The NCAA Football Playoff system has gone through some needed changes over the years. They went from what was the plan for many years: The Associated Press (AP) determined the number one team. While it seemed to work...somewhat...it still left major questions unanswered. Things like, How did BYU ever get a #1 ranking when they play...well, WAC teams? How can we have a true number one team if the teams are beholden to a particular Bowl game for winning their conference. I mean, rarely would the #1 team and the #2 team just so happen to play? It happened, but very rarely. Then they had two polls. What could possibly go wrong with two different polling groups giving their own polls, with mostly similar criteria? The sports world wanted a definitive system to determine #1. Enter the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).
The BCS, which used both computer and human systems to rank, seemed like a decent fix. The college football world was beginning to clamor for a playoff of some type, but way too much money was tied up in the very time-honored, traditional Bowl Games. So the BCS appeared to appease those calling for a playoff. That is, until the 2003 season. Through a seemingly small hole, that would have made the eye of the needle that a camel goes through from the Bible parable seem canyon-esque, Oklahoma (OK) retained a #1 BCS ranking going into the Bowl Games over what even this hater would call the best team ever assembled at University of Southern California (USC), who was #1 in the AP. Because Louisiana State University LSU) held on to defeat OK in the Sugar Bowl, while USC defeated Michigan in the Rose Bowl, the BCS ruled OK #1 and the AP ruled USC #1. We're right back where we were!!
Finally, in 2014 we get the College Football Playoff! I'll spare you all the minutiae, but read about the details here. Now we get to see the four best teams, as selected by a very distinguished panel of football coaches and experts battle it out in a rotating six Bowl series. It's actually very nice. Unfortunately, the incentive to win your conference is no longer important - thanks, Alabama. While I'm a fan of a college football playoff, I'd like to see it expanded to acknowledge the teams that have won their conferences - all the NCAA 1A conferences.
There are currently ten conferences in 1A College Football. They are: American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12, Big Ten (B1G), Conference USA, Mid-America Conference (MAC), Mountain West, Pac-12, Southeast Conference (SEC), and Sunbelt. The teams that win these conferences deserve recognition as the winners they are. These conferences are not easy to win, as they have many amazing colleges and universities that put a lot of money into their respective teams to be the best.
Here is my suggestion:
The NCAA 1A Football Playoffs would be conducted in the following format:
8 Playoff 1st Round Games - all played the same weekend. The 16 teams selected are done as such:
Each Conference Champion from all 10 of the NCAA 1A Conferences go to the playoffs and other 6 teams are drawn from the remaining teams from the College Football Playoffs (CFP) Top 25, in descending order. The winning 8 teams making the quarter-finals go to 4 of the rotating bowl games currently used for the CFP (Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Peach and Gator), each played on the Saturday prior to Christmas Day. The 2 bowls used for the semi-finals stay rotating as they currently are, played on New Year's Day). This culminates in the Championship Game, currently played on the 1st or 2nd Monday in January (minimum 7 days after the 1st).
In this example these would be the most likely matchups:
1 Ohio State
16 Florida Atlantic
8 Penn State
13 Boise State
14 Appalachian State
15 Central Michigan
Basketball has March Madness; football would have Christmas Craziness!!