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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hank Steinbrenner rips divisional playoff system in Sporting News

Or as Jon-Kevin Elster’s book goes…“Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality for Obvious Thickheads”

“The biggest problem is the divisional setup in major league baseball. I didn’t like it in the 1970s, and I hate it now,” Steinbrenner wrote. “Baseball went to a multidivision setup to create more races, rivalries and excitement. But it isn’t fair. You see it this season, with plenty of people in the media pointing out that Joe Torre and the Dodgers are going to the playoffs while we’re not.

“This is by no means a knock on Torre - let me make that clear-but look at the division they’re in. If L.A. were in the AL East, it wouldn’t be in the playoff discussion. The AL East is never weak.”

...“I’m happy for Joe, but you have to compare the divisions and the competition,” Steinbrenner wrote. “What if the Yankees finish the season with more wins than the Dodgers but the Dodgers make the playoffs? Does that make the Dodgers a better team? No.”

Steinbrenner also questioned the legitimacy of the Cardinals’ 2006 title, noting that their 83 regular-season victories were two less than the Phillies’ total, but because of the system, St. Louis reached the playoffs as NL Central champs while Philadelphia lost the wild card race to the Dodgers, who had 88 wins.

“People will say the Cardinals were the best team because they won the World Series,” Steinbrenner wrote. “Well, no, they weren’t. They just got hot at the right time. They didn’t even belong in the playoffs. And neither does a team from the N.L. West this season.”

Repoz Posted: September 23, 2008 at 09:38 PM | 126 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: September 23, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#2951665)
Sucks to root for the Yankees.
   2. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 23, 2008 at 09:54 PM (#2951673)
I didn't RTFA, but what does Stein think about the Yankees' 2000 championship?
   3. bunyon Posted: September 23, 2008 at 09:55 PM (#2951674)
Dear lord, I wonder if he lurks here?
   4. phredbird Posted: September 23, 2008 at 09:55 PM (#2951676)
count the ringzzzz steinboy!!11!1!!
   5. phredbird Posted: September 23, 2008 at 09:56 PM (#2951679)
sorry.

count the ring steinboy!!11!1!!
   6. Gamingboy Posted: September 23, 2008 at 09:57 PM (#2951680)
I can't even fathom what would happen if Darth Steiny Jr. had to deal with the BCS.
   7. Frisco Cali Posted: September 23, 2008 at 09:57 PM (#2951681)
I didn't RTFA, but what does Stein think about the Yankees' 2000 championship?

And 1996.

Frauds.
   8. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:01 PM (#2951687)
I think he has a point. Why 3 divisions instead of 2 or 1? 2 divisions with 2 wild cards, or 1 division with 3 wild cards. Makes more sense and still have the playoff chases.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:06 PM (#2951697)
Dear lord, I wonder if he lurks here?

I think his name is "kevin". Good thing Hal has most of the decision-making power, though Hankevin got his way with that Kei Igawa deal.
   10. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:08 PM (#2951698)
1 division with 3 wild cards. Makes more sense and still have the playoff chases.

There would actually only be one race per league most years - the race for fourth place. Woo!
   11. AndrewJ Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:09 PM (#2951700)
Wasn't Hank's dad one of the original proponents of the three-division, wild-card format in the early 1990s when the Yanks couldn't catch the Blue Jays?
   12. Shredder Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:12 PM (#2951702)
Am I the only one who finds it funny that he bemoans the divisional setup, but his example is to compare the NL West to the AL East? Is he aware that the NL and AL are completely different leagues, and have been for over a hundred years? And who in their right minds calls the 2006 Cardinals the "best team"?

Someone better call the wahmbulance.
   13. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:14 PM (#2951704)
Wasn't Hank's dad one of the original proponents of the three-division, wild-card format in the early 1990s when the Yanks couldn't catch the Blue Jays?

Yup. The biggest whine was "Waaah! The second-place team from this division is better than the first-place team from the other division, and they don't get to go to the playoffs! Waaah!"

So they let more teams into the playoffs, but apparently that's not enough for Hank.
   14. Erik, Pinch-Commenter Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:20 PM (#2951707)
Maybe they should go to a two conference, err league set up, and then let the 8 teams in both leagues with the best record make the playoffs. There will still be exciting races for 8th place and the regular season will be just as exciting!
   15. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:21 PM (#2951708)
Then he might, just might, get a bit of insight into what a giant, foul-smelling turd everyone thinks he is.

Apparently hasn't happened for you yet, however.
   16. bunyon Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:23 PM (#2951712)
I'm old school in that I'd prefer either the two division format from 69-94 or the one league format. I'm resigned that it isn't coming back, so how about 4 divisions and you have to win the division to advance. Home field determined by best record only in games involving playoff teams.
   17. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:28 PM (#2951719)
Yup. The biggest whine was "Waaah! The second-place team from this division is better than the first-place team from the other division, and they don't get to go to the playoffs! Waaah!"


And now it's the third-place team that could become the fourth place team if Toronto gets on a roll.

And nevermind that a team who's entire payroll is less than what Hank's daddy is paying his SS and 3B is leading the Yankees division.
   18. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:29 PM (#2951720)
i think they should make a 2 team premier league and a 28 team championship league. the yankees and the best team from the championship league play it out for the world series, and then the team that isn't the yankees gets relegated to the championship league after the world series which automatically goes to the yankees because of their eternal awesomeness.

but seriously: could we have a premier league in mlb? i think that would give an added flavor to the playoff hunt. who's going to play with the varsity squad next year, and who will be playing with the marlins in jv?
   19. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:32 PM (#2951723)
Wow, so there's a fifth-best team in a league with four available playoff slots? It happens. In fact, it has to.
   20. Esteban Rivera Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:35 PM (#2951724)
“The biggest problem is the divisional setup in major league baseball. I didn’t like it in the 1970s, and I hate it now,” Steinbrenner wrote. “Baseball went to a multidivision setup to create more races, rivalries and excitement. But it isn’t fair. You see it this season, with plenty of people in the media pointing out that Joe Torre and the Dodgers are going to the playoffs while we’re not.


