What would you change about college football?

Submitted by The Baughz on November 29th, 2018 at 9:40 AM

If you were in charge of college football what would you change?

I would start with scheduling. Each team must play the same amount of conference games; preferably 9. 

All non-conference games must be played before conference play starts. No more Bama vs The Citadel in late November.

I would like to see the Playoff expanded to 8 teams. First round games should be played on campus of the teams ranked 1-4. Would make the regular season just as important and meaningful as it is now.

My teams would include the Power 5 conference champions, the highest rated group of 5 team and 2 at-large bids.

In non-playoff bowl games, I would make sure there are no rematches from at least 2-3 years. Nobody wants to see UM/UF for the 100th time. This would prevent the Bowls from getting stale and would guarantee new matchups every year.

Targeting needs revamped. I would say if you are called for targeting and the replay confirms it, there is just a 15 yard penalty. If you commit another targeting, then you will be ejected but not suspended for half of the next game. I would only suspend a player if they accumulate more than 3 targeting penalties.

Clock should not stop after a 1st down until the final 2 minutes of each half. A player should not be called down if he slips/falls unless he has been touched; like the NFL.

Referees need more accountability. I would like to see some sort of grading system made public and only the highest graded ones should ref the big games-playoff, NY6 Bowls, and rivalry games like Mich/OSU and Aub/Bama.

I know it’s all about money, but the amount of commercials is insane, especially on Fox.

Also, i would find a way to bring back the NCAA video game. This doesn’t have much to do with this post, but damnit, I miss the game and I am bored at work.

Im sure I missed some stuff, but just curious to see what your perfect college football world would like.





November 29th, 2018 at 10:13 AM ^

Agreed on 8 teams, but just make the conference championship games matter.

Eventually, I would like to see four super conferences with 2 divisions each. Basically you get an 8 team playoff. Each division winner plays for a conference championship and then 4 conference champions finish out the playoffs. Right now there are 65 Power 5 teams if you count Notre Dame. Each conference has two eight team divisions that play a 7 game round robin (1 extra team for a 9 team division). You still get some crossover into the other division and you get OOC games.

Non Power 5 teams wont like it, but hey, they aren't considered for the playoff right now anyway-just ask UCF.

Obviously, the logistics of getting to this point would be an absolute nightmare, but OP asked what I, a totally unqualified observer, would change. 


November 29th, 2018 at 7:35 PM ^

I think it is still there with an 8 team playoff. In the above scenario, UCF wouldn't have qualified last year in part because they had games cancelled and replaced and went into double OT in their CCG. If the committee continues to track the AP then chances are the conference champions will find their way to the top 8 as will any undefeated mid-major. If there are only four big conferences, then you can't have more than one undefeated team emerge from each.

ex dx dy

November 30th, 2018 at 11:30 AM ^

Playoffs to 10 teams. All conference champions are in, everyone else is out. I don't care how they seed it. Conference championship games are at the discretion of the conference.


  • The regular season retains its meaning. Win the conference or go home.
  • Who you schedule in the non-conference means very little, which would allow more interesting non-cupcake games to happen.
  • FBS football remains conference-focused.
  • G5 teams aren't second-class citizens. They're in the FBS; treat them as such.
  • Unambiguous rules about how to make the playoff. No polls, committees, or biased algorithms.


  • It's not the 'X Best Teams' (this is a positive for me, but a negative for some).
  • A lot of extra games, some of which won't be very exciting.


November 29th, 2018 at 9:47 AM ^

I also don't mind the 6-team playoff format, where No. 1 and No. 2 get byes. Play the first two games on campus of higher seed, then maintain the current semifinals and final format.


November 29th, 2018 at 9:51 AM ^

Any format that includes teams getting a bye week would be a non-starter for me.  Too advantageous for those teams who are (or I'm assuming would be) picked by the same stupid process we have had and currently have.

I love the idea of playing the first round on campus.  I'd love to see some of those SEC teams come up north and play in the cold in December.


November 29th, 2018 at 9:59 AM ^

The point of rewarding the top seeds with byes would be to preserve the meaning of the regular season. A point of contention for most people opposed to expanding the playoff seems to be that it would diminish the meaning of the regular season, so that would address that better than simply expanding the field to 8, or 16, etc. That's just my opinion of course.

I think in general I am in favor of any expansion, and I really would enjoy the first round on campus sites. I doubt that would happen precisely because of what you suggest - an SEC team potentially playing north of the Mason-Dixon line in December. The SEC would raise hell about it.


November 29th, 2018 at 10:45 AM ^

Unless there's a central organization in charge of scheduling (mostly) equal non-conference games, you'll have teams loading up on cupcakes, which will make their record look better.  And that brings me back to my point about who's ranking these teams.

It's just too big of an advantage to let a college team sit out a week, resting & healing, while two other teams play a high leverage game (possibly in terrible weather conditions) against each other.  

