The NCAA needs to be tortured for the way they have handled their Division I football collegiate championship. No, we’re not going to speak in terms of subdivisions and that nonsense because it diverts the attention from the task at hand… How can we achieve a true national champion in college football?? For the most part the argument has come from teams, bowl sponsorships, and conferences not wanting to relinquish prestige or money. What was known as Division II and III have settled their championship on the field for years…so why can’t they in the top tier?? At Taylor Blitz Times, Chancellor Taylor decided to preside over a panel of experts and to decide how we can come up with a true national champion. Here is how it can be done in his estimation.
First off this move in college football to super conferences hurts the matter. The rumor that Florida St, Texas A&M joining the SEC would do what for the conference?? The argument by SEC loyalists would be that their 5th best team is better than other conferences 1st or 2nd. They would wind up with more than 6 teams not facing each other in a season. How could they determine a true champion?? This only detracts from the landscape of college football as well as a sentiment that is not true. The top level team in any conference can stay on the field with a top tier team from another conference. For a given playoff game?? Absolutely.
So the first thing we need to do is scrap the super conferences and adopt the NCAA basketball rules and dole out automatic qualifiers for each conference champion. Whether that conference has a championship game or not is up to them to decide who they’re conference champion is. So we would then have the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Pac 12, SEC, Conference USA, Sun Belt, WAC, and Mountain West would all have a qualifier. That gives us an 11 team field so far and we would need to have conferences move back their championship games to conclude in late November. Reversing the last 10 years where teams kept moving games later so they don’t get leapfrogged in the BCS. (see LSU leapfrogging USC in 2003) We need that to assist in the time necessary to get our playoff system to a condensed workable format. We need that December time to decide things.
Next up, the poll rankings and the BCS. Keep them! Otherwise Nebraska and Oklahoma would put Pugaswan St School for the Dyslexic, on their schedules again. Sure we say that in jest but the BCS has been good for one thing: It has brought to light the strength of schedule and condemened teams for not playing one. Great measuring tool so it and the AP and Coaches Poll stay. Why?? Its these mechanisms that will give us our 6 at large teams that will round out the 17 team tournament. Ranking and strength of schedule will determine who gets those spots. If you are an Independent like Notre Dame, this is the only way to qualify for the National Championship playoff. So join a conference or schedule at least 7 heavies in your campaign. It’s their choice. You have to keep in mind that we have to have a tournament long enough to include the right amount of teams yet not so long that we interfere with college basketball. So the buck stops at seventeen.
So to assist with the strength of schedule format think of it like this: Had Auburn been upset in last year’s SEC Title Game, they still would have qualified for the playoff as an at large. Where a South Carolina had to win that game to qualify because of their record. So it’s paramount to win the most games and the strength of schedule will still aid your BCS standing for a late loss. Furthermore you can have 2 or more teams qualify for the playoff from the same conference. So if the Ohio St. Buckeyes win the Big Ten, yet a streaking Wisconsin Badger team almost catches them but falls a game short of qualifying for the conference championship game. They could make it to the playoffs by virtue of their poll and BCS standings.
While some conferences like the Mountain West, WAC, Sun Belt, or Conference USA won’t have that luxury, at least they would now be invited to the dance. However if you think about it, that’s not necessarily true. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/rankings The Boise State Broncos would have qualified and followed Nevada into this mythical playoff system were it in place last year after losing to the Wolfpack. Otherwise win your conference and carry the torch and battleflag into the playoffs for the rest of your brethren.
We would begin the playoffs with a playoff kickoff around Pearl Harbor Day (Dec 7th if you just came to the U.S.) with the BCS 16th and 17th teams playing on the home field of the 17th team. No need for additional travel at this point, the first round of the playoffs would be at each team’s home facility anyway. This game would be played on a Thursday or Friday night. Could you imagine a playoff game at College Station between the Texas A&M Aggies hosting Nebraska on a chilly night??
Had this been in place last year this would have been our kickoff. Or the year before it would have been Oklahoma St. hosting Oregon St. So this game could be a revenge game with conference rivals or teams that don’t know each other. Perfect. Trust me fans and players would be fired up for more. The winner of this game slides into slot 16 for the final tournament bracket which would be seeded upon each team’s BCS finish. Think we could find a corporate sponsor for this game??
