Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Problem With The "Quality" Win Idea

Two weeks into the new playoff poll, it is very clear that the committee will be weighing heavily on what they call a "quality" win. But that leads me to the question what is a "quality" win? Is it a win over a ranked team? Is it a win over a team with a winning record? But what if you beat a team that was ranked when you played them but then they fall apart the rest of the way? Is that still a quality win? Case and point is Notre Dame's win over Stanford. At the time The Cardinal was ranked #14 but has since lost two more times. So again I ask, is that still considered a "quality" win?

There are two problems with it as I see it. One, there really isn't a transparent criteria on what qualifies as a "quality" win. Two, the committee is penalizing teams for something they have no control over. Look at Notre Dame's Schedule for example. So far they have beaten Michigan, Purdue, Syracuse, Stanford, and North Carolina. Those are all name schools from Power conferences. Notre Dame has no control over what those teams do against the rest of their schedule.

So the real problem is that a committee is subjectively deciding who they think are the four best teams. The committee should be there to set the criteria and let the teams decide it on the field. For me it could be quite simple. I would only have conference champs and have a Notre Dame Clause.

The clause for Notre Dame is that if they go 12-0 they are in and if they go 11-1 they are eligible. But since they don't play in a conference, they need to have 10 of their games against Power 5 competition and only one service academy a year. I think that's fair.

Now for the conference champs. There are five conferences and only four spots. Three if Notre Dame is in. So how do you determine who gets in of the conference champs? That is where you have clearly define what a "quality" win is. I think a fair definition of a quality win would be a win over a team from a power conference or Notre Dame. Then you say the conference champs with the most quality wins are in. That way you punish a team for what other teams on their schedule do and you also encourage Power 5 teams to schedule from other conferences and maybe only one FCS team.

If it comes out that two teams are tied for that last spot, let them play. The winner is in and the loser gets the first major bowl game out. What is so hard about that?

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