Blog Entry

Replace Conf. Championships with Bowl Qualifiers

Posted on: November 29, 2011 11:46 pm
The BCS is unfair - we all know it.  A playoff will never happen - we all know it.  So here's a middle ground solution that could actually work.  Let's replace the dismal FBS conference championship games with bowl qualifier games.  On the first weekend in December, instead of playing conference championship games, let's have the best teams play each other for spots in the BCS bowls.  This would be a mini-playoff for a national championship, would preserve the bowl system, and would allow the best teams places in the best bowls.  Here's how it would work:

After the regular season, 20 teams would be selected for the BCS qualifiers, which would take place the first weekend in December.  The six AQ conferences would each get two teams, and the remaining five conferences would get one team.   There would be three at large picks, which independents would get with 10+ wins.  Teams would need at least 9 wins to get in - otherwise their spot would go to an at-large team with 9 wins.

The top 4 teams would play for a spot in the national championship game: 1-4 and 2-3. The losers of those two games would get berths in other BCS bowls.

The remaining 16 teams would be paired and play for BCS bowl spots.  Usually the pairing would be the two teams from the same conference playing to represent their conference in the assigned bowl.  But this could be tweaked.  The non-AQ conference champs would play each other for BCS bowl spots.  Each winner would go to a BCS bowl.

The 6 BCS bowls (I added the Cotton Bowl) would then match up the qualified teams, and would be free to have traditional match ups where they want.  

Here's how this would work in 2011, using win/loss records to determine "Top 4" and BCS rankings the rest:

National Championship Qualifiers (using win-loss record):
LSU(SEC) vs. Oklahoma St. (B12)  &  Houston(CUSA) vs. Alabama(SEC)
Winners to Natl. Championship game, losers to other BCS bowls

                                  OR using BCS standings:
LSU(SEC) vs. Stanford(P12)  &  Oklahoma St.(B12) vs. Alabama(SEC)
Winners to Natl. Championship game, losers to other BCS bowls

                                    OR using BCS standings & only conf. champions
LSU(SEC) vs. Houston(CUSA) & Oklahoma St.(B12) vs. Virginia Tech(ACC)

Rose Bowl Qualifiers:
Michigan St.(B10) vs. Wisconsin(B10)  &  Oregon(P12) vs. Boise St.(MWC-at large)

Sugar Bowl Qualifiers:
Georgia(SEC-at large) vs. Arkansas(SEC-at large)   & LSU/OK State loser 

Orange Bowl Qualifiers:
Virginia Tech(ACC) vs. Clemson(ACC) & Michigan(B10-at large) vs. Stanford(P12-at large)

Fiesta Bowl Qualifers:
Kansas State(B12-at large) vs. Oklahoma(B12) vs.  Houston/Alabama loser

Cotton Bowl Qualifiers:
 South Carolina(SEC) vs. Arkansas St.(SB) & Northern Illinois(MidA) vs. TCU(MWC)

The highest ranked team left out would be #16 Baylor at 8-3.

Notice I got rid of the lame Oregon-UCLA match up and put Stanford in without a rematch with Oregon.  If Oregon lost but Stanford won, we'd move Stanford to the Rose Bowl and Boise St. to the Sugar Bowl.  Likewise, if Georgia wins and LSU loses, we'd shuffle LSU to the Orange Bowl and a Big East team to the Sugar to avoid and SEC vs. SEC Sugar Bowl.

The Big East and WAC would be left out because no team had 9+ wins.

The advantages:
(1)  You get a 4-team playoff for the national championship. Thus the debate is between who should be #4 and #5, not #2 and #3.  You are much more likely to get a "fair" championship game.
(2)  The best teams get in the best bowls by winning games.
(3)  The bowl match ups end up pretty good.  Worst case would be Northern Illinois (unranked) vs. South Carolina (#12).  But Northern Illinois would have to pull off the upset of #19 TCU to get there - good luck.  Otherwise a #12 vs. #19 match up in the Cotton Bowl is a good game.

Category: NCAAF
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