).

      Probably a coincidence but I guess it could be an indication that the B1G, SEC and PAC might just sit back and wait for the Big XII and/or ACC to crumble before deciding what to do next (creating a de facto 8 team playoff by simply pitting the winners of the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl against each other and using the CCG’s as the first round?)

      Like

      • frug says:

        And yes, I am aware that the last scenario I described is a real long shot even in the medium term, but it was the first thing that came to mind and would certainly be the simplest way to achieve an 8 team playoff if another power conference bites the dust.

        Like

  34. bullet says:

    Woody and Bo must be turning over in their graves. What happened to 3 yards and a cloud of dust?!

    Like

    • Brian says:

      What happened to defense?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Interesting call at the end. 2 pt conversions are about a 1 in 3 shot. Did he really feel his OT chances were that bad? Neither team seemed to be able to stop the other. Just who made the first mistake.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Normally the home team should play for OT, but they couldn’t stop Hyde and OSU has a huge advantage at FG kicker. They were moving so easily and had the momentum, so I think it was the right call. The players said Hoke asked the seniors during the TO and they all said to go for it. The OSU DB said the coaches told them during the TO that MI would run 1 of 2 plays and they were right, so he jumped the route.

          Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Going for 2 was the right call. Several of the Michigan media homers were already suggesting it, even before they scored the TD. On talk radio afterward, most of the media seemed to agree with the decision.

          On the Michigan fan boards, which usually call any coach’s decision that fails “bone-headed,” quite a few people disagreed with the call and its execution, but I haven’t seen much second-guessing of the decision itself.

          The way Michigan’s defense was playing, and with their starting FG kicker out, it felt like the best bet was to try to win it in one play. I believe the percentages are a bit better than you’re saying. I think the 2-point conversion succeeds around 45+% of the time, not merely 1 in 3.

          Like

          • GreatLakeState says:

            The overwhelming consensus (blogs etc.) seems to be that Hoke made the right call. Everyone I watched the game with agreed it was the right call.

            Like

  35. Brian says:

    Rice beats Tulane in the Southern Nerd Bowl. Losers have to do the winners’ homework?

    Like

  36. Mack says:

    It does not look like anyone wants to go to a BCS bowl today. OSU barely won, MSU did not look good, WI lost, AL lost on a missed FG run back 100 yds+ for a TD (another amazing finish for Auburn), Baylor looked bad but won by 3. Will need to see what Clemson & Missouri do tonight.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Don’t forget OR struggling with OrSU last night. Or Fresno losing to SJSU.

      Like

    • David Brown says:

      Florida State is still looking good. I hope Sparty beats OSU, and Auburn has a chance to win The National Championship. Great win for the Nittany Lions over Wisconsin.

      Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Northern Illinois looks like they want to go to a BCS bowl … there’s also this midwestern school in a southern conference I’m watching on TV right now that seems like they want to go, not sure if they are going to succeed.

      Like

  37. Brian says:

    Wow, Auburn. Just wow.

    We might possibly get a NCG without the SEC and end the tyranny.

    Or voters will move the SEC champ past OSU and the state of Ohio will burn.

    Or OSU will lose the B10 CCG.

    Like

  38. David Brown says:

    Auburn/Alabama was one of the greatest (if not the greatest game) in College Football History. The ending even surpassed the Cal/Stanford Band ending.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      David Brown,

      “Auburn/Alabama was one of the greatest (if not the greatest game) in College Football History.”

      Maybe a touch hyperbolic. It was a really good game, but not that great. AL was 0-4 on FGs and 3/14 on 3rd downs despite gaining 495 yards (meaning it wasn’t just elite AU defense). Auburn gave up that 99 yard pass with bad tackling.

      Like

      • David Brown says:

        I have long looked at the Miami over Nebraska Game as Number One, but if you look at that ending AND a 99 yard Touchdown pass in the same game, and the fact it is Alabama/Auburn (the greatest rivalry in College Sports (except Michigan/Ohio State (Football), and Duke/North Carolina (Hoops)). I put it as my Number One.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Not even close for me. I’d put it below those great FSU/Miami games as well as all the traditional elite games (NC bowls like NE/Miami, OSU/Miami, USC/UT; Game of the Century, etc).

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Hail Flutie, Stanford band, etc.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’ll agree with you.
            Nebraska/OU 71, Texas/USC 2005. It was an interesting finish but not Number one or even close.

            Lots of great finishes this weekend. OR/OR St., UM/tOSU, UGA/GT, AL/AU. I think Duke/UNC and WF/Vandy were last minute games as well. And the Duke game mattered.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            For hype in the pre-ESPN era, its hard to match Texas/Arkansas 1969. Horns, Hogs and Nixon’s coming. Great finish in that one but not as back and forth as Nebraska/OU or UT/USC.

            Like

    • frug says:

      Nothing can top The Play if no other reason than the play by play guys reaction

      THE BAND IS OUT ON THE FIELD

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think that when you combine the way it ended with the stakes involved, Auburn/Alabama was arguably the #1 fantastic finish of all time. The Cal/Stanford finish with the band was much wilder, but there was nowhere near as much at stake in that game.

      “Hail Flutie” was remarkable, but it is merely one of many games that ended on a long pass. There is usually at least one of those every year. I’ve never seen a game winning FG return for a TD on the final play of a tie game, much less a game in which #4 knocked off #1 for a place in a league championship game.

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Marc – you’re right. Returning a missed field goal 100 yards for a touchdown has only happened four times in the history of college football. Earlier this season, when LSU’s Odell Beckham returned a missed Kent State field goal 109 yards for a touchdown, the NCAA statistical program had no way to account for those yards, so they created a new category entitled “miscellaneous yards.”

        For #4 Auburn to return a missed field goal by #1 Alabama (and two-time defending national champion) 100 yards for a touchdown after Saban argued with the referees to put one second on the clock, and not be recognized as the greatest ending in CFB history is just crazy talk.

        Cal/Stanford’s band play and even the LSU/Kentucky “Bluegrass Miracle” pale in comparison the play we witnessed this afternoon.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          It depends what you mean by “greatest ending,” doesn’t it?

          Most unusual game-winning play in an important game might be a more accurate description here.

          Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          I slightly disagree. I find it more net resting that it hasn’t happened more. The rule change to possession at the point of a missed kick is disincentive to returning long misses, unless its on the last play of a half/game. Field goal units aren’t the same personnel as kickoff coverage teams. Add to that a review adding a second making over thinking the percentages instead of just going to OT.

          I’m not saying it wasn’t amazing, but kick returning against field goal unit as the most amazing play ever? How about Boise with hook and ladder, and statute of liberty on the same game deciding drive in a big bowl game? Johnny Rogers?

          Like

        • We’d have to distinguish “best game overall” with “most memorable ending”. From what I’ve personally witnessed in my lifetime, the Texas-USC Rose Bowl was the best game overall, but the Alabama-Auburn game was the most memorable ending. That missed field goal return will be shown in replays for a looooong time. The one that Devin Hester had against the Giants on Sunday Night Football a few years ago was nutty enough and the stakes weren’t nearly as high. That was as crazy of an ending that I’ve ever seen live in sports (and my wife can tell you that I watch a *lot* of sports).

          Having said that, for pure visuals, it’s really hard to top The Play with the Stanford band on the field. It doesn’t matter that the game didn’t have any national championship implications – that play will live on forever as a combo of both a miraculous football play and overall chaos on-the-field. You don’t need to know anything about football or the context of that particular game to know that The Play was as bats**t insane of an ending as you could possibly get (just as the Laetner play in Duke-Kentucky is an amazing visual even if you have no idea of the stakes involved). Today’s Auburn-Alabama game was crazy because we’re hyper aware of the context and the stakes of the game, but it will be interesting to see how it lives on 5 or 10 years from now. The Play has proven to be timeless because its context is irrelevant – it’s simply a nutty play no matter what era or what the score is.

          Like

          • I don’t know about greatest, but that was certainly the most unbelievable ending to watch in real time that I’ve ever seen.

            On a side note, Florida State is going to slaughter Ohio State.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “On a side note, Florida State is going to slaughter Ohio State.”

            If they can keep Jameis.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            Agreed, Frank — Alabama-Auburn yesterday was a miraculous ending in a game with a lot more on the line, but Stanford-Cal ’82 bordered on the surreal.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            @ Frank

            I think we are seeing the equivalent of the Duke vs Kentucky game in basketball.

            * Both games had teams with history
            * Both teams were late in the season with a NC game clearly on the line
            * Both games had underdog vs team of destiny
            * Both games relied on coaching error for coaches not know for errors
            * Both had all kinds of underlying storyline’s

            While the Stanford vs Cal has the visual elements that makes “America’s Funniest Home Video’s” popular with the general public, this ending will resonate with sports fans the same way 92′ Duke does. UCLA owned the 60’s and Indiana / Kentucky owned the post Wooden era. UNLV cleaned Duke’s clock in 1990 winning 103-73. In 1991 neither Indiana or Kentucky made the Final Four and Duke got their first NCAA banner. In 1992 if Kentucky had upset Duke in the regional they would have advanced to play Indiana in the Final Four. Indiana had (5) NCAA banners that year and Kentucky had (5) NCAA banners as well. This would have meant IU or UK would have faced the Fab 5 and Duke would have been relegated to obscurity.

            Pre 92 Duke
            (22) = IU / UK (5) + UL / KU / UC (2) + MSU / UM / OSU / Wisc / Mq / Loy-C (1)
            (05) = UNC / NCST (2) + Duke (1) + MD (0)

            Post 92 Duke
            (06) = UK (3) + UL / KU / MSU (1) + IU / UC / UM / OSU / Wisconsin / My / Loy-C (0)
            (07) = UNC / Duke (3) + MD (1) + NCST (0)

            If Auburn beats Missouri in the SEC CCG and somehow vaults them into the last BCS MNC game over the undefeated 2, it may mean more SEC dominance. The problem with Alabama losing is they may view the Iron Bowl as the MNC game for this season the same way they said the SEC CCG was the real MNC last year since the BCS MNC game was a blowout. Perception can become reality and all those folks who wanted Florida State vs Alabama will have to settle for Florida State vs Ohio State.

            They may show the Cal vs Stanford clip, but look how much free airplay the Duke shot got over Kentucky. I can easily see them replaying that Auburn TD the same way for years to come. With that last second Georgia win and now the last second Alabama win folks are already talking about how exciting Auburn is to watch on TV. In this age it is all about who drives eyeballs and Auburn is the star right now.

            Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Are they calling for Sabin’s scalp yet? 😉

          Like

          • Brian says:

            They wouldn’t dare. Sabanbot would come to their houses and crush them.

            There are Twitter death threats for the kicker, though.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        The Baylor/UNLV 1999 game qualifies for very unusual and dramatic. Baylor got a first down at the UNLV 8 with 28 seconds left. Instead of taking a knee with a 3 point lead and ending the game-Baylor runs a play, snapping with 8 seconds left on the clock. The runner gets to the 1 yard line, fumbles into the end zone and UNLV runs it back 100 yards for a TD as time expires. That game wasn’t televised, so its not as well known.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          In refreshing my memory on that game, Baylor (for a short time) HC Kevin Steele was also Clemson’s defensive coach in their 70-33 debacle vs. WV in the Orange bowl. He’s an administrative assistant at Alabama now. (Wonder if that involves planning defense against returns of missed FGs?).

          Like

  39. With Saban’s luck, Mizzou will lose tonight, South Carolina will beat Auburn next week, and MSU will beat Ohio State, and Bama will back into another championship game.

    Like

  40. Brian says:

    Assuming no more chaos (bad assumption), a BCS guess:

    NCG – OSU / FSU
    Rose – MSU / Stanford
    Orange – Clemson / AL
    Sugar – AU / UCF
    Fiesta – OkSU / NIU

    A loss for MSU might make them ineligible, though. If so:

    NCG – OSU / FSU
    Rose – AL / Stanford
    Orange – Clemson / Baylor
    Sugar – AU / UCF
    Fiesta – OkSU / NIU

    Of course MSU could win the B10:

    NCG – FSU / AU
    Rose – MSU / Stanford
    Orange – Clemson / OSU
    Sugar – AL / UCF
    Fiesta – OkSU / NIU

    Like

    • David Brown says:

      Imagine Florida State and Ohio State lose, and Northern Illinois ends up undefeated?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        And they still wouldn’t get a NCG slot. It’d be an AU/AL rematch before NIU would get a shot.

