This will be the first in a series of posts to focusing on the debate over playoffs in the FBS. I’ll debunk Myths with the first few, and then get into offering various formulas. We can debate until our typing fingers turn blue, and thereby avoid the painful lull of the college football off-season.
There is usually ton’s of debate regarding whether or not NCAA Division I football (FBS) should have playoffs. People get aligned on each side of the argument, and take shots at one another from across the lawn. I personally fit into the Pro-Playoff’s category, so I want to take the time to point out few of the Myth’s that come whistling toward my head each year from various news outlets. Over the next couple posts I’ll do just that. It’ my turn to return fire! Cannon loaded, armor in place, and here we go…
Myth #1 FBS Playoff’s will diminish the importance of regular season games.
This is one of the biggest Myth’s used to shoot down the idea of playoffs in Division I. What amazes me is that no one from the other side seems to have the foresight to realize that not only might this be inaccurate, it might be completely the opposite.
Track with me for a moment. The argument is that every game is essentially a one game playoff as it presently stands. Therefore, adding a playoff will make these games less important, thereby diminishing the regular season as a whole. When I hear this argument on the four letter network I feel like I’m watching the History channel, or sitting in my college biology class...one fact surrounded by several gigantic leaps in logic.
The fact has been so wonderfully pointed out by Bud over the last couple of years that only a hand-full of teams actually have a real statistical chance of going undefeated. For the rest of college football it’s a media infused pipe dream. We get wacky quotes to at the start of every season like “everyone is on equal footing, since the season is starting and no one has a loss”. What a load. Deep down we know that only the Alabama’s, UF’s, Texas’s and Oklahoma’s of the world have a real shot. And even for them the odds are not great.
Yes. For Florida fans that one game against Mississippi State is like a playoff game in October. But for the majority of college football that’s not the case. Even the Boise States of the world realize that the likely hood of actually getting past the political poop storm and getting into the NT game should they go undefeated is probably not very good.
I submit that Playoff’s actually have the potential to make the regular season MORE INTERESTING!
FSU for example doesn’t have a legit shot at the NT next year. Of course it “could happen”, but anything “could happen”. Such as pigs flying, and hell freezing over. FSU does, however, have a realistic shot at winning their division. And after that it’s one game to the ACC Title. In a scenario where Conference winners get in a playoff, FSU does actually have a chance. So does the previously mentioned Boise State. They could actually stop whining and start proving themselves in the post season. This hope would spread to other teams in other conferences, and conference games would actually mean more than ever. Imagine FSU Clemson late next year with the understanding that even if both teams have multiple losses, they are still in the division race, the ACC Title race, and ultimately the playoffs.
There are other playoff scenarios (which I’ll dive into at a future date) but you get the general idea. Tons of middling teams in the FBS would have a real reason to get excited. Even in a “top 8 teams” playoff scenario, the fight to get into those last eight spots could get really interesting!
One more point here is that this weekend tons of College basketball fans will watch Conference Championship games between teams they normally care nothing about. Why? Because they MIGHT have a chance to dance. A similar trickle down is what I believe would actually occur in FBS football.