Nevermind that they still wouldn't be in the postseason if it were just one league.
   21. EvilBoWeevil Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:35 PM (#2951725)
As a Yankee fan I really wish Hank Steinbrenner would put a sock in his mouth.

Hank, you are big fat ##### baby toad. Stop whinning and shut your pie hole.
   22. RJ in TO Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:37 PM (#2951729)
Wow, so there's a fifth-best team in a league with four available playoff slots? It happens. In fact, it has to.


Not if Hank's plan to create a 4 team AL, and a 26 team NL succeeds.
   23. RJ in TO Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:38 PM (#2951731)
As a Yankee fan I really wish Hank Steinbrenner would put a sock in his mouth.


As a non-Yankee fan, I think Hank is the best entertainment that one can get without paying for it. The guy has an ever bigger sense of entitlement than his dad, and even less common sense.
   24. AndrewJ Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:41 PM (#2951736)
In 1954 the Yankees won 103 games -- the most ever under Casey Stengel -- and still didn't make the World Series, while the 97-win crosstown Giants did. And what about the 1978 Brewers, who went 93-69 and stayed home while the Royals went 92-70 and were given a friggin' division title?
   25. OCD SS Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:43 PM (#2951743)
Hank is just a bit aggrieved that his proposed amendment to the playoff system to have a "Yankee division" was rejected by everyone but John Kruk.
   26. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:45 PM (#2951745)
Let's get rid of the playoffs altogether.
   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:47 PM (#2951747)
The only thing to say about this incoherent collection of non sequiturs is: Consider the source. And as Frisco Cali noted, remember 1996 and 2000, when the shoe was on the other foot and we Yankee fans weren't complaining in the slightest.
   28. SBB, Live from the Alt-Center Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:52 PM (#2951751)
Call it lucking into the truth if you will, but he's certainly right about 2006. The Tigers were 3-0 against the Cardinals in the regular season and 16-2 or thereabouts against the NL Central, so what did the World Series in the cold and pouring rain prove?
   29. SBB, Live from the Alt-Center Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:57 PM (#2951755)
It bears repeating that two out of 50 World Series participants in the four-division era won fewer than 90 regular season games.
   30. SBB, Live from the Alt-Center Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:58 PM (#2951756)
Hank, you are big fat ##### baby toad.

Spawn of Irabu?
   31. Toolsy McClutch Posted: September 23, 2008 at 10:59 PM (#2951758)
What a ####### tool!
   32. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: September 23, 2008 at 11:02 PM (#2951761)
Call it lucking into the truth if you will, but he's certainly right about 2006. The Tigers were 3-0 against the Cardinals in the regular season and 16-2 or thereabouts against the NL Central, so what did the World Series in the cold and pouring rain prove?

It proved that the Cardinals were better than the Tigers during the course of the World Series. That's a pretty nice feather in your cap.

I certainly understand your point but I'm not sure where you go from there. This year the Angels have dominated the Sox and pummeled the AL East, does that mean that they should get a bye if they draw the Sox in the playoffs? As many gray hairs as that would prevent, I'm not sure it would make for a very interesting post-season. To be the champ in MLB you have to make the playoffs and then beat three teams in short series. If you don't, even if you are "better" than the team that beats you, you haven't really accomplished much.

Hank- I love when you say crazy stuff, there's nothing wrong with being a goofy babbler. That said, nobody likes a whiner, particularly a Yankee whiner.
   33. shoewizard Posted: September 23, 2008 at 11:30 PM (#2951810)
It bears repeating that two out of 50 World Series participants in the four-division era won fewer than 90 regular season games.


I didn't know that. Interesting. Mets with 82W in 73, and Twins with 85W 87

So I Looked up since the W.C. ERA, there are still just 4 of 26 teams with fewer than 90 wins that made it to the world series:

97 Indians 86
00 Yankees 87
05 Astros 89
06 Cards 83

Considering that 2 of those 4 teams won the W.S., and one of them had 89 wins, which is only one less than the "threshold of excellence" that 90 presumably represents, I don't think thats too much of a trade off for the extra excitement the W.C. brings to the season most years.
   34. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: September 23, 2008 at 11:33 PM (#2951818)
I'll bet I wasn't the only one quietly hoping for a Yankee defeat on Sunday night. National TV, the stadium's last game, and it would have eliminated them from the playoffs.
   35. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 23, 2008 at 11:45 PM (#2951836)
Although you didn't get your wish on Sunday, you'll be happy to hear that Mystique was just diagnosed with venereal warts.
   36. Fred C. Dobbs Posted: September 23, 2008 at 11:48 PM (#2951838)
Steinbrenner's trying to win with his mouth what he lost on the field.


...and Kevin is trying to win on a messageboard about baseball what he's lost in life. Good luck with that Kevin!
   37. Boots Day Posted: September 23, 2008 at 11:49 PM (#2951840)
The Tigers were 3-0 against the Cardinals in the regular season and 16-2 or thereabouts against the NL Central, so what did the World Series in the cold and pouring rain prove?

The 2007 Rockies were 2-1 against the Red Sox in the regular season, and 9-6 against the AL East, so what did the World Series prove?
   38. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: September 24, 2008 at 12:06 AM (#2951868)
Since when does 90 wins represent any kind of excellence? It represents above average. Or maybe it represents pretty good if you want to be generous. How many World Series teams had < 90 wins before the divisional era? Not too many.

