A short detour to the BCS...last year, I described what I'd want to see in a playoff system in college football. While a playoff will happen at some point in our lives, the BCS is here to stay for the foreseeable future. So for my second alternative...a baby step toward a playoff: the plus-one.
Steps that should be taken:
1. Keep the 10-team format, but upgrade an existing bowl to BCS status. The Cotton Bowl, once a premier game, has faded in recent years. The move to the new Cowboys Stadium should kick-start excitement about the game and allow it to be a prime candidate to become a BCS game.
2. The highest non-BCS conference champion should qualify for the BCS system provided it is ranked higher than at least one BCS conference champion. If a BCS conference champion is ranked outside the BCS top 25, then the non-BCS qualifier need only to be ranked in the top 25.
3. Abolish the two-team maximum per conference. Last year, I said it was okay but after seeing Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma tie for the top spot in the Big 12, all three were deserving to be part of the system.
4. After the conference champions have been selected, choose the highest ranked teams remaining to fill the remaining spots.
5. Extract the Big Ten/Pac 10 teams to play in the Rose Bowl. The top 4 remaining teams will play each other (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3). The bottom 4 teams will also play each other (5 vs. 6, 7 vs. 8). Determine the matchups first and then they will be assigned to the bowl with the highest ranked team's conference tie-in.
6. After the BCS games have been played, run the polls and computers one more time and determine two teams to play for the national championship.
How would this work?
This year, you have 6 conference champions (Oklahoma, Florida, USC, Penn State, Cincinnati, and Virginia Tech). Utah qualifies as the highest non-BCS qualifier. The remaining teams that qualify are Texas, Alabama and Texas Tech.
These matchups would be produced:
Rose: USC vs. Penn State
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Alabama
Sugar: Florida vs. Texas
Orange: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Cotton: Utah vs. Texas Tech
After you play the games, run the system again and produce a national championship matchup. This year, as a result, Texas would have gotten a chance to play for a national championship and Texas Tech would get to play in a big-money game.
Okay, back to basketball. A new bracket and matrix update comes December 15.