« Report: Nix to interview at Auburn | Main | The Hot Stove: Marve, Bryce and recruiting »

What if there was a 64-team playoff?

I got to give CBS Sportsline credit for creativity -- and for giving us a nice topic for today's blog. They went beyond President elect Barack Obama's plan of pushing for an eight-team playoff and just decided to go March Madness on us in December. And if you are a Canes fan, you like it. Because your team still has a chance at winning the national title.

Cbs_sportsline_bracketsCBS tabbed UM as the 13th seed in its Northeast bracket and set to take on Dave Wannstedt's Pittsburgh Panthers (check out the brackets when you get a chance). Although a tournament like this will never happen, I know many of you would be happy if there was some sort of playoff. So, what is acceptable in your mind? Eight teams? Six teams? 64? And how would you go about inviting those teams to the tournament?

The fundamental problem I see in college football isn't that there are too many great teams deserving of an opportunity to play in a playoff format. The flaw is the conference championship games, which make the entire system of who gets the championship unfair. It makes the regular season meaningless and gives the teams that do have a conference championship game a huge edge over ones that don't like the Pac 10, Big Ten and Big East. Is it a coincidence that the SEC and Big 12 (who have conference championship games) have had at least one team among their conferences vault into the title game after conference title games in six straight seasons? No.

Should_tim_tebow_and_the_gators_havWhy do there have to be divisions in a conference? Take the SEC as an example this season. If you take out the division setup in the SEC out (and you rotate your usual eight-game in conference schedule), Alabama emerges as the clear-cut conference champion with a perfect record. Florida lost at home to an SEC opponent. Why did the Gators get an extra shot (and basically an automatic bid) into the national title game by beating a team in a game that didn't need to be played? Texas and Texas Tech weren't afforded that same opportunity despite the fact it finished with the same exact record as Oklahoma.

Here's my plan: Eliminate all divisions in a conference, require all FBS schools to play an 11 game schedule and have at least one of its non-conference games required to be played against a BCS school and leave two weeks in December to decide who plays in the big game. While you can't create a 64-team playoff, you can certainly do something realistic with an eight-team playoff (all based on the computer rankings). In three weekends of must-see TV football, you'd emerge with a real champion. The teams that lose on the first two weeks would still be healthy enough to go to another bowl game three weeks later. Here's what my system (which only takes the Top 2 rated teams from a conference) would have looked like this year:

> Dec. 6 - In Atlanta - Quarters: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 9 Boise State, Noon; No. 4 Florida vs. No. 5 USC, 7 p.m. In Kansas City: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 8 Penn State, 3:30 p.m. and No. 3 Texas vs. No. 6 Utah, 10 p.m.
> Dec. 13 - In Tampa - Semifinals: Highest remaining seed vs. Lowest remaining seed, 3:30 p.m.; two middle teams, 8 p.m.
> Jan. 8 - At Orange Bowl - National Championship


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I Know i'm in the minority but i like the BCS system.... however i'd like a four team playoff thats it...

alabama vs oklahoma plays the winner of texas vs florida

Could it be?

thats the dumbest thing i have ever heard!

64 teams is ridiculous!

They need to make it a 12 team playoff - 4 BCS conference winners (UF, OU, USC, PSU) get bye and then 8 play 4 games to play in where the other 2 (VT and UC) conference winners are the home team. The other 6 teams are according to rank (UT, 'Bama, TT, Utah, BS, OSU, respectively).

Round 1:
#12 OSU @ #5 UC
#11 BS @ #6 VT
#10 Utah @ #7 UT
#9 TT @ #8 'Bama

Round 2:
TT/Bama winner v #1 OU
Utah/UT winner v #2 UF
BS/VT winner v #3 USC
OSU/UC winner v #4 PSU

So on, and so forth...

BTW, each game could be played at one of the current Bowl game sights instead of being a home game for somebody.

Everyone would want it....thusly..it won't happen!

Your system sounds pretty good. Right now the conference championship games are a form of playoff. BCS could not live without them because it whittles the field. But not all conferences have them which is totally flawed, all or none should have them. But the BCS is dumbed 80% of fans think so. It is political and has the potential to be exposed as corrupt, would not surprise me,,, too much power.

