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View Full Version : A few arguments against a CFB playoff



improbus
11-30-2008, 06:40 AM
1) It would decimate some of the late season rivalry games. Remember the 2006 OSU vs. Michigan? 1 vs. 2? That would have been a tournament seeding game and would have meant nothing. The reason OSU vs. Mich. is a better rivalry than any other is because the stakes are almost always high.
2) Are fans going to travel to up to three bowl games, with two of them on less than one weeks notice? As it is now, fans have a month to finalize their plans to the bowl game. But, as good as OSU's fans are, can they travel 45,000 three times to different sites around the country? And, if you make the first round game a home game you eliminate on of the BCS bowls, which will never happen.
3) Look back through the BCS champs, how many can you dispute? How often does the NCAA Hoops tourney crown the BEST team?
4) In 2002, OSU and Miami were the CLEAR #1 and #2. No one else even deserved a sniff of the title game. But, with a playoff, you would have had four two loss teams competing for a national title. This isn't basketball were there are ebbs and flows during the season. CFB has a finality to it that no other sport does. When OSU lost to USC in September, they were eliminated. That was it. In 2002, no other team deserved a shot.

remdog
11-30-2008, 07:07 AM
I think your point #2 is a big, big factor. The NCAA, as well as the promoters of each bowl, depend heavily on teams that 'travel well'. But, let's be honest here. How many people can afford both the cost and flexibility in their daily lives to travel three weeks in a row? It almost becomes a question of: do you go to the first game in case they lose or do you go to the last game and hope they win out?

Rem

macro
11-30-2008, 09:35 AM
College basketball fans travel to three sites around the country on three consecutive weekends. I'm not sure I see the difference.

And no, the basketball tournament often does not crown the best team, but at least the matter is decided on the court and not by a collection of opinion polls. For every 2002, when the top two teams were seemingly obvious, there are more seasons where the picture is very muddled.

As far as a playoff diminishing season-ending rivalries, I don't think it will matter. The entire basketball season is played just to seed a tournament, and that hasn't diminished any fan's desire to see their team win those games.

Chip R
11-30-2008, 10:13 AM
1) It would decimate some of the late season rivalry games. Remember the 2006 OSU vs. Michigan? 1 vs. 2? That would have been a tournament seeding game and would have meant nothing. The reason OSU vs. Mich. is a better rivalry than any other is because the stakes are almost always high.
2) Are fans going to travel to up to three bowl games, with two of them on less than one weeks notice? As it is now, fans have a month to finalize their plans to the bowl game. But, as good as OSU's fans are, can they travel 45,000 three times to different sites around the country? And, if you make the first round game a home game you eliminate on of the BCS bowls, which will never happen.
3) Look back through the BCS champs, how many can you dispute? How often does the NCAA Hoops tourney crown the BEST team?
4) In 2002, OSU and Miami were the CLEAR #1 and #2. No one else even deserved a sniff of the title game. But, with a playoff, you would have had four two loss teams competing for a national title. This isn't basketball were there are ebbs and flows during the season. CFB has a finality to it that no other sport does. When OSU lost to USC in September, they were eliminated. That was it. In 2002, no other team deserved a shot.


If you are worried about late season rivalries, just limit the playoffs to conference champions. That ought to make those games a lot more meaningful.

tOSU fans would go to Timbuktu at the drop of a hat if the Bucks were playing Timbuktu State that weekend. I think other teams would travel just as well. Or you could just do away with neutral site games.

There are no garantees ever. Stuff happens. If Kenyon Martin doesn't break his leg in the 1st round, maybe UC wins the national championship. The BCS doesn't necessarily crown the best team, it just gets the 1st and 2nd ranked teams to face each other. And the BCS has had controversy of it's own when other teams have laid claim to the #1 ranking.

The problem with relying on polls is something that tOSU fans should take to heart. With their lackluster showings in the last two BCS championship game, no matter how good tOSU is, there are going to be skeptics out there that won't vote them high enough so they can play in the BCS championship again. Oklahoma's going to have the same problem. I have no love for tOSU but they are going to get hosed in the future because of what players who are no longer there could not accomplish. Let's say next year, USC, Alabama and tOSU are all undefeated and Bama wins the SEC chanpionship. tOSU fans are going to cry bloody murder if they are ranked 3rd. Wouldn't it be better to prove it on the field rather than rely on sportswriters and other coaches?

If you think March Madness is big, December Delerium would dwarf it.

Red Heeler
11-30-2008, 10:29 AM
I would completely restructure Div 1a football in order to facilitate a playoff. Have 12 conferences with 10 teams each with conferences distributed by geography. Sorry Notre Dame, you are going to have to pick a team. A team would play each team in its conference. Conference champs would be decided by regular season conference record with no championship games.

Playoffs would be a 16 team affair. The 12 conference champs would each get a birth with the 4 wild card slots going to the highest rated non-champs in a BCS type poll.

The first round games would pit overlapping geographical conference champs. For instance, the Big 10 champ would play the MAC champ, SEC vs. Sun Belt, etc. The 4 wild card teams would be matched up by geographical proximity.

Second round games would also be regionalized as best as possible. The Big 10/MAC winner would play the Big East/??? winner.

Semi-finals and Finals would be at major bowl sites.

By limiting it to 4 at-large bids and making those teams play each other in the first round rather than a smaller conference champ, you keep the regular season important. By allowing every conference champ in the playoffs, every team in the country starts the season with a chance to play for the national championship.

Sea Ray
11-30-2008, 10:33 AM
1) It would decimate some of the late season rivalry games. Remember the 2006 OSU vs. Michigan? 1 vs. 2? That would have been a tournament seeding game and would have meant nothing. The reason OSU vs. Mich. is a better rivalry than any other is because the stakes are almost always high.
2) Are fans going to travel to up to three bowl games, with two of them on less than one weeks notice? As it is now, fans have a month to finalize their plans to the bowl game. But, as good as OSU's fans are, can they travel 45,000 three times to different sites around the country? And, if you make the first round game a home game you eliminate on of the BCS bowls, which will never happen.
3) Look back through the BCS champs, how many can you dispute? How often does the NCAA Hoops tourney crown the BEST team?
4) In 2002, OSU and Miami were the CLEAR #1 and #2. No one else even deserved a sniff of the title game. But, with a playoff, you would have had four two loss teams competing for a national title. This isn't basketball were there are ebbs and flows during the season. CFB has a finality to it that no other sport does. When OSU lost to USC in September, they were eliminated. That was it. In 2002, no other team deserved a shot.


Well it all depends on how it's set up. I can give you a thumbnail's sketch of a way to do it that would alleviate most of your concerns. This of course can be tweaked but let's just start with a "scenario".

We start with the 6 conference champions and two at large bids. You seed them and give home games to the top four and play them off in December. The dead time in December is one of the screwy things about the current system. You then play the "semi-finals" in bowl games on New Year's Day. Then you set the finals for some Saturday night in January that does not directly conflict with an NFL playoff game. As far as I'm concerned the losers in the December playoff can also go to a bowl game on New Years or otherwise.

This would preserve the bowl system and would give plenty of travel time for teams. I'd be happy to set up the details of a plan but I'd demand a cut of the increased revenue my plan would generate over the current system...:)

I think under this system USC would likely win but under our current system they won't get a chance.

Chip R
11-30-2008, 11:00 AM
Here's an anti-BCS column that makes a lot of sense.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=dw-bcs112608&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

In college football, it’s politics over playoffs
By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
Nov 26, 10:54 pm EST

When she first uttered the phrase that would help Louisiana State win last season’s BCS championship, Kathy Miles was just trying to get her husband to look at the bright side.

Les Miles’ Tigers had just blown the inside track to the BCS title game, losing on the day after Thanksgiving in triple overtime to Arkansas. LSU’s only other loss had also come in triple overtime, at Kentucky back in October.

“You know, Les,” she said that night, “you’re undefeated in regulation.”

Miles’ ears perked up. To a coach a win is a win and a loss is a loss, but this was a different way of looking at it.

He knew that with the confounding way college football crowns its champion, nothing is as it appears. The Bowl Championship Series, with its heavy reliance on opinion polls, has turned the sport into a game of perception and publicity as much as tackles and touchdowns.

The BCS is a farce. To win it, you need to treat it as a farce. So LSU immediately began using athletic department brains, not simply student-athlete brawn, to figure out how to become the first two-loss team to ever reach the title game.

Because the BCS sets no criteria for voter consideration in either of the polls that make up two-thirds of the rankings, the Tigers simply needed to redefine the parameters of the debate.

