B1G should come out and say, top six (or even change to eight or twelve for negiotation purposes) champs are in, non-negotiable.
This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
B1G should come out and say, top six (or even change to eight or twelve for negiotation purposes) champs are in, non-negotiable.
I'm not really sure it would make a difference either way.
A top 4 will benefit one conference just as often as a champs if top 6. For instance, the Big ten would have had 2 playoff teams twice with "top 4 only" in the past decade, but only once with champs if top 6
I see lot's of comments about the top 6 conference champs being selected for the 4 team playoff. I apologize for not reading all the playoff blogs but how does this work? Would it be like this:
1) Top four ranked conference champ teams among the top 6 ranked teams are selected (including Boise's conference)
2) If 3 or fewer conference champions are ranked in the top 6 teams, then the next highest ranked teams will be selected.
It makes winning your conference absolutely critical to getting to a playoff. This blog knows all the pros. At least make it the top 5.
The only way this isn't fair is if you run the SEC.
I'm also a fan of rotating east/west and north(midwest)/south semifinals with locations selected by bid. Money goes to conferences. Locations are fair. Every other year local fans will have a semifinal that may include their team. No worries about small college venues. Again we all know the pros.
The only way this isn't fair is if you run the SEC.
But of course this game it's about fairness. Leave fairness on the football field, in recruiting and scholarships and in not paying athletes...
Power, money, negotiations, and PR win the day. Let's see what Delaney has to offer.
In anyone in the BIGTEN or any other conference for that matter, has any backbone what-so-ever.
that said, isn't it slightly immature of the SEC to walk into the discussion saying that the topic up for negotiation is non-negotiable? kind of like, if you don't want to play by my rules, im taking the ball and going home... playground stuff.
because it's so close to crossing the /nopolitics rule, but... have you seen how public negotiations in this country work anymore? The side that is unwilling to budge on anything will prevail against the side that's willing to make concessions for the sake of negotiation. I agree that it's immature, but I can't say it's surprising.
like the B1G and Pac-12 did with the Rose Bowl?
have their way:
The War of Northern Aggression?
Do we disagree with that though? Isn't that what a playoff should be?
the Big Ten has advocated a system with a top-six conference champion given an autobid, as opposed to a straight 1-4.
But what do you think? Just because the Big Ten advocates something doesn't make it the best way. I was under the assumption that it's a four team playoff, so there aren't enough spots for all the conference champs.
Last year - who was more deserving: Clemson or Alabama? West Virginia or Stanford?
Personally, it's more a question of selection procedure than who gets ranked in what spot. Going by the BCS formula we have now, I'd wouldn't count on a one loss Big Ten champion getting in over a one loss SEC West runner up (and yes, I do believe a conference champion is more deserving than a team finishing second in their division, all things being equal). If the Big Ten agrees, they need to stand firm on this issue or advocate a new way of selecting the four participants.
"conference champions are more deserving" argument. A team should not be penalized simply because the best team in the country happens to be in its conference, or rewarded because its conference is a hot mess.
I haven't gotten over the fact that Alabama got another crack at LSU even though they already lost to LSU in a home night game.
Anyone who says they had a good idea whether Alabama or Oklahoma State was the better team is a liar. I wanted Oklahoma State because I thought it would be a more entertaining matchup, but picking Alabama wasn't wrong.
Voting them national champions over LSU was wrong though, and it's not particularly close.
The championship game is a pretty arbitrary way to pick the national champ right now. Why shouldn't LSU have had a chance to break the 1-1 tie by playing a game in Baton Rouge, for example? And even if they didn't (and as you obviously understand), they still had a better season overall.
FWIW, I agree with you re: Alabama and Okla. St. as far as who was better. I thought it was unfair, though, to give Bama another chance to beat a team that they already lost to under the most favorable (for them) of circumstances.
You don't know who's better between Bama and Okie St, so the teams that haven't played should get a chance to prove it, since you can't know with such different schedules. LSU and Bama did play, so we did know who was better. Now all we know is they're, what, equal? But one gets to be National Champ.
did not devalue the regular season either does not care about ensuring the primacy of the regular season because a playoff is more important (a legitimate stance, though I totally disagree) or is dumb. It is a fact that putting them in the game rendered meaningless a huge LSU victory on the road. IMO that is a terrible result. Others say that all that matters is the two best teams in the final game.
The "top 4" argument follows the same mistaken path. It is not a stretch at all to say that under that scenario many years could feature two teams out of four that did not win their conference. That again means that winning your conference, even a large major conference like the B1G, may not be good enough to get you into the playoff. If winning your major conference means nothing to chances of winning the NC, what exactly are you playing for? In the old days you were playing for the Rose Bowl because there was no NC, but now? You may not even get to the Rose Bowl! Regular season-meaningless, and that would be a tragedy for college football IMO.
I do think there is a compromise though. I would reluctantly be ok with one wild card team in the top four that did not win the conference, like Bama last year, because that means the majority of teams would have always won their conference.
if M and LSU both lose to only Alabama next year, M will be 13-1 while LSU will be 12-1 (with the additional win almost certainly coming against a top ranked team). For another, why even have a conference structure if winning your conference means nothing? I'd much rather see two champions play, even in a rematch, than see two divisional opponents match up again.
because they impose structure on what would otherwise be chaotic scheduling. Winning the Big 10 is great. I hope Michigan does it every year. But if two teams are 12-1, and one team won its conference and the other lost out to a 13-0 team, the fact that the first team is a conference champion doesn't tell you fuck all about which team is better or more deserving of being in the national championship game.
If it "doesn't tell you fuck", then why not have a default position of rewarding a team who won a championship, compared to one that, to use a Kork Coupons quote, "sat on the couch"? As others have pointed out, winning a conference title is important in every single other NCAA sport in terms of playoff inclusion and seeding; why not football?
I don't necessarily buy that it should be important in any sport. But, to the extent it should be, the importance of winning a conference championship should be at its greatest in sports where teams play the most regular season games, and least important in the sports where teams play relatively few games. College football is inherently a small sample size.
More fundamentally, giving weight to the fact that (hypothetically) Michigan wins its conference while Alabama loses to LSU or something, when, in the vast majority of years, the two schools will not have played a single team in common, does not make any sense, assuming the question we're trying to answer is "who is the better team?"
