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JAR
12-31-2009, 09:29 PM
First, Happy New Year, PS...

My Tiger Woods Tirade is over, and we can now return to the Truth about the NFL.

10. The next time someone tells you that a playoff format would make college football perfect remind him/her of the Colts laying down against the Jets and the legitimate allegations the Patriots and Bengals will lie down this weekend to keep the defending champion Steelers out of the playoffs.

The NFL isn’t going to discount tickets for its second exhibition season. It’s still going to cost $25 to park your car. But, as is prone to happen this time of year, the league will treat us to a string of meaningless games pitting players mostly trying to avoid injuries.

Oh, there will be a handful of AFC teams giving their all, making last-ditch attempts to secure one of two remaining playoff spots. The problem is, their opponent won’t care much about winning or losing. Or, in the case of the Pats and Bengals, the opponent might have incentive to lose.

“Cincinnati is probably going to go into New York and lay down for the Jets and not play them hard just because they’re not going to want to see Pittsburgh in (the playoffs),” Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley told the media on Wednesday. “No one wants to see Pittsburgh in it. That’s just how it is. Everybody knows we’re a dangerous team once we get into the playoffs, no matter how we played the whole year.”

It’s true. Pittsburgh can’t qualify for the playoffs if the Pats and Bengals both lose.

If you were Cincinnati or New England and had an opportunity to eliminate two-time Super Bowl winner and fourth-quarter assassin Ben Roethlisberger by keeping the playoff hopes of New York’s Mark Sanchez and Houston’s Matt Schaub alive, wouldn’t you lay down?

New England plays at Houston. Cincy plays at New York. The Pats and Bengals, winners of their divisions, have secured playoff spots, and there’s little difference between being a No. 3 or No. 4 seed. Bill Belichick and Marvin Lewis are expected to rest numerous starters on Sunday.

I’m not suggesting the college BCS system is superior to the NFL’s playoff system. I’m saying there is no perfect system, and the media ignore the obvious flaws in the pro format.

Last Sunday, the Colts spit on history, pulling Peyton Manning and several other starters from a game that could’ve put Indy one win from regular-season perfection. We’ve heard a plethora of excuses and rationalizations for the Colts’ decision. The only one that makes a kernel of sense is the Colts, too, want Big Ben on a couch with a remote at playoff time.

Sound crazy? Did you see Roethlisberger’s 503-yard masterpiece against the Packers two weeks ago? Did you see his game-winning dart to Mike Wallace as time expired?

If the Steelers qualify and safety Troy Polamalu returns for the playoffs, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers could raise the hell he promised a month ago. Smart football people know this. The Steelers are a great defensive team when Polamalu is on the field. If he’d remained healthy throughout the year, Pittsburgh is 13-3 rather than 8-7 and gasping for life.

So, yeah, it makes sense for the Bengals, Patriots and Colts to lay down. Why not let Denver (Kyle Orton), Baltimore (Joe Flacco), Houston (Schaub) or the Jets (Sanchez) into the tournament and eliminate the champ before the postseason begins?

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/whit ... ths-123109 (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/whitlock-nfl-truths-123109)

The Man of Steel
12-31-2009, 10:41 PM
10. The next time someone tells you that a playoff format would make college football perfect remind him/her of the Colts laying down against the Jets and the legitimate allegations the Patriots and Bengals will lie down this weekend to keep the defending champion Steelers out of the playoffs.

You really need to elaborate upon that theory. :wft

Slapstick
01-01-2010, 12:12 PM
What's to elaborate?

While the current college system isn't perfect, a team must play balls out in every game in order to have a chance at the title...

In the NFL system, seeding can be established before the end of the season, so the final few games for playoff teams (Colts) can be meaningless...

This author bemoans the idea that games that cost fans A LOT of money can be treated as "meaningless" by the teams those fans support...

The Man of Steel
01-01-2010, 06:43 PM
What's to elaborate?

While the current college system isn't perfect, a team must play balls out in every game in order to have a chance at the title...

In the NFL system, seeding can be established before the end of the season, so the final few games for playoff teams (Colts) can be meaningless...

This author bemoans the idea that games that cost fans A LOT of money can be treated as "meaningless" by the teams those fans support...
But why compare a theoretical D-1 college football playoff system with what is going on in the NFL right now? A more logical comparison would be to look at and compare how the NCAA D-1AA, D2, and D3 playoff systems work. The NFL is just a whole different ballgame altogether.

skyhawk
01-01-2010, 08:17 PM
What's to elaborate?

