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Texas A&M Football

A more explosive offense could launch A&M into championship contention

April 9, 2021
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Frequently getting 20 means winning big at the blackjack table. And on the football field.

If Texas A&M is to remain among the nation’s top five in 2021, the Aggies may need to get 20 much more often.

The definition of “explosive plays” varies from program to program, but everyone can likely agree that a 20-yard gain would qualify as an explosive play. Get four of those, and more often than not, a team will reach the end zone.

The four teams selected for the College Football Playoff last season all posted at least 60 plays that covered 20 yards or more. National champion Alabama had 87. Clemson had 81. Notre Dame had 62. Ohio State had 60, but that was in eight games.

Bailey Orr/Texas A&M Athletics
One of the biggest plays of the season was a 51-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Mond to Caleb Chapman late in the game vs. Florida.

A&M, which finished the 2020 season ranked fourth (AP), had 41 such plays in 10 games. Northwestern (34) was the only team in the top ten with fewer explosive plays than A&M.

Fair or not, that likely was a factor in the Aggies’ omission from the playoff field last season. A&M’s overall strength was ridiculously questioned because of its methodical run-heavy offense in an era of big-play, passing-oriented systems.

Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine warned us in 1999 that “chicks dig the long ball.” The CFP committee digs the big play.

Fortunately, A&M might be more equipped for big plays in 2021.

Receiver Ainias Smith already has big-play ability, as do running back Isaiah Spiller and tight end Jalen Wydermyer. Running back Devone Achane demonstrated his quick-strike capability with a 76-yard touchdown run against North Carolina in the Orange Bowl.

The expected return of receiver Caleb Chapman from injury and the anticipated emergence of receiver Demond Demas figure to give A&M as much big-play potential as any team in the Southeastern Conference.

Don’t take my word for it. Take Smith’s.

“I feel like with an experienced offense, especially in the skill position group, we have a great opportunity to be more explosive just because of how well we know the offense, how well we’re starting to read coverages before the snap is even called,” Smith said. “I feel like that all has to come with experience and just being able to read defensive keys before the ball is snapped.”

Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
Demas’ talent is undeniable, but getting him acclimated to the college game has taken some time.

Smith is particularly encouraged by what he’s seen from Demas, the celebrated recruit that had some trouble adjusting to the collegiate level last season.

“I definitely like the progress that Demond is starting to bring to the table,” Smith said. “He’s definitely maturing. You can definitely see his play starting to elevate because of his maturity. I feel like he has a great opportunity to show the world what he’s capable of.”

Of course, there’s the tricky detail that Demas, Smith and the other receivers are dependent on a new quarterback, who will be dependent on a rebuilt offensive line.

Reports are quarterbacks Haynes King and Zach Calzada have made significant progress. Their ability combined with Jimbo Fisher’s track record with first-year starting quarterbacks (Jameis Winston, Deondre Francois) provides optimism.

The outlook might be less optimistic along the offensive line, where four starters must be replaced from one of the nation’s premier units.

However, Kenyon Green, who is shifting from guard to left tackle, legitimately might be the nation's best offensive lineman. He’s one of three All-Americans in 2020 returning this season along with Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum and Marshall tackle Cain Madden.

Green suggested this year’s line could develop into another stellar unit.

“We can’t really duplicate that same O-line, but we can work on what we can get better at as a group with this unit,” he said. “With that, we’re just working on the fundamentals as always as a unit so we can have a connection, a bond like we did the last year or so.

“(Projected starting center) Luke Matthews is doing a phenomenal job coming back from his injury. He’s doing a great job. I’m not going to put people in places. I’m just out there playing. I feel like he’s doing a great job, and we’re getting better as a unit.”

Texas A&M Athletics
With his transition to left tackle, Kenyon Green is expected to play an even bigger role along A&M’s 2021 offensive line.

Next season’s offensive line won’t necessarily be required to be as dominant as last year. Effective would be sufficient for high-caliber running backs to break off runs of 20 yards or more.

Effective would give a new quarterback time to find fast receivers for big gains.

The closer potential and possibilities are examined, the more explosive A&M’s offense projects.

The Aggies could increase their 20-yard gain output by 50 percent. They could even double it.

If that happens, a championship could be in the cards.

Discussion from...

A more explosive offense could launch A&M into championship contention

9,008 Views | 32 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by BJC
1st Generation Ag
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Defense wins championships . . . in the NFL. In college, offense gets you invited to the CFP.

