Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bon Voyage

I'll be back in a week. Just in time for the playoffs. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Parisian Picks

A little early, but wanted to get the last week in, before I'm off to France.

Redskins +2.5 over Giants
Bills +9 over Ravens
Bears -2.5 over Packers
Steelers +6 over Bengals
Lions +12.5 over Cowboys
Texans -4 over Browns
Dolphins +9 over Colts
Chiefs -2 over Jags
Rams -1.5 over Vikes
Raiders +13 over Jets
Falcons +7.5 over Eagles
Seahawks +3 over Bucs
Pats +3 over Titans
Broncos -10.5 over 49ers
Cardinals +14 over Bolts

Week 16 Recap: Only One Week Left

Week 16
Dave: 11-5 = Up $120
Mark: no picks
Sports Guy: 8-7-1 = Up $20
Sports Gal: 8-7-1 = Up $20

On the Season
Dave: 119-121 = Down $40
Mark: 90-103 = Down $260
Sports Guy: 119-114-7 = Up $100
Sports Gal: 122-111-7 = Up $220

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Importance of the Bye Week

And I'm not talking about the bye week that comes in week 3, I'm talking about playoffs! The goal for teams is usually just to make the playoffs, hopefully by winning the division. But my guess is that if you really want to make it to the Super Bowl, being the #1 or #2 seed and getting the bye is really advantageous. But how much so? Last year the Steelers proved you can win it all by being a wild-card team. Let's find out how important a playoff bye really is.

In 1990 the playoffs expanded to 12 teams, and is the beginning of the modern format, and our analysis of the bye weeks.

There are 16 years to study, meaning 32 Super Bowl teams. Here's the breakdown by seed:

#1 seed: 16 appearances, 8 winners
#2 seed: 10 appearances, 5 winners
#3 seed: 1 appearance, 0 winners
#4 seed: 3 appearances, 2 winners
#5 seed: 0 appearances, 0 winners
#6 seed: 1 appearance, 1 winner

  • The odds of a Super Bowl team or Super Bowl winner having a playoff bye is 81.25%.
  • The #2 seed has fared much better than the #3 seed, despite that the difference could come down to a tiebreaker.
  • All 3 of the #4 seeds to advance to the Super Bowl were Wild Card teams, as they occured before the NFL switched to the 4 division lineup in 2002. The winners were the 2000 Ravens and the 1997 Broncos. The loser, 1992 Buffalo, which only made it to the Super Bowl because of "The Comeback" against the Oilers.
  • The only other Wild Card team to make it to the Super Bowl -- the 2005 Steelers. That makes Wild Card teams 3 out of 4 when playing in the Super Bowl.
  • The only divisional winner to make the Super Bowl without getting a bye -- the 2003 Panthers.

There have been 64 teams that got playoff byes. 26 of them made it to the Super Bowl. 40.625% success rate.
There have been 40 divisional winners that didn't get byes. 1 of them made it to the Super Bowl. 2.5% success rate.
There have been 88 wild card teams. 4 of them have made it to the Super Bowl. 4.55% success rate.

Overall, only 2 of the 12 playoff teams can make it. A 16.66% rate.

Clearly, it's not good enough to win your division. You have to go out and get that bye. The numbers are even more impressive than I thought they would be.

What I'm All About

In this world of sports blogging, that's become all the rage, you can expect to find certain things. You'll find a fair amount of recapping games with the blogger's reactions. I suppose I do a fair bit of that, but that's not my bread and butter. And you're bound to find lots of predictions, which I plead "no contest" to. And apparently, people like to compare teams or athletes to certain things in pop culture, for example Simpsons characters. I never saw the point of this, and I don't think I ever will.

