Georgia President Wants a Playoff

Michael Adams might be as unpopular with his school's sports fans as any school president in the country, but that may be about to change.

The leader of the University of Georgia has come out in favor of an eight-team playoff for college football with the first four games being played at the four premier bowl games and the winners advancing for three additional games.

Boy, there's nothing like feeling like you've been screwed by the system to make you want to change the system, is there?

In a letter to NCAA President Myles Brand, Adams wrote, "The Bowl Championship Series has become a beauty contest largely stage managed by the networks, which in turn protect the interests of their own partner conferences."

Adams also pointed out that it is incumbent on the part of the NCAA to change a severely flawed system. "I believe the time has come for the NCAA to take control of the college football postseason", Adams wrote. "And in so doing to create a system that our players, coaches, friends and fans can support and appreciate."

While I applaud any administrator with the character to address this system up front, Adams' letter does not provide a blueprint that will be followed.

Choosing the eight teams --- Adams plan does not address the question of how to best choose the eight teams. Do you follow the BCS model or will a selection committee have the responsibility? Will the six conferences that currently get automatic bids to the BCS bowls get six of the eight slots in a playoff regardless of ranking? What about the rule that no conference can get three spots? Will there be special provision for Notre Dame? Will there be a way for small conference champs to guarantee a bid?

Elimination of 12th game --- Adams proposed getting rid of the 12th game as part of this plan. There is painfully little inter-conference play as it is and cutting out a game will make that problem worse. Plus do you really think 119 major college programs will agree to give up a game in order to create additional post-season opportunities for three schools? Of course not!

Why Not 16? --- You might be able to get rid of the 12th game in exchange for a 16-team playoff. The ideal playoff (because I thought of it) would have the top eight teams hosting the next eight teams on the first Saturday of December. Then the winners can go to the top four bowls while the losers go to a more standard bowl trip. While some will argue a 16-teamer "cheapens" the regular season I don't hear that argument when 65 teams begin March Madness. What a 16-team playoff would do is give the opportunity to reward a 9-3 team that played a very difficult schedule as well as a 12-0 small conference team that didn't.

I don't see any 16-team proposals getting traction anytime soon, so for now put me in there with Michael Adams for an eight team playoff with six automatic bids and a committee to choose the two at-large teams. Just don't eliminate the 12th game.

Questions or comments? Contact's Larry Vettel

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