Monday, December 14, 2009

The College Football Playoffs According to Tommy

The BCS matchups were introduced recently, and of course, they chose #1 Texas vs. #2 Alabama as the National Championship game. Meanwhile, three unbeaten teams got left in the cold. TCU and Boise State will fight it out in the Fiesta Bowl so that they may play a competitive game against each other instead of one team going to the Orange Bowl and beating Georgia Tech and Boise State destroying Iowa in the Fiesta Bowl thus making the calls for a playoff louder, and Cincinnati and their lame duck coach/dumbest man on the planet gets to get whupped on by Florida in the Sugar Bowl. It’s very possible that at the end of the year, we could have three undefeated teams, and there will definitely be a controversy if Cincinnati beats Florida (considering a motivated Tebow and the fact that the Bearcat’s coach is a lame duck coach, not likely) and Texas beats Alabama (very likely).

Would I rather see a playoff similar to basketball’s March madness? Of course, and so would everyone, including the President of the United States. Will it happen? Well, probably not, too much money and tradition in the Bowl games. However, I’ll dispute that Bowl Game tradition by pointing out that once upon a time, each bowl meant something other than money (in other words, it’s all about money). So they bastardized the bowls yet won’t put in a playoff system, hell they even said they tried but yet couldn’t think of a playoff system.

I’m here to help.

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, college football fans of all ages, I Thomas Arsenio Galicia, am proud to present to you a whole new idea…The NCAA College Football Division I-A Playoffs! How will it work you might ask? Well, first off we’re taking 17 teams, why not a round 16? Because to become the 16th team, just like in basketball with the 64th team, the two lowest ranked teams have to play in the play-in game. Why? Well first off, 11 bids will go to the winners of all 11 college football division 1-A conferences (since we’re actually doing a playoff, no need for the Football Bowl Subdivision title, its back to division 1-A and division 1-AA). No longer will the teams from just the 6 BCS conferences have a better chance at a National Championship than teams from the five non-BCS conferences. The last 6 bids will go to at large teams based off of the BCS rankings, which will be changed to the Playoff Series Rankings. Simply put, if you’re in the Playoff Series Top 16, yet are not a conference champion, you will be considered for a playoff spot depending on your ranking, and the 7 highest ranking non-conference champions will get playoff berths.

To facilitate this and eliminate that stupid “co-champion” tag, each conference will have a conference championship game, regardless of how many teams are in each conference. (I find the whole “you must have 12 teams in your conference to have a conference championship game” rule stupid but that’s just me.) And, since they won’t get any special favors, Notre Dame must join either the Big East (of whom they’re a basketball-only member) or the Big 10 (where they’re geographically from, and by doing this they’ll still be able to play Michigan, Michigan State and Perdue every year, if they were a Big East team this wouldn’t be possible, fuck it, Notre Dame’s joining the Big 10 under my plan but it will still be the Big 10 despite having 12 teams, they already have 11 anyways and there’s already a Big 12, so why rock the boat?)

How will the conferences without conference playoffs do this despite not having divisions? I’ll make the divisions for them.

Big Ten


Penn State Wisconsin

Michigan Minnesota

Michigan State Iowa

Ohio State Illinois

Indiana Purdue

Notre Dame Northwestern

The natural rivalries are even lined up with one another, although you have two, this way the schedule format would stay the same. Championship Game played in Indianapolis, IN.


South North

USC Oregon

UCLA Oregon St.

Cal Stanford

Arizona Washington

Arizona St. Washington St.

Why put Cal and Stanford in different divisions? Because the schedule won’t change at all, the divisions are only for the purpose of the championship game. Unlike with the Big 10 who’s championship game site would be fixed in Indianapolis, the Pac 10 would rotate their game each year between: Qwest Field in Seattle, The Coliseum in Los Angeles until they build a new NFL stadium, Candlestick Park in San Francisco until the 49ers get their new stadium, and University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

And you get the idea. I’m not going to break up the divisions for the WAC, Mountain West or Sun Belt because, well, I just don’t feel like it.

So how does this playoff system work? Well I gave you the short version already, here’s the long version.

Each conference champion makes it in without fail.

