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A College Football Playoff Proposal

OK, so can we just agree that the BCS really stinks, and there must be a better way to do college football playoffs? Every year there’s whining because some team deserves a shot and doesn’t get it, and some other team may not be as deserving, but the computers seem to like them… it’s just never good. So here’s my proposal for moving Division 1-A NCAA football to a playoff system.

1. Expand the Big 10 and Pac 10 to 12 teams each.
There’s already a weird schedule imbalance between the Big and Pac 10’s and the SEC and Big 12. Namely: the conference playoff. The SEC and Big 12 are having big games this coming weekend, but the Big 10 has already been done with its season for two weeks now. It just ain’t right.

So get Notre Dame to join the Big 10, which would make twelve teams (Penn State joined as the 11th team almost 20 years ago). Get Utah and Boise State to join the Pac 10, giving it 12 teams. That allows each of the big 4 conferences to form two divisions and hold a conference championship game.

2. Split them into divisions this way:

Big 10 Midwest:

  • Illinois
  • Notre Dame
  • Iowa
  • Wisconsin
  • Purdue
  • Minnesota

Big 10 East:

  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Ohio State
  • Northwestern
  • Penn State
  • Indiana

Pac 10 North:

  • Oregon
  • Oregon State
  • Washington State
  • Washington
  • Boise State
  • Utah

Pac 10 South:

  • USC
  • California
  • Arizona
  • Arizona State
  • Stanford
  • UCLA

There’s another added benefit: Notre Dame, Boise State, and Utah have all fairly regularly been “non-BCS” teams that got to go to BCS bowls, which always throws a wrench in the works. This would get those teams up playing with the big boys and incorporated into the system.

3. Make an 8-team playoff.

Eight teams means only three rounds. (The conference title games are effectively another round of playoffs in and of themselves, but who’s counting?) Three rounds is doable. You can use the four existing BCS bowls as hosts of the first round of the playoffs. It does mean you have to move them so that they all play the same day again, but hey, the bowls were better that way, anyway. Since we already have that silly extra National Title game, that means we’d only have to add two games to the schedule to do a full three-round playoff.

4. Give the champions of the big four conferences the top four seeds in the tournament.

Because hey, they deserve them.

5. Let an NCAA committee seed the top four teams and then select and seed four more teams to fill out the tournament.

If they want to keep the BCS rankings and use them as a guide, fine, but let’s not have computers picking and seeding teams. The NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament teams and seeds are chosen by a committee, and it’s the best tournament out there.

6. Play the title game the week before the Super Bowl.

There’s almost always a dead week in between the NFL Conference Finals and the Super Bowl. Seems like the perfect week to play the title game.

So there you go. A simple way to pull in a few more teams, give us a couple more big conference championship games, and settle things once and for all with a real college football championship. What do you think?


  1. As much as I like how this sounds, You’d have a very very hard time getting Notre Dame to join the Big 10. While their academic standards fit very well, they wouldn’t want to give up the TV revenue of NBC to go to Big Ten Network, plus they already are in the Big East for basketball.

    I could instead see it going Notre Dame to the Big East, and the Big Ten takes either West Virginia or Cincinnati. The Big East then adds Eastern Carolina and Marshall to make 10 teams in the Big East. Break it up into two divisions, and bingo.

  2. I just realized, you only did a Big four conferences. I think You have to work something out with all the BCS Conferences to make it work. you’re leaving out Big East and ACC.

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