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  11. Ohio State
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Thursday
Nov092006

Le Playoffs

Le pew.  Oui!

LePew.jpg 

So college football has this problem where people are unsatisfied with how its championship is decided.

Guesssss what?  We don't have a championship.  That's why people always write MNC -- mythical national champion.  We play a bunch of games in the regular season, some teams end up going to bowl games, then afterwards we vote for an honorary champion and start again eight months later.

The beauty of this game, and what distinguishes it from all other celebrated American sports is its regular season.  Add a playoff and poof! there she goes.

Think about college basketball for a moment.  Can many of you honestly remember much from say, any of the Duke/North Carolina games?    How about Kansas and Texas?  Or UCLA and Arizona?  I can't.  But I remember many moments of that Penn State/Northwestern football game last year.  I remember Boston College playing Florida State and I remember Wisconsin and Minnesota.

All were far more obscure, far less important than the basketball games, yet they were memorable. 

Why?

Because the regular season counts for something in college football.  In fact, it's everything.

Our 'championship' is window dressing.  It's important to people, but it's not the force that drives the game.

After 100+ years of play, college football has managed to be a popular sport despite not having its own title quest, no holy grail such as the Stanley Cup.  Don't you think the sport would have done something by now to create a more legitimate and recognized championship other than crowning by polls or BCS if it was really going to help the game?  Shouldn't college football have collapsed by now if its antiquated ways were such bad medicine for its fans?

What we in fact have is a sport with probably the greatest fan loyalty and participation outside of soccer.  We only play 11-14 games a year, with every game of some importance (sans those cynically devised creampuff games).  If you're an Auburn fan, you want to see Ole Miss when they're in town, dammit.  The game's just as much of an event as when you're playing Tennessee or Florida.

The same simply isn't true for the sports some of us seek to model this great game after.  Is there really that much difference for a Minnesota Twins fan to attend a game if the Chicago White Sox are in town for a series or if the Oakland Athletics are in town?  Most of those games will be quickly forgotten.  Same for say, a Chicago Bulls fan.  What's so powerful about a weekday visit from the Atlanta Hawks?  Nothing, really.  It's a casual experience, often at the end of a workday, to be enjoyed like going to the movies.  The vast majority of those games aren't interesting or memorable until the playoffs, rendering the regular season a joke.

Not so for college football.  And the reason is because these games matter.  They matter because there is no playoff, because there are so few games played, because what happens on the field is important and interesting and the players fight so hard for it.

People complain about baseball and basketball players being rich, not caring, mailing it in.  You don't have that in college football.  If guys aren't playing hard, no matter how talented you are, your season is going to be a mess because it's a guarantee your opponent will care and will crush you for your indifference.  It's not simply because the players aren't (allegedly) getting paid.  It's because the sport's status quo makes the regular season worthwhile.

A playoff is an enticement to take it easy, particularly for the very good teams who can afford to not fight back on a bad day knowing one loss won't necessarily kill them.  Imagine if USC had simply given up a few weekends ago against Oregon State, down 33-10.  Imagine their staff simply said eff-it, let's get the starters out, prevent injuries, get out of Dodge.  We would have been robbed of simply one of the finest quarters of football seen from any team all year.  It was a stirring comeback made all the more dramatic as Oregon State stonewalled the Trojans' two-point conversion attempt that would have sent the game into overtime.

We need those games.

They're what set college football apart from the pack and why it draws a lot of fans who have tired of the NBA, of the NHL, of Major League Baseball and yes, even the NFL.  We're different, it's the wedge that makes this game unique and powerful and has helped build its audience.  Why would we fathom such a change that breaks with tradition, that removes some of the incentive for good teams to play hard every minute of every game?  It's insanity and worst of all, it doesn't really solve the 'championship' problem.

A few days ago I brought up the World Series victory by the St. Louis Cardinals.  They were barely a .500 baseball team that snuck into the playoffs, yet caught fire at just the right time and won themselves a title.  It was an embarrassment to baseball's playoff apparatus.  This despite having a best-of-five first round and then best-of-seven subsequent series.  How can college football legitimately crown a champion with just a series of one-and-done games that leave so much up to chance?

