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Old 06-26-2012, 10:23 PM    (permalink
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Default Why the 4 team play-off is sensationalist garbage

This proposed 4 team play-off is the definition of sensationalism, essentially. We have 2 crazy years over the past 3 and all of a sudden the system is broken. I looked at it subjectively and found that only 3 years had a controversy on who is the unanimous #1 and #2, but twice that number of years saw the AP and BCS disagreeing on who the top 4 teams in the country were, in whatever order. It was never both at the same time, though. The following is a year by year account on the battle between a traditional system and a 4 team play-off, with a traditional boxing scorecard on the bottom.

1998: Tennessee is the unanimous #1 with a 12-0 record, and Florida State (11-1, 2), Kansas State (11-1, 4), and Ohio State (11-1, 3) round out your field. UCLA and Arizona both finished with 11-1 records, and Arizona was #5 in the AP, with UCLA as #6. An argument could be made either way, really, but let’s call this one a unanimous decision between the BCS and AP.

1999: Florida State and Virginia Tech would be your unanimous #1 and #2 in both and matching 11-0 records, and Nebraska (11-1, 3) is the only other school featured in both the AP and BCS top 4. The battle for the 4th seed is dicey though, with Alabama (10-2, #4 BCS and #5 AP), Tennessee (9-2 #5 BCS and #6), Kansas State (10-1 #6 BCS, #7 AP) and Wisconsin (9-2 #7 BCS, #4 AP) really being all candidates for that 4th spot. But, Randy Moss and Chad Pennington are another undefeated team and they deserve a shot, right? Could anyone stop Moss that year? This situation is made worse by the play-off, and a basic 1v2 would have been a huge money maker this year. Why risk losing one of two undefeated teams in a 4 team play-off if you care about making money?

2000: Oklahoma was the only undefeated team in America (12-0), and there were 5 other teams that were all one-loss teams, so who else gets in? Florida State (10-1, #2 BCS and #3 AP), Miami (11-1 #3 BCS and #2 AP), Washington (10-1 and #4 in both), Virginia Tech (10-1, #5 BCS and #6 AP), and Oregon State (10-1, #6 BCS and #5 AP) all have reasonable claims for 3 spots. So 2 of those teams get left out. (Note: Miami and Washington became split National Champions this year, what if one was left out?) Even though this was a unanimous 1-4 selection and I can’t argue against it, there would still be controversy.

2001: Miami (11-0) was the best team in America this season. Nebraska (11-1, #4 AP) and Colorado (10-2, AP#3) would be your 2 and 3 seeds, and that would have been a rematch from the Big XII title game and Oregon would have been your 4 seed. I do think a 4 team playoff would have been advantageous for this situation.

2002: Miami and Ohio State were both undefeated and unanimously 1 and 2. Why complicate things with Georgia (12-1, #3 BCS #4 AP), USC (#4 BCS, #5 AP), and Iowa (#5 BCS, #3 AP) all going for the remaining 2 spots? A play-off makes this worse. Remember the how McGahee’s knee got destroyed this game? That happens in the semi’s, why watch the final?

2003: Oklahoma (12-1 #1 BCS #3 AP), LSU (12-1 and #2 in both), and USC (11-1, #1 BCS and #1 AP) would have the top 3 seeds and all have legit claims for the 1 seed. Who gets the 4th seed? Michigan was 10-2 and #4 in both polls, but Texas also had a legitimate claim (10-2, #6 BCS and #5 AP). I think a play-off is good here, and this was unanimous in the top 4, but not the top 2.

2004: USC (#1 BCS and AP), Oklahoma (#2 BCS and AP), and Auburn (#3 BCS and AP) were your top three, 12-0, and Auburn was consensus the worst of the 3. Here is where it gets interesting: California (10-1, #5 BCS and #4 AP) sat in 4th with a week to go, and Texas jumped them (10-1 #4 BCS and #6 AP) when neither played. Imagine that happening today and tell me twitter and ESPN wouldn’t simultaneously combust. Utah (11-0, #6 BCS and #5 AP) also has a claim to that 4th spot. A playoff makes this worse.

