NCAA Football

Creating the Perfect College Football Playoff

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Creating the Perfect College Football Playoff System

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports -- Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

So it has come to this…

The game everyone loves let’s its champion be decided by a formula and a bunch of voters currently…

And in 2014, the final four teams will be determined by a committee…


That should turn out really well.

Why is it so hard for the NCAA and College Presidents to understand College Football has about 12 teams each season that are worthy of playing for a chance for a National Title.

Parody has entered the game…


It’s basically the SEC on the top tier and then everyone else.

The BCS Rankings is suitable only for determining who the top two teams are to play for the title.

It is an utter failure to determine who the rest of the teams are that deserve to play in the higher paid BCS Bowls.

And the Plus One Playoff will not be any better…

Especially if the four best teams in the country are from the SEC.

Sorry to all you other conferences out there…

Those are the facts…

Even this sports writer’s beloved ACC doesn’t have a leg to stand on at this point.

And the ACC will be playing a heavy Notre Dame Fighting Irish football schedule moving forward too…

So to keep everyone vested in this run for a National Championship what can be done?

It’s a lot more simple than people think and here is a detailed analysis on how to Fix College Football and create the Perfect College Football Playoff System.

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Birth of the Super Conferences

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It is clearly evident College Football is quickly moving to the era of the Super Conferences.

This is an idea that former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer had envisioned for the game back in the 1990s.

He believed the future of the game would lie in Conference Championship Games and Power Conferences that would revolutionize college football and the revenues it would be able to generate.

A man definitely before his time…

But as the game moves closer to these Super Conferences, what should be the direction Conference Commissioners and College Presidents should be moving towards?

It’s a simple formula really…

But it is a formula everyone needs to understand that the conference they know and love will not be the same…

And it starts with Four Super Conferences.

Each Conference will have 16 Teams with Two Divisions.

Each Division will play the seven teams in their conference and will have the ability to play only their Super Conference Sister Divisions or Teams from other Super Conferences.

No more cupcakes…

Another division of the remaining teams left out in the country will be created to give them a profitable and playing field for which to compete.

It can remain as the FBS and all of those teams along with the teams who did not make the National Championship Playoffs will be eligible for bowl games.

So in essence what is created here is a Playoff of 64 Teams that begins on Day One of the College Football Season.

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Let the Games Begin

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

So the Regular Season/Playoff has begun for the 64 Schools in the Four Super Conferences.

Each team will play its Division Schedule as it plays towards the Division Championship for a total of 11 Games with One Bye Week over 12 Weeks.

In other words, each team gets seven division games , two cross divisional conference games and two power conference games…

Both Conference Division Champions will play in the Conference Championship Game.

This formula here keeps the history of the game intact and is a natural tie in to the Current Four Major Conference Championships.

Every game matters now, so nothing has really changed here.

All that is done is to level the Strength of Schedule playing field.

Sounds pretty cool so far doesn’t it…

A system that updates the game without losing its identity.

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Putting Names with Faces

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So with the Conference Championships set, the real fun begins.

Each Division Champion qualifies automatically for the final 12 Team Play-Off.

Conference Champions will be rewarded with a First Round Bye as the Top Four Seeds.

So that leaves Four Division Winners and Four At-Large Teams who will qualify.

All teams will be Seeded at this point.

The Top Four Teams on a Bye with the Top Team waiting on the No. 11 vs No. 12 Winner, the No.2 Team waiting to face the No. 9 vs No. 10 Winner, the No. 3 Team waiting on the No. 7 vs. No. 8 Winner and the No. 4 Team will play the No. 5 vs No. 6 Winner.

So week one will have these games starting on Thursday and running through Saturday.

And can you imagine the hype around these games that will start the Third Weekend in December!

It will be epic…

So say this system was in place this year…

What would it look like?

It’s hard to say officially since the system currently is not compatible with this system.

But in essence it would look something like this…

No. 1 – Notre Dame Fighting Irish

No. 2 – Alabama Crimson Tide

No. 3 – Ohio State Buckeyes

No. 4 – Stanford Cardinal

No. 5 – Georgia Bulldogs

No. 6 – Kansas State Wildcats

No. 7 – Oregon Ducks

No. 8 – Florida State Seminoles

No. 9 – LSU tigers

No. 10 – Florida Gators

No. 11 – Texas A&M Aggies

No. 12 – South Carolina Gamecocks

So in essence you have the Aggies vs. Gamecocks to get a chance to play the Irish…

The Tigers and the Gators winner with another shot at the Tide…

FSU at Oregon with the winner facing the Buckeyes…

Georgia vs. K-State with the winner to battle the Cardinal…


That would be pretty epic…

And before you all get your panties in a wad again about your team or your conference remember the game has changed.

This is Four Power Conferences consisting of 16 Teams Each.

And hypothetically, based on how 2012 played out, this would the Top 12 Teams.

Now it should be expected for the power of the SEC to even out tremendously…

Teams like the Clemson Tigers, Oregon State Beaver, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Oklahoma Sooners would get much more national respect regionally.

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Putting all the Pieces Together

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Exciting stuff right!!!

The great thing about this set up is that the Bowls are left in place for the other 60 or so teams that are not in the Super Conferences get to fill spots along with the Super Conference teams who had great seasons but did not make the playoffs.

And it will not affect the football everyone loves on New Year’s too…

The Bowls can begin just as they did on December 15 and run through.

As far as the playoffs go…

All of these games in this first round would be hosted by the higher ranked school removing the NCAA and the University Presidents complaining about the cost of travel and the strain on the Student Athlete.

Plus this is financially viable for fans and will create an epic environment for fans and the TV Networks instead of a bunch of empty stadiums with corporate folks who could care less about who wins.

The Fabulous Four games will be at the Four Major Bowl Sites (Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl) on New Year’s Day (or within a day… maybe two games one day and two games the next).

This sets up the National Championship Game the following weekend…

The site of this Title Game will rotate among the four bowls just mentioned along with the site of the Cotton Bowl and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.


Any questions…

Any comments…

Pretty Perfect right!

Remember, all the Bowls as everyone knows them now are left in-tact…

And, as fans, we get this playoff too…

Mystery solved…

You are welcome…


M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru, SEC Voice of Reason and College Football Comedian for Rant Sports. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.