College football's way of determining a champion, while imperfect, does a lot better job of crowning a TRUE CHAMPION based on the regular season. Billy Beane in Moneyball talks about the MLB playoffs being a true crapshoot in who wins because there is so much extra noise in the data that suggest that the playoffs are decided more by luck than a superior team blowing out an inferior team.

The 2006 World Series is a good example of this. It's impossible to think that luck had nothing to do with the Tigers playing defense about as well as a last place Little League team. If they would have played like that all season, then there is no way Detroit wins 95-games and beats down New York and Oakland in the process. However, because it happens during 4-games that they lose at the end of the season, somehow erases the other 171 games they played.

Insanity!

Sample size!  You can't possibly project the national mood on any particular issue by asking a handful of people what they think about the war or taxes.  You have to ask hudreds of them, making sure to correct for bias in your question(s) and control for all kinds of variables such as gender, race, income, residence, awareness of the issues etc.

Just the same you cannot reasonably determine the game's best through one game samples.

As I've argued before, most "playoffs" are poorly structured.  They're not designed well enough to ensure the passage of superior ball clubs, instead rewarding whoever is playing the best at that time, whoever is luckiest, etc.  That's all fine and dandy, but it's not much for a championship.  Please don't confuse me with being anti-playoff.  I enjoy the MLB playoffs, the NFL playoffs are fun, so is the NCAA basketball tournament.  However, I don't necessarily see them as championships but rather postseason tournaments.

Because this is college athletics, because it is the game of football (best played only once a week), a well-designed playoff is impossible.  The NFL playoffs are severely flawed despite the league not having the burdens of academic limitations to travel, etc.  It would be insanity to attempt a playoff in a game with far less freedoms and flexibility than the NFL.

Any college football playoff would be a condensed version of the NFL playoffs or NCAA basketball tournament: seeding and one-and-done games until one team is left standing.  Exciting? absolutely.  Conclusive?  Far from.  In other words a playoff won't help us sleep any more soundly at night than the current situation.  Sorry.

"B..b..b.. but we must do something!" you say, "The BCS is a mess".

Absolutely.  The BCS was designed as a compromise, a win-lose, if you will.  It creates a title game of sorts, but it has no real authority beyond the control of the involved parties: the Harris Poll, the USA Today/Coaches poll and the average of several computers.  Look no further than 2003 to see how well that worked out.

We're in this strange era in the game's history where we've got this added... thing... on top of the game.  It's like that fetus attached to the school nurse's head from the TV show South Park.  It's part of us, but it's not really part of us.  I think down the road we'll look back at this time and realize how frivolous (if $$$ lucrative!) the BCS was, and surgically remove it.

What we can do is try to bring the game back to its historic roots, its traditions.  We can seek the gradual elimination of a great many of the more frivolous postseason bowl games.  Let the postseason be a celebration, a reward for particularly strong play instead of something gained with six wins (particularly woeful when three of them are against out-of-conference nobodies).

We can also shelve the BCS and any other postseason construction.

The game used to be about conference titles and a January bowl game, to play in some new, sun-soaked place as a juicy reward for a season of accomplishment.  We can have that again.

And afterwards, when the party's over, we can take an honorary vote, celebrate a remarkable team or two and turn out the lights again until August.

***
Update: more discussion here 

***

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Reader Comments (90)

Will you please print this and send off to every media outlet that covers college football? Your argument against a playoff is solid, simple sense. I feel like a playoff is inevitable, but I hope it comes after I die (I'm only 29).

I do disagree with your take on the BCS and small-time bowl games. The BCS has issues, yes, but I find it much more satisfying than the old way. It generally does match up at least two of the best three teams and encourages some attention to strength of schedule. I know my team, Oklahoma, makes sure to play one or two competitive teams out-of-conference teams every season. And I believe the BCS drives that scheduling.