If so, I can think of a couple USC teams with 2-3 losses who should have been in the BCS title game. The argument is that, all things being equal, being a conference champion makes you more deserving than a team with the same amount of losses (not equal records, as I pointed out above).
Also, that wasn't begging the question; it might have been a bit loaded, but it certainly didn't give an impossible choice. Should a 13-1 champion be rewarded with a bid over a 12-1 division loser? I say yes, 100% of the time.
You say "all things being equal" but I think the issue is what to do when all things aren't equal. No one thinks Wisconsin and Alabama were equal last year, but Wisconsin was a conference champ and Alabama wasn't. I think if you compared Oregon and Arkansas, for example, who had similar resumes and were adjacent to each other in the polls, then you can give the edge to Oregon because they won their league. I'm fine with that. But what about when things aren't equal?
Is Oregon more deserving than Alabama, simply because Oregon's loss to LSU was out of conference, and Alabama's loss to LSU was a league game?
Because Wisconsin lost to Oregon? Well, then, why wasn't Oregon playing LSU? Because they lost to LSU? So did Alabama, so that can't disqualify them. You're saying the eye test tells you who's better. But if they don't play the same teams, you don't know, and the only way to figure it out is to have them play. The eye test in 2006 said Ohio State and Michigan should be playing each other. Both lost to Florida and USC, respectively. The eye test is great when it works (and last year, it's still debatable), and the Champion method is too...and they're both awful when they don't work. But neither one is more "right" every year than the other. Because eye tests can be wrong.
Edit to your edit: It could be argued that Oregon lost on a neutral site closer to LSU, and Bama lost at home. Or it could be argued that Bama lost a closer game than Oregon. The point is you can never know. So what are you going to value? The "feeling" that Bama was better, or value Conference Championships and make the regular season mean more for everyone?
Considering Oregon lost another game, at home, I think it's easy to say who's better. Oregon was a 2-loss team with a loss to LSU and Alabama was a one loss team with a loss to LSU. Oregon beat Stanford and no one else, Alabama beat Arkansas (and Florida, Auburn and Penn State).
My point was, and maybe I should have been more clear, that it's obvious whose season was better, before the bowls, between Alabama and Oregon. However, Oregon was a conference champion simply because their LSU loss was OOC and Alabama's was in their division (and because Oregon didn't have to play USC in the Pac-12 game, but that's another story). If their schedules are identical but LSU is in the Pac-12 instead of the SEC, Alabama is a conference champion.
And in defending Alabama's selection, you showed what is the real problem. You give Bama credit for beating a 7-6 team, an 8-5 team and a 9-4 team just because those teams had name cache., not that it really impacts Oregon vs. bama discussion but more the Okla St vs. Bama comparisons.
I'm not talking about the Bama vs OKSt comparison - that one is much closer and comes down to quality of wins vs quality of loss, for the most part.
But that's not the case with Oregon. If you looked at Oregon's non-Stanford wins, it makes those three Bama wins look incredible. Oregon beat Stanford and a bunch of teams that couldn't hardly sniff a bowl.
You seem to be of the opinion that the polls are worth more than feces that the bird puts on them when they line the bottom of the cage. On the other hand, I think the feces are worth measureably more.
Polls are the LEAST valid way to rank things. They are almost 100% subjective. There certainly isn't enough interleague play to make a valid ranking of teams. The only place where there is enough intra-play is within the conferences. As such, winning a conference provides a valid first tier of elimination for consideration.
You can't really determine who the "best" team in college football is, partly because there's not enough games to measure it meaningfully, but partly also because there really might not even be such a thing. In a game of such complicated positional and strategic matchups, it is entirely possible that 7 times out of 10, team A beats team B, team B beats team C, but team C beats team A. Who then is the "best" team?
What you can do is attempt to determine who the most "deserving" teams are, based on how they've scheduled, whom they've beaten, and by how much. I would argue that a conference winner is more deserving than a team that doesn't win its conference, all other things being equal. That being said, all other things are not always equal. Last year's Clemson outfit was not as deserving as Alabama was to play in a championship game because their body of work was not as strong. This is why absolutes like "only the top 4 teams get in" and "only the conference winners get in" are both foolish. If the #3 and #5 teams have the same record and the #5 team won its conference but the #3 team didn't (having lost to the #1 team) then the #5 team should get in: the #3 team had its shot already, whereas the #5 team still deserves one. OTOH, if one of your conference champions finishes the regular season at three losses and #15, it shouldn't get in over a 1-loss team that finished #4 but didn't win its conference.
The real problem is that, as has been demonstrated by several diarists on this blog, no one plan makes sense in every year. Which to me strongly suggests that the underlying principle (that there is a right way to pick a "champion") is probably suspect to begin with.
Asking seriously, how did you feel when Florida was picked over Michigan in 2006?
Not sure who this is asking because it's so crazy up there - but honestly, I honestly felt we got robbed when it happened, and I did a 180 once the games were played. Looking at our schedule against UF's schedule that year, it was very close, but I felt that had it not been a rematch scenario, we would have been #2.
Once Florida spanked OSU and we got beat up by USC, I thought it was certainly the right call.
The 2006 Mich/OSU situation I think is exactly the argument against having a non-conference-champion in over a top 6 conference champion. Hindsight is 20/20 and after both losing their bowl games it's clear the Big Ten was pretty weak that year and Michigan and ohio were merely the biggest fish in a little pond. Had Michigan and ohio played for the championship and had another great close game, I think the narrative would have been very different and similar to the LSU/Bama conversation this year. Conversely, had LSU and Bama not played each other and one or both lost their bowl game, we would be looking at the whole SEC dominance thing a little differently.
Given the nature of college football scheduling, that is, many teams with little cross-over common games, I think you have to error on the side of caution and let the play-off games get played by teams that didn't have any common opponents. Having highly ranked conference champs get auto-bids is a fair way to make that happen
it sucked because Bo died the day before the Game, the OSU turf, NCAA officials hadn't discovered that running quarterbacks should be tackled like running backs, (imagine the hits Denard takes back then - many would be roughing the passer), and our coach followed his midwestern values while their's promoted his team (thus supporting his players in addition to his own ambitions).
