NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > Where was the push for a playoff 20 years ago?
November 19, 2010, 04:00 PM
I hate to rain on the pro-playoff parade, but I think this is a question that needs to be asked. D-1 College football has never used a playoff to decide it's champion, and I have to question why the playoff "push" has only come up now. I especially notice that the media has been very big in questioning the BCS -- particularly the AP and/or its members. I think the fact that they didn't ever bring it up before the BCS is due to one reason, which has led me to a startling conclusion.

The AP and other media sources DO NOT want to see a college football playoff. Rather, they want a return to the time before the BCS, where (in the AP or USA Today's case) they were essentially the ultimate decider of champions. I believe that the AP and other media are bitter and jealous that they have been supplanted by the BCS as the championship decider. Their picks no longer hold any weight, and they hate to have their relevance reduced and threatened by another group.
November 19, 2010  05:21 PM ET

I disagree with your conclusions that AP voters are expressing any jealousy that their poll has become irrelevant because of the BCS. Journalists and other media types live off of controversy and to me their motives are simple. The BCS controversy is pervasive, reaching all the way to Congress. If that weren't true, the media types would be talking about something else.

When the BCS came along it was supposed to be the answer to split championships. People put their faith in the BCS to end the controversy, but it hasn't worked out that way. Like the polls the BCS is based on opinions, which leaves itself open to argument even in the best scenarios. In those seasons ending with more than 2 worthy teams for the NCG, the BCS can't acquit itself no matter which 2 teams are selected. Ironically, the controversy is worse than before.

To me the residual argument stems from how people view the BCSCG. It was intended to be the ultimate decider of THE national champion. However, the complexities of several seasons have exposed the flaws of a 2-team playoff after a CFB season with so little interaction between conferences. To many of us now dismayed with the shortcomings of the BCS, the frustration of a split championship is preferred to the illusion the BCSCG winner is THE champ.

As to the timing of this push for a playoff, I think the idea of one champion promised by the BCS was very appealing, but BCS results have too often shown that more than a 2-team format is needed. The BCS gave us the appetite, it's just not putting food in our bellies.

November 19, 2010  06:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

To many of us now dismayed with the shortcomings of the BCS, the frustration of a split championship is preferred to the illusion the BCSCG winner is THE champ.

I disagree....while the BCS has many, many shortcomings....and a playoff is the ONLY way to determine a team that is hot at that time, playing by the parameters as established by whatever committee (heads of the 6 major conferences?) we can now say "This is this years champion" and there shouldn't be any quibbling.

Of course, absent a true playoff, there will always be some fan's team (BSU, Auburn a few years ago, TCU, U$C/LUS) who will always they got cheated....no they didn't....their team fell outside the parameters of the BCSCG.

One kicker to all of this is that the AP has decided that they are much better at picking a champion and thus creates havoc some years (again, U$C/LUS). I haven't really researched, but has the BCS allowed Team A, with the same record as Team B but who was beat by Team B, into the game? As I recall some arguments recently, it seems that there have been instances where this did, in fact, happen and Team A was declared Champion. Are you saying this is better?

Again...BCS is not perfect by any stretch, but it does lay out some guidelines that ALL the FBS teams abide and gives something "closer" to the "best" team. The only I would recommend, other than a playoff, is to do away with the AQ conferences....top 10 teams go into the bowls....and if you win your conference and still can't crack the top 10 then TS (Big East, ACC this year)

In my very humble opinion

November 19, 2010  06:02 PM ET

will always say they

fixed it

November 19, 2010  06:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

The only I would recommend, other than a playoff, is to do away with the AQ conferences....top 10 teams go into the bowls....and if you win your conference and still can't crack the top 10 then TS (Big East, ACC this year)

In my very humble opinion

I can generally agree with the top 10 thing, but I think that the AQ conference thing is hard to get by... because honestly, not all conferences are created equal. Like that time that Hawaii was #7, undefeated, and went to the Sugar Bowl and got smacked around like a red-headed stepchild by Georgia. Being undefeated against inferior competition should not get you into the big bowls, IMO.

November 19, 2010  06:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I haven't really researched, but has the BCS allowed Team A, with the same record as Team B but who was beat by Team B, into the game? As I recall some arguments recently, it seems that there have been instances where this did, in fact, happen and Team A was declared Champion. Are you saying this is better?

In 2008 Texas beat Okla and finished with the same record, yet Okla went to the BCSCG. This was more the doing of the Big XII than the BCS, but the BCS couldn't prevent it then and they can't prevent it in the future.

