December 3, 2017

"Ohio State or Alabama? The decision that has the playoff committee anguishing in the abyss."

Ugh. We did our anguishing last night.

The headline is at The Washington Post.
There’s no right answer. There’s no wrong answer. One gigantic fan base will get in, the other gigantic fan base will get miffed. The argument will persist for decades, never meeting solution, a threat to destroy many an evening. General chaos might have been fun; this little pocket of chaos is excruciating.
Good. I'm glad other people are suffering now. We of Wisconsin have suffered enough.

88 comments:

David Begley said...

Answer: Expand the playoff system to 8 teams.

Result? More money for the NCAA, football coaches and athletic departments. Jobs!

Michael K said...

Go back to bowl games where local committees choose which team they want to play.

The national playoff thing was a bad idea. This is college, not NFL although college may soon be all there is if the NFL doesn't get put on suicide watch.

tim in vermont said...

Without the NFL, college football will have a hard time getting the quality of athletes they enjoy. If you have the physical attributes and mental abilities required to be a great quarterback, you can be a great point guard. Imagine Magic Johnson as an NFL quarterback. Extremely accurate arm, ability to quickly understand what to most of us looks like a high speed blur of bodies and identify and exploit weaknesses. I think that the NBA is a big part of the reason why we see fewer black quarterbacks than you would think we should see.

rhhardin said...

Have an academic playoff. Which team goes to classes.

Meade said...

I just want to say I am going to take time to reflect on this, to educate myself daily, and to strive towards a more enlightened path. I want to ensure that all voices around me are heard, and that everyone is treated respectfully and empathetically. More than anything, I want to create an environment that is a better, safer and fairer place.

David Begley said...

Under Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin he deliberately and intentionally followed the Bob Devaney model at Nebraska. The missing element at Nebraska was frequently skilled and speedy receivers and a mobile quarterback. Dr. Tom solved that problem with Turner Gill and then Scott Frost at quarterback. Result? National championships.

Michael K said...

"I think that the NBA is a big part of the reason why we see fewer black quarterbacks than you would think we should see."

Not many 6-8 quarterbacks but I see your point.

Ann Althouse said...

A man named Becky.

Jeff Brokaw said...

A playoff system needs more than 4 teams to resolve these questions. Settle all such questions on the field. Using polls to decide who gets into a Final Four?! That's just dumb.

16 teams, convert some of the existing bowl games in December into playoff rounds (keep sponsorships etc), and nearly all this drama and hyperventilating disappears. All conference champs would get in, many second place teams.

Tournaments make for great drama ON the field, instead of all this shady backroom dealing and inevitably unjust decision making.

robinintn said...

The Ohio State AD is on the CFP selection committee. It's unclear whether he is required to recuse himself. It could involve some horse trading. The balloting is completely secret. Whoever is chosen stands to earn several extra $$s in revenue. It reminds me of the Pope selection process, but with less transparency and more at stake.

Curious George said...

OSU won their conference Championship. Bama did not. OSU gets in.

james james said...

"Ohio State or Alabama? The decision that has the playoff committee anguishing in the abyss."

When you stare into the abyss Ohio State and Alabama stare back at you.

- james james

Curious George said...

"David Begley said...
Answer: Expand the playoff system to 8 teams.

Result? More money for the NCAA, football coaches and athletic departments. Jobs!"

Fuck the NCAA, coaches and departments. Time to cut in the players.

PackerBronco said...

It'll be tOSU just because the committee will not want to set a precedent of allowing 2 SEC teams into a 4-team playoff. It'll be in their own best interests to continue with 4 teams from different conferences to complete.

Curious George said...

"Ugh. We did our anguishing last night."

Life will get easier when you accept what Wisconsin football is all about. Easy schedules, easy division, just good enough to always make a bowl somewhere warm so that Alumni can get a break from the cold weather.

AMDG said...

USC . . . . .

Michael K said...

The last prediction for bowl games I saw has Wisconsin playing SC in the Fiesta Bowl. Too many bowl games but TV revenue is the driving force.

PackerBronco said...

