Hall of Justice

Impervious to kryptonite since 1974. Bragging about it since 1974.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sanford In The Postseason

Let’s face it, the current NCAA postseason sucks. I love bowl season as much as anyone, but there has to be a definitive champion every year. It’s one thing for Ball State to go undefeated against Miami, OH, and the Kalamazoo Kickball Federation, but when SEC and ACC teams (at least until Virginia Tech got throttled by Miami) go undefeated and get shut out of the national championship game, the system is broken.

The argument that a playoff would detract from schoolwork is ridiculous on so many levels, it’s not even worth addressing. Therefore, the only arguments in favor of keeping the current system are travel logistics and the tradition of the bowl season. My 16-team playoff addresses both issues.

A BCS-like rating system would be employed to rank teams. These rankings would be used for filling out and seeding the field, as detailed below.

The ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, PAC 10, and SEC champions would receive automatic bids. Next, the 2 highest-ranked mid-major champions (Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, and WAC) would receive berths. The final 8 at-large spots would go to the highest ranked teams not already included, regardless of conference affiliation.

The rankings would then be used to seed the field from 1 to 16. Teams would be paired in a standard 16-team bracket, where 1 plays 16, 2 plays 15, etc. in the first round and 1 vs. 16 plays 8 vs. 9, 2 vs. 15 plays 7 vs. 10, etc. in the second round. The higher seed would host the first round. Keeping first round games on campus addresses the travel concern and prevents the playoff system from depleting the bowl sites. In addition, it rewards the higher seeds with both home-field advantage and with an extra home game’s ticket sales (although I’m sure the NCAA would force their hands into the pockets of the host sites and dole out the gate receipts as they see fit). Beginning with the quarterfinal, bowl sites would be used. These sites would be selected based on payout, where the highest three bidders would rotate the championship game and two semifinal games for 3 years and the lowest 4 bidders of the 7 sites would pick from the quarterfinal pairings in order of payout. After a complete rotation, bowls would re-bid on spots. This would keep the money-hungry NCAA happy, as well as provide an opening for varying bowl sites to include themselves in the playoff system.

As for the remaining bowl sites, they would continue to host games during the final week of December and on New Year’s Day, avoiding scheduling conflicts with the playoffs. ESPN would retain its Bowl Week if it so desired, and there would still be plenty of teams to fill out the bowl pairings (the playoffs would remove 16 bowl-eligible teams and 7 bowls from the pool of about 25 current bowls).

The tournament would start either 1 or 2 weeks after the conference championship games. Holding the first round on the following week would place the championship game on the weekend of New Year’s Day if this system were in place this year. Closing out a somewhat normal bowl season with either a championship game or 2 semi-final games on or around New Year’s Day would keep all the traditionalists and bowl fanatics, including myself, happy.

And there you have it. Not only would the tradition of the bowls like the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas and Poinsettia Bowls be preserved, but we would also know who the best college football team in America is. All without using rocket science or tarot cards.

Miles Brand, if you have any questions after reading this, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at sanfordrjones@yahoo.com. And contrary to the rumor making its away around certain message boards, I will not demand that the Sugar Bowl be renamed to the Sanford R. Sugar Bowl or Sugar R. Jones Bowl.


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