Monday, December 5, 2011

What the College Football Postseason Should Look Like

As lads from Massachusetts and New York who attended urban colleges in the Northeast, we're marginal college football fans. But even we know that this year's bowl lineup stinks.  There's no reason for an LSU-Alabama rematch--especially when the original game was dull--and some of the other BCS games have zero appeal.  I mean, who the hell wants to watch Michigan-Virginia Tech or Clemson-West Virginia?

We like everyone else who does not draw a salary from a bowl committee are pro-playoff.  And the solution that we've always felt makes the most sense is very, very simple:
  • 16 team single-elimination playoffs.
  • Winners of each of the 11 conferences qualifies, plus 5 at-large teams.
  • The teams are ranked 1-16 by something like the BCS formula, but gerrymandered slightly to avoid rematches until the semifinals and to make sure the top 2 seeds are conference winners.
  • First two rounds are at home, semifinals and championship are at chosen sites.
We think this solves a lot of problems that the BCS raises.  Every team has a shot to qualify.  The regular season still means plenty because there are only 5 at-large spots, and besides, you want home games in the first two rounds.  And a loss doesn't kill your season, especially if you're a very good team in a non-BCS conference.

What would this have produced this year?  Well, let's just say it's a mile better than the Orange Bowl.  Here's the seedings.

1.  LSU
16.  Louisiana Tech

8.  Kansas State
9.  Wisconsin

5.  Arkansas
12.  Southern Miss.

4.  Stanford
13.  West Virginia

3.  Alabama
14.  Arkansas St.

6.  Oregon
11.  TCU

7.  Boise State
10. Clemson

2.  Oklahoma St.
15. No. Illinois

Admit it--this would be a lot of fun.  There are four fabulous first round games there--anything after the top 4 seeds would be competitive--and you're staring at some neat matchups in the quarterfinals, like Boise State-Oklahoma State.  Gambling on it would be possible.  And it would keep college football in everyone's conscious for weeks.

Of course, it has no chance.  Pity.

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