2002 NCAA Football Playoff Proposal

For the third consecutive year, I have put together my format for a 16-team college football tournament. The BCS, as everyone knows, is a joke. Logically, it makes sense that the only two undefeated teams (Miami and Ohio State) will meet for the National Championship, but clearly these are not the two best teams in the nation. More than likely, Miami will dismantle the Luckeyes on January 3rd. With a playoff system, a great playoff or title game such as Miami/USC or Miami/Oklahoma would be possible. Without a playoff, we will have to wonder how Miami would have performed against a better opponent. Anyway, the following is my 2002 tournament breakdown. 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, and either the WAC or Mountain West. I have rescinded the automatic bid that I had been giving to Conference USA.
  • 9 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 21 more December bowl games (42 teams)
  • That puts 58 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

Here's how 2002-2003 would shake out if I were the committee:

FIRST ROUND - Saturday December 7th - Campus Sites
#16 Boise St (MWC*) at #1 Miami (BigEast*)
#9 Penn State (Big10) at #8 Kansas State (Big12)
#13 Michigan (Big10) at #4 Georgia (SEC*)
#12 Colorado (Big12) at #5 USC (Pac10)
#15 Florida State (ACC*) at #2 Ohio State (Big10*)
#10 West Virginia (BigEast) at #7 Oklahoma (Big12*)
#14 Notre Dame (Ind) at #3 Iowa (Big10)
#11 Texas (Big12) at #6 Washington St (Pac10*)
* Automatic Bid

QUARTERFINALS - Wednesday January 1st
Citrus Bowl - Game 1 11:00
Cotton Bowl - Game 2 2:00
Rose Bowl - Game 3 5:30
Gator Bowl - Game 4 9:00

SEMI-FINALS - Friday Jan 10th and Saturday Jan 11th
Sugar Bowl - Friday Night before NFL Divisional Playoff Games 8:00
Orange Bowl - Saturday Night after completion of NFL Divisional Playoff Games 8:00

CHAMPIONSHIP - Saturday Jan 18th
Fiesta Bowl - Saturday before Sunday's AFC/NFC Championship Games 7:00