Whether you’re the SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big XII, or Sun Belt Conference, if you can win your conference, you get invited to the party. Pretty simple right? Well there’s 11 conferences, meaning 11 births. Done!

Six at large entries are invited to participate to round up the playoffs.

Why not just have the 11 conference champions compete? Well, how shitty would it be if say Florida, which went undefeated in a tough conference all year until the final game was shut out of the playoffs, yet a team like Troy that went 8-5 and couldn’t even hold the jockstraps of the fourth best team in the Big XII (losing 55-24) could make it in? We need the at-large teams. How are they invited you ask? Well the way the bowls pick out what teams to invite actually has nothing to do with record, it’s based off of how many tickets they could sell. Well these are the playoffs, they should sell themselves! So, we base these at-large teams on the BCS now Playoff Series rankings. The six highest ranked non conference championship teams would get the invites.

The 16 teams will be split off into four regions of four.

And to keep some semblance of tradition, the brackets will be named after the four BCS Bowls: The Orange Bracket, the Sugar Bracket, the Rose Bracket, and the Fiesta Bracket. Why? Because those regional finals would be held in the locations of those bowls. I’ll explain the logistics considering that three of those stadiums are also used by NFL teams.

The first week of the playoffs all games would be played at the home stadium of the higher seed.

We’re looking at a good four weeks of games. Best place to play them is the stadium of the higher seeds for the first round right?

The second week of the playoffs, aka the regional finals, will be played in specific regions.

Easy. The Orange Bracket finals will be played in Miami, Sugar in New Orleans, Fiesta in Phoenix, and Rose in Pasadena. Sure this will take place about a week earlier than the actual games would, but trust me, this works out well.

Based off of a rotating basis, two of those sites will be used for the semifinals, one for the finals, and the other will take a year off.

Let’s say this year its Pasadena’s turn to host the Finals. The Sugar and Orange Bowl would then host the semis with the Fiesta Bowl left out for one year. Then Next year it would be the Fiesta Bowl hosting the finals with the Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl hosting the semis and the Sugar Bowl skipping, the year after that the Sugar Bowl hosts the finals with the Fiesta and Rose hosting the semis and the Orange Bowl skipping, then finally the Orange Bowl hosts with the Fiesta and Sugar hosting the semis and the Rose skipping. It’s done, its fair, plus it makes sense because these are the only four locations I’d consider hosting these games anyways.

The championship will be determined at the same time as it is now.

We wouldn’t have to change much. Championship Saturday is still the first week of December, they get the second week off (except for the play-in game), the third week of December is for the first round, fourth week of December is for the regional finals, New Year’s day both semifinals get played, and the week after that, the finals. That wasn’t too hard now was it? Plus, New Years Day football games will mean something again!

This idea could work right? Well it should. In Fact, here’s a breakdown of how it would go if they implemented it for this year.

Sugar Bracket:

1. Alabama

2. Ohio State

3. Georgia Tech

4. Play-in game winner (East Carolina vs. Troy)

Fiesta Bracket:

1. Texas

2. Boise State

3. Iowa

4. LSU

Orange Bracket:

1. Cincinnati

2. Florida

3. Central Michigan

4. Miami

Rose Bracket

1. TCU

2. Oregon

3. Virginia Tech

4. Penn State

Already, this looks promising…haven’t even gotten to the games yet, and you know what? Here’s how I’m going to do it: Every Saturday I plan on using NCAA 2010 to simulate these games, and I’ll tell you how they pan out. Then we’ll crown a real National Champion, well, not really but, I’ll just show how exciting this is and how it would really help college football, and it wouldn’t take an act of congress to pull all of this off either.

Update: East Carolina defeated Troy 39-10. This Saturday: Round 1:

Orange Bracket: 4. Miami @ 1. Cincinnati; 3. Central Michigan @ 2. Florida

Rose Bracket: 4. Penn State @ 1. TCU; 3. Virginia Tech @ 2. Oregon.

Sugar Bracket: 4. East Carolina @ 1. Alabama; 3. Georgia Tech @ 2. Ohio State

Fiesta Bracket: 4. LSU @ 1. Texas; 3. Iowa @ 2. Boise State

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