The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

TCU got scammed

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2015 Category: Sports
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,375 times Debate No: 67728
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (2)




This debate is about the College Football Playoff and how FSU got picked over TCU. No rudeness, trolling, etc. Round 1- accept. Round 2- Make cases. Round 3- Rebuttal


Excellent debate Pro. I accept and look forward to reading your case. Your arguement is specific to the choice of FSU over TCU, so I expect that you will stay true to this and not deviate (with an argument for TCU over another team).
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting zeno. Before I begin, I'd like to state that I'm not a TCU fan (Penn State fan here) but I believe it should be playing in the Rose Bowl rather than FSU.
Out of the 4 teams in the playoff, FSU doesn't belong. (although 13-0 is impressive) Its schedule wasn't tough compared to Oregon, Alabama and OSU. FSU faced one top ten team. TCU had 3. (At the time for both) TCU went 2/3 and very close on the loss to Baylor. Also, TCU, in its bowl game, almost shut out a top 10 SEC Ole Miss team.
When FSU faced another top ten team (well this time, top 5) they got killed. Now the same could have happened to TCU had they played in the Rose Bowl but TCU had a resume than FSU. Evidence for this is in previous paragraph. The ACC for the most part isn't that good and neither is the Big 12 anymore but the Big 12 is better than the ACC.


First, I"d like to provide the key definition and outline Pro"s argument and burden of proof.

Scam (Merriam-Webster): a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation [1]

In order for Pro to prove this argument, Pro must provide evidence that the College Football Playoff Selection Committee (CFPSC) was deceptive (had ulterior motives) in their choice to include FSU in the college football playoffs instead of TCU.

I will share the burden of proof and provide evidence for the counter-argument. As Con, I will prove that the CFPSC was clear and concise in their selection protocol and that they acted within their protocol when their chose FSU over TCU.

The protocol they used this year was adopted on June 20th, 2012 and published on their webpage. [2] Their protocol was to rank the top 25 teams by record and accomplishments each week starting with week 10. For teams with similar records, their protocol established the following tie breakers:
-Strength of Schedule
-Head-to-head competition
-Championships won
-Comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory)
-Relevant factors such as key injuries that may affect team performance

By the final week, only FSU remained undefeated. They had been ranked in the top four in every poll/ranking since week 2 (including all preceding CFPSC rankings). They entered the CFPSC ranking at #2 because they had won every game since a loss to #6 ranked Florida team in 2012; a college football championship victory bridging two undefeated seasons. It"s conceivable that their record alone would qualify them above TCU with one loss. However, when you marry their unique record with the fact that their strength of schedule [3] was far superior and their advantage of being the ACC champion, we see that there was really no chance of TCU beating out FSU in a playoff spot.

For completion, I"ll outline why the CFPSC left TCU out of the playoffs completely. After the final week, Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State, Baylor, and TCU rounded out the top 6 teams, the only teams with 1 loss or less. With FSU taking one of the playoff spots available due to the reasoning provided herein, there were 3 spots left. Alabama and Oregon, each conference champions, had an impressive strength of schedule (top 25). That left one spot to be filled with either OSU, Baylor, or TCU. There was no possible way TCU would be chosen over Baylor for the last spot, since their head-to-head record was a significant advantage for Baylor. This left the final playoff spot to be filled with either Baylor or OSU. OSU was a conference champion and also edged out Baylor by a bit on strength of schedule. On top of this, during the final game OSU had an impressive 0-59 win against #13 Wisconsin while Baylor had a mediocre win over #9 Kansas State. Among other things, this proved to quell some of the concern that the CFPSC had about the OSU QB situation.

Thanks for a great debate.

Debate Round No. 2


vprasad forfeited this round.


Although Pro has forfeited a round, I'll provide a rebuttal of his arguments from round 2. I'll break out his arguments below.

1) "Its schedule wasn't tough compared to Oregon, Alabama and OSU. FSU faced one top ten team. TCU had 3. (At the time for both) TCU went 2/3 and very close on the loss to Baylor."

