Okay folks, there's plenty of discussion here lately (as in, the last 10 years) about whether or not college football should implement a playoff system or not. the general consensus is "of course you *****." and as most of you know, i feel the opposite. i like the BCS. for many reasons; i love bowl games, i enjoy just how powerful and important the regular season is (far more important than any other regular season), and just the whole finality of each bowl game. i enjoy looking forward to the matchups at the end of the regular season, because most of the games present some sort of intriguing matchup we'd never see in the regular season. but, because i enjoy the BCS and have spoken on its behalf so many times lately, that doesn't mean i'm against the idea of a playoff. i just want to see it done properly. as i said, i enjoy the idea of bowl committees selecting schools to compete, and i desperately want the regular season to be extremely important. every game is HUGE. rivalries are HUGER. i've read a lot of these playoff scenarios that people have drawn up. some are fairly complex and well thought-out. others don't really care how it's done, they just want SOMEthing done. before i go into yet another boring playoff idea, let's first look at the vitalities of any good playoff scenario, and some things that i think a lot of people have missed the boat on. there are just some things that you HAVE to worry about when looking at a plausible college football idea. THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER: - THE ROSE BOWL. the Rose Bowl is the "grandaddy of them all" for multiple reasons. one, they're the oldest bowl. and two, they're extremely stubborn and can control how the rest of the bowls work. to even form a good playoff idea, you have to consider how the Rose Bowl will react. they want things to be their way. period. and while they'll never be completely happy unless they get the Big 10 champ and Pac 10 champ, there are compromises. we'll go over them. - NOTRE DAME. i know a lot of people hate Notre Dame for many reasons, and i know a lot of people don't like their independent status, and i understand. but i see too many scenarios that suggest only conference champs can join and they coyly suggest "Notre Dame has to join a conference if they want to compete." just will NEVER happen. EVER. Notre Dame has their big contract and they're not going to be bullied into joining a conference just so a playoff system could work. and the NCAA wouldn't just leave them out of a playoff scenario, EVER. - MULTIPLE BOWL GAME SITUATIONS. i've seen soo many playoff scenarios that have each round of the playoffs being played in a different bowl game. while a decent idea to get around the bowl system, it just won't ever happen, because the Outback Bowl guys will NOT like the idea of their game just being a small stepping stone to the big thing. and the big schools will not like playing in the Motor City Bowl in the first round. plus it's just ridiculous to have a team winning 4 bowls in one season. also, if there's 16 seeds, two teams will wind up playing in 4 bowls, which means the fans would travel to 4 different unplanned places in a month, which just isn't feasible. - CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS. this idea usually involves the complete elimination of conference championships, or every conference adding a conference championship. both are obviously not plausible ideas for MANY reasons. - INCLUDING EVERY CONFERENCE AS AUTOMATIC BIDS. this is an idea that i've had before, but i quickly abandoned it, because as we all know, the NCAA folks enjoy those big conferences. a bad thing or not, we're talking about realistic playoff ideas here. we can't exclude those non-BCS teams, but the playoffs would basically have their system set-up like the BCS; if you're a team from a non-BCS conference, you have to be ranked really high to get a shot. period. - THE MONEY. ah, money. there's a lot of it involved. and it seems to piss off a lot of people, but...whatever. it's called business, people. please learn how it works. there's a common thought out there that states a playoff would automatically produce more money than the BCS. not necessarily true; the way money flows in the BCS has everything to do with sponsorships and ad revenue way more than ticket sales or TV viewership. now that we've gone over the potential problems involved, we'll look at the basic ideas for my playoff scenario. HOW IT WOULD WORK 1) there will be 16 teams competing for a national championship. 2) the 6 BCS conference champions will receive an automatic bid. 3) the 10 other teams will be selected based on their ranking in the BCS. 4) however, no more than 3 teams from any one conference will make it. 5) if Notre Dame finishes in the top 18, they get in automatically. 6) the teams are seeded based on their BCS ranking. however, the top 4 seeded teams MUST be conference champions. 