For the 12th straight season, I have created a mock college football playoff bracket based my proposed college football playoff system. I know that a four-team playoff will emerge next season, but I’d like to think we can do better. You will see below that 16 is clearly the magic number for the ideal college football playoff, as I will present to you the most comprehensive college football playoff proposal you will see anywhere. Anyone that would like to see this playoff in an excel bracket format then just let me know, and I’ll send you a copy.
The Field: Florida State (ACC Champ), UCF (AAC Champ), Michigan State (Big 10 Champ), Baylor (Big 12 Champ), Stanford (Pac-12 Champ), Auburn (SEC Champ), Fresno State (MWC Champ), Rice (C-USA Champ), Bowling Green (MAC Champ), UL-Lafayeete (Sun Belt Champ), Alabama (at-large, # 3 in BTS standings), Ohio State (at-large, # 7 in BTS standings), Missouri (at-large, # 8 in BTS standings), South Carolina (at-large, # 9 in BTS standings), Oregon (at-large, # 10 in BTS standings), Oklahoma (at-large, # 11 in BTS standings).
(1) Florida State vs. (4) UL-Lafayette, Saturday December 14th- 12:00 (ESPN), Jacksonville, FL
(2) Missouri vs. (3) Oregon, Thursday December 12th- 8:00 (ESPN), Shreveport, LA
Winners play Saturday December 21st at 12:00 in Atlanta, GA (ABC)
(1) Michigan State vs. (4) Fresno State, Saturday December 14th- 8:00 (ESPN), Honolulu, HI
(2) Stanford vs. (3) South Carolina, Saturday December 14th – 3:30 (ABC), San Francisco, CA
Winners play Saturday December 21st at 3:30 in Phoenix, AZ (ESPN)
(1) Auburn vs. (4) Rice, Saturday December 14th- 12:00 (ABC), Birmingham, AL
(2) Ohio State vs. (3) Oklahoma, Saturday December 14th- 8:00 (ABC), New York, NY
Winners play Saturday December 21st at 8:00 in Orlando, FL (ABC)
(1) Alabama vs. (4) Bowling Green, Saturday December 14th- 3:30 (ESPN), Fort Worth, TX
(2) Baylor vs. (3) UCF, Friday December 13th- 8:00 (ESPN), Boise, ID
Winners play Saturday December 24th at 3:30 in Arlington, TX (ABC)
South Champ vs. West Champ, Saturday December 28th- 3:30 (ABC), New Orleans, LA
East Champ vs. Midwest Champ, Saturday December 28th- 8:00 (ABC), Miami, FL
Championship Game, Saturday Jan 4th- 8:00 (ABC), Pasadena, CA
- 16 teams (10 conference championships and 6 at-larges chosen by the top 6 in the BTS Standings, which is the functional equivalent to the BCS. My rationale is for this is that it’s something computer/poll-related to keep the pro-BCS folks happy like “Adolph” Bill Hancock.)
- 4 regions (teams seeded 1-4 based on committee)
- Bowl sites will become tourney sites. See further explanation below.
- Selection Sunday will be held the day after conference championship day and the first game will be played two weeks after that or one week depending on how late regular season ends.
- A couple of special stipulations are that two teams from the same conference can’t play in the same region, and each conference is limited to four total playoff teams.
- I’ve even drafted a mock game schedule that takes into consideration both the interests of the viewers and television providers. I’m going to assume that ABC/ESPN buy the rights to playoff coverage, since they have already purchased future BCS coverage rights.
- Week 1 (First Round): Game 1: Thursday 8:00- second best game of the week (ESPN); Game 2: Friday 8:00- worst game of the week (ESPN); Games 3 and 4: Saturday 12:00- two non-west region games (ABC/ESPN split); Games 5 and 6: Saturday 3:30- two games of any type (ABC/ESPN split); Games 7 and 8: Saturday 8:00- game of the week is on ABC; ESPN has other game.
- Week 2 (Elite 8): Game 1: Saturday 12:00- Third biggest game of the week but can’t be midwest/west regional final (ABC); Game 2: Saturday 3:30- Worst game of the week (ESPN); Game 3: Saturday 3:30- Second biggest game of the week (ABC); Game 4: Saturday 8:00- Featured game of the week (ABC).
- Week 3 (Final Four): Game 1: Saturday 3:30- Second biggest game of the week (ABC); Game 2: Saturday 8:00- Featured game of the week (ABC).
- Week 4 (Championship Game): Saturday 8:00 (ABC)
- Lower-tier bowl sites will become first round sites on a rotational basis.
- 2013: East- Birmingham, New York; South- Shreveport, Jacksonville; Midwest- Fort Worth, Boise; West- San Francisco, Boise. 2014: East- Charlotte, Detroit; South- Nashville, St. Petersburg; Midwest- El Paso, Dallas; West: Tempe, San Diego. 2015: East Regional- Mobile, Washington D.C.; South Regional- Memphis, Tampa; Midwest Regional- San Antonio, Houston; West Regional: Albuquerque, Las Vegas.
- The current semi-major bowl sites of Arlington (Cotton), San Diego (Holiday), Phoenix (Fiesta), and Atlanta (Chick-Fil-A) will be annual elite 8 sites.
- The Final Four/Championship games will be held in Pasadena, New Orleans, and Miami. The championship game will rotate between the 3 sites, and the two final four games will be played in the non-championship cities.
- Other notes: (1) New bowl sites coming into existence must replace old ones. (2) The first-round sites that are off of the playoff rotation will still hold bowl games. More explanation on that to follow. (3) I do realize that the Fiesta Bowl and the city of Phoenix are going to feel they got screwed here, as they are being demoted from a current BCS site to an elite 8 playoff site. They’ll just have to get over it because the Fiesta has without a doubt less tradition and prestige associated with it than the rest of the BCS bowls.
Remaining Bowl Games:
- This is time where things get tricky, as I try to accommodate the rest of the bowl eligible teams who do not make the 16-team playoff.
- There will be 16 bowl games held at all the first-round sites who are off of the playoff rotation.
- The names of the bowls can either change depending on which bowl is being played each year, or a bowl game can be played every year at different sites. It doesn’t really make a difference to me.
- The tie-ins for the bowls will try to replicate those for the current bowl games with the obvious omission of all tie-ins of conference champions. Also, the number of bowl teams from each conference may fluctuate depending on how many teams it sends to the playoff in a particular season.
- Overall, in this system there will be 48 1-A postseason teams (16 in playoff, 32 in bowls), which is much more reasonable than the current number of 70. Honestly, by taking out some of the garbage teams who currently squeak into bowl games, I think this system will actually make the bowl games more meaningful and watchable.