An Alternative Championship Solution for College Football
The BCS chaos of the last few years has resulted in many an uproar among the die-hard fans of college football. Cries for a playoff can be heard all the way from Los Angeles (when it's convenient for Pete Carroll) to Athens, GA.
One could talk to any true fan of college football from anywhere in the nation and get a wide variety of playoff-style solutions. Some call for an eight-team format (thank you Mr. President-Elect), while others favor a 12- or 16-team bracket.
Nevertheless, followers of the game are fed up with what many tag as the "Mock" National Championship set up by the Bowl Championship Series. Something must be done.
Even with the national outcry, commissioners and presidents continue to hide behind a wall of excuses—classes, exams, travel, etc. And while they won't publicly admit it, it is globally known that the precious greenback is the root of all of the fuss.
With that in mind, I offer you, the fans and the figureheads, an alternative championship solution for college football.
May I present: The Bowl Championship Conference.
Here's how it works.
* First, pre-scheduled non-conference games are eliminated (I know, I know. Just hang on—I'll get to that.). Each team in the FBS opens their season with conference play. A total of 10 weeks are set aside for each conference to complete its regular season.
These 10 weeks would ensure every team at least one bye week. It would also allow the SEC, Big 12, ACC, CUSA, and MAC the opportunity to play their full regular season schedules, as well as their championship games. It ensures the Pac-10 its full round robin. It even gives the Big Ten the option of adding a ninth game to its regular season schedule.
* The current BCS formula would be released after week six (rather than the eighth week as it is currently). Following the completion of conference play, a committee (very similar to that used in the basketball and baseball tournaments) will seed the six BCS conference champions and four at-large teams (a total of 10, which is equal to the current BCS allotment) into two five-team divisions of the Bowl Championship Conference.
Criteria for this selection process would include BCS ranking, AP ranking, geographic considerations, and strength of schedule. The same rules regarding non-BCS schools would apply, as well as the stipulation that no more than two teams from a single conference would be allowed. Additionally, if a conference sends more than one team, those teams must be placed in separate divisions.
* The next five weeks of the regular season are set aside for BCC play (more on the rest of the schools later). Each division plays a full round robin schedule, with each team playing two home games and two road games (determined by the committee). One team per division, per week, would have a bye.
* The National Championship would pair the two division winners. The other four BCS bowls would match teams across the divisions to fill out the rest of the BCS bowl lineup. Tiebreaking rules for each division are as follows:
2. Point differential in BCC games
In this system, the strong emphasis on conference play is upheld. The quality of football in November and December would be incredible. It would also allow for a same-conference National Championship, but it would be determined on the field.
The television rights for something like this would be astronomical—one network would pick up one division, another network the other division, and a third the bowl games. Money could not be an excuse. The bowl system would remain intact (more on this later). The regular season would not be extended.
Above all, the championship would be settled on the field.
What about the other 109 teams?
Currently there are 33 bowls. That means 66 teams go bowling every year—that's more than half of the teams in college football.
Under this system, the number of bowls would be reduced to 29—the five BCS bowls and 24 others.
A placement committee will then assign the remaining 109 teams to one of four pools.
A 16-team pool is selected from the remaining top teams in the BCS standings. Teams play two home and two away from within the pool. During bowl season, the top eight non-BCS bowls select teams from Pool A to fill their bowl slots.
This pool is similar to Pool A but with lesser-quality opponents. The remaining BCS-ranked teams, as well as other at-large teams, are pooled together. Teams play two home and two away games within the pool. During bowl season, the middle eight, non-BCS bowls select teams from Pool B to fill their bowl slots.
Sixteen more at-large teams are selected. Teams play two home and two away games within the pool. During bowl season, the lower eight, non-BCS bowls select teams from Pool C to fill their bowl slots.
* Teams must have at least a .500 record in conference play to be eligible for Pools A-C.
The remaining teams are placed in Pool D. Teams play two home and two away games within the pool. These teams are not eligible for bowl games.
The integrity of the bowl system is kept in place. Tie-ins might vary and be subject to change, but the overall system is still intact.
This is just an idea and is by no means meant to be taken uber-seriously. Everyone has their solution—this is mine.
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