College Football’s Playoffs are just around the corner. This years will feature #1 Clemson, #2 Alabama, #3 Michigan State and #4 Oklahoma. Great matches that are bound to create excitement and some memories. Although these four teams are quite deserving of being in the playoffs, one has to ask, should they expand and if so how? Luckily I have come up with a solution that is bound to gather some attention and truly reward. So lets get into the makeup of the New College Football Playoffs.
Currently the College Playoffs offers 4 spots to the Top 4 ranking teams in the nation. Typically these spots will go to the Power 5 (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, PAC-12), leaving everyone else hoping they finish undefeated and the Power 5 beat up on each other. Even the Big 12 is left to wonder what will happen each year. Oklahoma got in this year with some quality wins down the stretch, though the Big 12 was left out last year despite TCU and Baylor both finishing strong and with only one loss. Never mind if Notre Dame (Independent) happens to get into the playoffs. This system is flawed and frowns upon any loss, putting more and more pressure on players, coaches and staffs to get their schools undefeated. So lets revamp the playoffs, and truly make it a playoff.
The first step to revamping the playoff system is to limit the number of bowl games. This year we saw two 5-7 teams go to bowl games, why? They finished below .500, they lost more than they won and they get to go to a bowl game… Something is not right, yes, you guessed it, they number of bowl games is to high. Lets cut the number of bowl games down dramatically to 15. Interesting number you might say. I will explain why 15 as we go along.
The new playoff format would include 16 teams. Ten Division winners and six next best teams based off of records vs FBS schools. Lets break this down a little bit. If a school wins their conference championship they make the playoffs, as it should be, they are champions. The six next best teams, this is where it will get a little interesting, will make the playoffs (With some restrictions).
Six Next Best Restrictions:
1.) Any school with a loss to a non-FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision team is automatically eliminated from next best
2.) Any team with 2 or more wins against non-FBS teams is automatically eliminated
3.) Any win against a non-FBS team will not count towards their overall win total (counted as an exhibition game)
One might argue, but one of the ten conference champions played a non-FBS team and won. That may be the case and will affect their ranking in the first ten slots, though their conference championship came against teams all from the FBS.
The Conference Championships will be seeded based off of record (minus non-FBS teams) with tie breaker being whether or not they have played an non-FBS team. The six next best will be ranked by record (minus non-FBS teams) with the same tie breaking rule.
Lets take a look at who would be in the playoffs.
- Michigan State
- Western Kentucky
- Bowling Green
- San Diego State
- Arkansas State
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- North Carolina State
- Florida State
Here is what the playoff Round one match-ups would look like:
Well now back to the Bowls, as there would be 15 games played we would need 15 locations to host the games. Here is my suggested list for this year:
- Rose Bowl – Pasadena, CA
- Cotton Bowl – Dallas, TX (Played in the Cotton Bowl Stadium)
- Orange Bowl – Miami, FL
- Sugar Bowl – New Orleans, LA
- Peach Bowl – Atlanta, GA
- Fiesta Bowl – Glendale, AZ
- Citrus Bowl – Orlando, FL
- Birmingham Bowl – Birmingham, AL
- Music City Bowl – Nashville, TN
- Independence Bowl – Shreveport, LA
- Alamo Bowl – San Antonio, TX
- Texas Bowl – Houston, TX
- Sun Bowl – El Paso, TX
- Belk Bowl – Charlotte, NC
- Liberty Bowl – Memphis, TN
The Championship game can switch between stadiums or if it is held at the same location, I would pick AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX (No, I am not a Cowboys fan) and I would remove the Alamo Bowl from the list.
Of course the bowls can switch every year if needed. The ones that I would keep every year are the Rose, Cotton, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Peach Bowls.
Here is where Round one games would be played:
Clemson vs. TCU
Music City Bowl:
Michigan State vs. Florida
Houston vs. North Carolina State
Oklahoma vs. Norte Dame
Stanford vs. Ohio State
Bowling Green vs. San Diego
Alabama vs. Iowa
Western Kentucky vs. Arkansas State
Round Two Locations:
Cotton Bowl (Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas)
- Stadiums must hold at least 50,000 seated people to be a host site.
- First Round locations will change every year
- Round two, Semi-Finals and Finals will Rotate ever seven years.
There you have it. A new and improved Playoff formation that will generate lots of excitement and potential upsets that would have never occurred.