there would have to be some to wash away
Let me start by prefacing this with a warning: This will not be a revolutionary or even original way of thinking about the BCS and a potential playoff system in College Football. This is merely one mans attempt to waste time and figure out what he believes should be the system to determine a champion in the sport that he loves. Also, unfortunatley there will not be any fancy statistics that prove that what I am saying is better than the BCS or anything like that.
So, I believe that there are 3 major considerations that need to be undertaken in forming a college football postseason:
1. To determine a fair and correct champion
2. To keep the integrity of the regular season alive
3. To keep the tradition of the Bowls alive
The reason why I like the BCS in its current form is because it accomplishes objectives 2 and 3, while usually (but controversially) accomplishing objective 1. However, as time has passed, I believe that objective 1 has become less and less acheivable in the BCS system because, among other reasons, the human bias for and against certain conferences. There is no doubt that the SEC is the top conference in the land. Is it however, so far and away better than the B1G, Pac12, Big12, ACC and Big East that there should be an in-conference rematch for the national championship? I believe that the answer is, in almost any case, no.
Now that we have determined what I believe to be the most glaring flaw in the BCS system, we move to creating an alternative. This alternative must complete all 3 objectives in a significantly better way to be worth a change in format.
The way I look at college football, the regular season is in fact, a playoff. To add a full playoff system like that off the NFL would greatly diminish regular season games and would take away a fundamental element of college football that differentiates it from the NFL: The importance of every game. I dont think that a team should be able to lose more than one, or in rare, rare cases 2 games and be in consideration for a national championship. If we lived in a world where a team could simply win its conference and be into the playoff system, we would see OOC games be rendered virtually meaningless. We would also see teams that lock up a birth in their conference championship games be less motivated to win on that special rivalry weekend that closes out the regular season. This takes away the passion, intensity and importance of every week and would be a travesty in my opinion.
Similarly, the Bowl season is one of the greatest postseason experiences in sports. Charles Woodson clenching that rose between his teeth after beating Ohio State in 97 and all such experiences would disappear in a full playoff. Also, New Years Day (or this year 2-Jan) isnt the same without a full day of important Bowl games.
So onto my proposal...
Add one more BCS game to the mix with the Cotton Bowl. The two teams that play in this game are at large teams from any conference. We use the BCS formula and existing conference tie-ins to determine who is sent to the 5 BCS Bowl games. These 5 games are all played in sequential order on 1-January every year. The morning after these games, some type of formula similar to the BCS determines what 2 teams play for the national championship. What this formula looks for is strength of schedule through out the season combined with a heavier emphasis on the teams preformance in its bowl game. This makes sure that every game is still important, makes sure that the bowl games keep their tradition and importance and gives us one more ulta significant data point per season to determine who plays for a national championship. The 2 teams selected then play for the National championship a week later in a rotating stadium among the 5 BCS games.
The BCS bowls would also be picked by a comittee who tried to create matchups we would like to see.
So in this system the BCS would have played out something like this in 2011/2012:
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin v Oregon
Orange Bowl: West Virginia v Clemson
Sugar Bowl: LSU v Michigan
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State v Boise State (or Alabama v OkSt)
Cotton Bowl: Stanford v Alabama (Or Boise State v Alabama)
If I had to guess the National Championship, it would still probably be Alabama v LSU in a rematch but we would get to see how they fared against other opponents before sending them to an automatic rematch. In all honesty, they were the 2 best teams this year. This scenario does make a rematch a little more interesting this year, I think, and in most years would pick the 2 best teams overall to play for the championship.
Obviously this sytem has flaws as well but this was mainly an excersize to explore another option.
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)|
It's pretty obvious that after going light on the OL in the past couple recruiting classes (attrition and Jacob Fisher be damned), Hoke and Co. probably arrived at Michigan following Brady Hoke's crawl across the country, only to ask, "Where's the Beef?" Numbers clearly necessitated a large recruiting class of offensive linemen, but looking at where we are now, and hoping to add one more (please, please, please be Josh Garnett), did we go a little overboard this year?
- Kyle Kalis
- Erik Magnuson
- Ben Braden
- Blake Bars
- Caleb Stacey
- AJ Williams (TE convert?)
- (hopefully) Josh Garnett
Clearly, when you take potentially 7 linemen in a class, some will be starters, and others career backups, but doesn't this just create the same problem 4-5 years from now when this entire class graduates? I'm just left feeling that after this class moves out, we will be left with the problem of replacing 4+ starters on our offensive line, which certainly doesn't bode well for a strong 2016 season. Am I thinking too far ahead, or would it have been more judicious to sign 5 this season, and 4 or 5 more next year?
Corwin Brown's defense team is claiming that the events at his home in August were connected to brain injury from his days as a player.
The whole thing is just sad.
Per our boy TomVH, the Ohio Tight End will be on campus this weekend. Second visit he has made in the last couple of months. If I had to bet who would be our next commit, it would be him. Legit need at TE, especially since it looks like AJ Williams will likely play OT at the next level.
According to Tom VH and Sam Webb.