Number 3 on the MGoBoard. Same issue is being debated.
But since there is a snippet of a new idea, here is my proposal:
- Expand Division I-A to 128 teams.
- Each team plays 10 regular season games.
- No conferences.
- Each team designates 5 permanent "legacy" opponents (Michigan gets Minnesota, tOSU, Little Brother, Notre Dame, and, uh, Eastern Michigan).
- A computer generates each team's other 5 opponents, using previous season finishes to even out strengths of schedule at beginning of season (some statistics dude like jc could figure this out).
Season ends second week of November. Every team gets seeded in a 128-team tournament which starts Thanksgiving weekend (16 games staggered Thursday - Sunday).
Continue until the National Championship game on January 9th.
The most games 2 teams would play would be 17. Many teams now play 14 so they're good for it. The losers of the first round games can get reseeded and play one last game the following week, in order for every team to play 12 games.
There. I've solved the playoff issue.