College FB Playoffs

And I t hink that’s too many.

That’s covering your bases. :lol:

We agree on most things, but not this. I LOVE the idea of an 8 team play off. Pretty simple set up. The Power 5 champs are all in. The best Group of 5 Champ is in. Two at large.

This year you have Bama, Clemson, OU, OSU, Washington and UCF as the automatic qualifiers. The only “weak link” in that is Washington, but they are 10-3, ranked #9 and won the Power 5 conferences championship of the Pac 12. It isn’t a bad to include them. The two “at large” would be UGA (which deserved to be in anyway IMO) and Notre Dame which clearly deserved to be in.

This would give the conference championship games (of the Power 5) even more importance as it is an automatic bid. It gets out of the gripe (legitimate gripe) that the Group of 5 has that says it is basically impossible for one of them to get in. I don’t know how good UCF is, but they have gone undefeated two years in a row. Beat an SEC team in the bowl last year.

There is no perfect system, I think the championship should be won on the field, not on the votes of sports writers. There are two many teams and conferences in D1 football for everyone to play any type of “equal” schedule. Remember when Auburn when undefeated but got left out of the two team title match we had at that point? How about when 5 teams finished 11-1 in 1977? How 1978 when Alabama and USC both finished 11-1, USC beat Alabama, but Alabama was declared the National Champ by AP and most other services (USC was given the title by UPI).

You can say “it is won on the field now, every week is an elimination game.” (That was the common argument against the current play off system or even the BCS system). But that was simply not true. When you lost became critical. A loss late in the year was many times (but not always) a disqualifer, but a loss early in the year gave you time to “recover” in the polls.

Again, no system is perfect, and a 2 team playoff (BCS system) was better than the old system. A four team playoff is better than a two team playoff. I am fine with it the way it is, but I would love to see an 8 team playoff. Again, it makes the major conference championships so much more important and deals with the UCF type issue.

A football playoff basically doesn’t affect student athletes as far as school is concerned (compare any type of football play off to what basketball players have to do as far as missing school).

If we have an 8 team playoff, the last thing I want is an automatic bid to the best Group of 5 teams. That’s simply saying we’ll leave out the 8th best team in favor of, say, the 25th best team. One with maybe 2-3 losses. However, if we can say one team has proven itself to be #1 over the course of the 12 game season, why should we allow a team that is no better than 8th “have a shot” to be declared #1? That’s also why I don’t want to automatically award a slot to a conference champion. Had Northwestern beaten Ohio St, should it have been allowed in over anyone who has proved to be better over the course of a 12 game season.

I have lots of reasons for opposing a playoff, but most of them are simply personal preference. One problem with an expanded playoff, however, is the same problem with any large playoff–it’s not to determine who is or was the best team for the year. It’s to declare the tournament champion as the overall champion. Sometimes they’re the same team, but not necessarily. The more teams we allow in, the more likely the best team will be eliminated.

My two main reasons for opposing a playoff is they tend to diminish the regular season. Every other bowl is simply an “exhibition” game. Sorta like NFL games between teams who’ve been mathematically eliminated from the NFL playoffs. The other reason is that it exposes kids to too many chances for injury. The older I get the more that becomes a factor in my eyes. To me it’s disgusting the NFL plays all those exhibition games, then a 16 game season, then a playoff. It’s all about the greed of the owners.

I love football, but it’s a dangerous sport that could be made somewhat safer by simply reducing the number of collisions.

You have some valid points. Again, no system is perfect. Your point about Northwestern is valid. BUT, again, I think it makes the regular season more important, not less. Win that conference championship, and you are in.

As to injuries, if DiAA (what ever it is called now) and DII and DIII can have a play off with more than 4 teams, so can D1.

Again, I like (a lot) the current system and I think it results in the best team be crowned much more likely than not. I understand what you are saying about the best team vs. the winner of the playoffs, but it is just SO subjective to say “X is the best team even though they didn’t win the play off” (or say that without a playoff at all). If you can’t win the play off, I would argue that you are NOT the best team. Of course there are weird things that happen. There is no doubt in my mind that in 1983, Houston was the best team in College basketball. They got beat by a 6 seed NC State in the finals. I think we were the best team in the 1995 basketball season, but got beat by a UCLA team that should have lost in the second (I think??) round. Stuff happens. I think it happens more in basketball than it does in football. That is just an opinion.

As you said, mostly a matter of personal preference. There is no “right” answer. No matter what you do, you can take a certain year and say “see, it wasn’t right.”