“We had to argue to people, ‘Yeah, we’ve got two losses, but look how they came,’ ” said Michael Bonnette, LSU’s associate athletic director in charge of media relations.

He had to make a loss (or two) not seem like a loss.

Miles had shared his wife’s line to Bonnette, who was immediately impressed by the simplicity of the argument.

LSU knew it was about to drop from No. 1 in the BCS standings to No. 7, but both coach and publicity man understood anything could happen in the final weekend of the season.

While apologists often hype the BCS as a weekly playoff, LSU knew that isn’t the case. Every week is, however, a chance to spread a political message.

Despite the losses, LSU (10-2 at the time) had the best team in the country. But unless it could convince voters of that, it wouldn’t matter. With a game against Tennessee in the SEC title game upcoming, the Tigers decided to set up their argument just in case the dominoes fell right.

Kathy Miles’ marketing line began getting pitched to the media. Les himself mentioned it at his weekly media conference.

“[LSU] hasn’t lost a game in regulation,” he said. “There has not been a team that has beaten us in 60 minutes.”

Later LSU tried to get the argument used by CBS, a sympathetic broadcast partner, which would telecast the SEC title game.

(Just a year before the network repeatedly made the case for Florida being more deserving of a BCS title berth than Michigan. One of the broadcasters, Gary Danielson, later said in an interview with a Detroit radio station that CBS only campaigned for the SEC because ESPN/ABC does the same for the Big Ten.)

When LSU won the SEC title and then the top two teams in the BCS rankings, Missouri and West Virginia, both lost, LSU tried to saturate the debate with Kathy Miles’ slogan.

On the team’s charter flight home Bonnette worked the phones to key media and got Miles a live interview on that night’s SportsCenter.

Once back in Baton Rouge, Bonnette and his staff put together a brief fact sheet for the coaches who vote. While LSU had a mountain of statistical information and comparative charts, they saved most of that for the media.

Bonnette felt the busy coaches wouldn’t read all of that and suspected other schools had already drowned them in numbers. “We didn’t want to overload them,” he said.

Instead he put together a simple email with four bullet points, the key being a central, emotional plea based on the now oft-repeated campaign slogan – “LSU is undefeated in regulation.”

“We sold it,” Bonnette said. “We did the best we could to get it out there.”

Sunday, on the strength of jumping a stunning five spots in the coaches’ vote and finishing No. 2 in each poll, the Tigers were given a berth in the BCS title game. A month later they handily beat Ohio State for the championship.

It was a masterful PR campaign.

“I know this,” Bonnette said, “I wish I could take credit for the line.”

This is what the BCS has wrought, an American Idol-style political contest where victory and defeat are not always determined on the actual field of play.

Just last week Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops used circular logic to claim his team should be ranked higher than Texas even though Texas beat OU last month by 10 points.

He essentially claimed that if everyone has a loss, then the loss no longer matters. Or, as LSU had once essentially proven, a loss isn’t a loss.

“If it’s logical for one, then it’s logical for the other,” Stoops said.

It worked. Oklahoma moved ahead of Texas in both human polls and, should it defeat Oklahoma State on Saturday, the Sooners are expected to make up enough ground in the computers to beat out the Longhorns for a berth in the Big 12 title game.

Stoops, with his argument already paying dividends, said this week he would now take the high road and no longer lobby voters – which itself might be a shrewd campaign tactic.

One thing was for certain: Texas might be able to beat Oklahoma in football, but in a marketing contest the Sooners routed them.

The silly Longhorns thought the BCS actually cared about football.

This was just the first battle in a two-week political brawl where previously anonymous media relations directors become as valuable as All-American quarterbacks.

Right now there are seven programs that can make a legitimate claim to play in the BCS title game – Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Penn State, Southern California, Texas and Utah.

Whoever sets the terms of the debate will make it.

Consider long-shot Utah, 12-0. If it could somehow convince voters that it shouldn’t be considered the undefeated champion of a non-“Big Six” conference but rather the undefeated champion of the fourth-best conference (superior to the Pac-10, Big East and ACC) who also defeated the probable Pac-10 champ (Oregon State), then it’s quite possible even the Utes could be playing for the title.

It’s the same for the others; each has an advantage if it can get a voter to consider the right question before voting.

Is this about whom you beat or who you lost to or whether you didn’t lose at all? Is it how you’re playing now or is your body of work for the season the key? What’s a conference’s overall strength worth? Do you even have to win your conference, let alone your division?

Is non-conference play important or margin of victory or margin of defeat or statistical rankings or anything else you can dream up?

Does it matter if you never lost in regulation?

Naturally the BCS offers no guidelines on the single most important thing it is supposed to do. Thus the voters are open to being swayed.

That means seven publicity departments are trying to reach 114 Harris Poll voters of various levels of commitment (two weeks ago one guy forgot to even cast a ballot) and 61 college coaches who are often unapologetically biased.

History shows just about anything can work. A year ago, after appearing dead in the water in the season finale, Kathy Miles struck marketing gold, her husband won the title and LSU proved that in college football, the game isn’t really about the game.

Boston Red
11-30-2008, 11:19 AM
4) In 2002, OSU and Miami were the CLEAR #1 and #2. No one else even deserved a sniff of the title game. But, with a playoff, you would have had four two loss teams competing for a national title. This isn't basketball were there are ebbs and flows during the season. CFB has a finality to it that no other sport does. When OSU lost to USC in September, they were eliminated. That was it. In 2002, no other team deserved a shot.


But what about the year Auburn went undefeated? And how about all the one and two loss teams that were left out in favor of LSU last year? Not saying LSU didn't have an argument to be there, but a team that lost to Kentucky and Arkansas in the title game?

Hell, what about Ball State, Boise State and Utah this year? We're all 99% sure they're not the best, but at least in every other college, professional and high school sport and division we'd get to find out on the field.

Reds Freak
11-30-2008, 11:29 AM
The regular season of college football is arguably the most exciting and significant than any other sport. Every week, starting in August and ending in November, is critical. I think a college football playoff messes that up. College basketball is really only relevant for a month and a half, half of the teams in the NBA make the playoffs making its regular season irrelevent, etc. I don't know if it would happen in an OSU/Mich game but I could see teams resting starters late in the season to gear up for the playoffs.

One of the most intriguing proposals to me is this "plus-one" thing. Keep your conference bowl tie-ins (Big 10 v. Pac 10 in the Rose Bowl i.e.). And after the bowls have been played then re-rank the teams and the top two play for the national title. This doesn't add any extra bowl games and surely fans would travel another week to a national title game. Sure, you're still going to have controversy (which will happen regardless of how it works) but a lot of teams show their true colors at a tough bowl game.

OnBaseMachine
11-30-2008, 11:32 AM
Look back through the BCS champs, how many can you dispute? How often does the NCAA Hoops tourney crown the BEST team?

2007 LSU Tigers.

improbus
11-30-2008, 11:44 AM
2007 LSU Tigers.

If not LSU, who? Even with a playoff, you could have argued for or against 5-6 teams.

OnBaseMachine
11-30-2008, 11:54 AM
If not LSU, who? Even with a playoff, you could have argued for or against 5-6 teams.

That's why we need an eight team playoff. LSU lost their last regular season game last season to a decent Arkansas team in addition to a loss at Kentucky. They didn't deserve to be there.

Chip R
11-30-2008, 01:32 PM
The only reason tOSU fans like the status quo is that they might be able to sneak in the BCS Championship game again and possibly win whereas with a playoff, they would get eliminated before the championship game.

dougdirt
11-30-2008, 01:46 PM
The only reason tOSU fans like the status quo is that they might be able to sneak in the BCS Championship game again and possibly win whereas with a playoff, they would get eliminated before the championship game.

While its more likely that they can make it to another BCS championship game I think its a little crazy to think that they couldn't get to one in a playoff. This year, probably not... but lets not get crazy and make assumptions that year in and year out Ohio State isn't one of the best 10 football teams in the country.

gonelong
11-30-2008, 03:41 PM
The only reason tOSU fans like the status quo is that they might be able to sneak in the BCS Championship game again and possibly win whereas with a playoff, they would get eliminated before the championship game.

I abhor the status quo - bring on the playoffs.

As a Buckeyes fan I think they Bucks would have a better chance of winning a NC than a less of one as they'd qualify for the playoffs much more often than for the NC game as it currently works. As a fan (or if I was a player) I'd rather have the entire deal be in your hands than up to voters.