Also - do you notice that for the past ~10 years, everyone loves the AL East as the bastion of top notch baseball, with the exciting pennant races and all that. Why? Presumably because the top two teams are good, since (to way over-generalize) the other 3 teams were not competitive. How is that any different than the pre-wild card era, or even pre-division era?

The deal is, people love pennant races between high quality teams. How much more exciting was the infamous Giants-Braves Last Hurrah of 1993 than the Brewers-Mets-Phillies mess happening now? How much more exciting would the Red Sox - Yankees rivalry have been over the past 11 years if here was no wild card and the loser went home? It would have been one of the greatest eras in baseball history, another golden era people would ramble on and on about...

Nobody likes a 2nd place team. Playoff baseball is exciting. I am from Seattle, so the 1995 Sea-NYY series was one of my baseball highlights. But when a great team watches the WS because they lost to a 2nd place team in a 5 game series, that sucks for all baseball fans. The only way (in my mind) to reconcile my ranting with short-sighted money grubbing from owners is the 4 division league concept. Win your division or go home. Also, get off my lawn.
   39. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 12:09 AM (#2951871)
I'm not bothered by the MLB playoff system. You can take an angle of argument against any system that decides a championship. Does anyone think for a second the Giants were better than the Pats last year in the NFL? No. But so what?

I'm someone that defends the college football system of polls. That is the way they do it and I think it works for the college game, with 8 major conferences with +10 teams each, unbalanced schedules, etc.., it gets very complicated. The polls, despite controversy, select the right team(s) 90% of the time. A higher percentage of success than most leagues final game.

Sure there are angles you can take to argue with it, but it works. In fact, I say Baseball and College Football end up with the "right" champion more often than the NFL and NCAA baseketball, two leagues often cited as standard bearers of the "right" championship system. Just wait until the NFL sends a losing team/division winner to a playoff slot and Super Bowl. It will happen eventually, and soon.
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 24, 2008 at 12:40 AM (#2951972)
How much more exciting would the Red Sox - Yankees rivalry have been over the past 11 years if here was no wild card and the loser went home? It would have been one of the greatest eras in baseball history, another golden era people would ramble on and on about...

Reality check: There have been only three Yankees-Red Sox races with any degree of historic closeness since the Torre era began: 2004, 2005 and 2007. 1999 and 2000 were "close" at the finish, but there was never any real doubt as to the eventual winner.

And without the wild card, we wouldn't have had the 2003 or 2004 LC Series, which for nine days of drama matched all but three Yankees-Red Sox races (1904, 1949 and 1978) in pre-WC history. So I'm not knocking the wild card.
   41. regoarrarr Posted: September 24, 2008 at 01:24 AM (#2952107)
And let us not forget the 1981 Reds who finished with THE BEST RECORD IN ALL OF BASEBALL (66-42, .611) but did not even make the playoffs at all!!! (due to the wacky 2 half season because of the strike)

Look it up if you don't believe me
   42. Mister High Standards Posted: September 24, 2008 at 01:57 AM (#2952281)
I LOVE THAT DIRTY WATER... BOSTON YOUR MY HOME.

NICE RESERVED CELEBRATION FOR THE DEFENDING WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS EARNING THEIR OPPORTUNITY TO DEFEND THAT TITLE.
   43. I can out-debate Joe Biden; Nieporent said so Posted: September 24, 2008 at 02:34 AM (#2952348)
If Ricky Gervais doesn't play Hank (complete with godawful New York accent) in the movie, then I want my money back. No one else could possibly say thisridiculous #### in more of a sincere manner.
   44. akrasian Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:05 AM (#2952417)
There's an easy solution to this - the Yankees just need to move out of New York, so they can be moved to a division that better suits Hank.
   45. pkb33 Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:23 AM (#2952447)
Why would anyone listen to this clown about anything?
   46. I can out-debate Joe Biden; Nieporent said so Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:41 AM (#2952473)
John Bucigross (sp?) just read Hank's comments on Sportscenter and you could hear him barely able to sustain bursting into giggles as he did so. When a Muppet on (yank)Ees Sox Programming Network is mocking you, you know you've said something reeeeeeeaallllllly dumb.
   47. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:49 AM (#2952480)
Baseball went to a multidivision setup to create more races, rivalries and excitement.


No Hank, baseball went to a multi-divisional set-up because it was impossible to have a 12-team league that played 162 games in a fully balanced schedule.
   48. Harry Balsagne Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:30 AM (#2952504)
Let's see...unfair things which worked unfairly against the Yankees this year and caused them to unfairly not make it to the playoffs, according to Hank:

1. Interleague play
2. Injuries, one of which would never have happend if not for the unfairness of interleague play
3. The divisional playoff system

Otherwise, the Yankees would have #27 in the bag.
   49. CW Is Carving The Goddamned Turkey Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:13 AM (#2952524)
I would find it much easier to disagree with Hank reflexively if the Dodgers fan at work wasn't so aggravating. Yes, the Dodgers are likely to win the NL West. No, that doesn't make them an especially good baseball team.
   50. Hubie Brooks (Not Really) Posted: September 24, 2008 at 02:03 PM (#2952655)
I wonder if Hank saw Johan score from 1st base last night? Yes Hank, pitchers can be athletes too.
   51. Harris Posted: September 24, 2008 at 02:37 PM (#2952691)
I'm someone that defends the college football system of polls. ...The polls, despite controversy, select the right team(s) 90% of the time. A higher percentage of success than most leagues final game.


Excuse my rant....

