FBS Commissioners exploring options to expand Playoff and scrap bowls

Don't want to give too much away from the article, but it does look like auto-bids for all P5 conference champions as well as the auto-bid for the highest ranked G5 champion is a staple of any future format. They also know that any expansion would likely kill the Bowl ecosystem in place, and they are ok with it.

Personally, I'm ok with this. Give VT a direct and clear path to a national title that doesn't involve winning some sort of beauty contest, and it resolves a lot that is wrong about the sport right now.

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Use the bowls as the preliminary rounds. That will keep the bowl City's revenue stream, but serve as part of the expanded playoff too.

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Yeah I don't see any reason why it has to be one or the other. The bowl games are a big part of cfb tradition. Making each playoff game also a bowl game would make each game even more meaningful. And then make the championship game the Rose Bowl. The teams that win the semis would all be doing the roses in their mouths celebration.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

I would still support a much smaller bowl system as it serves as a key developmental opportunity for teams involved.

Is coronavirus over yet?

Almost like a football NIT (but obviously not a tournament).

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Since our bowl streak is done yes lets do this

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

the playoff was spoiled when OSU got in over Penn State. Hopefully the plan moving forward will correct that blunder. I'm not necessarily for expanding the playoff (nor am I necessarily against it) but if they're going to make a change I think it is absolutely critical that they endeavor to make it merit based. Conference Champions (regardless of conference or record) should get a seat at the table. Simple as that.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Counterpoint from someone who has to live next to and (when in the office) work inside of PSU territory. Almost anything that hurts/damages/screws over Penn State is a good thing.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

Oh, I get that. I'm generally for PSU getting screwed over at every opportunity. However, that decision completely destroyed the spirit of the playoff. Its a playoff in name only. It's still a glorified popularity contest at the moment.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

My son goes to psu and feel a little dirty every time i visit state college

How about when OSU leap frogged TCU and Baylor in the last poll?

It doesn't seem like they need to do away with bowls all together. As suggested above, just use the major bowls as rounds of the tournament. "The Vizio Cotton Bowl Quarterfinal" or whatever is ridiculous, but no more so than what we're used to.

As for the rest of the bowls, just let them play out as they are already set up. It doesn't take away from an expanded playoff. Maybe I'm in the minority but I don't care if a 5-7 team makes a bowl. I'm still watching at least 15 minutes of that shit.

Gotta gamble on something while I'm pretending to work in December.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

I'm in the minority, but I'm disappointed about this.

I love Bowl Season. I enjoy Bowl Season more than March Madness. It's whacky, it's fun, and it's more football. It's not about crowning a champion, it's about watching fun games. Tulsa/Miss. St, WVU/Army, Kentucky/NC State, Indiana/Ole Miss - it's like one huge college football weekend that lasts a month. It also gives me an excuse to travel to new cities and catch up with friends.

I'm also concerned that this will devalue the regular season. I don't want a team to get hot late in the season, and get a chance to beat a team who had a significantly better season - think 2016 USC - they were 9-3, but arguably the hottest team going into the post season. It would suck to see them get a chance at winning it all despite 3(!!!) losses.

I think there's one way to do this correctly:

  • Any FBS conference champion who is ranked in the top 12 gets an autobid.
  • If there are less than 8 conference champions in the top 12, then at large bids are awarded to the highest ranked teams
  • If there are more than 8 conference champions in the top 12, then the 8 highest ranked conference champions all receive at large bids
  • Every playoff game, except the finals, is played at the higher ranked school's home field

I don't want the selection committee's top 8 teams to make the playoffs every year. I also don't think a team that wins their conference should be guaranteed a spot. This is the perfect medium between the two - If you are a top 12 team and a conference champion, you deserve a shot. I'm open to something other than top 12, but I just used it as an example.

The homefield advantage does a couple of things:

  • It places more emphasis on the regular season - teams will have to pay for coasting or resting the entire starting line up or schedule too lightly.
  • It will provide an economic boom for college towns
  • It will allow schools to showcase what makes them unique (could you imagine Enter Sandman in Lane Stadium for a playoff game!?!!?)

I don't want college football to become the NFL. I don't want it to become NCAAB either. I want it to stay weird, bizzare, unique, and strangely regional. I think my plan keeps it that way. Unfortunately, I don't see it happening.

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I find it odd to argue that needing to win your conference somehow devalues the regular season

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

First of all, conferences are super unbalanced - it's not like the NFL where teams are relatively even and teams are strategically placed in conferences by an overarching governing body.

Second of all, college football had this feeling that (almost) every regular season game is a playoff. Now you're telling me that a team just needs to win their division and a conference championship game? That OOO no longer matters? Scheduling tough games doesn't matter? I'm not here for that.

A 4 loss team should not get a shot at the expense of a 1 loss team. 2008 Virginia Tech did not deserve a shot at a title. Better for VT? Probably. Better for CFB as a whole? No way.

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Now you're telling me that a team just needs to win their division and a conference championship game?

Yes

That OOO no longer matters? Scheduling tough games doesn't matter? I'm not here for that.

Teams shouldn't be penalized because big money schools refuse to play them

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

I guess just view college football differently than most people. I love VT, but I don't want CFB to turn into the NFL. I don't want preseason exhibition games; I want as many games to matter. I don't want a team to be able clinch division title in October, and be able to coast until the conference championship.

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I don't want a team to be able clinch division title in October, and be able to coast until the conference championship.

Comical, given the current setup effectively has 3 of 4 playoff teams locked in before the season starts

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

That's more a result of recruiting than anything else. Perhaps one could argue that is indirectly tied to playoff size, but until I see a team below the bluechip ratio win a title, I don't see any thing that suggests that an 8 team playoff will do any of the following:

  • Make the regular season more interesting
  • Result in more champions
  • Provide more good games - the CFB playoff gives us 1-2 good games, and the remaining NY6 bowls give us 3ish good games - will an 8 game playoff give us more than 4 good games? In most seasons, no.

EDIT to elaborate:
There are 2 core problem that exist today:

  • Variety of teams; In 7 years, only 11 programs have appeared in the CFP, and only 4 have won a title.
  • Each year, at least 1/3 (33%) of playoff games are blowouts

Obviously, expanding the playoff will give more programs appearances, but I'd wager that the number of teams that make a 'final 4' doesn't change much, then number of champions doesn't change much, and the % of good games doesn't change much. I genuinely don't understand how an expanded playoff will fix the problems.

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I genuinely don't understand how an expanded playoff will fix the problems.

I don't think simply expanding it solves any problems. Rather, it's an opportunity to reform the playoff and make it better. In it's current iteration, it's not working very well. Partly because the precedent has been set that you don't have to win a conference championship game to get there. You just have to have lots of resources to recruit the best talent and play the easiest schedule en route to a playoff berth. Style points matter. That leads to teams like Florida playing a bunch of easy cupcakes at home. All UF has to do every year, really, is beat Georgia and they're in the SEC Championship game. From there, even if they lose to Bama, they've got a good shot at the playoff just off name recognition alone. That's not going to be good for CFB long term.

What would be better, is if ND is forced to join a league (any league) so that their only true path to the playoff is through a conference championship game. What would be better, is if every league gets a seat at the table, regardless of how good other teams are. After some time, the best coaches and talent won't want to congregate in a single league and get beaten up on every year by Bama just to watch teams that are arguably not as good get to the playoffs. Those coaches and players will have incentives to spread out among the leagues. There will be a more even distribution of talent (both coaching and playing) across the leagues if every league gets the same opportunity at the playoff. Otherwise, if 2 or 3 teams from the SEC get in every year then all the best talent will migrate to the SEC because that's the best path to the playoff. Even if you lose 3 conference games you still have a shot at the title. That's going to ruin CFB.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

You just have to have lots of resources to recruit the best talent and play the easiest schedule en route to a playoff berth. Style points matter.

Historically, having the best talent matters a lot more than having an easy schedule. Other than Clemson, what CFP champs have had an easy schedule? LSU went through a gauntlet in 2019. OSU beat back-to-back-to-back ranked teams convincingly at the end of 2014.

That leads to teams like Florida playing a bunch of easy cupcakes at home. All UF has to do every year, really, is beat Georgia and they're in the SEC Championship game.

What SOS metrics are you using? When has UF (who hasn't made the playoff) had an easy schedule recently? Maybe in 2016 (I think) when the SEC East was really down, but for the most part that's a tough schedule.

What would be better, is if every league gets a seat at the table, regardless of how good other teams are. After some time, the best coaches and talent won't want to congregate in a single league and get beaten up on every year by Bama just to watch teams that are arguably not as good get to the playoffs. Those coaches and players will have incentives to spread out among the leagues. There will be a more even distribution of talent (both coaching and playing) across the leagues if every league gets the same opportunity at the playoff.

The emphasized part is what I disagree with. Players want a shot at a Natty but (1) NFL prospects and (2) bagman money will both play a bigger factor than playoff appearances.

I said it elsewhere, but I think NIL will have a far greater impact on parity than an expanded playoff.

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TCU was the best team in 2014 and didn't even get a shot at the title. I think that example cuts in the other direction as far as expansion.

TCU's problem in 2014 was Baylor. Same record, same conference, head to head loss to Baylor. How do you put TCU in when they lost head to head to their co-champ? You play a title game and they win the rematch - which I'm not sure they would, they got multiple non-offensive TD's to make their head to head closer than it really was. The Baylor offense was an unstoppable buzzsaw against them - then they are almost certainly in.

That was the reason for the initial expansion - there were really really good teams that didn't get shot at the playoff. That's not the current problem though.

Edit: I was thinking 2011 TCU, not 2014. Anyways, I agree with you that in 2014, TCU deserved to be in the playoff over OSU, and I will lump 2014 OSU in with 2019 Clemson.

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I think you need to include all conference champs if you want to keep hope alive in the regular season. Any at large bid had a chance to win their conference and any team with a legitimate chance to win will be an at large bid regardless. The playoff games are likely to be lopsided anyway as we have seen with 4 teams, so give the conference champ a chance to be a Cinderella if they are outside the top 12, if they get smoked, no big difference.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I think you need to include all conference champs if you want to keep hope alive in the regular season.

Why? If you give conference champs an auto-bid, you effectively shorten the regular season from 12 games to 8. That's what I want to avoid at all cost (including a VT playoff birth)

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Imagine this. 8-4 Hokies travel to Charlotte to take on undefeated and #1 ranked Clemson in the ACC championship. In the guttiest hard fought battle ever in ACC history, VT pulls the upset on a last second field goal. All of college football is a frenzy, and after the game VT turns in their pads and begin weight lifting for the next season (assuming bowls are scrapped). Bummer. It was fun while it lasted.

No, we arent going to get those upsets often enough to be concerned about who deserved what. It would be a shame to exclude what could be an historical path to the playoffs.

I get that you could also end up with 2 bad teams in a conference championship, but considering nobody plays quality out of conference schedules, who is to say the whole conference wasn't just that good. It won't happen often enough to matter. Make the conferences mean something.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Imagine this. 8-4 Hokies travel to Charlotte to take on undefeated and #1 ranked Clemson in the ACC championship. In the guttiest hard fought battle ever in ACC history, VT pulls the upset on a last second field goal. All of college football is a frenzy, and after the game VT turns in their pads and begin weight lifting for the next season (assuming bowls are scrapped). Bummer. It was fun while it lasted.

This has never happened, and the closest thing I can think of Pitt/WVU in 2007. That game was amazing, but that Pitt team (albeit way worse than 8-4) did not deserve a place in a college football playoff

In 2019, the highest ranked 4 loss team was USC at 22. I can't fathom why the 22nd best team should get in over teams 10-20. I think typically, by the end of the season, you can reshuffle any team +/- 3ish spots, and make a legit argument - which is why I proposed the top 8 conference champions in the top 12 should get access.

CFB cannot place infinite value on both a national title and a conference title. The conferences are really just a random collection of teams that have historically played each other. The conference championship is just a really big 14-team-rivalry trophy. Just beating your rival shouldn't make eligible for a national playoff, and neither should just winning your conference.

EDIT: To summarize, I'm okay with 'winning your conference' as a prerequisite for playoff consideration. I'm not okay with it being an autobid.

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The conference championship is just a really big 14-team-rivalry trophy. Just beating your rival shouldn't make eligible for a national playoff, and neither should just winning your conference.

This is true today. We are arbitrarily ranking teams based on how they are playing their rivals. College football needs to distance itself from the human rankings. It is a biased system and sports should be more about the winners of the competition on the field instead of a beauty contest.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I'm all for using an algorithm, but I'd prefer the beauty contest over pretending that the conferences are remotely equal, and thus all deserve the same amount of access to a playoff.

And to be honest, I think the committee has gotten it wrong once in 7 years - 2014 OSU over TCU - that's it.

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2014 OSU over Penn St. was the problem. We wont convince each other. I prefer to decide who was unworthy after they play instead of before. I do like the algorithm better than the committee, but lets not pretend that the committee isn't using algorithms too. Either way, you cant compare teams that have few if any common denominators for which to judge. If we value the meaning of a champion, then the champion should have the opportunity to step up a tier and be measured head to head.

The current 4 team playoff has satisfied its mission statement of putting the 4 teams in with the best resume, with the ultimate goal of not leaving out the "best" team like the BCS could have. If the playoff is expanded, we are sort of beyond just making sure the best team is dancing. At that point, we are setting up for a tournament instead.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I don't care about resume's anymore. I don't care about the endless debate on which teams have the flashier wins or the better conference wins, or the biggest cash account in the bank. I really don't. The obsession over everything other than lining up and winning the games you need to win has absolutely destroyed college football.

Give everyone an objective path to the title. Win your division, win your conference, and get into the tournament. Eliminate human bias and give everyone a clear path. Until we have that figured out, I don't want to ever hear about resumes, strength of schedules, biggest win, comparables, etc. I just don't care.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

Absolutely agree. End the beauty contest, reward performance.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

don't care about the endless debate on which teams have the flashier wins or the better conference wins, or the biggest cash account in the bank. I really don't. The obsession over everything other than lining up and winning the games you need to win has absolutely destroyed college football.

Counterpoint: This is what differentiates college football from the NFL. This has literally been a part of college football throughout the sports' entire history.

I don't mean this to be snarky - but why do you watch college football if you don't like this? If you don't like the weirdness that is CFB, then NFL is a far better product in every way. NFL offenses have embraced the RPO. The overall talent level is better. There's no (or at least very minimal) moral hazard in supporting an NFL team (I think the whole unpaid labor thing lends to a variety of moral hazards in CFB, but I digress). Why bother watching CFB?

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I don't mean this to be snarky - but why do you watch college football if you don't like this?

Because Virginia Tech competes in college football.

And I care because I'm tired of the sport that I grew to absolutely love in my time at Virginia Tech and matured through the VT community at large that has existed since I left, get completely ruined by subjectivity dominating the sport. Literally every other sport out there has some sort of merit based qualification toward being crowned an overall champion except college football. You seem to think that this unique caveat makes the sport good, but I would argue that its the one thing that is completely holding it back from being as great as it can be.

College athletics are better then pro. The game atmosphere is on a whole different level that is really only matched by home arenas in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in hockey. But college football is absolutely broken. There is a self fulfilling system in place that does not allow "lesser" teams the opportunity to compete because there is an assumed fact that they cannot compete. Every other division of every other sport at least allows everyone who plays at a certain level to earn a title on the field. Its long past time that college football joins the club.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

College is better than pro- agree 100%- for now. We already have college free agency, and salaries are coming soon. When VT becomes the Carolina Panthers part 2 is when I tune out. We don't need two NFL's.

And when you step away, there will be 2 more people who will enter in your place, especially at middling P5 programs and top tier G5 programs who, at least right now have no shot, but have the potential to do something in the future without the glass ceiling in place.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

I disagree respectfully. Look no further than the worst region for college football- the Northeast. They root for pro teams. The best region for college football? The SEC- where there were exactly 2 pro teams in most of it's footprint until the Panthers came in 1995. If you think VT's fanbase will double when the players are paid a salary and only loosely affiliated with the school, I couldn't disagree more.

