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Only conference champs not the way Slive wants playoff to go

Mike Slive AP

By the time the 2012 season kicks off — give or take a month either way — a decision should be made on what shape major college football’s postseason will take beginning in 2014.  What that shape will be, though, remains to be seen.

The Big Ten reportedly favors a four-team playoff in which the semifinal games are played on campus.  Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott publicly acknowledged earlier this month that he too favors a four-team playoff, with the berths consisting of only conference champions.

It’s that latter stipulation being tossed around as a possibility that could cause consternation among some conference commissioners and school presidents as the game’s leaders attempt to reshape the postseason.  Simply put, the “conference champions-only” idea is viewed as an anti-SEC tack, a knee-jerk reaction to the all-SEC Alabama-LSU title game following the 2011 season.

Suffice to say, the SEC — and possibly even a conference like the Big Ten — would not be in favor of any format that could potentially limit the number of teams the conference could put into a playoff.  And, in an interview with Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News, SEC commissioner Mike Slive did not shy away from the fact that, while he’s open to talks on any concept, limiting a playoff to league title winners is not something he — and presumably the presidents he serves — is prepared to get behind.

“I’m willing to have a conversation about (only conference champions), but if you were going to ask me today, that would not be the way I want to go,” Slive told. “It really is early in the discussions, notwithstanding what some commissioners say publicly. There’s still a lot of information that needs to be generated.”

Taking such a stance would certainly make sense as limiting a playoff to conference champs would’ve impacted the SEC on a couple of occasions the past few years.  In addition to last year’s title game, the SEC has finished a regular season with two teams inside the top four in the BcS rankings — 2008 (Florida No. 2, Alabama No. 4) and 2006 (Florida No. 2), LSU No. 4).

Of course, it remains unclear whether BcS-type rankings will be a part of any type of playoff that may be instituted, but the point remains the same: the SEC, the strongest football conference in the country, especially in the top half of the league, will not go easily into any system that could potentially limit its opportunities.

As for the Big Ten floating the possibility of on-campus playoff games, Slive seems to be more open to that than the idea of only conference champions making up a playoff field.  He is, though, concerned about the competitive advantage — one translation: SEC teams being forced to travel north and play games in open-air stadiums in, say, Ann Arbor or Columbus in December — having a home playoff game would entail.

“There are plusses and minuses to that concept,” Slive said. “One is that you’re playing a couple games to determine the national champion and to make it a home game for somebody has always been perceived as a competitive advantage. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is not played at the homes of the higher seeds. So you have to look at that.

“The other side is there would be the question of fan travel and the ability to travel to one or more games. You guarantee good attendance (at a campus stadium) — for one team. It needs to be looked at carefully. It’s on the table and it should be on the table.”

Personally, I like the idea of on-campus games for a college football playoff, although I would prefer an eight-team seeded playoff with all non-title game contests played at the home stadium of the higher seed.  I also have warmed up to the idea of the top four conference champions making the field — rankings to be determined, although the coaches’ poll should in no way, shape or form be part of any playoff system — but only if it’s an eight-team playoff; the other four spots, if I were CFB commissioner, would be the four highest-ranked teams that didn’t win its league.

Here’s how such a scenario would’ve played out last year, with the conference champions earning the first four seeds because I’m the commish in this fantasy, dammit:

Boise St. (No. 7 in final regular-season BcS rankings) at LSU (No. 1, SEC champs)
Arkansas (No. 6) at Oklahoma State (No. 3, Big 12 champs)
Stanford (No. 4) at Oregon (No. 5, Pac-12 champs)
Alabama (No. 2) at Wisconsin (No. 10, Big Ten champs)

I don’t know about you, but that’s a whole helluva lot more appealing than what the current system offers, which is two teams arbitrarily vying in a one-game “playoff” for a pseudo crown.  There’s also the added bonus that it keeps “the best regular season in sports” intact and places significant value on winning your respective conference, which in turn serves to protect the regular season as well.

