So when I clicked over late last night to find a post about a college football playoff, I didn't expect to spend nearly as much time as normal when I saw it wasn't Kyle's post. I was wrong.
Go read it. Scared? You should be. Vinyarddawg puts together a college football playoff bracket using bowl eligible teams from 2009 (see below the bracket I openly scammed from Dawg Sports).
Even Stewart Mandel gets this point, as evidenced by his Twitter post about Kansas' basketball season vis a vis KState's season (h/t The Senator). The number one overall seed, winning the Big 12 and beating KState three times is irrelevant. KState making the Sweet 16 and Kansas losing to a directional school in the second round is the narrative of history for the 2009-10 basketball season. You think Boise State fans would rather lose to Navy in the second round than win the Fiesta Bowl? To play devil's advocate, how about in the first round of a 32 team bracket or Georgia Tech in the first round of a 16 team bracket?
Can't happen, you say? I don't see why not. Vinyarddawg actually put together a fair bracket (I'd put Boise State in the West, to play in the Rose Bowl and Bama in the South to play in the Sugar, but beyond that...). The thing about his methodology is that it doesn't end the reliance on the polls, as it would be in real life if we ever get to a playoff. He seeded the teams 1-25 based on the coaches poll. Since 64 teams get in, all conf champions were represented. I don't think he should have avoided power conf teams playing each other in the first round as much as he did, but hey, I didn't take the time to put this together.
Finally, anyone that thinks a playoff would be ok at just 8 or 12 or 16 or 20 or 24 or 32 teams, there will always be someone else (think the NCAA and college presidents and their TV partners) making the argument that the 'possibility' exists for more great match-ups if we just add another round. By "great match-ups" they mean more money. Putting aside the slippery slope arguement, there remains one final question: How will we decide who gets those last two seats at the table, regardless of size of tournament?
Until that question gets answered, we will continue to have the same discussion about the fairness of selection process. You know, the discussion we are having about the fairness of the selection process for the current one game playoff system. My bet would be against anyone thinking the selection process for a tourney is any fairer than it is for that one game now. We'll just have more teams thinking they are eligible for their shot.