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Old 11-06-2006   #1
LORK 88
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Exclamation The BCS and Playoffs

The BCS: Its Playoff Time!
by Brad Lorkovic


The BCS. Around college football circles, this is better known as the ‘Bowl Championship Series’. In short, it is the Super Bowl of college football if you will. To go into more detail however, it is a computer analysis program that has been around since 1992 that takes into account every possible factor involved in a team and how they perform during the season. It takes in everything from who a team plays, their rank, who was the home team, how much they won by, and even consists of the other major poll rankings rated by coaches and AP writers (Bowl Championship Series FAQs). What this is supposed to do is create a solid and undisputable way to crown the best D1 college football team in the nation. Its job is to eliminate the controversy that can surround college football and that sometimes leads to multiple teams splitting the national championship. However, it has failed to do its job the past years, especially with the controversy of the 2001, 2003, and 2004 seasons. What the BCS has really done is create more controversy in college football than there ever has been, which is why many people are now against it and feel a change is in order.

The main argument against the BCS is that the system is very flawed and often invites in more controversy than it would like. A prime example of the controversy the BSC creates would be the debate over the 2001 college football season. After dominating all their opponents all season long, the number two ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers faced the number 14 ranked team in the nation in the last regular season game. Nebraska was expected to beat Colorado, win the Big 12 Championship, and go to the national championship. However, Nebraska got blown out 36-62 while Colorado went on to beat the number three seed Texas in the Big 12 Championship, earning them and automatic BCS bid. After beating both these high profile teams and having one of the best records in college football, you’d imagine that they’d be ranked better than Nebraska and Texas, and would earn a trip to the national championship. However, the BCS ended up having Nebraska ranked higher than Colorado by exactly .05 points, earning Nebraska a bid to the national championship 2 weeks after losing horribly to the team they were ranked fractionally better than (BCS 2001-2002 Final Standings). The biggest problem with this however is that nothing could be done and Colorado was forced to take their bowl bid and could do nothing about it. This obvious mess up is what has people fussing at the BCS.

Another big reason against the BCS system is that it can’t solve certain situations that need clarity. For example, in 2004 three teams (Oklahoma, USC, and Auburn) ended the regular season being undefeated. All teams were in major conferences, had no close losses, and were very comparable in terms of talent. However, with no system in place to where the three could play for the Title, the BCS system was forced to choose which two teams it thought were the two best candidates for the Title game. Auburn ended up being the odd man out in this case, but the results of their respective bowl games leave many questions left unanswered. Auburn ended up beating their opponent 13 – 16, but what really surprised people and made them think that Auburn was more deserving was when USC beat Oklahoma 55 – 19. While it is impossible to know just exactly how Auburn would’ve matched up against USC, it’s just too easy for fans to say that the BSC chose the wrong team. There are too many ‘what ifs’ that will never get answered.

While most people feel that the BCS should be changed, there are a few reasons that have people worried to bring about change. For one, people feel that if the BCS was extended or made the college football season any longer than it was, then it would put the student athletes at a bigger risk to get injured. Most of these athletes are at college to get a good education rather than play football. This has a negative effect when these injuries affect school work and can have lingering affects on the athletes which most people don’t want. Another reason why some people would like to keep the BCS in place is because of the revenue sharing and advertisement rates the current BCS games carry. Some argue that because the 4 BCS games at the end of the season carry such high rates and bring in such high amounts of revenue is because there are only 4 of them. Many feel that adding more or taking out games would bring a decrease in revenue. In other words, many feel that the BCS is at a maximum in terms of revenue right now and the rate would decrease with an increase in college football games.

