What should have been done, well, about the year 1946.
We are now in the lull between the College Football regular season and the bowl games. Now that everything is settled and Michigan is done whining they belonged in the Final 4 Playoff spots (Western Michigan had a better argument than the Wolverines by the way), we can get down to the business of how college football is run by a bunch of crooks and charlatans.
Yeah I know, the recently installed four team playoff is better than 2. And in the past 20 years college football has done a better job of pitting #1 vs #2, but just for my mental health, let’s review how the current playoff system is still just a scam.
We’re not going compare college to professional sports, where I remember as a youngster the Minnesota North Stars made it to the Stanley Cup Final with a regular season record of 27–39–14. In the NHL in 1990, 16 of the 21 teams made the playoffs. No, we’re going to stay strictly in the college ranks.
Men’s Division III Football: 32 teams make the playoffs
Men’s Basketball Division I: 68 of 300+ teams make the playoffs
Men’s Basketball Division III: 62 teams make the playoffs
Men’s Soccer Division I: 48 teams make the playoffs
Men’s Rugby: 8 teams make the playoffs
Men’s Division I Hockey: 16 of 60 teams make the playoffs
Men’s Division I Baseball: 64 teams make the playoffs
Next person who says “that’s the way it’s always been” in relation to the college football bowl system gets kicked in the balls. Since when is that an excuse for anything anymore? All problems have solutions and Division 1 College Football is no different. There are 2 common sense solutions, but too many people who don’t have the best interest of the game oppose them.
Solution #1 - Dismantle the Big 12
This is the least just solution, but if you take all the scumbag college football administrators at their word, and you don’t want to add any games, and you don’t want to lessen the impact of the regular season, you dismantle the Big 12 and make 4 superconferences of 18 Teams each:
Western Michigan went 13-0 and you didn’t let them in for the 2016 season, so you can still continue to be jerks and not let teams in the Mountain West, American Athletic, or the MAC into the playoffs in the future.
Guess what, Notre Dame? You’re not independent anymore, you’re not a special snowflake, you’re part of the ACC or you’re out of the conversation (like the Western Michigans of the world).
Everything would stay the same, except the conference championships would be like the first round, then the 4 conference champions would play each other, then a college football championship game. Basically an 8 team playoff. If you get jammed in the conference tiebreaker, yell at your conference president to change the rules of your conference.
If you're a Big 12 fan and you're screaming at the computer "maybe we should dismantle the ACC and have four conferences," I'll listen to that," just have it make sense geographically and have 4 total conferences split into 2 divisions each. I don't care, put a bunch of College Presidents in a room together with knives and don't come out until you've gerrymandered the map to death.
Solution #2 – Treat Division I just like Division III.
32 teams get in, regular season cut to 11 games. Period.
First two rounds, higher seeds get additional home games. Then all remaining games get neutral field treatment, here’s an example.
The 8 remaining teams in 4 venues: Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Atlanta
4 teams in 2 venues: Indianapolis and Miami
2 teams in 1 venue: Dallas
Less politics, everyone gets a fair shot no matter what conference or region of the country, and more games that matter. 100 or so teams will play 13 total games or less, which Is basically the same as today, 4 teams will play 14 or 15 games, basically the same as their Division III championship counterparts. I split the brackets in half for illustrative purposes using end of season 2016 rankings.
Why shouldn’t we do it? Lots and lots of excuses and lies from people with their own interests, and not the games', at heart. It’s not a new situation, this has been going on for a 100 years with no leadership strong enough to fix the problem. How 'bout we try a different approach and find a champion on the field instead of in a board room filled with guys in suites.