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What We All Want: The 2011-2012 BCS Playoff Scenario

Michigan State's B.J. Cunningham

By Cody Goodwin


This is a two-part series by KRUI Sports Staffer Cody Goodwin.  The second part is entitled, “What We All Want: Part 2” and is available on the sports page.


Having to put my BCS rant aside, it’s time I come to terms and grips with the fact that the BCS will always be a broken machine. But I must also acknowledge that it’s the perfect motor for some of the best writers in the business.  Looking past that, it’s time we get to what we really want. And a national consensus, and Facebook, tells us that we really want a playoff.


But how do we go about this? How will it be constructed? Who will be in it?


Luckily for you, I’ve answered all of these questions in five consecutive years of schooling. It’s called a research paper. And it’s only been expanded upon since I first wrote the thesis in eighth grade.


And with my layout, we’d have a 16-man, single-elimination playoff for the national championship. Check it out.


What we would first need to determine is who would be invited to the big dance. According to my paper, we’d invite the top two teams in the country; letting the BCS keep it’s main job of establishing number one and two. They would receive byes.


Next, we’d fill in the remaining seeds that fall in by the following criteria.


1. Conference Champs receive seeds three through eight, with the conference champions coming first, in order by the BCS Rankings.


2. Those teams that met the at-large criteria for a BCS Bowl game would file in the remaining seeds. With this factor in place, we would be excluding those teams from mid-majors (Boise State, Houston, TCU, etc.). We would also aim to include two teams from each conference in the BCS playoffs. Instead of receiving the BCS death-sentence, those who qualified for their respective conference title game, and lost, will earn a bid, as well as others who may not have won their division, but still met BCS at-large requirements (Stanford, Alabama).

Michigan State's B.J. Cunningham
Under Cody Goodwin's plan, Michigan State makes it into the playoffs as an at-large selection (Dave Weatherwax/Citizen Patriot)

3. Assuming there’s at least one spot remaining for an at-large bid, we would give it to the highest ranked mid-major, assuming they met the BCS rules for their at-large appearances.


With these rules in place (and a tad hard to follow, I admit), the field of 14 would be set and ready to go. Since we couldn’t plan this better before the BCS, and Alabama, screwed things up, we’ll play it off of what we have to work with. Here are the teams and their seeds:


1. LSU (BCS #1 – SEC Champions) – will receive a first round bye.

2. Alabama (BCS #2 – SEC at-large) – will receive a first round bye.

3. Oklahoma State (Big 12 Champs)

4. Oregon (Pac-12 Champs)

5. Wisconsin (Big Ten Champs)

6. Clemson (ACC Champs)

7. West Virginia (Big East Champs)

8. Stanford (Pac-12 at-large)

9. Kansas State (Big 12 at-large)

10. Virginia Tech (ACC at-large)

11. Georgia (SEC finalist)

12. Michigan State (Big Ten at-large)

13. Cincinnati (Big East at-large)

14. UCLA (Pac-12 finalist)


So you see, under this format, Boise is indeed robbed of a BCS appearance, simply because other teams made the given criteria, but only they come last. And again, Alabama comes in to screw everything up.


But Boise isn’t the only team that gets hosed under this format. Note that Michigan, Arkansas, South Carolina, Baylor, Oklahoma, and even TCU are all left out. But due to these rules, it’s fair that way. Arkansas and South Carolina are left out simply because the SEC spots were filled with the better teams. The same goes for Baylor and Sooner nation, and the Wolverines out of the Big Ten. TCU falls under the same rules as Boise State.


Hosed? Probably. But fair? Absolutely. In a more perfect world, there’d be four super conferences, that would hold 16 teams, with 8-teams in each of the conferences two divisions. Under this format, each division would send their top two teams to the big dance, with the conference title game to decide the seeding for the first two of each conference, and the others thrown in at a blind draw.


It would create a full 16-man football playoff to decide the best team in the nation.


Continued on…”What We All Want: Part 2″

3 responses to “What We All Want: The 2011-2012 BCS Playoff Scenario

  1. Your biggest problem lies in the fact that you are neglecting to remember why the BCS is broken. It’s putting “undeserving” teams in the BCS and “deserving” teams out.
    UCLA does not deserve to play in the BCS, a Playoff, and if I had it my way, the entire postseason.

    In this system, Michigan would get the B1G at-large bid over MSU because with this system you still have to base it on some kind of ranking system otherwise Stanford wouldn’t get in. Michigan finished the season ahead of MSU in the rankings, whether that is right or wrong, so they should get the nod in this system.

    The premise here is that the system is fair. Putting UCLA in any sort of playoff with a losing record is preposterous and I guarantee you people would be calling this unfair.

  2. Any plan that would send a 6-7 UCLA team, that needed a bowl waiver to play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, to the tournament is asinine. Sorry, but no.

  3. Here’s my sugestion. First of all consolidate conferences down to about 8, but all conferences MUST have minimum of 12 teams but preferably 16 teams with 2 divisions and a conference championship. WAC and MWC could combine, and the MAC, Sunbelt and Con USA would need to merge, and or teams picked up by existing conferences like thi Big East and Big 12 (10).

    Then you essentially have a 16 team playoff, if you include the conference championship as basically the first round. Those 8 teams then go to the playoff. Basically you have to win your conference to win the Championship. I know some people don’t like it that way, but every team has its own destiny in it’s own hands. Win Your Division. Win your conference, then win the playoff.

    The rest of the Bowl games can coexist, and even convert the BCS games to the first 4 playoff games, even maintaining some “tie ins” with the BEE ONE GEE and Pac 12 going to the Rose Bowl, etc.

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