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2013 NCAA Playoff Proposal

Starting next year, the NCAA will adopt what is essentially a four-team playoff in college football's FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly Division 1-A). I still believe that my playoff proposal, an eight-team tournament with automatic qualifiers, is a better system but at least the NCAA is moving in the right direction. Anyway, here's the 2013 version of my college footbal playoffs.

Here's how the 2013-14 playoffs would shake out if I were the committee:

Automatic Qualifiers

Florida State (ACC), Baylor (Big 12), Michigan State (Big Ten), Stanford (Pac 12), Auburn (SEC) and Central Florida (best BCS ranking among other conferences).

At Large Teams

That leaves two spots for at-large teams. Clearly Alabama is one of those two teams. Their only loss came on a last second miracle play by one-loss Auburn. Ohio State finished undefeated in the regular season so they get the easy nod for the second at-large spot over a long list of two loss teams.


The only undefeated team, Florida State, is the obvious #1 seed. Auburn, the champion of the nation's top conference is #2. You can make an argument for both Alabama and Michigan State for the #3 spot. I'm putting the Spartans at #3 for two reasons: (1) They won their conference title and (2) This keeps conference foes Alabama and Auburn on opposite sides of the bracket which the Committee should do if a reasonable argument can be made that the teams are equally qualified. Stanford, Baylor and Ohio State could really be put in any order from 5 through 7. To set up a Big Ten-Pac 12 Rose Bowl, I will put Stanford in the #6 spot. I want Ohio State on the opposite side of the bracket from #3 Michigan State so they will be #7. That leaves Baylor at #5. Central Florida is the obvious 8 seed.

2013 NCAA Playoff Proposal Brackets

Orange Bowl - #1 Florida State (ACC) vs #8 Central Florida (American)
Sugar Bowl - #2 Auburn (SEC) vs #7 Ohio State (at-large)
Rose Bowl - #3 Michigan State (Big Ten) vs #6 Stanford (Pac 12)
Fiesta Bowl - #4 Alabama (at-large) vs #5 Baylor (Big 12)

SEMI-FINALS - Saturday, January 18th (day prior to AFC and NFC Championships)
Game One - 3:30 pm
Game Two - 8:00 pm

CHAMPIONSHIP - Saturday Jan 25th (Superbowl off week)
Championship Game - 8:00 pm

(Note: the championship could also be played on Monday the 27th).

2012 Playoff Proposal
2011 Playoff Proposal
2010 Playoff Proposal
2009 Playoff Proposal
2008 Playoff Proposal
2007 Playoff Proposal
2006 Playoff Proposal
2005 Playoff Proposal
2004 Playoff Proposal
2003 Playoff Proposal
2002 Playoff Proposal
2001 Playoff Proposal
2000 Playoff Proposal