Thursday, December 15, 2011

The 2011 NCAA Football Division I Playoffs

By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

Well, it's that time of year again...One more chance for me to get one last rant in on why there should be a Playoff Series in NCAA Division 1 Football. This comes to mind as I look over the current NCAA Bowl Game Schedule and I realize that instead of staring at a 7-5 and 9-4 team in the Idaho Potato Bowl this weekend...we could actually be starting the first round of the playoffs.

And there are so many questions. Just because LSU is undefeated, how would Wisconsin with two losses play against the Tigers? Or better yet how would Oklahoma State with one loss do against either Oregon or Stanford?

This whole yearly national debate could be settled by a playoff. Almost all NCAA sports including lower division football have a playoff system. A playoff at the Division 1 level is now a no brainer. And you don't have to go any further than the NCAA Division 1 Basketball tournament to realize how huge of an event this could be.

How would it work? Very simple. First of all you don't throw out the BCS ranking system...maybe you try to improve the process...but you don't get rid of the concept. Top eight teams at the end of the regular season are in the playoffs.

First week number eight plays number one, number seven plays two...and so on. Second week, reseed and have the semi-finals and third week is the championship.

What about the revenues for and from the current bowl games? Simple. You don't get rid of the bowl games. First of all, you already have a championship game set up on a neutral site so that doesn't change. Each year, cities would bid for the championship game...much like the Super Bowl. Revenues to the schools involved would increase.

Then you have four quarterfinals and two semi-finals. Six bowl games could serve as those games. Those six games would be bid on by the Bowl committees. All the other cities get to have their bowls like they usually do...sort of like the NIT tournament in basketball. Say the Rose Bowl wants to go back to the traditional Pac Ten - Big Ten matchup...they don't have to bid on a game for the playoffs...then again...maybe they want to if a Pac-Ten team is involved.

What about the argument that it creates more games? This arrangement creates two additional games for only two teams in the country. Think about it. These teams are currently playing in a bowl game already so that's one game. Take away the League championships and that's another game. That argument has never flown with many people. And if you really want to be safe...drop one of the preseason games which are usually unnecessary.

Here's how the Playoff System could have worked this year. The operative word here is "could". No emails about who I projected to win the games.

In the first week, the quarter-finals: Alabama beats Arkansas in the Gator Bowl, LSU beats Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl, Boise State surprises Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl, and Stanford beats Oregon in the Rose Bowl. (Notice how the Bowl alignments this year are almost regional with Stanford and Oregon playing in the west in Pasadena, Alabama and Arkansas in the South in Jacksonville, LSU playing in the South in Miami and Oklahoma State playing in the Southwest in Dallas.)

In the second week, the semi-finals: LSU beats Boise State in the Sugar Bowl and Alabama beats Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.

In the Championship Game held at University of Phoenix Field in Arizona....Alabama beats LSU and wins the national championship.

See how simple and cool that was?

Hopefully it will be a reality next season. President Obama and I will be working on it.

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