College Football

The Model

With all the talk of the Plus-1 format being set up to determine college football’s National Champion, I thought I would try a different idea.  This idea has almost no chance of working, since the Pac-10 and Big Ten conference commissioners have already stated that they will pull out of the Bowl Championship Series if the Plus-1 format or whatever number team playoff was implemented.  My idea calls for all of the BCS conference champions and two wild card teams from non-BCS conferences to play it out for the title.Now like I said, this idea nor any other format we want besides the BCS could work right now because two of the biggest conferences in college football are saying no.  But in my perfect world this is how it would work.

I will do one of these for the preseason and after the conference championships, so obviously right now these are just my predictions and I give a reason for why I picked the conference champions and the two wild card teams.

My “National Champion” model will consist of eight teams.  The teams will be seeded 1-8 and the one seed will play the eight, the two will play the seven and so on and so forth.  The two non-BCS schools will automatically be placed at the seven and eight slots.  The BCS rankings will be used to determine seeds 1-6.  The BCS rankings will also be used to find the top two non-BCS members, and out of those two schools the school with the higher BCS ranking will be the seventh seed.  Even if a non-BCS school ranks higher than a BCS conference champion, they will still be placed at either the seven or eight seed.

Some other things to note.  Since only the ACC, Big 12, and SEC conferences have conference championship games, the BCS rankings will be the tie-breaker if the two top teams in the Pac-10, Big Ten, or Big East finish with identical conference records.  In order for a non-BCS school to qualify they will have had to win their respective conference championship.  Also, since it is my world, Notre Dame will be forced to join a conference since only conference champions can be in this model.  Notre Dame will be part of the Big Ten, but it won’t matter this year apparently.

Finally, the location of the games will be the same four locations that the Orange, Sugar, Rose, and Fiesta Bowls are played.  How do you determine where the teams play?  The location of the first round games will be decided by the location of the top four seeds.  So whatever bowl location (Pasadena, Miami, New Orleans, Glendale) one of the top four seeds are closet to is where that rounds game will be played.  So if Florida is in, they would play in Miami.  If Texas is in they will play in Glendale.  Those are just examples.

The second round will be the same.  The higher seed will play at whatever location is closest to them.  The Championship game will be rotated between the four BCS bowl sites as it is now. So once in every four years Glendale will host, then Miami, etc.

Pacific 10 Conference

My pick to be the 2007 Pac-10 Champion will be the USC Trojans.  I like the Trojans because I just don’t see anyone else in the conference who can threaten USC.  UCLA is UCLA, Oregon is overrated, and I think Cal will lose a couple close conference games.  I see USC winning at least seven conference games, and if I had to put money on it I would say USC finished 8-1 because of a late season loss to California.  I predict the Trojans will finish as the 3rd seed.

Big Ten Conference

My pick to be the 2007 Big Ten Champion will be the Ohio State Buckeyes.  This is not the “sexy” pick for this year, but I am going to go with it, because until Michigan beats Ohio State there is no way I can go with everyone else and say Michigan will be the top team from this conference.  The Big Ten conference will be the most exciting conference this year because there are four teams that have a serious shot of winning the conference championship.  Although I pick Ohio State to win the conference, I believe they will lose one game.  That loss will come from Wisconsin at Ohio Stadium.  Because of that, and the fact that Ohio State’s non-conference schedule is one of the worst in the nation, their BCS rank will suffer.  I see Ohio State finishing as the 5th seed.

Atlantic Coast Conference

My pick to be the 2007 ACC Champion will be the Virginia Tech Hokies.  This pick is a no brainer in my mind, and was the only pick I did not have to think twice about.  Coming off a 10-3 season last year and a national tragedy with the Virginia Tech shootings, the ball is in Virginia Tech’s court so to speak.  I think the Hokies are comparable to the Saints in the NFL.  We all know about Hurricane Katrina and what it meant to New Orleans for the Saints to come back, well this is not on the same scale as the return to the Superdome, but I think the shootings will play a pretty significant role in the Hokies championship season.  No one will contend with Tech this year, and I believe they will finish 8-0 in the Coastal Division and will defeat Florida State in the conference championship game.  I will even be so bold as to pick Virginia Tech to defeat LSU in Death Valley.  I give the Hokies the 1st seed.

