The What If Game…..


With the 2013 college football season coming to a close and many key games left to decide who should play for the national championship, what would happen if the crystal ball I look into came to fruition. Since college football only play 12 regular season games and only 10% of the college football FBS program only play a 13th game then my playoff brackets are starting to take shape. Currently(12-0) Northern Illinois is in the club house as then leader and only 0-loss FBS program. As I shake my crystal ball this is what I think about. Not predictions, but the what if game from what I would like to see happen. Shakes my crystal ball and this is what I see…..

First in the SEC:

Alabama(11-0) loses to (10-1) Auburn. Thus making the SEC with no 0-loss teams and Alabama’s dreams of a 3-peat dissolved.Not playing in championship game is a requirement, if I recall eliminates you from final game consideration. Alabama falls to (11-1) and Auburn moves to (11-1), eliminating Alabama’s chance to compete in the SEC final game. Missouri (10-1) loses to Texas A&M (8-3). Missouri falls to (10-2) and Texas A&M moves to (9-3). South Carolina (9-2) beats Clemson (10-1). South Carolina moves to (10-2) and Clemson falls to (10-2).  This sets up the (10-2) South Carolina and (11-1) Auburn for the SEC final game. South Carolina beats Auburn in final game making South Carolina (11-2) and Auburn (11-2). This makes the SEC a mediocre conference, not the toughest and the 7 championship run stopped.

Second the ACC

Florida State (11-0) loses to Florida (4-7) in the battle for the state of Florida. Now that’s an upset. Florida State falls to (11-1) and Florida moves to (5-7) to save their season. That makes no 0-loss teams in the ACC. The ACC Coastal Division winner most likely Duke (10-2), pulls off the upset in the ACC final game by upsetting Florida State making Florida State and Duke both (11-2). We add two more FBS/BCS programs to the pool of 2-loss teams.

Third the Big 10

Ohio State (11-0) loses to Michigan (7-4) in the final game of the season. Ohio State falls to (11-1) and plays in the Big 10 final game. Ohio State’s loss makes them the last 0-loss team in the BCS/FBS level to lose. Michigan State (10-1) loses to Minnesota (8-3) in the final game. Michigan State falls to (10-2) and will play (11-1) Ohio State for the Big 10 final game. Michigan State beats Ohio State in the final game, making Michigan State (11-2) and Ohio State (11-2).Ohio State, just like the SEC and Alabama, plays a Democritus style schedule fearing traveling to play out of their region.

Fourth the Big 12

Baylor (10-1) loses to Texas (8-3) in the final game. Baylor falls to (10-2). Oklahoma State (10-1) loses to Oklahoma (9-2). Oklahoma State falls to (10-2) and Oklahoma moves to (10-2). This makes the Big 12 still competitive but not worthy of playing in the final championship game. The Baylor mystic and run was great for college football, someone else to talk about besides the SEC.

Fifth the American Conference

Central Florida (9-1) wins their remaining two games versus South Florida and SMU, making Central Florida (11-1). Louisville (10-1) loses to Cincinnati (9-2) to make both Cincinnati and Louisville (10-2). The American Conference would then possess (1) of the (2) remaining 1-loss programs at FBS/NCAA football. Remember this is the conference that will lose its automatic bid to a MAJOR BOWL game during the New Year’s Day Bowl games run in the 2014 season. This is due to the fact that they are adding NON-BCS/NON-AQ programs to their conference. Interesting these 125 college football FBS/NCAA programs all compete at the same level, but they are segregated based upon athletic budgets and money.

Lastly

Northern Illinois wins the MAC final game versus Bowling Green or Buffalo, making Northern Illinois (13-0). Fresno State wins their remaining games with San Jose State and wins the Mountain West Conference final game versus Utah State or Boise State. Fresno State wins the final game in the Mountain West and moves to (12-0). Two NON-BCS/NON-AQ/NCAA/FBS programs remain un-defeated and both should be playing for the national championship. However, the powers that be keep both out of the final game and only reward one of them for a BSC bowl game. How pathetic of a system college football has, reward those with money and notoriety, and leave those who earned a very credible record out of earning more money, increased exposure and national attention.

