I don't particularly care about settling who is the best team "on the field", mostly because I don't think beating a team in one game remotely does anything of the sort. Given that I don't think a playoff would actually prove anything, I'd rather have a super-charged regular season that gives me 13 weeks of drama instead of 3.
Unverified Voracity's Annual Playoff Screed, But Prompted
HATE THE BCS? HATE AMERICA
The dumbest thing ever written. This is not literally true, but it may be the dumbest thing ever written about college football. It is this Bill Hancock guy's shoddily argued nonsense about the BCS. I've become a playoff guy over the past decade or so but even BCS proponents in the blogosphere (of which there appears to be one, the guy behind Get The Picture) have to wince at statements like this:
College football was one weekend away from Boise State participating in the BCS National Championship Game because of what happened on the playing field — not in a chatroom, a boardroom or a newsroom.
In the event that Auburn lost and Boise State won, yes. The reverse happened and instead the BCS works and is fair and that's Gary Patterson's artery spraying a red mist over most of the Southwest but how did you think Sedona, Arizona, ended up looking like that? Do you want a thriving tourist mecca to evaporate overnight when college football coaches cease venting the bloodmist that gently descends on the mesas?
Orson has gone FJM on the thing—it exists to be fisked, I thought about doing it myself—but you don't have to do anything other than blockquote to obliterate this extremely stupid system:
A playoff also would mean the end of America's bowl tradition as we know it. As Rick Baker, president of the Cotton Bowl, said, "A playoff system would ruin the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic."
We can't have that.
BONUS: Putting "Classic" in the name of your thing is a 100% sure way to tell that your thing is neither classic nor an actual thing anymore, in the, you know, traditional sense where entities are somewhat authentic outgrowths of desires instead of remanufactured bullcrap like "chocolate" diamonds that make me wish that authentic outgrowths of desires that form entities like Adbusters weren't equally odious and even more shrill. The "Cotton Bowl Classic" is at Jerryworld, not the Cotton Bowl. It can die in a fire for all I care.
OBLIGATORY REMINDER OF MGOBLOG PLAYOFF PLAN: Six teams, no autobids, byes to the top two teams. No more than two teams per conference, and those teams can't play each other in the first round. Home games until the final, one the week after the championship games, one on January 1st, final at the Rose Bowl January 8th, leave bowl system alone.
This preserves almost all of the urgency of regular season and guarantees that the champion is also the team with the best season-long resume since five of the top six lose and anyone not 1 or 2 wades through three elite opponents, staking an undeniable claim.
This year's hypothetical bracket:
1. Oregon vs winner of 3. TCU / 6. Ohio State
2. Auburn vs winner of 4. Wisconsin / 5. Stanford
If Auburn had lost to Alabama they would probably have fallen to fifth (ballparking it) and gone from a first round bye and January 1 home game to a first round game in Madison or Palo Alto—a freaking huge deal. Losing one game boots Boise and Michigan State, and two is fatal for everyone. Since the current system frequently sees one-loss teams into the championship game it's difficult to argue this system cheapens the regular season.
If you want a lengthier explanation I pretended I was talking to Joe Posnanski about it last January. In sum, there is no reason people who do not stand to lose money would oppose the idea.
This Week In Less Charismatic Than Stalin. Terrelle Pryor:
"I'll put it like this: You put me in any of their offenses — any of them — and I'd dominate," Pryor said, when asked about the attention afforded the likes of Newton, Robinson and Persa. "I'd dominate the nation. What those guys do, that's what they're supposed to do in their offense."
He goes on to say the usual boilerplate about how he's all about winning, which could be interpreted as a mitigating factor if Pryor didn't manage to twist every bit of boilerplate into another reason to think Pryor should be locked in the basement by Tressel until his graduation. Doctor Saturday looks at the numbers and says pretty much what I did in the OSU preview—against defenses that are actually good Pryor folds alarmingly.
Robinson said he also remembers picking up some snow, playfully chucking it at Rodriguez, "and then running pretty fast after that."
Robinson also packed snow into a plastic bag for his return flight.
"Melted on the plane," he said.
How does Robinson know if he's running fast?