The SEC- where there were exactly 2 pro teams in most of it's footprint until the Panthers came in 1995.

2 in Florida, 1 in Georgia, 1 in Louisiana?

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Agree. And agree.

I'm almost to a point where I would rather them just field a varsity team from the student population.

but I'd prefer the beauty contest over pretending that the conferences are remotely equal

the issue here is that the conferences aren't equal and the gaps between them are only going to grow so long as this is a beauty contest. I contend that if every conference is treated equally then the gaps between them will actually start to narrow. Saying that every conference champion should get a seat at the table isn't pretending that the conferences are equal. It changes the dynamics to drive the conferences back towards a mean. Right now the SEC is the undisputed king of CFB and the previous and current models only encourage that advantage to grow. Reforming the model to force some parity between the leagues will be a good thing. If the ACC and Pac10 could catch up to the SEC and Big10 the overall health of the sport would be better.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Pitt [...] did not deserve a place in a college football playoff

*cough* 2018 UMBC *cough*

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

First of all, you can't say that 2018 UMBC 'should have' been in the tournament because of a result that occured after they were chosen, just like you can't say that 2014 OSU 'should have' been in the CFP - you can only make decisions based on the information available at the time. For all we know, 2014 TCU would've been even more dominant than OSU.

Secondly, UMBC didn't take a bid away from a team that was clearly better. 19-14 OSU didn't deserve to go in. Maybe 20-13 Louisville? The 2007 Pitt team was 5-7 with a win over then #2 WVU.

Finally, as I said above:

I don't want college football to become the NFL. I don't want it to become NCAAB either.

I love the pageantry, the beauty contest, the debate that is college football. If you don't want that, then go watch the NFL.

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I also don't think a team that wins their conference should be guaranteed a spot.

Hard disagree here. There is absolutely no point to a playoff if conference champions aren't valued. If you're going to argue that there shouldn't be a playoff at all and it should go back to the popularity contest it once was then fine. But there is no sense in having a playoff that doesn't award teams for winning their leagues.

If you're really concerned about how that impacts OOC play then award seeding in the playoff based on SOS. Still somewhat subjective, admittedly, but at least you're going to say 'win your Conference and you're in' but if you want a first round bye you have to prove that you deserve it by playing against the toughest schedule and winning.

In fact, by forcing teams to get in based on win totals instead of conference championships you're asking teams to schedule a bunch of cupcakes OOC and the quality of those games is going to plummet dramatically. If winning your league is the only real pre-requisite that won't deter teams from playing tough OOC schedules. Adding that incentive that SOS will benefit you at the end of the season heading into the playoff may actually improve the quality of the OOC schedules. Teams like Florida will have to play more games against the ACC and Big10 if they want to get a good position heading into the playoff instead of just scheduling directional Florida schools for easy wins to pad their stats.

I think everyone would be more interested in a 11-2 UF team (SEC Champ) going into the playoff if their two losses are to Clemson and Oklahoma than they would be if the 12-1 UF team that just lost to Bama in the SECCG gets in with wins over a weak SEC East and 4 FCS teams, which is exactly what will happen if we do what you're proposing or keep what is currently in place.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

But there is no sense in having a playoff that doesn't award teams for winning their leagues.

Normally, I'd agree, but the leagues are created completely randomly, and there's no efforts to standardize across the conferences. If that challenge was addressed, I'd be onboard for auto-bids for conferences.

If you're really concerned about how that impacts OOC play then award seeding in the playoff based on SOS. Still somewhat subjective, admittedly, but at least you're going to say 'win your Conference and you're in' but if you want a first round bye you have to prove that you deserve it by playing against the toughest schedule and winning.

Totally agree - I think SOR (strength of record) should be used for seeding, and I think it's really important for homefield advantage to factor into every round (except the final)

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Normally, I'd agree, but the leagues are created completely randomly, and there's no efforts to standardize across the conferences. If that challenge was addressed, I'd be onboard for auto-bids for conferences

I don't see how not allowing auto-bids addresses this challenge though. I'm not even sure why you think that's a big problem. The SEC is the gold standard right now. If the playoff expands and nothing else changes the SEC is just going to get 2 or 3 teams in each year and a conference like the ACC will be lucky to get 1. The playoff will slowly become a glorified SEC playoff because that league will reap most of the benefits. 10 years from now an 8 team playoff might have 4 SEC teams, 2 Big 10 teams, ND, and a Big12 team. If it continues that way the disparity between the leagues is just going to grow. All of the talent (coaches and players alike) will gravitate into the leagues that have the history and money (SEC, BIG10) and the rest of college football will suffer.

Long term, it's going to be worse for college football to leave it up to committees to choose who gets into the playoff. The best way to keep college football interesting is to mitigate the growing gap between the cream of the crop and everyone else. To do that, each league needs to have a clear and even path to the playoff. That will invite talent. Coaches and players who want to contend for national titles won't all congregate in one or two leagues if there are easier paths to the promised land. Each league needs a seat at the table. Each league needs limits on how many teams they can send. The talent will naturally disperse. Otherwise, you'll get a concentration in one or two leagues and the sport will devolve into a prep league for the pros consisting of a handful of teams and then everyone else which nobody will care about.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Bar1990, a man after my own heart.


I don't want college football to become the NFL. I don't want it to become NCAAB either. I want it to stay weird, bizzare, unique, and strangely regional. I think my plan keeps it that way. Unfortunately, I don't see it happening.

Made this argument a million times here and r/cfb.

Yeah, you both seem to be making an argument that is wrong.

His whole point seems to be that valuing conference championships would somehow create a lack of incentives for teams to schedule big OOC games makes no logical sense.

Have VT spend $800,000 to secure a deal to play Akron in Lane OR spend no money and make a home and home deal to start the season off with LSU at home and have those fans roll in a week ahead of time in their RVs and pump money into the town AND have an actual interesting game at the end? (Using personal experience on this one)

And losing either game does not automatically eliminate you from a chance at a title. Which scenario do you prefer?

You don't want things to become the NFL? That league has its issues but at least I can watch a game that might matter in week 15. As things in college football currently stand, the Hokies season is over the moment they lose their first game, OOC or otherwise. And you think that's a good thing?

Lol..damn

I don't necessarily think they are wrong. I don't agree with them, though. Not fully, anyway. I think the playoff is broken. I don't think simply expanding it will fix anything. The playoff could use reform. We just disagree on the impact of auto-bids for conference champions. But I think Bar1990 has a legitimate argument that there are other structural issues with CFB outside of the post season that contribute to the issues with it.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

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Yeah, you both seem to be making an argument that is wrong.

This seems wildly unnecessary, not to mention rude, given that Bar's argumentation in this thread has been more thorough and coherent than anyone else's, not to say others aren't making good points. Coming in and just saying "this is wrong" is so baffling to me in terms of legitimate debate that I'm not really sure how to even respond to such a needlessly coarse opening. This feels especially silly when as you'll see below, I don't think anything you've said here actually refutes the original plan Bar outlined in his original post.

OR spend no money and make a home and home deal to start the season off with LSU at home and have those fans roll in a week ahead of time in their RVs and pump money into the town AND have an actual interesting game at the end? (Using personal experience on this one)

And losing either game does not automatically eliminate you from a chance at a title. Which scenario do you prefer?

Losing to LSU in the first game would not eliminate us from title contention. In fact, we can look at an actual VT football season where lost to LSU in week 2 (2007) and finished 3rd in the BCS. We don't finish 3rd in the BCS if we don't lose a second game to BC. We would have been comfortably in the title game against 1 loss Ohio State.

In the theoretical sense, if we start 2021 with a loss to Georgia (for example), but finish 11-1, beat an undefeated or 1 loss Clemson in the ACCCG, we will be in the playoff. There's no reason to believe we wouldn't other than some irrational victim complex that makes you think everyone is out to screw over VT at every turn. Though I have noticed that is pretty prevalent within our fanbase (and many others).

