Sunday, December 11, 2016

The REAL college football playoffs

For years, I reported on the results of a mock college football playoff in protest of the fact that we didn't actually have one. Last year, I didn't, because we actually had a four-team playoff in place, however insufficient that is. This year, however, it's apparent that four teams just isn't enough, so I'm back to protesting. Here is how the college football playoffs should really look -- with a full 16 glorious teams!

I have bracketed and seeded the teams according to their final regular-season rankings, with (minimal) consideration given to tradition and geography. I also used the rule of no more than one team per conference in any given bracket.

Rose Bowl Bracket
1st seed Washington (12-1, Pac-12) vs. 4th seed West Virginia (10-2, Big 12)
2nd seed Michigan (10-2, Big Ten) vs. 3rd seed Florida State (9-3, ACC)

Cotton Bowl Bracket
1st seed Ohio State (11-1, Big Ten) vs. 4th seed Louisville (9-3, ACC)
2nd seed Oklahoma (10-2, Big 12) vs. 3rd seed Western Michigan (13-0, MAC)

Sugar Bowl Bracket
1st seed Alabama (13-0, SEC) vs. 4th seed Oklahoma State (9-3, Big 12)
2nd seed USC (9-3, Pac-12) vs. 3rd seed Wisconsin (10-3, Big Ten)

Orange Bowl Bracket
1st seed Clemson (12-1, ACC) vs. 4th seed Auburn (8-4, SEC)
2nd seed Penn State (11-2, Big Ten) vs. 3rd seed Colorado (10-3, Big 12)

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BONUS: The "N.I.T." of College Football

As is also my custom, I have also set up a second-tier 16-team tournament. I've included all of the conferences champions without a spot in the main tournament (American Athletic, C-USA, Mountain West and Sun Belt), as well as the next-best available teams.

EAST BRACKET
1st seed Florida (8-4, SEC) vs. 4th seed Appalachian State (9-3, Sun Belt)
2nd seed Temple (10-3, AA) vs. 3rd seed Pittsburgh (8-4, ACC)

SOUTHEAST BRACKET
1st seed LSU (7-4, SEC) vs. 4th seed Iowa (8-4, Big Ten)
2nd seed South Florida (10-2, AA) vs. 3rd seed Western Kentucky (10-3, C-USA)

MIDWEST BRACKET
1st seed Virginia Tech (9-4, ACC) vs. 4th seed Utah (8-4, Big-12)
2nd seed Houston (9-3, Big 12) vs. 3rd seed Nebraska (9-3, Big Ten)

WEST BRACKET
1st seed Stanford (9-3, Pac-12) vs. 4th seed Navy (9-3, AA)
2nd seed Boise State (10-2, MW) vs. 3rd seed Washington State (8-4, Big-12)

So there you go. Start your office pools now and stay tuned: the final playoff results will be posted here sometime after January 9...

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