While the current college system isn't perfect, a team must play balls out in every game in order to have a chance at the title...

In the NFL system, seeding can be established before the end of the season, so the final few games for playoff teams (Colts) can be meaningless...

This author bemoans the idea that games that cost fans A LOT of money can be treated as "meaningless" by the teams those fans support...
But why compare a theoretical D-1 college football playoff system with what is going on in the NFL right now? A more logical comparison would be to look at and compare how the NCAA D-1AA, D2, and D3 playoff systems work. The NFL is just a whole different ballgame altogether.

Exactly.

Slapstick
01-01-2010, 10:22 PM
Because the theoretical D-I college playoff would have more in common with the NFL system than a D-1AA or D-2 playoff...

D-1AA, D-2 and D-3 all play 10 game schedules with an extensive playoff system...

There is too much money in D-1 ball and bowl games for anything to be given up (two regular season games, bowl revenue) at this point...

papillon
01-01-2010, 11:05 PM
What's to elaborate?

While the current college system isn't perfect, a team must play balls out in every game in order to have a chance at the title...

In the NFL system, seeding can be established before the end of the season, so the final few games for playoff teams (Colts) can be meaningless...

This author bemoans the idea that games that cost fans A LOT of money can be treated as "meaningless" by the teams those fans support...

No, only teams in the top 6 or 7 need to play hard every game and heaven forbid you lose a game late in the year. If you aren't in the top 6 or 7 you have no chance to win the National Championship. The college system is horrible. IMO.

Pappy

SteelAbility
01-02-2010, 11:12 AM
I honestly can't blame the Pats or Bengals for laying down. If we had a chance to keep the Pats out I know we would. The problem is that playoff seeding system is not airtight. Once a team's seeding is locked down all motivation ceases, meaningless games enter in, and teams are artificially allowed into or kept out of the playoffs.

IMO, they need to put some hooks in place to keep teams' motivation alive even when their seeding is locked down. Here are some ideas ...

1) Give an incentive for the NEXT season such as ...

a. Two Thursday night games (playing on Thurs is an advantage)
b. Give them an extra Monday Night game near the end of the season (allows you to see how things play out first - for example, if you are fighting for the 2-seed and your rival loses, then you don't need to play to win - yes, the game is meaningless, but the seedings have not been artificially altered - if they are playing a game that has playoff implicationf for othe teams, then playing to win gets them another bonus for yet the next season - so on and so forth)
c. Give them the Bye week of their choosing (before the season begins and the schedule is made).
d. Combo of the above.

2) Give them some choice of game time in THIS season's playoffs (if they are higher seed in the game). Heck even give them a choice of game day. For example if they got banged up in their first game then they may want to move their next game as far out as possible. Or the opposite. If their opponent got banged up, then they want to move the game up as soon as possible.

3) Give the 1-seed choice of opponent coming out of the Wild Card round (seedings are locked for the Wild Cards, but after that the 1 gets whomever they think favors them the best)

feltdizz
01-02-2010, 12:18 PM
Somehow the fans or ESPN have magically woke up from overtime rules and teams sitting franchise players in the last game or 2.

If you notice... both issues centered around the great Peyton Manning. First it was the San Diego loss in OT and now the quest for perfection.

Sitting players has always been the norm because if injured the fans scream why was he in there. We laid down to KC, Oakland and Cleveland.

The college theory makes no sense because no one is asking for 4 rounds of playoff football, most are asking the bowl games to decide one more game. I don't think any college would lay down because the college pride trumps game dumping strategy since they don't get paid in college.

I don't see how winning 13 or 14 games to lock in the number one seed isn't enough now. Suggesting teams lock in the number one and adding more to it is stupid. I think lower seeds would still jockey for positin the same way regardless... It's one of the rewards of being a top 4 seed. If people hate the strategy they need to demand better from their team.

Slapstick
01-02-2010, 12:42 PM
I don't see how winning 13 or 14 games to lock in the number one seed isn't enough now. Suggesting teams lock in the number one and adding more to it is stupid. I think lower seeds would still jockey for positin the same way regardless... It's one of the rewards of being a top 4 seed. If people hate the strategy they need to demand better from their team.

You are missing the point: People are demanding better from their team. The Colts fans demanded a perfect season and fans paid a lot of money to not watch Manning pursue that perfect season. Forget the Steelers making the playoffs or not...the issue Whitlock has is with encouraging teams to treat games as meaningless when they charge the same price for a "meaningful" game...

stlrz d
01-02-2010, 01:44 PM
Somehow the fans or ESPN have magically woke up from overtime rules and teams sitting franchise players in the last game or 2.

