InfoMan’s Christmas gift to NCAA football – A PLAYOFF SYSTEM!
Here it is folks … The InfoMan’s NCAA College Football Playoff System (CFPS).
The NCAA College Football Playoff System is designed around the following assumptions:
1. THE BOWLS ARE SACRED AND MUST BE KEPT IN TACT
2. A PLAYOFF BETWEEN MORE THAN TWO TEAMS IS REQUIRED
3. ACADEMIC FINALS ARE SACRED AND CAN NOT VIOLATED
4. REVENUE STREAMS MUST MAINTAIN OR INCREASE
5. ANY CURRENT ENTITY THAT HAS A STAKE MUST NOT BE EXCLUDED
6. CURRENT SYSTEMS MUST CONTINUE TO THRIVE
7. FAIRNESS TO ALL ASSOCIATED PARTIES IS A KEY
8. LENGTH OF SEASON SHOULD NOT BE UNDULY LENGTHENED
#1. THE BOWLS ARE SACRED AND MUST BE KEPT IN TACT:
The college football season is one of the most glorious things that exist. Any type of playoff system needs to embrace the bowl system and work within it. This is currently the case with one bowl taking the national championship game in a four-year rotation between the major bowls.
However, a current negative aspect of this setup is that one of the bowl games gets “pushed back” to a non-Saturday or non-New Year’s day (the real staple of the college football experience) so that they can be the big enchilada. This year, this “screwed up the experience” of the Rose Bowl to all of those that love what this New Year’s day bowl meant. This year, everyone has to wait for the culmination of the event two days later so that the game can be on a national stage. The fix to all of this is to put all of the major bowls back on New Year’s Day.
#2. A PLAYOFF BETWEEN MORE THAN TWO TEAMS IS REQUIRED:
The BCS system has produced questionable national championship match-ups for the last two years. In 2000, arguments centered around Miami & Florida State. In 2001, those same arguments center around Nebraska, Colorado and Oregon. It is painfully obvious that a playoff system is needed that starts with eight teams or more to determine the REAL national champion.
#3. ACADEMIC FINALS ARE SACRED AND CAN NOT VIOLATED:
Any type of playoff is going to take more games and the KEY is that these games cannot have a negative impact on college finals. Sports are scheduled around finals week and so any playoff system that is designed cannot tread on this hallowed ground.
#4. REVENUE STREAMS MUST MAINTAIN OR INCREASE:
The entities that exist in the current system do so because of the revenue it generates. If no one went to or watched these games, all of this discussion would be moot (and mute). All of the current parties that are benefactors of the current revenue streams must therefore see those streams protected or, gasp, ENHANCED, under any new proposed system. The schools, the bowls, the NCAA, the media entities, and even the ranking systems need to be taken care of with any new system.
#5. ANY CURRENT ENTITY THAT HAS A STAKE MUST NOT BE EXCLUDED:
The flip side of protecting revenue streams for the interested parties is the notion of not threatening revenue streams for parties that are not part of this plan. For instance, if you were to come up with some type of playoff system that takes up three of the Saturdays in January you would be bucking heads with the NFL. A minor impact on any outside entity like this might be tolerated but a major impact is going to go up against stiff resistance.
#6. CURRENT SYSTEMS MUST CONTINUE TO THRIVE:
The best way not to get any resistance to any new-fangled plan, is to include everyone in the new plan. The BCS (basically a ranking system for the playoffs) needs to continue to thrive. The bowls need to continue to thrive. The polls from the Associated Press and the Coaches need to continue to thrive. The conference championships need to continue to thrive. If any aspect of the current setup changes with respect to these entities and the associated revenue streams, the “new plan” has to be the same or a better plan for them or they will resist.
