Sunday, December 4, 2016

Conference Champions or Best Teams? The Debate Continues

Welcome Back College Football Fans!  It's been a great 2016 season with a handful of outstanding teams, some teams on the rise, and others on the fall. That's pretty normal in our sport with everything being a bit cyclical. New coaches, new conferences, and of course star play makers.

Today we witnessed the College Football Playoff Committee struggle with such metrics as Conference Champions, Wins-Loses, Strength of Schedule, FPI, and much more. If you watched the ESPN CFBP Show you know it got down to two distinct thoughts: 1) The Four Best Teams or, 2) Conference Champions, or what Danny Kannell called "The Most Deserving." He believes that if you win your Conference Championship it holds more merit than record, FPI, SOS, etc. "That's why you play the games. The entire season has to count for something." was his thought (I'm paraphrasing).

We all have read articles, watched the talking head "experts," and scanned through thousands of tweets since last weeks games discussing the "What Ifs" and "What matters more" thoughts from just about everyone associated with college football, including us, the fans.

I hate to say it, but "I told you so." The CFBP needs to be a simple (rofl) 8-Team Playoff. As simple as things can get IMHO at least.  Here is an update to my plan first laid out FIVE years ago (see Dec 6, 2011 post).

1. 8 Team Playoff consisting of the 5 Power Conference Champions, 1 Group of 5 Champion (highest ranked, and 2 teams of the Committee's Choice.

2. Yes, keep the Committee. They will still rank teams 1-25, set the 8 team playoff schedule, and of course have to select the 2 best teams that are not Conference Champions.

3. ALL conferences will play a NINE game conference schedule and THREE non-conference games. Each team must play at least ONE P5 team, ONE G5 team, and ONE in-state FCS team. The FCS game allows the FCS team to get a big payday from the P5 team. Examples might be Alabama vs S. Alabama, Cal vs UC Davis.

4. In determining the two "committee's choice" teams these factors shall be used: 1) W-L, 2) SOS, 3) FPI, 4) OOC SOS, and 5) who is playing the best in November/eye test, all in no particular order or weight.

4. Since the FANS are the ones who buy the tickets host all of the first round games (4) and second round games (2) at the highest ranked teams home stadium. The National Championship Game will still be at a site chosen by the committee in advance like it is now. This allows the fans to still travel to games if they so chose, but it also allows for the home fans to attend a playoff game. This benefits the thousands of season ticket holders, donors, and boosters. The Visiting Team should be allocated 15-25% (TBD) of the seats. If the visitors can not sell all of those tickets by 6pm Wednesday then the home team can go down their list of those who did not get seats via a lottery  (ie: new season ticket holders, small donors, etc).

5. The standard 8 team bracket will be used:
           1-8  Round One, Quarter Finals

           1/8-4/5  Round Two, Semi Finals

           1/8/3/5 vs 2/7/4/5  Championship Game

The only issue I worry about with my plan are the financial implications to ALL of the schools. How much money each playoff team gets, how much money each conference gets per playoff team (including G5),  There must be some sort of equitable revenue sharing among the P5 & G5 conferences. Stronger G5 conferences makes for better OOC football (see MAC & MWC).

It's short, it's simple, and I think this plan could be a huge success for CFB and its fans.

Thanks for reading,
Nor-Cal Scott