One Man's Playoff Proposal

Submitted by Seattle Maize on January 11th, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Hi everyone,

Let me start by prefacing this with a warning: This will not be a revolutionary or even original way of thinking about the BCS and a potential playoff system in College Football.  This is merely one mans attempt to waste time and figure out what he believes should be the system to determine a champion in the sport that he loves.  Also, unfortunatley there will not be any fancy statistics that prove that what I am saying is better than the BCS or anything like that.

So, I believe that there are 3 major considerations that need to be undertaken in forming a college football postseason:

1. To determine a fair and correct champion

2. To keep the integrity of the regular season alive

3. To keep the tradition of the Bowls alive

The reason why I like the BCS in its current form is because it accomplishes objectives 2 and 3, while usually (but controversially) accomplishing objective 1.  However, as time has passed, I believe that objective 1 has become less and less acheivable in the BCS system because, among other reasons, the human bias for and against certain conferences.  There is no doubt that the SEC is the top conference in the land.  Is it however, so far and away better than the B1G, Pac12, Big12, ACC and Big East that there should be an in-conference rematch for the national championship?  I believe that the answer is, in almost any case, no.  

Now that we have determined what I believe to be the most glaring flaw in the BCS system, we move to creating an alternative.  This alternative must complete all 3 objectives in a significantly better way to be worth a change in format.  

The way I look at college football, the regular season is in fact, a playoff.  To add a full playoff system like that off the NFL would greatly diminish regular season games and would take away a fundamental element of college football that differentiates it from the NFL: The importance of every game.  I dont think that a team should be able to lose more than one, or in rare, rare cases 2 games and be in consideration for a national championship.  If we lived in a world where a team could simply win its conference and be into the playoff system, we would see OOC games be rendered virtually meaningless.  We would also see teams that lock up a birth in their conference championship games be less motivated to win on that special rivalry weekend that closes out the regular season.  This takes away the passion, intensity and importance of every week and would be a travesty in my opinion.  

Similarly, the Bowl season is one of the greatest postseason experiences in sports.  Charles Woodson clenching that rose between his teeth after beating Ohio State in 97 and all such experiences would disappear in a full playoff.  Also, New Years Day (or this year 2-Jan) isnt the same without a full day of important Bowl games.  

So onto my proposal...

Add one more BCS game to the mix with the Cotton Bowl.  The two teams that play in this game are at large teams from any conference.  We use the BCS formula and existing conference tie-ins to determine who is sent to the 5 BCS Bowl games.  These 5 games are all played in sequential order on 1-January every year.  The morning after these games, some type of formula similar to the BCS determines what 2 teams play for the national championship.  What this formula looks for is strength of schedule through out the season combined with a heavier emphasis on the teams preformance in its bowl game.  This makes sure that every game is still important, makes sure that the bowl games keep their tradition and importance and gives us one more ulta significant data point per season to determine who plays for a national championship.  The 2 teams selected then play for the National championship a week later in a rotating stadium among the 5 BCS games.  

The BCS bowls would also be picked by a comittee who tried to create matchups we would like to see.

So in this system the BCS would have played out something like this in 2011/2012:

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin v Oregon

Orange Bowl: West Virginia v Clemson

Sugar Bowl: LSU v Michigan

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State v Boise State (or Alabama v OkSt)

Cotton Bowl: Stanford v Alabama (Or Boise State v Alabama)

If I had to guess the National Championship, it would still probably be Alabama v LSU in a rematch but we would get to see how they fared against other opponents before sending them to an automatic rematch.  In all honesty, they were the 2 best teams this year.  This scenario does make a rematch a little more interesting this year, I think, and in most years would pick the 2 best teams overall to play for the championship.

Obviously this sytem has flaws as well but this was mainly an excersize to explore another option. 



January 11th, 2012 at 3:07 PM ^

All they have to do is have an eight-team playoff the week after Conference Championship weekend.  Of the conferences that don't have a playoff, those champions with the highest rankings could have a "play-in" round during CC weekend.  They could be joined by the highest-ranked independent if the indie or one non-champion from a BCS conference.  

