– Creating conference competition.

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I have always had a problem with the way the college football national championships are formulated, whereby no more than four teams are selected for a playoff system involving just three games (the semi-finals and national championship). Other college sports, particularly basketball, have a more inclusive system of brackets involving many teams. So, why not football? Even state high school championships include more teams.

Currently, the final four is based on a selection committee which is greatly influenced by newspaper polls. Further, it is possible that a single conference can have more than one team in the playoffs, such as Alabama and Georgia of the SEC in 2017. It doesn’t sound very fair does it, and discourages inclusion by many other fine teams.

Part of the problem is scheduling. I’ve watched the Ohio State Buckeyes for fifty years now. Back in the 1960’s, they would play a nine game schedule, and a visit to the Rose Bowl if they won the Big 10. Today, all Big 10 teams play a 12 game schedule, followed by a conference championship (pitting East vs. West), a bowl game, and possibly the final four playoffs. This year, OSU is likely to play 15 games, assuming they make it to the championship.

How about this instead; there are many Division I college conferences; for example:



There are, of course, many more, but let’s stay with these 16 for the purpose of example, and to give us a round playoff number. Let’s assume each team in the conference plays a regular season of ten games, followed by a conference championship game (which could be played in a “bowl” setting; giving us 16 bowls).

The winner of each conference would then be seeded based on press polls and put in eight match-ups (Round 1 bracket). Again, these could be played in a bowl setting, giving us eight more bowl games.

The winners of Round 1 would then play in four quarter-final games with eight teams (Round 2), and four more bowls.

The winners of the quarter-finals would then play in the semi-finals (Round 3) with four teams, and two more bowls. And, of course, the final national championship game with two teams (Round 4), and one last bowl.

This would give us a total of 29 bowl games. Currently, there are 40 bowl games played. The surplus bowls could be used for matches between conference runner-ups. Isn’t this why the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) was created in basketball?

So, going back to the Ohio State example mentioned earlier, where they may play 15 games this year, here is how it would work under this system for any of the teams depending on their performance:

10 – Regular season games 1 – Conference championship game 1 – Round 1 playoff game 1 – Round 2, quarter-final game 1 – Round 3, Semi-final game 1 – Round 4, National Championship game

15 games – TOTAL

In other words, there is no difference in terms of games. Under this scenario though, there would be no excessive regular season games. If a team did poorly, their season would mercifully come to an end.

This system avoids the problem of having two teams from the same conference participate in the national championship. Critics would argue, “What if the best teams come from one conference?” Let them slug it out in their conference championship instead.

Better yet, this playoff approach establishes rivalries between whole conferences as opposed to team versus team. Conceivably, this would stimulate attendance and media participation. Imagine, “BIG 10 vs. SEC” or “ACC vs. PAC 12,” etc.

Basically, it takes the playoff system out of the hands of a selection committee and the sports media, and opens the door for more teams to be given a chance.

Better yet, it makes the conference championships and playoffs more meaningful.

What do you think?

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form. Great holiday gifts!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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