Every Tuesday the committee releases the new ranking for the “playoffs”. So I am releasing my weekly bracket for what it should look like if we combine the FCS system with NCAA basketball, the best of both worlds.
A few rules, 12 total teams, all conference champs are in. That’s ten champs from the conference championship games plus two at large. The one through four seeds get byes.
The Orange and Cotton Bowl are this year’s semi-final games. That stays the same. The Rose, Citrus, Sugar and Fiesta Bowls would be this year’s quarterfinal games. They would get to select the game they host based on geography and conference affiliation. Top seed gets geographic preference. The Outback, Gator, Liberty and San Diego Credit Union Bowl are the first round hosts. Again, they select the game based on the same criteria.
So here is my initial “No BS in the FBS” bracket:
First round is Saturday, December 14. Times are CST. Liberty Bowl 11:00, Outback Bowl 2:30, Gator Bowl 5:00, SD Credit 8:30. Second round is Saturday, December 21. Times are CST. Fiesta Bowl 11:00, Sugar Bowl 1:00, Rose Bowl 4:30 Citrus Bowl 7:30.
Top Bracket meets in the Orange Bowl for semifinals and bottom the Cotton Bowl on December 28. Orange Bowl is 2:30 CST, Cotton Bowl 7:30 CST.
Championship game is 7:30 CST on SATURDAY, January 5. Get rid of the Monday championship games.
Now, for fun let’s look at some upset possibilities. The AAC, CUSA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt and this year PAC 12 and Big 12 are going to be winner takes all. That gives us seven teams. Let’s say Pitt upsets Clemson and Ohio State beats Michigan and wins the Big 10 Championship game. Now you have to decide between Clemson, Michigan, Georgia and Notre Dame for the last two at large bids. That’s still good TV and debate topics like today, so we don’t lose that. It keeps college football on ESPN and in the news weekly. Notre Dame probably still gets in in that scenario, but does Clemson with one loss get in over two loss Georgia who lost to Alabama in the SEC championship game? If nothing else it would make Notre Dame very nervous as they were watching championship games. And, if Georgia were to beat Alabama in the SEC title game, Alabama is still in and Georgia is automatic. Then you debate between Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan for that last spot. That would be fun.
Plus, at the lower tier bowls, you now have a better group to choose from. Instead of a two 6-6 teams battling it out in the Yankee’s Pinstripe Bowl, you now would have some good teams slide down to them. There would be no automatic bowl bids for six wins. You would have to be selected at large from the remaining bowl games.
To quote Mike Leach, “I can’t figure out how everyone from rec league softball on down can figure out how to put together a tournament but Division 1 football can’t”.
Think about how much fun it would be to see Troy upset Oklahoma in the Liberty Bowl for a chance to play Notre Dame. You think attendance at the Liberty Bowl would be better if it was a win or go home playoff game instead of Texas A&M vs. Virginia? That’s why the argument “it’s all about the money” doesn’t make sense.