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Fishfan79

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Florida president to push playoff plan at SEC meetings

Scripps Howard News Service

Updated: May 29, 2007, 12:46 PM ET

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DESTIN, Fla. -- Welcome to "Weekend at Bernie's."

The annual Southeastern Conference business meetings started here Tuesday, and by the end of the week, Florida president Bernie Machen will know if he has the support of the league in pushing forward a national championship football playoff plan.

Machen has been making noise about a playoff since December, when he feared the Gators might be shut out of the national championship game using the current Bowl Championship Series system. That didn't happen. The Gators got their shot at No. 1 and trounced Ohio State for the national championship.

Now, Machen says he has a plan that involves setting up a corporation to run a playoff separate from the NCAA and BCS commissioners.

"We'd just won the SEC championship, and I'm standing there in the Georgia Dome lamenting the fact I didn't even know if we were going to the national championship game," said Machen, recalling when he began to get motivated about devising a plan.

Also this week, there might be some discussion about the progress of creating an SEC-TV network, just like one the Big Ten Conference is starting this fall. Another of the expected hot topics is discussion of how league schools are adapting to the APR (academic progress rate).

By the end of the week, the SEC will announce a record payout that should exceed $120 million, surpassing last year's record of $110.7 million. That would mean each of the 12 league members will receive at least $10 million for the first time.

School presidents and chancellors began arriving last Thursday, including Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat, who said he and SEC commissioner Mike Slive have talked to Machen about his plan. Khayat said he's looking forward to hearing what Machen has to say, though Khayat believes there are a lot of roadblocks in the way for any playoff.

For one, no money figure has been discussed. The payout for such a playoff would have to be outlandish enough to turn the heads of school presidents, most of whom have fought the idea of a playoff for many reasons, including stretching the season even longer and damaging current bowl relationships.

"It's probably naive for me to say this, but I don't believe they can buy a compromise on this," Khayat said.

"The interests of the SEC are we have a great regular season TV package, great attendance, great fan interest. We have a great championship game. We have eight bowl relationships and we believe in the bowl system.

"We are opposed to extending the football season deep into January. We are aware of the wear and tear on football players over a four-month period."

The only playoff Khayat can see is to take the top four BCS teams, seeding them and using two Jan. 1 bowls to match No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3, with the winners meeting the following week for the national championship.

"That would be palatable," Khayat said. "I'm the only one I've heard say that, and I haven't said it much. I think we need to listen to anybody with credibility that has something to say about determining a national championship."

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has been a playoff proponent for years. Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville raised his voice in the fight when his unbeaten 2004 squad got left out of the BCS national championship game.

Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, whose team won the 1998 national championship the first year the BCS system was implemented, said he thinks presidents and conference commissioners still aren't keen on a playoff.

"I don't really hear very many presidents or commissioners in the meetings I'm in really talking about a playoff," Fulmer said. "I don't think you can get a consensus with our head coaches.

"But will it eventually happen? I'm sure it will, because of television and the dollars it can create."

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=2885646




I dont care for the U of F (all about Da U) but I applaud them for this.
 

Maxx

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I completely agree, it should be the top 4 seeds. It would definitely make the championship a lot more interesting.
 

JetsMania

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I completely agree, it should be the top 4 seeds. It would definitely make the championship a lot more interesting.

I think the 4 team format will probably be the only one that is accepted. It really wouldnt even change the schedule. Play the bowls like usual, then just have the winners of the 2 playoff bowl games move on to the bcs championship. Having 4 teams doesnt cheapen the season at all, and it would give non bsc teams a chance. There is a much much larger chance boise state sneaks into the #4 slot in a playoff, than the #2 slot in the bcs game. For the past 7 years of the bcs, there is always a team people say got left out. A four team playoff eliminates that, and then adds another team in the mix.
 

Passion

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Not surprising, any top college football program would support measures that would consistently allow them to compete for championships.
 

JetsMania

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A four team playoff wouldn't satisfy the need.

See I think 4 is the perfect amount for a few reasons. Yes an 8 team playoff would be fun to watch, but it would take a lot longer to play and it probably screws up the bowls. Most importanly however, I think that it will water down the regular season. Currently games in week 1 and week 2 can decide a season, which makes them huge. Thats the best thing about college football, the fact that the games mean so much every week. With an 8 or 16 team playoff this doesnt happen. Also that michigan-ohio state, usc-ucla, etc.. games at the end of the year, wouldnt have mattered this years since teams would have clinched spots before the games were played.
 

