Blog Entry

Div1-A playoffs!

Posted on: January 15, 2008 3:30 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2008 9:48 pm
 After my initial post on my playoff theories(
), I received some terrific feedback and for the sake of brevity have altered my plan slightly to limit the bracket to 8 teams without compromising the tradition of the bowls or the alliance infrastructure.

Here's my plan:

  1. The playoffs will include the Conference Champions from each of the six major conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac-10) plus the top two BCS  teams not already in the playoffs (At-Large berths). This will create an 8-team tournament. Although I believe that a 12 or 16 team bracket would be more appropriate, we don't have to start there. Every major sports playoff system (NCAAB, CWS, MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, etc.) has evolved over time, so I presume that this will be no different. But just like its predecessors, it too will have to lay a foundation on which to build.
  2. All Div1-A schools must have their regular season schedule completed by the end of November. (11 games in 13 weeks - very realistic). This will leave the first weekend of Dec open for conf title games that apply.
  3. The 8 teams will be seeded based on their current rankings and the top seeded teams would have home field advantage the 1st two rounds. The championship game will be played at a neutral bowl site just like the BCS title game now.
  4. Game revenues can be equitably split to fairly compensate the visiting teams for the additional travel expenses. "Equitable" does not have to be defined as 50/50, and it can be based on mileage, size of stadium, ticket prices, etc. The actual formula isn't nearly as important as the concept at this point.
  5. TV revenues would be handled differently as there will now be 6 additional highly anticipated matchups with national implications pitting the top 8 against each other... the ratings will be astronomical. The conferences will benefit greatly from this I'm sure.
  6. The first weekend would narrow the teams to the "Final Four" and the following weekend would determine our Title Game. And all of this would happen before Christmas, before the BCS Bowl Season and before Winter break. You only need two Saturdays to go from 8 to 4 to 2.  At most there would be a 2 week break and then the playoffs then another 2 week layoff.
  7. The 4 teams that did not win their first round games are free to commit to their bowl alliances immediately following the the first weekend of playoffs (even though most of them will already be arranged based on W/L scenarios).
  8. Everyone takes the next week or two off for the holidays depending on the number of Saturdays in December while they prepare for their bowl games just as they always have.
  9. The "Final Four" teams will already be committed to the "Championship" games - a preselected, rotating bowl game and a title game. 
  10. The beauty of it is that it will only add one game to the existing schedule for all teams but the final four. So 8 teams will play an extra game, and then 4 will play one more - that's it.
  11. This will not disrupt the bowl season, overshadow the bowl significance or interfere with the bowl alliances. Plus, this will only add flavor to the bowls as the 6 playoff teams not in the title game will be playing each other in the BCS bowl games after losing their playoff game, so the bowls will even further represent the apex of their season - a chance to recover from the playoff loss to go out a winner.

This playoff scenario is fundamental at best, and admittedly does not cover every loose end as this post is already long enough, but what it does do is honor the top 8 teams without sacrificing the tradition and history of the bowl games with a 2 weekend playoff to narrow the title game to a true champion won on the field, not in the polls.

The one advantage of this system is that it allows the playoffs to be mostly complete before the bowls. The team's bowl game has always been and should always be the final game of the season.

Truly, the best of both worlds!  Thoughts?

Category: NCAAF
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Since: Oct 6, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2009 3:34 pm
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Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 29, 2008 10:31 pm

Div1-A playoffs!

Thanks guys for your comments. I agree that having a cinderella team or two would be great.

I think the one reason why this format has a chance is because the majority of hte playoffs take place before the bowls. So team that lose in the first two rounds of the playoffs can still accept their bowl invitations. The only two teams that would have to adjust their schedule would be the two teams in the final.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2008 2:54 pm

Div1-A playoffs!

Great thought, and I believe this is where college football may be headed in the future.  The way I read your post is that teams would be ranked by the polls.  The NCAA could keep the BCS and seed teams by the BCS rankings.  That way, this system could be enacted in any given year without violating BCS contracts.  I also have one different addition.  There should only be one at-large berth.  The other would be to have the highest rated non-BCS conference champion.  That way, we would have the potential of having a Boise St. every year.  Probably the major reason the NCAA Men's basketball tournament is regarded by many as the best sporting event in sports is the fact that there are cinderellas and upsets.  This would be on a much smaller scale with only one potential cinderella team.  Otherwise, I agree with you completely.

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: March 24, 2008 4:56 pm

Div1-A playoffs!

I like your ideas!

