Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Night Beer: Playoffs, Blackshirts, and Suspended Glenn, Oh My!

In his column today, Tom Shatel really wants a college football playoff, but can't figure out how to do it. He recognizes that the current BCS formula of inviting the major conference champions is a disaster this year, since right now, that means that you are inviting Penn State, Pitt, Oregon State, and North Carolina to the mix.

Unfortunately when the BCS was originally set up, nobody anticipated that the SEC and Big XII would be absolutely dominating college football. So while it's easy to squeeze Florida and Texas along side Texas Tech and Alabama, there's no room for Oklahoma and USC. Or Boise State and Utah for that matter.

With all the complaining about the BCS in recent years, I think the BCS formula is about as good as you can get for seeding teams for an eight team playoff. I proposed this in 2006, and I think it still works in 2008. Take the top 8 teams in the BCS and put them in the playoff. Everybody else can go to a bowl game. Yeah, that weakens the bowls, but you know what, if that means the end of the Independence or Poinsettia Bowls, who really cares?

So if the current standings hold, here are your proposed matchups. Except for the national championship game, every game is held at the home field of the higher seeded team. That's the way they do it in the NFL, that's the way they do it in division 1-AA and division 2. No reason to make BOTH teams travel and try to sell thousands of tickets to a neutral location when fans will struggle to travel on short notice.
  • Penn State @ Alabama
  • Utah @ Texas Tech
  • USC @ Texas
  • Oklahoma @ Florida
The next week, the Penn State/Alabama winner would play the Oklahoma/Florida winner, and the Utah/Tech winner would play the USC/Texas winner. Give a two or three week break, and the winners play in the national championship game on a neutral field.

Bo Pelini and the defensive staff broke out the Blackshirts this afternoon. While I have no qualms about giving the prized practice jerseys to the defensive line, I'm not so sure the secondary has earned them. There's absolutely no question in my mind that guys like Ndamakong Suh and Zach Potter have earned them, and if Pelini doesn't want to give them to only some players, then that's fine. In any event, it might be the extra incentive to continue to improve this week.

One guy who didn't get a Blackshirt was Cody Glenn; instead he's suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. The "cone of silence" is pretty strong so far. Nothing in the police logs, and even the rumor mill is remarkably silent so far. So there's no point in speculating as to what he did, whether's it's justified, or whether he'll be back at any time. And like all suspensions, it's irrelevent how much Nebraska needs him or not. Decisions like this are made for a reason, and football doesn't matter one iota. If he did something wrong, he needs to pay the price for that misbehavior, no matter whether he's a benchwarmer or an all-American. Note that Glenn is suspended indefinitely as opposed to dismissed, so there's apparently still a chance that Glenn can make amends and return to the roster.

And UNO hockey is now #16 in the country according to the InsideCollegeHockey.com power rankings. USA Today has UNO just outside of their top 15 (3rd on the list of "Also Receiving Votes"), as does CBS College Sports (top of the list of "Also Receiving Votes"). With Ferris State (also a team "also receiving votes") coming to town this weekend, a good performance should place the Mavs in all of the ratings. Nice.


Jeremy said...

I don't know if I've heard anybody propose this, but how about a 6 team playoff like the NFL has. It rewards the top 2 teams, who currently are the only 2 who can win the championship, but it also gives more teams a chance to win, they just have to win 3 games instead of 2. I think the bye for the top 2 would give teams a big enough incentive to schedule tough non-conference games, whereas a level 8 team playoff means you just have to get in, so who cares about risking a loss to get unneeded style points.

Husker Mike said...

That's an interesting idea as well. But I'm not sure that that encourages people to play better competition. People will naturally gravitate towards the undefeated teams at the top of the standings. Look at Texas Tech: #2 in the rankings and didn't play anybody non-conference. If anything, it might do just the opposite since a loss might drop you below #6.

I'd suggest restoring strength of schedule to the BCS equation. I think a loss to a top-5 team should count more than a victory over a 1-AA or Sun Belt conference team.