The bowl system is a joke. It is created to maximize revenue and doesn't give a crap about a champion. Any system in which an undefeated team can't win (let alone have the opportunity to play for) a championship has a major flaw.
I honestly wish that all the non-BCS conference schools would either drop football, or refuse to play the BCS conference schools, thereby forcing them to play somewhat equivalent schedules.
You could argue that it's just a small scale playoff system, but in what other sport do you let votes and computers decide results?

The answer: crap sports that most people scoff at like diving, ice-skating, and gymnastics.
If that's the approach you use to selecting who can vie for a championship, your sport has the same level of integrity.

"oh...but there's so many voters....people never do that...not like the scandals in the olympics"

right....there's never been an instance of people knowingly screwing their direct competition in the last week so as to try and rig the system to give themselves the elite bowl instead of a more deserving team.

A complete total joke.
   52. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 24, 2008 at 02:49 PM (#2952705)
What I don't get about the BCS is that every level of football has a playoff system but Div 1 football. Pop Warner, high school, Junior College, semi-pro football, Canadian football, the town rec flag football leagues, all of them have a play off system except Div 1 football. Isn't that kind of insane?
   53. RJ in TO Posted: September 24, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2952709)
Canadian football


To be split into Canadian Pro Football, Canadian University Football, Canadian High School Football, and whatever other Canadian youth and adult leagues that are available. It can't be that hard to set up a proper playoff system, can it?
   54. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 24, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2952710)
The bowl system is a joke. It is created to maximize revenue and doesn't give a crap about a champion. Any system in which an undefeated team can't win (let alone have the opportunity to play for) a championship has a major flaw.

Any system that would have let Hawaii play for a National Championship last year when there were probably 30 better teams in the nation would have been a joke.

Isn't that kind of insane?

Yes, it is kind of insane that only Division I football is capable of putting together a system that makes every regular season game matter.
   55. Harris Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:03 PM (#2952718)
Yes, it is kind of insane that only Division I football is capable of putting together a system that makes every regular season game matter.


that's a good point. I guess they shouldn't even bother having playoffs in the other sports. Just crown the team with the best regular season the champ.

The irony here is that in college football, you play fewer games than in any other real sport, so making them count more is letting small sample size and stastical variance have a higher effect on who your champ is. If the did away with playoffs in any other sport it would make more sense than doing so in college football.
   56. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:04 PM (#2952720)
Yes, it is kind of insane that only Division I football is capable of putting together a system that makes every regular season game matter.

You have a point. I look forward to the A's and Diamondbacks squaring off in the PeopleSoft Dandelion Bowl at the end of the year.
   57. Harris Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#2952729)
I've also won two soda bets with people on the Boise State-Oklahoma matchup and the Utah-Pitt matchup.

I agree Hawaii was an unlikely team to win a national championship. The year that Utah went undefeated and got jobbed, they *could* have contended. The year Auburn (can't remember which it was) went undefeated and didn't get a shot was a complete mockery.

Rather than risk an occassional outclassed team sneaking in, lets just prevent all of them from having a shot.
Nobody rememebers the NC State shot against Houston, or Villanova over G'Town or App vs Michigan. The little guy never wins, so we can't let them try (or other people might realize they can win once in a while and then they'll get some of the money too and we can't have that...)
   58. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#2952733)
Just crown the team with the best regular season the champ.

Or, you know, have the two teams with the best regular season performance play for the championship instead of playing a long, drawn out series of games in the hopes of giving worse teams the chance to win.

The irony here is that in college football, you play fewer games than in any other real sport, so making them count more is letting small sample size and stastical variance have a higher effect on who your champ is.

Please don't bring statistical variance into this. It's irrelevant.

I look forward to the A's and Diamondbacks squaring off in the PeopleSoft Dandelion Bowl at the end of the year.

Personally, I like seeing good teams from different conferences play each other, to get a better sense of how the conferences stack up and how the teams will respond to the end of their seasons. Just because they can't win the title or they play games with ridiculous names does not mean that there's no point to it.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#2952735)
Yes, it is kind of insane that only Division I football is capable of putting together a system that makes every regular season game matter.


Bless you CP and Beano.
   60. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:19 PM (#2952741)
I agree Hawaii was an unlikely team to win a national championship. The year that Utah went undefeated and got jobbed, they *could* have contended. The year Auburn (can't remember which it was) went undefeated and didn't get a shot was a complete mockery.

Beating the crap out of a lousy, 8 win Pitt team does not mean that Utah would have stood a chance. They simply weren't that good.

The year Auburn (can't remember which it was) went undefeated and didn't get a shot was a complete mockery

That probably won't happen again. And now teams with title aspirations won't schedule four complete cupcakes as out of conference opponents.

The little guy never wins, so we can't let them try (or other people might realize they can win once in a while and then they'll get some of the money too and we can't have that...)

It's not that they can't win it, it's that they don't deserve to win it because their performance does not suggest that they're one of the two best teams in the nation.
   61. Harris Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2952744)
Personally, I like seeing good teams from different conferences play each other, to get a better sense of how the conferences stack up and how the teams will respond to the end of their seasons. Just because they can't win the title or they play games with ridiculous names does not mean that there's no point to it.


That's why they have runner up games in all the other sports too, because they're so popular.
I'm sure that some baseball games last year between The Snakes and The Indians would have drawn beautifully.

Once again...if that was the only post-season action either of those teams was permitted to play in, it would have, but MLB realizes there's a better way, and I think we're all thankful.

Please don't bring statistical variance into this. It's irrelevant.


Feel free to elaborate. It's ok for an upset in the regular season to happen and knock a team out of a championship shot, but it's not ok for it to happen in a playoff, but in college you said, the regular season matters more? I'm confused.
   62. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:21 PM (#2952746)
I'd prefer going back to the two division format. But I think its hilarious the Yankees of all-times are complaining about this.
   63. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:21 PM (#2952747)
Personally, I like seeing good teams from different conferences play each other, to get a better sense of how the conferences stack up and how the teams will respond to the end of their seasons. Just because they can't win the title or they play games with ridiculous names does not mean that there's no point to it.

