Doug Robinson: Trying to make sense (again) of college football

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  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Dec. 7, 2017 8:37 a.m.

    Frankly, outside of the playoff games, most bowl games aren't even worth watching. I watch maybe one or two games outside of the playoff--and I think most college football fans are a lot like me. Where is the excitement or entertainment value of watching two 6-6 teams go at it in some non-descript bowl game with a stadium that is two-thirds empty? (Keep the cameras on the field so as not to show hardly any spectators bothered to show up.)

    Also frankly, an expanded playoff to 8, 16, and maybe even 24 teams is a huge money-maker, and most of the new money will actually go to the Power 5 conferences. College Football is definitely a business now. But, politics, pride, and greed actually are getting in the way of maximizing the business model. ESPN and Fox Sports, and yes, universities themselves should be pushing for an expanded playoff to get more revenue for public schools whose athletics programs are currently dripping with red ink.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Dec. 7, 2017 8:25 a.m.

    @Tomahawk Red. @estudiante, and others.
    Agree with you all. Everyone knows 16 teams is the way to insure fairness. But, without saying it, Robinson is just saying 8 teams is the next step toward fairness, and settling it on the field and not by some vote in a hotel conference room.

    @Robert Johnson.
    The amazing thing is that at lower levels of college football (D2), they play a 24 team playoff during the months of November and December, and still manage to get their studies done. Where is the outcry against those demanding athletic schedules? Hint: There is none, because student-athletes at the D2 level just deal with it, and actually thrive while being a student and an athlete.

  • Robert Johnson Sunland, CA
    Dec. 7, 2017 6:08 a.m.

    While I agree with you Doug, that an 8 team playoff is needed....what you miss in your article are two things: First, unlike pros, these kids have final exams inDecember so you cant just schedule games all through Decembef as you suggest. Second, you wouldntvneed to do that anyway. An 8 team playoff only adds one game to the schedule.

  • estudiante Lehi, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:46 p.m.

    Lost in this Alabama v Ohio State debate is the fact both should have been in, and Oklahoma should have been left out.

    College football should reduce the number of games played by one or two (or even three). Then go to a sixteen-team playoff beginning the first Saturday of December. This year it would be:

    16 Virginia Tech at 2 Georgia, 12 Southern California at 8 Auburn, 14 Texas Christian at 3 Alabama, 10 Notre Dame at 6 Wisconsin.

    13 Miami-Florida at 1 Clemson, 11 Washington at 7 Penn State, 15 Stanford at 4 Ohio State, 9 Central Florida at 5 Oklahoma.

  • SportsIsFunEnjoyIt American Fork, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 6:46 p.m.

    From a political stand point the next step could be 16 team playoff. Cancel Conference Championship games, take 10 P-5 Division champs (Yes all P-5s required to be 12 teams. 14 better, more equal) and next 6 highest ranked teams. This would add 1 more game in mid-December. This way all the P-5s should be happy. After the last two seasons Conference Championship games are not worth much. Love the college game even with all the mumbo jumbo political stuff going on.

  • Tomahawk Red Miami Beach, FL
    Dec. 6, 2017 5:41 p.m.

    I've pitched this before and I really think this is the best model:

    16 teams -- every single P5 and G5 conference champion and six at large spots. The first two rounds are played at home campus sites and the final four at some designated location.

    This year, that would've included the champs: UCF, Clemson, Ohio State, Okla, Florida Atlantic, Toledo, Boise, USC, Georgia and Troy -- and, say, six wild cards like Alabama, Wisconsin, Penn State, Miami, Washington and Memphis.

    Look at the first round matchups: (1) Clemson vs (16) Memphis, (2) Georgia vs (15) Miami, (3) Okla vs (14) Penn State, (4) Ohio State vs (13) Washington, (5) USC vs (12) Wisconsin, (6) UCF vs (11) Alabama, (7) Boise vs (10) Troy, (8) FAU vs (10) Toledo.

    That would be fun.

  • Tomahawk Red Miami Beach, FL
    Dec. 6, 2017 5:18 p.m.

    I would not be happy if I was an Ohio State fan. It's clear the committee doesn't value conference titles. This is the second straight year a team failed to win its league but got in anyway.

    Everyone in the room knows why... the committee went, "but they're BAMA!"

    Cuz it certainly couldn't have been anything else.

    They had the worst resume (by far) of any of the near teams like OSU and USC. No quality wins, no SEC title, no title game appearance, bad SOS, bad SOR, baaad loss to Auburn -- and yet, the committee sez: "Hey Bama, you're IN!!!"