This leaves both Northern Illinois and Fresno State as the last 2 0-loss programs, Central Florida and Alabama the only 1-loss teams. So who gets into the final game? What will the future playoff committee do then? What experience does this committee have in making the right decision and not a decision based upon name recognition to put a name brand in the championship game over those student athletes and coaches from non-high profile levels. It’s an easy decision from my perspective… both 0-loss programs make the final game. Let the wins speak for themselves and not individuals whose pockets are endlessly lined with lots of money to significantly influence the decision.

Anyone else feel the same way? I guess my crystal ball can have some hope as I watch the last 2 weeks of the college football season.

Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday….

 


FCS Still Leaves Credible Programs Out Of Field… Take Note FBS Playoff Committee


On November 24, 2013; the FCS Committee released the 24 team field for their annual NCAA FCS Football National Championship. I reviewed and examined the field of 24 and found that, like the NCAA Men’s and Women’s March Madness brackets, some credible programs are left scratching their head, after reading a recent and un-authored blog post from ncaafootball.com called “In the Huddle: Nothing Simple about the FCS Selection”, posted on November 24, 2013. The one interesting point made in the article by Head Coach Dino Babers from (11-1) Eastern Illinois, who received a 1st round BYE summed it up the best “Subjective, Objective, Computers, the Eye Test, it still comes down to winning games” (NCAAFootball.com, 2013). If winning and your overall record is the most important aspect to measure who makes the field, then why must we have this complicated subjective, bias and manipulated BCS system to determine which programs are given a significant advantage and the opportunity, not truly earned the opportunity, to compete for the NCAA/FBS Mens Football National Championship.

Of the 24 berths for the FCS programs; 9 are Conference Winners and the remaining 15 are at-large berths, selected by a committee. Yes, 15 at large berths not 4 like the future College Football Playoff system in 2014. After reviewing the brackets and analyzing the berths, who made it, who earned a 1st round bye and who was left on the outside looking in. As I examined the FCS brackets, I looked for the FCS program with the least credible record. The purpose of that was to expand the list of at large berths of teams who should have been examined, evaluated, assessed to make the field. Furman (7-5), who finished tied for 1st in the Southland Conference was selected to participate. That means every FCS program that was not selected with a (7-5) record or better has a legitimate argument on why they were left out. 24 FCS programs met or exceeded that requirement and are scratching their head why. Remember what Coach Babers said ” still comes down to winning games”.

Of the pool of additional at large FCS programs that should have been reviewed and possibly selected, 7 of the 24, or 29.1% equaled the Furman (7-5) record. 5 of the 24, or 20.8% possessed a record of (7-4) minus 1 game which could have either made their record (8-4) or (7-5) as Furman. The additional 12 of the 24 or 50% of the field possessed a win-loss record better than (7-5) Furman but were left out of this playoff tournament and scratching their heads. We meet the criteria based upon what Coach Babers said but we are left out, that does not make sense. More interesting fact is the IVY League was left out of the whole playoff tournament. (8-2) Princeton and (9-1) Harvard left out. I wonder what the committee was thinking. The remaining list of FCS programs that were left out of this playoff field were: (10-2) Mercer(Pioneer Conf.), (10-3) Charleston Southern(Big South), (9-3) Alcorn State (SWAC), (3) (8-4) FBS programs Liberty(Big South), Youngstown State(Missouri Valley), Chattanooga (Southland) and (4) (8-3) FBS programs Lehigh(Patriot), San Diego and Marist(Pioneer), and Jackson State(SWAC). Count them, 12 FCS programs with better records than (7-5) Furman and left out. Based upon Coach Baber’s comment, Mercer and Charleston Southern need a full explanation, followed by Alcorn State. 10 win and 9 win seasons and they are on the outside looking in.

