Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

17 Jan 2011

Mark Cuban Proposes, Basically, a College Football BracketBuster

In his latest post about college football, Mark Cuban has a new proposal in light of the resistance to an overall playoff.

The biggest problem with the BCS system is that there are no parameters or constraints on who BCS eligible teams schedule. Pretty much every BCS eligible school tries their best to game the system to put themselves in the best position to qualify for a bowl and to go undefeated. Put another way, almost every school schedules at least 2, if not 3 “cupcakes” every year. There in lies the rub of the BCS system. Cupcakes distort the system. Rather than playing games that could further contract the number of teams in the championship hunt, these games increase the number. GIGO.

The way to fix the system is to replace the cupcakes with a mid-season playoff system.

What he then proposes is a three-week mini-playoff in which all undefeated teams play each other, all one-loss teams play each other, etc., over the course of three weeks. The goal is to whittle the field down and make sure that everybody has taken on some elite competition.

All in all, this is really, really unrealistic. Obviously. He proposes that "we ask the BCS to require any school that would like to be considered for the BCS championship game to be leave as open dates on their schedule the 6th, 7th and 8th weeks of the season." That would never happen in a million years. BUT ... would one week be out of the question? Cutting the proceedings to one week would create, in effect, a "BracketBuster" type of event.

College basketball's BracketBuster takes place in mid- to late-February and pits a growing number of mid-major teams against each other. Midway through the season, the pairings are set, based on teams' levels of success to date. This gives mid-majors an opportunity to boost their resumes and, basically, give the NCAA selection committee another tool with which to judge teams from smaller conferences that don't get the opportunity to play that many big games.

It's easy to see how this might work in college football.

1. You make it a two-year (minimum) event. Each team plays a home game one year, a road game the other. Who is playing at home or on the road is set in advance, so you can schedule the rest of your non-conference slate accordingly and make sure you get your preferred number of home games.

2. After seven weeks, when the first BCS rankings are unveiled, you announce the matchups. You can either set them up for Week 8 or, more realistically, you announce them 2-3 weeks out for TV and/or travel purposes. You have any number of options for how to set up the matchups. Here are two possibilities:

* Top-ranked home team versus top-ranked road team, second-ranked home versus second-ranked road, etc. (Since the BCS standings only rank 25 teams, you could use teams' aggregate computer rankings to determine the pairings for teams No. 26-120.) For example, if, say, the top half of FBS teams (according to an alphabetical listing ... and no, they probably wouldn't use the alphabet to decide such a thing, but for randomness' sake, it will do for this example) were home teams and the bottom half road teams, this would have resulted in matchups like this using the first BCS rankings of the season: No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 3 Boise State, No. 2 Oregon at No. 4 Auburn, etc.

* You set up some sort of tier structure (six tiers of 20 teams, maybe?) and do something like what Cuban suggested -- top-ranked home team in one tier versus lowest-ranked road team in the same tier, and down the line. The matchups wouldn't be quite as high-impact this way, but in the above example, you're almost punished by being too highly ranked too soon. Oklahoma was No. 1 in the first BCS standings because they had taken on a pretty difficult schedule, and their reward in this exercise was that they had to go to Boise. Anyway, some example matchups here would be No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 18 Arizona, No. 2 Oregon at No. 17 Florida State, or No. 19 Texas at No. 3 Boise State. There is still plenty of intrigue here, even if some matchups lose luster in the weeks after their announcement (Oklahoma was obviously No. 1 for just one week, and Texas would have long since dropped out of the BCS

There are plenty of other possibilities, obviously.

Cuban's idea itself is not anywhere near realistic, but would a one-week "BCS Buster Saturday" event perhaps be more feasible? Clearly this wouldn't completely satisfy playoff proponents (and in effect, if successful it might take a step toward assuring we might never have a playoff), but it would go a decent way toward evening teams' schedules. Big teams would still have to earn their big-bowl keep (which is probably an obstacle for something like this ever actually happening) and smaller teams would get a chance to prove themselves. Something like this would have obviously helped out a team like TCU, who never had a chance at the BCS title game once both Auburn and Oregon went undefeated (just like last year, when they were stuck in line behind Florida, Texas and even Cincinnati), and the level of intrigue these matchups would provide would be rather incredible. Cuban's overall pitch isn't great, but it does lead to a more reasonable, perhaps just-as-interesting possibility.

