BCS Playoffs: Where you Lose Me EVERY time

It is that time of year again!! Time to whine about college football’s bowl system and lack of playoffs!

I have engaged in dozens of fantastic conversations with friends in recent years regarding the topic of a hypothetical playoff system in college football. You may be surprised to learn that in the past I have been steadfastly AGAINST any proposed playoff that I have ever seen in print or heard discussed in the media.

This year, I have started to change my mind on the topic a little. I have come around a little to the idea as I have allowed myself to dream just like everyone else. (SFN’s own BJD has blogged the topic very recently and also suggested a workable playoff solution last year that is worth visiting.)

But, everytime that I try to go along with the playoff idea…they push me back away!!

Terry Bowden’s recent article on Yahoo that dreams of a National Championship playoff system served to remind me exactly why I don’t like the playoff idea — because the idiots running college sports (and the average fan) will NEVER actually get it right when it is time to organize the undertaking..

For the sake of discussion, take a look at Bowden’s suggestion for an eight team playoff before I obliterate it with common sense. (Link to article) and brackets are included below Just as important as Bowden’s comments, take a look at this entry and the 20+ comments following the entry from one of the best blogs in the country; notice how EVERY fan was so blinded by the dream of the playoff that not a one of them was astute enough to think of the most simple of hurdles to Bowden’s dream.

Bowden\'s Playoff

Let me clue you in to the #1 PROBLEM with 95% of the “proposed playoff systems” that exist out there — LOGISTICS.

Quite simply, nobody EVER thinks of HOW this proposed playoff is supposed to be pulled off in the necessary timeframe. It isn’t that it can’t necessarily be pulled off. It is just that nobody seems to ever think about the issue (and many others) in their proposed ‘solutions’.

Take a look at Bowden (and many fans’) proposal with a discerning eye and imagine how IMPOSSIBLE the logistics that such an undertaking would be for everyone involved – teams, fans, bands, cities, venues, hotels, etc. It takes cities and programs about a month to arrange the logistics and travel for a single bowl game…and these Einstein’s want to squeeze three different bowl games and trips across the country into a three week period?

I always LOVE the one about how a hypothetical playoff system will be “for the fans”. Riiiiight. It will be for the 50 fans per school that can afford to support their boys traveling all around the country on five days notice in the middle of the busy holiday travel season. ROTFLOL!!

Take a look at Bowden’s proposal through the eyes of an Ohio State fan. Bowden’s simple oversights and resulting logistical nightmare is exactly why this idea loses credibility every year.

A Buckeye fan’s “reward” for being #1 in the country all year would be to travel to San Diego, California a couple of days before Christmas to battle a team from California of all places. (Makes perfect sense!!!) Why shouldn’t the #1 team in the country travel across the country to battle an #8 seed a few hours drive from their campus?

So, your Buckeyes win at Cal (so much for playing a tough regular season schedule to earn a #1 seed) and within seven days you need to find another couple of thousand to book another set of travel arrangements to get to Dallas, TX to play Texas in the Cotton Bowl in about 7 days. You ever tried to book a flight from Columbus to Dallas on 5 days notice…in the middle of the holidays!?

After your Buckeyes win in Texas where the Longhorn fans are going to out number your fans 4 to 1 if you are lucky…and now it is time for you to take out that 3rd mortgage to get flight arrangements and travel BACK to California for the National Title game in less than a week. Of course, that will be a breeze!

At this point, you should consider the unhappiness of your shareholders for you spending so much time away from the company that you own. You see, you most definitely own the whole corporation – not just your own jet (which you obviously need to own) – because nobody else in America could have afforded this month long, dream vacation. Thank goodness that you own a company, because no other employer would allow you to miss over three weeks of work to travel the country and watch football!!

To be fair, you probably do have a little extra money saved to spend on the playoffs because you didn’t go to as many Buckeye games during the regular season. Why should you have gone to all of those stinker games against cupcakes? Now that the regular season doesn’t mean as much as it used to the Buckeyes changed their scheduling philosophy and dropped all of the interesting games (like Texas) to pad their results with enough wins to insure their appearance in the playoffs.

