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June 28, 2012

The Real Difference With a Playoff

Now that the Presidential Oversight Committee (Gordon Gee's counterparts, yay!) has approved the playoff plan, we finally have a playoff. The whole world is different now

Except it isn't different at all. We have increased the access to the national championship from 1.6% of  eligible teams to 3.2% of eligible teams. We've gone from a two team playoff to four team playoff. We've moved the discussion from one to three teams 'getting screwed' to three to five teams 'getting screwed.'

The only real change is who is picking the teams for the playoff. We've gone from six computers, 115 former coaches, players, media, and administrators, and 59 coaches (or their proxies) making the decision on two teams to a committee of "knowledgeable" people, of a relatively small number, deciding what four teams will compete.  Call me crazy, but that doesn't sound any more likely to solve the legitimacy issue than the old way would have.

No, we are not getting a new world order in selecting a champion. We are getting a new world order in how we pick those that are playing for the championship.

And although it is worth a whole other post, I'll say we are going backwards in the money parity race. Don't think so? Bet you Boise State and TCU (and others) are more glad they changed conferences than they were three weeks ago. The day of the mega-conference is coming. If the pace of change in the summer of 2011 was dizzying, then the pace of change in the spring and summer of 2013 is going to knock your socks off.  With four slots on the table, the Pac 1x/B1G confederation, and the current SEC/Big 12 champions bowl, there is too much pointing to those with the most to gain continuing to consolidate the money (which is where the constant schedule strength talk is coming from). If that happens, there will be a big upheaval as programs go looking to ensure their place on that tit.

I know it is just a hunch, but it is a good one.


-Blutarsky points out a feature (or bug) related to the money (Get the Picture)
-Notre Dame AD drops a hint at where this selection committee thing is going (South Bend Tribune)


Anonymous said...

Will the 5th team ever have a legitimate gripe about not being selected? Sure. Will it be the same as when the 3rd ranked team has been undefeated and told they can't play for the title? No.

The farther you get away from the top spot, the less the intensity of the "screwed" factor. That's why you don't hear anywhere near as much outrage about the team or teams that some think were unfairly left out of the basketball tournament.

Now please don't change the subject and make a sarcastic comment about the basketball tournament being the what we want. That's simply an example to demonstrate the point. The point being that if you're the 5th place team and you didn't make it, you don't really have the same possible gripes that a 3rd place team would have being left out of the top 2. Many times the 3rd team is undefeated or has credentials that are just as impressive as one or both of the top 2.

Tyler Dawgden said...

What is many? I can count 2004 Auburn and 2010 TCU (in a stretch). Hell in 2008, the only two undefeated teams (Utah and Boise State) probably don't make the playoffs at all (I count Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, USC and Alabama all ahead of both of those teams).

Last year, there were a legitimate argument for at least three other teams to be included in the 4 teams selected (Stanford, Arkansas, Boise State). In 2010, it would have been pandemonium (Stanford, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State,and Boise State all finished with one loss, as did Nevada).

2005 would have been the ultimate in furor with two undefeateds (USC and Texas), three one loss teams(Penn State, Oregon and TCU) and a two loss Notre Dame (with a tough OT loss to a mediocre Michigan State, but a heartbreaking loss to on the Bush Push play to USC). If you think they leave a Notre Dame out of that thing for TCU/Oregon/Penn State, you are crazy.

Hey, I'll be honest, I didn't like the two team playoff. I'm willing to give the four team playoff a shot. I don't believe for a minute either is a legitimate way to select a 'real' national champion any more than a bunch of media voters are. I certainly don't think the playoff will change the furor in Congress or with the AGs in states representing universities cut out of the money(although it is illustrative how quiet Utah's AG is now that they are in the Pac-1x).

Paul Westerdawg said...

Anon #1 -- how do you define who the #3 or #4 team is? UGA was #3 in 2007 going into the last week. #2 and #3 lost. And we fell to #5 in the BCS poll and #4 in Coaches.

And I promise you that this committee would select the ACC Champ VT (AP/Coaches #6 and BCS #4) over UGA who didn't win the SEC East.

Despite the fact that we would have demolished VT and OSU. And we would've given LSU all they wanted and more. can say #5 has no right to complain. But I would argue that we weren't #5. We were #3 at worst.

Anonymous said...

2005 would have been the rare exception where MORE controversy would have been created with a 4 team setup. The key words in that sentence are rare and exception. The other years you mentioned already had a ton of controversy with multiple teams being left out.

Teams are always going to be left out and people will always cry. But when the ones crying are a little farther away from being near the top of the rankings, the tears just don't have the same effect.

And just as a reminder, here's a list of the constant stream of controversies we've had with the current system:

The system of picking teams to play for a title out of such a huge field following a relatively short regular season is incredibly flawed. Since it's so flawed, why not include 2 more teams? A 4 team setup is not so big where it diminishes the regular season any more than a 2 team setup does, so why not?

Anonymous said...

4 team playoff basically ensures that there will never be a 2004 Auburn again and thats why I like it. I will say with certainty that you will never have 5 undefeated teams from power conferences at the end of the year.

I really hope that we never get beyond 8 teams in my lifetime. I love College football more than any other sport because Day 1 matters as much as any. Go 8-8 in the NFL and you can win a championship. BOOOOOO!!!! 4 team playoff means one thing to me: If you are in a major conference, go undefeated and you will be playing for the national title. If you lose a game and finish 5th, then you shouldn't have lost.

Tyler Dawgden said...

I guess I can buy the 'as long as all the undefeateds' are in argu...awww, crap, 2008.

Seriously, I get the making sure the undefeateds get a shot, but the conversation isn't about who is most deserving, it is about who is more deserving. Just because the number moves from two to four won't change that.

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