There are 10 FBS(DI-A) Conferences (AAC, ACC, Big XII, Big 10, C-USA, Mid-AC, M-West, PAC-12, SEC, Sun Belt)
4 of the current “AQ” Conferences (ACC, Big 10, PAC 12, SEC) are 12+ teams and thus divided into divisions, each division champion from these conferences will receive automatic selection, comprising 8 slots.
The Champions of each of the remaining Conferences will receive automatic selection, comprising 6 slots.
The remaining 2 slots will be filled by the result of a 4-team Wild Card Playoff. The 4 highest ranked teams not currently receiving automatic selection will be chosen to compete for 1 of 2 remaining slots in the tournament. The highest-ranked team will face the 4th-highest, and the 2nd-highest will face the 3rd-highest.
Currently, FBS teams play a 14 week schedule, with Conference Championship Games taking place during Week 14, and teams in conferences without a CCG receive 1 extra bye week, and typically play a highly-publicized rivalry game during Week 14. This procedure will be discontinued, and all teams will now conclude the regular season after 13 weeks.
Week 14 – Official Tournament Rankings will be released on Sunday, Week 14. The Wild Card Playoff and CCGs will be played the following weekend; no team already playing in a CCG will be eligible for Wild Card selection.
— NCAA DI-A FBS Tournament Begins —
Week 15 – 8 Division Champions (4 of which will now also be Conference Champions), 6 additional Conference Champions, and 2 Wild Cards will compete, in bracket seeding, in the first round of the tournament.
Week 16 – The 8 winning teams from Week 15 will play in 4 games.
Week 17/18* – The 4 winning teams from Week 16 will play in 2 Semi-Final games.
Week 18/19* – The 2 winners from Week 17 will compete in the National Championship Game, the winner will be declared the NCAA DI-A College Football Champion of the season.
*Sometime either before or after the Semi-Final Games varying with the year, it will be necessary to have one off week for the holidays
The rules of seeding will encourage conferences <10 teams to quickly, it could be argued “too” quickly, add teams in order to meet the NCAA requirement of 12 teams in order to split into divisions, and thus field more teams in the Tourney. Personally, I believe the BCS, and football fans in general, like conference games, so this already occurs, but overall perceived quality of conference offsets the rush. But, expansion will happen, and as it does, the seeding format will obviously need tailoring, but it fits current standards just fine, and all conferences with announced plans to add members in the upcoming seasons are already over the 12 team minimum.
The rules seem to spur the Non-AQ folks in the Mountain West, Mid-American, and C-USA, and they probably won’t like that. But, fact is, these conferences regularly only produce one “BCS Buster” which seems to change every year, without any real perennialism. If these conferences evolve to more powerhouse-y groups, then may the rules reflect that, but until then…again it fits current standards I think.
The “Gentleman’s Agreement” – Some football gurus berate a playoff idea, saying it will come into conflict with a period of time generally in the NFLs “territory”. Well last I checked, everyone knows the pros (mostly) play on Sunday, and the students (mostly) on Saturday. I don’t really see how December/January is any different than the rest of the year.
Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast – Some critics argue the “beauty” of the bowl system is the weeks off the college squads get to enjoy around the holidays (except the 4 teams playing on Christmas and New Year’s Bowls, I guess) without a playoff to trudge through week after week. Exceeept all the football players and coaches I’ve known or talked to think the hardest thing about the current championship game is the weeks and weeks and weeks you go without playing a real game. Would Eli Manning & the 2007 Giants beat the Pats in XLII if they played them after sitting on their butts for a month after the regular season ended? Seeing as it ended with a loss to the Patriots, probably not.