FanPost

BCS Playoff: Top4 or Conf Champs?

Playoff Debate

First things first, there is technically a possibility of no playoff when the current BCS agreement expires. Remember, they have agreed to discuss this, but if they can't reach a consensus it may be just a modified BCS formula with one championship game or even independent agreements. I am excited about the possibility of a playoff, especially because I don't believe commissioners are as solid or set on 1 playoff model as people may think.

If there is going to be a playoff there are many issues that need to be resolved; playing within current BCS bowls, stand alone NC game, revenue sharing, selection formula and most importantly... Conference Champions or Top 4?

Why Top 4?

  • Top 4 should be technically be the best 4, right? Then there's the SEC. SEC will fight to the death for not just conf champs because they know that they have absolutely dominated football lately and their 2nd or 3rd best team in the conference could very well be the 2nd or 3rd best team in the country... and so deserving of being included in the playoff even though they didn't win their conference. (Big 12 has also recently said this is their preferred model)

Why not, Top 4?

  • What is the difference between fighting over who is ranked 2nd or 3rd for the BCS championship game or 4th or 5th for the new playoff? You think people were mad when they didn't finish in the top 2?... wait til someone thinks they were supposed to make the top 4 and didn't. This problem has just been pushed back.

Why conference champions?

  • It makes the whole season and your conference title game (if you have one) actually be as meaningful as possible. Playoffs then consist of the best of each conference instead of seeing two same conference foes playing for the 3rd time this season. Then there is the whole, "why should you be allowed to play for a national championship if you didn't even win your own conference?"

Why not, conference champions?

  • Just look at last year. The fourth best ranked conference champion was Wisconsin at #10... which means that #2 alabama and #4 Stanford wouldn't have been eligible. Wisconsin had a great team but I don't think youll find many people outside of Madison willing to believe they were more deserving than either of those two teams.

On June 13th and June 20th the playoff war will commence. The Big12/SEC and top4 will do battle against the B1G/Pac12 and their conference champ model. Interestingly enough the ACC is actually in a good position here. The committee is made up of 11 conference commissioners and ND's athletic director. Notre Dame obviously doesn't want a conference champ model to protect their independence. So the ACC becomes the next biggest decider, and really can gain support from all the smaller conferences because of having similar interests and not being apart of the so called "Big 4". Currently, the ACC has sided with the Pac12/B1G on a conference champ model, and I fully expect the playoff format to be a mixture of the two ideas. The good news for this is that the ACC will not be shut out or hindered to compete for a playoff spot, even if FSU/Clemson do leave (and if they did it would be after this decision was made anyways). It simply won't happen. So if you were worried about the new agreement between the Big12/SEC and thought that meant you'd only see semifinals of that and the Pac12/B1G game... relax, not going to happen. Everything decided by this committee then needs to be approved by the presidential oversight committee, whose chair is an ACC president.

So what will the new playoff format look like? (or I guess... should look like)

  • Conferences to be included in champions ranking: Pac12, B1G, Big12, SEC, ACC, and Big East
  • All teams from all remaining conferences will be denoted as an at-large team.

  • Under final BCS standings, the top 4 ranked conference champions will be selected for the playoff unless an independent or at-large team is ranked 3 or more spots higher than the lowest of those 4 conference champions. If there is more than one independent or at-large team ranked more than 3 spots higher than the lowest of the 4 champions than the higher ranked non-champion will take that spot and the lower ranked non-champion would then have to be 3 or more spots higher than the 3 ranked champion in order to secure a spot in the playoff.

Here's how the playoffs would have looked the last 4 years:

2011 Final BCS Standings

Playoff Teams

1. LSU *

2. Alabama

3. Oklahoma St. *

4. Stanford

5. Oregon *

6. Arkansas

7. Boise St.

8. Kansas St.

9. South Carolina

10. Wisconsin *

1. LSU

2. Oklahoma State

3. Oregon

4. Alabama

At-Large Alabama takes the 4th spot from Wisconsin since it is ranked 3 or more spots higher and is the highest ranked at-large team.

At-Large Stanford does not take 3rd spot from Oregon- is only 1 spot higher.

  • denotes four highest ranked conference champions

Bowls that year: ‘Bama beats LSU, Okla St beats Stanford, Oregon beats Wisc

2010 Final BCS Standings

Playoff Teams

1. Auburn *

2. Oregon *

3. TCU

4. Stanford

5. Wisconsin * (Co-champ)

6. Ohio St.* (Co-Champ)

7. Oklahoma

8. Arkansas

9. Michigan St.

10. Boise St.

1. Auburn

2. Oregon

3. Wisconsin

4. TCU

At-Large TCU takes the 4th spot from Ohio St since it is ranked 3 or more spots higher and is the highest ranked at-large team.

At-Large Stanford does not take 3rd spot from Wisconsin- is only 1 spot higher.

  • denotes four highest ranked conference champions

Bowls that year: Auburn beats Oregon, TCU beats Wisc, Stanford beats VT

2009 Final BCS Standings

Playoff Teams

1. Alabama *

2. Texas *

3. Cincinnati *

4. TCU

5. Florida

6. Boise St.

7. Oregon*

8. Ohio St.

9. Georgia Tech

10. Iowa

1. Alabama

2. Texas

3. Cincinnati

4. TCU

At-Large TCU takes the 4th spot from Oregon since it is ranked 3 or more spots higher and is the highest ranked at-large team.

Top 4 teams make playoffs.

  • denotes four highest ranked conference champions

Bowls that year: ‘Bama beats Texas, FL beats Cincy, Boise beats TCU, OSU beats Ore

2008 Final BCS Standings

Playoff Teams

1. Oklahoma *

2. Florida *

3. Texas

4. Alabama

5. USC *

6. Utah

7. Texas Tech

8. Penn St. *

9. Boise St.

10. Ohio St.

1. Oklahoma

2. Florida

3. USC

4. Texas

At-Large Texas takes the 4th spot from PSU since it is ranked 3 or more spots higher and is the highest ranked at-large team.

At-Large Alabama does not take 3rd spot from USC- is only 1 spot higher.

  • denotes four highest ranked conference champions

Bowls that year: FL beats Okla, Texas beats OSU, Utah beats ‘Bama, USC beats PSU

Obviously this is an over-simplification because with the playoffs I think we will see an edited BCS formula so ranking the teams will be extremely important. But I believe this format satisfies both parties of the Top 4 and Conference Champ models and is a realistic, fair format for the sport. What say you?

Anything deemed inappropriate will be deleted by an admin or moderator with the power to do so. The views of the above FanPost do not represent the beliefs of Testudo Times or Testudo Times' authors, nor are they the work of them.

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