You also saved money during the year from not buying ESPN’s Gameplan now that games like FSU-UF, Miami-Louisville, Auburn-USC, Michigan-Notre Dame, Oklahoma-Oregon, Cal-Tennessee and USC-Notre Dame aren’t played anymore.

(sarcasm) Please never forget that any proposed playoff system is all for the fans!!!

(Note: I will follow this entry in the coming days with an attempt to propose what I think could be a logistically feasible solution that I might be able to get on board with. Unfortunately, it will be too reasonable and will never fly.)

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32 Responses to BCS Playoffs: Where you Lose Me EVERY time

  1. TomCat 11/15/2006 at 9:59 PM #

    If a bowl game is in California- and one of the competitors happen to be from that state…. then so be it.

    SFN: ANYTIME that someone effectively says,

    “If all common sense has to be thrown to the wind to create what I personally think would be cool, then ‘so be it'”

    then you know the argument has no merit.

    That has been the case many times with USC, or some of the Florida schools in the state of Florida. Same applies for the playoffs. It either has to be that way or (gasp!) do it like everybody else does it- from the pee wee level of football to 1-AA football and PLAY IT AT THE HIGHER SEED’S HOME FIELD……..

    Jeff: I agree with that…and will get to that in future entries.

    But…I have one key question for you — Let’s say Michigan loses to Ohio State and is therefore set to play Florida in the playoffs. Whose home field do you use? Because the answer to this is probably going to be the winner of the game.

    Do you see the point…all you are doing is now shuffling controversy to ANOTHER key decision element — who gets higher seeds and home field advantage!?


    Being married to to this antiquated dinosaur bowl system would be dwarfed by the TV revenues for a REAL playoff system. How many Birmingham bowls & 6-6 teams can we stand??? It’s really gotten rediculous. Teams that don’t qualify for the playoffs can compete in college football’s version of the ‘NIT’- bowl games (similar to the existing system) for teams missing the playoff cut. In terms of traveling on a week’s notice- they figure it out in all other sports and levels. It’ll get figured out….

  2. choppack1 11/15/2006 at 10:58 PM #

    Jeff – I’m actually right w/ you. I’ve had a theory that this playoff system is being pushed hardest by the folks who stand to benefit the most – the freeloaders in the media – more frequent flyer miles and road trips to exotic locales on the tab of their employers, football fans who don’t go to a lot of games, and football fans of the football factories. That’s who such a system would cater too.

    For the season ticket holder who does what I do – not only buys season tickets, but attends several road games and saves vacation days and $$ in preparation for a bowl trip – college football is pretty cool. It’s also a pretty fun season if you go to a Gator Bowl or a Peach Bowl. (I’m still dreaming of one of those “special” seasons.)

    You rightly point out that where most of the proposed playoff systems fall apart is the logistics. Can 50K people afford to travel 3 different times in a month to exotic locales?

    College football should follow NASCAR and it’s “Chase for the Cup” very closely. Will it generate more interest from the fans or less? College football is still growing and still exciting, I wonder why?

    Will more games reduce the appetite? I’ll never forget watching the Sports Reporters one morning during college basketball’s conference tournament season when they were talking about how great a Big East tournament game was and why no one was watching it. No one watched it because it didn’t matter! A conference tournament title means nothing unless you’d be missing out on the tournament otherwise.

    Now, regarding playoff formats, one of the best I’ve heard of would reduce the college schedule to 10 regular season games, but everyone plays 12. The top 32 teams enter the playoffs for 2 weeks. The rest of the teams are guaranteed a home and away game. The beauty of this sytem is that you are down to 16 teams by December 1st.

  3. brown pelican 11/15/2006 at 11:17 PM #

    good point choppack—the early ncaa games are sparsely attended in many cases—nonetheless—the tournament works—better than any other competitive format in existence in sport—a similar model can and should be developed for football—i once asked coach sheridan his thoughts regarding this—he offered the opinion that in 1-AA the key was the home field rather than the neutral field in the early rounds—perhaps the existing bowl games could be modified to do the same—georgia in the peach in round one—texas in the sun—usc in the holiday—etc—minimizing the travel expenses—fan expenditures—etc—just food for thought—finally—reducing the season is a must—the 32 to 16 by 12/1 is a winner for all—go pack

  4. choppack1 11/15/2006 at 11:35 PM #

    brown – Did a bad job on the math, it actually gets you to 8 by December 1st. I do think that one thing that is needed in this debate (and all of them) is honesty.