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 17 Jan 2011

37 comments, Last at 06 Nov 2011, 4:40pm by The TRUE BCSBusters Model!


by Jay12 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 5:00pm

I don't think the idea is bad, but coaches would absolutely hate it. Most teams spend a good portion of the offseason scouting the opponents on their schedule for the upcoming year. For them to not know who they're playing a couple weeks out would drive most coaches crazy. And that also would be put a tough game right in the middle of their conference schedules. Most coaches focus on winning their conference versus qualifying for the BCS. I personally think it's a good idea, I'm just not sure how much more realistic is is than Cuban's original proposal. Thanks.

by lionsbob :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 5:45pm

I really want to make a smartass comment about Mark Cuban worrying about fixing his "sport" in which before even opening tip-off we know who the "haves" and "have nots" are and the likely champion is easily picked out of 3 or 4 teams...but instead, sure why not lets fix college football...

by lionsbob :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 5:47pm

I might be one of the last "college football is basically fine the way it is" fans. There can be some minor things to fix, but I am not a fan of this overhauling of the system.

by huston720 :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 5:59pm

The idea isn't too bad, and it would generate plenty of excitement, but either proposal is way too complex. I think the simpler, and better solution is to bring back the quality win bonus in the BCS formula. If I remember correctly a team got a bonus based on the BCS ranking of any teams it beat during the year. It was because of this change that Ohio State started to go out and schedule home and home series with other conferences.
The downside is that the SEC would still be unlikely to schedule out of conference because it's champion would get bonus for beating other teams in the conference, which is why perhaps we could tweak the bonus to only count for out of conference teams. Also I would suggest no limit on the bonus, so a team with one loss but a brutal schedule could pass an undefeated team with an easy schedule.

by lionsbob :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 6:21pm

Except the SEC has been good at scheduling non-conference games. I am not sure where this myth that the SEC only schedules cupcakes come from...

for example in 2011:
Alabama: at Penn State
LSU: vs. Oregon (in Dallas), at West Virginia
Arkansas: vs. Texas A&M (in Dallas)
Auburn: at Clemson
Georgia: vs. Boise State (in Atlanta), at Georgia Tech
Tennessee: vs. Cincinnati
Vandy: UCONN, Wake Forest
then you have Louisville/Kentucky, South Carolina/Clemson and Florida/Florida State. As well, Ole Miss has BYU and goes to Fresno State. The two Mississippi schools are the only 2 who don't play another BCS conference opponent.

and since I only hear Big Ten fans complain about this.

Illinois: vs. Arizona State
Indiana: vs. Virginia
Iowa: at Iowa State, vs. Pittsburgh
Michigan: vs. Notre Dame (also vs. San Diego State!)
Michigan State: at Notre Dame
Minnesota: at USC
Northwestern: at Boston College
Ohio State: at Miami, vs. Colorado
Penn State: vs. Alabama
Purdue: vs. Notre Dame
Wisconsin: vs. Oregon State
Nebraska: vs. Washington

by Dennis :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 6:32pm

Thank you for proving the problem. The teams generally play one BCS school and three cupcakes for their non-conference games. There is not nearly enough interaction between the conferences to be able to make meaningful comparisons. Not to mention that the games are generally set years in advance, so what looks like a tough game when it is scheduled turns out to be pretty close to a cupcake by the time the came rolls around. For example, Cincy, Colorado, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Georgia Tech are not tough opponents.

by lionsbob :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 6:36pm

What is the purpose of making "meaningful comparisons" between the conferences.

by Alexander :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:53pm

Lets just imagine that by some magic scheduling Ohio State, Texas, Florida, and USC all played each other in one season and somehow the hypothetical result was this:

OSU: 3-1
Texas: 3-1
Florida: 0-4
USC: 2-2

and in their respective conferences all four finished second. Then hypothetically it is simple to deduct that the Big10/12 are better than the Pac10, which is better than the SEC.

Now obviously this dataset is small, but what if there was another round robin with Iowa/Oregon/TCU/Alabama, and another with Boise/Florida State/Pitt/Georgia...

The more inter-conference games played the better you can deduce who is really good, it particularly helps the computer models that this site employs, for instance, had Oregon played 3 SEC teams in the regular season they either would have lost (as F+ predicts) or their ranking would have improved dramatically with wins.

by mm (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 11:17pm

The teams generally play one BCS school and three cupcakes for their non-conference games

Almost 1/2 of FBS are non-BCS schools. If BCS schools only scheduled 1 game against non-BCS schools, you get even more problems with connectivity.