Eight team Playoff:

Big East Champion
ACC Champion
SEC Champion
Big Ten Champion
Pac 10 Champion
Big 12 Champion
At Large (Highest ranked BCS ranking)
At Large (Highest randed BSC ranking)

Seed by BCS Standings
(Home Field for highest seeds)
1 v 8 Game 1
2 v 7 Game 2
3 v 6 Game 3
4 v 5 Game 4

Rotate Bowl Games (Orange-Sugar-Rose)
Game 5 Highest remaining Seed vs Lowest
Game 6 Middle Seeds

Championship Game (Rotate Orange-Sugar-Rose)
Game 5 v Game 6 Winner


Manny- this could never ever work. It makes way to much sense. Seriously, I wish beyond wishes that we could get an 8 team playoff. the 9th team will always be mad but if your ranked 9th you usualy have a loss anyway..oh wait except if you're Boise St. Someone is always left out. Live with it.

Do you think that jew u is gonna come off the cash for any kind of good coaches?

Posted by: tron | December 08, 2008 at 07:27 PM
thank your lucky star for Jewish brainpower & gelt ...
don't F with the Jews ...


I wrote a freelance article about this about 8 years ago when the 2000 Canes got snubbed from the Orange Bowl against OU. FSU went instead. I will reiterate from there:

16 team playoff, 4 rounds, beginning of Dec to beginning of Jan. 11 winners of every conference from SEC to Sun Belt, and the next best 5 teams based on a selection committee like Basketball. #1 Florida would play the #16 Sun Belt champ and so on. Home and away games for first 2 rounds. Semi finals on Jan 1 and finals on Jan 8 rotate between Rose, Orange, and Sugar.

The rest of the top 25 who did not make the field of 16 play on and around new years in the Cotton, Sugar, Gator, Peach, Citrus, Liberty, and Holiday Bowl. All other bowl games are scrapped.

Manny, AzCane and tj's all sound good.

A 4 team playoff is too light because a potentially very good team will be overlooked because of the perceived lack of strength of thier conference or schedule.

This years Penn State team comes to mind. I don't think they're a great team but who knows? Is the Iowa loss on the road any worse than The Gator losing at home to Ole Miss?

Unfortunately we really don't know how good (or bad) conferences are 'till after the bowls.

Let's get this playoff thing going by 2010. I don't want the 'Canes to get screwed when they're playing Top 5 football again.


I have to DISAGREE with your view about championship games. It doesn't water down the regular season at all. The problem with the way the scheduling works out and not getting to play every team in your conference is that all depends on your draw in conference.You can play the top teams in your conference, have one loss, and watch as another team who played weaker teams in the conference win the title simply because of who they played. AT LEAST with the championship game, it has a possibility of evening things out for the teams involved. Look at the Big TEN; there have been quite a few times when two teams finished with the same record, not play each other and one winds up winning the conference title. Even this year OSU and Penn ST technically tied for the title but, unlike the Big 12, the head to head matchup was the difference. Unless you have a round robin where everyone plays each other head to head in the conference, won't be fair. Besides that SEC champ game, love or hate the teams who played, was pretty good.

I personally like a 10 game schedule of all conference opponents and then the 64 team playoff. For the best 64 teams, this would be an 11 game schedule minimum and for the top 32 a 12 game schedule, ending the first week of December. From there, you get the dream 16 team playoff beginning second to last week of December of the truly best teams. By January 15 or sooner, you would have the 1-2 battle for the true national championship.

We don't need VT v Furman, Miami v. Charleston So, etc type of games. And no conferences should be excluded, just like basketball. Boise State should begin the year, if they win out, with the same chance of winning the national championship as Oklahoma.

I really do not understand why no one wants a 64 team playoff. It works in basketball, it can work in football too. It doesn't make the regular season any less meaningful cuz there are still over 100 teams in D-1 so there would still be over 40 teams left out of the picture.

If the schedule is going to be altered nationally, I think all team MUST play at least 8 conference games and 3 non-conference games. Then teams and conferences can be evaluated based upon their non-conference schedule. The 12th game of the season could be determined by rank in conference (e.g. 1 plays 2, 3 plays 4, 5 plays 6, so on). Then every team around the country would play 12 games and could be evaluated on the exact same playing field. This would also eliminate the problem of the less than 12 team conferences not having a championship game.

More realistically, it would be easier to for the BigTen to gain 1 team (be it Ohio or Akron or something) and the Pac-10 to gain two teams (New Mexico, Fresno State, San Diego St., etc.). The Big East is a bit tougher because of all the basketball teams already in the conference. Would probably have to promote Villa-no-fun to BCS and convince Notre Dame that they are lame and belong there. That would give 6 major conferences with championship games.

To be really, really fair, dissolve the Sun Belt and reorder the MAC, WAC, Conference USA, and MWC to make sure every BCS conference has a conference championship. Take those 4 winners, add them to the other 6 "major" winners, add 6 more at large teams. Boom! 16-team playoff. My opinion is that that's too many teams though.

