OT: Yahoo Sports: Playoff should be on campus and have an actual formula

Submitted by NateVolk on May 1st, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Dan Wetzel makes his usual compelling case.  If they just can't bring themselves to play them on campus where they belong, these games at the very least need to have a regional city that gets the bid if the Big 10 (as an example) gets a top 2 seed.  As long as it is a city and stadium of "acceptable" size, it should be totally up to the conference.  So if the Big Ten wanted to play it at Soldier Field as a home game for their participant to play a southern team it could.   

The bowls can now be out doing what they do: ripping everyone off to subsidize profligate spending on parties. There is no good reason to include them at all.

The other great point offers a solution for many of the users on here who want to see Michigan play more non-conference home and homes during the season.  All the playoff people need to do is adopt some formula that gives large weight to playing hard games. You'll get your road games at Florida State and Texas if that happens. Right now there is a disincentive  to schedule hard under the current system.





Marley Nowell

May 1st, 2012 at 9:43 AM ^

So naturally this format has no chance if happening. My only change would be that any team ranked in the top4 must also be a conference winner to be in the playoffs. Since pretty much every conference has a championship game, it can function as a defacto playoff game.


May 1st, 2012 at 9:54 AM ^

why can't we have an 8 team playoff?  It's basically two extra weeks of football and if the NCAA wants to protect the student athlete then cut one of the b/s non-conference fluff games. 

Higher seed gets the home games for quarter and semi-final games.  It doesn't seem that hard.   After the two week playoff, the bowl committee selects for the bowl games and every team selected participates in a post-season game.  

I don't understand why this is so damn hard?


May 1st, 2012 at 11:46 AM ^

Totally disagree. Chances are the 8th ranked team will have played a somewhat similar schedule and have a somewhat similar record, or have played a crap schedule with a better record (Boise St.). For instance, I can see a 10-2 Michigan being 8th while a 10-2 Alabama would be as high as 4th. Then, if the 8th ranked team ends up winning it all, it'll mean that they had to beat 3 top 8 teams. In other words, is a team that can beat 3 top 8 teams straight really 8th best? Let them decide it on the field.

Mr Miggle

May 1st, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

is pretty much never going to have the top eight teams. Every major conference champion will get in. There will be a limit on the number of teams from a single conference, etc. You can expect at least one team every year from well outside the top eight. Throw in a first round upset or two and the path to a title may not look all that impressive.


May 1st, 2012 at 6:42 PM ^

And the "best" team should be able to show it by winning their conference championship.

If you make the definition of "best" metaphysical enough, no form of knowledge known to man will be enough to detect whether a team is the "best" or not.

I am happy enough leaving "best" to the theologians so that we can at least determine the identity of something resembling the definition of a "champion."


May 1st, 2012 at 9:23 PM ^

If the eighth team beats the fourth and first teams (that's how they would be seeded) then of course they would deserve to be champions.  This could easily happen in College Football.

Eight teams is not too many.  It practically ensures that all conference champions that don't have multiple losses are not shut out.  

Don't forget, FCS handles 16 and more teams quite easily and effectively.  


May 1st, 2012 at 10:07 AM ^

The FCS playoff had 20 teams and it went just fine.  If the FCS can have twenty teams, the FBS can find a way to have eight.  It's the bowls, and specifically the Rose Bowl, Big Ten, and Pac 12, who have stonewalled playoffs for years.  

I'm actually shocked that the Big Ten is finally "playing ball" with everyone else, even if they did come up with the arrogant "Rose Bowl is better than everyone else" suggestion.  Things always move slowly at the top level of any large, corporate structure, but at least they are moving in the right direction.

