2020 has been a strange year for all of us and the college football world has had a bizarre year as well. Watching the playoff team announcements this past weekend made me realize that the next step needs to be taken in college football so that no team is left out in the cold that deserves a playoff spot.
Here is my overall proposal that I call JANUARY MADNESS that the schools, fans, and TV Networks will absolutely love.
I tried to take into consideration the value of the Top 5 conferences as well as the fact that smaller schools deserve a shot especially if the run the table and bring an undefeated resume to the process.
I propose that the Big 10, Pac 12, ACC, SEC and Big 12 Conference Championship Game winners get an automatic bid and then there are 3 at large bids for both the smaller schools and second ranked teams in the big conferences. The selection committee chooses both the teams and the ranking of seeds 1 through 8.
With 8 playoff teams we now have three weeks of playoffs and 7 total playoff games. Those 7 playoff games could be played in the following 7 Bowls in a rotating Fashion: Peach Bowl, Sun Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl.
You can market this as January Madness even using the brackets of the tourney making it a natural for the holiday season which could spike ratings and revenue for networks covering the games. And it provides a framework for extending it down the road to a 16 or even 32 team tourney involving more of the bowl games especially the lesser known ones. The bowl committees will love having a playoff game instead of a constructed matchup they have to market on its own merit putting 2 teams together in a fashion .that does not really incite excitement.
This proposal retains meaning in the bowl games but more importantly teams like Ball State, Boise State and others have a real chance at a national title which is what the NCAA should be all about. The time is right for this change and it could make college football even more popular than it is right now.
January Madness could be a real revenue source for all involved-the schools, the NCAA and of course the TV Networks. This bold step is long overdue.