I hate to admit it because i hate it, but the BCS works. The controversy it creates is the main reason why the sport is so popular.

Manny, ignore all these posts disagreing with your playoff idea. As I see it, the current system is preposterous and at this point barely even acknowledges the pretense of sense or fairness.

Your suggestion follows a logic. Cool.

Now more specifically, my opinion is that the conferences that DON'T have championship games have been more problematic. Ohio State and USC have been getting away with playing easy schedules for years. And in the case of Ohio State, they have been mediocre for years. Even the year they beat us in the championship game they barely squeaked by game after game in looking mediocre. By not having a championship game and often scheduling only 1, if any, difficult out of conference games, they give themselves an easy path to the championship game.

What I think is important in any BCS solution is consistency. Enough with the provincialism and regionalism of college football. Everybody should have a championship game (w/o divisions) or nobody should. And to be eligible for the championship you need to be in conference. (Notre Dame...)

Manny your idea is close but why eliminate conference championship games. Why should Alabama play over Florida? Actually in my system they both make the BCS Playoff. Keep the BCS for ranking purposes. Have an 8-team playoff.

The big six conference champions play. The final two are at large based on the BCS ranking. While smaller conference teams like Utah and Boise have a shot to make it they will need strong out of conference games to boost their BCS. This year the argument would be Texas, Alabama or Utah to make the final two, wih Utah being left out. You still get the regular season games meaning a lot, with a little controversy to keep you sportswriters busy.

First round games are home games for the top 4 ranked conference champion teams, games to be played this weekend. By giving a home game a premium is placed on the regular season record. The winners of the first round games play in one of the traditional bowl games (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange), I would even have the losers of the first round go to bowl games. rotate the games among the big 4 bowls and maybe even throw in the Cotton Bowl.

Do not eliminate the conference championship games! Are you nuts?! They are entertaining and some of the best games of the year. If all 6 BCS conferences had a championship game then we could have a play off. 16 teams, the 6 BCS conference champs get the automatic bids, and then there are 10 at large bids filed either by rank, or by committee just like for March Madness and no one seems to mind that selection process! Everyone wins, and of course you fill in the rest of December with the other meaningless crap bowl games that no one really watches outside of the fans of those two teams playing and the very, very bored.

This is the best that I've come across so far...


You need an 8 team playoff system. No BCS conference is going to give up their BCS bowl money... and since the BCS is run by the conferences... all 6 BCS conferences need to be included. Thus:

The 6 BCS conference winners get a spot. That leaves 2 open spots for the next available top BCS team not with an automatic. This ensures that at least the top 2 teams get to play (assuming if all the BCS teams stink that year. Unlikely... but possible.)

One final thing: If you make such a large playoff system (i.e. like 16 teams or more) you start to devalue the regular season games. What makes college football so exciting is that EVERY game is very meaningful.

You don't devalue the regular season. Everyone will want to do well for the #1 seed in the four brackets, just like basketball. Presumably, that #1 seed will put you in a bowl closer to your home for the playoff games. Plus, if you give the top 32 teams a home game in the first round, everyone will want to be top 32.

Gregg Easterbrook from ESPN's Page 2 (Tuesday Morning Quarterback) has it right when he gives his brother's formula as the best. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/081209. It keeps the majority of bowls, gives a playoff system, and does not make the season last any longer so players can pretend to be students.

"There are now five BCS bowls. Increase the total to seven, and use them to run a playoff with eight teams. The other non-BCS bowls would proceed exactly as they do already -- with two extra high-ranked teams, as the BCS now includes 10 colleges, and in a playoff it would have only eight. The first four 'BCS playoff bowl' games would be Christmas week, when the minor bowls now occur. The semifinal games would be New Year's week, when the major bowls now are played. The 'BCS Championship Bowl' would be played the week after New Year, when the BCS championship game already is scheduled. The BCS bowl total would be increased from five to seven by re-designating major bowls outside the BCS, such as the Cotton Bowl."

realistically one of the best ideas I have heard to solve this problem. Who owns the herald? Probably some massive multi-national media company? start lobbying to those higher ups. It is a shame that an idea like this will probably never happen because of all the money that these conferences individually receive from TV. If the cash incentive is right though????

thanks for all the articles - thoroughly enjoy reading your insight - do you get any sort of vote through your position at the herald (ap25, baseball hof?)

