What a 16-Team College Football Playoff Would Look Like: BCS=BS
So, we have ended another regular season and conference championship week.
We have finished this season with an unthinkable five undefeated teams. But only two will have a chance to compete for a national championship (if you can even call it that).
In our current system, TCU, Cincinnati, and Boise State will all get hosed. They've only been completely perfect, having finished without a single loss.
TCU has won its last seven by 27 points or more, including victories over a top-15 team (BYU), and a top 25 team (Utah).
Cincinnati has played a very tough schedule. They have defeated seven teams with a winning record. Two 7-5 teams, Three 8-4 teams, and two 9-3 teams. That is quite impressive.
Boise State beat Pac-10 champ Oregon, and they have impressive victories over Fresno State, Nevada and Idaho. Plus they have steamrolled nearly everyone on their schedule. And they have a BCS victory, something that Cincinnati doesn't.
And Texas and Alabama are undoubtedly deserving of a shot as well, but not only them.
Now, some may say, "This would make Florida-Alabama less meaningful."
I say, who cares?
A playoff would make every other game more meaningful, as a loss or win could drop a team out of or propel a team into the playoffs.
And your seeding would determine home-field advantage, until the final four, which would be played at three, pre-selected neutral sites, with even ticket distributions given to each team.
We all know we need a playoff. But what should that playoff look like?
I say scrap the "BCS."
Let's keep the conferences the way they are (for now) and create a genuine 16-team playoff.
Here is what it would look like this year (imagine if this were actually happening...wow)
We will not award or limit things based off of conferences. No automatic bids whatsoever. The best 16 teams, by human vote alone, in the country.
The 16 teams selected would/should be (avoiding rematches in the first round)
No. 1 Seeded Alabama (13-0)
No. 2 Seeded Texas (13-0)
No. 3 Seeded TCU (12-0)
No. 4 Seeded Cincinnati (12-0)
No. 5 Seeded Boise State (12-0)
No. 6 Seeded Florida (12-1)
No. 7 Seeded Oregon (10-2)
No. 8 Seeded Georgia Tech (11-2)
No. 9 Seeded Ohio State (10-2)
No. 10 Seeded Iowa (10-2)
No. 11 Seeded Penn State (10-2)
No. 12 Seeded LSU (9-3)
No. 13 Seeded Virginia Tech (9-3)
No. 14 Seeded Miami (9-3)
No. 15 Seeded BYU (10-2)
No. 16 Seeded Utah (9-3)
Who gets left out?
Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Stanford.
All good, solid teams, but not teams that would have any sort of right to complain in the way that TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State are now. They had their chances on the field, and all came away with three or four losses. Maybe they should've gotten in compared to the teams that did, but when you lose a game, you open the door to being left out.
This would lead to first round matchups of:
Utah (9-3) at Alabama (13-0) - Who wouldn't want to see Alabama get revenge for last year's Sugar Bowl upset?
BYU (10-2) at Texas (13-0) - Who wouldn't want to see if BYU could pull of another huge upset against the other top dog from the Big 12?
Miami (9-3) at TCU (12-0) - Who wouldn't want to see TCU go for three straight ACC victories, and prove their worth by crushing a solid team from a BCS conference?
Virginia Tech (9-3) at Cincinnati (12-0) - Who wouldn't want to see Cincinnati get tested by an elite team like Virginia Tech?
LSU (9-3) at Boise State (12-0) - Who wouldn't want to see LSU try use (supposedly) superior athletes to stop Boise States' unconventional attack on that blue field?
Penn State (10-2) at Florida (12-1) - Who wouldn't want to see two traditional powerhouses battle it out for redemption after failing to live up to expectations?
Iowa (10-2) at Oregon (10-2) - Who wouldn't want to see if Oregon could make a run for the title, or if Iowa could pull off another shockingly close victory?
Ohio State (10-2) at Georgia Tech (10-2) - Who wouldn't want to see if Jim Tressel could stop Georgia Tech's triple option?
If we projected even further, we'd have elite eight matchups of (barring upsets):
Georgia Tech (11-2) at Alabama (14-0)
Oregon (11-2) at Texas (14-0)
Florida (13-1) at TCU (13-0)
Boise State (14-0) at Cincinnati (13-0)
Then you could have a true final four (at neutral sites) of:
Alabama (15-0) vs. Cincinnati (14-0) (FedEx Field)
Texas (15-0) vs. TCU (14-0) (Cowboy Stadium, aka Jerry's World)
The winners of those games would play for all of the marbles in a true national championship game.
And someone like me, who thinks that TCU just might be the best team in the country, would get to see TCU have a chance to earn a national championship by beating Miami, Florida, Texas, and Alabama.
Fans of every conference, worthy of having a team in the top 16, would get to see their conference have a chance to prove their superiority.
Fans of BCS conferences would get a chance to shut the mid majors up—on the field.
In this scenario, you'd get 15 great college football games, instead of the 30 odd some bowl games, with only one (possibly two) have national championship implications.
And all of these games would be do or die.
Imagine the implications of first round upsets.
What if Utah's victory over Alabama last year meant they moved on, and Alabama didn't?
Imagine Boise State's victory over Oklahoma a few years ago, then imagine that same Boise State moving on and playing another game.
How can truly undefeated teams, who have beaten every single team on their schedule, not have a chance at a national title?
Some may say: "It messes with academic schedules."
I say: Bull-crap. Every other division of football, has a playoff system (some as many as 32 teams) and many of them are finer academic institutions than the FBS schools.
Some may say: "It would make the regular season less meaningful."
I say: Huey. It makes it more meaningful. How can you say a regular season is meaningful, if a team can win every single game they play, and they still not be given even a chance of playing a national title?
There is no reason this shouldn't happen. Except money and silly traditions. Please.
I think it will happen eventually. It will start small, with a simple plus-one (probably not until 2015).
Eventually, we will get eight teams.
Then eventually, we will get 16 teams.
But even the youngest among us might have dentures and grand kids by then.
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