UH's Path to a NY6

Despite the recent loss, it is still possible for UH to get to a NY6 Bowl game. Per the CFP’s, here’s how the NY6 teams are selected:

  • Selection committee will rank teams 1-25.
  • Selection committee will place teams in the playoff semifinals bowls.
  • Contract bowls will fill their berths in accordance with their contracts.
  • Selection committee will assign teams to remainder of the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowl berths.
    Reference: http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee-protocol

Based on point three, the NY6 contract auto-bids are a key factor. For this season the contracts are as follows:

UH’s way to a NY6…

Possibility 1: G5 Access - this spot goes to the highest ranked champion from a “non-contract conference”, meaning a G5. To get this, UH needs help with Navy losing so UH can win the conference.
Rule Reference: “All displaced conference champions and the highest ranked champion from a non-contract conference, as ranked by the committee, will participate in selected other bowl games and will be assigned to those games by the committee.” http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee-protocol

Possibility 2: At large spot
To get this, UH just has to have a favorable CFP ranking and can be behind various teams who fill the other NY6 spots. UH does not have to win the conference. Based on current AP rankings (not the same as the CFP rankings), here is what UH needs based on each conference assuming the playoffs are filled with the PAC, BIG, ACC and SEC champs:

  • PAC: Can be behind 2 teams, now ahead of UH: Washington
  • BIG 12: Can be behind 1 team, now ahead of UH: Baylor
  • ACC: Can be behind 2 teams, now ahead of UH: Clemson, Louisville
  • SEC/BIG: Can be behind 5 teams, now ahead of UH: Ohio St, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Bama, A&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss. Florida could jump UH with big wins.

So the issue is getting past three teams within the SEC or BIG. Realistically, UH needs to beat out four of these: Nebraska, Wisconsin, A&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Florida.

As an aside, it’s entirely possible UH could be ranked third among all PAC, B12 and ACC teams yet still have programs from each of those conferences get in a NY6 over UH due to cartel contracts. It’s good to be king. In other words, UH could beat OU and Louisville , be ranked higher than both in the CPF rankings, but still see OU and Louisville get to NY6’s (Sugar and Orange) while UH gets stuck going to a 4th tier bowl. Right now the Rose Bowl would be filled by a team not even in the top 20 over a #13 UH.

Possibility 3: Semifinals spot - Only about a 0.0001% chance this happens, but it’s possible with mass chaos. Consider the following:

  • UH wins the American (with Navy loss)
  • OU wins the B12.
  • Louisville wins the ACC with Clemson loss, UH beats Louisville.
  • Colorado wins out, upsetting Washington in CCG, and ends up 11-2.

In this situation, the 4 semifinal spots would be:

  • The SEC champ
  • The BIG champ
  • 2 of: UH, OU, Louisville, Colorado or possibly a #2 from the SEC or BIG.
    In theory, UH could get a spot but we know this is almost impossible.

A few side point on the bowls…

The semifinalist games rotate ever year, and in the years that the Peach and Fiesta host them there is a limitation of at-large bids. The pairings should have been had the Rose, Sugar and Orange be split up which would have kept the tie-ins more distributed every year.

For those wanting to know about the American becoming a “P6” - the key is to get a contract with the Peach, Fiesta or Cotton Bowl, not easy.

Looking at some others schedules…

Nebraska (5-0):
Sat, Oct 15 @ Indiana
Sat, Oct 22 vs Purdue
Sat, Oct 29 @ #8 Wisconsin
Sat, Nov 5 @ #2 Ohio State
Sat, Nov 12 vs Minnesota
Sat, Nov 19 vs Maryland
Fri, Nov 25 @ Iowa
CCG vs Michigan / Ohio St

Wisconsin (4-1):
Sat, Oct 15 vs #2 Ohio State
Sat, Oct 22 @ Iowa
Sat, Oct 29 vs #10 Nebraska
Sat, Nov 5 @ Northwestern
Sat, Nov 12 vs Illinois
Sat, Nov 19 @ Purdue
Sat, Nov 26 vs Minnesota
CCG vs Michigan / Ohio St

A&M (6-0)
Sat, Oct 22 @ #1 Alabama
Sat, Oct 29 vs New Mexico St
Sat, Nov 5 @ Miss St
Sat, Nov 12 vs #12 Ole Miss
Sat, Nov 19 vs UTSA
Thu, Nov 24 vs LSU
CCG vs Florida / Tennessee