Night Phantom

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Four teams is a step, not a completed process.

What does four teams accomplish? Let's skip straight to the Final Four? Plus, how do you distinguish between the numerous one loss teams every year? Who gets in and who doesn't? Which conference deserves a spot and which doesn't?

Eight teams is the only way it makes sense. And what does it add, one whole week? Waaaah
 

JJ24

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A four team playoff wouldn't satisfy the need.

See I think 4 is the perfect amount for a few reasons. Yes an 8 team playoff would be fun to watch, but it would take a lot longer to play and it probably screws up the bowls. Most importanly however, I think that it will water down the regular season. Currently games in week 1 and week 2 can decide a season, which makes them huge. Thats the best thing about college football, the fact that the games mean so much every week. With an 8 or 16 team playoff this doesnt happen. Also that michigan-ohio state, usc-ucla, etc.. games at the end of the year, wouldnt have mattered this years since teams would have clinched spots before the games were played.
I don't think 4 is right but 8 is way too many and would take too long. I think a six team playoff would be better with the top 2 seeds getting byes, just like in the NFL. No matter how many teams there are someone is going to get the shaft. If it was a four team playoff it would have been UF OSU Mich. and a toss up between teams like LSU USC and Boise, who would probally get screwed. So once again you would have teams complaining about the system not being fair.
 

MarlinFan10

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This isn't really for Bernie Machen to be worried about, but the system needs improvement. This way the two teams in the national title game can play the game without anyone questioning who deserves to be there, since the two best teams will be the ones in the game.
 

JetsMania

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Four teams is a step, not a completed process.

What does four teams accomplish? Let's skip straight to the Final Four? Plus, how do you distinguish between the numerous one loss teams every year? Who gets in and who doesn't? Which conference deserves a spot and which doesn't?

Eight teams is the only way it makes sense. And what does it add, one whole week? Waaaah

There is much less complaining if the #5 team gets left out than if a #3 team gets left out.

Its not about adding one extra week, its about changing all the bowls. A four team playoff doesnt change the way the bowls are done.

Skip to the final four? Do you see it as skip to the final two now? The final four lets that third team that always gets left out in, and whoever the next best team in.

In fact I would rather see the bcs bowls play out normally like they used too (and sort of do now) Big ten vs pac ten in the rose, acc vs big east in the orange, etc... and when all that is said and done then have the top 2 teams play. That way there would be interest in all 4 bcs games instead of just two games (if they did a 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 format) because most of those teams would have a shot at the final game.
 

Night Phantom

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I don't think 4 is right but 8 is way too many and would take too long. I think a six team playoff would be better with the top 2 seeds getting byes, just like in the NFL. No matter how many teams there are someone is going to get the shaft. If it was a four team playoff it would have been UF OSU Mich. and a toss up between teams like LSU USC and Boise, who would probally get screwed. So once again you would have teams complaining about the system not being fair.
How would a six team playoff take less time than an eight team playoff? Unless you're unfairly giving the four lower seeds 3 days of rest, I don't see how logistically that works to be shorter.

If it's 8 teams, the shaft factor is minimized. You pick out the six major conferences (ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac 10) and then give the two highest rated teams that weren't winners of one of the Big 6 conferences the final spots. You seed the teams in accordance with the BCS and you go from there. It's pretty similar to how the bowls shape up now anyways.

Its not about adding one extra week, its about changing all the bowls. A four team playoff doesnt change the way the bowls are done.

Skip to the final four? Do you see it as skip to the final two now? The final four lets that third team that always gets left out in, and whoever the next best team in.

In fact I would rather see the bcs bowls play out normally like they used too (and sort of do now) Big ten vs pac ten in the rose, acc vs big east in the orange, etc... and when all that is said and done then have the top 2 teams play. That way there would be interest in all 4 bcs games instead of just two games (if they did a 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 format) because most of those teams would have a shot at the final game.
How does a four team playoff not change the bowls, but a eight team playoff does? It's either both do or both don't.

I'd like to start out by saying that a playoff system would be infinitely more entertaining than the bowls. No way to argue this at all in my opinion. However, it's not like the sites would get dumped totally. In an 8 team playoff you can include the sites of the five major bowls (Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, Rose, and Cotton), rotate two more every year (so their prestige factor goes up), and then have a rotating championship between the five biggies. The interest is higher for these games since the winner of the Cotton Bowl would actually receive something other than a stupid trophy - they'd get to advance in the playoffs to whatever round is next.

