Eric Mirlis
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December 7 - A BCS Alternative

For the first time in recent memory, the BCS got it right. The matchup everyone has wanted to see
from the opening of the college football season - USC vs. Texas for the National Championship - is
going to happen.

But that doesn't mean the system is fixed.

Last year, when there were five unbeaten teams, I decided to map out what would be a 16 team
college football playoff, using some very basic parameters. And even though things luckily worked out
this season, I decided to pull my formula out again to see how it would look this year.

Now, let me get a few things out of the way first. I am not a college football fan. I don't follow it, I don't
have a favorite team and I rarely, if ever, watch it on TV. Let's face it - when you go to a Division III
school with no football team (can you imagine going to a football game to root on your team and
yelling "Go Violets"? I didn't think so.) and grew up and live in a region with no major team to root for,
apathy has a tendency to fester and grow. So, I'm looking at this with an objective eye, with no
preconceived ideas of who I want to succeed and with no care about who gets offended.

Is my idea plausible? No. Why? Because it makes sense and I think its fairly obvious that the powers
that be that run college football are more interested in the money they get from their system as
opposed to instituting a system that makes sense, even one like this that would make a boatload of

I say this. Make it a 16 team tournament. Not 8. 16. Here are the first round matchups, using the
following parameters:

--All 11 D-I conferences get an automatic bid
--The other five bids go to the five highest ranked BCS teams that did not receive an automatic bid
--No conference can have more than two bids
--The seedings are in BCS Standings order, no exceptions

First Round:
#1 USC (12-0, Pac-10 bid) vs. #16 Arkansas State (6-5, Sun Belt bid)
#8 Miami (9-2, ranked 8th in BCS) vs. #9 Auburn (9-2, ranked 9th in BCS)

#4 Ohio State (9-2, ranked 4th in BCS) vs. #13 Boise State (9-3, WAC bid)
#5 Oregon (10-1, ranked 5th in BCS) vs. #12 Florida State (8-4, ACC bid)

#3 Penn State (10-1, Big 10 bid) vs. #14 Tulsa (8-4, C-USA bid)
#6 Notre Dame (9-2, ranked 6th in BCS) vs. #11 TCU (10-1, Mountain West bid)

#2 Texas (12-0, Big 12 bid) vs. #15 Akron (7-5, MAC bid)
#7 Georgia (10-2, SEC bid) vs. #10 West Virginia (10-1, Big East bid)

No at-large team has more than two losses, so no one can scream that someone is out of place. And
check out this first round matchup - Miami vs. Auburn in the only meeting between two at-large bids,
with the winner facing USC? Pretty juicy. And the high end teams all get a lesser opponent in the first
round, which they have all earned.

Check out the possible second round matchups. Every one of them is a potential blockbuster...and
possible upset. Of course, they are all also major money-makers, which is what this is all about,
anyway, right?

As far as when and where to play the games, use eight smaller bowls for the first round the weekend
of Dec. 17-18 (as the calendar falls this year). Use the Fiesta, Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton and one
more for the quarters and semis the weekend before and after New Year's and have a separate
National Championship game the following week. The other 14 bowl games that currently exist would
host teams not in the BCS and be played between the first round of the tournament and the quarters,
enabling all the players to take their exams. 44 teams would still play at least one bowl game, which
is plenty.

Who bitches in all this? Not too many arguments can be made. Four of the six power conferences get
two bids, with the fifth being a down year Big 12 and the sixth being the Big East, which stunk this
season and doesn't deserve a second bid anyway.

Who benefits? Everyone, especially, anyone who wants to make money, for one. If you are the
Emerald Bowl, for instance, would you rather have your current matchup (Georgia Tech against Utah)
or one of the first round games listed above. There isn't a single game of the eight that doesn't bring
with it a large fan base, which translates to a lot of money. And don't come to me with the students
missing classes garbage - it is between semesters at most schools, unlike that other money making
NCAA Tournament in March.

The only downside I see to the whole thing is that it actually makes sense. Which is why it will never

Check out these other football playoff ideas from The Writers:
Brian Carriveau | Trevor Freeman