They don't have to get rid of all the crap bowls to have a playoff system. ESPN will still broadcast 'em and schools will keep buying blocks of tickets to make sure the bowls can survive despite the lack of any real interest so they can get the extra practice time and recruiting exposure.
   64. Bull Pain Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:31 PM (#2952762)
The only playoff format I would be for in D-1A is one that only allows conference champions. Make Notre Dame join the Big 10 or Big East and everyone plays as many conference games as possible...preferably a full round robin conference schedule where non-conference games are played early as a warmup and have no bearing on the rest of the season other than seeding. The way I figure it, if you can't win your conference, you clearly aren't worthy of the national championship, no matter how strong you finish the year, Georgia.

There are 11 conferences right now. Having an NCAA committee seed the 11 conference winners and then play a tournament from there with the 1-3 teams getting byes would be just fine with me. Play them at home sites, neutral sites, whatever. Either way, the little team isn't completely hosed, and you don't have any crap like 2 SEC teams playing for the championship a month after they played a legit game a la that brutal FSU/Florida national title game in the 90's.

You can keep the bowl system for the other teams.

Baseball lets 8 out of 30 teams into the playoffs after a 162 game season. That's as good as pro sports are going to get. I liked the 4-team setup, but 8 isn't overkill. Any more would be.
   65. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#2952780)
That's why they have runner up games in all the other sports too, because they're so popular.

Who cares if they're popular? Bowls are good for the programs that get in them and good for the fans of the two programs.

It's ok for an upset in the regular season to happen and knock a team out of a championship shot, but it's not ok for it to happen in a playoff, but in college you said, the regular season matters more?

Because there is no playoff, the regular season is essentially a playoff, if you can navigate the season without being upset, as so few teams do, you shouldn't have to do it again. The two teams with the best regular season play for the championship. That means that every game counts.

They don't have to get rid of all the crap bowls to have a playoff system.

And how would you go about picking the playoff system? Is it any more asinine to draw the line at 4 or 8 or 16 then it is to draw it at two?

There are 11 conferences right now. Having an NCAA committee seed the 11 conference winners and then play a tournament from there with the 1-3 teams getting byes would be just fine with me.

There would be absolutely no point to having whatever teams the MAC and Sunbelt champions would be in a playoff. All a playoff like that would do is reward a team for winning it's conference, which would probably ruin the out of conference games since no team with a shot at a conference championship would have anything to gain from playing a tough out of conference game.
   66. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:49 PM (#2952785)
And how would you go about picking the playoff system? Is it any more asinine to draw the line at 4 or 8 or 16 then it is to draw it at two?

I would argue that it's LESS asinine to draw the line at 8 than to draw the line at 2. Yes.
   67. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 24, 2008 at 03:57 PM (#2952796)
I would argue that it's LESS asinine to draw the line at 8 than to draw the line at 2. Yes.

So what do you do if a team that wins a conference championship is ranked higher than a team that doesn't? Do you go by champs or rankings? Do you cap how many teams from a conference can play in it or do you just replay the SEC and Big 12 in conference games with USC and a Big Ten team mixed in? Do those two games preceding the championship game tell you any more about the teams than what the regular season tells you?
   68. Shock Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:03 PM (#2952805)
Of course he's a knob and a sore loser and also a whiner, but I do agree with him in this case. Divisions don't make sense when every team plays every team. I would love it if they'd just scrap all of them and go with two leagues, taking the best x teams from each league.
   69. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2952825)
So what do you do if a team that wins a conference championship is ranked higher than a team that doesn't? Do you go by champs or rankings? Do you cap how many teams from a conference can play in it or do you just replay the SEC and Big 12 in conference games with USC and a Big Ten team mixed in? Do those two games preceding the championship game tell you any more about the teams than what the regular season tells you?

You're not going to find perfection, but coming up with the best 8 or 12 or 16 teams or whatever and letting them decide things on the field is better than trying to decide the best 2. The major conference champs, plus one non-BCS conference champ, plus a couple of at large bids. There ya go. Nothing will ever be perfect, but if a team gets through that gauntlet, then no one can deny they are the champs. And if a team can't get into that field, then they really have no reason to cry.
   70. Meatwad needs baseball Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:14 PM (#2952829)
bullpain, you cant force notre dame to join a confrence just aint gonna happen.

oh and the rays have sold out the first 2 games for the alds i guess people are going to come after all
   71. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:23 PM (#2952840)
rays have sold out the first 2 games for the alds

Do you know what capacity is going to be for the playoffs? The place can hold over 45K, but they've closed off a bunch of seats the last two years, dropping it down to just barely 36K. If they've already sold out 36,000 tickets, maybe they should consider opening up a few more seats. I'd rather have the extra cash than the right to brag about a "sellout."
   72. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:31 PM (#2952852)
but if a team gets through that gauntlet, then no one can deny they are the champs.

Of course people will, this is college football we're talking about. Throw that many good teams in a tournament together and there will be injuries and bad officiating a plenty. Close games will be decided by questionable happenings and the second a two win teams wins out, all the fans of the no loss or one win teams will cry out about how they didn't deserve to be there.