Chitown Kev

November 29th, 2018 at 9:50 AM ^

You have almost ruined some great rivalries with your plan....USC-Notre Dame, Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech...maybe if you grandathered those traditional OOC rivalries into that part

Chitown Kev

November 29th, 2018 at 10:02 AM ^

I agree with you about joining the conference but ...damn, USC-Notre Dame at the end of the season at the Coliseum is such great drama (USC played like shit this year but for 2 1/2 quarters...it looked like they were going to pull it off...again!)...those other ones are those hateful in-state ACC-SEC rivalries which are fun...but Alabama should not be playing The Citadel late...


November 29th, 2018 at 9:50 AM ^

The Playoff needs to be expanded to 8 teams.  5 conference champions are auto-bids as is the highest ranked group of five team.  Two at-large bids.  Both Alabama and Clemson are so much better than their annual competition at this point that the rest of college football is basically playing for two spots.  You see attendance nose dive at schools once they have been eliminated from playoff contention, and there are far too many players sitting out the "post season."  This is not a "sour grapes" analysis, but an objective one.  There is no reason that the PAC 12 should not have a representative.  There is no reason that Alabama and Georgia should not both be in when they are pretty clearly two of the top 3 teams in the country.  There needs to be a payoff for the top GOF team.  There are too many reasons to do it and almost no legit reasons not to.

They need to move on this pretty soon IMO.  Many people around the country are losing interest in the college football post season including the major bowls and even the Playoff ratings have not been particularly good.  They need to make it make more sense or people are going to move on.


November 29th, 2018 at 10:07 AM ^

Top group of five team should only make it if they are ranked inside the top 10 or 12. If UCF loses this week, they will probably still be the top ranked G5 team but they will drop to around 15-20. That would not be deserving of the 8 team CFP. Also, a conference champion should be ranked in the top 12 to make the playoffs. If NW beats OSU this week, it is a hell of a story, but they would still be a 4 loss team with one of those losses being to Akron. Sorry NW, but that is not a playoff worthy resume. One of the great things about college football is that every game matters. Automatic conference bids without stipulations for how they did in the nonconference changes that.


November 29th, 2018 at 10:09 AM ^

The playoffs are ruining college football.  It used to be that you cared about every game.  You cared about beating your rivals.   Indiana-Purdue, USC-UCLA, Washington-Washington St. were great games that you'd watch even if you didn't go to school there because you wanted to see who was better.  Grudge matches. Rivalries.  My dad can beat up your dad.

Now, no one cares about a football game if you're not in the national championship or the playoff.  No one cares about the conference championship if you don't get to go to the playoff.  No one even cares about our bowl game.  Used to be even if you lost a few games you'd look forward to beating up some other backward regions version of you.   College football was special because every game mattered.   Now they don't.

If you want a tournament, watch NCAA basketball.    

Chitown Kev

November 29th, 2018 at 10:30 AM ^

I'm divided on this...I think that they should find a way to hook-up number one and number two...I might say that I like the BCS Chaos better than than the playoff.

EDIT- I preferred the BCS when SOS was a more significant part of the formula, which was prior to the LSU/Oklahoma/USC debacle...and Oklahoma should have been flat-out eliminated under that scenario, so I would say that only conference champions are eligilble for the title game...LSU should have never been allowed to play Alabama again in 2011.


November 29th, 2018 at 9:52 PM ^

I totally agree that they have been diminishing the value of the regular season and are hollowing out the sprort, The media, especially the media that broadcasts it--ESPN, Fox, etc. put all THEIR focus on the "playoff race", because that is an easier narrative for them to cover, create simplistic controversies, etc.  It reduces the meaning and dynamic of college football to an inferior version of a professional product.

It's sad. And those who were opposed to playoffs in the first place predicted this would happen. Unfortunately, since it probably can't be unwound, the best hope at this point actually is to embrace the idea of a playoff system that does include auto-bids, so that conference races, in different parts of the matter, matter longer in the regular season.  Instead of "Who's in the top 4, first two out?" ignoring all the rest, the narrative can at least be, "Who's still got a shot in the B1G, PAC12, BIG 12, ACC, SEC, and who's the best of the G5 and independents?"


November 29th, 2018 at 10:29 AM ^

Auto-bids for any particular conference are bad. The Pac 12 is bad this year. In either case, they are sending a 3-loss conference champion. If Utah wins, there would be a case to be made that UCF and the winner of Boise/Fresno would both be more deserving of an auto-bid, but only one would get in with your proposal because of the Pac 12's perceived superiority to these other schools.

The same thing happened with the Big East before conference realignment. In 2010, 8-4 UConn won the Big East and were auto-bid into the BCS. This year, because of the conference championship games and unbalanced divisions, we'd be an upset away from a 4-loss Northwestern or 5-loss Pitt getting auto-bids, which would be horrible.

If you go with auto-bids, it needs to include all schools, but also have a limit like either top 6 ranked champions or any ranked in the top X. If you really want to be inclusive, then make that top 25. If you want to focus on quality, then make that top 12-16. Right now, you'd end up with pretty much the P5 conference champions (unless you're more restrictive and we get those upsets) and UCF. If Utah wins and the limit was top 12, then they might not make it in, and rightfully so, which opens up a spot for a team like Michigan to make the playoff instead.