That would create a de facto 16-team playoff.  The round of eight could be the first week of December.  Then, two bowls are semis, and a "plus one' is played the same day as the "National Championship" game is played now.  

Everybody would still get to go to bowls, and there would be a true National Champion.  Eight teams would play one extra game after CC weekend, while two would play two extra games.  

It would be easy, everyone with a legitimate chance would get in, and it would take politics and voters out of the process for the most part, allowing the players to decide the championship. 


January 11th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

The regular season wasn't important this year see: The Rematch.

And everyone obviously hates the NFL regular season... it's not like it gets crazy ratings anyway. Oh, and when Indiana BBall upset Kentucky and OSU? Those didn't matter at ALL because it wasn't march...

"sanctity of the regular season" is dumb. Everyone will still watch. The games will still matter.


January 11th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

Ask Oklahoma State if their regular season mattered.  I assume you're trying to be sarcastic about IU over Kentucky and stuff, realize you're right, don't you?  The bearing those games will have on the national title is almost literally zero.  Microscopic at best.


January 12th, 2012 at 8:26 PM ^

Disagree. While it won't make Indiana or break Kentucky the game probably helps the Big Ten get 6 or 7 teams in the Tourney since there should be more ranked teams as a result of that win. The regular season in college basketball is hugely important since the winner of most conference games gets to be the champion of that league. You have to have a good season to get an at-large bid to the Tourney (admittedly you can win the end of season conference tournament to get in) and the more games you win in the regular season the better your seed in the Tourney which improves the odds of your reaching the Final Four.

IMO if you win the NCAA Tournament you deserve to be the Champion. In football the process is way too political and the SEC seems to have an inside track (they play horrendous OCC schedules which are probably worse than the Big Ten's games though probably not by much). Also, granted the Big Ten needs to win more games against them to gain back respect.

My point is that college football's postseason should be a lot more like basketball's postseason, not vice versa. To each his or her own though.

Seattle Maize

January 11th, 2012 at 4:02 PM ^

How is it dumb?  This was an odd year and yes the regular season did matter becuase otherwise Oklahoma State or Stanford would have been playing for the national championship.  Yes the games will matter still in a playoff but not as much as they currently do.  Had OkSt and Stanford or for that matter Boise State just taken care of business then they would have earned the right to play for the national championship in the BCS.  In my proposal, all that is different is that we have an extra data point which allows for teams to be evaluated against the best of other conferences.  

U of M in TX

January 11th, 2012 at 6:32 PM ^

Please read Seth's post about this on December 13th.  Very rarely do you get a clear cut two team playoff and this year was no different. In the last 14 years on the BCS (not including this year), there are an average of 5 to 6 "contenders" to finish the season (defined as undefeated BCS and non-BCS teams and one loss BCS teams.)

You say that had Oklahoma St, Stanford and Boise State won they would have earned the right to play for the BCS National Championship.  The issue with that scenario is you then have four undefeated teams. Now what?  You still have the same argument about who should play for the national championship.

The regular season matters to the teams at the top of the polls.  No one but the top two teams will get a shot at the national championship unless one of them loses, and then it's the #3 team in line. It's all a big crock and it won't get fixed until the BCS realizes that there are one too many letters in their name and make some changes for the better of college football fandom.


January 12th, 2012 at 5:34 PM ^

It is just a fact that the B-Ball season means less than football's, and it's not because there are more games. It's because 64 teams make the playoffs..When a top team plays another in football, it literally means almost everything to both of those teams, because a loss could mean they are out of the title race. In basketball a loss NEVER means that. The rivalry games in b-ball are still worth watching and mean something, but they are not even close to the level of importance and focus as in football. And in the NFL, to use your other flawed example, there are SEVERAL games each year where a team goes through the motions. that never is the case in college, simply because every loss is a killer.


January 12th, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

People keep making this argument and I just don't see it. Sometimes, shitty teams get into the NFL playoffs, but there's only 32 teams fighting for 12 spots. Odds are good that bad teams will make it in. There's 120 teams in FBS. If you don't have a great season, you aren't getting into a playoff.


January 12th, 2012 at 2:48 PM ^

The NFL cannot be compared to NCAA in any way, shape, matter or form. 