The posts that I find I'm most proud of, usually fall in to one of three categories:

1. Offbeat or philisphical writing that at times has only a vague or non-existent connection to sports
(examples: here, here and here)
2. Ideas and strategies that I think would work
(examples: here, here, here, here, and here)
3. In-depth analysis using personally gathered, real statistics
(examples: here, here, and here)

Sure I love to throw in some filler youtube clips or talk about how the Chiefs are letting me down, but it's these 3 categories that I think make my little site here a little different than what else is out there.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

What Chocolate Covered Pretzels Reveal About Life

I love chocolate. Especially a good bar of real, dark chocolate. But what makes chocolate taste even better. Putting it on a pretzel. The combination of sweet and salty. Put them together and they are even better than they are separate.

It's just like everything else in the world. Everything is better with balance. Football wouldn't be as great if it was played 12 months of the year. For most people spending time with their family is the best thing in the world, and yet everyone needs a little time alone. The salty makes the sweet taste even better.

As the holidays are approaching, we should all remember to enjoy the sweetness of the season, and take time to reflect on any saltiness that you've experienced. Happy Holidays.

Happy Holidays Picks

Packers -3.5 over Vikings
Raiders +6.5 over Chiefs
Falcons -5.5 over Panthers
Bears -4.5 over Lions
Pats +2.5 over Jags
Saints +2.5 over Giants
Texans +9.5 over Colts
Rams -2.5 over Redskins
Ravens +3.5 over Steelers
Bucs +2.5 over Browns
Titans +4.5 over Bills
Niners -4.5 over Cards
Bengals +2.5 over Broncos
Chargers -4.5 over Seahawks
Eagles +6.5 over Cowboys
Jets +2.5 over Dolphins

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Week 15: Watch Out!

Week 15
Dave: 9-7 = Up $40
Mark: 11-5 = Up $120
Sports Guy: 6-10 = Down $80
Sports Gal: 8-8 = Even

On the Season
Dave: 108-116 = Down $160
Mark: 90-103 = Down $260
Sports Guy: 111-107-6 = Up $80
Sports Gal: 114-104-6 = Up $200

Friday, December 15, 2006

Favorites and Dogs

I would love to do a league wide analysis, but that would take forever. So lets just look at the Chiefs and see how they do when favored, and when not.

-2.5 vs Bengals. Bengals win by 13. Chiefs were favorite and lost game.
+10.5 at Broncos. Broncos win by 3. Chiefs were underdog, lost, and covered.
-7 vs 49ers. Chiefs win by 41. Chiefs were favorite and won and covered.
-3.5 at Cardinals. Chiefs win by 3. Chiefs were favorite and won, but did not cover.
+6.5 at Steelers. Steelers win by 38. Chiefs were underdog, lost, and did not cover.
+5.5 vs Chargers. Chiefs win by 3. Chiefs were underdog and won game.
-5.5 vs Seahawks. Chiefs win by 7. Chiefs were favorite and won and covered.
+2.5 at Rams. Chiefs win by 14. Chiefs were underdog and won game.
-3.5 at Dolphins. Dolphins win by 3. Chiefs were favorite and lost game.
-11 vs Raiders. Chiefs win by 3. Chiefs were favorite and won, but did not cover.
+1 vs Broncos. Chiefs win by 9. Chiefs were underdog and won game.
-5 at Browns. Browns win by 3. Chiefs were favorite and lost game.
-1.5 vs Ravens. Ravens win by 10. Chiefs were favorite and lost game.

Of the 13 games they have played so far:

8 times the Chiefs were favorites.
  • 4 times they lost.
  • 2 times they won and covered.
  • 2 times they won but did not cover.
So that makes them 2-6 ATS as a favorite.

5 times the Chiefs were dogs
  • 3 times they won.
  • 1 time they lost and covered
  • 1 time they lost and did not cover.
That makes them 4-1 ATS as a dog.

In only 3 out of 13 games did the spread come into play. (+10.5 at Broncos, -3.5 at Cardinals, -11 vs Raiders)
Also, and the biggest note for gamblers, in Chiefs games, the underdog is 10-3 ATS. If you bet $20 on the underdog in Chiefs games every week, you would be up $140.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It Is What It Is

It's easier to fix the BCS than it is to fix what's going on in Darfur. I can spit out what's wrong with soccer and hockey and I have no idea how to really solve what's wrong in Iraq. It's fun to hypothesize about playoff pictures, and agonizing to look at pictures of world poverty.