2005: USC and Texas were your unanimous #1 and #2 with identical 12-0 records. Why complicate things with a 3 and 4, with Penn State (10-1 #3 in both) and Ohio State (9-2 #4 in both) getting those seeds in the tournament as fodder to USC and Texas. Why is Ohio State more qualified than Oregon (10-1 #5 BCS and #6 AP) and Notre Dame (9-2 #6 BCS and #5 AP)? I have no idea. Even though this was unanimous, it shouldn’t have been.

2006: Besides Ohio State (12-0 #1 in both) there really is no clear cut seeding. Florida (12-1 #2 in both), Michigan (11-1 #3 in both), LSU (10-2 #4 in both), USC (10-2 #5 BCS #7 AP), Louisville (11-1, #6 BCS #5 AP), Wisconsin (11-1, #7 BCS #6 AP), and Boise State (12-0 #8 in both) all have legitimate claims on the 3 remaining spots. With how it shook out, it would have been Big Ten vs. SEC. Awesome way to crown a national champion, right?

2007: Ohio State (11-1 BCS and AP #1) and LSU (11-2 BCS and AP #2) solidify your top 2 spots, and there really is no question. Virginia Tech (11-2 #3 BCS and #5 AP), Oklahoma (#4 BCS and #3 AP), and Georgia (10-2 #5 BCS #4 AP) are all going after 2 spots, and with how it went down (Georgia falls to #5 on an idle week) chances are people would be screaming until the next September no matter who got in. A play-off really makes this a worse situation.

2008: Every team from the top 9 from a major conference had 1 loss while Boise and Utah crashed the party with unblemished records. Oklahoma (12-1 and #1 BCS and AP), Florida (12-1 #2 in both) and Texas (11-1, #3 in both) all have legit claims to be in the play-offs, right? Texas beat Oklahoma, but Texas Tech (11-1, #7 BCS #8 AP) beat Texas. Meanwhile USC was 11-1 and #5 in the BCS, but #4 in the AP. Throw in Penn State (11-1, #8 BCS and #6 AP) and you are looking at a huge mess. What do you do solve this, because the old system and a 4 team play-off really does nothing for anyone.

2009: Alabama and Texas were both 13-0 and a unanimous #1 and #2, respectively. Cincinnati (12-0, #3 BCS #4 AP) and TCU (12-0 #4 BCS #3 AP) would round out your field, but a case can be made for Florida (12-1 #5 BCS #5 AP, lost to #1 Alabama) and Boise State (13-0 #6 in both) to get in over either of those teams. Another huge mess, but it doesn’t get better with a 4 team play-off.

2010: Auburn and Oregon were your unanimous #1 and #2 at 13-0 and 12-0, respectively. TCU was 12-0 and unanimously the #3 team. Those 3 spots are locked in stone, really. So who gets the 4th spot? Stanford (11-1 #4 BCS and #5 AP), Wisconsin (#5 BCS and #4 AP), Ohio State (11-1 #6 in both), Oklahoma (11-2 #7 BCS and #9 AP), Arkansas (10-2 #8 BCS and AP), Michigan State (11-1 #9 BCS #7 AP), and Boise State (11-1 #10 in both) all have a legit claim at the 4th spot, so people are going to be mad. This doesn’t end well for them, in this hypothetical situation.

2011: LSU (13-0 #1 BCS and AP) was unanimously the best team in the country. Alabama, Oklahoma and Stanford all had identical 11-1 records and were #’s 2, 3, and 4, respectively. This one is relatively easy, and that’s why we have this busted system.

If this was a boxing match, I’d score this 135-131 for the traditional setup, with the 4 team playoff picking up 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2011. 2009 was a tie round, and the traditional system won the other 9 rounds. Still like the idea?

Originally Posted by slightlyabroncosfan View Post
JBalla is mormon, so naturally he assumes that whenever you get one marriage done, another two or five are in the works.

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