With Everyone Hating the BCS, Here's What a 16-Team Playoff Would Look Like This Season


Everyone’s frustrated with the BCS even more this year than usual. Here’s a great column from Ralph Russo at the AP talking about how great a playoff would be: “There are always going to be polls and computer ratings. Even with a playoff they could come in handy. But a playoff would de-emphasize them and put the onus on the field.” I enjoyed this one from John Feinstein: “Let’s just throw a bunch of parties and forget the football altogether, because there is absolutely no way that selecting just two teams to play for the national championship can be done fairly or correctly.” For fun, here’s what a 16-team playoff would look like this year. It maintains the integrity of the regular season and gives conference winners a shot at the title.

All 11 conferences are represented. There are 5 at-large teams (Arkansas, Boise State, Alabama, Stanford, Michigan, though see the notes below). Higher seed plays at home until the Final 4, which is at a neutral site.

1 LSU (SEC champ)
16 Arkansas St. (Sun Belt champ)

8 Stanford (at-large)
9 Michigan (at large**)

5 Oregon (Pac-12 champ*)
12 TCU (MWC champ)

4 Oklahoma St. (Big 12 champ)
13 Houston/Southern Miss (CUSA champ)

6 Penn State/Mich St (Big Ten champ)
11 Louisville/Rutgers (Big East champ)

3 Arkansas (at-large)
14 Northern Illinois/Ohio (MAC champ)

7 Clemson/Virginia Tech (ACC champ)
10 Boise St (at-large)

2 Alabama (at large)
15 LA Tech/Nevada – WAC champ

I can’t even begin to fathom the 2nd round: LSU vs. Andrew Luck, Oregon 70, Oklahoma State 69, Arkansas vs. Michigan State, Boise St. vs. Alabama’s defense. That’d trump any New Year’s Day slate of bowls in the last decade. And it’s only the 2nd round.

* USC is on probation, or it would represent the Pac-12.
** If Michigan loses to Ohio State this week, the Wolverines come out, and get replaced by Kansas State or Georgia or Wisconsin.
*** I know the silly BCS formula loves Oklahoma, but it’d have to beat Oklahoma St to get in. Not sure who I’d replace in that scenario.