While these are solid arguments to keep the BCS, the arguments to dismantle the BCS are far greater. Because people fear changing the BCS will affect injuries, a study was done at North Carolina University to further understand the chance of an injury in additional games. What it discovered was that there is a .67 percent chance every year that there will be an “injury with incomplete neurological recovery” (Mueller). With 117 teams playing at least 10 games a season (totaling over 1200 games per season), the addition of a few additional games would have almost no effect in terms of injures. Also, college football keeps adding more bowl games every year so would it really be that huge of a deal? While some also feel that the BCS is at a point of maximum revenue as of now, but college football is the only major sport (pro or collegiate) without a playoff system in place. Because of this, the 2005 BCS championship game in which USC defeated OU in a landslide victory, only drew 13.7 percent of households to watch (Hiestand). About a month later, the Super Bowl drew a 42.1 percent rating (Mahan). This is almost a 30 percent jump between the same sport at different levels. While some of this is because of interest, it is obvious that the playoff system is a fan favorite when it comes to football. Therefore, it’s hard to say the BCS is bringing in as much money as possible.

Because the BCS causes more controversy and disagreement than it was originally intended to, I propose a beneficial solution that both sides could agree on. I propose an eight team, single elimination playoff tournament to take place during the middle of the regular bowl games. It should begin the week after Christmas and would end 3 weeks later. This way, teams would have enough time to rest up, but wouldn’t be too far away from the game for an extended period of time. It’s almost a month between the BCS games and the end of the regular season, which throws some teams off. The top eight teams would be determined by the BCS formula which is how they do it now. To break it down further, the major 6 conferences in college football (Big 12, Big 10, ACC, SEC, Big East, and Pac 10) with two at large bids to outside teams. Then based on their respective rankings from one to eight, they get paired up. The fist game would put the first ranked team facing the eight ranked, the second game would put the fourth ranked team facing the fifth, the third game would put the third best team facing the sixth, and the fourth game would put the second best team facing the seventh. Then, the winner of game one would play the winner of game two, and the winner of game three would play the winner of game four. Finally, the winner of these two games would face each other in the championship which would determine the winner for the year. The greatest part of the playoff system is the uncertainty and improbability that comes with it. Because no team is guaranteed to make the championship game and can be eliminated at any moment, it will cause a new form of excitement and buzz around college football. This will help keep the entertainment of college football up and should offer a new and fair way to decide the close decisions.

No matter what happens in college football, their will always be controversy over something. If the playoff system happens to get established, I’m sure people will complain about how the ninth ranked team got cheated out of a chance. However, what’s worse: complaining about how the third ranked team doesn’t get a chance to do anything about it or how the number nine team was deserving of a chance? What do we have to lose other than more controversy?




WORK CITED

Hiestand, Michael. "Ratings fall as USC's rout increases." USA Today 06 Jan 2005. 07 Apr 2006 <http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/bowls/2005-01-05-orange-bowl-tv-ratings_x.htm>

Mahan, Colin. "Super Bowl ratings gain some ground." TV.com. 06 Feb. 2006. 07 Apr. 2006 <http://www.tv.com/story/story.html&story_id=3148>.

Mueller, Dr. Frederick O. "Annual Survey Of Catastrophic Foobtall Injuries." National Center for Catastrophic (). 07 Apr 2006 <http://www.unc.edu/depts/nccsi/CataFootballInjuries.htm>.

US Congress. "Determining A Champion On The Field: A Comprehensive Review Of The BCS and Postseason College Football."U.S. Government Printing Office. 109th Cogress, First Session. 2005.

"Bowl Championship Series FAQs." Bowl Championship Series. 29 Mar. 2006 <http://www.bcsfootball.org/index2.cfm?page=faq>.

"Past Division I-A Football National Champions." Naional Collegiate Athletic Association. 30 Mar. 2006 <http://www.ncaa.org/champadmin/ia_football_past_champs.html>.

"BCS 2001-2002 Final Standings." Bowl Championship Series. 30 Mar. 2006 <http://espn.go.com/abcsports/bcs/rankings_full/2001-2002.html>.
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Old 11-06-2006   #2
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

That was a great post but I still dont think that a playoff is the answer.