This Week In Coaching Blah Blah Blah. Have fielded a couple inquiries as to why I'm not covering the "coaching search" or "situation," depending on your point of view. I'm not because there is no "search" and there is no reliable information on the situation. Time and again I have been told by people one or two or three steps removed from insiders that Rodriguez is going to get fired after the Ohio State game. Or on Monday (yes, as in three days ago, which makes absolutely no sense). Or pretty dang soon. Or that Brady Hoke is a viable candidate. Or etc etc etc etc. I got so much chatter in my inbox that made no sense that even the plausible stuff now carries the sheen of ulterior motive (not necessarily from the emailer, but from the discontent insider-type person) or wishful thinking (from Brady Hoke's friends and family).
I have no updates that are reliable enough to relate. There is a cottage industry of people telling other people that Rodriguez is definitely gone that has proven inaccurate multiple times so far in the past month, so I probably won't be able to say much definitively unless I get something solid from a few established guys.
To reiterate, I've run everything I've heard through filters of reliability and making a damn lick of sense and come up with this:
- There is a nonzero chance Rodriguez is not brought back or Brandon would have/should have already announced it.
- There is a nonzero chance Rodriguez is brought back or ditto.
- One game is probably not the deciding factor.
- Harbaugh exists. No other candidate strong enough to make a move compelling does.
- You cannot start a real coaching search that takes two to four weeks a month before Signing Day.
The conclusion is that on January second Harbaugh or Rodriguez will be Michigan's coach and that person will be the coach in 2011. No one peddling a story other than that is credible unless their name is Dave Brandon, and even then he's probably just having you on.
I don't know which is more likely. If I get anything that changes my opinion I'll mention it.
BONUS: A scientific poll shows that Michigan fans are split right down the middle: 35 percent want him gone, 32 percent want him to stay, and 33 percent are unsure. That's amazingly apropos. Too bad it doesn't include a section asking people "have you raged incoherently at someone about this opinion?" Three percent said they'd prefer Brady Hoke over Harbaugh (64 percent) or Miles(23 percent).
Penn State exodus? With Joe Paterno slightly old and doddering Penn State relies heavily on its ancient, incredibly stable coaching staff to prop up the ship. There was slight panic when DL coach Larry Johnson Sr. seriously considered taking the Illinois DC job a few years ago—it's testament to the loyalty of the staff that he stayed—and now with Pitt searching around BSD's a little concerned the Panthers might look at the blindingly obvious candidate: Tom Bradley. Bradley's considered the be the heir apparent to Paterno and probably should be since he's been the motive force behind the good bit of Penn State forever, but if he can't leverage the Pitt opening into something approximating a guarantee he's the guy he could be tempted to go. Too bad the NCAA put a kibosh on that coach-in-waiting stuff.
Meanwhile, LB coach Ron Vanderlinden is "linked to" the Ball State job. This will probably lead to nothing except a couple of raises but it's worth keeping an eye on if only to see how easy OSU's path to the Big Ten Championship game is going to be.
Etc.: The Daily's Nicole Auerbach scores a WSJ article about the Big Chill and the growth potential of college hockey. Big Ten Hockey cannot come fast enough. Thoroughly patronizing AA.com article explains to you what "faceoffs" and "hat tricks" are. Dave Brandon says Michigan is "highly interested" in adding D-I lacrosse if it proves viable. Monumental's series of awesome wallpapers continues.
Given six reasonably well-matched teams, the "best" team going into a single-elimnation tournament would actually win it about 20% of the time. You may as well declare a champion by drawing names out of a hat. If you're interested in determining the best team, a statisitcal average of the opinions of lots of people (a poll) isn't actually all that bad of a method.
Personally, I'd rather get rid of the BCS completely and go back to the bowl system as it was in the '80s. I don't need to see a game of #1 vs. #2. #1 vs. #4 while #2 plays #6 and #3 plays #5 produces a lot more exciting, interesting games.
A season-ending tournament would certainly be different from the current system, but I've yet to see much evidence that it would actually be any better.
