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CFP Committee Reviewing Playoff Size/Structure

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by seaofred92, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. iam4uf

    iam4uf GC Hall of Fame

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    The regular season traditions & rivalries, both fueled by fans, are what have made college football successful. I don't see sustainable interest by changing the equation. We'll see if football continues to generate the same income, which has become the bottom line.
     
  2. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

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    and also, Under Construction Forever
     
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  3. atlantagator86

    atlantagator86 GC Hall of Fame

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    I understand your sentiment at some level, but isn't the objective of the polls, BCS or CFP to crown the best team in the country as national champs?

    I can't think of a single season between the BCS or CFP that the team crowned national champs wasn't deserving. The argument seems to be to make sure that every team that has any possible claim to have a chance is included, plus a lot of teams that really aren't deserving.

    It's pretty rare that college football has a national champion that isn't deserving, but college basketball and every other sport that has expanded it's playoff to include teams that barely have a .500 winning percentage can't say that.
     
  4. defensewinschampionships

    defensewinschampionships GC Hall of Fame

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    Big brother to my alma mater, U Never Finish
     
  5. SewaneeGator

    SewaneeGator GC Hall of Fame

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    I'd say that's a little self fulfilling after the fact. If OSU had beaten Alabama this past season, we'd all have considered them deserving. Why? Because they beat Bama (which they didn't, but go with me for a minute). Their regular season was arguably undeserving with their undefeated but minimal schedule. There were lots of debate that they shouldn't have been in their conference championship game, let alone the four team playoff. Yet they beat Northwestern and surprised most of us by blasting Clemson. In retrospect, because they won those games, they were indeed deserving of being in the playoffs. But if the Big 10 hadn't changed their rules and kept OSU out, only OSU fans would have argued they were deserving and we all would have moved on.

    Bama was the best team last year and proved it on the field every opportunity they had. They deserved the championship. Yet we were possibly a few missing seconds away from beating them and staking our own claim in the playoffs. And we would have been deserving if we won. Why? Because we beat Bama to get there. It's easy to look in hindsight and say the winners deserved to be champions because they won. It's almost self evident. What we don't and can't know is the what if that can legitimately happen on the field when it's all on the line. Almost no one REALLY thought we could beat Bama for the SEC Championship. But it honestly and truly nearly happened. Not a fluke, not a crazy injury. But the same team that looked like it had inexplicably blown it's year against an undermanned LSU, was a play or extra time out away from the playoffs. That's exciting. It's fun. It's entertaining--and not just for UF fans. That kind of chaos and sticking it to the boring old guard dominating all the championships lights a fire in all sort of fans and gives all sorts of schools hope that next year really could be their year.

    Instead, the 4 team playoff limit has meant a quickly ossified Pareto distribution were the rich get richer and the have nots get late into the season and start wondering why they bother. I'm not arguing for any particular playoff model. I am suggesting that the current structure, intentional or not, has already led to the spike in "opt outs" (a foreign concept only a few years ago) and the trend is now growing from bowl games backward into the regular season. This is a bubble primed to burst. Sooner or later if the playoffs continue having the same teams over and over, even the number of people watching will dwindle. The bored, annoyed, and frustrated fans of other teams will likewise start to "opt out," leaving not just those same teams playing, but mostly only their fans interested. And that's bad for the sport.
     
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  6. Wanne15

    Wanne15 GC Hall of Fame

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    04 Auburn should have at the very least been in the game.
     
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  7. atlantagator86

    atlantagator86 GC Hall of Fame

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    I would have but I thought OSU should have been in the 4 team playoff. They shouldn't have gotten in over another undefeated P5 conference team, but in my opinion, their 5-0 B1G record was better than Texas A&M's 1 loss. But what happened with OSU was kind of a fluky situation.