I like the current system.

By the way, I'm almost 99% sure that a team's margin of victory isn't included in the BCS anymore.

Last edited by bah007; 11-06-2006 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 11-06-2006   #3
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

i love the BCS.
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Old 11-06-2006   #4
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

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Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
That was a great post but I still dont think that a playoff is the answer.
Yeah, I agree.

Playoffs are boring. Let's do this in the NFL too. After the regular season let's just vote or let a computer decide who should play in the Super Bowl. This way teams like the Colts could get there every season and not have to prove anything in the playoffs.

Or even better, why even play any regular season games? Let's just put the teams together, grade them on their talent and let the computer decide who wins each week. This also prevents injuries. Or maybe the 2 coaches can sit down and play Madden or EA Sports College Football to determine a winner. Who needs real games?



Seriously, this has to be the most retarded argument in sports. Who in their right mind would argue whether or not there should be playoffs in any other sport? No one because they already have playoffs which is not only most exciting part of any season, but the only legitimate way to crown a champion.
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Old 11-06-2006   #5
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

Quote:
Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
That was a great post but I still dont think that the a playoff is the answer.

I like the current system.

By the way, I'm almost 99% sure that a team's margin of victory isn't included in the BCS anymore.
WHAT???? You don't think playoffs is the answer? You like a poll practically picking who the champion of your sport is? This 1 loss team gets to play, these other 1 loss teams don't get a sniff.

Here's the answer. And you get to keep the bowls too. Top 16 teams in a 16 team playoff. Yeah, the polls are still picking the teams, but you will have most of the best teams battling it out on the field instead of a poll telling Texas with it's one loss to go home and Michigan or Florida with your 1 loss can play.

(as the top 16 are now, 11/6/06)

1st Round (Thu. Fri. Sat. Dec. 7-9)

Tennessee v. Ohio State - Music City Bowl
Wisconsin v. Michigan - Motor City Bowl
Boise State v. Louisville - Mienke Car Care Bowl
Rutgers v. Florida - Champs Sports Bowl
LSU v. Texas - Houston Bowl
Arkansas v. Auburn - Chik-fil-A Bowl
West Virginia v. USC - Holiday Bowl
Notre Dame v. California - Liberty Bowl

1st round you have enough bowls around the country to keep some teams in their regions limiting travel some.

2nd Round (Fri. Sat. Dec. 15-16) (Will just go with higher ranking winning)

California v. Ohio St. - Sugar Bowl*
USC v. Michigan - Gator Bowl
Auburn v. Louisville - Outback Bowl
Texas v. Florida - Cotton Bowl

The Sugar, Rose, Fiesta and Orange Bowls would rotate every year between the one game having to be played in the 2nd round, to the 2 games in the semis and the championship game. It also gets the highest seed remaining in the 2nd round.

Semifinal Round (Sat. Dec. 23)

Florida v. Ohio St. - Orange Bowl
Louisville v. Michigan - Rose Bowl

Championship (Mon. Jan. 8)

Teams get 2 weeks between semis and championship

Michigan v. Ohio St. - Fiesta Bowl


Money - I'm guessing tv ratings would be much higher, which means more sponsorships, which means more money. I'm guessing the Big 10 #7 team v. the MAC #2 in the Motor City Bowl wouldn't be as big of a draw as Wisconsin/Michigan.

Travel - In the 1st round you try and keep teams in their region, limiting travel some. Only 2 teams will be traveling 4 times. 2 more teams will travel at least 3 times, and 8 of those 16 teams just travel once. Teams travel to 3 or 4 cities in the NCAA Tourney, so I don't see why this is anything more than an excuse.

Exams - Come on. Every division in college football does their playoffs during exams. Besides, how hard is it to cram for your basket weaving exam?