Nice write-up though.
Traveler
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AG
Traveler
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AG
You could not be more wrong about the College game.
1st Generation Ag
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Traveler said:

You could not be more wrong about the College game.


How so? I would love to be wrong.
Coog_aTm
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The old adage is "defense wins championships." Yes, you need a good defense, but gone are the days of teams that play game managing offenses for an entire season. Saban changed his philosophy after 2012 and went to a more multiple offense and also recruited faster front seven players on defense. Last year's Bama team had a tremendous offense and a so-so defense.

The problem with having a team that has great defense and a mediocre offense is that you can lose 1-2 games a year against spread teams like an Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Miss State, etc. that is playing their A game. Saban realized this after he lost to us and Ole Miss. Spurrier stated that he called him and said in today's game you have to be able score points. This is where Muschamp and Pelini chose the wrong philosophy. Of course, everyone one wants both, but it is an easier path to the Championship with a great offense and just good enough defense.
DukeMu
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Coog_aTm said:

The old adage is "defense wins championships." Yes, you need a good defense, but gone are the days of teams that play game managing offenses for an entire season. Saban changed his philosophy after 2012 and went to a more multiple offense and also recruited faster front seven players on defense. Last year's Bama team had a tremendous offense and a so-so defense.

The problem with having a team that has great defense and a mediocre offense is that you can lose 1-2 games a year against spread teams like an Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Miss State, etc. that is playing their A game. Saban realized this after he lost to us and Ole Miss. Spurrier stated that he called him and said in today's game you have to be able score points. This is where Muschamp and Pelini chose the wrong philosophy. Of course, everyone one wants both, but it is an easier path to the Championship with a great offense and just good enough defense.

Johnny Football revolutionized the way Saban and big FBS schools played football.
1st Generation Ag
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Coog_aTm said:

The old adage is "defense wins championships." Yes, you need a good defense, but gone are the days of teams that play game managing offenses for an entire season. Saban changed his philosophy after 2012 and went to a more multiple offense and also recruited faster front seven players on defense. Last year's Bama team had a tremendous offense and a so-so defense.

The problem with having a team that has great defense and a mediocre offense is that you can lose 1-2 games a year against spread teams like an Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Miss State, etc. that is playing their A game. Saban realized this after he lost to us and Ole Miss. Spurrier stated that he called him and said in today's game you have to be able score points. This is where Muschamp and Pelini chose the wrong philosophy. Of course, everyone one wants both, but it is an easier path to the Championship with a great offense and just good enough defense.
It's true what you say about Saban's strategic shift. I did not know he got a call from Steve Spurrier, but it makes sense.

I was making a point about the nature of championships in college vs. the NFL. In college the CFP participants are chosen by a committee who selects the most qualified four based on an impartial weighing of all the merits. In theory, that is; in practice, they use subjective criteria such as 'the eye test.' In fact the whole selection process is subjective, and the application of criteria need not even be consistent.

In the NFL as with most sports, playoff participants are not chosen at all. They win their way in. Time has proven the necessity of a good defense to keep winning over a 16-game season against a variety of opponents, and for advancing in the playoffs against good opponents. Hence the adage.

It's true Alabama has an elite offense, and they have been selected to the playoffs every year but one. From your post, I can't see where we actually disagree. Since the CFP is an invitational with no requirements to get in (other than not being on probation), the season - including conference championships - is effectively a beauty contest. Offense is beautiful. At least, it is to most people; we in Aggieland have a long love affair with Defense, even though it didn't always love us back.

OB's overall point is salient. A more explosive offense will not just help the Aggies win games, it will also help them get invited to the playoffs.
Iraq2xVeteran
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AG
In the NFL, teams make playoffs by winning their divisions or getting one of the wildcard playoff spots. Of course, there can be a 7-9 division winner, such as last year's Washington Football Team. NFL scoring has increased. The 2020 season finished with a total of 12,692 points scored, the most in NFL history. The total also obliterated the previous high-water mark by more than 700 points, shattering the former scoring peak of 11,985 set in 2013 and finishing as the first season over 12,000 points, per NFL Research.

https://www.nfl.com/news/2020-finishes-as-highest-scoring-season-in-nfl-history#:~:text=The%202020%20season%20finished%20with,12%2C000%20points%2C%20per%20NFL%20Research.