And as for the smaller bowls, I say no harm, no foul. Even if it doesn't really mean anything, it gives us a few extra football games to watch if we want. And it keeps middling teams motivated at the end of the season.
November 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterD-Sweet
Extra football games, eh? Celebrate a team or two? Why not play just ONE more game? Why not celebrate just ONE team a year? You can't pretend that allowing 4 teams in disincentivizes everyone to play hard. USC would still have done everything in its power to beat Oregon State. Had they lost badly, they would certainly be out of contention. Any loss makes it VERY unlikely they'd get in. As of now, would they make a 4-team playoff? No.

The arguments you make against a playoff are valid and well-thought. I agree. Almost any playoff format would devalue the things about the regular season. A plus-one wouldn't. I know that you don't like the idea that a happy medium exists that would almost flawless. And hey, you could be right about the long term repercussions of crowning a true champion every year. I don't see it, though.
November 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCody
CFR -- great writing! Your points are excellent and well thought out. I have mixed emotions on the whole debate but I think I lean more towards a 4-8 team playoff that incorporates the bolw games.

My biggest gripe is the time off from the end of the regualar season to the Jan 1 Bowl games. This year the Ohio State v. Michigan winner will have seven weeks off before the title game. Simply ridiculous!

Great article!
November 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBCS Wyatt
Your argument is contradictory with the facts, and with itself.


<blockquote>Sample size! You can't possibly project the national mood on any particular issue by asking a handful of people what they think about the war or taxes. You have to ask hundreds (sic) of them, making sure to correct for bias in your question(s) and control for all kinds of variables such as gender, race, income, residence, awareness of the issues etc.</blockquote>

Agreed. Too bad the people running the polls do not agree with us. The media poll, the coaches poll, and who are these people poll (AKA Harris) suffer from sample bias. For example, no media members from Montana, the Dakotas, Maine, and Rhode Island are eligible to vote. Arkansas and New York have the same number of voters for the media poll. The coaches poll is similarly biased. The sample size of all three human polls is too small as well.

The sample size for the three polls is too small and biased to produce results beyond GIGO.

Also, all human polls suffer from common source bias, but that is a different issue.

<blockquote>Just the same you cannot reasonably determine the game's best through one game samples. </blockquote>

Huh? Why play the games then? If the season serves as a series of one game sample as your post argues (it keeps the regular season meaningful), then why is Arkansas ranked behind Auburn? The Hogs actually beat the Tigers. Yet, in the minds of the voters, Auburn is ranked higher than Arkansas. Do the polls not signal a belief that a higher ranked team is somehow better than a lower ranked team? If so, why do the polls rank Arkansas behind Auburn? Every season the polls follow this pattern. How long did it take Tennessee to leap California, despite a crushing victory by the Vols?

<blockquote>As I've argued before, most "playoffs" are poorly structured. They're not designed well enough to ensure the passage of superior ball clubs, instead rewarding whoever is playing the best at that time, whoever is luckiest, etc. </blockquote>

You are damning every playoff structure. How many games need to be played before you decide it is sufficient to crown a champion? College football plays the fewest number of games for a regular season of any NCAA sanctioned sport except squash, which has less than 50 schools fielding a squad. Do we need more games then?

Heck, your argument also damns the Olympics, the World Cup, and so on. You are committing the Philosopher’s Fallacy of High Redefinition, and the conclusion to your argument is no format can yield a champion.

<blockquote>However, I don't necessarily see them as championships but rather postseason tournaments. Because this is college athletics, because it is the game of football (best played only once a week), a well-designed playoff is impossible. </blockquote>

Then what precisely is a champion? How should any sport determine a champion? At least major league baseball, every team plays every team within its league, which is not true in the NFL. Five major (i.e., BCS) conferences do not require its members to play a full slate of conference opponents. Thus, the two best teams in a given power conference may not even meet during the regular season.

What is a well designed playoff? You do not like Major League Baseball’s format because it produced a flawed champion, er post-season winner. How is that every division of NCAA football can conduct a playoff and END the entire season before New Year’s Day? Why does Division I-A stretch until the second week of January?

Your argument also confuses the goals of professional and amateur leagues. In professional league, the end goal for the teams is to achieve superior financial returns. The more playoff games, the more teams involved, the better for the teams.

