Blog Entry

College Football Playoffs

Posted on: November 16, 2008 11:40 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 2:05 am
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There has been lots of talk regarding a playoff system, but how do you determine who will go? The polls? If it is only eight teams going, what compelling reason is there that Utah, PSU or Boise State does not go? Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Georgia are all left watching. In a 16 team playoff, you would have the same thing between Michigan State and BYU. LSU, Cincinnati, Pitt and Oregon State are left watdhing.

Here is an idea after talking about it and thinking about it a bit more. There are 120 FBS teams that could be incorporated into ten 12-team conferences with some necessary realignment. This is my take on that and I give credit to SCWV for initially providing his.

Big 10: Add Notre Dame

ACC: Same

Big 12: Same

Big East: Add Army, Navy, E.Carolina and Temple

C-USA: E. Carolina to Big East, Tulane to East Division, W.Kentucky to West Division

MAC: Temple to Big East. . .that leaves 12 teams

SEC: Same

Pac 10: Add BYU and Utah

Sun Belt: Add La.Tech, N.Mexico, N,Mexico St. and TCU

WAC: Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, San Diego State, Nevada, Colorado State, San Jose State, Utah State, Air Force, UNLV, Wyoming

The MWC and WAC are the biggest affected with the balance of the teams dumped into the Sun Belt. I guess it would depend on rivalries and all that for how you make two conferences from three after taking BYU and Utah out. Admittedly, I don't pay much attention to those conferences so don't really know much of the history but I'm sure there would be a great many irritated folks about a major realignment. I am sure everyone would have their own ideas of aligning conferences, but the idea is to come up with something that works. Remember that this would be to establish ten conferences for the purpose of making a viable playoff system.

I would also suggest one of two means of paring this down to eight teams represented in a tradiional playoff format. The first would be to have two 24-team conferences represented by combining C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt and WAC in any appropriate manner or even have it floating year-to-year. All the teams play each other in the 12-team divisions and then play for a CCG for the winner to advance to the playoffs. The other way would be to have a mini playoff between the four conferences to select two to be represented in the playoffs. I am not downing any one of these teams or conferences but merely trying to keep the playoff as competitive and simple as possible.

All teams in the other conferences would play each division team once, add three more conference foes and then two additional OOC games. These OOC games would be based on last seasons results and floating in the manner of NFL scheduling. For example. division winners in Conference A would play a home and home against Conference B this year, Conference C the following, D after that, etc. In this way, there is parity in scheduling between and within the conferences as well as within the divisions. And within each conference, there is a championship game to determine the winner and representative in the playoffs. All conferences would have a representative competing and the NC is determined where they should be determined. . .on the field. Maybe some traditional rivalries would have to be sacrificed, but again, this is to make a viable playoff system and basically create new ones.

The negative side of this is the obvious. You will have very good teams not even making the playoffs. What this really means is that the regular season is still very meaningful and it will reward those teams that win. Also, this is where the bowl games would come into play. Conference runner-ups and other at-large teams could fill the traditional bowl games. No longer would there be the need to have conferences locked to specific bowls games. Polls could continue to be utilized for determining power rankings. You could essentially have Big East and SEC teams playing in the Rose Bowl, Pac 10 and Big 12 teams in the Orange, etc. Essentially, the "major" bowls could alternate the top match-ups of those teams that didn't qualify for the playoffs and still keep some excitement in the game and the sport.

The whole point of this is like one of the guys I was talking with suggested. . .nothing is going to happen unless we fans start something to see it through. Maybe a national petition addressed to the NCAA and all the presidents and AD's of each of the 120 FBS schools. You would be talking about a MAJOR overhaul of the entire college football structure, tons of money, TV contracts and the expected battle against the traditionalists. This would be years in the making and who knows where it will go. Maybe this can be the start.

Apologies for the length of the post, but it has to start somewhere if we can somehow reach a consensus on where to go.

Thoughts? Ideas? Do you care?
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Category: NCAAF
Comments

Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2008 9:24 pm
 

College Football Playoffs

There are lots against a playoff just because of the tradition of NOT having one. I can appreciate and respect that, however, it almost always leaves something wanting at the end of the season. I absolutely agree with you about the March Madness thing also and for the life of me can't understand why they don't want to have a playoff just for that reason alone.



Since: Aug 29, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2008 8:39 am
 

College Football Playoffs

Yes, I thought about the potential conflict with final exams, and that would have to somehow be taken into consideration.  Once the conf championship games are over, I'll post again with my thoughts on how it would line up.  But you are right - we're years away from any change, even if something stupid happens this year like a team that didn't win its conference playing in the NC game - could definitely happen with either USC or Texas if there are a couple of upsets the next two weeks.

I read your post in the string about playoffs as well.  I can't believe there are so many people against it.  The anticipation for a playoff would exceed March Madness.




Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: November 25, 2008 9:26 pm
 

College Football Playoffs

Thanks for the post Bermuda and you are probably right in your thinking as mikey is with keeping the conferences as they are due to the conflict that might arise. The only issue then is to get the four independents in a league because I would be adamantly against an auto-bid or anything remotely close for Notre Dame, and you know the powers-that-be would do so. This is why I don't like at-large or wild card teams. . .yes some deserve the chance, but you always know that some teams are going to be picked over others for reasons that extend beyond the playing field. Then it just comes down to seeding the teams, so do you put a conference champ ahead of a non-conference wild card team? That would mean the number one seed would play against the number five wild card instead of the lowest ranked of all the teams. . .it would also mean the number five seed plays against the top ranked wild card. Yes, it is a home game but a difficult test in the first round for sure.

I can also agree with the format for playing the games as you suggest. It would be additional revenue for the eight schools along with the reward of home field for those games. The scheduling would have to be worked out to ensure as little conflict with the NFL and disruption of classes and exams of those schools as reasonably as possible.

Whatever happens, it is going to be years in the making and a long time before it is implemented. With the new ESPN TV contract, that throws a big wrench into the hopes of a playoff at least for another few years.



Since: Aug 29, 2008
Posted on: November 25, 2008 4:27 pm
 

College Football Playoffs

One other comment that is pertinent - I would suggest that the selection committee determine the seedings also, similar to the basketball tournament, but I would also support the notion that to host a home game in the first round, you must be a conference champion, thereby giving greater weight to winning your conference.  3 conference champs won't get a home game - likely the Sun Belt and MAC being two of them, and this year the third would probably be Conf USA.

I would also then bring strength of schedule into the mix for selection of at large teams (similar to the basketball tourney).  This would promote more non-conference games among power conferences and eliminate a lot of the games against FCS teams.

Once this season is complete, I will gladly post my thoughts on who should be seeded where if it were to take place this year.




Since: Aug 29, 2008
Posted on: November 25, 2008 4:16 pm
 

College Football Playoffs

Mandalagan & Mikeyfan,

I read all your comments with great interest and am in complete agreement with the need for a playoff.  You asked for comments so here's my two cents:

While I would be supportive of restucturing the conferences as suggested, I just don't see how it could realistically be achieved.  There are too many hurdles and opponents would use the restructuring as the main reason to shoot it down.  So to that end I agree with mikey's idea of leaving the conferences as they are.  I also agree with 16 teams, with 11 conference champions and 5 at large teams.  The at large teams would be chosen by a selection committee similar to the NCAA basketball committee.  I would allow for maximum 3 teams from one conference.

My big switch is that I would suggest that the top 8 seeds play their first round game at home.  That would be the reward for being a top 8 seed., and it would also allow many of the other bowls to carry on (if some had to go away, like the New Orleans Bowl with 10,000 attendees, would anyone really care?)  I would suggest that the first round be held 2 weeks after the final games, conference championship games and otherwise, to allow ample planning time, ticket distribution, etc.  This year, the first round games would be played Friday and Saturday, Dec 19-20.  2 games on Friday night, 6 games on Saturday.  The next round of 8 moves to the bowls, held Friday & Sat the following week (this year Dec 26-27).  One game Friday, 3 on Saturday.  The Final 4 would then take place the Monday and Tuesday following the next weekend, which this year would be Jan 5-6, at current BCS bowl sites (rotating year to year).  My rationale is that is so the college games should not be played the same days as the NFL playoffs.  If they were, it would be another argument against playoffs for the opposition.  The BCS games are done this way now, so no reason the playoffs couldn't also work this way.  Then the final would be played the following week, either Thursday or Friday (I personally support Friday), which this year would be Jan 16, again to avoid interference with the NFL.

Thoughts?  I loe debating this, so I really look forward to your comments.




Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: November 20, 2008 8:39 pm
 

College Football Playoffs

I would beg to differ. All the conferences would be represented and in fact, the small schools would benefit more because their conferences would get additional money due to the elimination game amongst themselves prior to the actual playoffs.

As far as your scenario, just look at the Big 12 this year. Three of the top five teams in the nation are from one division. How do you not invite all three if you have at-large bids? And since they already played (or will soon do so) against each other to determine their representative in the CCG, is it not it kind of screwing another team out of a spot in the playoffs? I say again, this keeps the regular season much more meaningful when you know that a single loss can cost you dearly, at least for national title hopes.

Since the eight-team format would only be a total of 7 games, you could actually put all those games as part of the major bowls and then have the NCG as a separate game like it is now, or rotate it amongst the different bowls. Frankly, I would hope it is played in a completely neutral location, even changing venue if necessary, to prevent a home-field advantage thing that is huge in college, i.e.USC in the Rose, LSU in the Sugar and Miami in the Orange.

I suppose we can agree to disagree on the format, but at least we can agree that something needs to be done to improve what we have now.

FWIW, in 1973 the top six teams in the nation were all undefeated. At the time, the UPI (coaches) poll awarded the national title to Alabama after the regular season and prior to any bowl games being played. Notre Dame (#4) subsequently defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and claimed the top spot in the AP poll. Both schools still claim the title even though it's pretty clear who won the day. Thirty-five years later and we still don't have a respectable or equitable system for determining a national champion.



Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: November 20, 2008 7:20 am
 

College Football Playoffs

You too have good points but like you I feel yours has more holes than mine.

