at least it's not just us?
In an effort to combine a playoff with the current BCS system and historical norms, I present you a format for a three week and eight team playoff that I believe will find a clear and relatively indisputable champion while maintaining the importance of regular season play both in and out of conference.
The part that will appease advocates for a +1 model:
The top four seeds according to the BCS rankings automatically qualify.
1. LSU (SEC)
2. Alabama (SEC)
3. Oklahoma State (Big 12)
4. Stanford (Pac-12)
The part that will appease fans of non automatic-qualifying/BCS conferences:
The four remaining spots will be filled by conference champions that are inside the top 14 of BCS rankings.
5. Oregon (Pac-12)
10. Wisconsin (Big Ten)
*If there are any remaining spots, the next highest team in the BCS ranking advances provided they are not from a conference already sporting two tournament teams. In this instance, it would be:
7. Boise St. (MCW)
8. Kansas State (Big 12).
Boise St., here is your chance. The Big East and ACC would not have a representative for their conference champions were not in the top 14 and nor did they have members in the top 4 otherwise.
The part that will appease fans of traditional BCS bowls:
The Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange bowls will remain with historical ties intact and will be the first round of the playoffs.
*As there isn't an ACC team available for the Orange Bowl, the highest seed available becomes the home team. That would be 2 Alabama.
The rest of the matchups are determined by first avoiding rematches and secondly by traditional tournament seeding with the highest ranked home team playing the lowest ranked at-large and so on. Two teams that are in the same conference that did not play in the regular season or conference championship are eligible to play each other immediately.
Rose Bowl (Big Ten v Pac-12): 10 Wisconsin v 5 Oregon
Sugar Bowl (SEC v ?): 1 LSU v 8 Kansas State
Fiesta Bowl (Big 12 v ?): 3. Oklahoma St v 4 Stanford
*Orange Bowl (ACC v ?): 2 Alabama v 7 Boise St
The ACC forfeits their right as an automatic qualifying conference by not producing a team that can reasonably be expected to compete for the national title. #10 Virginia Tech and #15 Clemson have 2 and 3 losses respectively.
The Big East similarly failed to produce a team ranked in the top 14 that could reasonably be expected to compete for the national title, as their highest ranked team was #23 West Virginia with 3 losses and the shared winner of the conference, Cincinatti, wasn't ranked. If West Virginia wanted in they should have taken out 1 LSU when they had a chance in out of conference play, or scheduled better teams in victory than 6-6 C-USA Marshall, FCS Norfolk State, or 2-10 ACC Maryland.
The second round, like the first, would again try to first avoid rematches and secondly reseed pairing up the highest ranked team with the lowest down the line. This means that if LSU were to play Alabama or Oregon again it'd have to be in the finals.
Assuming all favored teams win: 1 LSU v 3 Oklahoma St and 2 Alabama v 5 Oregon. In this scenario, the no rematches rule was invoked and LSU would neither face Alabama or Oregon.
Assuming all upsets: 7 Boise St v 8 Houston and 10 Wisconsin v 4 Stanford.
In the end, even the lowest-ranked team would have to secure three consecutive victories against highly ranked, BCS bowl eligible teams. This year, Wisconsin would have to take out 5 Oregon and at least 4 Stanford and 8 Houston. If they were to have done that in the regular season you can bet they'd have earned at least a top three ranking, even with two losses.
I believe that this format would please the most people. What are your thoughts? Who is left unhappy? Are there doomsday scenarios that I haven't envisioned? Any rules I should relax or implement?