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The Brunson Championship Series would make it right

By DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 1/4/20

As we await the showdown between Clemson and Louisiana State in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday - January 13!? - there's an unrest among college football fans. What's that I hear? A chant to make the Brunson …

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The Brunson Championship Series would make it right

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As we await the showdown between Clemson and Louisiana State in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday - January 13!? - there's an unrest among college football fans. What's that I hear? A chant to make the Brunson Championship Series the way the college football national champion is decided? Oh, if it was only that easy.

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 - ever!!!!

There seemed to be a lot of perturbed fans over the fact that LSU beat the living snot out of Oklahoma in one of the semifinals, and that is why the field should remain at four and not be increased to eight, much less the 16 teams the Brunson Championship Series has. No, no, no.

The real BCS would, at the very least, build the anticipation for those semifinal games instead of jumping right into the fray as it is done now. Also, it would give each of the Football Bowl Subdivision schools in the country to say it has the opportunity to compete for a national title.

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 FBS 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), Memphis (American Athletic), Ohio State (Big 10), Oklahoma (Big 12), Miami (Ohio) (MAC), Boise State (Mountain West), Oregon (Pacific-12), Louisiana State (Southeastern), Appalachian State (Sun Belt) and Florida Atlantic (Conference USA). With Florida Atlantic 9-3 and Miami (Ohio) 7-5 before their respective conference championship games, those teams would not make the field.

-- With eight 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 the conference title game loser. Also, to make the Brunson Championship Series, the Power 5 runners-up need to be above .500 in overall record entering the conference title game.

The five runners-up are Virginia (ACC), Wisconsin (Big 10), Baylor (Big 12), Utah (Pac-12) and Georgia (SEC). Each of the runners-up are in because all five were easily above .500.

-- There are also stipulations for independents one for Notre Dame and one for the other five independents. If Notre Dame wins nine games while playing at least eight games against Power 5 conference schools, it makes the field. Notre Dame went 10-2 before playing its bowl game. The other schools would need at least 10 victories with nine of them coming against FBS schools.

-- With eight conference champions, five runners-up and Notre Dame, you have 14 teams. Since you're short two teams, go with the highest-ranked remaining teams in The Associated Press poll from after the conference championship games. This has always been a cut and dry procedure, but not this year. Florida is in at No. 6, but the next available position is at No. 9 where Auburn and Alabama finished in a tie for the spot. Since Auburn beat Alabama in their regular-season matchup, it would get that final spot.

-- 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: Boise State (16) at LSU (1); Memphis (15) at Clemson (2); Virginia (14) at Ohio State (3); Appalachian State (13) at Georgia (4); Auburn (12) at Oregon (5); Utah (11) at Oklahoma (6); Notre Dame (10) at Wisconsin (7) and Baylor (9) at Florida (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 among two quarterfinal games, two semifinal games and the championship game. 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: Florida vs. LSU, Clemson vs. Wisconsin, Ohio State vs. Oklahoma and Georgia vs. Oregon.

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.

Come on college football; it just makes sense.