OT (Yes it is): Annual "I Wish There Was a Playoff" Thread

Submitted by Vasav on December 5th, 2010 at 2:29 PM

I figured this would be a nice way to ensure that all day dreaming about NCAA FBS Playoffs sit tidily in one thread. If you're wondering "Why are you initiating this pointless discussion? WHY?" It's because I have my own day dream that I wanted to share, and it will be posted as the first comment in this thread. Enjoy, ignore, or hate.

But to keep the board from being cluttered by day dreams of how a playoff should work, or why it won't work, or what your idea is, or why my idea is stupid, etc. I thought we'd keep it to one thread.



December 5th, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

The BCS playoffs will have six teams, seeded by BCS rankings. The selection of those six teams will follow the following guidelines.
1) 3 spots in the tournament are reserved for the champions of the BCS automatic qualifying conferences: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big Twelve, Pac 10, SEC, and for Notre Dame
2) Undefeated teams will get as many spots as available, whether they are from an AQ conference or not. If there are more undefeated teams than available seeds, the winner of the BCS playoffs will be considered the "Major NCAA Champion," while any other teams that finish undefeated after the post season will be considered "Minor NCAA Champions."
To be considered for the BCS Playoffs, a team must:
1) Have less than or equal to three losses
2a) Have won a share of their conference title OR
2b) Have beaten their conference's BCS Playoff representative OR
2c) Have not played their conference's BCS Playoff representative
3) If a conference champion is not invited to the BCS Playoffs, no other school from their conference is eligible for the BCS Playoffs
4) No conference may have more than two representatives in the BCS Playoffs
5) BCS AQ Conference champions who have finished in the top ten of the final BCS standings will be given preference for spots in the tournament over at large schools who have not won their conference. At large schools who have won a non-BCS AQ conference will be given equal weight to BCS AQ conference champions, with exception to rule I.1.
III) Any disputes over spots in the BCS Playoffs not settled by the above criteria will be settled by reviewing the BCS Standings
IV) Once six schools have been selected for the BCS Playoffs, they will be seeded by the BCS Standings
1) The #1 and #2 seeds will have a bye
a) The #3 seed will host the #6 seed on the campus of the #3 seed. The #4 seed will host the #5 seed on the campus of the #4 seed. Exceptions can be requested and approved by the NCAA, both schools participating in the game, and both conferences that are represented in the game.
b) The games will be played between 6 and 14 days after the first weekend in December.
c) Revenue and ticket shares will be negotiated between the schools and approved by the NCAA. The NCAA will mediate any disputes.
a) BCS Bowl Games (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange, or Cotton) will host the semi final games, in a manner similar to the Bowl Coalition, with the #1 and #2 seeds hosting the winners of the play-in games at one of the five BCS Bowl Games based on their conference tie ins
b) If the #1 and #2 seed both have the same bowl tie in for their conference champions, the team ranked #1 will have a choice of which BCS Bowl Game they'd like to host their semi final in, with said bowl's approval. The #2 seed will then choose one of the remaining BCS Bowl Games they'd like to host their semi final in, with said bowl's approval.
c) If the #1 or #2 seed does not have a bowl tie in with any of the BCS Bowl Games, they will have a choice of which BCS Bowl Game they'd like to host their semi final in, with said bowl's approval.
d) The #1 seed will play the lowest seeded team to advance from the Play In games.
a)  BCS Title Game played one week later at predetermined, rotating site amongst the BCS bowl games. The BCS and the NCAA will assist schools and fans with travel and accomodations from semifinal bowls to BCS Title Game

So this year, it'll be:
1)Oregon 2)Auburn 3)TCU 4)Wisconsin 5)Sparty 6) Oklahoma

And last year:
1)Bama 2)Texas 3)Cincy 4)TCU 5) Boise State 6) Ohio State/GT/Oregon
Heading back to 2008:
1) Oklahoma 2) Florida 3) USC 4) Texas 5) Utah 6) Boise State
And back to 2007:
1) Ohio State 2) LSU 3) Oklahoma 4) USC 5) West Virginia 6) Hawai'i (No go for 10-2, #5 Georgia - only because WVU was a top ten team)
And 2006:
1) OSU 2) UF 3) Louisville 4) USC 5) Oklahoma 6) Boise State (No go for 11-1, #3 Michigan)


December 5th, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

I like it, but I think it needs to be 8 teams, and have it done by BCS standings. 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7 etc. If its done by confrence champions, that will make the non-confrence games meaningless, and then every game wouldn't count. But what you have is also very good.


December 5th, 2010 at 3:48 PM ^

Since there are >8 conferences, in the interest of fairness, I feel like for football if you're not the best in your conference, you shouldn't have the right to enter a tournament to be the best in the nation, unless there are some strange occurrences, like UT and OU a few years ago, and the 3-way knot atop the Big Ten this year. I see what you're saying abou the non conference games, but I think they'll still matter - VT was undefeated in ACC play this year, but wouldn't be attending this tournament.

Also, the reason I limit it to six teams is to purposefully give a big advantage to the top 2 teams in the nation.


