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Old 08-19-2006, 10:14 PM   #1
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Default +1 Championship Game

Something else to debate while we kill time before the season. This idea started as a comment on my blog but I figured I'd bring it over here.

Now here's what my proposed +1 championship game would be:
  • Match up of two undefeateds (and also untied when I construct championship games pre-1997) or multiple #1's after the bowls. This game would not be played every year. If there's only one undefeated after the bowls, that team is the national champion.
  • If there are a surplus of 1-loss teams and they do not disqualify each other with head to head match ups and there are no undefeateds then the top four teams face off in a mini-play off. Since 1980, that would never have been necessary.
Here's how this +1 championship game might have been utilized since 1980.

Pre-BCS (Multiple Undefeateds and Untieds/Different #1's):
1982- Penn State vs SMU
1983- Miami vs Texas
1989- Miami vs Tennessee
1990- Colorado vs Georgia Tech
1991- Miami vs Washington
1994- Nebraska vs Penn State
1996- Florida vs Ohio State
1997- Michigan vs Nebraska

BCS (Multiple Undefeateds/Different #1's):

2003- LSU vs Southern Cal
2004- Auburn vs Southern Cal

Now some explanations:
1982- Penn State (11-1) lost to Alabama and SMU (11-0-1) tied Arkansas at the end of the regular season. Even though PSU was #1 in both polls, SMU deserved a shot at the title (at the time, obviously now knowing what was really going on down there, they didn't).

1983- Miami (11-1) beat Nebraska (12-1) in the Orange Bowl and Texas (11-1) beat Auburn (11-1) in the regular season, leaving Miami and Texas.

1989- Miami (11-1) beat Notre Dame (12-1) during the regular season and Notre Dame beat Colorado (11-1) in Orange Bowl. Miami lost to Florida State during the regular season and Tennessee (11-1) lost to Alabama. That leaves Miami and Tennessee.

1990- Colorado and Georgia Tech were both #1 in one poll.

1991- Both Miami and Washington finished the season undefeated.

1993- Why wasn't it included? Florida State (12-1) defeated Notre Dame (11-1) during the regular season. Florida State defeated Nebraska (11-1) in the Orange Bowl. Notre Dame beat West Virginia (11-1) in the Fiesta Bowl. Auburn (11-0) was on probation. Now it's arguable that FSU and ND could've played again but since they had the head to head match up, as much as it pains me, ND gets the nod as champion.

1994- Nebraska and Penn State were both undefeated at the end of the season.

1996- Florida (12-1) and Florida State (11-1) split their regular season and Sugar Bowl meeting. Since Florida won the bowl game, that eliminates Florida State. Ohio State (11-1) defeated Arizona State (11-1) in the Rose Bowl, leaving Florida and Ohio State.

1997- Michigan and Nebraska were both undefeated at the end of the season.

2003- LSU and Southern Cal were the only major programs with 1 loss at the end of the season.

2004- Auburn and Southern Cal were both undefeated at the end of the season.

Interesting perspective on how it would've work out in the past. Thoughts? I really think it would be a good thing for college football. The fact that it wouldn't be played every year would make it an even more special event when it takes place. There were long stretches (1983-1989 and 1997-2003) where it wouldn't have been needed.
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Old 08-19-2006, 10:20 PM   #2
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The +1 game is something that I think they've needed for a long time. It allows you to have a true National Champ with no controversy that playoff supporters want to have, while still maintaining the best regular season in sports, which non-playoff folks want.
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Old 08-19-2006, 10:52 PM   #3
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Being a proponent for a playoff, I like the idea, but, my major concern is this: Where is the game to be held? A neutral site? If this is the case, what do you do about ticket sales, b/c waiting till you find out if you ned the +1 game could be tough to do. Reserving a stadium for a game that may or may not be needed would be a tough sell as well.

Like I said, I love the idea, just dunno how that obstacle would be overcome.
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Old 08-19-2006, 11:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dublin Mike View Post
Being a proponent for a playoff, I like the idea, but, my major concern is this: Where is the game to be held? A neutral site? If this is the case, what do you do about ticket sales, b/c waiting till you find out if you ned the +1 game could be tough to do. Reserving a stadium for a game that may or may not be needed would be a tough sell as well.

Like I said, I love the idea, just dunno how that obstacle would be overcome.
I suppose rotate it among the BCS sites. Or just hold it at the Rose Bowl whenever it needs to take place since, I think, the Rose Bowl is the largest stadium in a warm weather climate.