        Like

      • Mack says:

        NIU will still be in the Fiesta Bowl if it wins its CCG. ESPiN is already promoting Auburn jumping an undefeated OSU. Alabama could still get in the NCG if any two of Auburn, tOSU, or FSU loses its CCG. For any other team to get in the NCG, it will require the extremely unlikely event that all 3 lose. The other one loss teams, even if they become conference champions (MO, oSu, Baylor) just do not get the respect that Alabama gets.

        Like

    • Andy says:

      Hey Brian, you left out SEC East champs Mizzou. They’ve got a decent shot of beating Auburn I’d say.

      Like

    • frug says:

      Keep in mind that if FSU is ranked #1 the Orange Bowl would get the first overall selection and would almost certainly take 11-1 Alabama.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Assuming no upsets and SEC champ doesn’t jump tOSU or FSU (which are admittedly big assumptions) here is my guess

        NCG: FSU vs. tOSU
        Orange: ‘Bama vs. Clemson (Maybe Baylor if they beat Texas or Clemson falls out of top 14)
        Rose Bowl: MSU vs. Stanford/ASU
        Sugar: Auburn/Mizzou vs. UCF
        Fiesta: OSU vs. NIU

        (At large selection order is Orange, Sugar, Fiesta this year)

        I will say that if MSU falls out of the top 14 it will be very interesting to see what the Rose Bowl does. The Orange Bowl will almost certainly take Alabama so they would likely be stuck choosing between Clemson and Baylor.

        Like

        • David Brown says:

          I do not think Baylor are going to make a BCS Bowl (I am picking Texas to upset the Bears in Waco). As a Penn State fan, my picks (Hopefully?)
          National Championship: Auburn/Florida State
          Rose: Arizona State/Michigan State
          Sugar: Alabama/Central Florida
          Orange: Clemson/Ohio State
          Fiesta: Northern Illinois/Oklahoma State

          Like

      • Brian says:

        They do, but they don’t want to offend the ACC. If MSU is ineligible, the Rose has pick #2 and no obvious choice. I could see them telling the Orange that if the Orange selects AL, the Rose will take Clemson (might be a bluff – Baylor may be more appealing). The Orange might prefer to get Clemson and keep good relations with the ACC. At least, that was my train of thought. They might also say screw the ACC and take AL instead.

        If so:

        NCG – OSU / FSU
        Rose – Clemson / Stanford
        Orange – AL / Baylor
        Sugar – AU / UCF
        Fiesta – OkSU / NIU

        BTW, after looking at the rankings I think MSU would survive a loss to OSU and still be top 14 (barely).

        Like

        • frug says:

          I get what you are saying, but this isn’t like the Rose Bowl with the PAC and B1G or even the Sugar Bowl with the SEC. The Orange Bowl hates its ACC tie in and couldn’t care less about hurting the conference’s feelings.

          But, I do agree if MSU is ineligible that the scenario above is the most likely.

          Like

        • vp19 says:

          Brian, if the Orange Bowl did that, it would risk the wrath of the ACC…even if, in the above scenario, Clemson came out smelling like a Rose. (I’m not necessarily sure it would undermine the conference’s future, since the alternatives you listed are financially the most attractive.)

          Like

  41. Transic says:

    There it is, folks! The Battle of the Tigers is on for next Saturday.

    Anyone think Baylor is now fuming over the lost chance to really bust things up?

    Like

  42. gfunk says:

    The fix is in.

    Brad Edward’s BCS analysis, veiled in objectivity, albeit not objective, was horrendous & ESPN is running the interview, over and over and over.

    When interviewed, Edwards made a handful of strikingly biased statements while at the same time pushing a Southeastern voting bloc that clearly seeks FSU and the SEC CG winner for the BCSNG He repeatedly makes a guess that computers, therefore some voters will put Auburn over OSU in tomorrow’s BCS rankings.

    Bear in mind, Edwards is a NC native who graduated from South Carolina. Secondly, ESPN clearly has an interest in the SEC (football) and the ACC (basketball).

    Edwards pointed out that the BIG is probably having it’s worst regular season – ever. My God, why? Because teams like Minnesota and Iowa are playing good football again and MSU has become consistently very good. There’s a very good chance 4 BIG teams will be ranked tomorrow, 2 in the top 10: OSU, MSU, Wisconsin and maybe Iowa.

    Edwards fails to point out FSU’s rather weak ACC schedule. Edwards also doesn’t mention the fact that the ACC only has 3 Top 25 teams: Duke, Clemson and FSU – and that’s all they will have come tomorrow. Clemson is not a top 10 team, esp after the SC whooping & 6 TOs. Furthermore, Edwards and the ESPN machine, fail to point out that Winston’s off field issues would likely become 3x more negative if he was the QB at any big brand school in the BIG, SEC (yes the SEC), Big 12 or Pac12.

    Edwards goes out of his way to note PSU’s upset of Wisconsin was the biggest of the day, which may be true, but in my opinion, he’s playing the above vote (Southeastern pollsters) to further downplay OSU’s schedule even more. Never mind FSU.

    He does all of the above, of course, to lobby the SEC’s CG winner for the last spot in the BCSNCG.

    How FSU continues to get a pass is genuinely unethical and reeks of ESPN collusion. We all know that CBS Sports won’t endorse OSU over a 1 loss SEC team.

    OSU needs a big win next week, and a Mizzou win, then I think they are in. Btw, I’m rooting for MSU. Mizzou shares a common opponent with OSU and other BIG teams: IU. Clearly OSU and Wisky surpassed, Mizzou’s performance against IU. Even MSU and Michigan somewhat matched Mizzou’s performance against IU. Hell, Minnesota had a huge lead on IU in the second half, only to see it melt away.

    Auburn, on the other hand, despite a close game with WSU (at most a mid level Pac12 team) and LSU loss, will still glow favorably across the landscape. Beating Bama and winning the Iron Bowl in dramatic fashion is hard to overlook, esp if the Tigers win the SEC CG. Moreover, the Iron Bowl has crowned the last 4 NC’s & the SEC streak is undeniable.

    Feel bad for the Bucks, which is hard to admit. But, the BIG continues to lose the perception war. Until the BIG starts winning bowl and marquee OOC games, the negative “perception” will continue. PSU, Michigan and Neb need to get back to business as usual as well, or OSU will be fighting a lonely, uphill battle.

    Like

    • Andy says:

      OSU doesn’t have any good wins. There’s a legit argument to be made that the SEC champ is the better choice for the title game.

      Like

      • gfunk says:

        Andy, I so often disagree with you, but I got to say Mizzou is having a great season and proof that most programs are capable of turning it around and having great seasons. SEC fans, in general, were outright nasty towards Mizzou to the SEC. Have a drink and laugh your ass off, you deserve to.

        I think Iowa and Wisconsin are pretty good football teams & MSU is a fine football team, thus your argument is invalid. The BIG is underrated right now because of PSU, Mi and Neb being down, but at least Iowa and Minny are playing well this year and MSU and Wiksy have become perennial top 25 programs.

        Wisconsin beat IU 51-7, your Tigers didn’t even come close to such annihilation. OSU gets the bigger score differential as well, plus they didn’t let IU score as many points as Mizzou. Of course, OSU has to beat MSU to make their case stronger.

        The SEC is what it is, 7 straight BCS titles and powerful – it helps to have the best hs football in right in your footprint & no other region is close – thus I’m less impressed by the SEC’s reign, they do what they should do. I’m more troubled by FSU’s free pass throughout all of this (<– bold here).

        But I don't buy Mizzou passing OSU if they win the SEC CG, don't think you'll get the votes nor the computer bump. You lost to SCar, at your your place – granted you were w/o Franklin, but SC had some injuries as well, and Connor missed some games before coming to Columbia. You got to protect your home turf, plain and simple. Auburn, well they have a recent BCS title and they did the job with Bama, something most of the SEC hasn't been able to do over the past few years. If OSU and Auburn win close games next week, I won't be shocked if Auburn passes OSU.

        If OSU beats MSU big and Auburn barely sneaks past you guys, OSU will go to the CG.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          OSU hasn’t beaten MSU yet and I don’t think that they will.

          I thought Wisconsin was good until today. Now I’m not so sure.

          Iowa is okay I guess. They did lose to Northern Illinois.

          Point is OSU’s SOS will probably end up being ranked in the 60s and the SEC champ’s will be ranked in the 20s.

          Had OSU played Missouri or Auburn’s schedule they would not be undefeated.

          They almost lost today to a bad Michigan team.

          Like

        • Andy says:

          As for comparing Indiana scores… yeah, Missouri had several turnovers in that game vs Indiana at the start of the season and only beat them 45-28 in Bloomington. I don’t know what happened between then and now but Indiana has seemingly gotten worse. They beat Penn State by 20 in the game after the Missouri game, and now Penn State just beat Wisconsin by a touchdown in Madison. So I don’t know what to think of that.

          I think in the end voters should look at what the computers say. Computers are an objective measurement of how teams have performed over the season.

          I have little doubt that Missouri would be 12-0 if they had Ohio State’s schedule.

          Like

        • Andy says:

          As for your remark “Mizzou is having a great season and proof that most programs are capable of turning it around and having great seasons,” I suppose maybe that’s true but it’s not like this if a fluke year for Mizzou. This is Mizou’s fourth 10+ win season in the last 7 years, their fourth division title, and their second season with 11 regular season wins. Over the last 7 years Missouri has 64 wins, Nebraska has 61.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            I could expand that back a little farther: Over the last 9 years Missouri has 79 wins, Nebraska has 78 wins. Yeah I know over the long term Nebraska is the better program. But Missouri’s program has been better for quite a while now. This season is just a continuation of that trend.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            I looked at it a bit more and added it up. Actually 10 years is as far as I can take it back. 10 year totals: Missouri 84, Nebraska 83. Go back 11 and it’s Nebraska 93, Missouri 92.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Dayum, five consecutive replies to a single comment. Good thing that gfunk said some nice things about Mizzou, or I’m guessing it would have been the consecutive replies would have been in double digits.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            I was responding to different parts of his longish post, and two of them were just adding additional stats to one of my own points. If this forum had an edit feature I would have done it that way.

            Like

        • gfunk says:

          Didn’t say Mizzou’s season was a fluke, but this year’s 10 win season is in the SEC, a conference who has won the past 7 BCS titles. Moreover, Mizzou already has 11 wins which exceeds 3 of those 4 seasons at this point. Btw, one of those 10 win seasons ended in a loss to a lower-unranked Iowa team, who after beating you, only reached 8 wins for year Over the past 10 years, the Big 12 is no SEC & the SEC fans slighting Mizzou are now eating crow but likely chanting SEC for you come bowl season. So please don’t downplay Mizzou’s great year, you’re feeling good right now.

          Mizzou is in it’s best era of football right now. But hold off on the Neb comparisons, not there yet. You got to win multiple NC’s and over a period of a few decades, then your comparison holds greater substance. Bama’s 3 year run is over & it likely doesn’t equal Neb between 94-97 – that might be the best run over the past 30 years. Moreover, Neb appeared in two consecutive Big12 title games before joining the BIG & they also beat you 6 of the last 10 games played. As for the all time series, well that’s just a gap Mizzou will never close, including 24-25 losses in a row from 1979-2002.

          I disagree with you that IU has regressed, it’s simply different when it comes to in-conference games – so much history and familiarity. Don’t forget, IU had already lost a home game to Navy by the time you played them.

          At the end of the day I hope MSU wins, Mizzou as well. If such happens, you guys should get FSU unless Bama jumps ahead of you, an injustice that could happen – they are the SEC’s darlings.

          I generally root for underdogs. However, I think CF FBS does a miserable job of crowning a NC – it’s never been a remotely fair system & there is way too much politics.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            I don’t think voters would vote Alabama over Mizzou if Mizzou won the SEC title while Alabama sat at home. The computers might but I don’t think it would be enough.

