The Last Straw

Submitted by Brian on January 11th, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Boise_State_fans_136079331_620x350[1]Death-to-the-BCS-cover[1]

people who like the BCS: no people

Would be this: A dull blowout that invalidates the regular season and proclaims a second-place finisher in their own division a national champion when other one-loss teams are shut out because of… stuff. And things. Afterwards, a system designed to protect the sanctity of the regular season above all causes the winners of that blowout to print up shirts declaring "we won the one that counted."

This makes people upset. A foaming Dan Wetzel is still being chased by a helicopter containing men with tranquilizer guns:

Miles even made the case postgame that LSU should be in consideration for the AP title based on its season-long body of work, including the previous triumph over Alabama.

“That’s for the voters to figure,” Miles said.

When the coach of a team that was shut out in the championship game is arguing that he should win the championship anyway, the system is an unqualified disaster.

The sport’s power brokers will meet here Tuesday to discuss the future, and many have predicted significant changes. If there is one positive from this tractor pull, it’s that it should help continue the groundswell toward a playoff, even if it’s just four teams to start.

See also a suicidally depressed Michael Weinreb and a puzzled Brian Phillips.

BCS ratings are collapsing along with attendance in an era when football is thriving. Average bowl attendance hit a 30-year low, and that's based on increasingly fictional announced numbers. Clemson and West Virginia played the least-watched BCS game ever. Moving to ESPN has caused ratings to shrink 21% from two years ago. The BCS has finally pissed off too many people to be permitted to live. So says just about everybody.

Except Jim Delany, obviously.

“There’s a real concern about a slippery slope and what a playoff means to college football,” Delany said.

If he said it again, I'll say it again: you should have thought about that in 1998. It doesn't matter. Now that college football postseason's horrendous structure is hitting the big guys in the wallet, change is coming.

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The NYT says "change to the current structure of college football's post season [is] imminent" based on interviews with everyone, with a four-team playoff the most likely outcome. Matt Hayes quotes the usual high-ranking official saying simply "It gets done."

The logistics are uncertain since there are apparently "50 to 60" ways you can structure a four team playoff, and by God these bowl games fleecing us yearly are valued partners. The way to do it is to cut them out of the picture and maximize the piles of revenue by assuring sellouts: home games. On New Year's day, if you like, with Pasadena waiting a week or so later, on an actual Saturday maybe.

That won't happen because the Fiesta Bowl will throw a hissy fit, but whatever half-ass change to the BCS college football's power brokers come up with to prevent the torches and pitchforks from reaching their door will actually, finally be a meaningful expansion of opportunity for the two to three schools that get screwed every year there isn't a USC-Texas matchup, which is 90% of years. It will be maybe three quarters of an ass.

As long as they start detaching themselves from their parasites, this is a major step towards sanity. If the boring regional wank-fest that was the national championship game had been preceded by LSU and Alabama wins over Oklahoma State and Oregon or Stanford, oh well. They earned it. Instead they were handed it. That's a bridge too far for a sport already under siege for being fraudulent.

Comments

bighouseinmate

January 11th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

.....the voter's "perception" has to be eliminated as much as possible. This year the "perception" was that LSU and Bama were the two best teams in cfb. However, the B12 didn't really factor into the equation like it should have. A plus-one, or four team playoff, should never include 3 teams from the same conference, as there would be overlap between those 3 teams meaning at least one of them lost to another, or possibly both of the others, during the regular season. Arky, for example, lost to both LSU and Bama this season and the games weren't even close, yet they are somehow a top-five team?

 

 

JonSnow54

January 11th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

I completely agree that on most years, the #5 team in the country doesn't have a real argument that it is the best team, so a 4 team playoff is probably enough on most years to determine a champion.  However....a 4 team playoff isn't enough to satisfy the football fan in me.  I'm holding out hope for getting to an 8 team playoff eventually.  How fun would that be?  The games would get so much hype, if it got big enough, it may even eventually get that tourney feel that we get every spring for March Madness.

I think about how much I love the NFL playoffs and March Madness, and I just get mad that we are still stuck with only a two team college playoff.  The more, the merrier, as far as I'm concerned.

chally

January 11th, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

"When was the last time the #5 team in the country, had a real arguement, that they should be in the  National Championship game? "

We haven't had that argument because we've always had a two-team playoff.  But look just at this year.  A four-team playoff would have been LSU, Alabama, OKlahoma State and . . . who?

