My Football Fantasy…
I know, I know, this goes against the entire premise of the blog. But, I believe, if there is a little room in football for some fantasy, it is in fixing the BCS. So here is my proposed plan to:
1. Crown a true national champion.
2. Keep the bowl system intact and allow over 60 teams to participate in the post season.
3. Inject a little home-field advantage into the process. After all, it’s that on-campus atmosphere that makes college football so great.
4. Make sure the regular season still matters.
Since this is a total fantasy experiment, we are going to have to make some assumptions. I am going to assume that the BCS formula remains the same, and that we continue to use it to rank teams from first to 25th. Next, I am going to assume that when the dust settles on conference realignment, we are left with four super conferences(the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Pac 16), and one semi-super conference(the Big 12). Those will be arranged as follows. Note that new additions will be in CAPS.
SEC(14 teams)- Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, TEXAS A&M, MISSOURI.
ACC(16 teams)- Clemson, Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Miami, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Maryland, Georgia Tech, PITTSBURGH, SYRACUSE, CONNECTICUT, SOUTH FLORIDA.
Big Ten(16 teams, weird)- Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, Penn State, Illinois, NOTRE DAME, RUTGERS, LOUISVILLE, WEST VIRGINIA.
Pac 16(16 teams, duh)- Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, USC, Cal, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, BRIGHAM YOUNG, BOISE STATE, NEVADA, FRESNO STATE.
Big 12(12 teams, duh)- Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, TEXAS CHRISTIAN, CINCINNATI, SOUTHERN METHODIST, CENTRAL FLORIDA.
First of all, each conference will be split into two divisions and will feature a neutral site championship game between division winners. Every conference’s champion will automatically be included in the BCS Championship tournament. Then, based on BCS ranking, three at-large bids will be selected. Note that at-large teams do not have to come from one of the “Big-5” conferences. Like the BCS now, no conference can have more than one at-large berth to go with their champion. For instance, if we were to go with this year’s Top-10 and assume that the highest ranked team won their conference, the seeding would look like this.
2.Oklahoma-Big 12 Champ
3.Boise State-Pac 16 Champ
4.Wisconsin-Big Ten Champ
5.Virginia Tech-ACC Champ
Listen, this is not how I think things will play out. Would Boise State win a super Pac 16 conference? Who knows, but this is just to visualize it a bit. You would then have a basic tournament set-up with 1vs8, 2vs7, 3vs6 and 4vs5 with the highest seeds HOSTING a playoff game. This is my favorite part of this system. How would Andrew Luck and Stanford fare in Death Valley against the Tigers? Alabama sure is talented, but could they win on the Smurf Turf in chilly Boise? Of course, this does leave us with one game we have already seen in Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State, but all the other matchups are just so intriguing, I could live with that. Also, I am pretty sure the folks from Stillwater would love another shot at their rivals from Norman. No one ever complains when the Steelers and the Ravens go round three in the NFL playoffs.
Then, you would take the winners of those games and throw them into the actual BCS, which now only includes three bowls, the Rose, Sugar and Orange. These bowls would rotate every year as to which hosts the championship while the other two host the national semi-finals. For examples sake, let’s say all of the top seeds advanced, that would potentially set up LSU against Wisconsin in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma against Boise State in the Orange Bowl. The winners would face each other in the Rose Bowl.
What about the rest of the bowls you say? Well, starting with the Fiesta Bowl, which will now play host to the two highest ranked teams left out of the BCS, they will proceed as usual. That means the Fiesta Bowl will feature Nebraska and Oregon, while the rest of the bowls will work to negotiate contracts with these new conferences in the absence of the Big East. If you really wanted to, you could even give it a college basketball spin and play an “NIT” of sorts with another eight teams and the finalists meeting in the Fiesta or Cotton Bowl.
So there you have it. A solution that crowns a true national champion, keeps the bowl system intact, adds a home-field advantage to the whole process, keeps the emphasis on the regular season since you need to win your conference or be ranked incredibly high to get in, and, if I do say so myself, makes for some great games. But alas, it is but a fantasy. Oh well, maybe some day university presidents and conference commissioners will give college football fans an exciting postseason to match its already amazing regular season. A fan can dream..