College Football BCS Playoffs
It's the mockery of everything about college football. No one likes it but those that benefit directly from it financially.
It's the BCS.
It has come under the most fire it probably ever has following this year's BCS bowl bids. Oklahoma State was controversially left out of the national title game, leaving LSU-Alabama in a rematch that the BCS used to be against.
Then there's the Michigan-Va Tech matchup, which is only excusable if you're a moron or a BCS official. The sheer fact that the 11th- and 13th-ranked teams play in one of the top bowl games is ridiculous, especially considering Boise State and Kansas State, among others, were left out to dry.
This year would possibly be the best year to institute a playoff. With four 1-loss and seven 2-loss teams in the top 15, and also one undefeated team, no one seems entitled to any of the bowl games besides LSU.
So what would a 16-team playoff look like this year?
In order to save an argument, we'll just use the top 16 schools in the BCS for this slideshow. It'll lead to a few rematches, but we can move past those. The format is simple: No.1 vs. No.16, No. 2 vs. No. 15, etc. for the first round until the national title game is set. The higher-ranked team will host the game.
3. Oklahoma St.
7. Boise St.
8. Kansas St.
9. South Carolina
11. Va. Tech
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 16 Georgia
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 15 Clemson
No. 3 OK St. vs. No. 14 Oklahoma
No. 4 Stanford vs. No. 13 Michigan
No. 5 Oregon vs. No. 12 Baylor
No. 6 Arkansas vs. No. 11 Va Tech
No. 7 Boise State vs. No. 10 Wisconsin
No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 9 South Carolina
#1 LSU vs. #16 Georgia
These two obviously just played in the SEC Championship Game, and it was a blowout then. This time around, it would happen just the same.
The fact is, LSU is just better than everyone in the SEC. Georgia is a good team with a great defense, and they had the right game plan. However, LSU would be able to adjust to the game plan this time around, and I don't think UGA would be able to overcome that.
It wouldn't be as much of a blowout as the last game, but LSU would win pretty easily.
#2 Alabama vs. #15 Clemson
While Alabama is getting hated on for being in the national title game, they've certainly been good enough to be there. Their one loss was to LSU and they've beaten four ranked teams.
Clemson rode a hot wave with three straight wins over ranked teams. However, they didn't really finish strong in three of their last four games before the beating they gave Va Tech in the ACC title game.
While Clemson's offense is great, led by WR Sammy Watkins, they aren't good enough to beat a team like Alabama. The Crimson Tide defense doesn't get enough credit for how good they are. They are actually the No. 1 defense in terms of opponents' points per game.
Alabama wins this game 31-17.
#3 Oklahoma St. vs. #14 Oklahoma
Much like the LSU-UGA matchup, this one just happened and would have a similar outcome. The simple fact is, OK State is better than OU.
The case would be much different if OU weren't hampered by the injuries to key players, like Ryan Broyles. That injury not only hurt their depth chart, but it also hurt their morale. They didn't seem like the same team after that injury.
As for Oklahoma State, their offense is just disgustingly good. Trying to stop it is next to impossible. Justin Blackmon has called under the radar, but his 113 catches for 1,336 yards and 15 touchdowns is mind boggling.
OU would keep it closer, but OSU is too good. OSU wins 45-31.
#4 Stanford vs. #13 Michigan
This might be one of the more interesting matchups and certainly one of the most exciting.
Stanford certainly proved it belongs in the national title hunt, beating Washington and Notre Dame, as well as USC in Pasadena. Andrew Luck might be over-hyped, but he's very good. The way he leads his offense is Peyton Manning-esque.
Michigan is spearheaded by Denard Robinson. He's the catalyst to the offense, and if you stop him, you stop everything about Michigan's offense. However, if it were that easy, they wouldn't be in a BCS bowl (all jokes aside).
This game would be a shootout. Robinson's run-first style against Luck's pass-first style. In the end, Luck has more weapons and is better than Robinson. Stanford wins in OT, 45-38.
#5 Oregon vs. #12 Baylor
If you want to talk about exciting games and why there NEEDS to be a playoff in place, then this is the game you point to.
