Posted on: November 21, 2008 4:58 pm

NCAAF Bowl System

Depending your team's placement in the polls this time of year, you might be in favor of the BCS system or you prefer a playoff-type system. While many of us seem to post that we would like to rid ourselves of the BCS mess (unless you were USC and tOSU the past few years), we all know its not a likely scenario due to the money involved, and the claims that football season can not be extended any longer than it already is. But is there another solution?

Most teams in the Bowl Subdivision play 3-4 non-conference games per year, and many of these games are against cupcake teams to get their record up. Add in the fact that most conferences have 2-3 teams at the "rebuilding" stage, and a college team is likely to play about half of their season against easy opponents. What if, however, you removed the non-conference from the schedule, or at least limited it. If all teams began the season with one non-conference team, then proceeded to play their conference schedules, they would be at 8-9 games when the conference season was complete and they had competed in their conference championship game. Would that not leave a full month and 4 games on the schedule to be used in any manner possible?

If a 4-week playoff system was devised, it could accomodate 16 teams in each bracket. Therefore, you could take the 11 conference winners, and select 5 at-large teams (selected from the non-conference champions) to compete in a seeded double-elimination playoff system, starting in early December. When the final 2 teams were set through the bracket, they would become the championship game teams. For those knocked out in week 2 or 3 through double elimination, those teams could play bowl games at the lesser bowls. This could also work through all 6-win teams in D1, by having multiple brackets consisting of 16-teams. This would then create a "tournament" feel, while also allowing for competition amongst same-level teams in all 4 brackets.

This would also prevent the current bowl duds that result below the top 5 bowls. Due to numerous conference arrangements, and changes in conference dominance from year-to-year, projections for bowls this year consist of Top 30 teams competing against teams ranked 50-60 because of their conference guarantees (Air Force v. Rice, Ball St. v. Illinois, and Boise State v. BC - are you serious?). Leveling the playing field would provide more competitive bowls and rewarding those teams who performed during the year. Ultimately you would have 4 16-team playoffs ending on New Years, and the rest of the bowls could select from teams who have proven themselves through these tournaments. The bowls would have arrangements to these mini-tournaments (the Top 5 bowls would play the top 10 teams from the upper division tourney during the final week).

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com