CollegeFootballFan.com Playoff Proposal
Finally, in 2013, the NCAA decided to dissolve the horrible, inept, and boring Bowl Championship series (BCS) and decided to replace it with a College Football Playoff. Four teams will be selected, two traditional bowl sites will be played at each year on New Year’s Day to host two playoff games, and to two schools will emerge to play the following weekend in a National Championship game at a pre-determine neutral site. It’s a step in the right direction, but we still think our proposal below made back in 2003 is still better. We have a few ideas for some tweaking, but we’re leaving the basis intact to see if the NCAA will ever catch up to our ways if thinking. We hope that they do. Read on!
The sport of college football is clamoring for a system to determine the true number one football team in the country every year. Coaches vote. Writers vote. Computers vote. Yet coaches only watch their own teams play against 11 or 12 teams every year. Many writers cover a particular team or region that they focus on. Even computers are “programmed” to determine what team is better based on data despite the fact that it ranks one team over another even if the lower ranked team wins in head-to-head competition, ala’ Washington and Miami and Florida State in 2000. Nebraska didn’t win its conference in 2001, yet played Miami of Florida for the National Championship in a disappointing performance at the Rose Bowl. A combination of polls by the “experts” determines what two teams will meet in the BCS Championship game. Other major bowl match-ups are based on which two teams can bring the most visitors to a particular city to spend a lot of money. That’s why bowls were started. “You can look it up!”
CFF believes that championships should be decided where it counts – on the fields of play. There is a solution, briefly stated here, that should appease all interested parties.
The bowls are all about money. The NCAA, TV advertisers, universities, cities, tourist attractions, conferences, the hotel and travel industries among others all benefit from a big bowl game between two teams with mass appeal to the college football market. This isn’t a bad thing. That’s the way it is. Thus far, bowls have obstructed the capability to run a true play-off system for fear of giving up what they developed early last century. The Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta committees don’t want to give up the great sources of revenue for any of the factions concerned. However, CFF believes there is a compromise for the bowls to maintain their revenue generating machinations and to come up with a true national championship system based on blocking and tackling supremacy performed on the gridiron.
Through polls and computers, the BCS selects the top two teams at the end of the season to play in a championship match. Despite what the media says, there has been and always will be controversy. Await the day when eight major conference champions end the season undefeated – unlikely, but possible! No voting system should replace the true method of determining a champion. It should be decided on the field. Under the current process, bowl committees select the remaining top teams eligible based on rankings, records and national appeal (Notre Dame). Last year the Fiesta Bowl got to host the championship game. The Rose Bowl took its turn as host the previous year. CFF proposes a plan using the same rotational system to implement a playoff system while allowing each of the four bowls to host an appealing game every year.
Through the BCS polling system currently utilized, the Top Ten teams, as always, are determined at close of regular season. The top eight teams would be seeded accordingly based on their final rankings into the Bowl Playoff Series (BPS). The ninth and tenth ranked team would get automatic invitations to play one another in a traditional New Year’s bowl. Call it a consolation game if you will, but an entertaining one at that! Using 2003’s scenario, the Fiesta Bowl would host this game, #9 vs. #10, since it had #1 vs. #2 in 2002. Using the final BCS standings announced on December 7, 2004, #10 Kansas State would play #9 Miami (F) on New Year’s Day in Tempe. The top eight seeds then pair up in the first round to be played in the home stadiums of the higher rated teams. Thus, #8 Tennessee would visit #1 Oklahoma, #5 Ohio State would go back for a rematch against #4 Michigan in Ann Arbor, #6 Texas would journey to #3 USC, and #7 Florida State would meet #2 LSU in Baton Rouge. The winners of these four games would then be paired up against one another in the semi-finals called the BPS Bowl Round. That year the two games would be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and at the Orange Bowl in Miami on the weekend before Christmas. The winners would proceed to meet in the BPS Championship on New Year’s Day at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans! All other bowls remain intact and are unaffected except for some TV scheduling based around the playoff games. Every bowl-eligible team gets at least one post season game, some schools get to host a playoff game, all the major bowls get meaningful games to attract visitors, and all four get two Top Ten teams. Only four teams of 117 1A programs play one or two games more than usual, and the championship is decided on the field. This proposal may not be perfect, but it bolsters economic pursuits and eliminates the annual controversies to come up with one true champion decided on the playing field. Some say it affects players’ final exam time, but fifty teams practiced for twenty-five bowl games in 2004 played after Christmas Day and beyond, so why is there a difference now?
It’s a plan that CollegeFootballFan.com proposes and would like to see considered by the NCAA after its flawed BCS Championship Series proved itself controversial yet again. USC won the Rose Bowl as LSU won the Sugar to both finish undefeated. How can it be argued that both don’t deserve a shot at a legitimate national championship? In 2004, three teams finished without a loss – USC, Auburn and Utah. There’s got to be another way!
——————Steve Koreivo, CFF
We prefer scenarios like these: