Posted on: November 29, 2011 11:46 pm

Replace Conf. Championships with Bowl Qualifiers

The BCS is unfair - we all know it.  A playoff will never happen - we all know it.  So here's a middle ground solution that could actually work.  Let's replace the dismal FBS conference championship games with bowl qualifier games.  On the first weekend in December, instead of playing conference championship games, let's have the best teams play each other for spots in the BCS bowls.  This would be a mini-playoff for a national championship, would preserve the bowl system, and would allow the best teams places in the best bowls.  Here's how it would work:

After the regular season, 20 teams would be selected for the BCS qualifiers, which would take place the first weekend in December.  The six AQ conferences would each get two teams, and the remaining five conferences would get one team.   There would be three at large picks, which independents would get with 10+ wins.  Teams would need at least 9 wins to get in - otherwise their spot would go to an at-large team with 9 wins.

The top 4 teams would play for a spot in the national championship game: 1-4 and 2-3. The losers of those two games would get berths in other BCS bowls.

The remaining 16 teams would be paired and play for BCS bowl spots.  Usually the pairing would be the two teams from the same conference playing to represent their conference in the assigned bowl.  But this could be tweaked.  The non-AQ conference champs would play each other for BCS bowl spots.  Each winner would go to a BCS bowl.

The 6 BCS bowls (I added the Cotton Bowl) would then match up the qualified teams, and would be free to have traditional match ups where they want.  

Here's how this would work in 2011, using win/loss records to determine "Top 4" and BCS rankings the rest:

National Championship Qualifiers (using win-loss record):
LSU(SEC) vs. Oklahoma St. (B12)  &  Houston(CUSA) vs. Alabama(SEC)
Winners to Natl. Championship game, losers to other BCS bowls

                                  OR using BCS standings:
LSU(SEC) vs. Stanford(P12)  &  Oklahoma St.(B12) vs. Alabama(SEC)
Winners to Natl. Championship game, losers to other BCS bowls

                                    OR using BCS standings & only conf. champions
LSU(SEC) vs. Houston(CUSA) & Oklahoma St.(B12) vs. Virginia Tech(ACC)

Rose Bowl Qualifiers:
Michigan St.(B10) vs. Wisconsin(B10)  &  Oregon(P12) vs. Boise St.(MWC-at large)

Sugar Bowl Qualifiers:
Georgia(SEC-at large) vs. Arkansas(SEC-at large)   & LSU/OK State loser 

Orange Bowl Qualifiers:
Virginia Tech(ACC) vs. Clemson(ACC) & Michigan(B10-at large) vs. Stanford(P12-at large)

Fiesta Bowl Qualifers:
Kansas State(B12-at large) vs. Oklahoma(B12) vs.  Houston/Alabama loser

Cotton Bowl Qualifiers:
 South Carolina(SEC) vs. Arkansas St.(SB) & Northern Illinois(MidA) vs. TCU(MWC)

The highest ranked team left out would be #16 Baylor at 8-3.

Notice I got rid of the lame Oregon-UCLA match up and put Stanford in without a rematch with Oregon.  If Oregon lost but Stanford won, we'd move Stanford to the Rose Bowl and Boise St. to the Sugar Bowl.  Likewise, if Georgia wins and LSU loses, we'd shuffle LSU to the Orange Bowl and a Big East team to the Sugar to avoid and SEC vs. SEC Sugar Bowl.

The Big East and WAC would be left out because no team had 9+ wins.

The advantages:
(1)  You get a 4-team playoff for the national championship. Thus the debate is between who should be #4 and #5, not #2 and #3.  You are much more likely to get a "fair" championship game.
(2)  The best teams get in the best bowls by winning games.
(3)  The bowl match ups end up pretty good.  Worst case would be Northern Illinois (unranked) vs. South Carolina (#12).  But Northern Illinois would have to pull off the upset of #19 TCU to get there - good luck.  Otherwise a #12 vs. #19 match up in the Cotton Bowl is a good game.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 16, 2011 12:58 am

Bring the BCS to the Miss America Pageant!

It's time to bring the best playoff system ever, the BCS, to the best beauty pageant ever:  Miss America.  Here's how it would work:
(1) The country would be divided into 12 regions.  1 winning contestant would be selected from the states in that region.(2)    6 regions would be "automatic qualifying" regions.  The 6 Miss contestants from those regions would go to the semi-finals.(3) The figures of the six AQ Misses would be entered into a computer, and two finalist selected.(4) The two finalists would compete head to head, with the winner crowned Miss America.(5) The other 4 finalists would compete, along with the 2nd place Miss from the South, head to head for Miss Congeniality, Quality of Life, and other awards.  If the best Miss from a non-AQ region had a perfect figure, she could compete for Miss Congeniality.
This would make sure it's fair to all Misses!
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 28, 2010 11:06 pm

Play-ins instead of playoffs?

While a college football playoff is needed, the chances of getting one anytime soon is about the same as the chance of getting peace in Afghanistan.  Perhaps we could convince the football establishment to go for play-ins instead of playoffs.  With play-ins, each bowl eligible team would play in one game to determine which bowl game they play in.  Play-in games would happen the first week of December.  Here's how it would work:
Top 4 teams:  They would play each other (1 vs. 4 and 2 vs 3), with the winners playing in the National Championship game.  Losers would play in one of 4 BCS bowls.  This would allow 4 teams to compete for the championship, not just the current 2.

Next 12 teams:  They would play each other for the remaining 6 BCS spots.  In many cases this "play-in" game would simply be the conference championship game.  Non-BCS conference champions would fill in the remaining spots.  For example, the top 2 Big-12 teams would play for the Big-12 championship, with the winner going to the Fiesta Bowl.  If one of the Big-12 teams was in the Top 4, the Mountain West Conference Champion would play the 2nd place Big-12 team for a trip to the Fiesta.  This way, BCS conference teams could still get 2 BCS bowl games (if they win), and non-BCS conference teams could get in too (if they win).  
Losers would play in one of six 2nd tier bowl games (Cotton, Gator, Capital One, Outback, Holiday, Liberty?)

Teams 17-29:  Would play each other, with winners going to 2nd tier bowl games, and losers going to 3rd tier bowl games (Sun, Humanitarian, Poinsettia, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Champ Sports)

Team 30-42:  Would play each other, with winners going to 3rd tier bowl games, and losers going home.  I'd eliminate the rest of the meaningless bowl games.  The top 1/3 of teams would have a chance to go to a bowl game, giving the term "bowl game" real meaning.
This would give 19 semi-meaningful bowl games, with decent match ups in all of them, and distinct pecking order for them.  Going to a bowl game would be a reward for good play during the year, not a pat on the back for finishing 6-6 and 8th place in your conference.
Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com