As I sat down to watch the BCS Championship game between LSU and Ohio State I pulled out the pen and paper and began to contemplate just how feasible a playoff system could be for college football. Understanding that there are various angles in which the normal fan does not consider things such as school scheduling, classes, team buses or planes, bowl sponsorship, and a billion othe kinds of negative responses to stick with the BCS system. Ever wondered why we couldn’t do both?
Could the NCAA possibly use the BCS system for seeding only? In using the BCS it could continue to give us the “best teams” in the playoffs, but the eventual 4 #1 seeds would be decided through playing games just as the NCAA basketball tournament works. Now the teams are only losing a possible #1 seed, and in this format a first round bye (like the NFL), but can still have a shot at the National Championship.
Playing out this scenario using the 2007-2008 BCS standings #1 seeds would go to Ohio State, LSU and the #2 seeds to Virginia Tech and Oklahoma all would receive first round byes.
#3 seeds would be given to Georgia (#5 in BCS) and Missouri (#6 in BCS)
#4 seeds to USC (#7 in BCS) and Kansas (#8 in BCS)
#5 seeds to West Virginia (#9 in BCS) and Hawaii (#10 in BCS)
and #6 seeds to Arizona State (#11 in BCS) and Florida (#12 in BCS)
The following matchups would be built based on same conference teams not being allowed to play each other as far out as possible. Left bracket with Ohio State is the West and right bracket is the East. The matchups would look something like this
#1 Ohio State
#6 Arizona State
#5 West Virginia
#2 Virginia Tech
Obviously the NCAA and its schools still want to make their money so since there are 5 BCS bowl games: Rose bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Championship Game that have major sponsors they will be integrated into the playoff system as the Championship Game, Semifinal Matchups would be the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, and the overall #1 Ohio State and #2 LSU through the BCS play their 2nd round matchups as the Fiesta Bowl and the Rose Bowl so sponsors wouldn’t feel as if they are getting a raw deal.
So teams could not complain of a 50 something day layoff, the playoffs would start mid December. Example being this past would have started on the 16th of December for the teams without byes and the following week due to Christmas there would be no games at all. This way teams could not complain of having to play 4 weeks in a row and even though seeds #3-#6 had to play the first week they get a break in between and the top teams still are starting the 2nd round matchups earlier than with the BCS.
The semifinals would land on the 5th, and the finals on the 12th. Any school proclaiming that it runs into school time all I can say is that college basketball’s March Madness isn’t called that because they play only the first week. Its a month long, the teams travel, and the fans follow. Whats the difference? Obviously many will find flaws in this system that I have provided even I have, but there can finally be a true champion instead of a committee handing a team an 8-spot leapfrog pass to play at home in the BCS Championship game.
Oh, and if you are wondering about the other bowl games here is your answer. Play them as usual. It will be just like watching the NIT during March Madness during the college season. Keep the sponsors, get rid of the most ineffective bowls profit wise and have at it. Your teams will still enjoy the game just as they do now. Thats my take anyways.