In the end though, we had our shot, lost outright to Ohio State, and did not win the B1G. Florida deserved a chance, just like Oklahoma State did.
The timing and the way it unfolded really sucked though. If we had waken up the day after the OSU game #3, we would have all been fine, and happy to go to the Rose Bowl. The way it occured totally killed all momentum going into the Rose Bowl.
So it sucked, but even before the games were played, it was fair.
But then USC lost, and we should have moved up to #2. But somehow after that we were STILL 3. That was the problem. The bigger problem is the SEC wanting their cake and eating it too. When it benefits them to have to win your conference, that's ok. When it benefits you to have the "two best teams", then let's flip flop. It's the same thing Nebraska did hen they said shared titles are bad and Penn State has no business splitting the title with them...till they're campaigning to share with Michigan in the polls. The common demoninator in all of this? Michigan gets screwed.
It isn't penalizing them, it is obvious that they aren't the best team in the country (aka they lost their conference!). The purpose of a play off is to sort out the unknowns. You don't sort out the unknowns by rehashing the knowns.
Not the top six conference champions; conference champions in the top 6. So, if 1, 3, 5, and 6 are conference champions, they get into the playoff and 2 and 4 don't. That's why the SEC doesn't want it because it limits the chance that they send 2 teams. With all of the SEC bias out there, it's almost a guarantee that they get 2 teams selected every year unless teams start beating them, and that's not likely to happen if they continue to over-sign.
Maybe my wording wasn't the best, but this is the proposal I was referencing.
So you think the #6 team who won their conference is more deserving of going to the playoff than the #2 team who didn't win their conference? If so, it's merely a difference of opinion on our parts. I'd like to see the best four teams go, and if they are only from two different conferences because the other conferences couldn't field good enough teams, so be it.
My biggest problem with this is that "conference champion" is simply the winner of the conference championship game. What if LSU had lost to Georgia in the SEC champ game last year? Do you think they should have been left out of the playoff? Just because their only slip up was in the conference title game? Kentucky didn't win their conference tournament this year, what if they weren't allowed to play for the national title?
I don't think the SEC should be punished because they're the best conference right now. This could change in 5 years, but it shouldn't affect our view on what is the "right" proposal.
You're arguing about Conference Championship games. Which is probably valid...they're nothing of value but a money grab.
The issue I see with your argument is that is assumes that there is a way via a poll or BCS type scoring system to tell the four best teams in the country. Who is a better team -- a team that goes undefeated, but plays a very soft schedule or a team that plays in a (commonly believed to be) tough conference with a couple of very difficult OOC games who loses 1 (or 2)?
It does not assume that. I would propose a committee like in basketball, that uses things like polls, RPI-type metrics, and conference champions when deciding who gets in. I'm on board with a conference championship holding weight, just not all that much. Last year, the ACC, Big Ten and Big East didn't have a national championship worthy team - so they shouldn't get to participate.
I could get on board with the 3+1 rule, assuming the 3 were all in the top-5 or -6 or something like that.
Your last sentence is exactly the Big 10's proposal and it would have resulted in the displacement of exactly 3 teams since 2005, all of them ranked #4 in the final BCS standings.
1. LSU in 2006, a team that didn't win its division in favor of a USC team that Morgan Trent still has nightmares about. [Lose out to higher ranked wild card Michigan]
2. Alabama in 2008, who had just lost to Florida in the SEC championship by a USC team that curbstomped Illinois in the Rose Bowl (this is about the only controversial one, in my mind). [They lose out to higher rated wild card Texas].
3. Stanford by Oregon last year, objectively the right call.
There are two scenarios where this system is somewhat unfair:
1. An undefeated Notre Dame ranked #2 (take a minute, stop laughing .... ok) with an Alabama - LSU situation from last year with one team ranked #3, and two other conference champs in the top 6. In that case, Alabama gets left out.
2. A double Alabama-LSU situation. Similar to last year but in two conferences, with conference champs in the 5 and 6 slots, wherein the lower ranked of the two conference losers (the #4 team) is left out.
Yeah, I'm OK with either of those exceptions, because ND will never go undefeated (and if they do they should essentially be considered a conference champ so I'm OK with that) and a double LSU-Alabama would be unlikely, and someone always has to get left out so whatever. If you don't win your league, you need to look incredible (like Alabama did last year) and it would be really tough for that to happen twice in the same year.
The real problem wouldn't be an LSU-Alabama situation, as much as what would have happened if LSU lost in the SEC championship game to UGA. Georgia is the conference champ, and you have 12-1 LSU and 11-1 Alabama, and only one can get in, even though they're likely ranked #1 and #2 in the country.
But, you can dream up crazy scenarios for every situation, and things usually work themselves out on the field.
Why would only one get in if Georgia beat LSU last year? They were a 12 seed going into the SEC title game and tey most likely wouldn't have jumped in the top 6 to warrant inclusion in the 4 team playoff. The top 6 rankings would most likely have remained the same (LSU had beaten enough good teams to have still been a #1 even if they lost to UGa and you could argue the same when they lost to Alabama).
A) Georgia would have just beaten the top team in the country and would now have won 10 in a row. It's a long jump, but within the realm of possibility.
B) LSU may still have been above Alabama, but history has NEVER looked kindly on teams that lose their last game. Alabama can give the same argument LSU did in 2007--"we never lost a game in regulation." So now we have a situation where LSU has been punished for beating Alabama, winning its division, and going to the SEC title game. Georgia (who had an awful SEC schedule by the way) would now get to play for a national title.
A system that punishes teams for winning games is absolutely ludicrous.
Because with that rule, only one non-champ can get in, and since LSU and Bama would have both been non-champs, only one could go.
LSU in the SEC title game last year, the playoff participants are Oklahoma State, Oregon, Alabama, and LSU? Good thing winning the conference means so much.
Even worse, if Georgia snuck into the top 6 with the big win, the team left out is probably LSU which is now PUNISHED for winning the division and playing in the title game.
If the conference champion is SO important why is the cutoff at 6? Why not 8 or 10?
How come your analysis doesn't go back beyond 2005?