I know the selection committee has a tough job of seeding and then selecting the at large berths. The most interesting fact is of the 126 FCS programs 24 or 19% of the pool is selected. Of that pool, 48 or 38.1%  were eligible for examination, assessment and possible selection. Something I examined in my book “College Football In the BCS Era, The Untold Truth: An Analysis of Factors that Supports the 16 Team Playoff Model” was a larger field creates a better pool of programs to select from and seed. The future College Football Playoff Committee starting in 2014 will be only selecting 3.1% of the field or 4 FBS programs. I cannot wait until the large group of FBS programs that are on the outside looking in start lobbying and saying, ” we have the same record or better than team X, how were we left out”?  How is this committee going to determine what variables to use and analyze. Their committee responsibility just got harder. If the FCS Committee has trouble selecting and seeding 24 FCS programs and still leaving credible programs on the outside looking in, how will this new FBS Playoff Committee handle the selection process. That is the $50+ Million dollar decision they signed up for, nominated for or were told they were on the committee.

My hat goes off to the FCS committee who takes on the tough task but at least fair process in selecting and seeding the 24 FCS programs. I think what makes this FCS selection and seeding process so simple or easier is, there is not $50+ Million dollars in the balance in the selection process. Just the prestige, honor and recognition of being called NCAA FCS Men’s Football National Champions. Take note FBS Playoff Committee.. your tasks and responsibilities has more layers to it than peeling an onion.

 

Source: unauthored (2013). “In the FCS Huddle: Nothing Simple About FCS Playoff Selection”. Viewed on the ncaafootball.com website. November 24, 2013.

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College Football Playoff Committee Meets


In today’s, November 12, 2013; USA Today Sports page, they published an article written by USA Today sports writer; George Schroeder. The article titled “Playoff Committee Forms Its First Huddle” (Schroeder, 2013), opening comment in bold print by the author “Members focus on defining role for 2014 launch” (Schroeder, 2013). This was the first time the committee were to meet with all its members in the same place, same time to discuss several topics. Interesting missing from the committee due to other obligations were Mr. Arching Manning and Sen. Tom Osbourne. The committee meets or schedules to meet for the first time and they ALL cannot be present. First decision already and there is a fumble and a turnover. This is a responsibility in which you were selected, not elected and you all cannot make the first meeting. I can only see how future committee meetings will go from this point forward. You’re responsibility is to make a $50+ million dollar decision and you ALL can’t agree on meeting for the first time to make this committee show some credibility to the commitment to the importance of being part of the selected group.

Another interesting point, to prove that the bias will still be associated with this committee, Mr. Bill Hancock, Commissioner of the BCS, is already making his presence felt along with his influence to the members of the committee, by being part of this process and photo opportunity. He was not selected to be part of this committee when the committee was announced a few weeks ago, then what is his motivation and purpose for being there? We all know what it is. From my perspective, if this committee is to receive credibility then people like Mr. Bill Hancock, Mr. Mike Slive and any other influential people who can use their higher centers of influence to dial up a committee member and make direct suggestions on who they would like to see in the 4-team playoff, should remain silent and distant. See, Mr. Bill Hancock already has a direct line, like the Bat Phone with Commissioner Gordon and Batman, to the committee chairperson; Mr. Jeff Long. Mr. Jeff Long is the Athletic Director for the University of Arkansas. See the direct relationship, bias, influence and higher centers of influence already at work and we have not even started the first selection process. There are more moral and ethical issues associated with this playoff committee than you can count on one hand.

