The reason that the BCS is still in place is because the committee feels that if they were to turn the bowl season into a tournament season, teams would be playing too many games and that the season would be too long. But, if you watch college basketball, you know where I am going with this.
So there are 120 teams in the FBS division of Division I football. There are six “power” conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, ACC, and Big East). Each college football team plays between 11-13 games including conference championship games. So here is my idea.
Eliminate non-conference games. Have each team play eight regular season games (all in conference) and a ninth game for a conference championship. Now every conference, including the Power Six conferences, will hold a conference championship between the two teams with the best records in that conference to decide which team go to the tournament.
There are 12 conferences in Division 1-A (FBS), so 12 teams would get automatic bids because 12 teams would are conference champions.
Now, the Power Six conferences would get three at-large bids each. So three from the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, ACC, and Big East, giving us a total of 30 teams in the tournament.
But to make things easier, I will throw in two at-large bids for teams outside of the Power Six. So teams like Notre Dame or TCU are now thrown into the mix. We have a total of 32 teams, making things easier for all of us.
There will be four regions with eight teams in each region. Teams in the west will be paired with teams in the western-part of the country and the same goes for the North, South, and East regions.
Next, let’s talk about seeding. Each team, whether they won their conference championship or not, would be seeded by a number of determining factors. Overall record, strength of schedule and ranking will be some of the factors that will decide a team’s seed. No matter the seed, every conference champion will get a home game in the opening round of the tournament. Since there are four regions and eight teams in each region, teams will be seeded 1 through 8.
Every round, the higher seed will play at home against the lower seed. The regiona; championship game will be played at a neutral site. For instance, the West Region Championship game would be played at the Coliseum in California, the South Region would play their game at Cowboy Stadium, the Midwest Region would play their game at Lucas Oil Stadium, and the East Region would play their game at either Heinz Field in Pittsburgh or MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The two Final Four games would be played at the same site. Preferably a site that has artificial turf, so stadiums like Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orléans, Georgia Dome in Atlanta, or MetLife Stadium in New Jersey would be prime locations to hold these games. The cities are big enough to hold the amount of fans that will be coming in and their infrastructures are good enough to keep traffic moving. And the reason that the stadium needs to have artificial turf is because it doesn’t take a week for it to recover like grass does after you play on it.
Each team in the tournament will play one game a week. The tournament is single-elimination. You lose, you’re done. If a team were to advance to the Final Four, that would add three weeks to their season, and six weeks if they make it to the championship game. There will be an open week between the last Final Four game and the championship game.
So you have eight regular season games with a bye-week, totaling nine weeks of the regular season. If a team makes the tournament, then they could potentially play for six more weeks, making the season last 15 weeks. If you start the regular season on September 1st, the regular season would be over on November 3rd. Conference championship game would take place on November 10th. That Sunday, November 11th, would be college football’s version of “Selection Sunday” and tournament games would take place that following Saturday, November 17th. One game each week, with a bye-week between the Final Four and championship game would place the championship game on December 29th.
With the season ending on December 29th, that takes away the month and a half of anticipation and waiting to watch or play the championship game. College football goes through an extreme “dead period” after the last conference championship game to the first bowl game.
Now, I know a lot of people don’t want to see 32 teams in the tournament, but I feel that it’s fair that every conference winner gets a chance to pull a Cinderella upset. Remember when Appalachian State beat Michigan in Ann Arbor?
Some positives for doing a 32-team tournament are the amount of revenue that a school, that is hosting a tournament game, will make. There will be no empty seats in the stadiums because every tournament game will mean something, which is something that bowl season lacks. I know that a team may play for a trophy or pride, but if you are not playing for the national championship, then the game is meaningless. You don’t set your sights on playing in the Rose Bowl at the beginning of the season when you have the chance to play for the glass BCS trophy. The city where the Final Four is being held will see an enormous amount of people coming into their city, going to their restaurants, and spending their money during the weekend of the Final Four.
No matter what the NCAA committee does, there will be positives and negatives. I know full-well that there are negatives with my idea, but keep in mind that this is just a sketch. Maybe it’s a solution? Who knows at this point? The only thing I know is that the BCS has to be thrown away.