Monday, December 8, 2008

About those playoffs

If you thought I'd go on a pro-playoff rant without an actual plan for playoffs that makes sense, well, you were wrong. Disclaimer: I don't care about the bowls at all; my proposal completely ignores them, and hopes they go away or become the football equivalent of the NIT.

So, here's Dave's Plan for a 16-team Division I-A/FBS Playoff

1. All eleven conference champions get a bid. This is important. No one really knows which conferences are good and which aren't; there aren't enough interconference games played to tell. And guaranteeing a spot for all conference champions gives every team a way to make the playoffs no matter what pollsters or computer rankings or the selection committee thinks. Sixteen teams gets a tournament without byes, and five at-large bids ought to be enough to include all legit title contenders.

2. A selection committee similar to the one used for the NCAA basketball tournament selections five at-large teams and seeds the sixteen teams into an East and West bracket. I'd rather have this done by people than by computers and pollsters.

3. Playoffs begin the week after the conference championships.

4. The first two rounds are played at the home stadiums of the lower seeds (or possibly nearby NFL stadiums in some cases)

5. Regional finals are played at regional neutral sites.

6. Championship game is played at a rotating site.

So, how would this work this year (I'll use the BCS rankings instead of a selection committee) ...

Games played on Saturday, Dec 13, 2009...


8. Buffalo (MAC) at
1. Florida (SEC)

5. Cincinnati (Big East) at
4. Ohio State (at-large 4)

7. East Carolina (CUSA) at
2. Alabama (at-large 2)

6. Virginia Tech (ACC) at
3. Penn State (B10)


8. Troy (Sun Belt) at
1. Oklahoma (B12)

5. Texas Tech (at-large 3) at
4. Utah (MWC)

7. TCU (at-large 5) at
2. Texas (at-large 1)

6. Boise State (WAC) at
3. USC (P10)

Now, it's true that some of these games, especially the 1/8games, have the potential to be real stinkers. But the 4/5 games look great and the 6/3 games pretty good. If the seeds hold, though, here's the second week...

Games played on Saturday, Dec 20, 2009...


4. Ohio State (at-large 4) at
1. Florida (SEC)

3. Penn State (B10) at
2. Alabama (at-large 2)


4. Utah (MWC) at
1. Oklahoma (B12)

3. USC (P10) at
2. Texas (at-large 1)


Sam said...

I'll never understand this bizarre desire for a 16 team playoff. Have you ever gone to ESPN's "what if there was a playoff" page and tried to seed 16 teams? After 9 or 10, you start trying to guess about 9-3 teams and 8-4 teams that really have no business playing for a national title. In my opinion, the only playoff system that makes sense has 8 or fewer teams. A good 8 team playoff would give auto-bids to the 6 highest ranked conference champions and then give two at-large bids to the highest ranked teams not included in the previous group. There's no reason to ever allow the Sun Belt champion with a 7-5 record to play for a title. It seems that the desire for a large field playoff for college football is a reflexive reaction based on the playoff systems of other sports. Pro football can handle putting 1/3 of their teams in a playoff because the parity of the league makes it likely that even the low seeds can be relevant. The field of 65 in NCAA basketball is acceptable because the physical strain of playing basketball allows for short turnarounds between games (the same goes for baseball). An 8 team football playoff can be executed within the structure of the bowl system without much fuss (there would be two semi-final games unaccounted for). The reality of the situation comes down to the fact that college football is a very unique sport. More than any other it's based on tradition and regional rivalries and affiliations. You can't just scrap the systems in place and start over, as imperfect as they may be.

CuseFanInSoCal said...

I guess I should have explained my reasoning a bit more; I'll edit the main post rather than commenting.

CuseFanInSoCal said...

Also, check the post before this one, on demolishing anti-playoff arguments.