Only college football could come up with a 4-playoff system when they have 5 Power Conferences. The solution is very simple:

1. Split Division I-AA into two divisions. The top or "Power 5" division consists of the Power 5 conferences. The "Group of 5" division consists of the G5 conferences. The G5 teams are never going to get into the current CFP anyway, so stop the charade that they are competing on a level playing field. They're not.

2. In the "Power 5 division" you have 5 playoff teams consisting only of the conference champs. #4 hosts #5 as a "play-in" game. The committee has no job other than seeding the teams and determining the bowl match ups. None. You don't win your conference, you're out of the playoffs. period.

3. The Group of 5 Division has its own playoff constructed in a similar way.

4. Notre Dame is told to get into a Power 5 conference if it wants to compete for the Power 5 title. Notre Dame joins the B10 and the B10 kicks out Rutgers.

5. Bowel ... err ... Bowl Games continue as before - as if anyone really gives a ****.

Comanche Voter said...

I bled with the Badgers and the War Eagles.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Alabama doesn't deserve to be included. They did not win when the chips were down. OSU won the big one (sorry, Ann). 'Bama only played two reasonably tough opponents in their whole schedule. The rest, as far as I am concerned, was hype. OK, GA, Clemson and OSU seems just right to me. If I were on the committee I would be much more concerned about Bama having a bad game in the playoffs than OSU. OSU learned their lesson during the season. Bama has some structural coaching problems on offense ( Saban is way too conservative) that it needs to overcome.

PackerBronco said...

Blogger Curious George said...

Life will get easier when you accept what Wisconsin football is all about. Easy schedules, easy division, just good enough to always make a bowl somewhere warm so that Alumni can get a break from the cold weather


And yet, with better play from Hornibrook last night, they could have won and qualified for the CFP. As for easy schedules, remember that last year they played LSU and in previous years they played Alabama. Part of the problem with scheduling is that top teams don't necessarily want to come to Camp Randall in a home-and-home series. Alabama didn't and neither did LSU (however they did agree to come to Lambeau.)

BYU has been a solid 10-win team in previous years. Unfortunately they had a down year this year when the Badgers could have used to umphh in their strength of schedule. But since schedules are set several years in advance, you can't predict these things.

Badgers had an easy conference schedule this year, but look at last year's schedule which include games at Michigan, Michigan State, and Iowa and a home game against a home game against Ohio State. All in a row. A murderous schedule. But they have no control over that one way or another. The B10 sets the schedule, not the Badgers.

In short: You don't know what you're talking about.

Unknown said...

Would have been a great year to have included a preliminary "play-in game" between #4 and #5.

CWJ said...

"Only college football could come up with a 4-playoff system when they have 5 Power Conferences."

Perhaps, but that's not this year's problem.

Annie C said...

The best part was the two marching bands together on the field playing the National Anthem. I stood there in the family room with one hand on my heart, one holding a large cup of cracked corn, and a big grin on my face.

Then I went out and fed the ducks.

commoncents said...

Audio - Rush Limbaugh: Liberals throw their hands up as Roy Moore pulls away in the polls

http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2017/12/rush-limbaugh-liberals-throw-their.html

ps. would you consider adding CC to your blogroll?

Big Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

As a University of Washington Husky, I don't have a dog in this fight. It seems to me that the Buckeyes have earned their place in the playoffs but if they continue to turn the ball over as often as they did last night they won't last long against Clemson.

Bay Area Guy said...

I would take Bama & OSU and dump Georgia. But that's just me.

Clemson & Oklahoma are outstanding for different reasons, and if you add OSU & Bama, you truly have the best 4.

Big Mike said...

How in the heck did the Ohio State team that played last night get blown out 55-24 by Iowa? That was a very good Wisconsin team on that field last night, and Ohio State rocked them back on their heels. But I’m warming to Ohio State being in the playoffs and facing a rematch against Oklahoma. Then Clemson versus a fine team of Georgia Bulldogs in the other bracket.

wildswan said...

And here I thought winning in football was cut and dried. Retro me. Apparently you can win better, more bigly than another team. And you can be "better" in several different senses, "bigly" in more ways than one. Is football becoming unstructured or nonstructured? A hyphen in time as I meditate these things.

Big Mike said...

A man named Becky.

