Saturday, December 03, 2005

Championship Week and My Solution to the BCS

It is championship week in college football, both a sad day and great day. It marks the end of the regular season and the start of the post season. The BCS selection show will conclude the week Sunday afternoon.

The current format of the BCS needs to be change. I do not hate the BCS, but I hate the current structure and the rules it follows. The computers should be allowed to use whatever formula they like, and include margin of victory to an extent.

For instance, if Florida State beats Florida Atlantic 49-20, but Louisville beats FAU 69-3, does that make Louisville that much better than Florida State? A cap of say 25 points should be the limit, so if Florida State beat FAU 35-20 it would not carry as much weight as the 49-20 win. But, Louisville's 66 point win will be looked upon the same as FSU's 29 pt win. Honestly, after 25 points or the equivalent of 4 scores, a team is just running up the score.

Next, conference automatic bids need to be done away with. The BCS rankings then need to ditch the Harris Poll and seek the AP for its services. Take the two polls, the 6 computers, add strength of schedule, give each equal weight and compile them together to create the BCS Poll.

Now for selection, first, take the top three teams no matter what, even if they are somehow from the same conference. Next teams chosen, are conference champions with no more than two losses and that are ranked in the top 12 of the BCS. This gives current non-BCS schools equal chance to earn a berth, despite playing in a crappy conference. If there is still open slots then teams ranked 4-6 are automatically selected no matter what conference they are in. If slots still remain open then conference champs with no more than two losses and that are ranked in the BCS top 15 earn a berth. If slots are still open beyond this point then the remaining teams ranked highest in the BCS rankings earn a berth, no matter what conference they are in.

In order to make this system fair every conference must have a championship game or otherwise the respective conferences that does not have one can only earn a berth as an at-large selection and not as a conference champion. For example, the ACC, Big 12, SEC, CUSA and MAC champs could all earn automatic berths after the top three teams in the BCS rankings are selected, as long as they did not have more than two losses and were ranked in the top 12 of the BCS. Meaning a Big Ten team could be left out of the BCS, despite being ranked as high as number 4 in the BCS, if the top three in the BCS were the Pac 10 champ, BE champ and Notre Dame or any other at-large team.

This guideline will move conference expansion into overdrive, as the Pac 10, Big Ten, Big East, MWC scramble to field 12 teams. The WAC and Sun Belt could be forced to merge and add one more team from I-AA or be left out of the big picture. Notre Dame might look into joining a conference for the first time ever in this scenario.

Now the matchups, the BCS playoff would consist of the same four bowls used now by the system, but all of them will be played on New Years Day. Tradition and traditional matchups will be upheld but the Orange or Sugar Bowl could be forced to have a late morning kickoff or could play in the late evening on New Years Eve instead. Maybe the NFL will have to move their games to a Saturday or Monday when New Years falls on a Sunday. It makes me sick that when I wake up New Years Day this year, with my hangover, I will have to watch NFL instead of my yearly dose of Jan. 1 bowl games. I guess I will get to sleep in for once on New Years Day; I can not stand NFL football, and this years sucks more than usual.

The Orange Bowl 1/1 11am ET- ACC champ/at-large vs Big 12 champ/at-large(the Big 8 champ never played in the Fiesta, the goal was always the Orange)

The Fiesta Bowl 1/1 2:30pm ET- at-large vs at-large(this game always used to match the best two teams available before the BCS came along)

The Rose Bowl 1/1 5:50pm ET- Pac 10 champ/at-large vs Big Ten/at-large(like any other teams should play in Pasadena on New Years Day)

The Sugar Bowl 1/1 9:15pm ET- SEC champ/at-large vs at-large

The ACC used to send its champ to the Citrus/Capital One Bowl, but since Miami and Florida State used to play almost annually in the Orange Bowl its a natural fit for the ACC champ in Miami.

The Big East never had a destination for its conference champ, and the WAC, MWC, CUSA and Sun Belt destinations are some very weak bowls. But if the WAC or MWC champ was selected the Fiesta is natural fit geographically.

After the BCS bowl games, the four winners are re-seeded and the two top seeds will host a national semi-final played 7-10 days after New Years, depending on which day Jan. 1 lands on. This gives teams an incentive not to schedule pasties, otherwise, their strength of schedule could cost them a home game in the national semi-finals. Some may think a home game this late in the season is unfair, but great teams find ways to win big ball games no matter where the game is played(no one ever complains about homefield advantage in the NFL, because it is earned not given away).

The winners of the national semi-finals meet in a national championship game hosted by one of the four BCS bowls on a rotating basis, played a 7-10 days after the semi-finals or on the weekend before the Super Bowl. For example, on Jan. 1 it is the Rose Bowl, but for the national title game, it would be called the NCAA College Football National Championship hosted by the Rose Bowl.

No system can ever be perfect, but I am against a 16 team playoff. To many teams and I have no desire to see a 6-5 or 7-4 Sun Belt conference champion play the top seed and get slaughtered.

As for the rest of the teams that didn't make the BCS, they still have the other bowl games to be invited to. But 24 other bowl games is just too many and the matchups really get watered down towards the bottom.

The solution eliminate 8 bowl games, therefore besides the 8 teams that go to the BCS playoff, only 32 other teams will get to taste the postseason. I think only 1/3 of college football deserves to be accepted to a bowl games not 1/2. The 16 Bowls that stay and conference champ they would host if that conference did not earn a BCS bid or the runner up in the conference, otherwise, the bowl slots are open. Teams can go to any bowl they are invited, but the conference champ is guaranteed a bid whether it is the BCS or regular bowl berth. If a conference sends its champ to a BCS bowl, then the runner up is guaranteed a bowl berth. I wish the traditional names could come back in some sort of capacity, like the Outback Hall of Fame Bowl or the Capital One Citrus Bowl:

Cotton- Big 12 vs
Capital One/Citrus - SEC vs
Holiday- Pac 10 vs
Gator - ACC vs
Outback/Hall of Fame - Big Ten vs
Peach- open
Alamo- open
Sun- MWC vs
Liberty- CUSA vs
Insight/Copper
Champs/Tangerine- Big East vs
Music City
Independence- Sun Belt vs
Las Vegas- WAC vs
Motor City- MAC vs
Hawaii/Aloha

the 8 that get the boot: mostly because they are new and lack any real tradition, but the Houston, Emerald and Meineke are the only three worth saving, maybe the GMAC.
Meineke Car Care-
Houston
Emerald
MPC Computers
GMAC
Ft Worth
Poinsettia
New Orleans


go ahead pundits rip it away.............Come Sunday/Monday I will fill in the slots when the final BCS rankings are released and I'll see how the first MDG CFB mythical BCS playoff national champion will play out.

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