You say Stanford, but what makes them more "deserving" than Oregon?  I would think that Oregon has a better chance to win a four-team playoff that Stanford.  Why not Boise State?  They've proven that they can hang with anyone in big games.

Even if we expanded to an 8-team tourney, the first year that a 3-loss 8-seed wins it all, the 9th and 10th best teams will have an argument that they could have done the same.  And I doubt it will take long for that to happen.

In 6 of the last 15 years, the college basketball champion has not been one of the four best teams at the end of the season.  And in 4 of those 6 years, the champion has not even been one of the eight best teams at the end of the season.  More that 26% of the time, the champion has come from teams ranked 9th or worse.

Geoff

January 11th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

I agree. I would be perfectly happy going back to just playing for the Rose Bowl and let the cards fall where they may. The BCS solves nothing and I really doubt we will get a satisfactory playoff system.

UofM77

January 11th, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

Considered a satisfactory playoff system? IMO a plus 1 is ideal I don't like the idea of completely abandoning the bowls and would hate the thought of college football being like the NFL. If you finish the season undefeated the last few games don't matter....thoughts?

BigBlue62

January 11th, 2012 at 1:33 PM ^

IMO, rarely is there are year where one argues that a #5 team could be the best in the nation. Of course, college bball shows us almost every year that a #1 seed doesn't win it, that the #5 team or lower is "the best". But in football, name me one year in the BCS where people really thought a #5 team or lower was actually the best and got screwed.

You could argue that the #3 team was left out simply because of the structure - I'm thinking Auburn 2004, but that was a legitimate reason because they were undefeated.

What everyone says is true, no matter what there will be teams on the bubble.  But if people are really honest with themselves, they should realize that having a 4 team playoff is the most common sense choice.  All the other teams that don't make the 4 team playoff play in all the other bowls as they would have as before.  And I think only once a decade or so would you really have a valid argument of keeping the #5 team out of it.

gbdub

January 11th, 2012 at 4:03 PM ^

But this year, other than LSU, who had a legitimate claim to being "the best"? Everybody else already had a loss. Really, we're already arguing about the bubble spot, not the 1-seed.

On the 4-team bubble, Stanford, Oregon, and Boise State could all claim to deserve the 4th slot. Sure, they'd be hard-pressed to argue they're regular seasons were better than LSU, but they could certainly claim to be the equal of OSU or Alabama. The 4 team would still be sticky. 8 teams or bust.

M-Wolverine

January 11th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^

What would have been your game? Alabama vs. Okie State? Why doesn't LSU have as much right as Alabama or OSU to play in that game?  Or do you get LSU/Bama- the rubber match? This year, who's playing in a plus 1?

ca_prophet

January 11th, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^

LSU versus Oregon (beat Stanford, so Stanford gets hosed; even though it's a rematch)

Alabama versus Ok. State (ranked higher all year)

This hoses Stanford and the weak-conference one-loss teams.

-----

Frankly, given the limited information we have, it seems pretty likely that the BCS accomplished the goal of matching the two best teams in the nation last night - even if they were from the same conference.

What it didn't do was let a team stake claim to the best season in college football - there was no way one game would tip that away from LSU (as FEI supports).

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As far as momentum for a playoff, I believe there are three possible goals for the postseason:

1.  Produce a game or games that make lots of money.  This involves getting people interested, which means arranging games where either both sides have a chance to win, or getting the teams with top fan bases.  [This is the real problem with Boise, Houston, etc. - nobody cares if they get screwed, because people won't tune in or buy plane tickets to see them.  This is in distinct contrast to the NFL (people will tune in because on any given  Sunday etc., or March Madness, where going to see your team plus a bunch of others is more feasible.]

2.  Produce a game or games that match the best teams in the country.

3.  Produce a game or games that determine the best overall season (e.g. the mountain-of-skulls argument).

This year, the championship hit two of those.  (Heck, the other BCS games were pretty entertaining too - Stanford/Ok.State and Oregon/Wisconsin were fun to watch even without rooting interest.)  The only thing they missed was best-overall-season, but in fairness LSU really couldn't improve on its season much.  A loss to Alabama, Ok. State or even Stanford wouldn't diminish the earlier victories over Oregon and Alabama enough.  It's possible even a plus-one wouldn't have done it - suppose Alabama narrowly beats Ok. State and LSU trounces Oregon, then we get the same result in a plus-one game.  LSU still probably ends up with the better season.

