Sports

Doug Robinson: It's time for college football's have-nots to revolt

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  • byufootballrocks Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2017 8:14 p.m.

    I loved this article and totally agree! There needs to be an all-out revolt.

    Under the current approach even right now it would be simple and easy to have a 16-team tournament.

    And the ONLY thing holding that up is the powers that be are making way too much money.

  • Beowulf Portland, OR
    Jan. 10, 2017 5:28 p.m.

    You do realize what instigated this whole playoff thing in the first place?

    It was when BYU won the national championship in 1984 by being the last team standing. Everyone (by which I mean the power conferences) were so appalled by this ludicrous (to them) result, that they immediately began plotting a playoff system so that no one but their own would ever win the championship again. It took 30 years, but they finally pulled it off.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Jan. 10, 2017 5:22 p.m.

    "Riverton Cougar

    So are you saying that Utah always upsets the Y?"

    Of course not. Where on earth did I say that? Oh wait, we're talking about Ute "fans", who don't need BYU fans to actually say a particular thing before they make claims about what BYU fans say.

    "BYU losing to Utah does not make the Y the better team ever.

    Your perspective is nothing but an excellent example of a confirmation bias."

    I'm not saying that losing to a team makes a team better than the team. Again, just putting words in my mouth. My whole point is that the "team A beat team B therefore team B is better" logic has big wholes and isn't always the best indicator.

    And speaking of the law of averages, that doesn't bode well for Utah next year in their game against BYU. However, going along with my previous post, there are many factors to consider who is favored to win, not just one.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Jan. 10, 2017 3:09 p.m.

    Timid Sparrow: "We - in the P5 - would love it if they would. Please go, form a de facto Division II, have your own little playoff and your own little bowls, and leave the P5s to contest the big boy football".

    ...said all the Alabama fans in 2008 before playing "little" Utah. "This is the Sugar Bowl, only 'big boys' play here", they all said. Then Utah punched them in the mouth. It's amazing to me that not 8 years removed, Ute fans are repeating the same ridiculous rhetoric, having forgotten their own history of embarrassing the BCS/Power 5/Whatever-they-call-themselves. That patch on your shoulder doesn't make you great, and it certainly doesn't win victories against "little" teams with a chip on their shoulder. This is why the NFL does, and will continue to kick CFB's kaboose in TV ratings and $$$.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Jan. 10, 2017 11:46 a.m.

    For all those saying a playoff of 4 teams is good, or 16 is too many, 8 is just right, etc. etc.

    Consider this: FCS has a 24-team playoff at the end of every season. And no one seems to mind too much.

    Now I'm not saying D1 College Football should do exactly what the FCS does. But, the motivations of the current P5 Conferences and their college presidents could not be more clear, blatant and in-your-face. Their number one motivation is power and money for a small and select group of individuals, not what is best for the student-athlete, the student body, the university, or the taxpayers that fund most of these institutions.

    But, give it 10 years, and watch the almighty dollar reward those teams, the playoff system and conference structures that bring the most value to the business of D1 College Football.

  • Rumoris Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 8:54 p.m.

    Riverton Cougar

    So are you saying that Utah always upsets the Y? If that was the truth, then Utah wouldn't have 6 straight wins. The law of averages literally declares that to be an impossibility

    BYU losing to Utah does not make the Y the better team ever.

    Your perspective is nothing but an excellent example of a confirmation bias.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 8:11 p.m.

    "8 would be a workable number. A representative from each P5, top 2 G5, and one "wild card".

    I'd abolish the Conference Championship Game. It was only added as an excuse for conferences to play a 13th game and get more money. Conferences are perfectly capable of crowning their champion without some fake CCG. They did it for years before Larry Culpepper invented the concept.

    Let the G5 have a mini-playoff, competing for the one G5 spot in the playoffs -- 5 P5, 1 G5, 2 wild card picks of the highest ranked remaining teams.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 4:56 p.m.

    "Sometimes the conference champion isn't the best team in the conference. A 'weak' division champion might pull off on upset (which is fun), but that doesn't mean they're the best team in the conference."

    Also another thing, this kind of logic you display here goes against what many Ute "fans" claim: "Utah beat BYU therefore Utah is superior".

    Now that you are seeing this whole concept from another perspective I hope it will open the eyes of Ute "fans" that the final W/L result doesn't tell the whole story.

