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Topic: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number

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BuckeyeAvenger

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Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« on: June 23, 2022, 09:25:04 AM »
I keep hearing that when the various conferences trust each other enough, then we will expand the playoff to twelve teams. I like the four team current set-up, but I know playoff expansion is inevitable (for TV money and enhanced fan interest). However, I think twelve is the worst number of teams, of all possible scenarios. The reason for this is that the twelve team playoff includes “byes” for the top four teams, which in my way of thinking is a non-starter. The top four teams already have many huge advantages over the other teams (they are better) in any playoff, whether we are dealing with 8,12 or 16 teams, why give them a bye (other than Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, etc. want it that way)? The top 4 teams are going to win almost all of the time, so why GUARANTEE that no team outside of the top four ever wins (which is what you are doing if the top 4 get a bye)? I think the college sport that handles the end of the season the best is NCAA basketball, with their “big dance” tournament. In the NCAA tournament, the 1 seed doesn’t get to skip the game with the 16 seed (get a bye). Byes are related to pro sports, not college sports IMHO, and giving the top 4 playoff teams a bye, is just another evil attempt to make college football (the greatest sport), more like pro football (a lesser sport) IMO.

It seems like eight teams is the correct number to expand to, when they get around to it. 16 seems too many, 12 has the bye problem and they are not happy with the current 4 (less money and fan interest). What do you think? What is the correct number? What do you think of byes in college sports?

Cincydawg

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2022, 09:32:07 AM »
This has been discussed to death, which doesn't mean it can't be discussed more.  I'm for the current four, I could be talked into six, but whatever "they" do is OK with me, I'll still enjoy the game.

847badgerfan

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2022, 09:47:02 AM »
I'd guess there is no right answer for everyone. 

Some of us, including me, do not like the playoff at all. Not because my school hasn't made one yet, but because it tamps down the importance of the bowl games.

Bowl games used to be the thing, and it was fun for a lot of teams, fans, media, etc.

Now they have lost their luster - including the Rose Bowl.

The playoff this year will be Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and probably either Oklahoma or Clemson.

Sounds fun. Or not.
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longhorn320

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2022, 09:59:29 AM »
Im a eight team guy

1 team from each of the major 5 conferences and 3 teams chosen at large
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medinabuckeye1

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2022, 11:00:38 AM »
I agree with the Original Poster, @BuckeyeAvenger , on byes.  I just don't like them.  Besides, if we are determined to accept that some CFP participants could play four playoff games (the 5-8 vs 9-12 games, the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the Championship) then why shouldn't all CFP participants face that possibility?  Ie, once you go to 12 there really is no reason at all not to go to 16.  

I agree with @847badgerfan that there is no right answer for everyone and also that I really would prefer to go back to the old way.  I really don't like that the CFP has effectively sucked all of the oxygen out of the room such that all of the other bowls seem meaningless now which is why we see a lot of guys sitting out non-CFP bowl games.  I feel that even in the BCS era the bowls existed in something of a continuum of importance/interest from BCSNCG to other BCS games to other "major" bowls to minor bowls.  Now I feel like we basically have a dichotomy where your team is either in the CFP or they aren't but that sucks for a team that has a not-quite CFP season and goes to the Rose Bowl.  Years ago that was a great accomplishment and now I feel like nobody cares it is just "not CFP" which lumps the Rose Bowl in with the Motor City Bowl.  

Note for @OrangeAfroMan , the above isn't simply about the Rose Bowl, it is about the perception of seasons in general.  It used to be in our league you had:

  • The best season was a NC
  • A Rose Bowl Season was really good
  • A Citrus Bowl Season was good
  • etc
  • etc
Now it has become sorta "CFP or bust" and I don't like that.  


I agree with @longhorn320 in that I'm an eight team guy although I would change it up slightly by making it the five P5 Champs, the highest ranked G5 Champ, and two at-large.  That way the G5 couldn't argue that they were excluded and the two at-large spots would take care of situations where a great team picked the wrong week to lose and ended up missing their CG on a tiebreaker due to a close loss often on the road but finished 11-1.  

One thing that I actually like about the current, 4-team model is that not all P5 Champs will get in.  This prevents OOC and cross-over games from being devalued.  My example is Northwestern in 2018:

In 2018 the Wildcats lost ALL THREE of their OOC games including at home by two TD's to a mediocre DOOK team and at home to a sub .500 MAC team.  Then they also lost a cross-over game (Michigan) at home and yet they ended up in the B1GCG at 8-4.  Although I favor auto-bids IF we go to 8+, I don't like the idea of a mediocre (to put it nicely) 8-4 team playing for a CFP berth let alone the idea of a mediocre 9-4 team actually going to the CFP.  

In the current, 4-team model the OOC and cross-over games still matter because simply winning your CG does not guarantee a CFP berth.  

I do enjoy the CBB Tournament but I also acknowledge that it's existence diminishes the sport's regular season.  In football even with the 4-team playoff one game can be the difference between appearing in the CFP or missing it even for a legitimate NC Contender.  See for example, Ohio State's one loss (to Purdue) in 2018, their one loss (to MSU) in 2015, or either of their two losses (to OU and IA) in 2017.  I believe that the Buckeye teams in 2015, 2017, and 2018 were good enough to potentially win the NC had they gotten to the CFP but all three missed effectively because of one game.  Winning any one of those four games would have put the Buckeyes in the CFP that year.  

That sucks when your team loses of course, but it also adds a lot of excitement to even to run-of-the-mill regular season CFB games that just doesn't exist for even the biggest regular season CBB games.  