The OP states that a Committee will choose the best two to play in the NC.  How is that anything close to the NFL?

College teams are free to schedule any team they want in the non conference schedule.  Some teams choose to play tough teams, others choose cupcakes.  Also the NFL has parity.  Each year there is something called a draft that helps to level the teams.  Are you suggesting that we draft the high school players?

There is nothing similar between the two organizations except for the word P-L-A-Y-O-F-F.  I heard that argument before, "Well the NFL, NCAABB, D2, D3, Curling, Darts (whatever) has a playoff, why not NCAAFB?"  There will be no perfect system because NCAAFB is so different and unique.

I supose if you took the Top 40 NCAA teams (who chooses that) and force them to act like NFL teams (draft, pre-approve players etc) it could be done.  But who the hell wants that?

A NCAAFB Playoff is like a wet dream, its all nice and good while you are dreaming; but when you wake up to reality, all you have is a mess.





January 12th, 2012 at 12:17 AM ^

I think there should be 5 confirmed teams, (Pac12, B1G, SEC, Big12, ACC champions only). MWC, WAC, BigEast, MAC, C-USA, and highest ranked Independent should have play-in and make up other 3 teams and then only an 8 team playoff.

Greg McMurtry

January 12th, 2012 at 11:40 AM ^

with say 4 super conferences there would be 4 conference championship games.  You rely on your regular season schedule to get to the conference championship.  The conference championship games would act as the 8 team playoff.  These games are given the bowl names sugar, orange, etc.  Since these games are now the bowls, each conference can schedule one more regular season game.  If you're not in one of these super conferences, well it sucks to be you, but the "smaller" conferences could still play in the lesser known bowls at season's end.  After the conference championships you're left with 4 teams. This leaves 2 bowl games for this round and then the NC game "bowl".


January 12th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

1st- Are you Jim Delany?

2nd- Under your proposal still nobody gives a shit about the Orange Bowl or Cotton Bowl or whatever bowl you shove in there other than the top 2 teams playing and big props to Michigan for beating #1 LSU and then being showed the door as Ok St makes the NC game.





January 11th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

in my opinion. 

First, "have a committee pick the teams"  Who is on this committee?  School Presidents, Large Donors?  How are the committee members chosen?  Largest contributions?  By the President of the US?  That would be nice.  Obama hand picks his buddies from Chicago to pick the Rose Bowl.  Not a good idea at all.

Second, this season's conference championships were anything but good matchups.  In 3 conferences, bad teams could have won: Ga over LSU, UCLA over Oregon, Oklahoma over OSU.  So in this case Bama and LSU are on the outside looking in.  What about this?  The conference champion doesnt get into the playoff?  Cant you hear it now?  What about Ks State?  What about Boise St.?

Let the BCS alone.  It is already broken, let's not make matters worse.  Everything sounds good on paper but reality is a bitch.

The College Football Playoff is like a wet dream, its all nice and good when you are dreaming, however when you wake up and get back to reality, all you have is a mess.

Seattle Maize

January 11th, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

Seriously? The committee is maybe the smallest point in here. Obviously there are other ways to make that decision. and so what if LSU or Oregon lost in their championship games. If they did they wouldn't deserve to be in the championship. I agree that keeping the BCS is not that bad an option it just seems that everyone is dying for a full playoff so I am trying to think of an alternative.


January 11th, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

this is the point.  The devil is in the details.  The committee will be made up of political appointees or large donors.  This is a BIG deal.  How can the process be taken seriously if the process of selecting the committee members is called into question.  All the details need to be taken into account.  We just cant bury our heads in the sand and hope things work out.

We know this is a bad idea.  The American public is too cynical and they should be.  Hell the Supreme Court was cricified in 2000 because of their decision.  If the Supreme Court gets hammered for a controvercial decision, how is a bunch of "fat cats" going to be taken seriously.

Seattle Maize

January 11th, 2012 at 7:25 PM ^

Look I happen to agree with you about the committe being not appropriate for decisions like this. I included that point because I don't fully understand how bowl selections are made. The point of this is to outline a basic idea that I think would be better than an outright playoff not to iron out details like the selection committe o a new system because frankly this is for discussion and has no bearing on anything.