Put another way, it's not clear to me that the championship game failed in any way that matters to the powers that be.  (If the other games failed to make money, that might offset it, and I don't know to what extent that thirty-year-low means anything here.)

I'll believe we get a change when they finally play it on the field somewhere.

 

 

M-Wolverine

January 12th, 2012 at 11:41 AM ^

But what people proposing here (you and below) isn't really a "plus 1".  A plus1 is a game after the bowl games matching up the two best teams left.  What you're proposing is a preset 4 team playoff. I was questioning who you'd put in a plus 1 this year.

The problem with the four team playoff is the semi-games, which naturally seem to be put in bowl games...but who's going to want to go to a semi-bowl game when the championship game is next week?  No one will go.  They'd have to be at home and leave open the bowls for non-competing teams.

I'm not sure whether by your 3 points you mean the BCS, or a post season in general.  I'm not sure the BCS did either of the 3 to their full possibility.  It made a lot of money. But the ratings and attendance were down.  We'll never know if the two best teams in the Country played each other.  And the mountain of skulls wasn't determined...because LSU still has the best mountain.  So in that respect, the BCS was a failure. If it's meant to be in the old bowl system mode, then it did create a number of compelling games, though it had a lot of empty seats.  But that's going away from a playoff.

oakapple

January 11th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

There is one thing people seem to forget.

In any rational playoff, that game might very well have happened anyway. The top 4 teams in the BCS standings were LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, and Stanford. I suspect the Tigers and the Crimson Tide would have been favorites in their semi-final games, so a plus-one would not prevent a regular-season re-match from happening.

Let’s suppose you say that a team can’t play for the national championship without winning its conference. The top four conference champions were #1 LSU, #3 Oklahoma State, #5 Oregon, and #10 Wisconsin. But LSU had already beaten Oregon in the regular season, and Wisconsin had 2 losses in a weak year for the Big Ten.

And if the goal is to eliminate controversy, there would be plenty of it if Wisconsin made it into the final four, while six teams ranked ahead of them did not.

Even if you have an 8- or 16-team playoff, sometimes the final matchup just isn’t that appealing. I’m sure the NFL would love to have a Packers-Steelers Super Bowl every year, but sometimes they get stuck with the Saints and the Colts.

I do favor a "plus one," but we shouldn't kid ourselves that it will completely eliminate these kinds of controversies.

GBOD79

January 11th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

At least if Alabama and LSU had to beat Oklahoma State and Stanford they would have earned the right to a rematch, instead of it being handed to them. I think all anyone can ask is that teams get a shot. Oklahoma State's and Stanford's resume were very similar to Alabama's. Let them play it out on the field instead of having a bunch of people who do not play make the decision. 

M-Wolverine

January 11th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

If conference champs are who gets into a playoff system, no one is going to bother to schedule any other top teams, because there's no benefit from it. A poll boost does nothing for you, and you can find other teams that can help you tune up for the conference that won't risk a loss.  The old way you could either boost your profile, or at least get ready for the conference if you lose. You can still do the latter, but the former doesn't really happen. Unless you're taking the top 4 ranked conferences, or something, but I don't see that happening.

gbdub

January 11th, 2012 at 4:25 PM ^

I think that's why 8 teams is preferable to 4. You could give an autobid to every deserving conference and have a couple wild card slots left over for the likes of Boise, Alabama, and Stanford.

My preference is for 8 teams, seeds 1-6 go to conference champions with 2 wild cards. 1st 2 rounds at home of higher seed. You'll note that this is fairly close to the NFL system, which I think works pretty well.

This does a few good things:

1) Wild card spots reward teams with great seasons that slip up at the wrong time. You'd still want to schedule good games since winning them gives you a cushion in case you lose your conference championship.

2) Autobids help mitigate the effect of conference bias in the polls. There aren't enough interconference games (and basically none after September), and it seems stupid to rank conferences based on year-old bowl game box scores (particularly when a lot of bowl games are decidedly not neutral site). Autobids also moderate the sting of losing a big nonconference game, making them more likely to happen. I'd be willing to give up some of the autobids in trade for a two-team per conference limit.

3) Home games increase revenue for home teams, give real incentive to be top seed, and ensure packed houses. What concerns me about the 4-team format is that presumably the champions' fans will be expected to travel across the country for a conference championship and two rounds of playoffs. I don't think that happens. The likely scenario is near-empty stands at the semi-final games

Lionsfan

January 11th, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

And if the goal is to eliminate controversy, there would be plenty of it if Wisconsin made it into the final four, while six teams ranked ahead of them did not.

