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BCS-less Div. I-AA Playoff is Imperfect, Too

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So you want a 16-team playoff to determine the NCAA football champion? You got it. Just don’t look for Notre Dame or Ohio State in them.

The Division I-AA football championship has, for 28 years, been a four-round playoff system. But even a 16-team playoff has its share of controversy.

Youngstown State University (8-3), ranked No. 13 in its own NCAA poll, was left out of the playoffs by the I-AA Football Committee. In its place was No. 25 Lafayette, also at 8-3.

The YSU Penguins, once coached by now Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, was a dominant force in the 1990s, but maybe they can take solace in that if they took a drove down I-76 they could probably wallop Division I-A Kent State (1-10).

But so many fans of college football are calling for an end to the BCS’ tyrannical rule over I-A postseason. Every year the BCS Committee gives its championship-game algorithm a shot of Botox in hopes that it runs more efficiently and picks the “right” two teams for the title game. And, unless it finds two major teams who are undefeated, it doesn’t.

But the fans keep coming back to watch the BCS games. Perhaps if it wants to make a statement, they’ll embrace the 16-teams maneuvering through a bracket to a more agreeably consensus national champion.

The first round takes place today, Nov. 26 (all times Eastern, the one true time zone):

No. 24 Colgate (8-3) at No. 1 New Hampshire (10-1) | 12 noon, ESPN2
No. 21 Nicholls State (6-3) at No. 3 Furman (9-2) | 12:30 p.m.
No. 25 Lafayette (8-3) at No. 4 Appalachian State (8-3) | 2 p.m.
No. 19 Eastern Illinois (9-2) at No. 8 Southern Illinois (8-3) | 2 p.m.
No. 10 Cal Poly (8-3) at No. 10 Montana (8-3) | 2:07 p.m.
No. 6 Georgia Southern (8-3) at No. 5 Texas State (9-2) | 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
No. 12 Richmond (8-3) at No. 2 Hampton (11-0) | 8 p.m., ESPNU
No. 15 Eastern Washington (7-4) at No. 6 Northern Iowa (8-3) | 8:05 p.m.

Winner ought to play the Sun Belt Conference champion, if I were commish.

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