College Football Playoff: A Better Way To Do It

By Jaren Haser
December 07, 2012 10:01 pm
309 Views 3 Comments

D.J. Harper Yes, college football will have a playoff starting in 2014. However, this new playoff format will have just four teams.

I’m sure I am not the only one who was a little disappointed by this. And for those of you who aren’t, let me explain why.

I come from the school of thought that all teams should get the opportunity to win a national title.

After all, aren’t they all Division I teams? I agree that there is a significant lack of parity between the six current automatic qualifying conferences and the other five. However, shouldn’t the top teams from the “other five” at least have a chance to play for a title?

It’s ridiculous to me that, in a league consisting of 11 conferences and 124 teams, 51 of those teams can essentially be written off from title contention due almost entirely to the conference they come from. In my mind, if teams will never get an opportunity to win a league’s title, then they shouldn’t be in that league.

As I don’t see the NCAA making drastic cuts to the Division anytime soon, nor do I think they should, I believe they should find a better way to organize a playoff system, one that includes representation from all the league’s conferences. For this reason, I have created a playoff format that I think would best accomplish this.


My playoff consists of 16 teams and includes both a national title game and a consolation game that determines third and fourth place. Like the NCAA basketball tournament, my playoff is made up of four groupings. Each grouping has four teams.

Also included in my playoff are all five BCS bowl games. Why? Because, despite my annoyances with the bowl system, like many fans I still enjoy the majesty and tradition of those games. Additionally, BCS rankings still matter with my playoff system, as these rankings will go a long way in determining the seeds of the tournament.

As for the other bowl games, I don’t see why they couldn’t exist outside of the playoff as they still provide many incentives to teams. Below is the seeding process of my system, as well as what such a playoff would look like this season. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think or if you have another outlook on what would make for the ideal college football playoff.


Seeds 1-6: Champions of following conferences: ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC. Seeds determined by BCS rankings. Exception: If No. 1 ranked team is from the Independents, it will be the No. 1 seed.

Seeds 7-16: Champions of following conferences: CUSA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, and WAC. The five highest-ranked teams remaining will also be included in this pool. Seeds will be determined by BCS rankings.


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By Jaren Haser
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2 years ago
Jaren-I like your idea. I think you left out the Big East champ in your example, but it doesn't really matter either. But it does get me to my suggestion-if there is a bye week before this all starts, then have the last team in play the highest Ranked Team that was left out as a play-in game. The biggest gripe would come from the highest Ranked Team to be left out, but this would take care of that.
2 years ago

You are absolutely right Bob, I did leave out the Big East champ: Louisville. They would be the sixth seed and bump Wisconsin, Florida, Oregon, Georgia and LSU down a seed, as well as knock out Texas A&M. However, I like your idea of adding a play-in game. In this case that would be between Arkansas State and Texas A&M, and they would be competing for a shot at Notre Dame.
2 years ago
I dont know why this, or something similar wasn't implemented 15 years ago. This would make college football much more exciting. Cause now, if your team looses you can count on not going to the Title game.... Nice article Jaren.

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