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Cirminiello's Playoff Idea - 4 Teams, No Auto

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 24, 2012


Rich Cirminiello's playoff idea - Four teams, No Automatic Qualifier

Tuesday Question 

Playoff Idea - Top 4, No AQ
 


TQs - 2011 TQs   

Playoff Ideas
- The 64-team format
- Cirminiello: 4 Teams, No Automatic Qualifier
- Sallee: Plus One
- Harrison: Top Eight
- Johnson: Just 4 Teams  

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With college presidents, professors, and NCAA bigwigs currently considering playoff ideas, here are a few of our own.

TQ: What's your dream playoff scenario?

By Richard Cirminiello   

Change is in the air in college football. And it’s a long overdue aroma wafting from coast to coast.

Whether you’re a player or a coach, a fan or a media member, odds are that you’ve been pining for years for adjustments in the postseason, and in the way champions are crowned.

Your day may be coming.

The current BCS contract will be in existence for the next two years, expiring at the end of the 2013 season. That’s when the landscape ought to get very interesting in the world of college football.

For starters, the Bowl Championship Series made a terrific hire when it brought aboard Bill Hancock as its first executive director. So far, I like everything that’s come out of his mouth. He’s open-minded, candid and seems genuinely interested in making the system better for all parties involved. He’s a refreshing new face to the BCS, and basically the antithesis of what we’ve grown accustomed to over the years.

I’m not an NFL-style playoff guy. Never have been. Probably never will be. I don’t believe we need a postseason with that much breadth. What I do want is a more meaningful bowl season that incorporates additional teams into the national championship mix.

There’s really no need to get too exotic. You can keep the current system for determining the rankings, an amalgam of polls and PCs, but when early December rolls around, I want to know that more just a single game will determine the champion. And more than two teams are vying for coveted spots when the regular season is coming to an end.

I’d suggest starting with the oft-discussed plus-one, evaluating it for a couple of years and remaining open to expanding to eight teams in the future. Beyond eight becomes real messy and impractical on many levels. Don’t kid yourself. No system incorporating subjectivity will ever be perfect, but I can sleep a lot better at night knowing that the No. 5 team got jobbed instead of the No. 3 program. Along with millions of other people, I'll be tantalized by the prospect of seeing two playoff-style games before even getting to the annual BCS National Championship Game.

No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3, preferably on New Year’s Day. A week or so later, the winners can lock horns for the crystal ball. Oh, and if that means all four teams somehow reside in the same conference, or multiple programs failed to win their league, so be it. I just want to see the four best teams competing for a crown once the regular season ends.

No disruption to the bowl season, no negative impact to the regular season and no worries about a conflict with classes or finals. Two additional games. One minor tweak. And one major step in the right direction. With any and all options on the table, anything less than a plus-one would qualify as a major disappointment.

Finally, enough already with automatic qualifying bids for schools from select conferences. It never made sense, especially in years when a Big East or ACC school that was straddling the Top 25 earned a bid over far more qualified schools. Plus, it’s helped fuel the dizzying conference realignments that have taken place in recent years. Let’s draw a firm line in the sand, say, the top 14 or so candidates from which bowl committees can make their selections.

If the process becomes a beauty contest at that point, we just might have to live with it. After all, we can’t completely lose sight of the fact that the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl are still business entities looking to fill as many seats and hotel rooms as possible. 

Playoff Ideas
- The 64-team format
- Cirminiello: 4 Teams, No Automatic Qualifier
- Sallee: Plus One
- Harrison: Top Eight
- Johnson: Just 4 Teams