What about the Big XII of Big East that doesn't have a title game? If they have a tie atop the standings do they now have the option to send their highest-ranked team? They'd all technically be conference champions (albeit co-champs).
Do the non-BCS conferences get the same consideration? Does a 6th ranked Boise get in the playoffs despite playing one BCS conference team a year? Talk about taking advantage of a weak schedule. (No disrespect meant to Boise who deserves more consideration, but I don't think I'm spreading the news that their old conference wasn't America's toughest).
By that token is the Big East still a major BCS conference? Undefeated 2009 Cincinnati would have made the playoffs while 2009 Florida would have sat at home. They happened to play in the Sugar Bowl. Florida was a 14-point favorite and won 51-24 (in a game that was not that close). Tim Tebow threw for 482 yards. Read that last sentence again. If the BCS or a committee thought Cincinnati was better based on a body of work--fine. So be it. But why would we not include a team most thought was top 4 in the country because they didn't happen to win their conference?
Every playoff system in college is subjective. The basketball committee has to decide if 21-12 Team A should get in over 26-9 Team B. Why not use a committee to make a decision on who they believe the best 4 teams are? The argument seems to be that "best" is too subjective. So is winning the conference when conference strength and out of conference schedules are clearly not even across the board. Was Cincinnati really a top 4 team in 2009? Was Virginia Tech in 2007 (got drilled, and I mean drilled, by LSU in regular season and would have made playoffs by BCS standings--hell, they may have gotten a "home" game)?
weighed in on this topic elsewhere. Just want to say A-effin-men. Fight the good fight.
I stand on that is, if you are taking the "four best" then we still have people deciding who those four are. I would like to view the conference play as part of a playoff. That way, people aren't deciding who goes, the players are. Win your conference, you go. To me, it's all about determining a champion, not about saying how far you went. If you are the 3rd best team and the best team is in your conference, you are simply eliminated earlier in the playoff. Or you could do something like a 6 team deal with the 4 conference champs going and two wild cards.
#2 is simply people with no possible way of making any determination about relative ranking effectively just writing down whatever BS has been spoon fed into them by the media and boom #2. Conference champion means infinitely more than ranked #2 or even ranked #1.
I think the issue is, you seem to believe that the polls and various other ranking are valid objective measurements when in fact they have no basis in objectivity. They are purely subjective. 100% subjective and that 100% subjective is based on so little information that even as a subjective ranking they are critically flawed.
AKA polls are WORTHLESS. basing anything on polls is basically the same as just rolling the bones and calling yourself a seer who can see the future.
3 conference champs, as long as they're in the top 6, and a wild card. I think it incentivises better ooc scheduling as long as strength of schedule is included and eliminates part of the conference strength bias.
Who's more deserving? Stanford or Oregon?
If you didn't win your conference, that means you aren't even the best team in your conference. If you aren't the best team in your conference, WTF, are you doing being allowed to compete for the national championship.
If I was running this thing, it would be top for conference champions, period. Don't win you conference, don't have any hope of making it it.
How do you determine who is actually the top 4 with such disparate schedules? Many years the #3 & #4 team have the exact same record as the #8 team. Shouldn't a national playoff be national? Shouldn't a conference championship count for something? (it is usually the first criteria to qualify in every other sport with a playoff)
Last year Oregon (the Pac 12 champ) would have been left out for Stanford only because they lost to a tougher non-conf LSU. In 2008, there would have been 2 Big 12 teams and 2 SEC teams (leaving out #5 USC and #8 PSU which both finished 11-1--same record as the #3 & #4 teams and #6 12-0 Utah that beat #4 Alabama in bowl). In 2006, there would have been 2 Big Ten teams and 2 SEC teams (leaving out Pac-10 champ USC that proved to be much better than MIchigan that year).
I fear that it's either that or end up with a system that puts at least two SEC teams in every year and that sees those teams play their semifinal games in New Orleans and Atlanta.
Also, co-sign to this: This is also why the Big 10 shouldn't have abandoned the home game proposal without extracting some kind of concession.
All those people who were saying "this is how negotiations work...the B10 is smart to give up on an issue they had no chance with to get something else..."...we'll see how this works out. Obviously the SEC isn't taking that tactic. After the B10 has already given up their position. Are the same people who said it isn't viable for the B10 to refuse to go into a playoff going to say the same thing about the SEC? If everyone else says "we're doing it, the SEC can play their own championship game we don't need them", is the SEC going to be as hurt as the B10 was going to be? The SEC's actions are proving how you negotiate, and how the B10 is left with egg on their face. And it'll be complete failure on their part if the SEC gets their way on this, too.
The SEC won't budge on this issue because the current format favors them, and therefore they have all the leverage. If there is gridlock and the NCAA cannot come to a decision that everyone supports, then we may end up stuck with the status quo: a two-team playoff at a neutral, warm-weather site.
The 4 team playoff is here and there is no going back. The SEC is in the minority on the conference champion requirement issue with the Big 12. Unless they make some concessions in other parts of the playoff negotiation, I think you can expect to see there be some sort of conference champion element to the playoff.
Top 4 ranked by selection committee made up of the "5 strong conferences" = 3 conf champions + 1 at-large
If that's the hill they want to die on, say "OK, top 4 ranked teams, higher seed gets the semifinal game at home."
That's exactly what I was going to write: if Delaney loses the top four but gets home games, I'd consider that a big win from our perspective.
He's already given that up, though. And I believe he's gone so far as declaring it "impractical." It's not coming back. It was dead the moment it began being discussed in terms of logistics rather than reinforcing the importance of the regular season (and being generally awesome).
and try to drum up support. Problem is the majority is against them in this case (B1G, Pac-12, ACC, and Big East). I don't see them winning out in this debate if nothing changes. Everyone knows there is no walking away from a playoff now, and I don't think anyone is going to take their bluster seriously and not call their bluff.
Good point. Call their bluff and tell them you can play your own National Championship game, we'll all be over here when you decide to join us. If they're threatening to take their ball and go home, let them. Hell, it's not like the rest of the country is gonna watch their "game," if they decide to opt for that, no one watched this year's BCS title game either.
That's the correct system if we have to have a playoff.
Thank you for dispensing your unquestionable opinion. Now we no longer have to trouble ourselves with this vexing issue.