January 11th, 2012 at 7:39 PM ^

I am in the minority on this subject.  However, everyone that I have spoken too has a grandiose idea of what a playoff is.  Many people believe that a playoff will solve EVERYTHING. 

Well I am old enough to remember the discussions in 1997.  Many people were clammering for a NC game after all the bowls.  This was considered so I heard.  The current BCS was the SAVIOR and the END ALL to all END ALLs.  I commented back then that the BCS will not last more than 10 years because of what happened this year.

Many of us "old guys" have the foresight of history.  A playoff will not work and will not solve anything.  In 10 years we will be bitching about something;  committee selctions, conference championships, regular season, traditions whatever.

If we want change, we will get it.  Move the ohio game to september or cancel it because they are out of division.  Is that what we want?

Seattle Maize

January 11th, 2012 at 7:50 PM ^

Completely agree with you. I think a playoff would turn college football into a march madness sort of thing and I am actually completely ok with the BCS. I only even wrote this because I don't want to see a full playoff come to college football


January 11th, 2012 at 5:30 PM ^

Not really anything new here.  This is basically the "Plus 1" idea with an added BCS bowl to keep the number of teams the same.

The biggest problem with the Plus 1 is that it hurts bowls because fans are going to be disinclined to splurge on a trip to attend the game-before-the-game.  You need to have 2 weeks between games, at a minimum, just for logistical purposes.

If you want to meaningfully change the system while still emphasizing the value of the regular season, only conference champions should be permitted into the pool of championship contenders. 


January 11th, 2012 at 6:14 PM ^

i like this idea this is basically what i thought they should do all along. you just have to find a way for the #2 and #3 teams to play to eliminate the contraversy we had this year.

Sten Carlson

January 11th, 2012 at 6:42 PM ^

I think there is too much emphasis/weight given to the polls and preseason rankings.  A team ranked high preseason can lose a game, if to the right team, and not win their conference and still be invited to the NC.  By contrast, a team with a lower preseason ranking can only move up so many spots, even with help from teams ranked above them, and therefore have little to now shot at the title.  A playoff would at least give teams ranked outside the pre-season top 5 a chance to make a run.  It's fun for fans and the networks to talk about whose ranked where, but at the end of the day does anyone really know if the #1 team is better than the #10 team?

I think they need put the premium upon winning your conference championship and playing as difficult of a schedule as possible.  Make teams either win their conference championship or get an at large bid by impressing the hell out of the selection committee -- and NOT by beating FCS teams and directional schools. 

Although I think Alabama is a great team, and given a playof would expect them to have recevied an At Large Bid, if they had been ranked preseason #12 they wouldn't be in the NC this year.  I know that sounds obvious, but to me, it exemplifies the fact that it's not an open contest, it's a closed contest and I don't think it should be that way.

Play top teams early, win as many as you can, and then win your conference.  If you don't win your conference, at least go to the championship game and put on a good showing.  If not, well you had better have beat some top teams early and only lost your eventual conference champ.

Too much of a popularity contest and not enough of a football contest to me.  Everyone loves LSU and Bama, and they're very good, but how good?  We'll never know because they closed off the contest and told us that these two were by far the best so nobody else go a shot.

16 team playoff made up of all 11 FBS Conference Champions and 5 At Large Bids with every conference having a championship game.


January 11th, 2012 at 7:04 PM ^

The only problem I have with a 16-team playoff is that it would pretty much remove any major team from the bowls if these games were played on campus and not on bowl sites theselves.  Eight teams would be the maximum I'd bring into a playoff because doing any more than that will likely damage the bowls one way (loss of out of town tickets sales and tourists to bowl destination) or another (lack of quality teams in the bowls themselves).

From a logistics and scheduling standpoing, it makes sense to have the playoffs at the college campuses and not at the bowls.  This will ensure the games are sold out and the impact on the fans' pocket books are going to be minimized.  I can't imagine a fanbase opting to buy tickets to a number of out-of-town bowl sites over the three rounds required prior to the championship game in a 16-team playoff (and the same goes for an 8-team playoff).

