Blog Entry

Play-ins instead of playoffs?

Posted on: September 28, 2010 11:06 pm
While a college football playoff is needed, the chances of getting one anytime soon is about the same as the chance of getting peace in Afghanistan.  Perhaps we could convince the football establishment to go for play-ins instead of playoffs.  With play-ins, each bowl eligible team would play in one game to determine which bowl game they play in.  Play-in games would happen the first week of December.  Here's how it would work:
Top 4 teams:  They would play each other (1 vs. 4 and 2 vs 3), with the winners playing in the National Championship game.  Losers would play in one of 4 BCS bowls.  This would allow 4 teams to compete for the championship, not just the current 2.

Next 12 teams:  They would play each other for the remaining 6 BCS spots.  In many cases this "play-in" game would simply be the conference championship game.  Non-BCS conference champions would fill in the remaining spots.  For example, the top 2 Big-12 teams would play for the Big-12 championship, with the winner going to the Fiesta Bowl.  If one of the Big-12 teams was in the Top 4, the Mountain West Conference Champion would play the 2nd place Big-12 team for a trip to the Fiesta.  This way, BCS conference teams could still get 2 BCS bowl games (if they win), and non-BCS conference teams could get in too (if they win).  
Losers would play in one of six 2nd tier bowl games (Cotton, Gator, Capital One, Outback, Holiday, Liberty?)

Teams 17-29:  Would play each other, with winners going to 2nd tier bowl games, and losers going to 3rd tier bowl games (Sun, Humanitarian, Poinsettia, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Champ Sports)

Team 30-42:  Would play each other, with winners going to 3rd tier bowl games, and losers going home.  I'd eliminate the rest of the meaningless bowl games.  The top 1/3 of teams would have a chance to go to a bowl game, giving the term "bowl game" real meaning.
This would give 19 semi-meaningful bowl games, with decent match ups in all of them, and distinct pecking order for them.  Going to a bowl game would be a reward for good play during the year, not a pat on the back for finishing 6-6 and 8th place in your conference.
Category: NCAAF

Since: Jul 2, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 8:06 am

Play-ins instead of playoffs?

This is a novel idea, but...

The bowls have no motivation to adopt it - they are more concerned with the drawing power of a team/conference than thge ranking.

The broadcasters have no interest - for the same concerns as the bowls.

The majority of the conferences have no interest - they have invested a lot building up their bowl tie-ins.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or