Tuesday, December 8, 2009

College Football Week 14

The season has come to a close and Iowa's destination and opponent have been decided. The Hawkeyes take on the Champion of the ACC and will play their first opponent from the conference since the 1992 Kick-off Classic where they met the Wolfpack of North Carolina State.

The BCS was set up to determine the top two teams to play for the National Championship. This year it pits the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide, champions of the SEC against the Champions of the Big 12, #2 Texas Longhorns. There are three additional undefeated teams that will have a chance to claim a stake for the national title. Boise State, Cincinnati, and TCU--all Champions of their repsective conferences.

I am one who is in favor of the bowl process, but not necessarily the BCS. Many advantages to both, but choosing a true national champion this way will have problems. As for one who is against a play-off my solution is hypocritical, but this is how I would do it.

The regular season is important and the fact that each game means something needs to be preserved. However an eight-team playoff is the way to go. The NCAA BB tournament has 65 teams and there is still debate as to who should be the 65th team. How often does an 13 seed win the national title. Never.

My playoff would start the week of Thanksgiving. On that weekend the conference championships would be played. The conferences are responsible for deciding who their champion is. Whether by a one-game championship or by criteria based on standings. For example Ohio State is the Champion of the Big Ten based on their record and victory over Iowa. They received the Rose Bowl birth. The Big 12 and SEC are among various conferences with one game to decide. Teams that are included in the playoff are champions of the BCS conferences (Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Big East) as well as the highest rated teams from among of pool of Notre Dame and other independents, and champions of the WAC, MAC, Big West, C-USA, SunBelt, etc.

The following weekend would be the first week of the playoff with the semi-finals played the week after. Then the championhsip game would be played days after New Year's at a rotating spot, decided upon by the bowls.

Those teams who are "bowl-eligible" can then begin to plan on their destination as determined by the conference tie-ins. There should not have to be the wait to decide Northern Illinois playing South Florida in Tornoto. If this process were to occur this year, the bracket would be as follows.

#1 Alabama
#8 Georgia Tech

#4 TCU
#5 Boise State

#3 Cincinnati
#6 Oregon

#2 Texas
#7 Ohio State

Once teams are defeated, they can be placed into their bowl tie-ins. For example, Ohio State, with a loss to Texas, would then go on to play in the Rose Bowl against Oregon, who based on seeding, would lose to Cincinnati. The remaining top ten BCS teams could then be placed as at-large teams in the current BCS bowl system. You may find some of the same bowl pairings as are scheduled for January of 2010, but the decision on who should play for the title will be decided on the field.

All are conference champions, seeding is based on BCS and this would include many interesting match-ups. Iowa fans would be disappointed with me as the Hawkeyes perhaps would not be traveling to Miami, instead Orlando. And yes, this 10-2 team is more deserving of a bowl greater than the Capital One Bowl, but it places the importance on winning your conference.

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