Playoffs?!? Are You Kidding Me?!?
Mr. Allen accuses me of a lot of things. Blantant homerism for Texas, being closed minded in my conservative political views, stealing his marijuana stash, etc. But, it got me thinking to what could be done to make college football more exciting.
Right now, there is a lot of excitement to be had. If the BCS is good for anything, it peaks the interest of scoreboard watching to see what your crappy team needs to do to get to a money bowl. But, the system certainly has its flaws. Almost everyone on the planet is screaming for a playoff to determine a true national champion.
So, can yours truley create another flawed system that works better? We shall see.
With this system I kept several things in mind. First, it is a BCS system. Therefore, BCS schools will have an advantage in it. I maintain my stance that non-BCS schools can look into either joining a BCS conference or forming another if they want to be on par. I also took into consideration the abomination of out of conference games against Texas School for the Blind. Frankly, no one wants to see it. Beating up on a weaker opponent with your third stringers should be a novelty. Perhaps most importantly, it saves everyone from having to cheer on your rivals in hopes that your strength of schedule will not suffer. College football is built on rivalries and it diminishes the experience when I have to waive the ou flag for a game.
I'll say this, sewing up all the loopholes is enough to make your eyes go crossed.
So, here it is. Scott's radical-yet-thought-provoking cure to the college BCS system:
-All BCS conferences must eliminate their conference championship game. All conference rankings will be determined by head-to-head and common conference opponents. Conference divisions will remain intact to allow a round robin style of matchups for the larger conferences. (I.E. Texas plays Kansas for 2 consecutive years and won't meet them again for another 2 years) But, there will no longer be a north/south/east/west champ...only a conference champ.
-The BCS ranking system receives an overhaul. Only the mid-major and independent teams receive an official ranking during the regular season. (The AP can do whatever they want) The rankings will not be released until week 4 and do not take into account any preseason positioning. In order for a BCS conference team to make the playoffs, they must win their conference. After all the bowl games have completed, the BCS will release a final ranking that encompasses all schools. This will be the official record.
-The formula for BCS rankings will take into account strength of schedule, wins versus quality opponents and losses. The only exceptions to this rule are independents, which will be discussed later.
-Out of conference schedules for BCS schools serve as nothing more than a warm up for conference play. So, Texas can schedule TCU, Florida, Michigan and USC, lose all the games, and still get into the playoffs by winning the Big 12. A BCS conference team's win/loss record is for statistical purposes only and has no bearing on a berth in the playoffs or the ability to play for the national championship. (Provided that they win their conference) This encourages better out of conference matchups instead of "cream puffs" to pad your place in the current BCS poll. (And serves as better viewing for the fans) This also eliminates the problem mid-majors/independents may run in to trying to schedule a game with a BCS conference team. (I.E. The game benefiting the non-BCS team much more than the BCS team with regards to risk vs. reward) Since rankings and out of conference wins and loses are now moot, it is foreseeable that teams such as Boise St. could garner two games with BCS conference teams. If Arkansas loses to Boise St., the only thing hurt is their pride...not their hope to play for the national championship.
-Every non-BCS team must schedule a minimum of 2 BCS conference school in their out of conference scheduling to be considered for post season play. What conference(s) or teams scheduled are up to the participating schools by agreement. If this requirement is not met, the non-BCS team will not be eligible to play in the postseason. For example, Notre Dame scheduling Michigan and USC as traditional matchups will satisfy this requirement. If Boise St. schedules Kansas State and Arizona St., they too will satisfy this requirement. However, the BCS rankings will be based on strength of schedule. So simply meeting the requirements, and winning the games, is no guarantee of a playoff spot. Further, a loss to a BCS team(s) may not necessarily eliminate your playoff chances as the rankings are based on the entire season.
-Every BCS school must accommodate 1 non-BCS school for an out of conference game.
-All BCS conference schools will be assigned a number proportionate to their current standings. The rankings will be on a descending scale with "10" being the best and "1" being the worst. To eliminate the advantage of conferences with more than 10 schools, only the top 10 finishers will receive a number. The bottom schools will accumulate a ranking of "0". This is the measuring stick to determine strength of schedule for non-BCS schools.
-There are 6 guaranteed spots for the BCS conference winners and one wild card spot for the highest BCS ranked mid-major/independent. The team in the conference of last year's champion will receive a bye. (Ex: Texas won in 2005 so Oklahoma would have received a bye this year) So the matchups would be:
SEC vs. ACC
Big East vs. Pac-10
Big 10 vs. WAC (wild card)
The SEC, Pac-10 and WAC all win their game. The lowest ranked school, in this case the WAC, will be pitted against Oklahoma. The SEC and Pac-10 will also play each other. The winner of these two games goes on to play for the national championship.
-Independent schools, namely Notre Dame, receive a handicap. Since they are not bound to play teams in a conference, and subsequently have no out of conference schedule, it eliminates the advantage of scheduling the top schools in all conferences to build up the strength of schedule without penalty. To compensate, Notre Dame will be judged on their two best wins, not games played, for strength of schedule purposes. For example, Notre Dame lost to both Michigan and USC. But, their best wins were against Penn St. and Georgia Tech. More credence will be put in their wins instead of their losses. However, if another independent or mid-major school has a stronger quality of wins, their strength of schedule will more than likely supersede Notre Dame's. (Ex: Notre Dame ends the season with their two losses and Boise St. ends the year with a loss to Oklahoma. But, Boise St. beat #1 USC in week 3. Their strength of schedule, number of losses and quality of wins would most likely notch them above Notre Dame in the BCS rankings)
Did you get all that?