The selections for the 2008 BCS bowl games were made yesterday, and the usual mess has followed. In spite of having an undefeated season, Boise State was not selected for any BCS bowl games, let alone having a chance at a national championship. Florida and Oklahoma will play for the national championship in spite of having lost during the season – as have several other teams – resulting in yet again another subjective championship. College football experts will often claim that there is no perfect solution, but they are wrong. There is a perfect college football playoff system, and I will gladly tell you what it is. For this post, I will briefly describe the system, give an example from the 2008 season, and explain the benefits of this perfect system.
The playoff system would include 16 teams. The teams would consist of conference champions from all 11 conferences in the Bowl Championship Series subdivision (formerly Division 1). The other 5 teams would be 5 highest ranked teams in a BCS type ranking system after conference champions are removed from the list. These 16 teams would be seeded 1-16, with first round matchups following the familiar 1 vs. 16, 2 vs 15, etc., format. In the first round, the highest seeded team would host the game at their home stadium. In the second round, seeds would be ignored, and the four games would be BCS type bowl games. A committee would set up the pairings according to traditional and regional match ups. A Big10 – PAC 10 match up in a Rose Bowl could be set up as an example. The second, third, and final round games would be at neutral sites and operate like BCS bowl games do currently with the winning teams advancing. This is the perfect system.
2008 Perfect System Example
The conference winners for 2008 are as follows:
ACC – Virginia Tech
Big East – Cincinnati
Big Ten – Penn St.
Big 12 – Oklahoma
CUSA – E. Carolina
MAC – Buffalo
MWC – Utah
PAC10 – USC
SEC – Florida
SunBelt – Troy
WAC – Boise St.
and the at-large teams would be:
And making a few assumptions the first round parings would be:
Oklahoma vs. Troy
Florida vs. E. Carolina
Texas vs. Buffalo
Alabama vs. Virginia Tech
USC vs. Cincinnati
Utah vs. TCU
Texas Tech vs. Ohio St.
Penn St. vs. Boise St.
with the team listed first hosting the game. The winners would then be paired by a bowl committee. USC vs. Penn St. could be a typical Rose bowl setup as one example. Neutral site bowl games would continue with winners advancing to a championship game.
This system has several benefits, which include:
- Every team has a chance to win a national championship. The first step is to win your conference.
- First round games would be well attended because they are home games for the higher seeded teams. This also cuts logistics down.
- Rankings continue to be an important aspect of the tournament.
- BCS type bowl games are maintained in the second and third rounds.
So, for the above reasons, I submit that this is the perfect college football playoff system.
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