Thirdly, losing to either of those teams doesn't preclude us from the potential autobid proposed in Bar's system (autobids in effect for teams who finish in the top 12). I don't see why a 12-1 VT with a loss to Akron and an ACCCG win over Clemson doesn't have a shot at a top 12 ranking. We managed to attain a 12th ranking in 2010, a season where we started with a loss to a G5 AND an FCS team...

You don't want things to become the NFL? That league has its issues but at least I can watch a game that might matter in week 15.

Sort of a meaningless comparison given that the college football season doesn't even get to week 15, and in the sense that more than half the teams in the NFL are also playing for nothing by week 15. Fantasy football is set-up around the idea that the last 2-3 weeks of an NFL regular season are meaningless. Too many teams will be resting players, with their playoff spot/seeding locked in place. So in week 15 you might find one or two games with big implications, but how is that any different from late season college football?

Since there isn't a week 15 in college football I'll use the month of November instead. Bama-Auburn has had major implications in several years in the last decade, Bama-LSU has had major implications as recently as 2019. Ohio State and Michigan in 2016 was a huge deal. Michigan State kept Ohio State out of the playoff with a late November win in 2015.

In terms of VT, we played UVA on Thanksgiving weekend with the Coastal championship on the line as recently as 2019.

However, that leads me to a potential issue with your next line. Does a game late in a season of college football only have meaning to us if we still have a chance at a national title?

As things in college football currently stand, the Hokies season is over the moment they lose their first game, OOC or otherwise. And you think that's a good thing?

Not only is this not true, as I explained above where we finished 3rd in the BCS one year with two losses, but it also implies that our entire season is ruined the second we aren't competing for a national championship. That's a terrible way to view a sport like college football. There are 130 teams in our "league" (FBS), there are ~65 P5 teams in the major conferences if you want to eliminate the G5, and the sport of college football has been long sustained on things other than just "winning it all." Rivalries, regional dominance, winning your conference, are all things that used to be celebrated and argued over among fans. Pro sports in the US are much smaller leagues, constructed to create varying levels of (but overall significantly more) parity. That simply isn't attainable with college football, a construct far more similar to European soccer than to any US professional league in terms of breadth and financial disparity.

Right now, we are light years away from winning a national title in college football. If the end of the season for you is truly our first loss, you might as well not tune in at all because I can guarantee you we aren't going undefeated anytime soon. Additionally, an autobid to the playoff is not our best shot at winning a national title, dramatically increasing our funding and dramatically elevating our recruiting is what will give us a shot a national title. Making the playoff at 8-4 through an autobid might be a cool experience, but does anyone actually believe we would win three games (assuming we just beat Clemson in the ACCCG) in a row against some combination of Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, etc at our current roster/talent level? That's sort of rhetorical, because I think it's damn near impossible, but I am curious if anyone in here actually believe that is a realistic scenario for VT football.

As for your last line, if I think that's a "good" thing. The short answer is no, because I don't believe one loss eliminates us from a shot a national title as we run the rest of the table and go on to win the ACCCG, preferably against an elite Clemson or FSU team. There's really no reason for me to think this outside of the aforementioned irrational VT victim complex.

For a more nuanced answer I would argue that we haven't had a realistic shot at a national title in decade. We haven't had the talent or the coaching, and we haven't gotten close. We are all still watching college football, along with about 60 other P5 teams' fanbases who also didn't have a realistic shot at a national title in the last decade. For me, that is a strong argument that we all care about college football for many of the non-"national title or bust" reasons that make college football so unique and special, and that argument speaks louder than anything we can type out on message board to the contrary. Basically, I don't think you actually are being honest when you say "our season is over after the first loss." And if you are being honest with that, I think you need to recalibrate your expectations for VT football. We need to start winning our weak, and very winnable division before we start getting upset about theoretical exclusions from the playoff.

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Chris did a far better job of replying to your post than I could, but I do want to address the last comment:

As things in college football currently stand, the Hokies season is over the moment they lose their first game, OOC or otherwise. And you think that's a good thing?

First of all, do I think this is a good? Yes - in fact, I think it is THE BEST thing about college football. I LOVE that no team truly 100% controls their own destiny. I love that a random upset in PAC 12 could bump a team 3 spots lower in the rankings, and that could be the difference between an east coast team not making the playoff. To me, this is what makes college football different from every other sport/league in the world, and it's why I'm a fan of the ENTIRE sport, not just the Hokies or the ACC.

Secondly, I (strongly) object to the notion that 'the season over the moment [any team] loses their first game.' 2010 was an incredible season that I'll never forget, despite the fact that the loss to Boise likely eliminated us from the MNC, and the loss to JMU definitely eliminated us.

I just don't consume college football through the lense of 'championship or bust.' It doesn't mean that I don't care about winning, or I'm setting goals too low; it just means that I realize the sport is designed in such a way that teams can't control their destiny, so I consume it as such (and I personally believe that's the best way to consume the sport).

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My problem with your logic is I don't trust the committees not to just stock the top 12 with teams they want to be there. The P5 have to get an autobid for their champion (otherwise they won't agree), the top ranked G5 team NEEDS to have an autobid for their to be any semblance of fairness. 2 at large picks with no more than 2 teams from a single conference in the eight. I don't care that Georgia only lost to Florida who only loses to Bama in the title. Only two get to go, make the committee earn their money picking which 2.

My problem with your logic is I don't trust the committees not to just stock the top 12 with teams they want to be there.

I'm not married to the idea of top 12 - could be top 15, top 10, top 16.

Anyways, I hear what you're saying, and it's occured to me, but I don't think it will be a huge issue.

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Every playoff game, except the finals, is played at the higher ranked school's home field

I understand why this is not that feasible, but I wish we had something like that was more common in college sports. I know baseball does it for the regional rounds. But imagine a 1st round March madness game at Cassell Coliseum or something

I don't understand why it's not feasible.

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The really big question here is will the new format force ND to join a conference to get a spot.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

No

I disagree. The best path to a national title is to qualify automatically through the conference. They have at least 2 guaranteed high profile out of conference games every year they can hang their hat on: USC and any of their Shamrock Series games. So if they don't qualify by winning the conference title, they can have an at-large spot wrapped up at 1-2 losses.

If they don't join, the 4/5 game agreement with the ACC could hurt them when the ACC is down. Let's say they are sitting at 8-1, and need to beat Wake Forest and USC, but go 1-1 with USC being the last loss. With other at-large options at 1 loss, or a 2 loss conference champ from the G5, ND may not get in.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

There remains zero incentive for ND to join a conference. Zero. Unless we hit another covid situation. Other than that, no incentive for them to join the ACC.

ND will only consider joining a conference if a conference championship win is required to make the playoff. That isn't going to happen (much to my chagrin) so ND is never going to join a conference.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

ND will only consider joining a conference if a conference championship win is required to make the playoff

This is the criteria of the playoff expansion. Will ND get at large consideration? Of course, but the easier path is through a conference title. A weak one like the ACC works great for them, too. Joining the B1G would hurt their chances.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Will ND get at large consideration? Of course, but the easier path is through a conference title.

If there is even the most remote of shots for ND to get at large consideration as an independent they will take that over joining a league as a full member every day and twice on Saturdays. ND will never join another league. The only thing that will force them to do that would be if winning a conference championship game was a requirement for a spot in the playoffs. And that, annoyingly, is never going to happen. ND will remain independent otherwise.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

ND hasn't won a major bowl since 1993- the year this old man graduated from VT. I don't think "weak acc" competition makes them a lock for any title. Win a major bowl and we can talk.

Committee and longtime college football voters love ND. They make, and keep, way too much money from NBC to want any other agreement. They have survived and made BCS title games, had to be one of two teams, and CFP, one of four. Expanding to six, eight, twelve, sixteen gives them even better odds. Unless the only way to get selected is by being a conference champion, ND isn't going to change.

They make, and keep, way too much money from NBC to want any other agreement.

I don't remember where but didn't this past season when they joined the ACC prove this statement wrong? They made more as part of their "Full league share" than they would from just the NBC contract. Here's some analysis from the ND Rivals page

Off NBC and ACC TV revenue, Notre Dame made $22 million, while each ACC school earned an average of $29 million, according to an ESPN report. Notre Dame also earns $3.19 million from the College Football Playoff each year, no matter if it was selected or not.

