Thankfully this is the final year of the BCS in college football. However, the system being put in place is still prone to controversy. Only four teams will be in a playoff decided upon by a committee, leaving many potentially worthy teams out. While the new playoff system is better than the BCS, it is not bulletproof. College football needs to be able to crown a champion that is undisputed. Here’s how.
I have devised a system that will produce an undisputed champion AND solve many of college football’s issues: Competitive imbalance, ever-shifting conference realignment, a true national champion, all the while maintaining the many of the rivalries that fans seem to cherish. Oh, and it will make a lot of money for schools.
It’s five steps. At the end of this, you’ll be like,
“This format makes too much sense.”
Step: 1: One last conference realignment to rule them all.
Quite honestly, this is the hardest step because people will be stubborn and greedy and petty, because what needs to happen is an unemotional division of teams based on geographic distance. What my system requires are eight balanced conferences consisting of 12 teams each based on region. This then creates a pool of 96 teams that start the season in contention for the National Championship.
The chart below shows how I would split them up based on the following rules:
- If you put the schools from a conference on a map, there can’t be any geographic outliers, like there are now. You can’t jump over one school to place it with another. So West Virginia will not be with teams in Texas, like they are now.
- All schools from the same state should be in the same conference. This preserves rivalries, like Auburn and Alabama, Iowa and Iowa St, and Texas and Texas A&M. I managed this in all cases except for the state of Tennessee (Memphis). I don’t think we are losing much here.
- Preserve exceptional outstate_ _rivalries, so long as it doesn’t violate steps 1&2: Mainly: Army vs. Navy, Michigan vs. Ohio State.
|Southwest||Northwest||South Central||North Central|
|UCLA||Oregon St||Texas A&M||Kansas|
|USC||Utah||Texas Tech||Kansas St|
|Fresno St||Utah St||Rice||Memphis|
|San Diego St||BYU||SMU||Minnesota|
|San Jose St||Colorado||Houston||Missouri|
|Arizona St||Air Force||Oklahoma St||Northwestern|
|Midwest||Northeast||Mid South||South East|
|Michigan||Boston College||North Carolina||LSU|
|Michigan St||Syracuse||North Carolina St||Lousiana-Layfayette|
|Ball St.||Penn St||Vanderbilt||Alabama|
|Notre Dame||Pitt||Va Tech||Auburn|
|Ohio St||Navy||Georgia Tech||Miami (FL)|
|Louisville||West Virginia||Clemson||Central Florida|
Note: Schools were determined by 2013 conference alignment. It includes all teams from the SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, Mountain West and American (Big East). Then it takes 4 independents (Notre Dame, BYU, Navy, Army), and adds a few of the more successful teams from the MAC, Sun Belt, and Conference USA to round it out based on region. What you have are 8 competitively balanced conferences with powerhouses and minnows spread out amongst them.
Step 2: Scheduling
Every team’s season would consist of 11 games against the 11 other teams in their conference. Since there are an odd number of games, each team will get to have 5 home games and 5 road games, with one neutral site game that the two schools involved can take anywhere they’d like. Neutral site games bring in the bling.
Games would start the first Saturday of September and proceed for 11 weeks. The final week of the season would be the third week of November.
Step 3: Conference Championships
The top two teams from each conference will meet in their conference’s championship game. The winner goes to the playoffs. This is essentially round 1 of a sixteen team playoff. Also, another lucrative caveat based on the schedule above, this game can be played Thanksgiving weekend Saturday. This will give fans and bands a chance to travel.
Step 4: The Playoffs
The eight winners of each conference championship game go to the playoffs. Each team will be placed in a regional vs another nearby region. The same seeding would be used each year, with the venue (an NFL stadium) alternating between the two regions each year. This will make for an easy to follow format. If you think your team has a good team, you can pre-book your trip(s).
Round 1: (2nd weekend December)
- Northwest vs Southwest
- South Central vs North Central
- Midwest vs NorthEast
- Mid South vs South East
Round 2: (New Years Day)
- West Championship (NW/SW vs. SC/NC)
- East Championship (MW/NE vs. MS/SE)
Championship: (2nd week January)
- East Champ vs West Champ
Step 5: Count the Cash…
… and pay the players.
That’s it and not one ounce of human opinion is required. Please write your Congressman and let them know about this system so they can put pressure on the NCAA, like they did to rid the BCS. I can’t think of a better way to do this. Can you? If so, chime in below.