    Like I said before, tournaments aren't perfect, but they're a step above the old system of picking who seems to be the best. There are so many factors to consider. Alabama seems to be the best, but who are the rest of the top 10? In which order? Did the CFP rankings get it right? My guess is no. How will we know for sure? The tournament champion, like the conference champion, may not be the "best" in the nation/conference. But the tournament at least gave them a chance to play for the title.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 4:49 p.m.

    "Sometimes the conference champion isn't the best team in the conference. A 'weak' division champion might pull off on upset (which is fun), but that doesn't mean they're the best team in the conference."

    As other people have pointed out, it gives teams a chance. Is it perfect? No, of course not. As I've said many times before, there are so many factors to consider when trying to determine the "best" teams. For one, a football team will have at least 22 different players with significant playing time each individual game (compare that to basketball, which might have 7-8 max). Individuals can have on and off days or on and off plays (which explains why teams can have a rematch and have different results), and when you are relying on the performance of 22 individuals you are more likely to see several different combinations of success for the team as a whole. Another factor is that a team may match up well against one, but not another (team A beats team B who beats team C who beats team A).

    But that being said, if a conference has a championship, and a team wins the championship, don't they deserve a chance at the next level?

  • daver Provo, 00
    Jan. 9, 2017 3:00 p.m.

    Ditto....what Doug said.

  • CKS007 Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 1:57 p.m.

    Wow, a playoff that nobody cares about. I think we already have one of those. It's called the FCS.

  • Jello is Good Seattle, WA
    Jan. 9, 2017 1:56 p.m.

    @ Sooner Ute

    I think most would agree that the March Madness is the most watched and successful tournament. Why is it so popular? Because everybody has a chance. Terms have come out of the tournament that have lasted like Cinderella and Sweet 16 and final four. Football is different and is taxing on the body. 64 teams of course would be too many. 16 is border line. However 8 would be a workable number. A representative from each P5, top 2 G5, and one "wild card".

    This would definitely make the networks more money so they would be happy. The two things that stand in the way and will always stand in the way is: 1. the Big Bowls. They are already diluted by the playoffs as it is. 2. P5 monopoly. If G5 teams start to really matter when it comes to the championship, they lose leverage with both the networks and with recruits. I don't see this changing until the conferences all start to realign at the end of the current TV contracts and or when a non-P5 is undefeated at the end of the year and rated in the top 4 by the FCS.

  • Meter Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 1:48 p.m.

    SoonerUte

    16 is to many teams yes, but 8 teams is just right I think. Yes the conference champion isn't always the best team in the conference, but winning the championship should allow that team to be in the playoffs.

    Now just like everything in life you'll have extremes represented, really bad teams getting lucky, and good teams getting the short end of the stick. However I think the law of averages will give us what we overall.

    8 teams allows every conf champ a chance, and leaves two spots for at large bids. That gives those who earned it through conference play their shot, and two teams that represent the luck of the draw. Which gives G5 teams an opportunity to be in contention as well.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 1:45 p.m.

    Think of this in basketball terms, no one in their right mind considers the NIT champion to be an equal champion to the winner of the NCAA tournament. It's kind of nuts that anyone hoping for the P5 and G5 to get closer together, not further apart, would think this is a good idea.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 1:44 p.m.

    So by Have Nots do you mean everyone but Alabama?

    Alabama played the two best teams in the PAC-12 and beat them by a combined score of 76-13.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 1:05 p.m.

    Adirondack Cougar - "The simplest fix is going to a 16 team playoff. Each conference champ..."

    Is the goal to see the best team play the best teams? Then a basketball-like playoff is not the answer. Conference champs San Diego, Western Kentucky, and Appalachian State were not ranked.

    Sometimes the conference champion isn't the best team in the conference. A "weak" division champion might pull off on upset (which is fun), but that doesn't mean they're the best team in the conference.

    The point of expanding the CFP to 4 teams was to increase the odds that the best two teams in the country have a shot at the championship game. In years past, there has been criticism about the 2 teams selected, so they expanded the field. One could argue that 4 is too small still, but at 16 teams, you're hitting 3 loss teams. Do you really think the "best team" in the nation has 3 losses?

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 12:25 p.m.

    I disagree with Robinson.

    The playoffs should be 3 from the P5 and BYU.

    Every year.