I guess pre-sell the tickets and then refund the money if it doesn't take place. Treat it like the pros do if they sell tickets for a play off game that doesn't end up taking place.
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Old 08-20-2006, 03:58 AM   #5
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I have a huge problem with 1996.

Five teams after bowls had one loss.

Florida 12-1
Ohio State 11-1
FSU 11-1
ASU 11-1
BYU 14-1

I understand we eliminate ASU according to your format cuz they lost to OSU in the Rose. Then you declare a Florida-OSU title game? That hardly seems fair. We've eliminated FSU, who lost to one of the national championship game teams, but we've rewarded Ohio State who lost to a weaker Michigan team as their lone loss.

Florida beat FSU in the Sugar Bowl, but FSU won in the regular season. Why does the bowl game carry more weight than the regular season game?

So do we go to to a mini-playoff?

#1 Florida vs. #4 BYU
#2 OSU vs. #3 FSU

But this doesn't seem fair either. BYU lost to Washington. Ohio State lost to Michigan. Why would Florida and FSU not just play each other for a 3rd time cuz both had one loss...to each other? And if we maintain the mini-playoff, we've kicked out ASU who had one loss to Ohio State (a playoff team) in their final game but kept BYU (who lost to Washington). That doesn't seem very fair.

Think about this too: when Florida met FSU in the Sugar Bowl all the other games had been decided. So if we go with a FSU-Florida third game POSSIBILITY that would have meant FSU would have known at kickoff they could afford to lose to Florida in the Sugar Bowl and still get another crack at the Gators in that 3rd meeting. And if we stick with OSU-Florida, we've punished FSU for playing a tough non-conf team in the Gators during the regular season. That would raise some eyebrows. Pretty soon everyone would start playing Eastern Vermont State out of conference (I don't know if that school even exists...I made it up...pretty clever eh?)

Wouldn't this diminish the regular season. Wouldn't this diminish the bowls? Knowing you could lose a game at kickoff and still play that team again? Ugly...downright ugly for college football if you ask me.

What about 2004? You have USC and Auburn in the title game but what about Utah? I understand you want to take the top 2 undefeateds but Utah finished #4 in one poll and #5 in the other. That hardly seems fair to them. They beat a BCS team in their bowl game. Similar situations arise in 1999 with Marshall finishing #10 in both polls as an undefeated but didn't get a crack at FSU and Tulane in 1998 finishing #7 with no crack at Tennessee. It isn't like my three examples here finished undefeated and ranked out of the Top 25. All three finished in the Top 10 with Utah having the strongest claim for a shot at the winner of the Auburn/USC game. Or do those two even play since we had 3 undefeateds after bowls? Do we go to a playoff and add a one loss squad? Which one loss squad do we add? I guess whichever one loss school is added could play USC in the first round of the playoffs since the Trojans finished #1 in both polls after the bowls but is that really fair to Auburn or Utah?

How about 2003? Again, I understand how you have USC and LSU in the title game but Miami of Ohio and Boise State both finished with one loss as well. Now it's easy to say you throw those two schools out in favor of the big boys, but since there were 4 I-A teams with only one loss (nice and neat for this year), why couldn't you hold your mini-playoff here?

Then you can look at a year like 2001 where we had one team finish undefeated in Miami. Seems simple right? According to Alex, they get the title. I see that. But the thing is, they beat a team in their bowl game that had one loss that many believed didn't belong there (Nebraska). Wouldn't this be unfair to the other teams who had one loss going into bowls who didn't get a shot at Miami (namely Oregon)? This argument can be made all the time and I see it as the biggest flaw in this format.

How about 1985? Look at this mess after the bowls...

Oklahoma 11-1-0 (ranked #1 in both polls)
Michigan 10-1-1 (ranked #2 in both polls)
Penn St. 11-1-0 (ranked #3 in both polls)
Tenn. 9-1-2 (ranked #4 in both polls)
Air Force 12-1-0
Fresno St. 11-0-1

Oklahoma beat a previously undefeated Penn State in a bowl game. The Lions are out. That still leaves 5 teams with some kinda claim to #1. That's an odd number for a playoff so do we just leave Fresno State out of the playoff cuz they weren't even ranked in one of the polls that year? Ain't that weird though? You leave the one team out who didn't lose? Kinda crazy. It seems to me you coulda done it this way...

Penn State is in as the lone undefeated before the bowls. Fresno State was the only other team to not have a loss (but had their one tie) before the bowls. Perhaps Penn State just plays Fresno State for the "National Title" and we don't have the +1 here. BUT if PSU plays Fresno State (who didn't finish in the top #25 in one poll...just a reminder) we've now given one bowl (regardless of which one it is) the unofficial title of hosting a national championship game. That doesn't seem fair to the other bowls. Plus if Fresno State beats Penn State for the national championship that would mean a team that wasn't even ranked in the Top 25 before the bowls would be the national champion. Man is that crazy. And doesn't that diminish the polls? Why have 'em if a team who wasn't in one got the national championship.