GL

MWM
11-30-2008, 03:49 PM
The only reason tOSU fans like the status quo is that they might be able to sneak in the BCS Championship game again and possibly win whereas with a playoff, they would get eliminated before the championship game.

Come on, chip. That's garbage and you know it. Most OSU fans I know would love to have a playoff. Some don't want it, but some fans of every school doesn't want it.

The team from two years ago might have very well made it to the title game. They laid an egg in that game, but doesn't mean they weren't a legit team. Plus, a playoff would mean teams were playing at the end of the regular season and not 5 weeks later. Last year's team was just lucky. They were never that good to begin with and were it not for a bizarre season, they never would have got there.

But the 2005 team at the end of the season could have played with anyone. I would have LOVED for a playoff that year. I'm not suggesting they would have won, but they very well could have. The second half of the season Tressell finally wised up and put Troy Smith in the starting role. But the end of the season, he was playing great every week. And that defense with AJ Hawk is the best defense they've had in the Tressell era, maybe even better than the National Championship team.

But to suggest that Buckeye fans are scared of a playoff is assinine.

Caveat Emperor
11-30-2008, 05:24 PM
There are 0 sensible arguments in favor of the current system other than:

1.) It's making money the way it is.

2.) The people in charge hate change.

All the other points are bollocks, IMO. Rivalry week would still be important because an OSU / Michigan game could directly impact either team's chances of winning their conference and securing an automatic bid to the playoffs. The "fans traveling" argument is similarly bunk -- most of these big bowl games are hot tickets for sports fans in general, especially locally in the cities they're held. Plus, let's be honest -- the schools that are going to be involved in these games have enough rabid fans that people will travel to all these games to some extent.

Finally, the "best team" argument is just tired. Every major sport other than D1 football uses a playoff. Who is the best team in any given season? Whoever wins in the playoffs and championship game. Any talk about "who was really the best" is just sour grapes from a team that choked when the chips were down (see: Patriots c.2007).

D1 football needs a playoff. I'm not being facetious when I say that it's something I'd LIKE our President-to-be to at least keep bringing up. The status quo sucks and it needs to change yesterday.

MWM
11-30-2008, 05:46 PM
I agree that the "fans traveling" argument is a pretty weak one. How many fans travel to the super bowl? Very few. Are people actually suggesting that these games would have a hard time selling tickets?

bucksfan2
11-30-2008, 05:59 PM
I agree that the "fans traveling" argument is a pretty weak one. How many fans travel to the super bowl? Very few. Are people actually suggesting that these games would have a hard time selling tickets?

I think this is a bigger thing than many realize. Fans traveling to playoff games would get very very expensive. The Super Bowl is one thing but I would be interested to see how many tickets are alloted to each team as opposted to how many tickets go to football fans.

I also think the comparison to the basketball tournament is a little weak. Colin Cowheard was talking about this the other day. During the first weekend of the tournament there are a lot of empty seats. You don't want that for a college football game. Lets assume a 16 team Playoff and OSU or a northern team makes it to the championship game. 4 weeks of travel to 4 southern cities in order to attend all the games. It would be tough to round up 30000+ fans for each team to fill the stadium up.

I would be all for a 16 team playoff in which the first two or three rounds are played at the higher ranked teams home. I would love to see a southern team travel to Columbus, Ann Arbour, Happy Valley, etc. in order to play a playoff game. If they don't grant at least one home playoff game to the better team then I will never be for a playoff.

improbus
11-30-2008, 07:10 PM
I agree that the "fans traveling" argument is a pretty weak one. How many fans travel to the super bowl? Very few. Are people actually suggesting that these games would have a hard time selling tickets?
At an NCAA tournament game, a 20,000 seat arena is divided into 8 sections for the 8 teams. So each team brings around 2000ish people. That is alot different than 40,000. Also, would you really want 8/16 games with lame "Super Bowl" crowds?

To me the issue isn't with the playoff, it is with the scheduling of the regular season. The NCAA should step in and regulate the schedule in and out of conference, and even the playing field. Force teams to play better out of conference games that would weed out some of the pretenders and would create a more equitable situation.

Chip R
11-30-2008, 07:32 PM
To me the issue isn't with the playoff, it is with the scheduling of the regular season. The NCAA should step in and regulate the schedule in and out of conference, and even the playing field. Force teams to play better out of conference games that would weed out some of the pretenders and would create a more equitable situation.


That would be a good situation but that chages from year to year and schedules are made out several years in advance. If someone wanted to schedule Michigan or Notre Dame for this season 5 years ago, it would have looked like a tough game. As we know now, that would probably not be the case. Five years ago, someone may have thought UC was an easy win. We know now that's not true. Maybe you can stop teams from scheduling FCS (1-AA) teams but a lot of those teams could beat lower level 1-A teams.

improbus
11-30-2008, 08:17 PM
That would be a good situation but that chages from year to year and schedules are made out several years in advance. If someone wanted to schedule Michigan or Notre Dame for this season 5 years ago, it would have looked like a tough game. As we know now, that would probably not be the case. Five years ago, someone may have thought UC was an easy win. We know now that's not true. Maybe you can stop teams from scheduling FCS (1-AA) teams but a lot of those teams could beat lower level 1-A teams.

Yeah, but they could prevent teams from playing 1-AA opponents for the cheap easy payday.

Marc D
11-30-2008, 08:47 PM
There are 0 sensible arguments in favor of the current system other than:


Here is one:
The single most watched, talked about, disected, important and riveting regular season of any sport. As soon as you make any type of playoff you will diminish the regular season. To what degree you do this will be the only question.

I'm not saying the current system is perfect or that I neccessarily disagree with a playoff but to say there is no good reason to keep the status quo is not true.

MWM
11-30-2008, 09:45 PM
Here is one:
The single most watched, talked about, disected, important and riveting regular season of any sport. As soon as you make any type of playoff you will diminish the regular season. To what degree you do this will be the only question.

I'm not saying the current system is perfect or that I neccessarily disagree with a playoff but to say there is no good reason to keep the status quo is not true.

i don't buy that at all. March Madness is way more popular than the BCS. Just because people are talking about it, does not mean it's a good thing. It's not doing anything to garner interest or help the bottom line. It's a source of frustration for most fans. Just getting attention because of that is not a plus. It would garner much more interest if there were a playoff.

hebroncougar
11-30-2008, 10:05 PM
I think football is totally different, I know if they played say.......Oklahoma and Boise State in a city near me, I'd go. I don't think they'd have ANY problem whatsoever selling tickets to a 3 round (week) playoff. If things stay like they are, I think it would be great to not allow any published ratings until say.....week 4. To enable preseason biases from coming into play, since polls matter so much.

SandyD
11-30-2008, 10:25 PM
Everyone wants a playoff. Then do it right. 16 teams, first 3 rounds at the home stadiums of the higher ranked teams. Finals at a neutral site. Eliminate the bowls.

Caveat Emperor
11-30-2008, 10:42 PM
Everyone wants a playoff. Then do it right. 16 teams, first 3 rounds at the home stadiums of the higher ranked teams. Finals at a neutral site. Eliminate the bowls.

I don't know that you can completely eliminate the bowls without effectively admitting that roughly 70% of the D1-A programs exist for no purpose other than to be tune-up games for the BCS squads and give students something to do on a Saturday other than sit in bed with a hangover.

Under a 16-team, no bowls, system you'd have entire D1-A conferences effectively eliminated from postseason play by week 2 or 3 (assuming that voting continues to banish mid-majors to the hinderlands once they pick up a loss).

The lesser bowls might not be talked about, but for a lot of schools (like my own alma mater Tulane), it's really all they have to play for each season. I'm not certain it's a good idea to get rid of them entirely, especially if the "playoff" is going to be 16 teams.

MWM
11-30-2008, 10:44 PM
I don't know that you can completely eliminate the bowls without effectively admitting that roughly 70% of the D1-A programs exist for no purpose other than to be tune-up games for the BCS squads and give students something to do on a Saturday other than sit in bed with a hangover.

Under a 16-team, no bowls, system you'd have entire D1-A conferences effectively eliminated from postseason play by week 2 or 3 (assuming that voting continues to banish mid-majors to the hinderlands once they pick up a loss).

The lesser bowls might not be talked about, but for a lot of schools (like my own alma mater Tulane), it's really all they have to play for each season. I'm not certain it's a good idea to get rid of them entirely, especially if the "playoff" is going to be 16 teams.

That's why I'm in favor of the current BCS becoming a playoff. Take the 8 teams that go now and turn it into a playoff. You'd add only 3 games overall.