  • Adirondack Cougar Loon Lake, NY
    Jan. 9, 2017 11:30 a.m.

    @ Casey See
    I like the way you think. Again, politics would probably never allow this.

    @SoonerUte
    Although I suggest a 16 team playoff that doesn't mean the other bowls couldn't still continue with the remaining non-playoff teams. If enough people want to expand the system there will be a way to do it. I just don't think there is a will to do it.

  • Jello is Good Seattle, WA
    Jan. 9, 2017 11:27 a.m.

    @SoonerUte - Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 10:07 a.m.

    "GD of Syracuse "I would think that about 80 to 90% of the P 5 schools don't have a chance either. Their only salvation is sharing in the wealth. Kansas is a good example."

    Do you mean a chance at big money bowls? Kansas is a good example of a team that has been there. 56 schools have been there. 44% of FBS schools have been to BCS/NY6 Bowls. Its not as exclusive as you would think. That's a pretty good system when almost half of the teams have had a chance to EARN wealth."

    -----------

    Slow down there champ. Until about 25 years ago almost all NYD Bowl games had P5 teams locked in to play and the G5 were locked out. Rose, Cotton, Sugar Orange and even Gator all took the champions of B10, B12 (SWC), ACC, Pac and SEC.

    So knowing that the G5's make up more then half of NCAA Div 1 in numbers, why have only a hand full ever gone to NYD games?

    And in the last 25 years when NYD Bowls were actually not so locked in by conf. affiliation have more than half of the P5's gone to a NYD Bowl? No. Only the same pool of elite teams at the very tops of the conferences actually go.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 10:07 a.m.

    GD of Syracuse "I would think that about 80 to 90% of the P 5 schools don't have a chance either. Their only salvation is sharing in the wealth. Kansas is a good example."

    Do you mean a chance at big money bowls? Kansas is a good example of a team that has been there. 56 schools have been there. 44% of FBS schools have been to BCS/NY6 Bowls. Its not as exclusive as you would think. That's a pretty good system when almost half of the teams have had a chance to EARN wealth.

    Expanding the playoffs does not give more access. In fact, it gives less access. 15 bowl games today means 30 teams participating. Change that to a playoff format, and now only 16 teams participate -- that cuts 14 teams from the bowl experience. An Alabama and Clemson match means that they play in (and collect money from) FOUR bowl games. Not exactly "sharing the wealth", eh?

  • Adirondack Cougar Loon Lake, NY
    Jan. 9, 2017 10:00 a.m.

    The simplest fix is going to a 16 team playoff. Each conference champ gets a team in plus a few wild cards. It seems so logical, and use the existing bowl games for the venues, the attendance would soar. It's not happening due to politics and money.
    Another out of the box solution (which could be used along with the above suggestion or alone) would be to align each g5 conference with each p5 conference. i.e. MWC with the PAC - 12. The at the end of each season they follow how the English Soccer system works. The 12th place team in the PAC-12 goes down to the MWC and the MWC champ moves up to the PAC-12. Talk about motivation and drama and excitement. You could even go further and take the lowest two finishers and bring up the two highest.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Jan. 9, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    D1 College Football basically has 2 good business models to follow. First, is the NFL model. Second is the College Basketball March Madness Model.

    The March Madness Model needs an expanded playoff, and (most importantly) genuine underdog, Cinderella teams. It needs the Group of 5.

    The NFL Model also needs an expanded playoff, but fewer (and higher quality) teams with more parity competing for playoff spots.

    Change in College Football moves at a glacial pace. But, during the next round of major conference TV negotiations, ESPN, Fox, ABC, etc. with demand that the powers that be move toward one of the above business models.

    For the Group of 5...patience is a virtue. If they are impatient, and opt for their own playoff, they will end up with less money than they have even now.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Jan. 9, 2017 9:45 a.m.

    There is another option. That is every year the bottom two teams from each of the P5 conferences have to fallout and be replaced by the top two teams from each of the G5 conferences. That way, the only way you can stay in a P5 is to prove you are worthy of a P5. But that won't happen because these are part of school conferences and not professional leagues (at least they don't pay their players? right??)

    But consider, there are 5 Power conferences and 5 non-power conferences. Align each of the G5 with a corresponding P5 i.e. MWC with PAC. WAC with Big 12, etc. So in reality you would have 5 conferences with their corresponding development conference. Very quickly, Vandy, Kansas, Indiana, etc would be in a G5 conferences and the cream of the G5 would be in the P5's. BYU and Notre Dame would have to join conferences for survival.

