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2002-2011: Top-four vs. champs-only playoff models

2011

TOP FOUR
LSU (SEC)
Alabama (SEC)
Oklahoma State (Big 12)
Stanford (Pac-12)

CHAMPS-ONLY
LSU (SEC)
Oklahoma State (Big 12)
Oregon (Pac-12)
Alabama (SEC, wildcard)
2010

TOP FOUR
Auburn (SEC)
Oregon (Pac-12)
TCU (Mountain West)
Stanford (Pac-12)

CHAMPS-ONLY
Auburn (SEC)
Oregon (Pac-12)
TCU (Mountain West)
Wisconsin (Big Ten)

2009

TOP FOUR
Alabama (SEC)
Texas (Big 12)
Cincinnati (Big East)
TCU (Mountain West)

CHAMPS-ONLY
Alabama (SEC)
Texas (Big 12)
Cincinnati (Big East)
TCU (Mountain West)

2008

TOP FOUR
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Florida (SEC)
Texas (Big 12)
Alabama (SEC)

CHAMPS-ONLY
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Florida (SEC)
USC (Pac-12)
Utah (Mountain West)

2007

TOP FOUR
Ohio State (Big Ten)
LSU (SEC)
Virginia Tech (ACC)
Oklahoma (Big 12)

CHAMPS-ONLY
Ohio State (Big Ten)
LSU (SEC)
Virginia Tech (ACC)
Oklahoma (Big 12)

2006

TOP FOUR
Ohio State (Big Ten)
Florida (SEC)
Michigan (Big Ten)
LSU (SEC)

CHAMPS-ONLY
Ohio State (Big Ten)
Florida (SEC)
Louisville (Big East)
Michigan (Big Ten, wildcard)

2005

TOP FOUR
USC (Pac-12)
Texas (Big 12)
Penn State (Big Ten)
Ohio State (Big Ten)

CHAMPS-ONLY
USC (Pac-12)
Texas (Big 12)
Penn State (Big Ten)
Ohio State (Big Ten, wildcard)

2004

TOP FOUR
USC (Pac-12)
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Auburn (SEC)
Cal (Pac-12)

CHAMPS-ONLY
USC (Pac-12)
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Auburn (SEC)
Utah (Mountain West)

2003

TOP FOUR
Oklahoma (Big 12)
USC (Pac-12)
LSU (SEC)
Michigan (Big Ten)

CHAMPS-ONLY
USC (Pac-12)
LSU (SEC)
Michigan (Big Ten)
Oklahoma (Big 12, wildcard)

2002

TOP FOUR
Miami (Big East)
Ohio State (Big Ten)
Iowa (Big Ten)
Georgia (SEC)

CHAMPS-ONLY
Miami (Big East)
Ohio State (Big Ten)
Georgia (SEC)
Iowa (Big Ten, wildcard)

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8 Responses to “2002-2011: Top-four vs. champs-only playoff models”
  1. burntorangehorn says: Jun 1, 2012 4:23 PM

    Why would the champs-only model include wildcards? That’s outside the very definition of “champs-only.

    Replace Alabama with Boise State in 2011-12.
    Replace Michigan with Boise State in 2006-07.
    Replace Ohio State with Georgia in 2005-2006. If counting Notre Dame, they get in over Georgia.
    Replace Oklahoma with Florida State in 2003-04.
    Replace Iowa with Washington State in 2002-03.

    USC instead of Wazzu could replace Iowa in 2002-03, arguably, since they and Wazzu were co-champs, meaning that USC could technically be considered the high-ranking conference champ out of those two schools.

  2. John Taylor says: Jun 1, 2012 4:37 PM

    Why would the champs-only model include wildcards?

    It’s called a compromise, burnt, and the label I used is probably easier to understand than “3-1″.

  3. burntorangehorn says: Jun 1, 2012 4:49 PM

    Not if it’s a misnomer, though. Could just call it the compromise model. A truly champs-only format actually looks good.

  4. burntorangehorn says: Jun 1, 2012 5:14 PM

    Also, I’m curious as to what method you used to choose between going for a pure champs-only lineup and the 3-1. For and example of why I’m confused, you went with wildcard #5 Iowa in there instead of Pac 10 co-champs #4 USC or #6 Wazzu in 2002, but you went with Big Ten champs #5 Wisconsin over wildcard #4 Stanford in 2010.

  5. thefiesty1 says: Jun 1, 2012 5:43 PM

    Anybody notice the absence of an ACC team and only one in one year from the Big East? Why bother including either of them in the top 4 or 3 plus 1 or any other senario in the first place.

  6. gamustangdude says: Jun 1, 2012 6:31 PM

    @ burnt

    Boise State wasn’t the Champ in 2011-2012 TCU won the MWC plus Alabama was ranked higher than Boise.

  7. brucebutkis says: Jun 21, 2012 2:09 AM

    If there’s only going to be 4 teams involved, it should be rule number 1; only conference champions are eligible. PERIOD! This wild card nonsense just leaves the door open for more of the current stupidity. I think it also lessens the purpose of playing the regular season and a conference title game compared to what it adds to the game if you have to win it to be in it. With 4 teams there just isn’t room or the need for a second place team. The idea that 4 conference champions in division 1 worthy of being selected each and every year isn’t possible is utter non sense and still leaves too much room for bias and favoritism. ??It’s not rocket science people win your conference If you want to play in the title game. So you see number 2 you did have your shot but you didnt do it on the field your not even the best in your conference sorry no special treatment because of who you are or because people think you had an off night or your big toe hurt and you needed mama to kiss it , too bad sorry you lost, goodbye your out deal with it and next year if you want to be eligible WIN YOUR CONFERENCE, simple as that .

  8. pulpfictionado says: Jul 5, 2012 5:00 PM

    4 teams is an illegitimate playoff, but will be inherently better at picking a de facto national champion.

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