TCU won the MWC, not Boise St
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?
TCU won the MWC, not Boise St
Oh herp. Let me fix.
I think everyone assumes they won the MWC because they are so highly ranked, but TCU winning it is why Boise St didnt get the auto BCS bid in the first place.
They still would have made it in, but it's an important distinction between being a top 14 ranked conference champion vs a top 8 ranked at-large and conference runner up.
I don't think you can ask fans to travel to a neutral site that many times.
Yeah. I can't figure out the logistics of the location for semi-final and final. I wanted to say that the semi-final would be a home game for the higher seeded-team, but then I'd have to have considered weather conditions and the timing of the tournament. Which, of course, I needed help with and want to flesh out here in the comments.
The Rose/Orange/Fiesta/Sugar Bowls would take place where they always have, however.
Why would Houston winning prevent a Big Ten team from having a tournament berth? Wisconsin would be 11th and they still get in before Boise and KSU.
Yes. I copy-pasted from a Word document that had several revisions. There was, at some point, a scenario I had written in which Boise/Houston would have kept the Big Ten out but it is long lost.
Let me know if you catch any other mistakes.
#10 VaTech and #15 Clemson
You had the names of the teams backwards, but the numbers and losses correct.
I just don't know anymore.
I don't care about the national champion enough to care about how they decide it anymore. Let the Big Ten champion go to the Rose Bowl and I'm happy.
The effort expended to figure out the top team when only 2-3 teams have a legitimate argument about it each year is mind-boggling.
Alabama is going to say they've won 10 more than they really have every year, Oklahoma will lose in the title game no matter what the format, OSU will make the Big Ten look bad versus an SEC opponent, USC will continue to look like the best team but inexplicably lose to a 1-11 25 point underdog, Fukc Clemson, the Big East LOLZ, etc.
I don't care. These playoff plans come around like the seasons nowadays.
EDIT: Not directed at the OP, generally directed at the discussion of how to decide the national champion.
I may be in a pronounced minority here, but I don't think any less of our 1997 national championship because one poll happened to pick Nebraska as its post-season #1. And no system can possibly claim to choose The True Best Team In College Football, not in a sport where Michigan can beat Nebraska and Notre Dame and lose to Iowa and Michigan State while Michigan State loses to Nebraska and Notre Dame and beats Iowa and Michigan. If you play a strong enough schedule and win every game, you will either have a chance to play for the national championship or have one awarded to you by one of the polls. In August, every team controls its own destiny.
10 days later.
The matchups the past three years would have looked something like this (without delving into their schedules to see which games were rematches)
Automatic top 4 Qualifiers:
1. 13-0 Auburn (SEC Champion)
2. 12-0 Oregon (Pac-10 Champion)
3. 12-0 TCU (MWC Champion)
4. 11-1 Stanford (Pac-10)
5. 11-1 Wisconsin (Big 10 Champion)
7. 11-2 Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion)
10. 12-1 Boise St. (WAC Co-Champion)
13. 11-2 West Virginia (ACC Champion)
Rose Bowl: 5 Wisconsin v 2 Oregon
Sugar Bowl: 1 Auburn v 10 Boise St
Fiesta Bowl: 7 Oklahoma v 4 Stanford
Orange Bowl: 13 West Virginia v 3 TCU
1. 13-0 Alabama (SEC Champion)
2. 13-0 Texas (Big 12 Champion)
3. 13-0 Cincinatti (Big East Champion)
4. 12-0 TCU (MWC Co-Champion)
6. 13-0 Boise St. (WAC Co-Champion)
7. 10-2 Oregon (Pac-10 Champion)
8. 10-2 Ohio State (Big 10 Champion)
9. 10-2 Georgia Tech (ACC Champion)
Rose Bowl: 7 Oregon v 8 Ohio State
Sugar Bowl: 1 Alabama v 6 Boise St
Fiesta Bowl: 2 Texas v 4 TCU
Orange Bowl: 9 Georgia Tech v 3 Cincinatti
1. 12-1Oklahoma (Big 12 Champ)
2. 12-1 Florida (SEC Champ)
3. 11-1 Texas (Big 12)
4. 12-1 Alabama (SEC)
5. 11-1 USC (Pac-10 Champ)
6. 12-0 Utah (MWC)
8. 11-1 Penn State (Big 10)
9 12-1 Boise State (WAC)
Rose Bowl: 8 Penn State v 5 USC
Sugar Bowl: 2 Florida v 6 Utah
Fiesta Bowl: 1 Oklahoma v 9 Boise St
Orange Bowl: 3 Texas v 4 Alabama
In case this adds an extra perspective. I think it's pretty neat. Other years would have been far more interesting than this year.
will destroy the traditional bowls. the bowls suppose to be the final game of the season, not the second or third last games. As long as bowls generate money, who cares who get voted national champions.
when the BCS was formed, and possibly by commercial naming rights before that.
What happens to Arkansas? Two team max per conference?
Yes. I guess that's a negotiable point but after all the SEC fellatio that's occurred the past few seasons I'm biased and wouldn't want 3/8 teams in a national playoff to be from the same conference. I'd rather see a Boise or a Houston than the third best team from the SEC.