Not implying polls are better than the BCS. To me the worst thing about the BCS is that it relies on polls. My point is that in trying to avoid a split championship we're expecting too much from the BCS format.

November 19, 2010  09:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I haven't really researched, but has the BCS allowed Team A, with the same record as Team B but who was beat by Team B, into the game?

D2, your memory can't be that bad....just a few years ago, your Sooners went to the title game even though they lost to the Longhorns and they each had only one loss

November 20, 2010  11:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Being undefeated against inferior competition should not get you into the big bowls, IMO.

Let's take a hypothetical. Let's say the New England Patriots played in the Sun Belt conference. They won every game 335-0 and no opponent managed a first down all season. Do you think they don't deserve to be in a BCS bowl?

November 20, 2010  12:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Let's take a hypothetical. Let's say the New England Patriots played in the Sun Belt conference. They won every game 335-0 and no opponent managed a first down all season. Do you think they don't deserve to be in a BCS bowl?

Not totally sure, but I think you just made use of the straw man argument. You took my position (Undefeated against inferior competition =/= BCS bowl bid), ignored my example (2007 Hawaii), and substituted with a similar yet different example (Patriots dominate Sun Belt) and argued against your example rather than mine.

November 20, 2010  01:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Let's take a hypothetical. Let's say the New England Patriots played in the Sun Belt conference. They won every game 335-0 and no opponent managed a first down all season. Do you think they don't deserve to be in a BCS bowl?

this isn't a hypothetical it's fantastical as in fantasy and doesn't help the argument at all. You can't compare Boise or TCU to the New England Patriots.

Today, we are looking to find the best football team from week 1 through the bowls. To determine this, it is valid to discuss whether one team deserves it more than another and that's where the conference you play in makes a difference.

Once a team loses, all bets are off. I have no problem with an undefeated Boise or TCU getting a shot over a 1 loss SEC team. But when they have the same record, the SEC or Big 10 or Pac 10 or Big 12 have earned the shot at the national championship. It's not so clear if we're talking about the Big East and ACC.

November 20, 2010  01:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

D2, your memory can't be that bad....just a few years ago, your Sooners went to the title game even though they lost to the Longhorns and they each had only one loss

Not really the same due to the tie-breaker rules that were in place at the time (and agreed to by all when they were put in place so let's stop that gripe), OU was ruled top...and I'm not trying to root/root for OU....and there was the extenuating TU loss to TT that lost to OU....etc ad naseum. And I would think that CC would trump that scenario.

I was thinking more in line with LUS and Auburn....Aubie beat LUS, but if Aubie loses in the CC, who would get the better BCS bowl? IF TCU and BSU lose out, would Aubie go over LUS?

Wheels within wheels...

November 20, 2010  01:16 PM ET

And let's remember that even with playoffs there will be gripping....can you honestly tell that a Butler would have their record and qualify for the NCAA BB Tourny if they played in the ACC or Big East...or even the SEC?

Realistically, they got hot for the Tourny and that is what helped them. He ll...Miss State got into the NCAA recently ONLY because they won the SEC.....

November 20, 2010  01:23 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

When the BCS came along it was supposed to be the answer to split championships. People put their faith in the BCS to end the controversy, but it hasn't worked out that way. Like the polls the BCS is based on opinions, which leaves itself open to argument even in the best scenarios. In those seasons ending with more than 2 worthy teams for the NCG, the BCS can't acquit itself no matter which 2 teams are selected. Ironically, the controversy is worse than before.

I'm not sure it is more controversial. In the 12 years we've had the BCS, there's only been one split champion and it involved teams that had lost games. In the 12 years prior to the BCS, there was a split champion 3 times.

Before the BCS, there was a playoff push. That's why we have the BCS. Granted it wasn't debated with as much vigor (which is probably more because of big $ TV contracts and social media). You're right in that it is fueling our appetites and not our bellies.

 
November 20, 2010  02:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I can generally agree with the top 10 thing, but I think that the AQ conference thing is hard to get by... because honestly, not all conferences are created equal. Like that time that Hawaii was #7, undefeated, and went to the Sugar Bowl and got smacked around like a red-headed stepchild by Georgia. Being undefeated against inferior competition should not get you into the big bowls, IMO.

Hawaii vs Georgia is one example. Another would be #7 Utah vs #4 Alabama one year later, also in the Sugar Bowl. Nearly identical example with the opposite result to support the opposite argument.

Agreed, all conferences are far from equal. But what do conferences have to do with one team vs another? Assuming outcomes based on conference pedigree or other peripheral factor is a slippery slope. I think UB's exaggerated example illustrates that the best team and a weak schedule are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

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