In amateur leagues, the end goal is not the balance between athletics and education. If it were, then Division I-A would have long ago embraced a playoff format. If, for no other reason, to conclude the season sooner and put the participants back in the classroom without the distraction of extracurricular activities.

If you want the regular season to retain its charm as you discuss with the Oregon State-USC match, then return the NCAA to its former pattern. Until the middle (late?) 1970s, only the conference champion could qualify for the NCAA’s post season. In addition, if you want to make the basketball regular season really mean something, then ban conference championships as well.

That want happen, will it?

But given your disdain for playoffs, and the inherit problems with the current poll structure, I suspect you want to reduce all sports recreation soccer, where no score is kept and the season ends because it is too cold to play outside.
November 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermilevin
""The sample size of all three human polls is too small as well.

The sample size for the three polls is too small and biased to produce results beyond GIGO.

Also, all human polls suffer from common source bias, but that is a different issue.""

Right, but these polls don't claim to be the be-all, end-all. At the end of the day they're just polls and people recognize as such. What the final, ultimate poll awards is a mythical title from any of these organizations.

They're just as flawed as a playoff, yet aren't silly enough to claim they're anything more. An AP national championship is an AP national championship is an AP national Championship is an AP national championship. It is not THE national championship, which somehow playoff backers feel can be achieved when it can't.

""Huh? Why play the games then? If the season serves as a series of one game sample as your post argues (it keeps the regular season meaningful), then why is Arkansas ranked behind Auburn? The Hogs actually beat the Tigers. Yet, in the minds of the voters, Auburn is ranked higher than Arkansas. Do the polls not signal a belief that a higher ranked team is somehow better than a lower ranked team? If so, why do the polls rank Arkansas behind Auburn? Every season the polls follow this pattern. How long did it take Tennessee to leap California, despite a crushing victory by the Vols?""

Because the poll voters collectively felt Auburn was better than Arkansas.

USC lost to Oregon State, but the Beavers are wayyyy behind the Trojans. That's how it goes, it's a judgment call, and most voters realize upsets happen and can adjust for them. Otherwise we get these overlapping circles of Oregon State>USC>Arkansas>Auburn etc. discussed earlier in the week.

""You are damning every playoff structure. How many games need to be played before you decide it is sufficient to crown a champion? College football plays the fewest number of games for a regular season of any NCAA sanctioned sport except squash, which has less than 50 schools fielding a squad. Do we need more games then?""

No I'm not. I believe the NBA playoffs WORK. For whatever reason, perhaps it's the nature of the game itself, but we don't get these flukes working their way all through the system very often in the NBA. But you generally need a lot of head-to-head games which most sports simply cannot accomodate.

Do we need more games? No. It would be out of our reach to play enough games to have any reliable outcomes for college football. That's the point, we have enough games, simply enjoy the regular season and get over the hangups about the impossibility of ever awarding a true champion.

"Heck, your argument also damns the Olympics, the World Cup, and so on. You are committing the Philosopher’s Fallacy of High Redefinition, and the conclusion to your argument is no format can yield a champion."

No I'm not.

The Olympics are recognized for what they are. A single event, simply on a much larger stage. On any given day, a good enough sprinter can take down the world's top sprinter, including the Olympics. Doing so makes him an Olympic gold medalist, NOT the best/fastest man in the world.

We can award champions of particular events and walk away knowing that they may or may not be the BEST there is.

France had a superior soccer team to Italy, but thanks to the nature of the game and the randomness of the penalty kick situation, Italy is the World Cup champion. I don't think anybody would confuse them with being the world's best soccer club.

But with college football we tend to do that, to say whoever gets to be No. 1 in the polls is the best.

""Then what precisely is a champion? How should any sport determine a champion? At least major league baseball, every team plays every team within its league, which is not true in the NFL. Five major (i.e., BCS) conferences do not require its members to play a full slate of conference opponents. Thus, the two best teams in a given power conference may not even meet during the regular season.""

A champion is however we want to define it. I just don't give much weight to someone surviving a series of one and done games as the best team in a sport, or its champion. It may be that tournament's champion, but not THE champion. With college football there's simply no good way to tell, which makes me ask why, if both methods are bad, we're going to screw up our regular season to spite the sport for an outcome that's just as inconsequential and meaningless as the current method to name a champion?

