Playoff coming to college football in '14...

For those of you who’ve been waiting, the time seems to be now.

Thoughts? Will this improve viewership/interest? Or is the execution/very concept flawed?

I think it’s a great first step, regardless of how terrible the selection committee bungs things up.

Additionally, as a resident of Indianapolis, I like my chances of the championship game being here every several years. (C’mon - you know we’re going to get it every 5 years, just like the NCAA tournament. The NCAA is headquartered here, we just threw a top-notch Super Bowl party, and there isn’t a single competitive team in the whole state*.)
*That’s right - and I’m an ND grad.

Seems alright. I’m sure there will still be howls when the selection committee makes its picks. It’ll be interesting to see what they do - will their picks end up just matching the polls?

It still seems like a fundamental problem that teams can’t just play their way in.

What does this even mean? Wouldn’t the 12 or 13 games the teams already played be “playing their way in”? I’m confused.

I personally have some concerns with a committee picking the four participants. I don’t think the BCS formula has been all that bad at putting the best teams at the top of the list - we all may quibble at the specific rankings, but the best teams were all up there somewhere. I think a lot of it is simple mistrust of the computer ratings, which makes it somewhat ironic that the proposed solution is to have a bunch of old ex-administrators/coaches/players select the top four. That’s supposed to be more “fair” than computer algorithms?

I am looking forward to this playoff system, though. I think four participants is a good number (it’s got to be very rare to have five or more teams that could really, honestly lay claim to the title - yet that’s still a good number to spark interest and discussion). I also like they made it a 12-year commitment, so they won’t be monkeying around with the format right away.

I think this will be a huge deal with fan interest and make a metric crapload of money - mostly for the TV folks.

I’d like a 16 team playoff personally, with each conference getting an autobid, plus a few at large bids. I could even go with a 12 team playoff with 4 byes, to make the regular season still really important to go undefeated or have 1 loss. An 8 team playoff isn’t as good, but would be passable, because at least then, it is unlikely that any team is eliminated from championship consideration before a single down is played (as it is now with any non-BCS conference team, and as it still will be with a 4 team playoff, barring a really tough non-conference schedule…but still, a large contingent of the FBS teams will have no shot to make the top 4 regardless of what they do).

Still, it’s a step in the right direction and is far better than the BCS (which was still far better than the horrible ‘let’s vote on the champ!’ crap that came before it).

I just mean that there still isn’t an objective, results-based way for teams to get to the playoff. Pretty much any other sport has a simple set of rules for who is a champion or a qualifier; this still has people trying to do some kind of subjective ranking or interpretation.

It cuts out about 5% of the whining and speculation.

Better than nothin’.

The NCAA tried the “non-subjective” method with the men’s basketball tournament through the early 1970s. After one too many years of having to answer why they felt it was “fair” that the #2-ranked team in the country wasn’t in the tournament for no other reason that it just happened to be in the same conference as the #1-ranked team, it got its act together and started allowing “at-large” teams.

If you can come up with an objective way of determining the best four teams, let us know. Even the current BCS system is 2/3 subjective.

Basketball has some advantages since it’s reasonable to have such a large tournament. Having at-large teams isn’t much of an issue if all teams still have access to an automatic qualifier. College football has some fairly unique problems because it has such a large number of teams and such a short schedule.

It’s not clear to me that an objective method for finding the best team (or best 4 teams) exists. I’m not sure that “better team” is even a well-defined concept. But in any case, I tend to take the position that it’s more important to have a fair process than an accurate one, though clearly at least some accuracy is necessary.

It seems pretty clear that Alabama was the best team last year. Some proposals for playoff systems would have excluded them and taken only LSU from the SEC. That’s a big problem if you think the goal of a football season is to find the best team, but less of a problem if you think the goal is to play football.

Personally, I’ve mostly been okay with the BCS rankings of the top four teams. (I mean, I’ll gripe, but that’s the nature of the beast.) If they used the same formula and just plucked the top four for the tournament, I’d be fine with it. I mean, yeah, there’s gonna be a year where it’s four SEC teams, and I’ll probably firebomb something when it happens, but such is CFB.

I hate to be someone who, given 20 dollars, complains it’s not 50 dollars, but I was really hoping for an 8-team structure. As it is, I’ll take my 20 dollars and be happy, as it is much better than the 0 dollars I had yesterday.

I can’t wait til we reach the inevitable 8-team and then 16-team playoff so that a shitty team like UConn can go 8-4, win a crappy conference, and then waste everyone’s time with a 70-7 loss to a team like Alabama.

I like the old bowl system because the writers and coaches typically got things right (and if they didn’t…so what? Life goes on). I was fine with the BCS. I’m ok with a 4-team playoff. The expanded playoffs are going to make me care a whole lot less once they come.

I’m OK with the four team system. I would have preferred six teams with a bye for the top two. Even then it’s hard to argue a team with five teams ahead of them in the standings should be considered for the championship. There’s crazy subjectivity in the polls, but not that much. I really, really hope it doesn’t expand much, if at all.