@Althouse, Senator Joni Ernst is married to a man named Gail Ernst.

Bay Area Guy said...

The committee should take Bama over OSU. Then, the Rose Bowl will have a beauty of a game - USC v OSU. O

donald said...

You’d be way wrong Bay Area Guy. Georgia will dominate any team’s not named Crimsn Tide or Tigers. As in put severe ass whoopings on them.

Curious George said...

PackerBronco said...
Blogger Curious George said...

Life will get easier when you accept what Wisconsin football is all about. Easy schedules, easy division, just good enough to always make a bowl somewhere warm so that Alumni can get a break from the cold weather


And yet, with better play from Hornibrook last night, they could have won and qualified for the CFP. As for easy schedules, remember that last year they played LSU and in previous years they played Alabama. Part of the problem with scheduling is that top teams don't necessarily want to come to Camp Randall in a home-and-home series. Alabama didn't and neither did LSU (however they did agree to come to Lambeau.)

BYU has been a solid 10-win team in previous years. Unfortunately they had a down year this year when the Badgers could have used to umphh in their strength of schedule. But since schedules are set several years in advance, you can't predict these things.

Badgers had an easy conference schedule this year, but look at last year's schedule which include games at Michigan, Michigan State, and Iowa and a home game against a home game against Ohio State. All in a row. A murderous schedule. But they have no control over that one way or another. The B10 sets the schedule, not the Badgers.

In short: You don't know what you're talking about."

LOL If stands stiff in the corner. Hornibrook didn't play better because he is just an average QB. Wisconsin beats up a lot of teams with their O-Line, but OSU shut them down. All of Wisconsin's points came of OSU turnovers....Barrett wasn't his best because of having surgery and no practice this week.

BYU is not even in a power conference, and this "solid ten win team" is crap: 9-4, 9-4, 8-5, 8-5, 8-5, 10-3, 7-6, 11-2...

My description of Wisconsin football is dead on...above average team that will get to some bowl most years. Seldom win big games.

Kevin said...

I don’t want to hear about a great team that couldn’t win its conference when there are conference champions who will miss out.

You win your games, you’re in. You don’t, you peddle your “greatness”?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

As a 'bama fan, I don't care. They had their chance, and they blew it. Yeah, all the other teams blew it, too. Doesn't matter. 'Bama is better, and deserves to be held to a higher standard.

Curious George said...

Wisconsin's record in the "Who gives A Fuck Bowl"

1996 Copper
1997 Outback
1998 Rose
1999 Rose
2000 Sun
2001 None
2002 Alamo
2003 Music City
2004 Outback
2005 Capital One
2006 Capital One
2007 Outback
2008 Champs Sports
2009 Champs Sports
2010 Rose
2011 Rose
2012 Rose
2013 Capital One
2014 Outback
2015 Holiday
2016 Cotton

The Rose Bowl's 2010-2012 were "also ran" years, and Bucky lost all three. Wisconsin has not won the Big 10 outright in 45 years.

Big Mike said...

@Curious George, you are rude and crude. Wisconsin blew out Iowa which blew out Ohio State, so there's that going for them. Scarcely Wisconsin's fault that this is a down year for Michigan or that Maryland would be the last place team in the Big Ten East.

Mark said...

Undefeated UCF or Southern Cal before the punk THE Ohio State. Undefeated UCF or Southern Cal before some team that did not win its conference or even play in the conference championship. If these conference championship games are to mean anything, then no to Alabama.

Mark said...

Answer: Expand the playoff system to 8 teams.

Then it is not a national championship. It is the winner of the football tournament championship -- with the potential for the eighth best team being declared the best.

Browndog said...

I never tire of watching Ohio St. getting crushed. It's all the slobbering by the national media leading up to it that is nauseating. Give me Bama.

Go Blue

Curious George said...

"Big Mike said...
@Curious George, you are rude and crude. Wisconsin blew out Iowa which blew out Ohio State, so there's that going for them. Scarcely Wisconsin's fault that this is a down year for Michigan or that Maryland would be the last place team in the Big Ten East."

Wow, so I guess that makes them better than OSU, who they lost to last night.

It is their fault they schedule Florida Atlantic and Utah State.