7) the first round of the playoffs will be played at the home field of the top 8 seeds. now, the playoff format isn't just a typical bracket. no no, not at all. we have to think about bowls. so here's how it'd work: 1) the winners of the first round of the playoffs will then be chosen to play in the 4 BCS games. 2) however, the winners will be selected much like the current BCS system. 3) the bowl games will pick the teams they want to have in their bowl game. there will be a rotation each year to determines which bowl selects first. 4) this may be a bit confusing, but we have to separate the 8 winners of the first round into two groups based on their seedings. i'll show you: let's look at the first round of the playoffs based on the seeding system i used. the winners have *'s in front of their seed. i just sort of randomly selected the winners btw. Friday, Dec 7th, 6:00pm *12. Florida 5. @Georgia Friday, Dec 7th, 8:30pm 13. Illinois *4. @Oklahoma Saturday, Dec 8th, 10:00am 14. Boston College *3. @Virginia Tech Saturday, Dec 8th, 12:30pm 15. Clemson *2. @LSU Saturday, Dec 8th, 2:30pm 16. BYU *1. @Ohio State Saturday, Dec 8th, 5:30pm *9. West Virginia 8. @Kansas Saturday, Dec 8th, 8:00pm 11. Arizona State *6. @Missouri Saturday, Dec 8th, 9:30pm 10. Hawaii *7. @USC we have to regroup the winners into two groups (which we'll just call Group A and Group B). the 4 highest seeded winners are Group B and the last 4 are in Group B. the bowl games have to select one team from Group A and one from Group B. this is done to prevent a bowl from just selecting the top two teams. for those just saying "let's just play the next round like any other bracket. 1 vs. 8, 2 vs 7, etc." remember: we HAVE to consider these stubborn bowls. so here's what the two groups look like: Group A 1. Ohio State 2. LSU 3. Virginia Tech 4. Oklahoma Group B 6. Missouri 7. USC 9. West Virginia 12. Florida okay, so the 4 BCS bowls now get to pick their teams. NOTE: by the way, after the first round of the playoffs, that's when all the bowl selections take place, not just the BCS. let's just assume the bowl rotation is as such: Rose, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta. here's how the selection could look: Rose Bowl: *Ohio State vs. USC (#1 vs. #7) Orange Bowl: *LSU vs. Missouri (#2 vs. #6) Sugar Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. *Florida (#3 vs. #12) Fiesta Bowl: *Oklahoma vs. West Virginia (#4 vs. #9) the Rose Bowl obviously takes the easy Big 10/Pac 10 matchup. the Orange Bowl takes the next best team in LSU, as well as a good team that travels well in Missouri. Sugar Bowl takes the SEC team in Florida, but has a tough choice with VaTech and Oklahoma, but leaves OU for the Fiesta, who then takes the last team, West Virginia. these games will be played on the standard date and time. January 1st - January 4th. the losers of the first round will be put into similar groups based on their seedings, and these teams will be selected in the exact same fashion as the BCS teams, but will be selected by the Cotton, Gator, Capital One, and Outback Bowls. let's assume the rotation is as i just said: Group C 5. Georgia 8. Kansas 10. Hawaii 11. Arizona State Group D 13. Illinois 14. Boston College 15. Clemson 16. BYU Cotton Bowl: Kansas vs. Illinois Gator Bowl: Georgia vs. Boston College Capital One Bowl: Arizona State vs. Clemson Outback Bowl: Hawaii vs. BYU the Cotton Bowl sticks to the Big XII affiliation, the rest is sort of a toss-up. the Outback loses out a bit by having two non-BCS teams. quite a difference from the usual Big 10 and SEC teams. this in of itself could be enough of a deterrent from the bowl games agreeing to this playoff. of course, the difference between these bowls and the BCS bowls, is that there is no continuation for these teams after their games. their season is over. however, for the BCS teams, the fun is just beginning. one week after the BCS bowl games, the final four will take place in the designated championship spot. this year it's in New Orleans. the teams will play each other based on their seeds. the highest seeded team will play the lowest and then the other two play each other. based on the teams i picked to win, here's how it looks: Wednesday, January 16th, 8:00pm *Ohio State vs. Florida Thursday, January 17th, 8:00pm *LSU vs. Oklahoma one week from that Thursday night will be the national championship. Thursday, January 24th, 8:00pm Ohio State vs. LSU there's going to be a ton of time off between the first round of the playoffs and the BCS games, and then an additional two weeks before the Final Four begins. this gives the teams plenty of time to rest and the schools plenty of time to focus on school work. plus it hails back to the old bowl games, where the whole reason there was such a layoff between the regular season and the bowl games was for fans (and the teams) to have plenty of time to travel.