College Football Playoff Team Selection
The following is a simple list of the details of our college football playoff proposal. Implementing this system will not require changing anything about the game or how it is played. This is to make the transition into a playoff as seamless as possible.
1. Conferences will still have complete control over how they determine their champion. Schools will still have complete control over their scheduling. The BCS rankings will still be released as usual. The final game of the regular season will still be Navy vs. Army the second weekend in December. Nothing about the regular season is changed in any way.
2. The postseason playoff will consist of 8 teams.
3. Any conference champion from any FBS conference will receive an automatic berth in the playoff if they finish in the top 14 of the final BCS standings. (top 14 is the current cutoff for at-large bids, so seems fair)
4. Any independent finishing in the top 8 of the final BCS standings will receive an automatic berth in the playoff.
5. If after provisions 3 and 4 there are more than 8 teams qualifying for automatic bids, the 8 highest ranked teams in the BCS will participate in the playoff.
6. If after provisions 3 and 4 there are less than 8 teams qualifying for the playoff, then teams will be given at-large berths. The highest ranked teams in the BCS who don’t receive automatic berths will receive at-large berths until 8 teams are in.
That’s it. Seems to simple, right? Well, it is perfect. What’s one of the primary complaints against a playoff? That it extends the season too long. Not so with an 8 team playoff. Playoff starts when bowl games do and ends when current championship game is played. Only 4 more teams would play more games under this format than they currently do. Not too taxing. And better than taking over a month off before the championship.
Another thing you hear is that conference champions, once they clinch the conference, will coast through their schedule and not care if they win or lose. Not so. You must win your conference AND finish in the top 14 in order to get an automatic berth. You still have to play even if you clinch your conference.
And besides the championship game, you can have these playoff games played on home field. That makes seeding matter since home field advantage matters. That also means a lot of extra revenue for a school to host a prime time game. That’s money in their pockets instead of the bowl executives. Plus those playoff games will get higher ratings than any dumb bowl games are getting now.
This is a win-win for everyone. Anyone can qualify. No undefeated team has ever finished outside of the top 14. This gives every team a legitimate shot at the title when the season starts. It’s fair, it’s easy to implement, and maintains everything else in the sport exactly as is. Bowl games don’t need to be touched at all. Read on to see more about the bowl games and the timeline.