Note: To see this year's proposal, follow this link.
In what has become an annual suggestion to the NCAA on my behalf, I present to you year three of my BCS playoff proposal (see year 1 and year 2 for more background).
The overall objective: To provide every single Division 1-A (aka FBS, whatever that means) football team the hope in August that, if they win all of their games, they will be in the national championship game. All teams, even those in the Sun Belt and Big East (sorry, too easy to take the shot) deserve this shot. Teams like Boise State and TCU will know that they can earn respect through winning in the playoff. Also, to finish the season before the spring semester of classes start.
Some of the parameters
*Everyone's regular season would need to end by November 20th (with non-BCS the weekend of the 13th so they could play their conference championship the weekend of the 20th), or the weekend before Thanksgiving. The Big Ten did it for years, so it can be done. Also, the teams in the "BCS Conference" Championships would then get a week off to rest up and prepare for their next game.
*The bracket is seeded after the regular season is completed, so I used the BCS rankings from BEFORE the conference championship games. The seeds are laid out so that you get a quarterfinal of 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5. However, if a team is locked into a conference championship (like #4 Stanford vs Oregon), then their seed is skipped and you move on to the next one.
*BCS conferences championships are round of 16 games and played the weekend of December 2-4. Non-BCS conference championships are the weekend before and are played over Thanksgiving weekend.
*The four at-large teams (AL1 - AL4) are the top four teams according to BCS rankings that are NOT in a conference championship. I thought about making TCU an at-large, but figured it was best to keep them in a Mountain West Championship game.
*The five non-BCS conference champions are in the play-in round with the top four having home dates and the fifth (probably the worst rated team in the whole playoffs) playing at the best. For example, this year it would be Florida International playing at TCU.
Several notes to the plan:
*Most importantly, this format will need to be revamped over the next few years with all of the changes in conferences. However, it just solidifies the Pac-10 and Big Ten Championship games. Notre Dame would maybe get moved to the Big East group?
*If this were to happen this year the semi-final dates would need to be adjusted since Christmas is on the Saturday. Perhaps Thursday, December 23rd?
*What about the bowl games? Would they disappear? Since this playoff only involves 20 teams, there's still plenty of bowl-eligible teams to fill out many bowls. Also, give some of the bowl locations quarter-final or semi-final games? I still like the idea of sending at-large teams to non-BCS school home sites to give that home-field advantage to the conference champ.
*Still not sure how to seed the non-conference round winners. Does TCU play the winner of Miami (OH) (next worst non-BCS conf champ)-Michigan State (best at-large in round) or the winner of the Boise State (next best non-BCS conf champ)-Missouri (lowest at-large team)? Or do you just re-seed those after you see who wins? Regardless, the conference champion should get the home game to make it tougher on the BCS non-conference champion.
BOWL SEASON PICKS
Over the weekend (before the games started), I thought it would be entertaining to pick the bowl games this year. I used to do this in high school, but haven't for a while. With Penn State being a little down this year, I have to admit I didn't watch as much college football as in years past. So, I figure why not pick games to see if I can do better than a coin flip. (I'm already only 2-1 vs the spread and 1-2 on the over-under). Spreads are from the USAToday.com as of Saturday 12/18.
So, here's some predictions sure to go wrong (and why I don't gamble). My selections are underlined.
