Sunday, December 4, 2011

2011 BCS Playoff Proposal

Note: To see this year's proposal, follow this link.

Because for some reason this doesn't get old for me, here is year four of my BCS Playoff Proposal.
For background on my rationale, check out the last three years:

In summary, the goal is two-fold:

1) To give EVERY team a LEGITIMATE chance to win a national championship (see Houston before their loss to Southern Miss on Saturday, or Oklahoma State who's only loss came in overtime a day after the women's basketball coach died in a plane crash)

2) To have every team's final game be a MEANINGFUL game (for example, congrats to Wisconsin and Oregon on their respective conference championships and good luck in your Rose Bowl EXHIBITION game)

This year, I set up the bracket Saturday morning BEFORE the conference championship games were played and just extended the bracket as if the top seeds would prevail. The bracket looked like this:

Not so fast, Houston and Virginia Tech. Today, I revised the bracket and it looked like this:

It actually worked out well because it helped to demonstrate that the "brackets" are NOT like the NCAA basketball tournament, but rather the NFL playoffs so that the seeding is revised for each round.

So, some of the minutiae:

General stuff from years past*EVERYBODY finishes the regular season by November 19 (the weekend before Thanksgiving)
*Non-BCS conferences must have their conference champion crowned by November 19th, whether it's just by standings or by a conference championship game.
*BCS conferences will have their championships after a "bye week" on the weekend of December 3rd (just like they were this year)
*The "Play-in" round, matching up at-large teams (highest ranked non-conference championship game participants) with non-BCS conference champions
*After each round, the brackets will be reseeded by the BCS standings before the conference championships
*Quarterfinals on December 8-10
*Semifinals could either be weekend of Dec 24 or 31
*Finals could be either weekend of Dec 31 (aka the New Year's bowl) or the next weekend

Some of the specifics on the 2011 version
The non-BCS conference champions were, in order from best or worst (based on either BCS or USAToday Sagarin Ranking):

A. TCU (Mountain West)
B. Southern Miss (Conference USA)....can't believe Houston lost
C. Louisiana Tech (WAC)
D. Northern Illinois (MAC)
E. Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

The four at-large teams (based on BCS rankings of teams NOT in a conference championship)
1. Alabama - top at-large gets bye to second round
2. Stanford
3. Arkansas
4. Boise State (Note: Boise State didn't win the MWC, that was TCU)
(Kansas State and South Carolina are on the outside looking in)

In this first round (Thanksgiving weekend), games are played at the site of the conference champion (putting the "BIG" guy on the road at the "small" guy) with conference team A vs E, then B vs 4, C vs 3, and D vs 2. So, looking like this:

E-Arkansas State at A-TCU
AL4-Boise State at B-Southern Miss
AL3-Arkansas at C-Louisiana Tech
AL2-Stanford at D-Northern Illinois

So, all three BCS teams would be favored, but penalize them for not being in their conference championship by making them travel and giving the "small guy" the chance to upset the BCS conference team. This also rewards the top non-BCS champion team playing a cream puff like Arkansas State from the Sun Belt conference.

The winner of those games move on to play in the second round (Dec 1 & 3) again seeded based off of the BCS rankings in a 1/4, 2/3 setting. The higher seed is the home team. If seeds would hold, this would mean:

#18 TCU at #4 Stanford
#7 Boise State at #6 Arkansas

In addition to this, there are the five other conference championship games (kept the Big 12 since Oklahoma St and Oklahoma played just to keep it simple. Also, moved Notre Dame to the "Big East/at large" slot since the Big Ten now has 12).

SEC - LSU vs Georgia
ACC - Virginia Tech vs Clemson
Pac-12 - Oregon vs UCLA
Big 12 - Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State
Big Ten - Michigan State vs Wisconsin
At-large #1 at Big East/ND - West Virginia vs Alabama

The winners of these games would play in the third round (Dec 8 & 10) at the site of the higher BCS-ranked team. It doesn't work out this year, but you'd love to see a warm-weather team have to play in snow for the quarterfinals. Based on the conference championship results, it would look like this:

#15 Clemson at #1 LSU
#5 Oregon at #4 Stanford (rematch!)
#6 Arkansas at #3 Oklahoma State
#10 Wisconsin at #2 Alabama

So, that's my two cents. Here's the bracket again if you don't feel like scrolling back up:

Then, the final four could be perhaps a double-header at a neutral site (New Orleans, Miami, Phoenix, Pasadena) with the two winning teams staying in town for a "Super Bowl-like" media week. (They're on semester break, so the student-athletes aren't missing any school). Also, this eliminates all but 8 teams by this year's deadline for the bowl announcements, so you could still have your slate of meaningless exhibition bowl matchups.

But, it all comes down to money, TV contracts, and bowl officials. So, the odds of this plan that makes sense to me coming to fruition is probably slim and none. But, it's a fun little annual exercise. I hope you enjoyed it.


Steve said...

I think everyone wishes for a better College Football system. Not to mention everything used to be done by Jan 1. Now it goes on forever, I don't even know how much past Jan 1.

East Coasters get the raw deal on the timing of the big games, as they go pretty late.

Just a football fan said...

I don't understand how Oklahoma got on your bracket. Can you help me out?

Beth said...

I'm glad you've documented this through the years so when it does actually happen you can say "I told you so!!" ;)

OJS said...

Mr. "Football Fan" - I wanted to preserve the Big12 Championship game, so I went with OSU-Oklahoma since they actually played on Saturday. It also could be Kansas State-Oklahoma State so that it would be a true north-south Big12 championship

Just a football fan said...

Thanks, I couldn't fathom how Oklahoma made the bracket and finished 4th in the Big 12-2.

It might be a while before that championship game returns, maybe you should move an "at large" team into that spot.

catmarlson said...

I really like your plan. Nothing is perfect but the champion of your system would create a much less controversial #1 than the current system. (sportswriters would lose a topic to debate).
If you could assign bowls to your brackets. Or create a rotating system for them. I think you could sell them on this. (haha).

When you got to the part where you said there would be a media week for the players. I couldn't help but think about the players not being paid issue.
I don't think they should be paid. I do think they should be offered a free year of college for each year they were on the team, that they can use any time in their future. I figure some of these schools sure make it difficult for them to truly get an education while they are players, and so few of them really have a NFL job ahead of them.

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