November 29th, 2018 at 11:03 AM ^

I think there needs to be an objective standard for the majority of the Playoff teams.  Conference champions is that objective standard.  And after conference season starts, teams only play other teams from their conference so there is no definitive way to prove that the Pac 12 is "bad" right now.  They are a major conference and should have a representative in any national playoff. 

This completely subjective committee approach is just like the BCS only worse.  There can be discussion regarding at-large teams, and there would be two at-large spots for the deserving teams that did not win their conference championship games.


November 29th, 2018 at 11:17 AM ^

I agree. Who cares if the Pac 12 champ sucks? They're objectively the best representative of the conference. Their ranking will suck so their seeding will be poor in the CFP, and they will act as a semi-bye for a top-seeded team. 

We should go back to the old bowl setups where conference champs face conference champs in the major bowls, and then have the winners of those games go on to the next round. 


November 29th, 2018 at 2:51 PM ^

So, you want an objective standard, but then you call them a "major" conference, which doesn't have an objective definition. My point is that to be objective, you need to either include all of them, or use an objective cutoff as a floor. A team with 2 losses probably shouldn't be in the playoff without a conference championship. A team with 3 losses probably shouldn't be in the playoff at all. A team with 4+ losses absolutely should not be in the playoff. If a conference has an objectively down year, they should not be automatically included. If a conference has an objectively good year, they should be included. I think we agree on an objective standard for who belongs in, but I think we disagree on what objective means.

And to your point about the committee approach, that's just a matter of process. Resume rankings exist and do track relatively closely to what the committee picks, but if one of these were used instead, it would satisfy your want for an objective selection process. This is what I'm proposing would be used to determine the cutoff for auto-bids and at-large picks.


November 29th, 2018 at 4:15 PM ^

How much more exciting would it be if there was a National Championship game where the two teams are picked after the bowl season if and only if #1 vs. #2 isn't decisive.  That way if Alabama wins,  there is no national championship game.  If Alabama loses,  The 11-1 team that just beat down OSU or Georgia gets to play Clemson.  


November 29th, 2018 at 9:25 PM ^

So regular season should be cut back to allow for more of a playoff? Which is the priority, the regular season or the playoff (tournament)? The point of the sport is to get them in good shape for the pros?

I think college football needs to be what it has been traditionally been about--the regular season, prefrably on campus, with players playing in front of their fellow students and alumni. The post season is an add-on. The NFL doesn't need any more help.

The problem is not so much the number of games or the number of weeks in the season, but the interval to recover (especially in late season) is too short. Any post season (probably including conference champion games, if they are necessary, should include a bye week before them (i.e. at least two weeks apart) to allow student athletes to heal, be students. etc.


November 29th, 2018 at 10:24 AM ^

I’d change TV coverage - it is killing the game.  No TV breaks except between quarters and at the half.  Stupid ads in the corner during change of possession are fine but end this absolute annihilation of game flow with Flo and Larry Culpepper and vague pharmaceutical products treating conditions that I don’t really understand and about which I am therefore vaguely concerned.


November 29th, 2018 at 9:54 AM ^

8 16-team, geographic-based conferences (two conferences would need to take 17).

2 OOC games, 9 conference games. The top 4 teams in conference play a 2 round playoff for the conference championship. The first round of the conference playoff would be home games for the top two seeds.

The 8 conference champions then play a 3 round playoff for the National championship, again with the first round being played in the home stadium of the top 4 teams.

If you don’t make the conference playoff you are free to schedule a game in the final week to get to 12 on the year. Non-playoff now games still exist in this world.

Red is Blue

November 29th, 2018 at 9:54 AM ^

Intentional grounding is 5 yards from the spot of the foul + loss of down.  As of right now, intentional grounding is spot foul + loss of down.  The result is exactly the same as if the qb had gotten sacked.

Mixed emotions on the "outside the tackle box, past the line of scrimmage" eliminates grounding.  On one hand, it helps protect the qb.  On the other hand, seems to really skew things in favor of the qb/offense.  DL makes a play only to see the qb sling it wildly away and return to the previous line of scrimmage.  Maybe this becomes a five yard penalty from the previous spot.



November 29th, 2018 at 9:55 AM ^

Enforce the minimum academic standards and crack down on paying players.   ...or just pay players.  Schools like North Carolina graduating players who can't read is a national disgrace.

Get rid of the playoffs altogether.  To be considered for the national championship bowl game you have to pass a high bar on strength of schedule.   I miss the years when Michigan would play ND and Colorado, or Notre Dame and FSU and just one or two mid tier tune up games.  The National Championship should be about winning every game and winning tough games.  Nebraska back in the 90's would not qualify for the National Championship game because they play Troy State and other schools you've never heard of.  Keep the conference championship games.   Make ND join a conference if they want to be considered.  If ND wants to be in the ACC,  play frickin' Clemson to earn the right to go.

These solutions bring more parity to college football and creates more better games.