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Topic: Regular season game stake diminish as the post-season expands

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medinabuckeye1

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Regular season game stake diminish as the post-season expands
« on: November 25, 2022, 10:11:15 AM »
Ohio State and Michigan are about to play a top-5 matchup for, I believe, the 12th time.  I saw somewhere that this was the most times any two teams had met as top-5 opponents.  

The stakes for games like these are, of course, enormous which is why THE GAME is what it is and why The Rivalry is what it is but lost in all of this is the fact that, realistically, this will likely be the last time that a regular season tOSU/M game has stakes this high and also that a few years or a few decades ago the stakes would have been even higher.  

What this game IS for, the stakes:

  • The bragging rights in an annual border-state rivalry where LOTS of fans on both sides interact frequently with fans of the other team.  This is what makes regional rivalries more bitter.  If my Buckeyes lose to Bama I rarely have to hear about it from a Bama fan because other than @rolltidefan and a few others on here and a couple of local bandwagon fans, I don't really interact with many Bama fans.  I have to interact with Michigan fans all the time.  It sucks when my team lost the most recent game.  
  • The B1G-E Championship.  This is nice, of course, but it isn't the actual league title and while that is probably on the line as well, the winner still has to line up next week at a neutral site, and play a game for it.  
  • A spot in the CFP.  The loser has a chance but it is only a chance.  The winner is in (even if they lose the B1GCG).  

Now consider the comparison of the 2006 game which was the last time these two met as undefeated and untied teams:
  • The bragging rights in an annual border-state rivalry where LOTS of fans on both sides interact frequently with fans of the other team.  This is what makes regional rivalries more bitter.  If my Buckeyes lose to Bama I rarely have to hear about it from a Bama fan because other than @rolltidefan and a few others on here and a couple of local bandwagon fans, I don't really interact with many Bama fans.  I have to interact with Michigan fans all the time.  It sucks when my team lost the most recent game.
  • There was no divisional Championship to win but if there had been this game would have won it.  
  • The League Championship.  There was no additional game.  The Buckeyes won in 2006 and walked off the field wearing "Big Ten Champions" hats because they were done.  
  • A spot in the NC game.  This was MUCH bigger than #3 for the 2022 game because there was no semi-final.  By beating Michigan in 2006 the Buckeyes got all the way to the NC Game.  This year's winner will still need to play in the B1GCG then play a CFP semi-final to get to the NC Game.  

Then go back yet another step.  Back in 1969, under first-year Head Coach Bo Schembechler, the Wolverines pulled off one of the greatest upsets in College Football History.  I need to set the stage:
  • First off, tOSU was the defending NC and had been #1 all year long in 1969.  Their 1968 NC team was composed mostly of sophomores in an era when freshman couldn't play and nobody left early for the NFL so after the Buckeyes won the NC with mostly sophomores in 1968 they were widely expected to win three in a row by winning two more with those same players in 1969 and 1970.  
  • Ohio State won the 1968 game 50-14.  This wasn't the infamous "I couldn't go for three" game, that was a 50-20 win in Ann Arbor in 1961 but the 1968 game was a blowout and Ohio State brought back basically the same team for another round in 1969, there was every reason to expect AT LEAST another win.  
  • Purdue and Michigan State were actually seen as Ohio State's major in-conference hurdles rather than Michigan.  The Boilermakers had been #1 until tOSU knocked them off in 1968 and were #10 when tOSU beat them in 1969 the week before THE GAME.  Michigan State was "only" ranked #19 when the Buckeyes beat them in 1969 but they had been a better team over the past decade or so than Michigan.  In 1967 they had a rather famous tie with ND.  Also, the Spartans beat the Wolverines in 1969.  
  • Most people forget this but Michigan simply wasn't very good for most of the twenty years before Bo's arrival.  They had beaten the Buckeyes in the "Snow Bowl" in Ohio Stadium in 1950 to claim a league title but between then and Bo's arrival in 1969 the Wolverines only won one league title (1964) in 18 years.  Remember that this was in an era when co-championships counted.  From 1951-1968 the Wolverines were:
  • .278, 4-12-2 against MSU
  • .286, 2-5 against PU
  • .333, 6-12 against tOSU
  • .556, 10-8 against MN
  • .571, 4-3 against UW
  • .611, 11-7 against IL
  • .636, 7-4 against IU
  • .727, 7-2-2 against IA
  • .750, 12-4 against NU

My point is that in 1969 nobody expected Michigan to knock off the Buckeyes.  In retrospect it isn't all that surprising.  We think of Michigan and Ohio State and Bo and Woody and just expect a heavy-weight fight.  Leading into 1969 Michigan simply hadn't been in that category since shortly after WWII so people didn't see them that way.  Also, looking back it is easy to see that Schembechler's team had improved dramatically.  They started out 3-2 but in the four games prior to tOSU they had outscored their opponents roughly 45-6 on average.  

