Blog Entry

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:58 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 1:46 pm
 

In the final installment plus-one lookback (2008-2011), the Big 12 and SEC rule. The assumption is that playing extra games would loosen the SEC’s grip on the sport. It just makes sense. In any playoff, dark horses and underdogs are going to emerge. Teams spend all season getting to the top, then in one game it can all go pfft against an inferior opponent.

In this plus-one there was a huge pfft in 2011.

(All plus-one games played on neutral fields. Here’s how things looked from 1998-2002 and 2003-2007.

 


2008

BCS champion: Florida 24, Oklahoma 14

The setup: Put this one on the Big 12 which never foresaw a three-way tie broken by the BCS standings. Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas all went 7-1 in the Big 12 South. Texas beat OU, Texas Tech beat Texas, OU beat Texas Tech. They were all 1-1 against other. Texas felt slighted because it won the Red River Shootout, but Oklahoma won the South by a mere .0128 of a point.  That basically greased the path for OU to get to the national championship game.

Another Oklahoma powerhouse, another disappointment. For the third time in four tries during the BCS era, the Sooners were stopped in that championship game. This Oklahoma team was the highest scoring of all time averaging 51 points per game. In his last season, Sam Bradford threw 50 touchdown passes.

All that was no match for an SEC defense. A top 10 defense featured Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden and Jermaine Cunningham. Florida’s D held the Sooners to their lowest point total in more than two years.

How a four-team playoff would have changed things: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 4 Alabama, No. 2 Florida vs. No. 3 Texas. A plus-one couldn’t come fast enough for the Horns whose only blemish was a loss to Texas Tech with a second to go. It’s easy to project that Gators D devouring the Horns too. Florida 33, Texas 21.

Alabama stayed in the top two of the BCS until losing an SEC championship game showdown to Florida. In year before Bama won two out of the next three titles, the defense tied for third overall. It would have been the difference against OU. Alabama 26, Oklahoma 24.

Championship game: Same script as Atlanta. A close game is blown open in the fourth quarter by that guy named Tebow. Before anyone cared about his throwing motion, completion percentage or virginity, Florida’s quarterback proved himself one of the best of all time. Florida 20, Alabama 17.

Fantasy quote: “They got lucky. The state of Alabama is going to rule college football the next three years.” – Nick Saban.

Who got screwed: Utah. It beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. It beat Alabama bad. It deserved something after finishing as the only undefeated team in the country.

 


2009

BCS champion: Alabama 38, Texas 21

The setup: The game was decided when Alabama’s Marcel Dareus took out Colt McCoy on the contest’s fifth play. The question to this day, remains: Would a healthy McCoy have made any difference? Mack Brown answered that night, “It wouldn’t even have been close.” 

Texas was forced to play an untested quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, against a carnivorous defense. All that was left was for stadium personnel to clean up the remains. It was perhaps the most disappointing BCS title game. Ninety-five thousand fans in the Rose Bowl and millions across the country expected to see a symphony. They ended up watching the Wiggles.

Yes, yes, Mark Ingram won the Heisman and that Alabama D could have played in the NFL, but it still feels like there is something missing from that night – a frisky Colt.

How a four-team playoff would have changed things: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 TCU, No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 Cincinnati. All four were undefeated. All four would have had a fair chance to state their cases in a playoff. TCU would have scared the spit out of Bama. I know because I saw it a year later against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. I know because TCU was playing an NFL quarterback (Andy Dalton). I know because Gary Patterson is Nick Jr. as a defensive mastermind. Alabama 23, TCU 20 OT.

The toughest decision in the other semifinal was Brian Kelly’s. Does he stay at Cincinnati for a national title run or go to Notre Dame? Would it have made a difference? Texas 47, Cincinnati 27.

Championship: At the risk of being frisked for hallucinogens next time I go to T-town, McCoy would have made a huge difference. In a classic Big 12 offense vs. SEC defense, the Large Dozen was due to take one sooner or later. Texas 29, Alabama 27.

Fantasy quote: “We regret Coach Kelly’s decision to stay at Cincinnati to coach in the playoff. That said, Notre Dame has had to move on and act swiftly. Please welcome to the Irish family as Notre Dame’s next coach, Urban Meyer.” – ND AD Jack Swarbrick.

Who got screwed: Boise State, which went 14-0 while beating the Pac-10 (Oregon) and Mountain West (TCU) champions. Only one team in the regular season came within 11 points of the Broncos.

  


2010

BCS champion: Auburn 22, Oregon 19

The setup: Cam Newton’s daddy went trolling for the six-figure handshake. Then he and his son were bailed out by a loophole the size of the Lincoln Tunnel. That, basically, is a summary of the 2010 season. Newton was so good, that no team could stop Auburn. Cecil Newton was that sleazy that sometimes it was hard to sift through the wrongdoing to see a talented, personable kid who established himself as one of the best ever.

