Thursday, January 10, 2008

Debating a College Football Playoff

by Jason Jones

After the 2007-08 BCS Bowl season concluded, we were all left with a sense of loss. I personally felt violated. There were a few games that I enjoyed the final score of, but by no means were they enjoyable and competitive. The beautiful thing is, I could tivo the games and do something else. Then come back and watch the first quarter of the game, then watch the other 3 quarters in fast forward just hoping to see some semblance of something worth watching in real time.

In reverse order, games I had any interest in…

Memphis 27

Florida Atlantic 44

I used to work near FAU in Boca Raton…that’s it, nothing analytical about it


BYU 17

This one actually was decent, considering who played…C’mon, it's BYU/UCLA

Arizona St 34

Texas 52

Two things OKAM and CHARLES, its all about scouting draft picks


Mississippi St 10

Scouting Kevin Smith. Period. I have a friend that went to UCF.

Kentucky 35

Florida St 28

It was amazing FL St could even fill a roster after the suspenstions

Missouri 38

Arkansas 7

I really wanted Arkansas to slap Missouri back into being a second tier team

Michigan 41

Florida 35

This was fun, the two teams I loath the most in college football

Texas Tech 31

Virginia 28

Chris Long and Michael Crabtree, one is a top 5 pick and the other is the best WR

Illinois 17

USC 49

I wanted to know I was right about Illinois having no business on the same field as USC

Hawaii 10

Georgia 41

“No non-big 6 conference teams deserve to be in the BCS”, I told you so

West Virginia 48

Oklahoma 28

Merely an NFL Draft scouting game

LSU 38

Ohio St 24

I am an Ohio St fan, and that still burns even today

There were only 2 games that can be confused for competitive, and they were not any of the top 6 or 7 Bowl Games. That is unacceptable. I understand the reasons why there is not a playoff system. I do not agree with any of them. After this season, don’t we have to say, “I don’t care what the reasons are, it is just bad”. Its no longer a question of “I got screwed”, it now is “Everyone got screwed”. For those who say, “but we don’t want to lose the bowl games”. F@#K it! Keep the Bowl Games, just apply them to a playoff system. We can even continue to rotate the top 4 Bowl games, hay-ell, some people are calling for the return of the Cotton Bowl, that’s fine. And this way we can get back to real bowl games. No more San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl or the Papa Bowl or the Champs Sports Bowl. Now on to the largest CROCK OF S@#T in the entire discussion, “A playoff would take too long and would cut into classes”. We can very easily fix this. First off, I think most fans believe if there is a playoff, we can get rid of the Conference Championships altogether. The only reason to have them is to give a team a last ditch effort to squeeze into that 8 seed. Or maybe some of these old coaches still have an affection for “Conference Champs” plaque on their office wall. Eliminate them for the sake of the playoff system.

Once we've established the brackets we need to apply estimated dates, I will be using the 2008 calendar to provide said dates. Also note, the teams and their ranks are my own opinion after the National Championship game and are inconsequential to the integrity of this discussion. An 8 team playoff creates 7 games. As written above, in the first round…

Games to take place on Saturday December 6th (or 1st weekend in December)

The Insight Bowl in Tempe, AZ…LSU vs. KANSAS

The Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TXOHIO ST vs. VIRGINIA TECH

Games to take place on Saturday December 13th (or 2nd weekend in December)

The Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LAUSC vs. OKLAHOMA

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CAGEORGIA vs. MISSOURI

Games to take place on Saturday December 20th (or 3rd weekend in December)

The Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, AZ…LSU vs. VIRGINIA TECH

The Orange Bowl in Miami, FLUSC vs. GEORGIA

National Championship Game to take place on December 27th (or 4th weekend in Dec.)

The BCS Championship Bowl in Indianapolis, IN…LSU vs. USC

According to the path I have laid out I would have USC winning the National Championship in a playoff system in 2008 by rationalizing the top 8 team results of 2007. The biggest issue we have disproved is that a Playoff system would take too long. This year LSU was crowned the national champions on January 7th, an entire week and change longer to do it the way we’ve been doing it.

The other major issue which has never been more prevalent than this season is matchups. There are no USC vs. Illinois games, no Georgia vs. Hawaii debacles, and we would be the better off for it.

Another issue that is often brought up is that people would not be as excited or that the regular season will not mean as much. First off, if you are one of those people who believe the concept that College Football is the best sport because every game counts…then you need to lay off the sauce or quit doing whatever drugs you’ve been doing. In the NFL every game counts. Seriously, how many times does Appalachian St vs. Michigan really happen? Ohio St will always play schools like Youngstown St. Georgia will always play schools like Louisiana-Lafayette. Oklahoma will always play schools like North Texas. Virginia Tech will always play schools like William and Mary. Need I go on? Whether you agree with me or not, the only time College Football’s regular season will ever mean as much as College Football would have you believe is if and when they commit to the Big 6 plays the Big 6 concept. Only teams from the “Big 6 Conferences” would play each other…with no exception. That would consist of; The ACC, The Big 10, The Big 12, The Big East, The PAC 10, and The SEC.