    I'm not sure of your point here. UF had their shot at Bama. The CCGs are effectively part of the playoff. We had our chance and came close but didn't get it done. We didn't deserve to be in the playoff. The only team I think really had a strong argument to be considered in the playoff was Texas A&M. But this kind of makes my point. Because one team had a legitimate argument that they should have a chance, people would say the solution is to expand the playoff to 8 teams which lets one deserving team in and 3 teams that in my opinion aren't deserving in. Your next 3 after Texas A&M would likely have been Iowa State, UF, UGA (all with 2 loses) or Cincinnati and I'm not a fan of the idea of letting AAC teams in the playoff mix every year. Just my opinion.
     
  8. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    I do get your point, but also agree with Sewanee that there is a confirmation bias as we look back.
    And let me point out one undeserving team- 2013 FSU. Now- they didn't go through a 2 game playoff, just 1.

    They played the easiest schedule imaginable to get to title game, then they beat an Auburn team who was in there due to multiple fluke plays.
    2013 FSU was certainly a good team, but 2021 Gonzaga was also a good team.
    Most thought they were unbeatable too, until they faced a strong team from a strong conference, who destroyed them.

    But again, your point is good. But I would refine it to say...
    Not enough teams in the playoff enables a soft schedule Goliath to waltz into the title game, where they can get lucky to win it all.
    Further- it also will exclude a great team who played a tough schedule and lost an unlucky game.

    BUT too many teams in the playoffs enables a decently good team to get hot and lucky, and win a title.

    So the trick is to find the right number that balances both sides.
    IMO- for football it's 6.
     
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  9. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    This is a seriously great post.
    And let me add to it and show how the self-fulfilling part works.
    Back in 06, every media outlet said that ohio state was the best. Maybe the best of all time.
    If ESPN had gotten their wish, then tOSU would have played Michigan in the Fiesta, won, and all would have proclaimed them the GOAT.

    Instead we backed into the game, thanks to USCw losing and Danielson's lobbying for us.
    And then destroyed that GOAT 41-14. (They got 81 yards of offense!)

    But in another universe where the re-match happened, people would look back and say- hey, that Ohio State team certainly deserved the title. No ifs, ands or buts.
    When in fact, they probably weren't even in the top 4 that year.
     
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  10. murphree_hall

    murphree_hall GC Hall of Fame

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    Or, perhaps, the current system chooses the wrong teams.
     
  11. murphree_hall

    murphree_hall GC Hall of Fame

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    I don’t get this statement. Every sport besides college football is set up this way. If that happens, then they deserve the title. That’s the whole point of the playoffs. You get in and anything can happen. We aren’t supposed to protect the right of Alabama and OSU to win a title every year.
     
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  12. Wanne15

    Wanne15 GC Hall of Fame

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    The teams with the best records do usually win . Taking from the nfl as the do have a history with actual playoffs, sometimes the undefeated teams like the Pats go down to the Giants who would have never been in the playoffs in this four team deal. Years ago, the Raiders won as a wildcard with I think it was a 9-7 record. I’m sure there’s more and the talent level disparity is much greater in college , but given a real playoff, it’ll happen sooner or later that someone outside the top 4 will win it all. Then , they will have deserved to be there.
     
  13. Wanne15

    Wanne15 GC Hall of Fame

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    Injuries during the season? Getting healthy finally for the playoffs, a qb finally getting his shit together after flubbing a game or two early? The best team T the end of the year isn’t always the same team game one. There are many factors that could keep an eventual champion out . I’ve never liked that college football doesn’t give ever a shot. Ucf, Boise state, many decent teams that were never given a shot. I’d rather see them get their asses handed to them in the first round and not claim some bs title. Settle on the field and tge hell with opinions.
     
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  14. Wanne15

    Wanne15 GC Hall of Fame

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    But you never know until you play the game. Should the USA just have conceded the 80 Olympic gold medal. The obvious doesn’t often play out how everyone thinks.
     