    Here are some of the ugly truths about a college playoff system:
    1) BCS schools would be more incented to schedule cupcakes than they are now.
    2) The bowl system – as we know it – would basically die or would become an afterthought.
    3) The regular season would probably lose much of its importance.
    4) If you’re not a fan of a football powerhouse, be ready to be excluded – you won’t be invited.

    The ugly truths of the current system:
    1) A deserving team or deserving teams can be left out of the national championship picture.
    2) The game isn’t decided on the field, but by AP and Coaches voting the top 2 teams.

  5. Lock 11/15/2006 at 11:41 PM #

    bit of a toss-out comment, I have to get to work, but…if Div II can do it, why, exactly, is it so impossible here?

    SFN: Division Two teams average something like 150 players per team. Some champions have approached the 200 player mark. Most Division One programs average 79-80 players on the roster with a scholarship cap of 85. There is a HUGE difference here. Only the most elite athletes (playing in the NFL) are built to withstand as many as a 16 game pounding in such a short time frame. Even Bob Stoops refered to this a few years ago when asked about a playoff. He didn’t know how is team could hold up without risking too much to the health of his team.

    To be fair….this is where the NCAA Presidents and ADs really screwed the hypocritical pooch by adding a 12th game. The coaches voted UNANIMOUSLY AGAINST the addition of a 12th game.

  6. choppack1 11/16/2006 at 12:07 AM #

    Lock – no one goes to those games and the teams are much smaller. It’s not a question of can it be done, but a question of whether doing it is better for the game and the fans who make college football so special.

    I love this AA and D2 argument – if that makes for such good action, how come so few people go?

  7. class of 74 11/16/2006 at 6:41 AM #

    As to the travel argument square that with the basketball playoff. For instance 1983, how easy was it for us to go to Corvallis, Salt Lake and Albequerque on consecutive weekends? Heck the team didn’t even travel they stayed out west! Should we do away with March Madness?

    SFN: Football isn’t basketball. A team and band travel squad of over 150 people compared to a basketball travel squad of 25. 50,000 fans needed/wanted/expected for football games vs a couple of thousand at the most for basketball.

    Hell, basketball PROVES THE POINT that more fans weren’t able to afford those three trips.

    Have we mentioned that United States air travel is different in weekends in March than it around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays?

    The playoffs are built for TV and money. They could easily surpass the present bowl system on the money angle, on that I absolutely am convinced.
    The fairness issue is the same as the March Madness deal. Someone will always complain they deserved to be in it and were left out. But after you go down the list in most years who after the #10 to #12 team really has a chance to be the national champ in football in any season?

  8. Lock 11/16/2006 at 8:34 AM #

    Okay, so it would be foolish to say that any changes would be done with no regard for money. No argument there. And it’s obviously an appeal to the masses with ‘it’s for the fans.’ But still…do we not watch the games on TV? And let’s look at this from a different angle.

    Do the kids on these teams in the years we have 3+ undefeateds not deserve a chance to prove themselves?

    SFN: They had the chance to prove themselves. It is called the regular season. If you want a claim to a national title if you are Boise State, then you need to play a tough schedule. What happened to the Bronocs last year when they finally played a tough regular season game against Georgia?

    I’ve just never been comfortable with the current setup, that keeps an elite few on top and is very, very reluctant to let others in on their party.

    SFN: And you think that is going to change with a playoff? When a subjective decision between Boise State and Michigan has to be made for the #8 seed…whom do you think is going to make it? If you had an 8 team playoff this year…would Wake Forest make it? Shouldn’t they? Starting a playoff (that isn’t chosen EXCLUSIVELY on a pre-determined computer formula) does nothing but create the next round of arguments of how ‘unfair’ it is to all of the 1 and 2 loss teams that really deserved to be there but were left out. It NEVER ENDS!

