BCS v. Playoff
Brian's front page post got me riled up enough to try to bang out a diary over my lunch hour. Please critique and suggest ways to make it better in the comments, I might mess up some numbers as I'm doing this quickly from memory. Here we go:
What is the most entertaining playoff in all of sports? March Madness. (MM for short in the diary) The NCAA already hosts (and keeps the revenue from) a ridiculously exciting tournament every year that has huge interest and kills productivity all over the US. It leaves us with an NCAA National Champion - something we don't currently have in football. So, since the NCAA has a very successful playoff structure, my playoff proposal is to simply scale it down and apply it to football:
BCS Problems: Small group picked, way of picking extremely messed up (see coaches' poll numbers etc.) Voters decide only 2 teams to "decide it on the field". Teams 3-8 in any given year are pissed, Ticket sales are down, TV #s are down, the NCAA receives no money from it, conferences lose money on it, etc.
MM Problems: Low attendance at early rounds, the refs still love Duke, Teams #65-68 (or whatever, I think of it as a 64 team tournament) are pissed and... ??? Please add more in the comments, I'll add them.
Remember, the NCAA takes 430 some BBall teams and slots 64 (ish) into a tournament. I'm going to attempt to do that with 120 football teams into 8-12. (Once I drew up my proposal I had 11... which seems like as weird a number as 65 or 68). May I present... December Madness
Schedule: Conf Champs all decided 1st week of December. 2nd week is Bye week/play in game. December week 3 is 8 team tourney. Week 4, 4 teams left. New years day (ish) Champ Game. December Madness
What works well from March Madness and we're going to try to take with us:
Conference Champ Auto Bids - 33 in Bball, we'll take 5 in Football. B1G, SEC, ACC, BigXII and PAC12 Champs - you're in the tourney. Lets the Conference championship game matter (Like the BBall Conference tourney). I also wouldn't be adverse to a "play in game" or two for the little-guy conference champs.
Selection Committee: They do it in hoops, do it here. The polls still matter as that'll be part of the "resume" like RPI and Sagarin ratings are in bball. You could use the polls to help rank the tournament (like in basketball). There would be 3-6 "At Large" bids used here to get your 8 - 12 teams. Would the last team left out be pissed? Yes sir. Sucks for the 65th basketball team too. One week into an awesome tournament no one cares.
Site Locations: Here's where I'm not 100% sure on what to suggest. I've been to NCAA Regional games and they're always half empty. It's hard enough to have fan bases travel to 1 bowl game much less the 3 it'll take in my proposal so at least Round 1 is a home game. Conference Champs get to host the home games, rotating 1 every 5 years on the road (Pic below). The big Bowls will host Round 2 and the Championship rotating every year (I realize that's 3 games for the current Big 4 Bowls... but the last bowl can choose any two teams not in the tournament to invite. the 1 bowl can get shafted every 4 years).
money grabs bowl games are free to invite whomever they want to whatever they want. I love that Lloyd got carried off after we beat florida, teams not in the tournament should be able to end their season with a win. Hey, there's still an NIT out there.
Hopefully this graphic works and sums up my proposal nicely. Why is this a bad idea? The NCAA already does most of it. What do you think?
|Play In Games (2nd week Dec)||1st Round (3rd week Dec)||Final 4 (4th week)||Champ Game|
|At Large #1||NYD Ish|
|AT||Game 1 Winner|
|AT MWC Champ||AT||SEC Champ|
|Large 2||B1G Champ|
|AT||Game 2 Winner||AT Sugar Bowl|
|Big East Champ||AT||B1G Champ|
|At Large 3||PAC12 Champ|
|AT||Game 3 Winner||AT ROSE BOWL|
|At Large 4||AT||Big12 Champ|
|ACC Champ||AT Fiesta Bowl|
|(ACC Hosts next year, someone else gets shafted. Rotates)||(Orange Bowl hosts national title next year, someone rotates off)||(Again, site rotates between bowls)|
Not sure if this popped up in a thread somewhere. If it did, mods may fire at will.
Dallas Maverick's owner is sacrificing his dreams of owning a baseball team to invest his time and money into transforming college football from BCS to a playoff system.
Cuban said he has talked to two athletic directors from BCS conferences who were extremely enthusiastic about the idea. He intends to contact several school presidents and state senators in the coming weeks to determine whether the idea is worth pursuing.
Cuban said he envisions either a 12- or 16-team playoff field with the higher seeds getting homefield advantage. The homefield advantage, Cuban said, would ensure the college football regular-season games would not lose any importance.