Looking back Michigan is OBVIOUSLY the big challenge but at the time Ohio State was coming off of a win in a top-10 match-up with Purdue.  It is hard, today, to wrap our heads around the idea that THE GAME could be more-or-less anti-climactic but to the 1969 Buckeyes, it was.  The higher-ranked opponent was Purdue, beating Michigan was just supposed to be a coronation after the big win over Purdue.  

Now consider the stakes for the Buckeyes for the 1969 game against Michigan.  It was for the NC.  Literally.  At that time the league had a Rose Bowl only rule and a "no repeat" rule.  The Buckeyes went to the Rose Bowl after the 1968 season so they ere ineligible by the no repeat rule in 1969 and they were #1 heading into the Michigan game so all they had to do was win and they would have been the 1969 NC's.  Today that would be the equivalent of four games:
  • THE GAME
  • The B1GCG
  • The CFP Semi-Final
  • The CFP CG


Now lets look forward:
Within a few years the league is likely to adopt a divisonless CG and the CFP is likely to expand to 12 teams.  That would take a lot of the stakes away from this game:
  • If we had a divisionless CG, both teams would already have clinched spots so they'd already KNOW that they would be playing each other next week for the league title.  This game would be for bragging rights . . . for a week.  
  • If we had a 12-team CFP both teams would already have effectively clinched spots.  The loser is going to finish 11-1 so not only would they be guaranteed to get an at-large spot, they'd almost certainly get the first at-large spot.  


ELA

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Re: Regular season game stake diminish as the post-season expands
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2022, 11:48:21 AM »
It just changes which games have stakes.  Penn State has nothing on the line this week.  They would in a 12 team playoff.  IF you allowed all conference champs in, jockying to get into the MAC Championship this weekend would matter.

It doesn't lower the stakes, it just changes which games have stakes

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Regular season game stake diminish as the post-season expands
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2022, 02:17:12 PM »
It just changes which games have stakes.  Penn State has nothing on the line this week.  They would in a 12 team playoff.  IF you allowed all conference champs in, jockying to get into the MAC Championship this weekend would matter.

It doesn't lower the stakes, it just changes which games have stakes
Yeah, but no.  

Those games would have stakes for who GOES to the NC but would they actually have any significant impact on who WINS the NC?  I highly doubt it.  
WRT the MAC:
There was very little jockeying to get into the MAC Championship this week anyway.  Toledo locked up their berth a week or two ago and Ohio locked up theirs in Tuesday Night MACtion earlier this week.  Ohio and Toledo played three P5 opponents this year:
  • Ohio lost to Iowa State by 33
  • Ohio lost to Penn State by 36
  • Toledo lost to Ohio State by 56

Iowa State is a 4-7/1-7 team that wouldn't even be in the conversation for a 12-team playoff.  Penn State would be in the conversation for a 12-team playoff.  Ohio State is in the CFP with a win over Michigan and possibly in even with a loss.  They would have already effectively clinched a bid to a 12-team playoff.  

So yes, there would be drama as to which MAC team gets slaughtered in the first round of the Playoff but it would have no bearing on who actually wins the NC.  Any of the P5 Champs or at-larges would handle Ohio or Toledo without breaking a sweat just like ISU, PSU, and tOSU did.  The other thing is that the expanded playoff makes an upset nothing more than good fortune for whoever gets to face Ohio/Toledo in round #2.  Once every 25 years or whatever the Bobcats/Rockets might catch an at-large on a seriously off night and knock them off.  That only gets them to the quarter-finals where their opponent will just be lucky to get Toledo/Ohio instead of a quality team.  

