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FishIceCream

Football - Playoff Expansion Discussion Topic!

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I was just imagining this during my morning routine today, and so I figured why not put it on Our Beloved Ducks forum for other people to get in on my madness?

Here is my premise:

Expansion is coming - I am getting this sense that it's getting close to that tipping point where the desire and financial arguments are making it inevitable. I am old-school enough that I am not sure that's a good thing; also, I have no idea how fast it will be. 3 years? 6?

Still, my premise is that it WILL come, expanding to 8 teams every year, with at a minimum all of the power 5 conference champions in the 'dance,' with another three chosen by some formula. If that is true, and if teams are still limited to a maximum of 15 total games in one season, then the obvious sticking point is the conference championship game for conferences like the PAC-12.

Our champion would end up playing 16 if they played 12 regular season, one championship game, and then three playoff games.

So, here was my idea:

Drop the number of regular-season conference games each year from 9 to 8. Five games against your division foes, three against the other division. All of these universities have math and statistics departments, so they should be able to create a schedule that keeps the home and away balanced over the long haul!

In what would currently be the slot for the final game of the season - game 12, game 9 of the conference, turns into a 'final jamboree!' Team 1 North vs. Team 1 South, 2 vs. 2, all the way to 6 vs. 6.

I know a similar idea was proposed for this COVID-19 season, but I am thinking of making that an every year thing.

There could be a lot of special features to make it special. Maybe the North hosts all the games in even years, while the South hosts in odd. That way schools can plan more easily.

The top teams in each division could get a bye week and play in the neutral stadium, just as the championship game is now. Maybe expand that to include the number 2's. Number 2's play in a neutral stadium also. Hype it up with ads and put it on TV - it's like two mini bowl games for the top four in the conference before the actual bowl season starts!

Obviously, I am ready to go in to pitch it to the Shark Tank - I just need my posters and info-graphics!

So, what do you all think? Something that could work? Or maybe there is a better idea!

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I really like this idea, and one step that could, and should be taken, is to get rid of the championship game by getting rid of the divisions, there are no need for either. Set up schedule requirements between all conferences, and the team with the best record will advance to the Playoff.
This expanded playoff, consisting of the 5 Conference champions, and 3 at large to be decided on the field, not by a committee.  All the teams would, "Be In" one loss wouldn't eliminate their chances, players would want to play in the bowl game instead of opting out.

 

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32 minutes ago, 30Duck said:

"get rid of the championship game by getting rid of the divisions, there are no need for either. Set up schedule requirements between all conferences, and the team with the best record will advance to the Playoff."

I would rather get rid of divisions too, but my guess is that they are here to stay. I think if there does come a time when divisions are eliminated, then it could be a very different setup from what I am proposing above.

I sort of feel like in the end, if you really wanted the most fair system, it would just become the NFL without huge player contracts. But that system is best.

If you don't care about that and want to preserve 'student athlete' as a thing, go back to 12 games and a bowl game. Let the fans argue about who should have been ranked #1.

The old way never really bothered me, honestly.

Edited by FishIceCream
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2 minutes ago, FishIceCream said:

go back to 12 games and a bowl game. Let the fans argue about who should have been ranked #1.

The old way never really bothered me, honestly.

You know, I was fine with that too. The BCS was formed to to clean things up, to avoid controversy. The controversy would be a whole lot better than what we have now, when the championship is down to 4 teams, out of maybe the 8 that have a chance before the season even starts. 

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I agree expansion is coming.  I don't think they will drop the number of regular season games from 12.  There are 130 FBS football teams with only 8 going to the playoffs and 40 bowl games.  That leaves 50 teams that won't make a bowl game and are left at 12 regular season games.

With only 8 playoff teams, that means only 4 teams will play more than 13 games.  As it stands, it is likely 3 of those 4 teams will Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson.  Those 3 teams routinely have top 5 recruiting classes and tend to have a higher number of players making the field in any given year.

The remaining 126 teams aren't going to give up a regular season game and all the money that comes with that.

I do find it odd that the G5 doesn't try and get the PAC 12 , Big 12 and possibly BIG TEN to make changes.  PAC 12 and Big 12 are getting left out, so they have the most to lose financially.  Of course, both leagues are not really coming from a position of power to try and dictate change.

My preference would be for all power 5 champs get in, the top G5 if undefeated or ranked in the top 15 and 2 at large bids.  However, the 2 at large bids can't come from the same conference, so no conference will ever have more than 2 of 8 playoff spots.

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I agree they won't drop the total number - not sure if you saw that in my proposal, but they would still have 12, it's just that the last one is against the corresponding team in the other division, so the opponent is not known until the end of the regular season.

Of course, I am only thinking about the PAC-12 here.

I like that last idea - I am sure it would not happen every season, but imagine how everyone else around the country would howl if the SEC, for example, got 3 out of 8 teams in some year.

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I like a Playoff of an odd ELEVEN teams!  The five Power Conference winners sit out the first week while another six go at it with the winners joining the five the next week for a Playoff that cannot miss the true national champion.

 

Fans in 2018_Kevin Cline.jpg

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Mr. FishDuck

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So many ideas, and all of them would be better than what is in place now, which is nothing more than an ESPN production starring the teams whose conferences have deals with them...they'll let Ohio State & Oklahoma drop in.

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I have more than a little contrarian in me, which I blame on my father - the patriarch of the Duck fans in my family!

Once I decided some years ago to cut cable, I was quite insulted when ESPN took over most of all college playoffs, and made it so hard to watch without paying through the nose or illegally streaming the games.

I have not watched a CFP game in quite a while, out of spite more than anything else. I'll make an exception if the Ducks get in next year, obviously.

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2 minutes ago, 30Duck said:

 

I agree with that. Although I will say that upsets DO happen in football, even if they might be rare compared to basketball. And if you aren't playing, you don't get that chance.

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37 minutes ago, 30Duck said:

 

What the expansion will do is make it available to more schools to be able to tell recruits "if you come to our school you could be in the playoffs and possible win a national title". And should help to spread out the top players to more schools then just Alabama, Clemson or Ohio State. 

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I'm not enthused about expanding the CFP, though I realize it will occur. My reason is simple. Four is enough when you are looking for #1.

Expanding the field will drag the process out over a longer time. In some cases it will open a less qualified team with a win to become higher ranking than they deserve. Anything can happen in a one bullet shoot out.

I like it the way it is with a semi then the national championship game

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16 minutes ago, Notalot said:

In some cases it will open a less qualified team

I would argue that right now the, "qualified" teams are far too limited, you know who they are before the season starts. The 5 conference winners would be qualified to play for the championship. The expanded playoff won't turn the CFP in to March Madness, there won't be a 16 against a 1. 

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Expansion of the playoff is almost certain. Eight teams, or six with byes for the top two seeds, seem like the two most likely options. 
The decision will be driven by revenue, as always. Interest in the playoff is waning. As is interest in the regular season and other bowl games. Getting all P-5 champs in, along with the best G-5 and two at-large teams will restore some excitement. 

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5 hours ago, FishIceCream said:

Drop the number of regular-season conference games each year from 9 to 8. Five games against your division foes, three against the other division.

This would have to be adjusted for the size of the conferences. We have 6 in each division. The B1G has 7 in each division while the Big 12 has 5.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

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I've had this idea of an 8 team playoff that is all about making it to the conference championship. In fact, it would be mandatory. The playoff would consist of all five power 5 champions, the two highest ranked group of 5 champions and an independent school. The independent school would be selected by the two highest ranked independent schools playing each other on conference championship weekend. I don't have room for at large teams, because like I said, in this format you have to be a conference champion. the conference championship games would pretty much be the first round of the playoff.

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1 hour ago, Coach Eric Boles said:

I don't have room for at large teams, because like I said, in this format you have to be a conference champion

This is the component that has been ignored by the committee and needs to be the determinant of the new Playoff. 

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7 hours ago, Tandaian said:

I agree expansion is coming.  I don't think they will drop the number of regular season games from 12.  There are 130 FBS football teams with only 8 going to the playoffs and 40 bowl games.  That leaves 50 teams that won't make a bowl game and are left at 12 regular season games.

With only 8 playoff teams, that means only 4 teams will play more than 13 games.  As it stands, it is likely 3 of those 4 teams will Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson.  Those 3 teams routinely have top 5 recruiting classes and tend to have a higher number of players making the field in any given year.