I don't see a playoff as any more likely to crown the best team champion than the current system. In fact I find it less likely, what it will add is more variance to who wins the championship, which could be something you favor, but something I'm not particularly interested in when it comes to college football. I have no interest in giving second chances to the teams that falter. I like the bowls, I like that some teams will never be able to win, I like that my own team, the Huskies, are essentially out of it before the season starts, I like the current system. No amount of crying unfair is likely to change my mind and I suspect many college fans (and almost all the schools) feel that way. It's different, which is nice once in a while.
   73. Harris Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:33 PM (#2952856)
Beating the crap out of a lousy, 8 win Pitt team does not mean that Utah would have stood a chance. They simply weren't that good.


I guess that means a real title contender would've beaten them by a lot more, say 143 points?

And don't you dare even try asserting that Pitt didn't try because it 'wasn't an important' game.
If it's not important, guess what would make it important....if it were a playoff.
   74. Bull Pain Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:53 PM (#2952884)
There would be absolutely no point to having whatever teams the MAC and Sunbelt champions would be in a playoff. All a playoff like that would do is reward a team for winning it's conference, which would probably ruin the out of conference games since no team with a shot at a conference championship would have anything to gain from playing a tough out of conference game.


Non-conference is overrated anyway. Nobody plays more than one challenging game anymore unless they accidentally scheduled a new-found team on the rise. The mid-range BCS conference teams might not play any so they might sneak into a bowl game after going 2-6 in conference. There's more money for Indiana to play 8 home games and maybe get into the Motor City Bowl than for them to risk a loss just to prove they could beat a name team. Even LSU has no BCS teams non-conference this year. I'm willing to sacrifice the occasional USC-OSU or Alabama/Clemson for another 2-3 conference games so we get games like Nebraska-Oklahoma or Florida-Alabama every year and the Big 10 doesn't have to guess who their champion is when two teams tie and didn't play each other.

Honestly, I'd just as rather the MAC/Sun Belt type schools that can't draw 20,000 and play 3+ road non-conference games just for the guaranteed money drop to 1-AA/FCS. They serve no purpose.
   75. Harris Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:02 PM (#2952893)
Non-conference is overrated anyway. Nobody plays more than one challenging game anymore unless they accidentally scheduled a new-found team on the rise. The mid-range BCS conference teams might not play any so they might sneak into a bowl game after going 2-6 in conference. There's more money for Indiana to play 8 home games and maybe get into the Motor City Bowl than for them to risk a loss just to prove they could beat a name team.


This is why I think they should not play BCS schools. If they're effectively black balled from the big $ bowl games, they shouldn't capitulate easy wins for the big boys.
   76. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:09 PM (#2952905)
The bowl system is a joke.


Who said anything about the Bowl system?
   77. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:10 PM (#2952906)
Isn't that kind of insane?

Yes, it is kind of insane that only Division I football is capable of putting together a system that makes every regular season game matter.


Wow! I'm a huge Cowboy Popup fan.
   78. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:15 PM (#2952910)
The irony here is that in college football, you play fewer games than in any other real sport, so making them count more is letting small sample size and stastical variance have a higher effect on who your champ is.


It is this notion that somehow, it is man's destiny to determine the "right" champion of its sports. You invoke sample size and statistical variance, come on, give me a break. Do you think for 1 second the NY Giants were the best NFL team last year? nobody thinks that. Do I have a problem with the way the NFL determines its champ? No, not really.

But I do have a problem with this idea that the NFL has the "right" champion, the pure champion, the deserving champion. When in fact, its champion last year, and many years for that matter, is clearly not the BEST champion. Yet, all I get is talk about finding the "right" champion and how the NFL is great at it. It is? No, it is not any better than college football's method.
   79. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:15 PM (#2952911)
I honestly wish that all the non-BCS conference schools would either drop football, or refuse to play the BCS conference schools, thereby forcing them to play somewhat equivalent schedules.

I honestly wish the NFL would just create a minor league system and avoid all the hypocrisy involved in college football.
   80. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:19 PM (#2952919)
Almost every single sports league has a method for widdling down its season into a final game between 2 teams. This is something, nearly every single team sports league has in common.

I submit that college football has pitted the 2 most deserving and best teams together in that final game, more often (way more often) than any other major team sports league in the US.

Every damn game matters in college football.
   81. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:31 PM (#2952941)
Just because they can't win the title or they play games with ridiculous names does not mean that there's no point to it.


It does for water cooler sports fans. See, the casual fan, the fan that likes the NFL, or starts to follow college football a little in late October needs cliffs notes for college football. The problem is, if you are not following College Football closely in Sept, if you are not aware that Cal beat Tennessee, or LSU needed a last second play to beat Arizona State, you can't possibly understand all that you need to know in order to GET IT. To really understand it.

College Football is beautiful in that more than just about any sport, its fans are hardcore. There are relatively few casual fans of college football, compared to the major team sports. Most of the casual college football fans are NFL fans that are bored on Saturday. These are the types that just don't GET IT.

These casual NFL types, seek to make College Football into a farm league, something more familiar, more recognizable to suit their limited football knowledge. NFL fans are really the scrooge of college football, they are out to destroy the traditions and pageantry of the game. They are simply jealous that College Football is filled with more authentic passion, history and tradition. They know the NFL is soulless and empty.

It is not my problem that you did not start following college football at the beginning, now you want cliffs notes, you need a familiar bracket to aide your discussions with other water cooler sports fans at the office water cooler.
   82. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:34 PM (#2952947)
It is not my problem that you did not start following college football at the beginning, now you want cliffs notes, you need a familiar bracket to aide your discussions with other water cooler sports fans at the office water cooler.

Are you referring to me here, Beano? Because if you are, you really know nothing about me and are talking out your ass.
   83. Gaelan Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#2952949)
The idea that the college system selects the most deserving teams is preposterous. Every year there are four or five almost identical teams and every year they arbitrarily choose two of them to play against each other to crown their imaginary championship.

