College football playoffs 2014 (done right)

CharlieBrownFootballFor several years, I’ve been saying that the NCAA needs a playoff for Division 1-A football. Apparently, the NCAA agrees with me … to some degree. They finally dumped the horribly flawed BCS for a horribly-flawed 4-team playoff.

My plan would work, and it answers all the questions and controversies that have arisen over the BCS years.

My plan has sixteen teams in the playoffs. Each of the ten conference champions get a slot, and the remaining slots are filled with teams selected by a committee. The committee also seeds the teams.

My preference is that conference champions get the top ten slots, with the wild card teams filling slots 11-16, much as the NFL does. This adds weight to winning the conference. If a wild card team from the SEC feels they should be ranked higher than, say, the Sun Belt champion, then they should have won their own conference.

Here is how the playoffs — the playoffs done right — would have shaped up this year.

Top ten seeds are the conference champions.

1. Alabama (Southeastern Conference champion)
2. Oregon (Pac-12 Conference champion)
3. Florida State (Atlantic Coast Conference champion)
4. Ohio State (Big Ten Conference champion)
5. Baylor (Big 12 Conference champion)
6. Boise State (Mountain West Conference champion)
7. Marshall (Conference USA champion)
8. Northern Illinois (Mid-American Conference champion)
9. Cincinnati (American Athletic Conference champion)
10. Georgia Southern (Sun Belt Conference champion)
11. Texas Christian (Big 12 wild card)
12. Mississippi State (Southeastern wild card)
13. Michigan State (Big Ten wild card)
14. Mississippi (Southeastern wild card)
15. Arizona (Pac-12 wild card)
16. Kansas State (Big 12 wild card)

Some of the matchups would be great. Others, yeah, not so much. And, yeah, we end up with a third Arizona vs Oregon matchup. We also get a Marshall-Georgia Southern matchup, which won’t top the TV ratings … outside of Huntington or Statesboro.

Look at the whole package. Winning the conference means something; you get an automatic bid and a better seeding. Really good teams aren’t penalized by having one bad game (or a good close loss) that knocks them out of contention. And, if Northern Illinois or Georgia Southern ran the table, who could argue that they aren’t the best team?

What the NCAA is giving us this year is better than the BCS. If that was in play, we’d have a single game of Alabama vs Florida State, based on polls and computer rankings. But it’s not as good as this plan.

One day, this will be the great idea that some suit in the NCAA comes up with, and he’ll be hailed as a genius.

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College Football Playoffs 2013

ThreeStoogesFootball2Next year, the NCAA begins a 4-team playoff for the college football national championship.

This is in addition to the three other college football national championships the NCAA already has: Division 1 FCS (1-AA) on January 4, 2014 in Frisco, Texas; Division II on December 21, 2013, in Florence, Alabama; and Division III (the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl) on December 20, 2013, in Salem, Virginia.

Division 1 FBS (Division 1-A), finally gets a playoff of sorts next year. This year, it’s still the BCS. And, as always, it’s true that you can’t spell BCS without BS. I don’t know what to say about next year’s “playoff” other than it’s a half-ass attempt to get it right.

Here’s what’s right, and what I’ve been proposing for years: A 16-team playoff, consisting of a field of the 10 conference champions, plus the five highest-ranked non-conference champions.

The questions are how to pick the five “wild card” teams, and how to seed the teams. Minor details. But, the major details are the 16-team field with the conference champs.

Now, how to pick the “wild card” teams? I’m gonna use the Coaches Poll. Or the BCS standings. They are close, but not quite the same, both in teams and in ranking.

First, the easy part: Here are the conference champs, who get an automatic bid:

Conference Champion Record Coaches Poll
Atlantic Coast Conference Florida State 13-0 1
Southeastern Conference Auburn 12-1 2
Big Ten Conference Michigan State 12-1 4
Big 12 Conference Baylor 11-1 5
Pacific-12 Conference Stanford 11-2 7
American Athletic Conference Central Florida 11-1 15
Mountain West Conference Fresno State 11-1 20
Conference USA Rice 10-3 31
Mid-American Conference Bowling Green 10-3 32
Sun Belt Conference Louisiana-Lafayette 8-4 NR

Now, we add the “wild card” teams.

Conference Team Record Coaches Poll
Southeastern Conference Alabama 11-1 3
Big Ten Conference Ohio State 12-1 6
Southeastern Conference South Carolina 10-2 8
Southeastern Conference Missouri 11-2 9
Big 12 Conference Oklahoma 10-2 10
Atlantic Coast Conference Clemson 10-2 11

I’d seed them by Coaches Poll, champions first — kinda like the NFL does — and match the teams up with Number 1 hosting Number 16, Number 2 hosting Number 15, and so on. And, I’d left the teams that lost in the first round still go to a bowl. The first-round losers will either be a conference champion, or a top 15 team. Most bowls would jump at either.