Sorry, one more thing, “Every other bowl is simply an “exhibition” game.” That argument has always bugged me. In the old system, yes in SOME years, you have 2 or even 3 bowl games that “mattered” as far as the National Title was concerned. But usually just 1, I can’t think of one year where more than 3 “mattered” in that sense (not saying there wasn’t one). The vast majority of bowl games already didn’t “matter” in that sense. Does it ever matter (for national title purposes) who wins the Liberty Bowl? The Outback Bowl? The Alamo Bowl? Etc. Etc. Etc?

Now we have 3 games that absolutely matter, every year. That is at least equal to what we had from time to time before, and more than most years. It also hasn’t “degraded” the Liberty Bowl one bit (in my opinion).

The one thing I’ve always liked about college football, and the one thing that made it unique, was that every game mattered for itself. The institution of the playoff games diminishes all the other bowls, IMO. All everyone really talks about now is the playoff & how any particular game affects a team’s chances in it. Two weeks ago there were only about 6-8 teams in the world if one listend to the media.

We’ve always been interested in “who’s #1” but bowl games between #5 & #10 were important. Traditional rivalry games mattered for themselves. Years where there were split or controversial champions never struck me as something we should try so hard to avoid.

Yeah, I know lower level teams play more games. Yeah, they “can” and so “can” FBS teams. I just think its a bad idea & leads to injuries at all levels. There’s no reason at all, IMO, to have playoffs at the lower levels. The “national champion” of D2 or whatever isn’t really considered a national champion. I think the better teams should just play in bowls—just like they used to.

One problem with an eight team playoff is that it requires three rounds of games to determine a champion. This means more conflicts with student final exam schedules. Another problem is that all of the games would have to be played at neutral sites, many of which could be at a considerable distance from home. The first round games would be in the form of bowl games, but the two second round games would at ghost sites around the country. Many of the teams’ fan bases would be financially/logistically depleted by the first round. The fan bases of the winning teams of the first round would have to go on the road again the following week for the second round. The fan bases of the third round teams (second round winners) would then have to go on the road again the following (third) week. One might argue that FCS, Div. 2, and Div. do this, and that is true. However, there are a couple of differences. First, no one cares what the lower divisions are doing. Second, the lower divisions do not have neutral sites. The higher-seeded team hosts the game, so a home crowd is built-in, and the home team and its fan base doesn’t have to travel at all.

For most schools, finals are over in early to mid December. You could easily play 3 rounds after finals end for the vast majority of schools. And you are talking about 8 schools for the first round, 4 schools for the second round and 2 schools for the last round, not a big deal. Compare that to basketball. No contest (yes, basketball is not during finals, I understand that).

You have a VERY good point about fans and travel. Most fans couldn’t afford to travel to one game, much less 3. That is a draw back. However, I don’t think it would affect the turn out. The fans in the stands just wouldn’t, for the most part, fans of the schools. If they announced a year in advance that the semifinals were going to be played in Dallas and Orlando (whatever), they games would be sold out before the 8 teams were announced. The size of the crowds are different, but the NCAA doesn’t depend on fans of schools to support the basketball tournament.

On the other hand, you could play the first round at the home field of the top 4 seeds. That would sell out every time.

Anyway, an 8 team playoff has issues, no question. There are parts of it that would be a for sure negative. It also has some positives. Me PERSONALLY, I would like it.

[quote=“Neastarkie”]

The one thing I’ve always liked about college football, and the one thing that made it unique, was that every game mattered for itself. The institution of the playoff games diminishes all the other bowls, IMO. All everyone really talks about now is the playoff & how any particular game affects a team’s chances in it. Two weeks ago there were only about 6-8 teams in the world if one listend to the media.

We’ve always been interested in “who’s #1” but bowl games between #5 & #10 were important. Traditional rivalry games mattered for themselves. Years where there were split or controversial champions never struck me as something we should try so hard to avoid.

Yeah, I know lower level teams play more games. Yeah, they “can” and so “can” FBS teams. I just think its a bad idea & leads to injuries at all levels. There’s no reason at all, IMO, to have playoffs at the lower levels. The “national champion” of D2 or whatever isn’t really considered a national champion. I think the better teams should just play in bowls—just like they used to.

[/quote]I like some of your points against the eight-team playoff, but I definitely disagree with this one. Ask the Washington Huskies if their Rose Bowl game against Ohio State is diminished. They’ll say absolutely not. Why? Because they are playing in the “Granddaddy of them all.” Washington would only think it’s diminished because they themselves did not play well enough to be in the playoffs, but played well in beating their rival and then whipped Utah in the title game and celebrated their Rose Bowl berth afterwards.

