NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > If the Playoffs started this year...
December 3, 2012, 09:59 PM
Just for grins, I wanted to see what the major bowls would look like if the vaunted playoffs started this season.

Info on the playoff structure

Six Bowls, plus a finals game held at a neutral site (i.e., NFL stadium).

In any year, two of the six bowls are designated as semi-final games and create a four-team seeded bracket. The remaining four bowls act much like the existing BCS bowls.

When not hosting a semi-final game, some of the bowls will have contractual conference tie-ins, much like the existing BCS bowls:

Rose : B10 vs. P12
Sugar: SEC vs. B12
Orange: ACC vs. ND/B10/SEC
Fiesta: no tie-ins
Cotton: no tie-ins
Chick-Fil-A: no tie-ins

So, for example, in years when the Rose is hosting a semi game, the Pac12 champ becomes an at-large team. Ditto for the B12 champ when the Sugar hosts a semi game.

There is no limit on the number of teams from a given conference that can get an invite.

Finally, the highest ranked team from the 'little 5' conferences (BE, MAC, SunBelt, C-USA, MW) gets an AUTOMATIC invite.

So here is what (I think) the bowls would look like this season, if the BCS rankings are used for the selection criteria, and arbitrarily picking the Cotton and Chick-fil-A as the semi games:

Semi game #1: Cotton bowl. #1 ND vs #4 Oregon
Semi game #2: Chick-fil-A. #2 Bama vs. #3 UF

Rose Bowl: (P12 vs. B10) #6 Stanford vs. unranked Wisconsin
Sugar: (SEC vs. B12) #7 UGa vs. #5 K State
Orange: (ACC vs. SEC) #12 FSU vs. #8 LSU
Fiesta: (little 5 vs. at large) #15 N. Ill. vs. #9 TAMU

----
If this year happens to have the Rose and Sugar hosting the semis, I think it works out this way:

Semi game #1: Rose #1 ND vs #4 Oregon
Semi game #2: Sugar #2 Bama vs. #3 UF

Orange: (ACC vs. at-large) #12 FSU vs. #5 K-State
Chick-fil-A: (at large vs. at large) #7 UGa vs. #6 Stanford.
Cotton: (at large vs. at large) #8 LSU vs. #9 TAMU
Fiesta: (at large vs. at large) #10 SCAR vs. #15 N. Ill.

This scenario is much fuzzier, since most of the non-semi bowls have no tie-ins, and no one has said whether the bowls without tie-ins will just pair up the next two available highest-ranked teams, or if these bowls will invite based on intangibles like fan support.

So what do people think?
December 3, 2012  10:08 PM ET
QUOTE:

no one has said whether the bowls without tie-ins will just pair up the next two available highest-ranked teams, or if these bowls will invite based on intangibles like fan support

This site answered that question

The other five at-large teams will be chosen by a selection committee based on final regular-season rankings.

December 3, 2012  10:16 PM ET

My take: Much better than what we get this year.

However, conference tie-ins in the non-semi bowls can still produce some blah matchups and leave 'deserving' teams out in the cold.

In the first scenario, #10 SCAR is sitting at home.

No matter what bowls host the semis, #11 OU likely sits at home.

December 3, 2012  10:40 PM ET

I would think we need to quit with the bowl tie-ins for these bowls. Let the top teams play...

December 3, 2012  10:42 PM ET

When you get down to numbers 10-11-12, you gotta believe that you are on the bubble, to use a NCAABB reference. You may get a slot, but chances are good you may not. There's always gonna be a line where the slots stop being awarded, and that could be where it falls on a usual basis.

December 3, 2012  10:46 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I would think we need to quit with the bowl tie-ins for these bowls. Let the top teams play...

Agreed. But money talks.

I think that sooner or later the B12 will wrangle a second tie-in with either the Cotton or Fiesta. And the P12 will try very hard to do the same.

"Meet the new boss..."

December 4, 2012  12:48 AM ET
QUOTE:

So here is what (I think) the bowls would look like this season, if the BCS rankings are used for the selection criteria, and arbitrarily picking the Cotton and Chick-fil-A as the semi games:
Semi game #1: Cotton bowl. #1 ND vs #4 Oregon
Semi game #2: Chick-fil-A. #2 Bama vs. #3 UF

There seems to be an incongruity here in that the coming playoff scenario that you've so conscientiously constructed would not employ 'BCS rankings', but rather a committee tasked with selecting "the top four teams with an emphasis on conference champions".

I believe UF deserves its #3 ranking, which is a reflection of perceptions about both accomplishments and strength. But if we're gonna talk playoffs, IMO Florida would (should) be pre-empted by Kansas State.