The chief reason people have a problem with SEC scheduling (as opposed to, say, the Big Ten), is that most of their non-conference games are against the ACC, with several more against the Big East. There's a very good geographic reason for that, but it doesn't lead to too many direct comparisons with the other 3 BCS conferences.

by Portmanteur :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 1:43am

Excellent series of comments. How about, instead of the Bracketbuster idea, we mandate that schools schedule at least two games against BCS opponents. A similar, alternative option would be to limit schedules to one game below FCS, and one game against FCS schools. The second option wouldn't be too different from where we are today, but that makes it more reasonable and feasible. Perhaps that could be a stepping stone toward the first rule.

And as an aside, as a GT alum I can't take much offense to the parent's last sentence, but UGA/GT is an annual rivalry like SC/Clemson, so quality of opponent wasn't taken into account when that matchup was placed on the schedule.

by Roscoe :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 5:09pm

Okay, look at LSU. It has to play against the five teams in the SEC West, four of whom finished in the top 15 last year. Add Florida and Kentucky to the schedule. Than add Oregon and West Virginia. I think they are entitled to a couple of games against weaker teams.

And people seem to forget that the major reason for the "cupcakes" is revenue. You don't have to schedule them for "home and homes," so you get to sell an additional 190,000 tickets every year.

by Kal :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:02pm

Except that for the most part this is a recent occurrence and even more, SEC teams very, very rarely travel. LSU has been a good counterexample, but Florida isn't there, Georgia doesn't go outside of Georgia, Tennessee doesn't travel until 2012, and Georgia even pussied out of going up against Oregon.

The notion that playing 1 BCS opponent is sufficiently ballsy is idiotic. Talk to me when you're playing BYU, Nebraska and Syracuse in the same season. Hell, thanks to how the scheduling works if the SEC teams play one BCS team that means that they're playing by default as many BCS teams as every single Pac-10 team and Big-12 team plays in their conference

The SEC plays at best 9 BCS teams. The Pac-10 and Big-12 play at worst 9. The Pac-10 plays at best 7 home games; the SEC plays at worst 7 (and usually 9, like in the case of Auburn). You tell me if that sounds fair.

by mm (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 11:39pm

Other than Oklahoma, the Big 12 does not schedule any different than the SEC. Most years schools like UT, A&M, and Missouri only schedule 1 BCS team,while Texas Tech and KSU (under Bill Snyder) might not schedule any. UT, at least, seems to be changing because of the weakening of the conference.

The Pac 10 only travels because they have a weak fanbase and a scarcity of good teams nearby. Praising them for their schedule is pretty silly.

by lionsbob :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 12:45am

I think all BCS conferences are the same. You got one or two teams who schedule big-time games each year and you got one or two who schedule nobodies and then the in-between teams.

by Kal :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 11:59am

This year they have to play each other in a round robin, so they're doing 9 games at the least. I realize historically they've been one of the worst, but this year at least they'll be okay.

The Pac-10 champ will have played 11 BCS teams. USC doesn't have a weak fanbase; they're willing to take the big TV revenue and make big deals. That's insane, thinking that they had a poor fanbase. That's not why teams schedule road games anyway. The fact is that no team wants to schedule a road game, but often they have to in order to get a home game. Or they had to do the dreaded paycheck game. The fanbase during regular season has virtually nothing to do with it.

by Tom Gower :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 12:01pm

Death to italics.

by Jordan (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:51am

Yes, but all that is changing next season with the Pac-12 and Big-12 each splitting into 2 divisions to make room for more non-conference games. That's one step towards leveling the playing field.

by Kal :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 12:00pm

The Pac-12 isn't changing the number of conf games each team plays; they still play 9. Plus the champion gets another. So that's 10 conference games plus at least 1 BCS game for the champion, no matter what.

by lionsbob :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:34pm

Auburn played 11 BCS opponents this year as well (I guess 10 actually, since they played South Carolina twice). And Alabama a non SEC champion played 10 BCS opponents (LSU played 11 despite not winning the SEC either). Again the PAC-12 is no different than the SEC. You have a couple of teams playing big time opponents, you have a couple who did not (Arizona State this year, Ole Miss most years).

by cfn_ms :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 7:01pm

Plus the Big 12 is actually increasing the number of league games, from 8 to 9.

