The Field of 32: The College Football Playoff

Paul SwaneySenior Analyst IApril 5, 2012

The Field of 32: The College Football Playoff

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    USA Today has reported that college football officials are meeting to discuss the future of the college football postseason and the possibility of a playoff. Several possibilities have emerged, with the most likely scenario being a four-team playoff, protecting (above all else) the sanctity of the traditional Pac-12 vs Big Ten match-up in the Rose Bowl.

    As one who believes that the NCAA basketball tournament is the best sporting event in the world, I wish that college football would introduce the Field of 32, opening up a single elimination tournament that would captivate the sports world from mid-December until mid-January.

    This format would eliminate 38 teams from the current Bowl system, but those teams could still utilize a similar NIT-style tournament during the same period of time. I'll allow someone else to divvy up those leftovers. In the meantime, look at what that tournament would have looked like last year.

    A couple of rules to share on how this was set up. I used the current Bowl list and the last BCS rankings prior to the bowl season commencing to determine seeds. Teams from the same conference were not allowed to face each other in the first round, and at least one team was selected from each conference.

    With that in mind, let the fun begin by taking off from work on Friday, December 9th, as you have a lot of college football to consume over the next several weeks.

East Bracket: No. 6 Virginia Tech vs No. 11 Penn State, Military Bowl

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    Kickoff is 11:30am in Washington, DC at the Military Bowl as Virginia Tech plays Penn State. Fans hoped this would be a battle between the most tenured Big Ten coach and most tenured ACC coach, but alas, let's go there. This would be a classic battle and a wonderful way to start your Friday football extravaganza.

East Bracket: No. 7 Oklahoma vs No. 10 Houston, Champs Sports Bowl

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    The Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando would host the 7/10 game in the East region as Oklahoma plays host to the Houston Cougars and Case Keenum. The game kickoffs at 12pm ET.

East Bracket: No. 3 Arkansas vs No. 14 Notre Dame, Independence Bowl

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    Notre Dame is playing in December with a chance to win the National Title. They play one of five SEC teams in the tournament, Arkansas, at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. The third game of eight on the day kicks off at 2:30pm ET.

East Bracket: No. 2 Oklahoma State vs No. 15 Louisiana Tech, New Orleans Bowl

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    Oklahoma State would ease past WAC-representative Louisiana Tech at the New Orleans Bowl. The game has a 3pm ET kickoff.

West Bracket: No. 8 Georgia vs No. 9 Michigan State, Music City Bowl

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    Georgia vs Michigan State at the Music City Bowl in Nashville with a 6pm ET kickoff.

West Bracket: No. 1 LSU vs No. 16 Northern Illinois, New Mexico Bowl

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    In a likely blowout, LSU takes on the MAC representative, Northern Illinois Huskies. The game kicks off at 6:30pm ET, the sixth game of the day.

West Bracket: No. 4 Kansas State vs No. 13 Auburn, Las Vegas Bowl

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    The late night games kick off at 9pm ET at the Las Vegas Bowl. It is defending champ Auburn, with a chance to defend their title, against surprising Kansas State.

West Bracket: No. 5 South Carolina vs No. 12 Southern Mississippi, Hawaii Bowl

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    The final game of the night pits the ole ball coach and South Carolina against the upstart Golden Eagles of Southern Miss. The game caps off a wonderful day of football with kickoff at 9:30pm ET. 

Day 1 TV Schedule

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    What a great first day. If you took the day off from work, like I did, here is what you had on the docket:

    11:30am ET: Virginia Tech vs Penn State, Military Bowl

    12pm ET: Oklahoma vs Houston, Champs Sports Bowl

    2:30pm ET: Arkansas vs Notre Dame, Independence Bowl

    3pm ET: Oklahoma State vs Louisiana Tech, New Orleans Bowl

    6pm ET: Georgia vs Michigan State, Music City Bowl

    6:30pm: LSU vs Northern Illinois, New Mexico Bowl

    9pm ET: Kansas State vs Auburn, Las Vegas Bowl

    9:30pm: South Carolina vs Southern Mississippi, Hawaii Bowl

East Bracket: No. 5 Wisconsin vs No. 12 Texas, Belk Bowl

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    Hopefully you're not feeling hung over today. Games kickoff again at 11:30am in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium and the Belk Bowl with Big Ten champ Wisconsin taking on Texas.

East Bracket: No. 1 Alabama vs No. 16 Tulsa, St. Petersburg Bowl

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    The Alabama Crimson Tide begin to roll at noon on Saturday vs the Golden Hurricanes of Tulsa at the St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field.

East Bracket: No. 4 Boise State vs No. 13 Florida State, Little Caesars Bowl

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    Boise State trades the Blue Turf for Honolulu Blue at Ford Field in Detroit. Their opponent is Florida State, with a 2:30pm ET kickoff.

East Bracket: No. 8 Clemson vs No. 9 TCU, Armed Forces Bowl

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    TCU plays a virtual home game as they play the higher seeded Clemson Tigers at the Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas. The game kicks off at 3pm ET and concludes the first round of the East region.

West Bracket: No. 7 Michigan vs No. 10 West Virginia, Pinstripe Bowl

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    Two perennial powers collide as Michigan plays the Mountaineers of West Virginia. The game is played at Yankee Stadium at night, with a 6pm ET kickoff.

West Bracket: No. 2 Stanford vs No. 15 Arkansas State, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

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    It's a 6:30pm kick time in Boise and the Stanford Cardinal hope to get by the Sun Belt representative Arkansas State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

West Bracket: No. 6 Baylor vs No. 11 Nebraska, Insight Bowl

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    Old Big 12 foes reunite at the Insight Bowl in Tempe. Baylor vs Nebraska, and RG3 runs wild into the 2nd round. Game time is 9pm ET.

West Bracket: No. 3 Oregon vs No. 14 Cincinnati, Poinsettia Bowl

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    Oregon and Cincinnati wrap up the first weekend with a 9:30pm kick from San Diego. What a weekend! Can you imagine?

Day 2 TV Schedule

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    The second day is a good day to light up the grill in December. Here's what the second day TV schedule would have looked like.

    11:30am ET: Wisconsin vs Texas, Belk Bowl

    12pm ET: Alabama vs Tulsa, St Petersburg Bowl

    2:30pm ET: Boise State vs Florida State, Little Caesars Bowl

    3pm ET: Clemson vs TCU, Armed Forces Bowl

    6pm ET: Michigan vs West Virginia, Pinstripe Bowl

    6:30pm ET: Stanford vs Arkansas State, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

    9pm ET: Baylor vs Nebraska, Insight Bowl

    9:30pm ET: Oregon vs Cincinnati, Poinsettia Bowl

East Bracket: No. 1 Alabama vs No. 8 Clemson, Liberty Bowl

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    Saturday, December 17th features eight games yet again, and they are all absolute beauties. The first game pits southern powers Alabama and Clemson from Memphis in the Music City Bowl. Kickoff is at 11:30am ET.

East Bracket: No. 4 Boise State vs No. 5 Wisconsin, Chick-Fil-a Bowl

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    I am really starting to love this format, as this Saturday would arguably become the best day of college football of the year and provide me with an excuse to avoid Christmas shopping with my wife. It's Boise State vs Wisconsin at the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. Game time is noon eastern.

East Bracket: No. 2 Oklahoma State vs No. 7 Oklahoma, Capital One Bowl

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    The rivalry is intensified as the Oklahoma State Cowboys play nemesis Oklahoma in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. The game kicks off at 2:30pm.

East Bracket: No. 3 Arkansas vs No. 6 Virginia Tech, TicketCity Bowl

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    At 3pm on Saturday, December 17th, just sit back and watch the TicketCity Bowl, held at the legendary Cotton Bowl as Arkansas lays one on the Hokies of Virginia Tech.