What about bowls you ask?
The bowl games could still exist under Cuban's plan, but he said he would make it more profitable for programs to make the playoffs than a bowl.
He seems pretty cutthroat about how it is implemented and I wonder if the NCAA has some rule against any of his ideas. His first idea almost sounds like a bribe. I do however like his second idea. He goes right to the source of a lot of money and will light a fire under the scrotum of programs that have pro-playoff donors.
"Put $500 million in the bank and go to all the schools and pay them money as an option," Cuban said. "Say, 'Look, I'm going to give you X amount every five years. In exchange, you say if you're picked for the playoff system, you'll go.' "
One way to push school presidents toward approving the idea would be to lobby major donors of college athletic programs, Cuban said. He suggested convincing the donors to cut off their donations until their presidents approved a playoff system.
What is your E-pinion? Discuss.
Admittedly, I did not put as much thought or research into my idea as did "heckdchi", but this popped into my head around 2 years ago and this is the first time I've published it or told it to anyone outside my friends and family. Having said that...
A playoff is very possible and my suggestion satisfies everyone involved even the oldtimers, which I consider myself, and the money motivated bowl commishes.
Right now we have a 12 game season with admittedly 3 - 4 cream puff games in almost every major conference. If you take the season and chop it down to 8 games that are all played in conference / regional (for non-conference teams), and then take a week to rank everyone (to me it doesnt matter what formula you use) and then begin a 7 week playoff, then every team in D1 gets a shot at the title.
Now let me digress...if we took two weeks in preseason training and had controlled scrimmages with teams out of conference (like the NFL) then technically we have a 10 game season albeit modified.
Back on track...at the end of the eight game regular season, the computers rank teams according to their regions (split them up however you like but there is a framework already devised in basketball). Then begin playing playoff games according to your bracket it should only take 17 total weeks to hold a season. Now some teams will only be playing a 9 game season as it appears (half of the D1 schools) and 3/4ths will only be playing a 10 game season, etc etc but once we are down to 2 teams that have made it all the way through the process, then we take a week off and the bowl commishes sit down and select teams to come play in their bowl. If you want to keep it traditional (Rose bowl - Big Ten v Pac 10, etc) ok, fine by me. The point is that if we started the 1st weekend in September or end of August, the regular season is over November 1st. Take a week off and begin playoff games the second weekend in November. You play the next 6 weeks straight according to your bracket as mentioned before then take another week off to deliberate the bowl situation and for the final 2 teams to properly prepare for a national championship opponent, you are still done around Christmas.
This scenario appears to me to solve the debate with length of season because the teams that only have a 9 game season if they dont get selected to a bowl have more time to recover, start training earlier and recruit more, oh and then there's always start studying for finals. Also for the guys that go the distance or nearly the distance the pro scouts get a real look at how these star athletes will hold up to a 15 game season.
Money-wise: the regional playoffs can be set up to make more money for the cities that the games are played in (neutral turf), then when the playoff are coming to an end the bowls and their host cities still make their money and the national champ game can filter as is through the big 4 (orange, fiesta, sugar and rose). We get to keep our bowls and we get a real national champion without the computers leaving someone out.
Now I know that there are probably a lot of holes in my theory but I think with a little sit down time, the powers that be can work out the kinks and the fans, the coaches, the schools, the bowls, and the pro scouts are all happy.
Give me some feedback...