But there's something to be said about deciding it on the field. Except for people who had their brackets messed up, we didn't really see all that much controversy when Butler made the Final 4 last year.

I agree with you about the Packers-Steelers Colts-Saints thing though. Not every year is going to pit the 2 best teams in the country against each other, and every year people are going to complain about who got in and who didn't. So controversy will never be eliminated.

But since it can't be eliminated, the goal should be to reduce it as much as possible, which the current system is failing miserably at

bighouseinmate

January 11th, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

....of why the current format sucks for determining a true national champion. There were exactly 3 one loss teams(regular season record) that had an argument for being in the NC game, to go along with the inarguable LSU's 13-0 record.

Alabama's only loss was to LSU, by 9-6 in OT.

OkSt.'s only loss was to IowaSt., where their minds were most definitely not focused following the tragedy that happened the night before. Take the tragedy away and I'd say most people would believe OkSt. doesn't lose that game.

Stanford's only loss was to Oregon, the P12 champion. And as we've seen this year and most years in cfb, transitive property doesn't necessarily work. For example, MSU beat UM, MSU got ran off the field vs. both ND and Nebraska, yet UM beat both those teams including a stomping of Nebraska. Stanford itself lost to Oregon, yet beat USC, at USC, a team that beat Oregon at Oregon. Stanford has an argument.

A plus one matchup of LSU/Stanford and OkSt./Bama with the winners meeting for the title would have been a near definitive conclusion to the season. As it is, it is hard to qualify Bama as being the champion when they lost to LSU during the regular season matchup and the other two teams, Stanford and particularly OkSt., did not get a shot.

 

bighouseinmate

January 11th, 2012 at 1:15 PM ^

.....I'd add this in.

There is no one, anywhere, who can make the argument that Bama, or LSU, is better than OkSt. this year. You can have an opinion on it, but since they didn't play each other that statement cannot be definitively true.

Just remember the 2006 season and what happened at the end. UM loses to Ohio by 3, at their place. Ohio was the consensus #1 at the end of the regular season and many thought that UM was second, by virtue of the close loss. The voters who ended up voting to put Florida in the NC game got it right, as both Ohio and UM lost their bowl games. If Ohio and UM had played the NC game, no one would ever know that neither Ohio or UM were the best team that year.

Place that in the context of this year and it's likely that if voting had followed the form of 2006, that LSU would have played OkSt. and Bama possibly Stanford, if not KSt. This season would have had a definitive feel to it, rather than the hollow Bama NC. And it is entirely possible, and probable, that LSU beats OkSt. and Bama beats Stanford or KSt., leaving the final rankings of LSU #1 and Bama #2. It's also possible OkSt. would have beat LSU and Bama loses as well(remember 08/09 Bama losing to Utah), and it would have been the 06 season all over again.

ESNY

January 11th, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

Not sure how you can conclude the voters got it right in 2006 just because Florida won and Michigan lost.   It doesn't work that way.   Similar to this year, Florida won the game, but did they deserve to be there?  And because a Michigan team lost after their opportunity to play for the national title game  was stolen from them thanks to the politicing of Urban Cryer and the SEC apologists, that is supposed to show they got it right?  

When the season comes down to one game, anything can happen.   This year, Alabama is the national champion but you would be hard pressed to call them the best team this year.   If you really want to compare the results of the one-loss teams, you can still make a very strong case that LSU still has a much better resume than Alabama.

bighouseinmate

January 11th, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

I say that the voters got it right because of the results on the field during bowl season. The point is that that season's NC had a much more definitve feel to it than this season. And even though, say, a plus one format would have pitted Ohio vs. USC and UM vs. Florida, there is a high probability of neither Ohio or UM winning the NC that year.

I use that example of the 2006 season of how, in the end, another team got there shot that arguably should have been there, and that the results on the field backed that up. This season OkSt. had every bit as good an argument to be in the MNC game over Bama, and every bit as good an argument as Florida had in 2006, yet they didn't get to prove it on the field. That is the most important distinction between the two seasons. Florida got to prove they belonged in the game while OkSt. didn't, which is why I stated that the voters got it right during 2006 and possibly didn't get it right this year.