How a four-team playoff would have changed things: No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 4 Stanford. No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 TCU. TCU would have gotten the chance it deserved. The nation’s No. 1 defense could have matched up with anyone. The hunch here is that Patterson would have bottled up Oregon at least as much as Auburn did. TCU 24, Oregon 21.

How about a matchup of the top two Heisman vote getters? Stanford’s Andrew Luck would have done what Oregon’s Darron Thomas couldn’t – make a vulnerable Auburn secondary pay. Cammy Cam Cam, though, would have been the difference against the tough Cardinal.  Auburn 28, Stanford 21.

Championship game: Andy Dalton meet Nick Fairley. Tank Carder meet Cam Newton. Auburn-TCU would have gone a lot like Auburn-Oregon. Down to the wire with the underdog hanging surprisingly tough. In the end, the Tigers had too many playmakers. Auburn 22, TCU 19.

Fantasy quote: “Define ‘solicit.’ “ – Cecil Newton

Who got screwed: The Heisman Trust. What was supposed to be a celebration turned into a solemn event. The takeaway from his press conference is Newton's answer to the question: In a year when Reggie Bush had to give back is trophy, do you have any concerns you'll have to give yours back as well?

“Two letters for you, my friend,” Newton said. “No.”

All righty, then.

 

2011

BCS champion: Alabama 21, LSU 0

The setup: Funny how penthouses and outhouses occupy the same block in the SEC. One moment, they’re calling Les Miles’ team one of the best ever. The next he’s been outcoached so badly by Nick Saban that he has to turn in his trucker’s hat.

Such was the fallout from a season that kept the national championship down in the Sweet Home for the third consecutive season. The Rematch of the Century was almost as big a disappointment as the Game of the Century. Except this time, there was some finality to it. Saban DID outcoach Miles. AJ McCarron DID play like Tom Brady. The rest of the country IS still drafting in the SEC’s excellence.

While the rest of the nation continued to set offensive records, LSU and Bama combined for 36 points, 10 field goals and one touchdown in two games. Is this what you want out of a national champion? Read on.

How a four-team playoff would have changed things: Plenty. No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Stanford and No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State would have added some texture, clarity, fairness and, well, offense to the proceedings.

Step back, Slive. Back off, Saban. Move away, Miles. College football would have gotten even, broken the SEC death grip.

"We'd have thrown it 50 times," Mike Gundy told USA Today. "You like to think Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon could have put together some touchdowns. Get the ball thrown down the field and open some things up. Try to make it exciting, and see what happens."

The key word being “exciting”.  Who wouldn’t have loved to see Andrew Luck and Weeden go against those defenses? LSU played with a quarterback who would have had a hard time starting in the Big 12. Alabama played one offense all season ranked in the top 30 (Arkansas, 29th) and 10 ranked 84th or lower.  

Defense wins championships? Not necessarily in this case if it plays a championship offense.

Let’s assume that Oklahoma State gave up its average of 27 points. Let’s assume Alabama gave up more than its average of eight points against the nation’s No. 2 offense. Let’s assume that it matters that the Cowboys were fifth in field-goal accuracy and Alabama was 85th.

Let’s also assume that Oklahoma State’s 44 turnovers gained – the most in the sport in eight years – matter.  The Cowboys had an average defense, not a bad one. LSU 22, Stanford 17; Oklahoma State 36, Alabama 34.

Championship game: It suddenly gets a lot easier for the Cowboys. With Miles keeping an actual passing quarterback (Jarrett Lee) on the bench, that makes things less difficult for Oklahoma State. Yes, LSU’s running depth would have pounded the Pokes. But an underrated offensive line would have worn down the Tigers. Oklahoma State 27, LSU 21.

Fantasy quote:  “How do you like us now, OU?” – Boone Pickens

Who got screwed: In the real world, it was Oklahoma State. The Cowboys finished third in the BCS by closest margin since the formula was refigured in 2004. They played a stronger schedule than Alabama and won what some thought was the strongest conference in the country in ’11. Bammers were successful, though, in reducing the national conversation about two one-loss teams to one game. It was determined Alabama’s one loss (to LSU) was less bad than Oklahoma State’s (Iowa State). It’s a full season, folks. The Fightin’ Gundys had a fine one.

As far as props, there was a time when the idea of Mike Gundy as the national coach of the year would have been a Saturday Night Live skit. Now it’s reality.

Cowboys as champs outrageous? At least you can’t blame the BCS.
 

Plus-one champions, 2008-2011: Florida, Texas, Auburn, Oklahoma State.

Plus-one team summary: Miami (3), USC (3) Florida (2), LSU, Texas, Auburn, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Tennessee (each one).

