Playoffs? You want to talk about Playoffs?
Let's hear it.
I'm curious how you would structure a college football playoff if you have your shot. I've thought long and hard about the finances, tradition, complications, etc. My personal preference, considering all of the above, is using a system implementing the bowl games.
Here's the concept: creation of an 18-team pool with an initial few weeks of preparation for the bowl games.
Big Ten Champion and an at-large
SEC Champion and an at-large
Big 12 Champion and an at-large
Big East Champion and an at-large
ACC Champion and an at-large
Pac-10 Champion and an at-large
Mountain West Champion
Sun Belt Champion
Notre Dame or one additional at-large
The following 9 bowls would be used (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Gator, Sun, Liberty and Holiday).
Rose Bowl would be played between Big Ten Champ & Pac-10 Champ
Orange Bowl would be played between Big East Champ & ACC Champ
Fiesta would have Big 12 Champ & the highest rated remaining team
Sugar would have SEC Champ & the highest rated remaining eligible team
(Fiesta & Sugar would rotate picks with a guarantee of at least one non-BCS conference being selected among the two eligible at-large bids)
These four bowls would get automatic top-4 seeds into an 8-team playoff.
Cotton Bowl would be played between Big 12 No. 2 and SEC No. 2
Sun Bowl between ACC No. 2 and Pac-10 No. 2
Gator Bowl between Big Ten No. 2 and Big East No. 2
Liberty Bowl between C-USA and Sun Belt or MAC as a replacement
Holiday Bowl between MWC and WAC or Sun Belt as a replacement
The four highest teams in the BCS standings of the remaining five bowls would be seeds No. 5-8, provided that the non-BCS conferences get assured at least two entries into the field of 8 teams. So if the team it gets into the major bowls wins that game, it means one of the Liberty or Holiday bowl might not necessarily make it into the field.
The first round games then would be seeded 1 vs. 8, 4 vs. 5, 3. vs. 6 and 2 vs. 7 provided no conference teams can play in the first round. The games would be played on the sites of the top seed.
Then, the Final Four would also be played on the highest remaining teams' home fields.
The Championship game would be set in advance, rotating every year among the four BCS bowl games.
This system compensates for the lengthened season by keeping a few weeks of lighter preparation in December. It also keeps importance on the regular season, while keeping meaning and importance (as well as some tradition) to the existing bowl system. Further, it minimizes travel and missed class time by having essentially two of the four rounds played on home sites.
This, basically, is an 18-team playoff.
While on paper the Big 12 and SEC might have the easier path of the major bowl games in some years, the fact they would play each other in the Cotton also means one of them cannot get two teams into the final field of 8 teams.
Anyhow, food for thought! I would love to see the proposals of preference.