I am proposing that there be an 18 team playoff. I came to the number 18 based on the fact that there are 11 FBS conferences plus the independents. So 12 schools will automatically qualify in this playoff scenario...the 11 conference champs and then whoever has the best record of the independents (most likely Notre Dame). The remaining 6 teams are at large bids. 6 is the number Automatic Qualifying conferences right now ...so in essence every AQ conference could have one at large bid. However, the remaining 6 teams would be the highest ranking BCS teams who had not won their conference. So this is really 12 team play off plus the extra conference champs. Teams would be seeded by their BCS ranking (does the BCS only go to 25? We would need to have some sort of system for ranking the bottom teams...maybe purely computer because I dont see voters wanting to list out all 100-something teams). Here's how I would propose the scheduling would work:
First week of December conference championships
Second week of December 1st round: Seed 16 vs 17 play for the opportunity to play 1. Seed 15 vs 18 plays for the opportunity to play 2. These are like the play in games for NCAA basketball. Everyone else gets a bye.
Third week of December Round 2 1 plays winner of 16 vs 17 2 plays winner of 15 v 18...and seeds 3 - 14 play each other accordingly. The first real round
Fourth week ... around chirstmas time...quarter finals
5th week New Years Day are semi finals
2nd week of January Finals
Obviously this is a longer format but under the current scheduling system it would work this way. I would be in favor of cutting the regular season back a game (cut out one patsy game that we can all do without and make the regular season an 11 game schedule) and starting this whole thing a week earlier...throwing in a bye on Christmas and finishing at the same time.
What do you think? Obviously bigger than the 4 and 8 team play offs...but I like this because it treats FBS football as a whole like the NCAA basketball tournament...and the current system really doesnt. It's divided into AQ schools and non AQ schools. This would create controversy because it doesn't include the best 18 teams, but under this system last year the top 8 would have got in. So, it's tough to argue that you're good enough if you aren't in this system. You can argue you're better than the MAC champ, but that's not the point. The point is to treat FBS football as a whole giving every conference a shot and put the best teams in there. I think this is a good compromise between the conference champ debate and taking the best teams available debate,. Do I think it will ever get implemented? No, but I do like this idea.