    Admittedly, the elite deserve to be so, they’re consistently the best in the country. But some year there might be an outsider that has something special put together, and under the current setup, they’d have no real hope of achieving that #1 spot.

    I understand what you’re saying about the fans not travelling well, but don’t the kids deserve a shot nonetheless?

  9. TNCSU 11/16/2006 at 9:51 AM #

    I’ve just never been comfortable with the current setup, that keeps an elite few on top and is very, very reluctant to let others in on their party.

    SFN: And you think that is going to change with a playoff?

    YES, I do. It would give an Arkansas with only one loss (to USC) playing WITHOUT one of the top 2-3 RB’s in the country (McFadden) a chance to play for the National Championship which at this point is VERY slim. Look what the NCAA tournament as done for Basketball. In 1983, if not for a great tournament run, the Pack wouldn’t have even made the tourney. There are 6 BCS conferences. If you win your conference, you’re IN and the BCS committee can pick two Wild Cards. If you’re number 9, tough – Arguing for #9 is like arguing for number 66 in the NCAA BBall tourney. I would put any of the 1 loss SEC teams up against Texas or USC who because of their weak conferences are guaranteed a spot in a big bowl. Can you imagine the same in BBall? We would have a fit! That’s the reason the field has been expanded. Look at the story of George Mason last year! If Rutgers goes undefeated in the Big East, they should have the chance to play for the National Title, albeit with USC, Texas, WF, Michigan, Ohio State, who know from the SEC??? in the PLAYOFF mix.

    With a PLAYOFF, WINNING A BOWL (other than the current BCS Championship game) would mean something! Now, it just enhances your record and your final AP standing, but it’s your last game no matter what! It means you play another day, and you would get ALOT more fan support! The logistics would be a slightly bigger problem, but no anything too big to overcome.

    I for one, WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with a PLAYOFF. Without one, Wake Forest would probably never have a chance for a National Title. With one this year, you never can tell.

    I understand what you’re saying about the fans not travelling well, but don’t the kids deserve a shot nonetheless? YES, they do!

  10. class of 74 11/16/2006 at 9:57 AM #

    I understand quite well the differences in football and basketball numbers but the key number is this. Billions vs millions. Football is this country’s number one sport period! College basketball TV contract is in the billions of dollars. I’d be willing to bet a football playoff with or without the schools fans attending would bring in as much or more than the basketball tv dollars. Not to mention the fairness the playoff would have over this corrupt, inequitable BCS system.

    Also, on the travel you could easily make the playoffs regional like BB and lessen the travel issue.

    SFN: How do you make playoffs ‘regional’ when you don’t know who is going to be in the playoffs each year?! This is the point!! You keep digging yourself a logistical hole.

    In basketball, you have EIGHT teams filling up a 20,000 seat regional site that was set years in advance for preparation. In football, you want to pre-designate regional sites that may be nowhere near the teams that ultimately make the playoffs and try to fill up 75,000 seat stadiums with only two teams!

    What happens in a year that FSU, Miami, UF, UGA, Notre Dame, USC, Texas and West Virginia make the playoffs and you have a pre-determined sites in Atlanta, New York, LA and Houston? How doe those regionals equitably work out?

    Every suggestion that you (and others) share simply serves to prove the logisitcal point MORE!

    It’s all due to the bowl system entrenchment. They have the school president’s ear and until that is broken we are stuck with the system we have. It’s not travel, or any other of those bogus claims it’s a comfortable inertia. By the way, if I recall, in 1983 we did not have any unsold tickets available to us from the 2nd round on for BB. Plenty of us were willing and able but the limited availability was the issue not the travel or the dollars.

    If you want an equitable playoff it can be done, if you want excuses you can find those too. But thanks for the argument anyway.

    SFN: But, yet you haven’t yet proposed an equitable way for the playoff to be done. If it is so easy to do…then let’s see it!

  11. StateFans 11/16/2006 at 9:59 AM #

    Same old, same old.

    Tons of heart-wrenching thoughts. No logisitcs to make it work.