Sat Dec 18BYU 12 Utep 50½ U
NO Illinois 1 FRESNO STATE 57½ U
TROY 2½ Ohio 57½ UTue Dec 21Louisville 3 SOUTHERN MISS 57 UWed Dec 22BOISE STATE 16½ Utah 60½ OThu Dec 23Navy 12½ SAN DIEGO STATEFri Dec 24HAWAII 10 Tulsa 73 USun Dec 26TOLEDO 2 Florida Intl 56 OMon Dec 27AIR FORCE 2½ Georgia Tech 56 O
Tue Dec 28
WEST VIRGINIA 3 NC State 48½ U
Missouri 1 IOWA 47 UWed Dec 29OKLAHOMA STATE 4½ Arizona 65½ U
MARYLAND 7 East Carolina 68 U
BAYLOR 2 Illinois 61½ OThu Dec 30SMU 9½ Army
Kansas State PK SYRACUSE 47½ O
North Carolina 2½ TENNESSEE 50 U
NEBRASKA 13½ Washington 52½ OFri Dec 31CLEMSON 4½ South Florida 40 O
MIAMI FLORIDA 3 Notre Dame 47 O
GEORGIA 7 Central Florida 55 U
SOUTH CAROLINA 3 Florida State 54½ OSat Jan 1TEXAS TECH 9 Northwestern 60½ U
FLORIDA 7 Penn State 47½ U
ALABAMA 10½ Michigan State 52 U
MISSISSIPPI STATE 4½ Michigan 59½ O
Tcu 3 WISCONSIN 58½ U
OKLAHOMA 16½ Connecticut 55 OMon Jan 3STANFORD 3 Virginia Tech 58 OTue Jan 4OHIO STATE 3½ Arkansas 57½ U
Thu Jan 6
MIAMI OHIO 1 Middle Tenn St 48 U
Fri Jan 7
LSU 1 Texas A&m 48½ OSat Jan 8PITTSBURGH 3 Kentucky 52 USun Jan 9NEVADA 9½ Boston College 55 OMon Jan 10AUBURN 3 Oregon 74 U
And, for even MORE entertainment, here's Beth's picks (which I'm guessing will end up better than mine! She's already 3-0)
Sat Dec 18BYU 12 Utep 50½
NO Illinois 1 FRESNO STATE 57½
TROY 2½ Ohio 57½
Tue Dec 21
Louisville 3 SOUTHERN MISS 57
Wed Dec 22
BOISE STATE 16½ Utah 60½
Thu Dec 23Navy 12½ SAN DIEGO STATEFri Dec 24HAWAII 10 Tulsa 73
Sun Dec 26TOLEDO 2 Florida Intl 56
Mon Dec 27AIR FORCE 2½ Georgia Tech 56
Tue Dec 28WEST VIRGINIA 3 NC State 48½
Missouri 1 IOWA 47
Wed Dec 29OKLAHOMA STATE 4½ Arizona 65½
MARYLAND 7 East Carolina 68
BAYLOR 2 Illinois 61½
Thu Dec 30SMU 9½ Army
Kansas State PK SYRACUSE 47½
North Carolina 2½ TENNESSEE 50
NEBRASKA 13½ Washington 52½
Fri Dec 31
CLEMSON 4½ South Florida 40
MIAMI FLORIDA 3 Notre Dame 47
GEORGIA 7 Central Florida 55
SOUTH CAROLINA 3 Florida State 54½
Sat Jan 1TEXAS TECH 9 Northwestern 60½
FLORIDA 7 Penn State 47½
ALABAMA 10½ Michigan State 52
MISSISSIPPI STATE 4½ Michigan 59½
Tcu 3 WISCONSIN 58½
OKLAHOMA 16½ Connecticut 55
Mon Jan 3STANFORD 3 Virginia Tech 58
Tue Jan 4OHIO STATE 3½ Arkansas 57½
Thu Jan 6MIAMI OHIO 1 Middle Tenn St 48
Fri Jan 7
LSU 1 Texas A&m 48½
Sat Jan 8PITTSBURGH 3 Kentucky 52
Sun Jan 9NEVADA 9½ Boston College 55
Mon Jan 10AUBURN 3 Oregon 74
For even MORE entertainment, post YOUR PICKS in the comments and see how we all fare. We could even make this a little pool. As in, donate $5 to the Alzheimer's Association to be considered for being named "THE CHAMPION" in a future blog post. Feel free to select all the games or maybe just from Jan 1 and beyond.