With an extra week off, around December 14th, the 15 big boys join the party with the higher seeded teams at home hosting their lower seeded counterparts. So seeds #1 – #4 for example would have hosted #13 – #16. Those games last year would have had BCS #1 Auburn hosting #16 Alabama, #2 Oregon hosting #15 Nevada, and #3 TCU hosting #14 Oklahoma St. and #4 Stanford hosting #13 Virginia Tech. Imagine that…didn’t Stanford play Virginia Tech in last year’s Orange Bowl?? Pay attention we are on to something.
Think about the marquee games being played on Thursday and Friday night as to not disrupt the NFL which plays Saturday games after college football is done. Think about that for a second, Alabama getting a second crack at Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and Auburn after that come from behind win in the Iron Bowl?? Think Nick Saban wouldn’t have had ‘Bama up for a second go round?? Now you’re starting to see what we mean about a playoff system generating some battle lines. You’d call off sick from work or hit the sports bar early for that playoff game…think about it?? Would Auburn beat them a second time??
Step on the NFL’s Saturday toes?? On second thought, there would be a few of the middle seeds playing on Saturday though. We would then move into BCS #5-8 hosting #9-12 or: #5 Wisconsin hosting #12 Missouri in snowy Madison, #6 Ohio St. hosting #11 LSU, #7 Oklahoma hosting #10 Boise St, and #8 Arkansas hosting #9 Michigan St. Goodness!! This slate would be better than the Thursday / Friday games. Columbus, Ohio hosting LSU to get revenge on the Tigers for that loss in the NCAA Title Game from 5 years ago??
Oklahoma being able to get revenge on Boise St for that Fiesta Bowl upset loss 5 years back?? Fans wouldn’t be up for these games with those battle lines now would they?? Could you imagine the barbecue, chips, and beer consumed watching these playoff games in one day?? How many folks would be at your house that day?? Bring pizza!!
Now we get a two week break for Christmas to set up the second round of the playoffs, and to allow other Bowl Games they’re rightful place to lead the marquee. Yet by January 1st we get right back to it with the present BCS bowls plus a few others so that we can move it around every year. So we would include the Outback Bowl, the Capitol One Bowl, and drop one of the BCS bowls as a playoff site for a given year to keep the pageantry of the bowls in place and make sure our championship keeps it’s variety from year to year.
With the winners of the Orange, Rose, Fiesta, and Sugar Bowls we’re now down to our final four schools. So each Bowl has a sponsorship like the FedEx Orangebowl, etc. Do you think we could get a corporate sponsor for the semi final games to be played at a predetermined neutral site?? What about a semifinal being held in Ford Field in Detroit, an Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio or a game in Rocky Top, or an Indianapolis. New places for a major college football playoff game. Everyone doesn’t live in the Sun Belt, so move it around to some new places. What about a National Championship Game in Notre Dame’s stadium with the College Football Hall of Fame right up the street??
With the bowl games decided we would take a week or two off to set up our neutral site semi final games. These would be prime time epics with one being played on a Friday night, the other being played on Monday Night. The NFL would be in their playoffs at this time so Monday would be open. This would be taking place around January 8th / 10th or the week of the 13th / 15th. After a one week layoff and during the two week break between the NFL’s NFC and AFC Championship Games and the Super Bowl, we would have the NCAA National Championship Game on a Saturday night at a neutral field (highest bidder) all by itself around January 30th.
If you think we couldn’t find sponsors or site committees to step up to host that game you’re crazy. Right now you’re salivating at just the shape of these playoffs and yet we did the one thing we set out to do. Keep the governing bodies intact, not step on corporate sponsors toes and actually generate more money for college football with the additional television revenue.
The Bowls were kept intact and we included the BCS. We kept a manageable line when placing our games around the NFL games to be played and kept things tight from a logistics standpoint without too much additional travel. A national championship game in Seattle, Washington?? Raleigh, North Carolina?? Albequerque, New Mexico?? Why not?? These collegiate Super Bowls could pump financial blood into new areas and …. At long last we’ll have a real National Champion crowned in college football!!
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