Monday, December 5, 2011

College football playoffs

The regular season is done. Conference champions have been crowned. Bowl match-ups have been determined. And a lot of people are unhappy with the LSU-Alabama rematch for the "National Championship."

Can this be fixed? Yes.


The solution is simple: have a playoff. Division 1-AA (FCS), Division II, and Division III all have playoffs, so it's possible to participate in playoffs and still be a student-athlete.

Here is the plan that would work ... if they'd just do it. Whatever team comes out of this would be, without a doubt, the national champion.

First, some basic assumptions:
  • If you win your conference, you deserve a spot in the playoffs.
  • All conferences are treated equally.
  • If you don't win your conference, but you're still a really good, highly-ranked team, you deserve a chance for a spot in the playoffs.
  • The bowls shouldn't lose out on having playoff teams appearing.
With that in mind, here's the plan.
  • The field will be 16 teams, seeded 1-16.
  • The 11 conference champions get the top 11 seeds, based on their standing in the Coaches Poll.
  • The remaining 5 spots (seeds 12-16) will be filled with the top 5 teams in the BCS that don't win their conference. These are the "at-large" or "wild-card" teams.
  • Independent teams will qualify if they are highly ranked. Independent teams are seeded where they would be as if they were a conference champion.
  • In each round, the top seed plays the bottom seed, the second seed plays the next-to-last seed, and so on.
  • The higher-seeded team in each matchup is the home team.
  • The home team hosts games in the first round.
  • Teams eliminated in the first round are eligible to appear in a bowl game.
With those guidelines, here is this year's playoff bracket. Listed are the teams, the conference they represent, and their ranking in the Coaches Poll.
  1. Louisiana State (Southeastern) (#1)
  2. Oklahoma State (Big 12) (#3)
  3. Oregon (Pacific 12) (#5)
  4. Wisconsin (Big Ten) (#8)
  5. Clemson (Atlantic Coast) (#14)
  6. Texas Christian (Mountain West) (#15)
  7. Southern Mississippi (Conference USA) (#21)
  8. West Virginia (Big East) (#22)
  9. Northern Illinois (Mid-American) (#27)
  10. Arkansas State (Sun Belt) (#30)
  11. Louisiana Tech (Western Athletic) (#33)
  12. Alabama (At-large) (#2)
  13. Stanford (At-large) (#4)
  14. Boise State (At-large) (#6)
  15. Arkansas (At-large) (#7)
  16. South Carolina (At-large) (#9)
Here would be the first-round match-ups:
  • South Carolina at Louisiana State
  • Arkansas at Oklahoma State
  • Boise State at Oregon
  • Stanford at Wisconsin
  • Alabama at Clemson
  • Louisiana Tech at Texas Christian
  • Arkansas State at Southern Mississippi
  • Northern Illinois at West Virginia
The winners advance to the second round, while the losers are eligible for selection to a bowl.

The quarter-finals are played Christmas week, and will be hosted by existing bowls. The semi-finals are played around New Year's day, and will be hosted by existing bowls. The championship will be the following week (as the current BCS championship is).


  1. Ewwww, the 2011 Season Basil Playoff matchups do not look very good. Boise v. Oregon? Why not call that the Box Office Poison Bowl?

  2. You did notice that there would be seven other games that weekend, right? You should be able to find one worth watching.

    By the way, if we went by the BCS formula, replace USC with Kansas State, and swap Arkansas and Boise State's places in the seedings. That makes the first three games:
    - Kansas State at Louisiana State
    - Boise State at Oklahoma State
    - Arkansas at Oregon

  3. The whole point is not to have two weak teams from non-SEC Conferences waltzing through the play-offs and meeting an SEC team that had to play the other eleven SEC teams in the play-off. But, you know what I mean.


Please choose a Profile in "Comment as" or sign your name to Anonymous comments. Comment policy