Tuesday, October 10, 2006

College Football Playoff System

last updated: 10/18/2010
College football is currently the only major US sport that does not have a playoff system. Currently hundreds of college football teams battle each week to impress a computerized ranking system. Is it fair that a team can go undefeated and not get a chance to play for the National Championship? Is it fair that a computer program can rank the #2 team ahead of the #3 team by .001 and the #3 rank team does not get the chance to battle for the title? Of course the answers are no.

The main argument(s) in favor of the BCS is that all the possible scenarios that different teams have of making the championship game add fun and flavor. The current system knocks some very good teams out of contention of the National Title too early in the season. Often you only have a half a dozen or so teams playing meaningful games the last 3 or 4 weeks of the season. My playoff system is an eight team single elimination playoff that takes place during December and makes use of the prominent bowl sites. The system also takes into consideration whether or not a team won it's conference and it's BCS ranking.

No team not ranked in the Top 12 (arbitrary number that could change) could participate. Any conference champion ranked in the Top 12 would get an automatic bid. All remaining bids would go to the highest ranked non-conference winning teams.
All teams would be seeded based on their BCS ranking. First round games would be played at the home field of the highest ranked team. The semi-final and championship matchups would be played at a rotating BCS bowl site. Bowl sites that weren't involved could be used for other non playoff bowl games. Teams not in the 8 team playoff could still participate in bowl games like they currently do now. I am no longer advocating my 12 and 16 team playoff scenarios as they are not too realistic at this point. The pros are that no undefeated major conference team should be left out, it only takes three weeks to play and there will be more meaningful regular season games towards the tail end of the season. The cons are that it's possible a high ranking non-conference winner could get left out, or that an undefeated team that played a powder-puff schedule would get left out, but I'm not sure that last one is a con.

This is how the current 2010 playoff would look like...

Invited Teams
- Aurburn (SEC Leader)
- Oklahoma (Big 12 Leader)
- Michigan St. (Big 10 Leader)
- Oregon (Pac 10 Leader)
- TCU (Mountain West Leader)
- Boise St. (Western Athletic Leader)
- LSU (wild-card)
- Alabama (wild-card)

Playoff Matchups
#5 TCU vs #4 Auburn
#8 Alabama vs #1 Oklahoma
#6 LSU vs #3 Boise St.
#7 Michigan St. vs #2 Oregon

Remarks: This is what an eight team playoff would look like under my system. Keep in mind it is way too early to crown conference champs so in the case of a tie or where two teams have yet to lose a conference game, I just temporarily selected the team with the higher BCS ranking as the placeholder for the conference champion.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Here's my preference: an 8-team playoff, but for teams 7 and 8:

7. Highest ranked division winner of either Sun Belt, Conf USA, Mid American, Mountain West or Western Atheletic.
8. 2nd highest ranked division winner of either Sun Belt, Conf USA, Mid American, Mountain West or Western Atheletic.

I feel like these conferences should have a chance, even if none are in the top 25. I don't see why any team from a "major" conference should get to be in the playoff if they didn't win their conference.