Thursday, December 11, 2008
BCS Playoff Plan
I am of the opinion that the current BCS system is not a fair system. There will always be a handful of teams that deserve a chance to win the title, but for various reasons do not get a shot. I used to think that a 4 team or 8 team playoff would solve the problem. And it would. But it would still not be fair.
Every college sport outside football has the same format in essence: Every school has a chance to win when the season starts. In basketball if you win your conference you go to the big dance. You may not win, but you have a chance (Memphis). In football, unless you are a BCS conference you don't have a realistic chance unless you go undefeated two years in a row. THIS GOES AGAINST THE HEART OF COLLEGE ATHLETICS! My proposal is fair to everyone.
16 Team Playoff: Every Conference champion gets in, plus 5 wild cards to be determined by the current BCS format. Seed the tournament by their BCS rankings as well.
The teams that would get in this year by winning their conference would be Oklahoma, Florida, Penn St, Utah, USC, Troy, Boise St, Cincinatti, East Carolina, Virginia Tech and Buffalo. the 5 wild cards would be Texas, Alabama, Texas Tech, Ohio St, and TCU. I know that TCU might come as a surprise, but it is better than the next team Oklahoma St which would give the Big 12 South 4 entries.
Eliminate the "12 Team Rule" and make each conference play a championship game. First, I would do this for the fairness of the conferences without title games currently. It would give a clear winner on the field, which is what we are looking for. Also, it evens the field between teams who have extremely challenging games at the end of their calendar and the teams with easy games to finish the season (SEC, Big 12 versus the Pac 10) This also makes every conference championship game EXTREMELY exciting if it means going to the tourney.
We would see better non-conference games. This is probably debatable, and we wouldn't know for sure for a few years. But if a team could lose a non-conference game and still make the BCS tournament, you would have more incentive to play better teams to better prepare your team for the conference schedule.
Use current bowl games as playoff games. This is where things get hairy. There is too much money in bowl games to eliminate them, so I propose using them (like has been said many times before.) The biggest challenge to this in my mind is getting the fans of participating teams to each game, especially if they go deep into the playoff. Although I bet they work that one out just fine. The alternative is to scrap these bowl games altogether and have the higher seed host the game, but again I bet the bowl games commitees would veto that.
Play the games on Thursdays and Saturdays. One half of the bracket on Thursdays, one half on Saturdays with the semi-finals on new years.
Here is my playoff schedule for this year. I am picking winners just for scheduling/matchup purposes.
(1)Oklahoma(Big 12) vs. (16) Troy (Sun Belt)
in the Insight Bowl Thursday Dec. 18th
(8) Penn St. (Big 10) vs. (9) Boise St. (WAC)
in the Motor City Bowl Thursday Dec. 18th
(5) USC (Pac 10) vs. (12) Cincinatti (Big East)
in the Papajohns.com Bowl Thursday Dec. 18th
(4) Alabama (Wild Card) vs. (13)Virginia Tech (ACC)
in the Independence Bowl Thursday Dec. 18th
(6) Utah (Mountain West) vs (11)TCU (Wild Card)(also in the MWC, but too bad)
in the New Mexico Bowl Sat. Dec. 20th
(3) Texas (Wild Card) vs. (14) East Carolina (C-USA)
in the St. Petersburgh Bowl Sat. Dec. 20th
(7) Texas Tech (Wild Card) vs. Ohio St. (Wild Card)
in the New Orleans Bowl Sat. Dec. 20th
(2) Florida (SEC) vs (15) Buffalo (MAC)
in the Poinsetta Bowl Sat. Dec 20th
ROUND OF 8
(1) Oklahoma vs (9) Boise St
in the Fiesta Bowl Friday Dec. 26th
(5) USC vs (4) Alabama
in the International Bowl Friday Dec. 26th
(2) Florida vs (10) Ohio St
in the Orange Bowl Saturday Dec. 27th
(6) Utah vs (3) Texas
in the Liberty Bowl Saturday Dec. 27th
(1)Oklahoma vs (5) USC
in the Rose Bowl Thursday Jan 1
(2)Florida vs (3)Texas
in the Sugar Bowl Thursday Jan 1
(1)Oklahoma vs (3) Texas (I know we've seen it before, but the hype would be amazing)
15 bowl games would be used in the playoff, which eliminates 14 teams (of the current 68) from having a bowl game. But do 6-6 teams really deserve a bowl game these days? Even some 7-5 teams don't deserve it with their cupcake non-conference schedule.
The following 6-6 teams would miss games this year: Vanderbilt, Kentucky, NC State, Northern Illinois, Florida Atlantic, Notre Dame, Southern Miss, Memphis, Colorado St. I would also pass on the following 7-5 teams: UConn, USF, Wisconsin, Minnesota and LSU.
And for those schools not in the tournament, we still have the following 19 bowl games still on the schedule: Cotton, Gator, Capital One, Outback, Chic-Fil-A, Music City, Sun Bowl, Armed Forces, Holiday, Texas, Alamo, Emerald, Champ Sports, Meineke, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Eagle Bank, Humanitarian, and GMAC Bowls.
So there it is. Thanks for reading it all, I got a little excited about this. But I really do think this is the most fair way to decide a championship on the field by student athletes.
Please add comments on what works, doesn't work. And if you like it and know anyone in sports broadcast, journalism or someone that works for the BCS be sure to pass it on. Because for real, once someone reads this you can't go back!