Every year it’s the same old story. Fans, media analysts, former players and members of teams on the outside looking in of the NCAA College Football playoffs debate about the proper format as it pertains to how many teams should be allowed into the playoff bracket. At BTP Sports, we consider ourselves to be progressive thinkers who prefer to discuss solutions instead of bitching about problems. That being said, here is my proposed format for all of post-season Division 1 college football:
Let’s start by trimming the fat. The bowl system has become a shell of itself. What was one a fine tradition of displaying the best talent in college football has been reduced as a cash cow, smorgasbord of mediocre teams that focus on achieving the magical 6-8 win mark so that they can cash in checks from greedy sponsors who are desperate to capture the eyes and ears of college football fans. It would be an extremely difficult and painful process of listing all of the bowl games that should be eliminated, so let’s just cut the bull. The following bowl games are the only ones that should exist going forward:
Bowl Championship Series: The Semi-finals and championship game should be a 6-pack of games that features the Power 5 conference champions plus one wild card team. We know that the NCAA (National Cash Allocation Alliance) is mostly interested in profit, so the national championship game and the 2nd round games can bear the brand of the highest bidders in corporate america. There we go, the greedy cash monster has been fed.
Let’s be brutally honest here, if your team isn’t good enough to win the conference or at least post double digit wins and win a non-power 5 conference (there, are you happy UCF fans?), there is no valid argument for them competing in a championship bracket. The Wild Card team would be the only decision that the playoff committee would have to discuss, which takes away the subjectivity of the teams that are involved in the tournament .
1. Rose Bowl
2. Sugar Bowl
3. Fiesta Bowl
4. Orange Bowl
5. Cotton Bowl
6. Peach Bowl
Best of the rest: Outside of the top 5-6 teams, there are at best 10 teams that are relevant enough to draw significant attention. 8 of those 10 teams should be featured in the following bowl games:
7. Citrus Bowl
8. Gator Bowl
9. Liberty Bowl
10. Sun Bowl
11. Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs Navy (by default) every season. It’s pertinent to salute the troops, and this game could (and should) be a great fundraiser for the families of the troops and the non profit organizations that support them.
This format sends the mediocre teams back to the drawing boards sooner rather than later so that they can focus on improving themselves. It’s time to stop handing out participation ribbons to teams that focus more on schmoozing sponsors than developing competitive programs and graduating student athletes.