Most college football fans want a playoff for Division I college football. Unfortunately, we are not getting one anytime soon. So we are left to daydream about what one would look like.
First, let’s lay some ground rules. First and foremost, we need to keep in mind that any playoff system will have to evolve from the current BCS system or it will never happen.
NCAA Football Playoff…
- Keep current BCS rankings system.
- Eight teams: There is no need to go to 16 teams right away. Let’s start with eight and see how it works. It wil be easier to expand in the future than it would be to contract.
- Top 3 Get Automatic Bids.
- Automatic Bids To Champions Of Six BCS Conferences: But, the conference champ must be in the BCS top 15. If not, that conference does not receive an automatic bid.
- Notre Dame — No special provisions for Notre Dame. If they can’t get to the top of the polls they don’t get to dance.
- At-Large Bids: Any remaining slots will go to undefeated non-BCS conference champions based on ranking, followed by the highest ranked BCS schools that did not receive an automatic bid. No more than two teams per conference. At-large teams must be in the BCS top 15.
- Seeding based on final BCS rankings.
The 2010 BCS playoff tournament with current BCS rankings in parentheses…
- Oregon (1) — Automatic qualifier as #1 ranked team
- Auburn (2) —Automatic qualifier as #2 ranked team
- TCU (3) — Automatic qualifier as #3 ranked team
- Boise State (4) — At-Large bid as undefeated non-BCS conf. champ.
- LSU (5) — At-Large bid as highest ranked BCS non-conf. champ.
- Stanford (6) — At-Large bid as second-highest ranked BCS non-conf. champ.
- Wisconsin (7) — Big 10 Champion
- Nebraska (8) — Big 12 Champion
The conferences that get screwed under this scenario are the ACC and the Big East. Virginia Tech is currently ranked 16th and Pittsburgh is unranked. Both of those teams will likely qualify for the BCS this year.
This proposed playoff could see a shake-up if Virginia Tech were to jump up into the top 15 before the season ended. That would knock Stanford out of the playoff, move Wisconsin and Nebraska up a slot and Virginia Tech would qualify as the eighth seed.
It just so happens, that under these guidelines, the top eight teams in the rankings would be the eight teams selected for a BCS tournament. However, a quick look at the last several seasons shows that there is usually one team ranked in the top 8 that does not qualify. In 2009, all six BCS conference would have received an automatic bid followed by undefeated Boise State and TCU. The only team in the top eight that would have been left out was #5 Florida.
So what’s the harm? Only four teams must extend their season and play more than one “bowl” game. The BCS gets seven games instead of five. Some conferences will occasionally be left out, but “usually in” is better than no guarantee at all.
Everybody wins. Right? Of course, that is exactly why it will never happen.
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