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Revising the Original Bartoo 5-2-1 Plan

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On June 20th, 2012, the BCS commissioners voted unanimously to recommend a four-team playoff for 12 years beginning in 2014-15, with a selection committee choosing the participating teams.  On June 4th, 2012, as college football fans everywhere were celebrating the idea of a  newly formed 4 team playoff structure, I presented this article that 8 teams is better than 4.

I enjoy trying to look ahead and determine or predict what will happen in college football.  I proposed the 5 champs, 2 wildcard and a G5 leader as an eight team playoff.  That 5-2-1 idea is by far the most preferred and talked about breakdown of an 8 team playoff system. It is great that the idea caught fire, but like all ideas, it can be discussed, pondered and improved.  If we are going to am 8 team playoff, I like the 5-2-1 system, but how it is constructed is wrong.

After this week of events leading to the 3rd year of the playoff committee selecting the top 4 teams and bowl participants for key bowls, I feel the playing field needs to be leveled and the playoff committee having less control, yet still a say in the playoffs.

In 2017, we will have five, power 5 conference title games.  8 division winners and two leaders from the Big 12 ten teams.  If the winner gets into an eight team field, these are really playoff games.  There are ten teams, in week 14, playing in playoff elimination games.  No committee, no rankings, decided on the field.

We just skipped an 8 team playoff, bumped to 16 teams and bypassed 10 committee selections with no changes in the current system.

So now we need 6 more teams for a 16 team playoff.

One of the biggest, if not the biggest advantage this week went to Ohio State.  They did not play.  No prep.  No injuries.  Coaches scouting Clemson and Washington all week.  Injured players resting and recovering.  Why should a wildcard get the advantage sitting at home?  I do not feel they should, but to get to 8 teams, someone needs to play a game, not sit at home.

This week, while five power 5 championship games played, Ohio State would have been matched with Florida State and Michigan played USC.  That would have totally sucked.  4 teams placed together by the committee, so they still get their rankings show and power, and fans get 2 more play-in games.  Where these games are played is another discussion, but I’m sure a home or neutral site would love to cash in on the deal.

So through the championship games, there are no extra games played, the committee is intact, with less decision power (mainly because the transparency we were promised does not exist) and the national title winner, more than ever, decided on a level playing field.

The final piece of the puzzle is the G5 rep.  If, in nine years, the power 5 has broken away from the G5 group, then we will not need to worry about picking the best G5 scenario.  Just add two more P5s to the wildcard play in of 3 teams.  This would have added Louisville (Jackson vs Michigan D) and Auburn (playing USC, at the Rose Bowl?).  The highest rated G5 champ is in the field of 8 for now.  By my count the committee is now up to 5 to 7 (if 4 or 6 wildcards) teams that they select.

Here comes, what I see, as the biggest problem; adding a 16th game.  I do not want to add more games, and I feel that will be a huge sticking point in the huge if there is playoff expansion.  Let’s get rid of a non-conference game. Fans complain about FCS games all the time, so toss them out or make them optional.  However, I did not play college football, so this is just one guy’s opinion.  I would prefer to let former players and coaches make that decision as to the health and safety of players.

The last task of the committee will be seeding, just like the NCAA basketball tourney.  Everyone will have already played their way in via the 5 conference championship games, 2 or 3 wildcard games and the best G5 team. The way the final four teams play would remain the same.  My suggestion is a quarterfinal within 2 weeks of championship weekend, where that would be is up for debate.  Having been to a PAC-12 title game where the better record hosted the game, it is awesome.  Since conference title games are all neutral sites, the home teams can prep for a playoff game. Ranked teams one through four get to host a game.

And let us not forget, now that a team can play through the season and get to the playoffs by winning their conference, that we may get better non conference games because they do not hurt your path to winning the conference.

In summary: Give up a non conference cupcake. No more games than the current maximum of 15 right now.  5 auto berths to conference title game winners.  2 auto berths to wild card winners and 1 G5 berth.  Teams are ranked by the committee.  Currently the committee controls 4 teams that make the playoffs, with this method, they control no more than 6.

Thoughts?  Improvements?  Tweet at me @CFBMatrix or make a comment below



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