Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Winners only, please

Adam: thank you for letting me be a guest-poster on your esteemed blog. (Though I still think you should have called it "The General Opines.")

My main goal on this blog will be to point out your ridiculous mistakes in real time so that the whole world laughs at you. But since you haven't made any ridiculous mistakes yet (AFAIK), I'm going to have to come up with some original content for my first post. 

Andy Baggot has an interesting article about the "selection committee" that will pick the teams for the four-team playoff that begins in 2014. Baggot thought Badgers AD Barry Alvarez was interested in serving on the committee himself, but now thinks he may have developed cold feet after considering all the unreasonable rancor (a.k.a "the unholy shit-storm") that fans of left-out teams will unleash on members of that committee.

Finishing the season ranked number five in college football is going to be one of the most painful experiences in sports for a few years. But it won't last. What I like about this four-team playoff is that it is just a placeholder for an eight-team playoff and then (probably) a 16-team playoff. In life, only three things are certain: death, taxes, and expanding playoffs.

That said, we will have a four-team playoff for a while, and picking those four teams is going to be extremely controversial. Baggot proposes that the NCAA selection committee should start practicing by running through the scenarios from prior years to pick the top four for those seasons. That's a great idea, and maybe we could have some fun replaying previous years ourselves.

But I have another proposal for the four-team playoff: only conference champions and undefeated independents should be eligible. This takes care of a lot of the possible controversies. It also disposes with one of the objections to the playoff system, which is that it supposedly devalues the regular season. (This objection is nonsense, but widespread.) I recognize that this proposal is a little weird given that just last season the two-team playoff featured two teams from the same division, one of whom obviously was not a conference champion (or even a division champion). But I think we can agree that was an abomination.

Ultimately, a chance at a national title should not be a consolation prize for teams that can't win their own conference—at least not when only four teams are selected for the playoffs.

1 comment:

  1. Great first post. So much to comment on.
    1) I will look into name changes for the Blog. The General may have to be incorporated as I plan to blog drunk a lot.
    2) Replaying some of the past years Championtship games into 4 team playoffs sounds like fun.
    3)I have been thinking about possible playoff systems for a while. While I am greatful that there is finally a change, I am not happy with the current product. I agree there will be expansion, so I'll put something up about how I would do it if I were King of the NCAA.