Is it fair?  Of course not; no system would or will be.  It is, though, a helluva lot more equitable than what we currently have, and that should be at least part of the reason behind the whole exercise currently being undertaken.  (Writer’s note: it’s not; money is, but this would be a nice repercussion of the greed.)

All that said, the above is nothing more than a pipe dream.  When all of the dust settles — probably by the end of summer — Div. 1-A football will choose to dip its collective toes into the proverbial playoff pool with four teams as anything beyond that has little support for the moment.

That’s not optimal, but, hey, at least it’s a start.

Which gets this back to the whole point of the post before I veered off on my personal playoff tangent: should the field for a four-team playoff system include only schools that have won its conference?  Slive has made the SEC’s opinion perfectly clear; now it’s your turn.

Vote below, and sound off in the comments section below that.


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48 Responses to “Only conference champs not the way Slive wants playoff to go”
  1. Deb says: Mar 7, 2012 1:36 PM

    Slive doesn’t want conference champs only because the Wizard gave him a brain. Yeah, that would be exciting, all right. The Big East champ and the Mountain West champ–each 5-7–can duke it out in a big playoff game while the #2 and #3 ranked teams sit home because they’re both from the same conference. Uh-huh. :roll:

    Most of these conferences didn’t even have championship games until five minutes ago–if that. Have the top 12 teams play a tournament, regardless of conference. I’ll go with you on the coaches poll. Use a computer ranking system that incorporates strength of schedule to arrive at your top 12. If you make the top 12, you make the playoffs. If you don’t … try harder next year.

  2. blitz4848 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:53 PM

    Would this scenario make for a lot of pissed off fans??????

    Michigan plays Bama in Jerrys house opening game of the season and beats them 35-10.
    Ohio St beats Michigan 21-20 in the conference championship game. Ohio St is 12-0 and conference champ and Michigan ends up 11-1.

    Bama wins the SEC with a 9-3 record and one of their losses was by 20+ pts to Mich. Does Bama deserve to be in and Michigan out?

    A 4-team conference champ setup would be doing the same thing in a different way.

    The above was JUST an example. You can change the teams around and put any 3 teams in the above scenario……..

  3. thekatman says: Mar 7, 2012 1:56 PM

    If there were a playoff schedule as Slive has suggested dating back to 2003, USC would’ve played in at least 6-7 championship games, as they were the strongest, finishing team in college football back then, but because of losing 1 game during the regular season in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2 in 2009, they were left out.

    By allowing only conference championship winners to play in the 4 team playoff only makes sense. Conferences, strong or not, teams must win their games. You had better play every game during the season as if it were “the playoffs”, because ever game counts. We all know what happened with the SEC / BCS SNAFU that allowed Alabama to play for the Natty. That was just plain wrong, folks. Acutallu if you would’ve had a 4 team playoff and included Alabama and LSU, they would’ve lost, but USC wasn’t allowed to play.

  4. burntorangehorn says: Mar 7, 2012 2:02 PM

    Only conference champions, with six conferences receiving automatic bids, and two at-large bids awarded to mid-major conference champions. Undefeated mid-major conference champs get dibs, with higher BCS ratings being the secondary determinant. If more than two undefeated mid-major champs exist, hold a play-in round, but that’ll be extremely rare, if it ever happens at all.

  5. deadeye says: Mar 7, 2012 2:09 PM

    The contraversy over who gets in will lead to an expanded field. So I like the debate.

    Frankly, both sides of this argument have merrit. Conference champs deserve something for winning their conference, and teams that don’t win a conference can still win it all. Exhibit A, 2011 Alabama.

    The NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB, NCAA Basketball, and NCAA Baseball all have champs who don’t necessarily win their respective division/conference. College football should allow that possibility as well.

  6. gamustangdude says: Mar 7, 2012 2:24 PM

    @ thekatman,

    I disagree, just because you are a conference champ, that doesn’t mean you’re better than other conferences teams. If you include only conference champs in a playoff, then you distort the whole point of a playoff in the first place. Put the four best teams in and the winner is the champ. If we applied your logic to the NFL, then the packers wouldn’t’ve won the Super bowl last year. Just because you’re the best team in the PAC-12 doesn’t mean you’re a better team than the SEC / Big-10 / Big-12 / ACC / etc, runner up, that’s my point.