#7. FAIRNESS TO ALL ASSOCIATED PARTIES IS A KEY:
Any new system that comes into play has to be fair to all of the teams that will be playing their games under this system. There are teams that are not associated as part of a football conference (most notably Notre Dame) so the system has to be fair to them and to everyone that it supports. An example where this would not be the case is any playoff system that used the conference champions as a starting point. This would not work because the NCAA doesn't have the authority to reorganize the conferences and force everyone to be in a conference. THIS IS NOT PRO FOOTBALL so you can forget reorganizing it in that manner.
#8. LENGTH OF SEASON SHOULD NOT BE UNDULY LENGTHENED:
In the current system, there are already enough games being squeezed into the schedule with the “pre-season games” and the conference championships to make it a long season for a game that is physically demanding of the players. Any new system has to take this into consideration and try to work within the current structure to create a playoff. This is also seen with the ability of the fans of a team to be able to follow their team to its games. Any system that has fans traveling to three away games at the end of the year is probably going to have difficulties with attendance. If you add games to be played, you almost have to make it a “home & away” proposition for the teams playing the games to get the necessary attendance.
SO, HERE’S THE PUNCH LINE … THE INFOMAN’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SYSTEM …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SYSTEM
The BCS formula will be used to rank teams after the conference championship game weekend which will be required by the NCAA to end by the Saturday nearest to December 1st. The next day, Sunday, (just like it is was done in 2001 only one week earlier) the BCS top eight teams will be revealed and they will play in playoff games the following Saturday (that was the 8th of December in 2001). The first ranked team will play against the eighth-ranked team, second against the seventh, and so on. The games will be located at the home game site of the team with the higher BCS ranking. The winners of these four playoff games will then go to play on New Year’s Day in the next level of playoff game which will be the bowl games. Two of the major bowls will be designated as “playoff bowls” and two of the other bowls will be “normal bowls” just like in the current system only with the ratio being 3 to 1. Note that the two normal bowls would select their teams on “BCS Sunday”. So, all of the current four major bowls will be played on New Year’s day (no need to delay one for a championship). The winners of the two playoff bowls will then advance to the “National Championship Bowl” which will be held on a Saturday 1-2 weeks (most of the time, one week plus a few days) following January 1st. The winner of the National Championship Bowl will be crowned the BCS National Champion.
Well InfoMan, that sounds great but who puts on the National Championship Bowl? This could be a new entity but it could easily be comprised by the four major bowls who would economically benefit and, through their experience at organizing such events, would supply their expertise in organizing such a grand experience. All would fairly share in the economic cut of the big game, just as they are attempting to do now only without messing up their piece of their turf on New Year’s Day. A new venue could be chosen or one of the four major bowls venue’s could be used as a site which would rotate among the four major bowls.
All that is left to be said is a listing of the ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES of this plan. You are encouraged to add to the list with your replies to firstname.lastname@example.org
- All major bowl games will be held on January 1st so they are back to being the “bowl game experience”. No messing up one of them by delaying the game two days later in the week just to get a national stage.
- Two of the bowl games, besides being major bowls, will now have the added interest of being “playoff bowls” which should increase viewing (and thus revenue) of those bowls compared to being a “normal bowl”. Two bowls is more than one bowl that is now included in the national playoff system. Instead of waiting once every four years to be “important”, they would now have the added importance once every other year.
- Revenue streams increase but with only the addition of five games to be played (4 + 2 + 1 – 2 = 5) so it’s not a laborious playoff system involving too many weekends.
- Home game playoff bowls would have NO attendance problems and they would provide more income to the home team with some split-up of revenue to the away team (similar to the current bowl/TV revenue structure).
- The bowls would love this, the BCS would love this, the TV media companies would love this, but, most importantly, the FANS would love this.
- Fans of the National Championship game teams could much more easily afford a home game/bowl game/championship game as opposed to attending three playoff games in remote venues, which just wouldn't fly.
- Conference playoffs can still be held and they are not taken “hostage” into a playoff system that wouldn’t work because all teams don’t have conference playoffs anyway.