  15. atlantagator86

    atlantagator86 GC Hall of Fame

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    More often than not, but that to me is the problem! Playoffs much too often crown a very mediocre team, like the Giants, as champions because they went on a hot streak at the right time. Nobody but hardcore fans watch the NCAA basketball regular season. The 1985 Villanova team that went 25-10 and was an 8-seed were national champs because they won a tournament game against 35-3 Georgetown who beat Villanova twice that season. I know they won the tournament but the better team didn't win the title.

    My issue is that playoff tournaments diminishes the regular season and college football is the one sport that people get really motivated about every week.

    I think we probably just come from different thought processes, which is fine, but to me, I only want any sort of tournament to only include the elite teams that deserve to be champions if they win.
     
  16. SewaneeGator

    SewaneeGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Just that when we say every champion deserved their championship, there is a significant element of hindsight. I'm not disputing that Bama was deserving of the title. Only that any team that won those two playoff games would have been similarly deserving, whether or not we assumed they were the "best" team or a "deserving" team going into the playoffs. Had we beaten them in the SECCG, we would have been deserving of a playoff spot. And if we won two playoff games, we would have been deserving of the championship. ANY team that did such a feat could rightly say they deserved the championship.

    That's why "deserve" is a tricky term. Same thing with "best." We wind up using the transitive property of common opponents of common opponents, factor in recent recruiting rankings, and whatever our personal "eye test" happens to be in order to form our opinions of which teams are deserving and which teams are best until they actually play each other. And then it's settled on the field--as it ought to be. "Deserving" or "best" takes a back seat to "winner on the championship field." So the question remains, who "deserves" a shot?

    I agree that the conference championship games function as de facto quarterfinals. Yet we all know the conferences themselves are routinely difficult to compare apples to apples. And when some conference championship games feature a 3 or 4 loss team from an already suspect conference schedule, we are reminded that this isn't the NFL with it's limited number of roughly balanced conferences and divisions. And, of course, the times where the loser of the de facto quarterfinal still made it in because of their body of work over the season or the threat of a team that didn't make it's championship still qualifying for one of the four playoff spots.

    Because I'm not arguing those things shouldn't happen. Sometimes a really good team slips up early, has a fluke loss or injury, plays in a conference/division head and shoulders above the rest, or the overall field is such a muddled mess it seems arbitrary to pick four. And I absolutely agree there are severely diminishing returns in having too many teams. But while the top team or two is almost always an obvious choice, most years there is real debate on teams 3&4, and every year there has been a question of which team should get that fourth spot. Maybe those first couple of teams left out every year never had a real chance to win it all. But maybe they did. Or maybe they could win a game and change the matchups later on. Or maybe they were actually better than the team that got in over them because of name, reputation, or geography. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I do, though, know a way to gain some solid information about those maybes: Play the games on the field and see what happens.

    I love the "every game counts" nature of college football, I truly do. But the nature of the game has changed so much at the P5 level, but a four spot playoff dominated throughout it's brief existence by basically six teams is a recipe for more and more opt outs, earlier and earlier. Athletes opting out of games and seasons. Teams opting out of effort and focus. And eventually fans opting out of interest. One more round of playoffs could possibly knock off a "deserving" team in the grind or by a fluke and allow a "less deserving" team to win a championship. But #1, I'd say the team that won three playoff games against top opponents "deserve" their championship, whatever we thought of them going in. And players, teams, and fans alike just might have more reason to keep fighting, keep focused, and keep interested knowing it's not just the Alabamas and Notre Dames of the world with a birthright to have a shot at the title. Because I don't think what we're doing right now can last, one way or the other.
     
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  17. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    Some good answers above me- my point is that you can let too many teams in the playoffs.
    It's an arguable point but IMO the NHL and NBA definitely let too many teams in. I'd cut it in half if I was king.
    So I don't want CFB to follow suit.
     