December 5th, 2010 at 6:24 PM ^

2008 Sugar Bowl (2007 season): Georgia 41, Hawaii 10

And back to 2007:
1) Ohio State 2) LSU 3) Oklahoma 4) USC 5) West Virginia 6) Hawai'i (No go for 10-2, #5 Georgia - only because WVU was a top ten team)

Your model removes the incentive for non-AQ teams to schedule decent non-conference opponents, as doing so would actually be detrimental to their playoff aspirations.

I also don't understand the preference for six teams over eight. But that is another matter.


December 5th, 2010 at 6:30 PM ^

You bring up a really good point about Non AQ scheduling. I did think about UGA whupping the Warriors that year, but feel like it's still fair to get more conferences represented, even if one of the Non AQs is a pretender (as explained in another comment). And I don't feel like it's fair for an undefeated team to not have a chance to prove itself, and I don't like penalizing teams for their schedule when that gets set in advance of knowing how the competition will be (like UConn for us this year).

But it does pose a legitimate issue since it incentivizes non AQs to schedule less major programs. I'd love to hear your ideas on how to improve that flaw.


December 5th, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

TCU's only win over a Major BCS Team: Oregon St. 5-7

Auburn's major wins: Top 15 Alabama, LSU, Arkansas. Top 25 Miss State and SC

Oregon's major wins: #4 Stanford, #21 Arizona, and Oregon St. by a lot more than TCU.

Long story short, play somebody TCU or join a conference (I know they are joining the Big East) and quite complaining until you play legit teams week in and week out.


December 5th, 2010 at 4:17 PM ^

it only matters who you play, when you have the BCS trying to figure out who the best teams are on paper

i mean, you can't tell me that you don't think boise could hold it's own against oregon or auburn just because they have an easy schedule. they beat oregon last year!

quoting SOS is just an easy way of dismissing teams like TCU or Boise from the argument even though they have proven to be just as good or better than high-quality BCS teams

solution: playoff


December 5th, 2010 at 2:46 PM ^

I like Brian's idea. Six teams, no autobids, Higher seeds get to pick opponent, except intraconference games should be avoided in the first two rounds.

This year: #1 Auburn and #2 Oregon get byes; TCU hosts Ohio State and Wisconsin hosts Stanford. If Stanford wins they have to play Auburn to avoid a Pac-10 game, otherwise Auburn chooses who they want to play and Oregon gets the other winner. The semifinals should be in the BCS bowls on New Year's Day and Jan. 2. They will rotate among the Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar and Orange. The #1 seed gets to choose where they play, but one of the locations will be disqualified because it is hosting the championship game a week later.

The winner will have played 2 or 3 games against top 5 competition. They deserve to be the winner.


December 5th, 2010 at 2:51 PM ^

won 2 or 3 games against top 5 competition where they were probably somewhere between a 40-60 underdog and a 60-40 favorite.  They caught the good end of statistical variance and probably aren't a horrible selection for national champion, although we can't say with any certainty that they were the best team or anything." 



December 5th, 2010 at 3:06 PM ^

Isn't that the point of all playoffs? Especially single elimination playoffs, where upsets happen. Was Butler the second best team in NCAA last year? No. The Pittsburgh Steelers were a 6 seed in the playoffs in '06, but won four straight games, and so we call them NFL Champions.

College football is the only major sport without a playoff to determine the champion. This would just bring it in line with every other way of determining a champion.


December 5th, 2010 at 3:18 PM ^

I think that originally, playoffs were made to solve a practical problem - when you've got so many teams, how can you decide which one's the best when they all can't/don't play each other? The World Series started to determine who was the best team from two separate league's, but the AL and NL representatives won the pennant during the regular season.

But realistically, today, playoffs are made to make money. In baseball, 162 games should be enough to determine who the best team is, or at least the two best, maybe four best. But over a quarter of the MLB's teams make a playoff - so that owners can make money. The result is the 2006 StL Cardinals being declared world champions. Likewise, 16 of the NHL's 30 teams make the playoffs.

What would be nice in a FBS playoff is if the current "every game counts" mantra is kept. In response to UMxWolverines, that is why sometimes brackets are limited to a small amount of teams - nobody wants to see a 5 loss conference champion win the national title. We want to see teams that won a VAST majority of their games, so that games in September count as much as the ones in January.

That already doesn't quite happen with conference championship games, but it's still a nice idea to try to preserve.


December 5th, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

You made my point on why I don't want a tournament.  I prefer to go back to the old system of conference bowl tie-ins and having Jan 1. be the greatest sports day of the year.  Voting on a champion isn't a perfect system but a playoff system isn't either.  But voting allows for the entire season to matter while a playoff really devalues the regular season.  I am not in favor of throwing away 100 years + of tradition for a system that doesn't fix the problem, but just shifts one set of problems to another set of problems.  


December 5th, 2010 at 2:57 PM ^

I don't know if 6 teams is enough. Teams like OSU and MSU should be in the BCS over UConn. I don't know, there will probably always be bitching about a team that was close to getting in but  didn't no matter how many teams would be included in the playoffs.


December 5th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

Autobids for:

B10, B12, PAC12, SEC.  

