B “Lets” CS: Would a Four Team Playoff Give Us a Different BCS Champ?


With the notion of a four team playoff all but passed by the conference commissioners, college football fans a jubilant that final their sport will have a clear-cut champion. To this idea I say “nay”. Not that I am an old fart who likes the old system, but how do you explain the change of heart to teams in the BCS-era that was screwed. It’s the same premise as dating a girl and never taking her out to a classy restaurant because you didn’t have enough money, then you dump the girl, upgrade ladies, and they two of you are eating out once a week at the Outback.

What is the first girl left to think? What was wrong with here? The guy will say nothing, but how does he explain it to her to ease her mind? He never will, and that is the position that many college football teams are in with the talk of going from a flawed system to potential euphoria.

Though the final formula hasn’t been finalized, we can read between the lines. With the same amount of certainty I have in Miami sweeping New York I will assume that the two semi-final games and championship games will be played within the current bowl structure and the playoff field will not be limited to only conference champions. Now that the formula is in place, let’s see if the BCS would have looked the same. Would the SEC have the same dominance over the nation? The semifinal seeding reflects the final regular season BCS standing of that particular year.

2011 Semifinals: (1) Alabama vs. (4) Stanford, (2) LSU vs. (3) Oklahoma State

Outcome:  The championship game still would have been the same two teams as the BCS had it, Stanford’s offensive line would not have been able to keep pressure off Andrew Luck and who would he have thrown the ball to? LSU wouldn’t even have needed to complete a pass, they could have run the ball all game and scored over 30. The only question is would Stanford had made the final four? Remember it was Oregon who won the PAC-12 and defeated Stanford earlier in the year.

2010 Semifinals: (1) Auburn vs. (4) Stanford, (2) Oregon vs. (3) TCU

Outcome:  The chance of both Stanford and Oregon making the final four is almost laughable. Either Big 10 champ Wisconsin or Big 12 champ Oklahoma would have earned the fourth seed. In this scenario I’ll go with Wisconsin. Another SEC team would have made the Big 10 look slow, but TCU would have defeated Oregon and played for the national championship.

Auburn wins the national championship by six over TCU, but the hype from a school like TCU trying to take on the “big boys” would have shut down ESPN.

2009 Semifinals: (1) Alabama vs. (4) TCU, (2) Texas vs. (3) Cincinnati

Outcome: No changes among the four as all of them went undefeated in the regular season. Alabama edges TCU in a low scoring game, but Texas and Cincinnati would have been a throw back USFL game with the potential over/under set at 90. Texas survives, but would lose to Alabama.

2008 Semifinals: (1) Oklahoma vs. (4) Alabama, (2) Florida vs. (3) Texas

Outcome: The monopoly of the Big 12 and SEC would not work, USC was the hottest team in the nation and Alabama had just lost to Florida in the SEC championship game so they would be replaced by the Trojans. I’ll keep Texas third only because the only team I could switch the Longhorns with was Utah, Boise State, or Penn State.

USC would defeat Oklahoma in the first semifinals, and Florida had too much talent for Texas. The Trojans would use the championship game as a last hooray before the NCAA threw the book at them and defeat the Gators for the championship. Not even the archangels could help Tebow in this classic.

2007 Semifinals: (1) Ohio State vs. (4) Oklahoma, (2) LSU vs. (3) Virginia Tech

Outcome: This was the strangest regular season under the BCS’s strangle hold. The final regular season BCS standings had three teams either with one-loss or undefeated and the other seven had two-losses. One-loss Kansas was left out because they lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game and undefeated Hawaii didn’t play anyone worth a crap all year. All four seeded teams won their conference championship, but left out was a two-loss USC (PAC-10 champ) and West Virginia (Big East champ).

Oklahoma, not LSU, would expose Hio State (the lack of offense finally forced Ohio to drop the O) and LSU would defeat Virginia Tech for the second time of the season. Unpopular opinion coming, LSU would not defeat Oklahoma. Bob Stoops would expose a LSU secondary that had struggled the second half of the season and would win the championship.

2006 Semifinal: (1) Ohio State vs. (4) LSU, (2) Florida vs. Michigan

Outcome: Just like the 2008 season, there is no way two conferences holds onto all four seeds right? Michigan stays in because their only loss was to Ohio State and the only other replacements had two-losses. LSU would barely edge out Oklahoma and USC because of the quality of their two-losses compared to the other schools.

Florida would use their speed to eliminate Michigan, and Ohio State would force too many miscues by Jamarcus Russell to face the Gators. Florida wins just like it happened in 2006.

I’m concluding that the SEC would still dominate, but not on the same level as the BCS allowed. And the fact that I could have picked LSU three times to win the title and have them losing out in all three should prove the un-bias opinion I had going into it. The point of this exercise is to show that the balance of power in the middle part of the decade wasn’t as dominate as SEC fans want to think. The power has shifted now, but what will it look like then the four-team playoff begins in 2014?