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Historical breakdown of 4-team playoff since 1936


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#1 Nexus

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:32 PM

I used AP poll data from 1936-1997 and BCS poll data from 1998-2011 in determining teams ranked 1-4 in a playoff format.

Assuming a 4-team playoff was instituted in 1936 to the present day, Nebraska would've played in 11 "Final Fours" ---> 1965, 1970, 1971, 1982, 1983, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001.

Below are numbers for other schools.

Oklahoma - 25
Alabama - 21
Ohio State - 20
Notre Dame - 16
Michigan - 15
Texas - 14
USC - 12
Miami - 12
Tennessee - 11
Nebraska - 11
Florida State - 11
Penn State - 9
Georgia - 9
LSU - 8
Michigan State - 7
Pittsburgh - 6
Florida - 6
Navy - 5
Army - 5
Auburn - 5
Minnesota - 4
Iowa - 4
UCLA - 4
California - 3
TCU - 3
Texas A&M - 3
Stanford - 3
Georgia Tech - 3
Maryland - 3
Illinois - 3
Mississippi - 3
Arkansas - 3
Washington - 3
Colorado - 3
Oregon - 2
Duke - 2
Wisconsin - 2
Indiana - 2
SMU - 2
Syracuse - 2
West Virginia - 2
Virginia Tech - 2
North Carolina - 1
Tulsa - 1
Oklahoma State - 1
Clemson - 1
BYU - 1
Northwestern - 1
Arizona State - 1
Kansas State - 1
Cincinnati - 1
Utah - 1
Fordham - 1
Cornell - 1
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight - 1
Randolph Field - 1
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#2 knapplc

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:36 PM

Solid work, Nexus! That must have taken a little while.
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#3 Nebula

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:38 PM

Interesting stuff Nexus, nicely done!
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#4 Mavric

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:45 PM

I'm pretty sure Randolph Field got shafted a couple other times or they'd have more appearances.

Awesome work. Thanks.
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#5 Mills

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for the info, Nexus.

Good work!
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#6 ladyhawke

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:45 PM

Wow! Very interesting information. Thanks for taking the time to collect and post it Nexus! Well done :)
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#7 huskerjock

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:24 PM

I used AP poll data from 1936-1997 and BCS poll data from 1998-2011 in determining teams ranked 1-4 in a playoff format.

Assuming a 4-team playoff was instituted in 1936 to the present day, Nebraska would've played in 11 "Final Fours" ---> 1965, 1970, 1971, 1982, 1983, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001.

Below are numbers for other schools.

Oklahoma - 25
Alabama - 21
Ohio State - 20
Notre Dame - 16
Michigan - 15
Texas - 14
USC - 12
Miami - 12
Tennessee - 11
Nebraska - 11
Florida State - 11
Penn State - 9
Georgia - 9
LSU - 8
Michigan State - 7
Pittsburgh - 6
Florida - 6
Navy - 5
Army - 5
Auburn - 5
Minnesota - 4
Iowa - 4
UCLA - 4
California - 3
TCU - 3
Texas A&M - 3
Stanford - 3
Georgia Tech - 3
Maryland - 3
Illinois - 3
Mississippi - 3
Arkansas - 3
Washington - 3
Colorado - 3
Oregon - 2
Duke - 2
Wisconsin - 2
Indiana - 2
SMU - 2
Syracuse - 2
West Virginia - 2
Virginia Tech - 2
North Carolina - 1
Tulsa - 1
Oklahoma State - 1
Clemson - 1
BYU - 1
Northwestern - 1
Arizona State - 1
Kansas State - 1
Cincinnati - 1
Utah - 1
Fordham - 1
Cornell - 1
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight - 1
Randolph Field - 1

There goes Nexus again hacking into my computer and stealing my thunder again............j/k
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#8 Blackshirt316

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:36 PM

Did you just go with the defacto 1-4 standings though because if so that wouldn't be completely accurate.

Based on SOS (which hasn't always been a component) Conference Championships (which has never been a past component) etc. some of those teams that may have been ranked in the top 4 of a poll would actually get bypassed by a team ranked 5th or 6th in a playoff formula. - or lower.

For example 2010
The BCS rankings 1-4 were:
12-0 Auburn
11-0 Oregon
12-0 TCU
11-1 Stanford
However you also had 21-1 Boise, 11-1 Wisconsin, 11-1 Ohio State, 10-2 Arkansas, 10-1 Michigan State and 10-2 Oklahoma in the picture.
Stanford (9)
Oregon (10)
Arkansas (11)
Auburn (13)
Oklahoma (20)
Michigan State (57)
Wisconsin (66)
Ohio State (70)
TCU (76)e
Boise (81)

Now the top 2 are likely going to stay as is, as non only do Auburn and Oregon have high SOS rankings but both won their respecive conferences.
BUT While TCU is a Conference champ they have a low SOS ranking and Stanford though having a high SOS ranking didn't win the Pac 10.
Also the Big Ten is a mess.
- Wisconsin won the conference title and beat Ohio State but lost to Michigan State.
- Ohio State actually had the highest BCS ranking (5th), had the best OOC win (Miami) and beat Michigan State but lost to Wisconsin and had the lowest SOS ranking.
- Michigan State had the best SOS ranking and beat Wisconsin but lost to Ohio State and has the worst overall loss of the three (losing 37-6 to Iowa)

So who goes to the playoffs as 3 and 4?
Probably Oklahoma (solid SOS, conference champ) and either Stanford, TCU or a Big Ten team.
in all likelyhood they would go with Stanford who has a very high SOS, played a solid OOC game (beat Notre Dame on the road) and who's only loss was At Oregon over TCU or the Big Ten.

So based on just the polls 2010's playoffs would have been Auburn, Oregon, TCU and Stanford
But based on the projected playoff criteria it would be Auburn, Oregon,MAYBE Oklahoma and/or Stanford (or wisconsin or Ohio State or Michigan State or even maybe Arkansas or TCU)

- fwiw though I didn't use it in the scenerio, taking out TCU and adding in the Big Ten champ Wisconsin means you just took a team out that ended up beating the team you replaced them with that year in the rosebowl.
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#9 whateveritis1224

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:23 PM

Also another thing to look at is did you have access to the poles just prior to the bowl games, or are these the year ending poles?
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#10 Nexus

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:38 PM

@Blackshirt316
I went with defacto 1-4. While your argument is valid and noteworthy, I could pick out a handful of controversial polls in the pre-BCS era with your same line of arguments. Polls have always been flawed, regardless of sport. That's a can of worms I chose to stay away from in this thread. I went the safe route and recorded what the history books have written in each respective polling eras.

@whateveritis1224
Yes. That was already taken into account. 1936-1964, 1966-1967 the final AP polls were recorded before bowl games. 1965, 1968-present final polls were taken after bowl games. So yes, I managed to take those factors into consideration as it was recorded.
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#11 Notre Dame Joe

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 03:40 AM

Thanks Nexus that is a good read. SMU having only 2 was the biggest surprise to me. Were they dropped from the poll on probation?
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