As I have said before in a previous posting/publishing, the committee is being asked to make a $50+ million dollar decision knowing they must select 3.1% of the field of NCAA/FBS football programs. Not only is the financial implication important, but their are members who are part of this committee who have never been part of an NCAA Men’s or Women’s selection committee but have not been following college football like a real administrator does or a sports fan, but were selected based upon name sake to provide the committee with name credibility, but possesses limited experience in selection committee process for team participation in one of the most visible playoff formats, outside of the March Madness for Men’s and Women’s College Basketball. The article continues on with Condoleezza Rice being quoted saying “I think it’s impossible, having been appointed to the committee, not viewing football games differently” (Schroeder, 2013). Mrs. Rice was also was quoted as saying “I try to watch more games- which in my case is almost impossible, since I already watch a lot of football” (Schroeder, 2013). With all due respect to Mrs. Rice, how many football games have you watched as a fan and how many have you watched to analyze not just the game but the season over many seasons? Watching football games as a fan is significantly much different when you need to make a multi-million dollar decision debating that cyclical triad or being persuaded by those committee members who have more football experience than you. You then become like one of the rats who follow the Pied Piper. Your thoughts and opinions become null and void at that point in time.

This is not like throwing darts at a dart board and hoping you hit a bulls eye. You and the selected committee are making a $50+ Million Dollar decision that impacts not just 4 programs, but those programs who can also say “we should be part of that 4-team playoff”, “why were we left out”. Those teams left out will want answers, many 1-loss programs, possibly 2-loss programs and more specifically the Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS member programs. This committee has made a decision to be part of this committee without examining the ethical and moral implications that this responsibility comes with. I hope that this committee can provide real answers and not have to take “back pedaling” or “deflection” classes when dealing with tough questions when being questions about the first field of 4. With college football being the most visible sport at the start of the school year, returning back to school, always in the media’s forefront and scrutiny, 35+ million fans attend games on a yearly basis and MANY millions more watch and follow college football; then this committee is under a large microscope to get it right the first time. Hard to do when you must select 3.1% of the field, $50+ Million Dollars in the balance and many higher centers of influence possessing direct lines of communication to this group of committee members.

The committee will be examining what factors to use as measurable criteria to determine their selection process. Schroeder wrote in his article that  “this committee will be expected to consider factors including conference championships, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, common opponents and the effects of injuries” (Schroeder, 2013). Interesting factors to examine if you have never really examined, analyzed, assessed or cognitively understand the significance that not just those dependent variables play, but other dependent variables that impact the independent variable. In English, every variable within the college football season must be examined pertaining to the selection process on the college football 4-team playoff. Let me point out some interesting facts about the factors that are listed and published in this article. Conference championships, not ALL FBS conferences possess them. Conference championships only significantly help, the Big 10, Pac 12, ACC, and the SEC. Yes, the MAC, Conference USA and the Mountain West conferences possess conference championships, but theirs possess limited importance and significance to making this 4-team field. The Non-BCS/Non-AQ conferences are already behind the 8-ball as it is, why create a measurable criteria that eliminates a specific group? Strength of schedule, that is such an open ended number of variables, where do I start. You cannot truly significantly determine whose schedule is stronger than the others. The variables are like concentric circles over lapping with more bad variables than good.

The one valid and key question I possess within this variable of the strength of schedule is, how do you as a committee view FBS programs who schedule FCS programs, the viability of those FCS programs who do not compete for the FBS championship, but play for embarrassment and the financial payday it comes with by playing those FBS programs? Before you start providing me with examples of Appalachian State and North Dakota State, published research in which I performed in my book states that FBS teams win 89.6% of those games versus FCS programs as of the 2012 FBS season (Siggelow, 2013). Also, FBS programs significantly outscore the FCS programs by 4+ possessions or 28.1 points (Siggelow,2013). That’s only looking at the final results from scheduling games versus FCS programs and not how many FBS programs or conference schedule and how they schedule FCS programs. Common opponents and head to head competition is a good measurable criteria but still has many factors associated with it. The factor of injuries is not a viable factor when determining a teams capability. Injuries are part of the sport or game and they occur and happen. Unless the committee has a magical crystal ball, like the sports analysts do when predicting game outcomes on the weekend, then using injuries as a factor is not a factor to examine. You cannot predict how a team will play with or without key players. Each game and play are distinctively different.

This committee has a tough task in front of them, knowing this is a $50+ million dollar decision and many of them have no business being part of this committee, that’s just my opinion. I have more experience, knowledge and education to be part of this committee, strongly based upon research, examination and analyzing 25,000+ data points from 1996 to the present when selecting my fictional field of 16 for my college football playoffs. As the years progress, we know where this college football playoff is headed. It’s headed towards a more traditional playoff format of 16. It’s only a matter of time.