            Yes, this is, as of now, the 2nd best season in Missouri’s modern era. Win one more and it’ll be the best season of the modern era. Win two more and it’ll be the best season in school history.

            I didn’t mean to compare 2000s Missouri to 90s Nebraska. 2000s Missouri isn’t even close. But 2000s Missouri has surpassed 2000s Nebraska at this point.

            Missouri is not “elite” at this point, but they’re definitely in that tier of solid programs that averages 9 wins a season and often goes for 10+ wins.

            The SEC is strong, yes, but Missouri was playing tough teams in the Big 12 too. Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas State, etc. I’d say the SEC is somewhat tougher than the original Big 12, but the original Big 12 was pretty tough too. The new Big 12-2 I’m not so sure about.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Andy, I wish I could trust your thoughts, but if the old guard SEC has a razor thin margin to determine a one loss Bama or a one loss Mizzou, I wouldn’t be shocked if Mizzou got screwed.

            We’ll see soon enough. The 4 Team Playoff couldn’t come soon enough, and even at that, it’s still not the 8 Team format which is not only doable, but the best system to implement at this point.

            I mean look at aTm last year, sure they lost to LSU head-to-head, but they did beat Bama and their other loss, Florida, also beat LSU. So a similar record (both with 2 losses) but clearly aTm was playing better football than LSU as the season came to an end. Who go the SEC’s other BCS bid? LSU, & they lost to Clemson while aTm destroyed OU.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            gfunk – without watching the games and knowing the context of the schedules, I can see how you came to your conclusion about A&M and LSU last season, although in my opinion it is incorrect.

            A&M defeated Bama the week after the LSU/Bama game. If you watched the LSU/Bama game last season, you would recall that LSU physically dominated Bama and needed one more first down or a defensive stop in the last 2 minutes of the game to secure the win. Over the last 7 years, both LSU and Bama suffer a let down the week after that physically and emotionally draining game. A&M caught Bama at the right time last season.

            LSU lost by one score to and 11-1 Florida team in the swamp, by one score to the eventual national champs, and soundly defeated A&M at Kyle Field.

            After the Bama game, LSU lost its BCS NCG hopes and played uninspired football in securing wins over a ranked Miss State team, an up-and-coming Ole Miss team, and an inspired Arkansas team that always plays LSU tough (in spite of being a dumpster fire last season).

            Despite being ranked higher than A&M, LSU got jilted in the bowl pairings and was sent to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. The team was very disappointed, as were the fans. Remember, the Chick-Fil-A bowl pairs the #2 ACC team against the #5 SEC team. The Chick-Fil-A Bowl was as good as Clemson could have hoped for outside of the Orange Bowl. Clemson was excited to be there, while LSU wasn’t. Clemson won by one score on the last play of the game.

            LSU wanted to go to the Cotton Bowl. If LSU isn’t in a BCS Bowl, the Cotton is its preferred destination over the Cap One, Outback, and Chick-Fil-A bowls. Prior to the announcement of the bowl pairings, it was believed that the Cap One would take A&M due to fan enthusiasm and Johnny Football, while the Outback would take Georgia, the Cotton would take LSU, and the Chick-Fil-A would take South Carolina. After such a close loss in the SEC CG, the SEC office pressured the Cap One to take Georgia even though it wanted to pick A&M and A&M wanted to go to a Florida bowl. The Cotton couldn’t pass up A&M with a Heisman trophy winner. The Outback has a clear preference for SEC East teams. So LSU, who was 11 points away from being undefeated dropped to the Chick-Fil-A bowl. While its only speculation, I think that LSU would have being excited about playing Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and would have won that game.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Alan, I watched most of LSU’s games last year, they are by far my favorite SEC team & one of my 5 favorites, period. I rooted for you against OSU in 07, and I’m a BIG fan. I also like SCar as well, & quite a bit.

            LSU, under Miles, always has the talent to beat anyone & I won’t disagree with you that at times you look unbeatable. La, imo, has the best damn hs football, pound for pound, inch for inch – a great football culture. But a Miles led LSU simply slips up in boneheaded fashion too often, mainly because of Les being so damn Bo Shembechler like – he lets certain emotions get in the way of his coaching.

            You did not soundly beat aTm last year, but you did take control in the 4th. I think aTm finished their season stronger, which was evident after bowl season. Let’s not forget that last year was aTm’s first SEC season, that’a a damn hard road to travel.

            I’m not sold on Ole Miss and MissSt, last season. Ole Miss had some late season slip ups, lost 3 of their last 4 SEC games, but were rewarded with a very favorable bowl game against Pitt. MissSt lost to NW on Jan 1.

            Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            @Alan – LSU soundly deafeted A&M last year? No, not really. A&M had the ball with a chance to win in the last minutes of the game, which LSU one by 5. A&M missed a two field goals and an extra point plus had a td called back on a penalty. LSU won but it was easily a game that could have gone either way.

            Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            ugg. Won not one…smh

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            gfunk and Frank the Ag – I guess we have different definitions of the term “soundly defeated”. LSU took the lead late in the second quarter and never relinquished it. Until a few weeks ago when the Aggies played LSU again, the 2012 A&M/LSU game was Johnny Football’s worst performance. After spotting A&M 12 points in the first half, LSU scored 24 unanswered points. A&M went over 36 minutes without scoring. LSU was up by 12 with less than 2 minutes to play in the game. I consider that a sound defeat. IMO, A&M was not dump-trucked, or skull-drug, but they were soundly defeated.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            Sorry to hear about Mettenburger’s ACL. That has to be a real downer for the fans. Is the backup any good?

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – Mettenburger’s backup is Anthony Jennings. He’s a four-star true freshman from Marietta, Georgia. According to Rivals, Jennings was the the #6 dual threat QB in last year’s recruiting class. He was an early enrollee last spring and beat out the 2012 back-up, Steven Rivers (the 6’8” little brother of Stephen Rivers), former Penn State starter Rob Boldon, and another four-star early enrollee, Hayden Rettig.

            Here’s Jennings bio.

            http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=27812&SPID=2164&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=5200&ATCLID=205999671&Q_SEASON=2013

            Until he was pressed into duty during the Arkansas game, Jennings has only played mop-up. During the Arkansas game last week, Jennings led LSU on a 99 and a half yard drive for the game-winning touchdown.

            Everyone feels terrible for Mett. If he could have played in the bowl game, Mett would have likely eclipsed the all-time single season passing yardage record at LSU. Mett is only the third QB in LSU history to pass for over 3,000 yards in a season.

            Like

        • David Brown says:

          As a Penn State fan, I really dislike Ohio State and I am certainly rooting for Sparty, but if Ohio State wins say 21-20, and Auburn wins say 31-14, because the Buckeyes went Undefeated, they should still play for the National Championship, its only fair. If OSU wins, and so does Auburn, the “Perfect Storm” scenario would be: Arizona State over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, Auburn over Florida State for the National Championship, and Northern Illinois over Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. That would give Auburn the “National Championship” that really should belong in De Kalb, Illinois, because they Huskies alone went Undefeated and won a Major Bowl Game over a one loss Oklahoma State Team (I wonder how ESPN would like that?).

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            If OSU beats the Spartans Up North, the alternative would be to have OSU play in the Rose Bowl, where if they win as they’d be favored to do, they could well be the only undefeated P5 team in the nation (and for two years straight, to boot) and yet not national champs. Which is the kind of thing the NCC was established to avoid.

            Like

    • gfunk says:

      Btw, the ACC has the worst, and it’s not even close, BCS record.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        yeah, FSU’s SOS isn’t too good either. It’s only slightly better than OSU’s. Their margins of victory have been better though.

        Like

    • I don’t think FSU is getting a pass because of collusion. I think FSU is getting a pass because they have utterly obliterated all of their opponents while Ohio State has really struggled against every above average team they’ve played against. If Ohio State had beaten every team they played as badly as FSU has, Ohio State would never have gotten jumped in the rankings to begin with.

      Although for what it’s worth, I think that FSU’s schedule has been somewhat more difficult than Ohio State’s though they are comparable. I’ll rank each team’s wins (my own opinion) and compare (again, my own opinion).

      FSU Ohio State

      Clemson Wisconsin Advantage FSU
      Miami Iowa Advantage FSU
      Maryland Michigan Advantage Tie
      Boston College Penn State Advantage Tie
      Syracuse Buffalo Advantage FSU
      Pitt San Diego State Advantage Tie
      Florida Indiana Advantage OSU
      Wake Forest Northwestern Advantage Tie
      N.C. State Illinois Advantage Tie
      Nevada Cal Advantage FSU
      Idaho Purdue Advantage OSU
      Bethune-Cookman Florida-A&M Advantage Tie
      Duke (Unplayed) Michigan State (Unplayed) Advantage Tie

      Like

      • gfunk says:

        How about Clemson-MSU? advantage OSU. I really don’t think a much improved Duke can beat MSU head to head, nice try. My God, are you smoking crack?

        MSU will be ranked 10th tomorrow. Clemson will deservedly fall out of the top 10 & had no business being in the top 10 for the last few weeks. So OSU gets a shot at beating a top 10 team to end the season. Btw, I’d love to see Wisky and Clemson head-to-head, Clemson and MSU as well. Clemson beat one ranked opponent all year, but Georgia is no longer ranked. Btw OSU clobbered PSU & PSU beat Syracuse. Who won between Syracuse and BC? And you were saying? Also, Iowa may be ranked tomorrow so take your Miami advantage line and file under bs as well. Miami hasn’t done much since losing to OSU in 2002. They’ve been a blown out by so many teams over the past decade. They are a shell of their glory days, no more and maybe certainly less.

        These schedule comparisons, admittedly, can get messy and confusing due to conference rivalries and familiarity so I’m not putting much stock in my above statements, and very little to none in your less than objective comparisons. For God’s sake, SCar lost to Tenn who got pummeled by Oregon who got destroyed by Az who got smashed by ASU who lost to ND who lost to Pitt who lost to Miami who lost to VTech who lost to Md who lost to Clemson who lost to SCar – having fun yet? The circle has been made. Ultimately, I put more stock in how teams finish the season and the BIG may have 4 ranked teams to 3 for the ACC later today. Moreover, teams can become better over the weeks leading up to their bowl games.

        Ultimately, just give me a GD 8 team playoff and a bowl system that reseeds these 8, a bowl system that is regionally inclusive and not just Sun Belt oriented. In other words, a meaningful bowl season where the players and coached overshadow the pollsters and computers to determine the playoffs, a bowl season that isn’t about cold weather folks looking for an excuse to get warm for a few days while watching a relatively unimportant bowl games, most cases. Without a relevant, fair bowl system and 8 team playoff, this just all becomes meaningless, unfair chest puffing at the end of the day. CF is rigged for the Southeast, Southwest and AZ-CA. It’s a terrible system filled with politics and regional homerism.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        According to Sagarin (as of last week):

        Wisconsin > Clemson
        Iowa > Miami (seriously, Jeff, this one’s a joke and shows your bias through and through; the only power conference team with a winning record that Miami has beaten this year is GTech at 7-5)
        Michigan > Maryland
        PSU Syracuse
        SDSU < Pitt
        IU WF (this one isn’t even close; Wake is 90th by Sagarin, behind several FCS schools)
        Illinois > NCSU
        Cal Idaho (PU is terrible this year, but you really have no idea how putrid Idaho is; look at some of the schools that they lost to)
        FCS = FCS (who cares)
        MSU > Duke (Sagarin has MSU handily beating Duke by 10 on a neutral field).

        Schedule’s 8-4 in favor of OSU over FSU.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Great. The formatting took out my signs and some teams.
          Sagarin has
          Wisconsin over Clemson
          Iowa over Miami
          Michigan over UMD
          PSU losing to BC
          Buffalo over Syracuse
          SDSU losing to Pitt
          IU losing to UF
          Northwestern over Wake
          Illinois over NCSU
          Cal losing to Nevada
          Purdue over Idaho
          MSU over Duke

          Like

          • gfunk says:

            Thank you Richard, I sincerely mean that. I have no idea how Juergens came up with his “fair and balanced” reporting. But I do agree with him on one major point: FSU did destroy everyone in their path, minus BC.

