Everyone knows it is true. Our college football system is a mess and pathetic. Sure it has the most awesome and enjoyable regular season in sports. Rivalries, tailgating, rankings, it beats the pros, it beats college b-ball. However, when the post-season rolls around we are served up a group of sporadic bowls where each team is playing for nothing more than to be the winner of the bowl, and honestly how cool is it to be the winner of the Idaho potato bowl? Or even the orange bowl for that matter?
The post season, which should be the most exciting time of the year, ends up being just another game. What is worse, the team that ends up being the eventual champion ends up having about a month of doing completely nothing. A month! With the fast-moving internet if you have not done something for a month you have essentially disappeared, people have moved on or lost interest. Things are getting better with the introduction of a 4-team playoff. But still that leaves most the teams playing for nothing more than some potatoes or cotton. All objects raised to a playoff system are avoidable, and there is no reason why it could not happen, here is one way.
First get rid of current conference system. It turns a fun-competitive sport into conglomerates of money-grabbing executives (furthermore when the Big 12 has 10 teams and the Big 10 has 12, you know the system is obsolete). The NCAA should organize the teams into 16 7-8-team conferences divided by region (12 conferences would have to have 8 teams, 4 would have 7). This would put teams in conferences with teams geographically close, and therefore usually keep rivalries together. However for those rivalries that are not maintained, each team would be allowed 4-5 non-conference games to play with other teams (Notre Dame – Stanford for example). As each team would have 6-7 conference games, teams would play about 11 games just as they do now and the regular season could end by the same time (actually a week earlier as there would be no conference championship games).
The post season would entail the team with the best record from each conference advancing to the tournament (head to head for tie breaker). Therefore a 16-team tournament would result, and with one round per week it would be over in a month and finish even earlier than the season does now. Furthermore, can you imagine how awesome it would be to do December NCAA football brackets? It would be awesome, and furthermore the conference alignment would lend itself to regional pride and pulling for whatever team emerged from your regional division. Here is a possible break down of the conferences.
San Jose St
San Diego St.
New Mexico St.
North Carolina St.
Obviously some won't be happy with the allignment, but it is a start at getting closer to a college football postseason that actually works.