    Since each of the G5 would be aligned with P5, for basketball and other sports, these conferences would have mega tournaments, and then a final tournament with the top 2 from each super conference playing in a national tournament.

    Thoughts.

  • vasislos Holbrook, AZ
    Jan. 9, 2017 9:42 a.m.

    When an underdog beats a favored team, the sports adage is: That's why they play the game. The falsely labeled "playoff" is designed to make sure that game is NEVER played. To quote Trump - "The system is rigged." One of the ironies is that the Fiesta Bowl was created as a game for the WAC champion because the WAC (usually Arizona State) champion had difficulty finding a post-season game (the argument from the now P5 schools was that they had nothing to gain and much to lose by playing the WAC champion.) "Strength of schedule" is a ridiculous standard. The best team cannot control how good their opponents are. Games are often scheduled years in advance. So a team schedules Nebraska or Michigan State to improve SOS and then those teams have lousy seasons. And playing P5 schools is given some higher level of credibility even though most of them are mediocre. Years ago the Big 10 were derided as being the "Big Two and Little Eight." The whole system is set up to keep the majority of the money with the P5 schools while throwing an occasional bone to the G5 schools. Come on, P5, have the courage to "play the game."

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 9, 2017 9:18 a.m.

    So he wants to make it officially a 3 tier football system as discussed in 2012?

    Tier 1: P5 + Notre Dame
    Tier 2: G5 + BYU
    Tier 3: FCS

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 9:06 a.m.

    Jello is Good,
    Utah and TCU were in...no mater what...whether it was the Big 12 or the Pac.

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 9, 2017 8:49 a.m.

    The so-called P5 don't need the G5 to feast on. They already feast on all those that finish in the bottom of their own conference's. So in reality you only have about a dozen "quality" teams.
    When they decide to expand the CFP to eight it won't make any difference because it will still be the same one's going every year, with an exception just once in a while for a Vanderbilt, Kansas or an Indiana when they have one special season. Why doesn't the NCAA have the guts to take over college football like they are supposed to do?

  • Jello is Good Seattle, WA
    Jan. 9, 2017 8:44 a.m.

    @Dutchman - Murray, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 8:31 p.m.

    "If BYU had been invited to join the Big 12 we wouldn't be reading this nonsense from Mr. Robinson."

    And if Utah hadn't been invited to the PAC we would be hearing this from the Tribune.

  • Ben H Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 8:38 a.m.

    Winning fixes everything. The only way for the G5 to get a more equitable system is to win every chances they get. I know that the cards are stacked against them, but that is the way the system is right now. Winning is the only thing that will change it.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Jan. 9, 2017 8:15 a.m.

    Must be silly season for sports columnists.

  • GD Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 8:11 a.m.

    I like the idea and have for several years. It is the same teams in the championship every year which is getting a little boring. I would think that about 80 to 90% of the P 5 schools don't have a chance either. Their only salvation is sharing in the wealth. Kansas is a good example. TV money would become available for the have nots in time. Sadly this is one of the biggest examples of greed in our society. Even the NCAA has little say. I would venture to say that eventually players will be paid (which they deserve since they are making the money) and the distance between the have's and have nots will only increase. The best thing that could happen would be to require 60% of the money be funneled into the education of students throughout the country. Obviously that would never happen but think what it could do for students.

  • red.diehard Central, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 7:53 a.m.

    A few thoughts:

    1. There is currently a lesser division, FCS and since 1978 when it was created exactly 1 school has gone from FBS to FCS. Idaho next year. How many have gone 'up'?

    2. byu is not P5 nor G5, what happens to them and the other independents?

    3. The representation of TV contracts for teams and conferences is completely incorrect as portrayed by Mr. Robinson.

    4. gotta go, I need to cut off my nose to spite my face.

  • Creeper51 Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 7:45 a.m.

    Hutterite

    College already do this, do you really expect a defensive lineman to be a brain surgeon? Not that they can't do that, but they have different interests.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Jan. 9, 2017 7:10 a.m.

    The Cougars ARE P5! So they won't be part of this revolt because that would just be revolting against themselves and all of their p5 home slices. Unless the revolt works. In which case they will say that the P5's are just jealous of the revolts success. Independence rocks!