by Frank (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:49pm

Florida hasn't scheduled a non-conference game outside of the state of florida since (I believe) 1992 when it lost to Syracuse. This is what is annoying about college football. Florida plays three cupcakes each year; always at home. Then again, these cupcakes rely on the cash for survival, and the big schools like the guaranteed win (bonuses for coaches/AD, boosters partying it up).

by Jim is rad (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 10:12pm

Here is a simplier and easier way to do this have the damn voters punish teams for playing cupcakes and reward them for playing good teams. You don't think that teams would quickly start adding better teams to replace the cupcakes when they are lossing rankings. Or how about not dropping teams dramatically when they lose close games against good teams guess what when number 14 beats number 16 at home by 2 points both teams where rated pretty much exactly where they belong dropping fromer 16 to 22 is stupid. How about never moving a team up after they play a cupcake. Hell one year make a point that the preseason number 1 loses the spot after playing the first cupcake game.

by Dennis :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 10:56pm

Here's an even better idea: have a playoff where you have to win your conference to get in. Then the non-conference games are moot.

by mm (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 11:33pm

What an awful idea.

1)Make all non-conference games meaningless

2)reward teams for playing in poor conferences.

by Wild Card Hater (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:51pm

It depends on the purpose of a "playoff". If the purpose is to determine the best FBS team, then it is an EXCELLENT idea. It "rewards" teams for having more wins against common opponents, which is the entire reason for conference scheduling and declaring a "conference champion" in the first place. It is the only non-subjective (tie-breakers excluded) method for determining the correct teams to "play-off" for the championship. Winners are determined on the field of play, not subject to the whims of programmers and AD's.

Unfortunately, the purpose of a playoff is no longer a tie-breaker between teams with equal wins against common opponents. Instead it is either 1) to "reward" teams for having a good regular season, i.e. March Madness, NFL playoffs, etc; or
2) to create the most appealing match-ups to maximize gate and television viewership, i.e. Bowls / BCS. Sadly, this often leads to ridiculous results, like the 2007 Giants beating the Cowboys in the playoffs, despite having 3 fewer regular season wins against common opponents including a 0-2 head-to-head record.

Regardless, Dennis' idea will never see the light of day since it would preclude BCS conferences getting multiple bids for BCS (playoff) games. No BCS conference would ever allow it.

by mm (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 9:44pm

Single elimination tournaments do not decide the 'best team.'

Single elimination tournaments decide who plays the best over a few weeks, and gets some luck, both in games it plays and scheduling (In football especially, there are teams that can attack specific weaknesses of certain teams but lose against 'weaker' teams; they can knock you out in the fist week, but lose to someone else if they end up in another part of your bracket).

Starting with the best possible teams gives you the best competition and means you'll have a winner who is at least somewhat deserving of your title of 'best team'. That means that you'll generally take multiple teams from the same conference. This isn't a closed system like the NFL. There are 120 teams now in FBS and it's growing. If you're a playoff proponent you should probably include all those teams from division 1 FCS as well. It's good that there are differences in quality among the conferences. It makes each conference more interesting.

The professional US sports don't have playoffs because they 'determine the best team'. They have them because they get big ratings and they don't really care much about overworking the workforce. The regular season of FBS college football is more exciting and more profitable because if has a different system. As a bonus, it reduces the number of games played by the top college athletes.

by Joseph :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 12:31am

I think the problems with the BracketBuster idea are:
1--As someone mentioned, no coach wants a hard out-of-conference game in the middle of the schedule.
2--Problems for visiting fans travelling, and possibly the logistics for the visiting team (maybe budgeting too?)
3--Isn't it really a playoff of sorts, that coaches/AD's/presidents will resist if they are anti-playoff proponents?

I like the idea, simply because a 4 or 8 team playoff appeals to me (but no more than that). I'm just afraid that it would be very difficult to implement.

Really, I think that if the proper people could forge an agreement where a BCS team must schedule and play 10 BCS teams (NOT INCLUDING their conference championship game), that would solve a lot of the problems. The few non-BCS top-tier teams would probably schedule their OOC games with BCS opponents--and after next year, isn't Boise St. going to be the only one left in that group?

by Ken (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:28am

Even if they wouldn't clear the schedules, would a one-year hangover work for this? That is to say that you have some form of creating matchups from the top four teams, say, in each conference? And that those matches fill weeks 2 and 3 of the schedule? (It's going to be too much to ask coaches to give up their 'pre-season' tune-up). Not perfect, but gives later conference matches some importance the previous season, and still gives some latitude for maintaining historic nonconference rivalries.