Conferences: SEC (5), Pac-10 (3), Big East  (3), Big 12 (2), ACC (1)

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Comments

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:38 am
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

SIX IN A ROW...more bowl victories then any conference more teams to win a NC than any other conference...more players in the NFL by far than any other conference.  Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State three of the worst football programs in college football history.  OU an d Texas are scared to join the big boys.  Oklahoma State has had a good run but long term they suck...they will get caught cheating...TRUST ME!



Since: Sep 23, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:44 pm
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

I will wait for your response as to how losing to ISU proves your better than a team that only loses to LSU?
Was that your response?  More gibberish?

I always love the way SEC folk pick and choose what to count as relevant and ignore the rest.
Sounds like you just indicted yourself.  You have chosen to ignore the elephant (no pun intended) in the room.  Alabama lost to the, unarguably, #1 team during the regular season,  OSU lost to IOWA STATE!

Throw out any one off piece of garbage and I can do the same - it's what is played on the field
That's the whole point, OSU lost to Iowa State, Alabama lost to LSU.  I simply asked you to explain how a loss to Iowa State is better than a loss to the #1 team in the nation.

Alabama will be left out because it's strength of schedule is a farce
And OSU is hanging their hat on beating Arizona and Tulsa?  Do you even hear yourself?

Enjoy your .0086 manipulated vote
Manipulated...in your mind.  I understand why you won't/can't answer the question.  There is no logical answer. But again, how is a loss to ISU better than a loss to the #1 team in the nation?




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:09 pm
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

Then throw the regular season out......go to the bowl season.

I always love the way SEC folk pick and choose what to count as relevant and ignore the rest.    They don't even think other conferences matter.
You mean when Bama beat 3rd in the Big10, Ark(4th in the SEC) beat 2nd in the Big12(your conference), Georgia beat 3rd in the ACC and Auburn beat 3rd in the WAC?  I'm not even mentioning that LSU beat 1st in the PAC-12 and beat T1st in the Big East.

So let's pick and choose also - BAMA beat Penn St 29-12; Houston beat Penn St 31-14 - does that mean Houston is as good as Alabama?

Arkansas beat KState 29-19.   Okay - OU beat K-State like 56-14.   OSU beat K-State 52-45.  So why didn't OU beat OSU like 63-35 instead of OSU winning 41-10?

Georgia beat Georgia Tech 31-17 (?); GT lost to Virginia who lost to Southern Miss who lost to U of Alabama Birmingham.   So Alabama Birmingham is as good as Georgia?

Auburn beat the 3rd in the WAC!   You're proud of that and why?   Embarassed  

I'm not even mentioning that LSU beat 1st in the PAC-12 and beat T1st in the Big East.

Uh - you just did, but let's look at Oregon; USC went into the 4th Qtr ahead 38-10 before Oregon put up some desparation touchdowns, but USC just ran the clock out.   USC was whipping Oregon silly -   Oh - and USC was mauled by a 6-6 Arizona St.

West Virginia?  Outgained LSU in total yards; like over 500 yards total offense over LSU but had several turnovers.  Where was that fantastic LSU defense then?   West Virginia also lost to Syracuse 23-49 (LSU game 21-47) so that means Syracuse is as good as LSU?

Throw out any one off piece of garbage and I can do the same - it's what is played on the field.

Step away from the crack pipe Pokes21.

Your drug induced definition of "rightfully" leaves all us sane people wanting some of what you are smoking.
Obviously you're the one with the crack-pipe issue; put it down before you incur any additional brain damage.

Too time consuming to explain about "match-ups" and coaching and clock management and strategy; but go ahead- throw out funny idioms like "crack pipe" and show the way that they actually think of other conferences.  The arrogance is going to come back and hammer the SEC.   It's the way the cycle works.

And I guess Utah didn't beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl
I guess West Virginia didn't stomp Georgia in the Sugar Bowl
Boise State didn't pound Georgia this year in Athens between the hedges
 
The problem is the SEC folk only see what they want to see and I get that - but the rest of the country ain't a buying it.  Enjoy your .0086 manipulated vote - next year we'll probably see a USC - Oregon NC game and Alabama will be left out because it's strength of schedule is a farce.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:58 am
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

This whole series was just Dodd pandering to the other conferences after he slobbered all over the SEC all year.  How absolutely pathetic on Dodd's part.  He said Bama deserved to be in the NC game and was at worst, the #2 team in the country.  How is it that now, OSU beats both LSU and Bama.  If Dodd really thought this, he should have said so prior to the voting for the NC.  All of this means that Dodd has no integrity and his opinions mean nothing. 



Since: Sep 23, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:20 pm
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

Writers write, the polls take votes, but even though gives his 2-cents that OSU would have won the BCS NC by beating both LSU and Alabama in a plus 1 this year; I'd still prefer that they would have rightfully gotten the shot rather than just having to read about conjecture.


