Monday, December 9, 2013

What Would Playoff Committee Have Done in 2013?

The Bowl Championship Series era unofficially ended Sunday night with the release of the final set of BCS standings. After 16 seasons, the much-maligned, unloved, yet surprisingly effective setup is giving way to the new College Football Playoff, set to debut next season.

The CFP is bound to be an improvement over the BCS, right? With a gang of 13 picking four teams to enter the playoff instead of a mish-mash of polls and computer rankings deciding the top two teams, it must be less controversial, no?

It may very well be a case of "be careful of what you wish for."

For all its flaws, the BCS at least had a reasonable degree of transparency as its standings actually were fairly predictable. Having been the self-anointed Guru since 2006, I had gotten so good at projecting the standings, that I was rarely surprised by anything, especially in the top of the standings.

But I have only a vague clue as to what the committee might do next season. In fact, the 2014 playoff field might be the most difficult to handicap as there will be no precedent in the history of the sport to serve as a marker.

That's why I campaigned and genuinely hoped that the committee members would release their top four for this season. That way, at least we'd have an idea about how they might behave next season and what criteria would be of more importance to them.

Since that's not forthcoming, I've decided to do the job for them. Here's what my playoff pairings would be if I were a committee member:

No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Michigan State (to be played at Sugar Bowl)

No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 3 Stanford (to be played at Rose Bowl)


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