So for a moment, lets forget about the ridiculousness of calling a system that eliminates undefeated teams a playoff. Forget the money involved, forget discrimination, and bad poll voters and broken computer formulas.
Lets just think about how the BCS actually effects the regular season in a manner of what truly “matters” to the end goal – a championship. Effectively there are now three weekends remaining in the Division I college football season, and we’re all bored. So bored Pat Forde even spent his space as an ESPN columnist to writing about how boring it is.
|TCU and Boise may once again |
be playing for nothing
With 3 weeks remaining in the “every game is a playoff” regular season, we’ve already decided the championship game matchup. We’ve even decided on the two alternates for that matchup. The stage was actually set a week ago when Alabama lost to LSU. If there is anything to happen to our championship situation, it must come in the remaining regular season for Auburn or Oregon.
Including conference championship games there are 131 games remaining in Division I… but only 4 of them matter in respect to the championship (Oregon has two and Auburn has two): only 3% of remaining games definitely matter.
If you include the possibilities where Oregon or Auburn lose and then include remaining games for championship alternates TCU/Boise State (possibly LSU) as potentially mattering then it goes up to 8-10 games or 6-8%.
We’re leading in to the BCS post-season and only 3-8% of the remaining season matters? What a shame in a season like 2010 where so many conferences, rankings and bragging rights are still up for grabs.
The Alternative: In the past we’ve proposed a 16-team playoff with 11 auto-berths for conference champions and 5 at-large spots based on rankings; almost the exact same thing proposed in the popular new Death to the BCS book. Lets think about what could be if we used this proposed and universally liked 16-team playoff system, and how that would affect the remaining scheduled games.
(warning there is some math coming ahead, but its worth it).
SEC: Their championship game will match Auburn and South Carolina (1), but Auburn can’t afford to lose its game to Alabama (2) and also the champ game because that could lose them an at-large position so both games definitely matter.
|Stanford could be fighting |
for the 5th seed
ACC: Virginia Tech has the Coastal Division wrapped up but there’s still a 3-way tie in the Atlantic between Maryland, NC State and Florida State so there’s 3 more season games plus a championship game that matter to a playoff; plus Virginia Tech is in position to get an at-large berth without the ACC champ game giving potential meaning to their remaining games (4 definite / 6 potential).
BIG 12: There’s the champ game (1), but before that Nebraska still has win the North with their next game; if they lose to A&M then suddenly their final game and Missouri’s 2 games matter. In the South all Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M’s next game already matter; pending results the final games can matter as well. (4 definite / 9 potential)
BIG EAST: Interestingly Pittsburg has only played 4 conference games thus far, they are in the driver’s seat but have 3 games remaining. Even if Pitt wins their first game, all the 2-loss Big East teams’ next games still matter to keep them alive: that adds Syracuse, UConn, USF, and West Virginia’s next game to the mix (2 more definitely mattering) What if Pitt loses their game to USF? Then it’s a mad house, all the rest of their conference games could matter: (3 definite / 9 potential)
BIG TEN: We have a 3-way tie, but 4 teams are alive (Wisconsin, OSU, MSU and Iowa); all next games definitely matter, but pending results all their final games could matter too (3 definite / 7 potential)
|"The Rock" in Hattiesburg could host |
MAC: One championship game and 5 teams vying for a shot to get into it; all of their next games matter; pending results they all likely need to play out their season before someone can clinch. (4 definite / 8 potential).
MWC: The Mountain West is the only conference that is decided. But even so, Utah’s final game matters in terms of them trying to get back into position for an At-Large bid. (1 definite)
SUN BELT: Like the MAC, another conference with a wide open door and many potential champions, but due to how the scheduling falls, FIA’s next 2 games definitely matter, while the rest of the contenders only matter pending the outcome of those games. (2 definite / 6 potential)
WAC: Common theory dictates that Boise State will be the champ, but math dictates that 4 teams are still eligible, and 3 of the 4 play each other. (4 definite / 8 potential)
|How can we live in a world where |
Les Miles and his 'damn strong'
football team don't matter?
Current conclusion: This gives us a current tally of 41 remaining games definitely mattering mathematically to a playoff championship, and a potential for it to reach 66 remaining games having an impact on the postseason.
BUT we’re not done… Very important to the playoff equations are the at-large selections; this means many of the above marked “potential implication” games need to change to “definite implications;” this is because while they may not already be set to affect conference championships they definitely already affect at-large bids. So we change status from potential to definite for: Stanford (swap 1), Wisconsin (swap 1), Nebraska (swap 1), OSU (swap 1), OkSt.(swap 1), MSU (swap 1), Oklahoma (covered by OkSt), Missouri (swap 2), Va Tech (swap 2), Nevada (swap 2), Texas A&M (swap 1), Iowa (swap 1) and Miami (swap 1). Suddenly a whole LOT of games (56) in the final 3 weeks have a definite impact on who our national champion will be.
The Final Conclusion for “making the regular season matter”:
- A 16-team playoff would mean that 56 of the 131 remaining games would already definitely matter (i.e.have implications on the eventual national champion) – 43%!
- There is a potential that 66 games could end up mattering depending on early outcomes – 50%!!
- The current BCS system gives us 4 games (3%) definitely mattering
- The BCS scenario can potentially have upwards of 8-10 games (6-8%) possibly mattering
BCS = 3-8% of the remaining games in the final 3 weeks of the season mattering
16-team playoff = 43-50% matter
Now, can someone explain for me again how the BCS is the best system in making the regular season important???