The justification for a playoff is that it will be a more accurate method of picking the best team in the country (the fact that it's impossible to figure out who is the best college football team in 14 games of fewer is why we just shouldn't care who the best team is, but that's beside the point).
If that is the goal, then any system other than "the best 4 teams get to be in the playoff" thwarts it.
...the fact that it's impossible to figure out who is the best college football team in 14 games of fewer is why we just shouldn't care who the best team is...
I agree with that but think (as we discussed above) that rewarding conference champs is a better way of handling the fundamental aribtrariness of finding a college football champ.
I understand your take here. But I keep coming back to reservations about any four team model. I think eight, even better sixteen, makes the most sense. I vastly prefer the college game to the NFL, but I never question whether the NFL produces a "real" champion, even when a wild card wins it all. In that case they are neither a division "champion" nor are they by definition one of the four teams with the best body of work over the season. But they do earn their championships. I believe college football to be the best sport we have, but its championship process will never be as exciting as pro football's or NCAA basketball's until it expands to invovle more teams. Pontification ended.
It may be more accurate but only slightly as it is really just the same system but one level of extraction back. IMO, a playoff that does not remove all/most of the subjectivity in determining the teams that play in the national championship is a failure and just more of the same. If you make it the top 4 teams by ranking, then you are still leaving a ton of subjectivity in the selection process. If it is just conference champions, there is no subjectivity. If you don't win your conference -- tough shit. Try harder next year in your conference games.
In addition, using conference champions of the 4 major conferences creates a de facto 16 team playoff (assuming the Big 12 gets back to 12 members and has a championship game). If you don't make it to your conference championship game -- tough shit, win your division next year. Plus, with this approach every conference game carries significant meaning each year.
Last, if we stick to the top 4 rankings system, teams still have the incentive to schedule baby seals to pad the win column for the rankings and minimize the risk of losing a non-conf game. If selection to the NC is based on winning your conference, then the fear of taking a loss in a non-conf game subsides and maybe we see more good matchups each year b/c a team can afford to play more tough non-conf games and still have a chance to make the playoffs by winning its conference (e.g., like MSU does in basketball every year).
The only way I am OK with a system that determines selection for the playoff on a subjective basis is the field is expanded to top 8+ teams. Obviously this is not going to happen for a very long time.
If you don't win your conference -- tough shit. Try harder next year in your conference games.
It is also a good point on the scheduling. Top 4 encourages cupcakes. Because no matter how much they weight the system to strength of schedule, a cupcake win will always be better than a good team loss. If you make it Conference Champs, it goes back to what Bo felt about OOC games. They were fun, and helped his team prepare for the conference schedule. Tough games get you ready for conference tough games, and if the point is to win your conference, then it is a boon to make your schedule tougher. Go by rankings and there's more value playing powderpuffs.
last year the top 4 teams according to ESPN where:
Those 4 teams sat upon the top of an ESPN ranking.
Granted it was the ESPN Bottom 10, but it is a reputable ranking put out by ESPN.
The problem with using polls or rankings is there isn't enough information to make even a biased subjective ranking. There is so little interleague play and so few games played period that any ranking or poll claiming any level of accuracy enough to provide a top 4 is completely unbelievable.
Given that, the only realistic way to go about it is to use the conferences as an elimination system. Didn't win your conference? You don't count. You have been eliminated.
The only thing I don't like about the "top 4" scenario is that this could once again create controversy by allowing teams who didn't win their conference to potentially make the playoffs, which only diminishes the importance of conference championship games and also gives way to the possiblity of the "Alabama/LSU rematch" scenario, which is the biggest argument for the whole playoff scenario.
And let's not forget, this could allow the potential for OSU/Michigan to play THREE times in one season. If controversy stems from a "rematch," I'd like to believe the college football community would be more pissed from a "re-rematch."
Conference championship games are money grabs. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't see how they could be diminished more than they already are.
Yeah, but now that conference sizes are increasing, conference championship games become more important. You can't play everyone in your conference anymore. It's difficult to come up with a conference champion with that scenario unless you split the conference in two and have a conference championship to decide the ultimate champ. It may be a money grab, but it will hold even greater importance as conference sizes likely continue to expand.
about M v. ohio 3 times in a single year. I honestly don't think it's that far fetched.
Good point. It could even theoretically shake out such that Michigan & OSU play 3 times in a row some year (The Game, B1G championship, theoretical semifinal matchup). I'm guessing the rest of the college football world would not be amused.
`top 4" model and conf champs model is the conf champs model relys a lot less on polls and opinion and the top 4 model devalues having a conference champion. I already hate having a "regular" season champ and a conference championship game champ but that where $$$ has taken us. Going this route makes the conf season even less important.
It does not devalue a conference champion at all. Do you know how hard it is now be in the top-4 without winning your conference? Very hard. It means your league is respected as being strong, your schedule is recognized as being strong, you likely have one loss and it's to a good team. That team is likely more deserving that a team who managed to win a less competitive conference.
Funny, in 2006 all we heard from the SEC was how unfair it was to have two teams from the same conference in the championship game.
Can't happen or else there will be a vicious cycle with the SEC declaring more of their teams should be in the playoff because they are the best conference and win more NCs. This will then give the SEC more chances to win the NC, and it will devolve into an SEC only playoff. I can be OK with top 4 teams unless a conference champ is in the top 6 or 8.
This is so much BS, the SEC dictating how the proposed playoff setup is going to work.
Although, I've gotta hand it to Mike Slive, he maximizing the meaning of "negotiating from a position of strength".
System favors SEC schools...SEC very successful...successful SEC schools always on ESPN...best recruits want to be successful on ESPN...best recruits go to SEC schools...System favors SEC schools....
The Big Ten at its heart wants to do what its players and coaches and ADs want to do. For all we talk about money and question their motives, Brandon is on the more extreme end of doing what's best for the bottom line, and some of the other ADs are on the extreme end of doing what their fans and donors want them to do.
The SEC is much more focused on winning championships, and all else is secondary to that. There's a different worldview here as to what college football should be about. I think in their heart of hearts Delaney and Brandon both think they're running businesses--most of the rest of the conference goes along with what these guys do, but among the standouts Barry Alvarez is the self-appointed protector of all things traditional, and Mark Hollis is the consummate "that's not fair" complainer. Gene Smith of Ohio State and all of the SEC power brokers believe they're running NFL franchises. The difference in approach to a national championship stems from these differing personalities.