Furthermore it is an outright lie that in college football every game counts. Every year we get multiple powerhouses with one loss at the door. What separates those teams? It certainly isn't how they did in the games since they did the same. So what really happens is that after the fact a bunch of people decide which games actually counted--or worse a computer decides. Either way it is manifestly not true that every game counts.

If you went to a small playoff system you would still have all the drama of the regular season in which every game counted without the arbitrary decision after the fact of which games actually counted.

College football is the only sport in the history of time that is not settled on the field. It is a disgrace.
   84. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#2952954)
And don't you dare even try asserting that Pitt didn't try because it 'wasn't an important' game.

I won't. Pitt wasn't very good, there were 4 8 win teams in the all of a sudden very weak Big East that year and Pitt won on tie breakers. Utah was really good. Utah beat them because they were better. But they weren't going to beat any of the championship teams that came out of the stronger BCS conferences that year.

Nobody plays more than one challenging game anymore unless they accidentally scheduled a new-found team on the rise.

Not true. Penn State would have, except Oregon State and Syracuse are in the crapper now, years after they scheduled them. USC scheduled UVA, which was a 9 win team last year, and Ohio St. WVU scheduled ECU, a good non BCS team, Colorado, and Auburn this year. The entire Pac 10 plays tough games out of conference. Some teams don't, but plenty do. It depends on what they feel they need to prove.

This is why I think they should not play BCS schools. If they're effectively black balled from the big $ bowl games, they shouldn't capitulate easy wins for the big boys.

This is a strange thing to say considering how much more even the playing field has gotten for non-BCS teams in recent years. One, they get a ton of money for these games. Two, they get a chance to see how they match up against truly great programs. It's tough to shoot for something without knowing what it looks like. Three, it gets them recognition and TV time, which helps for recruiting. A non-BCS team will make a BCS bowl this year. There's an outside shot two could. And that looks like it will be the state of College football for a while. Boise State is looking like a perennial top 25 power. Fresno State, ECU, Utah, and BYU look like they'll hang around the rankings for a while. UNLV, Southern Miss, and Central all have potential and are capable of making a run if things break their way one year.
   85. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:40 PM (#2952959)
I honestly wish the NFL would just create a minor league system and avoid all the hypocrisy involved in college football.


Wow! Was I right, or was I RIGHT?!?!

These casual NFL types, seek to make College Football into a farm league, something more familiar, more recognizable to suit their limited football knowledge. NFL fans are really the scrooge of college football, they are out to destroy the traditions and pageantry of the game. They are simply jealous that College Football is filled with more authentic passion, history and tradition. They know the NFL is soulless and empty.


If the SEC moved its games to SUNDAY, the NFL would be destroyed.
   86. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:40 PM (#2952960)
If you went to a small playoff system you would still have all the drama of the regular season in which every game counted without the arbitrary decision after the fact of which games actually counted.


No you wouldn't. You'd have all the drama of the NFL regular season, which is to say very little.
   87. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:42 PM (#2952967)
Are you referring to me here, Beano? Because if you are, you really know nothing about me and are talking out your ass.


No shooty, you are paranoid, I'm not specifically referring to you. I'm referring to the casual college football fan that is an NFL fan first.
   88. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#2952973)
No shooty, you are paranoid, I'm not specifically referring to you. I'm referring to the casual college football fan that is an NFL fan first.

OK cool. CP made that point in rebuttal to me so I was suspicious. I would disagree with your point that only casual NCAA fans want to see a playoff. I think a lot more than that do, especially SEC fans who always think they have at least 4 national title teams in the league.
   89. Gaelan Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:46 PM (#2952979)
I should add the following qualification, having read Beano's most recent post. College football is not a disgrace--I love college football for many of the reason's Beano mentions. What is a disgrace is the BCS which is like most hybrid compromises is awful. I was fine with the old system. No true champion but who cares--New Year's Day is the best day of the year. The BCS, on the other hand, is awful. It creates the mirage of a champion while doing nothing of the sort and ruining the tradition along the way. The BCS is the worst of all possible worlds. Now that we are down that road it is time for a small playoff in order to avoid the continual travesty of the wrong teams playing in the championship game.
   90. Harris Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#2952984)
College Football is beautiful in that more than just about any sport, its fans are hardcore. There are relatively few casual fans of college football, compared to the major team sports. Most of the casual college football fans are NFL fans that are bored on Saturday. These are the types that just don't GET IT.


I'm sure that Auburn team that got screwed understands and respects the system, especially considering how hard core they are.

And the reason they got boned was because they were too far back in the pre-season guesstimates of how good everybody was. The two teams slated ahead of them didn't lose either, and started out higher in the polls.

Joke.

Total Joke.

(for the record...I'm a UNC alum. Our program isn't very good, it's had it's moments, but its not top tier. I fully recognize opening up to a 8,12,16 team format would have resulted in 0 invitations issued to UNC in the past 10 years. The assinine system just really bugs me, especially for those of you who argue that it's about anything but $.)
   91. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:51 PM (#2952987)
If you went to a small playoff system you would still have all the drama of the regular season in which every game counted without the arbitrary decision after the fact of which games actually counted.


Galen is an NFL fan. So I'll go easy on you and S-L-O-W.

Ohio State v Michigan in 2006. Final game of the season. Great game! Both teams 11-0. Top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines 42-39. This loss cost Michigan a shot at the BCS Championship. Florida took over #2 in BCS. This game meant everything.

Read this article, from the Onion no less, showing you what this game would have been like had there been a 4 team playoff after this game. Top notch spoof/article.
Had there been even a 4-team playoff. Game meaningless.

Had their been a 4 team playoff, Michigan would have still been invited despite loss. Instead, Michigan was OUT and Florida was IN. Florida did what Michigan couldn't, they beat Ohio State to win the Championship.

