What is this?
Because college football desperately needs a playoff to make it legitimate, I've decided to create one. Sixteen teams are chosen each year (11 conference winners and five at-large bids) and placed into brackets, similarly to the way March Madness operates. Four analysts, including myself, will look at each game and decide the winner. The team that moves on to the next round is the squad that receives three of the five votes (the fifth will be a poll on this site). The predictions for each game will be posted during the time listed for each contest.
Click Here for a Printable Bracket
Elite Eight - East Bracket
Elite Eight - West Bracket
Sweet Sixteen - East Bracket
Sweet Sixteen - West Bracket
These teams are currently winning their conference, and would receive an automatic bid if the season were end today. To qualify for the tournament, each conference winner needs at least seven victories by the end of the year.
ACC Winner: Virginia Tech (11-2)
Big XII Winner: Oklahoma (11-2)
Big East Winner: West Virginia (10-2)
Big Ten Winner: Ohio State (11-1)
Conference USA Winner: Central Florida (10-3)
MAC Winner: Central Michigan (8-5)
Mountain West Winner: BYU (10-2)
Pac-10 Winner: USC (10-2)
SEC Winner: LSU (11-2)
Sun Belt Winner: Florida Atlantic (7-5)
WAC Winner: Hawaii (12-0)
These five non-conference winners have earned a spot in the tournament.
Georgia's two losses aren't that bad (South Carolina and Tennessee). Victories at Alabama and Florida are key. The Bulldogs killing Auburn 45-20 places them high on this list. One of the hottest teams down the stretch. They beat four teams ranked in the top 25. Granted, Tennessee took them down, but Georgia beat squads the Vols had trouble with, including Florida.
The Tigers are obviously one of the top teams in the country. Their only losses were to Oklahoma. They beat Illinois on the road and Kansas on a neutral site, which is impressive.
The Jayhawks have only one win versus a top-25 team. Still, it's not their fault they only played two such opponents.
Three losses, but they were all close to great teams. The Gators won at South Carolina and Kentucky, so they should be given the chance to enter the tournament as an at-large bid. I place the Gators over the Sun Devils because the latter is 1-2 versus ranked teams, with the two defeats coming by an average of 16 points. The latter is 2-2 (average win, 23.5; average loss, 8.) Plus, the Heisman factor plays in here. Tim Tebow's a bigger draw than anything the Sun Devils have.
Arizona State (10-2)
Arizona State doesn't really have any good wins, but they have 10 victories, and their only losses were to Oregon and USC. I think that's the difference between the Sun Devils and Boston College. The Eagles lost to a pair of really mediocre teams. Arizona State's defeats aren't embarrassing.
Just Missed - Bubbles Burst
All of Tennessee's losses aren't to bad teams (California, Florida, Alabama and LSU) but the first three were by double digits. The Vols' victories over Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky made it hard to keep them out.
Boston College (10-3)
Three key road victories (Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Clemson) doesn't quite nullify losing to Floirda State and Maryland.
I love Illinois' win at Ohio State, but the loss at Iowa pretty much eliminates them. They also lost to Michigan at home. Too many defeats.
Clemson doesn't really have any bad losses, although they don't really have any solid wins. Boston College has to be in front of them.
Like Oklahoma, the Longhorns have an embarrassing loss (Kansas State). Unlike the Sooners, however, Texas doesn't have a good victory to nullify it. Close calls against Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Central Florida and Arkansas State don't help matters.