Checkout OHIO ST’s schedule as it was vs. how I would have it (hypothetically speaking) if they applied the Big 6 vs Big 6 concept.

Actual 2007 Ohio St Buckeye Schedule

Vs. Youngstown St

Vs. Akron Univ

At Washington Univ

Vs. Northwestern

At Minnesota

At Purdue

Vs. Kent St

Vs. Michigan St

At Penn St

Vs. Wisconsin

Vs. Illinois

At Michigan

Big 6 vs. Big 6 Ohio St schedule

Vs. Rutgers

Vs. Texas

At Iowa

Vs. Minnesota


At Purdue

Vs. Tennessee

Vs. Wisconsin

At Illinois

Vs. Michigan St

Vs. Penn St

At Michigan

Big 6 vs. Big 6 Virginia Tech



Vs. Wisconsin

Vs. Michigan

Vs North Carolina

At Clemson

At Duke

Vs. Boston College

At Georgia Tech

Vs Florida St

Vs. Miami (FL)

At Virginia

We can go all day, but you understand my point. Clearly the ACC, Big10, Big12, Big East, PAC10, and SEC are clearly better than everyone else. Boise St, Hawaii, East Carolina, Rice, Miami of Ohio, San Diego St, and Arkansas St can all go and cry me a river. Is Troy ever going to make it into the BCS Playoff and run the table on teams like USC, Texas, West Virginia, Florida, or Michigan? The answer is no, emphatically. And the reason is simple. Sure Boise St can and has beaten Oklahoma. Appalachian St has beaten Michigan. What is the likelihood that a team like Utah St can go and beat teams like USC, Georgia, and Oklahoma in three straight games? Virtually impossible, and the only reason I say virtually is because it would take a sample size of forever to really know. Chances are good, if we all lived to be 150 we would never see a sub Big 6 conference team beat 3 Elite Big 6 conference teams in three successive weeks. Let the little guys have their own championship series. You don’t see the New England Patriots playing the Toronto Argonauts, and why? Because they are two totally different levels of competition.

Finally, as I see the most important issues halting a playoff system, is money. University Presidents and anyone else in line to make money off of bowl bids and/or bowl wins all believe if we go to a playoff system, they all will lose money. That is flat out not true. It is only another excuse to not change the system. In fact, and I’m no marketing wiz, I believe they would make more money, maybe even double or triple earnings. Imagine, before the season even started the people who are set to make money off of the Fiesta Bowl already know going in on the rotating basis that they are getting no worse than the #1 team vs. the #8 team in the country by season’s end. Which means, if we take this years teams, they’d be looking at LSU vs. Kansas. The city, in this case Glendale Arizona, could begin to plan extra curricular’s, if you will. Parade’s, the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl Parade-each bowl could have their own parade. Cultural festivals, Christmas events, whatever comes to mind. Then as the season near’s its end, each city involved would benefit economically as well as each of the Universities involved would benefit monetarily. Have you ever seen what happens to a playoff city during playoff time? The President of USC cannot possibly believe that he/she would lose money playing Oklahoma as opposed to Illinois. Not to mention, for the really good teams. Those that are consistently in the Championship hunt the Presidents of said Universities would indeed double and triple the amount of money coming in, which would already be more in a playoff system than not. USC only played Illinois in a bowl game once if I’m not mistaken (sarcasm). Let’s assume USC wins the whole thing. The president and anyone else set to cash in on USC’s team success would get paid in the..

1. Sugar Bowl

2. Orange Bowl

3. BCS Championship Bowl

That’s big time Bowl money x’s 3. As you can clearly see, I do not understand for the life of me what factor the supporters of the current BCS could possibly be holding on to. Granted, I may have over looked a detail or two (it is 4:43am), however I feel very strongly that like the previously mentioned details any unmentioned one’s could be answered in a manner to support a playoff. College Football is the only major sport who does not crown its champion with some form of a playoff. Look at all of the Wild Card playoff teams who run the table (the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 40 is not to be confused with Boise St in ‘06). Currently, there are too many factors that try to decide who deserves to be #1 and #2. It could be argued that both LSU and Ohio St accidentally backed into the Championship game when USC and Georgia were playing at a higher level. It just feels like the computers and writers are dividing each team into 50 different factors to come up with a solid conclusion.

The only hope I have as a College Football fan is that someday the people of my generation who strongly believe in a playoff will eventually become the decision makers in the high powered positions. One day we will wake up and watch a press conference to hear, “Our Grandfathers believed that College Football does not need a playoff, well we are here to express to the world that we disagree…and will changing the current system in the upcoming season”. For some of you, if I’m right, you will not live to see it. Unless someone steps in and forcefully makes the change, I am afraid it may take the evolution of 30 years before a playoff is a legitimate possibility.

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