What If There Was A Playoff? ... 2007
LSU DT Glenn Dorsey
LSU DT Glenn Dorsey
Posted Jan 14, 2012

With all the fun every year with March Madness and the NFL Playoffs, it's a shame college football isn't able to come up with a similar way to crown a champion. What if there was an eight team college football tournament in 2007? What likely would've happened? CFN tries to figure out how a playoff would've gone.

If There Was A Playoff ... 2007

What If There Was A Playoff ...
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It's that time of year ... the second guessing season.

What might happen if Oklahoma State got its shot? How would TCU have done if it got its shot at Auburn at the end of the 2010 season? How about if Boise State got a chance at Alabama in 2009 or if several other BCS fiascos were decided on the field?.

Forget basketball's gimmicky post-season, where a seventh best team in a conference gets a shot to play for the national title, rendering the regular season relatively meaningless. CFN has created the best of all possible worlds for a playoff to make sure the regular season still holds the weight it does now, if not more, while providing the solution everyone wants (outside of Bill Hancock, the college presidents, the yellow-jacket bowl kids, and 99% of the coaches). Here’s the plan …

Take the six BCS conference champions and give them automatic bids. Take the highest ranked non-BCS league champion (Notre Dame included), and give it an automatic bid. The eighth and final slot would be a Wild Card, which would go to the top ranked team in the BCS that isn’t already in.

We'd have to keep this in the land of the real with the geographic and economic concerns in mind by rewarding the top four teams with a first round home game - fan bases aren't going to travel to three neutral field sites if their team goes to the national championship.

The seeds wouldn’t necessarily go according to BCS ranking, again, with the idea to put teams close to the right region to make sure the opposing fans can get there as easily as possible.

The Final Four games would be held in Pasadena and New Orleans, and the national title would rotate sites like it does now. Meanwhile the rest of the bowl system would be kept in place. If you watched the Liberty Bowl before, you’d still watch it if there's  an eight team playoff.

So what would’ve likely happened had the CFN system been in place since the BCS was in place in 2007? Here’s the best guess with the seedings and the results.

Final BCS Ranking In Parentheses

ACC – Virginia Tech (3)
Big East – West Virginia (9)
Big Ten – Ohio State (1)
Big 12 – Oklahoma (4)
Pac 10 – USC (7)
SEC – LSU (2)
Non-BCS – Hawaii (10)
Wild Card – Georgia (5)

Bubble Busted: Missouri (6), Kansas (8)

Big 12 was the story of the 2007 season with the rise of Missouri and Kansas, but the two teams would’ve been left out in the cold thanks to a Georgia team that was on a roll with six straight wins. There wouldn’t have been a lot of complaining about the automatic bids, including an unbeaten Hawaii team that finished 10th in the BCS rankings.

First Round Matchups

No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 8 Hawaii
No. 2 LSU vs. No. 7 West Virginia
No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Georgia
No. 3 Virginia Tech vs. No. 6 USC

Matchup Analysis:
West Virginia might have been able to shock Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, but then-interim head coach Bill Stewart and his team wouldn’t have had the same success against an LSU squad that was getting healthier by the week. Call it a bad break for the Mountaineers; they likely would’ve beaten Ohio State, Virginia Tech, or Oklahoma.

Ohio State might have been a soft No. 1, but it wouldn’t have had too many problems with Colt Brennan and a Hawaii team that wasn’t the same away from home. A red-hot Georgia wasn’t quite as good as the hype, but it was good enough to have beaten Oklahoma in the best game of the first round. Virginia Tech, on paper, deserved to be in the discussion for the national title with several fantastic wins, but USC was humming at just the right time with four straight wins including tremendous performances against Oregon State, Cal, Arizona State, and UCLA teams that would all be off to bowls.

Projected Final Four

Rose Bowl – No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 6 USC
Sugar Bowl – No. 2 LSU vs. No. 5 Georgia

Matchup Analysis:
USC would’ve rolled past Ohio State. The athletes on defense would’ve been too much for Todd Boeckman and the Buckeye attack, while the USC offense would’ve been just good enough to not screw up and provide any easy points. LSU vs. Georgia would’ve been the SEC title game everyone wanted to see (Tennessee ended up getting the nod in the East), and Glenn Dorsey and the Tiger defense likely would’ve been able to do just enough to keep Knowshon Moreno in check on the way to the national title.

Projected National Championship:
No. 2 LSU vs. No. 6 USC
Projected National Champion: No. 2 LSU

Matchup Analysis:
Flip a coin. Remember, Ohio State was actually in the national title game until the fourth quarter. No one does big games like USC, but the defense wasn’t quite the killer the 2008 group would become and the offense was inconsistent. Again, health would be everything to a beaten and bruised LSU team that was excellent against the Buckeyes with several weeks to heal up.

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