You guys all prove my point, above average is celebrated in Wisconsin sports. It gets you fired at Ohio State. W

Mark said...

If they are going to claim that this is a national championship, then it must include all the teams from all the conferences, not just the "big five." That's why it should include University of Central Florida, the only undefeated team left. Anything else would be a farce. It would be the Big Five Championship, not the National Championship.

Curious George said...

"Browndog said...
I never tire of watching Ohio St. getting crushed. It's all the slobbering by the national media leading up to it that is nauseating. Give me Bama.

Go Blue"Browndog said...
I never tire of watching Ohio St. getting crushed. It's all the slobbering by the national media leading up to it that is nauseating. Give me Bama.

Go Blue"

Well shouldn't since it's pretty rare. And the Buckeyes have beaten Michigan like a red headed stepchild. It's almost not a rivaalry anymore.

campy said...

You guys all prove my point, above average is celebrated in Wisconsin sports.

I wish my alma mater celebrated above average.

We celebrate mediocre.

Clyde said...

They should do it like Major League Baseball does with its one-game wild card play-in game. Have Ohio State and Alabama settle it on the field for the #4 seed.

Gahrie said...

Go back to bowl games where local committees choose which team they want to play.

The big bowls had locked in contracts......for instance the Rose Bowl always got the Big 10 and Pac 10 champs.

Bay Area Guy said...

I hate to say it, but Clemson wins it again. Have you seen their D-Line? It's 4 NFL players. Nobody can move. Nobody can run against them.

Boom this, right now. Clemson all the way.

Leland said...

This doesn't have the committee in anguish, this was the hope all along. The playoff system was to give a chance to that number 3 or 4 team that could have competed. That begged the question, why 3 or 4, maybe the best team was 7 or 8. But too many didn't like adding extra games, or worse, getting rid of the whole "bowl" concept used for ridiculous advertising. So the compromise was 4 teams, with the hope that it wouldn't be long for a situation like today to occur, which would push them to 5, maybe 6 or 8 teams.

I expect them to make a bad choice to help put a thumb on the scale of forcing a change for more games. Alabama will make it in.

But then Alabama might run the field, making it seem like 4 was just enough to assure the right team made it in.

Curious George said...

"Gahrie said...
Go back to bowl games where local committees choose which team they want to play.

The big bowls had locked in contracts......for instance the Rose Bowl always got the Big 10 and Pac 10 champs."

For years the Big 10 would send their but you couldn't go two years in a row so they often were sending their second best team.

SoLastMillennium said...

" We of Wisconsin have suffered enough."....


So,,,, How about them Packers? (Beer helps. And we make some good ones now!)

TWW said...

The Wisconsin football corollary to the definition of insanity: Going into each new season expecting a different result.

rehajm said...

Wait- so the games are played but then a committee decides who the best team is and it might not be the team with the best record?

Why don't you let the committee decide who would have won and lost all the games? More efficient. Problem solved.

Kevin said...

Wisconsin blew out Iowa which blew out Ohio State, so there's that going for them.

So we're invoking the transitive law of football? Then put in Slippery Rock:

Div II Slippery Rock beat Kentucky St 42 - 21
Div II Kentucky St beat Central St OH 34 - 22
Div II Central St OH beat Ark Pine Bluff 40 - 35
Div I - FCS Ark Pine Bluff beat Jackson St 34 - 27
Div I - FCS Jackson St beat Alcorn St 7 - 3
Div I - FCS Alcorn St beat Southern Univ 48 - 31
Div I - FCS Southern Univ beat S Carolina St 14 - 8
Div I - FCS S Carolina St beat Hampton 33 - 15
Div I - FCS Hampton beat Howard 20 - 17
Div I - FCS Howard beat UNLV 43 - 40
Div I - FBS UNLV beat Idaho 44 - 16
Div I - FBS Idaho beat South Alabama 29 - 23
Div I - FBS South Alabama beat Troy 19 - 8
Div I - FBS Troy beat LSU 24 - 21
Div I - FBS LSU beat Auburn 27 - 23
Div I - FBS Auburn beat Alabama 26 - 14

Therefore, Slippery Rock is better than Alabama in 2017

donald said...