R1: Actually, FSU had a tougher schedule than TCU, and this can be seen in [3]. Your point about top ten teams is correct (TCU was 2/3 and FSU was 1/1) but never did the committee publish that they were specifically looking at records against top ten teams exclusively. This is not part of the decision process outlined in their protocol. It is a neat discussion topic that sports casters use but doesn't show the entire picture and it is not the same as strength of schedule (SOS). I believe SOS is, as it should be, compiled each week. This means that the TCU SOS diminished as the top ranked teams that it beat subsequently lost. Each team played four ranked teams. TCU lost to one of their ranked opponents, and only one of the remaining three stayed ranked. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia ended with a four, six and five loss regular season. On the contrary, three of the four ranked teams that FSU beat remained ranked at the end of the year. The teams that it beat each had three losses, including against FSU. Notre Dame, the only team that fell out of the rankings, had 5 losses.

2) "TCU, in its bowl game, almost shut out a top 10 SEC Ole Miss team. When FSU faced another top ten team (well this time, top 5) they got killed."

R2: This argument is invalid because it is based on a fact that occurred after the decision was made. For a deceptive act to have taken place, Pro would have to provide evidence that the playoff committee knew the outcomes of subsequent games and based their decision to exclude TCU on this knowledge.

Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by robertacollier 1 year ago
I don't know about scamming and whatnot, but don't forget the biggest x factor of all: money. If people think this is some kind of textbook Xs and Os decision, then they're in for a rude awakening.

Ohio State certainly looks good on paper, but the powers that be know that their audience rating is going to be much higher with an Urban Meyer-Nick Saban showdown than any other match-up. This one was even better than Woody Hayes-Bear Bryant.

The decision-makers also consider geography. The Pac 10 is no longer an afterthought, especially considering that the Pac 10 championship was network televised, the only time I remember that happening. It's good that Oregon and the geography worked out for them.

Ohio State captures the midwest audience. Urban Meyer coaching the Buckeyes means a good Florida and other southeastern audience. The Buckeyes aren't as glamorous as, or a media favorite, like USC or Notre Dame, but their tradition and name recognition easily eclipses the more mundane Baylor and TCU.
Posted by ZenoCitium 1 year ago
@Robertacollier: You can use that same link I provided to determine any stat you wish to find.

Yes, their turnover margin is nearly the best in the country. This is because their turnovers lost are the best in the country. They are 10th in turnovers gained. Florida State is nearly last in turnovers lost.
Posted by robertacollier 1 year ago
You could throw more stats because you have to look them up.

Oregon's defense was about top 20 in points allowed. Florida State's was about 50th or even worse. I believe Oregon was number one in takeaways in the entire country. I have posted other stats. No stats posted here support your claim that Oregon "absolutely dismantled on every side of the football" in any way, shape, or form.

Most games are stamped with a personality. There's the nip-and-tuck game, the blowout, the momentum shift game, the last-team-that-scores-wins game, etc. This game is one where one team was clearly better than the other. It was close in score for 3.5 quarters. The better team pulled away at the end, although with a twist.

I think the other item that determined the game is the frustration semi-intangible. I think FSU became frustrated when they did not get the end zone interference call. Hitting the upright at the end of the half was frustrating. Turning the ball over in the red zone is frustrating. I think this frustration mounted throughout the game. If you combine that with the Seminoles turnover weakness and the Ducks having (I think) the best turnover margin in the county, then the result is no surprise. The Ducks are aggressive, quick, and opportunistic. This was, in one aspect, a specific match-up game, were one team's strength exploited the other team's weakness.

If your yardstick is final score and you want to say that's a dismantling, then I have no argument. The score, after all, is the only number that counts. If however, you're going to say that one team dismantled the other in every aspect, then that is not accurate in any way, shape, or form. A dismantling in all aspects is not supported by the numbers or flow of the game.

I think the personality of this game was an achilles heel team that met the unexpected and got overwhelmed in the end.
Posted by ZenoCitium 1 year ago
@ robertacollier: I could through more stats at you, like that the Oregon defense was ranked 81 of 125 D1 teams in total defense (quite a bit lower than even Florida State), but I see you are imperious to statistics [1]. Perhaps you are a visual learner? I'll attach an image below. I hadn't heard that he "slipped", but this image shows the true reason for the fumble.

