Well I’ve been out promoting my playoff proposal and had yet to find anyone who proposed anything close until today. Herb Gould at the Sun Times gave this great playoff proposal and it is right in line with what I have been saying. An 8 team playoff is the way to go. It’s the only thing that would fit into the current schedules without having to change them. And conference champions should be allowed to participate if they meet the same criteria at-large bids need to meet.
My only disagreement is in the scheduling he proposes. Obviously we have rivalry week during Thanksgiving. The following weekend is each conference championship. The weekend after that is the storied Army-Navy game. The following weekend is typically when the bowl games begin. His proposal would have the playoff not begin at that time but would instead have it begin on New Year’s. I disagree with this as that does two things. First, it makes bowl locations into playoff games which I don’t like. Second, it means none of the other bowl games would dare play that same day, so they will all get squashed into a more condensed schedule.
I think the only way to do this would be to have home games for the higher seed in the first round and to have that first round the weekend after the Army-Navy game. The Monday after those games is when winter holiday breaks begin for schools, so bowl games would begin at that point. The semi-final of the playoff would be the day after the Rose Bowl. This way the bowls maintain their tradition and all that. The semi-final games would still be home games for the higher seeds.
The same day we have the championship now would still be the championship. This would be a neutral site you could bid out to places like big bowl venues or Dallas or San Diego or places with decent weather that time of year capable of putting on a big time football game. His proposal would extend the season an additional week which is just too long. College football should not invade January, that’s when basketball conference play gets into full swing and takes over.
It’s at least good to see someone else recognizing that 8 is the right number of teams and that no conference champion should be automatically in unless they are in the top 14, just like no team can get an at-large bid unless they are in the top 14. We should hold conference champions to the same standard.