It's asinine, in my opinion.

""What is a well designed playoff?""

Hard to tell, but I can tell you it ain't the NFL playoffs, NCAA basketball tournament and most years recently, the baseball playoffs. And you certainly couldn't design one well enough for college football.

""You do not like Major League Baseball’s format because it produced a flawed champion, er post-season winner. How is that every division of NCAA football can conduct a playoff and END the entire season before New Year’s Day? Why does Division I-A stretch until the second week of January?""

Because D-I has no desire to further deligitimize its regular season, because it's entirely too bloated with teams to make a shortened regular season possible, because all the other divisions' playoffs are lame championships, etc. etc. etc.

You don't get it, the regular season is incredible in D-I, it is it's distinguishing feature. All the other divisions aren't all that dissimilar to the professional leagues because it's still "win a few games and you're in". Already conservative football coaches can sandbag and take things easy making the game less lively.

""In amateur leagues, the end goal is not the balance between athletics and education. If it were, then Division I-A would have long ago embraced a playoff format. If, for no other reason, to conclude the season sooner and put the participants back in the classroom without the distraction of extracurricular activities.""

Right.

But they have to present the appearance of balancing for academics, which is part of the reason the season isn't longer. Look, there's no way college football could have a 6-month or 8-month or whatever season, so we've stretched it as far as possible within the confines of academics.

""If you want the regular season to retain its charm as you discuss with the Oregon State-USC match, then return the NCAA to its former pattern. Until the middle (late?) 1970s, only the conference champion could qualify for the NCAA’s post season. In addition""

I want them to retain their charm to where they were just before the bowl coalition and BCS: bowls without necessarily having to win the conference, but not so many bowls as we have now where pretty much everyone can qualify to be in a bowl game. It's pathetic, as much as I love the bowl games there's simply too many and the product has diluted.

""if you want to make the basketball regular season really mean something, then ban conference championships as well""

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see that happen, I agree. I'd eliminate the conference title games in football too. I've pretty much advocated as much on here before. I'd rather have condensed leagues (10 teams instead of 12) playing round-robin regular seasons.

""But given your disdain for playoffs""

I don't disdain playoffs. I disdain the notion that because we play a few extra games, that somehow gives us a true champion, that we have somehow sorted out the best team.

Embrace the regular season, my friend! Just face it there's no real solution to the dilemma of creating a champion, might as well do our best not to screw up the best part of the game in our haste to do something that isn't any better than we already have.

One step forward, twenty steps back which is insane.

""I suspect you want to reduce all sports recreation soccer, where no score is kept and the season ends because it is too cold to play outside""

Don't be so dramatic.

I offered my solution---ditch the BCS, go back to the two polls and a reduced number of bowl games, argue like hell about them and don't carry on the illusion that they're anything more than two polls. The season is the reason for the greatness of this game, let's keep it that way.
November 9, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
Cody,

Sorry to have not addressed you earlier.

You make a good case as well. Obviously I just see things a little bit differently.

I think you come to your position mindfully, which is what matters. It's not this fly off the handle "OMG PLAYOFFS" nouveau nonsense from people who either are new to the game and/or don't consider the drastic and dire ways such changes would affect the game.
November 9, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
Please reflect for a moment on how difficult it is to finish amongst the top eight teams in college football. An eight team playoff system will not diminish the regular season. Instead, it will make the regular season more relevant as subjective opinions will take a back seat to on-field reality. Furthermore, an eight team playoff system will not discourage great non-conference matchups such as Ohio State vs. Texas. A playoff system will make the sport of college football greater for the players, fans, coaches, conferences, and universities.
November 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Silacci
Tonight's game just proved your point much better than any other argument could have.
November 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCM Gayley
This season proves why you're so freaking wrong, CFR. With Louisville's loss, we're now officially bound to have a significant number of teams right on the very outside, looking in on the BCS Title Game.

