Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Florida at Blacksburg?!

Dan Wetzel draws up a plan for a 16 team playoff in his article on Yahoo! Sports today. While his plan is similar in many ways to other plans we have heard, it is the bracket he created that really has this fan salivating –

Yes, this would be incredible

Just the thought of some of these games is more exciting than any of the reality we will see this bowl season. And while I still prefer Henry’s proposal, this would be so much better than anything we have.

Can you even imagine the Gators playing at Blacksburg? Then, if we get by the Hokies, having to play in Columbus? Those are two games I would attend without a doubt.
They make a possible Capital One Bowl appearance look so forgettable. And, after so many appearances, so mind numbingly routine. As Gator fans we play for annual appearances in maybe the Sugar Bowl, and if not that, the Capital One or Outback Bowl. Every year in a playoff would be dynamic and fresh, with endless possibilities. USC playing in the Swamp? It could happen!


Anonymous said...

Not exciting. Only three good games in the first round. The second is presumably better, but does anyone want to see OU-Missouri a third time?

Give me OSU-USC in the rose bowl, and a system where half the teams end with a win.

Gator Duck said...

In every other sport, college and pro, there is a true playoff and a true champion. WHY, anonymous, do you and so many others prefer champions chosen by biased voters than on the field?

Gator Duck said...

Actually, here is my proposal. Try the 16 team playoff for just 2 years! Leave everything else the same (as much as I hate the zooking polls it is a MAJOR improvement.) What we have now is the king being crowned because some watery tart rose out of a lake and presented him with a sword. Please... Enough of the bullzook. Football is a sport, not a zooking beauty pageant, intercollegiate debate or writing contest. It is FOOTBALL. Decide it on the field, just like the other division and subdivisions of the NCAA do. What is so damn zookin' difficult to understand! I just don't get it...

Anonymous said...

I used to favor a playoff, but not any more. If teams were playing only to make the top 16, this year would not have been nearly so exciting. The current flawed system makes the regular season spectacularly exciting and interesting. Would you really have been so jazzed up each week if losing a game or two or three really didn't matter much? The way the system works now, the champion really is decided on the field, every single week of the season.

Henry Gomez said...

That's ridiculous. I root for the Gators to win every single game with the same intensity. And one game was exactly the difference between an eastern division championship and a chance to win the conference and not. Under my plan you'd have to win your conference to get into a tournament. The importance of each game would be magnified.

Justin said...

I kind of get what Anon is saying--under the current system, every game (for a certain number of teams in a certain number of conferences) is really, really important, since if you screw up once, you're done. So for those certain teams every game is huge.

That said--a 16-team playoff wouldn't really minimize too much of the regular season for the contender teams in the BCS conferences. I mean, that's dozens of teams playing for five at-large spots after the conference champions. It would, of course, drastically increase the importance of the regular season for the five non-BCS conferences, since they'll be playing for something other than conference titles for the first time ever. It would also massively increase the importance of the postseason in college football, which is now a bunch of beauty contests and one kinda-sorta consensus championship game.

And you wouldn't even have to get rid of the bowls! That's the beautiful thing. I mean, you could have second round loser X tied to bowl Y versus conference at-large team Z if you wanted to.

Honestly, the only people who would find their games a little bit diminished by a playoffs are the contenders in the current BCS leagues, since they would know they'd have a good chance of making the playoffs with a loss or two. But every other part of I-A would suddenly have a lot more to play for.

(Sorry to go on for so long. Random Rutgers fan here, coming in from the Google blog search.)

Anonymous said...

As the first anon, my answer is that I just don't care about a national champion. As an OSU fan, a successful season is winning the big ten, beating Michigan, and beating a quality team in a good bowl, preferably the rose bowl.

This is very attainable.

Suppose we go to a playoff. When do I consider a season successful?

I know that this is how American sports operate, but I personally find playoffs depressing and the finals disappointing.

I think that the view of College football as a regional sport with a fun exhibition season near the holidays is a refreshing change of pace.

However, when the focus of everyone involved is on the idea of a national championship, the benefits of this model are not appreciated, and I certainly agree that this is not a reasonable way to crown a champion.

Someday we will have what you want, and then we can get to work on a high school national championship playoff.

Mergz said...

What isn't exciting now is the post-season in college football (bowl season). As the first poster says, half the teams end with a win. How very quaint. How about everyone gets a participation medal too?

The only bowl games that are remotely interesting are the top BCS games, and the BCS title game. As a long time Gator fan, I am throughly bored with the Orlando-Tampa bowls in which we play some 2nd tier Big 10 team in a game that means absolutely zippo.

