Friday, January 09, 2009

Final BlogPoll Ballot: Florida Finishes No. 1
Plus: I Expose The Folly Of Playoff Seeding

How appropriate, given that Florida at No. 1 is the way I started the season (one of 14 BlogPoll voters -- and, yes, Kirk Herbstreit -- to call it in August).

NOTES: I am so pleasantly surprised that Utah ended up No. 2 in the AP's final poll, mirroring my own ballot. I hope voters didn't put the Utes there for the symbolism, but for the earnest belief -- like mine -- that they are indeed the 2nd-best team in the country.

I said this yesterday: Utah would give Florida a tougher game than any other team in the country -- including USC -- specifically because Kyle Whittingham is an Urban Meyer protege. (That's also the reason that Meyer would ultimately prevail -- he knows Whittingham's tendencies better than anyone.)

NOW: Playoff proponents, please note that based on the penultimate AP or Coaches polls:

*In a 4-team model, Utah would have been left out (including a model based on AP votes).

*In an 8-team model, TCU would have been left out (perhaps even for Boise State, a team they ultimately beat head-to-head).

*In a 16-team model, Ole Miss would have been left out (and Texas Tech been included), despite the Rebels obviously being one of the Top 16 teams in the country -- if they could beat Florida at the Swamp, they could have presumably won it all in a playoff format.

Obviously, that is with the benefit of hindsight, but it shows you just how sticky the issue is in trying to pick a playoff field. This isn't like the NCAA basketball tournament, where there are 31 at-large bids that cover 98 percent of all reasonably worthy teams -- very very competitive teams would be left out of a football playoff.

UPDATE: As for 2009? If Tebow returns, Florida is a lock for No. 1. If not, it's probably Texas. Although check out Schlabach's list -- everyone has massive holes...except Florida. (People will think I'm insane, but Tebow backup John Brantley -- while not the runner Tebow is -- is a substantially bettery passer; if the D keeps the team in every game and the home-run hitters like Demps do what they do best, Brantley will be good enough -- if not spectacular.)

Here is my final ballot. Let me know what you think:

1 Florida --
2 Utah 6
3 Southern Cal 2
4 Texas 2
5 Oklahoma 2
6 Alabama 2
7 TCU 5
8 Mississippi 10
9 Penn State 2
10 Georgia 6
11 Texas Tech 5
12 Ohio State 1
13 Boise State 4
14 Oregon 1
15 Virginia Tech 2
16 Oklahoma State 3
17 Cincinnati 7
18 Oregon State 8
19 Missouri 1
20 Georgia Tech 6
21 Iowa 5
22 Florida State 4
23 West Virginia 3
24 California 2
25 Tulsa 1

Dropped Out: Brigham Young (#19), Ball State (#21), Michigan State (#22), Northwestern (#23), Pittsburgh (#24), Boston College (#25).


Unknown said...

16 teams is the way to go. Yes it would have left out ole miss but they were 9-4 so what if they beat Fla at the swamp. They also lost to South Carolina and Wake Forest. Just because they could have gone on a 4 game streak and won it all doesn't mean they should have been included. It works extremely well for FCS (although they are going to 20 teams next year much to my chagrin) and could work just as well for FBS.

Tsell said...

Ohio State deserves to be higher after nearly beating Texas and Ole Miss does not deserve as much of a bump up for beating TxTech after the Big 12 defenses (outside of OU) were exposed in the bowl games.

WuzUpG said...

Why does CFB have postseason polls? I understand why they used to have postseason polls, prior to the BCS. Now that they have a title game, there shouldn't be a reason to have one.

CBB doesn't have postseason rankings because who cares? The champ is all that matters. There's scrutiny in coming up with the field of 65. There's scrutiny in coming up with a field for a CFB playoff, as you just displayed.

Having postseason polls/rankings only creates more questions. Perhaps, the answer isn't a CFB playoff, keep the BCS Bowl. Perhaps, the answer is to get rid of the postseason polls/rankings.

Eric said...

16 Teams, Take the Conference Champions and a handful of at large teams to make the tourny, seed them and let them play it out. Use a committee similar to the basketball committee to pick the at-large births and do the seeding.

This turns the polls back into what they were originally meant to do... spur conversations in the media and fans, not decide a championship (which is what they do today in college football).

Want more at large bids? Only give auto bids to conference champs with 2 or fewer losses. It'll open an additional spot or two most years. These conference champs could still get an at large bid, it just wouldn't be automatic.

This keeps the regular season very relevant, only automatic bid is to win your conference.

Let's everyone in with a reasonable shot of winning it.

Think team's will pad their schedule with patsies in the non-conference portion so they don't have more than 2 losses? Well, if they do, they'll never have a chance at an at-large bid because of their soft schedule.

Unknown said...

Dan, sure you can say its a flaw that TCU is left out of the 8 team model, but if you are given the choice between leaving out TCU (or whoever this years TCU is in any given year) and having a tournament involving UF, TX, Utah, USC, etc. or having the clusterf-ck that we have now, wouldn't you take the playoff system every time?

Natty Bumpo said...

brantley looked like ass, every opportunity he received this season. this offense will take an ENORMOUS step back if tebow leaves.