College Football Playoff

Monday, 2 January 2012, 10:34 | Category : College, Football
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When I was in college, bowls season was my favorite.  I was at home between the break and got to watch college football nearly everyday to help me decompress from the finals of the previous semester.  Now that I’m out of school, I still love bowl season, but it doesn’t have the same effect on me.  I don’t have time to get caught up in the excitement of each game like I used to.  Now I’m really just concerned about are how my teams do and any meaningful games (not many).

What would really catch my interest would be a playoff.  Last year I read Death to the BCS, which made a strong case against the BCS and for a playoff (who hasn’t?).  This is what a 16 team playoff would look like this year.  (SFW means Semi-Final Winner.)

1. LSU 2. Bama*
16.LATech 15. NIU
 1/16  2/15
 8/9  7/10
8. Wisc. 7. K-St.*
9. VATech*  1/8/9/16   2/7/10/15 10. Clem.
  Champion
 SFW  SFW
5. Oregon  4/5/12/13  3/6/11/14 6. BSU*
12. So Miss 11. TCU
 5/12  6/11
 4/13  3/14
4. Stan.* 3. OKST
13. WVU 14. Ark St

This playoff format would include the champions from all 12 FBS conferences and four at-large teams (the schools with the *).  Same as the BCS, only two teams from any given conference are given a spot (so Arkansas is still out of luck, but they had their chances).  The biggest issue with this system is it’s based off the BCS rankings, but a new system could be put in place easily enough.

No matter what there will be a team that feels it got burned.  For example, VA Tech was overrated and gets a higher seed than Clemson (who twice beat them thoroughly).  This leaves Michigan out, but there’s a fair argument they are overrated too.  But we’ll have a chance to see who is better on Tuesday.  Stanford is also ranked above Oregon, the conference champ that demolished them in the regular season.

But look at the intriguing match-ups this system provides!  Sure TCU gets burned by having to replay a team it defeated in the regular season (that is still for some reason ranked much higher than TCU) in the first round, but it has a chance to prove it wasn’t a fluke and play for a championship.  So would they rather that or play in the Poinsettia Bowl against the would be 16 seed?

K-State-Clemson would be a fun game to watch.  There’s the in-state rivalry of LSU-LA Tech.  Oregon’s potential rematches with Stanford and LSU will give us plenty to talk about.  If Michigan had gotten in over VA Tech, we’d have another in-conference battle in the first round.  The Badgers could be a thorn in LSU’s side in the second round.  OKST will have a great match-up  in the second round regardless of the winner of TCU-BSU.  And if after all is said an done LSU and Alabama play in the championship, they will have earned it.

It may not be a perfect system, but it is definitely better than what we currently have.  I can live with these imperfections in a system that provides playoffs, because it is decided on the field.  You think you were underrated?  Prove it on the field.  You didn’t make the playoffs?  Win in the regular season.  The little guys can’t whine about not having a shot anymore.  Schools can complain about their seeding, but in the end, if they want to be crowned champs they have to win four games.

A playoff doesn’t mean that we have to do away with the bowls.  They should probably cut several of them (GoDaddy.com Bowl anyone?), but most can stay.  Even the four BCS bowls.  The loser of BSU-TCU can still go play in the Las Vegas Bowl.  If Stanford sees an early exit, maybe the Rose Bowl will take them.  So what if Oregon misses out on the “Grand Daddy of Them All” if it has a chance to play for all the marbles.

What would you prefer, the current system or a playoff?  How would you improve the system?  Do you think this playoff system could work?

Join Our Bowl Mania Group!

Sunday, 11 December 2011, 17:42 | Category : College, Football
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It’s that time of year that there’s a special spirit in the air, friends and family gathering together, lights on houses, caroling, trees, presents, and much more which means that everyone is celebrating college bowl season!

I have set up a group on ESPN again and would like you to join. Please feel free to invite anyone you know (dad, mom, spouse, sibling, cousin, grandparent, friend, roommate, ANYONE!) who is even remotely interested in playing. You don’t even have to know anything about college football to win this!

The group name is “Unofficial Review” after my blog. There is no password. The setting is for confidence picks.

