So now that it looks like Oklahoma/Texas aren't wanting to give up their Big 12 cakewalk to the National Title Game and the ACC has scooped up Pitt/Cuse, it's looking more and more like we aren't going to end up having a 4-conference scenario. For me (and a lot of others out there) the only benefit to this realignment was the possibility of eventually getting towards a 4-team playoff. The big question now is how do you have a playoff system when you have 5 "power" conferences.
I propose the 5 power conferences get organized. There are 5 conferences, so that pretty much eliminates the possibility of a 4-team; but I don't think an 8-team playoff is out of the picture. I don't want to hear all this "academics" malarky, as this conference realignment has proven, it ain't about the educations these athletes are receiving people (plus, winter break is when most of this would be taking place). Obviously the 5 conference champions are in, so where do the other 3 teams come from? The top 2 teams from 2 of the conferences both make the playoff system, but how could those 2 conferences be chosen?
My idea is an inter-league format, 2 games per team per season. The entire conference slate vs. other power 5 conferences gets tallied up each year, the 2 conferences with the best inter-conference win percentage get 2 horses in the race. So not only would every team have 2 games with equally matched teams from outside their conference, but every game would mean something for the conference as a whole. i.e.: that Duke v. Vandy matchup no one watches now becomes very exciting, because it could end up deciding whether Florida State or Georgia gets the 6th spot in the 8-team playoff. At the beginning of each year, just after the NFL draft (so we know who is staying and who is going), a board could meet and decide which squads were matched for inter-conference play. Hell, they could even make it something crazy like in week 2 and in week 9 all games are inter-conference for the playoff standings.
It all kind of comes back to the idea of strength of schedule being a somewhat made-up number, but if at the end of the day your conference's teams beat the other conference's teams in inter-conference games, your conference gets rewarded.
-The 8th spot is always the winner of Notre Dame v. BYU... just kidding, highest ranked team not in already, independent, power conference, from Puerto Rico, whatever. I think it would make for some awesome, exciting weekends in the Fall and a great playoff in the Winter. Any thoughts, comments, etc?