  7. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) says: Mar 7, 2012 2:32 PM

    The worst trend in CFB is this garbage about playing cupcakes. If you still tailor (no relation) your playoff system around BCS seeds (or the equivalent w/ a new name), conference titles be damned, then there is still no incentive to play meaningful OoC games. Narrowing the pool to 5-6 potential teams is a lot easier than picking from 8-10 teams, six of which played the University of Phoenix and Maine in September. If a team knows that it can lose a game in September, but still make it by winning their conference, we’ll get a better regular season, which is sacrosanct if you listen to those in charge.

  8. thekatman says: Mar 7, 2012 2:41 PM

    By your logic then LSU and Alabama should not have played inthe BcS CG this year.

    The problem with the SEC is their OOC games. Playing teams from Charleston Southern North Texas State, etc to name a few only dilutes your team’s season stats. Oregon plays Montana and Portland State, and that makes their season much less strong.

    With only 4 teams playing for the natty, they must be conference winners.

  9. thekatman says: Mar 7, 2012 2:42 PM

    forgot one thing.

    Strength of Schedule must be included in the rankings for all 12 regular season games. If a team plays an FCS school, that should be a negative value. :-)

  10. mrslay1 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:46 PM

    We have conference champ bowl games now. Rose bowl, Orange bowl. This is not the answer.

  11. bbeaman78 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:47 PM

    Of course not SEC, you want your cake and eat it to you pretentious d-bags. 4 teams should be conference champs only, expand to 8 teams and we’ll talk. Take a hint on the tv ratings for the BCS errrr…..SEC championship do over. A disaster!
    Let me throw the horse$h1t excuse you older than dirt purist have thrown at the fans of “devaluing the regular season” Pretty sure you did that last year when you decided that Alabama got a second shot at LSU after they already lost to them and lost their conference. LSU vs. Oklahoma State should have happened and I’m a sooner fan.
    It’s sad that money and politics trumps what fans want. Give me an 6 team playoff. Conference champ locks for SEC, BIG TEN, ACC, BIG 12, PAC 12, create a separate division of football for the underlings. You want to keep emphasis on your regular season? Make the conference championship a must.

    Top rated teams get a bye first round. Now you are looking at 3 weeks to determine a true champion. If we must include the BIG Least and the other conferences then we go to 8 teams. 6 automatic major conference champs and 2 wild cards.

    This is like printing money commissioners and NCAA. Why do you not get it!?!? How is that you and politicians are so out of touch with fans and constituents? Oh yeah you either never played or don’t understand football.

    Don’t bs me with its more complicated. It’s not, it’s about people who don’t care about the game and care solely about money and maintaining their lifestyle. NCAA football is a joke and so is conference realignment. 12 teams should be the minimum to have a conference. No conference, no division 1 status or chance to play for a national championship. The most unorganized collegiate sport alive!

  12. gamustangdude says: Mar 7, 2012 2:59 PM

    First, where do you get that LSU nor Alabama wouldn’t’ve played for the BCS NCG using my logic? They were the 2 best teams by far; they were ranked #1 and #2, by my logic they would’ve played.

    Second, I do find it funny that you mention Alabama and LSU and then in your next sentence talk about the SEC OOC Slate. I guess you forgot the LSU played WVU and Oregon as well, Alabama played Penn State. USC’s OOC games? 3-9 Minnesota and 5-7 Syracuse. You don’t have much room to talk here. Every team schedules cupcakes. OK State played La-Lafayette and Tulsa, Oregon played Southwest Mo. St and Nevada, Stanford played San Jose state and Duke, need I go on? The only argument non-SEC fans like to spout off is week OOC teams, hey guess what, every team schedules week OOC teams, and if they don’t then they ARE the week OOC team. Give that old tired argument a rest it holds no weight.