For image:

Posted by robertacollier 1 year ago
Revise last sentence: If you want to cite inexperience, then I would agree that he became unraveled by playing a quick team that HE was not used to seeing.
Posted by robertacollier 1 year ago

My comments about items like passing were in response to you saying that FSU got "dismantled on every side of the football." If you have more passing yards than your opponent, then you are not getting dismantled in that aspect. The other figures also show that it was not a dismantling, at least the way you described it.

The game was 25-20 with less than 7 minutes in the 3rd quarter. Turnovers were the big weakness of FSU all year and this game was no exception. They just finally played a team where you just can't have that great of a turnover margin, if any at all.

The other aspect that did in FSU was the quickness of Oregon. Duck defense and quickness led to at least 4 FSU turnovers. That includes Winston slipping because the Oregon defender was coming at him with a head of steam.

I also don't know what in the world you're talking about when saying that Winston is inexperienced. The guy is actually experienced enough to go pro and we probably do that next year. If you want to cite inexperience, then I would agree that he became unraveled by playing a quick team that we was not used to seeing.
Posted by ZenoCitium 1 year ago
@ Robertacollier: As vprassad alluded to, it is a little one sided to put the sole responsibility of the turnovers on the Oregon defense. If anything, it was the inexperience of the FSU QB that led to the turnovers. The Oregon defense only had 1 interception (as did the FSU defense). One of the remaining turnovers for FSU was Winston making a rookie mistake in handling the ball, trying to extend a play that was doomed when he was being sacked. Let's take a look as some stats:

- Saying that FSU had more passing yards then ORE is misleading. They were practically tied at 338-348. However, Winston was 29/49 with 1 int and 1 TD while Mariota was 26/36 with 1 int and 3 TD. When you tie those stats to the rookie turn over we can clearly see FSU was far outmatched in the QB position. I'm not sure why anyone would argue otherwise, considering that Mariota was the Heisman winner this year.

- ORE far outmatched FSU with 301 with 2 TD yds vs 180 and 1 TD

- Your comment regarding time of possession .... also misleading. Let's look more closely. ORE had 7 TD drives and 1 drive that resulted in a FG. This took a total of 17 min and 37 sec (an average of 2 min 21 sec per drive). In almost the same amount of time, 15 min 6 sec, FSU only accomplished 2 TD and 2 FG. ORE had one TD drive that only lasted 2 plays and 21 sec. The time of possession was skewed towards FSU because ORE was scoring at will.

- Although not as dominant, they did sack Winston twice and forced two fumbles (not counting Winston's). They forced FSU to punt every possession (other than the forced fumble) in the fourth QTR. That was 3 straight drives to finish the game.

This is why I believe FSU was dominated on every side of the ball.
Posted by vprasad 1 year ago
Robert and Zeno, you both showed me the wrong of my opinion. I looked at the facts and what you said and I agree, maybe TCU wouldn't have done better and didn't get scammed. Good job to you both. I actually would like for an 8 team playoff because there'd be no controversy. You have the chance to fill one of the 8 spots and if you don't then try again next year. Maybe my next debate should be on the 8 team playoff.
However, I disagree on a point made by robert. FSU was getting dismantled on every side of the ball. At least that's what i saw. Oregon was aggressive but I could also see FSU was sloppy. Every possession, either a turnover or a big run. And yes turnovers did do them in. But a good team wouldn't make 5 turnovers. Maybe 3 but 5 is too much.
Thanks for participating
Posted by robertacollier 1 year ago
I did not see FSU getting dismantled on every side of the ball. Turnovers is what did them in. They actually threw for more yards than Oregon. They possessed the ball more. Penalties were even. First downs were virtually even. Oregon did not blow them away in total yards. I'll grant you that Oregon did have the edge in other categories, but nothing really blowing FSU away.

A good and ramped up defense will cause turnovers, so that is really what made the difference.
Posted by robertacollier 1 year ago
My mistake about TCU's top ten record. They were 0-1 and not 1-2.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by darthebearnc 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited and con's arguments were more reliable/convincing.