If we had a 12-team playoff (based on current CFP rankings):
  • 11-0 UGA, already clinched either as SEC Champ or #1 at-large
  • 11-0 tOSU, already clinched either as B1G Champ or #1 or #2 at-large (or #3 if both UGA and tOSU/M lose their CG)
  • 11-0 M, same as tOSU 
  • 11-0 TCU, already clinched either as B12 Champ or #1-4 at-large
  • 9-2 LSU, work to do.  Not necessarily in as an at large even at 10-3, definitely out at 9-4, definitely in as SEC Champ
  • 10-1 USC, work to do.  Not necessarily in as an at large at 10-3 but probably in as an at-large at 11-2 so could clinch with a win either this week (10-2 at-large) or next week (10-2 P12 Champ).  
  • 9-2 Bama, the Iron Bowl would matter because at 10-2 they are probably in but at 9-3 probably not.  
  • 10-1 Clemson, work to do but probably only need to win one of their last two to get in either as an 11-2 at-large (lose ACCCG) or ACC Champ.  
  • 9-2 Oregon, needs to win P12CG to get in which means they probably need to win out.  
  • 9-2 Tennessee, has to win to keep their hopes alive.  Probably in as an at-large with a win over Vandy and a 10-2 finish but definitely out at 9-3.  
  • 9-2 Penn State, has to beat MSU to stay alive.  Probably in as an at-large at 10-2.  
  • 8-3 Kansas State, probably has to win out to make it.  
  • 9-2 Washington, has to win this weekend to stay alive.  With a win they have a chance at the P12CG or could possibly snag an at-large bid at 10-2 but would be out at 9-3.  
  • 8-3 Utah, has to win this weekend and needs help, a lot of help.  
  • 8-3 Notre Dame, this would be a REALLY interesting case for an at-large.  They have two just dreadfully bad losses (to a Marshall team that is sub .500 in the Sun Belt and to a Stanford team that is dead last in the PAC) along with a loss to Ohio State.  OTOH, the Irish already have wins over both ACCCG participants (by 13 and 21 points) and have a chance to knock off #6 this weekend.  
  • 8-3 FSU, n/a out
  • 9-2 UNC, this weekend's game against NCST would be irrelevant but their CG against Clemson would be for a bid.  
  • 8-3 UCLA, n/a out
  • 9-2 Tulane, would need to beat Cincy this week then win the AACCG.  
  • 8-3 Ole Miss, n/a out
  • 8-3 OrSU, n/a out
  • 8-3 UCF, would need a win and some help to get to AACCG, then would need to win AACCG.  
  • 7-4 Texas, would need a win and some help to get to B12CG, then would need to win B12CG.  
  • 9-2 Cincy, would need a win this weekend (or a lot of help) to get to AACCG, then would need to win AACCG.  
  • 7-4 Louisville, n/a out

So most of the top-25 along with a slew of G5's this weekend would be playing games that were relevant to getting INTO the playoff but IMHO the only games that would actually matter much as to who WINS the playoff would be the same games we have now with the caveat that teams like the tOSU/M loser would have a chance at getting a Mulligan.  

Perfect example:
Lets say JSN is NOT available this weekend and Michigan beats tOSU.  Then lets say that JSN gets back by the CFP semi-finals.  So tOSU gets an at-large, has a rematch with a Toledo team that they beat by FIFTY-Freaking-Six points, wins that without JSN, then gets Michigan in the Semi-finals but with a healthy JSN and in a Dome somewhere and beats Michigan.  


ELA

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Re: Regular season game stake diminish as the post-season expands
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2022, 02:25:36 PM »
No, but by turning it into who wins the national championship, and nothing else, you relegated 99% of college football games to meaningless.  If you changed the narrative to who makes the tournament, you could actually make the regular season relevant again.  Instead we have devalued conference championships and bowls to the point that most games are meaningless.  Ohio State-Purdue is more menaingful than a game between #11 and #14 because that good game is meaningless, while at least a CFP team could shake things up by potentially losing

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Regular season game stake diminish as the post-season expands
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2022, 02:35:57 PM »
12 Team playoff this year assuming that the highest ranked team wins each league (using CFP rankings for the top-25 and Sagrin below that):
Seeds:

