As part of our Sports Election Day package, we asked readers to sound off on the biggest sports issues facing the nation. Here are the best responses on how to set up a college football playoff, broken down by readers' stated party affiliation. Please add your own comment below.
-- Eight teams, with the seven biggest bowls serving as games (top four can still rotate as National Championship). It's two extra weekends for crying out loud.
-- Top eight or 16 teams in a single-elimination tourney. Each round of the playoff could be a bowl game (i.e., one year the Orange bowl is an opening-round game, the next year it might be the championship). Teams that don't make the playoffs could play in smaller, non-playoff bowls like the Doritos bowl or whatever. They do it for smaller schools so they should have enough time.
-- Don't know, but it should screw over the SEC and Big 12. Always.
-- Require championship games for EVERY conference. Rank conference champions on strength of schedule and wins; play high seed versus low seed until one team remains.
-- Take top six conferences (Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10, SEC, ACC and Big East), and two at-large teams (based on BCS standings) and have an eight-team playoff. Still keep all of the bowl games, but just make the larger, current BCS bowl games into the tourney, rotating each year with a different site for the title game. This would work, and make more money for the sport and bowls, etc. The games would actually mean something, so more would watch. Cut it down to an 11 game regular season, and then conference championships. How great would it be to have Texas Tech, Texas, Georgia Tech, USC, Alabama, Penn St, West Virginia, and Florida duke it out in a tourney to see who is No. 1.
-- Force all teams to join a conference if they are currently independent (i.e. Notre Dame). Have eight separate conferences in I-A with each playing a championship game. All eight conference champs would then go into a tourney to determine a national champ using the current bowls in rotation to host the playoff games. Very simple.
-- Conference champs versus conference champs -- only No. 1 teams involved. Set a more strict top 20 and derive playoff teams from this list judging total offensive yards, passing yards, rushing yards, defensive yards against, special teams plays, etc., with strict, mathematically based assessments of each area to help weed out teams from the playoff picture; single elimination, teams matched using the mathematically based stats, teams divided into four sections of the country: north, south, east and west.
-- Hold a 16 team playoff. Teams seeds depends on rank. Start playing the games when all the crappy bowl games usually start. Single-game eliminations.
-- Set up a format almost like the Final Four where you get all the bowl-eligible teams in a bracket format pairing the top team against worst team. As you play assign each round to a current bowl based upon notoriety, i.e. the final few games would be the Sugar, Rose, Fiesta Bowl, etc. Then have each of the big bowls rotate the national championship each year. This way the whole idea of the bowl situation can still be used and corporate sponsors still get their recognition.
-- Something similar, although smaller, than the 64 team NCAA basketball tournament. Starting with 32 teams should guarantee getting the top teams represented, and provide for a six week play down, running from the end of the college season to around the traditional bowl season.
-- Make losers like Notre Dame join a conference. The winner of each conference moves on.
-- Take the top 16 teams and let them play it out like March Madness BUT weekly of course
-- Add one team to the FBS to get to 120; make all teams join one of 10 conferences. Ten Conferences, 12 teams each, all split into two divisions, all have conference championship games. Ten champions are seeded by a committee, a la the NCAA basketball tourney. There will be two play-in games to an eight-team tournament.
-- Unless the colleges are willing to have the athletes play an NFL season of 16 games I don't see how one can be done under the current format.