And the bullshit notion that these games will suddenly cease to matter is a bogus one. No one is advocating a 64 team playoff (like college hoops), and in baseball, the most exciting part of the year is not the race to qualify for the playoffs. It's precisely because you hate baseball that you're not qualified to comment on it, or its excitement.

I've never found an author that I disagree with less than CFR. Makes me wonder why I bother reading.
November 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTexican
Typo - the most exciting part of the year in baseball IS the race to qualify for the playoffs. Having a playoff doesn't mean regular season games cease to matter. Only someone who is too stupid to appreciate baseball would say that.

Stupid? CFR?

Tautology?
November 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTexican
I LOVE baseball, just so you know.

There are few things I enjoy more than relaxing at a baseball game, BUT it doesn't mean that any particular baseball game has much significance. I see the outfielders loafing, I see the first baseman staring into space, it's the nature of the game and I'm fine with that. That's ITS appeal.

But college football's appeal, its wedge, its power is in the meaningful nature of the vast majority of regular season games.

Insert a playoff and you push it towards the innane regular seasons that go with baseball, that go with basketball and hockey. College football is different, why rob it of its greatest strength for a 'championship' that isn't even a very good championship? Short sighted and soul-robbing if you ask me.

Oh, and namecalling/insults is usually a big sign you've lost the argument. But then, you haven't actually presented an argument.
November 9, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
There's ALWAYS teams looking in on the BCS title game.

Ohio State was good enough to be in there last year.

Auburn was good enough to be there in 2004.

USC was left out in 2003.

USC and Georgia were good enough to be there in 2002 etc.

There are always going to be teams on the outside looking in. That's why it's a mythical national championship.

But if you insert say, an 8-game championship, guess what? There are going to be a handful of teams who feel they're good enough to be included. Again, someone's going to be left out, yet another mythical title, particularly when we're relying on a one-and-done format.

There is no fix. There is no fix. There is no fix.

The best thing we can do is preserve the integrity of the regular season and make the bowls as fun, compelling and exciting as possible and then do our best to vote in a champion or two. We had that, but then we got away from it.
November 9, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
I wonder how this argument would fall when dividing those who equate college football as another great sport among many from those who look at colllege football as THE great sport among many. Also, calling the author stupid without adding any substantive content to the debate is not an effective rhetorical device if you are hoping to convince those of us who may agree with CFR.
November 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLtrain
That's a good point about the divisions.

I'm in that group that thinks CFB is THE great sport.

I greatly appreciate baseball and basketball, but they're not my passion the way college football is and as such I'd rather not interject myself into the methods of their games other than as critique.

That is, although I think that NCAA basketball is deeply flawed (shoot threes all day, how fun!), I'm not going to ask them to fix their game or clamor for this or that to help "fix" it. It is what it is, its fans like it that way, let it stay that way so long as we can use it as an example of what I don't want for college football.

Just the same I'm not sure a casual sports fan has college football's best interests in mind. Catering to them only alienates the people who stand most firmly behind the game.

November 10, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
CFR is simply delusional.
November 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBMS
First I fail to see anything enamoring about CFB and this regular season is so important along with many other myths that are purpetrated by those in favor of the status quo.

The only thing consistent about Division One is its inconsistency in selecting 2 teams to the mythical championship.


Adding the 12th game was really special wasn't it?? Way to go College prez's and the NCAA... So now we get to watch UF play Western Carolina... Isn't that impressive.


The only fact that dispels the entire argument against a playoff is the fact that every level of football has one except Division One. So they are all wrong and Division One is right?? Sure they are!!

I always love "the regular season is the playoff" argument.Along with every game means so much? Truly it is all about diminishing returns as soon as any team loses.

College football ends each season with a totally boring thud!!

The public loses almost complete interest in a sport that holds its exhibition season at the completion of the regular season each year. Check the Nielson ratings. Wonder why the MNC is held in the middle of the week??


The only reason the status quo is held is so a very select group of people can make $$$'s. There is no valid reason not to have an 8 team playoff every season.


What if Michigan gets that 2nd chance?? OH MY!! That sort of shoots the regular season is important right out of the water!!