And you could keep the rest of the bowl games.

guttle11
11-30-2008, 11:23 PM
That's why I'm in favor of the current BCS becoming a playoff. Take the 8 teams that go now and turn it into a playoff. You'd add only 3 games overall.

And you could keep the rest of the bowl games.

10 teams play in BCS bowls now, with the addition of the separate title game. For a playoff system to happen, it has to have at least 10 teams.

To me, conferences are too big to have a legit playoff system. Shrink them down to no more than 10 teams, which can force every team to play its entire league every year. Everyone plays 11 games in total. Then you have a more true champion without the extra conference title game.

You have a computer system (that people far smarter than I develop) to rank the top 8 leagues. The winners of those 8 leagues are guaranteed spots in the playoff, with the top 4 non-champs receiving at-large spots. The top 4 conference champs get byes in the first round, which gives us a model of the NFL playoffs from there.

In this system, the most games a team can play is 16, which is perfectly reasonable. If high school state champs can do it with as little as 30 players, college teams can too.

Marc D
11-30-2008, 11:46 PM
i don't buy that at all. March Madness is way more popular than the BCS. Just because people are talking about it, does not mean it's a good thing. It's not doing anything to garner interest or help the bottom line. It's a source of frustration for most fans. Just getting attention because of that is not a plus. It would garner much more interest if there were a playoff.


March Madness is at the end of the season, its not the sports regular season. No other sport has as much weight on the regular season as CFB, its not even close. You lose one game and you lose control of your own destiny for the NC game. No other sport has what is essentially a single elimination tournament that starts from opening day and goes the entire season.

As far as frustrated fans clamoring for a playoff being a negative I would disagree. They watch the games in droves, they go to the games in droves, they listen/subscribe to all the different media outlets that discuss the game in droves. The people who make money off of the current system make it in droves.

What is the downside? Fans wanting something different? They spend money on the current product then spend more money/get exposed to advertising complaining about the current system. Why would any logical business man in the world change that?

The only way the current system will change is if 1) fans stop spending money on the current product 2) they think they can make more somehow.

#1 just isn't going to happen. CFB is too popular, too ingrained in the culture of places where it flourishes. No season ticket holder at a big time school is going to do anything to lose those tickets because he knows there is a line behind him ready to jump on them.

#2 could happen in theory but in my opinion the barrier to entry is simply too high. They make so much money now its probably impossible to get them to try and risk tinkering with it.

Lastly I would say remember this point as well. This revenue chasing we keep discussing like its something indecent or immoral isn't going into one persons pocket. It goes to the schools and it does a lot of good for a lot of people outside the football programs.

If you are an OSU lets say, you have a responsibility to the country's largets athletic program and thousands of local business people to keep the coffers full. You simply do not have the luxury of messing with that out of some sense of fairplay for a faction of the fan base no matter how large or small it may be.

SandyD
11-30-2008, 11:50 PM
I don't know that you can completely eliminate the bowls without effectively admitting that roughly 70% of the D1-A programs exist for no purpose other than to be tune-up games for the BCS squads and give students something to do on a Saturday other than sit in bed with a hangover.

Under a 16-team, no bowls, system you'd have entire D1-A conferences effectively eliminated from postseason play by week 2 or 3 (assuming that voting continues to banish mid-majors to the hinderlands once they pick up a loss).

The lesser bowls might not be talked about, but for a lot of schools (like my own alma mater Tulane), it's really all they have to play for each season. I'm not certain it's a good idea to get rid of them entirely, especially if the "playoff" is going to be 16 teams.


Actually, I'd give automatic bids to all conference champs. Just like hoops. That would be 11 automatic bids/ 5 at large bids.

I don't think it's feasible to have 3 rounds of football playoffs at neutral sites. The travel cost alone would be almost prohibitive. Each school's allotment for the Sugar Bowl is 17,500. Even the cheapest tickets go for a few hundred dollars, I believe. Not many schools could have that many fans who could/would travel 3 weeks in a row to neutral sites.

The NCAA tourney early rounds do not always sell out. I've bought walk up tickets on game day on a couple of occasions ... for $35, IIRC, for 2 games.

Caveat Emperor
11-30-2008, 11:52 PM
March Madness is at the end of the season, its not the sports regular season. No other sport has as much weight on the regular season as CFB, its not even close. You lose one game and you lose control of your own destiny for the NC game. No other sport has what is essentially a single elimination tournament that starts from opening day and goes the entire season.

Talk to Auburn or USC about "controlling your own destiny."

As long as the system is based on people voting, there will always be problems -- be it as a result of preseason polling, which can give a top-ranked team an inside track to move back to the top when they lose, or as a result of the natural bias of voters which reward early losses over late ones.

Marc D
12-01-2008, 12:03 AM
Talk to Auburn or USC about "controlling your own destiny."

As long as the system is based on people voting, there will always be problems -- be it as a result of preseason polling, which can give a top-ranked team an inside track to move back to the top when they lose, or as a result of the natural bias of voters which reward early losses over late ones.


I never said it was perfect.

I simply pointed out that no other sport has as much emphasis on the regular season and as soon as you introduce any type of playoff you start to lessen that emphasis.

Hap
12-01-2008, 12:09 AM
Everything boils down to economics and the almighty dollar. Too much money is already being made doing it the way it is being done now.

*BaseClogger*
12-01-2008, 10:05 AM
One of the most intriguing proposals to me is this "plus-one" thing. Keep your conference bowl tie-ins (Big 10 v. Pac 10 in the Rose Bowl i.e.). And after the bowls have been played then re-rank the teams and the top two play for the national title. This doesn't add any extra bowl games and surely fans would travel another week to a national title game. Sure, you're still going to have controversy (which will happen regardless of how it works) but a lot of teams show their true colors at a tough bowl game.

Me too. It preserves tradition, the flow of cash the big bowls bring in, and it would still have a National Championship game...

*BaseClogger*
12-01-2008, 10:08 AM
But the 2005 team at the end of the season could have played with anyone. I would have LOVED for a playoff that year. I'm not suggesting they would have won, but they very well could have. The second half of the season Tressell finally wised up and put Troy Smith in the starting role. But the end of the season, he was playing great every week. And that defense with AJ Hawk is the best defense they've had in the Tressell era, maybe even better than the National Championship team.

I think so too. That was probably the best team Tress has fielded. They had a dynamic offense and a defense to match it...

*BaseClogger*
12-01-2008, 10:11 AM
Yeah, but they could prevent teams from playing 1-AA opponents for the cheap easy payday.

Teams in less prestigious conferences such as the MAC need those games to survive and to host home games...

cumberlandreds
12-01-2008, 10:19 AM
Wouldn't it be nice to an eight team playoff involving these eight teams:

Alabama
Florida
Texas
Oklahoma
Penn State
USC
Texas Tech
Ohio State

A 16 team playoff would be best though. That way you could include the ACC,Big East champs and Boise,Utah and Ball State. But that 8 team would be just terrific and I guarantee you it would make more $$$$ than the all the bowls combined.

Sea Ray
12-01-2008, 01:57 PM
Wouldn't it be nice to an eight team playoff involving these eight teams:

Alabama
Florida
Texas
Oklahoma
Penn State
USC
Texas Tech
Ohio State

A 16 team playoff would be best though. That way you could include the ACC,Big East champs and Boise,Utah and Ball State. But that 8 team would be just terrific and I guarantee you it would make more $$$$ than the all the bowls combined.


How'd Ohio State make that list? They've lost two while playing in an easy conference. If you open it up to two loss teams then the list must go far beyond OSU. I can think of a lot more deserving teams to go in that #8 slot than OSU, namely Utah and Boise St.

IslandRed
12-01-2008, 03:05 PM
To me the issue isn't with the playoff, it is with the scheduling of the regular season. The NCAA should step in and regulate the schedule in and out of conference, and even the playing field. Force teams to play better out of conference games that would weed out some of the pretenders and would create a more equitable situation.

The NCAA couldn't do anything of the sort, because the NCAA is a voluntary organization comprised of the schools, and the schools will never vote to turn over their football scheduling. If a coalition of smaller schools ever managed to pass such a thing -- and I'm not sure why they would, your plan basically eliminates their paydays -- the big schools would simply leave and form their own organization.

Caveat Emperor
12-01-2008, 03:44 PM
If a coalition of smaller schools ever managed to pass such a thing -- and I'm not sure why they would, your plan basically eliminates their paydays -- the big schools would simply leave and form their own organization.

One could argue they already have, in forming the BCS as a bizarro kind of "D 1A+" -- but I digress.

