BCS putting together playoff selection committee

Submitted by EGD on February 8th, 2013 at 10:08 AM

ESPN has an article on how the BCS is trying to structure the selection committee for the upcoming 4-team playoffs.  The committee will have between 14-20 members, including representatives from all ten BCS conferences.  The BCS director also stated that the members will be "football purists," whatever that means.

The part of the article I found most interesting was the following passage, which describes factors the committee will be looking at:

The selection committee will receive a "jury charge" from the commissioners. In ranking the teams, the committee will consider strength of schedule, where the games were played, conference championships and whether teams lost games because of injuries to key players."  

I am a bit surprised they intend to take "injuries to key players" into account.  I don't necessarily think they should or shouldn't, but I can see the kinds of controversies that might lead to. 




February 8th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

This is so much harder than it is with basketball.  

1- there are less games- so the magnitude of each game is higher

2- schedules are so uneven- out-of conference is 4 games and many teasm play cream-puffs

3- In basketball many teams play home and away- if a team loses to a team on the road and that's taken into account it can make selections tricky- you can easily make the arguement a team is better than a team with a better record if you take location into play- it will get ugly potentially 

4- politics- if each conference is represented I imagien they will vote for their champ every year unless it is too absurd (speaking BCS big-boys not MAC etc)- and that could lead to some big disputes

5- smaller than basketball- arguements over who is the 34th at large or whatever it is compared to a semi-final worthy team are not comparable

It will be a tough thing to do- and there will be plenty of complaints- and I don't envy those selected- I am pleased with overall changes however- the more teams with a chance to win the better imo


February 8th, 2013 at 10:57 AM ^

Realistically, there will only be 6-8 teams that are in consideration for selection with like 2-3 being near automatic picks.

This year, for example, Notre Dame was an automatic pick because they were the only eligible undefeated team. If OSU were eligible, they would have been picked as well. Alabama was pretty much a lock as the SEC winner. So, now, you've got two 11-1 teams followed by a bunch of 12-2 teams. Stanford would also be considered because they beat Oregon and won the Pac12. That means you're considering 6 teams in total with the other 2-loss teams sitting out.

Last year, LSU, Bama, and OSU were basically locks. The last spot would have been between Stanford, Oregon, and Boise State. Boise with a loss was pretty much out, so either take the Pac10 champ or the team with the better record.

2010, Auburn, Oregon, TCU were basically locks. The last spot would have been between Stanford, Wisconsin, OSU, MSU, and BSU. BSU's loss basically knocks them out of it, though, so you're picking between stanford and a 1-loss team from the Big Ten, probably OSU.

2009, Bama, Texas, Florida, and BSU pretty much.

So on and so forth. So, I don't think that the confernces voting for their champions is necessarily going to be an issue.


February 8th, 2013 at 12:25 PM ^

I wouldn't say there won't be squabbling and tons of controversy.  It's going to happen, period.

Look at this past year... If you were doing 4 teams, Stanford seemed like a lock, right, at 11-2... Pac12 champions, overtime loss to ND.

BUT -- there was a mock committee of ADs this year that picked Oregon instead of Stanford, because the Ducks were 11-1 whereas Stanford had two losses.  Yeah, you should do a "HUH?" at that.  Oregon's loss was, of course, a bad defeat to Stanford.  And Stanford shouldn't get dinged for having played, and barely lost to, on the road, an undefeated and #1 ranked team already in the Group of Four.  Oregon didn't even win its f'king division, much less its conference.

A year earlier... shoe was on the other foot.  Oregon had two losses whereas Stanford had one.  But Oregon had beaten Stanford (like 50-30 or something), and, Oregon's second loss was the beatdown to LSU at the start of the season.  So, if you were picking the #3 and #4 teams that year, you probably should have picked 11-2 Oregon over 11-1 Stanford.

So I'm not assuming we're always going to see the most logical picks.

The real lesson of the mock selection committee this year, the press reported, was that some of the ADs universally thought it was easier to pick 8 teams than 4 teams.  At least one or two of the ADs said, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that they'll end up moving to 8 teams in the future, given the nature of the selection process (and all that extra $$$ won't hurt).


February 8th, 2013 at 2:39 PM ^

Stanford also got beat by 7-6 Washington, and had a hard time beating WSU, Arizona, and SJSU.  Oregon lost by 3 to Stanford and destroyed everyone else they played.  It’s not the same as 2011.

Stanford IMO was the better team by the end of the season after switching to Hogan (who’s going to be very good btw), but an argument could be made that Oregon had a better resume than Stanford did although Stanford won the PAC 12.



February 8th, 2013 at 11:36 PM ^

I don't think that I said there wouldn't be squabling. What I was pointing out was that, realistically, it will be near impossible for members to just vote for their team or conference champion. Essentially, there will be 3-6 teams fighting for 1-2 spots. With 14-20 people voting, that means that they should easily be able to vote for a team that actually deserves to be in the conversation instead of the 7-5 Big East champion.

party like its 1989

February 8th, 2013 at 11:27 AM ^

Does that mean we can can count losses as wins when Denard and Fitz were injured?

I call bullshit. It's a team sport, and part of that team concept is using depth at positions to overcome injuries to key players.

How would they handle a team like USC which has been intentionally handicapped (for good reason) with lack of depth by scholarship limits?


February 8th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

Injuries to key players is a valid consideration. Imagine if Cam Newton missed the first game against Arkansas in 2010 and Auburn got blown out, but they ran the table the rest of the way. Now imagine if that 1 loss would have ordinarily kept them out of the playoffs despite everyone knowing that they were the best team at the end of the season.