  13. stairwayto7 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:13 PM

    The SEC will only go for 4 teams playoff if 3 teams are from SEC! I love regulation! No conferances, 4 divsions north, south, central and west with 16 teams witht eh best getting in and no more cupcakes schedules..Miss Miss st, kebtucky, Vandy weekly!

  14. bbeaman78 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:15 PM

    Pretty sure no on watched the BCS title game…Alabama shouldnt play LSU after losing to them already. Maybe it isn’t politicians maybe being from the South you forget that people don’t want to watch the same game again. You get 1 shot. I am curious to see what the cowboys would have done against LSU. I know you and your SEC friends were jerking it watching such a thrilling game again, but no one else cared. Also, each conference should get 1 seat at the BcS championship table. Arrogance and perception doesn’t mean you get a second chance because I am pretty sure a loss is a loss. I’m not going to sit here and listen to you recount the schedules and compare teams on the schedule. Better match up would have been conference champ vs conference champ. I hope you felt all warm and fuzzzy knowing everyone got a trophy between alabama and LSU. You can sleep better on your cocked shaped pillow tonite.

  15. gamustangdude says: Mar 7, 2012 3:17 PM

    Forgot one thing,

    11 out of the 12 SEC teams had a tougher strength of Schedule than USC, according to Jeff Saragin. That says more about the SEC’s in conference slate opposed to it’s out of conference slate.

  16. bbeaman78 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:19 PM

    SEC = delusional

    Everything we do is better. We launder money to pay players, it practically professional football.

  17. floodoobious says: Mar 7, 2012 3:19 PM


  18. florida727 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:29 PM

    I’m an SEC fan. (Let the thumbing-down commence :) ) All of us that like to boast about winning 6 national title games in a row, and yeah, I’m one of them, need to remember that it is cyclical. There WILL be another conference that will emerge and have a “run” of championships, or at least championship game appearances (think USC and Matt Barkley starting this coming year for instance).

    I still have not yet heard a better suggestion than: 6-teams, use the existing BCS bowls for all games, top 2 get first-round byes, #1 plays the remaining lowest seed after #4 plays #5 and #3 plays #6, then #2 get the higher remaining seed, in the national semi-finals. Some goofy potato chip manufacturer still gets their precious championship game for which they will agree to over-pay for advertising.

    Problem with the above scenario is that some conference champion(s) will undoubtedly get left behind. Conversely, you’d think a #1 and/or #2 should be rewarded with an extra week off. So if not 6, then maybe 14. Then again, they already have too much time off between their final game and the bowl season.

    Look at the bright side… now at least these idiot conference geeks are talking about WHICH playoff format will work best, not IF a playoff format will work.

  19. drummerhoff says: Mar 7, 2012 3:29 PM

    Delany is on record stating that the tie-in the the Rose Bowl will not go away. He wont say it at this time, but Jim Delany is angling for the four conference champions only and one-bracket is Big10 v. Pac12. This will be horrible!

    The only way anyone should consider conference champions only is if it is seeded each year with 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 …. regardless of conference affiliation.

  20. auburntigers34 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:33 PM

    lots of SEC envy in this thread. keep it coming.

  21. florida727 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:40 PM

    “beaman”, you’re an idiot hater. Congratulations. “flood”, you’re running a close second. Go take a look at YOUR team’s schedule. As “mustangdude” very appropriately pointed out, if you’re not scheduling cupcakes, you ARE the cupcake. Get off the cupcake argument already. It’s old and inapplicable. Want to know why? Because if your conference is worth a sh1t, you have to win it to even be considered for inclusion in the playoffs.

    Here’s an idea: you’re only eligible for the playoffs as a non-conference champion if the team (as in ONE loss only) you lost to IS your conference’s champion. Face it, with a limited playoff field, it should be a rarity that ANY 2-loss team gets in.

  22. thekatman says: Mar 7, 2012 3:40 PM

    Bless your lil hearts, SEC fans.

