Proposed Eight Team College Football Championship Playoff Series

(To be Conducted Within the Existing Framework of Bowl Games)

By Chuck Hawks

To replace the present top four playoff series, I propose that the top eight teams be seeded and meet in four of the existing early Bowl Games. These should be Bowls which are not at present committed to hosting any conference champion. These Quarter-final National Championship Bowl Games would be played on the Saturday following the end of the regular season. To spread the games around the country, these might be the Seattle Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, New Orleans Bowl and Motor City Bowl. (The actual Bowls that wish to host a quarter final game would be decided in advance.)

The four winning teams would meet the following Saturday in two Semi-final National Championship Bowl Games that do not otherwise host a conference champion, such as the Holiday Bowl and the Alamo Bowl. (The Tangerine Bowl, Sun Bowl and others would also be possible candidates for the semi-final games). The two winning teams would advance to the National Championship Game.

All of the other Bowl games would proceed as usual through January 1st of the New Year, with their regular conference championship matchups,except for the two teams that won the National Championship Semi-final Games. The runner-up teams in those (at most) two conferences could represent their conferences in their conference's usual Bowl game (Rose, Orange, Sugar, whatever).

The two winning teams from the semi-final round of Bowl Games would meet in the National Championship Bowl Game, normally to be played on January 2nd of the new year, the day after the conclusion of all the other Bowl Games. Perhaps the Cotton Bowl, which no longer regularly hosts a conference champion, would like to host the National Championship Game. Or perhaps it should rotate from site to site, as the NCAA basketball championship does. These things could be worked out.

This system would not seriously disrupt revenues from the current Bowl Games or their sponsers. It would get the Championship over with without intruding into the new school term. It would not require any major conference champions to miss their usual Bowl game (Rose, Orange, Sugar, whatever) except for the two teams that play in the Championship game. Most of all, it would give eight of the best teams in the country a shot at the National Championship (if they want it--any team could always decline to participate in the National Championship Series and just play in their usual bowl game, if they so choose). It is time for a National Championship Playoff Series that includes eight, not four, teams.

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