I grew up when Georgia played Auburn and Clemson every year. These were brutal games, all three were really good and their offensive and defensive lines were insane.

They’re all kinda close to that again, but Clemson is the truth.

Can’t wait for Georgia-Clemson. It’s gonna be in Atlanta. It’s gonna be a madhouse.

Sebastian said...

Clemson
OU
Georgia
Alabama

OSU is not close. Beating Michigan and Wisconsin means nothing.

If the Meadhouses want to stop the anguish, they now know where to move. I suggest renting, though. But stay away from OK.

HT said...

Roll Tide.

Of course no one wants bama in. That right there says it all. I of course do. We should've beat Auburn, didn't happen. OSU lost to a bad team by a ton of points. There's really no question that the real issue is which is the stronger conference, and the answer is obvious. Having said all that, maybe the cmte should just choose the 12-0 team for the hell of it. (We await their decision, which is is overdue.)

HT said...

SEC championship is why I hate Auburn. They beat the number one team, then they cannot wrap up the deal. Almost any time Auburn beats bama, they squander the opportunity we give them.

Yancey Ward said...

Honestly, given the obnoxiousness of the fans and the sports pundits, I hope the committee picks USC.

PackerBronco said...

Blogger Curious George said...

The Rose Bowl's 2010-2012 were "also ran" years, and Bucky lost all three. Wisconsin has not won the Big 10 outright in 45 years.


You're just embarrassing yourself. Wisconsin won the Big 10 outright (no tie-breaker) in 1999, 2010 and 2011.

Yancey Ward said...

However, if you are going to pick the best team- you go with Alabama, not Ohio State.

Meade said...

“Ugh. We did our anguishing last night.”

At 12-0 we were winning so much. We got tired of all the winning.

mccullough said...

It wasn't Alabama's fault Florida State stunk this year. But Alabama really schedules some cupcakes. They aren't even the best team in Alabama. Auburn has a better claim than Alabama to get into the Big Four championship.

Rabel said...

If we let the coaches of OU, Clemson and Georgia pick the fourth team it will be OSU 3-0.

Rabel said...

Picking OSU will almost guarantee that Roy Moore will be elected.

Go Buckeyes.

HT said...

Now I'm a little scared, but slightly heartened that Alabama born DABO is probably a bit scared too.

rcocean said...

Just junk the "Playoffs" and go back to the way it was.

Institute a 4 team playoffs, and all the dumbos demand an 8 team playoff

Then if you give them a 8 team playoff, they'll cry that its unfair and demand 16 team.

The NCCA BB Tournament used to be 16 teams. Its now 64 +

rcocean said...

I wouldn't cry too much Badger fans. You would've got slaughtered in the playoffs.

The SEC and ACC play at whole different level.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Wow, so much drama; I just wanted UGA to keep winning.
We did!
Go Dawgs

mockturtle said...

It could be that Wisconsin has too many white players to be really good. ;-)

etbass said...

Bama is in. Playoff affirmative action lost.

eddie willers said...

The SEC and ACC play at whole different level.

During 1997, my best work buddy was a guy that had just moved from Wisconsin and was the first Yankee I knew that actually liked college football.

As luck would have it, our two teams were scheduled to meet in the Outback Bowl. I chuckled and took the $100 bet.

What separates Southern football (SEC plus Clemson and Florida State) from most of the rest is speed. At ALL positions.

Though Wisconsin was bigger and had Ron Dayne they saw what speed could do. Since our defensive line could not overpower the line of Wisconsin, they simply went around them. Dayne would have two guys wrapped around his feet before he could get three steps. No chance to gather any steam.

Georgia won in a walk.

donald said...

I was at that Outback game. By the time they would hand the ball to Dayne, he was already being hit. The difference in speed, sitting up top in that stadium was eye opening.

Sebastian said...

Looks like the committee took my advice. They weren't fooled by OSU. Better than below the Mason-Dixon line is a high standard.

MountainMan said...

I agree with Mark above. I have watched Central Florida's last two games and that is a pretty good team, certainly superior to a large proportion of the Power 5.