    You throw out teams that you think subjectively “should” get the chance to play for a title, but you don’t include anyt thought to those teams that you leave out of your subjective list who think that they should be included.

    Sounds great in concept. Try having the NCAA get it right. All anyone will do next is to complain about how bad the playoff system is.

    Where does it stop? Where do you play the games? How do you come up with the seedings of differentiating all those 1 loss teams that all look to be about the same?

  12. BJD95 11/16/2006 at 10:19 AM #

    I think my system still works. I really, really do. It’s unlikely that the FIRST iteration of a playoff system would be that logical, but maybe we’ll work towards it.

    Any system would have to seed and select teams using SOS as a key component, so that a loss at Ohio State or Texas would essentially be the same as beating a cupcake (with only upside potential, marquee OOC games would increase).

    And the current system doesn’t benefit the “elites” – it punishes them. Look at what is happening to the SEC teams – their conference is murderous, and it has provided great television all year. The current system will leave them on the outside looking in most years – which is ridiculous. Look at who Florida has beaten and who Rutgers has beaten, and realize that they have pretty much the same chance to play in the title game. And that’s ONLY because Rutgers entered the season unranked – if they have the same performance against the same cupcake schedule going forward NEXT year – they would be easily set up for the title game.

    Expecting an SEC team to go undefeated to “earn” their slot is ridiculous. When the ACC and Big Ten are strong, the same rule applies. As of right now, FOUR SEC teams would have a very good shot at a 16-team playoff (LSU, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee). Would you bet against them doing well? If not, why shouldn’t they be treated in the post-season like a 0 or 1 loss team from a weaker conference? The accomplishment is similar.

  13. TNCSU 11/16/2006 at 10:26 AM #

    Where does it stop? Where do you play the games? How do you come up with the seedings of differentiating all those 1 loss teams that all look to be about the same?

    The same way you do NOW. BCS rankings – difference being, in a playoff you have a chance to prove the “pundits” wrong. Just like the first weekend in the NCAA’s!

    SFN: Wait a second. You can’t say that the BCS Rankings/System stinks and then turn around and say that you want to use their messed-up system that is overly reliant on subjectivity to put together your precious playoff. If its ranking system works (like you are intimating by endorsing its use) then why doesn’t it work to choose the top two teams instead of the top 8 or the top 16? If the BCS Rankings work, then why bother choosing 8 or 16 teams for a playoff when you can choose the top two?

    Try looking at change, and saying, “Let’s make it work, rather than.. Oh, that will NEVER work.”

    I enjoy the discussion, but I think it’s cut and dry – it’s time for a PLAYOFF. I think Bowden is definitely on the RIGHT TRACK!

  14. BJD95 11/16/2006 at 10:32 AM #

    Short version of my system – use Sagarin or similar system to rank teams. Conference champs of ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, and PAC 10 (maybe don’t give Big 10 and PAC 10 automatic bid until they have league title game) get automatic bids. Other champs get bids if in Sagarin Top 20. First 2 rounds played at home field of higher ranked team. “Final Four” played at neutral site.

    Jeff: this is why we get along so well!!

  15. RAWFS 11/16/2006 at 10:34 AM #

    I find it ironically hilarious that fans are even considered. Like they are during the regular season. If a school thought a 1am start would get high TV ratings and national exposure, you can bet your bottom dollar that that’s when the kickoff would be. In short, television money and ratings are all that matters. And you think a playoff should be different?

    Let me give you a clue: look to the professional football playoffs not the D2 playoffs for clues as to how a D1 playoff would actually go down. You won’t see a bunch of Steelers fans in Indy for a playoff game between Pittsburgh and the Colts. SFW. They will be at home watching on TV. So will the rest of the country if the matchup is compelling.

    And you can’t tell me that most any stadium in the country would not be sold out if the home team were to have a playoff game in it. It would, pure and simple. Fans would clamor for seats to see “their team” play in the tournament, playoff or whatever.

