OT: Great Super Bowl follows fairly meaningless regular season.

Submitted by wolverine1987 on February 5th, 2012 at 10:33 PM

While I freely admit I am not a Giants fan and was rooting for our boy Tom and the Pats to win, this game also reminded me why college football is IMO superior. Specifically, the fact that in the NFL a 9-7 regular season gets you a chance to be crowned World Champs. When people talk about not wanting a broad playoff in the top level of college football because it would detract from the meaning of the regular season, this is what they mean.

I am NOT against a playoff in college football, let that be stated (I like Brian's proposal or various 4 team proposals). But contrary to the opinion of most that a playoff is always more fair, I think it can be less fair--the Giants played like crap most of the year (much like Arizona a few years back and others) slip in at 9-7 and then get hot and win it all. If the regular season is a warmup to get ready to qualify for the playoffs that's fine and all, but I prefer a system where every loss is a potential killer. That's just me, I'm not dismissing anyone's contrary opinion, (many love the fact that a low ranked team gets hot and wins it all) but I prefer a system where the best teams in the regular seaon are rewarded with more than playing a game at home (sometimes not even that, see 12-4 Pittsburgh this year playing at 8-8 Denver in the playoffs).  



February 6th, 2012 at 1:26 AM ^

Actually, if I understand the MLB plan right, I'm fully in favor of it.  I believe the only "expansion" is really just adding one more wild-card team, and the wild-card teams will play each other in a one-game series to determine who advances to the real playoffs.  The effect would be to offset the wild card's rotation so they can't start their ace in Game 1 of the A/NLDS.  And that is a great, creative way to nullify the one-hot-team effect where the wild cards keep showing up in the World Series.

They'll hype it like everyone's in the playoffs so that they can get ratings, sell tickets, etc., but I think the real idea is to improve the chances of the better teams, not actually expand the pool of contenders.


February 5th, 2012 at 11:06 PM ^

I love the Giants.  Wish they would quit stressing me out though.  Yes the Giants were 9-7, but they were also really beat up during the regular season.  They got healthy at just the right time and started playing really good football.  Say what you will about a playoff system.  Only Div I football doesn't have it.  Why is that?

Say what you will, the New York Giants are the Super Bowl Champions!

This season will be hard to beat; Gamecocks beatup Nebraska in their bowl game, Michigan wins the SugarBowl, and the Giants win the Super Bowl.  Great year, I love this game!


February 6th, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^

The Giants are Super Bowl champs. Congrats to you and them.

The problem is that being champs in pro sports is entirely different than being the best team. D1 college ball is the only game that tries to decide the best team, and I would miss that if it were ever to end. A playoff would certainly end that.

Space Coyote

February 5th, 2012 at 11:24 PM ^

People love playoffs because they are exciting to watch, especially the 1 loss and done style of March Madness and Pro football.  But they really aren't the best way to crown a champion (March Madness is actually pretty bad at it because of the amount of games and luck needed to pull off that kind of streak, rather than actual best team).

I like the college system better than the pro system.  I wish there was a 4-6 team playoff in college because I think that keeps the significance of the regular season for the most part in check (though even that loses some of it to an extent).  There's always going to be trade offs, the worry is that the $ makes the whole thing get out of hand, then the playoff grows, and then teams with 2, 3, or even 4 losses in college football are getting a shot at the MNC, which shouldn't be the case.


February 5th, 2012 at 11:47 PM ^

In college football under proposed playoff systems, losing 2-3-4 games will drop you out of the top 4 or 8 by a wide margin.  Someone looked at how many teams should be included in the playoff and they suggested 16.  16 is where the the bottom really starts to fall off and its where you go from Elite/Good to mediocre and lower.

College ball can have its cake and eat it too because the way it is set up, when you lose you drop in the polls.  If MSU and UM lose to ND, they don't drop in the BIG standings, but do drop in national polls which directly affects the BCS pecking order.


February 5th, 2012 at 11:50 PM ^

The team that played in the Super Bowl tonight was much better than a 9-7 team. They were banged up, missing a bunch of studs (i.e. Bradshaw, Jacobs, and some D linemen) when most of those losses occurred. The team on the field today may very well have been the best in the NFL,as evidenced by their close game with the Packers and beating the Pats at the end of the season.

I'm not saying you don't have a point, but this year may have been a good argument for a playoff because a team wasn't penalized for injuries at the beginning of the year.

Mr. Robot

February 5th, 2012 at 11:54 PM ^

I definitely think the NFL shows us that any football playoff in college needs to be limited. I don't think anybody wants a playoff just so a 2-loss team can potentially show up for a few games and suddenly erase their regular season deficiencies; we want a playoff so that nobody gets screwed by the fact only two teams get in and a bunch of computers and pollsters get to decide who the lucky teams are.