I spend so much time thinking about trivial things...and sometimes I have observations without an agenda or a thesis. It is what it is.

The Best Of 2005/2006

You know the drill: They say it's going to be a new episode, but it's just a clip show some rookie editor slapped together. Well, this collection of writing really took hold at the start of the 2005 NFL season, and 258 posts later, I think I can find at least 10 good posts. So here's my holiday clip show, my top ten list, or the best 3.88% that I have to offer.

#10. Pardon the Interruption, but I'm Smarter than Mark

If only for the Photoshop job.

#9. Introducing the 9 Day Week

Perhaps the first of my many suggestions for fixing the world.

#8. The Gaucho Way of Preparing Meat

A recap of a meatravaganza!

#7. The Greatest Game Ever Played

A tribute to gutsy coaching of Dick Vermeil and the 2005 Chiefs.

#6. Six Degrees of Kyle Orton

A serious look at NFL quarterbacks.

#5. Why I Married a Vegetarian

A semi-serious cost benefit analysis of marrying someone who doesn't eat meat.

#4. You Must Be Fucking With Me

A satiric look at how Blockbuster patronizes me.

#3. How Far We've Come

A personal timeline of football video games.

#2. Here's what a BCS Playoff would look like

How I solved one of the biggest problem in sports.

#1. Buying a Cow

"Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?"

This is why I don't ever eat fruits or vegetables

First it was spinach, then scallions, now the FDA says that lettuce is the probable cause of the Taco Bell E. coli outbreak. You know what doesn't have lettuce? The delicious Chicken Enchilada Stuft Burrito. Mmm.

Week 15 Picks

Niners +9.5 over Seahawks
Cowboys -3.5 over Falcons
Ravens -11.5 over Browns
Saints -9.5 over Redskins
Bills -1.5 over Dolphins
Bears -13.5 over Bucs
Titans +3.5 over Jags
Jets +3.5 over Vikings
Patriots -11.5 over Texans
Packers -5.5 over Lions
Steelers -2.5 over Panthers
Cardinals +2.5 over Broncos
Rams +1.5 over Raiders
Giants -5.5 over Eagles
Chiefs +8.5 over Chargers
Bengals +3.5 over Colts

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Parallel Reality

The Rams should have had 1st and 10 on the Bears 23 with 35 seconds left in the first half, trailing 13-14.

Instead, the refs kept the clock moving after Bruce ran out of bounds, forcing the Rams to spike the ball. Now they had 2nd and 10, with 20 seconds remaining. A penalty ensued, and the Rams missed a long field goal: halftime score Bears 14, Rams 13.

But under the first scenario, their playcalling would have been different, and who knows if they would have scored a touchdown or a field goal, but any score would be likely.

That would mean that the Rams would have more momentum and the lead, when they get the ball in the second half. Now the 2nd half that actually happened would never have existed.

Just like in Back to the Future, there is no way to predict what would happen next, but it's probable that the game wouldn't have unfolded the way it did.

Outcoached and Oversaturation

There has been a heavy anti-ESPN backlash recently, and for the most part, I have been supportive of the Network/Website. I think they still do a lot of stuff right, and I can't say that it would be easy to do what they do. But their worst offense maybe their over saturation of Monday Night Football, which is in its first year on ESPN. The entire day of Monday is devoted to that night's game, including updates on the teams every 20 minutes! And just moments after NBC's Sunday night showdown between the Saints and Cowboys, I turned to ESPNews for highlights. Instead, they are already previewing the Monday night game. Enough is enough.

Furthermore, if it's not MNF, they reiterate the same stories over and over when there isn't anything new to report. How many days can they lead with "no word yet on where Iverson will go"? And yet, despite how much sports coverage I get, I haven't heard anything talking about one of the gutsiest calls, in the middle of a complete example of outcoaching.

