Wednesday, November 3, 2010


(The Buckeye Times/Joshua Stueve)
With the elections now clearly in the rearview it's got me thinking about change.

As in changing the current Bowl Championship Series to a playoff format.

University presidents are very much opposed to a playoff system because let's face it, staying status quo means easy money. "Wait, wait, wait ... all we have to do is win six measly games and we get to go to a bowl and be paid a mill or two? Awesome, sign us up!" University Prez says.

Well, I am for the betterment of the sport. I am about deciding a champion on the field, not a computer. It's just un-American not to have a playoff. It's un-American not to settle things on the battle field.

Now before I unveil my formula for a playoff system, let's go over some of the key reasons as to why many UP's are against playing the game on the field.

Problem: Too many games. Solution: Cut the regular season schedule from 12 games to nine. I mean, Ohio State probably could've gone without playing Eastern Michigan, Ohio and Marshall this season, right?

Problem: A playoff will interrupt college exams. Solution: Doesn't seem to hurt every other division of college football. More on that later.

Problem: A playoff will destroy the traditional bowl system as we know it. Solution: Easy, involve the bowl games in the tournament.

Problem: Travel expenses and loss of bowl revenue. Solution: Again, travel costs hasn't hurt any other division of college football, or any other college sport for that matter. And the revenue generated from a playoff system would be unprecedented. March Madness would have nothing on this tourney.

I will address these issues further — and others — but now to my playoff formula ...

Even Troy makes it to the tourney.
(AP Photo/Michael Dunlap)
First, we would have automatic qualifiers from all 11 FBS conferences. This would include champions from the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, PAC-10, SEC, Sun Belt and the WAC. Using this format would mean EVERY school in the FBS will have an opportunity to play for a national title.

Then, using the current BCS rankings, we would select five at-large teams to fill out a 16-team tournament. Basically, the five highest ranked (non-conference champion) teams would represent the at-large spots. We would also use the current BCS rankings to dictate how the teams would be seeded.

Using a 16-team tournament would mean that 15 total games would be played. For example, if Ohio State went all the way to the national championship, they would have played nine regular season games, a conference title and four playoff games. That's a total of 14 contests, the same amount the Buckeyes played when they won the national championship in 2002. Geeesh, high school plays more than that.

We would use the 15 largest paying bowl games to fill the tournament. The championship game, final four and one quarterfinal game would be rotated between the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl.

The rest of the tournament would be played using the Sun Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Gator Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Independence Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Outback Bowl, Champs Bowl and Alamo Bowl. These are the more traditional and highest paying bowls outside of the BCS.

Now, as for when the tournament would be played? Using this year for example, the regular season would end on Saturday, November 6. That would allow every team in college football one regular season bye week. All conference championship games would be played on Saturday, November 13.

That means the college football tournament would begin on November 20. The elite eight would be played a week later on November 27.

In the interest of giving the student-athletes sufficient time to study and take their final examinations, the final four would played four weeks later on December 25. The national championship game would be played on New Year's Day, in perhaps the most watched collegiate sporting event in our nation's history.

— Using the current BCS rankings and conference standings (as of Nov. 3), here's what the tournament would look like today ... (and just so you know, I will be having THE Ohio State University going all the way! Don't like it? Then quit trolling an OSU football website)
Buckeyes get in as an at-large.
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Holiday Bowl (San Diego)
1. Oregon (PAC-10) vs. 16. Troy (Sun Belt)

Gator Bowl (Jacksonville)
8. Oklahoma (at-large) vs. 9. Wisconsin (Big Ten)

Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.)
5. Utah (at-large) vs. 12. Virginia Tech (ACC)

Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX)
4. Boise State (WAC) vs. 13. Central Florida (CUSA)

Liberty Bowl (Memphis)
6. Alabama (at-large) vs. 11. Ohio State (at-large)

Alamo Bowl (San Antonio)
3. TCU (MWC) vs. 14. Pittsburgh (Big East)

Champs Bowl (Orlando)
7. Nebraska (Big 12) vs. 10. LSU (at-large)

Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta)
2. Auburn (SEC) vs. 15. Northern Illinois (MAC)

Boise State will get their chance.
(AP Photo/Matt Cilley)
NOVEMBER 27 (Elite Eight)
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)
1. Oregon vs. 8. Oklahoma

Cotton Bowl (Dallas)
4. Boise State vs. 5. Utah

Capital One Bowl (Orlando)
3. TCU vs. 11 Ohio State

Gator Bowl (Jacksonville)
2. Auburn vs. 7 Nebraska

DECEMBER 25 (Final Four)
Rose Bowl (Pasadena)
1. Oregon vs. 4. Boise State

Orange Bowl (Miami)
2. Auburn vs. 11. Ohio State

No. 1 Oregon stays out west to play for title. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
JANUARY 1 (National Championship Game)
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.)
1. Oregon vs. 11. Ohio State

There you have it!

We now have 15 bowl games that actually mean something, instead of one. I mean, when would the Holiday Bowl ever host the No. 1 team in the nation for crying out loud, or the Chick-fil-A Bowl hosting the SEC champions? Never.

There are no excuses anymore. The revenue generated from this tournament would be astronomical. The travel would be less than it would be for the NCAA Men's basketball tournament. All of the major bowls are still represented, the academic schedule isn't disrupted, and most importantly, we would have — for the first time ever — a REAL national champion.

Oh, as for the other million bowl games that remain on the outside looking in? Just go ahead and fill them with those teams who didn't make the tournament but managed to win six games. Let's be real, those bowl games never mattered anyway.

Trust me, the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl need not to worry ... South Florida and East Carolina will still be available for an epic showdown on ESPN8 the Ocho.