Am I the only Big Ten person who WANTS this?
I'm glad the SEC drew a line, they're doing what's right.
Now if the B1G counters with a 8 team tournament where the top 4 conference winners get a spot, I'm okay with that. But with it being just 4 teams...I want to see the top 4 teams play, period. 1 v. 4 and 2 v. 3...where they play those games is what should be up for debate.
I agree. Or how the four are determined. I'm OK with some type of committee that uses rather objective ways to get to the four, and I'm OK with a conference championship holding some weight in that. For instance, if numbers 4 and 5 are very close, but #5 won their major conference, I'm OK with that pushing them over the edge. But if it's pretty clear who the top 4 teams are and not all of them are conference champions, then those four should play.
You write as if top 4 is always clear cut. Last year, Oregon, is the counter point. Giving priority to conference champs above a certain level creates a somewhat objective critieria for admission into the playoff. Want to have a better chance of qualifying for the playoff? Win your conference.
Deemphasizing the polls for what goes occurs on the field is one of the benefits of the 3+1 model.
The past seven week 8 BCS standings (before were:
I'd say Stanford and TCU would've like this "Top 4" model as well.
See, everyone thinks this gives the SEC such an advantage because we all remember last year, but only 3 of those 7 years would there have been 2 SEC teams, and it's hard to say they didn't deserve it. Once each the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 had two teams, so it's hard to say this heavily favors one conference over another.
2011 is a year where a little objectivity would have come in handy. #5 last year was conference champion Oregon, and I think few would argue against Oregon getting in over Stanford.
Here's how the playoffs would have worked out since 2006 (so we can get Michigan in) with the 3+1 system using the BCS rankings. Conference champs and wildcards listed in parantheses.
2006: 1. OSU (Big 10) v. 5. USC (Pac 10); 2. UF (SEC) v. 3. UM (WC) [Pac 10 champ USC displaces #4 LSU]
2007: 1. OSU (Big 10) v. 4. Oklahoma (Big 12); 2. LSU (SEC) v. 3. Va Tech (ACC)
2008: 1. Oklahoma (Big 12) v. 5. USC (Pac 10); 2. Florida (SEC) v. 3. Texas (WC) [USC jumps alabama, who lost in SEC championship game to Florida. This was that terrible year where Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech all tied on one side of the Big 12]
2009: 1. Alabama (SEC) v. 4. TCU (MWC); 2. Texas (Big 12) v. 3. Cincinnati (Big East) [Florida #5 destroyed Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl, but hey, Florida's not in the top 4 anyway]
2010: 1. Auburn (SEC) v. 4. Stanford (WC); 2. Oregon (Pac 12) v. 3. TCU (MWC) [note: if the Big 10's proposal was "any conf champs in the top 6" then Wisconsin displaces Stanford. It's not, however. The politicing for the #4 slot would have been heavy here].
2011: 1. LSU (SEC) v. 5. Oregon (Pac 12); 2. Alabama (WC) v. 3. Okie State (Big 12) [Oregon jumps 4. Stanford, objectively the right call]
So what we have is the exclusion of three teams ranked #4, all of whom lost to one of the teams above them, in favor of a #5 ranked conference champ. One of these is objectively the right call (2011) and the other two seem entirely justified to me. What we're going to be dealing with is not the exclusion of a team that is dominant. It's going to be favoring conference champs in what are either very marginal calls or clear cut ones.
Thanks for doing this. Looking at this plan, I can jump on board with this. It seems like the most fair way. Obviously there are scenarios where this could get screwed up (like if OK St. would have lost another game, then the third conference champ is down a ways, and is maybe Boise State) but it's probably the best way.
And considering the Big Ten is normally one of the top 3 conferences, we should get a team in most years (not that this should be a criterion, but I like it nonetheless).
so why don't we do them all:
1998: #1 Tennessee (SEC) v. #6 Texas A&M (Big 12); #2 FSU (ACC) v. #5 UCLA (Pac-10). Kansas State loses in conference title game to A&M and it allows A&M to jump into the top 6. Ohio State is #4, but is technically not the BCS rep because they didn't play co-champ Wisconsin. It's an odd situation, but it does bring up the point of what happens should a conference without divisions choose not to have a full round robin schedule (Big XII drops 9th game to go back to 8). Don't expect it to happen, but this won't be the 1st time this situation arises. Ohio State ends up beating A&M by 10 in Sugar Bowl. Kansas State is #3 and is out--I hate the conference champ argument, but I do like the idea of a conference champ getting in before any other team in its conference if it's in the top 6.
1999: #1 FSU (ACC) v. #4 Alabama (SEC); #2 Virginia Tech (Big East) v. #3 Nebraska (Big XII). All four are conference champs. Pretty damn straight forward.
2000: #1 Oklahoma (Big XII) v. #4 Washington (Pac-10); #2 FSU (ACC) v. #3 Miami-FL (Big East). Washington is co-champ with similar situation to Ohio State in 1998. However, unlike OSU, they are considered their conference's rep to the BCS. Again, pretty straight forward.
2001: #1 Miami-FL (Big East) v. #4 Oregon (Pac-10); #2 Nebraska (Big XII at large) v. #3 Colorado (Big XII). A mess. #5 and #6 are the highest ranked SEC teams, but neither won the conference. Nebraska's last game saw them getting absolutely torched by Colorado. Guess what? The regular season doesn't always matter even in a playoff system. Nebraska didn't win the division so I don't know if they even get the bid. Does it drop down to #6 Tennessee as the SEC East winner, but loser in the conference title game? Would it drop to the next conference champ (#8 Illinois--who proceeded to get torched by LSU in a bowl game)?
2002: #1 Miami-FL (Big East) v. #6 Washington State (Pac-10); #2 Ohio State (B1G) v. #3 Georgia (SEC). Another weird year. #4 USC and Wazzu tied for the Pac-10, BUT WSU did beat them. Iowa was undefeated in the conference, but Ohio State is the BCS representative. USC ends up destroying Iowa in the Orange Bowl. Wazzu gets torched in the Rose Bowl by Oklahoma. Another issue of tied conference champs in the B1G.