4 At Large Bids:

Rules are no more than 2 teams per conference.  If a team from a conference that doesn't get an autobid (ACC, Big East, MWC or WAC) is in the Top Ten (or maybe 15)  they need to be taken before a second team from a conference can be taken.  Ex:

Michigan ranked #2, tOSU Ranked #5, TCU ranked #7.  TCU gets a bid before tOSU.  

After you've filled your at larger with any outsider teams in the Top 10/15, you start at the top and go until you have 8.  Following the no more than 2 teams per conference rule.  

8 Teams, 3 game playoff, done.  

Using the Week 15 AP Poll:

1 Auburn (36) 13-0 1473
2 Oregon (23) 12-0 1462
3 TCU (1) 12-0 1379
4 Wisconsin 11-1 1289
5 Stanford 11-1 1283
6 Ohio State 11-1 1179
7 Michigan State 11-1 1101
8 Arkansas 10-2 1085
9 Oklahoma 11-2 976
10 Boise State 11-1 932

Conference winners are:
Auburn, Oregon, Wisconsin, Oklahoma

Now Boise and TCU are in the Top 10 and from non-autobid conferences so they are taken next.

Leaves two slots, start at the top and work down so: Stanford and tOSU.


December 5th, 2010 at 4:37 PM ^

What's the point of proposing a playoff that would never get adopted?  I know everyone has their fantasy scenarios, but so many of them are obviously never going to be even brought up at the NCAA discussion table.


December 5th, 2010 at 5:48 PM ^

I would like to see autobids for the four conferences with Championship games, with the Championship games being de facto play-ins.  Then, I would like to see play-in games awarded on an at large basis for a few other conference champions and one or two independents, dependent upon ranking.  Seedings for 1-8 of the play-in during CC week would always have the other two BCS conference champions seeded one and two. 

Where I would differ from many is that if you are in a CC game conference, if you don't make your CC game, you are shit outta luck.  If you are in a conference without a championship game and don't win, you are also SOL.  The only exception would be if a conference had an undefeated team that didn't win its conference or wasn't eligible for its CC game due to a tiebreaker. 

This would be an official eight game playoff with sixteen teams playing in during championship week.  They could have the round of eight the following week, with semis rotating among the major bowls, and a true Championship game when it is now: the week after the NYD bowls.

What's really great about this is if it had happened this year, MSU and OSU would still be out of the picture and whining mightily. 


December 5th, 2010 at 5:20 PM ^

Since we all know that playoffs work fine in FBS without any issue at all there goes any argument about "classes, tradition" etc 

The only legit argument against playoffs is "NFL-ication" where teams rest starters for the playoffs in the final games. The main argument is that a playoff would denature the regular season, and this is sort of true. The regular season right now in the current system is the "playoff". 

If a playoff were to be implemented, it should be limited to eight teams. The teams would then play in the BCS arenas and then the winners would meet up in a semi-final game, and then a final game. This takes 3 weeks. This can start after the current regular season ends. I'm not a big fan of expanding a playoff field to 16 teams, even though FBS has a wide playoff bracket. 


December 5th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

What do you mean "no issues at all?"  You just brought one up - you think it's too big.  The only reason there are "no issues" is because there isn't a whole army of reporters with nothing better to do but invent drama and pick it apart because nobody cares about the FCS playoffs.  The D-II playoffs left out 8-2 Michigan Tech and 8-2 Hillsdale in favor of two 8-2 teams they beat.  You can't tell me the media wouldn't have a field day with that if it happened in I-A football.

And don't tell me you think 7-4 teams in the playoffs isn't an issue either.  Honestly, would Mississippi State or USC or Maryland make a good playoff team?  They would, apparently, in "no issues" FCS.  And people say a playoff wouldn't ruin the regular season.


December 5th, 2010 at 6:24 PM ^

Like not wanting to add a ton of games for student-athletes, the fact that players and coaches love the bowl games, and the biggest one - would fans travel to multiple rounds of playoff games? At least in the FCS playoffs, the answer to the last question is, more often than not, they don't travel. It's not a fair comparison, since even the most popular FCS team doesn't have the fan base of Michigan, Texas, Bama, etc. But it still does bring up a very fair point.


December 5th, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

and the biggest one - would fans travel to multiple rounds of playoff games?

To me the answer is an unassailable no, never, not in a million years.  Anyone who thinks they can play multiple rounds of a playoff at neutral sites the way they do in basketball is totally fooling themselves.  And the NCAA wouldn't be keen on putting an early-round playoff game between, say, Wisconsin and TCU or Stanford in a half-empty NFL stadium when it otherwise would have been played in a packed-to-the-gills Rose Bowl.


December 5th, 2010 at 6:39 PM ^

You're basically asking people to spend their money traveling in a month where most people are working because they're already using their vacation time for the holidays, not to mention spend money traveling that they're saving for use on said holidays.  People will do one trip.  They won't do two.  Look at the ACCCG a couple years ago with Boston College.  That's your model right there.  BC fans didn't bother going, and if people won't go to a conference championship game, why would they go to the quarterfinals?  They'll go if they don't have to spend travel money, not if they have to put together a flight and hotel room and rental car and all that.