I also miss the days when all the major bowls were played on New Year's Day and you had to keep tabs on 2-3 games at once to figure out how it was going to finish
the Cotton and Citrus New Year's morning, Rose in the afternoon, Sugar and Orange at night. Fond memories, even if we didn't win enough Rose Bowls.
1. A 6-team playoff would only lead to whining that it should be an 8-team playoff. And then a 10-team playoff. It will never end. Personally, I preferred the old system in which #1 and #2 didn't play each other every year: more debate! more controversy! more Molotov cocktails!
2. Playoff diminishes the regular season: truly the most compelling in sports.
3. The most appealing aspect of college football is its Traditions.
4. One of the most traditional and distinctive aspects of college football is the bowl system.
5. The grandaddy of them all is the Rose Bowl.
6. Michigan has the opportunity, by winning the Big Ten, to play in the Rose Bowl every year.
7. As an egalitarian, I like that teams, even after an imperfect season, can end their season on a high note (e.g., 2008 Capital One Bowl).
I'm generally in the tank for Brian's 6-team playoff, but I do agree that offseason arguments are what sustain us. I'd rather go back to the Bowl Alliance than be SURE who was best, because being SURE involves mind-numbing exercises like the NBA/MLB playoffs.
and in a sport like college football where there are so few games to play that you can't really get enough data on which conferences are better than which and so on, there's no good way to identify one.
What a tournament does that the BCS does not is allow more teams to compete for a title. The BCS wasn't designed for greater participation: it was designed to pair #1 and #2 when we knew what they were, but it's been forced to do what it does now because people like money (and because it would be weird if you said "Hey, no two clear top teams this year, go about your business like the old days").
More years than not, the BCS is much like the old bowl system in that there are teams that aren't playing for a MNC and there are games you don't really enjoy seeing that much. It's unlike the old system in that they had no problems dumping tradition out the window to suit the new system (Exhibit A: bowl games after January 1/2), which is one reason it irks me to see tradition trotted out by Hancock and his toadies.
I'd also prefer the old system to the BCS, but that may be because I somewhat remember the crappiness that was the Big Ten's "Rose Bowl or nothing" system and the joy when there were suddenly Other Bowls and your team could be Invited and Play. Maybe people who are significantly younger feel that way about the BCS because it's the system they know.
Bill Hancock has a job, and that's to be the director of the BCS. Obviously he has to defend it anyway he can like a good employee would. And he has a point. The BCS does a good job of doing what it was meant to do: put the preceived two best teams together for a national championship. No more no less. And this year, only a crazy person would tell you that he thinks TCU or Boise St. is better than Auburn or Oregon.
The issue is always that we want the BCS to do more. We want 8 teams to battle it out for supremacy, because it's fun, fair and entertaining. Except that's not what the BCS is for, unfortunately. Hate the game, not the player.
"fun, fair and entertaining" part. But I'm the guy who wants them to get rid of the world series and just give the rings to the team with the best regular season record, so I'm guessing my opinion is a bit of an outlier.
That is quite extreme. I don't think any team that actually won the World Series in the past decade would have received your World Series rings if you were giving them out. Good on ya if you're really locked in that deeply to your philosophies.
because there's too little of it to mean anything, and outside of a few spirited rivalries, none of the other games draw any interest at all.
But you're not describing it in quite enough detail for people who don't go back to the '60s ... of course there are still (only) two leagues, but prior to 1969, there were no divisions. Everyone played everyone the same number of games (barring rainouts and such), which is why you had the 154-game schedule through 1960/1961 (divisible by 7 for an 8-team league) and the 162-game schedule after that (divisible by 9 for a 10-team league). So there was little question about who the best teams were, especially not before the '60s. If you played someone 22 times, there was a pretty good chance you knew whether or not you were better than they were. (Of course there were a lot of other differences back then.)
But even with 8-team leagues, you'd have years where a couple of teams separated themselves from the pack, and then that was pretty much that: the rest of the teams played out the string. With 10-team leagues, it was worse, because even in seasons where there was a close race, like 1967, the majority of the league was playing for pride. Of course, with 2 more teams in each league, you'd have seasons where 10-11 teams were flailing through September while two teams were starting 18-year-olds and waiting for the Series. (Not always, but you know how marketing types present things.)