The call -- an onside kick with the Saints leading 35-17. They've got all the momentum in the world in the 3rd quarter. Kick away and there should be no problem to hold on to win. But an onside kick? Recovering it would really seal the deal, but lose it, and give them great field position? The cowboys could cut it to a 11-point game in the 3rd quarter and regain some momentum. The risk doesn't seem to be worth the reward.

But Payton was confident that he could catch the Cowboys sleeping, and recover the kick easily. They did. And would score on the drive. How come no one in media is praising his coaching call? They would be ready to rant and rave, if they lost that kick and it backfired. So how come the media prefers to attack instead of praise?

And you know what, that wasn't the coaching call that made me say "I really like this coach."

Earlier in the game, down 0-7, Saints had a 4th and 1 from the DAL39. They called a reverse using Bush as a decoy. Risky play, but it worked.

Payton outcoached Parcells, yet Parcells couldn't admit it. Here are his quotes after the game:

"We took a bad beating tonight," Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells said. "We got beat in about every way possible. They really outplayed us and kept us off balance. They did a good job and we didn't play well. That was a pretty good licking and I can't think of anything that we really did well."

Why is outcoached a dirty word? Players get outplayed and coaches get outcoached. It happens. Just about every game. It doesn't mean you're a bad player or a bad coach. It just happens. So admit it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"What's his name?" "How much time is left?" and other quotes heard at a 60's football game

Sure there was no two-point conversion or instant replay, but what else was different about football in the 60's?

For starters, the goalposts were conveniently in the field of play. And there were no names on players jerseys. As for the game time? That was kept on the field, and not displayed to the crowd. Penalty flags were white until 1965. And before 1965, no one was a soccer-style kicker. And there weren't any regulations on jersey numbers based on positions. There wasn't any overtime in the regular season, and kickoffs were from the 40-yard line. And referees didn't get wireless microphones until 1975.

And I hope you lived in one of these cities, because there were only 16 teams, half of the current league:

Atlanta Falcons
Chicago Bears
Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Rams
Minnesota Vikings
New Orleans Saints
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers
Washington Redskins
Cleveland Browns*
Pittsburgh Steelers*
Baltimore Colts*

*Pre-merger NFL teams that went to the AFC. Note this cities' teams feel more like the smashmouth feel of the NFC.

By the way, of the original 14 franchise from 1920, how many are still active?


Chicago Bears (originally from Decatur) and
Arizona Cardinals (originally from Chicago, via St. Louis)

Also, the "head slap" was outlawed in 1977. So, I guess the 60's was a headslapping free-for-all.

Week 14 Recap: I'm running out of time

Week 14
Dave: 8-8 = Even
Mark: 1-0 = Up $20
Sports Guy: 12-4 = Up $160
Sports Gal: 9-7 = Up $40

On the Season
Dave: 99-109 = Down $200
Mark: 79-98 = Down $380
Sports Guy: 105-97-6 = Up $160
Sports Gal: 106-96-6 = Up $200

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Week 14 Picks: So I'm down 10 games, carry the one, and...

Steelers -9.5 over Browns
Jags +2.5 over Colts
Titans -1.5 over Texans
Chiefs -1.5 over Ravens
Bengals -10.5 over Raiders
Redskins +1.5 over Eagles
Vikings +2.5 over Lions
Patriots -3.5 over Dolphins
Giants +2.5 over Panthers
Bucs +3.5 over Falcons
Seahawks -3.5 over Cardinals
49ers -5.5 over Packers
Jets -4.5 over Bills
Broncos +7.5 over Chargers
Saints +6.5 over Cowboys
Bears -6.5 over Rams

AFC Wildcard Spots: Tigers and Airplanes

I haven't had the motivation to really go into this indepth, but I'm fairly sure that the 2 AFC spots will go to the Bengals and Jets.

Denver is behind the Chiefs in a tiebreaker, and have a rookie QB. I think they'll lose to the Chargers this week, and then they would need to win their remaining 3 games, and have the Chiefs only win 2 out of their remaining 4. If the Broncos do win this week against San Diego, that opens things up quite a bit.

