College Football Playoffs Anyone?

By: Matt Barnes
By: Matt Barnes

Another regular season is over in college football (excluding Army-Navy on News 12 this Saturday at 2:30pm) and again, another year where the BCS proves it is simply not right for college football. Is the BCS an improvement from the previous system? Absolutely. Without it, who knows what bowl games the undefeated teams end up in. But is the BCS the right system? Absolutely not.

In what other sport can a team go undefeated and not get a chance to play for the national championship? If you're looking for the answer to that question, the answer in none. Every other sport has some sort of playoff system, allowing teams to determine it on the field, court or ice. But not college football - or should I say, Football Bowl Subdivision.

You see, in the Football Championship Subdivision, they have a playoff. 16 teams, 4 weeks, 1 champion. But the FBS has refused year after year to not adopt a playoff system. Every year, they have an excuse. Whether it be travel costs or academic worries, none of them are enough for me (and many others) to change my mind. If the FCS can do it, so can the FBS, where the majority of fans and money are.

Of course, there are all kinds of playoff proposals out there. A plus-one version involving 4 teams. I've read about 12 or 16-team versions, that include bye weeks and such. My proposal is a bit more simple and wouldn't involve too much change to the current system.

It involves just 8 teams, keeps intact the bowl system AND keeps the current BCS formula to determine the teams. Just like the current system, the power conferences receive an automatic bid. That leaves two at-large spots, which would be given to the two teams who are ranked highest in the BCS standings and did not win their conference unless there are undefeated teams who are not from the power conferences. So this year, this is how my system would pan out.

#1 Seed: Alabama (13-0) - SEC Champion
#2 Seed: Texas (13-0) - Big 12 Champion
#3 Seed: Cincinnati (12-0) - Big East Champion
#4 Seed: TCU (12-0) - At-Large
#5 Seed: Boise State (13-0) - At-Large
#6 Seed: Oregon (10-2) - Pac-10 Champion
#7 Seed: Ohio State (10-2) - Big Ten Champion
#8 Seed: Georgia Tech (11-2) - ACC Champion

Using my system, that would leave out Florida (#5 in the BCS). That's because TCU and Boise State both finished undefeated. For the sake of argument, let's just say there were three or more non-power conference team that finished undefeated. My tiebreaker would simply be to use the BCS formula to determine the 2.

As far as the playoffs, they begin the week after Championship Week. When it comes to the locations, the Capital One Bowl (Orlando) and Cotton Bowl (Dallas) would always be first round locations. Meanwhile, the four BCS bowls now would rotate between first round, second round and title game. The location that holds the title game will host a first round game to give it ample time to get the field in shape. The other first round location will be at the site of the previous year's title game. The 4 sites would be predetermined before the season begins. So this year, it would be as follows:

Sat. Dec. 19: Alabama vs. Georgia Tech (Capital One Bowl), Texas vs. Ohio State (Cotton Bowl), Cincinnati vs. Oregon (Orange Bowl), TCU vs. Boise State (Rose Bowl)

Sat. Dec. 26: Semifinal #1 (Fiesta Bowl), Semifinal #2 (Sugar Bowl)

Sat. Jan. 2: National Championship (Rose Bowl)

That's it. What do you think? Too complicated? Too simple? Or perfect?

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