            CF is a good ole Sun Belt boy’s club at this point. The best teams from the Southeast, Southwest and West will simply win the perception battle, most cases.

            I was watching that God awful mock court gimmick that ESPN does with Mark May, Lou Holtz and God forbid Brad Edwards last night. Edwards went on to reiterate that the BIG is amid it’s worst season likely ever (and he emended his argument to the degree that the BIG is awful in comparison to other BCS conferences) and he again didn’t mention any number of arguments against FSU or the very weak ACC, top to bottom – no mention. It’s collusion and there is no other way to put it.

            Players and coaches need to truly start determining these outcomes soon enough – but such a system seems so far away.

            Don’t be surprised if Auburn jumps OSU today or they will be so close in the BCS standings that it won’t matter if OSU beats MSU, so long as Auburn beats Mizzou. The Iron Bowl, which is certainly the best rivalry game in CF right now, must have a berth in the NCG or bust for CBS-ESPN.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            Big Ten, “worst season ever”? Doesn’t anyone remember the time in the late ’60s-early ’70s when Big Eight teams beat Big Ten teams something like 29 times in a row (and this was before Iowa State and Iowa played each other, although the Cyclones won 48-20 at Illinois in 1969 to be part of the streak)?

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            VP there are a lot of bad BIG seasons that top this year, which I think was actually a great campaign for the BIG (in conference). 8 BIG teams finished the season with a winning record. There’s simply a lot of parity in the conference right now.

            I think the BIG’s top half can play with anyone else’s top half. I also think OSU, a couple of SEC teams, a couple of Pac12 teams, and maybe OkSt would all give FSU a much tougher game than any so far. FSU is beatable when matched against the above teams, though some have better odds than others.

            Internal cannibalism: When I was watching MSU players in their post-game pressers, they went out of their way to say how horrible they played, but they failed to realize that Minnesota is a lot better than advertised & outside of Michigan (the game where Coach Kill was in the hospital), they played every higher ranked team tough & even had moments to jump ahead. BIG teams don’t congratulate each other in defeat. That Lewan kid, Michigan, went out of his way to diss OSU’s win yesterday, which ultimately hurts conference perception. Perhaps, Mr. Lewan, you guys finally played up to your recruit rankings and historical tradition. But, the in-game fight likely soured and post-game love : ).

            I don’t even want to talk about the frustrations of typical PSU or Neb fans, esp how they feel about OSU in general, which leads to my bigger point. It’s unprecedented for a conference to have so many of their big brands playing below expectations. Michigan, Neb, & PSU. These teams did not perform with consistency this year & none seemed to embrace the fact that every game counts in CF. Too many ugly wins and losses: Michigan (Akron & UConn), PSU (IU), Neb (choked a 21 pt lead on UCLA at home, throw in 2 more home losses). Throw in MSU’s loss to ND, a game they could have won had they not publicly toiled in a QB controversy for the first 3-4 games of the year. Wisky and ASU, we don’t need to go there at this point – the Badgers all had laxatives up their behinds yesterday. I do give PSU a break, they’re dealing with major sanctions and depth issues, but ultimately the scandal was their fault as an institution. But Michigan’s issues are inexcusable, OSU has dealt with actual NCAA sanctions over the past decade and more off field issues, yet they rebound. The Michigan ADept is in the stone ages, football wise & their fans are incredibly arrogant.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @vp

            http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/conferences/big-ten/

            According to the SRS, this year’s Big Ten is the strongest the conference has been since 2005 by a sizable margin.

            In addition, Sagarin and CFR both rank the Big Ten as the third best conference in the country (though admittedly the Big 10, Big XII and ACC are all bunched together pretty tightly.)

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “According to the SRS, this year’s Big Ten is the strongest the conference has been since 2005 by a sizable margin.

            In addition, Sagarin and CFR both rank the Big Ten as the third best conference in the country (though admittedly the Big 10, Big XII and ACC are all bunched together pretty tightly.)”

            How dare you let facts interfere with the narrative?!? The B10 is worse than most HS football conferences and should be forced to drop the sport.

            Also, ESPN has the B10 a very close 4th to the B12 at 3rd (before this weekend) – 73.7 to 73.5.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            I think you guys are misreading VP’s post & he may have misread my paraphrased quote from Brad Edwards, the ESPN analyst made the claim that this is the worst BIG season, possibly ever.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I was just backing up what you and VP were saying.

            Clearly Edwards (a ‘Bama grad by the way) is full of crap.

            Like

          • mnfanstc says:

            Taylor Lewan is a CLASS A “momma’s boy”… He’s a dirty mo-fo, he’ll get “learned” in THE league…

            Like

        • As I said, everything was my own opinion. I don’t care about Sagarin ratings, only the eye test. But how is a 10 win Clemson whose only two losses to top 10 teams not as good as a Wisconsin team with nine wins, one of which is an unranked Penn State at home? If you want to claim Iowa is better than Miami, go ahead, but I think you’re wrong. If they played on a neutral field, I’d take Miami by at least two touchdowns. I’ve watched both teams play, Miami is a lot more talented. As for the rest, they’re pretty much a toss up.

          Like

          • I meant that one of Wisconsin’s losses was to Penn State.

            Like

          • Also, I am not biased towards FSU. I am a Florida fan. If anything, I am biased against FSU. Besides, I put my own team as WORSE than INDIANA.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Nonsense. Iowa is damn near playing Ferentz ball again: smart football, excellent tackling, a balanced run and pass game – the kind of football that has given Miami fits this year. When Kirk’s got his team rolling, they can beat almost anyone.

            As I said in a previous post, which you clearly did not read, the circle of scheduling, common opponents and conference rivalries can get nonsensical. These are young, fickle men, home venues matter, match ups matter, injuries matter, coaching adjustments matter. Here’s another circular example: you guys handily beat GT who clubbed Duke who clubbed you. Btw, VT, who came into your mostly empty stadium and beat you, lost a home game to Md. So anyways, we’ll never know unless the teams play head to head. You’re a homer, I’m a homer – we defend our so-called conferences. Bottom line, as a BIG fan, the odds are always stacked when it comes to FBS CF – it has increasingly become a southern sport, you know where most of the good recruits are.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Yeah ok Juergens. I think Fl fans ultimately root for their in-state schools and then their region if the current season is a bust. That’s how most people roll, esp down South.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            @gfunk AFAIR, few Vol fans cheer for Vandy to succeed, even if the Vols are stinking up their season. Though that may in part be lack of opportunity to practice doing it.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The problem with the eye test (at least when done by a regular fan) is that, while speed and athleticism can be picked up by anyone, unless they have played or coached football at a high level, the fan doing the eye test is almost certainly a poor judge of football skills like smarts, discipline, and line play.

            Case in point: in 2009, Miami certainly had faster and more athletic players than Wisconsin, and the ‘Canes were higher ranked than Bucky at the end of the regular season, but when they played in the Champ Sports Bowl, Wisconsin rolled up 430 yards vs. 249 for Miami and nearly doubled the ‘Canes’ time of possession in the victory.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            For another example of how the eye test is a poor way to measure even individual talent, to people who have seen both players play, which player in their prime looks more talented: Jevon Kearse or JJ Watt? To my naked eye, it’s the speedier Kearse.

            Yet, despite being in the NFL less than 3 full years, JJ Watt’s best season already blows away the Freak’s best season in terms of production (which I’m measuring by sacks and tackles). He just needs 2 more sacks in 5 games this year for his second-best season to be better than Kearse’s 2nd best season.

            However’s Watt’s talent was so unnoticed that he was rated a 2-star recruit out of HS and didn’t receive an offer from any top-level program.

            All he does is get to the QB and tackle the guy with the ball more often than a bunch of guys who do better in the eye test than him.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            @ Richard,

            Great points. Speed and athleticism really kill at the college level because tackling, discipline, high IQ, power and experience are still in their infancy. We can insert Chip Kelly’s evolution to pocket passer here, suddenly Philly is a hot team. Where is Vince Young? How about the savior: RGIII? Moreover, CF, and I all repeat this ad nauseam, does not have high stakes cold weather football like the NFL. Nearly all bowl games are hosted in the Sun Belt, BCS games as well.

            It’s not a shock that so many BIG players, as well as other cold-weather alum from different conferences succeed at the next level, and many of these players are drafted post-first round.

            Let’s see now: Pittsburgh, Green Bay, New England, Baltimore, NY teams, KC, Chicago, Denver, Washington, and perhaps at least one other cold weather team, have how many SB’s between them? I count at least 28. Never mind the other teams who host at least 3 cold weather games in Nov & Dec: Buffalo, Cincy, Cleveland, Philly & Minnesota during the 60s to 70s – the history of the above hosting playoff games below 40 degrees is voluminous. Moreover, it’s not that warm in SF during Nov and Dec – so maybe etch in the 49ers. You can argue that the SB is typically played in warm weather or inside, but for these teams to get there, say a Pittsburgh or New England, may they have to play at least 6, high stake cold weather games, which is atypical in CF.

            You got to play a different style in the cold & there are recruits down south who realize that playing CF up north helps them with a prospective NFL career – you never know if you’ll get drafted to Buffalo. Too bad more of them don’t recognize this fact.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Right. Talent is talent even at the college level, though. My point is that few fans are a good judge of talent outside of speed. So if Mike Mayock says Miami is better than Iowa by the eye test, I’d listen to him. The average fan, not so much.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        Jeffrey Juergens,

        The others covered several of the points, so I’ll just cover some other areas.

        “If Ohio State had beaten every team they played as badly as FSU has, Ohio State would never have gotten jumped in the rankings to begin with.”

        We’ll be sure to tell our starting QB not to get injured next time. He was nowhere near 100% against WI and NW and it showed.

        You do realize that OSU not dominating is NOT a reason to ignore FSU’s SOS, right? You can make the same complaint about multiple teams, not just one.

        “Although for what it’s worth, I think that FSU’s schedule has been somewhat more difficult than Ohio State’s though they are comparable.”

        I don’t know how many objective sources agree with you. I think most say they are pretty similar.

        Sagarin – 61/66 – advantage OSU

        Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Yeah, I agree that three out of four of your FSU Advantages are suspect:

        Clemson / Wisconsin ~ that’s advantage Whiskey even without the factor of Whiskey getting up for big games and Clemson choking.

        Miami / Iowa ~ Iowa kills Miami

        Buffalo / Syracuse ~ that’s a tie at best for FSU.

        All three of those only go to FSU if you include long term brand value … if you could take away the names and look at the pairs of teams playing in grey uniforms vs black and white uniforms, there’s no way are any of those are three advantage FSU.

        I wonder whether FSU is a better match-up for OSU than Auburn this year, since OSU’s defense has had its secondary covering for the relative weakness of its linebackers all season long, and if OSU plays Auburn, I would not be surprised if the safeties rack up more tackles than the linebackers.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          No, I think OSU would rather play Auburn. OSU can play decent run defense (see the WI game and others) and Shazier would get approximately 732 tackles. The problem for OSU is the pass defense, and Winston is a much bigger threat there.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          Shows how these things go. Other than Purdue over Idaho, those were the 3 of his 12 I was most inclined to agree with him on. I thought all the rest of his evaluations were wrong.

          Like

  43. Brian says:

    http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/m-hockey-standings.html

    That’s not a mirage, folks, that’s the first official Big Ten hockey standings with games kicking off on Friday.

    Like

  44. ccrider55 says:

    It’s just a nice bowl held in LA, but if it’s not B1G/PAC it’s not the Rose Bowl.

    Like

    • frug says:

      The 100th Rose Bowl could well feature a matchup of Clemson/Baylor vs. Arizona St.

      How much you wanna bet the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association members are shoving pins into the shoulders of their Braxton Miller voodoo dolls?

      Like

  45. Richard says:

    Note to all those folks forecasting that the Orange would pick the Tide:

    Keep in mind that the Crimson faithful descended on Miami last year to see a much more important game. I could definitely see the Orange Bowl taking a different SEC team because of that. Picking SCarolina over ‘Bama would be controversial, but if Auburn loses the SEC title game, they could justify an Auburn selection with head-to-head results. Then again, if the Orange picks Clemson, SCarolina would be out, so the SEC team would be Auburn or ‘Bama.