The Jags have the toughest schedule, and have trouble winning on the road. Won't really be in it. And they'll lose to the Chiefs in their last game, so they don't have any shot anyways.

The Bengals are playing the best right now, and will likely be in without a worry.

Jets and the Chiefs.
The Jets have the easiest schedule and would own the conference tiebreaker, so all they would have to do is match the Chiefs win for win, and they're in. But they are the Jets, so 2 losses even against sorry teams isn't impossible.

The Chiefs really need to play well and get help. They would likely own the tiebreaker over the Broncos, but would lose to the rest of the conference. So they need to win at least 3 of 4, and hope the Jets or Bengals lose 2. Otherwise, they need to win all 4 games. They can beat the Ravens at home, but the Chargers on the road? And the Raiders always play the Chiefs tough.

I think the Chiefs could win 3 of 4, but I bet the Jets and Bengals can do that too.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

rose bowl image dump


 BabyFruit Ticker

Fantasy Football Champions

This post is merely to serve as a reminder to the future when we all forget who won what year. I'm not 100% sure this is right, but this is what we think. (Also, I don't feel bad for Burnsy who won fantasy survivor and I'm pretty sure he won some March Madness money, too.)

So this means that Mark is on an active 3-peat for regular season. And he's won something every year. Ugh.

03 Regular Season: Dave
03 Playoffs: Mark

04 Regular Season: Mark
04 Playoffs: Dave

05 Regular Season: Mark
05 Playoffs: Matt

06 Regular Season: Mark
06 Playoffs: Mark

More Mora

Broncos Fan Gets Two-Month Old Baby Drunk

The mother of the child mixed baby formula with vodka, instead of water. The baby had a blood alcohol level of .364. The Jay Cutler era has begun!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Should we really have a BCS playoffs?

Isiah to Nate Robinson: "Do that thing that took you 20 tries to do last year. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about."

For the Knicks, every game has that exciting, exhibition slam dunk contest kinda feel to it.

Worst Picks Ever: Week 13

Week 13
Dave: 4-12 = Down $160
Mark: 9-7 = Up $40
Sports Guy: 9-7 = Up $40
Sports Gal: 8-8 = Even

On the Season
Dave: 91-101 = Down $200
Mark: 78-98 = Down $400
Sports Guy: 93-93-6 = Even
Sports Gal: 97-89-6 = Up $160

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Sanctity of the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

I'm not that old, and I still remember when Bowl games had real names. Here's a list of Bowls that are still active, although you wouldn't know it by the current name.

(I haven't included bowls like Pacific Life Holiday, as Holiday is still in the title.)

California (Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas)
Copper (Insight)
Sunshine Classic (Champs Sports)
Peach (Chick-fil-a)
Humanitarian (MPC Computers)
Hall of Fame (Outback)
Citrus (Capital One)

I understand Bowls need sponsors, but at least keep the original name. Especially the Peach Bowl. That was a nice Bowl. I mean, peaches can be put in bowls, creating nice double entendre imagery. But no, now it's just the Chick-fil-a bowl.

And the Copper Bowl was badass. Not so much now.

Also, they're creating new bowls from scratch, with just a sponsor's name, and no other name. For example, Bowl. Honestly, they couldn't just call it the Papa John's Bowl? They just had to get in .com. Assholes.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Here's what a College Football Playoff would really look like

Here's a recap of what my 8-team playoff is and how it would look this year:
  • The 8 teams selected include the conference champion from each of the six BCS conferences plus the 2 others ("at-large" selections) that are highest remaining in the BCS standings.
  • I've heard the extra game argument. Now every team is currently playing 12 games. So we reduce to season back to 11. Then there will be 4 quarterfinal teams than only play 12 games in a season--so the only teams that will actually be playing more games they do now will be the Final Four.
  • The 4 BCS Bowls would rotate between the matchups in a 4 year pattern so that once every 4 years, each BCS Bowl would occupy each position.
  • We keep all the other Bowl games, and play them and their normal times. There will be 6 less bowl teams, as the final 3 bowl games in the playoffs will be teams playing in multiple bowls.
  • I contemplated giving the at large teams #7 and #8, but that wouldn't work. Winning your conference gets you in the playoffs, but no guarantees of seeding.
  • What about Boise State? Or Wisconsin? Well, they didn't win a BCS conference, and the top 2 at-large berths were taken by Michigan and LSU. If you think that Boise State deserves a shot, do you really think they are better than Michigan or LSU?

