Perfect College Football Playoff System: 2017 Version

Several years ago I published to the world the perfect college football playoff system.  Since that time the NCAA had been taking baby steps in this direction, but it seems that every year there are additional evidence that shows why this system is needed.  This past year is no exception.

As far as the little guys who deserve a better shot, this year the example is Central Florida.  They went undefeated this season with impressive wins over Maryland, and Memphis (twice!).  They finished ranked #10, but will have no chance at a national championship by definition.  This is inexcusable.

This year there is even a case for one of the most traditionally powerful programs in the country – Ohio State.  In spite of winning the Big 10 conference, they will be on the outside looking in, while Alabama – who did not even qualify for the SEC championship game – will get their shot based on reputation mostly.

Now if the NCAA would have listened to me, all this would simply go away, and things could be decided on the field.  To review the basics of my system:  All conference champs get in (10 teams), and top 6 ranked teams after champions are removed also get in.  Teams are seeded 1-16, with first round matchups following a 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15 format.  Higher rated teams will host the first round game.  A committee will make matchups after that at neutral sites.  This is the perfect system.  So for this year –

Troy vs. Clemson
Toledo vs. Oklahoma
Florida Atl vs. Georgia
Boise St. vs. Alabama
Washington vs. Ohio St
Miami vs Wisconsin
UCF vs. Auburn
Penn St. vs USC

So as you can see, the snubs of Ohio St. and Central Florida are taken care of, like you would expect from a perfect system.  And with some interest, UCF would play Auburn, which is what I believe their actual bowl game this year.

This system has addressed every controversy that has come up, and there really cannot be a credible complaint from any team left out.  This system should be implemented immediately.

3 Responses to “Perfect College Football Playoff System: 2017 Version”


  1. 1 Left Field January 1, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Shouldn’t there be 8 games in the first round?

  2. 2 Eric Nielson January 1, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Great catch – for a left fielder. I left out Boise St. and USC. Made a couple of pairing assumptions to keep consistency with the original post. Thanks for reading and pointing our my error.

  3. 3 Eric Nielson January 7, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    An additional note – Central Florida ended up winning their bowl game, against a team that beat Alabama and played in the SEC championship game. They have every bit as much of a claim to a national championship as whatever team wins the limited and exclusionary playoff system.


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