The remaining 126 teams aren't going to give up a regular season game and all the money that comes with that.

I do find it odd that the G5 doesn't try and get the PAC 12 , Big 12 and possibly BIG TEN to make changes.  PAC 12 and Big 12 are getting left out, so they have the most to lose financially.  Of course, both leagues are not really coming from a position of power to try and dictate change.

My preference would be for all power 5 champs get in, the top G5 if undefeated or ranked in the top 15 and 2 at large bids.  However, the 2 at large bids can't come from the same conference, so no conference will ever have more than 2 of 8 playoff spots.

I agree! Pretty much what I have been advocating for. With the 2 at large automatically getting slotted into the number 7 and 8 spots as allowing them to jump ahead in the seeding takes away the advantage earned by winning ones conference. Plus I don't want any manipulation by the SEC, ACC or any conference consistently getting two teams in. After that bowl games for the rest. But no teams without winning records should get into a bowl game, regardless. No 6-6 teams. No teams with losing records. 

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Based on Alabama’s recruiting class rankings over the last ten years, anytime they don’t win the Natty they have “underperformed”. An expanded playoff might help spread out recruiting somewhat, and is the only way I can see to make a dent in the stranglehold that some teams have at the moment. 

Cash flow is important for college football to stay healthy over the long term. Having a conference champion automatically in a playoff brings in a constant flow of revenue that is guaranteed. Financially speaking, it makes sense to me. 

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11 hours ago, Carl LeDuck 85 said:

I agree! Pretty much what I have been advocating for. With the 2 at large automatically getting slotted into the number 7 and 8 spots as allowing them to jump ahead in the seeding takes away the advantage earned by winning ones conference. Plus I don't want any manipulation by the SEC, ACC or any conference consistently getting two teams in. After that bowl games for the rest. But no teams without winning records should get into a bowl game, regardless. No 6-6 teams. No teams with losing records. 

I'm not sure college football would always have enough teams to fill all the bowl games if they didn't take some 6-6 teams sometimes. 

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I could support going to 8 conference games but I could also support dropping one out of conference game in the beginning of the season. 

I know the argument is that they help prepare but I think two preparatory games against underdog teams is plenty.

The 8 team playoff outlined by Boles above is the ticket. Hopefully it happens soon because there is no doubt that interest is fading in the current CFP paradigm.

I didn't watch an entire CFP game start to finish this season. The four teams in were literally my all time most hated college football programs going back at least a few decades. Oh how I hate Ohio State........and I found myself rooting for them.

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1 hour ago, C J said:

I didn't watch an entire CFP game start to finish this season. The four teams in were literally my all time most hated college football programs going back at least a few decades. Oh how I hate Ohio State........and I found myself rooting for them.

Haha - they were not ALL my most hated, but I get your point. I tend to be very regional in my preferences for games in which I don't really have a team that I follow. Pac-12 north over south. Pac-12 over anyone else. West over East. Midwest and West over East and Southeast.

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16 hours ago, Coach Eric Boles said:

 the two highest ranked group of 5 champions and an independent school. The independent school would be selected by the two highest ranked independent schools playing each other on conference championship weekend.

My only issue with this is that it doesn't seem like there are enough independent teams these days to really make that work. Who is there other than N.D. and BYU? And I'm not even sure if BYU is still independent right now?

It seems like that would essentially make a playoff system where one of the 8 would always be N.D.

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4 hours ago, C J said:

I could support going to 8 conference games but I could also support dropping one out of conference game in the beginning of the season. 

I know the argument is that they help prepare but I think two preparatory games against underdog teams is plenty.

The 8 team playoff outlined by Boles above is the ticket. Hopefully it happens soon because there is no doubt that interest is fading in the current CFP paradigm.

I didn't watch an entire CFP game start to finish this season. The four teams in were literally my all time most hated college football programs going back at least a few decades. Oh how I hate Ohio State........and I found myself rooting for them.

The problem is if no one in your conference (that you play) is rated in the top 10 or so then you can't go to the playoff committee and say "look I've beat a good team". Then, as what happened to USF, who went undefeated, yet still gets left out of the playoffs due to strength of schedule issues. 

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