  • 13-0 SEC Champion Georgia current #1
  • 13-0 B1G Champion Ohio State current #2
  • 13-0 B12 Champion TCU current #4
  • 12-1 P12 Champion USC current #6
  • 11-1 at-large Michigan current #3 but assuming a loss to #2
  • 10-2 at-large Bama current #7 but moves up when #5 LSU loses a game that Bama doesn't have to play
  • 11-1 ACC Champion Clemson current #8 but moves up when #5 loses to #1
  • 10-2 at-large Tennessee current #10 but moves up when #5 and #9 lose
  • 10-2 at-large Penn State current #11 but moves up when #5 and #9 lose
  • 10-3 at-large LSU current #5 but drops five spots for losing to #1 (not fair but would probably happen
  • 10-2 at-large Washington current #13 but moves up when #9 and #12 lose a games they don't have to play
  • 11-2 AAC Champion Tulane current #19 but gets a spot as the next best league Champion

Ok, so your first round games are:
  • #12 Tulane at #5 Michigan
  • #11 Washington at #6 Bama
  • #10 LSU at #7 Clemson
  • #9 Penn State at #8 Tennessee

Assuming no reseeding your second round games would be:
  • #1 Georgia vs PSU/Tennessee
  • #2 Ohio State vs LSU/Clemson
  • #3 TCU vs Washington/Bama
  • #4 USC vs Michigan/Tulane


In this case I wouldn't care who wins the AAC Championship game for the same reason I don't care who wins a bad league Championship BB game each year.  I wouldn't care because it DOES determine which tall midget gets into the NCAA, it DOES NOT have any bearing on who actually wins the NCAA Tournament.  Similarly here, whether or not Tulane wins the AACCG would determine whether or not Tulane makes the 12-team playoff but that would only determine which tall midget Michigan gets to slaughter.  On the off chance that Michigan is so exhausted from their game against Ohio State that they actually lose to the tall midget, that only gives USC an easy quarter-final.  

ELA

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Re: Regular season game stake diminish as the post-season expands
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2022, 03:22:45 PM »
Correct, and if you do 10-2, you basically have an 8 team playoff, but you have a reason to slightly care about P5 championships, because it determines who gets in.  Those teams will never go on a run.  So either you do get a fun upset, or you basically get a 5-1-2 playoff.  And you care about CCG games because then they get a bye.  So either you get a road upset, or you get the same 4 team CFP, but with WAY more games mattering

#1 Georgia
#2 Ohio State
#3 TCU
#4 USC

#12 Ohio at #5 Michigan
#11 Boise State at #6 LSU
#10 Troy at #7 Clemson
#9 UTSA at #8 Tulane

Are any of those teams going to win?  Doubt it.  But I'd be interested in watching.  And I'd rather those top 8 teams get an easy win than see the #10 team get a 4th shot

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Regular season game stake diminish as the post-season expands
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2022, 05:01:19 PM »
Correct, and if you do 10-2, you basically have an 8 team playoff, but you have a reason to slightly care about P5 championships, because it determines who gets in.  Those teams will never go on a run.  So either you do get a fun upset, or you basically get a 5-1-2 playoff.  And you care about CCG games because then they get a bye.  So either you get a road upset, or you get the same 4 team CFP, but with WAY more games mattering

#1 Georgia
#2 Ohio State
#3 TCU
#4 USC

#12 Ohio at #5 Michigan
#11 Boise State at #6 LSU
#10 Troy at #7 Clemson
#9 UTSA at #8 Tulane

Are any of those teams going to win?  Doubt it.  But I'd be interested in watching.  And I'd rather those top 8 teams get an easy win than see the #10 team get a 4th shot
I will never be in favor of this because you are letting in tall midgets at the expense of teams that would have an actual legitimate shot if they got in.  It is bad enough in basketball but at least there the tall midgets are getting in over .500 teams that wouldn't have a prayer of winning it all anyway.  

That said, if they do this (or really with any 12-team format), I REALLY hope that they have the good sense to reseed after the first round.  If you do this every year then a tall midget is eventually going to knock off an at-large and that shouldn't be to the benefit of the third or fourth best league champion, it should be to the benefit of the BEST league champion.  

Within your example, UGA, tOSU, and TCU hypothetically went undefeated.  USC didn't.  Lets say that Ohio goes to Ann Arbor and manages to take down the Wolverines.  Without reseeding, USC gets the benefit as they get an unranked team in their quarter-final while Georgia has to play a ranked Tulane and Ohio State and TCU have to play very good Clemson and LSU teams.  With reseeding you'd have:
  • #1 Georgia vs 12 seed Ohio
  • #2 Ohio State vs 8 seed Tulane
  • #3 TCU vs #7 Clemson
  • #4 USC vs #6 LSU
That is much more fair to UGA, tOSU, and TCU.  


 

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