The Great Playoff Debate: 16-team playoff with NCAA Basketball style brackets

As explained yesterday, I'll be discussing five different playoff systems. The first is a 16-team playoff with seeding similar to the NCAA basketball tournament.

In this system, the top four seeds (we're using the BCS here) have their choice of what region to play in. The remaining teams are seeded based on geography. It's not perfect (UF in the North region, Arizona State in the South), but the basketball tournament isn't either. The seeds for each bracket are 1 vs. 4 and 3 vs. 2. Despite Georgia and USC both being ranked in the BCS higher than their opponents they are playing on the road at conference winners. (Hawaii being undefeated beats USC's 2-loss season.)

The advantage to this system is that teams, for the most part, don't have to travel cross country in the first round except for USC at Hawaii. But travel is a factor in the second round with possible ASU at LSU and HI/USC at Oklahoma matchups. I've also separated teams from the same conference (why UF is in the North). This also makes the West the Group of Death and a possible UF-Ohio State game for a shot at the national semifinals.

The first two rounds are played at the stadium of the higher seed. National semifinal games are played at a BCS site. These games take place two weeks before the National Championship game at another BCS site.

Schedule:

Dec. 8
Dec. 15
Dec. 22
Jan 1.
BC@OSU
UF@OSU
UGA vs. OSU
OSU vs. LSU
UF@MIZZ
x
x
x
ILL@VT
UGA@VT
x
x
UGA@WVU
x
x
x
CLEM@LSU
ASU@LSU
LSU vs. USC
x
KU@ASU
x
x
x
TENN@OK
USC@OK
x
x
USC@HI
x
x
x

If you wanted to, you could eliminate several of the wild card/at-large teams, and replace them with the remaining conference winners. UCF (C-USA) takes Clemson's place, BYU (MWC) for Tennessee in the West, FAU (Sun Belt) in the East, and Bowling Green (MAC) faces Ohio State.

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