The recommended College Football Playoff System

Monday, January 5, 2015
posted by elizabeth @ 1:13 PM

Since the early seventies there’s been debate, rancorous and heated debate, about the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division 1-A conferences need to have a football playoff system to determine which school would be crowned the national champion. We have often heard it hasn’t been done because of the bowl games and the money associated with them that benefit teams, schools, conferences, players and broadcasters. We have also heard the argument that we have to protect the traditions that come with and that are the bowl games.
Even the politicians have gotten into the debate. When his Utah Utes went undefeated in 2009 and weren’t crowned the college football, national champions U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) held Congressional hearings. Obama has also entered the debate. On a number of occasions Obama has publicly commented that their needs to be a college football playoff system. At one, point the Department of Justice (DOJ) threatened legal action.
Politicians of all stripes continue poking their nose into the issue. Let me be brief in my response. Really? The politicians need not engage. Don’t you all have more important things to deal with like Constitutional issues, the economy, foreign policy etc.? Please!
It’s important to point out that the NCAA tried to say they had no responsibility to create a playoff. In an Associated Press story in 2011 NCAA President Mark Emmert said “there is no directive for the (NCAA) to establish a playoff.” They have complete control over college football. To say otherwise is nonsense.
There has been progress made in moving toward a playoff. I give the NCAA credit for their effort. But, they need to move toward a true, bracket style, playoff system. This would remove the human element that brings subjectivity. This was on display with the way TCU and Baylor, particularly TCU, were treated in the rankings this year.
I will oversimplify my explanation of a true, bracket style playoff system. It allows the six top tier bowl games, Peach, Fiesta, Orange, Cotton, Rose and Sugar, to maintain their status.
The first order of business is to force the four independents, BYU, Army, Navy and Notre Dame, to join a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference. If they want to be part of the fun, success and money they have to get into one of the conferences. Yes, Norte Dame too. There’s a way to get out of the contract with the Notre Dame Broadcasting Company. Get the best lawyers Notre Dame and the NCAA have to work it. Schools buyout contracts of football coaches, so why can’t they buyout or amend a contract with a broadcaster. Maybe NBC gets exclusive rights for a determined time period to one of top tier games.
The second order of business will be to move some of the FCS conferences up to the FBS. This will take time, negotiations and yes, money. Perhaps you move the Big Sky, Southland, SWAC and MEAC Conferences up. If need be, move up conferences that have regional significance.
The third, and final order of business is to make every conference have a championship game. Perhaps TCU or Baylor would be in the 2015 championship if they had a conference championship game. To keep the various bowls relevant, happy, and profitable, the conference championships become bowl games. For instance, you would have the SEC Conference Championship Citrus Bowl game. Yes, I know the SEC holds the big game in Georgia each year. They are big kids and can figure out what bowl to use for their championship game.
It is absolutely possible to have a bracket style, playoff system. The NFL has one. The NCAA’s Division II football teams have a national championship using a bracket style, playoff system which is the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Some lawyers, mathematicians, true problem solvers like engineers, the appropriate distribution of money, adjustment of bowl games, television time (i.e. broadcaster bids for the games, as in money) and no help from politicians, and it will be done. Having created the new Division 1-A, college football playoff system I will become the FBS Football Commissioner and be the one who oversees all of the fun. Now that will be an awesome job!

-Andrew Biar

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