Changing the bowl system because of Alabama


Hall of Fame
Jan 18, 2006
I don't have much time right now, so I might revisit this. Crowning a national champion in football has been and should be about who is #1. It's not about #3, #4, or even #2. The only burden the BCS Championship game has is to place the real #1 in there, if they did that, the rest is superfluous. A lot of playoff advocacy comes down to the desire to make a system in which the undeserving can prevail, rather than attempting to crown the best team.

College football has a lot of parallels to boxing. Both are two of our most combative sports, both have a history of emphasizing being #1 and sustaining it, and with the advent of the BCS, college football gave us a championship fight style spectacle annually. To throw the belt holder into a match-up vs. the #3 contender simply because you're not sure about the #1 contender is an insult to the belt itself. To say yes, I know you earned being #1 and I know #4 doesn't really deserve it, but #3 is complaining a lot so you have to fight #4 and then a month later you fight the 2 vs. 3 winner. At that point what does having the belt even matter? What does all the effort to be #1 accomplish? Seeding?

But your argument is flawed by the simple fact that if we were ranking for a PLUS ONE then MANY of the rankings
would have been different.
I understand you consider the current ranking systems corrupt, so your viewpoint seems to be that it will be corrupted differently. All selection criteria for any sport is corrupt to an extent. The defending champion Saints had to go on the road to play a first round playoff game against a team with not only a worse record, but a losing one. The NCAA committee left an Alabama basketball team out of the tournament last year that won the SEC West (and nearly won the NIT). The NBA has repeatedly placed losing teams in over winning teams, etc... they all allow for corruption to some degree.

However, the sheer gall at calling my argument flawed, while suggesting that the system you are advocating for would put in teams that did not even deserve to be #4 is startling. I addressed this, but while there was room in the old system for more corruption, and there is some room to manipulate #1 or #2, they are working under increased scrutiny and less space. It is possible, but not terribly easy to push an undeserving team in over a deserving one (as we saw this year). We both seem to agree that it would be much easier to push an undeserving team up to #4 simply to manipulate the plus one. I do not get why you are trying to integrate this into your pro-plus one argument.

They have no real incentive to manipulate #4 in the current system, so we have every reason to believe that the #4 teams were the most worthy. Manipulation purely for the sake of a plus one would be unethical to say the least. I should concede my points to you though, yes a plus one would probably put in even less deserving teams so my argument is flawed... unless my argument is just anti-plus one, in which case you made my argument for me.

2007 2-loss Oklahoma was somehow less deserving than two-loss LSU (despte both of those losses
You are practicing what I view as playoff zealotry with this statement. Yes, LSU beat one loss Ohio St. by 14 points to win the championship. Yes, Oklahoma lost by 20 points to #9 West Virginia. However, your argument remains that Oklahoma was not less deserving than LSU. Wow! People watched the two teams play. That's the answer to your question, but the reality is you are so blindly in favor of a playoff that it doesn't matter what facts and stats anyone presents, you will advocate never-the-less. You are advocating for inclusion over excellence and it seems you just can't fathom the difference between LSU and Oklahoma since, going into the bowl games they had the same record. Let me help you. LSU was better.

selmaborntidefan said:
Originally Posted by KrAzY3
I said before the only plus one I could stomach was a 2 (at home) vs 3 with 1 having a bye.
And after 15 straight years when one wins the game, they'll go ahead and add the fourth team anyway.
You're absolutely right, college football could unquestionably get things right 15 years in a row and it wouldn't slow down the playoff advocates one bit.
Last edited:


Oct 18, 2008
Hunts Patch
Very good discussion, thanks.

I just want to add, that arguments on the merits of a playoff are interesting, but Alabama fans (and fans of all the major programs) should not be in favor of them. Playoffs favor minor teams that squeeze into the playoff as the best team of a weak conference and/or an easy schedule. I don't have a great deal of heartburn about a very limited playoff, such as a plus-1, but a big basketball-style December Madness would harm Alabama's chances to win championships.

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