Playoff Scenario

I hate to beat a dead horse, but the BCS/bowl system gets worse every year. How ludicrous must it become before the NCAA finally institutes a playoff system? Clearly, undefeated Miami should be in the Championship game, but several teams can argue that they should be the Hurricanes' opponent in the Rose Bowl. Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Illinois and Maryland all have a reasonably good case. Last year, Miami, Washington and Florida State each had one loss following the regular season, but it was the Seminoles that headed to the championship against undefeated Oklahoma because a couple of computers told us to send them. To me, the solution is obvious. College Football needs a playoff. For the third year in a row I have updated my proposal for a 16-team college football tournament. My scenario would retain every current bowl (some would remain as single game bowls while others would become playoff games) though I would prefer to limit the postseason to around 36 teams. Here are my rules:

  • 16 team tournament
  • Automatic bids to champs of ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Conference USA and either the WAC or Mountain West
  • 8 at-large bids determined by impartial committee
  • The committee decides whether the winner of the WAC or Mountain West receives the automatic invitation to the tournament
  • Every team plays 11 regular season games - no conference title games or kickoff classics (this would maximize a team's game total at 15)
  • First round games will be played on Campus
  • The Sugar, Rose, Orange and Fiesta rotate for the championship and semi-final games
  • The remaining 3 quarterfinal games rotate among six bowls (Gator, Citrus, Cotton and three other high-bidders)
  • Teams from the same conference will not meet in the first round, nor in the second round if it can be avoided
  • Based on the current structure, there would be 18 more December bowl games (36 teams)
  • That puts 52 teams in postseason play
  • The results from the conference title games are accounted for, though under my system there would be no conference championship games
  • Notre Dame is not allowed to participate until they join a conference. That's my rule. I'm sure that the Notre Dame brown-nosers, the NCAA, would not agree. This year, it really wouldn't matter.

Here's how 2001-2002 would shake out if I were the committee:

FIRST ROUND - December 8 - Campus Sites
#16 Louisville (CUSA*) at #1 Miami (BigEast*)
#9 Oklahoma (Big12) at #8 Florida (SEC)
#13 LSU (SEC*) at #4 Colorado (Big12*)
#12 Washington St (Pac10) at #5 Illinois (Big10*)
#15 BYU (MW*) at #2 Oregon (Pac10*)
#10 Texas (Big12) at #7 Tennessee (SEC)
#14 Michigan (Big10) at #3 Nebraska (Big12)
#11 Stanford (Pac10) at #6 Maryland (ACC*)
* Automatic Bid

Citrus Bowl - Oregon/BYU vs Texas/Tennessee 11:00
Cotton Bowl - Nebraska/Michigan vs Maryland/Stanford 2:00
Orange Bowl - Colorado/LSU vs Illinois/Wash St 5:30
Gator Bowl - Miami/Louisville vs Florida/Oklahoma 9:00

SEMI-FINALS - Friday Jan 18th and Saturday Jan 19th
Sugar Bowl - Friday Night before NFL Divisional Playoff Games 8:00
Fiesta Bowl - Saturday Night after completion of NFL Divisional Playoff Games 8:00

Rose Bowl - Saturday before AFC/NFC Championship Games 7:00

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