Conference Chaos - Part 3

If the gang of five (Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech) goes ahead and makes the jump to the Pac-10, there's little doubt that the Big Ten (another conference that can not count) will add to its addition of Nebraska by adding teams in both the East and West.

Eventually, as outlined in part one of this series, we will have four 16-team mega conferences that will wrest control of major college football.

Once this happens, the chances of a college football playoff will never have been better.

Why? Glad you asked.

The reason is only four conference commissioners will have to agree to a format instead of the near unanimous agreement that it would take today. Those four commissioners will represent 64 votes of the bloated 120 major college football programs. That's control.

Here's one way a playoff could grow out of this alignment:

12-team event ----

1. The four mega conference champions will receive byes into the biggest bowl games, which will also serve as the national quarterfinals.

2. The SEC Champ in the Sugar Bowl, the ACC Champ in the Orange and the soon to be renamed Big Ten and Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl so they get to keep their "tradition". The Fiesta Bowl will have first choice of the teams available after the first round games.

3. Eight at-large teams will be chosen by a committee and I believe there should be a provision that any team that is unbeaten and won a conference championship game will automatically get one of those eight slots. One thing this system would then do is guarantee every team self determination. The teams are then seeded with the first four hosting the next four on campus sites the second Saturday in December.

4. After the Fiesta Bowl chooses the team it wants from those four winners the others are slotted into place with every effort being made to avoid a re-match of a game from earlier that season.

5. The four winners of the major bowl games advance to the semi-finals and the winners to the first, true national championship game. Bowl sites can bid for the right to stage the semifinal games and championship game, however common sense tells you Atlanta, Dallas and maybe San Diego would have the best chance(s) aside from the big four.

Expansion makes this all the more possible because it also, in essence negates the current BCS because at least two of the signees to that pact no longer exist. It also opens the door to a true national champ while restoring the Rose Bowl matchup that so many of those involved want to preserve.

I think the quadruple header on campus sites in December would be the greatest day in college football. This playoff also avoids the December final exam period and only adds three games after the traditional bowl week. Scheduling those games would need to take into account the NFL playoff schedule, but that shouldn't be all that difficult to deal with.

There's a lot to like and a lot to dislike about the possibility of four mega conferences taking over major college football, but the possibility that a playoff could potentially spring from it makes it all worthwhile as far as I'm concerned.

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