- Finals week in December is not affected … in fact, if the system were in place this year, no games would have been played later in the year than December 8th which seemed to work just fine for the SEC folks in 2001.
- The NCAA would sanction this and thus a REAL National Champion would be crowned that, without a doubt, would be the agreed-upon National Champion because the system was fair to all teams.
- DID I MENTION THAT WE WOULD HAVE A TRUE NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!
- One bowl would not be the National Championship game like it is now. But, I will counter argue that they really don’t want to be a “two days after New Year’s Day” bowl game anyway (a fate that has just been recently thrust upon them due to the national champion outcry). They love the revenue but why not pick it up as a “bonus share” of the National Championship game that they would help to organize? So, they have their bowl game revenue which may have the added revenue of being a playoff bowl that year and then you put a cherry on top by giving them a cut of the National Championship bowl revenue … REVENUE GALORE!!!
- Extra games. Yeah, there are five more games but that seems pretty insignificant when you look at the thousands of college football games played. I think they will easily fit in the schedule that has been increasing the last few years anyway. We never used to have pre-season games but look at those now. If you have a beef with it, dump the pre-season games (NCAA require teams to play after September 1st) and get those folks to be the organizers of the playoff games or National Championship bowl. This probably wouldn’t work though because it might threaten their revenue streams (maybe you could work it out though) and you don’t want that. Just add the five games … it’s not that big of a deal but if not adding games were a requirement, folks would trade the pre-season ones for a true national championship in a New York minute.
- It might be tough for team supporters to scrape up enough cash to travel to a bowl game and to a National Championship bowl but I don’t think so. A National Championship Bowl is not going to have attendance problems so the only issue is if team supporters might “wait” to see if their team is in the National Championship bowl before traveling. This probably wouldn’t deter most of the people that have the funds required for travel though and the New Year’s Day bowls have the “bowl experience” attached that would keep their attendance high. I think playoff significance would simply add to the numbers.
- Treading into the NFL’s territory. The only conflict with NFL football would be the National Championship game in January. This is something to be worked out but it seems to me like you could still have playoff games in the NFL on a playoff Saturday at 11:30 AM, and 2:30 PM … leaving the 7:00 PM time slot open for college football’s National Championship game. Being on a Saturday would make it so glorious as to restore it’s “significance and feel” as to what college football should be!!!
- One disadvantage could be the fact that no one gets to gripe any more about the outcome. Sure, there would still be “BYU is undefeated and ranked ninth and deserved to be in the playoff” but that’s a far improvement over this year. I am not able to determine if the media outlets simply thrive on this controversy as part of their revenue so that what we have will perpetuate forever but, if they don’t, then I don’t see how they could be against it.
- Infoman … it will never happen due to current contracts! I agree that the current contracts are a hurdle, but they would vaporize quickly if the affected entities are economically considered. A coach may have a contract for six years but what happens when his team is a loser … asta la vista baby! If they can take care of this contract situation, then why can’t they junk the current playoff system, pay everyone off, and implement The InfoMan CFPS!!!
So, now that you see the plan, I want you to support it … tear it down … forward it onto all national media outlets … or print it out and use it in the bottom of the bird cage. I once had a very bright college professor tell me when it was time for reviews “Don’t just tell me I suck … tell me why I suck”. To all of the former, save space on my hard drive and don’t reply … to all of the latter, tell me how it can be made better and maybe YOUR IDEA will be incorporated into the final plan.
The last thing to say is that this concept is copyrighted and the author requests that you forward it onto others or reuse it as you see fit but please supply appropriate credit to The InfoMan, Oklahoma Cornhusker Club Webmaster. The fully documented plan will be maintained at http://www.infoman.net/occ/playoff.htm the web site for the Oklahoma Cornhusker Club.
Thanks for reading … discuss it … compile your relevant arguments … and make a reply to improve it. It will happen some day … it is inevitable!!!
Oklahoma Cornhusker Club Webmaster