What If The BCS Ran The NFL Playoffs?

devin hester chicago bears nfl

Photo: AP

There has been a lot of criticism of the NFL this week for employing a system in which a 7-9 team (Seattle Seahawks), not only is in the playoffs, but will host a game.In fact, there are three games this week in which the team with the better record will be playing on the road against a lesser foe.

But it could be worse. It could be a lot worse. What if the BCS ran the NFL? What would the playoffs look like then?

Well, the playoff selection process would be a lot less systematic and might look like this:

  • 10 teams, with 8 automatic bids going to the winners of the 8 divisions.
  • Any team that wins 12 games, but does not win their division receives one of the 2 Wild Card plots.
  • Automatic bid for the Dallas Cowboys if they have 10 wins (The Notre Dame rule).
  • Any remaining bids will go to at-large teams. Those teams must have at least 10 wins.
  • The top two teams would play in the Super Bowl and be chosen by a panel of old dudes that don’t have access to DirecTV.
  • The other 8 teams will be divided amongst the remaining 4 games.

Under a typical BCS system, the Super Bowl would matchup the two teams with the best records from traditionally strong divisions. This year, that would be the Patriots (14-2) and the Falcons (13-3). Those two teams would be given four weeks off before meeting in Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.

The Ravens would automatically receive one of the Wild Card bids with 12 wins. That would leave one spot for the Jets (11-5), Saints (11-5), Giants (10-6), Packers (10-6) or Bucs (10-6). We give the edge to the Jets because they are more of a national draw and would translate to bigger TV ratings.

Between now and the Super Bowl, the remaining eight teams would meet in four meaningless exhibitions in which the teams would be playing for hometown pride. The exact match-ups would be made by the host cities of the four games, New Orleans, Miami, San Diego and Tampa.

The match-ups might look like this, with host cities showing preference for marquee players (e.g. Peyton Manning) and teams with strong national followings (e.g. Steelers)…

  • 1. Colts (10-6) vs 8. Seahawks (7-9) in Miami
  • 2. Steelers (12-4) vs 7. Chiefs (10-6) in San Diego
  • 3. Jets (11-5) vs 6. Ravens (12-4) in New Orleans
  • 4. Bears (11-5) vs 5. Eagles (10-6) in Tampa

Serenity Now! Is there one compelling matchup in that group? Is there one game that you would watch over “American Idol”?

And keep in mind that the winners of these games get nothing. Why? Because the BCS says only the top two teams deserve a shot. Two teams picked by people that may have watched them play once or twice.

All of the sudden, a 7-9 team in the playoffs doesn’t seem so bad.

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