M-Wolverine

January 11th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

Who's to say Michigan wouldn't have given Florida a better game than OSU, considering we've beaten them twice and do much better against the SEC than OSU?  Michigan would be motivated for that game to win a championship, rather than to "show everyone they got the championship game wrong".  And if you're just going by "who's the best team", what's to say if there had been a 4 team playoff that USC doesn't stomp Florida, too? They were probably the best "team" that year, even if they didn't win/lose at the right time, or have the best resume.  It's all subjective.

Which is why more and more, I'm going the other way. There were arguments, but things were more interesting and less stupid when people just went to play in bowl games and the polls tried to sort it out after. Sports with legitimate playoffs play a lot of similar teams, so there's not as much wonder of who faced how tough a schedule when they earn their right to meet. Lower levels of college football are just glorified NCAA Basketball Tournaments, that may prove a Tourney champ, but aren't close to determining who's the best team in a given year.  There's a reason there's not any sports leagues with 120 teams.  It'll always come down to some "opinion" for college football...and it was a better sport when everyone embraced that.

bighouseinmate

January 11th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

......your statement that "It's all subjective". And any number of playoff inclusion formats, from a plus-one to 8 or 16 teams would be subjective as well. Formulas for inclusion of which teams make the playoffs would be subjective, leading to subjective matchups, and eventually the subjective NC.

The games themselves, though, are more definitive of who's a better team than in NCAA basketball, mainly due to the numbers of players involved in the games. That is why comparing a playoff in football to the NCAA BBall tourney is comparing apples to oranges.

There is no doubt that the BCS system is more definitive for determining a NC for the sport. And a plus-one would be more definitive than the current system, an 8 team playoff more definitive than a plus-one, a 16 team playoff more so than an 8 team. The problem is finding a balance between definitively identifying a champion and eliminating the downsides, or problems, that continuing to extend the number of inclusions can bring about.

 IMO, the plus-one is the best format if you wish to have that definitive national champion. Anything more becomes too cumbersone and anything less leads to more arguments, such as the one this season about whether OkSt. or Bama should have been in the game.

ca_prophet

January 11th, 2012 at 3:11 PM ^

"There is no one, anywhere, who can make the argument that Bama, or LSU, is better than OkSt. this year. You can have an opinion on it, but since they didn't play each other that statement cannot be definitively true."

That presupposes that the only way to prove "betterness" is one head-to-head game.

Extended to absurdity, you can't make the argument that LSU is better than Brigham Young.  

You also can't make the argument that UofM is better than MSU or Iowa, which means that Sparty whining is true.  This is heresy and cannot be borne, therefore your statement must be false.

 

bighouseinmate

January 11th, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

As I said, the argument for Bama, or LSU, being better than OkSt. is nothing more than opinion based on the fact that they didn't play them. There isn't even a common opponent to compare them to, but even that isn't definitive, as transitive properties do not work in cfb.

The point you should take from my comment isn't that I believe on the field game results are all that matters, but that any opinion of who is the best team for a given year is a weaker argument without the on the field game result.

Let's assume, for instance, that OkSt. had made the game and got beat by LSU. No one would argue Bama being ranked second in that case, assuming they won their bowl game. No Bama fan could legitimately argue that they were better than LSU, as LSU won that game, at Bama. "Betterness", as you put it, can be shown on the field, but subjective to the season's body of work and opponents played.

And I did state that a statement about LSU, or Bama, being better than OkSt. cannot be definitively true. It may very well be true, and I can agree with a person's arguments about it, however, it is not proven, and can never be, unless a test(game) is performed.

club2230

January 11th, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

What is the purpose of the college football postseason?  The old system didn't provide for a definitive #1 team.  The current BCS surely doesn't but it probably is a bit better than the old system in that regard.  A playoff wouldn't either.  If we really want to have a definitive #1 team we have to ask ourselves what system provides for that.

Does the NCAA basketball tournament produce a definitive #1 team in the country?  I would argue that it doesn't.  The winner of the tournament is just that, the winner of the tournament.  It will be the same for CFB if there was a single elimination playoff.  A lesser team could get lucky and win a game and all of a sudden the "best" team would be out.  Can we really say that the 18-1 Patriots were not the best team in the NFL that year?

Does the BCS produce a definitive #1?  It doesn't because it relies on force (to an extent) and a single game to prove everything.  Working out a tie is an arbitrary process thus nothing can be definite. 

Does the old bowl system produce a definitive #1?  Absolutely not.  It relies upon conference predetermined matchups that have no connection to national ranking.  At least this system doesn't try to convince us of its #1 determining authority.  