Sat, Dec. 23rd

Cotton Bowl
(#4 LSU vs #5 USC)

Gator Bowl
(#3 Michigan vs #6 Louisville)

Fiesta Bowl
(#2 Florida vs #7 Oklahoma)

Orange Bowl
(#1 Ohio State vs #8 Wake Forest)

Mon, Jan 1st

Rose Bowl
(#1 Ohio State vs #4 LSU)

Sugar Bowl
(#2 Florida vs #3 Michigan)

Mon, Jan 8th

National Championship Game
(#1 Ohio State vs ?????)

This option rewards Ohio State and Florida for being the top 2 teams, with the easiest first round games. And then it gives 2 amazing New Year's Day bowl games, and lets it be settled on the field, who really deserves to be in the title game.

I Called It!

I called it, Stephen Colbert-style!

The entire sports world was counting it's USC title eggs before they were hatched.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Topics that I don't want to talk about, but have to menton to fullfill my 2006 quota.

New basketballs
MVP Voting
New York Football Giants Locker Room
Cowboys' kickers
Hockey coaches getting fired
Any Kobe that's not beef
NBA teams that don't end in 'azz'
Ohio State Football
Ohio State Basketball
The whole state of Ohio
Michael Vick as a passer
Marcus Vick as a human being
Ricky Williams in Canada
Anyone in Canada
Dancing With the Stars
American Idol
Luna Carpet
Empire Carpet
Any other Chicago-based companies that think I really need to memorize their phone number in song format

The Best Picks Ever Made: Week 13

Ravens +3 over Bengals
Vikings +9 over Bears
Bucs +7 over Steelers
Cardinals +6.5 over Rams
Colts -7.5 over Titans
Dolphins PK over Jags
Saints -7 over Niners
Redskins -1 over Falcons
Chiefs -5 over Brownies
Pats -13.5 over Lions
Chargers -6 over Bills
Jets -1 over Packers
Cowboys -3.5 over Giants
Raiders -3 over Texans
Seahawks +3 over Broncos
Panthers -3 over Eagles

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's not real. It's not real.

I resist the urge to write about video game experiences, because, for one, they're not real. But sometimes things happen which amaze me to no end. A little background: I played through a Chiefs franchise on Madden 06 - ps2. The Chiefs won the Super Bowl (I traded Priest Holmes for Urlacher - I might have had to give up a draft pick, I'm not sure) and then Trent Green retires. So now I'm trying to repeat with a rookie QB named Gardener, or Gardner, or something. I'm playing on All-Pro (3rd of 4 difficulty levels), with a 4-1 record entering a game against the Broncos. So far, All-Pro combined with a rookie QB has produced realistic results, including a loss to the Colts on the road.

Final Score:
Chiefs 38, Broncos 0.

Offense Yards:
Chiefs 319, Broncos 19

The Chiefs had 213 rush yards, but only 29 on 6 runs by Larry Johnson. His backup, Amos Zereoue, got 180+ and 3 TD on 10 attempts, including an 89 yard score. I took out my RB and QB in the second half when I was up 24-0.

Jake Plummer
1/18 with 6 sacks and 2 picks. His one completion? -2 yards.

The funny thing? Both teams had 4 turnovers. And the Broncos still couldn't score. And Tynes missed a field goal that I kicked well, and then made a field goal that I shanked and curved back in. Did I mention it was raining? Kinda crazy Madden game.

College football needs a playoff. Part Three: Here’s what it would look like now

This is what it would look like if the playoff seeds are strictly based on BCS Standings. I contemplated giving the at large teams #7 and #8, but that wouldn't work. Winning your conference gets you in the playoffs, but no guarantees of seeding.