Honestly, I'd just let them leave and then ban any school who left from competing in postseason play in any other D-1 sport. See how excited schools like Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan State, Indiana and Kentucky are to follow their football-factory confrence counterparts out the door if it meant cashing in their opportunties to participate in March Madness.

It's time for the NCAA to take back control of football. They might not ever need to write up everyone's schedule for them, but they could start by at least requiring that every team play at least 2 non-confrence games on the road every year.

Danny Serafini
12-01-2008, 04:13 PM
Honestly, I'd just let them leave and then ban any school who left from competing in postseason play in any other D-1 sport. See how excited schools like Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan State, Indiana and Kentucky are to follow their football-factory confrence counterparts out the door if it meant cashing in their opportunties to participate in March Madness.

March Madness without Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan State, Indiana and Kentucky is nothing but a pale imitation. Put together an "outlaw" tournament with those schools while the NCAA tournament is filled with mid-majors and CBS (and all those dollars) would jump ship in a heartbeat.

IslandRed
12-01-2008, 04:21 PM
Honestly, I'd just let them leave and then ban any school who left from competing in postseason play in any other D-1 sport. See how excited schools like Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan State, Indiana and Kentucky are to follow their football-factory confrence counterparts out the door if it meant cashing in their opportunties to participate in March Madness.

I'd bet that North Carolina and Kentucky don't want the NCAA controlling their football scheduling any more than Texas does. My guess is, if such legislation was ever passed, the big conferences would go out as a bloc. And March Madness would go with it.

Of course, without the big conference schools' votes, I'm not sure if it's even mathematically possible to pass such a thing, which is why it's probably a moot point.

*BaseClogger*
12-01-2008, 05:09 PM
It's time for the NCAA to take back control of football. They might not ever need to write up everyone's schedule for them, but they could start by at least requiring that every team play at least 2 non-confrence games on the road every year.

So, basically you are either forcing BCS conference teams to play in stadiums that hold less than 30,000 people, or you are not allowing the lesser conferences to play the big boys. Which is it?

*BaseClogger*
12-01-2008, 05:10 PM
I'd bet that North Carolina and Kentucky don't want the NCAA controlling their football scheduling any more than Texas does. My guess is, if such legislation was ever passed, the big conferences would go out as a bloc. And March Madness would go with it.

Of course, without the big conference schools' votes, I'm not sure if it's even mathematically possible to pass such a thing, which is why it's probably a moot point.

Yup, even those "basketball schools" make more money off their football programs...

Caveat Emperor
12-01-2008, 05:14 PM
So, basically you are either forcing BCS conference teams to play in stadiums that hold less than 30,000 people, or you are not allowing the lesser conferences to play the big boys. Which is it?

The horror, the horror of a team like the great Ohio State or Oklahoma having to suffer the indignity of going on the road to play a game where there are a measly 30,000 people present?

Please.

*BaseClogger*
12-01-2008, 05:20 PM
The horror, the horror of a team like the great Ohio State or Oklahoma having to suffer the indignity of going on the road to play a game where there are a measly 30,000 people present?

Please.

Actually, that thought is frightening and stupid. It makes zero sense business-wise, and remember these football receipts finance entire athletic programs. If Ohio State was to play two extra road non-conference games in those tiny stadiums, they would probably have to cut a few varsity sports. Is that fair to the other athletes?

bucksfan
12-01-2008, 05:39 PM
I would still, very seriously speaking, rather have the "old" format of all the normal bowls with their conference tie-ins and the like, all played on New Year's Day, than the current BCS system. I'd just rather have it be completely open to debate (the "mythical national championship" as it were) and subject just to the voting than to have some system in place like the current one that pretends to be a solution. The "plus-one" concept added on top of it is indeed intriguing to me as a next step to consider.

Other than the above, I'd favor a 16-team playoff with as much effort as possible to preserve bowl-type structure.

Caveat Emperor
12-01-2008, 08:03 PM
Actually, that thought is frightening and stupid. It makes zero sense business-wise, and remember these football receipts finance entire athletic programs. If Ohio State was to play two extra road non-conference games in those tiny stadiums, they would probably have to cut a few varsity sports. Is that fair to the other athletes?

Seriously?

There are many schools in the State of Ohio alone, supported by taxpayer dollars the same as OSU, who manage to field a full athletic department and comply with Title IX without access to the moneymaking machine that is OSU football. I'm sure the College of Columbus would manage to do just fine if they were forced to take their show on the road every so often -- it's not like "The Shoe" won't sell out if they want to raise ticket prices $5 per seat to compensate for a little lost revenue from two home gates.

But I won't waste a single tear over the financial ledger of a school that rakes in the kind of alumni dollars and ticket sales the was OSU does. It'd be good for college football to see some of these behemoth programs take their show on the road every so often -- hell, even if it is a "neutral site" game at the large local venue instead of the on-campus facility.

paintmered
12-01-2008, 08:06 PM
Actually, that thought is frightening and stupid. It makes zero sense business-wise, and remember these football receipts finance entire athletic programs. If Ohio State was to play two extra road non-conference games in those tiny stadiums, they would probably have to cut a few varsity sports. Is that fair to the other athletes?

Ohio State's basketball budget is bigger than UC's football budget.

I think you guys will be just fine.

Highlifeman21
12-01-2008, 08:18 PM
Ohio State's basketball budget is bigger than UC's football budget.

I think you guys will be just fine.

That's just b/c of economies of scale.

*BaseClogger*
12-01-2008, 08:34 PM
There are many schools in the State of Ohio alone, supported by taxpayer dollars the same as OSU, who manage to field a full athletic department and comply with Title IX without access to the moneymaking machine that is OSU football. I'm sure the College of Columbus would manage to do just fine if they were forced to take their show on the road every so often -- it's not like "The Shoe" won't sell out if they want to raise ticket prices $5 per seat to compensate for a little lost revenue from two home gates.

However, they don't support an athletic department near the size of tOSU. And how is forcing Ohio State to raise ticket prices fair to their fans? It is already near impossible to see an Ohio State game, and the only way the less privileged or less fanatic get to go to a game is if the Bucks play a lesser non-conference opponent early in the season before the students get back. Less home games = even more demand for Ohio State football tickets...

RedFanAlways1966
12-01-2008, 10:12 PM
But I won't waste a single tear over the financial ledger of a school that rakes in the kind of alumni dollars and ticket sales the was OSU does. It'd be good for college football to see some of these behemoth programs take their show on the road every so often -- hell, even if it is a "neutral site" game at the large local venue instead of the on-campus facility.

It'd be good? How? So non-behemoth fans can be happy or 40K/50K fans get denied entrance b/c there are not enough seats? The MAC schools, the Bearcats and others choose to play at Columbus. The biggest reason is money. OSU and their fans bring the money to the table and the other schools benefit greatly from that. The tears will be shed from those who miss out on their big payday every 3 to 5 years. Don't blame the Ohio States, the USCs, the Floridas. Don't blame the NCAA. It is all about money. The money for the behemoths and the schools who choose to play at the behemoths. And money trumps all... playoffs, opinions of smaller school fans, etc.

You get your neutral sites every year. It is called the Bowl Games. But just for the sake of argument... lets say OSU played UC at a neutral site for a regular season clash. This site is called Paul Brown Stadium (if that is really neutral?). We have 65,000 seats vs. 105,000 seats. So we have a difference of 40,000. Lets say the average ticket price is $50/ticket. Now we have an initial revenue difference of $2,000,000. Now lets go further into it. Concessions, parking fees, merchandise, etc. Who gets most of this revenue? Seems like a lot will go to Hamilton County and not the two schools.

The NCAA is too smart for that. I understand that non-behemoth fans don't like it, but rest assured that the leaders/educators of their fav non-behemoth schools love it. They hope that the behemoths will invite them to visit the behemoth stadium. They choose to call the behemoth AD and persuade that AD to schedule them... and cry all the way to the bank when the game is over. Supply and demand. If they refuse to come, then the behemoth will be forced to go elsewhere to play. The demand is always there and will always be there to collect that behemoth money.

Econ 101. Behemoths and non-behemoths both offer it to their students. The S&D and money make for easy Econ 101 stuff in this argument.

MWM
12-01-2008, 10:29 PM
Seriously?

There are many schools in the State of Ohio alone, supported by taxpayer dollars the same as OSU, who manage to field a full athletic department and comply with Title IX without access to the moneymaking machine that is OSU football. I'm sure the College of Columbus would manage to do just fine if they were forced to take their show on the road every so often -- it's not like "The Shoe" won't sell out if they want to raise ticket prices $5 per seat to compensate for a little lost revenue from two home gates.