I only speak of the truth as Sgt. Joe Friday said “Only the facts ma’am.. only the facts”.

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Schroeder, George. Playoff Committee Forms Its First Huddle: Members focus on defining role for 2014 launch. USA Today Sports. November 12, 2013. Page 3C.

Siggelow, Matthew. (2013). College Football In BCS Era, The Untold Truth: An Analysis of Factors that Supports the 16-Team Playoff Model. Lulu.com, self published Matthew Siggelow.

 


ESPN CFB Analyst Makes Bias Comment on Live TV


During the LIVE broadcast at 8:30PM, of the ESPN BCS Countdown Show; on November 3, 2013; Hosted by Rece Davis along with in-studio analysts; Jesse Palmer and David Pollack along with via satellite analysts Kirk Herbstreit; a VERY BIAS comment was verbalized across the air waves without delay or being bleeped out by the sensors at ESPN. This comment or statement was given by David Pollack within the first 10 minutes of the airing and rundown of the current BCS ranking in reverse order from 25 to 1. The rankings as of November 3, 2013 revealed that (2) Non-BCS/Non-AQ/ NCAA/ FBS members Fresno State and Northern Illinois were both ranked respectively and subjectively in order, Fresno State #16 from the Mountain West Conference and Northern Illinois #18 from the Mid-American Conference, both ahead of BCS/AQ member Louisville #20. Both Fresno State and Northern Illinois are respectively in the group of 0-loss programs currently, and no on talks about their success in the 2013 FBS season.

David Pollack’s was asked by the host Rece Davis; what he thought about the current rankings. One of the first comments or statements made by David Pollack was “that the human voters of the USA Today Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll voters, need to re-examine their ranking process in how they ranked Fresno State and Northern Illinois ahead of AQ/BCS member Louisville. They should not be ranked ahead of an BCS/AQ conference leader.” This comment more than significantly implies that David Pollack is VERY BIAS against all or any Non-BCS/Non-AQ conference and programs and they do not DESERVE to be ranked higher than any BCS/AQ conference program leader. David Pollack is ultimately suggesting that the human voters and members from the USA Today Coaches Poll of 60 coaches and the 122 members from The Harris Poll should rank both Fresno State and Northern Illinois lower than Louisville. Ultimately suggesting that Fresno State, Northern Illinois or any other Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS football program are not deserving of a BCS bowl berth, the large sums of money that comes with participating in those bowls no matter if they both end the season with 0-losses. This comment also suggest that the human voters NEED to manipulate their rankings or voting process to ultimately affect both Fresno State and Northern Illinois. Not only affect their rank but also affect their earning potential, recruitment and promotion of their more than credible football FBS programs, coaches and players. The ranking process or voting process is 100% subjective with NO true criteria to rank FBS/NCAA programs 1 through 25. Research performed by myself and published in my book “College Football in the BCS Era, The Untold Truth” examined both human subjective voting processes and determined that there is NO true criteria or process to vote FBS programs 1 through 25 and that their is a definitive bias among the voters against Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS programs, both with coaches and human voters. His direct comment also implies and suggests that David Pollack is intentionally obstructing both Fresno State, Northern Illinois or any Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS member from the the possibility of potentially earning, a right so deserving spot, to compete for the BCS National Championship Game or any of the double digit mulit-million dollar BCS bowl games; which would significantly provide any Non-BCS/Non-AQ conference and programs credibility, notoriety recruiting leverage and more exposure to the institution and their athletic programs..