Games begin Saturday at 2 pm eastern. Please have your picks selected and submitted by that time or you will be penalized.

If you have any questions, please email or call me. You can also leave a comment at the end of this post.

I look forward to having you in the group. Good luck!

BCS Match-ups

Tuesday, 6 December 2011, 21:14 | Category : College, Football
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This has been a great year for college football, but it’s given us further proof that it needs a playoff.  Let’s jump into the BCS bowls.

Championship:  The match-up everybody saw coming.  I think most people would agree that LSU and Alabama are probably the best two teams in the country.  But if the BCS preaches that the regular season is the playoff, then how can it allow these two teams meet in the championship?!  LSU already did what it had to in the regular season by beating Bama in Tuscalussa.  How is it fair that LSU has to beat Bama again to prove it is the national champion?

Furthermore, how can a team that didn’t even win it’s conference and already lost to the other team playing in that game claim it deserves another shot at it.  If the Tide win, why should this victory weigh more than LSU’s win in the regular season?  Are they going to split the title?  And what if LSU had lost to Georgia, it is possible that Alabama would play for the championship when LSU had to win one extra game.  Even more likely would have been that the match-up would have remained the same.  So two teams from the same conference, neither winning said conference, would play for the national title.  Does that seem right to you?

Now I don’t think there would be any sort of outcry if there was a playoff developed and these two teams played their way to the championship game.  Everybody would agree that they had earned their places there.  But as is, Oklahoma State at least deserved a shot at LSU.  It seems like the BCS wants its cake and to eat it too.

Rose: Oregon and Wisconsin both earned their spots in this bowl game.  This should be a great one with plenty of scoring.

(An aside: too bad for Michigan State and Georgia got hosed by losing in the conference championships by going to the Outback Bowl while teams who didn’t earn that honor, Nebraska and South Carolina, were rewarded by getting the slightly better Capital One Bowl.  Shouldn’t be the case.)

Sugar:  Since the most any conference can have in BCS bowls is two and the SEC managed to get both in the championship, the Sugar Bowl got two at large picks.  I figured their first pick would either go to Stanford or Michigan because they were the biggest programs available.  Michigan won out even though they weren’t ranked as high because it’s a huge program that will draw a lot of fans and will field an exciting team.  If I were another team in the top 14 ranked higher I would feel like I got hosed, and they probably did to a degree.

(How is Stanford ranked above Oregon by one spot?  I understand that just because you beat a team it doesn’t make you better, but the Ducks handed it to the Cardinals.  Sure they have two loses but they lost a close one to a team it took Stanford three overtimes to defeat and the number one team in the country.  The Ducks also played an extra game.  I don’t understand.)

The Sugar Bowl also had the third at large pick and for some reason decided to use it on Virginia Tech.  I like the Hokies and am glad for them, but I do not think they were the most deserving team available.  They were overrated all year and benefited from an easy schedule when schools like Boise State were penalized.  VT got handled in their conference championship by Clemson and Sparty lost to Wisconsin on a stupid penalty that shouldn’t have happened but they dropped much harder in the rankings (see above).  I don’t think this was BSU’s year, but K-State and Baylor are more deserving than VT.  But it’s all about the money.

The Wolverines should dominate this game.  Tech may have a great defense at 8th in the nation, but UofM’s is 7th.  They also have a much more explosive offense and Shoelace Robinson.

Fiesta:  As the Big XII champ, Oklahoma State earned their spot here.  With the second at large pick, the Fiesta Bowl made the logical pick of Stanford.  It was the highest ranked and biggest program of the remaining eligible schools.  They also have the number one pick in the upcoming NFL draft.  It was a no brainer.  This should be a good game.

Orange:  Is this really still considered one of the best bowl games?  Clemson earned it’s spot and West Virginia landed there because they had last pick and they were the least sucky in the Big East.  The Tigers should be able to handle their business against the Mountaineers, but then again, who cares?

See why we need a playoff?  This system sucks!  It’s dysfunctional and isn’t fair.  Why is this the only sport in the world not decided by a playoff?  It doesn’t make sense.  But I will follow up with another post of what I think this post season should look like.

What do you think of these match-ups?  Would you prefer a playoff?

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