2003: #1 Oklahoma (Big XII at large) v. #4 Michigan (B1G); #2 LSU (SEC) v. #3 USC (Pac-10). #5 and #6 didn't win the conference either. How do you handle non-conference winners finishing in the top 2? Do they still host? Do we bump them down?
2004: #1 USC (Pac-10) v. #6 Utah (MWC); #2 Oklahoma (Big XII) v. #3 Auburn (SEC). #4 Texas and #5 California each lost one game to a team in the top 3. Do we really want to allow ANY conference champ to get in? Sun Belt? Guess how many ranked teams Utah played in 2004? ZERO. When they would have been selected they would have beaten 3 teams with winning records (7-4 Texas A&M, 7-4 New Mexico, and 6-5 Wyoming). They are more deserving than Cal or Texas?
2005: #1 USC (Pac-10) v. #6 Notre Dame (Ind); #2 Texas (Pac-10) v. #3 Penn State (B1G). #4 Ohio State lost to Penn State. I believe an ND in the top 6 would be treated as a conference champion and therefore Ohio State would be passed up. Naturally, Ohio State beat ND in the Fiesta Bowl 34-20.
It's pretty clear the bowls have historically shown that conference champs lower on the BCS rung, but playoff eligible, lose to teams higher on that rung who didn't win the conference.
1998: #4 Ohio State over #6 Texas A&M
2002: #4 USC over #5 Iowa
2005: #4 Ohio State over #6 Notre Dame
The conference champ argument also has other issues to deal with--how to deal with non-BCS conferences and the Big East? How to deal with non-round robin schedules? How to deal with co-champs (it's patently unfair to simply allow them to CHOOSE their BCS rep by BCS standings)? What happens when there aren't enough conference champions and division winners--not likely, but possible?
All of those problems are solved by taking the best 4.
Actually, the Big Ten had 2 teams in the top 4 twice - PSU/osu in 2005 and Michigan/osu in 2006. Your larger point still stands
My mistake, that actually strengthens my larger point. Thanks.
You simply state a conference champion in the top 6 MUST first get in over any other team in it's conference. So Oregon would leap frog Stanford in the pecking order. LSU would get in over Alabama (seems obvious).
"So don't worry too much about the playoff falling apart, even if the rhetoric gets stronger in the next three weeks. Cash is the ultimate consensus builder, and it hasn't had its say yet" - from the article
If the last sentence is true, then the Big Ten really needs to reassert its (or any) position as they are the #2 conference in viewership behind the SEC. If for no other reason than building something that makes fiscal sense to television executives, the Big Ten and the SEC should be spearheading a consensus proposal, I would think anyway.
It is pretty clear to me that between wanting the top 4 teams in a playoff regardless of their being conference championships and the creation of the Champions Bowl as a potential playoff venue, the SEC is basically trying to maximize the potential (and it might not work even at that - it is hard to get two teams in the top 4 from one conference on a consistent basis historically) that it has multiple entries most years for the foreseeable future. The message I get here is the same one I typically get from the SEC - winning at the expense of others.
That being said, I still have a suspicion that the Big Ten would have a team in this model a fair amount anyway, as would the Big XII and the Pac-12 - not every year necessarily, but certainly a few times each decade perhaps. That seems to be how the "top 4" in the polls typically trend. More often than not, there has been a decent mix of major conferences in the top spots in the final polls.
I would say that, if they really want to stand on this issue, then the Big Ten needs to seriously consider resurrecting the idea of home games for the higher seeded teams in the semifinals at the very least and insist that the bowl tie-ins cannot apply to teams in the playoff (but can be used as the consolation for runners-up in their tie-in conferences), thereby making the Champions Bowl a potentially risky endeavor. I want to say that TV execs would probably listen seriously to some "home game" proposals, particularly if it meant the potential to be in certain stadiums and on campuses which have considerable appeal and sizeable "home" audiences by themselves.
The SEC is going for getting there preferred solution which is the plus 1 which is probably the best solution
I don't like it at all because then the whole thing is a game of perception. Conference champs need to involved on some level so it isn't 4 teams from the same conference. The top 6 w/ conf champs rule actually seems to make the most sense
When was the last time they had a good football team?
I really think conference champions should be incorporated in any new football playoff. I'm not saying the playoff has to include only conference champions nor do I think a very good team who was second place in their conference should necessarily be left out. However, I think the playoff should be large enough to include conference champions.
The reason is simple. I'm tired of having national champions decided by polls and computer algorithms alone. For decades, we had national champions crowned by voters at the end of the season. Then we moved to the BCS, which uses voters and computer algorithms to decide who gets a chance at the national championship. Now, the SEC wants to make the playoff a little larger and still have it decided by polls. There is no way for a team to guarantee themselves a chance at the national championship and that sickens me. I want coaches all across the country to be able to tell their kids that if they fight hard and win all their games then they will get into the playoff and then if they continue to win all their games they will definitely win the national championship.
Since conference champions are not crowned by polls, including them in the playoff system provides a definitive, non-arbitrary path towards a national championship.
6 team format. 4 major conference champs. 2 highest ranked wild cards that did not win their conference. #1 and #2 teams get a buy regardless of whether they are conference champs or not.
The idea that the polls or the BCS standings actually indicate the top 4 teams in the country is utterly delusional. Do they indicate 4 top teams? Sure. That's about it.
The system should be 8 teams. 5 or 6 conference auto-bids plus 2 or 3 at-large teams from the BCS standings. Win your conference, or be one of the top teams in the rankings. Simple. Having a system where the SEC runner-up always gets into the tournament over the champions of the Big Ten, Pac Ten & ACC is just garbage.
just threaten to opt out of the play-off altogether. We are losing on every key point and if we really value the Rose Bowl as much as we say we do then lets threaten to take our Rose Bowl and go home. Otherwise, why are we even agreeing to this play-off formula which will basically be the SEC vs Big 12 anyway.
The national championship is a myth. It has always been a myth. And any of the pending proposals ensure that it will remain a myth.
And the BCS is not even a myth, it's patently silly and fools no one.
