- Sep 4, 2012
Seems odd to do it this year, when the schedule is still going to be a “division” schedule.
Basically the PAC 12 hasn’t eliminated divisions, it has just eliminated the automatic bid to the PAC12CG that comes with winning the division.
U make some good points here. There are benefits to having 2 divisions when it comes to the playoffs. Ohio State in 2016 and Alabama in 2017 got into the playoffs without winning their division. Avoiding the conference championship game helped both of them. There's always an SEC west team that's guaranteed a spot in a major bowl game because they're not playing on conference championship weekend.Yeah, this is one of those weird debates. I am good friends with several USC alums, and when the Pac 12 expanded, there was a big fight against the "geographic" divisions, because everyone in the north wanted to play in Los Angeles with more frequency (for recruiting purposes).
Personally, I prefer knowing who my rivals are, I prefer having some certainty of scheduling. But I can also understand wanting to play certain teams more frequently.
I tend to focus on the drawbacks of eliminating the divisions. First, you have a greater likelihood of tiebreakers that are not based on head-to-head. At least when you have a tie for first place in a division, you can guarantee that there have been head-to-head games. I think it would suck to lose out on making an ACC Championship game when the #2 and #3 teams in the conference haven't had a chance to play each other.
Speaking of which, divisional play tends to cut down on the Championship Game being a "rematch". It doesn't eliminate the possibility entirely, just makes it more unlikely. Which, of course, leads in to the next point, which is that the luck of the draw is going to give some teams "easy" conference schedules. In the current system, you have only ONE "randomized" game, as you play your 6 divisional teams plus 1 permanent rival. However, under the new proposal, you would have 5 opponents selected out of the other 10 teams that are not your 3 "permanent rivals", leading to the possibility that the majority of your conference schedule is "soft" if you manage to avoid the toughest of those 10 possible opponents.
Also, how are we going to select the "3 permanent rivals"? I know we could sit here and hypothesize about who those should be "for Miami" or "for North Carolina", but you ultimately have to distribute the permanent rivalry games equally. So we can't just say "oh, Miami wants F$U and VaTech and Boston College or some such thing, because at some point, some team will have to take the "leftovers". And don't even get me started on what happens if Notre Dame joins...
Of course, I'm not even sure why "not" playing in the ACC-CG would be such a bad thing if the #2 (division AND overall) team in the ACC Atlantic (or Coastal) has only lost to the division champ. Having only 1 loss, in an age of 12 regular season games and a P5 conference championship game, is almost always a ticket to the Final Four. Losing a conference championship game (perhaps for the second time) to another conference team tends to push that second team OUT of the Final Four consideration. I know getting 2 teams in the Final Four is awesome, but making those two teams play in the ACC-CG is not incredibly helpful.
Anyhow, just my thoughts on the matter, though I'm sure we will get overwhelmed by people who proclaim that 3-3-5 is the greatest thing since sliced bread.