For the final time in 2011, we’ll discuss what a 16-team college football playoff would look like. Using the BCS standings, we’ll hand out five at-large berths, to go along with the 11 conference champions, who all receive automatic bids. There are no limits on how many teams from one league can qualify, and conferences may very well end up facing each other in the first round. Teams are seeded in order of BCS ranking, and reseeded after each round.
First Round (winners in italics)
#1 LSU Tigers v. #10 Wisconsin Badgers
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide v. #7 Boise State Broncos
#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys v. #6 Arkansas Razorbacks
#4 Stanford Cardinal v. #5 Oregon Ducks
#1 LSU Tigers v. #5 Oregon Ducks
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide v. #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys
National Championship (Rose Bowl)
#1 LSU Tigers over #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys
After a weekend of unexpected results, we saw a very different field for this hypothetical playoff. And yet, the champion remains the same. Some differences of note this week — Oklahoma State ends up in the National Championship Game (as they should be in the real world), mostly chalk moves on throughout this projection and this tournament sorely misses out by not including USC. Just for fun, let’s quickly examine what would happen if they weren’t ineligible, and they held the number-four seed (likely if they’d played and beaten Oregon for the Pac-12 title):
Round 1 Winners: #1 LSU, #2 ‘Bama, #3 OSU, #4 USC, #5 Stanford, #6 Arkansas, #7 Oregon, #10 Wisc.
Round 2 Winners: #1 LSU, #7 Oregon, #3 OSU, #4 USC
Final: LSU over OSU
… Same result, yes. But a much more entertaining way to get there, in my opinion.