Doug Robinson: College football's playoff system still needs work

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  • American62 Anaheim, CA
    Jan. 13, 2018 3:34 p.m.

    The current College Football Playoff system is a joke. Many of us would have liked to have seen UCF in the playoff. It would not be that difficult to take the top 16 teams. The first round would include 8 games, 2nd round 4 games, 3rd round 2 games (semifinal), and the 4th round (final) game. It could be rotated among the different bowls and they would probably attract more viewers if it was considered a playoff game. You could have one of the lesser bowls such as the Holiday or Citrus Bowl be included in the first round game. And instead of having only 20-30,00 in attendance they would probably have 40-50,00 in attendance and many more viewers since it would be a "playoff" game. This is not rocket science. If college basketball can have a legitimate playoff why can't college football do the same. It doesn't have to be 64 teams but a 16-team playoff is certainly better than a 4 team playoff, which let's be honest, is not really a legitimate playoff.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Jan. 12, 2018 11:15 p.m.

    @2bcwins... no appearances in any CCGs... No appearances in the Rose Bowl

    "...Lets see if you will stand by what you say. With what you laid out regarding UCF in this comment thread. You're admitting that the 08 Utah football team should have been national champions, right?"

    ***************

    Like utah's opponent this year (WVU), in 2008 utah played a weakened Alabama team (Their Outland Trophy winner did not play) and utah won. Would they have won anyway? Who knows? I do believe however, if the playoff system would have been in play in 2008 that utah should have been invited (whether it was a 4 team playoff bracket or an 8 team playoff bracket they should have been given a spot).

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 11:16 p.m.

    "The Big 10 was the best conference this year; look at the bowl records. "
    The Big 10 didn't have enough bowl-eligible teams. That's why Utah got their spot in the Heart of Dallas game.

    Is a conference the best, if only a few are bowl eligible and those teams win?
    Or is a conference the best most teams are bowl eligible, but few win?

    There is an unfortunate view that a losing team "didn't deserve to be there".
    Sad.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Jan. 11, 2018 9:43 a.m.

    Simple solution; 6 BCS conference champs get auto bids and 2 at large bids. One from the best of the BCS left, and one to the best of the non BCS teams. The system is not right as it sits. The Big 10 was the best conference this year; look at the bowl records. However, they beat each other up and no one got in. They system is pretty good; just needs to take one more step to making it a true playoff. UCF is much like Utah in 2008. Were they the best team? Maybe, maybe not. We will never know and it's a shame they never got the chance to play for it.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2018 8:32 a.m.

    Poor Utah and BYU get thrown around in the mess and will never win champioships.

  • 2BCSWINS West of I15, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 7:14 a.m.

    @Deductive reasoning

    The jealousy you have for big brother Utah is absolutely hilarious. It shows in pretty much every post you make.

    @Poyman

    Lets see if you will stand by what you say. With what you laid out regarding UCF in this comment thread. You're admitting that the 08 Utah football team should have been national champions, right?

  • Klaus2012 Rexburg, ID
    Jan. 10, 2018 10:34 p.m.

    Loved the "old" Coaches and AP polls.

    The NCAA today, would more respect if Vito Corleone were running it.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 9:29 p.m.

    Cougsndawgs - "your argument breaks down is that UCF being unbeaten isn't the point...it's that no G5 has a shot at the CFP, period. Unbeaten or not."
    Under the current 4 team arrangement, yes, its nearly impossible for a G5 to get in.

    Eight is a good number. Twice, Utah reached #6 in the final BCS ranking, TCU got even higher. Its very possible for a G5 to earn a spot in the playoffs. That is key -- a team should earn it.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 6:50 p.m.

    I don’t have any doubt that this year‘s playoff identified the best team in college football. But there is an inherent flaw in the system.

    There’s no power in a P5 conference if its championship game doesn’t secure the winner a spot in the playoffs. It’s a farce. And that farce has happened far too many times. A number of times another team from the same conference has been selected for the playoff at the expense of the conference champion.