  23. overratedgators says: Mar 7, 2012 3:43 PM

    Slive on giving home field advantage to the higher ranked team: “There are plusses and minuses … One is that you’re playing a couple games to determine the national champion and to make it a home game for somebody has always been perceived as a competitive advantage. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is not played at the homes of the higher seeds. … The other side is there would be the question of fan travel and the ability to travel to one or more games. You guarantee good attendance (at a campus stadium) — for one team.”

    None of this, of course, seems to be a problem for Slive when LSU is called upon to play a NCG in the SuperDome or Florida is called upon to play a BcS bowl in central Florida.

  24. mgm36 says: Mar 7, 2012 4:01 PM

    one of the problems I have with Slive’s comments is that he doesn’t want his SEC schools having to travel north for games. you can’t have it both ways Mr. Slive.

  25. cameron poe says: Mar 7, 2012 4:04 PM


    ahahahahahhaha “You get 1 shot.. I’m curious to see what the cowboys would have done…”

    Hey bro Iowa St. happened even though you want to forget it.

    So from those of us in the SEC tired of all your jealousy and tears


  26. krycek84 says: Mar 7, 2012 4:07 PM

    A Mix between Playoffs and BCS Bowl :

    8 teams format :

    Automatic bids:
    Champions of SEC , PAC12, BIG12, BIG10, ACC.

    Then decides between it:
    – Champion Big East if in the Top 16 otherwise better At-Large
    – Better of the Champion C-USA, MAC, WAC, MWC, Sun Belt or Independant if in the Top 16 otherwise better At-Large
    – Best At-Large remaining

    Seeds are determined by
    1 – 5: the champions of the automatic conferences according to their BCS ranking
    6 – 8: Others according to the BCS ranking.

    We would thus have had:
    1 LSU
    2 Oklahoma State
    3 Oregon
    4 Wisconsin
    5 Clemson
    6 Alabama
    7 Stanford
    8 Arkansas

    Quarterfinals (16-17 december 2011):
    Sugar Bowl : 1 LSU – 8 Arkansas
    Fiesta Bowl : 2 Oklahoma State – 7 Stanford
    Rose Bowl : 3 Oregon – 6 Alabama
    Orange Bowl : 4 Wisconsin – 5 Clemson

    Semi-finals (24 december 2011): on-campus game

    Final on BCS assigned field (9 january 2012)

  27. fcmlefty1 says: Mar 7, 2012 4:44 PM

    I think we’ll ultimately get a “happy compromise” on this issue. It’s pretty obvious that we’ll start with 4 teams. I think the compromise will be that it will be the three highest rated conference champions, and one “wild card”. This wild card could be a 4th conference champ, it could be a 2nd SEC team, and it’ll also be where Notre Dame and BYU (and I guess Army too, but thats a long shot) has access to the bracket. It’ll be set up where a non-conf champ can’t host one of the semi finals (even if they were #2 in the “rankings”, which I’d imagine will look something like a hybrid of the BCS computers/RPI used for basketball/parwise rankings used for hockey), but Notre Dame and BYU could. A non conference champion team would always be the #4 seed, no exceptions.

    Under this scenario, we’d have still had the rematch, but it would have been a semi final instead. This past year would have been SEC Champ LSU vs Wild Card Alabama in one semifinal, and Big 12 Champ OK State vs PAC 12 Champ Oregon in the other. I’d think most of the football community would have been receptive to this.

  28. fcmlefty1 says: Mar 7, 2012 4:57 PM

    @krycek84 – if you think the Rose Bowl is being played the weekend before Christmas, or any other day that isn’t January 1st (or the ocassional 2nd when the 1st is a Sunday), I’ll take two of what ever you are drinking…

  29. frug says: Mar 7, 2012 5:29 PM


    A lot of that is the fact USC was under a bowl ban. If USC had played in the PAC CG and a bowl they would have ranked higher than at least half the SEC.

  30. thekatman says: Mar 7, 2012 5:30 PM

    USC would’ve ranked at #3 on the BcS chart.