You have the third- and sixth-highest-scoring offenses, one of the best running backs in the game and one of the best QBs in the game and the likely Heisman front-runner.
Oregon's fast-paced attack is hard to stop. The only two teams in the last two years to stop it have been the SEC's best. With a healthy LaMichael James, this offense scores quicker than you can say LaMichael James.
But RG3 is no scrub himself. Griffin has 4,000 pass yards with 36 touchdowns to 6 interceptions. Two of his team's three losses came to teams ranked higher than Baylor in the BCS rankings (OK State, Kansas St).
This game would be such a close, high-scoring game. While Oregon is a very good team, I'm going to say RG3 has a Heisman moment this game and they pull out a late victory, 51-47.
#6 Arkansas vs. #11 Va. Tech
This would certainly be a game with the least story lines. Arkansas is the third-best team in it's own conference and no one watches ACC football.
Arkansas' two losses this year came to LSU and Alabama. However, their next best win came against the Marcus Lattimore-less Gamecocks. To many, they are seen as overrated.
For Va. Tech, they flew under the radar the whole season, making it to fifth in the nation last week. However, following a whooping in the ACC title game, they fell far. Still, they feature one of the nation's best runners that no one knows about: David Wilson.
Arkansas' run defense is pretty bad. They give up 174 yards a game and Wilson averages 127 a game. That's a perfect combo for an upset. Va. Tech wins this game behind a big performance from Wilson, 27-17.
#7 Boise State vs. #10 Wisconsin
Here's another matchup that makes everyone want to scream WHY CAN'T THERE BE A PLAYOFF!!! You have the oft-overlooked Broncos against the Big Ten's best in Wisconsin.
For Boise, there's Kellen Moore, whom we all know about. All he's done this year is throw for 3,500 yards and 41 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. Their defense might not get the credit it deserves. Although they do play in the MWC, they give up only 18 points a game and have 15 INTs.
But their matchup against Wisconsin might be too much. Russell Wilson and Montee Ball head an offense than is very balanced. Ball has only been responsible for 38 touchdowns this year—nothing big. Their two losses came on Hail Mary's late in the game against Michigan State and Ohio State.
In Boise's first chance to prove it is a national contender, the Broncos face a team they simply can't keep up with. Wisconsin wins this game in a shootout 35-31.
#8 Kansas State vs. #9 South Carolina
The fourth-best SEC team faces the third-best Big 12 team in this game.
For the Gamecocks, losing RB Marcus Lattimore should have killed their season, but they have managed. They're one loss without him came against Arkansas. However, they did luck out by not playing either Alabama or LSU this year. They've also had a rather easy schedule considering they play in the SEC.
Kansas State is another team that seemed to get no attention this year, but Collin Klein's 26 rushing touchdowns as a QB is very impressive. Add the 12 passing touchdowns and just 5 interceptions with 2,800 total yards of offense and this guy is a stud.
In Carolina's biggest test of the year, Klein will run over the defense, leading K-State to a 21-14 win.
ROUND TWO: #1 LSU vs. #8 Kansas State
Collin Klein will present an interesting matchup for LSU. In all their games this year, they never played a QB who can run like he can. The closest they came was in Week One against Oregon—and they won by just 13 then.
LSU's secondary is its strong point, but not a lot has been said about the Tigers' run defense. This game would surely be a test for them.
However, Kansas State simply doesn't have the weapons to stay with LSU. The Big 12 isn't known for intimidating defense,s and LSU would be able to slow Klein down enough.
LSU wins 24-13.
ROUND TWO: #2 Alabama vs. #10 Wisconsin
Wisconsin's ranking is far worse than the team. As a Big Ten follower, I can tell you that this offense is a very good offense. Montee Ball is no joke as he made mincemeat of all the Big 10 defenses he faced this year. Add in Russell Wilson and you have a very balanced attack.
That being said, I don't think they've faced anything close to the defense Alabama has. Alabama ranks No. 1 in rush defense, but they also haven't faced anyone remotely good as Ball and Wisconsin's run game.
Alabama would be able to score on Wisconsin's defense, but it just comes down to whether Wisconsin can keep pace against 'Bama's offense.
I think Wisconsin will shock some people and pull off another upset. Ball has his own Heisman moment and runs past Alabama for a 21-17 win.
ROUND TWO: #3 Oklahoma State vs. #11 Va. Tech
The pass-first offense of OK State for the run-first offense of Va. Tech. David Wilson vs. Brandon Weeden would certainly be fun. The Pokies vs. the Hokies.
It comes down to who can score more points. Neither team is going to be able to stop the other. And in most cases, the passing attack will score you more points than the run game will.
In Oklahoma State, the Pokies would be too much for the Hokies. With a chip on their shoulder of being ranked No. 3 and having something to prove, OK State would come out and handle the best the ACC has to offer.
OK State wins 45-28.
ROUND TWO: #4 Stanford vs. #12 Baylor
After dispatching of Denard Robinson, the Cardinal get to go up against RG3.
Just like most other games listed, this would turn into a shootout. Stanford has proven it doesn't have a defense, giving up nearly 50 points to USC and more than that to Oregon. We know Baylor doesn't have a defense because they come from the Big 12.
So this would come down to the two QBs. It'd be one of Luck's biggest tests to date and a chance to reassert himself as a Heisman favorite. As for RG3, a Cinderella run to the national title would all but assure him a Heisman trophy.
However, the clock will strike midnight on Baylor. Luck is just too good and wins this game 51-44 in double OT.
SEMIFINAL: #1 LSU vs. #4 Stanford
And now comes the most interesting of the games. LSU's top-ranked defense versus Andrew Luck's offense. We'd find out a lot about both Luck and the secondary of LSU.
Many think Luck is overrated, and he probably is. He certainly is going to suffer his struggles in the pros, but in college, he's a great QB. But he hasn't faced any type of defense like the Honey Badger-led offense of LSU.
However, LSU hasn't faced an offense like this. Andrew Luck is arguably the best QB in the nation and a smart QB. He'd be able to pick this secondary apart to a degree.
The real question comes with LSU's offense: Would they be able to score to keep up with Luck? Luck is going to score. He's too good for LSU to shut down completely. We saw that Stanford's defense isn't that great in the past, but LSU isn't known for it's offensive execution.
UGA laid down the game plan for how to beat LSU; they just didn't stick to it long enough. I'll shock the world and say Andrew Luck leads the Cardinals past LSU simply because they can't score enough to keep up. Final score 31-21.
SEMIFINAL: #3 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Wisconsin
We thought we saw high-scoring matches until this one. The over/under on the game should be somewhere in the 140 range. As sarcastic as that is, both these teams will near 50 points in this game.
The game plan for this would be simple: Score as much as you can. Neither team can come close to stopping the other. OK State gives up 180 rush yards a game, which would have Montee Ball salivating. However, Wisconsin can't stop a nose bleed, which Justin Blackmon would be thrilled about.
The spread offense vs. a balanced offense like this matchup would present would be fascinating. And this game is exactly why we need a playoff.
Going against my Big Ten homer views, I think Oklahoma State would outlast Wisconsin 55-51.
NATIONAL TITLE: #3 Oklahoma State vs. #4 Stanford
The beauty of a playoff is that the best team may not always win.
Any Given Saturday.
For the national title, Oklahoma State's offense against Andrew Luck's offense would be as fun as one could imagine.
Andrew Luck's Heisman campaign by this point would be fully alive and kicking, especially after upsetting LSU. However, OK State has a ton of weapons, and Justin Blackmon would surely be over 2,000 yards receiving by this point.
As I've mentioned before, defense would be nonexsistent in this game. It's a common theme in NCAA football games, but this game especially. Neither defense has proven it can stop anyone and that'd remain the case here.
Andrew Luck is great, but I'm not sure he has the weapons that Weeden has. They certainly aren't as explosive. Stanford's run game is better, but I think they'd go away from it once the game really got going, which feeds into Oklahoma State's hands.
Oklahoma State simply is too good. They'd outlast Andrew Luck and win a national title 49-35.