I would separate the bowl games from the playoffs with the exception of the championship game, which could go to different bowl sites on a rotating basis.  The bowls have been and will continue to be exhibition games or bragging rights games.  They currently don't have any impact on the national championship and they would keep that status in a playoff with the games at campus sites (like the FCS currently does).  The bowls are concerned about television, tickets and tourism--I recommend we keep it that way.


January 11th, 2012 at 6:55 PM ^

I propose an eight-team playoff with autobids for the conference champions of the five major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12, SEC) with one caveat.  The conference champion must be in the top 14 of the rating system utilzed to seed the teams (this is the same criteria used for appearing in a BCS bowl).

The field is rounded out by the three highest ranking non-conference championship teams.  If a conference is unable to provide a top 14 champion, then it loses its autobid and an additional at large team is added.  Using the BCS system as the rating, that means ACC champion Clemson would not be in the playoff.

The eight teams that would get into the playoff for this past season would have been as follows per their BCS rankings:

1.  LSU (13-0, SEC Champion)

2. Alabama (11-1, SEC At Large)

3. Oklahoma State (11-1, Big XII Champion)

4. Stanford (11-1, Pac 12 At Large)

5. Oregon (11-2, Pac 12 Champion)

6. Arkansas (10-2, SEC At Large)

7. Boise State (11-1, MWC At Large)

8. Wisconsin (11-2, Big Ten Champion) 

The quarter- and semi-final games would take place at the home stadium of the higher rated team (thus making sure the regular season counts) and be played on the third and fourth Saturdays of December.  The final game would be at a neutral site on the second Saturday of January (or some other suitable date that will not conflict with NFL playoffs).  The major bowl games will take place on their current dates, i.e., between the semi-final and final game of the championship.

The top 4 conference champions will be seeded 1-4.  This transfers the success of the regular season into the post season (thus making sure the regular season counts) and awards conference champions with home field advantage.  It also means that teams which do not win their divisons or conferences do not get the benefit of not participating in a conference champion game (with the exception of the Big XII).  The first round of games would have been as follows:

#8 Boise State (11-1, MWC At Large) at #1 LSU (13-0, SEC Champion)

#5 Alabama (11-1, SEC At Large) at #4 Wisconsin (11-2, Big Ten Champion)

#7 Arkansas (10-2, SEC At Large) at #2 Oklahoma State (11-1, Big XII Champion)

#6 Stanford (11-1, Pac 12 At Large) at #3 Oregon (11-2, Pac 12 Champion)

This system ensures that the major bowl games still have the opportunity to put together attractive matchups to ensure television ratings, ticket sales and tourists to their locales.  With the setup above, the Orange (Clemson and West Virginia) and the Sugar (Michigan and Virginia Tech) could have kept their same matchups.  The Rose and the Fiesta Bowls could have picked from a pool of teams including Michigan State, Kansas State, South Carolina, Georgia, and Baylor.  Also note that if USC had participated in the Pac 12 championship game and was able to participate in the post-season, the loser of the P12CCG (either Oregon or USC) would have been added to the pool.  Theoretically, that means the Rose Bowl could have been MSU v. Oregon or USC and the Fiesta Bowl might have matched up Kansas State with South Carolina or Georgia.  The Cotton Bowl (which is angling for a major upgrade in the bowl hierarchy) could have had Baylor and SoCarolina or UGA.

Besides being a reward for a successful regular season and conference championship, having the quarter- and semi-final games insures that they're played in collegiate settings in front of a packed crowd.  I can't imagine that the games listed above played in Baton Rouge, LA; Madison, WI; Stillwater, OK and Eugene, OR would be absolute sell outs. 

Due to conference realignment, I dropped the Big East from any consideration for its champion getting an autobid.  Any team from outside the five major conferences (who will soon be comprised of 62 teams)--including independents like Notre Dame and Brigham Young--will compete for one of the at large bids in order to get into the playoff.

I think this system is essentially sound.  The big question will be which rating system to use and if the rating system I proposed above awarding conference championships is utilized to seed teams or not.  The alternative would be to seed the teams solely based on the rating system utilized, but that would open up the possibility of teams that didn't win their divisions getting seeded higher than conference champions who had to play one more game to get into the playoff.

