The time has come once again for those who make the decisions in college football to decide on a new post season. There are five proposals that will be presented at the June 26 meeting to the presidents, however there are really only three options since the difference between two of them is to play them at an existing bowl site or a neutral site. Also, the plus-one is still in play, for some stupid reason.
Here are the proposals:
• A four-team playoff consisting of the top four ranked teams. The semifinals will be held at neutral sites using existing bowls;
• A four-team playoff consisting of the top four ranked teams. The semifinals will be held at neutral sites outside the bowl system;
• A four-team playoff consisting of conference champions (if ranked among the nation's top six or eight teams). This would also allow access for at least one non-conference champion or independent or more if at least three conference champions don't rank among the top six or eight teams. The semifinals will be held at neutral sites using existing bowls;
• A four-team playoff consisting of conference champions (if ranked among the nation's top six or eight teams). This would also allow access for at least one non-conference champion or independent or more if at least three conference champions don't rank among the top six or eight teams. The semifinals will be held at neutral sites outside the bowl system;
• A two-team "plus one" championship game, which would pit the nation's top two ranked teams after the bowls are completed.
Like I mentioned, there are really only three choices, but lets look at what options would be the best for the Mountain West.
Two things need to be considered when trying to see which would benefit the Mountain West the most: Overall bowl appearances and getting a shot at the title game.
In my opinion it should be the four best teams overall, regardless of if they win their league or not and that option would mean that a top-four finish would be required. It is too early to tell the metrics if it is a formula mixed of computer and human rankings, or just a committee.
If the top-four teams is the choice it would be in the best interest of the Mountain West that to earn more revenue and exposure that the semifinal games are played at a bowl site. The reasoning behind that is if the semifinals are at a bowl site then that just means no bowl games will be killed.
If the semifinals are not incorporated with a bowl then that means there will be four less teams to fill bowl slots, and there are not enough teams that win six (or seven games if needed) to go to a bowl game to fill those spots. The Mountain West already takes part in one of the newer and lower rated bowl games in the New Mexico Bowl, so it would be better if bowl games are incorporated somehow.
Then there is the plus-one model which may or may not be better. I recommend reading the point-counterpoint over at CBS about that model. It has already been decided that the BCS no longer going to exist which means there is no guaranteed point where a Mountain West team has to be selected to the Fiesta or Sugar Bowls.
Meaning that even if Nevada or Hawaii finish the season ranked No. 5 in the country and go to the Las Vegas Bowl, they would likely be playing a 7-5 Pac-12 team. Even with a big win there is no way they would make it to be one of the top two teams, plus there is a chance that the top three teams could be playing a different team and making the distinction even more difficult to decide who should be in the title game. However, if there is some requirement to take teams ranked at a certain point, then this option could be interesting; however I highly doubt that will happen.
However, the easier path for a Mountain West team to make a playoff is if it is a conference champions only model with one wild card spot. That way the Mountain West could be ranked sixth or even eighth (depending on the model) and could make it to the playoff without having to be one of the top four schools.
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