Cincydawg

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 11:04:56 AM »
No option will satisfy everyone, as noted above.  There is no "right answer".  There could be an answer that is "most popular", if that matters.

I think if we went to 12, 16 would happen in a few years.  And then ...

I think one issue with the current system has been SEC dominance (especially if you add Clemson and call it southern dominance).

That detracts from national interest obviously.

ELA

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 11:23:02 AM »
2

847badgerfan

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ELA

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2022, 05:08:04 PM »
I'll live w/ a Northwestern or Wake Forest winning their conference from time to time.  Give me the 5 Power 5 champs, best Group of 5 team and then 2 best at large teams.  I'd rather have a 10-3 Utah team that won the Pac than the 4th place SEC team.

So this past year, I guess we would have:

Bama - SEC
Utah - Pac
Pittsburgh - ACC
Michigan - Big Ten
Baylor - XII
Cincy - Group of 5
Georgia - At large
Notre Dame - At large

You can have round 1 be home games by the 4 highest ranked teams and you would have:

Pittsburgh @ Alabama
Utah @ Michigan
Notre Dame @ Georgia
Baylor @ Cincinnati

OrangeAfroMan

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2022, 05:24:54 PM »
You want a crap PAC champ over the 4th-place SEC team?  Why?
Programs by W/L record since 2003:
OSU
Boise
Alabama
OU
Georgia
Oregon
LSU
Florida
FSU
50% of these top 8 are now in the SEC.  Half.  Over the past ~20 years, half.  HALF.  
.
I get it, you guys don't like the idea that the 1st and 2nd and/or 4th-best teams in the country may be in the SEC.  I wouldn't like it, either.  But that's how it is/can be.  It's not prudent to pretend one conference doesn't dominate recruiting rankings AND college football AND the NFL draft.  To purposely exclude teams from that conference in the act of determining a national champion is unethical.  
But let's not let ethics get in the way of getting what you want.
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Cincydawg

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2022, 05:26:13 PM »
Of course I like ethics, but I never let them stand in  the way of doing what's right.

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2022, 05:27:37 PM »
I'll live w/ a Northwestern or Wake Forest winning their conference from time to time.  Give me the 5 Power 5 champs, best Group of 5 team and then 2 best at large teams.  I'd rather have a 10-3 Utah team that won the Pac than the 4th place SEC team.

So this past year, I guess we would have:

Bama - SEC
Utah - Pac
Pittsburgh - ACC
Michigan - Big Ten
Baylor - XII
Cincy - Group of 5
Georgia - At large
Notre Dame - At large

You can have round 1 be home games by the 4 highest ranked teams and you would have:

Pittsburgh @ Alabama
Utah @ Michigan
Notre Dame @ Georgia
Baylor @ Cincinnati
This has been my standing proposal for a while now with only the modification that I'd reward league champions by having the four highest ranked league champions rather than the four highest ranked teams host the first round.  Thus the match-ups would have been:
  • #12 Pitt at #1 Bama
  • #11 Utah at #2 Michigan
  • #5 Notre Dame at #4 Cincy
  • #3 Georgia at #7 Baylor

I'd also re-seed after the on-campus first-round games.  Thus if Bama, Michigan, and UGA all won the second round (bowl site) match-ups would be:
  • #1 Bama vs 4/5 Cincy/ND
  • #2 Michigan vs #3 UGA
However, if say Utah upset Michigan in Ann Arbor then the second round match-ups would be:
  • #1 Bama vs #11 Utah
  • #2 UGA vs 4/5 Cincy/ND
Alternatively, if Baylor won their home game against UGA then the second round games would be:
  • #1 Bama vs #7 Baylor
  • #2 Michigan vs 4/5 Cincy/ND
Or if Pitt upset Bama in Tuscaloosa then the second round games would be:
  • #2 Michigan vs #12 Pitt
  • #3 UGA vs 4/5 Cincy/ND


medinabuckeye1

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Re: Potential Playoff Expansion - The Right Number
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2022, 05:37:12 PM »
You want a crap PAC champ over the 4th-place SEC team?  Why?
 . . .
I get it, you guys don't like the idea that the 1st and 2nd and/or 4th-best teams in the country may be in the SEC.  I wouldn't like it, either.  But that's how it is/can be.  It's not prudent to pretend one conference doesn't dominate recruiting rankings AND college football AND the NFL draft.  To purposely exclude teams from that conference in the act of determining a national champion is unethical. 
But let's not let ethics get in the way of getting what you want.
If I've learned anything in my adult life, it's that. 
I get where you are coming from, I really do.  The opposite argument, of course, is that if you aren't the best team in your league then you can't be the best team in the country.  I get that argument too.  I think both are a little too extreme and I take a middle ground:

The middle ground is that there are situations in which the best team doesn't win the league title.  Maybe Bama has loses to Auburn on a crazy kick-6 and misses the SECCG.  Maybe Ohio State just has a really bad day against MSU or PSU and misses the B1GCG.  

I think we need SOME at-large selections for those types of situations.  

OTOH, I don't think we need to see how the SEC's (or any other league's) 4th best team does in the playoff if the top-3 are already there.  If you can't be one of the best three teams in your own league then I agree with the league title extremists that you simply aren't #1 nationally.  

I don't actually like including the top G5 Champion but I think, as a practical and legal matter, it has to be done.  Thus I have five P5 Champs, one G5 Champ, and two at-large teams.  If both at-large teams are from the SEC, that is fine with me.  If the SEC really is head-and-shoulders above the rest then we'll see three SEC teams in the semi-finals and two in the Championship.  I want to find out though so I want those three SEC teams to play non-SEC teams in the first round.  

 

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