You can also look at the qualifier for conference champsions to be in the top 14 and modify it, if desired.  If you only want teams in the top 12 to participate in the playoff, then go that route.  If you want to loosen up the standard, then make it top 16.  If it's the latter, then Clemson would have bumped Boise State in the playoff and been made the #8 seed.



January 11th, 2012 at 7:13 PM ^

issue of conference champion.  Georgia and UCLA could have easily won their conference championship.  Does it mean they are the best team?  No it means they are the luckiest teams.

UCLA had a losing record and they make it into the playoff?  I just dont get it.  Why would anyone want that?  I thought the idea of a NC was to find out who the BEST team was, not the luckiest.

Sten Carlson

January 11th, 2012 at 7:34 PM ^

UCLA was only in the Pac 10 Championship Game because USC was ineligible.  What's the point of having Conference Championships if they're not going to mean something?  I think the Conference schedule should be all that matters, OOC should be the exhibition games creating exciting match ups between teams that don't get to play each other much. 


January 12th, 2012 at 7:10 AM ^

another point to my argument.  I did not consider suspensions.  This, although rare, is another reason not to have a playoff.  Any team under suspension cannot, by rule, be considered for the post season. 

I can hear it now, "well USC would have won the NC if they..." what if Oregon got hammered, (they still might)?  This would dilute the playoffs bigtime. 

The more I think about it, the more I hate the playoff.  I cannot think of one good thing that will come from it.  I have not read any realistic playoff idea that works.  I have been on other boards (deep undercover) and ask the same questions.  No one can answer the tough questions.  All they say is, "Yea but....."  At least most of us here can put together a few sentenses.

A playoff is like a wet dream, its all nice and good when you are dreaming, but when you wake up to reality, all you have is a mess.


January 11th, 2012 at 10:54 PM ^

knows who is the "best" team on any given day. If your starting center sprains an ankle during a warm-up, then God knows your team just went from #1 to #5 in that 1/20 of a second.

The best that man-made devices can hope to determine is who is the champion, in accordance with rules everyone agrees to abide by in advance. Arbitrary? Well, what about all the times that the team with the most points is not the team with the most first downs, the most ToP, the most rushing yards, and so-on? Football isn't about who is the "best," it's about who wins. Sometimes the result is pleasing, sometimes not, but at least it's fair and both sides have a shot. A real championship should be the same way.


January 11th, 2012 at 11:43 PM ^

I hear what you are saying.  However, most people do not agree with you.  If it was UCLA and Georgia in a NC because they won their conference titles and won the first game of the +1, Obama would call a Special Session of Congress to straighten this out.  Everyone would be saying, "Its not the two best teams". 

So I will conceed your point for the sake of argument, the BCS does what you want.  It GUARANTEES the two best teams will play for the NC.  Eng of story.  We dont need a +1 because it is ALWAYS 1 vs 2.  It cant be anything less.

Here is another point.  I agree anyone can win on any given Saturday.  But do we want the top two teams with a losing ecord in the NC game?  Under a playoff it could happen and is very likely to happen.  I dont want to see that.  I want to see the BEST teams that have proven themselves thorughout the season.  Make the regular season mean something.  Take the top two teams and play for a NC.

No one has ever given me a plan that works.  Everyone has a plan but everyone has holes in it.  Change for the sake of change is very very bad. 


January 12th, 2012 at 12:35 PM ^

If, in fact, that did happen, considering GA would have been 11-2 at that point, and have lost to BSU as well as South Carolina, then how could anyone at that point claim that LSU is one of those top teams? Keep in mind that at one point in the SECCG that we were headed towards a GA win and still probable LSU vs. Alabama MNC game. That would have been a complete joke of a MNC game at that point, rendering the entire regular season as meaningless to any team not within the SEC.