So they broke each league into two six-team divisions so that there would be more interest in late-season games. Even if one division were locked up, the other one might be in play, and if both divisions were settled, you'd still have the LCS. (While you might think as I did that the Cubs made the '69 race exciting, it was actually the West that was in play until the final week. The Mets had eliminated the Cubs earlier in September.) Of course, you weren't playing everyone as often (going from 18 against every team to 18 in your division and 12 outside it), but it was still often enough to get a decent idea of things ... the problem was that then you have best-of-five series eliminating teams that played 162 games to get there.
But postseason play means television and money, so they expanded both it and MLB in general. Each time, the number of games against each team decreased ... more teams in each division meant more teams playing out the string, which then led to more teams in the playoffs ... and so you end up with what will almost certainly happen soon, another playoff expansion so that you get more exciting games in October and fewer rewards for regular-season success.
Do young baseball fans these days know much about old-school baseball? Probably not. Should they? Well, it would be nice, but back then, baseball was quite a bit different ... maybe it was easier not to have a "tournament" because you didn't have the same view of things as you do now. Fans knew so much less about players and teams ... there were many fewer teams, but so much less information, and even what you got was sparse. (And maybe some of it was because the owners controlled everything. The players didn't dare complain about anything, and if fans thought to complain, who'd listen?) Would modern fans pay the same attention to a single postseason series as they do to the three-stage bracket they have now? Would television settle for fewer playoff games, given that they run the show? (I'm sure if television wanted games to finish in less than two hours, it would happen. There isn't a rule change in the books that will undo the damage that interminable commercial breaks have done to the modern baseball telecast.)
One game between two teams decided on by people who don't watch most of the relevant games and jerry-rigged computer polls does not a national champion make. The problem is that the BCS is designed to crown an undisputed national champion and fails to make a convincing case that it is doing a good job of that year after year.
is better than people picking the best two teams facing off for the national championship game. It's on the basis of subjective views of coaches, former coaches, players, media. The computers may be objective but they are inherently flawed because some of the computer formula does not make sense and don't even include MOV.
that it's a fairer method, it's just that I don't really care who the national champion is and don't think there's any method that gets a remotely accurate answer to the "who is the best team" question.
Plus the possibility of not having to read 8 million newspaper articles about how the champion won a 6 team playoff because it had more heart/desire/white people than the other teams is worth so much to my mental health.
To quote Billy Beane, "it's f***ing luck."
But I agree that any single elimination playoff is an imperfect way to go. It makes people champs on a hot streak...or breaks in one game. I don't know how many people would say the Pats were a worse team than the Giants when they were one game from perfection, but the Giants were the champs. Heck, New England even beat them a month earlier...so it's not even deciding it on the field because you played, but WHEN you play, too.
Every possible scenario will have a flaw but the benefit of a playoff is that the eventual champ will have played and won at least 2 more games against the best (perceived or real) teams in the land and will have a stronger leg to stand on.
The biggest part of the anti-playoff arguments that piss me off like no other is that it will somehow ruin the existing bowls. How in hell is that possible. Right now, there is one bowl that really means anything, all else is for bragging rights. How would a playoff system trump that? The teams in the Cotton Bowl would still go to the Cotton Bowl even if there was a playoff.
I dunno, how does the NCAA tournament trump the NIT? Only in every single way possible. The NIT used to be the tournament to be invited to. Sure, bowls would still exist, but as tiny shadows of themselves. I don't like the idea of turning the Rose Bowl into a matchup between the 4th best teams of the Big Ten and Pac-10 (12). You can start with the advertising dollars that would dry up for the bowls and go from there.
P.S. - the standard response to this is "well we could just use the bowls in the playoffs" which is 100% delusional BS.
while the 7th or 17th(if you go by 16 teams) best team aren't likely to be a national champion so it's the very top 3-4 teams that rises up to the top.
BCS national champion produced some stinkers like OSU losing to Florida and LSU or Auburn being left out or Nebraska got dominated by Miami or Oklahoma got dominated by USC. It's game like this doesn't really tell us who is the true national champion without having to face other team that they have never faced on the field.