One approach I can see to an 8-team playoff is to include all the Power 5 conference winners. For the Group of 5, seed the 5 conference winners 1 to 5, say by won/loss record, in-conference records, and points for/points against. Give the number 1 a bye and have the other 4 have a play-in game, 2 vs 5 and 3 vs 4. The seed all 8 teams into a quarterfinal.

Another approach is to create 8 16-team conferences, each organized into 2 8-team divisions, since there are about 128 D-1 teams. Have each team play 9 in-conference games, 3 out-of-conference games on a rotation, then a conference championship. See the 8 conference winners into a quarterfinal. Let the quarter finals be played a the home field of the higher-seeded team. Always play the championship at the Rose Bowl.

There may be other solutions but I think having a committee involved in making decisions like this is ridiculous. Solve it on the field.

Colonel Mustard said...

David Begley wrote...

"Under Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin he deliberately and intentionally followed the Bob Devaney model at Nebraska. The missing element at Nebraska was frequently skilled and speedy receivers and a mobile quarterback. Dr. Tom solved that problem with Turner Gill and then Scott Frost at quarterback. Result? National championships."

Uh, Devaney won 2 national titles and 8 conference championships at Neb in 11 years. His 2nd national championship team is considered by many the best college team of all time (they beat the teams ranked 2, 3 and 4 in final AP rankings). Osborne won 3 national championships and 14 conference titles in 25 years. BOTH GREAT coaches. Footnote 1; Devaney took over a doormat program without a winning season in 7 years while Osborne took over a powerful Devaney program with an 11-year .829 winning percentage. Footnote 2; Johnny Rogers wasn't exactly chopped liver in the speedy department :-)

ROLL TIDE!!!

Original Mike said...

Too bad Wisconsin wasn't a better team. If they were, OSU's 3 point win might have got them in the playoffs.

Jim at said...

The national playoff thing was a bad idea.

Disagree.

Every other sport - at every other level - in collegiate athletics determines a national champion on the field.

Why should the highest level of college football be the only sport that doesn't?

Mike Smyth said...

Just get the darts and dartboard out. Put a blindfold on, turn around three times and then throw. First place goes to team that the first dart lands on; second place to the second dart, etc. That's just as valid as the current system.

Phil 3:14 said...

I'm just happy that NU is ranked and going to a bowl.

CWJ said...

OK, the hypocrisy is official, and laughable. We had the BCS before and now this playoff system because the fans wanted to get committees, coaches polls, and press polls out of the picture and have the question settled on the field. But the PTB don't really believe in that. Alabama didn't make it on the field but the gods from the machine didn't like that so Alabama is picked back up, dusted off, and given another bite at the apple. So 'bama is in, not even having to play for the conference championship much less winning it. Right now Auburn can be forgiven for second guessing what was the value of going to the trouble of beating Alabama. This is not a brief for OSU or for any other team for that matter. I just can't help noting that when push comes to shove, settling it on the field got shoved aside.

Mike said...

We already have a round of 8. It's called the Conference Championships. And only three of last night's winners were put in. The committee decided to let in someone who couldn't qualify for the first round.

donald said...

Why would Auburn need forgiveness for anything regarding kicking their numero uno’s rival’s ass?

raf said...

I suspect the real standard is which teams will attract the most fans, yielding revenue from attendance and TV advertising.

PackerBronco said...

Blogger Mike said...
We already have a round of 8. It's called the Conference Championships. And only three of last night's winners were put in. The committee decided to let in someone who couldn't qualify for the first round.


Alabama got the sponsor's exemption ...

Yancey Ward said...

Alabama was just the better team by most measures. Ohio State's problem was the two losses, especially the 2nd one. Unfortunately for the OSU, winning the conference championship isn't a guarantee that you get into the 4 team playoff- the committee is suppose to pick the four best teams- that is it, nothing else.

However, perhaps Bob Mueller can add this to his remit since he seems to have added everything else.

Yancey Ward said...

And if you are going to argue Ohio State deserved it, then what about Southern Cal? At least their two losses came to ranked teams on the road, and they won their conference championship.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Chipping in as one of those Yankees who knoweth not child football (and careth not for the grownup kind), y'all have done a bang-up job of staying on topic.