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Playoff format should be SEC friendly

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#1
The Joker

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Playoff format should be SEC friendly


By Dave Matter dmatter@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8508


COLUMBIA, Mo. • For years Bill Hancock was the opposition voice to the cries for a college football playoff. As executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, it was Hancock’s job to promote the often criticized, often vindicated postseason system to crown a national champion.

The job called for Hancock to shoo away suggestions that a playoff — like the beloved basketball brackets of the NCAA Tournament — would be football’s best option. He did so resiliently with good cheer.

All of which makes his new job perfectly appropriate and a touch ironic.

He’s now the official voice of … the College Football Playoff.

“It’s remarkable to say those three words: College Football Playoff,” the playoff executive director said at SEC media days in Hoover, Ala. “Feels mighty good to all of us.”

Especially in the SEC, which for 16 years dominated the BCS championship format and figures to be well represented in the new four-team playoff that will determine the national champion, starting this season. SEC coaches at this week’s four-day event mostly favored the new format, some more uncertain but most assuming it will be good for the conference overall.

The BCS, designed to match the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in a national title game, had its share of flaws, but it almost always worked in the SEC’s favor. (The notable exception came in 2004 when SEC champion Auburn was the odd team out in a three-way collision of unbeaten teams. USC played Oklahoma for the title.)

In the 16-year history of the BCS, SEC teams filled 11 of the 32 spots in the national championship game from 1998-2013 and won nine championships — two more titles than all the other conferences won collectively. The Big 12 was next with seven participants in the BCS title games, winning two titles, followed by the ACC (four appearances, two titles), Big Ten (three appearances, one title), Pac-12 (three appearances, one title) and Big East (three appearances, one title). Notre Dame, a football independent, made one BCS title game appearance.

“I think that the playoff will be equally kind to the SEC,” Louisiana State coach Les Miles said. “The reason I say that is because there’s just such quality competition here. … For them not to include one and possibly more in the playoff would be, I don’t know, maybe shortsighted.”

As the College Football Playoff approaches its debut season, here’s a refresher on how it’s designed to work:

• The CFP selection committee of 13, a group of five current athletics directors, former players and administrators, among others, will seed the top four teams for the playoff to set up two semifinal games set for New Year’s Day at two rotating bowl games. This year, the Rose and Sugar will serve as semifinal sites. The Orange and Cotton will host next year, followed by the Peach and Fiesta in 2016.
• The winners of the semifinals meet Jan. 12 in the championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Glendale, Ariz., will host the title game after the 2015 season, followed by Tampa, Fla., in 2016.
• The committee will also rank the next group of teams and assign them to the three New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day bowls that don’t have conference affiliations (Cotton, Peach, Fiesta) when they’re not hosting the semifinals that particular year. In those games, the committee is tasked with creating competitive matchups, avoiding rematches and repeat appearances.
• On Oct. 28, the selection committee will release its first top 25 rankings, followed by six rounds of rankings revealed each Tuesday until the end of the regular season. Voting criteria for committee members are won-loss records, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, results against common opponents and conference championships. After the conference championship games, ESPN will reveal the semifinal matchups — Nos. 1 vs. No. 4, Nos. 2 vs. 3 — on Dec. 7.
• The committee can’t manipulate the seedings to avoid rematches, Hancock said. Two teams that play in the regular season and again in their conference championship game could possibly meet in a semifinal for a third game. There are no limits to how many teams from one conference can make the playoff. There are no automatic qualifiers.

“The committee will select the four best teams, period,” Hancock said. “No strings attached.”

The playoff is more inclusive compared to the BCS model but not bulletproof.

“The (BCS) criticism always came when there were more than two teams that were deserving,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “Now, the same thing is going to happen with a four‑team playoff because there’s always going to be a fifth team that could have been deserving that will create controversy.”

“We know what the calendar dates are going to be,” Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen said, “but how it actually plays out is going to be pretty unique.”

Other coaches were less curious about the playoff’s machinations. In the end, there’s only one way to reach the final four.
“I’m just going to try to win as many games,” Georgia’s Mark Richt said, “so they don’t have a choice but to put us there.”


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#2
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As weird as it sounds I think there's a good chance the SEC gets left out in the first year. Bama and LSU lose a lot from the West...Auburn too and they have a tougher schedule, while Ole Miss and State should be good enough to spoil some seasons. SC and UGA lost a lot from the East so I don't expect those two to finish with less than 2 losses.

It'll be interesting to see if they put a 2 loss SEC champ in over a one loss champ from another conference, and any undefeated team would certainly get in over a 2 loss team.

#3
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I don't see how it's SEC friendly. If it was SEC friendly, there wouldn't be the very, very strong emphasis on conference champs.

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View Postcocky4ever, on 19 July 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

As weird as it sounds I think there's a good chance the SEC gets left out in the first year. Bama and LSU lose a lot from the West...Auburn too and they have a tougher schedule, while Ole Miss and State should be good enough to spoil some seasons. SC and UGA lost a lot from the East so I don't expect those two to finish with less than 2 losses.

It'll be interesting to see if they put a 2 loss SEC champ in over a one loss champ from another conference, and any undefeated team would certainly get in over a 2 loss team.
I think that the 2 loss SEC champ jumping a 1 loss conference champ depends on the teams. If there was a 2 loss Bama or LSU, they'd jump a 1 loss team such as Iowa but I'm not sure if a two loss USC, Mississippi school, or Mizzou would jump.

