College football playoff: How a 16-team field would look for this season

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All first round games would be played at the higher-seeded team’s home. Quarterfinals would be at a designated former BCS bowl (Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, Rose), and both the semifinals and championship would be in rotation for those BCS bowls. For example, Orange and Sugar would get the semifinals, then Fiesta would get the championship.

So, let’s look at the first round slate:

  • LA-Lafayette at (1)Florida State
  • Rice at (2)Auburn
  • Bowling Green at (3)Alabama
  • Fresno State at (4)Michigan State
  • UCF at (5)Stanford
  • Clemson at (6)Baylor
  • Oklahoma at (7)Ohio State
  • Oregon at (8)Missouri

Dec 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Auburn Tigers cornerback Chris Davis (11) holds up the SEC sign after the 2013 SEC Championship game against the Missouri Tigers at Georgia Dome. The Auburn Tigers defeated the Missouri Tigers 59-42. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Man, how great does that first-round slate look like? The bottom three games would be highlighted on any given Saturday and both UCF and Fresno State would give interesting tests to Stanford and Michigan State, respectively.

Why not just do the top 16 teams in the BCS top 25? This playoff format, similar to college basketball, gives every team a chance to win. In smaller conferences, they won’t get an at-large bid, but they all have a shot to win their conference at the beginning of the year.

Also, having the three-team limit would keep the SEC from domination. They already have more chances than any other conference to win it all, not to mention two of the three most favorable matchups. Would South Carolina be mad they aren’t in? Maybe, but they had two losses on the year. They could have done something differently to fix that.

Same goes for any other teams that were snubbed, such as Oklahoma State and Arizona State. Considering the qualifications needed to make the championship right now (and what will carry over to a four-team playoff), it’s hard to complain that a two-loss or more team didn’t make it into this tournament.

That’s what a 16-team playoff format would look like after all the action took place this season. It creates more of a reason to watch all the games every Saturday, it doesn’t kill off multiple teams in November, and now anytime you want to turn on Florida International against Florida Atlantic on Black Friday, there may be a legit reason to actually watch it.