- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Last week, I asked for your best plan for a college football playoff. You responded with some excellent ideas. Most seem to believe an eight-team playoff is the way to go, though some are in favor of 12 teams. NCAA president Mark Emmert does not have a say in the matter, but he shared his thoughts as well on Mike & Mike this morning. Forward to the 6:30 mark to hear his thoughts on a potential playoff.
Here are a few of the comments that you left in the mailbag on what you think would work best.
James McKenzie in Bloomington, Ind., writes: Take every BCS conference champion (determined as each conference sees fit). Add every undefeated team in D-IA (won't be very many), and add at-large bids to make 12 teams total. I figure this would at least have four at-large teams - possibly six. Give the 'top 4' (determined by the NCAA/BCS/some new group) a bye, and the remaining eight play in the first round. I figure this gives every 'major' conference champ a chance at the title. It also allows all the 'little guys' that play in 'weak conferences' the chance to prove themselves, and you can add a few more based on merit (or, who will generate the most cash, right BCS?). In any case, all the champs play off, as well as other contenders, to see who wins. As for the schedule, the title game would be held at the same time, at the site of a major bowl, the semifinals would be held at two major bowls (to rotate with the national championship game), the quarterfinals could be at the remaining BCS site, as well as three other major bowls (Cotton + others, for example), with the No. 1 team playing at the BCS site. The first round would be at the high seed's home field (this could also work for the quarterfinals).
Sam in St. Petersburg writes: Playoff Scenario: 12-team playoff -- all conference winners go, even Sun Belt and WAC. Independents have to get an at large bid. Seed the 12 teams. Top 4 get a bye. First-round played at top-seeded home field. Winners of first round play at top seeds for quarterfinals. Semifinals play at top seed home site and national championship played at rotating site just like now. All teams that lose will enter into bowl selection field and can play in bowl if they choose to. This will make it fair so non-BCS teams don't complain and BCS teams will more than likely get at-large bids. If a team gets passed over for at large, they will have first shot at bowl selection. You still have bowl games for remaining games. Would like to see a reduction in bowl games. Also two less nonconference game for teams with a championship game and one less for other conferences.
David Elswick in Richmond, Va., writes: Different conference commissioners have repeatedly stated "no playoff" if it impacts our current bowl tie-ins. With that as the MAJOR DEFINING FACTOR, then have the 4 existing BCS bowls serve as round one of a playoff of the top eight teams. The BCS bowls pick in sequence, but may pick someone from their conference if in the final Top eight poll. Then the winners of the two bowls (Rose & Fiesta) located in the western portion of the country, will meet at either location (rotated each year) to see who is sent to the national championship game.Winners of Orange and Sugar meet the same way. NC game is rotated each year - based upon solicitation of bids from appropriate venues across the country. The "appropriate venue" must have experience in hosting football Division I bowl game(s). No limits on number of teams from a single conference.
Jesse in Wolcott, Conn., writes: I think my perfect playoff scenario would be a 12-team playoff. Every conference champ gets an automatic bid with BCS standing determining the seeding. Then the highest ranked team that is not a conference champ or is an independent gets an at large wild-card spot. The No. 2 team gets a first-round bye and the No. 1 team gets a first and second round bye; with 3 playing 12, 4 playing 11 and so forth. Therefore, every conference has a chance to play for the national championship, teams get rewarded for higher rankings and the independents (Notre Dame) can stay independent with the one at large bid.The games will be played at the home field of the higher ranking teams and the national championship will be rotated between the current BCS spots. They will be played on Saturdays, which will keep the same time frame as the current bowl system. Playoffs will start the week after the regular season ends. This eliminates the "what about the student" argument and still allows time for the other bowl games to play.
Charlie in Fort Knox, Ky., writes: Well the way I see this playoff deal is simple: I propose forming eight super conferences and throwing the nonconference schedule away. The entire regular season would be made up of conference games. The conference champions of those eight conferences would be invited to the playoff and would mirror the NCAA basketball tournament's "Elite 8". That would keep all of the people who want the regular season to still mean something happy while giving the feel of a season-long playoff. The other schools could still be invited to bowls, but there would be no conference championship games. The regular season champion moves on to the "Elite 8" and competes for the national title. No one really cares about watching the nonconference games, anyway. I'm tired of watching teams play lesser opponents the first four weeks of the season in games that mean absolutely nothing. Obviously there are a lot of details to work out in this scenario, but it would work well once the details are ironed out. The greatest thing about this idea? Notre Dame finally has to get their rear end in a conference!
Ted in Southington, Conn., writes: I would make it an eight-team playoff. The current six AQ champions and two at-large bids, by having two at large bids it will force teams to play tougher schedules early on so they can have a better chance of getting an at-large bid. To make room for the extra week(s) of games, I would also pose eliminating the games against the FCS opponents. I would also recommend removing the conference championship game, so each conference winner would be determined by the 9 conference games they play each year.
Cryaton Hanson in Gainesville, Fla., writes: No matter how many teams or whether they are all conference champions or not, what fans what is an increased measure of clarity in who gets in. Polls and computers will be part of any decision, but placing some tie-breakers for the two "bubble" teams would make a world of difference in providing clarity for us fans. My suggestions: 1) If only one of the two bubble teams won their conference, then they will advance. 2) If one team has less losses than the other, then they will advance. 3) If one team has lost to the other OR has lost to their potential playoff opponent, that team will NOT advance. 4) strength of schedule; defer to your base ranking system (BCS?) and advance the higher ranked team.