Thursday, January 27, 2011


As the confetti and streamers fell down for Auburn at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Jan. 10, it marked the end of the season but there were still two undefeated teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivison--Auburn and TCU.

The National Championship Game itself was good, but who is to say that TCU could not hang with Auburn or Oregon?

Sadly, with the way that college football is currently, we may never find out unless a non-automatic qualifier starts in the top ten of the preseason polls, goes undefeated, and is at least one of two undefeated teams at the end of the regular season.

The Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) does not use a playoff to determine its champion much like the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Although another game was added in 2006, there can still be a small possibility of split national champions in the major polls.

The best way to combat this is a 16- or, most preferably, a 32-team playoff. So here are some simple solutions to make this work.

1. Include every conference

- How can you determine a champion without opening access to all 11 FBS conference champions? Many people think a playoff regardless of conference affiliation is the best thing, but isn't that the same as denying the non-AQ's in the current format? In this way, conferences like the Sun Belt would have the opportunity to play for a national title, something which is impossible for them now. 2010 TEAMS THAT FIT THE CRITERIA (11 teams): Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, UConn, Wisconsin, UCF, Miami (Ohio), TCU, Oregon, Auburn, FIU, Nevada.

2. The final regular season Top 25 of the BCS, AP, and Coaches polls are in

-Have you ever heard of a team in the top 25 missing the NCAA basketball tournament? I don't think so. This is why a playoff 32 teams is perfect, because the tournament would still have the quality, yet not be too watered down. REMAINING 2010 TEAMS THAT FIT THE CRITERIA (18 teams): Stanford, Ohio St., Oklahoma, Arkansas, Michigan St., Boise St., LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma St., Alabama, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Utah, South Carolina, Mississippi St., West Virginia, Florida St., Hawaii

3. Filling out the bracket (if necessary)

-This is where if you are a bubble team you are sweating bullets. You have to hope that a double-digit win team gets included if they didn't meet the first two standards. Maybe you include a conference co-champ, or the top teams from the BCS not already selected to the tournament. I'd pick Northern Illinois, Pittsburgh, and Troy for their performances in 2010, but a committee can finish the puzzle.

4. Location, location, location

-Now that the 32-team filled is set, the fun part begins for the venues. The first round should be played at the highest seed's house, but after that, they should play the game at the most prestigious bowls. The top five (Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Rose, Sugar) will have an even chance at their spots in a five-year span with two hosting quarterfinals, two more hosting the semifinals, and the winning bid hosting the title game. The other 10 bowls will have a permanent spot. VENUES: Sun, Capital One get the last two quarterfinal spots. Alamo, Chick-fil-A, Gator, Holiday, Independence, Liberty, Outback, and Pinstripe are second round destinations.

5. Don't forget the bowl games!

-Although this note is about making a playoff in college football, people (like myself) still love bowl games. The remaining teams over .500 that were not selected for the tournament will get to play in the remaining 19 bowl games. They won't advance if they win but it still keeps a tradition alive. Think of it as the college football version of the NIT.

There you have it. A great solution to the system we have now.

It may not be perfect, but it keeps the integrity and rivalries intact, while finding a clear cut champion.

As Auburn quarterback Cam Newton took in the experience of winning a national championship...

Non-AQ teams like Boise State and TCU wonder will they ever get the chance to do the same.

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