How can you say you don't care about having a champion and then claim it produces 13 weeks of drama? If you don't care who wins then how can there be any drama?
The whole point is that it would increase the amount of games that had drama not reduce it. Wisconsin, OSU, MSU, Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma, Stanford, etc...all would be playing must win games down the stretch instead of everyone waiting for Oregon and Auburn to lose.
The beauty of Brian's system is that it wouldn't reduce any drama because nobody could risk losing a game, but you get to add the stress.
How does Robinson know if he's running fast?
By dodging the snowflakes - not one touched him.
That, and he had to set his watch forward again.
He knows he's running FAST when he starts to travel back in time.
Think maybe Denard convinced Brandon to install the lights to, you know, give him some competition in sprints?
So if Rodriguez is gone, doesn't that mean we won't know it until January 4th (or late on the third), rather than January 2nd?
i'm thinking the same thing. the orange bowl is january 3rd
Well.. It might be reasonable to speculate that if there is no announcement that RR is staying for another season made by... lets say lunchtime on January 3rd, then things are not looking too good for him.
Yeah, if there's not an announcement on the morning of the second, things are going to get a little awkward.
Based on everything that Brandon has said don't you think it would be a complete 180 to announce something on Jan 2?
I have to disagree with Brian on this one. Brandon is working everything like a CEO. How can he look anyone in the eye and say well after my review I have concluded that RR is out and without meeting with anyone else I have concluded J. Harbaugh is best for the job because he played for Bo and has a good record this year.
When Brandon makes a change I expect he will explore all options and make the best decision based on all the available data. He knows he needs to work quickly, but to announce something that quickly basically makes Brandon look like a huge liar. Not sure that is what Brandon is looking for.
On a side note, Brandon has to know Harbaugh through alumni functions over the years. All this talk may be useless. Brandon may hate the guy. You have a CEO and a brash NFL QB. Would it be all that surprising that they didn't like each other considering the egos and strong personalities.
It would not be out of character for Brandon to announce something as early as January 2nd. You presuppose that Brandon is taking no action in evaluating RR, and potential replacements (if he decides not to bring RR back) in the time between the OSU game and Jan. 1.
It may not be true that Harbaugh is the one and only candidate, but I would imagine that if Brandon has made the decision to let RR go, he has also made the decision as to who his replacement will be. This isn't some entry-level job where the candidate has to have a great interview; all of the potential candidates here have long histories and well-known public personalities.
Brandon is on record as saying the evaluation of Rodriguez is already underway. Larry Lage of the AP included the following in an item from December 6.
Brandon said he doesn’t have a date on his calendar to look back and ahead with Rodriguez, but plans to do it soon after the Gator Bowl.
That doesn’t mean Brandon’s evaluation of Rodriguez will be idle for a few weeks.
“There’s a lot of work being done,” Brandon said. “One of the things we do, for instance, is our senior interviews. We try to get those done this time of year because after the bowl game, often times some of the seniors scatter.”
Wasn't he a head coach before (at Maryland)? If so, doesn't it make it more likely that he would be willing to go somewhere; i.e., Ball state?
I'm cruising through "Death to the BCS" right now and I probably prefer their 16 team plan, but at this point, I'm so disgusted I'm going all Queen up in here and saying - "nothing really matters to me."
If you haven't read "Death to the BCS," I would highly recommend it. I always knew there was an inordinate amount of depth to the reason I hated the BCS system, and now I know why.
A 16 team playoff seems like some utopian, double complete rainbow pipe dream. Tis the season
Especially when the fuckwit that proposes it is totally ignorant, either willfully or otherwise, of the NCAA's rule demanding that greater than 50% of a championship tournament consist of at-large participants.
"Oh, they could just change that," say the playoff proponents, except that the NCAA was so fixed upon that rule that they expanded the NCAA tournament to 65 rather than simply tweak the rule to allow even a 50/50 split.
"A playoff system would ruin the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic."
