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Posts Tagged ‘Playoff’

Talk radio is rife with talk of unfairness and the want of a playoff. As for the unfairness, I say bull. No other team deserved to be in the championship game than the two that were there. There might have been equals, but none more deserving. And as for the playoff: It ain’t gonna happen, get over it.

There is a sure-fire way to fix college football without a playoff though, and that is through the Super Conference concept, in which the top 25 teams each season must play a specified number of games against one another, and in which the only teams eligible for to win the national championship are those 25 teams.

Each season the bottom 5 teams in the super conference drop out to be replaced by the next top 5 ranked teams. This season Notre Dame would have dropped out. To be eligible for championship contention again they would have to play their way first back into the super conference. The super conference concept would ensure a level playing field for all teams vying for the championship, and give us the best option under the rules we have now for deciding the champion of college football.

The conferences wouldn’t have to change. The bowls wouldn’t have to change. Everything could remain the same; all you would do would rearrange the schedules so that teams would play different, better, competition.

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These are the top 25 teams of the NCAA (unaffiliated) Super Conference according to wins. Note: The teams in this poll do not adhere to the tenets of the Super Conference scheduling system which ranks teams based on schedule equality and wins alone so therefore these standings are purely speculative based on the inherent inadequacies of their current schedules. For instance, all teams in this poll would have played a few of the other teams on this poll using the SC system but in reality many of them have not.

  1. Ohio State (8-0)
  2. LSU (7-1)
  3. Oklahoma (7-1)
  4. Oregon (6-1)
  5. West Virginia (6-1)
  6. USC (6-1)
  7. Virginia Tech (6-1)
  8. South Carolina (6-2)
  9.  Michigan (6-2)
  10. Alabama (6-2)
  11. Penn St (6-2)
  12. Texas (6-2)
  13. Florida (5-2)
  14. Cal (5-2)
  15. Georgia (5-2)
  16. Clemson (5-2)
  17. UCLA (5-2)
  18. Miami (5-3)
  19. Georgia Tech (5-3)
  20. Auburn (5-3)
  21. Tennessee (4-3)
  22. Arkansas (4-3)
  23. Florida St (4-3)
  24. Nebraska (4-4)
  25. Notre Dame (1-7)

Teams poised to jump into the SC next year (the top 5 of these teams will replace the bottom 5 of the SC poll next year):

  1. Arizona State
  2. Boston College
  3. Kansas
  4. South Florida
  5. Missouri
  6. Kentucky
  7. Virginia
  8. Connecticut
  9. Rutgers
  10. Wake Forest

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bcs.jpgI know I’m in the minority here, but I am not a proponent for a playoff. People argue that college football is the only major sport without a playoff, and they’re correct, unless you count the season itself, which winds out like one long playoff to reach the championship. No, a playoff isn’t needed in NCAA football, but I’ll concede that a better system for determining who the National Champion is. The plus-one system is the best I’ve heard so far and I’d wholeheartedly support it, but beyond that I don’t want it. I want the best team in the country to win the National Championship, not, as happens with other teams who win their sports’ respective championships, because a team got on a hot streak when it mattered most. No.

But the current method, the BCS, is too heavily influenced by opinion polls, as both the Harris Poll and the Coaches Poll count for a third of the calculation apiece. The remaining third is compiled via six computer polls, throwing out the highest and lowest score for each team and averaging the remaining four. The computer rankings do not account for opinion, they calculate based on record and strength of schedule, unless you consider the fact that the computer rankings are based upon opinion polls. Originally the BCS used the AP Poll, but the AP withdrew their permissions. So the NCAA created another poll to replace the AP in its calculation. 

So why not get rid of the polls?
Because the polls are fun. 90% of the questions from fans on College Football Gameday concern the polls (“Why isn’t (insert team name here) getting more respect from the polls?”). A lot of people argue that no polls should come out until later in the season, at least week four or six, and I’ve even heard some argue that the polls should be done away with entirely. But this isn’t realistic at all (–this is my nice way of saying get real, dumbass), and besides, as I said, the polls are fun. And, more importantly: the polls are popular. Extremely popular. People eagerly await the first preseason poll and the consult the polls regularly throughout the season. But that’s exactly my point: the polls are fun. Sometimes they work, sometimes not, but so long as they’re based on opinion they will be flawed when it comes to determining the National Champion or even for determining who should have the honor to play in the championship game. The first step in building a better system will be to remove opinion from the formula, and derive the results from performance, which is exactly what the computer ratings are designed to do. I’m not going to argue that the combcs-trophy.jpgputer polls are perfect–I’d personally like to see quality losses hurt a team a little less than it does, and I’d also like to see strength of schedule count for more–but at least they aren’t opinionated.

The AP can still award its popular choice for National Champion, as they have since time immemorial, but the official champion should be awarded based on performance alone. Which is why I would like to see the computer polls be the deciding factor to determine the unbiased NCAA Football National Champion. Let’s face it: they’re already separate awards anyway. LSU won the BCS title in ’03 while USC won the AP. So why incorporate their rankings at all if not for popularity’s sake? There is no other reason that I can think of. But the method is not popular, regardless, and may never be until a playoff (which will likely never be) is instituted. So get rid of the polls, determine the players in the National Championship game by the computer averages, add a plus one if needed, determined on a year-by-year basis (sometimes it’s unnecessary), and let it ride.

Now, if you really want to fix the system, look here.

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