The tradition continues. See previous for Why.
: I am trying to surprise my husband with a bowl trip this year but I don’t know how to communicate where we’re going. I thought we were going to the Orange Bowl, but then I looked it up and it said some sort of credit card company.
Words are used to convey meanings that the listener is already conditioned to understand. The words enter the ear canal and are interpreted by the brain into cognitive thoughts.
For example here’s how you refer to all of this year’s bowl games in English:
(bold are the ones where they’ve done away with the real names. All times are EST. Click each logo to get the full size. Use however you like.)
* semi-final games.
[Bryon Houlgrave/The Register]
The question (posed by Brian):
Leonard Fournette sitting out the bowl game was one thing, since he might be injured. A hale and hearty Christian McCaffrey getting out of Dodge before the Sun Bowl seems like another. How do we feel about this?
Seth: First let's take as a given that "hale and hearty" for a football player is relative.
Brian: I mean sure. I just kind of... I don't want to be Old Man Newspaper here but I find myself bothered by this despite being pretty woke about player compensation issues.
Ace: I’m totally fine with it. While McCaffrey may not be hurt, he’s carried a hell of a workload. 290 offensive touches this year, 385 last year, plus returns, and his teammates—at least publicly—are in full support.
This isn’t even the Rose Bowl like last year. It’s the Sun Bowl. If his teammates are cool with him missing a glorified exhibition to get ready to actually get paid for his work, I’m not one to argue.
Brian: Is there a line above which you would be bothered? Where is that line?
Ace: If there are stakes.
Brian: Okay, so Sun Bowl can GTFO. Citrus?
Ace: Honestly, I can understand a player of McCaffrey’s caliber skipping any non-playoff appearance.
Brian: Dude! So Stanford's in the Rose again and you're totally fine with him dropping his pants on An American Institution?
Ace: I don’t blame the kid for that. I blame him not getting paid. The incentives are all kinds of messed up. That’s not McCaffrey’s fault. Plus, the Rose Bowl will still have the parade and the bands at halftime and that gorgeous stadium. It’ll be fine.
Seth: There's also a place where you can be disappointed at the guy without treating him like he is violating the Constitution. One of the first things I noticed was the level of vitriol and who it was coming from. When you find yourself on the same side as the guy talking about the "me first" generation you wonder if you're on the right side.
Ace: I’ll admit part of my stance is predicted on always being on the other side of the people screaming “DAMN MILLENNIALS."
Brian: I do kind of like that it puts the NCAA's total lack of leverage on display.
But... I mean... if Peppers peaced out before the Orange Bowl you wouldn't be disappointed?
Ace: I’d be disappointed, sure, but I still wouldn’t get upset at Peppers about it.
Seth: Things like Wilton Speight and Devin Gardner playing against Ohio State, or Robot Chad Henne vs MSU, are extraordinary because that is a stupid decision they're making on our behalf. If that is the norm then why appreciate it? Gardner sitting out the Copper Bowl was a no-brainer, because it’s the Copper Bowl. Playing in The Game meant something, even at the end of a breakdown season, because it’s The Game.
Brian: I still like to think that there's a romantic THE TEAM THE TEAM THE TEAM heart to this. Ed Reed!
I think it would be shitty to your teammates.
[Hit THE JUMP for shattered dreams of kinds]
I wanted to get this up ASAP for you guys since it tends to fill up: the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan just finalized this year’s bowl tour, and let us announce it here at the same time so we can fill it with MGoReaders. Deets:
You’ll be gone Wednesday, December 28 - Saturday, December 31, it starts at just under $2k, and they offer both an air-inclusive and land-only options. Pricing (per person) based on double occupancy is $2,949 for the Champions Tour (air) and $2,049 for the Victors Tour (land only). They offer other options for single, triple, quad and child, as listed on their website.
The CHAMPIONS TOUR is everything below (including the charter airplane). The VICTORS TOUR is land-only, and includes everything below except the flight and deluxe motor coach transfers.
- Round-trip charter air service from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Round-trip deluxe motor coach transfers from the airport to your hotel
- Luggage handling and porterage at the airport and at the hotel
- Three nights’ deluxe accommodations
- Welcome reception
- Daily buffet breakfast
- University of Michigan Orange Bowl Pep Rally (tentative)
Plus the complete game-day package:
- Escorted deluxe motor coach transfer to and from the pre-game party and game
- Game ticket
- Pre-game tailgate party
And other goodies:
- Optional tours, outings, and excursions
- Custom Alumni Association souvenir package
- Document packet, official bowl tour name badge, and lanyard
- Alumni Association hosts and escorts
- Dedicated alumni information and hospitality desk at the hotels
Get ye to http://www.umalumni.org/athletics/michigan-bowl-tour-tailgate/orange-bowl/ as soon as possible. Like…yes, let your spouse know you’re doing it first, but harangue until you get an answer. It’s not like you get to see this team again.
So the Playoff Committee put Michigan 5th, where the top four get a chance at a national championship and the top(-ish) 12 play in more prestigious bowls in and around New Year’s. Getting into the playoffs requires some help and sympathy. It’s good that two teams above us have a chance to lose, potentially dropping them back. It’s good that we beat teams 6, 7, and 8. It’s bad that two of those could be conference champions, including our own conference.