The best situation has always been to abandon the myth of a national championship game.
If the SEC wants to define the national championship for themselves, then let them have their game with the Big 12 be their mythical NC every year, and we can have ours with the Pac 12 in the Rose Bowl.
The world hummed along fine without the BCS, without the playoff, and under the old non-system. There is no need for this nonsense.
Nor is it about selecting a national champion. This decision will be about how much additional money the end product will produce. If I am a network or a bowl I very much want as many eyes on each of these games as possible. Given the size of the football audiences for the B1G, the SEC, and the PAC12, I want a team from each in the "final four" as long as they have a plausable record, and my best case for the final game is if the teams come from separate conferences. The 2012 game pulled an audience of 24.1 million viewers, that is down 4.2 million from the average the games from 2009-2011 and 6.7 million from the 2010 game.
As discussed here in great detail, it is extremely difficult to consistantly pick the "top four" teams. That decision will be politlcal no matter how it's done. Using a selection process that is based on conference championships accomplishes two things. Politics is not involved, at team wins the ability to go based on games played on the field not on polls or opinion. It ensures that you have cross conference audiences, which will prove attractive both for fans and for promoters.
Short of a true playoff, which IMHO would require 16 teams, I'd just as soon use conference champions to select who goes.
Had the 3rd lowest ratings for a BCS Championship game ever. The other two? Both featured teams that didn't win their conference.
Also states that Bama was the first team since 1936 Minnesota to win the National Championship without winning their conference. So why are we worried that once every 75 years there may be a team that is the best that didn't win it's conference? Just keep it to the conference champs.
They didn't feel that way when Michigan and Ohio were 1 and 2....
Seriously, of all the things in this world that make me angry, politicians and the power brokers in college football make the maddest. I don't understand how any conference be so arrogant that they would rather bet on their conferece having two teams in the top four every year over a (virtual) garuntee that they would have at least one. On top of that, the best way for other conferences to get the greatest amount of public support-- offering home games to higher-seeded schools-- was cast aside for a system which is corrupt at its worst and idiotic at its best. Further more, all this is going to lead to a new "four super-conference" world which would really be eight smaller conferences vaguely tied together with out much regaurd for geographical distance or traditional rivalries. There are about 17 different ideas for each terrible decision made so far that make more sense, which means a total of a lot of combinations (I am a Medievalist, not a mathmatician).
If they want to use the "top 4" teams model then they need to develop a system of measuring the different conferences against each other. Currently that really only happens AFTER the bowls (which have been argued suffeciently enough on this blog are biased against B1G teams). The AD's won't like this because of the revenue hit, but there should be a conference challenge set up at the begning of the season between the major conferences to get enough data to see which conferences are the better ones. This would require giving up all the baby seal games to play enough interconference games to compare conference records vs. each other. Then the polls can do their work to define a top 4. Until there are more inter-conference games at the beginning of the year, I will never trust the polls to judge who the top 4 are.
Under the SEC's proposal, it will be far too easy for the polls to suddenly change. I never want to see a repeat of '97 where Nebraska had a festivus miracle and moved ahead of Michigan in the coaches poll even though all the games had been finished a week earlier.
I could also see a mid-major who had been deemed top 4 worthy all year suddenly drop to a larger conference team with a worse record after all the games had been played. That's crap. If they were worth the #4 slot or higher all year, they deserve it at the end.
Im cool with a 4 team playoff. Except when the entire 4 is from the SEC.
Here is how the "negotiation" should go.
Dear SEC: We are instituting a playoff for the championship of college football. Due to the large number of conferences and the small amount of berths, we can only allow one team per conference. You are welcome to participate or not participate.
Good to see the SEC hasn't forgotten 2005 when they wouldn't have gotten a single team into the final 4.
I think this whole proposal of 4 teams is ignorant to begin with and now the SEC has not suprisingly put their ignorant, childish, egocentric, and powerful foot down. It is ridiculous that all of the conferences bow down to them. I live in the south and I am sick and tired of hearing about the SEC. I hate that we let those idiots control everything. The only reason they want top 4 is becuase they want repeats of last year so they can keep running their co**suckers about how they are the best and blah blah blah. Make it a 10 team with home field going to conference champs or highest ranked next to conference champs. There should be some chances at upsets and competition. 4 teams is weak and now we are just letting them have their way like the ignorant children they are.
You do realize that if u have a ten team tournament for a playoff you'll be down to 5 teams for the second round? Unless you are offering up byes which should not be allowed. 4,8, or 16 would work. I wish they'd do 16... All conference winners and what 4 "wild cards". Like Dan wetzel proposed in his book "Deat to the BCS"
Because that's as far as Bama fans can count!
The SEC has a point. Just because they're the SEC, and couldn't be more annoying doesn't mean they aren't right about this. That being said, they shouldn't be complaining when their non-conference winning at-large team is forced to play a January game in Ann Arbor or Madison or something. Oh, the SEC kids don't have any sleeves? Sucks.
Well, top four rankings are all spin and the SEC controls circular logic so I'll take conference champs, thank you.
its the SEC way or NO way...Let me Guess The SEC coaches will be the selection committee..Who died and made th SEC the ruler of college football..wouldnt it be great if the rest of the conferences said..OK ...sorry SEC your OUT
I love the conference champion requirement for no other reason than it essentally makes conference championships part of the playoff system, and increases the number of teams in the playoffs.
I wouldnt want any wild cards though, personally, I'd just let it be the top four conference champions.
LSU, you think your great, win your division to get into the playoffs.
Bama, you didnt win your division? Try again next year.
Bosie State, holy shit, you have a chance to win it all...
Just for fun...in this senario:
2011 #1 LSU vs. #7 Bosie State; #3 Oklahoma State vs. #5 Oregon
2010 #1 Auburn vs #5 Wisconson; #2 Oregonvs. #3 TCU
2009 #1 Alabama vs #4 TCU; #2 Texas vs. #3 Cincy
2008 #1 Oklahoma vs #4 Utah; #2 Florida vs #3 USC
I'd watch those games and care a lot more about them...the reason the NCAA BB tourney is so glorious is the underdog effect. If you dont have a dog in the fight, it's easy to root for Bosie State or TCU.