    Like

    • frug says:

      If Alabama finishes in the top 4 (virtual certainty) they are guaranteed a BCS slot. By rule the Orange Bowl couldn’t take another SEC team.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Good point. However, if OSU beats MSU and MSU falls out of the top 14, the Rose would probably choose ‘Bama (Orange could take ‘Bama with their first pick, but I think they’ll go with Clemson).

        Like

  46. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I cannot imagine the fire that will rage out of Ohio if tOSU manages to go unbeaten but be on the outside of the NCG. Auburn has a loss. They’re supposed to be out until all unbeatens from major conferences have lost. They are in the SEC West, not the NFC West!

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “…if tOSU manages to go unbeaten but be on the outside of the NCG.”

      Unbeaten for two consecutive years.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’ll worry about getting to 25-0 first. If that happens, then I’ll worry about OSU’s bowl destination. I’d be disappointed and upset if OSU got passed over, but there is a case to be made for a 1-loss Auburn. They’ll have a significantly higher SOS, although beating MSU would boost OSU’s. I believe the past pattern should be applied, with any P5 undefeated champ getting priority, but I may be biased.

        This sort of debate is why people wanted a committee for the playoff, right?

        Until and unless OSU beats MSU, this is a moot point so I refuse to get too excited about it for now.

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          My position is (assuming a win over MichSt), Ohio State will be playing for a NC regardless of the date of our game in the Rose Bowl. If we go 13-0, but FSU loses we are the only zero-loss team. I say that is deserving of an AP NC.

          Like

  47. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    New Coaches poll is out.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2013/12/01/usa-today-sports-coaches-poll-week-14/3796135/

    1. Florida State
    2. Ohio State
    3. Auburn (25 points behind the Buckeyes)
    4. Bama
    5. Mizzou

    Like

    • David Brown says:

      Here is what the Coaches Poll means: Unless Michigan State beats Ohio State and Duke beats Florida State ( 10 Turnovers might be necessary for that to happen), Alabama cannot win the National Championship. Here is why: Either Auburn or Missouri will end up ahead of Alabama ( obviously Auburn is ahead, but since Missouri is only 25 Points behind them, a win over Auburn should allow them to leapfrog Alabama), meaning BOTH FSU and OSU must lose. I really believe any win will put Ohio State in the National Championship Game, no matter what the SEC team does. But for the B10 the ideal scenario is say a 27-24 OSU win coupled with a close SEC Game to send Michigan State to the Rose Bowl. One more point, As a Penn State fan I remember the infamous back to back Undefeated teams and Nixon picking Texas National Champion, and the writers going along. For that reason alone, Ohio State must play in the National Championship Game if they beat Sparty. That would only be the fair thing to do.

      Like

  48. Brian says:

    /large

    This is how you know it’s a big rivalry.

    Q: What does OSU need to do to deserve a spot in the NCG?

    A1: Beat MSU – 39% and most of the states
    A2: Beat MSU soundly – 24% and no states
    A3: Doesn’t deserve it no matter what – 34% and the SEC footprint + DE and MI

    Like

  49. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/polls/

    Coaches’ Poll:
    1. FSU (58) – 1546
    2. OSU (4) – 1462
    3. Auburn – 1437
    4. AL – 1333
    5. MO – 1315

    9. MSU – 1037
    10. Stanford – 1034
    11. Clemson – 853

    21. WI

    RV. IA 13, MN 4

    Notes:
    1. Who voted OSU #1 other than Meyer? If it isn’t because of the Winston issue, it makes no sense.

    2. Auburn is uncomfortably close to OSU. The computers favor AU slightly (Jerry Palm estimates AU = 2.00, OSU = 2.75). The question is what another top 10 win for each team would do. I think the computers would stay about the same and so would the human polls.

    3. I don’t see any way a team other than AU could jump a 13-0 OSU.

    4. MSU should be safely in the top 14 with a CCG loss. That basically guarantees them a Rose Bowl win or lose (unless OSU gets jumped).

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2013/12/ohio_state_auburn_coaches_poll.html

      A breakdown of the coaches ballots.

      1. Ohio State (4) Auburn (0)
      2. Ohio State (42) Auburn (16)
      3. Ohio State (7) Auburn (41)
      4. Ohio State (5) Auburn (5)
      5. Ohio State (3) Auburn (0)
      6. Ohio State (1) Auburn (0)

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Interesting to see if those 4 are SEC coaches or have ties to Malzahn.
        6th is pretty ridiculous. That person should lose their ballot.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I think at least 8 of them should be in fear of losing their votes. Anyone other than Meyer putting OSU #1 right now is questionable. Anyone putting OSU below #3 is biased but below #4 is ridiculous.

          Like

          • I disagree. Where you rank the Buckeyes depends on whether you vote on who deserves a ranking more or on who you think is actually the better team. I think that Ohio State should probably be ranked at either one or two based on what they deserve. And I think it would be grievously unfair to put a one-loss team in the Championship over them because they are undefeated and only FSU (and for that matter NIU) are also undefeated. As for who is the better team, I think that Ohio State is probably around fifth. I would pick FSU, Bama, Auburn, and Mizzou on a neutral field over Ohio State.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            And you’re biased and should lose your vote.

            Like

          • If people lost their vote based on bias, no one would ever be allowed to vote on anything ever. Every single person is biased, and no one is capable of making a decision without bias. If you deliberately vote against your bias, you are still voting with bias.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There’s a difference between being biased and being absurd. Ohio St. in 6th is absurd. There were some Harris pollsters in that first year that were absurd. I remember one in particular who was like 85 years old who just gave a ridiculous reason for his votes.

            Like

          • I don’t think ranking Ohio State sixth is absurd. There are valid arguments for putting Ohio State anywhere in the top ten or so. For example, you could argue that Oklahoma State, Baylor, or South Carolina are just as good as Ohio State or even better. I would not personally buy those arguments, but I don’t think they would be absurd. Nobody seems to be arguing that Northern Illinois is a top five team, but they have a better record than all but two teams. Ohio State has beaten every team they’ve faced, but Northern Illinois has too. Personally, I don’t think Northern Illinois is better than fifteen or sixteen, but that admittedly is based entirely on bias rather than any real evidence. Everyone votes for different reasons, and they’re not necessarily absurd.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Jeffrey Juergens,

            “I don’t think ranking Ohio State sixth is absurd. There are valid arguments for putting Ohio State anywhere in the top ten or so.”

            No, there really aren’t. But even if there were, that would only work if the voter used that same logic all season long. They can’t suddenly change their approach now that AL has a loss.

            Like

          • What if you watched Ohio State struggle at Michigan and saw Auburn and Mizzouri win and changed your mind?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’d say you were being absurd. Missouri didn’t look that impressive. A&M’s defense has been swiss cheese all year. Manziel was off even when he wasn’t hurried. Michigan can score. And Ohio St.’s defense has been soft cheddar all season. To get Ohio St. 6th, you have to rank them behind FSU, Auburn, Alabama, Missouri and one other school. 5th is a stretch and indicates poor judgement IMO (using eyeballs instead of on the field results), but 6th is ridiculous. Oklahoma St. and Baylor have exhibited the same inconsistency. South Carolina has been whipped twice and really hasn’t looked that impressive the rest of the time. And they HAVE lost twice. Stanford lost to Utah.

            Like

        • duffman says:

          Person who voted them 6th is probably a Michigan fan and voting them 11th would have been to obvious. 😉

          Like

    • bullet says:

      4. Likely, but no guarantee. They were #11 in BCS last week. Oregon and NIU probably pass them if they lose. If Arizona St. beats Stanford and Oklahoma beats Oklahoma St., I think they fall to #15. LSU might even pass them if they lose badly. Don’t think there’s any risk of them falling behind UCF or Louisville.

      With their defense, I don’t think its likely they lose badly.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        “4. Likely, but no guarantee.”

        There are no guarantees in CFB. But their gap in the poll to #11 gives them a lot of cushion.

        “They were #11 in BCS last week.”

        And should be #10 this week.

        “Oregon and NIU probably pass them if they lose.”

        NIU is 500 points behind them. Beating BGSU won’t boost them much.

        “If Arizona St. beats Stanford and Oklahoma beats Oklahoma St., I think they fall to #15.”

        The winner of that game would pass MSU, but I think the loser would stay behind MSU. Losing to #2 is better than losing to #13. I agree OU might jump them while OkSU stays ahead.

        “LSU might even pass them if they lose badly. Don’t think there’s any risk of them falling behind UCF or Louisville.

        With their defense, I don’t think its likely they lose badly.”

        There’s almost no chance of an OSU blowout.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Stanford and Oklahoma St. are ahead of Michigan St. in the BCS. If all 3 lose, their order doesn’t likely change. NIU isn’t far behind MSU in the BCS. The computers like them. Sagarin had them 3rd last week.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Who you lose to has a sizable impact on how far you fall. Losing to #2 is a lot better than losing to #12 or #18. That could easily shuffle their order.

            Also, NIU was 0.116 behind MSU last week (0.578 to 0.462). That’s a huge gap. It’s larger than the gap from MSU to Stanford was.

            Like

  50. GreatLakeState says:

    If precedence means anything, a win by OSU should clinch it. The fact that Auburn’s only lose is to a very good LSU team certainly gives them a strong case (in regard to SOS) but then you have to consider whether FSU should get the nod ahead of OSU or Auburn. In the end I think the SEC and their minions in the sports media will have to settle for blathering on about how the SEC are still the REAL Champions until someone beats them.

    Like

  51. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/category/_/name/ncf

    ESPN’s Stats and Info blog had some interesting articles this week, including one that undermines the narrative the rest of ESPN is spinning.

    1. 11/25 – Does OSU have a case for #2 over FSU?
    The answer is yes, but not a great one. But if they’re close to FSU, then AU shouldn’t have a case for #2 now.

    2. 11/27 – A look at how Braxton Miller’s running has improved as his knee has healed.
    He, and thus the OSU offense, wasn’t the same for OSU’s toughest games.

    3. Some good analyses of the AU/AL and MO/TAMU games

    Like

  52. frug says:

    For those who said things couldn’t get any worse for Illini FB

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Wait until next year. At NE, at WI, at NW, at OSU, vs PSU.

      IA seems to have the easiest schedule in the West, getting NE, WI and NW at home plus IN and UMD from the East. WI’s isn’t too bad either.

      In the east, the schedules are more balanced for the top teams but MSU does get OSU and MI at home. They also get NE, though.

      I wish OSU’s 2 byes didn’t come so early.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Wait until next year. At NE, at WI, at NW, at OSU, vs PSU.

        Not to mention our thrilling home schedule of Youngstown St, Western Kentucky, Texas St., Purdue, Minnesota, Iowa and Penn St.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        All the contenders in the west get patsy cross-overs next year except Northwestern.
        Oh wait, UNL gets MSU.

        Still, here are the other cross-overs for the contenders:
        Wisconsin-UMD
        Wisconsin-RU
        Iowa-IU
        Iowa-UMD
        UNL-RU

        The schedule isn’t going to help Northwestern in terms of winning the division in the next 2 years (we get Michigan and @PSU in 2014).

        After this year, though, folks will probably ecstatic about 8-4, and the NU conference schedules will be easier than this year.

        Like

        • mnfanstc says:

          Be interesting to see what happens next year… and the year after that… … …

          Minnesota is improving… AND young… Wiscy is losing some key players, as is Iowa… The Gophers already pounded Nebraska’s ‘D’ this year–unless something there changes…

          Kill and his staff have done wonders to return some respectability, and more importantly, some confidence–learning to win–back to Minneapolis… Look out for the Gopher’s as a darkhorse…

          Like

  53. Brian says:

    Frank,

    I feel bad for you as a fan, but Trestman got what he deserved. I hate coaches that stop playing for a TD and kick a FG for no apparent reason. It was 2nd and 7 and he went for a 47 yard FG. I know NFL kickers are really good, but they do miss at that distance plus teams can block it. Why not run 2 more conservative plays and at least make it a little easier?