Ole Miss (3-2)
Sat, Oct 15 @ #22 Arkansas
Sat, Oct 22 @ LSU
Sat, Oct 29 vs #23 Auburn
Sat, Nov 5 vs Ga Southern
Sat, Nov 12 @ #6 Texas A&M
Sat, Nov 19 @ Vanderbilt
Sat, Nov 26 vs Miss St

Tennessee (5-1)
Sat, Oct 15 vs #1 Alabama
Sat, Oct 29 @ South Carolina
Sat, Nov 5 vs Tenn Tech
Sat, Nov 12 vs Kentucky
Sat, Nov 19 vs Missouri
Sat, Nov 26 @ Vanderbilt
CCG vs Bama/A&M

Florida (4-1)
Sat, Oct 15 vs Missouri
Sat, Oct 29 vs Georgia*
Sat, Nov 5 @ #22 Arkansas
Sat, Nov 12 vs South Carolina
Sat, Nov 19 vs Presbyterian
Sat, Nov 26 @ #14 Florida State
CCG vs Bama/A&M


We have to win and win in convincing fashion…

Honestly, I think everyone needs to be prepared to be disappointed at 6pm Central on Nov 1st. I know I was last year. We were #18 in the AP in week 9, but we were #25 in the CFP the next week. It was a quick dose of reality that the CFP was going to be biased against G5s and would be worse than the BCS in many ways.

In the final standings, there were multiple three-loss P5 teams ahead of a one-loss UH. Now, our schedule may not make it that extreme this year, but I could see us win out and still be around 13 in the CFP, which would leave us out unless we can get the extra data point of a AACC game and another top 25 win beyond Louisville. Then again if that happens, it doesn’t matter, because we would be in the Cotton as the highest rated G5.

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I can’t stay away from the CFP, man.

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Thanks for the very detailed analysis of possibilities. We are all somewhat aware of the probabilities, but the possibilities are as convoluted as they come. Winning out at this point is a must. Beyond that, if we can beat UL in very convincing fashion (double digits), I believe that would override any bias the CFP has for G5s. We didn’t have the luxury of an OU and highly ranked UL on our schedule last year. OU is already 19/20 in the polls and they should smash all 3 of their opponents between now and 11/1 (KState, TT and Kansas), which means they should climb in the rankings a bit. Every little bit helps.

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That’s certainly a concern, but it’s much less of an issue vs last year if we beat Louisville, and if OU does good. Those are/would be quality wins that can’t be ignored. Also, if you look into it, I don’t seem much risk of many jumping UH at this point. Consider who is ranked below UH:

14 Florida State 4-2 - Still have to face Clemson and Florida. If they beat Clemson it will create a mess in the ACC, otherwise they drop 3 with no chance to go over a one loss UH.
15 Boise State 5-0 - G5 with no big wins, so will have same problem.
16 Miami 4-1 - a possible threat with games at Virginia Tech & Notre Dame but would have a CCG against Clemson.
17 Virginia Tech 4-1 - another possible threat if they beat Miami, also would have a CCG against Clemson.
18 Florida 4-1 483 — Already listed as a jump threat.
19 Oklahoma 3-2 - Not happening.
20 West Virginia 4-0 - Will have to beat OU, Austin and Baylor. Not likely.
21 Utah 5-1 287 - Not a threat since they are on target for the Rose as-is.
22 Arkansas 4-2 - Not likely to beat all of Mississippi, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Ole Miss- so at least 3 losses.
23 Auburn 4-2 166 - Not likely to beat all of Bama, Ole Miss and Georgia- so at least 3 losses.
24 Western Michigan - G5 with no big wins, same problem.
25 Navy – ???

So based on this, we could get jumped by an ACC team and maybe Florida, but the chaos will have us jump others too. Of course it’s all speculation until the first CFP rankings come out, we’ll see…

1-0 this weekend!

Lack of discipline cost us a playoff game. Six games played, Six more games left…am rooting for a total mess in the top ten the next couple of week…you just never know

I don’t understand, why is it such a long-shot for the American to get a tie in with a NY6 Bowl?

Bowls want tie-ins with teams that travel and will drive attention and fill seats. The AAC just doesn’t have enough teams that do that. For instance, if the Cotton Bowl decides to lock in a spot for the AAC, what happens if Temple wins the conference and gets the NY6 bowl slot…do they even send 1K people to that bowl game? Same for Tulane, Tulsa, USF, UCONN, etc. One of the things that killed the Big East was when UCONN made the Fiesta Bowl and word got out that they lost money because they couldn’t sell tickets.

