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A Workable Playoff System Unlike Any Other
College football is one of the most
popular sports in America, but
growing dissatisfaction with the
current BCS system cannot be
Unfortunately, the playoff systems
commonly suggested would be bad
for the sport.
They would be detrimental to the
currently successful regular season
as well as the traditional bowl
Other arguments against most playoff systems:
• The playoff structure that makes sense one year
would not necessarily makes sense every year.
• Playoffs would force student athletes to play too
• How do you determine who makes the playoffs?
Wouldn’t we simply be expanding the current
• Playoffs would turn college football into a watered
down version of the NFL.
And playoffs do nothing to address other
problems with the current system, such as:
• Inconsistencies between conferences: i.e. the
number of teams and whether or not they have a
conference championship game.
• Even greater inconsistencies when you consider
independent teams and non-BCS conferences.
• Teams out of bowl contention lack incentive.
• No real system in place to measure the relative
strength of each conference.
• Too many lopsided match-ups.
• Add one team to BCS to have 120 teams
• Divide 120 teams into 10 conferences with
12 teams in each conference
• Divide each conference into 2 divisions with
6 teams in each division
• Divide conferences into 2 regions with 5
conferences in the East, 5 in the West
Schedule the season as follows:
• Games 1 – 2: Out-of-division games
• Games 3 – 7: Interdivisional round robin
• Game 8: Conference playoffs
• Games 9 – 12: Regional round robins
• Game 13: Bowl games
Regular Season Games 1-7
• Each team plays two games against teams
outside their own division of their own
• Each team also plays each of the other five
teams in their own division of their
• The results of the first seven games will
determine the ranking within each division
from #1 through #6.
• The conference playoffs will be the eighth game of
• Team #1 from division A plays team #1 from division
B to determine the champion and runner-up.
• Team #2 from division A plays team #2 from division
B to determine 3rd and 4th place within the
conference. Team #3 will play team #3 and so on.
• Each division will alternate turns hosting these
• The results of these games will determine the
overall rank within each conference from #1 through
Regional Round Robins
• In games 9 through 12, the #1 team from each
conference will play the #1 team from each of the
other conferences in their region.
• The #2 teams will play each of the other #2 teams,
• The conferences will alternate turns hosting these
games. For example, one year the Big Ten will host
all games vs. The Big East and the following year,
they will travel to all games vs. the Big East.
• The results of these games will determine the BCS
bowl match-ups and play a roll in other bowl
Ranking within each division will be determined by
divisional record. Ties will be broken by:
1) Head-to-head result
2) Overall record
3) Combined record of non-division opponents
End-of-season ranking will be determined by record
in the regional round robins. Ties will be broken by:
1) Head-to-head result
2) Head-to-head result of the entire conference
3) Overall record of the entire conference
Ohio State Example Schedule
Game 1 vs. Bowling Green (non-divisional game)
Game 2 at West Virginia (non-divisional game)
Game 3 vs. Penn State (division game)
Game 4 at Indiana (division game)
Game 5 vs. Michigan State (division game)
Game 6 at Notre Dame (division game)
Game 7 vs. Michigan (division game)
Bye week (conference playoff games to be divided over two weeks)
Game 8 Conference Playoff vs. Big Ten West
Game 9 at Big East
Game 10 vs. SEC
Game 11 at MAC
Bye week (one compulsory bye week during regional round robin)
Game 12 vs. ACC
Game 13 possible bowl game
Advantages to Current System
• Will do a better job of determining who deserves to
play in the BCS bowl games.
• Creates exciting, even-strength match-ups
throughout the season.
• Gives all teams something to play for late in the
• Eliminates inconsistencies between conferences.
• Will measure the strengths of conferences in relation
to each other in a way the current system does not.
• Will silence the critics who are calling for a playoff
system that would be detrimental to the sport.
Advantages to Other Playoff Systems
• Preserves the regular season and the traditional
• Allows all teams to play at least 12 meaningful
games without forcing any team to play more then
• Creates exciting match-ups for all teams, not just the
• Will be a more effective way to determine the best
• Eliminates inconsistencies between different
conferences and independent teams.
• Will measure the strengths of conferences.
• Big Twelve, SEC, ACC, Conference USA and MAC
already have twelve teams split into 2 divisions so
no changes are necessary
• Big Ten adds Notre Dame
• Pac 10 adds Fresno State and Hawaii
• Big East adds Army, Navy, W. Kentucky and
• Mountain West adds Boise State, Utah State and
San Jose State
• WAC/Sunbelt combine with all remaining teams
Atlantic Coast Conference
Big East Conference
Big Ten Conference
Mid American Conference
Big Twelve Conference
Mountain West Conference
Pacific Ten Conference
ACC Big East
North Carolina State
Big Ten Big Twelve
Conference USA MAC
Mountain West Pac Ten
San Diego State
San Jose State
SEC Sunbelt / WAC
Louisiana – Lafayette
Louisiana – Monroe
New Mexico State
Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How would this system affect rivalry games?
A – Most rivalries are between teams in the same division, so they would continue to play
each year. This includes Ohio State vs. Michigan, Oklahoma vs. Texas, Auburn vs.
Alabama, Georgia vs. Florida, USC vs. UCLA, Army vs. Navy and many others. Other
rivalries, such as Notre Dame vs. USC could be continued through the 2 non-divisional
Q – How would teams, fans and broadcasters coordinate travel plans?
A – The first seven games would be scheduled preseason as they are now. The remaining
games would be scheduled in terms of the dates and location, you just won’t know in
advance who the home team will be hosting. (This situation currently exists with
conference championship games, and it would also exist in any playoff system.) In this
system, game 8 would be scheduled after games 7 and games 9 through 12 would be
scheduled after game 8. A bye week before and/or after game 8 could be implemented to
facilitate travel planning.
Q – How would the bowl selections be made.
A – The top team to emerge from the East plays the top team from the West. Beyond that,
the selection process would be similar to how it is now. Conference winners would be
given top consideration but the number 2 or 3 team from top conferences may be
selected before the top teams from weaker conferences.
Q - Is this system better then the current system and all other proposals?
A - Yes.
BCS SolutionA Workable Playoff System Unlike Any Other
Presented by Greg Eyink