The Conference Champions Playoff System
Centered on conference champions this plan would create a playoff format, yet still return the TRADITIONAL prestige of the bowl games. The Rose Bowl would return to the hands of the Pac10/Big10; the Sugar Bowl to the SEC; the Orange Bowl to the Big12. I don’t know if the ACC had a traditional tie-in with a bowl. This plan would also throw a bone to non-BCS schools. The playoffs would include 8 schools.
The First Five Automatic Bids
Each of the conference champions of the FIVE major conferences would receive an automatic bid, and furthermore be irrefutably linked to four recurring bowl games. Specifically, return the Rose Bowl to its traditional match-up of the Pac10 versus the Big10. The Sugar Bowl would get the SEC champ, the Orange Bowl the Big12 champ, and I don’t know, the (insert name here) Bowl to get the ACC champ.
This would make winning the conference championship each teams primary annual concern. For Pac10 fans like me, every year would always still be about getting to the Rose Bowl.
Two Small Conference Bids
Two of the remaining three spots would be granted to small conference champions (determined by their BCS ranking). Perhaps just as the Big12, ACC, and SEC now have an extra game at the end of the season to determine a champ, the SIX small conferences can have an extra game between the four highest BCS rated teams to determine the two entrants to the playoffs.
The Last Bid
The final “wild card” spot would be awarded to the best remaining team not already in the field (as determined by BCS ranking)—for example, Notre Dame, a third small conference champ, or the best 2nd place finishing team from a major conference.
You could a make rule that a conference champ could not play the 2nd place team from its own conference.
It would look something like this:
Rose Bowl: Pac10 Champ V’s Big10 Champ
(Insert Name here) Bowl: ACC Champ V’s At-large Small Conference Champ
Sugar Bowl: SEC Champ V’s At-large Small Conference Champ
Orange Bowl: Big 12 Champ V’s Wild Card*
*Wild Card: Highest BCS ranked team not already in field.
Semifinals: Gator and Peach bowls
Final: Fiesta Bowl
Certainly, most seasons it would look like the Rose Bowl would be the toughest game, but that’s okay, the Rose Bowl is supposed to be the grand daddy of them all! As to the other match-ups for the major champions, there opponent could be based upon relative seeding, that is, the highest rated BCS champ would play the lowest rated BCS opponent.
What this year could look like:
The 5 major champs:
Big10: Penn St
ACC: Virginia Tech
The Small Conference Champs:
CUSA: UTEP (47)
Mountain West: TCU (37)
WAC: Fresno St (7)
MidAmerican: Toledo (28)
SunBelt: Middle Tennesse St. (94)
Big Easy: West Virginia (20)
[For the rankings I used teamrankings.com]
Hence, Fresno St would play TCU for one spot, and W Virginia would play Toledo for the other.
The Last Spot would go to: Alabama (since it is the highest BCS rated team not in the field).
The Playoffs would then set up like this:
Rose Bowl: 1. USC v’s 10. Penn St.
Sugar Bowl: 4. Georgia v’s Fresno St.
Whatever Bowl: 3. Virginia Tech v’s Alabama
Orange Bowl: 2. Texas v’s W. Virginia
First, realign the 2nd round matches according to seeding.Georgia can’t play Alabama (same division, so either Texas or VaTech must, VaTech is the lower seed).
Possible match-ups for last year:
Rose Bowl: USC v’s Wisconsin
Cotton Bowl: Miami v’s Utah
Sugar Bowl: Auburn v’s Boise St.
Orange Bowl: Oklahoma v’s Cal
Everyone has a chance! So, what do you guys think?