Yes, UH will travel, but how many of the other schools will? That’s the problem with a tie-in; its not just about us, its about every other team in the conference and its the rest of the conference that drags us down. If we don’t get in a P5 in the next few years, it would be a smart strategy for G5 schools that have power (Boise St, BYU, UH, Cincy, etc) to band together and try to build something bigger again. Maybe even take the AAC and MWC and try to merge with a championship game that sends a team to the NY6. Take the 20 best supported schools from the G5 and band them together.

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Patrick is right, it’s all about the money. As bowl organizers they would need to be better off (more $$$) by giving the AAC a tie-in vs leaving the slot open. How could that realistically be done given the traveling issue?

Here are my thought on how it could be done…

  • Have a conditional, not-every-year tie-in. The Orange Bowl has a tie-in with the ACC on one side, the other is a mix of the BIG, SEC and Notre Dame. There is a 12 year deal that says the BIG and SEC will each go at least three times within the 12 years and Notre Dame can go up to two times. They will pick Notre Dame if it’s favorable. The American could have a deal that says they get a slot X times of every Y years. In this way the bowl could pass on a team that won’t travel.

  • The American could guarantee a large ticket purchase, with each program picking up a handful. There could be some risk of losing money, but the trade-off is going all-in to build the conference.

  • Take a lower bowl payout.

  • All programs within the American could heavily promote the bowl sponsor and the bowl itself. So say there was a tie-in with the Peach Bowl, there could be arrangements made to provide general advertising for Chick-fil-A with game day signs and ads, social media promotions, ads on team web sites, etc. The Peach Bowl itself would become the known pot-of-gold at the end of the season, much the way the Cotton Bowl used to be for the SWC. (Of course the Peach Bowl wouldn’t be guaranteed on years it hosts a playoff). This allows the American to promote the bowl.

There are a few contract issues that would have to be managed, such as if it’s even possible for the American to sign a deal with the current CFP contract in place. Maybe not. This deal would also remove the AAC from the G5 access slot.

There’s just no way one of the NY6 bowls are going to give up their at-large slot for the AAC. Last year, at large slots went to Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State; there isn’t one AAC team that will be able to replace what those schools bring to the table from a fanbase or monetary standpoint or even be in the ballpark.

Yes, if we keep winning we have the potential to become the next Miami; the bowls still won’t do a tie in with the conference since there’s still the potential we lose one game and suddenly they get Temple or Tulsa instead. Again, tOSU, ND, FSU or Temple, Tulsa. That may not be fair, but when has the system been fair.

This doesn’t even account for the fact that 10 of our schools applied to leave the AAC for the Big 12. Why does a bowl want to tie themselves into a contract and then potentially see 3-4 schools leave for a P5? The potential replacements aren’t anywhere close to what might be lost: Rice, Southern Miss, UTSA?

The only chance we’d have at a NY6 bowl tie-in is if one of the other P5 conferences “sponsors” us by agreeing to play us. However, P5 has already made their decision on that matter by creating the P5. They certainly don’t want to “elevate” another conference to that level as that reduces their own power. Instead, if the AAC deserved that kind of power, the other conferences would just raid it of its best teams. Sort of what the Big 12 may be doing now.

Best option for the AAC is to band with other G5’s and create a promotion/relegation system for football only (maintain conferences for all other sports). Put your strongest teams in a 10-12 team division and your weakest in a lower division or divisions. Play the games, hope the SOS is good enough for whoever wins the upper division and maybe it gets in the playoff. 1-4 worst teams each year moved down and replaced by best of the lower division. You could even have “play-in” games during championship weekend between the upper/lower division schools to determine if they do get to move up (example: Southern Miss playing SMU with a spot the next year in the upper division on the line - it would draw media attention and fans to the game).

The main idea is to build fanbases by putting things on the line and keeping schools in the playoff discussion…or any discussion. G5 gets no respect because playoffs are a pipe dream. You can already see the reduction in coverage of the Cougars this week because we are “out of the playoffs.” Got to do something outside the box to grab that attention.

What bothers me about the structure of the system the most is schools like Purdue, BC, WF, Vandy, etc. are being paid 10x as much as UH.

How do we fix that discrepancy?

Who has the privilege of playing against the blue bloods, and collecting the TV dollars that come with that?

Two ways to look at this.