There will be no non-BCS schools elligible?  That would piss off Urban's Utah, among others.  Expanding it to 12 or 16 like you suggested would be a little better.

BTW, do travelling NIT teams get compensated for travel, etc?  Just curious?

I know people bitch, and not many teams have back ups like Newton and what's his butt (who's supposed to be better), but 11 games in 13 weeks and then a grueling play post season will be brutal to a team with injuries.  However, I wouldn't have to hear OSU fans bitch about QB's gaining weight and players being less sharp because they don't have a conference championship.

Go Gators

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2008 4:53 pm

Div1-A playoffs!

Good post but I would do it slightly different.  First off, I don't want to see teams like the 2006 Demon Deacons who was ranked something like 16th in the country before they got beat in their bowl game playing in an 8 team playoff.  I think it makes the regular season more important if you take the top 8 teams in the country, regardless of conference affiliation.  Some conferences are a lot easier to navigate through than others and if their are 3 teams from one conference I would have no problem with it if they deserved their ranking.  Second, I have 1 play 8, 2-7 and so on all at neutral sites.  The sites for the first round can change every year and we can get the stock of older bowls who have lost some luster back up like the Cotton and the Sun bowl.  No one needs home games.  It is fair enough that the top team will play the worst team left.  And I would re-seed after every round.  That round would be in the middle of December.  The second round would be our tipical BCS bowls.  The 2 winners of the first round games would meet in say the Fiesta and Orange and the losers would play in the rose and sugar.  Next year the sites would switch and the Rose and Sugar would get the winners.  Then 2 weeks later we play the championship game which gives the bowls a chance to sell tickets.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2008 7:17 pm

Div1-A playoffs!

First of all your plan is hundreds of times better than the current system and If I had the power and new it would fly I would wave the magic wand and implement it immediately. With that said, you elude to the fact that you think it would evolve to a 12 or 16 team tournament. That is where we part company a bit. Your plan above would be easier to swallow for the BCS teams for sure, one reason being the miniscule chance for any of the other conferences to have a shot. The big conferences want to keep the cash cow from getting milked by the "little guys" which makes the things inherently unfair and truly exclusive. Therefore the problem with all the moaning and complaining would not stop. I think that if +1 or a 4 or 8 team playoff is implemented, the networks and large conferences will use the "we have playoffs now and they didn't help argument."

No one from outside the Magnificent 6, would ever really have a shot. For example, and I agree that Hawaii was overrated this year, but, hypothetically, when that scenario happens as it did with Utah in 04, Boise State last year and Hawaii this year, they would not get a chance to get in with only two "at large bids." Therefore no one from the mini 5 would ever really have a fair shot. I could make a real strong case for Utah in 04 being one of the top 2-3 teams in the nation and Boise St. being at least top 4 last year. I would include Auburn in 04 but under your scenario they would have been in due to SEC championship. As many people speculated that Hawaii was overrated, but no one really knew for sure until the Georgia game. And let's be truly honest with each other, the way Georgia played in that game there are only three maybe four teams in the country that could have hung with them.

So like I said your scenario is boat loads better than current system, however, until all conference champs (11) and 5 "at large" being the next highest rated non-conf. champs including independents, if any, are included in the playoffs, college football will continue to be an elitist, exclusionary organization that is blast to watch and fight about, but is really a fraud when it comes to the phrase "National Champion"

To pull off the 16 team tourney is simple:

16 team playoff.

11 conference winners plus 5 highest ranked that did not win conference or are independent.

Use 15 of the current bowl games for the playoffs.

Drop one regular season game so that only 2 teams end up with 15 games. D1AA- D2 and D3 have all done this for ever so don't pull the "it's too many games card." Ask Georgia and USC and about four other teams if they would play an extra two games this year!

Begin playoffs first week of December and the N.C. game ends up on or before where it is this year.

A true undisputed National Champion in College football imagine that!

The other 17 bowls would still be used to reward the best of the rest for a great season.

If you run this formula over the last 20 years there is no one that would not be included that was making a case for a national champ birth! I you find one please let me know.

Good blog and great plan I just think the train station is a little further down the track.

Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2008 9:43 am

Div1-A playoffs!

We are thinking on the same lines here...check my blog too...

Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2008 5:05 pm

Div1-A playoffs!

Well, this scenario certainly does sound like it would work...if ESPN/FOX/CBS (don't spite me for this, guys!) were not involved. I know that the general populace is pushing for a playoff system, but the ESPNs and the FOXs of the world seem to despise this thought. Oh well...maybe the powers that be are GatorNation fans.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or