Mr Miggle

May 1st, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

When you suggest cutting out one game for every team in the country, that's an awful lot of revenue to replace. It's asking a lot of four extra playoff games. Dividing that revenue is no small task either. ADs around the country have a pretty good idea of what losing one game will cost them and the amount will vary wildly. No matter how you divide it up, a lot of schools are going to be unhappy.

magnus_caerulus (not verified)

May 1st, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

I humbly disagree with Soldier Field.  Soldier field would be a less than ideal venue.  I know there are a ton of BIG and UofM Alumni in the area, heck I am only 90 minutes from there, but I don't see how it will serve the BIG all that well. A.) its a small stadium, ca. 65K.  Lucas Oil is estimated at 70K, Ford Field between 65-80K, but would you bet that 70K come for a playoff game at 70 degrees temp control and no wind or snow; or 45-50K to Soldier field when its snowing, blowing and miserable? B.) Its cold already in Chi-town in Decemeber, but the wind off the lake would be miserable.  Ask anyone who is a Bears, Cubs or Sox fan going to games in the spring and fall. It would also serious reek havoc in the kicking game and be miserable for the fans. We don't have a Robbie Gould, yet.  Thus, my pervious point, less fans would show for these reasons.  C.)  If you have paid any attention to the Bears over the last few years, people have been clamoring for new turf since when December hits their "grass" turf is like a skating rink.  People complain about poor play or stagnant offenses in big games, yea, let's throw a couple of soild college teams on a sheet of ice.  D.) Why do you assume the Bear wouldn't want to leverage a massive profit from this game?  Doesn't Indy or Detroit, etc.?  UofM wouldn't increase their ticket prices for a playoff game?

Sorry for the rant, just my perspective on Soldier field.  I still would love to see a playoff game at the Big House. Having said that, untill the college season starts earlier, the playoff games roll during the first week of December, and then the NC game on New Years, I would argue the bowls or neutral site games will have the leverage for now.  




May 2nd, 2012 at 12:30 AM ^

I don't understand fans complaints about "Football Weather". Whatever the weather forecast says means you dress appropriately for it. I love visiting Chicago during the winter. It's not that bad.


May 1st, 2012 at 10:00 AM ^

I like the idea of encouraging home-and-home's against top opponents.

Yeah most championship level teams have to go 7-1 or 8-0 in conference to get a spot through what is a tough conference schedule- but that doesn't mean they should always play 4 cream puffs to round it out.

The Big Ten-PAC12 agreement ensures that it can't be too ridiculous for Big Ten teams coming up.  Plus, we always play ND, and with the Alabama game seem to be demonstrating that Michigan is already heading it that direction. 

I like the idea!  If you really are a legit NC quality team then you get there by beating even tougher competition, and if most teams have tougher schedules and you lose 3/4 games against real top opponents you still have a chance for a pretty good bowl game especially if tough games are incentivized in the post-season system.


May 1st, 2012 at 10:01 AM ^

...but after reading the article I can't help but be really really excited for the first college football playoff.  It's true there really isn't any minimizing the importance of the changes taking place.  This is huge.


May 1st, 2012 at 10:10 AM ^

Home games until the Super Bowl, seems to work great. I hate the SEC...


And, once, again, it's really cool. It's a way to make interregional games happen, only with higher stakes. It's a way to bring weather into the equation – all weather is football weather. It seems ideal.

"The NCAA tournament is not played on home floors – for a reason," SEC commissioner Mike Slive.

Please, no more comparing football to basketball. It's one of the great canards of all time. Why not use NCAA baseball as the standard and have double elimination?

Football is football and the applicable standard is the NFL, which uses home field until the Super Bowl.




May 1st, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

"The NCAA tournament is not played on home floors – for a reason," SEC commissioner Mike Slive.

The women's tournament is, you fucking dipshit.  The lacrosse and soccer and baseball tournaments are, you fucking dipshit.  The tennis tournaments are, you fucking dipshit.  The basketball tournament, however, is not - instead it is played in arenas that are one-quarter full.  GOD.  What the fucking fuckity fuck is wrong with these fucks?

They're going to come up with a playoff idea and it will be just as stupid as before.  Everyone will hate it, even those people who said "anything is better than before" (except for Wetzel, because if he starts ripping on their playoff idea he'll look really, really hypocritical after his fanatical anti-BCS crusade.)  And especially those of us who never wanted a playoff at all will hate it.


May 1st, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

Only conference winners, pick the highest four ranked out of the five major conferences (so long Big East) and you get a de-facto 8-team playoff.


May 1st, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

This is an excellent point.  Make sure that Conference championship games stay in the picture.  They are the "play-in" games to the playoff.  After that, pick the four highest rated conferences out of all the conferences for the playoff.

 This is why eight teams would be better.  It gives some room for at-large teams while at the same time ensuring that worthy conference champions are not consistently left out. 


May 1st, 2012 at 10:15 AM ^

that the Bowls play no purpose. basically, they serve the purpose of travel agent, tour guide for a group of athletes and fans whose specifics are unknown until 2 or 3 weeks prior to their arrival. while i hate the ticket guarantees and country club memberships and graft that go with it, organizing accomodations, practice space and activities for the players, coaches and band is a huge logistical issue.


May 1st, 2012 at 10:26 AM ^

I don't think people like Dave Brandon are ducking tough competition so much as they need to make money from home games (as we've discussed here many times, of course).   Changing a computer formula isn't going to alter that.   


May 1st, 2012 at 10:52 AM ^

The playoff would have to make up the difference, needless to say.*  If it did, it would certainly be an interesting scenario as far as putting ADs in a position to either gamble on making more money by reaching the playoff or take the sure thing by scheduling home games with cupcakes. 

*I haven't paid close enough attention to the issue to figure out whether the notion that teams are currently getting hosed by going to bowl games is valid or not. 


May 1st, 2012 at 11:08 AM ^

On second thought, I think we're going to be okay in the scheduling, almost as-is. In 2017 we go to ND and Pac 12, then probably MAC and FCS. If we could get a MWC/BE team to replace FCS, the schedule would probably be where it needed to be in any usual situation. USC isn't about to have an OOC of ND, B1G, SEC and BXII.

We'd be playing an overrated but still decent ND team, a presumably pretty good BCS opponent from the Pac, someone like AFA who has little chance at beating us but will still probably end with 7-8 wins, and crushing some MAC team. We would just need to be sure not to schedule the bottom teams from those conferences. Maybe sign a deal with AFA followed by Navy, and start a tradition of offering one of the previous years MACCG participants a healthy payday to come to Ann Arbor.

the Glove

May 1st, 2012 at 10:50 AM ^

I actually really agree with the regional location idea. I mean if you can't have it on campus then why not have it at least close. I could handle driving to Chicago or Indy before making a big trip to the national championship game. That would kill the argument of it not being able to handle the big game atmosphere. Let the bowl games have their games and the playoffs be separate.
Big Ten: Indy, Chicago, or Detroit
PAC 12: Rose Bowl
Big 12: Jerry's World
SEC: Atlanta
ACC: Charlotte
Big East: ...I don't care


May 1st, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

Hell no that would be a pure lucky win with the wind coming in that time of year. That place blows, and literally blows. Play it at Ford Field or Lucas Oil depending on the teams.

Moonlight Graham

May 1st, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

I'm just not clear on when those would take place. What I'm envisioning is having the "BCS Final Four" the weekend after the conference championship games. It would be for the most part a television-only "event" on that Saturday where two semifinal games would be played in, say, Ann Arbor (yay) and then Tuscaloosa, Norman, Austin, or Eugene, etc. There wouldn't be the Final Four-style pomp and pageantry but that's fine. The TV ratings would be through the roof and the host schools would -- instead of being rewarded with an instant title game shot -- be rewarded with one additional home game with a built-in sold-out crowd of the usual fans including season ticket holders. 

I'm also not reading anywhere what happens to the LOSERS of those semifinals. In my mind, I would envision then being dropped into the BCS bowl pool with the rest of college football. Some years they might play each other in, for instance, the Fiesta Bowl, but that wouldn't be a requirement to set up a de facto third place game. ALL the bowls would go on as usual, as they have been since they added the double-hosted BCS Bowl/"champioship game." The championship game could be bid out to "Super Bowl" sites, or it could remain a rotating double hosted game attached to the Rose, Sugar, Orange, or Cotton (I really DO home the Cotton replaces the Fiesta or gets added to the BCS lineup. 

So this past year, it would have been Stanford @ Alabama and Oklahoma State @ LSU the weekend after the conference championship games. THEN, assuming Bama and LSU won, the still would have met in the Superdome the weekend after New Year's. What would have been added was a TV bonanza during an otherwise dead weekend for college football (save for the Army-Navy game, which could be a sort of "undercard" for the semifinals). You get the "playoff" out of the way well ahead of the bowls, removing *most* of the controversy from the championship game matchup, and everyone's happier. 