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Jan. 9, 2017 6:55 a.m.

    How did Western Michigan do in its bowl game?

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 5:25 a.m.

    Hutterite,
    So you would have these young athletes participate in sports rather than go to school?

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 2:55 a.m.

    Don't do this. Please, don't do this. It would probably force the P-5 conferences to go to a four conference / 16 team format and then they would probably mandate that each team must schedule only games among the 64 teams. This would put the conferences "on equal footing" where the members could not "feast" on those G-5 schools which formed the newly formed league (or whatever it would be called)

    This new league/division would be one more much like the lesser division which now has its own championship. And we all now which teams are in that division and which team has won their championship these past years.

    Wait, now that I think of it this is a great idea. Go for it.
    .

  • Spoons lake tahoe, NV
    Jan. 9, 2017 2:16 a.m.

    BYU is P5 - just ask them. So the last G5 team to win the NC was well before 1984.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 10:45 p.m.

    It's time to separate college from the 'sports' industry, and concentrate on producing future leaders, scientists, and engineers.

  • Why would I? Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 9:49 p.m.

    Why would I think this is a good idea without any backing from TV networks? It's ALL about money and always has been, going way back to when Vince Dooley at Georgia and the others, like the current Ohio State A.D., set up the BCS and then the play-offs. When the current system was put in place they all said that "4 was just right" for the number of playoff spots. Obviously the SEC had sights of getting up to two of the four spots almost every year, if they could. One of the Power 5 will always be left out at 4. Eight would accommodate everyone, but then the old boys network would have to SHARE THE MONEY and that's what is so ironic about it. They are not the least bit interested in a true national champion, they are interested in hoarding the money. I guess that's the culture of all the bowls, especially decades of the Rose, Orange, Cotton and Sugar Bowls. How the Fiesta was allowed into that group is just amazing in itself. Short of TV networks giving credence to the plan, it will require an act of Congress to accomplish it.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Jan. 8, 2017 9:30 p.m.

    It's time to end the monopoly.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 8, 2017 9:23 p.m.

    "So it’s time for a revolt. The Group of 5 should form its own playoff and its own TV deals."

    We - in the P5 - would love it if they would. Please go, form a de facto Division II, have your own little playoff and your own little bowls, and leave the P5s to contest the big boy football.

  • The Meliorist Grande Cache, 00
    Jan. 8, 2017 9:23 p.m.

    Focus on a consumer type boycott. Have fans from the other conferences sign online commitment pledges to boycott watching any Power 5 bowl game broadcasts.

    Once ESPN and the other broadcasters feel the heat you can bet there will be real pressure for a change. At least the non P5 bowl games would have higher viewership and that would do more to level the playing field, pun intended.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Jan. 8, 2017 9:01 p.m.

    Article quote: "The simplest solution is to expand the playoff to include more teams, and/or award an automatic playoff berth to all conference champions, along with a couple of at-large berths."

    Yes, this is what the G5 should fight for. I don't think declaring "their own" playoffs / championship will amount to anything. Why? Because they'll just be looked at permanently as being the "JV". For the argument of having their own championship which would thereby make it difficult to legitimately claim one true major college champion.....I think that would take a very, very long time for that argument to gain any traction, if ever. The big boys will say "Who did YOU play?.....and who did WE play?" and the non-P5 teams will instantly be looked at as the JV of college football.

    Personally, I wish that BYU, Utah, Boise State and TCU would have stuck with the MWC. Those four teams were doing so well at the time that the MWC gaining P5 status was only a few years away.

    Go Cougars!

  • Creeper51 Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 8:41 p.m.

    I just want to know where will the TV deal come from? Do you guys think having a separate deal will increase viewership? Tell me, anybody, does having a TV deal for the FCS increase the views for their playoff?

    No it doesn't, and the G5 schools won't make anymore money than they do now.

    Either way it doesn't matter, the P5 playoff is going to expand shortly, and with G5 teams leaving it only makes it easier for more P5 teams to be I'm the tourney.

    By the way Doug, try not to be intentionally

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 8:31 p.m.

    If BYU had been invited to join the Big 12 we wouldn't be reading this nonsense from Mr. Robinson.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 8, 2017 7:58 p.m.

    So basically you want to declare yourselves to be a separate division like the FCS. And this will help the G5 how?