  18. murphree_hall

    murphree_hall GC Hall of Fame

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    Well, obviously you want to right size the amount of teams that make it in, but the NFL only has 32 teams and 14 will now make it in. I never thought to myself that their playoffs are too expansive. I don’t watch NHL, but I do watch the NBA and no way would I cut the playoffs in half. Why would you want that? It’s great basketball. College football has 130 teams but only 4 teams make it to the playoff? That’s a joke. We need 16 teams. That way pretty much any doubt is removed in who should get in, and you don’t need perfection in the regular season to get a shot. I could totally have seen UF beat a team like Clemson or OSU based upon the way we played Bama tighter than any other team in the nation. Why do we want to reward Clemson OSU for playing in lesser conferences? The SEC has Bama, LSU, UF, Auburn, and even UT winning one or multiple titles in the past 25 years, not to mention UGA who threatens often.
     
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  19. atlantagator86

    atlantagator86 GC Hall of Fame

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    I didn't think you were saying Bama wasn't deserving. I'm okay with the system now. I think there are consistently 3-4 deserving teams and I would have been happy calling any winner of a 4-team playoff national champs. I'm okay with the playoff system as it is now for declaring a champion.

    My issue is when they try to expand it to what will likely soon be 8. If you did that this year, there would have been several teams I don't think were deserving of being in the playoffs (UF may have been 1 of them). When you have 2 loss teams like UGA, Bama and AAC teams like Cincinnati being in the playoff, that diminishes it for me. I don't think UF should have had the same path to a national championship that Bama had. That's the point I'm trying to make.

    Here-in lies one of the problems. If they expand to an 8-team playoff, you can be sure they'd demand the P5 conference champs get an automatic spot in the playoff. Then likely 2 highest ranked non conference champs and an at-large. You're going to probably see a lot of 3-4 loss teams in the playoff.

    All undefeated major P5 conference teams and most with 1 loss will get in a 4-team playoff. Texas A&M was just a little unlucky this year. You'll always have a debate about who gets left out and say other teams are more deserving, but my argument is that you don't fix that by expanding the field. When you expand the field you'll likely get more debate.

    Agree that the opt out issue is a problem, just like relaxed transfer rules, but I actually think expanding playoffs will make that problem even worse. The real reason I think you see bowl games become meaningless is because of the media coverage. It used to be that there was 1 or maybe 2 bowl game match ups that would decide the national championship. The got a lot of attention but there was still plenty of time for coverage of the other New Years Day bowl games and big classic conference match-ups. Since the playoff, the coverage is all on those 4 teams in the playoff. Plus they've largely done away with the bowl conference tie-ins, so the significance of those bowls is diluted.

    There's so many games now and limited coverage that these bowl games have become mostly meaningless to the kids. It used to be a big deal for your school to go to the Sugar Bowl or Orange Bowl. Now because of the playoff, there's no media coverage or hype, so nobody cares. Expanding the playoff will make that even worse, except for those 4 teams that make the playoff.

    But it will happen. There's too much money in it for them not to expand it. And now you'll probably have the same 8 teams making the playoff and the divide between them and the rest of college football will be wider.
     
  20. Matthanuf06

    Matthanuf06 GC Hall of Fame

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    The challenge is keeping the regular season, rivalries, and ccg important.

    My plan:

    1. Round 1 is all 10 major CFB ccgs. So 20 teams are guaranteed “in”

    2. Round 2. The 10 winners plus 4 at larges. They can be losers of CCGs, non division winners, independents, etc. So now we have 14 teams. Reseed them and form a new bracket. Top 2 teams get a bye. That leaves 12 teams and 6 games with 3 games on each side of the bracket

    3. Round 3: 8 teams left. 2 games on each side.

    4. Final 4

    5. Final 2

    The key is including the CCGs as part of the entire system (keeps meaning). Byes also keep importance. And you include the minor conferences. Sure they will probably get blasted in round 2, but they’d be included. Round 3 would be the final 8 and occasionally would have that fun “Cinderella” who would probably get blasted then.

    Regardless it’s a way to maintain the traditions of CFB while crowning a champ in a fair way