    Like

  54. Michael in Raleigh says:

    This has nothing to do with the situation at hand in the 2013 football season, but FWIW, Florida State’s football schedule will be significantly more difficult next year.

    Idaho and Nevada will be replaced in the non-conference schedule with a game against Oklahoma State in Dallas and a home game against Notre Dame. Bethune Cookman will be replaced with some other FCS team; does it even matter which one? Florida will be at home since it’s an even-numbered year, as will the Clemson game, but Miami will be on the road. The home game against Maryland will also be replaced with a much tougher road game against Louisville. The road game against Pitt will be replaced with a home game against Virginia.

    Like

  55. frug says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10064394/urban-meyer-ban-ohio-state-buckeyes-players-marcus-hall-dontre-wilson-fight

    Shockingly, noted disciplinarian Urban Meyer won’t be suspending anyone for the biggest game since he arrived in Columbus.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Your narrative would be better if he hadn’t been so tough on players at the start of the season. He suspended players that weren’t charged with crimes but screwed up by getting in bad situations.

      Besides:

      “I’ve already met with the players involved, and the rule is very clear that if you get in a fight, you lose a game,” Meyer said. “They lost a game, they didn’t play from that point forward, they were ejected from the game. It’s a tough penalty in a rivalry game, but it’s one that I agree with.”

      Like

      • frug says:

        You can make a case that Wilson has already been punished enough, but Hall deserves additional action for flipping off the crowd.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Don’t forget that they are getting internal discipline as well, just not a suspension. I’m pretty sure Hall won’t start, for example, in addition to whatever physical punishment they got.

          Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            If I were Delaney, I’d suspend Hall for the 1st half against MSU……you have to do something….and I think that would be enough.

            Like

        • GreatLakeState says:

          I don’t think Hall will be playing against MSU next week, and that cringe worthy, photo-op will be the reason (even more so than his sucker punch of Keith Heitzman). Wilson, having had his helmet ripped off to start the scrum will be given a pass.

          Like

          • GreatLakeState says:

            As a side note, I’m surprised Meyer didn’t proactively suspend Hall for the first half of the BTC game to take the pressure off the Big Ten to act.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I think he doesn’t see the fingers as worthy of suspension and sees the ejections as sufficient for the punches. The internal discipline is enough for the fingers as far as he’s concerned. I think it’s in part because he doesn’t want to punish the team for Hall’s mistake.

            Also, I think OSU feels like MI really instigated that whole thing.

            Like

          • rich2 says:

            …naturally, Delaney did nothing — the downward spiral continues. “What would Slive do”? is not the standard against which the Big 10 should compare itself. There is no business like show business.

            Like

  56. Michael in Raleigh says:

    If the favorites all win this weekend, my bowl projections are as follows:

    Rose: Michigan State v. Stanford
    Fiesta: Oklahoma State v. NIU
    Sugar: Auburn v. UCF
    Orange: Clemson v. Alabama
    BCS NCG: Florida State v. Ohio State

    If Mizzou and tOSU win, just replace Auburn w/ Mizzou in the Sugar. If Auburn and Michigan State win, put Auburn in the NCG, tOSU in the Orange v. Clemson, and Alabama in the Sugar v. UCF.

    I think Clemson gets in the Orange provided it gets in the top 12. Other at-large spots go to NIU (non-AQ), Michigan State/Ohio State loser (B1G), and Alabam (SEC). The American obviously will not get a second team. Oregon is too far to garner a bid to the OB, the only BCS bowl they’d have a shot attending since the Sugar has to take UCF and the Fiesta has to take NIU. And Baylor is not going to go to the OB over a similarly ranked team from the ACC, which has a 12-year contract with the ACC commencing next year.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Being a “three yards and a cloud of dust” guy, I think MSU-Stanford would be a great game to watch. I’m sure 90% of the coubtry would disagree……….

      Clemson needs to stay away from Alabama at all costs. That would be very ugly.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Heck, man, it’s the Rose Bowl. It’s inherently a great game to watch. Even if 100% of college football fans may said they disagree that MSU-Stanford would be a great game to watch, 90% of them would watch anyway.

        Totally agree with you about Clemson vs. Alabama. Bama will be out for blood against whichever team they play.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        There would be some very sore bodies after that Rose Bowl.

        Clemson would lose by 40+ and be crying before the end of the game.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Seems like sound logic.

      But there’s a lot of football to be played. The biggest upset would be if all the favorites won this weekend.

      Like

  57. Brian says:

    WI drops to #21. MSU up to #10. OSU squeaks into #2. NIU ahead of UCF.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      OSU is #2 in both human polls and the computers.

      Coaches – 1462 to 1437
      Harris – 2488 to 2422
      Computers – 2.00 to 3.00 (OSU leads in 5 of 6 computers)

      MSU has a 0.23 lead over #15.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Still looks like what I said earlier. Favorites win and they fall to #13. If two upsets happen-Arizona St. beats Stanford and OU beats Oklahoma St.-they probably fall to #15. Clemson dropped 7 spots with the voters with their loss. Michigan St. will drop quite a bit in the polls with a loss as well.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “Still looks like what I said earlier. Favorites win and they fall to #13. If two upsets happen-Arizona St. beats Stanford and OU beats Oklahoma St.-they probably fall to #15. Clemson dropped 7 spots with the voters with their loss. Michigan St. will drop quite a bit in the polls with a loss as well.”

          Many people still thought Clemson was a good team. MSU has gotten zero respect all year. I don’t think they get punished much unless they get blown out.

          ASU would jump them with a win and stay behind them if they both lose. The same is true for OU. But Baylor could lose and drop behind them. The humans might keep them ahead of NIU, too.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            “MSU has gotten zero respect all year. I don’t think they get punished much unless they get blown out.”
            Part of the reason I think they REALLY drop if they lose. They are only so high because they only have 1 loss. If they lose again, it confirms what people think about them. People thought Clemson was good, but the bad FSU loss left some doubts. Another loss confirmed them.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            Well, the computers likely would not drop MSU much at all, so the voters would have to put Sparty close to 20th.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            You lose a game and you drop in the computers. You don’t stay the same or go up no matter who you play, at least not this late in the season.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Its possible OU doesn’t move up enough to pass MSU in that scenario (ASU over Stanford and OU over OSU), but it seems more likely than not. ASU definitely passes them in that scenario and it would take a really bad performance by any of the losers to drop below MSU.

            Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Not enough fuss is being made over how poorly the rankings are done below the top ten. Ever since UCF’s win AT Louisville, UCF has remained behind the Cardinals in the Coaches’ poll. (I haven’t kept track of the Harris poll, but it, too, has Louisville ranked ahead of UCF this week.) They have the same record, so logic should dictate that the tiebreaker would go to the head-to-head winner, especially if the winner won on the road. Additionally, UCF has a win at Penn State and a close loss at home to #8 South Carolina, whereas Louisville’s non-conference schedule was a soft as any you’ll ever see. Moreover, the computers favor UCF by a large margin; UCF’s average is #16, while Louisville’s is #28.

        I do hope that the CFP committee is made to answer questions about why it would choose to place one team ahead of another. Nothing can be perfect, but a huge flaw with the BCS is that coaches could rank however they please without being required to explain their rankings team by team.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          As much as I dislike Notre Dame, its ridiculous when you look at the schedules that other 4 loss teams get in and they hardly get any votes at all. Tied for 28th in AP. 35th with 3 points in coaches (Marshall 9-3 got 13 points!). Better sign than any that coaches favor conference mates.

          With wins over Michigan St., Arizona St., USC and BYU, there aren’t a lot of schools with 4 better wins. Stanford and OU aren’t slouches for losses. And Oklahoma St. lost to WVU, so you can’t hold Pitt too much against a team ranked in the 20s. Michigan was their 4th loss and they nearly beat the #2 team in the country this past weekend. Contrast that with A&M who is 0-4 vs. ranked teams and whose 4 best wins are Ole Miss, Rice, Vanderbilt and Miss. St. UGA is 2-3 vs. ranked teams (S.Car.,LSU W and Clemson, MU, AU L) with another loss to Vandy. Florida/Tennessee and Georgia Tech are their candidates for their 3rd and 4th best wins-all 3 nail biters.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Nail hit on the head, bullet. I’m no Notre Dame fan, either, but it has really struck me how little benefit of the doubt they get they get these days, in stark contrast to decades past, when Notre Dame would be ranked in the top 25 for getting out of bed. Coaches’ voting for fellow conference members would leave Notre Dame out. I agree that it is not only plausible; it’s likely THE explanation for ND’s low rankings of late. Heck, going back to last year, ND wasn’t ranked #1 until ALL unbeaten teams had lost. These included not just fellow traditional powers like Alabama, but also Oregon and even Kansas State.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Heck, going back to last year, ND wasn’t ranked #1 until ALL unbeaten teams had lost. These included not just fellow traditional powers like Alabama, but also Oregon and even Kansas State.

            To be fair, that is because most people (rightly as it turned out) believed ND was smoke and mirrors and didn’t want to put a team as weak as last year’s Irish at #1 unless they had absolutely no other choice.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @frug,

            Yeah, I agree with that, too, but ten or fifteen years earlier, that smoke would have blinded voters into voting ND #1 prematurely because, after all, it was an undefeated Notre Dame. That, and coaches wouldn’t have been quite as concerned about voting other members of their conferences favorably. Last year, ND was ranked appropriately. Times have changed.

            Like

          • frug says:

            As awful as the coaches’ poll is (and it is quite possibly the worst way to determine a national champ imaginable) ND does appear to be one case where the coaches (or more accurately their graduate assistants) have learned from their mistakes.

            Like

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Within a couple of years ND will realize what a mistake they made hitching their wagon to the ACC. A Big Ten ND would always be Bowl Gold.

            Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            of course A&M’s losses are to #2, #3 and #4 (all came down to the last series of the game) and to LSU. No great wins (though Ole Miss has been ranked much of the year and beat LSU and Texas) but no bad losses.

            Like

  58. Richard says:

    While looking through Sagarin, I found out that the Illini are evidently the 4th best college football team in IL this year.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      They’re still better than NCSU, however.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        I was at the NCSU game yesterday. It doesn’t take much to be better than this year’s NC State team. They were pretty sad to watch. Someone said on Mike and Mike a few weeks ago that when losses start piling up, teams start to play worse, making mistakes they’d never make had they not been in a spiral of losses. “That’s what losing does to you.” Case in point w/ NC State. Dropped easy passes, snap over the punter’s head, runs directly into tackler’s arms when open space was available, missed assignments galore on defense, etc.

        Dave Doeren, formerly of Northern Illinois, is hoped to turn it around once he gets the players for his run-heavy offense in place. It didn’t help losing Mike Glennon (Tampa Bay’s starting rookie QB) to the NFL with no quality recruits in place to take over. Still, 3-9 was pretty awful.

        I know very little about Illinois, but maybe the slightly softer west division will give them a chance to be more competitive in the Big Ten, especially if the team is young. (BTW, they were fourth behind NIU, Northwestern, and, which one, Southern Ill. or Eastern Ill.? App State played SIU in the FCS playoffs about 8 years back, so I know they’ve had good teams in the past…)

        Like

        • frug says:

          I bet Dave Doeren is kicking himself for not stalling on taking NCSU’s offer for another 48 hours (maybe tell them he wanted to wait until after the BCS bowls were announced). If he had he would probably be the head coach at Wisconsin right now.

          Like

          • frug says:

            Oh, and to answer your question, EIU is 11-1 and Sagarin has them ranked #29 in country between BYU and Georgia Tech.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @frug,

            You think Doeren would have gotten hired over Gary Andersen?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            But why would he tell NCSU to cool their heels? He had no inkling at the Biels was leaving, right? Nobody did.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Also, December is a key recruiting time, so telling NCSU to wait would be a no go.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Michael

            No question (at least in my mind).

            Not only did Doeren go 33-4 in two year at NIU, prior to that, he had served as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin for 4 years. Given that he had coached and/or recruited most of the roster he probably could have coached them in the Rose Bowl.

            Throw in the fact that Doeren had recruiting ties and experience in the Midwest (dating back to his days with Kansas) I just can envision any scenario where he doesn’t get offered the Wisconsin job.

