NCAA Football

Five Conferences That Will Suffer Most From College Football Playoffs

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Five Conferences That Will Suffer The Most From College Football Playoffs

College Football

Alas! The BCS system is finally coming to an end. After years of complaining from, well, pretty much everyone, college football will finally receive a playoff system starting in the 2014 season.

The BCS will be replaced by a four team playoff the first season, with the option for expansion from there.

Certainly this long-awaited change is needed, and this is a great place to start. Hopefully the playoffs can extend to a larger number of teams in the future.

So everyone is happy now right? Oh, if only it were that easy to make every conference and team in college football content.

While the playoff system benefits a large number of conferences and teams, it certainly hurts several others.

The conferences that were guaranteed BCS bowl births, but may not have performed well enough to reach that bowl, will be affected, as well as any conference with teams unable to climb to the number four spot in the polls.

Any mid-major conference or smaller will have a very tough time getting to the playoffs, if the conferences are anything similar to what we’ve seen in the past. When teams don’t play a strong enough schedule, they lose the ability to climb in the polls.

This is one of the most serious flaws in the BCS, as some schools can play the hardest schedule possible out of conference, and still fail to climb high enough after going undefeated.

The playoff system, until expanded, will likely have the same effect on the schools involved, just not as great, considering seeding is not directly related to ranking.

Assuming the conferences stay relatively similar to what they are now, here are the five that will suffer most from a playoff system.

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The ACC would be hurt by a playoff system because it constantly has teams ranked in the top 10 or higher, but never high enough to make a national championship. I could see the ACC having teams left out of the playoffs at number five or six and getting sent only to the Orange Bowl with no fair chance to win a championship.

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The Big East

Big East

The old gray mare just ‘aint what she used to be. The Big East at one point was a much stronger football conference than what it is today. With studs like the Virginia Tech Hokies, the Boston College Eagles and the Miami Hurricanes, the old Big East was a very strong conference. Now the best team in the conference is the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and they even have a loss.

The Big East has received a lot of discussion over whether or not it deserves its automatic BCS qualifier. The fact that the schools in the Big East are rewarded, despite fairly low top 25 rankings, means the Big East could be hurt by playoffs. It would actually have to have teams go undefeated in order to make the playoffs, and instead of a coveted BCS bowl win, the teams would be left with nothing, as they are the only current BCS conference that will not receive an auto tie-in to the big bowl games starting in 2014.

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Even if the CUSA was to get a team high enough in the polls to receive consideration, it would take a lot for that team to receive enough votes to make it into the playoffs. There are many other conferences that fall into the same boat as the CUSA.

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A conference like the MAC will have very little chance to make an impact in the playoff system. How many MAC teams have been ranked in the top four in the last few seasons? In order to even be considered for votes the MAC would have to produce at least one team good enough to climb into the top five, and convince enough voters they are worthy of a playoff chance. That just doesn’t seem likely.

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Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE

The WAC is a conference that currently has had issues with being left out of the championship game in the BCS system (I’m looking at you Boise). The playoff system will make this even harder for this conference to get a shot at the big game because rankings don’t mean anything essentially. A panel will decide which four teams will make the playoffs, and as we all know, the people who vote on the teams tend to give advantage to the power conferences.

Now, all of the conference realignment that has taken place during the buildup to the playoffs has caused the WAC to fold.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS