College Football Playoff Proposals: 10-Team and 12-Team Setups

David HedlindAnalyst IINovember 18, 2008

With the end of the season drawing near, everyone and the President is throwing out their ideas for a major college football playoff. Well, I have two versions of the same idea. My take on it is that you need to even out the conferences before you can even start. Either all conferences have 10 teams or 12 teams. Here's how my playoffs would go.

First, let's look at 12 team conferences. We need 10 conferences of 12 teams each.

SEC, ACC, and Big 12 can all stay the same.

Big Ten does the obvious and Notre Dame joins.

The Pac-10 picks up two teams. Looking at all schools on and around the west, BYU and Utah join. While seemingly not exactly West Coast, they are really no farther east than Arizona. They are more north than any California schools and already have a rivalry. Both schools have played and beaten Pac-10 schools in recent years.

The Pac-10 goes to N and S

N—Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, BYU, Utah

S—UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State

The Big East takes one off the MAC, putting them back to 12 from their current 13. Geographically, Temple is the obvious choice even though they just left the Big East a few years ago. The Big East also picks up Navy and Army, giving them 11 schools. They need to raid. They steal a team from the Conference USA. I’m looking at UCF to rival USF.

N—Syracuse, UConn, Army, Temple, Rutgers, Pitt

S—West Virginia, Navy, Cincinnati, Louisville, UCF, USF

Conference USA needs a replacement, so they take the out of place Louisiana Tech from the WAC. Tulane shifts to East and Louisiana Tech is West.

WAC and Sun Belt absorb the remaining Mountain West schools.

WAC needs four. New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, and Wyoming join.

The conference goes East-West.

West—Hawaii, Fresno State, San Jose State, Nevada, Idaho, San Diego State

East—Boise State, UNLV, Wyoming, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Utah State

Sun Belt picks up TCU, Colorado State, and Air force, which right away helps give the conference a little cred. It also goes East-West

West—Colorado State, Air Force, TCU, North Texas, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette

East—Louisiana-Monroe, FAU, FIU, Troy, Middle Tennessee State, Western Kentucky

I say win the conference or you don't play for the Championship. No wild cards.

Now we have a 10-team tournament. Use the rankings such as the AP or coaches or average them, whatever. Seed the 10 champions according to those rankings. Due to the unusual number of teams, have the four lowest seeds play in order to move on to play the higher seeds.

*7-10 to play 1


^8-9 to play 2

So it goes

A. 1-*

B. 4-5

C. 3-6

D. 2-^

A-B plays C-D for championship

Going the other direction now, we look for 12 conferences of 10 teams.

All conferences play a full round-robin nine conference games with three non-conference games, much the way the Pac-10 currently does it.

Pac-10 stays as is.

Big East adds Notre Dame since they play in the conference in every other sport, and Penn State from the Big Ten as they fit geographically.

One new conference is needed since there are currently 11 conferences. Here is my proposal for a new conference: Take two schools from each of the current 12-team conferences. Really you could go in any number of directions by taking any number of schools. Here is what I would probably go with.

Iowa State and Missouri from the Big 12: These two are the farthest east in the conference.

Kentucky and Arkansas from the SEC: Kentucky is the northernmost and Arkansas is the westernmost school.

Ohio and Miami (OH) from the MAC: I really feel you could take any of from this conference, but these two are the southernmost.

Memphis and Marshall from Conference USA: Both are mostly in the area I'm looking at.

Clemson and Georgia Tech from the ACC: They are two of the ACC's most western teams.

This is the new Mid-America Conference.

Change the name of the old MAC to the Great Lakes Conference.

A quick head count tells us the Mountain West needs one, the WAC needs one, the Sun Belt needs one, and the old MAC needs to lose one, so now we get to rearrange some more.

I still hate Louisiana Tech in the WAC, so they move to the Sun Belt.

The WAC now needs two.

WAC takes San Diego State and New Mexico from the Mountain West. San Diego State fits location and New Mexico because they already have New Mexico State, so it works with the rivalry.

Mountain West now needs three. Move UTEP from Conference USA and Colorado and Texas Tech from the Big 12. These three all work geographically if nothing else.

Conference USA now needs one, while the Big 12 needs two.

Speaking of the Big 12, we have to change the name. We’ll go with the now no longer used Southwest Conference. Houston and Tulsa, having had recent success in Conference USA, move up and join the new Southwest Conference.

Conference USA now needs three. Not being restricted by a geographical name, Army and Navy as independents still need a conference and the old MAC is still one heavy, so Navy, Army, and Temple are now Conference USA.

Now with 12 conferences and 12 conference champions, you have a 12-team tournament. No wild cards, and no diminishing of regular season games—you either win your conference or you don't play for the title. Seed them all.

1, 2, 3, 4 get byes.

A. 8-9 plays 1

B. 5-12 plays 4

C. 6-11 plays 3

D. 7-10 plays 2

A-B plays C-D for championship

Hope you were able to follow all that.