College football is a wonderful creature. College football is that beautiful girl you meet at the bar, who tugs on your heart strings from every which way until you’ve fallen in love. She teases you and leads you on so you think it’s serious, and then she crushes your soul every freaking time. But that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?
Congratulations to Clemson on a tremendous season, what an incredible last drive Deshaun Watson and the Clemson offense went on to seal the victory and defeat the almighty Crimson Tide.
The college football playoff is a wonderful part of the game, and I believe having a 4 team playoff is the best way to go about it. Eight teams would water down the competition to a slight degree. Don’t get me wrong I would love an 8 team playoff as well, but that beautiful Ohio State-Michigan game we all enjoyed earlier this year would be for nothing, because both teams would be in. I think 4 teams is perfect, but the only way to always ensure the 4 most deserving teams get in is to have conference expansion, and a split between college football’s FBS programs.
The Power 4 is my solution. Now I cannot credit this name as my own, I’ve seen it online in other places, but the alignment and process is entirely my own thinking, so be nice should you disagree. The Power 4 will consist of 4 conferences, each in which will have one champion, if you win the conference you go to the Playoff, pretty simple right? No ifs ands or buts about it either, you win your championship game you get to play for a national title. There will be no more “well they won head to head and had a tougher schedule and blah blah blah”. This new playoff is for champions only.
So the 4 new conferences will consist of the North, Southeast, Midwest, and West; separated into separate divisions with the Northeast and Great Lakes in the North, the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic in the Southeast, the North and the South in the Midwest, and the North and the South in the West. You win your division you play in the conference championship game. You win the conference championship game you play in the playoff. Plain and simple. Of course we keep ranking teams 1-25, that’s half the reason college football is so cool, but in reality it can mean nothing now.
How do we realign the now Power 5 and condense it to a Power 4? Well every conference will have 18 teams, with 9 in each division. You play every team in your division, which will be 8 games. Your other 4 opponents are 1 team from each of the other 3 conferences, and one non Power 4 team. That way everyone has as level as a playing field as you can get. No more Baylor schedule will exist.
4 division winners play for the CFP.
But there’s a buy in system… whichever team finishes last in their respective half of the division gets kicked out for a year. All conferences have 9 teams annually, with a 10th being rotated in to sub out the 9th place team. They can stay so long as they don’t finish 9th. Example, say Boston College goes 0-8 in North play and finishes in 9th; they are replaced the following season by the team that finishes in first in the lower level of the division 1 format. I don’t exactly know what teams and how many will be in this but the conferences almost imitate the Power 4 and each divisions winner replaces the last place team from that year in the Power 4. It’s confusing but it makes sense.
The hardest part of all this is how the hell is this actually going to happen? And what teams get into each conference, and which teams sits out first, and how do we get other teams in the country that don’t make it into these conferences into the lower level conferences? Well, I’m still unsure, but I know this system could work with the right scientists working their best to make it happen. Here’s my idea for the 4 conferences, and the teams I think should be in each. The teams in parentheses are teams I think should be considered as the 10th school in each division:
San Diego St
(Fresno St/Utah St/UNLV/AirForce)
But what about the bowl games? To hell with the semifinal games taking up “bowl games”. The Rose Bowl will no longer ever be a national semifinal, it will always be a regular New Years Day bowl game between the highest ranked Pacific team to not make the playoffs, and the highest ranked North team to not make the playoffs. Make sense? It should.
The Sugar Bowl is between the highest ranked Midwest team to not make the playoffs, and the highest ranked Southeast team to not make the playoffs.
The Orange Bowl is the second highest Southeast team to not make the playoffs and the second highest North team to not make the playoffs.
The Fiesta Bowl is the second highest Pacific team to not make the playoffs , and the second highest Midwest team to not make the playoffs.
Then the Peach Bowl and Cotton Bowl are left for at large teams, from these 4 conferences that would make the most enticing matchups for fans to watch. No criteria is needed besides the teams must be highly ranked and create enough hype for the game to be watched by millions.
So the national semifinals can still rotate between the 6 New Years Six bowl sites, but they won’t take the title of those respective bowl games. Instead of giving them Bowl names you call it “The National Semifinal brought to you by Dr. Pepper-Pasadena/Glendale/Arlington/Atlanta/New Orleans/Miami.”
Simple as can be as I see it.