Harrison's Playoff Idea - Top Eight

Posted Jan 24, 2012

Phil Harrison's playoff idea - The Top Eight Teams.

Tuesday Question 

Playoff Idea - Top 8

TQs - 2011 TQs   
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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?

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

Phil Harrison
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Letter to Bill Hancock and the BCS

If you haven't heard, Bill Hancock and the BCS entourage are meeting to discuss possible dramatic changes to the BCS. Past years would have more than likely brought minor changes, but all signs point to some significant landscape changes this time around. Everything is on the table, and it appears to be only a matter of time before the BCS goes to some semblance of more than one post-season game to determine a champion. If I could mail a letter directly to the BCS meeting table, here is what it would look like:

Dear Mr. Hancock and the BCS,

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for the consideration and thought that you are giving to making the current BCS system even better. Eventually maybe we can get this thing right.


Before you head down this path though, I want to urge you to have some foresight and honest planning for the future. Rather than putting a Band-aid on the hot potato of the last couple of years, or of tweaking the crazy computer that runs this show to make folks happy, do us one huge favor: Make changes that will not only last, but that will get us to the end state of hope, will you? Give us a true playoff.

I know, I know, there are college presidents, conference suits, and good ‘ole boys that for whatever reason seem to dictate what you do, but it shouldn't be about that. Think outside the box, but think on your own with all variables and all the tools at your disposal. Give college football what it wants, what it deserves, and what it yearns for.

Forget about a plus one model. You know as well as everyone that the plus one model will have its issues too, and you'll be right back at the drawing board facing the firing squad of criticism once again. Just come full out and institute a playoff with the bowls still taking center stage. You can even keep all of the seven hundred and twenty-one bowls in their current format outside of the BCS.

The beauty of it all--there is already framework in place. with the BCS standings and the bowls that go with them. Take the same prestigious bowls that have all of the pageantry and tradition that everyone seems to want to keep. You can keep it--and enhance it. Have the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange host an eight team playoff. There is no reason that the first round can still be the same bowl experience and reward for college athletes. The bowl's will still get their money, the players still get wined and dined, and it could be the equivalent of a quarterfinal.

And you can still use the BCS rankings to define the top eight teams. If a team finishes No. 1 through No. 8, it's in the playoff BCS bowls--period. Out with the automatic qualifiers and potential cash cows. In with fairness and equality. After all, those are principles that our great nation was founded upon.

As far as scheduling goes, the BCS bowls could be moved earlier to get rid of the crazy, long layoff, with the remaining two rounds being played and completed within the same time-frames of today's set up--ending within the first week of January. You could rotate the responsibility of the semi-final and BCS Championship to where every BCS bowl site but one could host two games each year for additional gate revenue. Doesn't that sound nice? If that doesn't work, I'm sure there are other traditional sites that would love to get in on the action.

Think of the possibilities.

College basketball's March Madness is huge because of its playoff format, and college football could finally jump into the same inviting waters. The amount of excitement and anticipation of an eight team playoff would be enormous. It could, in fact, be big enough to bring additional revenue to not only college athletics, but the bowls, sponsors, and most importantly, academia.

That's right, you could even use this model to give some money towards academic upgrades and scholarships. You gotta believe those same college presidents, bowl reps, and good ‘ole boys would get used to the idea of a playoff once their pockets were filled with a few more dollar bills.

So before you come out of your bunker of thought during this round of brainstorming-- please, please, please take a very hard look at doing what everyone besides the minority wants. Go for it. Don't play not to lose, but true to most championship teams--and that's what the BCS "team" should strive for--play to win. Step on the neck of all of the naysayers and second guessers. Bring the rabid college football fan base, players, and coaches a true eight team college football playoff.


The Voice of Reason

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