Face. Palm. If that's an actual quote (I googled it and only found third parties quoting the guy, not an actual conversation where the guy said it to someone, if that makes sense) then that's the real quote that even a playoff-hater like me cringes at. I mean, it's not as if I should even need to say this, but: whatever "AT&T" and "Classic" couldn't do to the Cotton Bowl surely can't be done by a playoff, either.
...beaten to death. But if Brandon brings RR back after all this I'm going to think a lot less of Brandon, and not because I am a RR hater (although I do favor bringing in Harbaugh). Its just you've got to be more decisive in a leadership position, right? It isn't fair to RR and his staff do limit their ability to perform their job, and then again next year we'll have to go through the same thing (unless the team exceeds very high expectations). Obviously I am holding out judgment, but this is it, this what Brandon's whole legacy will be based on, and I'm a little concerned he is stalling instead of making the tough decision. New coach or extend RR. At this point I'm fine with either, I just want it definitive, and correct.
You favor bringing in Harbaugh but yet you are fine with either decision? Sorry but that is contradicting, IMO. I respect your opinion on letting RR go and bringing in Harbaugh, but I think it is a bad decision to do that. More bad can come of that right now than good I think.
Edit: BTW I was not the one that negged you, just to let you know.
....opinion, and I suppose what I am getting at is after all this feet dragging (if it is in fact feet dragging which it might not be, time will tell) the only decision left is bring in a new coach or extend RR. And at this point if DB decides on the latter I would be okay with that as long as its definitive i.e. a full extension and full support, and ultimately correct i.e. wins. And if either of this two goal are not accomplished I will think a lot less of DB as a leader. He has made this his all defining moment by his actions.
(I fully agree that you cannot just bring RR back though, if he comes back it must be a committment, if not ground hog day on this stuff. Yuck.)
One can think there's a better percentage of success with Harbaugh (or with Rich, like yourself), while admitting that perhaps it could go the other way, and the other guy could succeed more/faster/greater. No one really knows the answer. Not even Brandon. We're just all hoping he's the closest to knowing of anybody.
See "Beveled Guilt" above, click on "Make a Donation" button and contribute to MGoBlog. Its the least you could after subjecting us all to your opinion. Thanks.
Its just you've got to be more decisive in a leadership position, right?
Yes, exactly. And DB decided months ago he would wait until AFTER the bowl game to make a full evaluation. He's probably made his mind up already anyway with RR, or is very close to it...but wouldn't it look a wee-bit indecisive of him to suddenly go back on what he repeatedly has said ad nauseum the past 3-4 months on the issue?
I know you're anxious about the coaching thingy. I'm anxious about it too...I just want to know damnit! And so does every other Michigan fan in existence right now. But we're just not going to, so there's no sense in NOW getting upset at DB, because he made his decision a looong time ago to wait. Right or wrong - agree or disagree with the timeline - you can't blame DB for being indecisive or stalling on it.
Robinson also packed snow into a plastic bag for his return flight.
"Melted on the plane," he said.
I never again want to hear about Michigan's vaunted academic standards.
How big was the bag? If you have a garbage size bag of snow it would last.
or in a cooler
I'm doing that next time I fly, just to mess with TSA. "No Sir, that isn't more than 3 ounces of liquid."
her her her
DJK also packed "snow" into a plastic bag for his return flight. That didn't work out quite as well for him, now did it?
One thing i like about the bowl system as it currently stands is that it allows 35 teams to end the year on a win. Without the bowl system, we wouldn't have kicked florida's ass a few years ago, and we wouldn't have out Jan 1 date with MSU (ntmsu).
I think that an "elite playoff" (brian's top 6 proposal or something similar) should happen, and keep the lower bowls. It lets the teams get the trip, the swag, and the chance to end their year on a win.
I think this is the biggest hold up to a 6+ team playoff. While I like Brian's proposal, what do the road teams that lose in the first round get? If they are played at campus sites, I'm guessing not even half of the ticket revenue would equal the payout from a current bowl (depending on conference $$ sharing).
I think we're much more likely to see a +1 title game, which means just adding another "bowl" and even more money for schools. It's very tough to incorporate keeping all the revenue the same or higher, Jan. 1 bowl sanctity, and more than 4 teams into a playoff.