This forces just four teams to play an extra game during what might or might not be an exam period. This solution definitely has an aspect of "being right under our noses the whole time." As far as the "what if Boise State is #2 and a semifinal is hosted in Idaho" argument ... So what? Good for Boise ... will people not watch on TV because the turf is blue??


May 1st, 2012 at 12:03 PM ^

The conspiracy theorist in me really believes that the powers that be will allow a playoff to happen, just a controlled, not very palatable one.  Then, when everyone "sees how awful" this playoff thing really is, they can simply go back to the bowl system and start raking the cash back in.

PLEASE give me home semi-finals.  I cannot imagine how great the atmosphere would be at one of those events!


May 1st, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

My thoughts:
Playoff should include all NCAA FBS conference champions and one wild card (12 teams). Teams are seeded by strength of schedule. Wild card is chosen by selection committee, but cannot get a bye. All games except for championship game to be played at site of higher seed’s choosing (teams could be required to have a minimum stadium capacity).

Here is how it would have worked in 2011:

Round One (December 10, 2011)
Ark St @ Alabama
N. Illinois @ West Virginia
S. Miss @ VaTech
BSU @ La Tech

Round Two (December 17, 2011)
Ark St/ALA winner @ Wisconsin
N. ILL/W. VA winner @ Oregon
S. Miss/VaTech winner @ LSU
BSU/LaTech winner @ OK St

Round Three (semi-finals) New Year’s Day (January 2, 2012)
Two games at highest seed winners from round 2

Round four (final game) 6-8 days following New Year’s Day

Bowl selection for most schools could be done in early December. Bowl invitation to tournament losers could be factored in. Losers of round two and three could be slotted into New Year’s weekend bowls.

Benefits of this system:

Includes all NCAA FBS schools (no mid-major whining allowed. ND and BYU and other independents have a chance to be included as wild card)

Makes the conference season all important. Maintains that which has been lost in basketball: an important regular season.

Keeps the chances of a non conference champion winning very low.
Provides very strong incentive to schedule tough non-conference games which enhances regular season. A home game in round two or three could be dependent on scheduling tough non conference games.

Allows bowls to continue with high quality of football.

Mr Miggle

May 1st, 2012 at 4:03 PM ^

Neither Boise or VT won their conferences last year. TCU and Clemson beat them out. I can't see network execs looking at those matchups and offering the kind of money people pushing playoffs are talking about.


May 1st, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

There are two, and only two, ways to encourage teams to schedule harder opponents.

1. Make a good loss worth more than a bad win.

(In our case Michigan's ranking after an Alabama loss would have to increase more than a team beating a mod-major in the same week. This is unlikely).

2. Restrict the bids to conference champions and give certain conferences automatic bids. This would render non-conference results effectively meaningless.

Until one of these is implemented nothing will change. The fact remains that going undefeated in a major conference virtually assures a top-4 finish, while 1 or 2 losses to good teams does not.


May 1st, 2012 at 5:21 PM ^

They only issue with point 1 is that it can be taken too far.  You see it in some of the BCS computers where certain 4 loss teams that have crazy hard schedules are in the top 15 and ranked higher than teams with only 1 loss.  


Even look at last year.. Auburn was 8-5 with only one good win againsts South Carolina (final BCS #9) and the rest fairly mediocre wins and that still garnered a top 15 ranking in one of the computers because their losses were to Alabama (#2), LSU (#1), Arkansas (#6), Clemson (#15) and Georgia (#16).   There is no way a 5 loss team should be considered top 20 team.


May 1st, 2012 at 5:26 PM ^

I think a solution such as the top 3 ranked conference champions + an at-large to the highest ranked non-champ would resolve most of the concerns that people have with leaving someone out with a realistic shot at the national title w/o making it a complete regional(SEC) affair


May 1st, 2012 at 9:51 PM ^

This is where eight teams would be ideal.  Six slots reserved for the top 6 conferences, plus two slots reserved for at-large teams.  (Or perhaps even 5 and 3.)

That way, you are not leaving out worthy conference champions like last year's Oregon, while at the same time you are leaving room for at-large teams like last year's Alabama or Stanford.




May 2nd, 2012 at 1:40 AM ^

I am just glad ther is a playoff. Regardless of how many games right now...it is a start and can be improved. I hope the higher seed has home field...its how it should be...I would love to go to the BIG HOUSE in Dec.!!!