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View PostMizzou_Fan, on 19 July 2014 - 10:25 AM, said:

I think that the 2 loss SEC champ jumping a 1 loss conference champ depends on the teams. If there was a 2 loss Bama or LSU, they'd jump a 1 loss team such as Iowa but I'm not sure if a two loss USC, Mississippi school, or Mizzou would jump.

Nope. Bama's schedule is pathetic...especially compared to SC. Even a one loss iowa would jump Bama.

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View PostMizzou_Fan, on 19 July 2014 - 10:21 AM, said:

I don't see how it's SEC friendly. If it was SEC friendly, there wouldn't be the very, very strong emphasis on conference champs.


It's SEC friendly for the fact that more than two SEC teams could be in the playoffs. See, unlike the BCS with the conference tie-ins, there is no limit how many teams can come from any one conference.

The BCS had a max of two teams from any particular conference.
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View Postcocky4ever, on 19 July 2014 - 10:28 AM, said:

Nope. Bama's schedule is pathetic...especially compared to SC. Even a one loss iowa would jump Bama.
I'm not even talking about the schedules, I think a 2 loss Bama would jump on name alone.

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View PostThe Joker, on 19 July 2014 - 10:31 AM, said:

It's SEC friendly for the fact that more than two SEC teams could be in the playoffs. See, unlike the BCS with the conference tie-ins, there is no limit how many teams can come from any one conference.

The BCS had a max of two teams from any particular conference.
There's absolutely no way more than two SEC teams will be in a four team playoff. With the BCS, we already saw an all SEC championship. With the new process of having the 13 man panel having all the power and the very strong emphasis to have conference champions, it will be very hard to get two in. They'll try really hard to prevent it from happening.

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View PostMizzou_Fan, on 19 July 2014 - 10:32 AM, said:

I'm not even talking about the schedules, I think a 2 loss Bama would jump on name alone.

Nope, especially after last year's BCS beatdown. Going into the season their schedule is ranked in the 90s...could improve if some of those teams do better than last year, but losing two games in the regular season would be pretty bad for them. That would mean they either lose two in the regular season or lose their 2nd game in the SECCG, which would have them out of the top 4 anyway.

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View PostMizzou_Fan, on 19 July 2014 - 10:35 AM, said:

There's absolutely no way more than two SEC teams will be in a four team playoff. With the BCS, we already saw an all SEC championship. With the new process of having the 13 man panel having all the power and the very strong emphasis to have conference champions, it will be very hard to get two in. They'll try really hard to prevent it from happening.

^
this


We won't see two SEC teams in a 4 team playoff, much less 3.

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Something needs to be done about the whole conference championship thing messing with the playoff system. Playing the best team in the SEC prior to the playoffs makes it way harder for the SEC, not to mention the team not playing in the SEC championship game may have a better chance of making it than the one playing in it. To think, UF was EXTREMELY close to playing in the 2012 championship game had ND lost

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View PostGatorHater24, on 19 July 2014 - 10:37 AM, said:

Something needs to be done about the whole conference championship thing messing with the playoff system. Playing the best team in the SEC prior to the playoffs makes it way harder for the SEC, not to mention the team not playing in the SEC championship game may have a better chance of making it than the one playing in it. To think, UF was EXTREMELY close to playing in the 2012 championship game had ND lost
I'm pretty sure that losing the conference championship game won't drop you for someone who didn't make it in previous years. However, it doesn't really matter because the winner of the conference championship game will be the one going with the strong emphasis on conference champions.

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View PostMizzou_Fan, on 19 July 2014 - 10:35 AM, said:

There's absolutely no way more than two SEC teams will be in a four team playoff. With the BCS, we already saw an all SEC championship. With the new process of having the 13 man panel having all the power and the very strong emphasis to have conference champions, it will be very hard to get two in. They'll try really hard to prevent it from happening.



Are you sure? IF  we went by the current AP Top-25 poll, we have 2 SEC teams in the Top-4 teams and 3 in the Top-5.

While it's not scripture, it could be done. The president of the playoffs even said so.

“The committee will select the four best teams, period,” Hancock said. “No strings attached.”
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View PostGatorHater24, on 19 July 2014 - 10:37 AM, said:

Something needs to be done about the whole conference championship thing messing with the playoff system. Playing the best team in the SEC prior to the playoffs makes it way harder for the SEC, not to mention the team not playing in the SEC championship game may have a better chance of making it than the one playing in it. To think, UF was EXTREMELY close to playing in the 2012 championship game had ND lost

Why would they not take conference championship games into consideration?? I see it as another way to filter out those who don't deserve to be in. That was the only thing that exposed ohio state last year.

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View PostThe Joker, on 19 July 2014 - 10:45 AM, said:

Are you sure? IF  we went by the current AP Top-25 poll, we have 2 SEC teams in the Top-4 teams and 3 in the Top-5.

While it's not scripture, it could be done. The president of the playoffs even said so.

“The committee will select the four best teams, period,” Hancock said. “No strings attached.”

So going by last year you think they would've made f$u play michigan state and make Bama and Auburn play again?



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