Manny, that 64 team tournament was so cool! Think about all the incredible games, just like March Madness. Obviously it will never happen, but I think you are right on about playing in December. This whole, taking time off is stupid. Give the kids two weeks to take exams and then let's move to a 8 team playoff, and then keep all the other bowl games. If you are the higher seed, you get to play at home for the first round. Then the round of four will go to neutral fields, so the Rose, FEDEX Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta can all get there stupid sponsors. And then obviously rotate the championship game to one of these venues. No reason this can't work.

Sorry Manny, I disagree. Unless each team in a conference plays every other team in that conference (which completely eliminates non-conference games) you must have a championship game, otherwise there will be a bunch of what-ifs. For example, Florida and Bama did not play this year until the championship game, so there's no way to know who was better.

Posted by: Allen | December 10, 2008 at 10:34 AM

You realize page 2 is the satirist corner of espn right?

Talk to us about BRYCE BROWN Manny. Its getting heated on all the recruiting cites. I think if we lose him our recruiting class falls out of the top 25.

In order for things to be fair all teams need direct access to the post-season (playoffs).
So, either split the FBC into two seperate groups with seperate champions ie: BCS schools and non-bcs schools (like High-school football: 1a, 2a etc.. OR..
A 12 or 16 teams play-off with all confrence champs making the play-off. I agree every conf. should have 12 teams and a championship game at the end. Fill with deserving at-large teams to complete the bracket.
Decide the championship on the field!!!
The bowls can continue with teams that miss the play-offs and the bigger bowls can become part of the play-off.

Any news on Marve not making the grades and being suspended for the bowl game? I live out of state but was told by a friend in S.Fla that the local sports talk was bringing it up.

I love it, but people tend to forget how hard football can be on the body especially for young people like this, that is probably why there will never be a playoff, they would have to extend the season by a month then i can see it as a possibility.

I really do not understand why no one wants a 64 team playoff. It works in basketball, it can work in football too. It doesn't make the regular season any less meaningful cuz there are still over 100 teams in D-1 so there would still be over 40 teams left out of the picture.

Posted by: f | December 09, 2008 at 11:58 PM

You don't understand why there isn't a 64-team playoff? Are you fukin retarded?

Great idea Manuel! Que cosa tan inteligente! que sabio!

I agree. Anyone who says the BCS works either dont understand football or just started following CFB.

If you speak to anybody not born in this country, and you tell them how the champion of 119 intercollegiate teams is crowned, they re-iterate their feelings about how dumb and arrogant americans are. that is, until I explain that the "lower" teams, i.e. D-2 Do have a playoff system, then they laugh again and say that they are now convinced that americans are retarded! I mean how idiotic.

While fun to argue, it just doesnt make sense to have 5, 6 teams with similar records, not be given the chance! It is grossly unfair, unamerican and almost borders on violating anti-trust and anti-competition laws! Why, just because the silly guys at Yahoo Sports, Israel Gutierrez, and the ESPN duds think Florida shold be in the championship? what about their loss to an Ole Miss team that lost to Wake, that lost to Navy? Does that loss mean less than Texas losing to Texas Tech? Does Texas beating the now number two Oklahoma mean less than UF beating Alabama, who is now Number 6?

A playoff system will crown a true champion. Traditional bowls can be incorporated, and the eventual finalists will have played only 15 games which is only two games more than now. It is wayyyyyyy worth it, given the lull in sports between January 1 and the superbowl!

Talk to us about BRYCE BROWN Manny. Its getting heated on all the recruiting cites. I think if we lose him our recruiting class falls out of the top 25.

Posted by: 5rings | December 10, 2008 at 11:57 AM

Check the post over on the SS. Bryce most likely ends up a Cane, he's just weighing his options as he should. Also, any rumors that Arthur is unhappy are categorically false. He's true U all the way.

Just to have fun and watch people freak out though...THIS JUST IN: Dan Mullen, Florida OC takes the Miss. St. HC job, both Florida and Miss. St. trying to woo Pat Nix away from Miami over protestation from Auburn! Nix looks to take JMac and Marve with him wherever he goes and, in a surprise move, Nix vows to find Willie Williams (who is currently bagging groceries at a Piggly Wiggly in Mississippi) and apply for a rare sixth year of eligibility so he can play for the bulldogs! More Later!

Get interviews with some of the guys we are trying to recruit. Don't become one of these lazy writers that work for the Herald. we need you to ask those kids where they feel they can help the program. what has separated the U from other programs.
How do they feel about Stoutland. Writing about stupid bowl playoff that are not going to happen is a waste of your time and your are contributing to the stupidity of our bandwagon fans. Stay the course.write about what really matters.

this site has gone down hill fast... used to be able to come on here and get good info about football recruiting and the team in general... now it gets updated for football barely ever.. its all basketball and rumors...

