...and #63 and #2. Oh the thing? It's the ability of people to proliferate utter nonsense in the form of the BCS(Bowl Championship Series).
Yes, it's that time again. So everyone stand up, face the north, and feel free to salute in whatever way you see fit. It's the annual(6 years running!) look at "what the NCAA should actually do to decide a football champion and reduce Jason's reasons for bitching by one." If you have any awareness of my rooting interests, you might be left thinking that I'm perfectly happy with the final match-up that the BCS supplied us. In that respect, I guess I'm good. But as a wise man once said, fairness is not demonstrated in the result but in the process. And the process stinks. This year we had 5 teams finish the season with an undefeated record. So they did everything they could possibly do to win a championship, yet every member of three of those teams knows that they have zero chance of attaining that goal.
We need a playoff. One where every team in every conference has a chance to win it all at the beginning of the season. So we need a 16 team playoff to allow every conference champion to get an automatic bid. Caveat #1: If that team has more than 4 losses, they forfeit their bid. (Sorry, but we are trying to decide a champion and if you can't get through a 11 game season without losing 5 times, then we already have a pretty good indication you're not championship material.) After the 11 conferences have their teams in, we use some BCS-style poll to get our at-large bids. Caveat #2: Each conference will be limited to no more than 3 teams. (This is just to ensure that conference biases do not take control. I'm sure there's some that would have 8 SEC teams in a 16 team field if they had their druthers.) We would then seed the teams by their ranking and then let the fun begin.
Were there to be a playoff, I think there would be some obvious repercussions. First as I alluded to, regular seasons would be reduced to 11 games. That's what they were until about 5-10 years ago and I don't think it would be too big a deal to return to that. Plus, that would still limit the games the two championship contenders would play to 15. (Texas and Alabama will both play 14 games this year, so 15 is by no means an egregious amount.) Second, there would be no more conference championship games. It would only be a hinderance for a conference's top teams to play each other when they might not have to. Once again, we had 100 years of college football with out any such games yet always found a way to find conference champions so I think they can figure it out. I must admit, I believe that these conference championship games are one of the main barriers to getting a playoff. That's because they are such monumental cash cows for the conference offices and their commissioners. Those commissioners control the BCS, and why would they give up all that money(and control)? But a guy can dream, can't he?
So, I've got this years NCAA Football Playoff Bracket. And based on all the factors listed above, it's a tad convoluted. Basically, I took into account the conference championship game to signify the winner of said conference be tried not to penalize the loser for a loss because I don't believe those games would be played. (I.e. Florida will get the #2 seed instead of #6.) Just in case you were wondering, the last team in is #13 Penn State. The first team left out is BYU(Sorry, Mormons). Behold:
(1) Alabama - SEC Champ (BCS #1)
(16) Troy - Sun Belt Champ (Unranked)
(8) Ohio State - Big 10 Champ (#8)
(9) Iowa - At large (#9)
(5) TCU - Mountain West Champ (#5)
(12) LSU - At large (#12)
(4) Cincinnati - Big East Champ (#4)
(13) Penn St. - At large (#13)
(3) Texas - Big 12 Champ (#3)
(14) Central Michigan - MAC Champ (#25)
(6) Boise St. - WAC Champ (#6)
(11) Virginia Tech - At large (#11)
(7) Oregon - Pac 10 Champ (#7)
(10) Georgia Tech - ACC Champ (#10)
(2) Florida - At large (#2)
(15) East Carolina - Conference USA Champ (#26)
Despite the fact that this is the 6th year I've done this and despite the fact that it will never happen, I still get a little giddy when I stop and imagine the match-ups and the potential 2nd round games. I can't imagine wanting to miss one of them. Yet, every year, we do.