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If College Football Only Had a Brain
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

If College Football Only Had a Brain

In my opinion, big-time college football (hell small-time college football too), is the best sport there is. There is just one flaw and that flaw is a big one. They have a stupid playoff format to determine a national champion at the FBS level. A 4-team playoff to determine the winner is unfair and there is always someone left out of the picture that is deserving to be in the Top-4. We are heading in that direction this year as we always do. Here is a sensible solution (that will never happen), but could eliminate a lot of comtroversy.

Step No.1: Play only 11 regular season games. The reason there are 12 games now is strictly for money. Big-time powers such as Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, etc., schedule an extra home game to bring in additional revenue. Too many times they can’t find anyone to play them and they have to dip down to FCS schools (Division 1-A) and pay them (usually $500,000 to $750,000) to come in and get slaughtered. The games are basically meaningless and aren’t of any benefit for anybody involved ,except the university’s bankroll. Case in point: this year Alabama played Mercer, Oklahoma played Western Carolina, Oregon played Stony Brook, Miami played Central Connecticut, and well, you get the picture. These are guaranteed wins but they mean absolutely nothing regarding the playoffs. If you went to 11 games instead of 12, it would shorten the season a week and you add more playoff games.

Step No.2: Make it a 12-team playoff format instead of four. Wouldn’t that be exciting? The regular season would be even more thrilling than it already is, as more teams would have a chance at making the playoffs. And let’s face it, if you are bitching about not making it into the No.12 spot, you aren’t good enough to be in there anyway.

Step No.3: There are no rules to qualify for the playoffs. Conference champions of Power-5 conferences aren’t automatically guaranteed a spot in the 12-team playoffs. That would eliminate a three-loss team that slips up and wins the conference championship, from gaining an automatic berth. Also, there are no rules regarding the Group of 5 conferences. You have to earn your way in, just like everyone else.

Step No.4: Implement the bowl games into the system. Why do all the bowl games have to be played over the holidays? If I was running a bowl game, I wouldn’t give a damn when it was played as long as I had a full house to watch it. And if you have a full stadium, you have full hotels and restaurants, and the host city and their merchants are very happy. So, don’t give me that crap that it can’t be done.

Here Are Some Excuses For Not Doing This That Make No Sense:

  1. The Athletes Need a Break. What a crock of baloney!! They don’t get a break. They still practice everyday. They get three days (maybe) for Christmas break. If you start the bowl season and incorporate the bowls into the playoff system, a lot of teams’ season would be over way before Christmas and the athletes might actually have a Christmas break, like other college students do.
  2. Teams would play 16 games. Let’s break this down. Under a 12-team playoff format, the top 4 seeds would get a first round bye. Therefore, only the remaining 8 teams would be eligible to play 16 games. The chances of a team playing 16 games is certainly there, but there is absolutely only 2 teams that would be eligible to play 16 games. Most teams who make it to the final game would play 15 games just like they do now.
  • Let’s Look at What a Possible 12-team Playoff Would Look LIke at the Moment:
  • First Round Games Played on Dec. 4th: 2nd Round Games Dec. 18th 3rd Round Games Jan. 1st Nat. Championship Jan. 8th
  • No.1 Georgia Bye
  • No.8 Oklahoma vs. No.9 Notre Dame
  • No.4 Ohio State Bye
  • No.5 Cincinnati vs. No. 12 Wake Forest
  • No.2 Alabama Bye
  • No.7 Michigan State vs. No.10 Oklahoma St.
  • No.3 Oregon Bye
  • No.6 Michigan vs. No.11 Texas A&M
  • Points to Ponder:
  • No.1: Under this format only 8 of the teams would still be playing after Dec. 4th. and only four after Dec.18th. Wouldn’t that be better for the health and well-being of the student athletes?
  • No.2 Eleven of the bowl games could be incorporated into this playoff format, making all of them more profitable than they already are. I think they would be happy with the bottom line.
  • No.3: Can you just imagine the excitement and the build-up these games would have? And excitement and interest means more money to everyone involved which is always a selling point.
  • Summary: It is really very simple. If the powers to be, want a much fairer system to settle a national title at the top level of college football, there are no excuses. Will it ever get done, probably not. Why? Because it makes too damn much sense.

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