But I won't waste a single tear over the financial ledger of a school that rakes in the kind of alumni dollars and ticket sales the was OSU does. It'd be good for college football to see some of these behemoth programs take their show on the road every so often -- hell, even if it is a "neutral site" game at the large local venue instead of the on-campus facility.

Name me on top tier college football program that does what you claim they "should" do?

You're making an argument you'd laugh at if you were the one having to make those decisions. No one in their right mind is going to make that kind of economic decision in the interest of perceived fairness. The people making decisions have a responsibility to the univeristy first, not the be "fair" to smaller schools. So sure, "they'd be fine", but that's a pretty misguided rationale for doing something not in their economic best interest. Afterall, plenty of folks here would be "just fine" if they donated 30% of their salary to a good cause. They might have to buy a less expensive car, or live in a smaller place, but they could by just fine.

I think folks making these arguments know they're not compelling and that they're driven mostly by their dislike for the "College of Columbus". Let's be honest about that. This isn't an OSU thing, it's the environment of big time college football. So why single them out? It's a systemic problem that incentivizes all big programs to do it.

guttle11
12-01-2008, 11:20 PM
Ohio State's athletic department is not supported by any state funds whatsoever. It's a separate business. Every dollar that flows in directly effects scholarships in other areas. It is not sent into a general pool and combined with state money. OSU's basketball budget isn't as high as many would think. Dayton and Xavier report higher budgets.

Ohio State is "taking their show on the road" to Miami, Cal, VT, Oklahoma, and Tennessee over the next decade. They've also taken it on the road to Washington (a game set a decade in advance..before they sucked), USC, NC State, and Texas in recent seasons. They're 3-1 in those games, FWIW.

Georgia, OTOH, left the state OOC this year for the first time in 48 years. OSU goes out of state, on average, once every two years. How many other programs do so as often? USC, Notre Dame, MSU, Michigan with the rivalries obviously, but who else? Not many. OSU is without a natural OOC rival like these schools (Florida/FSU, Clemson/South Carolina...so they actively schedule one big game every year.

You want to go down that path, bring facts...not OSU hatred.

Marc D
12-01-2008, 11:21 PM
Seriously?

There are many schools in the State of Ohio alone, supported by taxpayer dollars the same as OSU, who manage to field a full athletic department and comply with Title IX without access to the moneymaking machine that is OSU football. I'm sure the College of Columbus would manage to do just fine if they were forced to take their show on the road every so often -- it's not like "The Shoe" won't sell out if they want to raise ticket prices $5 per seat to compensate for a little lost revenue from two home gates.

But I won't waste a single tear over the financial ledger of a school that rakes in the kind of alumni dollars and ticket sales the was OSU does. It'd be good for college football to see some of these behemoth programs take their show on the road every so often -- hell, even if it is a "neutral site" game at the large local venue instead of the on-campus facility.

OSU has the largest athletic program in America. There are more kids getting an athletic scholarship to play a sport other than football at OSU than any school in America. This is only possible by OSU, like every other big time school, scheduling 7-8 home games a year and having a massive turnout.

Raising ticket prices $5 isn't even close to covering the overall economic impact of not having a home game. There is a lot more to it than ticket sales.

Lets also not forget the visiting schools make more money by coming to Columbus than they will at any other point in the season, its not like anyone is twisting their arm to come up and collect a huge check.

The only people who seem to be really put out by the simple business sense of the whole thing are the people who just blindly hate OSU and will rail against them any chance they get. These are usually the same people who labor under the fantasy that OSU is "scared" to play their respective small school on the road.


OSU just finished a home and home with Texas, is in the middle of one with USC and has Miami and Virginia Tech waiting in the wings. Given the fact that they are only going to play 1 OOC road game a year at most, for all the reasons pointed out already, it sure doesn't look like they are trying to duck anyone to me.

Caveat Emperor
12-02-2008, 12:30 AM
Name me on top tier college football program that does what you claim they "should" do?

You're making an argument you'd laugh at if you were the one having to make those decisions. No one in their right mind is going to make that kind of economic decision in the interest of perceived fairness. The people making decisions have a responsibility to the univeristy first, not the be "fair" to smaller schools. So sure, "they'd be fine", but that's a pretty misguided rationale for doing something not in their economic best interest. Afterall, plenty of folks here would be "just fine" if they donated 30% of their salary to a good cause. They might have to buy a less expensive car, or live in a smaller place, but they could by just fine.

I think folks making these arguments know they're not compelling and that they're driven mostly by their dislike for the "College of Columbus". Let's be honest about that. This isn't an OSU thing, it's the environment of big time college football. So why single them out? It's a systemic problem that incentivizes all big programs to do it.

I openly admit that I dislike Ohio State -- I've always been very upfront about that. I do single them as out as epitomizing everything that I don't like about big-time college football, but really you could insert any number of football-factory schools in the argument. Ohio State just seems to be the favorite around here. If I were on TigersZone.com, I'm sure I'd be railing against the University of Michigan instead.

As to your main point: no college team does it. But, I'm talking about what I think SHOULD happen in college football. Hell, I'd go a step further if I was given power to shape things and have OOC schedules determined by the NCAA or some centralized authority the way it is in all professional sports. I know none of this is ever likely to happen, just like a playoff is unlikely to happen, but that doesn't stop it from being a good idea in my mind.

And yeah, if I was in charge of Ohio State or any BCS school I'd be furious if someone tried to take scheduling control away from me. Teams like OSU make lots and lots of money by piling on home dates, especially at the start of the year. Is it good for Ohio State? Damn straight it is. There's lots of money that gets made and they're ensured extra games in a location that provides one of the best homefield advantages in all of sports. But the discussion I want to have isn't "Is this good for the school or good for the status quo" but, rather, "Is this good for college football?"

I think sending big teams on the road for a few OOC games is a good thing. OSU played 4 OOC games this year, and 3 were at home -- ditto for Penn State (4 OOC games, 3 at home), Michigan (4 OOC, 3 at home), and Michigan State (4 OOC games, 3 at home) in the Big 10. I don't think it'd be a bad thing for the sport of college football to require that half those OOC games (2) be on the road.

I think the argument "Well, you can't send Michigan" (to pick on somebody new) "to play AT Akron, they only have a 30,000 seat stadium!" is stupid. So a team plays a game at a smaller venue. So what. It's good for the sport of college football (meaning for all the 100+ D-1A programs, not just the BCS crew) to give smaller schools a chance to get excited about seeing the best of the best come to THEIR towns occasionally. Ohio University played Ohio State tough this year and gave them a nice a scare -- why would it be such a TERRIBLE thing for Ohio State to go to Ohio University for 1 game? It'd give the student body in Athens, OH a chance to get excited about a big game, certain to be televised and maybe, gasp, allow them to feel like they're actually part of the FBS (or whatever they want to call it) as more than just a tune up for Wisconsin.

I don't anticipate many people to agree with me -- and I'm OK with that. I, however, have been to lots of different college football games around the nation. Going to a non-BCS school like Tulane makes one something of a nomad since there's really nothing to root for when your alma mater plays. I've been to big games at big schools like LSU, Ohio State, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Maryland. I've attended bowl games, conference championship games (including the upset 2001 SEC Championship). Most exciting college football game I've ever been to, though? A 35-31 upset of #9 Pittsburgh by Toledo, in Toledo, in 2003. Electric atmosphere, sold out game, fired up student body, and a field covered in students at the end of the game. Hard to find that when the only thing the big boys want to do is stay home.

It's a big world out there. My message to the Ohio States, Penn States, and Floridas of the college scene would be: go out there and explore a little bit.

Highlifeman21
12-02-2008, 12:35 AM
I openly admit that I dislike Ohio State -- I've always been very upfront about that. I do single them as out as epitomizing everything that I don't like about big-time college football, but really you could insert any number of football-factory schools in the argument. Ohio State just seems to be the favorite around here. If I were on TigersZone.com, I'm sure I'd be railing against the University of Michigan instead.

As to your main point: no college team does it. But, I'm talking about what I think SHOULD happen in college football. Hell, I'd go a step further if I was given power to shape things and have OOC schedules determined by the NCAA or some centralized authority the way it is in all professional sports. I know none of this is ever likely to happen, just like a playoff is unlikely to happen, but that doesn't stop it from being a good idea in my mind.