The following is my proposal for a 16 team college football playoff. It is kind of long (5 page Word document)
16 Team Playoff: 4x4 team regions (East, West, Midwest, South)
-11 auto bids given to champion of each conference
-up to each conference how to determine champ, title game or otherwise
-5 at large bids determined by tournament selection committee of active college football participants (Athletic Directors, Conference Commissioners, Analysts, etc)
- committee members recused from discussion of teams in their league
Committee Criteria: -based on this season’s performance only
-who did you play/beat, who lost to, BCS, polls, computers, strength of schedule, other information relevant to determination of quality of teams this season (ex. Conference performance against other conferences and other quality opponents)
-Committee seeds teams 1-16 based on above criteria
#1 overall seed will be placed in its geographic region
-then, as best as possible, seeds 2-4 will be put in their geographic region
-teams 5-16 will then be placed in regions as follows:
-preference to keeping teams within their geographical region
-preference to avoid intra-conference match ups until Final Four
-otherwise, no requirements other than:
-teams 5-8 = 2 seeds, teams 9-12 = 3 seeds, teams 13-16 = 4 seeds
First Round – Week following end of season/title games
-Dec. 13th this year
-1 seeds host 4 seeds on campus
-2 seeds host 3 seeds on campus
Second Round – Next week, Dec. 20th this year
-Games played at regional site, these will change each year
-just like regional hosts in college basketball tournament
-regional hosts cannot be same as BCS bowl game hosts
-BCS bowls will hold Final Four, can’t double as regional hosts
-Ex- Midwest regional final at Ford Field, West at Qualcomm (Chargers stadium), East at FedEx Field (Redksins' Stadium), South at Georgia Dome
Final Four – next two weeks, Dec. 27th (semifinals) and Jan. 3rd (final and 3rd place game)
-BCS bowls (Sugar, Rose, Fiesta, Orange) host on rotating basis
-Ex- -year one- Rose hosts semi #1, Fiesta hosts semi #2 -Sugar hosts 3rd place, Orange hosts title game
-year two- Sugar hosts semi #1, Rose hosts semi #2
-Orange hosts title game, Fiesta hosts title game
-Format - Region with #1 overall seed to face Region with #4 overall seed
-Region with #2 overall seed to face Region with #3 overall seed
-Ex- If South region #1 seed is #1 overall seed and East region #1 seed is #4 overall seed, those regional champions will play in one semi
final regardless of actual regional champion
2008 NCAA Football Tournament (How I think it would look)
3. Texas (at large)
6. Penn State
7. Alabama (at large)
8. Texas Tech (at large)
9. Boise State
10. Ohio State (at large)
12. Virginia Tech
13. Georgia Tech (at large)
-1- USC vs. -4- Georgia Tech Dec. 13th at USC
-2- Utah vs. -3- Boise State Dec. 13th at Utah
Regional Final, Dec. 20th at San Diego
-1- Texas vs. -4- ECU Dec. 13th at Texas
-2- Penn State vs. -3- Cincinnati Dec. 13th at Penn State
Regional Final, Dec. 20th at FedEx Field (Redskins home stadium)
-1- Florida vs. -4- Buffalo Dec. 13th at Florida
-2- Texas Tech vs. -3- Virginia Tech Dec. 13th at Texas Tech
Regional Final, Dec. 20th at Georgia Dome
-1- Oklahoma vs. -4- Troy Dec. 13th at Oklahoma
-2- Alabama vs. -3- Ohio State Dec. 13th at Alabama
Regional Final, Dec. 20th at Ford Field
-Midwest Champ vs. West Champ at Fiesta Bowl Dec. 27th
-South Champ vs. East Champ at Sugar Bowl Dec. 27th
-3rd Place Game at Rose Bowl Jan. 3rd
-Championship Game at Orange Bowl Jan. 3rd
Auto Bids (computer numbers from BCS, strength of schedule from usatoday, all losses listed, only notable wins included)
ACC – Va. Tech 9-4
-computers- 20, 25, 19, 16, 16, 13
-strength of schedule 11
-L- at ECU, at FSU, at Miami, at BC
-W- GT, BC (neutral site), at UNC, at Neb, Maryland
Big East – Cincy 11-2
-computers- 16, 13, 12, 12, 11, 14
-strength of schedule 60
-L- at OU, at UConn
-W- Rutgers, USF, Pitt
Big 12 – OU 12-1
-computers- 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
-strength of schedule 8
-L- Texas (neutral site)
-W- Cincy, TCU, Tech, OkSU, Misso
SEC – UF 12-1
-computers- 4, 4, 4, 2, 3, 5
-strength of schedule 18
-W- Miami, LSU, Uga, FSU, Bama
-L- Ole Miss
Big 10 – PSU 11-1
-computers- 9, 9, 8, 10, 10, 10
-strength of schedule 61
-W- OrSU, UW, OhSU, MSU
-L- at Iowa
Pac 10 – USC 11-1
-computers- 7, 7, 7, 8, 9, 3
-strength of schedule 40
-L- at Oregon State
-W- OhSU, OrU, ASU, Cal, ND
MWC – Utah 12-0
-computers- 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7
-strength of schedule 71
-W- AF, OrSU, TCU, BYU
WAC – BSU 12-0
-computers- 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8
-strength of schedule 114
-W- Oregon, Nev, Fres
MAC – Buffalo 8-5
-computers- not in BCS 25
-strength of schedule 82
-W- Ohio, BallSU
-L- KtSU, WMU, CMU, Pitt, Missouri
Sun Belt – Troy 8-4
-computers- not in BCS 25
-strength of schedule 125
-L- OhSU, OkSU, LouMon, LSU
C-USA – ECU 9-4
-computers- not in BCS 25
-strength of schedule 75
-W- VaTech, WVU, Tulsa
-L- NCSt, Houston, Uva, SoMiss
At Large Pool - Based on next ten highest ranked teams in BCS with Pitt jumping Oregon and Sparty, personal choice as I felt Pitt had a better resume, which is what would be great about this system as the argument would be about the "bubble" teams in the 16-20 range, not the 2-5 range.
