How new playoff format would've worked

How new playoff format would've worked

Now that a new playoff format has been approved, we take a look at how it all would've worked out over the past decade of BCS-dictated bowls.

Let's say there was some sort of a committee in place since 1998 instead of the BCS. Or, to be more specific, what if there was a BCS system in place to rank teams along with a committee to seed the top four teams accordingly, like the plan that has just been approved?

PLAYOFF TIME!


A college football playoff is finally reality. Check out CFN's full coverage of the decision:

How should committee work?
Breaking down the format
Playoff questions answered

Would this have worked? Would this have held up? Does this newly approved system stand up to the historical best guesses, and where would there be fewer headaches and controversies? Here's a quick look at how the playoffs likely would have been under a committee and seeding system, taking into account that a premium likely would've been put on conference champions to get in.


1998

BCS final four: 1. Tennessee. 2. Florida State, 3. Kansas State 4. Ohio State
Likely playoff teams: 1. Tennessee. 2. Florida State, 3. Ohio State 4. UCLA

There would have been a big fight and a controversy from the start. Kansas State lost in overtime to Texas A&M in the Big 12 championship game, and there would've been a big argument about whether or not it should've been a wild-card, but UCLA was also considered a powerhouse and it won the Pac-10 title. No. 9 Wisconsin (10-1) would've been screaming about Ohio State getting in -- the two didn't play and tied for the Big Ten title –- and No. 6 Texas A&M would've been ticked that it didn't get in after beating Kansas State. No. 10 Tulane (11-0) also would've been out.


1999

BCS final four: 1. Florida State. 2. Virginia Tech, 3. Nebraska 4. Alabama
Likely playoff teams: 1. Florida State. 2. Virginia Tech, 3. Nebraska 4. Alabama

No. 7 Wisconsin (9-2) won the Big Ten title and would've been mad, and No. 6 Kansas State might have wanted a wild-card spot with its only loss coming to Nebraska, but the top four -– all conference champs -- would've been easy.


2000

BCS final four: 1. Oklahoma. 2. Florida State, 3. Miami 4. Washington
Likely playoff teams: 1. Oklahoma. 2. Florida State, 3. Miami 4. Washington

There wouldn't have been any problems with the four conference champions all deserving, and a major controversy would've been avoided. Washington beat Miami in the regular season, but the Canes beat Florida State.


2001

BCS final four: 1. Miami. 2. Nebraska, 3. Colorado 4. Oregon
Likely playoff teams: 1. Miami. 2. Colorado, 3. Oregon 4. Nebraska

The committee probably wouldn't have had much of a choice and would've put Nebraska in as a wild-card. Miami, Colorado and Oregon would've been no-brainers, and the SEC would've been out after Tennessee was upset by LSU in the conference championship game, so it would've come down to the Huskers, Big 12 runner-up and No. 7 Texas, and Big Ten champion and No. 8 Illinois. Nebraska, despite being destroyed by Colorado, would've been in.


2002

BCS final four: 1. Miami. 2. Ohio State, 3. Georgia 4. USC
Likely playoff teams: 1. Miami. 2. Ohio State, 3. Georgia 4. Iowa

Conference champions Miami, Ohio State and Georgia would've been obvious, and then the fight would've been fierce. USC finished No. 4, but it lost two games and technically should've been behind 10-2 Washington State, the No. 6 team that won the head-to-head matchup. Along with the top three teams, No. 5 Iowa (11-1) was the only one left in the nation without two losses, and since it didn't play Ohio State, the issue might have been settled in the playoff. However, USC and Wazzu fans would've gone crazy about the Hawkeyes losing to Iowa State.


2003

BCS final four: 1. Oklahoma. 2. LSU, 3. USC 4. Michigan
Likely playoff teams: 1. USC. 2. LSU, 3. Oklahoma 4. Michigan

If ever a committee would've been needed, it would've been this season. Oklahoma finished No. 1 in the BCS, but it lost the Big 12 title game to Kansas State. USC was the No. 1 team according to the humans, but it missed out on playing for the national title after finishing third in the BCS. USC, LSU and Oklahoma all would've been in, with Big Ten champ Michigan seeded fourth so it could play USC in the Rose Bowl.


2004

BCS final four: 1. USC. 2. Oklahoma, 3. Auburn 4. Texas
Likely playoff teams: 1. USC. 2. Oklahoma, 3. Auburn 4. Texas

2004 created the whopper of all BCS controversies with three 12-0 BCS conference champs -- USC, Oklahoma and Auburn –- and unbeaten Utah and Boise State teams not even close. The Utes were No. 6 and the Broncos No. 9 in the final BCS standings, but the big fight would've been about No. 4 Texas and No. 5 Cal. Which loss was worse, 10-1 Texas's loss to 12-0 Oklahoma, or 10-1 Cal's 23-17 loss at USC? Texas, being Texas, had a bit more respect on a national scale, but the Pac-10 would've been very mad.