Get interviews with some of the guys we are trying to recruit. Don't become one of these lazy writers that work for the Herald. we need you to ask those kids where they feel they can help the program. what has separated the U from other programs.
How do they feel about Stoutland. Writing about stupid bowl playoff that are not going to happen is a waste of your time and your are contributing to the stupidity of our bandwagon fans. Stay the course.write about what really matters.

Posted by: vlady | December 10, 2008 at 03:45 PM

LOL, welcome to the Herald! Obviously you haven't been reading this blog much. This is par for the course. The only thing guaranteed from Manny is that he'll never keep you updated. First Susan will report all the "Breaking News" then Manny will post basically the same story even quoting Susan's. Welcome aboard!

Akefay oupsay...

For those of you that want a status update....

1. Our most talented QB is about to either flunk out or transfer....possibly to Florida.

2. Our inept offensive coordinator is interviewing for a head coaching job.

3. Florida is playing for a national championship on our home field.

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to find my girlfriend spooning another dude in my bed when I get home....pretty much par for the day.

Let's all have a mass suicide....you guys go first !

Life is good.

1) The Canes are brutal

2) The Canes will remain brutal until they find a real head coach

3) The Gators are in the NC game on the Canes home field

4) This Hurricanes dude's girlfriend just finished spooning me in their bed

10 game in conference reg season followed by a 64 team playoff would be dope.

Whispering dirty things into Jessica Alba's ear w/out her getting offended would also be dope.

Losing to Cal in the Rambow Crusader Bowl in San Fran would not be dope.

10 game in conference reg season followed by a 64 team playoff would be dope.

Whispering dirty things into Jessica Alba's ear w/out her getting offended would also be dope.

Losing to Cal in the Rambow Crusader Bowl in San Fran would not be dope.

Simpler solution is a 4 team playoff, its 1 extra game for 2 teams, period.

This year it would be:
OU vs. Alabama (1 vs. 4)
Florida vs. Texas (2 vs. 3)
Winner of each game plays for the NC.

The fixation on #1 is pretty unhealthy. Wasn't the BCS supposed to solve the problem of split national champions? Used to be AP & UPI. UPI is dead. And who really takes USA Today seriously - for anything at all? Just go back to AP & tell the coaches to stick to their day jobs.
I don't mind the conference championship games, unless a non-champion somehow advances further than the champion a la Nebraska. Not like Oregon was gonna beat the Canes anyway..
How about reducing the number of bowls altogether from like 32 to 8 or so, go back to their original names, and have only the top 2 teams from each conference play in a bowl, and squeeze the life outta Notre Dame once and for all..

we R getting down to the nitty gritty in recruiting. We need Bryce, and we need the seminole high trio, 1 just was upgraded to 5 star status on Rivals new 100. Massie, the #1 OL prospect, and randle, who is now #1 on rivals at wr. Manny, does randy close hard again this yr??? We need some difference makers . they say the seminole kid is another percy harvin on the new rivals.com update, and on espn mailbag, craig haubert says we have a shot at all 3. Lets hope for a strong finish. W/o any of the late studs randy is getting, we are 11 on Rivals and 10 on Espn. Scout doesnt count prep rankings so we are lower,--Brandon washington and antonio harper, both 4 star kids that signed last yr but didnt qualify,--they R coming back---------If randy can nail a few of those names I mentioned, we r looking at a top 5 again.

SPlits, the BCS has helped with letting the top 2 play, the old way, many games would have never happened, even this years UF OU game. OU would have gone to orange, and uF to the sugar. they were tied in. now, with the bCS, they can play. Same with our game in 2003 against Oh St, we would have not been able to play them in the rose bowl based on the old bowl system. So in that aspect, the BCS helps, it just doesnt get the teams right---we need a playoff of 8 to 16 teams

We dont have a chance with debose... hes gaytord all the way.. but armstrong and dye are almost locks..

Randle would be huge for us, top recruit in the nation IMO. He could give us some more size for next year to go along with Aldarius, Byrd and Streeter (im not a fan of Hankerson). We have enough slot guys like Debose. IMO Benjamin will be a better player then him when its all said and done. Plus we have Collier, Dovon, and Kendall Thompkins who are all slot type wide outs.

The kid I want is Orson Charles.. He could be a deadly target for Jacory Harris in the future..

1 2 »

The comments to this entry are closed.