Late last month, Alabama coach Nick Saban made headlines when he explained precisely why he no longer believes just playing elite defense leads to championships. In a virtual coaching clinic to the Louisiana High School Coaches Association, Saban further explained that he doesn't think that his former philosophy, one that did lead to multiple titles, will work anytime soon, either.

"We have a good defense. I mean, we gave up 19.0 points per game last year and that was first in the SEC. 19.0 points per game. That is 6 points above what we feel is average, which is giving up 13.0 points per game, and its first in the SEC."

"The game is different now. People score fast. The whole idea, like I grew up with the idea that you play good defense, you run the ball, you control vertical field position on special teams, and you're going to win. Whoever rushes the ball the most, for the most yardage is going to win the game. You're not going to win anything now doing that."

"Because A, the way the spread is, and the way that the rules are, to run RPOs, the way the rules are that you can block downfield and throw the ball behind the line of scrimmage, I mean those rules have changed college football. No-huddle, fastball has changed college football. So I changed my philosophy We have to out score them."

https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/nick-saban-no-longer-believes-in-elite-defenses-but-alabamas-unit-could-be-just-that-in-2021/

Great teams find a variety of ways to win regular season games. We knew we needed to score a ton of points to beat Florida, which resulted in a 41-38 shootout win over Florida. Our offense struggled against LSU, but our excellent defensive performance propelled us to a 20-7 win. In summary, it takes a great offense and a competent defense to win championships.
SinKiller
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Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the qb, if you needed anymore...
1st Generation Ag
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Iraq2xVeteran said:

To win regular season games, great teams win in a variety of ways. We knew that we needed to score a ton of points to beat Florida, which resulted in a 41-38 shootout win over Florida. Our offense struggled against LSU, but our defense played extremely well to propel us to a 20-7 win. In summary, it takes a great offense and a competent defense to win championships.
When no less an authority than Nick Saban says that the game has changed, then the game has indeed changed. Once again, I think we find ourselves in agreement. If we disagree at all, it is over nuance. Perhaps now defense must be strong in relative (rather than absolute) terms to win a championship; these days, a team need not dominate defensively, but merely be better than most. I don't think anyone believes defense is irrelevant in today's game.

aeon-ag
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Yea, yea, at the end of the season we'll see all the shoulda, coulda, woulda.
PearlJammin
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AG
Great info on Sabanthank you for sharing. Jimbo knows this. I think it highlights how much Jimbo didn't trust Mond throwing the long ball last hear. That, and we didn't have a burner that could get behind elite DBs.
TxAg76
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In one of Saban's press conferences, a question came up about Kiffin and the intentional shift to a more wide open offense, and he got pretty hot....
Said it's not a new preference at all, and that he'd been begging his prior OC's to open it up more for years....

And that Jimbo was the best he ever had at actually doing it.
mccag
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S
"The Aggies could increase their 20-yard gain output by 50 percent. They could even double it."

Don't these two sentences say the same thing?
GIG'EM AGS. One Game At A Time!
Bison
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Okay, can we see a list of the top fifteen ranked according to this Explosion Index? For the last five years or so?

Obvious point: explosive plays tend to be tied to elite talent. It should not be a surprise that the bigs make explosive plays. Can we control for that in some way when looking at the question?

And then there's the elite-vs-elite match-up scenario: does defense win games here, or offense? Does Alabama win if it outscores Clemson three years ago, or if it shuts down Clemson's scoring?
TX_Aggie37
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Doubling it would be increasing it by 100%. Increasing by 50% gets you to 150% of your current output.
Aggiebound17
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mccag said:

"The Aggies could increase their 20-yard gain output by 50 percent. They could even double it."

Don't these two sentences say the same thing?
No since they're at 41 a 50% percent increase would place them at 61.5, and doubling it actually means a 100% increase or 200% of the original, so they would be at 82. Common misconception though no worries.
JustisWalkert
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mccag was told there would be no math.
Agsuffering@bulaw
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2014 tOSU was the only team besides Bama in the past 12 or so years to win without a 1st round QB. The past 5 titles have been won by programs with elite QBs.

Mond was a good college QB, but not elite. Jimbo got about as much mileage out of Mond and the WRs as was possible.

The talent level must continue rising for us to have a viable shot at a title.