December 4, 2012  01:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

There seems to be an incongruity here in that the coming playoff scenario that you've so conscientiously constructed would not employ 'BCS rankings', but rather a committee tasked with selecting "the top four teams with an emphasis on conference champions".

I believe UF deserves its #3 ranking, which is a reflection of perceptions about both accomplishments and strength. But if we're gonna talk playoffs, IMO Florida would (should) be pre-empted by Kansas State.

true. That would shuffle the deck a bit in terms of who gets in the semis and who plays in one of the other bowls.

I was mainly interested in seeing how the overall thing would shake out, with six bowls, no conference limits and rotating hosts for the semis.

December 4, 2012  01:26 AM ET
QUOTE:

So here is what (I think) the bowls would look like this season, if the BCS rankings are used for the selection criteria, and arbitrarily picking the Cotton and Chick-fil-A as the semi games:

Semi game #1: Cotton bowl. #1 ND vs #4 Oregon
Semi game #2: Chick-fil-A. #2 Bama vs. #3 UF

Makes sense.
1 vs 4.
2 vs 3.


But what if those match-ups were repeats of the regular season?

Say Bama lost to UF this year instead of TAMU.
Bama and UF could be ranked 2 & 3.

Say Stanford beat UW.
ND & Stanford could be ranked 1 &4.


Does the new playoff scenario factor this in?
Would a rematch be for the better or for the worse?

I can think of several arguments for and against a rematch.
And they all make sense, given the proper perspective.

December 4, 2012  01:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Makes sense.1 vs 4. 2 vs 3.But what if those match-ups were repeats of the regular season?Say Bama lost to UF this year instead of TAMU.Bama and UF could be ranked 2 & 3.Say Stanford beat UW.ND & Stanford could be ranked 1 &4.Does the new playoff scenario factor this in?Would a rematch be for the better or for the worse?I can think of several arguments for and against a rematch.And they all make sense, given the proper perspective.

Interesting angle, CR. I think 2 rematches in the inaugural semis would be a PR nightmare for the BCS (or its successor). The emphasis on conference champs would certainly eliminate the biggest chance of rematches, however.

December 4, 2012  02:22 AM ET

@Tribute: Since the participants in the four-team playoff will be determined by a committee that is not bound by "rankings" I would think they would try to avoid rematches if possible. But then again, people seek to do strange and unpredictable things - especially in college football.

December 4, 2012  01:10 PM ET

I think Ohio State Wins!

December 4, 2012  02:27 PM ET

The 4-team play-off is an invitation-only event. Invitations are issued by a selection committee. Polls are only an element in as much as they may influence the selection committee (could be quite a bit). SI.com's article about an actual exercise based upon 2012 season, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/11/29/college-football -playoff-mock-selection-committee/index.html.

December 4, 2012  02:52 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

@Tribute: Since the participants in the four-team playoff will be determined by a committee that is not bound by "rankings" I would think they would try to avoid rematches if possible. But then again, people seek to do strange and unpredictable things - especially in college football.

I agree, but I don't think the prospect of a rematch will influence the committee's selections as much as how they seed them.

December 4, 2012  03:33 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I think Ohio State Wins!

+100000000000000000000000000....

December 4, 2012  03:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I think Ohio State Wins!

Sorry for excluding the Bucks, 84. If there were no sanctions, they would have been in anyone's top four and playing in the semis.

December 4, 2012  04:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

The 4-team play-off is an invitation-only event. Invitations are issued by a selection committee. Polls are only an element in as much as they may influence the selection committee (could be quite a bit). SI.com's article about an actual exercise based upon 2012 season, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/11/29/college-football -playoff-mock-selection-committee/index.html.

Here is the link that Tinny gave.

Coincidentally or not, the mock selection committee came up with the same #1 - #4 rankings as the BCS.
#1 ND vs #4 Oregon
#2 Bama vs. #3 UF

December 4, 2012  04:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Sorry for excluding the Bucks, 84. If there were no sanctions, they would have been in anyone's top four and playing in the semis.

Just being a smart ****, IM pretty good at that.

December 4, 2012  07:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Just being a smart ****, IM pretty good at that.

Since you are a former tOSU player....that's OK...no problem here...

:-)

December 5, 2012  01:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Sorry for excluding the Bucks, 84. If there were no sanctions, they would have been in anyone's top four and playing in the semis.

Heck, they would have been in the MNC game this year without sanctions and assuming a CC game win.

 
December 5, 2012  01:23 AM ET

Just imagine the consternation down south had it been a ND vs tOSU matchup....

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