So the tried and true argument of "They make more money as an independent" just doesn't add up anymore. They are an independent because they want to 'uphold the traditions of ND' not for any financial reasons.

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Good points, but both ND and the ACC signed TV contracts, with NBC and ESPN respectively, in 2016. While ND signed a contract for 10 years, the negotiating wizard of Swafford, signed a 20 year deal. I have to imagine that by the end of the 10 year deal when ND renegotiates, the ACC will be pissed at the chicken scratch it's making.

I do think your argument of tradition is a strong part too. Bottom line though, my original comment of "No" still stands. I don't think in any way this forces ND to join a football conference.

Bowls are stupid IMO. A relic of a bygone era in the sport. With so many bowls these days and teams with losing records participating, bowls have really lost their meaning unless you're in a NY6 or playoff game anyway. Now factor in prospective draft picks sitting out meaningless bowl games to preserve health and draft stock. I'm all in favor of scrapping the bowls and going to a 16 team playoff. Literally every other division of football does it, why can't FBS?

Cant there be a middle ground? Why scrap ALL bowls? Maybe a few, but the 3rd-6th place conference teams deserve, and need, a postseason. Those few extra weeks of practice are valuable.

I've said it before, it the extra practice is such a big deal, then let everyone practice for an extra 2 weeks or something. Gong to Boise, or standing on the same side of the field as the opponent, or having to go all the way across the country is NOT a reward. Trim it to 32 teams, still allow the host cities to get their tourist monies that have been coming in for decades, but remove the noise from the equation.

(They are looking to change the bowl set up, so there's not reason they can't change the practice rule either in the process.)

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@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Just a fundamentally different starting point.

I don't care about crowning a champion. I enjoy watching college football, with vastly different schemes and systems, broken plays, and unbridled emotions.

The bowl system is weird, and the games are usually "meaningless" by objective criteria. The players generally weren't playing for a title, but they were playing for a win. And half of 'em got one.

It didn't "definitively" give an "answer" to who was "best." It was fun and entertaining, and that was what I cared about.

This... so much this...

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I assume (haven't read article yet) this would involve some amount of on campus playoff games, which could be pretty epic.

expand to 16, each conference champ gets in, 1 group of 5, rest are wild cards. Lower level Bowls can still operate for the rest of the teams.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

I like the bowls - have a full month of College Football nearly every day is pretty awesome in my mind.

I'd rather see them work on narrowing the gap between the Have/Have Nots in the college football. My 'boredom' always stemmed from National Championships (now CFB Playoffs) featuring the same 4-5 teams. Fix that, and I'm all in.

HTHokie93

I agree. TBH, I think NIL would help level the playing field (to pre-playoff levels of parity, not NFL level parity)

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Expanding the CFP playoff will not result in a men's March Madness style tournament that generates excitement for college football. College football is much more similar to women's college basketball than men's basketball. There are 4-5 teams that can win it all and usually the difference between the #4 seed and the #1 seed is sizable. The end result will be a bunch of blowouts until the real contenders make it to the semi-finals. This will eliminate the fun unique and competitive games with schools outside the top 4 that make up the rest of bowl season. Football fans need to stop thinking like basketball fans and believing that getting into the tournament gives them a path to a title. You can't win a CFB title without multiple consecutive top 10 recruiting classes.

I view the current conference championship games as the defacto first round of the playoffs. It is usually top 15 teams playing each other. Yes this leaves out undefeated G5 teams. They can't win consecutive games against top p5 teams.

The playoff doesn't guarantee a lower level team a shot at the title. But it also doesn't guarantee that the regular contenders are automatically in the championship. It leaves an opportunity for them to fall. The top teams lose from time to time to lower teams. Syracuse beat Clemson a few years ago.

I'd argue there is a stark difference between regular season upsets like Syracuse/Pitt over Clemson than a post season upset. The regular season upsets usually are the result of the big team not preparing with any urgency and expecting to show up and win with ease. A good example of the difference when something is on the line is the ACC championship game. Clemson has dominated that game in embarrassing fashion over the last decade because it is the last game between them and the playoff.

This is a possibility/probability problem. If the top G5 team plays Clemson/Bama/OSU 20 times perhaps they maybe pull off the upset once. We probably agree that it is extremely unlikely they follow up that win against the next P5 contender. Is expanding the playoff and eliminating many of the fun quirky and competitive bowl games each year worth the once in a decade singular upset?

The playoff killed the bowls. Ratings for them have plummeted, sponsors are dropping out because its not worth it anymore, and players are opting out because its not worth the risk of injury.

One way or another, the bowls are going away. Leadership of college football has realized this and are planning to pull the plug rather than watch them die a slow drawn out death.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

Agree, the concept will be moved to the "pre" season- week 1. You will see the pagentry, big OOC matchups etc at the beginning vs. the end of the season.

Have all 10 conference champions automatically qualify, then two at-large teams.

Top 4 Conference champions, rated by the playoff committee, receive byes to the second round.

First two rounds are home games for the higher seeded teams.

Rotate the Semis throughout the traditional NY6 bowls.

Finals at the same venue as the Super Bowl, during the Pro Bowl week.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

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I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

You think anyone will be pissed when Liberty or App State get into the playoff and 1 loss ND, Penn State, Auburn, and Oregon are fighting for 2 spots? Nah, nobody will gripe about that. Nobody will gripe when 3 loss Memphis wins the American and LSU is out after losing a close game to bama and OT loss to aTm. Nah. wont be an issue

I think less people would be mad about that than the number of people who would be mad that every playoff spot goes to teams from two leagues.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

How about this.
P5 conference champions get in (5)
Top ranked G5 champion gets in (1)
Other 4 G5 champions play each other, winners get in (2). These game can be played during the weekend of the P5 championship games.
At large teams (4)
That makes a 12 team playoff.
Top 4 ranked teams get a bye. Seed the other 8 anyway you like. Seeds 5-8 host the first round games. Now you have 8 teams left. Use the NY6 bowls for these games. Down to 4 and continue with what we have now.
I like the 5th P5 champ gets 5 seed, G5 teams get seeds 6-8, at llarge get seeds 9-12. Those at large teams should be better than seeds 5-8, but since they didn't win their conference, they have to go on the road. If Georgia is seeded 9, they should be able to go to say Memphis or Coastal Carolina and win. If not, then they should be out.

All G5 conferences have championships. They can't play each other championship weekend

Additionally with Championship weekend in existence, the tournament is a de-facto 22 team tournament, so it could be argued that the losers of the conference championships are ineligible for the field of 12, so the 2 at large teams will either come from independents or teams that didn't win their division.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Thought this out a little more.

The First Two Rounds
Conference champions host the closest qualifying team, to reduce travel costs.
It's possible you can link conferences so the scheduling takes care of itself. PAC12 vs MWC, B1G vs MAC, ACC vs AAC, SEC vs CUSA or SBC, Big12 vs CUSA or SBC.
Highest rated at large hosts lowest rated at large, unless highest rated at large is ranked in top 4.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

I am much less for automatic bids from conference champions and more for a rule along the lines of either:

1. Any team with one or fewer losses ranked in the top 15 (or some other reasonable cutoff) gets in

2. Any conference champion with 2 or fewer losses gets in.

We need enough of an automatic qualifier to make sure a UCF situation never happens again, but not enough of a qualifier for an 8-4 conference champ to get in.

We need enough of an automatic qualifier to make sure a UCF situation never happens again, but not enough of a qualifier for an 8-4 conference champ to get in.

This is my belief as well - very similar to my idea. I'm okay with a conference championship being a prerequisite to get in, but I'm not okay with it guaranteeing a bid.

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I dont know, the UCF situation was perfect, they have a national title per the NCAA rule book.

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College hoops has much more parity in terms of the final four- it's never the same 4 teams, even with blue bloods Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, etc. Granted there is a one and done tourney which helps. It really makes you wonder if Clemson, Bama, Ohio State, and Oklahoma are cheating. Nah, they wouldn't do that.