ETA: And OB is correct, explosive plays are huge. They are one of the key factors for oddsmakers. Figure a great 3rd down offense converts 45-50%. Very few offenses can consistently convert 4-6 3rd downs on a drive.
Traveler
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1st Generation Ag said:

Traveler said:

You could not be more wrong about the College game.


How so? I would love to be wrong.
"Defense wins championships"

Objectively wrong in CFB.
mccag
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S
Aggie math!
GIG'EM AGS. One Game At A Time!
ccatag
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JustisWalkert said:

mccag was told there would be no math.

It's not math. It's red neck accounting.
BJC
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DukeMu said:

Coog_aTm said:

The old adage is "defense wins championships." Yes, you need a good defense, but gone are the days of teams that play game managing offenses for an entire season. Saban changed his philosophy after 2012 and went to a more multiple offense and also recruited faster front seven players on defense. Last year's Bama team had a tremendous offense and a so-so defense.

The problem with having a team that has great defense and a mediocre offense is that you can lose 1-2 games a year against spread teams like an Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Miss State, etc. that is playing their A game. Saban realized this after he lost to us and Ole Miss. Spurrier stated that he called him and said in today's game you have to be able score points. This is where Muschamp and Pelini chose the wrong philosophy. Of course, everyone one wants both, but it is an easier path to the Championship with a great offense and just good enough defense.

Johnny Football revolutionized the way Saban and big FBS schools played football.
Georgia Southern (who was still in Division I-AA/FCS) the year before in 2011 has something to say about the way Coach Saban now plays football; although they won 45-21 in 2011, to beat Georgia Southern Alabama had to rely heavily on their offense to simply outscore them since their vaunted defense in that game was ineffective giving up over 300 rushing yards to a flexbone triple option offense. Before that game, Alabama's vaunted defense gave up no less than 30 rushing yards per game and no more than 14 points to an opponent. After that game, their defense went from vaunted to just good...

That was a taste of things to come one year later when we marred their perfect season...
BJC
Texas A&M Aggie Class of '96
BJC
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Coog_aTm said:

The old adage is "defense wins championships." Yes, you need a good defense, but gone are the days of teams that play game managing offenses for an entire season. Saban changed his philosophy after 2012 and went to a more multiple offense and also recruited faster front seven players on defense. Last year's Bama team had a tremendous offense and a so-so defense.

The problem with having a team that has great defense and a mediocre offense is that you can lose 1-2 games a year against spread teams like an Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Miss State, etc. that is playing their A game. Saban realized this after he lost to us and Ole Miss. Spurrier stated that he called him and said in today's game you have to be able score points. This is where Muschamp and Pelini chose the wrong philosophy. Of course, everyone one wants both, but it is an easier path to the Championship with a great offense and just good enough defense.
See my reply to DukeMu...
BJC
Texas A&M Aggie Class of '96
BJC
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1st Generation Ag said:

Coog_aTm said:

The old adage is "defense wins championships." Yes, you need a good defense, but gone are the days of teams that play game managing offenses for an entire season. Saban changed his philosophy after 2012 and went to a more multiple offense and also recruited faster front seven players on defense. Last year's Bama team had a tremendous offense and a so-so defense.

The problem with having a team that has great defense and a mediocre offense is that you can lose 1-2 games a year against spread teams like an Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Miss State, etc. that is playing their A game. Saban realized this after he lost to us and Ole Miss. Spurrier stated that he called him and said in today's game you have to be able score points. This is where Muschamp and Pelini chose the wrong philosophy. Of course, everyone one wants both, but it is an easier path to the Championship with a great offense and just good enough defense.
It's true what you say about Saban's strategic shift. I did not know he got a call from Steve Spurrier, but it makes sense.

I was making a point about the nature of championships in college vs. the NFL. In college the CFP participants are chosen by a committee who selects the most qualified four based on an impartial weighing of all the merits. In theory, that is; in practice, they use subjective criteria such as 'the eye test.' In fact the whole selection process is subjective, and the application of criteria need not even be consistent.

In the NFL as with most sports, playoff participants are not chosen at all. They win their way in. Time has proven the necessity of a good defense to keep winning over a 16-game season against a variety of opponents, and for advancing in the playoffs against good opponents. Hence the adage.

It's true Alabama has an elite offense, and they have been selected to the playoffs every year but one. From your post, I can't see where we actually disagree. Since the CFP is an invitational with no requirements to get in (other than not being on probation), the season - including conference championships - is effectively a beauty contest. Offense is beautiful. At least, it is to most people; we in Aggieland have a long love affair with Defense, even though it didn't always love us back.

