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)

-30-

 

Comments

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:24 pm
 

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

It doesn't take a scholar to read this little blurb (which by the way has been regurgitated over and over and over by the SEC drones) to recognize the hypocricy by the Alabama fans.  'There is no way that OK St could win because they lost to a pathetic team'.  However, the Alabama loss was just a fluke...as was demonstrated by a 'Re-do'.  Come on you lowbrows, wake up.  Alabama lost 1, OSU lost 1. And LSU looked like a pretty pathetic team to me in the rematch. NO OFFENSE BY EITHER TEAM.  I would have loved to see how it played out, but we'll never know, the SEC and BCS are attached at the hip.  Congrats - ** Alabama - BCS Champs 




Only an idiot would look at Bama's loss to LSU and then Ok St's loss to Iowa St. and then just say..."Alabama lost 1, OSU lost 1." That's pretty pathetic to equate these two things.

And that's why there's not hypocrisy because the two losses are NOT equal. Again...only a moron would equate these two things.

And I'm not a Bama or LSU fan. In fact...I hate both those two teams with a passion. I don't dislike Ok St. and have gone on record on these boards to say I don't like rematches. But it has nothing to do with putting the two best teams in the NC game. I don't like rematches because I like to see two teams that have never played go at it. But...if you ask me who the two best teams in the land were...reguardless of my dislike for rematches...then it was LSU and Bama. I don't even think Ok St was the third best team. I think Oregon and Arkansas would have beaten the ever luvin crap out of the Cowboys.

But that's wayyyyy tooo objective for you folks. I can see the good and bad on both sides and you people can't. I mean when you go on record to try and equate the two losses mentioned...it states right there that there's no reasoning from that side and absolutely no logic or legitimacy.





Since: Aug 13, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:11 pm
 

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

When UA and LSU scored plenty on teams who weren't each other, why do you think it was bad offense rather than good defense? Were there dropped passes, missed blocking assignments... what, in your obviously educated opinion, made it bad offense? I'm waiting for a reply.



Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:39 pm
 

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

National Championship game would be two weeks after New Year's Day - giving finalists time to recover from respective New Years Day bowl. 
 



Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:37 pm
 

Plus-One is just as bogus as current set up

This system still bases it's "championship" game on polls and non-sensical formulas rather than play on the field. As with this year, Boise State was one missed FG from a perfect season yet not included in the championship picture. A plus-one would merely reward the same over-hyped big money programs at the expense of college football as a whole. Sure Alabama and LSU had great defensive numbers. They both got to play the same horrendous SEC West offenses and then some hand picked non-conference foes. To LSU's credit, at least they played Oregon. 

There's no reason the NCAA couldn't start a 16-team playoff on the last week of November and then still have a bowl system of some sort around the holidays where the games have conference affliations. Pac-10 vs. Big 10 Rose Bowl, SEC East vs. West in Sugar Bowl, ACC vs. Big East in Orange Bowl, and similarly have conference tie-ins with the rest of the games. Playoff would be a bonanza if you played first two rounds at campus sites and then held neutral site games for quarters, semis and championship game.

 



Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:24 pm
 

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

Whatever, I am glad there will be a plus one, maybe, just maybe when the results are the same Dodd can write a article on why they need a Plus 60 to find the real BCS champ.



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:04 pm
 

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

Well crazy Dodd is entitles to his opinion. No matter how wrong it is. There's absolutely NO way that Ok St...at team that looked extremely vulnerable in several games this year and were lucky in several to win...and then got bounced by a pathetic Iowa St team...would have beaten Bama who didn't have ANY trouble with any team they faced minus the one LSU loss by a FG...who they showed was a fluke to begin with and dominated that same team the next time. 

It doesn't take a scholar to read this little blurb (which by the way has been regurgitated over and over and over by the SEC drones) to recognize the hypocricy by the Alabama fans.  'There is no way that OK St could win because they lost to a pathetic team'.  However, the Alabama loss was just a fluke...as was demonstrated by a 'Re-do'.  Come on you lowbrows, wake up.  Alabama lost 1, OSU lost 1. And LSU looked like a pretty pathetic team to me in the rematch. NO OFFENSE BY EITHER TEAM.  I would have loved to see how it played out, but we'll never know, the SEC and BCS are attached at the hip.  Congrats - ** Alabama - BCS Champs 



Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:45 pm
 

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

Well crazy Dodd is entitles to his opinion. No matter how wrong it is. There's absolutely NO way that Ok St...at team that looked extremely vulnerable in several games this year and were lucky in several to win...and then got bounced by a pathetic Iowa St team...would have beaten Bama who didn't have ANY trouble with any team they faced minus the one LSU loss by a FG...who they showed was a fluke to begin with and dominated that same team the next time.

This goes to show several things. For one...just because you have the record during the regular season doesn't mean you are the best team by seasons end. Bama has been the best team all year. Through mistakes they let an excellent LSU team sneak by them one game by a FG. But luckily the system let the loss slide and Bama got to show they were the best team.

We need a playoff so that one closs loss against another great team during the season doesn't have a chance to ruin your declaration at the end of the year that you ARE the best team in the land. Just like the Pro's...where the best team can get beat by the worst on a given day...but it works out whose best by seasons end in the Playoffs so it doesn't hurt you. A much better system.

Another factor involved is that the other conferences really don't want a playoff. All the conferences besides the SEC have been against a playoff for years until recently. The reason is that if they actually had to endure several games against possible two SEC teams in a playoff it would become evident really quickly what everyone else already knows. That the other teams are going to get their ass kicked just like they always have in the NC games.

Then what would these other nimrods have to cry and whine and squabble about?? These other conferences would be better off to NOT have a playoff because then they can always cry about how the SEC team didn't win a "REAL" NC and that the team left out would have FOR SURE beat them and blah blah blah de freakin' blah.

Bring on the playoff so we can solidify what we've always known. Bring it.



Since: Jul 12, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:36 pm
 

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

Relax.

The man put some thought into this article and put it out there.

It is fiction. 




Since: Nov 1, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:45 am
 

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

This article has the appearance of crack smoking



Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:43 am
 

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

What a stupid post. Oklahoma st would not have scored more than 10 on Alabama and the rest of the years are stupid too. You need to go back to 2000 if your doing this cause Miami beat FSU yet FSU played Oklahoma for the title. Miami would have slapped around OU that year!!


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