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College Football Playoff expansion should help grow Georgia-Clemson rivalry

SystemSystem Posts: 10,561 admin
edited June 2021 in Article commenting
imageCollege Football Playoff expansion should help grow Georgia-Clemson rivalry

Georgia-Clemson could become a much more competitive rivalry if the College Football Playoff is expanded.

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    E_RocE_Roc Posts: 1,221 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I keep hearing about how the expansion of the playoff will necessitate a stronger schedule, but have yet to see an actual argument explaining how that's the case. Making something more inclusive and raising the bar for entry are mutually exclusive concepts, yet we are regularly told that making the playoff more inclusive will produce a more stringent standard for acceptance into it vis-a-vis strength of schedule. Can anyone show their work on this? I'm willing to acknowledge that I might be missing something, but I find it odd that such an obvious question has seemingly gone unaddressed.

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    RealityBasedDawgFanRealityBasedDawgFan Posts: 198 ✭✭✭ Junior

    I agree with E-Roc, it seems like we are either "opening the door for more" or "making it harder to get through the door". I find it perplexing to grasp how both can be the case.

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    kirkhilleskirkhilles Posts: 1,097 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    "For a long time now we have been trying to build up our future strength of schedule, because it’s not the losses that are going to kill you; it’s not playing the best teams"

    Actually, this HAS been absolutely proven to be the right strategy for Georgia. We are almost always one of the top teams with 1-2 losses... and we often pull off amazing victories only to lose to a crappy team.

    I'm thrilled the Clemson realizes this and hope others that typically have a cupcake schedule that you can't claim to be "national champions" if play nobody.

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    MontanaDawgMontanaDawg Posts: 1,869 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited June 2021

    Agree with you. It does seem counter intuitive that you would need a stronger schedule to make a playoff where there will be more teams involved. The only thing I can come up with is that I think the CFP committee is going to really focus in on quality of wins - EVEN if you are an undefeated conference champion. We know all conferences (even Power 5) are not the same and some are tougher than others. As Mike pointed out in another article, a few years after the playoffs started many teams loaded up on weak non-conference games in order to try and go undefeated and prove they belonged in the playoffs. The 2017 Central Florida team, with its perfect 12-0 record, served as a prime example. The American Athletic Conference Knights were left out of the four-team playoff due to playing in a weaker (non-Power 5) league. However, the 12-team playoff taking the highest-ranked six conference champions ensures a Group of Five team gets in - AND does NOT guarantee all Power-5 conference champions gets in. Oregon was Pac-12 Champ in 2020 but didn't make the playoffs, and they wouldn't have even made it in a 12-team playoff in 2020. There is no guarantee that being a conference champion gets you a spot in the playoffs. It all boils down to strength of schedule and final rankings.

    And I would add this - if Georgia loses to Clemson AND loses another game (outside the SEC Championship) I don't think they deserve to be in the current 4-team playoff - even if they somehow come back and win the SEC Championship. A 2-loss SEC Champion simply doesn't deserve to be in a 4-team playoff. Now, depending on the outcome of the season for the rest of the teams and conferences, you may or may not have a case for the Dawgs in a 12-team playoff in 2021 in that scenario.

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    E_RocE_Roc Posts: 1,221 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited June 2021

    I see what you're saying, but those circumstances that you point to would apply to playing for a national championship at any point in the sport's history (at least since a NCG has been in play). It still doesn't really explain how the expansion puts MORE emphasis on schedule strength (which I know you basically acknowledged at the beginning of your post), only that strength of schedule could still matter to a degree in a 12-team system. To wit, in your Georgia example, if the Dawgs had taken on a cupcake in week one and gone 12-1 with an SEC championship, there's a remote chance (their name not being Bama) that they could be left out of the 4-team playoff, depending on how **** the loss was and how the rest of the top 5 looks. But there's absolutely no way they wouldn't make the top 12. If they beat Clemson and go 12-1 with that conference title, they're in no matter what system is in effect. So in either system, either it doesn't matter or they're more likely to get in having scheduled the cupcake.

    I think the real value in the playoff expansion with respect to scheduling - and this article does touch on it - is that since the bar for playoff acceptance is lower, it frees programs up to pursue these big game matchups for their INTRINSIC value. Like, these are the games everyone wants to play and watch, there's not as much to lose by losing them now, so let's do it. If more programs do indeed start taking that approach, then I'll have no problem acknowledging that the playoff expansion has benefitted the sport in that regard.

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,751 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Not a wise move by UGA. A Clemson/UGA game gives Clemson more exposure in GA and an SEC opponent on their schedule w/o playing a full SEC schedule. Both things increase their recruiting profile. Benefits Clemson greatly. Doesn't benefit UGA.

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