I'm not going to advocate skipping to the Final Four just because the current system sucks. Two wrongs don't make a right. Furthermore, the 8 team scenario adds some of the mystique that basketball has mastered (Cinderella - SEE: Boise St.), adds much more money than any of the teams could dream of, and finally pleases the fans. A four team playoff is just a slight variation on what we have now and people would be complaining again in 2-3 years after the magic wears off.

If we're going to switch this, do it right instead of having another BCS disaster.
 

JJ24

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My only gripe with the playoff system with more than 4 teams is that its going to make the season not matter as much. If there was 6 or 8 teams the OSU- Michigan game would have meant nothing this year. Both teams would have already been in the playoffs, they would have played all their second string players and thats not what people pay to see in college games.
 

TarHeel324

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My only gripe with the playoff system with more than 4 teams is that its going to make the season not matter as much. If there was 6 or 8 teams the OSU- Michigan game would have meant nothing this year. Both teams would have already been in the playoffs, they would have played all their second string players and thats not what people pay to see in college games.
I dont buy that. OSU-Michigan, the greatest rivalry in college football for the Big Ten title and the #1 spot...no way theyre taking the game lightly and putting in the scrubs. Also, if the playoff features teams playing on campus instead of neutral sites, then home field would be up for grabs, so of course the game would still be huge
 

JJ24

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My only gripe with the playoff system with more than 4 teams is that its going to make the season not matter as much. If there was 6 or 8 teams the OSU- Michigan game would have meant nothing this year. Both teams would have already been in the playoffs, they would have played all their second string players and thats not what people pay to see in college games.
I dont buy that. OSU-Michigan, the greatest rivalry in college football for the Big Ten title and the #1 spot...no way theyre taking the game lightly and putting in the scrubs. Also, if the playoff features teams playing on campus instead of neutral sites, then home field would be up for grabs, so of course the game would still be huge
Yeah if home field advantage was at stake then they wouldnt take it lightly, but i think the commitee wouldnt want to lose bowl games so they would have to play the game at a neutral site like the fiesta bowl.
 

Night Phantom

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My only gripe with the playoff system with more than 4 teams is that its going to make the season not matter as much. If there was 6 or 8 teams the OSU- Michigan game would have meant nothing this year. Both teams would have already been in the playoffs, they would have played all their second string players and thats not what people pay to see in college games.
The OSU-Michigan game this year was the exception, not the rule.

With only the conference champ guaranteed to go in, it makes conference games that much more important. Could you get in with a couple of losses? Sure. But you're going to have to be real lucky.
 

JetsMania

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My only gripe with the playoff system with more than 4 teams is that its going to make the season not matter as much. If there was 6 or 8 teams the OSU- Michigan game would have meant nothing this year. Both teams would have already been in the playoffs, they would have played all their second string players and thats not what people pay to see in college games.
The OSU-Michigan game this year was the exception, not the rule.

With only the conference champ guaranteed to go in, it makes conference games that much more important. Could you get in with a couple of losses? Sure. But you're going to have to be real lucky.

The loser of the osu michigan game would have still made a 4 team playoff or an 8 team playoff, therefore taking a lot away from the game. In fact I am sure some 2 loss teams would make an 8 team playoff. Just look at some of the games at the end of the season. That USC-UCLA game wouldnt have mattered either, USC still makes an top 8 playoff. 8+ team playoff will ruin the regular season.

An 8 team playoff messes up the bowls as well. You need 7 bowls to house the playoffs (in a 4-2-1 format). A four team playoff doesnt alter the bowls. You only need three bowls to get it done. Just rotate the bowls.

I am actually in favor of the bowls +1 "playoff". It is sort of a hybrid of the 8 team and 4 team playoff. All the conference winners would be involved in the bcs games, as well as the two at larges. Have the four bcs games played out and when thats all said and done have the #1 vs #2 rated teams play in the BCS championship. They already added this new bowl just change it up so the top rated teams play in it, instead of adding 2 teams to the BCS (like this past year). This way all all the BCS bowl games will matter. Teams with easy schedules such as West Virginia would have to beat a good team to get in the title game. You would also have teams trying to impress voters so you would see some high scoring games.
The downside is that there will be complaining if say a #1 USC draws a #10 Wisconsin in the rose bowl and a #2 Auburn gets #4 UM in the Sugar Bowl.
 

furcalchick

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how about starting playoffs the week after the regular season ends? that way, the championship game will be around new years. but we need a 8 team playoff if this is going to be done right. and the eight teams will be determined by the bcs system we have now, no automatic bids for any conference (the big east is in the toilet for example), and while i'm at it, get rid of some of these creampuff bowls we had coming up. bowls aren't a reward for average seasons, they are for good seasons. bowl eligible is just that, you don't have any obligation to go to one.
 