    Finally, having been to a couple of Super Bowls, I can also vouch for the fact that card-carrying season ticket holders of the respective teams are given next to no consideration for the title game, and in fact, the crowd is largely comprised of people who were either given their ducats as a corporate perq or bought them a long time in advance, well before the regular season, in fact. And oh, BTW, that’s one of the hardest tickets in the country most years…and the TV ratings are not bad either.

  16. BJD95 11/16/2006 at 10:56 AM #

    ^ RAWFS – I like the reference to the NFL model, as the NFL is far and away the best-run league in all of sports.

    I think you could stipulate that 10,000 seats must be made available for visiting fans before being released to home team. Because college football is different, you would have to make sure the neutral site games allow season ticket holders and boosters a good shot for the tickets.

    Would people travel to TWO neutral site games to follow their team? Since for most teams’ fans it would be a “once in a lifetime” thing, you bet your ass they would!

  17. LSUTigerFan 11/16/2006 at 11:28 AM #

    First of all, Terry Bowden is an idiot. He was a very good football coach, but as an analyst, which obviously requires a different skill set, he is an idiot.

    Second, if after years of arguments, Jeff’s only remaining obstacle to a playoff is logistics, I think we (the playoff proponents) are in pretty good shape.

    To the point about it causing fans too much hardship, let’s be realistic. Even fans like myself, who go to virtually every conference championship and bowl game my team plays in, would much prefer to physically miss a game if it means my team still has a chance at the title.

    Speaking of conference championship games, are they really any different from a playoff? In most case, you don’t know until the week before whether or not your team will be playing in the game, yet those still are sellouts every time. Fans somehow find a way to make it.

    With an eight game playoff you are only adding at most two games to any given team. And only two of those teams would add two games. Two other teams would play one additional game, and the other four teams wouldn’t add any games at all. Therefore, from a logistical standpoint, what we’re talking about would only apply to four teams.

    Finally, to the regular season meaning less argument. In the case of an eight team playoff, you’d likely have six conference champs and two at large spots. Sure, the first order of business would be to win the conference, but it would be a dogfight for those two at large spots, and teams would need impressive regular seasons to “earn them�.

  18. wufpaxno1 11/16/2006 at 11:29 AM #


    Surely you must be kidding? The lack of a playoff system in Division I football has very little to do with logistics.

    Jeff: I don’t contend that the lack of a playoff system has anything to do with logistics. I contend that the barrier to implementing an acceptable playoff system is severely limited by logistics.

    Do you think that Division I AA schools, who have less then 1/10th the revenue of Division I schools have an issue with logistics.

    Jeff: Do Div I-AA schools try to play games that move 75,000 people in one week from one coast of the country to the other? NO! These “great playoffs” that most people have never watched don’t have the same logistical scale and scope as Div 1 games do/would.

    They have a play-off involving 16 teams which takes place over a six week period (Five weekends of play), and spans over the entire country. They have done this for over 20 years and crown a true National Champion. And NCAA Division II has a 24 team field spanning across the entire country with 1/100th the revenue of D-1 schools.

    The only truly decided National Champion in Division I College football (even if AA) is Appalachian State, and they earned this title on the field. Is Texas the defending National Champion, can we be really sure? Was USC the champion the year before or maybe it was Auburn. And the year before that there were two national Champions, USC and LSU, which one was it?

    Logistics are important, but they can be worked out, the issue here, plan and simple, is revenue. Revenue generated by the schools, conferences, television, and mostly by the bowls themselves and their sponsors. If the NCAA and the Universities themselves really wanted a playoff system they could work out the logistics rather easily. Hell, they work out scheduling for all D-1 schools while tossing in some D-1 AA schools every year, which would be much more of a logistical nightmare then setting up 8, 16, or 24 teams for a play-off.

    Any plan for logistics here or anywhere else is meaningless as it would be totally up to the NCAA itself, which has already devised very successful systems at the lower levels. And the NCAA is very capable of doing this on their own, they did it with basketball once they saw that the N.I.T. was making money with the original college basketball championships, by invitation only. Any suggestion in this forum, which I do think is a
    most excellent blog, would simply be cannon fodder. But to appease the powers that be I will make a suggestion:

    NCAA Division I AA rewards the higher seeded teams with home field through all rounds until the championship game which is played at a pre-arranged neutral sight. Hmmm, doesn’t another football league do this as well with a little success? And if this would be a problem for the bowls and there sponsors why not just have the games played at the existing bowl venue which is the closest to the higher seeded team as you go through the playoff and then play the championship game at a predetermined big four bowl site.

