Monday, November 15, 2004

The Greater Good

Each year, around this time, my interest in football, especially the collegiate variety, is almost overwhelming. I focus my rooting interests on one thing. Not my favorite team (Hook'em), but for "BCS chaos." You see. I feel that the current system by which a champion is selected is quite flawed and ridiculous. I will not focus on all the argument for or against. I will just lay out my simple play for a playoff system and I think once anyone sees the potential, the argument for anything other than a playoff will be seen as silly.


There are currently 11 Division I football conferences. This includes the lowly Sun Belt, which I will currently exclude from my plan, but who's inclusion, I think, wouldn't cause a huge problem. The playoff would consist of 16 teams. It could start the second or third week of December and be done by the 2nd week of January. The plan would be to include any champion of a conference. If you exclude the Sun Belt, which I think would be almost certainly excluded, that would leave 6 at large bids. That means you are guaranteed that the top six ranked teams would be included in the playoffs. I guess it also means that the 7th ranked team could be excluded but I think that is highly unlikely. We would still use some system similar to the BCS rankings to rate the teams. I think I would add a rule that a conference could have no more than 3 teams. This would seem to alleviate any issue that might arise from a mystery guest winning a conference title game. So, if your conference is really that good, it will at least have it's two best teams in. Some will say that you'll still have lots of debate about that 16th team. I would say that I would rather debate about #16 than #2. Now, a layout of the plan and the first round match-ups. For these purposes I will assume that the favorite or team currently leading the conference would win it. So...
Conference Champions (BCS ranking)
Big 12 Oklahoma (2)
Pac 10 USC (1)
SEC Auburn (3)
Big 10 Michigan (7)
ACC Virginia Tech (15)
Big East Boston College (21)
C-USA Louisville (10)
MAC Bowling Green? (25)
Mt. West Utah (6)
WAC Boise St. (9)
...So the next 6 left in the BCS would be:
Pac 10 California(4)
Big 12 Texas (5)
ACC Fla. St. (8)
SEC Georgia (11)
ACC Miami, Fl (12)
Big 10 Wisconsin (13)

So in this case the team crying foul would be Arizona State with 2 losses. I can handle that a lot better than the possibility of someone going undefeated and winning the SEC and not have a chance to play for the championship. So, based on their rankings check out the first round match-ups. We'll give the league champion a higher seed than any other conference member even if they have a lower ranking.

#1 USC (1)
#16 Bowling Green (25)

#8 Virginia Tech (15)
#9 Fla. St. (8)

#4 California (4)
#13 Miami, Fl. (12)

#5 Texas (5)
#12 Georgia (11)

#3 Auburn (3)
#14 Wisconsin (13)

#6 Utah (6)
#11 Louisville (10)

#7 Michigan (7)
#10 Boise St. (9)

#2 Oklahoma (2)
#15 Boston College (21)

Now really. How many of those games are you gonna miss? Now go ahead and imagine all the first round favorites win. Those next four games are too delicious to believe. Have fun with it. If only...

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