There has been lots of talk regarding a playoff system, but how do you determine who will go? The polls? If it is only eight teams going, what compelling reason is there that Utah, PSU or Boise State does not go? Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Georgia are all left watching. In a 16 team playoff, you would have the same thing between Michigan State and BYU. LSU, Cincinnati, Pitt and Oregon State are left watdhing.
Here is an idea after talking about it and thinking about it a bit more. There are 120 FBS teams that could be incorporated into ten 12-team conferences with some necessary realignment. This is my take on that and I give credit to SCWV for initially providing his.
Big 10: Add Notre Dame
Big 12: Same
Big East: Add Army, Navy, E.Carolina and Temple
C-USA: E. Carolina to Big East, Tulane to East Division, W.Kentucky to West Division
MAC: Temple to Big East. . .that leaves 12 teams
Pac 10: Add BYU and Utah
Sun Belt: Add La.Tech, N.Mexico, N,Mexico St. and TCU
WAC: Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, San Diego State, Nevada, Colorado State, San Jose State, Utah State, Air Force, UNLV, Wyoming
The MWC and WAC are the biggest affected with the balance of the teams dumped into the Sun Belt. I guess it would depend on rivalries and all that for how you make two conferences from three after taking BYU and Utah out. Admittedly, I don't pay much attention to those conferences so don't really know much of the history but I'm sure there would be a great many irritated folks about a major realignment. I am sure everyone would have their own ideas of aligning conferences, but the idea is to come up with something that works. Remember that this would be to establish ten conferences for the purpose of making a viable playoff system.
I would also suggest one of two means of paring this down to eight teams represented in a tradiional playoff format. The first would be to have two 24-team conferences represented by combining C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt and WAC in any appropriate manner or even have it floating year-to-year. All the teams play each other in the 12-team divisions and then play for a CCG for the winner to advance to the playoffs. The other way would be to have a mini playoff between the four conferences to select two to be represented in the playoffs. I am not downing any one of these teams or conferences but merely trying to keep the playoff as competitive and simple as possible.
All teams in the other conferences would play each division team once, add three more conference foes and then two additional OOC games. These OOC games would be based on last seasons results and floating in the manner of NFL scheduling. For example. division winners in Conference A would play a home and home against Conference B this year, Conference C the following, D after that, etc. In this way, there is parity in scheduling between and within the conferences as well as within the divisions. And within each conference, there is a championship game to determine the winner and representative in the playoffs. All conferences would have a representative competing and the NC is determined where they should be determined. . .on the field. Maybe some traditional rivalries would have to be sacrificed, but again, this is to make a viable playoff system and basically create new ones.
The negative side of this is the obvious. You will have very good teams not even making the playoffs. What this really means is that the regular season is still very meaningful and it will reward those teams that win. Also, this is where the bowl games would come into play. Conference runner-ups and other at-large teams could fill the traditional bowl games. No longer would there be the need to have conferences locked to specific bowls games. Polls could continue to be utilized for determining power rankings. You could essentially have Big East and SEC teams playing in the Rose Bowl, Pac 10 and Big 12 teams in the Orange, etc. Essentially, the "major" bowls could alternate the top match-ups of those teams that didn't qualify for the playoffs and still keep some excitement in the game and the sport.
The whole point of this is like one of the guys I was talking with suggested. . .nothing is going to happen unless we fans start something to see it through. Maybe a national petition addressed to the NCAA and all the presidents and AD's of each of the 120 FBS schools. You would be talking about a MAJOR overhaul of the entire college football structure, tons of money, TV contracts and the expected battle against the traditionalists. This would be years in the making and who knows where it will go. Maybe this can be the start.
Apologies for the length of the post, but it has to start somewhere if we can somehow reach a consensus on where to go.
Thoughts? Ideas? Do you care?