The best system used in sports is simply not possible for football, and that is a best of 7 series.  Luck can only last so long, and the series eliminates, for the most part, luck determining the winner.  There it is.  The quest to create a perfect system for determining the #1 team in the country is impossible.  The best we can do is be fair.  

If we want to be fair we can revert to the old system and let it be completely a matter of opinion.  If we want more high powered matchups the current system can be reformed.  A playoff will not solve anything better than reforming the current system.

Schembo

January 11th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

Good points here and well written, but I have to disagree with the last paragraph.  A playoff, although may not produce the best team as a champion is fair in my opinion.  I'm not sure the old system can be a matter of opinion and fair at the same time.

GBOD79

January 11th, 2012 at 1:18 PM ^

"Can we really say that the 18-1 Patriots were not the best team in the NFL that year?"

 

Yes, we can. A playoff at least lets things be sorted out on the football field, instead of a conference room. If a team loses to a "lesser" team, then that team surely was not the best team in the country. 

GBOD79

January 11th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

At least this was all sorted out on the field. That is all I am asking for. Let the players play. Hard to argue about results on the field. Is it likely that we would have seen a rematch anyway? Yes, probably. But they would have earned it. 

M-Wolverine

January 11th, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

And the Patriots won. Both teams had one loss to the other (one lost at home, the other on a neutral field...hmmm...this is sounding familiar...). One had only that loss...the other had a whole bunch.  And a caught helmet catch vs. a dropped bomb determine the rematch.  Who had the better season? Who was the better team?  One won the playoff championship they hold....but as a whole had a far lesser season, accomplishing a lot less over months and months.  That's the way it works, and it's fair because all teams are treated the same. But it in no way tells you who the "best team" is.   Best of sevens usually work, because single elimination flukes are mostly eliminated, because you're doing it over some period of time. The rest is just fun, but not really determining.

JeepinBen

January 11th, 2012 at 1:34 PM ^

And agree at the same time. The 18-1 Patriots were the "best" team that year. They were not the Champions.

That's the big difference. College football always ranked the "Best" teams. Was UConn the "Best" Men's BBall team last year? No. Were they the NCAA Champs? You bet.

The NHL has always done this. The President's trophy goes to the team that won the regular season. Stanley Cup to the playoff champs.

GBOD79

January 11th, 2012 at 1:46 PM ^

If you are using the NCAA Tourney as your barometer for the best team, then yes, UCONN was the best team. Same thing with the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In each of these cases you have the champion being determined based on play in a wide playoff, not in a "two team playoff" decided by forces off the field. 

uncleFred

January 11th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

I submit that your statement as written is incorrect. It is more correct this way "If a team loses to a "lesser" team, then that team surely was not the best team in the country ON THAT DAY."

Clearly the case can be made that over the entire season the 18-1 Patriots were the best team in the NFL that year, while acknowledging that, despite six losses, the Giants were the better team the day of the Super Bowl and were Super Bowl champs. 

It is the nature of playoffs to expand. I think that adding any additional playoff games to the season will inevitably expand to16 teams, weakening the importance of conferences and diluting the importance of regular season games.

I agree that the current BCS system is unsatisfying, but I question if expanding the number of playoff games is ulitmately in the best interest of college football. The current two team playoff allowed the camel's nose under the tent. We are well advised to think long before we allow it to enter any further.

Section 1

January 11th, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

This is a wonderful post.

For years, the BCS kept fixing last year's problem.  And that is an excellent way to keep creating new ones.  I couldn't care less about a college football playoff;  I think it will create a lot of problems, that it will degrade the regular season.  I respect the NFL as being a great business model; I am not interested in promoting college football as a business.

To hell with college football playoffs.  There's no need.  Play a bowl game.  Let fans argue about who is best.

Section 1

January 11th, 2012 at 4:05 PM ^

There are people -- people we love (Yost, Crisler, Canham, Brandon) -- who did big things to promote the business of college football.  Building big stadiums.  Creating bowl games.  Organizing traditions like tailgating.  Creating competitively powerhouse football programs.

But I probably didn't make myself very clear.

I don't care about NFL football, or the NFL as a model of what college football could or should be.  I don't care about the commercial success of the NCAA basketball tournament.  I don't care much about settling sportswriters' disputes about national championships.

I do care about the lives of college football players on campus, and I do care about my game-day experience watching college football.

On those two things, an Ivy League college football fan and I are pretty much the same.

Playoffs, tv contracts, revenue; it doesn't mean a lot to me.