I like the college season more or less as it is, but some of the non-conference scheduling is a joke.

by Some_FF-Player_in_nawlins (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 12:35pm

Anything that devalues games against smaller/weaker schools more than it already is will basically result in many of those schools being permanently shut out of the BCS tourney until the system is completely scrapped. Big schools are barely motivated to schedule many of those smaller schools as it is, especially away games at those places. Yes, they are cupcakes, easy tune ups or a rest for your squad after a brutal schedule against powerhouse in conference opponents. But, if you're trying to reduce the number of games that the big teams play against the smaller ones, you're going to effectively cull the herd there and move more of them into the FCS or out of D-1 play all together.

If college football really is about competition, mandate that the season be 13 games long, with the last being a conference championship or an additional at-large game for teams from non championship conferences. Then, the limit for non FBS games each year is one. That game must happen in the first 5 weeks of the season. Also, to be eligible for a shot at the title, no more than 3 of your games in a given season (including the non-FBS game) can be against teams that finished in the bottom 25% of the FBS rankings the previous year, with one exclusion possible for an in conference team or traditional rivalry game. You must also play at least 2 out of conference teams, both must be FBS, and at least one has to have finished in the top half of the complete BCS forumula derived FBS rankings the previous season.

Failure to meet any of the above guidelines disqualifies you from the Title game or any of the BCS bowls. You get a bonus to our final statistice is you play and defeat an out of conference team that finished in the top 25 the previous season, an additional, largel bonus for playing two, with one being a top 15 team the previous year.

If it's about academics, then the BCS should be abolished all together. Conference championships, at large bowls, that's it.

I still prefer an 8 team playoff though. It adds two games to the current BCS set of bowls and championship, so bring in two more bowls like the cotton bowl and the citrus bowl (heck, pick any two, I don't care). Then let them all rotate who is in what position. In my opinion, if you couldn't manage to be ranked in the top 8 of the BCS by the end of the season, then you don't have a legitimate claim on the title anyway. If you're going to bicker about who the 8th and 9th placed teams are, then I can't help you. Come up with some sort of clear tie breaker scenario that involves opponent quality and you'll see better schedules. It's more reasonable to more schools that they can make that 8th position, and if the tie breaker requires quality opponents, and more teams think that they have a shot, then more will take advantage of those tie breaker scenarios.

by Dean :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 1:24pm

I would not watch this, and if college football went to a playoff, I would stop watching college football.

by SKOHR (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 6:26pm

Interesting idea sure, but not even close to reality. A playoff doesn't need some crazy midseason gimmick to make it better, it is better. If they use a 16 team format, all likely teams would have a shot and it would make the "regular season" more interesting by making the conference championships WAY more meaningful.

My favorite upside to this solution is that it would allow teams to lose. Heresy! I know, but if teams aren't afraid of losing and are actually rewarded for scheduling tough out of conference opponents in order to challenge themselves and prove their ability we will all benefit. Teams are supposed to improve over the course of a season not peak for 6 months. That's why this solution is the best.

I wrote up what a 16 team playoff that included the 11 conference champions and 5 at large bids would have looked like this season over on my site SKOHRboard.com.
http://www.skohrboard.com/2010/12/2010-college-football-playoffs.html As you can see there are some surprise teams in there but the matchups are already better than most of what we saw through the entire bowl season. The beauty of a playoff is that the bowls can still exist. Would you still watch an LSU vs. West Virginia bowl game that took place mid week sometime after Xmas but before Jan 1? I know I would. There is still a market for good football and I really think that a playoff in this system is our best bet for the game, for the schools, and the fans.

by Wild Card Hater (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:59pm

all likely teams would have a shot
That's only better if you subscribe to the "March Madness-style" theory of playoffs. If playoffs are meant to determine a champion, only conference champions and the best independent school should be included. All of the other teams cannot claim to be the best team, because they did not have more wins against common opponents than another school.

