The new college football playoff rankings are stirring up a lot of controversy. Some people believe Michigan got shafted. Some people think Washington earned it. There’s debates on whether or not Penn State or Wisconsin should make it over Michigan if they win the Big 10 Title Game and Washington (or Clemson?) lose. There’s a ton of takes.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. The inaugural Playoff rankings had a ton of controversy, when Ohio State made it in over TCU and Baylor. Ohio State proved they belonged, but neither TCU nor Baylor ever got their chance.
So, for fun, let’s imagine what a 12 team College Football playoff would look like.
First, let’s establish a few ground rules for the selection committee.
1) Top 4 Seeds Get Byes
This should go without saying, but with 12 teams, the first four would receive a Bye week. This would still make the top 4 exciting. That Michigan vs. Ohio State game would still mean a whole lot. However, Michigan wouldn’t be penalized as harshly for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
2) Any Undefeated Team Gets and Automatic Bid
Obviously, this only includes FBS teams. But if you go undefeated, you deserve a chance to prove your worth, even if your schedule was easy. So congrats Western Michigan; in my fantasy world, you get a chance.
3) Eliminate 2 Regular Season Games
Because so many more teams get to make it, teams don’t need as many games to prove themselves. In this case, teams should eliminate those cupcake games they play every year. Wouldn’t it be great if we could avoid scores like these?
Ok… that last one might have been a bit mean….
Anyway, here’s a new suggestion. 8 Conference games, 4 at home, 4 on the road. 2 out of conference games, one at home, one on the road. Certain teams would have to use one of those two games for their rival (Clemson vs SC, FSU Vs Florida, etc.) With only 10 games to prove themselves, powerful teams would likely match up against each other (well, besides Bama, everyone might just avoid them.) If you can’t make your case as a top 12 team within 10 games, then you don’t deserve to make the Playoffs.
4) Eliminate Conference Championship Games
At this point, rivalry week should suffice. In fact, it would become more entertaining, as there’d likely be a game or two that would be a “win and get in” scenario. In fact, last week alone, games like Michigan @ OSU, Florida @ FSU, and Nebraska @ Iowa would all have had huge implications. And can you imagine how much more incredible that upset by Kentucky over Louisville would have been?
5) Every Match is a Neutral Site “Bowl”
So, we don’t want to eliminate great traditions like the Rose Bowl? Or the Cotton Bowl? Or the Sugar Bowl? That’s fine. Just like it’s done right now, every match-up could be considered a bowl game.
*** If this ruins the “tradition”, then they can maintain the bowls outside of the Playoff. There will still be plenty of good teams left to make other great match-ups.
So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at the bracket. First, here are the rankings.
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Florida State
- Western Michigan
Note that these are a) my own personal rankings and b) based on an assumption that Oklahoma and OK State would have already played, and that Oklahoma pulls out a victory. Obviously, OK State could win, but for now we’ll go with this.
Here’s what the bracket would look like.
How fun would that be? Can you imagine doing bracket challenges with your friends? The potential for upsets? The amount of great football we’d get to watch? How many more fans would be into their team even after a 2-2 start?
Now, just for fun, let’s go through and predict these hypothetical match-ups…
#8 Penn State Vs. #9 USC
A rematch of the 2009 Rose Bowl, USC’s high flying passing attack goes up against PSU and their tough ground and pound game. USC has been on fire, so I’ll take them in this match-up. USC 38 Penn State 31
#5 Michigan Vs. #12 Western Michigan
This is Western Michigan’s chance to prove to the world that they’re for real. And against an angry Michigan team? An in state rival (are they rivals? I’m not sure…). Can you imagine the hype if they pulled off an upset? I wouldn’t pick it, but this is why this would be so much fun. Michigan 41 Western Michigan 24
#7 Oklahoma Vs. #10 Colorado
Another exciting one, but Oklahoma and their experienced offense should take this one here. It’d probably be super high scoring. Oklahoma 49 Colorado 38
#6 Wisconsin Vs. #11 Florida State
Can Florida State finally turn it on at the right time? I would say no, I’d take Wisconsin to win a tough defensive battle. Wisconsin 17 Florida State 13
#1 Alabama Vs. #8 USC
What a different game this would be from that week 1 blowout loss. Still, Bama is just too tough in the trenches for USC to handle. Alabama 38 USC 21
#4 Washington Vs. #5 Michigan
Here it is… all of that controversy… all of those hot takes. We’d actually get to see it. Winner take all. And I think Michigan is the better team. Michigan 27 Washington 23
#2 Ohio State Vs. #7 Oklahoma
Another rematch. This fake tournament is making me hate the fact that it’ll take the NCAA roughly 15 years just to expand to 8… Ohio State 42 Oklahoma 31
#6 Wisconsin Vs. #3 Clemson
What a match-up this would be. Clemson hasn’t faced a defense this tough in a long time. I think it would end up hurting them. Wisconsin 20 Clemson 17
#1 Alabama Vs. #5 Michigan
This is a match-up I’m sure we’d all love to see… At this point, anything is possible. Still, I’d probably take Bama. Alabama 13 Michigan 10
#2 Ohio State Vs. #6 Wisconsin
Round 2… And you know what? I’ll do it… What am I risking anyway? Wisconsin 23 Ohio State 20
College Football Championship
#1 Alabama Vs. #6 Wisconsin
And… well.. so yea, Bama still wins it all. But wasn’t this a lot more fun? Alabama 23 Wisconsin 13
So, what do you all think? Am I being ridiculous? Is 12 too many? Should it just be 8? Is four the right number? Feel free to leave a comment!
Image Credit – http://www.clickondetroit.com/sports/3-reasons-michigan-football-could-blow-out-penn-state