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The Proposed Marriage of the BCS and a Playoff Format
Part 3 - The Solution
By Alex Giles
Date: November 19, 2002

In order to correct this possible nightmare situation that will continue to exist year after year, College Football should adopt a Playoff format that retains the strengths of the current BCS system. Specifically, the proposed new BCS/Playoff format should implement the following components:

1) The current BCS system for the most part would remain in place and would be used to rank the top 15 teams each week, starting with the third week in October;

2) All teams would play no more than 12 games during the regular season (this would include any conference championship games);

3) At season's end, the top 8 teams of the BCS would be playoff eligible and have a shot at advancing to the National Championship game, rather than merely the top 2 teams;

4) The 8 BCS/Playoff eligible teams would not necessarily include all of the conference champions from the 6 current BCS sanctioned conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 10, and SEC), rather they would be comprised solely of the top 8 teams from the season ending BCS ranking regardless of conference;

5) There would no longer be a limitation that only 2 teams per conference could be BCS/Playoff eligible;

6) The new BCS/Playoff format would continue to feature the current BCS bowls - the Fiesta Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and the Rose Bowl, thus preserving the major Bowl tradition;

7) Each year, the priority of the four BCS Bowls would rotate. Currently, the National Championship game rotates among the four Bowls so that once every four years each Bowl hosts the National Championship game. That will continue, but the remaining three Bowls will be ranked 2 through 4 each year. For example, this year the Fiesta Bowl is the National Championship game, the Sugar Bowl would be ranked #2, the Orange Bowl #3, and the Rose Bowl #4. Next year, the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Rose Bowl would each move up one notch and the Sugar Bowl would host the National Championship game. The Fiesta Bowl, since it hosted the Championship game this year, would rotate to the lowest ranked of the four Bowls in year 2;

8) The playoffs would begin at the end of the second full week in December, matching #1 vs. #8, #4 vs. #5, #2 vs. #7, and #3 vs. #6 in the Quarterfinals;

9) The winners of the four Quarterfinal match-ups would advance to the Semifinals to be played the following weekend. The winner of #1 vs. #8 would meet the winner of #4 vs. #5, and the winner of #2 vs. #7 would meet the winner of #3 vs. #6;

10) The losing teams from the four Quarterfinal match-ups would meet in the 3rd and 4th ranked Bowls for that year. Using the example articulated above in Paragraph 7, the losing teams from the Quarterfinals would play in the Orange Bowl and the Rose Bowl. In order to determine which teams would play in the Orange Bowl as opposed to the Rose Bowl, the two teams with the better BCS season ending ranking would play in the Orange Bowl whereas the other two teams who have the lesser BCS rankings would play in the Rose Bowl. Consequently, the regional tie-in requirement for BCS teams not in the National Championship game would no longer exist;

11) The winners of the Semifinals would advance to the National Championship game in the Fiesta Bowl. The losing teams from the Semifinals would match-up against each other in the Sugar Bowl;

12) All BCS/Playoff Bowl games would be played during the first week of January, much like the current format;

13) The winner of the BCS/Playoff National Championship game would be deemed the National Champion regardless of its season ending BCS ranking... More

Part 1 - BCS Inadequate
Part 2 - Revamping the BCS
Part 3 - The Solution
Part 4 - Conclusion

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