2005

BCS final four: 1. USC. 2. Texas, 3. Penn State 4. Ohio State
Likely playoff teams: 1. USC. 2. Texas, 3. Penn State 4. Oregon

All-timer USC and Texas teams would've been obvious, and a one-loss, Big Ten champ Penn State would've been a no-brainer. Ohio State might have been No. 4 in the BCS rankings, but it was 10-2 while No. 5 Oregon was 10-1 with the one loss at USC. There would've been pressure on the committee to put No. 6 Notre Dame (9-2) in, but the 10-1 Ducks would've gotten the No. 4 spot.


2006

BCS final four: 1. Ohio State. 2. Florida, 3. Michigan 4. LSU
Likely playoff teams: 1. Ohio State. 2. Florida, 3. Michigan 4. USC

A big problem would've been solved with Michigan getting in after its classic close loss to Ohio State in the greatest game –- yes, it was -– played between the two longtime rivals. Florida would've been a sure-thing after going 12-1 and winning the SEC title. It would've come down to No. 4 LSU (10-2) or No. 5 USC (10-2). No. 6 Louisville (11-1) would've been ticked after winning the Big East, No. 7 Wisconsin (11-1) would've been mad, and No. 8 Boise State (12-0) would've had a case, but a committee almost certainly would've taken USC because it's USC and, unlike LSU, it won its conference title.


2007

BCS final four: 1. Ohio State. 2. LSU, 3. Virginia Tech 4. Oklahoma
Likely playoff teams: 1. Ohio State. 2. LSU, 3. Virginia Tech 4. Oklahoma

The committee wouldn't have had any problems taking the top four ranked conference champions. No. 10 Hawaii (12-0) wouldn't have been close.


2008

BCS final four: 1. Oklahoma. 2. Florida, 3. Texas 4. Alabama
Likely playoff teams: 1. Oklahoma. 2. Florida, 3. Texas 4. USC

This might have been the ugliest and nastiest of all the controversies. This was the year when Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech all tied for the Big 12 South title, and the No. 7 Red Raiders (11-1) would've wanted its shot to settle the argument after it beat Texas but lost to Oklahoma. Forget about it. No. 4 Alabama (12-1) would've wanted the wild-card shot after losing a classic SEC championship game to Florida, No. 6. and unbeaten Utah would've demanded a chance, Big Ten champion and No. 8 Penn State (11-1) would've made a case, and No. 9 and unbeaten Boise State would've wanted to be considered. No. 5 USC (11-1) probably would've gotten the call over the Tide because of its Pac-10 title.


2009

BCS final four: 1. Alabama. 2. Texas, 3. Cincinnati 4. TCU
Likely playoff teams: 1. Alabama. 2. Texas, 3. Cincinnati 4. TCU

There might have been a bit of a push for No. 5 Florida (12-1) to have gotten in over TCU –- there was the Tim Tebow draw for a team that was No. 1 up until getting pasted by Alabama in the SEC title game –- and No. 6 Boise State (13-0) would've demanded to be considered, but Alabama, Texas and Cincinnati were all unbeaten and all obvious, and the Horned Frogs were 12-0.


2010

BCS final four: 1. Auburn. 2. Oregon, 3. TCU 4. Stanford
Likely playoff teams: 1. Auburn. 2. Oregon, 3. TCU 4. Wisconsin

Auburn, Oregon and TCU were the only three unbeaten teams in America and would've all been in without a problem. No. 5 Wisconsin (11-1) was a juggernaut by the end of the season and won the Big Ten title. No way, no how Stanford would've made it in over the Badgers -- despite the Andrew Luck draw and even with the lone loss coming to Oregon.


2011

BCS final four: 1. LSU. 2. Alabama, 3. Oklahoma State 4. Stanford
Likely playoff teams: 1. LSU. 2. Oklahoma State, 3. Alabama 4. Oregon

Forget that Stanford finished fourth in the final BCS rankings; a committee would've put in No. 5 and Pac-12 champ Oregon in instead. The goal would be to avoid an LSU-Alabama rematch in the first round, so Alabama would've been seeded second or third. No. 10 and Big Ten champion Wisconsin (11-2) would've argued that its two losses came on last-second bombs on the road, and with one of the defeats avenged in the conference title game against Michigan State.

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