So where are we going? Probably the Orange, but if you’d like more detail here’s everything I could divine about Michigan’s potential destinations.
What are the Rules?
- The Playoff Committee will decide on 4 teams to compete in the playoff. This year’s playoff games are the Fiesta and Peach Bowls.
- New Years Six obligations are filled in. Unless they’re in the above the B1G and Pac12 Championship Game winners play in the Rose Bowl, the SEC and Big XII winners play in the Sugar, the ACC winner plays in the Orange, and one “Group of Five” (Western Michigan most likely) team gets a spot somewhere between the Rose, Orange, Cotton and Sugar Bowls.
- [UPDATED, h/t user Alton] Bowl contracts are filled in, specifically the Rose Bowl gets a Big Ten and Pac Ten team, and the Sugar Bowl gets an SEC and Big XII team, assigned by the committee.
- At-large teams are filled in, with contracts, rematches, distance, and “most compelling matchups” in mind. For example the Orange Bowl gets first crack at a Big Ten or SEC #2. Unofficially, conference affiliations matter somewhat, e.g. the Rose Bowl would take a Pac#2/B1G#2 matchup and FSU or Louisville would be projected to the Orange.
- Old bowl process takes hold once the New Year’s Six are figured out.
Where’s Michigan in the Playoff Race?
Behind: Alabama regardless, Ohio State, Washington if they win, Clemson if they win.
Worried about getting passed by: Wisconsin or Penn State if they win, Colorado if they win.
Probably not getting passed by: Oklahoma or Oklahoma State as Big XII champ. Florida as SEC Champ. VT as ACC Champ. Washington or Clemson if they lose. Loser of the Big Ten Championship Game. USC, FSU, Louisville, Auburn, Western Michigan, Navy.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) November 30, 2016
With Michigan the 5th team right now however this seems incorrect, particularly in light of Kirby Hocutt saying the committee needed two hours to decide to put Washington over Michigan for the 4th spot. The actual distinction matters little since a conference championship win for Washington would overcome whatever slim margin Michigan is ahead by at the moment.
That appears to put Michigan’s chances entirely dependent on one or two schools above them losing a conference championship game, then riding a head-to-head victory over a conference champ into the top four.
Even a loss to Florida probably doesn’t drop Alabama out of the Top 4, and Ohio State is obviously in before we are. The best, but hardly only shot of Michigan moving up is Colorado beating Washington (a 45% shot according to Bill C.) and Michigan (over the B1G CG winner) taking the Pac 12’s spot. If Virginia Tech upsets Clemson (20%), this also opens the door for Michigan. If both happen, Michigan still needs a head-to-head win to matter more than a B1G or P12 championship.
How the committee rates winning your conference championship game versus head-to-head is a mystery. They said they don’t consider margin of victory, so blowing out Penn State is probably seen the same as a one-score victory over Wisconsin, let alone two last-play losses on the road.
My guess is they’ll let the de jure Big Ten Champion jump definitely-not-Big Ten Champion Michigan, but not Ohio State. Michigan could end up above Colorado if both Washington and Clemson lose, but that’s a scenario with three Big Ten teams in the playoffs. That may be correct, but the committee created to avoid another LSU-Alabama rematch that everybody hates would probably take the B1G and Pac champs and leave Michigan out.
Likelihood of it: 10 percent.
[After THE JUMP: some NY6 destinations and worst case scenario]
The 2013 Motor City Bowl between Pitt and Bowling Green, via StadiumJourney blog.
In our roundtable yesterday I suggested a new way of calculating bowl eligibility. It struck a chord, and it's offseason, so I thought I'd do a follow-up.
The Problem: With 40 (plus the NC) bowls, the bowl field has now expanded to 80 teams, or 62.5% of what's currently 128 FBS schools. However the old six-win provision for bowl eligibility remains mostly intact, disqualifying mostly mediocre schools who played much harder schedules in favor of bad, barely eligible, barely FBS teams.
This system doesn't just create less watchable bowls. It incentivizes schools to pad their non-conference schedules with noncompetitive opponents and FCS programs, and incentivizes conferences to play fewer conference games lest they disqualify more of their teams from bowl play. The result is a less competitive, and thus less interesting, football season.
My Proposal: A simple points system:
- 3 points for a win over any team in the final CFP Top 25
- 2 points for a win over any Power 5 school not included above
- 1 point for a win over any FBS school
- -1 points for a loss to any FCS school
I initially proposed 7 points as the cutoff for eligibility, but as one reader correctly predicted, this is still too exclusive. So I amend that to the highest bowl points level you need to fill the available bowl games is your bubble region.
[After the jump: I try this out with the 2015-'16 bowl field]
[This week we've changed up the format a little bit. I posted the question in a chat group and people weighed in when they got to it. So it's a bit more conversational.]
Do you like low level bowls? Where should they draw the line?
Ace: I’m torn on this mostly because of one game: last year’s Bahamas Bowl. Two 7-5 teams with smaller fanbases from non-power conferences played a football game in the Bahamas and the turnout was as expected.
— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) December 24, 2014
BUT, I watched that game anyway, and it was completely insane and awesome:
I find myself making fun of the lower level, obvious cash grab for guys in garish blazers bowl games right up until I’m watching and enjoying them because they’re football.
[Hit THE JUMP for a more sensible approach to bowl eligibility]