College Football Playoff Proposal: Regional Semifinals At Neutral Sites Favoring Top Two Seeds

April 19, 2012; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers play-by-play voice Ted Robinson speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new 49ers Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Who knows exactly what the college football presidents will decide upon at the BCS meetings this upcoming week, but you get the feeling it won't be as simple as the top four teams in college football coming together in a plus-one format to decide a national champion. You know why? Because that makes sense, and college football never really makes much sense to anyone.

Here's the latest update, which has the most sensible proposal getting shot down because the SEC schools are scurrred of that cold weather (also, money).

Aside from SEC teams not wanting to play in Ann Arbor or Columbus in late December, it's logistics. Many schools won't have the infrastructure then because they're on holiday break. Stadium size would be an issue with schools such as Cincinnati (35,100), TCU (50,000) and Oregon (53,800). If there's a playoff, officials will want to maximize revenue by selling hospitality and luxury suites. And, besides, most fans love going to bowl games in places like New Orleans and Glendale, Ariz. Delany cited the comfort of the fans when he helped choose a neutral site (Indianapolis) for the Big Ten title game.

The proposal of having semifinal matchups in bowl games hardly solves anything. Clearly putting this at bowl sites puts too much emphasis on the Southern bloc because so many games are played in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Tampa, etc, with only Glendale, San Diego and Pasadena available on the West side.

(Let's not even get to Clay Travis's idea of stupid, which would put teams in Nashville and Houston, the tourist capitals of the galaxy.)

So let's find a middle ground here that satisfies everyone. Thankfully, there is one, and it lies within March Madness.

If you want to simplify the process, just have four potential sites every year similar to what the NCAA Tournament has for the second weekend (four regional sites depending on region), then when the final matchups are announced, pick the two sites that are most favorable to the top two seeds depending on the matchup.

So you'd have a regional setup like...

  • Western team semifinal site: Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Glendale, Denver, San Diego
  • Southern team semifinal site: Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville, Miami, Tampa, Charlotte
  • Midwestern team semifinal site: Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia
  • Eastern team semifinal site: New York City, Foxboro, Washington D.C., Baltimore
  • Southwestern semifinal site: Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Kansas City

Then you'd pick two of those sites depending on who ended up with the top two seeds. You'd have a few weeks to get things ready for each matchup. Sites that don't get it this season get bumped up to top preference for next time.

Thus, if you had a rotating site model:

  • If a Pac-12 team is a #1 or #2 seed: Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Glendale, or San Diego
  • If a Big 12 team is a #1 or #2 seed: Dallas, Houston, or Kansas City
  • If a Big 10 team is a #1 or #2 seed: Indianapolis, Chicago, or Detroit
  • If an SEC team is a #1 or #2 seed: New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, or Miami
  • If an ACC team is a #1 or #2 seed: Tampa, Charlotte, Washington D.C., or Foxboro
  • If a Big East team is a #1 or #2 seed: New York City, Philadelphia, or Baltimore

So say you had a Final Four of LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Stanford. Let's say an at-large team can't host their first game and conference games can't occur in the semis. Then you'd have something like

  • Stanford vs. LSU in New Orleans
  • Alabama vs. Oklahoma State in Dallas

History bears out that this works out for everyone.

2010:

  • Stanford vs. Auburn in Atlanta
  • TCU vs. Oregon in Glendale

2009

  • TCU vs. Alabama in Nashville
  • Cincinnati vs. Texas in Houston

2008

  • Alabama vs. Oklahoma in St. Louis
  • Texas vs. Florida in Tampa

2007

  • Oklahoma vs. Ohio State in Indianapolis
  • Virginia Tech vs. LSU in New Orleans

2006

  • LSU vs. Ohio State in Detroit
  • Michigan vs. Florida in Miami

2005

  • Ohio State vs. USC in San Diego
  • Penn State vs. Texas in Dallas

2004

  • Texas vs. USC in Pasadena
  • Auburn vs. Oklahoma in Kansas City

2003

  • Michigan vs. Oklahoma in Houston
  • USC vs. LSU in Tampa

2002

  • USC vs. Miami in Atlanta
  • Georgia vs. Ohio State in Indianapolis

2001

  • Colorado vs. Miami in Jacksonville
  • Oregon vs. Nebraska in St. Louis

2000

  • Washington vs. Florida State in Charlotte
  • Miami vs. Oklahoma in Dallas

1999

  • Alabama vs. Florida State in Tampa
  • Nebraska vs. Virginia Tech in Baltimore

1998

  • Kansas State vs. Florida State in Miami
  • Ohio State vs. Tennessee in New Orleans

Then release the BCS title game to every possible modern site like Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Dallas, etc. Stagger the BCS National Championship to a week and a half after this one. You can use the rotating site model with selection similar to the Super Bowl.

Feels like everyone wins here.

  • The college football presidents make billions of dollars thanks to the money they make from the luxury suites playing in NFL stadiums with NFL prices.
  • The top two teams during the regular season are rewarded with at the very least semi-home sites that should have favorable home crowds.
  • Fans get a playoff where the top four teams compete in legitimate playoff system that rewards the best team.

Wow, look at that. It kind of works!

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