Friday, January 1, 2010

An 8 team BCS Playoff Solution

Here is my solution for an 8 team CFB Playoff which would be far superior to the current BCS system.

8 teams - 6 AQ conf champs* & 2 at-large. Any undefeated team gets an automatic bid and if there are more than 2 from any conference they would bump a conference champ out if they are ranked higher than the conference champ who is not undefeated, starting w/ lowest BCS ranking first. For example, this year the 6 teams would be UF/ALA; UT; Cinn/Pitt; OSU; Oregon/OSU; GT/CLEM and TCU, Boise State (as of 12/2/09). However, if there happened to be a third undefeated team from any conference (AQ or not) they would get an automatic berth over the lowest ranked AQ conf champ (i.e. GT/Clemson most likely) IF and ONLY IF they (3rd UND team) were ranked ahead of them in the BCS. If there are no undefeated teams who are not a conference champ, then the 2 at-large bids would go to 2 highest ranked non-conference champ teams regardless of conference affiliation. There would be no limit on the # of teams a particular conference could get.

*The reason I would still give automatic bids to the conference champs of the 6 AQ conferences (SEC, Pac-10, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, ACC) is because I am a realist. I understand that getting those big conferences to go along with a new system where they aren't guaranteed to make 85% of postseason money (link here) will be nearly impossible. If I was starting from scratch, I would probably choose BCS Top-8, but unfortunately we aren't starting from scratch. Also, tying bids to conference championships does add some significance to winning a conference which is a good thing.

The 1st 2 rounds are played at the higher seeds stadium. All games would be played out in both directions (both winners and losers bracket). Thus, 4 games played on 12/12 (1v8, 2v7, 3v6, 4v5). 4 games (semi's in winners and losers brackets) played on 12/19. Then the final 4 games which would be 1v2, 3v4, 5v6, 7v8 (not in terms of seeding but in terms of final ranking spots) would be played on 1/1-1/7, as is currently done, and those 4 games would be the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange bowls which would rotate every year. One would be designated as the National Championship Game (1v2) just like USC-Texas played in "Rose Bowl" in 2006. In addition, you would keep 25-30 other bowls to be held throughout December and January for 50-60 other teams to play in, as is currently the case. Thus, the following problems are solved

1) How do you choose teams? - conference champions (6 spots) & BCS rankings (remaining 2 spots)

2) Where do you play the games? - home sites for first 2 rounds, traditional locations (Miami, Pasadena, New Orleans, Glendale) for final round

3) How do you keep the tradition of the bowls alive? - Already done. All-non BCS bowl games still exist. The only bowl game which would technically be eliminated is the "BCS Title Game" which only came into existence 2 years ago as a separate bowl game whereas previously it was the same as the Orange/Fiesta/Sugar/Rose Bowl.

4) How do you keep bowls for smaller programs that have no chance of making a BCS bowl? Already answered in #3. Non-BCS bowls would still exist in current form and be available to non-conference champs.

I will be providing more details and FAQ regarding my proposal on the blog here.

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