A) Perspective of low level P5.
Keep the status quo. Eventually the money gap will kill schools like BSU, UH, UCF, etc. The BIG10 and SEC will make $50M soon, while ESPN bids against itself for the rights to the AAC.

The conferences are historical and we have no incentive to change the way things have always been. As a matter of fact, if G5 doesn’t like it then we can seperate and relegate them to FCS.

B) Top of G5
Expand the “haves” to 80 instead of 65, or create a realignment system so schools who show a high level of fan support and on field achievement can prove themselves against the best of CFB.

10-15 P5 schools suck on the field and have horrible attendance. Why do they get $30M while some P5 schools have full stadiums with high quality football teams and only receive $2M?

Literally, being paid because OSU/UM/FSU have to play someone each week.

IMO BYU, UH, CINCY, Memphis, UCF, USF, Temple, UCONN, BSU, and CSU all “deserve” to be considered P5 teams. (I don’t know enough about MWC and MAC schools)

Again, how do we fix this? The only way this can be fair is probably in court. This will have to be forced.

Vandy, Rutgers, and WF, are in no rush to give up the cash cow. The blue bloods don’t give a crap either way. All of G5 will have to take this to court. The question is what has to be done before someone says no more.

Patrick, good post, I completely understand, I was just pointing out some things that could be done. The AAC might be better to set their sights on a 2nd tier bowl tie-in vs a NY6, and the points I made still apply.

Before UH got the Big East invite I argued for all the lower conferences to join in one massive conference, create different football divisions based on promotion/relegation, and do the same for basketball and maybe baseball. Other sports could have a more regional focus for travel costs. Putting all the programs together allows to build a national conference brand with 50+ programs which would have a ton of content potential for its own network. Have payouts based on performance / TV. That said, it would be herding cats and the NCAA would likely block it for some reason.

2088, cartels are hard to break. The key is in the TV deals which can be seen as somewhat logical. The networks make deals with the conferences, some whose membership look similar to 100 years ago, and the conference then can decide how they want to share the money. Take the BIG, the networks are mostly paying for the likes of Ohio State and Michigan but the big boys happily share the money with their conference mates so long as the status-quo is mostly kept in place. It’s hard to argue for the networks to stop paying the BIG bottom feeders so much, even if they only have a fraction of the TV viewers of others, it’s basically blue blood charity in exchange for easy wins.

The key is that the American needs a better TV deal to which they have proven their value. I did an analysis of the entire 2015 AAC ratings vs the ACC and found that ESPN paid the ACC 2.5x as much per viewer compared to the AAC, the American office should know this. The AAC ratings would be even better if they didn’t get scrap time slots by default. The problems with a new TV deal are (as I’m see it):

  • We’re already in a contract with ESPN. (I’m not sure what the exit clauses say.)

  • ESPN is broke and losing money, thanks to cord cutters and loser deals like the LHN.

  • The American could look at someone besides ESPN/ABC, but they offer great exposure and a lot of coverage options. The other networks may already have the inventory quantity they want, so unless someone like NBC decides to start to carry a lot more college football and saw the American as a good value it would be hard to move (guessing).

In terms of what has been done before, the old BCS system was sued for blocking out the lower conferences, the lawsuit was successful and led to a BCS bowl slot being saved for a non-AQ BCS conference (basically the G5). The new College Football Playoff contract (with the NY6 replacing the BCS) was signed and agreed to by all the G5’s (including the American, thus UH by proxy), so UH agreed to the NY6 format; that will make it hard for a lawsuit. The G5 Access slot is basically a carry over from the previous lawsuit. What’s terrible about the CFP deal is that the American gets the same money as the Sun Belt, unless we get the G5 Access spot.

All of this isn’t great, but the real problem comes when P5 programs don’t want to invite G5 programs to their conferences because their path to greatness requires them to suppress the competition… when this happens, as it has, it clearly highlights the cartel nature of the system. IMO, that seems like the best leverage for a lawsuit (layman view).

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Enjoying the discussion 308; fun to toss out different ideas.

I believe the G5 just has to do something different to drive ratings and attendance. Continuing down the same path will see the conferences relegated to a Div 2 status soon as P5 conferences continue to not schedule G5 opponents.

Of course, Reuben at the G5 level, there are a ton of politics that make any idea a tough one to implement.

The P5 benefits by playing bad G5 teams, getting an easy win or two makes more p5s bowl eligible, they’d have to shut down a few bowls otherwise.

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