Sat, Dec. 23rd

Cotton Bowl
(#4 Florida vs #5 LSU)

Gator Bowl
(#3 Michigan vs #6 Louisville)

Fiesta Bowl
(#2 USC vs #7 Oklahoma)

Orange Bowl
(#1 Ohio State vs #8 Georgia Tech)

New Year's Day (this year Mon, Jan 1st)

Rose Bowl
(#1 Ohio State vs #4 Florida)

Sugar Bowl
(#2 USC vs #3 Michigan)

About One Week After New Year's Day (this year Mon, Jan 8th)

National Championship Game
(#1 Ohio State vs ?????)

Under this plan, Ohio State gets rewarded for beating UM, by getting GT in the first round. And would you look at that final four, Florida has a shot at the title game, and we would actually get a fair answer as to who should play OSU for all the marbles. If you can't see that this is an improvement over this, then I don't know what more I can say.

College football needs a playoff. Part Two: Here’s how to do it.

I've come around. I've seen the light. An 8-team playoff is what we need. We can keep the BCS standings as is--I have no problem with them. The 8 teams selected include the conference champion from each of the six BCS conferences plus the 2 others ("at-large" selections) that are highest remaining in the BCS standings.

I've heard the extra game argument. Now every team is currently playing 12 games. So we reduce to season back to 11. Then there will be 4 quarterfinal teams than only play 12 games in a season--so the only teams that will actually be playing more games they do now will be the Final Four.

The 4 BCS Bowls would rotate between the matchups in a 4 year pattern so that once every 4 years, each BCS Bowl would occupy each position.

Here's how it would look:

Saturday about a week before New Years Day (this year Sat, Dec. 23rd)

Cotton Bowl
(#4 vs #5)

Gator Bowl
(#3 vs #6)

Fiesta Bowl
(#2 vs #7)

Orange Bowl
(#1 vs #8)

New Year's Day (this year Mon, Jan 1st)

Rose Bowl
(Orange vs Cotton)

Sugar Bowl
(Fiesta vs Gator)

About One Week After New Year's Day (this year Mon, Jan 8th)

National Championship Game
(Rose vs Sugar)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

College football needs a playoff. Part One: I was wrong

I used to think that a playoff would ruin the excitement of the biggest regular season game. For example, last year's Bush Push put USC in the title game, and Notre Dame out of the discussion. I rationalized that if both teams would go to a playoff, that outcome wouldn't have been so important. Likewise, this year Michigan had to go on the road to beat the #1 team in the country for a chance to go to the title game. If there was a playoff, perhaps OSU-UM could have rested their starters to prepare for the playoffs.

But I've realized that we need playoffs because although there are some years where there are 2 clear cut teams (2005, 2002) at the top of the list, other years there are 3, or 1, or 0, or 5 top teams. And even when there is only 2 top teams, then presumably they would still meet in the championship game anyways. The playoffs would provide a fair winner, and no shared titles.

Also, there is the counterargument that instead of fighting between slots 2 and 3, you'll now be fighting between slots 8 and 9. It's pretty simple, if you're #3 and undefeated ('03 Auburn) or even have the same one loss record('06 Michigan) as #2, you have a legimiate claim for the title game. If you're #9 in the country you should be lucky to get a nice bowl, not be worrying about the playoffs.

Rivalry games will still matter. No team is about to lay down in a big game. And while one loss might not knock you out of the playoffs, it could. And 2, most likely would guarantee it. So, the playoffs would still maintain the most excited regular season in sports. No question about it. (This years OSU-UM game would still matter as now OSU would be the 1seed playing the 8seed and 4/5seed to reach the title game. UM would be the 3 having to play the 6seed, and then likely the 2seed--a much harder path and worth playing for.)

So what would it look like?

Websites That Should Exist


(click to enlarge)

How does that compare to ESPN's experts?

My 14-2 record for this week, and my 116 right on the season is better than any of the Bristol braintrust.