The problem with an 8 team playoff is you are doing exactly what the BCS does anyway and that is ignore the lesser conferences and keeps all the money with the major conferences.  Under my system all conferences are treated equally and therefore their champion makes the playoffs.  It treats Football the same as it treats Basketball, Baseball, Hockey and other NCAA sports.  All conferences are represented.  The problem of not using the bowls is you are now adding 7 more games to the already over saturated bowl games. 

Right now you have 34 games, 68 teams under your proposal you have 68 teams plus another 8 teams totalling 76 teams and right now the NCAA is having problem finding teams that are 6-5 to fill out the bowl schedule and then they would have to allow 5-6 teams just to fill out the bowl schedule.

By using the bowls, the NCAA could regulate how much each bowl would have to pay the schools so all bowls pay the same, increases as you move up in the rounds, the bowls get the spotlight they want, so do the lesser conferences and the bigger conferences don't really get slighted by having a great team on the sidelines. 

Sceniero - SEC Lets say an Undefeated Arkansas, ranked #2 in the Nation goes into the SEC Championship game against a 2 loss Georgia team ranked 18th.  A bad call or freak play leads to a Georgia win, under your system Arkansas shouldn't play for the championship, but on the other hand a 3 loss Ohio State team could make the playoffs because they won their conference even though one of those losses could be to a Division II team.  I don't care what polls one uses to fill out the sweet 16 because someone will always feel slighted, but it is better than what we have right now and under my proposal, none of the bowls are hurt, (in fact some may be helped by having better matchups than they normally would get.  i.e. the Humanitarian Bowl - right now the WAC vs the ACC #8 team it could get the Big 10 #2 or 3 vs the SEC #2 or 3.  And the NCAA should disallow any alliance of conferences to bowls,) and the season is not extended which is what the NCAA is concerned about




Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: November 20, 2008 2:20 am
 

College Football Playoffs

Again, good comments. The difference being you are talking a 16-team playoff and I am talking about restructuring the conferences for an 8-team playoff. As I mentioned, this would either be eight or ten conferences with the current non-BCS conferences combining or simply having a two game playoff amongst them to determine who goes to the 8-team playoff. All division winners have a shot at the conference. All conferences are represented. The regular season maintains its integrity and importance and most importantly, there is no controversy of ridiculous rankings to determine who goes and who doesn't.

Just to show you what I mean, take the current standings right now of all the conferences and just project the winners. Here is what I come up with:

Big Ten - Penn State
ACC - Miami
Big 12 - Texas Tech
Big East - Cincinnati
C-USA - Tulsa
MWC - Utah
MAC - Ball State
SEC - Alabama
Pac 10 - Oregon State
WAC - Boise State
Sun Belt - Troy

So going by current rankings (I will use the Harris poll), that leaves Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC and Ohio State as the top 5 teams for the at large bid. If you say only a maximum of two teams per conference, that means Oklahoma is out and BYU is in because you would have to pass on Missouri, Ok State and Georgia also. So in other words, Troy at 6-4 goes while Oklahoma is watching and fuming pissed.

Under my proposed method you would have the following (and keep in mind that this is just projection for example purposes and not intended to start a who is better than whom deal):

Big 10 - Penn State
ACC - Miami
Big 12 - Texas Tech
Big East - Cincinnati
SEC - Alabama
Pac 10 - Utah

C-USA - Tulsa
MAC - Ball State
WAC - Boise State
Sun Belt - TCU

And since the playoff would be a separate entity from the bowl games, you could still have quality matchups of Florida vs Texas, Oklahoma  vs. Ohio State, USC vs Georgia, Missouri vs Michigan State, Ok State vs LSU and so on and so on. Even though these bowl games would be meaningless for title purposes I certainly think they would have great fan appeal. Granted, it would definetly suck that all the one-loss teams are watching a few less capable teams, but that is also the beauty of the system. . .if you don't win your division or your conference, then you are watching those that did. I contend that is exactly the way it should be.



Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2008 10:24 pm
 

College Football Playoffs

I understand your concern about the at-large teams but some of the bigger conference like the SEC, Big Ten, Pac -10, Big 12 probably deserve to have an extra team.  Last years superbowl champion was a wild card. so why not a bigger school.  As it stands now the BCS games ignore the champions of most of the conferences and just stick with the BCS schools.  Ask these other schools, like the WAC or MAC  or Conference USA if they would like for there champion to have a shot for the championship and they would all say yes.  Because of the Money it brings into the program.  Also, if these conferences get this money they may one day be viaing for the at large bids too. 

Also, you need these at large bids to fill out a 16 team bracket, other wise someone gets a bye and how do you determine that?




Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 8:27 pm
 

College Football Playoffs

Not a bad idea at all, however I would disagree with your idea of at large bids. By accepting them, you open up the door for a team that didn't win their conference to win the national championship. I think it more important to keep the integrity of the regular season by only allowing the teams that win to advance. If you don't even win your division or conference then why should you get a shot at the national title? And then what method do you use to determine who would go as an "at large". . .the polls? Nope, I would rather see the polls eliminated completely and therefore any controversy created by selecting one team over another by something other than what is decided on the field.


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