And yeah, if I was in charge of Ohio State or any BCS school I'd be furious if someone tried to take scheduling control away from me. Teams like OSU make lots and lots of money by piling on home dates, especially at the start of the year. Is it good for Ohio State? Damn straight it is. There's lots of money that gets made and they're ensured extra games in a location that provides one of the best homefield advantages in all of sports. But the discussion I want to have isn't "Is this good for the school or good for the status quo" but, rather, "Is this good for college football?"

I think sending big teams on the road for a few OOC games is a good thing. OSU played 4 OOC games this year, and 3 were at home -- ditto for Penn State (4 OOC games, 3 at home), Michigan (4 OOC, 3 at home), and Michigan State (4 OOC games, 3 at home) in the Big 10. I don't think it'd be a bad thing for the sport of college football to require that half those OOC games (2) be on the road.

I think the argument "Well, you can't send Michigan" (to pick on somebody new) "to play AT Akron, they only have a 30,000 seat stadium!" is stupid. So a team plays a game at a smaller venue. So what. It's good for the sport of college football (meaning for all the 100+ D-1A programs, not just the BCS crew) to give smaller schools a chance to get excited about seeing the best of the best come to THEIR towns occasionally. Ohio University played Ohio State tough this year and gave them a nice a scare -- why would it be such a TERRIBLE thing for Ohio State to go to Ohio University for 1 game? That kind of thing is good for the sport of college football, IMO.

I don't anticipate many people to agree with me -- and I'm OK with that. I, however, have been to lots of different college football games around the nation. Going to a non-BCS school like Tulane makes one something of a nomad since there's really nothing to root for when your alma mater plays. I've been to big games at big schools like LSU, Ohio State, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Maryland. I've attended bowl games, conference championship games (including the upset 2001 SEC Championship). Most exciting college football game I've ever been to, though? A 35-31 upset of #9 Pittsburgh by Toledo, in Toledo, in 2003.

It's a big world out there. My message to the Ohio States, Penn States, and Floridas of the college scene would be: go out there and explore a little bit.

:beerme:
:notworthy
:clap:

IMO, the current system essentially makes the rich richer.

... and that's not a good thing...

MWM
12-02-2008, 12:40 AM
I don't think you'll find tons of people who disagree that there would be a benefit to the opposing schools, and maybe even to college football, if we saw more teams like Ohio State traveling to smaller schools to play. But you have to admit that it would be fiscally irresponsible to do it now unless they're forced to.

Caveat Emperor
12-02-2008, 12:49 AM
I don't think you'll find tons of people who disagree that there would be a benefit to the opposing schools, and maybe even to college football, if we saw more teams like Ohio State traveling to smaller schools to play. But you have to admit that it would be fiscally irresponsible to do it now unless they're forced to.

Oh naturally. They'd have to be suffering from some form of derangement to even think about changing the status quo, considering the amount of benefit (both financially and otherwise) they derive from it.

It's just fun to think about what would be best for the sport of college football as a whole, as opposed to what's best for the elite 30 or so teams in the nation.

Chip R
12-02-2008, 09:18 AM
It'd be good? How? So non-behemoth fans can be happy or 40K/50K fans get denied entrance b/c there are not enough seats? The MAC schools, the Bearcats and others choose to play at Columbus. The biggest reason is money. OSU and their fans bring the money to the table and the other schools benefit greatly from that. The tears will be shed from those who miss out on their big payday every 3 to 5 years. Don't blame the Ohio States, the USCs, the Floridas. Don't blame the NCAA. It is all about money. The money for the behemoths and the schools who choose to play at the behemoths. And money trumps all... playoffs, opinions of smaller school fans, etc.

You get your neutral sites every year. It is called the Bowl Games. But just for the sake of argument... lets say OSU played UC at a neutral site for a regular season clash. This site is called Paul Brown Stadium (if that is really neutral?). We have 65,000 seats vs. 105,000 seats. So we have a difference of 40,000. Lets say the average ticket price is $50/ticket. Now we have an initial revenue difference of $2,000,000. Now lets go further into it. Concessions, parking fees, merchandise, etc. Who gets most of this revenue? Seems like a lot will go to Hamilton County and not the two schools.

The NCAA is too smart for that. I understand that non-behemoth fans don't like it, but rest assured that the leaders/educators of their fav non-behemoth schools love it. They hope that the behemoths will invite them to visit the behemoth stadium. They choose to call the behemoth AD and persuade that AD to schedule them... and cry all the way to the bank when the game is over. Supply and demand. If they refuse to come, then the behemoth will be forced to go elsewhere to play. The demand is always there and will always be there to collect that behemoth money.

Econ 101. Behemoths and non-behemoths both offer it to their students. The S&D and money make for easy Econ 101 stuff in this argument.


If you're going to do that, why not have tOSU play all home games except when they play Michigan and Penn St. since both those stadiums hold over 100K? Instead of playing at Kinnick Stadium which holds just over 70K, why not have Iowa play in Columbus every year they are scheduled to play?

RedFanAlways1966
12-02-2008, 09:09 PM
If you're going to do that, why not have tOSU play all home games except when they play Michigan and Penn St. since both those stadiums hold over 100K? Instead of playing at Kinnick Stadium which holds just over 70K, why not have Iowa play in Columbus every year they are scheduled to play?

Good point. Conference play. Not the basis of Caveat's argument with the OOC games. Technically the Big-10 will make more money doing it this way, but all conferences follow the normal every other year at your/my place. That is understandable. The NCAA is smart enough to maximize the revenue for OOC games, but also smart enough not to mess with conference-play standards (Bud Selig needs educated by the NCAA on certain aspects).

The OOC games are all about making money (for both schools). If not for the money, then an Ohio University would surely play an OOC game at home against a Central State or Otterbein. Instead they agree to head 70 miles north on SR-33. Sure the players and coaches think they can win, but the AD and college adminstrators are thinking about how to spend the money.

Marc D
12-02-2008, 10:49 PM
If you're going to do that, why not have tOSU play all home games except when they play Michigan and Penn St. since both those stadiums hold over 100K? Instead of playing at Kinnick Stadium which holds just over 70K, why not have Iowa play in Columbus every year they are scheduled to play?


Conference play has been home a home and home format for over 100 years. I would imagine that back in the day this was part of the appeal of joining a conference. 4 (or whatever the amount) guaranteed paydays every year.

Thats part of the business math of the whole deal.
12 game schedule-4 guaranteed home games in conference=8 games left

8 games - 4 guaranteed road games in confernce play= 4 ooc games to play with

4 ooc games-1 premier opponent that requires a home and home=3 games that MUST be played at home to pay the bills. This means you have to find teams to play that do not require a return game or can be bought out of one. It has zero to do with big schools being "scared" to go play small schools at their place.

Its been this way since the late 40's. I'm not quite sure where all the moral outrage comes from. Is CFB supposed to be the one sport in America that ignores economics?

remdog
12-03-2008, 07:11 AM
Didn't Bowling Green and Ohio State play in Cleveland a few years ago? Maybe my memory is just on the fritz but, if they did, how did that draw and how were the revenues divided?

Rem

RedFanAlways1966
12-03-2008, 07:25 AM
Didn't Bowling Green and Ohio State play in Cleveland a few years ago? Maybe my memory is just on the fritz but, if they did, how did that draw and how were the revenues divided?

Rem

I once attended a game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium (the old one). It was a Northwestern home game against "visiting" Ohio State. October 19, 1991, the Northwestern Wildcats played a "home" game against the Buckeyes. While Northwestern received the home team's share of the gate receipts, the crowd was mostly Ohio State fans.

bucksfan2
12-03-2008, 08:57 AM
Didn't Bowling Green and Ohio State play in Cleveland a few years ago? Maybe my memory is just on the fritz but, if they did, how did that draw and how were the revenues divided?

Rem

I believe next season OSU is playing Toledo or some Ohio school in Cleveland. Its more so a home game but also a recruiting tool in the Cleveland area.

Chip R
12-03-2008, 09:35 AM
Good point. Conference play. Not the basis of Caveat's argument with the OOC games. Technically the Big-10 will make more money doing it this way, but all conferences follow the normal every other year at your/my place. That is understandable. The NCAA is smart enough to maximize the revenue for OOC games, but also smart enough not to mess with conference-play standards (Bud Selig needs educated by the NCAA on certain aspects).



Its been this way since the late 40's. I'm not quite sure where all the moral outrage comes from. Is CFB supposed to be the one sport in America that ignores economics?


