Betcha didn’t know that the NCAA has a Division 1 football championship playoff tournament, did ya?
During its August 3 meeting, the Division I Board of Directors approved a recommendation to delete the labels Division I-A, I-AA and I-AAA from NCAA use. Additionally, the Board adopted the title “NCAA Division I Football Championship” to replace the “Division I-AA Football Championship.” Finally, the Board adopted the terms “Football Bowl Subdivision” and “NCAA Football Championship Subdivision” to refer to the level of football played by Division I members.
Now, to be sure, when you go to the NCAA Web site, they still use the 1-A and 1-AA labels in some spots. But they do refer to it as described above, also. The bottom line is that they have playoffs for Division 1 (AA). And Division II. And Division III.
My point? Simple. There’s no good reason not to have a major college football playoff.
I bet some Michigan fans would agree with me.
Yesterday, when the BCS rankings came out, Ohio State, as expected, was number one. And Florida was number two. Just ahead of Michigan.
Some are glad that Florida is in the game, because they didn’t want to see a rematch of Michigan and Ohio State. After all, they just played a couple of weeks ago.
But remember 1996? Number 1 Florida lost to number 2 Florida State 24-21 to end the season. Then, due to some odd events, the two met a month later in a rematch in the 1997 Sugar Bowl. Florida won that game, 52-20, and won their only national championship.
Now, the Gators have stopped Michigan from a chance at doing the same thing.
Do I care? Well, I’m not a fan of Florida. But I’m not a fan of Michigan either.
But more than that, I’m not a fan of the BCS. Major college football needs a playoff. And they could have one. Here’s how.
First, in the conferences that have a championship game, cut the season back to 11 games. The others could play 12. Or 11. I don’t care.
Then, at the end of the season and the conference championships, take the 11 major champions and put them in the playoffs. Those are seeds 1-11, ordered by the BCS. Then, take the top 5 non-conference champions and fill out the field of 16 with them.
Finally, teams that lose in the first round are still bowl-eligible. Maybe the second round, too.
Here’s how it would look this year:
|1||Big Ten||Ohio State||1|
|8||Mountain West||Brigham Young||20|
Now, to be sure, some decent teams are left out. For example, Arkansas, who played for the SEC championship is left out, while LSU and Auburn are in. Georgia Tech, who played for the ACC title and Nebraska, who played for the Big 12 title are out, while Troy is in. But Troy won their conference. And if Tech and Nebraska had won their conference, they’d be in.
Now, it’s difficult to seed teams based on the BCS when they aren’t even listed. For instance, Houston (C-USA), Central Michigan (MAC) and Troy (Sun Belt) aren’t ranked in the BCS. But they are seeded at the bottom of the conference champions, in order of winning percentage.
And, if you look at the five teams that “fill out” the schedule, you’d be hard-pressed to say they don’t deserve a slot in the tournament.
Now, let’s look at some of the objections to a playoff.
The BCS works. Actually, it doesn’t. Just ask Michigan. Or Auburn a couple of years ago. BCS don’t work. A playoff would, because any team that makes it through that field deserves to be declared champion.
It would hurt the bowls. Not any more than the BCS does. In fact, it may help. If the bowls still pick from teams that don’t make it past the first round, that takes 8 teams out of bowl contention. Four games. Most bowls aren’t impacted. And, if second round losers are still bowl eligible, then four of those teams are back in.
The bowls could be incorporated into the playoffs. Say the Sugar and Orange host the semi-finals one year. Fiesta and Cotton another year. Gator, Peach/Chick-Fil-A, Outback, Capital One, etc. can host quarter-finals.
Some bowls (very few) could be impacted. Most won’t. Some might actually benefit.
Too many games. That’s a load of crap. With a 12-game season (counting conference championship games), only two teams would play a total 16 games. That’s one more than the final two in Division 1-AA. Or Division II.
A total of 16 teams would be impacted. That is, play a 13th game. As it is, with 32 bowls, potentially 64 teams could play 13 games.
In this playoff setup, 8 would play a 14th game. 4 a 15th game. And 2 a 16th game.
If they stay with a 12-game schedule.
Hey, my plan might not be the best plan. If you have a different playoff plan, suggest it.
But this plan has one advantage over the BCS. My plan has an undisputed champion.
Oh, two advantages. My plan doesn’t suck.