Yes, it is David Pollack’s opinion, but an opinion with vested interest, negative intentions, significant intent to decrease the opportunity for those two football programs to increase their financial well being and to influence subjective voters to vote his way per his opinion. It’s very interesting that ESPN who employs, supports and seeks the advice from sports analysts such as David Pollack, allowed that statement to be aired LIVE and no one challenging his comment. Since ESPN analysts have an direct avenue via the airwaves of LIVE TV during games, LIVE ESPN TV shows, LIVE Sportcenter’s or LIVE radio shows, to voice their opinion which could ultimately be subliminal in nature, but also effective towards those who possess decision making skills when significantly LARGE sums of money are at stake which could assist those conferences and programs. David Pollack’s comment is so significantly and subjectively BIAS that when future BCS rankings are revealed, starting with the November 10, 2013 rankings, could ultimately affect both Fresno State, Northern Illinois and any Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS member and keep them from playing for the National Championship or another large multi-million dollar BCS Bowl game.

If I were the the President, Chancellor, Athletic Director or Head Football Coach of either of these two institutions, I would be on the phone to my legal counsel and starting legal action against ESPN, ABC, the BCS Countdown Show and naming David Pollack as part of a defamation lawsuit and or antitrust law suit to impede my ability to be recognized as a credible football program, participate in a lucrative BCS Bowl game and more. David Pollacks comment could ultimately change and impede the earning opportunities for both Fresno State and/or Northern Illinois as the 2013 season concludes. The only factors that separates the BCS/AQ/NCAA/FBS conferences and programs from the Non-AQ/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS conferences and programs is MONEY, TELEVISION CONTRACTS and ATHLETIC BUDGETS. All 125 FBS programs in the 2013 season all play by the same rules, same game time, receive the same time outs, receive the same amount of scholarships(unless on probation by the NCAA), score the same amount of points during games, a touchdown is still 6 points, a FG is still 3 points and so on.The skills and knowledge of both the coaches and players are what determines the success of their season and the possibility of earning an extra game which includes extra revenue, exposure and recruiting opportunities. This comment by David Pollack could be viewed as damaging to the future earning potential of both Fresno State, Northern Illinois and other Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS football programs.

The Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/VBS conference and programs are already significantly at a severe disadvantage when it comes to competing for a national championship, a larger financial bowl berth, recruiting and earning the respect from sports analysts in various and multiple markets. The Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS programs surely do not need a high profile sports program on ESPN, which is aired across the nation on multiple satellite and cable organizations to make their process any harder to earn credibility than what it already is at a significant dis-advantage. The comment, verbalized and made by David Pollack makes it significantly that much harder now for the Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS programs or conferences to receive any credit for their current season accolades, when you have one nationally re-known sports program and company allowing statements such as David Pollacks to be aired LIVE. It’s very interesting that if you look at all the panels of ESPN analysts (and not just ESPN) across their college football shows in which they air, there is NOT one member who speaks on behalf of the Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS football programs to promote them as credible programs and conferences. I would love the opportunity to be part of that panel and promote the Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS conferences and programs. Challenging the so called “experts” to their intellect and knowledge. I would make sure that the Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS football programs had a LOUD VOICE to be heard. Even Boise State with the success they had, and still have, could not even secure a BCS Championship Game with the 17 year’s success with the second highest win loss percentage among all FBS programs.

In closing, I suggest and hope that ESPN go back and watch the tape of that November 3, 2013 BCS Countdown Show and see how close I am to what David Pollack suggests and says. It’s very sad that each year there are competitive Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS football programs that earn 0-loss seasons but never given TRUE and meaningful support by the media or opportunity to compete for the national championship. Even with the future 4-team College Football Playoff format in 2014, we will still see 4 BCS/AQ/NCAA/FBS programs securing and competing for the college football FBS title and the Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS programs and conferences still on the outside looking in. In my opinion, David Pollack should have documentation in his file and or terminated for his malicious intent to decrease the financial earning opportunity for Fresno State, Northern Illinois and other Non-BCS/Non-AQ/NCAA/FBS football programs. I do not think an apology is in order.

I only report the facts and truths……. I know I am not the only college football fan who watched the ESPN BCS Countdown Show and heard what David Pollack said  on that specific date and time, with what he was implying and suggesting with confidence.

I look forward to your comments…. and questions. Follow me on twitter @cfbpoexpert