Here’s the seeding:

Team Qualification Record Coaches Poll
Florida State Atlantic Coast Conference (Champion) 13-0 1
Auburn Southeastern Conference (Champion) 12-1 2
Michigan State Big Ten Conference (Champion) 12-1 4
Baylor Big 12 Conference (Champion) 11-1 5
Stanford Pacific-12 Conference (Champion) 11-2 7
Central Florida American Athletic Conference (Champion) 11-1 15
Fresno State Mountain West Conference (Champion) 11-1 20
Rice Conference USA (Champion) 10-3 31
Bowling Green Mid-American Conference (Champion) 10-3 32
Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt Conference (Champion) 8-4 NR
Alabama Southeastern Conference (Wild Card) 11-1 3
Ohio State Big Ten Conference (Wild Card) 12-1 6
South Carolina Southeastern Conference (Wild Card) 10-2 8
Missouri Southeastern Conference (Wild Card) 11-2 9
Oklahoma Big 12 Conference (Wild Card) 10-2 10
Clemson Atlantic Coast Conference (Wild Card) 10-2 11

And, here are the first round games:

  • Clemson at Florida State
  • Oklahoma at Auburn
  • Missouri at Michigan State
  • South Carolina at Baylor
  • Ohio State at Stanford
  • Alabama at Central Florida
  • Louisiana-Lafayette at Fresno State
  • Bowling Green at Rice

Some really good match ups in the first round, and some really lame ones, under my seeding. But, seeding is a minor detail.

Put a 16-team playoff like this in place, and, whoever is left standing at the end, whether it’s an eighth-straight SEC team, a team from the Sun Belt, or one of the other quality teams on this list, and you’ll have a true national champion.

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Almost made it the entire season without this

I’ve managed to go this entire college football season without posting about football.

Until now.

Tonight’s the championship game, and it’s Alabama vs Notre Dame. And Alabama will win.

I could go on and on about how great the SEC is, and how much I despise media-darling Notre Dame. But I won’t. You feel free, though.

I know, in the great scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a football game. Big fellows running around on grass playing a game. But, things that do matter aren’t going so well right now, so college football it is.

Who do YOU think will win?

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College football playoffs

If you’re a football fan, get ready for my last college football post here at IMAO. If you’re not a college football fan, you can skip this post as you plan for your 17-day Hawaii vacation.
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Who’s gonna lose, week 14

The 2011 college football season is winding down, and it’s conference championship week, with seven of the six conference with championship games holding those games. That math may seem a little skewed, but that’s how this season has gone.

Two of the conferences have already held their championship games, with Northern Illinois winning the Mid-America championship game and a berth in the bowl, and Oregon winning the Pac-12 and a spot in the Rose Bowl.

If you’re not a football fan, don’t worry. We’ll find something shiny for you to play with.
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Who’s gonna lose, week 13

It’s finally here. The last week of the 2011 college football season. Unless you count games played next week. And the week after.

So, in a sport where teams at the highest level play 12 regular season games, we’re at week 13, with more ahead of us.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those that love college football, those that would rather go shopping, and those that understand why the Big Ten has 12 teams while the Big 12 has ten teams.

If you’re not one of those, you may want to skip ahead to something else. Frank will get up soon, see another post about football, then write something about a book he’s hawking, so you have that to look forward to.
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Who’s gonna lose, Week 12

As the 2011 college football season winds to a close, teams are jockeying for position to wind up in the top two in the BCS. Emphasis on the B and the S.

Until the powers that be admit that a playoff system is the way to go, college football fans are stuck with the current nonsense.

Supporters of the BCS maintain that the best two teams always end up playing anyway, but that’s not true. Fully half of the teams that have played in the big game since the 1998 season would have been mighty lucky to have survived a playoff bracket, and part of being a champion is stepping up when it counts.

Twelve weeks into the season, it’s time for us to step up and let you know who’s gonna lose this week. No “gimme” games this week. Okay, maybe a couple. But we are altering the format slightly. Still picking games from my state (Georgia), Harvey’s state (Wisconsin), and Frank’s state (Iowa, Idaho, one of them states out there). Still picking matchups between Top 25 teams. And, instead of only-game-on matchups, we’ll look at the teams in the BCS hunt.

If you don’t care for college football, you got an alternative: the new Twilight movie is out and you and the rest of the girls and Nancy Boys can go watch it. The men and the really cool chicks will be watching college football.
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Who’s gonna lose, week 11

We’re nearing the end of the college football season, and the number of unbeatens is getting smaller each week. There are five unbeaten teams remaining, ranging from Number One LSU to Number 11 Houston. But some of the once-beatens are still in the mix, and one might get the championship game nod over an unbeaten.

Is that fair? Well, nothing’s fair, until we get a playoff. I got the playoff plan, but the folks running the show won’t listen to me.

Of course, some of you don’t want to listen to — or read — these picks. Which means that you must hate college football and are a communist. Or a Gloria Allred client.

Sit back and find out who’s gonna lose this week.
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Who’s gonna lose, week 10

Following another stellar week of picking who’s gonna lose in college football, I stand at a perfect 100% with my picks. If only the teams I picked were as good in carrying out my picks.

Some of you don’t care for college football or these picks. I’m thinking it might be because Herman Cain didn’t sexually harass you. I’ll put in a call and see what I can do to fix that. At a minimum, I’ll see if I can get Mark Block to blow smoke in your face.
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