Friday, December 5, 2008

Between the Hashes - Twelve Is Enough

“WHY NOT A 12 team format?” Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham responded on CFI Radio when asked how we could get his Utes into an eight team playoff. Good question – why not a 12 team playoff?

An eight team playoff is the popular choice, the thing is...the super six conferences, the Bowl Championship Series conferences, they run this shindig. They get G-Money as they say in the National Football League – guaranteed BCS dollars. Are they going to give that up? Would you give than up? Didn’t think so...

Most are in agreement that a playoff that included Cincinnati and the ACC Champion, but left out an 11-1 Texas Tech and an undefeated Utah would be fruitless.

After weeks of defending the BCS, here is what an ideal playoff would look like:


1. Keep the integrity of the regular season/Conference Championships: No matter what the sport, conference or division titles count for something. Would it be right to ignore conference championships from the Big Six? How could one argue the regular season – the best regular season in all of sports hands down – wouldn’t be impacted if conference titles were meaningless? What if Oregon St. had won last week...USC makes the playoffs and the conference champ Oregon St. doesn’t? How exactly does that work?

In the CFI Playoff, all Big Six Conference Champs get an automatic bid. Having 12 teams allows for the importance of the regular season to still be at a premium, while not excluding deserving teams. A BCS conference title also insures either a bye or a first round home game.

2. Open it up for the little guys: Many bring up the NCAA Basketball Tournament model, where non-BCS conference schools are invited to the party. Often this is lip service, as Coach Whittingham conceded that is not guaranteed in an eight team playoff.

If a non-BCS school is in the top eight they would receive an automatic bid or if they finished undefeated and in the top 16, they’d also get a bid. This group would include Utah, Boise St. and possibly Ball St. this season.


1. Top Four Seeds Get a BYE: The four highest ranked teams that have won their conference receive a bye. A reward for a regular season well done.

2. Seeding the First Round: BCS Conference Champs would be seeded first, the rest of the teams would be seeded in order of their BCS ranking.

3. Schedule: The first round would be played right away, next week, at home sites.

The second round could be played on January 1st and 2nd with the current BCS Bowls playing host, or the week before at home sites with the semis on New Year’s Day.

The bowls would kept and include teams that lost in the first round.


Playoff Seeding: (BCS Ranking)

1. SEC Champ (No. 1)
2. Oklahoma (No. 2)
3. USC (No. 5)
4. Utah (No. 6)

5. Penn St. (No. 8)
6. Cincinnati (No. 13)
7. ACC Champ (No. 17)
8. Texas (No. 3)
9. SEC Runner-up (No. 4)
10. Texas Tech (No. 7)
11. Boise St. (No. 9)
12. Ball St. (No. 12)/Ohio St. (No. 10)

First Round Games:

1. Ohio St./Ball St. @ Penn St. –
Either a Big Ten rematch or a classic David vs. Goliath (MAC vs. Big Ten)

2. Boise St. @ Cincinnati – Either team would be fitted for the glass slipper in round two.

3. Texas Tech @ ACC Champ – The forgotten Red Raiders get to prove themselves “on the field”.

4. SEC Runner Up @ Texas – Who wouldn’t be champing at the bit to watch this one?

Photo Credit: College Press Box (Texas Tech, Utah)