  31. bbeaman78 says: Mar 7, 2012 6:07 PM

    Florida guy, I like your post and my post is aimed at the Ga guy who can’t back up any of his argument and pretty much spews the same crap I here from SEC honks.

    SEC is a freakin great conference and yes I envy the stability and the unity amongst the schools as a conference. NFL ready players and all are studs. Running the ball and playing defense in nfl style offenses. I would love for OU and Texas to join the SeC and then we are closing to 4 or 5 super conferences (aka divisions) then a playoff. Will never happen due to everyone cowering down to the LOnghorns. Maybe Oklahoma and Ok. State join. FYI I was for the big 12 imploding!

    I can agree with the Florida guy with the comment that losing to a conference championship winner will not make a team I eligible for an 8 team playoff. 4 team playoff I still stand firm on conference winners.

    If none of you SEC fan want to honor or recognize conference champs, then at least agree the system is broke and we should rethink NCAA d-1 college football. Why have conferences at all if winning them means nothing?

    Also, stated above about comparing schedules and who schedules cream-puffs. Pretty sure that I see an SEC team schedule an FCS and lesser teams as well. Yes we all know how tough Kentucky, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Vandy are on a grueling conference schedule. Quit patting yourselves in the back with how your conference schedule is soooo tough. Truth be told all college coaches want 1 good OoC game and 2 cream-puffs. All coaches will tell you it is hard enough to win a conference let alone a national title.

    Where is it that I state anything about cupcakes. Also read my post I can’t stand the OK state Cowboys. I am an Oklahoma Sooner Fan! Cupcake? The Sooners actually schedule up compare to most teams in the BiG 12 Pretty sure OU playing Notre Dame next year and yes they are on the rise and have good talent. OU play a home and home with Florida State and went to Talahassee. My Sooners were overrated greatly and will be at the beginning of the season again.

    My point in all of this is there isn’t a system. Put your SEC foam finger down and look at it from a general fan’s perspective. Every conference has their own agenda and we don’t have a true champion. I hate the system and it is a bugs me when conferences state the rules apply for everyone, but not to them.

  32. gamustangdude says: Mar 7, 2012 7:05 PM


    You’re taking this way to the left. thekatman stated that only conference champions should be allowed in a playoff system all I did was argue against that. Yes, the SEC has its cream puffs, but don’t sit here and act like the SEC is the only conference with Cream Puffs. The Big-12, as well as ALL other conferences, has teams that usually get stomped on. For every Kentucky or Tenn. you want to throw at me, remember there’s a Kansas, Illinois, Syracuse, Duke, just to name a few, I can throw right back. I’m not sitting here pounding my chest going SEC SEC!!! I honestly thought the Big-12 was a better conference than the SEC was this year, at least until bowl season. Regardless, my point was obviously not communicated properly so I’ll state it again. I’m all for playoffs; anywhere / anytime. But I’m for playoffs that consist of the top Teams, not just conference champions. If 3 of the top 4 teams just happened to be from the PAC-12, I wouldn’t care, as long as the best teams are selected.

    I’ve never put my foam finger up, however anytime someone comes on this site to defend the SEC or to argue against someone’s opinion, they are looked at as some blind SEC Fan. If me defending my team or my conference makes me a blind SEC Fan than the same should be said for any college football fan who yells “GO! ______”

  33. sportsinhd says: Mar 7, 2012 8:31 PM

    If it’s only four teams, it should be limited to just four conference champions, and those champions should be picked based on some sort of final ranking or a “committee” a la the NCAA Bball tournament.

    If it’s eight teams, pick the conference champions of the four top rated conferences and allow for four “at large” bids, hopefully conference champions 5 and 6, and two at large bids.

    Too much crap if you have a four team playoff field and you leave out a 10-1 Virginia Tech team to allow a 10-1 LSU team in. It makes winning your conference worthless. There are bad divisions in all sports, but you get rewarded for winning those divisions or conferences.

