Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Death to the BCS: Mattare Converts

It's time for installment three of our Death to the BCS review series. I won't lie, I've never been in support of a playoff simply because I've been against anything that would diminish the intensity of the greatest regular season in any sport. Every single week is like a playoff as the season rolls on and I love the do-or-die feel to each game.

(Allow me to get into Stephen A. Smith Mode for a moment)

HOW-EVAHHH, I would be completely on-board with this for a couple reasons due to a shift in thinking due mainly to how Wetzel presents his argument. I love the non-conference games and how much they mean even though it's early in the season (PSU-Bama, OSU-Texas, USC-OSU, etc). A playoff would avoid those types of games at all costs because teams wouldn't want to risk an early loss that would put them behind the 8-ball in an at-large situation...

BUT, Wetzel does a really good job of painting the picture of Oklahoma going to Autzen, Florida heading to Happy Valley, etc. Essentially we'd be flipping when those non-conference games would happen from September to December. I'd be all for this--in fact it would be indescribably awesome to see the SEC schools squirm in the cold. The Gators coming to South Bend in December!?!?!? Someone get me a change of pants.

My concerns would still be:

1. How much would teams water down their OOC schedules? I mean you want to talk about playing the Little Sisters of the Poor. A way to fix this is eliminate the option of schedule I-AA schools and cap the number of home games you can play at 7. I don't see either happening.

2. This would make scheduling for Notre Dame very, VERY difficult. The way the current system is set up Notre Dame will always be able to find opponents easily as long as we're reasonable with our tradeoffs (ex: being willing to play a home game at the opposing team's home stadium as opposed to a neutral site). Who the hell is going to want to schedule ND OOC in this playoff situation if the Irish are good? The Akrons, Ohios, and New Mexico State's of the world are going to have their doors blown off by requests to play. Notre Dame will still be a guaranteed sellout for whatever school we play, but the appeal will definitely be curtailed a bit I would think. I hope I'm wrong.

3. Rematches. I loathe them in college football, I think they're terrible. In this situation there's a chance teams could play THREE TIMES!!!!! If this would actually to come to fruition in this specific format there'd need to be some sort of finagling like there is in the NCAA basketball tournament to avoid two teams from the same conference being in the same pod (in the NCAA's no two teams from a conference can ever meet before the Sweet 16). In the bracket they have laid out Arkansas and Auburn could play in round two. I don't like that. I'm not sure how to fix it exactly, but it'd need to be somehow.

4. This isn't so much a concern as it is an acknowledgement of reality: there's no chance in hell that this would be how it was implemented. The cynical reason is it makes to much sense, the real reason is that the bowl lobby and the so-called "cartel" as Wetzel describes them in his book are incredibly powerful--like tobacco lobby in the 80's powerful.

All in all it's a fascinating argument and I think far and away the most well-articulated and well-thought out proposal I've ever seen. I would get behind this if it were the route they chose. Unfortunately I think you're much more likely to see the stupid "Plus One" implemented than this.


  1. home field advantage should go to the oldest coach - Bill

    ps. I read the blog today... for fun!

  2. Way to post anonymously and then write your name at the end ya douche.

    I say they should do a 16 team Booze Olympics. (why are there never booze olympics. beer gets too much credit. there should be liquor because liqour is sad and feels left out.) I'll take a team of Ohio State, Ohio bred, lineman over any other line in the country. Maybe a couple thick-necked LB's thrown in for good measure. Or punters. Finally the chubby punter can justify his position on the team. We all know the South can't drink for shit. North would dominate. Hold the event in Detroit or some other cold depressing town.

  3. I agree with the authors that a playoff would slowly force teams to toughen their schedules.

    Right now, the system is rewarding undefeated teams, and programs are getting away with the lightest schedules possible in order to stay in title contention.

    With a playoff, those Non-AQ bids are almost always going to come down to teams with 1 or 2 losses. In some years they will all be teams with 2 losses.

    If we accept that there would be some sort of selection committee for those 5 spots, then I think strength of schedule and who you've played will be that much more important.

    Suddenly, teams like Oklahoma State (just missed the cut this year if there was a playoff) would look at themselves and say, "we're probably better off if we're not scheduling Washington State, Troy, Tulsa and Lafayette out of conference."

    I really think building a resume is going to mean more if there was a playoff. Okie State can schedule a two or three medium/tough OOC games, still have the ability to win their conference regardless, and if they don't win the Big 12, at least they can show their worth with a two or three quality wins.

    I don't think we'd see a huge upspike in big games (Texas vs. Ohio State, etc.) but I firmly believe teams will start scheduling more BCS teams and getting away from the "we can't lose 1 game!!!" mentality.