I've always been a fan of the P5 auto bids + 1 G5 bid + 2 at large = 8 team playoff, with seeding done after conference camps. It keeps the format from having an excessive amount of teams, while giving tangible reward for both conference champions and the G5.

I always call a T.O. before a field goal.

I would rather not have a distinction between P5 and G5. Just make the rule something like you need to be a conference champ with X or fewer losses, or ranked in the top X number of teams to get in.

...I dunno, I like bowl season. Why get rid of it?

I don't think anyone has come up with a plan to explicitly get rid of bowls entirely, or even cut the number of bowls. It's just the assumption that a bigger playoff will lead to lower interest in bowl games (be it more player opt-outs or lower TV ratings), leading to the reduction of the number bowl games. To which I say, that's fine. When you have almost half of FBS making bowl games, how much do they really mean anyway? I like rewarding the players, but if it's not financially viable to have 40 bowl games, then get rid of some.

The committee doesn't choose Clemson/Bama/OSU for the playoff almost every year because they happen to like those schools or can only choose big brands. They choose those teams because they're almost always the best teams in the sport and are almost always more deserving than any other teams. It's crazy to me that people blame the committee when it's really just a competition problem within the sport.

In terms of the playoff, I don't know what the solution is, but I think we can all agree that an expanded playoff would be chocked full of blowouts. I mean, every year there's at least one complete blowout in the playoff, and that's with only 4 teams.

At the end of the day, I love college football dearly, but the sport has a HUGE competition problem right now. From the beginning of the season, you pretty much know who the 2-3 best teams are and who is going to be in the playoff. Even most conference championship games are blowouts.
Until that changes, we're not really gonna have a super exciting way to determine a champ.

Except for the years they have selected OSU for the competition when they deliberately bypassed the conference champ who beat OSU or when OSU has played to few games to be eligible and they just amend those rules because after all it is OSU.

Too many years of UCF's and the like saying we went undefeated but weren't given a shot. Expand it to 8 teams, include that team and let them be an 8 seed if needed.

Too many years of UCF's and the like saying we went undefeated but weren't given a shot. Expand it to 8 teams, include that team and let them be an 8 seed if needed.

If this is your complaint, my solution above will address it!

  • Any FBS conference champion who is ranked in the top 12 gets an autobid.
  • If there are less than 8 conference champions in the top 12, then at large bids are awarded to the highest ranked teams
  • If there are more than 8 conference champions in the top 12, then the 8 highest ranked conference champions all receive at large bids

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The biggest shock to me since the playoff formed is how bad the games have been. I honestly thought the top 4 teams would have created some epic matchups.

If we want to make college football more entertaining, the playoff is the wrong focus. The out of conference scheduling needs to be mandated in some way so that the regular season has more than a few good games each week. Mandate cross P5 matchups, get rid of powder puffs, and ultimately the sport will benefit. But, as long as schools have the power to self schedule 7 and 8 home games using piss poor match ups ($$$) the season is watered down.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

How will ECU, Liberty, and ODU help fund and prop up their programs without ACC teams giving them 10 game series and related TV exposure? Wouldn't it be a shame if ODU and ECU were to flounder playing other G5 teams all the time.

They won't need to be propped up if they are offered a seat in the playoff. Right now, they know they have to play P5 OOC to even have a slight chance of making a playoff with an undefeated season.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Bring back traditional bowls, Rose is Big 10 Pac- 12 champion.

After bowls run a 4 team playoff with the teams that have the 4 best records overall. OOC SoS determines tie breakers.

never thought i'd yearn for the days of the BCS but i honestly liked that system better than having a "selection committee"

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I would be down for the four team playoff with BCS rankings.

I always call a T.O. before a field goal.

Isn't this what people wanted? I want the BCS formula to go back to giving the computers more weighting, but I had very little complaints about the rankings overall.

I never understood why we needed a committee to determine 4 teams.

Also never understood why they couldn't have kept the BCS name, considering that the playoff format is a literal Bowl Championship Series, unlike what came before.

As soon as the committee was announced, people were crying foul and predicting the kind of inexplicable drama that affects March Madness every year.

I am ALL FOR THIS.... whether it's 8 or 12 (or more), all fans/teams want is a chance to make playoffs and I believe this is just inevitable. I'd rather have the chance JUST to make playoffs than play in some money grab bowls. The bowls are so watered down, and lets be honest, if it's your school isn't in the bowl, you really don't care for the bowls unless we are near the NYE6 bowls and playoffs, and even the current playoffs is getting stale with same teams in year over year.

Who should make it?... Imagining this is a 12 team format, IMO it should be all 5 conference championship game winners, the 7 other spots should be 5 of the highest remaining teams, and 2 slots for the highest ranked non-power 5 teams. That way it guarentees top 5 ranked teams still would make playoffs (if for whatever extreme exemple championship game winners are ranked outside of top 5 in final rankings) and non-power 5 teams have a chance to make it. Top 4 ranked teams would get a bye.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

My only concern with a 12 team playoff is the number of games and the potential for injury. Some of these teams could have played 12 plus conference championship plus potentially 5 more games of a playoff? Honestly, they might need to take the regular season back to 11 games.

The FCS teams play 20 games if they play in the FCS Championship. You think FBS teams can't hack it.

Well first off, in my format, the playoff format would only be a max of an extra 4 games (and only 3 games if you have the bye), and that's ONLY if they make it to championship game. IMO I don't think it would be an issue for the players to play 1,2,3 or 4 extra games if it meant the chance the play in playoffs/championship game.

To help alleviate the injury concern, I am sure NCAA can help build in another bye week or something like that... The teams in the NYE6 bowls and playoffs already have a month off before their bowl games too.

But like H'Burg_Hokie said, if the FCS can schedule it and pull it off, no way the FBS can't.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I like it, let's make it happen.

Anyone complaining that a 1 to 2 loss LSU team losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship game "would have something to say about that" or still deserves a shot at the playoff..., well they could still get that shot so long as they're good enough to be still ranked high enough. If they aren't ranked high enough, tough noogies, win the game(s) that matter then.

If teams in tough conferences feel they're deserving, but continue to miss out, then maybe they should leave that conference and find another home if they feel so confident they can still dominate. CFB needs a shake up, the same teams, in the same conferences have grown old and boring.

I have no qualms over season long, borderline deserving teams not making the playoff because they lost their Title Game. I think the chance that a team being knocked out by an average to slightly above average team would add more pressure and provide for better TV.

Are the odds low that a sub-optimal team would win a game in the playoff, sure, but similar to March Madness "true" upsets (14s, 15s, or 16 winning) are shown to happen from time to time.

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Go Hokies!

Anyone complaining that a 1 to 2 loss LSU team losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship game "would have something to say about that" or still deserves a shot at the playoff

The Conference Championship game IS their shot at the playoffs. If they lose, they're out and there should be no complaining. Win the games you're supposed to. If you can't beat the best team when it matters most, what makes you think you deserve a shot at the playoffs? That's a pretty entitled viewpoint, now that I think about it.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Can't tell if you're disagreeing or agreeing, but yes.

Winning games = no argument. If you have two undefeated SEC teams battling in a SEC Champ Game, chances are the team that loses will still be one of the 5 highest teams ranked in the country as per OP's example, so they can fall back on that and I'm ok with that.

If you have a 1 loss SEC team earning their second loss in the Title Game and they go from say Rank #7 to outside the Top 10 and miss the playoff....Tough noogies, win your championship game.

I don't care how good a possible secondary/tertiary SEC team might appear to be or how hard their schedules were during the season. Every season they seem to argue 3 or 4 deserving teams from within the SEC (Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M). The whole season should matter and you lost games, sorry, better luck next year.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

largely in agreement with you. I don't really care if a team is left out of the playoff if they lose their Conference Championship game. Even if it's their only loss, and even if they're still top 10 afterwards. They went up against a playoff team and lost. Single elimination. The Conference Championship games should be, really, just an extension of the playoff. If you lose, you're done. No second chances.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Would keep me enthralled though knowing we could lose one or two (or even three cuz we all know the ACC Wheel of Destiny is a thing), still play in the ACCCG with an outside chance at upsetting Clemson and going to the Playoff... I would think most fans around the country would think the same.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

I had to make an edit because I missed a pretty crucial word. But yes, I like that a team like VT, in a conference like the ACC, could conceivably lose 2 or 3 games but sneak into the ACCCG with a shot to win and get to the playoff. I think it should be conference champions in the playoff and that's it. I don't want to see LSU and Bama duke it out twice. They can play once in the SECCG and the winner gets a spot in the playoff. Sorry loser. Playoff bound teams should be teams that haven't played any of the other teams in the playoff (recently - now I say this, because I wouldn't mind if OSU and LSU played each other in September and then both won their leagues...I just don't want two teams from the same league championship game playing for the playoff too).