Personally, I favor doing another split in D1 for football and doing an 8-team playoff (NFL is 12, but the NCAA has way more teams so 8 is actually a lot less than it looks, comparatively) using the champions of whatever conferences exist at the top level at that point plus 1-3 at-larges depending on the conference count to account for independents (if there are any left) and situtations of disputed conference titles (for example, if a conference produced two teams with the same record that didn't happen to play each other and lacked a conference title game, like was theoretically possible before Nebraska joined the Big Ten).

Of course, that system could and would have its controversies witht he at-larges, but losing an argument for being 8th best and a remote shot at a title draws a lot less sympathy for doing undefeated and being shut out of any shot at all. Plus, it would be versatile enough to handle future developments, such as the scenarios mentioned or the possibility of a band of second-teir teams forming a conference and moving up, kind of like what the Mountain West almost did.


February 5th, 2012 at 11:54 PM ^

The Giants started the season going 6-2. Then they lossed four in a row @ San Fran (27-20) when they blew a 13-12 lead  in the 4th Qt thanks to turnovers. vs. Philly (17-10) after tying the game in the 4th. @ New Orleans (49-24) where Brees put on a clinic against the G-Men defense. vs. Green Bay (38-35) where they lost on a game ending 31 yard FG. From there the Giants went on to finish the season 3-1 to win the NFC East.

So to say they didn't deserve to win the Super Bowl is a joke. They survived a brutal 16 game NFL season and rose to the occasion in the playoffs. Beating a very good (10-6) Falcons team that many felt the Giants would lose. Beat the best NFL team in the regular season Packers on the road, when nobody gave them a chance. Then went on the road again and beat the 2nd best team in the NFC San Fran in sloppy conditions on the road; again few gave the Giants a shot at winning. 

The Giants continued their 5 game winning streak by beating the mighty Tom Brady and his Patriots for the 2nd time in four years. That means the Giants beat the three best teams in the NFL regular season in the playoffs when teams are suppose to let it all hang out. 

I have no problem with a 9-7 or 8-8 team winning the Super Bowl because I know the road for teams like that are much more difficult than teams that finish 13-3 or better. Injuries happen throughout a season and sometimes this causes teams not being able to win 10 or more games in the regular season, but come playoff time things sometimes come together. It happens in all professional sports. Look at the St. Louis Cardinals they won the World Series last year as a wild card team beating the mighty pitching staff of Philadelphia and Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers in the World Series. All those teams won their division and the Cards got hot at the end of the year to edge the Atlanta Braves for the WC spot on the last day of the regular season.

This is what makes sports and the playoffs awesome to watch, because you just never know what can happen. The regular season is just the stepping stone, the playoffs are where championships are won and legends are made. 



February 6th, 2012 at 12:17 AM ^

College post season is a farce.  As long as it's determined by voting, it's not a real competition.  Every real competiton must have objective ways of determining its champions.  I'm a fan of Wetzel's plan... all conference champions are qualifiers for the playoffs.  Conference championships are determined objectively.  Teams won't be afraid to schedule great non-conference matchups, and conference play becomes that much more important.  Every team can play its way to a national title without worry about strange computer formulas and human voting systems.


February 6th, 2012 at 12:27 AM ^

I would like to see playoffs have division champions only, but the NFL makes a lot of money doing it their way.  Sadly, the NFL has rendered the regular season so unimportant that they are often used (illogically, I might add) as an argument against NCAA playoffs.  

As for the game, it was great that a Michigan alum played a big part in the victory.  It amazed me, though, that the Giants have continued to be one of the luckiest teams in football.  They put the ball on the ground four times IIRC, and the only time they lost it, someone on one of the least-penalized teams in football was stupid enough to be the twelfth man on the field.  I wondered why, just once, the football gods didn't turn the ball over and make them pay.

Also, if someone would have told me before the game that Brady, Welker, and Branch would all make crucial mistakes and help cost their team the game, I would have suggested rehab for their crack problem.  

Really, though, the bottom line is that the football gods made the Patriots pay for most of their mistakes, but didn't make the Giants pay for most of theirs.  

That's football.


February 6th, 2012 at 1:34 AM ^

What is with all the negging? Many of these pro playoff posts are perfectly reasonable points. If you happen to disagree then why not say disagree and explain why and what you believe.

I realize the points mean squat now a days. People that neg other people simply because they disagree should lighten up.