I understand that and I'm just playing Devil's Advocate. RFA said it was all about the money and tOSU would rather play someone in the Horseshoe where they can draw 100K than at PBS which only holds 60-70K. I'm just taking the argument to it's logical extention. If it's all about making money, why not just let tOSU, Michigan and Penn St. play all their games at those 3 stadiums? Give the visitors a nice payday and be off with them. Let's go further than that. If having tOSU in a BCS game every year draws more people to watch than any other Big 10 school, just fix the games. If PSU is playing tOSU and their QB throws a TD, have the ref throw a flag for holding. As long as the goal (more money) is met, who cares how they go about it? Now tOSU is good enough that they can go to a BCS bowl every year but some years they may need a helpful hand.

But it's not all about the money is it? That's why they play home and home in conference. If tOSU is worried about not making money playing UC at PBS, hike ticket prices up until they can make up the difference. Joe Bucksfan in Middletown who bleeds scarlet and gray can't ever make up to Columbus for a game but he can watch them play at PBS. He'll have to pay through the nose to do it but he's not going to worry about that if he can get a ticket to see them play down the road. Playing in Cincinnati has other advantages. It gets the local fan base energized, it gives them more of a presence in the SW Ohio NKY recruiting area. It'd also be pretty much a home game for them because you know that at least half the stadium would be for the Buckeyes.

Danny Serafini
12-03-2008, 10:08 AM
Didn't Bowling Green and Ohio State play in Cleveland a few years ago? Maybe my memory is just on the fritz but, if they did, how did that draw and how were the revenues divided?

Rem

I'm pretty sure that happened. Toledo is doing the same thing next year. Toledo will be the home team, but was happy to move their home game to Cleveland because they'll sell a lot more tickets and make a lot more money.

improbus
12-04-2008, 07:01 PM
Well....I would be concerned about the overwhelming home field advantage in these in-state games at OSU if their fans actually cheered at those games. I've been to OSU vs. OU twice and OSU vs. Akron and found that Crew Stadium is louder. So, don't overestimate the home field factor. OSU fans tend to only care when the opponent is decent.

Jack Burton
12-10-2008, 10:22 PM
Hard to argue against a playoff this year, teams like Texas, USC, Bama, Penn St., Utah, Texas Tech all have legitimate gripes.

Your 2008 NCAA College Football Championship.
(slap a bowl name on each game and rotate each year)

(1) Oklahoma
(8) Penn St.

(5) Alabama
(4) USC

(3) Texas
(6) Utah

(7) Texas Tech
(2) Florida

bucksfan2
12-11-2008, 09:37 AM
Hard to argue against a playoff this year, teams like Texas, USC, Bama, Penn St., Utah, Texas Tech all have legitimate gripes.

Your 2008 NCAA College Football Championship.
(slap a bowl name on each game and rotate each year)

(1) Oklahoma
(8) Penn St.

(5) Alabama
(4) USC

(3) Texas
(6) Utah

(7) Texas Tech
(2) Florida

The big question is where do you stop. An 8 team playoff is still going to have its fair share of criticism. For example as an OSU fan I would be upset that Utah playing in a far inferior conference got a bid and OSU didn't. If I were a Boise St fan I would have a gripe because I went undefeated and didn't get a bid but Utah did.

The one big problem with the BCS is in most years one team has a gripe about being left out. This year it was Texas, two years ago it was Michigan, a few years ago it was Auburn. I think each year the system tries to correct its wrongs. I think with a playoff you have a group of top tier teams. Then when you get past your 5 top teams you bring in a bunch of second tier teams who all have a similar resume.

RichRed
12-11-2008, 10:26 AM
And the 66th best team in basketball complains because they got left out of the tournament. No matter how many teams you include in a playoff, someone will be unhappy. However, I hardly think that's a good argument against a playoff.

bucksfan2
12-11-2008, 10:59 AM
And the 66th best team in basketball complains because they got left out of the tournament. No matter how many teams you include in a playoff, someone will be unhappy. However, I hardly think that's a good argument against a playoff.

The 66th best team and the 9th best team are very very different. If you compare it to the NCAA tournament you are talking about leaving out a 3 seed.

I think a problem with the proposed 8 team playoff that in a given year a BCS conference champ will be left out. This year both the Big East and ACC will be left out and the BCS commissioners won't go for that.

I guess the think I look at for a BCS playoff would be where is the drop off. Where do the top teams start to distance themselves from the rest of college football. Every year we see teams climb into the teens then find their way outside the polls by the time the season is over. A 16 team playoff I could live with. Teams 17, 18, and 19 really won't have much of a beef because you are entering the 3 loss range.

improbus
12-13-2008, 08:18 AM
You have to keep the integrity of the conferences, otherwise why even have them? The ACC won't always be average and the same goes for the Big Ten and Big East. Look at the NFL, does any team from the AFC or NFC West's deserve a playoff spot over the Cowboys or Jets?
So, if you have and eight team playoff with the six conference champions and two at large teams, who do you leave out? Your choices would include Alabama, Utah, Texas Tech, and Texas? Two teams that had a great season is inherently out of the mix.
If you set up a postseason tournament, here is one other thing that will happen:
-Teams will load up on cupcake out of conference games. Games like OSU vs. USC won't ever happen again. What is the incentive to play them if all you need to do is make the playoffs.

Roy Tucker
12-15-2008, 04:48 PM
Let me first say by no means am I a Jim Delany fan. And, I'd like to see a college Div 1 playoff system.

But given that the first thing that the BCS wants to do is preserve the bowl system, what he says in this column makes sense.

I think if any college playoff is going to happen, the NCAA needs to do it because the BCS won't. And I don't see that happening soon.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/lopresti/2008-12-10-delany-bcs_N.htm



Want BCS support? Ask Big Ten's Delany

By Mike Lopresti, Gannett News Service
DETROIT The commissioner of the Big Ten wanted to make one thing clear from the start.

"I am not the face of the BCS," Jim Delany said, sounding something like an innocent plea from traffic court.

But the Big Ten is one of the pillars of the system, and Delany one of its most articulate proponents. He is a reminder that the BCS is not a private and tone deaf business consortium, but an agreement among leagues to produce a national championship game to go with the bowls.

Now that we're near the end of another stormy BCS hurricane season, it seemed a good time to toss the man a few basic questions. If not the face of the BCS, for a moment he can be the voice.

"Everybody wants him to succeed. He's probably got unprecedented support, so it's very hard to be disagreeable with him on a subject. Having said that, the majority of the presidents and faculty and athletic directors and coaches in the Big Ten believe in the Rose Bowl and believe in the bowl system."

Surprised by the heated debate each November?

"We never conceived it would come to what it became as quickly as it did. All of a sudden you're a BCS president, a BCS commissioner. It was unbelievable. All it was, was a bunch of people saying, 'Hey, we like the bowl system. Let's see if we can come up with a 1 vs. 2 game, because only nine times in the previous 45 years did we have a 1-2 game.'

"We never imagined this amount of interest and controversy around it."

How do you answer the charge the BCS is only doing this for the money?

"Six or so years ago, there was a presentation ... that a billion or two billion dollars would be available in a playoff. So if we were interested in money, there is no doubt more money would be available in a playoff than there is in the bowl system, because of the way it is sold."

So why keep it?

"There is nothing more powerful than the regular season in college football. All the games that were local are now regional. The regional games are now national. The level of interest of young people 12-17 was measured recently. I think NASCAR and the NFL gained 1%. College football gained 9%.

"I understand the paradigm of the American sports fan is to play it out. I know we're swimming upstream on it. But we've grown the fan base, we've grown the regular season and we've maintained the postseason."

The regular season is that important?

"Every other sport has devalued the regular season. You look at college basketball, and I would say there's probably one must-see game during the regular season. Duke-North Carolina. What else? We don't have that in college football. We have a lot of must-see games. CBS is covering it. NBC is covering it. ABC is covering it. ESPN is covering it. Fox is covering it. All regular-season games.

"I don't want to see the regular season turned into a seeding process.

"The price (of a playoff) I think for a lot of us, is too high. The price of that buzz is the possibility of undermining 13 weeks of buzz."

How about a playoff that also includes the bowls?

"There is no four-team playoff that won't become an eight-team playoff. No eight-team playoff that won't become 12. The political structure of college football is, if you have a playoff, be honest about it. Go to 16. There is no system that can also accommodate a bowl season. The bowl season is dead. Dead."

At the end of the day, what would you most want people to understand about the BCS?

"That it is making an effort to do three things preserve the bowl system, create a winner on the field based on a season's work, and maintain college football as the most important regular season in all of sport."

How's it doing?

"It's been incredibly successful. Controversial, and successful."

***

Contact Mike Lopresti at mlopresti@gns.gannett.com