You stated that the BCS "GUARANTEES" the two best teams play for the MNC. And I ask you, then, how exactly do you know that LSU and Bama were the two BEST teams? The answer is that you don't, really. It's all your opinion, just as the rankings, whether AP or ESPN/USAToday are just the opinions of writers or coaches. As a poster stated above somewhere, the polling that determines the makeup of the MNC is nothing more than a popularity contest, and it starts before any games have ever been played. It is entirely possible, for example, that this season's actual "best" team was OkSt. Without any sort of actual playoff not based on human opinion, it is impossible to say 100% that the winner of the MNC is the "best " team in cfb for a given year, and the reason is that most times those top teams not only do not play one another, but also don't even have common opponents.

IMO, OkSt. had a much better resume over the entire season than Bama did in the regular season, going 7-0 vs. top 30 teams while Bama went 4-1. Could Bama have gone through the schedule that OkSt. did and remained unbeaten? Most people would say yes, however, most people would then be forgetting the bad games Bama had this season against both MSSt. and GA Southern. If those two games had been against, say, Baylor or Oklahoma, or even KSt. would Bama have won? And yes, one could then come back and talk about Bama's schedule and how OkSt. would have fared and made similar points. I get that. The point is that no one knows for sure how another team from a different conference would fare against the same opponents as any other team. Which leads to the point that the current system simply chooses, for a single game, who can participate and who is left out, without anything other than opinion, rendering the MNC game largely one of popularity, rather than the results on the field.


January 12th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

my point is NOT that the BCS does anything I want.

It does expand the number of teams annointed in the polling beauty pageant from one to two; this is only enough to avoid debate about the "real" #1 about once every ten years (2005, I believe). The likelihood that BCS #3 is as credible an MNC as BCS #'s 1 and 2 is not so bad. A four-team playoff would at least push the circle of non-participants out to those below beauty-pageant finalist #5. The likelihood that people mistake #5 for a real #1 is, I think, a lot less than is the case for a #3 (USC 2003, for instance).

BCS doesn't offer a path for everyone, and it doesn't offer any consistent rules. 2006 -- no conference runner-ups/2011 -- SEC Western Division rematch. The only consistency in the rules appears to be that the MNC has to include at least one beneficiary of the ESPN SEC slurpfest. (Oops -- Auburn 2004. I was right the first time -- no consistency.)

Respecting the regular season -- covered already, except that the reliance on beauty pageants, along with the typical AD slant on $, results in parades of 8-home-game seasons liberally sprinkled with meaningless one-sided games against outmanned opponents in every major conference. At least here, relief is, and was, in sight since before the latest developments.

I think a plus-one is a step up from the incremental change BCS represents over the anarchic poll-only years. And I don't mind a homely champion as long as the rules work the same every year and give everyboday a shot. I don't think plus-one gets us there, but it's a step in the right direction.

Greg McMurtry

January 12th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

Unless there is only one team with no losses after all the games have been played, then there really is no "best team."  The best team should never lose.  Similar to the 3-way cirlce of losing where Michigan lost to MSU who lost to Nebraska who lost to Michigan.  Who is the better team?  So, unless you're undefeated and no other team is undefeated, you can't "really" claim to be the best.  So, you need a playoff.  See, the thing about a playoff is that you know that it's one-and-done.  You lose, you're out.  The regular season gets you to that playoff, so it matters.  Once you're there, you throw out wins and losses, but that's not to say that the regular season didn't matter--that's what got you there.


January 12th, 2012 at 10:36 AM ^

whenever I see the argument of rather a team deserves to be in a tourney if they luckily win the conference championship or win a weak conference. If a team gets in because in and they aren't that good they will lose. That's the point of a tournament. But if they do what need to do to get in they have earned the chance to compete. If UCLA makes the Pac-12 championship game and manages to beat Oregon. Good for them. Your reward in the first round is playing LSU at LSU. If they keep winning nobody can argue against them. If the Big East or ACC sucks the champ is rewarded by having to play a better opposition then they've seen all year. If they lose in the first round no one cares. If they win and keep winning maybe the conference was better than we thought.

It's a stupid argument and it needs to die. That is the point of a tournament with an unbiased field.


January 12th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

be an ubiased field with the current method that schools use to select players etc.  This is my point, a playoff will not work with the current status of the NCAAFB. 

People will want someone's head on a platter if UCLA got lucky or hot and won the NC.  They got in the playoff because they were lucky.  Obama will have to declare a State of Emergency and call in the National Guard.