Step away from the crack pipe Pokes21.

Your drug induced definition of "rightfully" leaves all us sane people wanting some of what you are smoking.

 Whatever - the SEC didn't prove anything on the field;

You mean when Bama beat 3rd in the Big10, Ark(4th in the SEC) beat 2nd in the Big12(your conference), Georgia beat 3rd in the ACC and Auburn beat 3rd in the WAC?  I'm not even mentioning that LSU beat 1st in the PAC-12 and beat T1st in the Big East.

The other thing which is over-looked is how Oklahoma State played defense - yes, they gave a lot of yards,

 Yeah, they gave up a lot of points too!  Give up that many points to a SEC defense and u lose...........   Unless in your feeble mind, the SEC defense wud lay down and let OSU score on them every possesion....like Lsu laid down for Oregon? or WVA?  Like Bama did for PennST? Like ARK laid down for KSU?  Like Georgia & Auburn laid down?


 

Oklahoma State really only played 1 solid defense and that was Texas

 Arkansas has a prolific offense, number one offense in the SEC?.  Very complicated routes and coverage reads....How did they fare against the best defenses in the SEC?  Well...u smoke some more crack and tell me.  The thing is, ARK has a higher rated defense than OSU.

live off LSU's two good games
Well, LSU beat the 1st in the Pac-12 and the T1st in the BEAST......they also beat everyone in their conference?  Did OSU do anything close to that?

NO, OSU beat the 10th team in the PAC-12 and the 2nd team in the C-USA.......
your crack pipe heating back up yet?

Then throw the regular season out......go to the bowl season.
OSU opponents won 6 bowl games....and lost 3.
LSU opponents won 7 bowls and lost 1.  
kinda makes a statement against your pathetic statement that LSU was lucky to win their games.  And, really, if you want to compare Bama's opponents record to Iowa St opponents record....plz, just don't go there.

The bottom line is/was all OSU had to do was to beat ISU......geez, even if they beat ISU and lost to OU they prolly would have been in the BCS championship.
The fact is, you can't go around losing to teams like ISU and think you are one of the best teams in the nation.

I will wait for your response as to how losing to ISU proves your better than a team that only loses to LSU?



Since: Nov 24, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 10:04 pm
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

....but OSU would have probably stacked the box and made either Alabama or LSU throw 
I wish OSU would have gotten a shot as well, but I got a good laugh out of this quote. Do you think any other team tried that against Alabama or LSU? Did any of those teams have better defenses than OSU? Did any of them have any success at it?




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:04 am
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

Writers write, the polls take votes, but even though gives his 2-cents that OSU would have won the BCS NC by beating both LSU and Alabama in a plus 1 this year; I'd still prefer that they would have rightfully gotten the shot rather than just having to read about conjecture.


Of course you then have all the SEC folks who parrot "OSU couldn't have score X on either Alabama or LSU".   Whatever - the SEC didn't prove anything on the field; live off LSU's two good games - West Virginia was equally fantastic as incredibly in-ept; Oregon got smoked by USC and USC literally ran the clock out on the Ducks while they frantically scratched every point possible to make the game appear close.   Good wins but looking at how LSU played, you wonder.   Alabama played LSU and Arkansas, but had both at home and match-ups are hard to translate; Arkansas struggled against several teams at different times so was it just a bad day for the Hogs?    There's really no other judging-    &nb
sp; Oklahoma State really only played 1 solid defense and that was Texas; but OSU also plays differently dependent on the game and played more ball control.    The other thing which is over-looked is how Oklahoma State played defense - yes, they gave a lot of yards, but that's by design; make teams grind long drives instead of giving up big chunks.   Most teams will make a mistake within 8-10 plays and OSU capitalized almost every time - and these were against multi-dimensional offenses; LSU and Alabama are not - both are very good running teams but OSU would have probably stacked the box and made either Alabama or LSU throw as neither LSU nor Alabama would have had a speed advantage but would have had a slight size advantage so hard to say what the outcome would have been.  That's why it should be played on the field - not determined by media people or coaches that have agendas or don't have time to follow other teams at all.  



Since: Dec 30, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2012 7:54 pm
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

Hard to grind teeth when Bama has Auburn sandwiched in like an Oreo cookie.......  2 > 1 any day,



Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 3:16 pm
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

LOL.  I can see the Bamers seething and grinding their teeth as they read this and realize that they would not have won anything according to Dodd's opinion.  While I might agree with him, it is something to reflect upon. 



Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:31 pm
 

A plus-one playoff through the years: 2008-2011

Stanford does not get in over Wisconsin in a four-team playoff in 2010. Not the Stanford team that got blown out in Eugene. Not even close dude.


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