Plus I didn't even go into the 1970s here. I know Alex started at 1980 and I appreciate the work, but once we go back to the 70s...this format goes bonkers with the scenarios that went down back in the old days. In 1975, Arizona State finished undefeated but ranked #2 in both polls behind Oklahoma who had one loss. Do we declare ASU the national champion and ignore both polls? Do we make Oklahoma play Arizona State? That wouldn't be fair to Oklahoma though...they finished #1 in both polls. But NOT playing wouldn't be fair to ASU who finished undefeated and ranked #2 behind Oklahoma.

I might be missing something in the format. I'm kinda dense so help me out. Seems to me there are just too many problems to overcome here.

Last edited by buckeyefan78; 08-20-2006 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:33 AM   #6
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Lets see...

The Florida State and Florida thing. My thinking was that the head to head match ups washed out and I simply gave more weight to the bowl game. Obviously a case can be made for Florida State that they deserve another shot at Florida but I'll counter with the fact that Florida State had a chance to win the national title by beating Florida in the bowl game and didn't. If Florida State was going to get another crack at Florida then I suppose they would've had to get another crack at Notre Dame in 1993 despite losing to them in the regular season.

BYU had no business being in the equation at all. Had they beaten Washington, it could've been a situation similiar to 1984 but it wasn't.

I think, right or wrong, that the bowls have to be given more "value" than regular season games for this to work. As with a lot of the other seasons, 1-loss teams were eliminated from contention based on bowl losses. One of the pre-requisites for playing in the +1 championship game would have to be winning your bowl game. The whole point of this is to make it one game to determine the champion, not be a play off. As I said earlier, it's not perfect but it's better than what we have right now.

The thing with Utah is that they finished below some one loss teams in the polls. Their schedule didn't warrant them being in the national title picture. In order for that to have happened they would've had have gotten lucky like BYU did in 1994 and gone undefeated in a season where none of the "big boys" didn't. The solution here would've been to match up the four undefeateds (the three and Oklahoma) in the bowl games (because with the +1 game there is no longer a BCS championship game) and then use that as a mini-play off and then have the two remaining unbeatens play in the championship game. However, I just don't think Utah deserved to be there more than Auburn or USC.

Tulane and Marshall didn't deserve a shot. At least Utah earned their way into a BCS game. Marshall's best win came against a 6-6 Clemson team. Tulane's only victory against a BCS opponent was Rutgers. Are they really deserving of a shot at Tennessee?

I don't see how you can justify two mid-majors with one losses deserving a shot at the national championship. Boise State lost to the only BCS conference opponent they faced in Oregon State. Miami of Ohio lost to the only BCS conference opponent they faced in Iowa. LSU and USC clearly they only two deserving teams here.

Now 1985:

There's a reason Fresno State went 11-0-1 and finished out of one poll. Take a look at who they played. Cal Poly is 1-AA now. Cal State-Fullerton, Pacific, Long Beach State and Wichita State don't even have football programs anymore. They tied Hawaii. Their only "big" win came against a 3-8 Oregon State team. Sure the Bulldogs went undefeated but they did it playing the Sisters of the Poor.

Something else I didn't note- I eliminated teams that had a loss and a tie (except for Colorado because they finished #1 in one poll), that's why Tennessee and Michigan weren't factored into 1985.

Now so far of the one-loss mid-majors, Air Force is the most deserving. They beat Notre Dame (5-6) and Texas (8-4) in the Bluebonnet Bowl. I suppose that Air Force could've played Oklahoma in a +1 championship game but I don't think the Zoomies deserved it. Penn State was the only undefeated and untied team going into the bowls and Oklahoma (except Air Force) was the only team with one loss and no tie. The Sooners beat Penn State, gave them identical records, had the head to head match up and won the national title. I don't think anyone outside of Colorado Springs is going to be unhappy with that outcome.

I admit that this system has it's flaws but it's better than what we've got right now.
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dublin Mike View Post
Being a proponent for a playoff, I like the idea, but, my major concern is this: Where is the game to be held? A neutral site? If this is the case, what do you do about ticket sales, b/c waiting till you find out if you ned the +1 game could be tough to do. Reserving a stadium for a game that may or may not be needed would be a tough sell as well.

Like I said, I love the idea, just dunno how that obstacle would be overcome.

I think if they locked in the Rose Bowl as the site it would be perfect, weather good, enormous capacity, good hotel space etc. To be sure if USC or UCLA were involved it would be an advantage, but it is still a great venue.
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:28 PM   #8
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Let's just focus on 1996 for now cuz while you may say this system has flaws...this year is just too much to overlook.

You've now hinted that you put more emphasis on the bowl game win by the Gators than the regular season loss. Now you've diminished the regular season. Then you add that FSU basically had their chance (cuz they were undefeated and could have locked up a title simply by beating Florida in the Sugar). Now you've risen one bowl game over others...thus diminishing the other major bowls.

I'll throw out BYU to make things easy (though I'm not very satisfied in doing so)

Florida 12-1 (lone loss to FSU)
FSU 11-1 (lone loss to Florida)
Ohio St. 11-1 (lone loss to Michigan)

ANY system that has that on the plate and pits Florida against Ohio State is crazy. It's so clear that FSU and Florida should get another round...under your format. And when we do that as I've pointed out...kickoff at the Sugar Bowl is sullied cuz FSU knows it has 2 shots at 1 win to get the national title.
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyefan78 View Post
Let's just focus on 1996 for now cuz while you may say this system has flaws...this year is just too much to overlook.

You've now hinted that you put more emphasis on the bowl game win by the Gators than the regular season loss. Now you've diminished the regular season. Then you add that FSU basically had their chance (cuz they were undefeated and could have locked up a title simply by beating Florida in the Sugar). Now you've risen one bowl game over others...thus diminishing the other major bowls.

I'll throw out BYU to make things easy (though I'm not very satisfied in doing so)

Florida 12-1 (lone loss to FSU)
FSU 11-1 (lone loss to Florida)
Ohio St. 11-1 (lone loss to Michigan)

ANY system that has that on the plate and pits Florida against Ohio State is crazy. It's so clear that FSU and Florida should get another round...under your format. And when we do that as I've pointed out...kickoff at the Sugar Bowl is sullied cuz FSU knows it has 2 shots at 1 win to get the national title.
Alright then, what do you do with Ohio State? 11-1, same record as FSU and a bowl win, it would seem to me that they deserve as much of a shot as Florida if we're not punishing them for a regular season loss, regardless of the fact that they ended up beating FSU in the Sugar Bowl.

While I still don't think BYU deserves a shot, I can see why you made make a case for BYU. Personally, I don't think they belong in there based on their overall schedule. But they did beat a 9-2 (at the time) Kansas State team in Cotton Bowl, a much more impressive bowl victory than I thought. Considering that I was seven during the '96 season, most of what I recall is Penn State-related. I incorrectly assumed that BYU played some other 10-win with no impressive victories mid-major in the Liberty Bowl.

Here's how the schedules breakdown for UF, FSU, OSU and BYU.

BYU:
Texas A&M (6-6, also lost to Louisiana-Lafayette of all schools)
Arkansas State (4-7)
Washington (9-3)
New Mexico (6-5)
SMU (5-6)
Utah State (6-5)
UNLV (1-11)
Tulsa (4-7)
TCU (4-7)
UTEP (2-9)
Rice (7-4)
Hawaii (2-10)
Utah (8-4)
WAC Championship Game- Wyoming (10-2)
Cotton Bowl- Kansas State (9-3)

(83-89)

Florida:

Louisiana-Lafayette (5-6)
Georgia Southern (4-7 1-AA)
Tennessee (10-2)
Kentucky (4-7)
Arkansas (4-7)
LSU (10-2)
Auburn (8-4)
Georgia (5-6)
Vanderbilt (2-9)
South Carolina (6-5)
Florida State (11-1)
Alabama (10-3)
Florida State (11-1)

(90-60)

Florida State:
Duke (0-11)
N.C. State (3-8)
North Carolina (10-2)
Clemson (7-5)
Miami (9-3)
Virginia (7-5)
Georgia Tech (5-6)
Wake Forest (3-8)
Southern Miss (8-3)
Maryland (5-6)
Florida (12-1)
Florida (12-1)

(81-59)

Ohio State:
Rice (7-4)
Pitt (4-7)
Notre Dame (8-3)
Penn State (11-2)
Wisconsin (8-5)
Purdue (3-8)
Iowa (9-3)
Minnesota (4-7)
Illinois (2-9)
Indiana (3-8)
Michigan (8-4)
Arizona State (11-1)

(78-61)

You still think BYU deserves to be in?
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Old 08-20-2006, 02:14 PM   #10
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Why are you asking me what to do with Ohio State? It's your system, not mine. I'm all for the way things were in early and mid 70s. Win the Big Ten and go to the Rose Bowl. If you lost to Michigan...you sat at home...no bowl. Work Harder. Nothing wrong with ties, nothing wrong with being punished for not doing what you need to do (easing up as the generational battle looms on the horizon...LOL).