West Bracket: No. 4 Kansas State vs No. 5 South Carolina, Meineke Car Care Bowl

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    At 6pm we turn to the West region and it is Kansas State beating South Carolina is a close contest in Houston at Reliant Stadium.

West Bracket: No. 2 Stanford vs No. 7 Michigan, Sun Bowl

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    In a battle of diverse quarterback skill sets, it's Stanford vs Michigan from El Paso. The game kicks off at 6:30pm, with Stanford moving on.

West Bracket: No. 3 Oregon vs No. 6 Baylor, KRAFT Fight Hunger Bowl

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    In a barn burner, it's Oregon and their shiny helmets over Baylor and their neon jerseys from AT&T Park in San Francisco, setting up a re-match of the Pac-12 Championship. Game time is 9pm ET.

West Bracket: No. 1 LSU vs No. 8 Georgia, Holiday Bowl

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    The day ends with a rematch of the SEC Championship with LSU beating up on Georgia. The game is played in San Diego at the Holiday Bowl. Kickoff at 9:30pm ET. 

Day 3 TV Schedule

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    Another great day of pigskin. I hope you finished your shopping early and you can just settle in for a perfect day of football. 

    11:30am ET: Alabama vs Clemson, Liberty Bowl

    12pm ET: Boise State vs Wisconsin, Chick-fil-A Bowl

    2:30pm ET: Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma, Capital One Bowl

    3pm ET: Arkansas vs Virginia Tech, TicketCity Bowl

    6pm ET: Kansas State vs South Carolina, Meineke Car Care Bowl

    6:30pm ET: Stanford vs Michigan, Sun Bowl

    9pm ET: Oregon vs Baylor, KRAFT Fight Hunger Bowl

    9:30pm ET: LSU vs Georgia, Holiday Bowl

East Bracket: No. 1 Alabama vs No. 4 Boise State, Outback Bowl

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    We take a week off. In most seasons, we would play these games on New Years Day, but as that fell on a Sunday in 2012, we push back to Saturday, December 31st, offering a quadruple header. The first game of the day is the Outback Bowl and pits Alabama vs Boise State at 11:30am ET.

East Bracket: No. 2 Oklahoma State vs No. 3 Arkansas, Gator Bowl

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    The second game of the day kicks off at 3pm. It's Oklahoma State vs Arkansas in another regional battle for the Cowboys in the Gator Bowl.

West Bracket: No. 2 Stanford vs No. 3 Oregon, Rose Bowl

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    Instead of Pac-12 vs Big Ten, we have Pac-12 vs Pac-12 for the first time ever in the 2012 Rose Bowl. The game kicks off at 6pm ET in Pasadena.

West Bracket: No. 1 LSU vs No. 4 Kansas State, Fiesta Bowl

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    Quarterfinal day concludes with the LSU Tigers and Kansas State Wildcats battling at the Fiesta Bowl. The game kicks off at 9:30pm ET.

Day 4 TV Schedule

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    After a two week break, college football comes back with four fabulous quarterfinal games. Here's your schedule:

    11:30am ET: Alabama vs Boise State, Outback Bowl

    3pm ET: Oklahoma State vs Arkansas, Gator Bowl

    6pm ET: Stanford vs Oregon, Rose Bowl

    9:30pm ET: LSU vs Kansas State, Fiesta Bowl

East Bracket Final: No. 1 Alabama vs No. 2 Oklahoma State, Orange Bowl

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    It's Alabama and Oklahoma State in the East Regional Final, with a trip to the National Championship on the line. The date is Saturday, January 7th, and the game kicks off at 4pm ET at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

West Bracket Final: No. 1 LSU vs No. 2 Stanford, Sugar Bowl

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    It's the Honey Badger and LSU against future Indianapolis Colt, Andrew Luck, in the second semi-final. The game is played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and kicks off at 8pm ET.

National Championship: LSU vs Alabama

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    LSU and Alabama wrap up the season on Saturday, January 14th. The game kicks off at 6pm ET and becomes known as Super Saturday. It is the best college football season you have ever seen. Now, don't you just wish this is what they would do?