There is always talk about a college football playoff, especially in December. A ‘plus one’, or 4-team playoff is gaining a ton of steam and may actually be a possibility in the near future.
The logical argument would be for the 4-team playoff to take place on New Years Day using the current BCS Bowls and then have the National Championship Game played between the winners a week later. This is much better than we have now, but there are some questions. Would the four teams be selected from a committee or would they be determined by a formula similar to the current BCS?
If you take the top 4 teams this year there are still two teams that didn’t win their conference (Alabama and Stanford). There’s no doubt Alabama deserves to be there, but does Stanford deserve to be over Oregon…a team they lost to by 23 points at home? The Ducks are only behind Stanford because of their loss to USC (Top 5 in the AP) and LSU (#1, and a team Stanford didn’t have to play). Oregon is also the PAC 12 Champ. But then again, Stanford is 11-1 and we’d like to see them in the playoff.
Once the SEC Championship Game got out of hand, Gary Danielson filled time by presenting his playoff scenario. It was to have a 6-team playoff. The top two teams would get a bye, but in order to qualify for the bye you had to win your conference. And teams 3-6 would be selected regardless of if you won your conference or not.
I think this is a good idea. Winning your conference is still very important. Yet, strength of schedule and getting into the top six is still important. In this scenario LSU and Oklahoma State would get a bye. The other four teams would be Alabama, Arkansas, Stanford, and Oregon.
The first round could be played two weeks after Championship Saturday, which would be this coming Saturday. To keep from having in-conference teams playing in the playoff, the selection committee would have Stanford at Alabama (4:00) and Arkansas at Oregon (8:00). Games would be played on campus. This scenario is probably the most ‘fair’ way to do it, and would still keep the regular season really important. And the losers of these two games could go on to play in traditional bowl games a couple of weeks later. The winners of these games would go on to play LSU and OSU in the semifinal on New Year’s Day. Then a week later, or maybe even the week before the Superbowl the National Championship is played.
Another scenario that would be even more fun for the fans would be an 8-team playoff. Take the top 4 rated conference champions and let them host the next four best teams. This Saturday would look like this: Alabama at Wisconsin (12:30), Stanford at Oklahoma State (3:30), Boise State at LSU (6:30), Arkansas at Oregon (9:30). That would be pretty cool.
It seems like a long shot, but Mississippi State could be involved in something like this one day. Look at Arkansas, they are #6 in the BCS right now and would be in both of these scenarios. They lost to LSU and Alabama by 24 points each. They also narrowly escaped Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. MSU can get to where Arkansas is. And if all the cards line up right, an 11-1 season and perhaps and SEC Championship could come to Starkville. Just got to keep believin’.