    Twelve is the right number. All P5 champions, the 3 highest ranked G5 champions and 4 at large selections. That many at large births will encourage teams to play high profile 00C games to enhance the resume knowing that a loss has no impact on their ability to win their conference and a win gives them a leg up in the beauty pageant for at large births.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:55 p.m.

    There should be a 16 team bracket. That would take four weeks to play, eliminate all the idiot bowl games. The championship could be on New Years.

    It would be a cash cow for the NCAA just like March Madness is.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:37 p.m.

    I'm a Georgia fan and I think UCF deserved a shot at the national championship. Do I think they could have beaten OU and Bama in back to back weeks? No I do not, but without question they earned the right to at least get a wack at it.

    The solution isn't hard as Lonestar already pointed out. To keep P5s happy and have their money (because that's not going away, like it or not), every P5 champion gets in. The 6th invite goes to the highest ranked G5 team (can be from any conference, not just the AAC). Then 2 at large's to fill out the 8 team playoff. It's the right thing to do, and the fair thing to do. Otherwise, stop with the pretense and just divide the FBS already into separate divisions because, in reality, they already are separate and certainly not equal.

    SoonerUte:
    Your comments make sense, and point to exactly what would happen if "unbeaten" were the only criteria. I think where your argument breaks down is that UCF being unbeaten isn't the point...it's that no G5 has a shot at the CFP, period. Unbeaten or not.

  • wyoming cougar Green River, WY
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:26 p.m.

    re: poyman

    I agree with most of your thoughts and reasoning, but a couple of things to consider-

    Alabama only has 1 loss this year, one of only 2 P5 conference teams with only 1 (the other being Wisconsin), and Alabama proved on the field the last 2 weeks they deserve to be declared the #1 team in the country at this time. Ohio St didn't deserve to be there ahead of them when they had 2 losses (including a 30 point blowout to Iowa), and the Pac-12 champ definitely didn't deserve to be included.

    The system is still broken, and UCF and Wisconsin have more right than anyone to complain about not being included. Under the current format, however, a non-P5 team will never be included (even if they're the only undefeated team left- and I agree, a #6 ranking for them still is ridiculous). That bias is way too obvious and isn't going to change anytime soon. I'd love to see a UCF vs Alabama game now. UCF looked like the real deal in their bowl game.

    With the amount of money in play things aren't going to change anytime soon- it just exemplifies part of what is wrong in this country when athletics and entertainment are valued so highly that salaries are obscenely out of control.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Jan. 10, 2018 11:29 a.m.

    Forget any "rankings". Opinions are not what wins championships. Each D-1 conference champ should get the chance to play. They did their job and won the conference; now they should get the chance to play for the title. This eliminates opinion and playing a weak schedule. If you need to round out a bracket - do it with byes and draw out of a hat who gets one or who has to play first round.

  • deductive reasoning Arlington, VA
    Jan. 10, 2018 11:28 a.m.

    @LonestarRunner - "The solution is simple - EVERY conference champion ranked in the Top 12 in at least one poll (AP or Coaches), plus the next 2 to 3 highest ranked teams to get to 8 playoff teams."

    @Jello is Good - "I like it, however it would defiantly motivate BYU (and maybe ND unless they get some consideration) back in a conference. "

    Notre Dame and BYU and any other Independent could still make the playoff if they were ranked high enough.

    LonestarRunner's solution would give value to winning a conference championship and being highly ranked, while still giving consideration to every highly ranked team, regardless of conference affiliation.

    It also doesn't preclude a G5 conference champion from pushing a P5 conference champion out of the playoff.

    I trust the AP and Coaches poll voters much more than I trust the CFP selection committee, which has already demonstrated their extreme bias toward the P5 Big Boys club (and, no, Utah is NOT part of that club).

  • deductive reasoning Arlington, VA
    Jan. 10, 2018 11:10 a.m.

    simpleton

    "That high school stadium is more profitable than your archaic shell..."

    Yawn, it's still a high school-sized stadium.

    "The Utah Utes will be fine in any playoff format, simply because they are already members of the fraternity."

    Don't kid yourself. The Utes aren't even capable of winning a division title, let alone being a factor in a national playoff.

  • CougarCat Tucson, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2018 10:57 a.m.

    The current system is more of a monopoly than anything Rockefeller or Carnegie came up with. Those two chaps of old gave away much of their fortunes before they died. But the masters of the P5 leagues - they wouldn't even let an unbeaten team in on their scheme.

  • SIMPLICITY Denver, CO
    Jan. 10, 2018 9:29 a.m.

    @CG

    That high school stadium is more profitable than your archaic shell, held the olympic games, sells out every game, and it is the flagship stadium in the State of Utah (see the olympics).

    The Utah Utes will be fine in any playoff format, simply because they are already members of the fraternity. While byu-p is not.

    7 in a row and counting.

  • SIMPLICITY Denver, CO
    Jan. 10, 2018 9:29 a.m.

    @CG

    That high school stadium is more profitable than your archaic shell, held the olympic games, sells out every game, and it is the flagship stadium in the State of Utah (see the olympics).

    The Utah Utes will be fine in any playoff format, simply because they are already members of the fraternity. While byu-p is not.

    7 in a row and counting.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Jan. 10, 2018 9:14 a.m.

    @LonestarRunner - Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 11:23 p.m.

    The solution is simple - EVERY conference champion ranked in the Top 12 in at least one poll (AP or Coaches), plus the next 2 to 3 highest ranked teams to get to 8 playoff teams.

    Seeded according to rankings, except no first round games between opponents from same conference.

    In 2017, seedings would have looked like this:

    #1 Clemson - ACC Champ
    #10 UCF - AAC Champ

    #4 Alabama - at large
    #5 Ohio St - B1G Champ

    #3 Georgia - SEC Champ
    #6 Wisconsin - at large

    #2 Oklahoma - Big 12 Champ
    #8 USC - PAC 12 Champ"

    -----------------------
    I like it, however it would defiantly motivate BYU (and maybe ND unless they get some consideration) back in a conference. Under your plan it gives G5's and the PAC a chance to get in the playoffs.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 8:33 a.m.

    Fact is that the system IS better than it was when it was just the opinion of the coaches or the writers. And having the argument about who is #4 vs #5 is better than it was between #2 and #3.
    It will be even better when the argument is between #8 and #9.

  • TripleB1111 Milford, NH
    Jan. 10, 2018 8:09 a.m.

    Can someone please tell me if the FCS division can do a 24 team playoff and make it work, why can't the FBS division?

    Does anyone really think the elite players in the FBS are really concerned about missing a few extra days of classes? I think not

  • CG Provo, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 7:59 a.m.

    ekute

    "Start by doing away with out-of-conference(preseason/exhibition) games and then enlarge the playoff field."

    Do so, and the Utes would constantly finish with losing, bowl less seasons - Utah has a losing record versus PAC 12 teams since joining the conference.

    It would also kill any plans for stadium expansion. With only 11 regular season conference games each year, the Utes would only have 5 home games every other season - not enough to justify spending $50+ million to expand their high-school sized stadium.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 5:25 a.m.

    Start by doing away with out-of-conference(preseason/exhibition) games and then enlarge the playoff field.

  • TAS Tehachapi, CA
    Jan. 10, 2018 1:00 a.m.

    Why don't we recognize the top college conferences for what they are, farm teams for the NFL. Calling football players at these schools students is wrong, they are football players trying to get a big pro contract. The major goal of the top programs is keeping the eligible until they have used up their eligibility.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:53 a.m.