TarHeel324

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My only gripe with the playoff system with more than 4 teams is that its going to make the season not matter as much. If there was 6 or 8 teams the OSU- Michigan game would have meant nothing this year. Both teams would have already been in the playoffs, they would have played all their second string players and thats not what people pay to see in college games.
The OSU-Michigan game this year was the exception, not the rule.

With only the conference champ guaranteed to go in, it makes conference games that much more important. Could you get in with a couple of losses? Sure. But you're going to have to be real lucky.
I would hate that. Every year at least one mediocre champion (i.e. Wake Forest winning the ACC) that doesnt deserve a spot would get in over a great runner up (like Michigan this past season)

Honestly, I dont care if the college football regular season would lose luster because of this. If anything, itll make things more exciting because more teams will be involved, make the excitement level grow during the playoffs and ending with a champion that theres less debate over. I love college football as it is now, but when teams feel they get cheated out of a title shot, that just leaves everyone with a sour taste in their mouths. Whats so great about that?
 

Night Phantom

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The loser of the osu michigan game would have still made a 4 team playoff or an 8 team playoff, therefore taking a lot away from the game. In fact I am sure some 2 loss teams would make an 8 team playoff. Just look at some of the games at the end of the season. That USC-UCLA game wouldnt have mattered either, USC still makes an top 8 playoff. 8+ team playoff will ruin the regular season.

An 8 team playoff messes up the bowls as well. You need 7 bowls to house the playoffs (in a 4-2-1 format). A four team playoff doesnt alter the bowls. You only need three bowls to get it done. Just rotate the bowls.

I am actually in favor of the bowls +1 "playoff". It is sort of a hybrid of the 8 team and 4 team playoff. All the conference winners would be involved in the bcs games, as well as the two at larges. Have the four bcs games played out and when thats all said and done have the #1 vs #2 rated teams play in the BCS championship. They already added this new bowl just change it up so the top rated teams play in it, instead of adding 2 teams to the BCS (like this past year). This way all all the BCS bowl games will matter. Teams with easy schedules such as West Virginia would have to beat a good team to get in the title game. You would also have teams trying to impress voters so you would see some high scoring games.
The downside is that there will be complaining if say a #1 USC draws a #10 Wisconsin in the rose bowl and a #2 Auburn gets #4 UM in the Sugar Bowl.
First off, I'm not determining the rules of a playoff by a once in a decade kind of game. Oddball stuff happens in sports, the end.

Second off, the bowls system isn't worth keeping. It just isn't. Again, who cares about winning a meaningless trophy in the Orange Bowl when it isn't the title game? Why keep silly conference rivalries in place that determine merely bragging rights and nothing more? Why keep a system that wouldn't pay out as much money as a playoff would? Why advocate a bowl system with the same format I laid out when you can just have a playoff and give all 8 teams a chance instead of holding it off to the top two? Why must we continue to wallow in a flawed system?

the big east is in the toilet for example
The same Big East whose champion defeated the ACC champion, and who was one of the top conferences in bowls?

Let's be honest, the system isn't going into place without the Big 6 on board. And to get them on board, you need to have automatic bids. There are automatic bids in every playoff system in both collegiate and professional sports, and NCAA Football (the most molasses of them all) is not going to be the trailblazer in removing all those outdated geographical and automatic boundaries.


With only the conference champ guaranteed to go in
I would hate that. Every year at least one mediocre champion (i.e. Wake Forest winning the ACC) that doesnt deserve a spot would get in over a great runner up (like Michigan this past season)Yeah, but it's the only way it's happening. Again, NCAA Football isn't going to take the dramatic step and say Top 8 no matter what. Not going to happen. Then again, every sport has a mediocre team enter the playoffs and sometimes they win the whole damn thing. We can't break sports down to an exact science like that because it's so unpredictable often times.
 

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