GRIDLINE Editorial

content below posted 22:00SAT13DEC03 cst

We usually concentrate on the pros but allow us to shift our attention to NCAA football for brief period as we document our solution to the farcicle state of the college postseason. We are not here to argue for a playoff system, that's not even an argument because EVERYONE wants it. Everyone. What we would like to do is present a system that would be fair to all the Division I-A schools, add drama to the race for a real national championship, and be of inestimable profit to the NCAA, the universities, TV networks and even the antiquated college bowls. Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to present ...


The Teams: GRIDLINE proposes a 12 team playoff with the participants seeded by their average rank in both the AP and the Coaches polls. The tie breaker would be the schedule strength rating as is currently employed by the BCS.

The Format: The top four seeded teams would have a bye in the first round, with the the remaining teams matched up from a high seed to low seed perspective, i.e., the fifth seed would play the twelfth seed, sixth against eleventh, and so on. The matchups for the remaining rounds would use the same formula, with the highest remaining seeded team playing the lowest seeded team that is still alive.

The Venue: The playoffs would be distributed among current bowl games. The eleven bowls would include six minor bowls - the Sun, Liberty, Tangerine, Holiday, Peach and Gator - and five major bowls - the Fiesta, Cotton, Orange, Rose and Sugar. Three of the major bowls would rotate each year into the semi-final and championship round, and the other two would host quarter-final games. The minor bowls would host the first round and two of the quarter-final games. Before the playoffs start, the top eight teams would select, or draft, the bowl they wish to play in, with the first choice going to the top seeded team, who may choose between the two major bowls or any two minor bowls for their second round game. The selections would then proceed through the draft until all of the games for the first two rounds have venues. After the first two rounds are played, the top two remaining seeds will choose between the two major bowls available for the semi-finals, and the Championship game would be played at the designated bowl site.

Although we can't say for sure what bowls the teams would select we can present a likely scenario for the 2003 Division 1-A College Football Playoffs:

First Round
No. 5 Texas v No. 12 Iowa in the Sun Bowl
No. 6 Ohio State v No. 11 Georgia in the Liberty Bowl
No. 7 Tennessee v No. 10 Miami in the Tangerine Bowl
No. 8 FSU v No. 9 Kansas State in the Gator Bowl

No. 1 USC v lowest remaining seed in Fiesta Bowl
No. 2 LSU v 2nd lowest remaining seed in Peach Bowl
No. 3 Oklahoma v 3rd lowest remaining seed in Cotton Bowl
No. 4 Michigan v next highest seed in the Holiday Bowl

Rose Bowl, Friday, January 3rd, 7pm cst
Orange Bowl, Monday, January 5th, 8pm cst

Championship Game
Sugar Bowl, Monday, January 12th, 8pm cst

We included dates for the last three games to illustrate how seamlessly the college playoffs could coincide with the pros. How exciting it would be to take in a huge college semi-final or championship game on Monday night after a full weekend of the NFL playoffs!

So there it is, NCAA, you know you want it. There is no charge from GRIDLINE for this service. You can thank us by playing the games and crowning the first, true national division I-A football champion.