Now, if we go to a 12 team format like several folks are suggesting then you get 10 conference champions (P5 and G5) plus two at large bids. To avoid boring games, the at large bids should be the two highest ranked losers of their respective championship games and should be placed in opposite brackets from the teams they lost to in their respective championship games. That way, the only way we see two teams play each other twice at the end of the year is if the truly best two teams are from the same league and the loser of that league's CG beats everyone on their side of the bracket to earn a shot at the title against the winner of their league who also beat everyone on their side to reach the title.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I'm here for this! I'm all for a conference championship being required to get into the playoff. I'm not okay with all conference champions getting bids. I'd love to see a 4-team playoff that takes the 4 conference champions (regardless of P5/G5) with 'the best resume.'

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respectfully, if we go to a 12 team playoff (and I'm not for or against this) then by giving each conference an auto-bid that provides 10 conference champions for the playoff. Then you have 2 at large bids. It's my belief that those bids should be doled out to the highest ranked losers from the championship games.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

My issue with that is the "Best Resume" appears to be to variable. An undefeated UCF will argue that they have a better record/resume than a 2 loss big 12 champion which squeezed in because the PACwhatever had a 3 loss champion.

Yea, as I've stated in multiple comments above, I view that as a feature, not a bug. To each their own I suppose.

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I don't think UCF was an actual top 5 team, but it is messed up that a team can do everything asked of them and still be left out of the dance. The system is broken if they do not have a path.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

The commissioners are just giving us something to talk about in April.

JP

i can't find the one place i want to respond to this thread, because so many common themes have sprung out in multiple places, so I'll just summarize my thoughts here (not that anyone will care):

- Like many, I do like what WAS unique about college football, but the money injected into the game over the past 25 years has already fundamentally changed that in so many ways (conf realignment, blowing up rivalries, etc)

- The argument that OOC won't matter with autobids: Today, OOC is driven by fear of losing more than anything else, so we end up with a lot of cupcakes to balance out any difficult games. Even if your conf only schedule will dictate playoff chance, OOC will be important for both seeding and at large consideration. No one is going to abandon big games in the OOC. If anything, we'll end up with more big OOC games.

- Bowls: I love what they were, and don't care if they stay or go at this point. But playoff games, at least those before the semi finals, should be on campus. I would argue even the semi finals should be on campus. If you want to award going 12-0 with a tough OOC schedule, what better way than with a home semi final game!? Making all playoff games neutral sites actually devalues the regular season more than expanding the playoff itself does. If non playoff bowls can make money and non playoff teams still want to go, have at it. But don't get mad if players opt out or if fans don't want to spend the money to attend.

- Bowls (again): Why not move bowls to the 8 days leading up to and including Labor Day? Make that the new bowl week. Give teams and fans across the country neutral site high profile games to kick off the season. Hell, you could even spread bowls throughout the season for fun: Columbus Day weekend, Halloween weekend, Thanksgiving week, etc. Who says they have to be meaningless exhibitions? Make them important regular season games!

Format: the consensus among journalists seems to be 12 is the number being looked at most closely. I like 12 because it allows MORE reward for regular season performance in the form of a bye. The top 4 teams who had the best overall regular season get to sit back and watch the other 8 battle for a spot in the quarterfinals, and then they get the added bonus of playing that game at home.

- Conclusion: December and January will be more fun for more people with more teams/regions in the mix and the intrigue of upsets and underdogs. I do think we need to consider shortening the regular season by a game or 2 if we go down this path, but I also believe it's the right path.

I don't have to take this abuse from you, I've got hundreds of people dying to abuse me.

You know in all honesty, I hate the championship game, it's bad for College Football. College Football is about odd traditions, its about proving you can tailgate better than any one else, but above all else it is about pettiness. It's about painting a T on UVA's field, It's about MIT pranking Harvard even though they don't play, its about a 22nd ranked Bama team claiming a national title, it's about some one putting a WVU sticker over my hokie bird license plate, Its about Penn State arguing that they should have been champions in 94. We will never know and that fuels conversations and sites like the key play. I don't want a definitive champion, its been bad for football. The more teams we let play for a title, the less teams win the title. I love that the NCAA never changed the rule book and UCF can legitimately claim a title, that is better and more fun that the championship game has been in years.

Yeah I've gotten to the point where I'd be happier if it just went back to bowls only with no playoff.

Best case would be go straight regional with a European soccer style tiers where you play everyone in your division for the title and the bottom two drop to the lower level and you partner with a lower level division where the top two teams would go up etc.

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

I get what both of you think you want, but I do not think the playoff is to blame. The best two teams haven't been in doubt most years recently. Bama has held the seat on top of the mountain much longer than teams in the 90's and 00's

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I'm not even upset with the top 4 selected in the playoff. It's not like VT has had a chance to be snubbed.

It's more the overarching focus of playoff (top 4) or bust, in terms of the focus of college football overall.

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

Oh no, I'm not arguing for no playoff, I dont want any championship game. The BCA was the down fall.

I don't know who won the last 5 titles for NBA , or NFL even though I watched them. I don't know the last 5 NCAA Basketball champs. He'll, I can only name Baylor and Tampa Bay as champions right now. Outside of your team winning or losing who cares.

But I 100% remember the 94 PSU team that was arguably the best team in the country (and possibly JoePa's best team) did not win a title because they were left out of the BCA and everyone wanted Osborne to get a non-shared title. Thats a story, thats something fans bring up 30 years later. No other sport has arguments like that. They have the refs robbed Seattle or else that no one cares about. In 1994 you're arguing about every game to prove who you think is better, it's never solved, its much better for the sport.

I really like KingJames idea of going back to the traditional NY6 bowl games (with original conference tie-ins and/or BCS selection where necessary) and then taking winners of those games as CFP. That gets us to 12 teams right there.

The NY6 bowls are in name only at this point, its no fun to watch the Rose Bowl with the second place B1G and PAC12 teams playing in my opinion.

Some one was fishing for legs ... it worked!

Nah, just felt like people didn't acknowledge your idea so wanted to see if I could get a discussion going. Unfortunately not haha

It's ok my wife has prepared me well for people ignoring my opinion!

Really good episode of Power Auer on The Andy Staples Show, with Michael Felder (great twitter follow if you like cooking and college football btw), that hit on a lot of the topics we discussed in this thread. I tend to agree with Felder's takes on this issue - in summary:

  • The root cause of the current problem (a limited amount of teams getting to the playoff) is due to USC, Michigan, FSU, etc being bad. The best way to fix the issue is for these teams (and others) to get better. He also talks about some coaches being lazy with recruiting, but I digress.
  • Expanding the playoff WILL create 'a better TV show' and create more interesting off-the-field narratives, but it will NOT do anything to improve the quality of the games we watch (more on that in the next bullet)...
  • The idea allowing more teams into the playoff will drive parity in recruiting is false - The top reasons a recruit picks a school is due to (1) a path to the NFL and (2) relationships with a coach. Being on a winning team is not unimportant, but it's clearly behind those first two factors. A shot at a national championship is just 'a cherry on top' and doesn't factor into most recruits' decision making.
  • An expanded playoff will decrease the emphasis on bowls, which will contribute to a lesser player experience (eg; exhibition games are a lot more fun for players than the 'business trips' that are the playoff).

Nicole Auerback does make the argument that watching 8th seeded G5 team get stomped by bama would be better than not seeing the game at all. I personally don't buy this, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Anyways, it's a good listen:

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watching 8th seeded G5 team get stomped by bama would be better than not seeing the game at all

It may be a train wreck but at least that G5 team can say they had a path to a championship. Right now they can have a perfect season, play a couple P5 OOC games, and still finish 5th in the final poll. Every team in the league should have a path to be crowned a champion.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

USC has been good for like 7 years out of the last 40.

