Everyone knows the BCS is garbage. College Bowls are outdated, anticlimactic, and trivial. It’s a dog and pony show, and in this day and age sports fans need a real champ–a clear, undisputed champ. Even though I agree that the teams in the National Championship game are the two best teams in the country, it’s still not a legitimate way to choose a the champion of 119 teams.
Like I said, we need a clear, undisputed winner. Right now it’s like Joe Louis and George Foreman fighting for the heavyweight crown while Muhammad Ali was suspended for draft dodging–THERE ARE CLEARLY OTHER TEAMS QUALIFIED ENOUGH TO HAVE A SHOT.
A playoff is needed, there’s no doubt about that. The guys at ESPN showed a hypothetical 8 team playoff bracket on College Football Live based on Barack Obama’s proposition. After seeing it, I wasn’t satisfied. 8 teams is nowhere near enough. 16 is the number we’re looking for. With a 16 team playoff, not only can we include the winner of every major conference (something Obama’s 8 team playoff doesn’t do), every undefeated team (12-0 Boise State was not in the 8 team playoff), and as many teams from each conference that are deserving (instead of the current BCS rule that doesn’t allow more than two teams from one conference to be in BCS bowls, causing a weak 10-2 Ohio State team, ranked 10th, to get a bowl birth over 11-1 Texas Tech, ranked 7th, who’s only loss came to #1 Oklahoma).
My proposed 16 team playoff doesn’t eliminate the bowls either. It’s simple: there are four brackets of four teams–the Rose Bracket, Fiesta Bracket, Orange Bracket, and Sugar Bracket. When those brackets get narrowed down to two teams, the two teams qualify to play in the respective bowl. The winner of each major conference automatically gets the top 6 seeds (ranking them based on BCS standing), then the rest of the 16 teams go according to BCS rank (except to make small changes to avoid same-conference teams matching up in the first round). The winner’s of the Pac 10 and Big 10 automatically go to the Rose Bracket, ACC to the Orange Bracket, Big 12 to the Fiesta, and SEC to the Sugar (regardless of rank; these are the current assignments). First round match ups go according to seeding (1 v. 16, 2 v. 15, 3 v. 14, etc.).
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. The at large games, first round games that do not have an automatic qualifier (one game in each bracket except Rose), are assigned based on an invitation system, much like teams are invited to bowls now.
It would only take 4 weeks, meaning if it started Saturday 12/13 it would end the week before the current national championship game on 1/3. That makes the “a playoff would make the season too long” argument void. Here is what the bracket would look like:
(For clearer image go to http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&preview&suggest¬e_id=53253762848#/photo.php?pid=27582&op=1&view=all&subj=53253762848&aid=-1&oid=53253762848&id=1072633568)
Once the second round is finished (the bowl games have been played), the final four will compete in a BCS Tournament of Champions (cheesy name, but accurate). Whoever comes out of that will be the crowed champion. Based on my predictions, the final four would be USC, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Florida–in other words, the four best teams in the country.
The best part: you can still play those other bowls and the smaller schools can get their cash out. They could even have those first round games be some of the bigger non-BCS bowls. There are a lot of options. Basically what I’m saying is that it would be an easy transition, contractual/sponshorship-wise, from the current bowl system.
Hopefully, someday, the powers at be will reward college football fans for their years of whining by actually putting together a playoff. I would settle for eight teams, but 16 would be way more exciting. Just look at some of those potential matchups; it could become as big of deal as March Madness–brackets, office pools, the whole works. There’s a lot of money that could be made.
If you guys have anything to add or change, or if you have a way to get in contact with President Elect Obama, please comment and let me know.