    There should be a minimum of an 8 team playoff (A Champion from each of the P5 Conferences, The Highest Rated G-5 School (based on record and strength of schedule) and a four team play in (for the remaining 2 spots) from the next two highest ranked P5 schools against the next two highest ranked G-5 schools. This would give the P5 a potential of 7 spots in the 8 team playoff and the G5 schools a potential for as many as 3 spots in the 8 team playoff. It would take a total of 4 weeks to complete with a lot of rest for players and coaches during that period. Today it takes 5 to 6 weeks to complete the playoffs.

    This year was a travesty and it is clear that the controlling body of the NCAA has little to no control of the P5 members. The Courts need to get involved and if they can't or won't then Congress needs to... It is clearly an anti-trust situation which would not be tolerated in any other Business arena.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:52 a.m.

    Sanefan hit this one right on the head... This playoff system stinks. It's no better than the system before this one and the system before that... Truth is that we are back to the beauty contests that everyone hated only now there is huge dollars being given to the recipient of the Beauty Contest and that Contest is judged by the favorite sons and daughters of the Gentlemen's P5 Clubs.

    This year the Beauty Contest Winner was Alabama (a team with two losses that didn't even win their own P5 Conference Division (technically they finished 3rd in the SEC behind Auburn and Georgia)... Auburn beat Alabama by nearly 2 TDs and they beat the Conference Winner (Georgia by better than 3 TDs) while UCF beat Auburn by a TD to be the only undefeated FBS team in America.

    And then, to rub salt in this ridiculous arbitrary decision, UCF finishes #6 behind all of the playoff participants and Ohio State... Wisconsin (who also had one loss in the Big 10 CCG by 6 points) dropped a spot in the rankings despite winning their Bowl game against Miami.

    This is crazy and financially harmful to successful schools who spend a lot of money on their FB Programs.

  • Not Much of a Fan Irvine, CA
    Jan. 9, 2018 11:46 p.m.

    Eight is enough.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 11:23 p.m.

    The solution is simple - EVERY conference champion ranked in the Top 12 in at least one poll (AP or Coaches), plus the next 2 to 3 highest ranked teams to get to 8 playoff teams.

    Seeded according to rankings, except no first round games between opponents from same conference.

    In 2017, seedings would have looked like this:

    #1 Clemson - ACC Champ
    #10 UCF - AAC Champ

    #4 Alabama - at large
    #5 Ohio St - B1G Champ

    #3 Georgia - SEC Champ
    #6 Wisconsin - at large

    #2 Oklahoma - Big 12 Champ
    #8 USC - PAC 12 Champ

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 10:02 p.m.

    The solution is for Congress to address the issue------right after they do a balanced budget, illegal immigration, education reform, energy independence, health care that actually works, foreign aid, caring for veterans, eliminate political grandstanding for "the party," etc------oh well, not in the lifetime of my 1-year old grandson---if he lives to be 95.

  • taylormade1 Springville, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 8:59 p.m.

    There should be a level playing field for all college football teams .....

  • Oh Really? HERRIMAN, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 8:37 p.m.

    Eight teams, please.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 7:14 p.m.

    The current system is no less a scam than it's predecessor the BCS. UCF is as much the NC as Alabama. After all they went undefeated and beat the ONLY team to beat both Alabama and Georgia. National Champions in College Football for 2017 season is UCF.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 5:57 p.m.

    If the criteria for making the playoffs is "go unbeaten and you're in", then schools will dumb down their schedule. Florida State-Alabama, Nebraska-Oregon, Michigan-Florida, Oklahoma-Ohio State? All those non-conference games go out the window.

    BYU would suffer greatly, no longer able to schedule games with Wisconsin, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and all the PAC12 schools. Why? Because such games would be risky to the Unbeaten Golden Ticket.

    Instead, the Fall would be filled with Division 1 schools padding their record by trouncing Division 2 and 3 schools on national TV. Exciting!

    Be careful what you wish for, because you think the consensus #10 team "should have been there" instead of Alabama.