Wednesday, December 29, 2010

BCS Playoffs (revisited)

2010. The year that it seems the BCS has gotten it right. The two top teams made the BCS Championship game. Too bad it doesn't work every year. So let's take some time (and tweak) my post from over two years ago, of a potential system for a BCS playoff.

Ok here we go:

A) All BCS conferences should have conference championship games.

The Big-12 will lose it's conference championship next year, and I hate it. I don't care if some conferences have less teams, it is unfair to have some BCS teams win their league without a conference championship game. So let's make it happen.

B) Two AT-Large teams

I like the BCS rankings. I think 95% of the time, it gets it right. One gripe I have with it, is that the human pollsters are so dumb I wonder sometimes if they watch football. But we will keep the BCS standings as a starting point.

The two BCS at-large teams will be: 1) The highest ranked BCS team that didn't win its conference (This year would be Stanford); and 2) A non-BCS team selected by a play in game. The play-in game will be played on the Thursday night of conference championship weekend (typically the first week of December). It will be between the two highest ranked non-BCS conference teams. Should be exciting, no?

For example, this year we would have seen TCU play Boise on national television on Thursday. Then Friday night we get a double header: the Big-East championship game, then the Pac-10 Championship game. Saturday we get FOUR games (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC). Starting at noon with the ACC, 300PM SEC, 6PM Big 10, and 9PM Big 12 (all times Eastern). Who isn't excited about those three days of football?

C) Rank the teams according to BCS rankings and place them in 8 team playoff with home games for Round 1.

Best ranked against the worst ranked. Second best ranked against the second worst etc....

Let's take this year's standings: #1 Auburn would host Big East winner UConn. #2 Oregon would host #13 Va Tech. #3 TCU would host #7 Oklahoma. And #5 Wisconsin would host #4 Stanford (at-large from BCS conference cannot host game).

D) Winners face off in 2 BCS bowls at pre-determined locations.

Lets say all of the higher ranked teams win. Auburn plays Stanford and TCU plays Oregon. These games are placed at the most geographically logical location. For example, if the Fiesta Bowl and Sugar bowl are the options. Oregon and TCU would go to Fiesta and Auburn and Stanford would go Sugar. Even if it is far for a team (in this case Stanford), the game MEANS something. They will travel to see their team with a shot to make the championship.

E) National championship is played during the weekend between the conference championships and the Super Bowl in the NFL.

Move the NFL Pro-Bowl (awful idea anyways) and play this game in the gaping hole of a weekend with no football.

This will be played in one of the remaining two BCS location. Just like the current system. The BCS locations will rotate each year. The only question is the 4th BCS location. Either a 3rd place game, or a completely at-large selection. Maybe if its the Orange Bowl they select Arkansas and Ohio State. I'm fine with either option but it needs to be decided on permanently for every year.

F) The schedule will work with school.

Quarterfinals: First week after school is out. (Weekend before Christmas)
Semifinals: (New Years week)
Championship: (Between AFC and NFC championship and Superbowl) This might be the first week of school but not a big deal.

So I think I covered it. BCS makes money, stadiums are filled, and the fans are happy. Less people will be upset because:

If you win your conference you are in the playoff. If you lose your conference but play in a tough conference (i.e. Stanford) you still have a good chance of making the playoffs if you are highly ranked. At large teams have a legit shot at making the playoffs and wont always be the last ranked team. If your argument is the other bowl games become meaningless... aren't they already meaningless? They don't count towards a national title.

With this year's set up, both Oregon and Auburn have relatively easy passes into the semi-finals and other teams still get a shot.

What say you?

Stay classy,


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