College Football Playoffs: The Proposed System Is Flawed

Why the Proposed College Football Playoff System Is Flawed

6/25/12 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Last Wednesday, a consensus was finally reached on a four-team college football playoff, giving BCS haters something to look forward to in 2014.Blog Photo - College Football Playoffs: Four Teams Is Not Enough

However, this new system may be more flawed than the one that was already in place.

For starters, Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel reported that the BCS Commissioners have decided that a selection committee will determine the field—exactly like today's college basketball tournament.

Many are weary of the way things are done through polls and computer formulas, but I assure you that this will be no better.

The committee will not require a team to win its conference championship to be eligible for the four-team playoff, meaning a hypotheical Alabama-LSU rematch is still in play.

Last year's national title game sparked much controversy with the Crimson Tide losing to the Tigers earlier in the season and not playing in their conference championship. Many believed Nick Saban's crew didn't belong, regardless of the outcome.

Even though it's not likely to happen again, there's still the possibility that there's a reoccurance of the same sort in the new playoff system, which by itself makes the entire plan irrelevant. The new system is supposed to rid of controversy, not continue it in a new form and fashion.

On another note, why four teams? Why not eight, 10, or 16? Don't get me wrong—I love the idea of a college football playoff system. I think the BCS is dead and that something new and exciting needs to take its place.

But a four-team playoff is almost pointless.

Understand this: There will always be snubs. In every sport, there are a few teams that fail to make the big stage of their respective sport, always believing they were left out.

With a 68-team tournament format like college basketball has, that's okay. No one actually believes the 69th or 70th team will go on to win it all; it's pretty much impossible.

But with a four-team format, you have the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth-plus teams saying, "Hey, why aren't we playing?" And they could very well beat the field to win the championship, because they're a high-quality, top-10 team.

For example, last year's final Harris Poll right after the conference title games and before the bowl games looked like this:

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma State
4. Stanford
5. Oregon
6. Boise State
7. Arkansas
8. Wisconsin
9. South Carolina
10. Kansas State

Could Oregon, Boise State, Arkansas or Wisconsin have defeated LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State or Stanford? Absolutely. This is why I think an eight-team playoff would be more appropriate, especially since South Carolina and Kansas State (ninth and 10th) weren't at the same level as the 1-8 last season.

Personally, I'd like to see a system where the championship winner from all six power conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) and two plus-one teams were awarded the opportunity to play each other in an eight-team playoff, allowing Independents like Notre Dame and mid-majors like Boise State a chance to make an appearance.

But unfortunately, it's not up to me and it looks like we're not heading in that direction for the moment.

The BCS presidential oversight committee will choose whether or not to approve the new playoff system at a meeting tomorrow, which seems to be a sure lock.

Although the details of the plan are still being ironed out (which could include a plus-one system), it looks like the four-team idea is nearly set in stone.


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6/26/12   |   scquwi1   |   1227 respect

It they use 10 teams there is no reason to reseed after each round, for the system fact all the teams would be separated by a slim margin. So playing a lower seed would not also mean you are playing a weaker team.

The six power houses as people say, I do not believe should any of them get an automatic bid, if they cannot make it into the top 10 in the polls then there is no reason for them to be in the play-offs.

This is a start, so yes it will have flaws and you will see things continue to work out to where it is a lot better and most people will agree we will see a true champion in college football, not like last season. Please lets not go so far as basketball with 68 teams four play in games, 64 games were more then enough for that tournament.

6/25/12   |   asssvvvvxc

16 teams.playoff by 2018

6/25/12   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

King_Cardinal wrote:
Remember, the playoffs isn't perfect but it shows progress from the BCS-era to the future playoff system of 8-16 teams.

Correct, and by all means I hope they're leaning towards expanding the playoffs to eight, 10 or 16. But for now (and the next several years) it looks like four teams is all we'll get.

6/25/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

King_Cardinal wrote:
Remember, the playoffs isn't perfect but it shows progress from the BCS-era to the future playoff system of 8-16 teams.

I agree...  In the future I see this getting expanded.  So it's merely a start.

6/25/12   |   King_Cardinal   |   2672 respect

Remember, the playoffs isn't perfect but it shows progress from the BCS-era to the future playoff system of 8-16 teams.

6/25/12   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

ML31 wrote:
Not that my opinion is any better, here is how I would run that zoo...

A:  There are 11 Div. 1 conferences so you take the 11 Conference Champs + the best Independent school.  That's 12.  The top 4 get byes in the first round and you are off.

Or B:   Take the 11 Conference champions and add 5 "at large" teams from anywhere and have a straight 16 team playoff.

In both circumstances you re-seed after each round so the highest remaining seed always faces the lowest remaining seed.

Personally I prefer option A.  But option B works too.

I would prefer both of your ideas over the four-team playoff proposal.

6/25/12   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

I'd like to see an 8 or 16 team tourney.  You can run it from a selection comittee, I would be cool with that, but it would be with the idea that the best 16 teams are involved and not the conference winners and the best remaining 5.  The MAC, WAC, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mountain West can fend for themselves for all I care...

6/25/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Not that my opinion is any better, here is how I would run that zoo...

A:  There are 11 Div. 1 conferences so you take the 11 Conference Champs + the best Independent school.  That's 12.  The top 4 get byes in the first round and you are off.

Or B:   Take the 11 Conference champions and add 5 "at large" teams from anywhere and have a straight 16 team playoff.

In both circumstances you re-seed after each round so the highest remaining seed always faces the lowest remaining seed.

Personally I prefer option A.  But option B works too.