February 6th, 2012 at 1:36 AM ^

Winning a crappy division is far easier than getting a wildcard berth. And it is not uncommon that a division has only mediocre to crappy teams because it is not particularly improbable that 4 randomly selected teams out of 16 will all be weak to mediocre teams. Hence how you get situations like the 7-9 Seahawks going to the playoffs.


February 6th, 2012 at 2:07 AM ^

As a Packers fan, whatever.  If Green Bay hadn't turned in such a legendarily pathetic performance at home in the playoffs, their 15-win season might have actually meant something. 

As far as playoffs go, I think the NHL has the best playoff system in all of sports, but we obviously can't have anything like that in the NFL.


February 6th, 2012 at 6:15 AM ^

I'd be hard pressed to call this regular season meaningless.

First winning season in a decade, first playoff game in a decade... For the first time in a long time, I had a reason to care about what went on in the NFL this year.


February 6th, 2012 at 6:43 AM ^

About 95% of the entire month of September disagrees with you in the validity of how every single game is important in college football.  I think having a playoff system would encourage more games like LSU vs Oregon or Michigan vs Alabama to start the year.....unless you prefer playing directional schools.


February 6th, 2012 at 7:28 AM ^

in the playoffs. Just to put their 13-3 record in perspective.

I don't know if this is relevant or not. But as a Giants fan, I find the OP a little annoying - the Giants got into that 7-7 predicament by having to play a murderer's row of opponents.

The Giants also failed to make the playoffs at 10-6 last year.

It seems like what you have problems with is that there are divisions, which would extend your issue here to all professional sports. The Giants fought their way out of the mess that was the NFC East, which earned them a home playoff game and the chance to become the hottest team in the NFL, and, ultimately, the best team.

Mostly, though, this is me putting up my umbrella - you ain't gonna rain on my parade!


February 6th, 2012 at 8:15 AM ^

I'm not a huge NFL fan but I appreciate the level of talent in the league, the college all-stars really. I didn't care for either team but I like Tom Brady, I loathe Eli Wannning ever since his whole 'I'll go to law school if you don't trade me' stunt at the draft...

while the Giants finished 9-7 regular season, that's just a stat...what contributions were there to the losses, and I'm sure you could dig deep into stats and injuries, home versus away losses etc...fact is, they played harder than the Pats from the first snap. They simply got it done. And really...if Gronkowski has a healthy ankle...does he have enough steam to run to that hail mary at the end of the game and now we are talking about how the Pats and Tom Brady pulled out another amazing win? Think about this...the Giants in my opinion dominated the first half...yet trailed 10-9 going in to the locker room...

I took my son to the Steelers/Ravens Sunday night matchup for his birthday...and watching the Ravens move down the field in less than 30 seconds to win that game was amazing as much as I wanted the Steelers to win (my son is a fan, would have made the night even better for him...) it just reminded me how skilled these guys are working every inch of the field and moving a ball 90 plus yards like it's nothing. Any team that makes the Super Bowl and wins....earned it along the way. It just shows me how level the field of talent really is.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:07 AM ^

I keep reading all these BS excuses about how the Giants were banged up to start the season and that makes it all ok.  Umm, well, alright but if you want to talk about the injury bug let's talk about Gronk.  The guy had the best season of any TE in the history of the NFL and was severely limited in this game.  If you're going to claim that 9-7 isn't a fair representation of the Giants then I'd argue that the game last night wasn't a fair representation of the Patriots.


I'd rather do away with all interleague play if it means we don't have to deal with yet another freaking re-match from the regular season.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:00 AM ^

else think the Super Bowl sucks?  I find the NFL barely watchable at its best, Wildcard weekend probably.  It is all downhill from there going both ways.  The regular season is filled with more injury reports than good football games, as the importance of a team winning is always less than the importance of the health of important players on fantasy teams.  On the other hand, the Super Bowl is a corporate casarole centered upon owners, organizations instead of teams, and a predetermined MVP trophy handed to the quarterback of the winning team after a spectacularly average performance.  I jumped ship on the NFL a long time ago.  It has not been a good product for many years.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:26 AM ^

my team didn't win, so I don't care about the season, RABBLE, if I had my way, the Super Bowl teams would have to go undefeated and unscored upon in order to make it to the game, RABBLE, if I were king of the world, RABBLE, RABBLE, RABBLE

This is why they play the game every Sunday, and don't just hand over the win to the team with the better record... comprende?

Giants had an injury-ridden season, a crappy run game but a dominating d-line with an opportunistic passing game... put that together with a season-ending/playoff win streak, and you've got a Super Bowl champion... and I will be going to the NYC parade tomorrow.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

You can disagree freely, as some have with the OP, but to thoroughly and completely not comprehend the argument, and to misunderstand the post itself in such a way, is kinda sad. But go ahead and make fun. Or you could try reading one of the posts above that disagree and actually make intelligent arguments, perhaps that will improve your thought process.