            @Richard

            I agree, Doeren had no reason to believe the Wisconsin job was going to become available, this was just a “What if?”

            As for a theoretical stalling tactic, like I said, Doeren could have just said he wanted to wait until after the bowls were announced so his exit didn’t risk overshadowing NIU’s Orange Bowl birth.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          Interesting that the 3 most pursued ACC schools-Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, are 3 of the 5 members of the ACC 12 never to have won a division title. NCSU and Miami are the other two.

          Perfect example whenever anyone makes the mistake of claiming some school should get an invite because they have a good football program.

          Like

  59. ccrider55 says:

    NFL officials want to create nostalgia for the replacement refs…

    Like

  60. Brian says:

    “Expert” B10 bowl projections:

    NCG – OSU vs FSU
    Rose – MSU vs ASU (they get the CCG at home)
    Cap 1 – WI vs SC
    Outback – IA vs MO
    BWW – NE vs Texas
    Gator – MI vs UGA
    Texas – MN vs TT

    Others unfilled.

    It’d be a shame if MN dropped that far in the pecking order.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      So whoever is projecting that Texas would drop farther than OU? Shame. UNL vs. OU would be cool.
      Iowa-Mizzou as well. Hawkeyes would get the chance to avenge racist behavior.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      BTW, Minny would at least get a shot at winning a bowl game if they drop that far. I do not like their chances vs. UGa.

      Like

    • Andy says:

      there are a ton of different opinions on bowls at this point. I’ve seen Missouri projected in the Sugar, the Capital One, the Outback, and the Cotton. Looks like it could be any of those four plus Pasadena for the championship game.

      Seems Wisconsin is a lock for Capital One, but Outback, BWW,,Gator and Texas look to be a tossup between Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, and Minnesota. I’ve seen it predicted various ways.

      The Big 12 bowls are very unsettled to. Some have Texas as high as Cotton or as low as Buffalo Wild Wings.

      Like

      • mnfanstc says:

        I’m with you on the bowl thing, Andy… The dust has to be entirely shaken off, prior to knowing what’s going to happen—unfortunately, for schools like Mizzou and Minnesota, we are currently not considered beauty queens in this whole contest (regardless of records)—so, the chips likely won’t fall in favor of those… ‘Course Mizzou can still control destiny with win in SEC title game…

        Auburn’s last two wins… poorly defensed (by ‘Bama) last second field goal return for TD, poorly defensed (by Georgia) “tipped-prayer pass” in last minute win… Gotta give-em some credit, but is pretty crazy…

        Like

      • Richard says:

        I think the B10 bowl order is fairly set. I would say that those who predict an order other than what Brian posted don’t know what they’re talking about.

        I’d like OU to fall to the Wings bowl to set up OU-UNL, but that’s not likely to happen.

        Like

  61. vp19 says:

    According to emails obtained by the Baltimore Sun Maryland basketball coaches Mark Turgeon and Brenda Frese at first opposed the move to the Big Ten, and the Board of Regents chairman wrote the conference shift might improve the “toxic” fan culture in College Park: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/terps/bs-sp-terps-big-ten-1201-20131130,0,2267282,full.story

    Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      yeah, thought that was interesting. made me wonder if we wanted Maryland if they have a fan base that stoops to those levels. But on the other hand, I guess I need more information. Is this “toxic” atmosphere something just done in College Park or is it something that the fans travel with?

      and is it based on active dislike (eg. against Duke and UNC) or is it a reaction to indifference? If the latter, that might be a problem since most B1G fanbases will start off pretty indifferent.

      Like

  62. bullet says:

    Interesting article in NYT. Nothing particularly new, but some frank discussion about goals:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/business/the-big-tens-bigger-footprint.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

    Like

    • Richard says:

      ““Our footprint is Colorado to the mid-Atlantic, Canada to the mid-South,” he said.”

      Hmm. Colorado + UK + Tennessee + ?

      UToronto, come on down!

      🙂

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Good luck with that.

        I suppose he included Colorado because of Nebraska fans in the eastern part of that state (and maybe Denver, too, I suppose). The mid-South = Illinois fans living in Kentucky and Missouri; Purdue & Indiana fans living in the Louisville TV market; and Ohio State fans living in the Cincinnati/northern Kentucky market. Canada = Michigan & Michigan State fans living in Windsor?

        Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      this is the very last sentence:

      “Ms. Hermann, the athletic director at Rutgers, knows her objective. “We have to make our contribution to the Big Ten,” she said, “and get cable companies to pay for the Big Ten Network out here.” ”

      I hope that is just the writer’s ignorance. I hope Ms. Hermann knows that she has many objectives.

      Btw, not impressed at all with Hermann.

      Like

      • Anthony London says:

        Hey BukeyeBeau,

        I totally agree with you regarding Hermann. How are you feeling after that crazy game on Sunday? How do you feel about the Auburn AD trying to create a narrative for Auburn to jump over OSU? Finally, if it’s FSU, how do you think OSU matches up with them? I believe the OSU offense can score, the question becomes can the defense slow down Mr. Winston (assuming he can play)?

        Anthony

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          Hey Anthony. The Auburn win was one for the ages as they say. I actually missed it, since I was driving back home from the day of football. I figured once ‘Bama went up by 7 in the 3Q, Saban would have it locked down from there. Boy did my phone light up just as I got home. LOL

          As for the Auburn AD, I think he does a disservice to his University, to the SEC and CFB in general with his politicing. Although I am not in favor of an 8-team CFB playoff, I really like the idea of conference champs getting in automatically since there is no room for politicing. You get in because of on-field performance, not whining by your AD in the press.

          As for playing FSU? Ugh. I love my team, but our secondary is a giant sieve and Winston seems like a good passer. LOL That was a giant understatement.

          I think we can score on them. Andre Williams DID rush for 149 yards and the BC QB threw for another 197 (not all that great for the QB, but still …)

          Will be interesting for sure. The homer in me says the team crushes them and wins by at least 2 TDs. The more rational me is worried.

          Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            I would be worried too.

            The Big 10 homer in me wants OSU to win……..even when coached by someone like Urbal Liar. The rest of the league just doesn’t care enough to go to SEC-lengths to win big….no problem with OSU. But FSU looks damn good. Is OSU going to implode and go thuggish again, like they did in the Michigan game….all discipline out the window? It could get ugly if things don’t go their way at the start…..we both know that.

            Like

  63. ChicagoMac says:

    Frank, I know I’m late on this but I wanted to say that your bowl plan makes a ton of sense.

    What do you think about the possibility of moving the (post-bowl) National Semifinals back to campus? There are a few reasons:

    1. I really like the idea of rewarding the very best teams with home field advantage in these national semifinals. Think about Alabama v. Auburn, in a 4 team or even the 8 team playoff that you’ve outlined, there is very little impact on Alabama from that loss. However, if the system was set-up such that #3 and #4 had to go on the road then it retains some of the current value of these big regular season matchups.

    2. The atmosphere matters to the quality of the TV product.

    3. Weather conditions add to the context of the games. I was at a T-Day party and one of the topics was the Fog Bowl. We didn’t talk about The Fridge’s TD or Hester’s return, we talked about our memories of the Fog Bowl.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      @ChicagoMac: I don’t think the schools from temperate-weather leagues would tolerate the possibility of a southern team playing a semi-final game in a January blizzard in Ohio. Whether you agree with them or not, those leagues have enough votes to block such a proposal.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        agree with MS about not enough votes. And even some folks up here in the north don’t want outdoor games in December. Delany clearly wants the B1G CG to be played in a dome like Lucas Oil.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        I wonder if DC would be warm enough.

        Too bad KC and NYC don’t have domes; those locales would get support from the B12 and ACC, respectively, while still being close to the B10.

        Otherwise, you’re left with StL and Indy. Maybe Detroit, but that’s far from any other league.

        Like

      • ChicagoMac says:

        Probably correct Marc. I wonder about declining attendance though.

        If the ADs see an advantage in including the potential National Semifinal as part of the season ticket offering, that might be enough to offset the weather concern. This benefit would be most helpful to the fans at the margin which is exactly where the ticket declines come from.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I don’t see how any school can include a potential semifinal as a season ticket offering (except maybe ‘Bama). You can’t include something that you won’t get to play in most years (almost any year for most schools).

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            A certain level required to have first rights/opportunity to purchase semi tickets, should the occasion arise?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I guess you can do that, but unless you’re ‘Bama, how much extra money would you get? I daresay the fans of most college teams don’t expect their team to get to the semi’s most years.

            However, you do give up the sure thing of suite sales at locations that people can plan for ahead of time.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Whether semi’s are on campus or not, the BCS 2.x will own marketing rights, sell seats/suites/game memorabilia, etc. The participating schools will receive an allotment of tickets while corporate and filthy rich will purchase majority (and probably most/all suites). If at a school they probably receive a base payment plus a percentage in lieu of rent. The logistics of selling a semi location nationally (which would be a requirement) in only a week would make it unlikely.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Except that most college stadiums don’t have suites. Also, the stadium sizes and suites that do exist vary widely, so you can’t plan with a set revenue figure.

            Essential, as much as I dislike having to make fans travel all over the country to see all 3 rounds of playoffs, on-campus playoff sites are impractical.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I agree with your conclusion, but many retrofits/rebuilds are taking part in what might be considered manufacturing scarcity but increasing income. Many are building or expanding suites in college stadiums without expanding, and in some cases contracting capacity. TV is taking the place of a significant number of former paying customers. Entry level to fandom is now the cable bill, not the general admission end zone seat.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      Well, according to Frank, TPtB what the suite money, which college stadiums generally don’t have.

      Like

      • ChicagoMac says:

        I’m not sure how it works but I suspect it is the host stadium that directly benefits from the suite money. The ADs would benefit indirectly but they would also benefit evenly.

        Moving the national semifinals to a campus means the most powerful brands are going to benefit disproportionately because the value of their own suites/season tickets goes up with the potential for that game to be played in their home stadium.

        If I’m the USC AD I love the idea of having a chance to sell a CCG and National Semifinal as part of my season ticket offering.

        The other benefit here accrues to the Bowls. An 8 team playoff sounds good on paper but seeding is going to be FUBAR if the Pac/B1G champs play each other in the Rose Bowl. Waiting to seed until after these Bowls would solve this problem, it would also add a ton of intrigue to the bowl selection process overall.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Well, the way it works now, the suite money from the bowls goes in to the pot that gets split up. I doubt the conferences would be OK with individual schools keeping that money for themselves rather than sharing.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      ChicagoMac,

      “What do you think about the possibility of moving the (post-bowl) National Semifinals back to campus? There are a few reasons:

      3. Weather conditions add to the context of the games.”

      Don’t forget, many northern stadiums aren’t equipped to have playable fields in January. The Vikings are paying to install a field heating system for MN since they need to borrow their stadium while the new one is built. Who would pay to make the other fields playable when it only can be used for semifinal games? You do not want people playing on a truly frozen field. The injuries could be really bad.

      Like

  64. GreatLakeState says:

    Wow. Surprised at the Big Ten’s lack of action on The Game’tagon melee. And I’m not the only one. Big Ten blogger (and pretty fair apologist) A. Rittenberg at ESPN is even more surprised.

    ‘Unortunately, the Big Ten is following the SEC’s lead in another area: handing out discipline.
    A league that considers itself a cut above in every area, including player conduct, had an opportunity to make a statement in the wake of Saturday’s fight in the Ohio State-Michigan game. Instead, the league went soft, ensuring that its championship game, and Ohio State’s national title hopes, would be unaffected by the ugly and embarrassing incident.’

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten

    Like

    • frug says:

      Why is anyone surprised by this? Look at the lengths to which Delany went to get the Buckeye Five eligible for the Sugar Bowl a couple years ago.

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        Frug, I don’t think it’s necessarily favoring OSU as much as Delany just being an ultra-competitive, amoral individual…..OSU happened to be in position, then as now, to win a big game….a game that is very important to the Big 10’s credibility as a football conference going forward. I think he’d do the same for Michigan or Nebraska in the same situations.

        Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Please. This is just another example of a double-standard being applied to tOSU and the B1G in general. Rittenberg (who I generally like) is a fussy old woman.