If you notice... both issues centered around the great Peyton Manning. First it was the San Diego loss in OT and now the quest for perfection.

Sitting players has always been the norm because if injured the fans scream why was he in there. We laid down to KC, Oakland and Cleveland.

The college theory makes no sense because no one is asking for 4 rounds of playoff football, most are asking the bowl games to decide one more game. I don't think any college would lay down because the college pride trumps game dumping strategy since they don't get paid in college.

I don't see how winning 13 or 14 games to lock in the number one seed isn't enough now. Suggesting teams lock in the number one and adding more to it is stupid. I think lower seeds would still jockey for positin the same way regardless... It's one of the rewards of being a top 4 seed. If people hate the strategy they need to demand better from their team.

It's not suddenly...it happens every year.

Every time a game goes to OT and one team doesn't get the ball there are stories about it...but when the people who are in favor of revision get a chance to use a name like Manning (when that situation occurred) of course they are going to do so because it will bring extra attention to their cause. Pittsburgh sports writers who covered it couldn't give two ****s about Manning getting the ball...they want the rule changed and this gave them a platform to once again present their argument by using an attention getting name. That's very different than what you are insinuating.

And again, every year there is a team that lays down. This time it's being made into a big deal because the Colts had a very real shot at 19-0 and they chose to lay down. No matter who the starting QB is, if a team has a shot at 19-0 and lays down like the Colts did it will make headlines.

Shoe
01-02-2010, 03:06 PM
This system works brilliantly.

Only in this system do a team who lost 5 straight games (to some of the league's worst teams) even have a hope of making the postseason. In other words, you can tank 1/3 of your season, and you still can entertain hopes of making the playoffs.

Same goes for Houston, who... everytime they've had a chance to step up thi syear, have fallen flat on their faces. Every time. And they are still in it.

The Jets, with horrendous play from their rookie QB... and their coach who essentially waved the white flag last week... still have a shot.

As stated. there is no perfect system. But this system works really well, keeping teams on respirators when they all but laid down and died already.

decleater
01-02-2010, 03:31 PM
All teams know what they need to do to get to the dance before the season even starts. It's simple. If they don't win enough games they don't get to go.

Slapstick
01-02-2010, 05:02 PM
Still missing the point...

Whether or not the Steelers had won one more game, Whitlock would still have written this article...because the Colts would still have thrown the game against the Jets...

The plight of the 2009 Steelers are a side effect of a playoff system that allows for meaningless games...

Let's pretend that the Steelers went 14-0 this year...Let's also pretend that you dropped $200 to go to the game against the Ravens...you had been looking forward to it for months...

And the Steelers threw the game like the Colts did...

Would you feel cheated? Let down a little?

I would...

SteelAbility
01-02-2010, 09:11 PM
This system works brilliantly.

Only in this system do a team who lost 5 straight games (to some of the league's worst teams) even have a hope of making the postseason. In other words, you can tank 1/3 of your season, and you still can entertain hopes of making the playoffs.

Same goes for Houston, who... everytime they've had a chance to step up thi syear, have fallen flat on their faces. Every time. And they are still in it.

The Jets, with horrendous play from their rookie QB... and their coach who essentially waved the white flag last week... still have a shot.

As stated. there is no perfect system. But this system works really well, keeping teams on respirators when they all but laid down and died already.

The system is actually quite broken. The Jets just got gifted into the playoffs by game timing, not by playing playoff quality ball. A system that ain't broke allows the 6 best teams in and doesn't allow situations where games that are meaningless to one contender can artificially keep one team out and put another one in.

Mel Blount's G
01-03-2010, 01:36 AM
This system works brilliantly.

Only in this system do a team who lost 5 straight games (to some of the league's worst teams) even have a hope of making the postseason. In other words, you can tank 1/3 of your season, and you still can entertain hopes of making the playoffs.

Same goes for Houston, who... everytime they've had a chance to step up thi syear, have fallen flat on their faces. Every time. And they are still in it.

The Jets, with horrendous play from their rookie QB... and their coach who essentially waved the white flag last week... still have a shot.

As stated. there is no perfect system. But this system works really well, keeping teams on respirators when they all but laid down and died already.

The system is actually quite broken. The Jets just got gifted into the playoffs by game timing, not by playing playoff quality ball. A system that ain't broke allows the 6 best teams in and doesn't allow situations where games that are meaningless to one contender can artificially keep one team out and put another one in.
Which wouldn't be a big deal if we were talking about the NFC since the real Super Bowl is ultimitely the AFC Championship game