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Playoffs To Determine An NCAA Football Playoff System

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Okay, we all agree. The BCS sucks. It doesn't determine the true two best teams. And no measurement can accurately determine the two best teams year in, year out.

So how shall we improve the method to determine a college football national champion? Maybe replace it with a classic bracket. How about add one more game? Perhaps we simply leave the BCS alone. Or something completely outrageous?

There's only one way to find out. Let's see if the BCS can be overcome the opposition by using the contender's core postseason mechanism: the seeded bracket.


1. BCS

As I've said, I like the system because of the Global Thermonuclear War chaos it causes. And without it, we don't have a magical 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

2. 8-team playoff

The most sensible number of playoff entrants. Beyond that you're often looking at three-loss teams.

3. "Plus-one" game

A bit ridiculous, because in a year such as this one you have more than four legitimate national championship arguments, but it's one of the more talked about — and even more important, realistic — solutions.

4. 16-team playoff

Now you're getting into more of a December Madness feel. Plus it mirrors the Championship Subdivision almost perfectly. Sixteen teams also enables the chance for a team from each conference…

5. 32-team playoff

…Whereas a system with thirty-two teams enables the chance for Michigan to participate every year.

6. One team per conference

And none more, which would likely eliminate teams like Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Arizona State. Plus, it's only 11 schools — 12 if you want to include the top indie team. So there are first round byes.

7. No championship game

You know, before the BCS, we just had bowl games. That wasn't so bad in hindsight, now was it?

8. 64-team playoff

UTTER MADNESS! Also, if it must mirror the NCAA basketball tournament, I'm not opposed to Appalachian State-Delaware being the play-in game.

9. ESPN's 10-team bracket

By this, I don't mean implementing this 10-team system. Instead of having the two teams play football against each other, the learned ESPN counsel of Mark May, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso actually decide who wins the games by talking about them once an night on SportsCenter.

10. World Cup-Style Pool

Sixteen teams in four pools. Everyone in a pool plays each other. Top two teams advance to the final eight. Plus … international referee scandals! That always sweetens the entertainment. Stipulation: games have to be played at 5 a.m.

11. Reality TV-style voting

Money and ratings meet fan-teractivity. Starting in November, 10 teams are [gulp] selected. Each week fans vote online or text message the names of a team they think shouldn't play for the national championship. Then, in four weeks, we have two teams left over. And of course, it's all broadcast on prime time.

12. Simulate a season on Xbox 360

Every year advancements in technology are made to improve gameplay, reduce errors, and make the game more fun. (Just like the NCAA.) Plus, injuries in this game are fake, so it's okay to piledrive someone after the whistle. And educational!

13. 97-team playoff

Why 97? It's a prime number, and would likely set up a complex system of byes and tiebreakers. And the BCS loves complexity and tiebreakers. It wouldn't be college football without them.

14. Plus-shaped football field

I've had the idea of a Y-shaped, plus-shaped, asterisk-shaped field for some time, where multiple teams duke it out on the same field, eliminating the need for a messy tiebreaker or playoff system. But my main man twoeightnine finally depicted his vision using the Shop of Photos what I was always thinking:

What I didn't initially visualize was the 50-yard epicenter being protected by mountains, ninjas, and pirate hookers. But I see nothing wrong with this hallucinogenic addendum.

15. The Price Is Right Big Wheel

All the makings of a thrilling championship tiebreaker. Les Miles spins the wheel. Drew Carey asks if he wants to say hi to anyone. ("I'd like to say hi to my buddy Bill Martin up in Ann Arbor, how you … actually, I'll just text him later.") And then when he lands on 95 cents, even if he loses the BCS game, Miles can fervently say that his team's never lost a game on the big wheel, so in a way they're undefeated.

16. USC wins every year

Pete Carroll has so much fun coaching. Look at him and those puppy dog eyes.

Snubbed Playoff Systems Who Didn't Make It Into The Bracket

(What would a playoff be without them?)

• 128-team playoff bracket
Super Sloppy Double Dare physical challenge
Double Jeopardy question
• Modified Stableford point system
• Swimsuit competition
• 1-team playoff bracket
• One of those contests where you have to stand the longest while having one hand on the car, and if I knew what that kind of contest is called, this entry would be much shorter. Oh, and instead of a car, it's the Sears Trophy.

The Bracket

After I finished this, I realized that enabling a 16-team playoff might inherently assume advocacy for a 16-team playoff system. That's not the case. I'm an impartial sports bystander who advocates no one system. Well, except the BCS. That thing rules.

Aw hell. If you submit votes to me, I may include them in the following rounds of the NCAA Playoff Bracket Playoff Bracket.

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About Suss

  • The plus-shaped football field system gets its championship shirts from Lane Bryant.

  • Druxxx

    I like the reality TV vote off.

    I think there are 119 teams in Division 1A.
    We play 118 weeks, one team is voted off each week.

    So what if that takes over 2 years. The BCS makes no sense, so why should the new system.
    Plus everyone says how much they love college footballs “regular season.” This just makes it over 100 weeks longer. And college football would become year round.

  • 10. World Cup-Style Pool

    Sixteen teams in four pools. Everyone in a pool plays each other. Top two teams advance to the final eight. Plus … international referee scandals! That always sweetens the entertainment. Stipulation: games have to be played at 5 a.m.


  • Jordan

    Oh please, anything but #9. With Mark May and Lou Holtz running things we’d have a USC-Notre Dame title game for eighteen years in a row.

  • Jordan

    Actually, scratch that: #9 and #16 are the exact same thing.

  • The other anonymous

    Round 1 winners:

    USC wins every time
    ESPN’s 10 team bracket

    X-Box 360
    97 team playoff

    8 team playoff
    no championship game

    Reality TV vote-off
    Plus 1 game

    Round 2 winners:

    USC wins every year (same as the ESPN picks)
    X-Box 360

    No championship game
    plus 1 game

    Round 3 winners:

    X-Box 360
    No championship game


    College football returns to the 80’s