COMMENTARY

It's back!

Brunson Championship Series opens possibilities for what college football playoffs could really be

By DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 12/13/17

Try as I might, it seems retiring the Brunson Championship Series is an impossibility.

For those who don't know what the real BCS is, it is only the best way to determine a college football national champion ever devised.

I thought when the …

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COMMENTARY

It's back!

Brunson Championship Series opens possibilities for what college football playoffs could really be

Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell (99) pressures Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) during the second half of the 2016 Fiesta Bowl playoff semifinal in Glendale, Arizona last year. The defending national champion Tigers will be trying to get to their third straight national championship game.
Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell (99) pressures Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) during the second half of the 2016 Fiesta Bowl playoff semifinal in Glendale, Arizona last year. The defending national champion Tigers will be trying to get to their third straight national championship game.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted

Try as I might, it seems retiring the Brunson Championship Series is an impossibility.

For those who don't know what the real BCS is, it is only the best way to determine a college football national champion ever devised.

I thought when the College Football Playoff came into existence, all of the questions surrounding naming a national champion would go away. It hasn't happened that way.

The Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences have no representatives in the 4-team field this year, and one of the four that is in didn't even play in its conference championship game. Raise your hand Alabama.

That's not the first time this is happened, but in actuality, I think the committee got it right, especially since it kept Ohio State out.

Still, there is no doubt there is dissatisfaction in the world of college football. Yes, I again heard the chants, "Bring back the BCS!"

So here it is once again. For you longtime readers, just soak it all in. For those seeing this for the first time, be enthralled in the genius, yet the simplicity, of it all:

-Take the champion from each of the 10 football-playing Football Bowl Subdivision conferences - the Power 5 conference champions going automatically and the champions from the American Athletic, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Mountain West conferences and Conference USA with at least 10 victories entering their respective conference championship games qualifying as well.

The 10 champions are Clemson (Atlantic Coast) Central Florida (American Athletic), Ohio State (Big 10), Oklahoma (Big 12), Toledo (MAC), Boise State (Mountain West), Southern California (Pacific 12), Georgia (Southeastern), Appalachian State and Troy (Sun Belt) and Florida Atlantic (Conference USA). With Boise State and Florida Atlantic 9-3 before their respective conference championship games and 10-2 Troy not winning its conference title outright, those teams would not make the field.

-With seven champions eligible, each of the runners-up from the Power 5 conferences would be eligible to make the field; the second-place team would be either the title game loser or the second-place team in the standings for the conferences that don't have title games. Also, to make the Brunson Championship Series, the runner-up needs to be above .500 in overall record entering the conference title game.

However, if all 10 conferences are represented and Notre Dame - through a stipulation which says if it wins nine games while playing at least eight games against Power 5 conference schools - makes the field, , the runner-up with the worst record among the six would not get in.

The five runners-up are Stanford (Pac-10), Wisconsin (Big 10), Auburn (SEC), Miami (ACC) and Texas Christiani (Big 12). Each of the runners-up are in because all five were easily above .500. Notre Dame, which is 9-3, is also in.

-- With seven conference champions, five runners-up and Notre Dame, you have 13 teams. Since you're short three teams, go with the highest-ranked remaining teams in The Associated Press poll from the Power 5 conferences. The three teams would be No. 4 Alabama, No. 9 Penn State and No. 11 Washington.

-Seed the teams, making sure that no conference runner-up is seeded above its conference champion and that teams from the same conference do not face each other in the first round. That would give you eight first-round games with those games played on the second Saturday in December at the site of the higher-seeded team.

That would lead to eight nice little paydays. There might be a clunker or two, but you could have some great games.

Here would be the first-round games with the above-mentioned teams: Toledo (16) at Clemson (1); undefeated Central Florida (15) at Oklahoma (2); TCU (14) at Georgia (3); Notre Dame (13) at Alabama (4); Washington (12) at Ohio State (5); Miami (11) at Southern Cal (6); Stanford (10) at Wisconsin (7) and Penn State (9) at Auburn (8).

-Starting with the four quarterfinal games, the four BCS bowls - Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and Rose - along with the longstanding Cotton Bowl, could be worked into the mix where these sites still could get the big games and the big-dollar fans into their cities.

Rotate the current bowl sites with two quarterfinal cities, two semifinal cities and a championship game city. Also, two major cities, preferably in the Northeast and Midwest because of the lack of bowl sites, could host a quarterfinal game each year.

And, assuming the higher seeds all win their first-round games, here would be the quarterfinal matchups: Clemson vs. Auburn, Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin, Georgia vs. Southern Cal and Alabama vs. Ohio State. Again, packed houses should rule, just as there would be for two semifinal games and the national championship game on New Year's Day.

Of course, the television networks would be standing in line with gobs of money so the country could see the games.

You could still have the smaller bowls for the teams that didn't make the top 16. Everyone needs to be happy.