Agreed. If you are only the third best team in your conference, then you have proven during the regular season that you are not the best team on the country. The beauty of the playoff format is that it takes great teams from around the country who would not play normally during the regular season and let's them duke it out for a shot at being crowned the champion.
If eight teams played this weekend, the winners could play in two bowls, and a plus one could happen on Jan 9, which is the same day the Sham-pionship game is being played anyway. Making it easy, a seeding committe similar to the one for basketball could have chosen the teams last Sunday.
The bowls could go on with minimal disruption, and the losers of the round of eight could play in other bowls.
I'm not sure what to do about scheduling. I would be equally uneasy about sending kids out during fall term finals as I would be about them missing the beginning of classes in the Winter term.
I'd just put a claim on the 23rd, 31st, and 8th, but what do I know?
What if more than four teams (other than the initial four) are conference champions? Rare occurence but there needs to be a rule for it still. Example: Georgia beats LSU, Boise wins MWC, Houston wins C-USA, Wisconsin and Oregon are still in the Top 14. That could have actually happened this year if Boise and Houston didn't choke and Georgia pulls the upset.
Also, avoiding rematchs could be tricky as well and more rules would need to be created to make it a possibility. What if Oklahoma State surpassed Alabama in the BCS and then LSU, OSU, Bama, and Oregon won their games? The #1 vs. #2 game would occur in the second round and that's going to get complaints because it SHOULD be the final game if those teams keep winning.
Also, what 'bowls' would the second round games be? If there aren't any, you are killing the current BCS bowls as they don't have the same amount of significance and that would/will never work (people just won't like it, plus there is no reason for those games to be dubbed the Rose/Sugar/etc because they aren't the final games of the season).
Michigan State was a co-champion in 2010, what would you do in that situation as there are more teams qualifying than spots? Also, it was Virginia Tech winning the ACC that year, not West Virginia (who was 22nd and in the Big East).
Neither TCU nor Boise State were 'co-champions' in 2009. They both won straight up.
2008: Penn State and Ohio State were co-champions and both top 14. #13 Cincinnati was the Big East champion.
That's all I've got so far, just skimmed it real quick and took some things out of it.
a) Ha, yeah. I had that typed into one of my drafts but it got lost somewhere. I was hoping the comments would draw that scenario out.
I would simply have the four highest-ranked conference champions advance (if there are that many from 5-14).
I wouldn't have any sympathy for the Big 10 in that scenario because Wisconsin should have scheduled a 2-10, 3-9, a MAC team, or an FCS team for their out of conference games. They also could have not lost to Sparty or OSU via hail mary plays or have beaten MSU more convincingly in the rematch.
If any teams complained they'd be calmly reminded that this could have gone no further than a +1 format with the top 4 seeds....
b) Avoiding a second rematch>avoiding a rematch>avoiding 1 and 2.
If 2006 happens and there's a BCG you could conceivably see 12-1 OSU and 12-1 Michigan play 3 times in 4 games. The point to having 8 teams instead of 6 or 4, from where I'm sitting, are for there to be more connections between new teams and more data points from which to determine superiority.
If anybody complained about the 1 and 2 meeting up early they'd calmly be reminded that we could have cut out the other six teams and six games and gone straight to the big one. In fact, I strongly considered not having a stipulation for when 1 and 2 should meet.
c) Screw the bowls. There are too many as it stands. 6-6 teams should not be rewarded for achieving mediocrity...but that's a different argument for a differerent diary post.
The bowls are exhibition matches, largely without history or importance, and considering that they do not help determine a national champion, I'd argue that the BCS bowls would now have *more significance* than before. The rest of the bowls could take place as usual.
d) I'd have the higher-ranked conference champion advance. Ideally that would be whoever won the head-to-head matchup.
Again, if teams are in a position to be near-eligible for the championship tournament, they could have done a few things differently to push the scales in their favor.
That was just what I could glean from old BCS rankings and wikipedia in a 10 minute stretch. I don't pay much attention to anything besides the Rose Bowl and NCG so I anticipated being off about some of those. Thanks.
Here's my easy six-step master plan to institute a playoff system in NCAA division one football:
(1). Wait for the BCS television contracts to expire.
(2). Watch as the BCS bemoans the flat return when the networks decline to increase, or even decrease, the amount they are willing to pay for the television rights.
(3). Burst into the meeting room between the BCS and network execs carrying a sheet of college rule notebook paper hastily torn out of your spiral notebook with clumsily written, yet legible, 8 team bracket-bowl proposal, with elevated ratings projections. And a picture of a liger. Because ligers are awesome, being part lion and part tiger.
(4) Ask the network execs how much they'd be willing to pay for broadcast rights to your proposal.
(5). Turn to the BCS execs and angrily tell them to stop playing Angry Birds on their iPhones and to pay attention because this is important and concerns them. Then patiently turn back to the network execs and ask them to kindly repeat the figure, now that the BCS is not distracted and paying attention. Glare angrily at the BCS while you're saying this last part.
(6). Go home and start blogging to everyone about how you saved College Football. You're so cool!
Enjoy the playoffs!