    I am sure that there are about as many reasons that this will not work and I will hear a number of them, and I am sure that the NCAA heard them all before they adopted a playoff system for the lower divisions, they probably argued them themselves concerning basketball before the NIT proved that it would work in it’s heyday. I have heard stories of how the NFL would never be profitable and how the old AFL would never survive.

    It’s easy to make an argument about how something will not work, much harder to make one on how it will, and it is only after trial and error and a lot of failed efforts that you can make something work. The logistics are only a part of the trial and error process and CAN be worked out. No, logistics are not the problem, greed and the all mighty green backs are the problem here.

  19. partialqualifier 11/16/2006 at 12:23 PM #

    I am not the brightest guy in the world, but if App State (with their D1-AA revenues) can afford a playoff system, why cant USC, Ohio State, Texas, Florida, Michigan, etc.

    As somebody once told me….

    If you really try hard enough, you can find an excuse NOT to do anything.

  20. TNCSU 11/16/2006 at 1:00 PM #

    SFN: Wait a second. You can’t say that the BCS Rankings/System stinks and then turn around and say that you want to use their messed-up system that is overly reliant on subjectivity to put together your precious playoff. If its ranking system works (like you are intimating by endorsing its use) then why doesn’t it work to choose the top two teams instead of the top 8 or the top 16? If the BCS Rankings work, then why bother choosing 8 or 16 teams for a playoff when you can choose the top two?

    I never said BCS Rankings stink – it’s the way they use the rankings to determine a National Champion. As I said before, 6 BCS Conferences – 6 Automatic Bids, and 2 at-large bids for the 1 loss or 2 loss teams from a strong conference (i.e. this year Ohio State/Michigan and a second SEC team) – or possibly a Boise State (but I doubt it!)

    It can and should be changed! Logistics???… come on! I still say Bowden is on the right track.

    “If you really try hard enough, you can find an excuse NOT to do anything.”

    SFN: You say that he is on the right track…but you can’t offer a viable logisitical set-up to implement his idea. I think that a new President that wants to provide everyone in the country $1 million is on the right track. Since this is such a good idea, surely the logistics can get worked out with no problem.

  21. RAWFS 11/16/2006 at 2:35 PM #

    With homestanding upper seeds, logistics are no more difficult than basketball which is already done.

    A top seeded team like a Florida or USC would certainly be able to sell out two home games in an 8-4-2 scenario.

    The title game would be at a neutral site — which would probably have very few of either participants teams in attendance — just like the Super Bowl, just like the Final Four.

    As for logistics, that is not an insurmountable issue. Logistics are transportation, lodging, meals and moving equipment. This could be handled by outside (gasp) logistics firms, which do this each and every day in the corporate world. American Express Travel, for example, moves more employees for the enterprise I work for on a daily basis to more parts of the world than three playoffs would ever entail. Oddly enough, they do a good job and more often than not, they do it on a short term basis.

    If the NCAA knew it would need to lease 4-8 aircraft for Week 1, they can do it. This is a multibillion dollar enterprise that has a lot more reach than Uncle Jed and his cast of dozens, after all. They could certainly afford staff and materiale to plan this out, oddly enough, just like the do the D1 basketball tournament.

  22. class of 74 11/16/2006 at 2:57 PM #

    Strange, but Div 1-AA does it but somehow it will bankrupt Div-1A due to logistics? Hmm? Yeah that makes good sense!

    Maybe I’m missing something here but the present system has teams traveling all over the country and most bowls do not sellout now, so what’s the big deal? I guarantee the networks will pay a bigger payout than the present bowl system but they must control it like they do in BB. Four regional bowls or eight regional bowls it will work, but you have to get the university presidents to go along and there is your problem. Not the fans, not the advertisers, not the networks, it’s the school presidents and the bowl organizers that do not want this to happen. Or people who want to find a silly excuse.

  23. TNCSU 11/16/2006 at 4:47 PM #

    SFN: You say that he is on the right track…but you can’t offer a viable logisitical set-up to implement his idea. I think that a new President that wants to provide everyone in the country $1 million is on the right track. Since this is such a good idea, surely the logistics can get worked out with no problem.

    I just have to chuckle! Sorry I can’t provide a complete logistical set-up in two or three paragraphs. $25,000 each sounds reasonable, though. 🙂

  24. CaptainCraptacular 11/16/2006 at 4:50 PM #

    Talk about lighting a match. The yearly anniversary of playoff talk sure brings out some passionate posts.

    I am with BJD and of the opinion that if there is a playoff, it must be 16 teams. This is the closest in ratio to the NCAA Basketball formula of 65 teams vs 300+ schools, as well as providing for enough slots for a possible 10-2 Wake Forest of this year or maybe the 11-3 State of ’02 to be able to dream of competing for the championship.

    I am also in agreement with the proposal that the first 2 rounds be played at the home field of the higher seed, and that the final 4 site(s) be predetermined.

    If the playoff is 16 teams, it reduces (not eliminates, but reduces) the inequity in seeding which decide the home field advantage. Clearly there will be no argument with who should have home field in 1 vs 16 or 2 vs 15. or 3 vs 14 and so on. Only when you get to 8 vs 9 and 7 vs 10 are the arguments based on ‘we should be the ones with home field’ with any merit. There will also be the inevitable crying of the would be #17 team. But even if there are arguments, so what? At least 16 teams have a post-season shot at winning the national championship. That is 8 times better than the current post-season where 2 teams have that right (some years 3). Home field is a pretty huge advantage, but if you are the better team, your school will find a way to overcome that.

    In short Jeff, I totally disagree with your premise that just because there will be a little squawking about seeding and home field advantage between 8v9 and 7v10, that it is a valid reason against having a playoff. There will be squawking, complaining, and ‘we got screwed’ commentary no matter what system is in place. So why is a playoff better than what is in place now if there will be squawking and complaining either way? All things being equal, it is a fairer and more equitable way of deciding a champion. It provides a way for a clearly deserving 13-0 Auburn ’04 team to play for a championship. And I truly believe that even though there will be squawking, it will be less with playoff seeding than it is with 10 one-loss teams decrying what should be their rightful place in the 2 team national championship.

    I also completely disagree with the premise that having a playoff will make regular season matchups less meaningful as a whole. This year, as an example, Michigan and Ohio State both would be guaranteed spots in the playoff, so their game may be considered less important nationally, but try telling that to the players in that game. It will not lose any importance regionally. If its a truly big rivalry, winning it will be every bit as important in a playoff year as it is right now. I heard Jim Tressel on ESPN radio this week in effect saying that Michigan vs Ohio State was bigger than the BCS and the national championship would be great, but Michigan/Ohio State is soo much more than that.

    And lets say that Michigan/Ohio State is reduced in importance nationally. For every game like that there will be at least 2 to replace it that is absolutely critical for seeding position or for the right to make it to the playoff in the first place.

    The bigger obstacle to having this playoff system with 16 teams that BJD describes is not so much logistics (if the first 2 rounds were played at homes of higher seeds) as it is getting rid of the current BCS bowls and the tradition that goes along with the bowls, especially the Rose Bowl. But the Rose Bowls tradition has already been seriously diluted, so perhaps its not so far a leap to take it the next step. I do like the idea of keeping 20 bowls around as an NIT for the 17-56 teams to participate in, but would they be able to stay afloat financially if the playoff were implemented? Obstacles that have so far proven too difficult to overcome.

    I for one believe that the potential monetary windfall from television rights for a 16 team NCAA div-1A football playoff could soothe any wounds caused by the blowing up of the current traditions and bowl systems. Sure, a lot of cities would be out their piece of the pie from travel, lodging and miscellaneous as the result of not having a big bowl game, but its not about the individual cities and members of the orange bowl organizing committee. Its about the sport itself and the players and fans who deserve to have a champion crowned like most every other sport in existence.


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