Bowls - As you can see, you get to keep those too. But what about the Independence, Emerald and MPC Computers Bowls? Well, I propose a 2nd playoff kinda of like the NIT tournament in college basketball. This would take the conference winners that didn't make the top 16 along with other high ranking teams not in the top 16. The big prize for these guys would be a trip to Hawaii to play the final in the Hawaii Bowl.

That playoff would look something like this:

1st Round (Tues. Wed. Thu. Dec. 12-14)

Hawaii v. Wake Forest - New Orleans Bowl
Clemson v. Houston - Independence Bowl
Nebraska v. BYU - Las Vegas Bowl
Texas A&M v. Central Michigan - Armed Forces Bowl
Oregon St. v. Middle Tennessee - Poinsettia Bowl
Maryland v. Oklahoma - New Mexico Bowl
Boston College v. Georgia Tech - Birmingham Bowl
Virginia Tech v. Oregon - Emerald Bowl

(bold = conference champs and get highest seed)

2nd Round (Thu. Fri. Dec. 21-22)
(just picking a winner at random)

Oregon v. Wake Forest - Insight Bowl
Georgia Tech v. Clemson - GMAC Bowl
Oklahoma v. Nebraska - Alamo Bowl
Texas A&M v. Oregon St. - MPC Computers Bowl

Semifinals (Sat. Dec. 30)

Oregon St. v. Wake Forest - Capital One Bowl
Nebraska v. Clemson - Sun Bowl

Final (Tues. Jan. 9)

Nebraska v. Wake Forest - Hawaii Bowl


This double playoff format involves every single bowl game on the schedule this year, except the International Bowl in Toronto.

You get to keep all the bowls, you get a real National Champion, and winning your conference, no matter what conference it is, you get to play meaningful post-season games.

As big of a deal that college football is, there's no way this wouldn't be bigger than March Madness.


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Old 11-06-2006   #6
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

the regular season would be lost. forget ANY possibility of ANY tough out-of-conference scheduled games. ohio state/texas? never going to see that again. and a team as highly ranked and touted as michigan could lose twice easily and still get into the playoff.

IF you're going to have a 16-team playoff, all 11 conference winners have to be included. that leaves you 5 at-large teams. that way, winning the regular season games is still VERY huge, since only 5 teams have an at-large bid. plus, it also gives small schools from small conferences get a chance.

every game is still huge (ESPECIALLY the conference games) and winning the conference especially is huge.

here's how it would work based on the current BCS standings:

1 Ohio State
2 Michigan
3 Louisville
4 Florida
5 Texas
6 Auburn
7 USC
8 California
9 Notre Dame
10 West Virginia
11 Arkansas
12 LSU
13 Rutgers
14 Boise State
15 Wisconsin
16 Tennessee

top 16 games are all guaranteed a spot UNLESS there are conference winners that aren't ranked in the top 16. so let's look at the (theroetical) conference winners:

ACC: Wake Forest
Big East: Louisville
Big 10: Ohio State
Big 12: Texas
C-USA: Houston
MAC: C. Michigan
Mtn West: BYU
SEC: Florida
Pac 10: Cal
WAC: Boise State
Sun Belt: Mid Tenn State

eliminate the teams that are in the top 16 and you're left with:

ACC: Wake Forest
C-USA: Houston
MAC: Central Michigan
Mtn West: BYU
Sun Belt: Mid Tenn State

this means the 5 lowest ranked at-large teams currently in the top 16 are gone. so say bye-bye to:

11 Arkansas
12 LSU
13 Rutgers
15 Wisconsin
16 Tennessee

the BCS would determine the rankings of the non-top 16 conference winners. so here's the playoff would actually look like, teams 1-16:

1 Ohio State
2 Michigan
3 Louisville
4 Florida
5 Texas
6 Auburn
7 USC
8 California
9 Notre Dame
10 West Virginia
11 Boise State
12 Wake Forest
13 Houston
14 BYU
15 Central Michigan
16 Mid Tenn State

here's the bracket:


1 Ohio State
16 Mid Tenn State

8 Cal
9 Notre Dame

5 Texas
12 Wake Forest

4 Florida
13 Houston

6 Auburn
11 Boise State

3 Louisville
14 BYU

7 USC
10 West Virginia

2 Michigan
15 Central Michigan


each round can be on a saturday. during the week between the rounds, you have the regular set of bowl games. the teams that didn't make the tournament play there. pretty simple. the BCS games can be saved for the final 2 rounds of the playoffs.

this is what i believe to be the "perfect" system. the importance of the regular season is not lost; the BCS is still a VERY big part of it all; the bowl games are still special and bring in money. the only downside is the extra games that potentially need to be played.
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Old 11-06-2006   #7
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

Quote:
Because the BCS causes more controversy and disagreement than it was originally intended to,
The BCS doesn't cause any more controversy than it was intended to.

Everyone agreed that the National Champion would be decided by the top two teams(as ranked by the BCS) in one game. Then some folks threw a hissy fit, and crowned USC the champs when they didn't play the #1 team, or the #2 team as ranked by the BCS.


The Nebraska/Colorado thing was a raw deal, but the formula has been corrected now, and shouldn't be a problem.

The only problem I do see witht he BCS, is that these other bowl games are meaningless. So I would like to see something like Speedy proposed.
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Old 11-06-2006   #8
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

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Originally Posted by kastofsna View Post
the regular season would be lost. forget ANY possibility of ANY tough out-of-conference scheduled games. ohio state/texas? never going to see that again. and a team as highly ranked and touted as michigan could lose twice easily and still get into the playoff.
Wow, I am surprised you are a fan of the NFL since there is a "meaningless" regular season and 2 loss teams make the playoffs.
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Old 11-06-2006   #9
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

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Originally Posted by Hookem Horns View Post
Wow, I am surprised you are a fan of the NFL since there is a "meaningless" regular season and 2 loss teams make the playoffs.
the difference being that the NFL has 16 games versus teams that are all within an equal talent level. Nothing like that in college. as i said, teams would schedule all the cupcakes possible and all of a sudden losing a big conference game isn't that big at all.
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Old 11-06-2006   #10
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastofsna View Post
the regular season would be lost. forget ANY possibility of ANY tough out-of-conference scheduled games. ohio state/texas? never going to see that again. and a team as highly ranked and touted as michigan could lose twice easily and still get into the playoff.

IF you're going to have a 16-team playoff, all 11 conference winners have to be included. that leaves you 5 at-large teams. that way, winning the regular season games is still VERY huge, since only 5 teams have an at-large bid. plus, it also gives small schools from small conferences get a chance.

every game is still huge (ESPECIALLY the conference games) and winning the conference especially is huge.

here's how it would work based on the current BCS standings:

1 Ohio State
2 Michigan
3 Louisville
4 Florida
5 Texas
6 Auburn
7 USC
8 California
9 Notre Dame
10 West Virginia
11 Arkansas
12 LSU
13 Rutgers
14 Boise State
15 Wisconsin
16 Tennessee

top 16 games are all guaranteed a spot UNLESS there are conference winners that aren't ranked in the top 16. so let's look at the (theroetical) conference winners:

ACC: Wake Forest
Big East: Louisville
Big 10: Ohio State
Big 12: Texas
C-USA: Houston
MAC: C. Michigan
Mtn West: BYU
SEC: Florida
Pac 10: Cal
WAC: Boise State
Sun Belt: Mid Tenn State

eliminate the teams that are in the top 16 and you're left with:

ACC: Wake Forest
C-USA: Houston
MAC: Central Michigan
Mtn West: BYU
Sun Belt: Mid Tenn State

this means the 5 lowest ranked at-large teams currently in the top 16 are gone. so say bye-bye to:

11 Arkansas
12 LSU
13 Rutgers
15 Wisconsin
16 Tennessee

the BCS would determine the rankings of the non-top 16 conference winners. so here's the playoff would actually look like, teams 1-16:

1 Ohio State
2 Michigan
3 Louisville
4 Florida
5 Texas
6 Auburn
7 USC
8 California
9 Notre Dame
10 West Virginia
11 Boise State
12 Wake Forest
13 Houston
14 BYU
15 Central Michigan
16 Mid Tenn State

here's the bracket:


1 Ohio State
16 Mid Tenn State

8 Cal
9 Notre Dame

5 Texas
12 Wake Forest

4 Florida
13 Houston

6 Auburn
11 Boise State

3 Louisville
14 BYU

7 USC
10 West Virginia

2 Michigan
15 Central Michigan


each round can be on a saturday. during the week between the rounds, you have the regular set of bowl games. the teams that didn't make the tournament play there. pretty simple. the BCS games can be saved for the final 2 rounds of the playoffs.

this is what i believe to be the "perfect" system. the importance of the regular season is not lost; the BCS is still a VERY big part of it all; the bowl games are still special and bring in money. the only downside is the extra games that potentially need to be played.
Well, let's be real about this. Yeah, we want a legitimate champion in college football, but this is about the money too. Leaving out Tennessee, LSU, Arkansas, Rutgers and Wisconsin and replacing them with Houston, BYU, Wake Forest, Central Michigan and Middle Tennessee, isn't going to sell this thing.

You can't go into this looking for something that's pefect and fair for everybody. You're just not going to find it. Hell, the NFL playoffs aren't perfect and fair for everyone. A team can win a division with an 8-8 record, getting an automatic playoff spot, and a 10-6 team has to stay home.

Central Michigan and Middle Tennessee fighting for a championship while Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee, teams that would most likely slaughter those teams, stay home, that's probably not going to get anybody leaning toward changing the way things are now.

In my proposal, you've still got teams like Rutgers and Boise St. getting a shot, and teams like TCU and Tulane a couple of years or so ago would get in, but automatic bids for all conference champions I just don't think would sell it.

What would have to change drastically is how you do the polls. That has to be done different so that people who have votes aren't voting on their opinions and prejudices, etc. Louisville for example, gets votes ranging from 2nd to 9th. There's got to be a better way to do that.
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Old 11-07-2006   #11
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

The problem still remains.

You are putting the teams in the playoffs based on their rankings in the HUMAN POLLS.

If you want to have a playoff system then there has to be more games & teams have to be eligible based on record, not ranking.
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Old 11-07-2006   #12
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Default Re: The BCS and Playoffs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy View Post
Well, let's be real about this. Yeah, we want a legitimate champion in college football, but this is about the money too. Leaving out Tennessee, LSU, Arkansas, Rutgers and Wisconsin and replacing them with Houston, BYU, Wake Forest, Central Michigan and Middle Tennessee, isn't going to sell this thing.
well my "perfect" system isn't based on what makes the most money.
Quote:
You can't go into this looking for something that's pefect and fair for everybody. You're just not going to find it. Hell, the NFL playoffs aren't perfect and fair for everyone. A team can win a division with an 8-8 record, getting an automatic playoff spot, and a 10-6 team has to stay home.

Central Michigan and Middle Tennessee fighting for a championship while Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee, teams that would most likely slaughter those teams, stay home, that's probably not going to get anybody leaning toward changing the way things are now.

In my proposal, you've still got teams like Rutgers and Boise St. getting a shot, and teams like TCU and Tulane a couple of years or so ago would get in, but automatic bids for all conference champions I just don't think would sell it.

What would have to change drastically is how you do the polls. That has to be done different so that people who have votes aren't voting on their opinions and prejudices, etc. Louisville for example, gets votes ranging from 2nd to 9th. There's got to be a better way to do that.
it'd be nice to get people to not change their votes because mack brown begged them to, too.
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