Edit: And for idiots who will inevitably ask how having 1 loss would keep you out of a 4 team playoff, imagine it were two losses. Better?

Space Coyote

February 8th, 2013 at 11:24 AM ^

It's basically giving them an excuse to vote for teams based on potential. The season is only 12 games (it's essentially a quasi-playoff as is, where every game counts), and injuries and depth are a huge part of football. Injuries should have absolutely no bearing on who makes the playoff. The complaint about the current system is "let the games be decided on the field," but now they have a rule that makes it that the ability to make it into the playoff isn't necessarily based on "play on the field". That's stupid.

I understand it a bit in basketball, where 68 teams make the tournament and they play a lot more games, but with there being so fewer connections and methods of compairing one team to another, if some 2 loss team gets in over a 1 loss team because of an injury, that's idiotic. If team A is a 1 loss team and has a weaker body of work than another 1 loss team, lets call them team B, team B should still be picked. This is an excuse to get the big teams into a playoff (namely, SEC schools). 


February 8th, 2013 at 11:18 AM ^

I don't get the injury to key players criteria. That's part of the game. I get the scenario: Team goes 10-1 or something, dominating competition, star QB gets short term injury in first quarter of last game. Team ends up 10-2 and left out of the playoffs even though with the QB back they might be a better team than 1 of the 4 selected.

My response is tough cookies. You can't imply and project what could have happened or what might be if a guy doesn't get hurt. If Denard doesn't go down last season, are we probably in the BTCG, maybe Rose Bowl? I'd like to think so, but I didn't see the commissioner letting our losses slide and letting us play in it.

It sounds like a built-in excuse to get big name or market teams in that might slip because of a late season injury.

Dutch Ferbert

February 8th, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

Urban says B1G teams, besides his own, do not have key players because they cannot recruit like ohio and the SEC.

Seriously though, I am curious about what the hell a "football purist" is. Pure by what standards.

Let's just go back to the old bowl system and let the AP choose the champion. I do not trust the BCS.


February 8th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

Eight team playoff.  Actually, 16 teams (like FCS/DI-AA, and DII, and DIII) is preferable.

Play the 8 first-round games on Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving Day week; NFL gets Thursday and Sunday that weekend.  Then second round (4 games) the following week.  That means, as of the day they currently pick bowls now (first Sunday of December), you'd have the 4 semifinalists decided -- hence, every team in the country except for those 4 teams can still be slotted into bowl games, exactly as its done now.  Nothing changes at all, except you've added 12 huge playoff games up to that point, plus added effectively 3 more bowls (two semifinals and one championship).  And the schools are richer by $$$ with a "B" in front of the "illions."

Of course, this would require all conference play and conf championships to be done before Thanksgiving, like FCS, DII, etc. do now.


February 8th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

As others have touched on, I also don't particularly care for injuries being part of the criteria for the simple reason that there is no real accurate way to quantify how a team would have performed if, say, Player A, was in a certain game or quarter or however long they were out. You can't say, for example, "Well, normally, with Player A in, they get this sort of production...." and really use that as grounds to say another team is technically more deserving, in my opinion.

It seems that we would run the risk of the committee potentially saying something like, "Well, Team X, your statistics are stellar, you played outstanding through a tough schedule and won your conference championship, but we still think that, all other things being equal, Team Y is simply better."  If I am Team X and I miss out on the playoffs simply for that, I would think that I would have grounds to be rather upset because I just lost to a hypothetical team, not the team that was on the field.


February 8th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

If injuries were taken into account, it would raise a ton of questions.  Do only major injuries (like Denard's or Countess's or Ftiz's) count, or do we also consider minor injuries that cause a player to miss a single game or part of a game?  What if the player remains in the game despite the injury but is just less effective?  Does it matter if the team knew a player would be out and had time to plan for it, or if it happened in a game and the team just had to make do?  And what qualifies as a "key player?"  (For instance, M had to play Ohio without Toussaint in 2012, but Toussaint was struggling before the injury and didn't have a very impressive stat line--was he a key player or not?)

And then there is the slppery-slope.  What if a key player is not injured, but suspended?  Does it matter what the suspension is for?  And so on...


February 8th, 2013 at 12:47 PM ^

That's why it's a selection committee, so it basically turns into "make it up as we go along". Which is basically what the BCS was. Logically, therefore, this system is barely an improvement from the BCS.


February 8th, 2013 at 1:34 PM ^

Now we can see BSU waltz through a schedule with three real games and nine tomato cans,  end up 11-1, and the guys from the lesser conferences will vote them in.  


February 8th, 2013 at 7:00 PM ^

Wow I really don't like the "injuries to key players" caveat. 

What if a star running back broke his leg and is out for the season? Think Fitz or that running back from South Carolina (No disrespect I just can't think of his name right now). Should those two teams get the benefit of the doubt, even if their star player will not return to any games that year? Or do injuries only matter if there is a "chance" the player will return for the playoffs? This opens up a ridiculous can of worms.

Hey Lane Kiffin we saw that your star QB was completly separated from his throwing arm on national TV. His arm was taken off the field in a separate ambulance. Comment on his injury.

"Nasa was experimenting with swamp gas and it effected the lenses of the cameras. What you saw was an illusion, he just has a deep thigh bruise...inside his arm...and will be good to go in 2 days. Trust me!"

Also, trying to define a "key player" can be difficult if you don't watch every one of their games. Jordan Kovacs was a key player to Michigan's 2012 season by being reliable, smart, and having good technique to always be where he needed to be. He is not super fast, or flashy, or athletic. If he went down mid-season, would the committee view him as a key player and take his injury into account? Or do you have to be a flashy superstar with a 5 star ranking?

Not a fan, I already see this being abused.