What a crazy year of college football so far! We are in the last year of the BCS, and although most of these undefeated teams are probably going to lose before the end of the season, almost everyone is really wishing we had a playoff this season. Over the last week since the first BCS standings came out, I can't stand everyone saying it is the perfect year for a 4-team playoff. If everyone wins out, we have 7 undefeated teams. Under the current system (and even next year's 4 team playoff system) there are about 3/4 of the teams in college football FBS that have no chance of winning the national championship. There is even a chance that an undefeated SEC team is left out of the championship game this year. This system has got to stop. My favorite solution is the Holiday Madness, a 16-team playoff based on the March Madness bracket for college basketball. Every one of the ten conference champs gets an automatic bid, leaving room for 6 at large teams. This allows all that survive their rigorous conference schedule to have a shot at the top prize. It would make for an amazing month of football that we have never seen before. Now that we have a BCS standings, let's see what our bracket would look like.
First Four Out
UCLA - They were the dark horse team of the nation that could ruin everything. After they were manhandled by Stanford last week, they lost their undefeated status. A couple huge wins ahead of them could still vault them into the top 16.
LSU - It's looking like they have an offense for the first time in a very long time, but the defense has been lackluster (like most SEC defenses). Last week's disappointing loss to Ole Miss dropped them from a solid top 10 team to outside our bracket.
Ball St. - They only have one loss and are currently undefeated in the MAC. They have a big game coming up against Northern Illinois that could determine the MAC title and the automatic bid for that conference.
Rice - Conference USA has not been that strong this year, but Rice is currently a very close second for the conference lead. They could easily end up with the conference title by the end of the year. Their game early against Texas A&M shows they can be a challenge for a top team in the nation.
Top 16 Teams
16. Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt Leader).
The Sun Belt is by far the worst conference in FBS this year. Lafayette is the only school still with an undefeated record in the conference. They wouldn't stand much of a chance, but they deserve the shot if they make it through their conference.
15. Tulane (Conference-USA Leader).
Most of the strong teams from this conference have been poached by the bigger conferences. Tulane is leading the way now. As conference play marches on, this could easily be the team that pulls away with the whole thing.
14. UCF (AAC Leader).
Now we are getting into the fun. UCF defeating Louisville last week was not just an upset, but it vaulted UCF into a two game lead over Louisville in the conference. People forget UCF only has one loss, which was fourth quarter comeback by South Carolina. They are definitely a team to be reckoned with.
13. Northern Illinois (MAC Leader).
I totally expected a slight recession from the Wolfpack this year. However, they seem to be even better now than last year's Orange Bowl team, and Jordan Lynch is completely unstoppable. 300+ rushing yards as a quarterback?!? I don't want to play them.
12. Fresno St. (MWC Leader).
I don't want to play them either. This undefeated team led by Derek Carr, one of the hottest QB's in the nation, has been on fire so far this year. The Mountain West isn't as good as it has been in the past few years, but it would still be impressive to go through that conference undefeated.
11. Auburn (AT LARGE #1).
No one thought much of them until they beat Texas A&M this last weekend. Now they are a fast riser up the charts with only one loss on the schedule to LSU. Let's think about the strength of the SEC right now. Auburn is almost a top 10 team simply for beating the Aggies and being in the SEC, however they almost lost to Washington St. the first week of the year, a middle of the road Pac-12 team at best. Tennessee beat South Carolina. The Volunteers were destroyed by the Ducks. The SEC doesn't deserve the respect they have this year.
10. Texas Tech (AT LARGE #2).
They might be the quietest undefeated team out there. Kingsbury has resurrected the Red Raiders to the Mike Leach days after helping Johnny Football win his Heisman last year. They have started two true freshmen at QB this year. They have been impressive, but it will be a miracle if they finish the year undefeated. If they do, you try telling them they don't deserve a shot at the championship.
9. Clemson (AT LARGE #3).
This was supposed to be their year, but thanks to the Seminoles it's just another season of what could have been. Even with the one loss, they would still make my bracket though, and be a team no one would want to face.
8. Baylor (Big 12 Leader).
This might be one of the teams that would be most feared in a playoff like this. They are the only team in the nation that could outscore anyone, even Oregon. The fact that there are two Big 12 teams that are currently undefeated and this is their highest rank is a joke and shows why this system is broken. The Baylor/Texas Tech game should be fun.
7. Miami FL (AT LARGE #4).
Somehow the Hurricanes have found themselves undefeated a this point in the season. With the news coming down this week that there will be no bowl ban, it would be quite the story to end up undefeated. They have to get through Florida St. though.
6. Stanford (AT LARGE #5).
Their recent loss to Utah was devastating, but being the highest ranked one-loss team still gives them the opportunity to get into the top two. A win against UCLA last week shows just how dominant they can be. They just have to do it against Oregon now.
5. Missouri (AT LARGE #6).
Thanks to the dissolving of the WAC, we have a sixth at large spot this year. Missouri is an interesting case and the perfect example of SEC bias. They went from 25th to 5th in the rankings in two weeks beating Georgia and Florida who are both under-performing. Their starting QB is out for the regular season. It will be a miracle if they finish the year undefeated. They could mess everything up if they beat Alabama in an SEC Championship game, undefeated or not.
4. Ohio St. (Big Ten Leader).
They keep getting disrespected in the polls and the media for being from the Big Ten, but undefeated is undefeated. Not only that, but Urban Meyer has yet to lose a game as the Buckeye head coach. They deserve more respect, and it will be shame if they don't get a shot at the ultimate prize after these two seasons.
3. Oregon (Pac-12 Leader).
How are they third?!? They have been the most dominant team in the nation so far this year. Their most competitive game was with Washington where they won by 21. They are destroying every team in the best conference in football. The only reason they are third in because the east coast never stays up to watch them play.
2. Florida St. (ACC Leader).
If Oregon is the most impressive team, then Florida St. really has to be second. Famous Jameis has single-handedly brought the Seminoles back to a place they haven't been since the 90's. They still have a couple more obstacles in Virginia Tech and Miami to get passed. With the way they've been playing, there should be no problem.
1. Alabama (SEC Leader).
It's hard to argue with the two-time defending champion that is still undefeated being the number one team. They have moments when they look vulnerable, while sometimes they look like a soon-to-be three time defending champ (like last week). Let's see if the Tide can roll again.
Potential First Round Matchups
#16 Louisiana-Lafayette at #1 Alabama
#15 Tulane at #2 Florida St.
#14 UCF at #3 Oregon
#13 Northern Illinois at #4 Ohio St.
#12 Fresno St. at #5 Missouri
#11 Auburn at #6 Stanford
#10 Texas Tech at #7 Miami FL
#9 Clemson at #8 Baylor
Now how does that week of football sound? Yeah, I thought so too.