This type of game occurs all of the time in college football. Sometimes in September too.
   92. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:59 PM (#2952996)
I would disagree with your point that only casual NCAA fans want to see a playoff. I think a lot more than that do, especially SEC fans who always think they have at least 4 national title teams in the league.


I agree with you that it is indeed more than a casual fan. Your point about the SEC is right, many fans there think they would dominate a playoff. And Galen is a college fan too, but wants a playoff. Yes they exist. But I put square blame on NFL fans and casual fans for having other motivations and jealously and trying to destroy college.

The farm league comment made before was spot on for an NFL fan.
   93. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 06:00 PM (#2952997)
What is a disgrace is the BCS which is like most hybrid compromises is awful. I was fine with the old system. No true champion but who cares--New Year's Day is the best day of the year.


I 100% agree with this.

Okay, so you are not SLOW and not an NFL fan. You GET IT.
   94. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2008 at 06:02 PM (#2953000)
I'm sure that Auburn team that got screwed understands and respects the system, especially considering how hard core they are.

And the reason they got boned was because they were too far back in the pre-season guesstimates of how good everybody was. The two teams slated ahead of them didn't lose either, and started out higher in the polls.


Before Auburn complains about its screw job, it probably should have thought about a non-conference slate that was a little stiffer than three home dates with The Citadel and the Louisiana double dip of Monroe and Tech.

Oklahoma at least took on Oregon and USC had a non-conference schedule that featured Va. Tech, Notre Dame, BYU and Colorado State.
   95. BeanoCook Posted: September 24, 2008 at 06:08 PM (#2953009)
I'm sure that Auburn team that got screwed understands and respects the system, especially considering how hard core they are.

And the reason they got boned was because they were too far back in the pre-season guesstimates of how good everybody was. The two teams slated ahead of them didn't lose either, and started out higher in the polls.


This is perhaps the only flaw, outside of BYU in 1984, made by the college football system. Auburn, not OU should have been playing USC. But this is the only season in the past 25 that ended like this. Where we had 3 undefeated teams. I have much less, in fact, no sympathy for multiple teams with 1 or 2 losses. But undefeated teams of the SEC do deserve a shot.

Still, one time in decades. 3 undefeated teams finishing undefeated in college football has only happened 3 times EVER. You don't add a playoff just for that.

Do you have a PLUS 1 after these games? Hell no. That would be criminal, to make Texas have to then play a 1 loss Ohio State in 2004.
Texas v USC (only 2 undefeated teams, 19 game and 34 game winning streaks respectively)
Miami v Ohio State (only 2 undefeated teams)
Florida State v Oklahoma (only 2 undefeated teams)
etc...on and on.. When will the NFL get 2 undefeated teams to square off for the championship? That's what I thought.
   96. Gaelan Posted: September 24, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#2953035)
No you wouldn't. You'd have all the drama of the NFL regular season, which is to say very little.


That's crazy. A 9-7 team can win the Superbowl. That would still be impossible in college football. If you made sure there was a stipulation that you had to win your conference to be eligible then a playoff would increase the meaning of the regular season. As it stands you have no idea whether any game will really matter since winning isn't enough.
   97. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2008 at 06:35 PM (#2953040)
That's crazy. A 9-7 team can win the Superbowl. That would still be impossible in college football. If you made sure there was a stipulation that you had to win your conference to be eligible then a playoff would increase the meaning of the regular season. As it stands you have no idea whether any game will really matter since winning isn't enough.


OK overstated. But still true. For the teams with national championship aspirations, every game has the potential to knock them out of the running (you never really know). Automatically include conference champions, and you could be confident that a loss, or even two, could still be overcome .
   98. Gaelan Posted: September 24, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#2953046)
Ohio State v Michigan in 2006. Final game of the season. Great game! Both teams 11-0. Top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines 42-39. This loss cost Michigan a shot at the BCS Championship. Florida took over #2 in BCS. This game meant everything.


If you limited the playoff to one team per conference then the game would be exactly as important and would have achieved exactly the same result.

I'd be in favour of a four team playoff. The champion of the Pac-10, Big 12 and SEC get in plus one of the ACC, Big 10 and Big East, conferences that are clearly a step below. What conferences gained automatic berths would be subject to change depending upon how teams do in playoff and Bowl games.

I'd be ok with eight teams also but still only conference champions allowed. Sure the #2 team in the SEC is probably one of the top five teams in the country but we know for sure that they aren't #1 so they have already lost their spot on the field--which is the whole point. Still the four team playoff tied to conference standings would be the best system.
   99. Gaelan Posted: September 24, 2008 at 06:44 PM (#2953050)
Automatically include conference champions, and you could be confident that a loss, or even two, could still be overcome .


That's true right now. The difference is which one loss team makes it is decided arbitrarily. Hell LSU had two losses and they were still deemed good enough. On what planet did those two losses matter? The answer is that they didn't matter and not because LSU was good enough to overcome them, but rather because Pittsburg beat West Virginia and a whole bunch of ancillary stuff happened.
   100. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2008 at 06:52 PM (#2953060)
That's true right now. The difference is which one loss team makes it is decided arbitrarily. Hell LSU had two losses and they were still deemed good enough. On what planet did those two losses matter? The answer is that they didn't matter and not because LSU was good enough to overcome them, but rather because Pittsburg beat West Virginia and a whole bunch of ancillary stuff happened.


No. LSU could not possibly have been confident that they would still be playing in the National championship game after loss No. 2 last year. But under your scenario, the loss to Arkansas in the penultimate game of the regular season not only could have been overcome, but that contest was meaningless before kickoff. LSU was in the SEC Championship game regardless of the outcome.
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