  34. blueglaze says: Mar 7, 2012 8:57 PM

    Ya def think all the ok state fans pissed at Alabama and arguing the “cupcake” SEC schedule… Need to remember they lost to the pink frosted cupcake Iowa State… And it’s pretty disgusting to use a disastrous plane crash as an excuse…just sayin…ok state is college fb’s Jersey Shore…

  35. Deb says: Mar 7, 2012 9:08 PM

    @bbeaman78 …

    ROFL … how many times are you gonna post, dude? You’re not fooling anyone either, baby. You figure the only way your team could get into the playoffs is by giving them a pity placement rather than making them earn their way into the tournament. You and your friends don’t have to keep shouting. We get it. You don’t think you’re good enough to get into the tournament on merit. Believe me, the SEC understands what’s behind all the squealing. 😆

  36. tmb333 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:34 PM

    You need clear cut criteria to set the field.

    16 teams.

    All eleven conferences would be required to set divisions and have a championship game. Championship game winners get automatic bids.

    The at large bid eligible pool would be limited to teams that lost in the conference championship game. These means you have to at least win your division to have a shot and it keeps all the focus on the regular season.

    At large teams would be selected using a formula like the bcs currently uses. This keeps the writers and computers involved. The highest five at large teams are in.

    The seeds would be set by using the same formula used to select at large bids.

    Teams will complain and some may get slighted. No system is perfect. This keeps the focus on the regular and conference seasons. It limits each conference to two teams max in the field.

  37. mrslay1 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:28 PM

    Gezz the sc people. You were not invited to anything because you are CHEATERS. You have ZERO BCS championships because you are CHEATERS. You are not in the rankings, (that count) because you are CHEATERS! Get the point! For people that claim to be so intelligent and well educated you seem to have a real hard time understanding something so simple! The rest of the country gets it, even ND:-)

  38. jason1214 says: Mar 7, 2012 11:25 PM

    God I love all hyperventilating over 2011. All the fans and school presidents from outside the SEC, whining and b*tching. Newsflash, what happened in 11′ was an anomaly, get over it. RTR.

  39. uscatjerseyshore says: Mar 8, 2012 12:48 AM

    Once again Mike Slay – AKA mrs lay1 proves his ignorance repeating his idiotic comments about USC being cheaters. I suppose if I lived in a rathole double wide in Harrison Arkansas cooking meth for fun and profit I too would be angry at the world. @mrs lay1 really needs to get a life as his obsession with bashing USC just underscores his limited mental capacity.

    The sanctions against USC relate to “not knowing” that a player’s parents received cash from an agent. So when did “not knowing” become cheating? Call Merriam Webster as that is an apparent new definition.

    No debate on the strength of the SEC conference but personally I’d rather watch the two teams that played each other for a National Championship do more in a game than kicking field goals until 4:36 was left in the eighth and last quarter they played each other in the two games they went head to head. Based on the ratings, it seems the CFB fan base pretty much agrees.

    Regarding Slay there is no point in arguing with an idiot. It laughable that he would even know what an “intelligent and well educated individual” could be as his level of comprehension isn’t far removed from that of a half-witted imbecillic preschooler.

  40. florida727 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:44 AM

    “tmb333”, great post. Only question is whether or not the NCAA would ever approve a FOUR round playoff system. Guessing not… because it makes too much sense.

  41. jonanthans says: Mar 8, 2012 9:01 AM

    Easiest way is to modify the BCS rankings towards something that can actually be understood by everyone, no hidden numbers, all formulas out in the open. Then you take the top 8 rated schools in the nation at the end of the season, period. Regardless if you have multiple schools in the top 8 at the end of the season, its much easier to accept those rankings. If a team is sitting a the #9 slot and gets left out, I’m sure the argument they would have would be much less than what the current system does to the #3 seed (OK State this year).
    NOBODY gets a bye in the tourney, #1 vs #8, #2 vs #7, #3 vs #6, #4 vs #5.
    Use some of the current early (and insignificant) Bowl games as Playoff games instead. You would actually fill them up instead of half-empty stadiums.
    The next week is round 2,
    then you have a week off before the LEGITIMATE National Championship game is played.
    Of course it makes too much sense to actually ever be implemented.

