Sunday, November 23, 2008

Something Dumb From an Otherwise Intelligent Person

He doesn't like Obama's proposal for playoffs. His reason is because he loves the fact that regular season games mean so much more because of there being no playoffs. This is no fact, though. Rankings decide a 2-team playoff at the end of the year, not regular season games. If regular season losses and wins made the final difference, how did we get a 2-loss national champion last year, and many 0-loss teams without a shot at playing for a national championship over the years (there have even been schools like Auburn and Penn St that have been undefeated and not won a title). What this means is that losing does not knock a team from the title game (the Gators won 2 title and have never been undefeated), and winning all your games guarantees nothing. The regular season, with its wildly dispersed measurements for success and differing schedules and levels of competitiveness, cannot be asked to appropriately decide champions without engaging in unfounded and arbitrary declarations, as well as ignoring certain teams and conferences, and being just generally unsatisfying. Also, playoffs would add excitement, not decrease it. Even with a 16-team playoff that I would support, which gives spots to conference champions and the 5 teams estimated to be the best non-conference teams, teams would not be allowed much room for error--does even winning the SEC East usually allow for many losses? Would Florida take it easy against Florida State this week if we knew we were in the playoffs if we beat Alabama? When are these mythical moments of tampered down excitement supposed to occur in a college football world (Division I) with playoffs? Did the fact that the Gators could not afford to lose to The Citadel make that game more intense? Would the fact of being able to lose to The Citadel and still make a playoff by winning the conference have made that game more uneventful? Yeah, right. Upsets will still be meaningful for championship implications, even more so because more teams will be vying for higher stakes. Rivalries will remain intense, if not more so since playoff spots will be at stake.

I can go on, but I already did here and here.

I will add that this year could provide even more reasons to mock Curtis' suggestions about the regular season. We could see, if Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma St or Missouri, a non-conference champion in the Title game (like OK was in '03), and a slew of 1 and 2 loss teams to choose from, as well as a couple of good 0-loss teams in Utah and Boise St. Texas and USC are the 2 teams I'm thinking of as far as non-conference winners. So only 1 of those exciting upsets Curtis probably loved--Oregon St over USC, or Tech over Texas, or Ole Miss over Florida, may prove to mean anything.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Yeah, you actually get a lot more meaningless games (as far as the national title goes) under the current system. Most likely every game USC has played after the oregon st loss.... even if they do end up making it, the fact will still be that nobody has cared about USC since that game because no one has expected them to be in the national title. And of course, every game that a non BCS team- like Utah, Boise, or Hawaii- will ever play.

Under the current system, every game counts, but only for a few teams.

It is true that the Oregon St win over USC was a bigger upset in this system than it would be with a playoff... however, it would still be a big upset either way... and can anyone honestly say it wouldnt be well worth it for the chance to see USC play something like Oklahoma, Georgia, and Florida back to back to back?