      Michigan started the fight by surrounding Wilson and when Wilson got out of the circle, Michigan players surrounded him again and then the fight ensued. Ohio State players should not be overly punished for something Michigan started. Ejection was plenty.

      As an aside, in the next couple of years, I suspect that Mr. Wilson will be plenty motivated in to give lots of payback to Michigan for what they did.

      As for giving the a two handed bird to the Big House, what’s the big deal? My goodness, we are all becoming a bunch of delicate flowers if we are so offended by football players using cuss words and flipping people off. Better switch the channel and watch some figure skating.

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        Wow…not the way I saw it at all. The OSU players were far more thuggish then the Michigan players……not even close, in my view.

        Like

      • GreatLakeState says:

        …..And yet, excessive celebration is penalized. Justifying his behavior by claiming anyone with behavioral standards is a wuss is no winning argument.

        Like

        • mushroomgod says:

          I rewatched the fight a couple of times.

          The Michigan guys surrounded the ball carrier and were woofing at him….but #8 of OSU threw the first punch.

          #s 1,8, and 83 of OSU were the biggest thugs on the field.

          As the commentator noted, Hall (#79) wasn’t involved in the play, which was a special teams play. He got in the mifddle of things and got his ass tossed. He then went to the sidelines and slammed his helmit down and kicked a bench, followed by the tw0-finger salute.

          Like

  65. gfunk says:

    Yet another fantastic move by Delany – no suspensions. The BIG is already dequestioning wonderin Pellini’s fine, a coach most of them wanted dismissed, while no additional suspensions for these OSU and Mi players. Btw, I agree with the fines against Pellini. In other words, even though a lot of Neb fans don’t like Pellini, they still don’t get the hypocrisy and are now buying into the Big 2 and little 10 theories – hell I’m buying into it now. Ridiculous these players aren’t getting at least a half game suspension. Does the BIG really want to create another PSU fan base out of Neb? Does the BIG really need anymore national ridicule?

    The in-fighting in this conference is higher than I’ve ever seen it & the latest round of expansion was not greeted with much fanfare from most BIG & Md fans – Rutgers, of course, loves the pending membership & damn if their AD has not been a train wreck the past year.

    Like

    • gfunk says:

      ^Correction on the second sentence, should read: A lot of Neb fans are questioning Pellini’s fine, a coach . . .

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        http://btn.com/2013/12/02/big-ten-reprimands-bo-pelini-fines-nebraska-10k/

        @ gfunk:

        really?

        Pelini (well, Nebraska) gets fined $10,000 and you think this is going to turn the Nebraska fanbase against the B1G?

        First, that’s couch cushion money.

        Second, half the Nebraska fanbase probably cheered.

        Third, fining coaches for blasting referees is time-honored and is in a completely different category than what the conference does vis a vis some player extra punishment. No one in Nebraska is thinking the B1G is out to get Nebraska because they fined Pelini but didn’t suspend Hall and Wilson. Those are apples and oranges. Tempest in a teapot.

        As for everyone “…. now buying into the Big 2 and little 10 theories …” Please. Show me another fight were the B1G handled it differently? IMO, Gholston’s head twist was nearly a criminal assault and literally could have killed the player. More punishment was beyond deserved. (oh, and btw, it is a Big 1 and soon-to-be little 13. 🙂 )

        Like

        • mushroomgod says:

          Has there ever been a situation in the Big 10 when a guy got booted for ‘roid-rage type behavior, and gave the crowd a two-fingered salute on national TV, in the biggest game of the year? Didn’t think so……Delany was definately a pussy for not suspending him for a half. Very weak, imo…..

          As for Bo…that’s the minimum he should have expected….Along with the ridiculous PC, where he made an ass of himself over and above just criticizing the officiating, he nearly struck an official on the sideline.

          Like

        • gfunk says:

          Sorry BuckeyeBeau,

          Absolutely, wholeheartedly disagree with you & I do think certain Michigan players deserve suspensions as well & I think they triggered the fight, esp the helmet removal, which was absurdly bad judgement. Hall should miss the entire CCG, the others (both Michigan & OSU players) should miss at least a half of their next games. That was an ugly brawl, devoid of any class and sportsmanship & no sincere repentance now that Delany hasn’t done next to nothing. What this lack of action tells me is that OSU is scared shvtless of playing without these players.

          I do feel bad for OSU when it comes to national perception, the rest of the BIG as well – there’s a lot of unfair media bias based on past performance. If history holds course, man it will just be another bad loss for OSU and the BIG in general. This lack of national respect definitely got a boost from OSU’s back-to-back duds in NCGs and the media hype machine that surrounded OSU-Mi in 2006, both ended up getting pounded in their BCS games. Delany handled your loss to Fl with low class. Remember the academic slights against the SEC? True or not, it was poor pr on his part. Delany continues to overmatch the BIG in bowl games for money reasons, esp all the years he sent 6 win teams to bowl games. Delany doesn’t seem to work hard enough on doing what is likely best for CF: contracting FBS teams, an 8 team playoff, and implementing a bowl system that is not regionally biased while at the same time making such a system important enough to reseed the 8 teams slotted for the playoff based on conference performance. Delany, and too many BIG fans, administrators are money oriented. Quality, esp winning teams, matter most at the end of the days, not teams, esp in football, that get blown out, more often than not, in bowl games. Two sports really help the brand: football & m. basketball. Yet the BIG has clearly underperformed in football, esp the past decade & basketball continues to choke in NCGs. Btw, it is in fact true, the BIG has 1.5 AP actual membership titles over the past 40 plus years & don’t remind me of the BIG’s Rose Bowl record since 1970 – it’s quite awful.

          I said I agree with Pelini’s fines. I agreed with Gholston’s punishment as well.

          The Big 2 & Little 10 is what it is, negative perception for the conference and almost entirely based on football, which clearly gets too much press amongst college athletics. Is it overstated? Yes, but it is what it is, esp when the commissioner doesn’t have the balls to hand out obvious suspensions after “The Game”, which is so far behind the Iron Bowl right now in terms of prestige. I can live with the fact that neither OSU nor Michigan come close to dominating other sports like M. Basketball & Ice Hockey & I’d never live in either state for countless reasons : ). Michigan may have more NCs than Minnesota in hockey, but we have plenty & own the all-time head-to-head series, and our storied program has simply done more for the sport & by a country mile. OSU can pretend they have a hockey program, albeit usually second or third best in Ohio : ).

          Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @gfunk.

            fair enough on many points. really can’t argue with a lot of them. we’ll have to disagree about extra penalties. I see no reason for the B1G to hold itself to some higher standard of punishment. No other league would have issued any extra punishment, certainly not the SEC.

            as for hockey, yeah, again no arguments. Not really sure why OSU can’t have a good hockey team. as for Minnesota, at least they are the best at something in the conference. 🙂

            Like

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “That was an ugly brawl, devoid of any class and sportsmanship & no sincere repentance now that Delany hasn’t done next to nothing. What this lack of action tells me is that OSU is scared shvtless of playing without these players.”

            Delany’s lack of action tells you that OSU is scared? Nice logic. Is MI scared of losing their back-up LB who threw the punch?

            “Delany doesn’t seem to work hard enough on doing what is likely best for CF:”

            His job is to do what’s best for the B10, nothing else. It certainly isn’t to enact gfunk’s personal preferences.

            “contracting FBS teams,”

            How is that best for CFB? It hurts those schools. It prevents players from getting a chance to compete at the highest level. The big boys will still play them because they need 7 home games.

            “an 8 team playoff,”

            You complain about him being too focused on money but want him to expand the playoff? How is that best for CFB without using money as the basis? More injury risk for players. More expensive travel for fans.

            “and implementing a bowl system that is not regionally biased”

            The whole point of the bowl system is to be regionally biased. They’re tourist attractions. Thus, the need to be held in desirable locations to attract fans. In addition, they need to be profitable and thus generally need 1 local team (butts in seats) to pair with another from farther away (butts in hotels and restaurants). They aren’t just football games.

            “while at the same time making such a system important enough to reseed the 8 teams slotted for the playoff based on conference performance.”

            Nobody can make the bowls more important while implementing a playoff. The existence of the playoff diminishes the bowls by definition. The top bowls used to be the playoff games. Now they are early rounds. The lower bowls are diminished as well since they get lesser teams and are now officially second-class games. With the long layoff between the end of the season and the bowls, teams never play their best anyway. That’s why nobody considers lower bowls important when comparing conference performance. Most fans don’t care about anything but the top 1-3 teams per conference anyway.

            Like

        • marmutia says:

          Yeah, there is no anti-Big Ten bias in Lincoln. If there has been, it has been mighty discreet about it.

          Like

    • vp19 says:

      gfunk: It was a move out of the blue for Maryland fans (unlike Rutgers, which had yearned for the Big Ten for years), which is why it caused such controversy at first. Most Terrapin fans with any knowledge of college athletics now are firmly in favor of the decision.

      Like

      • gfunk says:

        VP,

        Sure the Terp base has shifted, but it was poorly executed move by both parties & quite different than PSU or Neb. Had the BIG sought Md along similar lines to the Neb addition, I don’t think they join the BIG – tradition would outweigh other factors. Neb fans, overwhelmingly wanted out of the Big 12 (Rutgers = similar situation). PSU was independent & tried to get into the Big East foremost, and oh how alignment history changes had they been voted in – I think the Big East exists today & on an even more formidable level than the days of Miami, WVa & VT, who don’t leave the Big East with a PSU membership & perhaps ND is a full-fledge member as well. On the other hand, there remains a loud contingent of PSU fans who don’t like the BIG, too many reasons being rooted in delusion, but it it what it is.

        I’m not excusing the ACC’s various, unprecedented expansions, they did more to destroy the Big East than any other conference. The SWC killed itself and the SEC has quietly gotten away with plenty of expansions of their own, getting to 12 long before the BIG and even to 14 before the BIG. The Big12 has countless issues of their own and the Pac12 seems to be so far west, geographically spread out & isolated that most people don’t care what they do.

        But, the BIG (I speak in the context of the the administrators and power brokers here) does itself no favors when controversy after controversy follows their expansion moves and quality of play on the gridiron, especially, doesn’t succeed, which is statistical fact. And the BIG, many fans as well, need to stop thinking they can go out and add certain members at will, esp from the ACC. On the other hand, I think the BIG realized within the past year they couldn’t get anymore ACC teams. At this point, I need to ask why doesn’t the BIG just work on its current footprint & do more to foster overall quality and greater competitive performance.

        If the BIG was thinking all sports, esp performance, up and coming academics, truer eastern exposure, esp the NYC market, they’d add UConn yesterday. UConn has the best 1-2 punch in basketball, and it isn’t even close. They also have strong Olympic sports, which includes potentially budding hockey programs that could take off in the right conference, a wealthy state, better quality public education than most states, and in this day and age of diminishing investment into state schools, CT taxpayers believe in UConn. But here comes the football-centric, yesteryear, money minded, AAU bent BIG folks. How dare you suggest UConn, they don’t even have 45k seats in their football stadium, they aren’t AAU, they don’t add a worthy football recruiting base. Prove they have more value than Rutgers in the NYC market. And so it goes.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          Hang around the self-righteous Connecticut fan base for a while, and you’ll understand why the Big Ten chose Rutgers. And I haven’t even brought up academics. Perhaps 20 years from now UConn will be Big Ten material, but not right now, not even close.

          Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Presumably, if UConn did in fact provide “truer eastern exposure, especially in the NYC market”, then either the ACC or the B1G would have added them. Both conferences did their homework and both found UConn wanting.

          Like

  66. loki_the_bubba says:

    Marshall fans are in an uproar over the CUSA decision that Rice will host the conference championship game. The final tie-breaker is BCS rankings. Apparently, once you get past the top 25 there can be several ways to interpret that.

    http://www.herald-dispatch.com/sports/marshall/x1926356839/Herd-focused-on-winning-title-not-location

    Like

  67. duffman says:

    @ Frank

    While I appreciate and understand your arguments for 8 in a playoff scenario, it is still just a money grab and will create travel issues and crappy secondary games. Let’s say