The 2013 BCS Championship Playoff that could’ve been.
I know that I harp on this every year, but I’m really sick and tired of the BCS playing to a champion by only inviting two teams to the final dance. I’m not going to sit here and say that Notre Dame and Alabama aren’t the two most deserving teams to play for the title, but I will say that I’d still much rather have a playoff system to determine that championship. Because the reality is, I have had absolutely zero interest in watching any of the bowl games this year, and I doubt very much that you have either. The only exception to that is that you’re a super fan of that specific university, so you watched one game with real interest. The rest of them might as well be dubbed the “WhoCares.Com Bowl.”
I don’t hate the bowl system completely. I think that it’s nice for the teams that end with 6 games won during the regular season to have one last “hurrah!” It makes the universities heaps of dough, the players and the families of those players love it. The parades and the traditions are cool. But the games themselves mean nothing, and that makes them really altogether unwatchable.
My proposal would be a one week break after the final conference championships are played, one week of bowl games, and then a final 16 team playoff to an eventual champion. Here’s how it would look:
- Win your conference, you’re in to the playoff. That simple. There are 11 recognized conferences, and each one determines a champion. That champ is in the playoff. End story.
- 5 at large births are given to the next highest BCS rankings. I still like the rankings, and this gives teams that are excellent a second shot at redemption for a fluke loss or two.
- Seeds are based off of BCS rankings. We now have our 16 teams, lets rank them and play it off.
Last year’s matchups would’ve produced some great football games and each of them would’ve meant something more than any of the bowls played, none of which outside of LSU getting trounced by Alabama do I even remember. But imagine a playoff this year comprising of the following champions and at large birth where this is the first round:
1.) Notre Dame (At large birth, BCS #1) vs. 16.) East Carolina (Conference USA Champion, BCS #43)
8.) LSU (At large birth, BCS #8) vs. 9.) Florida St. (ACC Champion, BCS #12)
4.) Oregon (At large birth, BCS #4) vs. 13.) Utah St. (WAC Champion, BCS #22)
5.) Kansas St. (Big 12 Champion, BCS #5) vs. 12.) Louisville (Big East Champion via Tiebreaker, BCS #21)
2.) Alabama (SEC Champion, BCS #2) vs. 15.) Arkansas St. (Sun Belt Champion, BCS #37)
7.) Georgia (At large birth, BCS #7) vs. 10.) Northern Illinois (Mid America Champion, BCS #15)
3.) Florida (At large birth, BCS #3) vs. 14.) Wisconsin (Big 10 Champion, BCS #26)
6.) Stanford (PAC 12 Champion, BCS #6) vs. 13.) Boise St. (Mountain West Champion via Tiebreaker, BCS #19)
All of this is really for naught, as in reality they’ll never do it my way. But it sure would be great to see some of these things shakedown. I mean, Notre Dame should roll over East Carolina, but then is faced with the task of taking on the winner of the LSU/Florida St matchup, and can they win that? And if they were able to get through that gauntlet, would they be able to triumph over the Oregon/Utah St. vs. Kansas St./Louisville bracket? Who wouldn’t want to watch any of those games?
On the other side of the bracket, you have Alabama probably cruising over first round matchup Arkansas St. but how would they fair against the winner of the Georgia/N. Illinois matchup? Could they beat the Bulldogs a second time? If they did, would they be able to endure the challenge of the Florida/Wisconsin vs. Stanford/Boise St. matchups? Would we have an Alabama/Notre Dame championship game? Or would someone hiccup along the way? We’ll never know, but it sure would be fun to play it off, and see some games that would actually be interesting along the way. Wouldn’t it?