(computer numbers from BCS, strength of schedule from usatoday)
-computers- 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4
-strength of schedule 12
-W- Colo, OkU, Misso, OkSU
-L- at Texas Tech
-computers- 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7
-strength of schedule 56
-W- Clem, Uga, OleMiss, LSU
-L- UF neutral site
Texas Tech 11-1
-computers- 2, 3, 3, 5, 6, 6
-strength of schedule 27
-W- Neb, Kan, UT, OkSU
-L- at OU
Ohio State 10-2
-computers- 10, 10, 9, 11, 14, 15
-strength of schedule 45
-W- UW, MSU, NW, Minn
-L- at USC, PSU
-computers- 9, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14
-strength of schedule 76
-W- BYU, AF
-L- OkU, Utah
Oklahoma State 9-3
-computers- 11, 12, 13, 13, 17, 18
-strength of schedule 39
-W- Misso, Colo
-L- UT, Tech, OU
-computers- 11, 14, 18, 19, 19, 20
-strength of schedule 84
-L- TCU, Utah
-computers- 13, 13, 15, 17, 17, 18
-strength of schedule 13
-W- USC, Vandy, LSU, UK
-L- Bama, UF, GT
Georgia Tech 9-3
-11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 16
-strength of schedule 31
-W- BC, Clem, FSU, Miami, Uga
-L- VaTech, Uva, UNC
-computers- 12, 14, 23, 23, 21, 18
-strength of schedule 22
-W- Buff, Iowa, USF, Navy, ND, WVU, Uconn
-L- BG, Rutgers, Cincy
The Pro BCS Arguments
-Protects integrity of the bowl system
This is absurd. The BCS makes all but one bowl game completely irrelevant. The BCS incorporates 4 bowls and 10 teams. Under this proposed playoff all 4 of the BCS bowls are still included plus 6 more teams get a chance. Either the 3 worst bowl games die out, not a real loss, or they suck up the handful of still available 6-6 teams and continue to put on 6-6 v. 6-6 bowl games that about 37 people care about.
-BCS helps protect the student athletes
Whatever. Every other level of college football has a playoff. Nobody at the NCAA or BCS is crying out about the atrocity that those playoffs bring upon those student athletes. College football is about making money now a days, whether we like it or not. Why else would they add a 12th regular season game or conference championship games? College football players, when they play on Saturdays, miss zero class time as opposed to college basketball and other sports that regularly play and travel mid-week.
-BCS makes the regular season the most valuable, best regular season in sports
BS. The post season in college football is completely meaningless because it is an entirely subjective choice to pick two out of 120ish teams to play for the title, thus, in my opinion, the regular season is completely meaningless as well. A playoff format such as this still makes the regular season great as only conference champions and the next 5 best teams get in.
Under this best guess of a tournament field, the at large teams include three 1 loss teams, one 2 loss team, and one 3 loss team with two 2 loss teams left out. There is still great value in the regular season because of the value of a conference championship and the automatic bid and the fact that 1 or 2 losses could mean elimination from the at large pool. This way, the regular season could actually be more valuable as there would be more relevant games as the season progresses because of greater opportunity for making the tournament field. Seriously, who the hell cared about the MAC, ACC, and C-USA title games last week? The value of those games and other late season games would be much greater for teams as they would still have a chance to make the tournament.
Why the BCS stinks
The system is totally subjective and full of conflicts of interest (the coaches’ poll) and uninformed, clueless voters (harris poll and coaches’ poll to a certain extent). The BCS claims the regular season is a playoff but when Texas beats Oklahoma, Oklahoma still gets the advantage in the end by running up the score the last month of the season. The BCS claims that there is some reasonable, rational method of determining a championship match-up of 2 out of 120ish teams. And worst of all, the BCS title game is anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks from the end of the regular season as opposed to a playoff that would be a continuation of the just completed season instead of one game after a month off.