Oh my gosh!
If only Georgia had held on and beaten Alabama, the College Football Playoff committee would have had an easy go of it. Those two teams along with Clemson and Notre Dame would have been playing in the national semifinals. The only …
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So here it is once again. For you longtime readers, just soak it all in. For those seeing this for the first time, be enthralled in the genius, yet the simplicity, of it all:
-Take the champion from each of the 10 football-playing Football Bowl Subdivision conferences - the Power 5 conference champions going automatically and the champions from the American Athletic, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Mountain West conferences and Conference USA with at least 10 victories entering their respective conference championship games qualifying as well.
The 10 champions are Clemson (Atlantic Coast) Central Florida (American Athletic), Ohio State (Big 10), Oklahoma (Big 12), Northern Illinois (MAC), Fresno State (Mountain West), Washington (Pacific 12), Alabama (Southeastern), Appalachian State (Sun Belt) and Alabama-Birmingham (Conference USA). With Appalachian State and UAB sitting on nine wins before their respective conference championship games and Northern Illinois having just eight wins, those teams would not make the field.
-With seven champions eligible, each of the runners-up from the Power 5 conferences would be eligible to make the field; the second-place team would be either the title game loser or the second-place team in the standings for the conferences that don't have title games. Also, to make the Brunson Championship Series, the runner-up needs to be above .500 in overall record entering the conference title game.
However, if all 10 conferences are represented and Notre Dame - through a stipulation which says if it wins nine games while playing at least eight games against Power 5 conference schools - makes the field, , the runner-up with the worst record among the six would not get in.
The five runners-up are Utah (Pac-10), Northwestern (Big 10), Georgia (SEC), Pittsburgh (ACC) and Texas (Big 12). Each of the runners-up are in because all five were easily above .500. Undefeated Notre Dame is easily in the field.
-- With seven conference champions, five runners-up and Notre Dame, you have 13 teams. Since you're short three teams, go with the highest-ranked remaining teams in The Associated Press poll from the Power 5 conferences. The three teams would be No. 8 Michigan No. 10 Florida and No. 11 Louisiana State.
-Seed the teams, making sure that no conference runner-up is seeded above its conference champion and that teams from the same conference do not face each other in the first round. That would give you eight first-round games with those games played on the second Saturday in December at the site of the higher-seeded team.
That would lead to eight nice little paydays. There might be a clunker or two, but you could have some great games.
Here would be the first-round games with the above-mentioned teams: Pittsburgh (16) at Alabama (1); Fresno State (15) at Clemson (2); Utah (14) at Notre Dame (3); Northwestern (13) at Oklahoma (4); Washington (12) at Georgia (5); LSU (11) at Ohio State (6); Florida (10) at Central Florida (7) and Texas (9) at Michigan (8).
-Starting with the four quarterfinal games, the four BCS bowls - Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and Rose - along with the longstanding Cotton Bowl, could be worked into the mix where these sites still could get the big games and the big-dollar fans into their cities.
Rotate the current bowl sites with two quarterfinal cities, two semifinal cities and a championship game city. Also, two major cities, preferably in the Northeast and Midwest because of the lack of bowl sites, could host a quarterfinal game each year.
And, assuming the higher seeds all win their first-round games, here would be the quarterfinal matchups: Alabama vs. Michigan, Clemson vs. Central Florida, Notre Dame vs. Ohio State and Oklahoma vs. Georgia. Again, packed houses should rule, just as there would be for two semifinal games and the national championship game on New Year's Day.
Of course, the television networks would be standing in line with gobs of money so the country could see the games.
You could still have the smaller bowls for the teams that didn't make the top 16. Everyone needs to be happy.
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