OB's overall point is salient. A more explosive offense will not just help the Aggies win games, it will also help them get invited to the playoffs.
This is why Division I-AA/FCS, Division II, and Division III gives us the side-eye if not outright laugh at us regarding our winning the "arbitrary" (no longer mythical) national championship.

This is my proposal:

1. Reversion of nomenclature to Division I-A from Division I-FBS
2. Dropping the antiquated bowl system and instituting a 16-team Division I-A playoff
3. 10 auto-bids for all conference champions and six at-large bids (no more P5 and G5)
4. Keep the CFP committee to select and seed all 16 playoff-eligible Division I-A teams
5. Higher-ranked playoff teams play at home until the national championship game
6. To keep a link to the past, have the national championship game at a predetermined NY6 bowl site (Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar, Peach, Orange); it could be named: "(Sponsor) Division I-A national championship at the ___ Bowl"
BJC
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1st Generation Ag
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If indeed the lower divisions are laughing at us, no one can hear them over the sound of all the money and all the pub the champions are making. The CFP champ is unquestionably the champion of college football.

That's not a bad proposal. I like the idea of democratizing the playoff by including all 10 conference champs. Open it up, let 'em compete.

The shortcoming is that there are 10 conferences, the champions of which cannot be sorted neatly into a single-elimination tournament. I did not join in all the discussions after last year's CFP to resolve the issue of a very worthy #5 team getting left out. Most involved expanding the field to eight or sixteen so that all worthy teams are included. The downside of that is twofold: first, it's still arbitrary. As long as teams are "selected" on the basis of anything other than wins and losses it will never be fully meritocratic. If you were to limit the field to 10 conference champs and give a bye to the top two, that would also require an arbitrary seeding to achieve it. Second, while expanding the playoff field goes farther to ensure that every worthy team gets an invite, it ensures that some unworthy teams get invited. Even your proposal for 16 teams means that 6 conference runners-up will be selected by arbitrary criteria that may not even be consistently applied.

The best possible playoff is one where all entrants play their way in. The challenge is that the teams simply cannot be re-organized to facilitate this, since they are in fact schools in voluntary athletic associations rather than franchises of one central entertainment entity. With ten conferences, the best I can imagine is something akin to the World Cup or College World Series. Split the ten champs into five-team regional tournaments, let each five play a complete round-robin, and then pit the two regional champions against each other. Is it likely to ever happen? Not in this country. But it's completely objective and meritocratic. Nothing other than wins and losses would determine the winner. That's a true national champ.
BJC
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AG
1st Generation Ag said:

If indeed the lower divisions are laughing at us, no one can hear them over the sound of all the money and all the pub the champions are making. The CFP champ is unquestionably the champion of college football.

That's not a bad proposal. I like the idea of democratizing the playoff by including all 10 conference champs. Open it up, let 'em compete.

The shortcoming is that there are 10 conferences, the champions of which cannot be sorted neatly into a single-elimination tournament. I did not join in all the discussions after last year's CFP to resolve the issue of a very worthy #5 team getting left out. Most involved expanding the field to eight or sixteen so that all worthy teams are included. The downside of that is twofold: first, it's still arbitrary. As long as teams are "selected" on the basis of anything other than wins and losses it will never be fully meritocratic. If you were to limit the field to 10 conference champs and give a bye to the top two, that would also require an arbitrary seeding to achieve it. Second, while expanding the playoff field goes farther to ensure that every worthy team gets an invite, it ensures that some unworthy teams get invited. Even your proposal for 16 teams means that 6 conference runners-up will be selected by arbitrary criteria that may not even be consistently applied.

The best possible playoff is one where all entrants play their way in. The challenge is that the teams simply cannot be re-organized to facilitate this, since they are in fact schools in voluntary athletic associations rather than franchises of one central entertainment entity. With ten conferences, the best I can imagine is something akin to the World Cup or College World Series. Split the ten champs into five-team regional tournaments, let each five play a complete round-robin, and then pit the two regional champions against each other. Is it likely to ever happen? Not in this country. But it's completely objective and meritocratic. Nothing other than wins and losses would determine the winner. That's a true national champ.
My proposal for a 16-team playoff is going by this simple premise: winning your conference title first and foremost.

Getting rid of the idiotic P5 and G5, a holdover of BCS-era AQ and non-AQ; all Division I-A/FBS conference champions will get an automatic bid; this is how it is done in other Division I sports, so why should football be any different?

The six at-large bids will be selected by the CFP committee via their current ranking system; the higher you are ranked, the better chance you have at being selected for the playoff. That means that some of the Division I-A/FBS conference runner-ups will not be selected while a higher ranking third/fourth place team in another conference may be selected. Out of the 16 teams, the higher-ranked team will be the home team at their stadium until the national championship game at a predetermined NY6 bowl site.

Again, like now, ranking will still matter for postseason selection...

BJC
Texas A&M Aggie Class of '96
1st Generation Ag
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You're right that it's about winning the conference first and foremost, but your proposal doesn't end there. For the first ten it's earned, but for the last six it's a beauty pageant.

It's a question of priority. With ten conferences you can have either a meritocratic playoff or a single-elimination tournament, but not both.

Of course, your proposal would have invited the Ags last year, but mine would not. Your priority may depend on what you value more.
Ugly
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AG
Hard pass at anything with conference auto-bids unless your are forcing in some kind of method for parity between conferences (relegation, massive recruiting rule adjustements, etc.), which would be an idiotic move.
Agsuffering@bulaw
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I respectfully disagree.

The game against GA Southern was probably a 1-off. Triple option is defended with discipline. It requires tons of repetition. I bet they had not seen a flexbone option in a few years and were not ready.

There is no way to get a defense fully prepared for a situation like that. Saban probably realized triple option was unfamiliar, but did not put in any reps against 3option prior to game week. He probably figured he could out-athlete them if nothing else. He was correct.

Contenders no longer run triple option b/c while it may get a program off the floor quickly, it has too low a ceiling.
BJC
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1st Generation Ag said:

You're right that it's about winning the conference first and foremost, but your proposal doesn't end there. For the first ten it's earned, but for the last six it's a beauty pageant.

It's a question of priority. With ten conferences you can have either a meritocratic playoff or a single-elimination tournament, but not both.

Of course, your proposal would have invited the Ags last year, but mine would not. Your priority may depend on what you value more.
They do play their way in the postseason via their pursuit for the the conference title (which to me is the baseline for a successful season/coach retention) which grants them an auto-bid in the playoff; if you don't win it, then you have to hope to be ranked high enough to be selected at-large (and then seeded) by the CFP committee. This gives all the playoff teams an equal opportunity to win the national title on the field.

Rankings would still matter via at-large selection/seeding so that it will possibly increase the amount of home games in the postseason which will potentially increase home team revenue for higher-ranked teams.

For example, a number 7 ranked SEC team who is third place in the SEC would be the home team against a number 14 ranked Sun Belt champion.

Another scenario may be that the number 5 ranked AAC champion would be the home team against the number 9 ranked Big XII champion.

Another scenario is the number 4 ranked ACC runner-up would be the home team against the number 12 ranked Big 10 runner-up.

Another scenario would be the number 2 ranked Pac 12 champion would be the home team against the unranked Conference USA champion
BJC
Texas A&M Aggie Class of '96
BJC
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AG
Agsuffering@bulaw said:

I respectfully disagree.

The game against GA Southern was probably a 1-off. Triple option is defended with discipline. It requires tons of repetition. I bet they had not seen a flexbone option in a few years and were not ready.

There is no way to get a defense fully prepared for a situation like that. Saban probably realized triple option was unfamiliar, but did not put in any reps against 3option prior to game week. He probably figured he could out-athlete them if nothing else. He was correct.

Contenders no longer run triple option b/c while it may get a program off the floor quickly, it has too low a ceiling.
If Georgia Southern had not committed self-inflicted errors, that game would be a lot closer to the point that Alabama would have been relegated to a BCS bowl instead of a rematch against LSU. Alabama did not "out-athlete" Georgia Southern, as they too can match Alabama's speed and athleticism; in some cases they were faster and quicker than Alabama. Let's just say that Alabama is in no hurry to play Georgia Southern again even though they are both now in Division I-A/FBS.

The difference is that the Alabama offense bailed out their vaunted but ineffective defense that game which was the catalyst for Coach Saban to start focusing on getting a more prolific offense to win games; we merely verified it the next year when we went to their place and beat them.
BJC
Texas A&M Aggie Class of '96
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