FSU was replaced by Clemson, the ACC can only have 1 national champion valve team it seems.

OSU has dominated Michigan the last 20 years. Since the BCS started, Michigan has beat a ranked osu twice, the last time in 2003.

I assume Texas is also on the list. And they want Miami bak too. But those programs have some huge issues.

So now there is 10 schools that could have a chance, that's not much better.

So now there is 10 schools that could have a chance, that's not much better.

There's ~3 schools with a chance today, so you just improved it by 300%.

Regardless, Felder's point (which I strongly agree with) is that expanding the playoff does not offer a solution to the current problem with the playoff.

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Oh I agree expanding the playoffs won't fix anything.

But to say that there aren't enough competive teams really just ignores the history of college football. In the last 7 years of playoffs we've had 12 teams make the playoffs, from 1985 to 1994 we had a max of 15 teams in any 7 year period. (2000 was all i got to before I had to quit looking at data)

In 1985, Miami would have made the next 8 playoffs.

From 1985 to 2000, Miami and FSU account for over 30% of the playoff spots. And that doesn't include the like 8 5th place FSU teams that might have been voted into the playoffs by a committee (i just used the AP poll)

in the 16 seasons, 64 spots from 1985 - 2000, 23 teams would make the playoff. Most of them only go once. Its very close to the same percentage of one timers under the current playoffs.

Bama has had a very impressive streaks, Only 80s/90s FSU really could argue about whose streak of top 5 finishes was better. But in a 7 year period, the number of teams that have a chance to make a playoff is 15. Right now we have seen a bit less than that due to Clemson being an impressive Robin to Bama's Batman ( Clemson made 5 playoffs, while in the 80s FSU was only 3 to Miami's 7). If Clemson wasn't making a run like that we'd have had 2 more teams in the playoffs and this would have looked like 80s/90s college football.

EDIT: 23 makes playoffs not 40 i don't know where I got that number

Yea - the only parallel to Clemson/Bama is Miami/FSU in their heyday (bowden's record of 14 straight top-5 finishes is insane... Saban is close, but may not be able to break it).

Anyways - great post. This leads me to believe that BCS is still preferable to the playoff in most years. I think the ideal situation is that the playoff size varies by season. Kind of like how in golf, there's not a specific number of players who advance to each round; rather, they find a good breaking point. Some years there's 2 teams that are clearly better than the rest. Other years its 4, or 6, or 12, or in 2007, it was 16.

EDIT: This got me thinking... I wonder if the distance between the top 3 teams and the rest of the field has always been this stark. When Bill C first moved to ESPN, he tweeted out all FBS teams' SP+ ranking over time. It would be really interesting to see if the difference between the top teams and the next tier has increased/decreased/stayed constant over time.

If anyone is looking for a project...

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Oh boy, can't wait for the annual Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, UCF playoff.

Bring back the BCS 1 and 2 seed game and reinstate the old BCS bowls. The current system is crap. The new system will be more crap.

I mean honestly, in this system, VT would be better off dropping to the AAC to play for their spot instead of the ACC spot.

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

So I've made some extensive posts on r/cfb about how the CFP (and it's subsequent black hole gravitational pull from the CFB media), and I've probably made a few here as well, is absolutely responsible for the death of meaningful bowl games, and the decrease in focus on some of the other things that made college football so great. However, I don't think we can just go back. I think the damage has been permanently done at this point. Winning a BCS bowl game was a legitimate bragging point in the pre-playoff era. I was at Clemson when they won their first BCS bowl game (2013, interestingly the last year without a playoff), and the way they lorded it over USC fans (and the way it legitimately bothered those USC fans) is simply something that doesn't happen as much today. Those games really meant something, and the NCG being just the top 2 meant that it was easier for the majority of teams to be focused on other goals and scales to measure success.

However, the CFP, like a black hole, has been actively drawing everything in the sport towards itself, all the focus, attention, discourse, etc. They mention it in every game, they made a circus out of each reveal show, they make everything, pre and post season, about the playoff and who will be in the playoff next year, and it lead to a million threads on every team specific forum about "how we can fix the playoff,"..., etc. Suddenly, a great season and winning your conference is just a gigantic failure if you don't win it all for top teams. For smaller teams, you have seen an increased apathy among fans as they realize they have no legitimate shot at a national title in a sport where for the last six years you've been told over and over and over again that the only thing that matters is the playoff. That last part is crucial. Whether we realize it or not, that kind of stuff wears on you over time and informs our viewpoints to varying degrees. I fight this by following a lot of people, podcasts, and keeping up with online forums where there are pockets of people who still love CFB for all the crazy, uneven wackiness that it is. Even then I've fallen prey to a lot of these things as well.

Now you have players sitting out of NY6 games because they just aren't the playoff. I don't really have an issue with a player sitting out a bowl game, but I do think it is a signal about the overall difference in the way even NY6 games are viewed by the players in terms of meaning and importance (which can obviously vary from team to team and player to player). I'm not sure we can reverse that now.

Edit: Though I will add, that one of the things the playoff has done to continue the true nature of CFB is how it is driven by controversy discourse, which has always been a part of CFB. All the conversations about changing the playoff means people care. All the arguments about who does and doesn't deserve it, the unclear decision making nature of how the four teams are chosen, all drive a great deal of content and discourse. So while it's frustrating to many people, I do think the playoff has actually maintained that spirt of CFB very well.

I think your last point is spot on about controversy. I was recently listening to a podcast about the NBA and how controversy about rule changes can be to the league's benefit (but not always the players). The podcast gave two recent examples and I think they illustrate the point perfectly.

  1. When the NBA switched to the captains selecting the All-Star rosters there was backlash, but it also became an exciting thing to watch and follow for fans which equaled more engagement which meant higher TV ratings and more money for the league.
  2. When LeBron recently spoke out about his dislike for the new play in game format for the playoffs, it drove more fan engagement in part because LeBron has such a large platform. The NBA is counting on driving more fans to watch the play in games and generate more money. The NBA is also betting that this new format will engage fans in the later part of the regular season. When it was automatic that the top 8 teams from the East and the West will make the playoffs a lot of fans zoned out when the seeding was pretty much determined before the season ended.

Like you said, controversy drives engagement which means fans still care. This is generally a good thing for the league as a whole even if it doesn't always benefit the players. Similar trends can be seen in the NFL and the MLB when they tweak length of schedule, add additional pre-season games, rules changes to speed up the game, etc. This happens across all sports and is amplified because players have such large social media platforms. Before the rise of social media, the players had less of a platform and rule changes were typically advertised from the league's perspective with little input from the players. People tended to accept things because they are normally only presented with the positive aspects.

The problem is that the controversy is fleeting now. Its great at the time was OSU better than TCU or Baylor.... but thats not is 1990 GT better then Colorado, or 2003 USC/LSU.

Fan bases is college football are like no other.
They remember. Its like would 97 Bulls beat the 2018 GS team? Who knows, the Bulls would have mugged Stephen in 90s rules and the bulls would have traveled like 80% of their possessions in today's rules. Comparing the like to like is so much better.

EDIT: The problem, in my mind, ....

8 Team:

All P5s qualify, shove ND in with ACC at that point, next three ranked G5s/Indy get in..

12 Team:

10 Conference Champions (11 when the WAC returns to FBS), then an at-large/Indy ranked well enough

16 team:

10 Conference champions (11 when WAC returns), highest ranked Indy, rest are at-larges.

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ND and Clemson should not have both been in last year's playoff. Imagine if they played a third time for the championship? Boring. Could have also been like LSU + Bama in the 2019 season, had Bama beat Auburn.

For G5s getting in, Houston could have been the first G5 to be in (2016 season) after shocking OU, then beating Louisville later, but HorseFucker Tom Herman was already looking for a house in Austin and couldn't win smaller games.

CompSci

UH BS 20, VT MS 23.

Go Coogs, Go Hokies.