  42. jonanthans says: Mar 8, 2012 9:04 AM

    *edit – above should have read “multiple schools from one conference in the top 8 at the end of the season”

  43. Brother Ben says: Mar 8, 2012 4:08 PM

    Rather than guaranteeing 4 conference champions a spot, why not only 3.

    It would put a HIGH value on the regular season by rewarding conference wins. If you place the next top 2 teams in a play-in (Alabama vs. Stanford) then that expands the field while still rewarding a high-ranking champion (OK State) with 1 less game than a high-ranking at-large (Alabama).

    Plus, the teams in the at-large game would play on Championship Saturday, so they would not play more games than another team in a conference championship game, like LSU. And except for rare circumstances where both CCG teams are in the Top 5 (Alabama vs. Florida x2), the play-in game will always be tougher than a CCG.

  44. Brother Ben says: Mar 9, 2012 10:18 AM

    And the Wild Card isn’t automatically slotted #4, but you can disbar them from a home game if you’d like. There is no reason to force the #1 team to play a more difficult team just because they are #1. If using home games, perhaps the top 2 champions should be guaranteed a home game before worrying about rematches; and the Top 2 will never be paired:

    with Alabama:
    4 Oregon @ 1 LSU (Tigers already beat both road teams, so a rematch was unavoidable)
    2 Alabama @ 3 OK State

    with Alabama getting a home game:
    3 OK State @ 1 LSU (no more rematch)
    4 Oregon @ 2 Alabama

    With Stanford:
    3 Stanford @ 1 LSU (1v3, 2v4 to avoid a rematch)
    4 Oregon @ 2 OK State

    With Stanford jumping OSU for #2:
    4 Oregon @ 1 LSU
    2 Stanford @ 3 OK State (maybe #2 gets home field)

  45. fcmlefty1 says: Mar 12, 2012 10:12 AM

    @Brother Ben – you’re worried about protecting the #1 seed. I’d be more concerned with making the path as hard as possible on the #4 seed, especially if its a non champion. 2 road games, starting against the #1 seed, is indeed the toughest path. Its why NFL Wild cards are seeded last. its why baseball has finally wised up to make it a much more difficult road for thier wild cards.

  46. Brother Ben says: Mar 12, 2012 11:27 AM

    Actually, I think what I proposed is QUITE similar to the new MLB wild-card system. You have 3 champions and the 2 next teams vying for that fourth spot.

    I do think protecting the #1 seed should come before hampering the wild card. Similarly, I think in the NFL the wild-card winners should be reseeded (#3, #4) based on their regular season record, regardless of if they won their division.

    True, there could and perhaps should be an added cap on how “easy” a “wild-card” team gets it, but I think that that cap can simply be that they won’t get a home game, even if the polls have them #1. Plus, adding a wild-card game sufficiently toughens the championship-road.

    If you are matching teams at neutral sites for the semifinals, then it should make no difference whether a team won their conference. Pairings then should be based on rankings, rematches, and locations.

  47. fcmlefty1 says: Mar 12, 2012 11:57 AM

    @ Ben

    In baseball, whomever wins that wild card will go on the road to play the #1 seed. NFL wild cards go on the road to play the #1 seed. Winning conference/division titles on the field still has to count for something.

    I understand your thinking – we just simply have different perspectives on the situation. I’m cool with just agreeing to disagree.

  48. Brother Ben says: Mar 26, 2012 11:49 AM

    Yeah, agree to disagree.

    Although in saying “Winning conference/division titles on the field still has to count for something.” is exactly my point. Reward them with easier opponents not tough opponents that happened to be #2 in a tough division. The easiest opponent may also be that team that finished #2 in their division, but the key quality is “easy.”

    And the reason the MLB pairs the #1 team with the wild-card now is so that they can still get the 2v3 series started early. With football, the rests between games is a consistent week for all teams, we do not have to (though could) be consigned to bracketing. The NFL does not bracket their wild-card games.

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