Now if Michigan had to run a gauntlet for that 2nd chance that would indeed be different and even desirable.

Actually, a real playoff would enhance the regular season even more as teams and their fans wouldn't quit on each other if there was still hope.


Sorry CFR you present a very unconvincing argument.

In the old days the Michigan vs Ohio State game would have been the National Championship. With the current BCS it could end up truly being meaningless. With a playoff it would mean a higher seed by the winning team.
November 20, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBill
My solution to the BCS nonsense.

I certainly agree that anything that can get the bowls back to what they once were would be a good thing. An 8 team playoff could be the perfect answer if the following occurred:

1. The Pac 10 ,Big 11, Lil East become 12 team conferences with a championship game each season.

2. Get rid of the 12th game recently added

3. Allow 2 deserving in the 8 team event based on the Polls computers etc.

4. All 4 games are played the weekend after the Conference championships which allows for a much shorter break before the New Years bowls in which (2) will serve as alternate sites for the Semi finals each year.

5. The first 4 games played at the home of the higher seed. Guaranteed total sellouts at each venue.

6. Losers of those first 4 games still bowl eligible!!!


7. A final championship played the week after the bowls.

8. Every bowl game not involved except the 2 chosen New Years bowls for the playoff get to pick and choose their teams based on merit and attendance like they used to be. None of this 5th place against 7th place nonsense. Bowls would bid for teams in a lottery pick fashion each season.

9. Bowls finally return to what they once were " a reward for a great season".

10 The great thing about this is teams and fans would remain interested throughout the season with both playoff and bowl games as a real prize for success.



If the above occurred CFB would actually challenge the NFL in National interest and actually join every other level of football in the US that already have playoffs, and do quite well with little complaints. Rivalries will always be rivalries they were before the BCS and they will be after the BCS with or without a playoff. Comparing Baseball and basketball makes little sense and have absolutely no relevence in the discussion of playoffs.

The NFL playoffs and Super Bowl are the # 1 watched events every year. Trying to demean them is a pretty weak argument on why not to have playoffs.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBill
You miss the point.

ANY playoff will be nothing more than a postseason tournament, not a championship. It would have no more weight than a postseason NIT tournament.

The Super Bowl is great, but that's for the NFL and its fans to enjoy. The goal shouldn't be this arms race for college football to compete with the NFL, it should be to strengthen its game.

The NFL has lost fans like myself over the years because it's weakened its game, its product. Why should college football do the same to add a few more viewers.

The sport is popular because of the less conservative nature of the game (compared to the NFL) and because its regular season is worth a damn. Moving away from that is simply the worst idea one could think of.
November 22, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
Forget the NFL which by the way despite you leaving them is the most popular sport in the US.
--------------------------------------------

What about every other level of football from Pee Wee on up??

Are they all wrong as well?


You are entitled to your opinion and reference again to Basketball??? What the F#$%? Not convincing... Please explain again how basketball relates to football? I know they both play with a ball but what else?


Division One has become an absolute joke today with its attempts to pick the best 2 teams each year by a "VOTE"??

Isn't that special?


Personally I save that for figure skating,beauty contests, and American Idol not to figure who is the best in football.
November 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBill
I'm not ignoring the NFL, but it's a completely different game.

Its tradition is the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl. All I'm saying about the NFL, about baseball etc. is that their playoffs are simply that, a playoff. They are not legitimate championships.

If they were legitimate you wouldn't have seen St. Louis win the World Series this year, you wouldn't have seen the Carolina Panthers in a Super Bowl game, etc. Flukes and hot teams can win titles because their playoffs aren't properly structured.

D-I is the farthest thing from a joke. Its entire season is amazing and before the BCS we were doing the polls and bowl games just the same. If it was a joke it's been a joke since day one, when in fact it's the most personally revered sport/game in this country, and second most revered in the world to soccer.

I'm not saying these other sports are "wrong", I'm saying their playoffs/postseason aren't legitimate. Fun, yes. Popular, yes. Legitimate?

N

O

NO

What is wrong is to fundamentally alter D-I football because of the whims of people who do not have the game's best interest in mind?

No thanks.
November 24, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR

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