    It's an irrefutable fact that had any other team from outside the SEC done the same thing, they would've been shut out.

    Oh and here's another data point they used to take the tide: "Hey guys... Bama vs Clemson PART THREE!!!"

    Don't even try to argue that didn't factor in.

    The committee is one big pathetic joke.

    When you get picked for the playoff based on that one criteria alone, the system proves itself biased and busted.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 4:20 p.m.

    Watch Alabama win the whole thing. Then we're really in trouble.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 3:57 p.m.

    Doug Robinson "Last year’s playoff teams collected $6 million to be divided by their conferences. That means the SEC will divide $12 million."

    I'm sure the PAC12 appreciates that you're looking out for them by suggesting they get an automatic seat in the playoffs. But as far as the money... they divide up the revenue from ALL the bowl games. Last year the PAC got $69 million and the SEC got $71 million. SEC's extra spot in a NY bowl means $428 thousand per team. Nice, but not a vast difference in payouts.

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 2:40 p.m.

    Why is there such focus on a National Champ? Enjoy the bowl games and get rid of the playoff. If the AP wants to crown a champion, let'em..nobody cares.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 1:58 p.m.

    I'll add my two cents: it isn't fair...college football is a sham, but let's face it, it always has been. It is the only sport where a real tournament doesn't exist to determine it's champion (and no, 4 teams isn't a "playoff"...it's a mini-series at best). I'm speaking as a fan of a team that actually got in the CFP, but I'm under no delusions that it's ever been fair.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:50 p.m.

    Simply put it is a far better argument on who belongs at the 8-9 level than the 4-5 level just like it is a better argument at 4-5 level than it was at the 2-3 level.

    /And BYUs 'championship' is meaningless.
    //boom

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    College football will never be fair since there's no easy way to include all teams. And including Alabama in the final 4 this season will just kill off the current iteration of Bowl Coalition/BCS/Playoff. If they really had cared they would have picked someone from the Big10 or Pac12 or even better yet UCF. Why NOT include the undefeated team?

  • UNLVDoc SLC, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:46 p.m.

    UCF is still undefeated, the only school that is, and subjectively stuck at #12. Ridiculous.

  • 7 in a row! Ogden, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:30 p.m.

    Here’s hoping the championship game doesn’t include the SEC.

  • 7 in a row! Ogden, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:27 p.m.

    “...56th according to the Sagarin ratings.”

    There are at least 6-12 teams more deserving than Alabama this season.

    Alabama ‘hid within there own conference’ this season and it’s not uncommon for other teams in the SEC to do the same year after year. So I’ll go ahead and pile on.

    Here is a closer look at Alabama’s resume.

    12 game schedule:

    8 home games

    Only 8 conference games

    Played Mercer 3rd week of November

    Best out of conference game was Florida State (6-6) or perhaps Fresno State.

    No conference championship game

    They played the bottom 4 teams (Miss, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Arkansas) of the 14 team league - none have a winning record. They essentially played 8 cupcakes.

    Best 2 wins, and they struggled, were Mississippi State and LSU. LSU lost to Troy.

    3rd best win was Texas A&M who couldn’t beet UCLA.

    In contrast, Ohio State played 9 conference games, 1 conference championship game and Oklahoma.

    You are right Doug. Alabama was reworded for sitting on the couch.

  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 11:59 a.m.

    First, The 4-Team Play-off was always designed to be a good-old-boys club that was exclusive, not inclusive. Otherwise it would have been 8 teams, 5 going to the P-5 conferences and 3 available for G-5, strong P-5 and on any certain year, an independent if they had a great team. That was never the goal, settle the NC with a fair play-off; it's "Keep All The Marbles For Ourselves."

    Second, Ohio State LOST TWO GAMES...they didn't deserve to be chosen. Hardly!! Rule #1 is DO NOT lose.

    Third, It doesn't take much effort for the committee to look like they are making questionable decisions based on weird criteria instead of the results on the field; they do that all by themselves without any outside help, because they are using a flawed model. Pretty funny that two P-5 conferences are left out (the BIG10 would have made it if Wisconsin had defeated Ohio State, but they didn't; PAC12 was weak) and have to "settle for NY6 bowl games." It's almost hilarious contemplating what mess the committee will produce every year from their "exclusive" little fraternity where not everyone can be satisfied.

    Fourth, You can't "make sense (again)" out of senseless parameters or situations.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 11:49 a.m.

    You correct Doug, it's huge mess and so incestuous as to have no integrity. It's driven by a few Schools that contain all the power and decision making. Pathetic and I'm really dislike Ohio state, but fair is fair.