Bowl games were always meant as a reward for the teams. The teams are still happy to be there (in most instances; even without the playoffs, many teams were never happy to be in the Independence Bowl or the Birmingham bowl). They get to play; they get the extra practices. I guarantee you right now we’d be licking our chops to be playing in the Liberty Bowl or the Texas Bowl instead of sitting at home talking about everybody else playing. BTW, it’s Temple vs. Duke in Shreveport. Uggh! But at least they’re playing. And the playoff has absolutely 0 (zero) impact in deiminishing or increasing that bowl matchup.

I’m one that likes it the way it is even though we all know it’s not perfect.

The biggest challenge to going to an 8 team playoff is how to do it without disrupting the bowl system, or further de-emphasizing it. The bowl system is unique to college football and we all know the advantages. The only way to really do it and keep the bowl system intact, in my opinion, would be to eliminate the conference championship games and just have the top 8 play at the higher seeded sites the first weekend in December instead. In that scenario, UCF would have traveled to Bama last weekend, Michigan to Clemson, etc. The 4 winners would still be in the “playoff bowls” and the four losers would still be guaranteed a “New Year’s Six” bowl game. You would have to play those games last weekend so that the losing teams could still be guaranteed their bowl sites on “selection Sunday”. I guess it’s possible you could have still had the championship games last weekend and the first round this coming weekend and delayed the bowl announcement until this coming Sunday. But you have to leave the teams and fans time to plan travel.

You also have to still ensure that the losing teams still get their “bowl experience”. Otherwise, what happens when #8 UCF ends their season in December with a road loss to Alabama, while the #9 team goes bowling and spends a month getting extra practice time, a week on the beach at the bowl site, free gifts every day from the bowl as well as travel money and meals, and then they get to end the season with a win? I would have preferred to finish 9th in that case instead of making the playoffs.

And to those that say that you just incorporate the extra round in to the bowl games, that doesn’t work either. You can’t expect fans of these teams to travel to 3 different bowl games. And bowl games weren’t set up to work that way anyway. They were built on fans of the schools planning these trips a month in advance, spending multiple days there, attending all the different bowl events, etc. That is already being compensated by doing these “semifinal playoff bowls”. How many Alabama and Oklahoma fans can travel to Miami for multiple days in late December and then turn around 9 days later and travel to the other side of the country to Santa Clara for the championship game? The Orange Bowl will likely sell it’s tickets because the locals will be interested in the game, but the city will lose on tourism money based on what it would have received had it been OU vs Bama in a normal bowl game instead of a playoff game. Fans may go and stay one night vs the 4 or 5 they would have for a normal Orange Bowl game.

I understand both sides of the argument and the fact that there is always going to be a team that we think should have been included, but to those that just say keep adding more teams, I don’t believe it’s as easy a solution as you might think.

I don’t feel like the format will change until ESPN and other sports affiliates offer the NCAA a deal they can’t refuse. That’s the reason they decided on 4 team playoff because eventually there would be controversy and then if enough people complained and enough money was offered to the NCAA then the powers that be would change the format. It’s all about money like it or not it’s the world we live in today. JMO

[quote=“SoArkHog”]

No doubt the participating teams care about their bowl games, but outside of those teams’ fans, few care. I remember when all the bowls on NY Day were big. Now, not so much. Of course, the plethora of bowls has something to do with that, too.

I have a real problem with guaranteeing a bid to the winner of the conference championship game. Not the conference champion; the championship game winner. There’s a difference. The conference champion earned it over the course of a season. The CG winner could have taken advantage of a bad division then played one really good game.

Look at the ACC this year. Their Coastal Division was terrible. Pitt won it at 7-5/6-2. Yet if they’d somehow beaten Clemson in the ACCCG, you want to give them a playoff spot, leaving out someone like Georgia or Michigan, because they got lucky in one game after a thoroughly mediocre season?

No thanks. Talk about diminishing the regular season…

But what about basketball, or what about FCS? In either one, a team that gets in with a lackluster record (1) is either cannon fodder for a much better team in the first round, (2) if they make any significant advance, they will have to earn it by playing well on multiple occasions, and (3) probably did not take a spot away from a team with a much better record, except in the case of a one-bid league where the regular season winner gets the NIT instead.

Based on CFP rankings, this would be the 8-team playoff if Pitt had beaten Clemson:

Alabama vs. Pitt
Notre Dame vs Washington
Paperclips vs UCF (best group of 5)
Clemson vs Ohio State (I’m assuming here that Clemson’s loss to Pitt drops them to 4th).

Five conference winners, UCF and ND only leaves one at-large spot and that’s Clemson in this scenario. So 11-2 Georgia and 10-2 Michigan are left out to take 8-5 Pitt? Nope, not going there.