My favorite upside to this solution is that it would allow teams to lose
So would only allowing conference champions in the playoff.

the matchups are already better than most of what we saw through the entire bowl season
The reason for a playoff is not to get great matchups, it's to determine the best team that season.

by Jim is rad (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 6:53pm

Playoffs do not determine the best team of that season they determine the winner of a tournment which might or might not be the best team of the season.

by Jim is rad (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 7:15pm

You would be one of the few that watch LSU vs WVU between Xmas and Jan 1 as that is lowest rated week of television of the year. And that is the problem with every playoff idea none of them actually do anything to make networks run out and bid on them at the prices the SEC and Big 10 need to even think about.

First problem is the little sister of the poor conferences produce 0 value for any network bidding. Second problem is the calander the matchups people care about will have to be played on two of the least watched TV weeks of the year or directly against the NFL playoffs again not producing much value for any network bidding. The idea of moving up the start of the playoffs is a no go also as Thanksgiving weekend is usally the money weekend for college football no one in power is going to do anything that jerpodizies this.

Last and this needs to be said anytime someone mentions Death to the BCS but the book is rubbish. Every problem is glossed over with it will work itself out platitudes by an author that does not understand anything about the buisness side of the sport. Cat does not understand that his proposals will kill the very schools he purports to help as it is the Big schools that subsidize the little schools budgets when they come to the hourse shoe to take their beatings for a million dollars. The changes the book suggests would end this gravy train.

by zlionsfan :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 11:12pm

but Cuban of all people should know better (unless his purpose is to tip over the BCS apple cart, in which case, full speed ahead).

ADs are not simply going to increase the strength of their schedules just because someone says to. If you determine opponents during the season, most ADs will simply drop a tough opponent from that year's schedule ... you're not changing the rules for inclusion in the end-of-year party.

Non-AQ schools aren't going to benefit from this, unless you count the additional money they might make from playing a big school. One game means nothing: Boise State showed that this season. Even if they'd had an unbeaten regular season, they weren't playing in the MNC game.

I also don't get all the discussion about WOO CONFERENCE because they play more BCS opponents. Who cares? Even if you knew in advance how tough your opponents were going to be when you played them (ask Utah about that one), dividing them into AQ and non-AQ schools is ridiculous.

So Vanderbilt is playing Connecticut and Wake Forest in 2011. UConn was a mediocre team this season; Wake Forest was awful. Why give them credit for that? Tennessee's playing Cincinnati ... great, another bad AQ team from 2010. Why is that any better than playing Central Florida or Toledo?

It works the other way around, too. Does Rice really deserve credit for "stepping up" and playing Purdue simply because they're in a tougher conference?

Anyway, it's also ridiculous to assume that all AQ schools have the same goals each year ... it should be clear from the schedules that they don't. Lower-tier AQ schools have absolutely no incentive to schedule tougher opponents; they're lucky to break .500, and even if revenue sharing provides them with money when they don't go to a bowl themselves, there can be pressure to do so on a somewhat regular basis. Middle-tier AQ schools don't have much incentive to schedule "up" either, given the difference in payouts between bowls (and the perceived difference between, say, 8-5 and 9-4).

Even top-tier AQ schools don't have a lot of incentive. Wisconsin played three weak teams and a decent Arizona State team, and the last one nearly cost them: 10-2 would have sent MSU to the Rose Bowl instead. Would you rather coast in non-conference games and then play in a BCS bowl, or play tough teams and take that 9-3 record to the Capital One Bowl?

by ReiDeBastoni (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 12:08pm

What about 11 conference winners, highest ranked non-conference winner make the playoffs? The top 4 ranked conference winners get a bye through the first week, making the non-conference game at least somewhat worthwhile.

After teams lose, they can play in bowl games when they lose, like with a 3rd place game, etc. Also, teams that don't make the playoffs can have their own bowl games, such as the top 2 teams that missed out.

by The TRUE BCSBusters Model! (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2011 - 4:40pm

Really Guys,

And you all but told me last year my system wouldn't work after one of your readers recommended my system.

You told me it was unrealistic.

With my system, you eliminate the non-conference schedules entirely, saving the last four weeks of the regular season for a bracketed playoff to determine the Conference championships first and then the conference champions have then you have three remaining weeks for the champions to face off versus one another.

In the meantime, you have three other brackets where the one and two loss teams will be involved, three and four loss teams in the other, and the remaining teams in the final brackets.

This would make every game in college football a true playoff game, but would preserve the bowl system entirely as well as creating conference championship teams for each team.

My system would work and you folks told me it was unrealistic and now you are touting this ridiculous model?

WOW guys!