Look Alex, I don't mean to come at you like a pit bull here and this isn't personal. All I know is once someone tries to formulate a national champion things ALWAYS go crazy some point in the process.

Forgetting the format...forgetting the whole national championship idea...here is what I do with Ohio State:

F*** you Ohio State. Beat Michigan. Work Harder.

But I'm a Buckeye fan soooooo....

And I'm still waiting for a suitable outcome on the 1996 FSU-Florida-OSU debacle. Go ahead and fiddle with bowls, schedules, whatever. I'll be here to check it out...LOL. I've got issues with what you said regarding the other years, but since 96 is the closest year and most familiar with everyone I'm willing to spend the next two weeks on it til the games start...LOL.
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:13 AM   #11
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You did some editing so I'll go from there Alex.

First off, I'm confused. Are you now saying you agree with me that we can't pit Florida against Ohio State for the national title? This schedule breakdown looks like you are leaning towards the mini-playoff. But if you are doing this, it is only fair to put Arizona State in (I'll get to BYU in a second). If Florida and FSU can lose to each other, I don't see why ASU can't lose to Ohio State and not get in. ASU had one loss to a team you have in your top 3. Both FSU and Florida share that situation. Ohio State and BYU don't share that situation, but since Ohio State beat ASU...I guess you would put them in the mini-playoff over BYU (though again I'm still not very happy with that).

So...

#1 Florida vs #4 ASU
#2 Ohio State vs #3 FSU (though technically FSU should be the #2 cuz they lost to the #1 while OSU lost to Michigan but we all know it goes by WHEN you lost and FSU would have lost to Florida in the Sugar...in theory).

Now this makes more sense. Ohio State beats Arizona State in the afternoon by about 8pm Eastern. That means we kickoff the Sugar Bowl after 8pm Eastern and the situation is this:

FSU wins and they are national champs.
FSU loses and we have a four team mini-playoff.

This way we've valued the regular season meeting between FSU and Florida. We've valued the Sugar Bowl to a certain extent (cuz FSU had a chance to win it all). We've valued the Rose Bowl (cuz if ASU had won they would have been national champs with Florida beating FSU later that night). Plus, even if ASU had won... the Sugar remains important cuz a win by FSU sets up your nice and neat +1 between the Seminoles and ASU.

But in a way we've lessened the Sugar despite my pluses from above. Ohio State beats ASU. FSU now knows if they win...they are national champs. But if they lose, they still go in a mini-playoff (grant it they will have to win a total of TWO more games, but the Sugar isn't life or death). This "lessening" of the Sugar isn't as bad as your OSU-Florida title game scenario though.

Wow...got all that. I think I found a better solution.

#1 Florida vs. #4 ASU
#2 OSU vs. #3 FSU

The only problem is in your original format you wanted teams who each had one loss to get kicked out if they had lost to another one loss team head to head. ASU gets in despite breaking that rule.

And still, FSU and Florida would claim (with good reason IMO) that they shouldn't have to play OSU and ASU cuz OSU lost to Michigan and ASU lost to Ohio State. Since Florida and FSU only lost to each other, why should a team who lost to Michigan and the team who lost to the the team that lost to Michigan get in? If we go down that road, our old friend BYU pops back in.

Like I said...there will ALWAYS be problems.
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:28 AM   #12
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Oh God, I just thought of something Alex. Sorry to do this and now I have a triple post but check this out...

Under your format, you said if there are multiple 1-loss squads and IF they had played each other head to head... the losers go out.

1996 1-loss teams

Florida (lost to FSU...another 1-loss team...by rule = eliminated)
FSU (lost to Florida...another 1-loss team...by rule = eliminated)
ASU (lost to Oh St....another 1-loss team...by rule = eliminated)
OSU (lost to Mich.....NOT a 1-loss team...by rule = remains in)
BYU (lost to Wash...NOT a 1-loss team...by rule = remains in)

So do we declare OSU the national champion and say to hell with BYU? Or do we pit OSU and BYU against each other for the national championship (with an angry FSU and Florida looking on as 1-loss teams who lost to better competition than OSU and BYU did).

I wonder what Woody would say if he saw my last 3 posts...LOL.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:51 PM   #13
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I kind of like your idea Alex but TV wouldn't. What a loss of income for them.:thumbdown:
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