"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
So I have been thinking of some Ideas that would make a playoff acceptable to someone like me who loves the bowl system. And for those of you who think that they can coexist I couldn’t agree less. I would present the NIT as proof, yes it still exists but who really cares. The bowls would die a very slow death and become irrelevant. You can already see the beginning of this happening. A playoff system would only speed this death. No more Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, New Years Day… For me throwing away 90 plus years of tradition in not something that is acceptable at all. Now I always hear how you could use the bowl games for the tournament sites, but ask yourself why the Big Ten or Big East would ever agree to that. I don’t think that playing road games round after round would be appealing to them at all. So that option won’t work.
My solution is two fold
- Institute a 16 team playoff system. Every conference gets one automatic bid for its Champion. This would have 11 automatic bids and 5 at large bids, which are more at large bids than we have in the BCS and none of those bids would probably go to a lesser conference. This would increase the number of "big time" conference teams playing. I am not tied to any way of selecting those 5 teams, the BCS rankings, final AP/coaches poll, or selection committee are all fine with me. I would have the first round game played at the home site of higher seed. How great would it be to see some SEC, Pac 10, Big 12, and Florida schools traveling up to M, Ohio St., Penn St… in December? I would love that. Then the rest of the rounds could be at host sites like March Madness. This allows the NC be “settled on the field” and for those of us who don’t want the bowls go away my second point will deal with this.
- Now I will admit that this is a major compromise for those of us who love the bowls but without a compromise they will go away forever. First get rid of the automatic 12th game which has done nothing for the improvement of College football. Unless you like playing 1-AA school. Replace it with the bowl games, yes at the beginning of the season. I know that this is a very foreign idea, but the Peach Bowl is already doing it (Va. Tech vs. Alabama). So the first week of the season we would have a bunch of bowl games much like the “preseason games” of the 80’s and 90’s. So week one you would have a ton of great traditional inter-conference match-ups. So the areas that are used to the revenue that their local bowl game gives them would be able to keep the game and continue to provide the financial stability for those places, which is a factor in all of this.