When Will We Be Satisfied?
March 1, 2017 | View PDF
Starting with the football season of 2014, a four team play-off was initiated by the NCAA to determine the real national champion on the football field, replacing the original two team BCS.
The SEC has won or played in the last eleven play-offs. This four team play-off will not satisfy the football fans of American very long. Many are interested in an eight team play-off. Mark my word! That is the next step for the NCAA and the American Football Coaches Association. It won't be far away!
Let's look at the possiblity of an eight team play-off incorporating the five major bowls. In order to be fair to the major bowls, a rotating schedule would need to be implemented. One way would be to rotate using the alphabet; (C) Cotton, (F) Fiesta, (O) Orange, (S) Sugar. Every four years each bowl would have the number one team. For example, starting this coming year (2017) with the Cotton Bowl getting #1 vs. #8. The following year the Feista Bowl would get #1. In 2019 #1 would go to the Orange Bowl. In 2020 the Sugar Bowl gets #1. In 2021 the process would return to the Cotton Bowl again. That sounds fair! Every four years the four bowls involved would host the #1 team.
The formula is CFOS; Cotton, Fiesta, Orange and Sugar: (See diagram A on PDF.)
The four bowls would almost be guaranteed to have higher ranked teams than they have been having over the last few years. That should be a positive for this plan.
Let's look at the semi-final round. Do you think Atlanta would be interested in hosting the winner of #1 vs. #8 and the winner of #3 vs. #6 on the second weekend in January? Do you think the Astrodome in Houston would be interested in hosting a semi-final game between the winner of #2 vs. #7 and #4 vs. #5?
The next phase for this plan is to use the Rose Bowl Stadium as the home of the championship game. This is because of the historical significance of how our national champions were selected for much of the history of college football. This plan would not at all interfere with the Rose Bowl itself. It would still invite the champion of the Big 10 and the champion of the Pac 12 to play in the Rose Bowl on the same weekend of the quarter-final games that will be going on in the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls. If one of these teams is ranked in the top eight they would have to choose the Rose Bowl or the playoff. I can't imagine a team turning down an opportunity to be in the playoffs, so the second place team from one of these conferences would have to be their representative in the Rose Bowl. They do this now with the four team play-off.
Note: Prior to World War II, the winner of the Rose Bowl was very likely to be voted national champion. This tradition had been in place since the inception of the Rose Bowl. Usually, during those years, a powerhouse from the East would play a powerhouse from the West and the winner would receive most of the votes, consideration, etc., by the main media centers concentrated in New York and California. The general consensus was that all of the best teams were in the East, Midwest, and the West Coast. That is until 1925 when Coach Wallace Wade accepted an invitation to bring his Crimson Tide football team to Pasadena to play the mighty Washington Huskies in the 1926 Rose Bowl. Alabama shocked the football world by beating Washington 20-19 and was named national champions.
Rose Bowl Stadium seats over 100,000, therefore it is the perfect venue for a national championship game, ie. Alabama vs. Texas in the 2009 championship game and Auburn vs. Florida State in 2013. The weather in Pasadena is usually conducive to such an event. The Southern California area would benefit greatly from having basically two Rose Bowl weeks every year. I can't imagine what resistance could come from the Rose Bowl itself. However, if for some reason the Rose Bowl was not interested in hosting the NCAA National Championship Game on a yearly basis, then we can easily find an appropriate site (Jerry's World in Dallas). One solution would be to use the site of the Super Bowl from the year before. The site would have all the pieces in place to host such an event. This would also allow the championship game to be rotated each year following the site of the Super Bowl of the previous year.
If this plan had been in place this past season, the brackets would have looked like this. (See diagram B on PDF).
By adopting this plan, the NCAA would make more money. The individual schools participating will make more money. Eight teams instead of four will have a chance to play for the national championship. The Bowls will make more money because of higher rated teams in their bowls, plus the obvious heightened interest generated by four bowls becoming quarter-final venues for the NCAA playoffs and the Rose Bowl hosting the national championship game. There would be more excitement in the regular season games because in essence it becomes a 120 team playoff. (There are approximately 120 serious teams playing Division I football). At the beginning of each season every team will have the same chance to make it into the "Top Eight." One or even two losses would not eliminate a good team. Therefore, nobody can have a legitimate gripe about not making the playoff. If your team is #9, your team is not good enough. Live with it!
The bowls would also benefit from a rotating system using the alphabet as the basis. The ranked teams would be assigned so that every four years each bowl would have the number one team. (See diagram C on PDF).
I hereby submit this plan to the NCAA, to every Division I Conference Commissioner, to Athletic Directors and Head Football Coaches of the football playing Division I schools and to the American Football Coaches Association. Patience cannot be obtained all at once! I patiently wait for your response!
Email me at: email@example.com: Attention: Ed Jones, Sports Editor, 12 E. Jefferson St., Montgomery, AL 36014