Big 12 Conference

My pick to be the 2007 Big 12 Champion will be the Texas Longhorns.  This pick is also a no-brainer because I really look at this conference as a two team conference (Oklahoma and Texas) and both teams are in the same division.  Don’t give me this “Nebraska is so much better” rant, because I won’t buy it.  Nebraska is a year or two away from me considering them to be Big 12 Champs.  That’s not saying I don’t believe Nebraska won’t win its division, because I think they will.  I pick Texas to beat Oklahoma in Austin, and I also pick Texas to lose to Texas A&M at College Station.  And as mentioned earlier Texas will defeat Nebraska in the Big 12 Title Game.  I pick Texas to be the 4th seed.

Big East Conference

My pick to be the 2007 Big East Champions will be the West Virginia Mountaineers.  With West Virginia getting Louisville and Pittsburgh at home, that is all I need to hear.  Rutgers will be 9-3 at best this year, and I just don’t see them scaring West Virginia even though the game is in New Jersey.  West Virginia will go 7-0 and run away with the Big East championship.  I like West Virginia to finish as the 2nd seed.

South Eastern Conference

My pick to be the 2007 SEC Champions will be the LSU Tigers.  It is almost unfair for the rest of the conference because LSU gets every tough game in Death Valley.  So Florida, Auburn, and Arkansas will play games in LSU.  LSU will lose to Virginia Tech and Arkansas.  LSU will go on to play Florida in the SEC Championship game after finishing 7-1 in the West division.  They will beat Florida and advance to the eight team playoff.  Because they are the only team with two losses, I give LSU the 6th seed.

With the six BCS schools already set I now shift my focus to the non-BCS schools.  As Boise State showed last year, you don’t have to be in a BCS conference to be competitive and that will hold true to this season.  Although I don’t think there is a non-BCS school that will compete for the title, I still believe that there should be a couple other schools that get the same opportunities as the traditional powerhouses.

Non-BCS Schools (must win their conference title)

The first school to represent the non-BCS conferences will be the University of Hawaii. Hawaii will go undefeated and will win the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).  With Colt Brennan returning and a tremendously easy schedule there isn’t a doubt in my mind that Hawaii will be the first non-traditional school in and will be the 7th seed in this tournament.

The second school to represent the non-BCS conferences will be Texas Christian University (TCU).  TCU will lose one game this season (at Texas), and will finish 11-1 and win the Mountain West.  I pick TCU to finish as the 8th seed.

So here are the seeds.

1 Virginia Tech Hokies
2 West Virginia Mountaineers
3 USC Trojans
4 Texas Longhorns
5 Ohio State Buckeyes
6 LSU Tigers
7 Hawaii Warriors
8 TCU Horned Frogs

Round 1

1 Virginia Tech vs 8 TCU  Will be played in New Orleans (Sugar Bowl site)
2 West Virginia vs 7 Hawaii  Will be played in Miami (Orange Bowl site)
3 Southern Cal vs 6 Louisiana State  Will be played in Pasadena (Rose Bowl site)
4 Texas vs 5 Ohio State  Will be played in Glendale (Fiesta Bowl site)

I feel that the first two games will go as expected.  Virginia Tech and West Virginia will advance to the second round.

The third game between USC and LSU will be a good game but I believe the tie-breaker will be the fact that this game is being played in California.  Because of a strong turnout for USC they will advance to the second round.

The final game of the first round will be the best game.  Arizona has been Ohio State’s home away from home since they won the National Championship in 2002.  Ohio State will come in and shut Texas’ potent offense down, and will score enough points to get them into the second round.

Round 2

1 Virginia Tech vs 5 Ohio State  Will be played in New Orleans (Sugar Bowl site)
2 West Virginia vs 3 Southern Cal  Will be played in Miami (Orange Bowl site)

With the second round venues being as neutral as possible, no team will have an advantage.  It will be all about who can play football the best.  

The first game will feature one of the best offenses (Virginia Tech) versus one of the best defenses (Ohio State).  I think that offense will prevail over defense and Virginia Tech will advance to the championship game.

The second game will feature two of the top offenses in the league.  This will be the highest scoring game in the playoff.  I think Southern Cal will outshoot West Virginia and will advance to the Title Game.

Round 3

1 Virginia Tech vs 3 Southern Cal  Will be played at one of the BCS Bowls.

The championship game will go much the same as the second game of round two since once again, two of the top offenses in college football will meet.  In the end Virginia Tech caps of an amazing season finishing 16-0 and dedicating the BCS National Championship to the families of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings.

Even though you may disagree with the results of the tournament, I think it would be really hard to disagree with the positive impact this type of format would have on college football.  The fans get more football, the teams get more footballs, and the Presidents, Commissioners, and BCS get more money.  Now tell me, isn’t that what we all want?

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