Why does anyone want to make the game cheaper like the NFL or NCAABB?  I just dont get it.


January 12th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

Your proposal is pretty close to something I could imagine them implementing. It’s a fairly modest tweak to the existing system, rather than a radical re-imagining of it.

But claims about “preserving the sanctity of the regular season” are all hooey. The fact is, a playoff increases the importance of the regular season, because it increases the number of teams that have something to play for.

I mean, look at NCAA basketball. Has anyone suggested that its regular season is meaningless? Going into the final couple of weeks of the season, there are probably 100 teams with a realistic chance of qualifying for the tourney. If basketball worked the way football does, probably 90–95 percent of those teams would know that, no matter what they did, their remaining games would just be meaningless exhibitions, for nothing more than pride.

The commissioners won’t install a full-blown playoff for FBS football. But in the most likely scenario, a “plus one,” the regular season will become more important for more teams, simply because more of them will be in games whose outcome could qualify them for championship contention.

Nor does a playoff (even a four-team “plus-one” playoff) render the out-of-conference games meaningless. It does that only if conference champions are auto-seeded into the games. I doubt that they would go that route. If you have a selection committee or other selection mechanism that considers strength of schedule, teams that schedule OOC patsies would suffer the consequences.

You are totally incorrect that the current system “usually (but controversially)” determines a fair and correct champion. The whole controversy (which occurrs more often than not) is that the system is so frequently arbitrary and unfair.

Finally, you can’t really count on a fair outcome unless the bowl games are seeded. In your proposed slate, if LSU, Oklahoma State, and Alabama had all won their games, you’d still be stuck with the same problem: three credible candidates for a championship game in which only two can play. No, you need Oklahoma State and Alabama to play each other in a bowl, with LSU playing the #4 team.


January 12th, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

........but would have been a travesty for one team is 2005. USC and Texas were the preseason #1 and 2 teams. They remained that way all year long, and in the end were the only two unbeatens left. People point to it as a year the BCS "got it right", however, it could have turned out quite differently had PSU beat us in AA. PSU wasn't ranked at the beginning of the year and didn't get ranked until after the 6th week of the season.

They ended up beating Ohio by a score of 17-10, at PSU, while Texas beat Ohio 27-24, at Ohio. Essentially, those two games were a push, considering the common opponent. PSU had one other close game all year, other than Ohio and UM, when they played NW. Other than that, the rest were decisive wins, or blowouts.

Does anyone think PSU would even have been considered for inclusion in the MNC game over Texas or USC(assuming they beat UM that year)? I don't, even though they had as decent a schedule strength as Texas did, and including a similar win over Ohio as Texas did. As it was, PSU lost one game all year, an away game, on a last second pass(and a sweet pass and catch it was, too), and it cost them. If Henne doesn't make that pass and MM doesn't catch it, PSU could have found itself unbeaten, against a fairly tough schedule, but on the outside looking in. 




January 12th, 2012 at 1:46 PM ^

I like the idea of the top six teams playing a play-off.  #1 and #2 get byes, no auto qualifiers, doesn't matter if you win your conference championship or if there's multiple teams from a single conference.

You still need to have a good season, probably less than 2 losses to get into it.  Obvious problems with teams getting left out.  In my way the bowl games get played separate, they aren't part of the play-off and get selected the same way they've always been selected, the only difference is the top 6 teams aren't in them.  Total pipe dream, I know.

One of the real problems in my mind is the selection system.  The pollsters.  We've all read these articles about how seriously AP voters take their jobs, or don't, and obviously coaches can't watch all the teams when they're busy coaching on the sidelines.  The ranking system is completely fucked up. 

I think preseason rankings should be gotten rid of, the first top 25 poll should come out about midseason, after everybody's played some games.  The preseason rankings end up affecting the pollsters opinions too much, which I don't think is right because college teams really do change a lot from year to year.  Preseason rankings are largely based on last season's performance, when it could be a completely new team out there.

It doesn't really make sense to have a ranking system that's constantly changing, especially when the system isn't based on teams' performance, but on what a group of people think about the teams' performance.