February 6th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

Nope, I understood the OP perfectly, but was having fun in the manner in which I responded to him - is that what offended your sensibilities?  Do posters have to respond within a narrow and specific manner so that it pacifies your vision of acceptability on MGoBlog, or did someone ruin your day, and now you need to vent on a college website?

Where I don't agree with the OP is that the NFL is not college football, and you can't award the best teams anything more than home field advantage against a seemingly weaker opponent - just can't/won't happen.  Also, how do you not see the value of a 9-7 team that experienced a host of issues throughout the season, but got white-hot during a play-off run? 

I love college football BECAUSE every game counts,  but it is not better than the NFL, it is just different. 



February 6th, 2012 at 10:00 AM ^

To determine a fair champion is impossible in football due to limits in games able to be played, but to best eliminate injustices the fairest thing to do is allow the best teams as determined by the regular season play each other at the end. 

To explain this point I give you a couple of examples.

Schedules can never be even.    The Giants played a brutal schedule and still won their division.   What teams you play, where you play them  and when you play them makes a huge difference.   To look just at a teams record is near impossible to tell if they are the better team.   In the NFL you have a limited amount of teams and play more games than college.

In college it is even worse because you have so many teams.  You can't even compare sometimes.



February 6th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

I never liked the one-and-done nature of the NFL playoffs because it did largely nullify the results of the regular season - in the past couple of years there have a large number of 5 and 6-seeds make the SB and/or win it, and usually they struggle the next season as their hot streak ends and they revert to the usual slightly-above .500 team they were for most of the year.  I mean, after the Giants won their last SB, they went 12-4 and then missed the playoffs for 2 straight years, and barely made it in this year.  And even during that 12-4 season, they lost 4 of their last 5 games (including the divisional-round game against the Eagles), so it definitely felt like a team regressing to the mean.

At the same time, I won't discredit what the Giants did - they beat two #1 seeds and the #2 NFC seed on their way to the title, so it wasn't a couple of lucky breaks that got them to the end.  But looking at the whole season, both the Packers and Niners were better "teams" over the first 16 games, and arguably so were the Patriots.  Heck, the Niners beat the Giants 27-20 and the Packers 38-35 the first time they met all year, yet we reward the Giants for their playoff wins.   

I think crowning a champion with a bowl game, without something approximately a playoff or at least a meaningful collection of good teams battling for those coveted spots, makes the eventual title somewhat meaningless.  I know people love to point to that Auburn team a couple of years ago that didn't get a chance to play for the title, but Texas and USC were also undefeated and a playoff may have helped to clear up that picture a bit.  With a 4-team playoff, you give those teams with great seasons a chance without allowing a team like, I don't know, OSU going 9-3 but getting hot for 3 weeks and winning a title they have no business winning.


February 6th, 2012 at 11:33 AM ^

FWIW, I felt the exact same way. I really didn't care who won the in terms of specific teams, but the fact that a team that a 9-7 team can win the game that is supposed to declare the best team for the season really pisses me off. Hell, as we saw last season, even a 7-9 team has a shot. Can you imagine if a 7-5 team won the National Championship? That's why I don't like auto-bids.

Something that I just realized, which is pretty interested, is that in both conferences, there were 6 teams above .500, 4 at .500, and 6 below .500. What that says to me is that allowing 12 teams is essentially aimed at getting all of the teams above .500 into the playoffs. Why? Why not just take the top 6 teams, who would all happen to have 12+ wins, and let them play? They are all deserving. Any team with 6 fewer wins than the team with the most wins is not deserving.


February 6th, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

In the NFL, the Super Bowl Champion is merely the winner of the tournament that is constructed at the end of the season. It does not claim, and obviously does not, decide the best team over the course of a season. Every sport with a playoff is similar in this way.

The best way to decide the best team is a balanced schedule like the European soccer leagues use. Of course, they sacrifice the pageantry of a one-game, winner-take-all event to crown the champion--no "title game." They also have the Champions League, which is separately exciting due to the tournament nature--the BCS of soccer, kind of.

College football is the only sport that does try to decide the best team, not the one that won some games that are more important than others. Right now it's done subjectively, but a small playoff could help eliminate some biases and issues with having so many teams and so few data points to distinguish between different teams with similar records.


February 6th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

Yeah. It seems like you have to choose whether you care more about crowning the best team of that season, or having a bunch of exciting matchups in an end of season playoff.  NCAA bball and NCAA fball are pretty much on either end of the spectrum with that regard.  I think if fball moves to a 4 or 6 team playoff they will strike a great balance between those two factors.