As for the arguments of the "regular season meaning more", in many ways it ends up meaning less. Most years, after 1 loss (or certainly 2) your team is playing for almost nothing. A playoff that allowed 2 or even 3 loss teams to get into it would actually enhance the regular season games. And I don't believe for a second that any team would feel they could "lose one" just because there was a playoff. Just like the NCAA basketball, you don't know until after the season if you are in. If anything, folks would play harder knowing they needed to impress to get one of the 8 or 16 slots. Plus, since seeding would count, you would want to be top rated as possible going into the post-season.

I agree with the last anon in principal. I wish it was still that way - beat your rival, win your conference, make a bowl. But that time has passed. What we have now is the worst of both worlds - a situation where the majority of people believe there is a "national title" (and that it matters), and possibily the worst imaginable way of crowing a title holder.

Gator Duck said...

I see your point, Ohio State Fan. The media, of course, created this monster known as the mythical National Championship. Unfortunately, the media does not present the happenings in college sports as news. The networks have allegiances with conferences and one particular independent. The promote their teams as the best, despite the facts. The voters in all the polls are not unifornmly distributed among the various conferences, and there are many voters that are still basing their votes on what happened thirty or forty years ago.

Also, not all OSU, Meatchicken, ND and USC fans feel the same way you do. Most have bought into the media nonsense which makes it much tougher for ANY other schools to make it into the MNC game. Consider last year. OSU, Meatchicken, and USC factions all were saying that the Gators didn't deserve to be in the championship game. We obviously proved otherwise ON THE FIELD, and the basketball court and the running challenge.

It is past time for teams going to the big bowl games because of some divine right, or watery tart from the lake so saying. This is America. Those who earn the right to play in these games should be the ones playing.

Anonymous said...

To clear up confusion,

first anon = last anon = me. But I'm not the second anon.

Indeed, much about college football is quaint, like marching bands, and walk-ons.

About the huge number of lousy bowls, my suggestion would be to reduce the number to 10. Then we would be only looking at matchups between ranked teams.

Maybe we could take another 6 bowls, and make the last place BCS teams play appropriate mid-majors in order to keep their BCS conference spot. (Pat Forde has made a similar suggestion, regarding I-AA teams.)

Bowling Green vs. Minnesota or Troy vs. Ole Miss would be interesting with a Big Ten berth on the line. (And if Minny wants back in, they need to win the MAC next year.)

This is even more unlikely than Henry's proposal, but wow. Imagine the interest generated as Stanford and UW fight for ninth place, to avoid having to beat Hawaii. Mid-major championships would have profound (and lasting) implications. And no more griping from Boise types. Win your conference and your play-in bowl, and you can join the big boys.

Anonymous said...

Gator Duck,

Your points are valid. I'll agree that no other sport at any level involves biases like IA college football.

The problem, of course, is that capitalism fails in sports leagues. The current system is the result of the powerful stakeholders (BCS conferences, ND, Bowl committees) protecting their financial interests.

Gator Boys/Any name you want said...

Wow last anon that sort of sounds like a great idea. I like it.

P.S. its not that hard to not be an anon... You just click on other and then type in any name you want. Then theres no confusion

Anonymous said...

1st anon,

College presidents will never allow a 16 team playoff. Kids from the cold north country along with thousands of band members save up just enough money to maybe take that "one" winter trip south or out west to a sunny bowl game if their team is lucky enough to be invited (like why bowls we're originally invented for in the first place). Can you imagine the number of angry parents if they found out their kids (students/band members/players) were going to be shuffling around in some playoff system to more than one city per holiday season? Who's going to pay for all that and why? to satisfy some pissed off old farts who think their school deserves a second chance in some playoff system? not gonna happen...
There might come a day when they make a very minor change to the present BCS system but never a playoff system of any magnitude. The current system has just produced one of the most exciting seasons we've ever witnessed.

Your exactly right a bowl system with half the college kids ending up winners is great for the holidays.

KG said...

I think Troy and UCF both have conference championships to play before they would be in the playoff. Troy vs FAU and UCF vs Tulsa. I may be wrong but I think I heard that correctly.

Personally, I think a 16 team, 4 game playoff series would be untenable logistically. Most of them would have to be played at team stadiums. Think of the revenue loss when a 100K+ school like Michigan, Tennessee or Ohio State had to play at a 50-60K stadium like Maryland or Boston College. Not to mention warm weather teams playing in cold weather and vice versa. Home field advantage would dictate much of a team's playoff success IMO.

Gator Boys said...


well then I guess the home-field advantage increases the importance of the regular season

KG said...

But do wins and loses really tell the whole story? Are the 11 wins from Kansas's cupcake schedule more impressive than what UGA, LSU or UF did in the SEC?

Imagine either of those 3 teams playing on a freezing, rainy or snowy night in Kansas in late Dec or Jan.

That's why most bowls are played at warm weather sites.

Henry Gomez said...

Bowls are played at warm weather sites to make it a treat for the fans that are traveling there to a neutral field. When it's a home game I don't think the weather factors in as much in terms of fan support. Football is played in cold weather and snow.