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The Regular Season Isn’t A Playoff!

Posted by Kevin on November 28, 2006

Division I-A college football needs a playoff, and don’t give me that baloney that the regular season is the playoff. The regular season is a weak substitute at best. If you lose early, you have a chance to regain some ground as the season gets longer. If you lose late (unless you’re Ohio State, USC, or Notre Dame), you’re screwed.

Among the top 8 teams in the BCS rankings, you have 5 with 1 loss and 2 with 2 losses. Then you have undefeated Boise State right behind that group. You would think that an undefeated team would be above most teams with one loss and certainly above a team with 2 losses, but Boise State isn’t going to get any credit for their record because of the conference they play in. Could Boise beat Ohio State? Or USC? Or even Michigan? We’ll never know because they won’t have the opportunity. Instead, undefeated Boise will get the winner of the #12 Oklahoma vs. #20 Nebraska game. So Boise likely can’t finish any higher than 6-8 in the final standings even if they win their bowl game.

We need a real playoff and the powers that be in the BCS/NCAA need to get their collective heads out of their asses and make it happen. Every other college division has a football playoff. Why not I-A? Surely you can’t claim it would ruin bowl traditions. Those were shattered with the creation of the BCS itself. There are too many bowl games anyway.

DI-AA and DII have 16-team playoffs. DIII has a 32-team playoff! Give me a DI-A playoff!!! It could be done, but it would take some changes. Here’s how I would do it.

There are 11 conferences and some independents. Play an 11 game regular season plus a conference championship (every conference will play a conference championship game). Since the independents don’t necessarily all play each other, take the top two each year and have them play a +1 game to represent their “conference” championship.

Rank your 11 conference champions plus the independent. Give 1-8 a week off while 9-12 play two bowl games as their reward for winning their conference championships. Then you have an 8 team playoff. Voila.

That’s how I’d do it.


One Response to “The Regular Season Isn’t A Playoff!”

  1. Although I work for the NCAA, I don’t disagree with you. I’d like to see a playoff in the top-tier of Division I, but the presidents and chancellors who make the rules haven’t gone for it. I think it’s awful that an undefeated team such as Boise State won’t have an opportunity to play for a national championship, but that’s just the way the system is right now. The NCAA national office has no control over the BCS and doesn’t control postseason football for what was formerly Division I-A. As a fan, I certainly commiserate with your frustration.

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