Monday, January 07, 2008

(untitled 210)

How the NFL playoffs might have turned out if they were governed by the BCS, the oft-maligned system that determines the matchups in college bowl games:

BCS National Championship: #1 New England (16-0) vs. #2 Green Bay (13-3)
Rose Bowl: #6 San Diego (11-5) vs. #3 Indianapolis (13-3)
Sugar Bowl: #12 Tampa Bay (9-7) vs. #7 Seattle (10-6)
Fiesta Bowl: #4 Dallas (13-3) vs. #5 Jacksonville (11-5)
Orange Bowl: #8 Pittsburgh (10-6) vs. #10 Washington (9-7)
Capitol One Bowl: #9 New York (10-6) vs. #13 Cleveland (10-6)
Cotton Bowl: #11 Tennessee (10-6) vs. #15 Minnesota (8-8)
Gator Bowl: #14 Philadelphia (8-8) vs. #17 Arizona (8-8)
Outback Bowl: #16 Houston (8-8) vs. #19 Buffalo (8-8)
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: #20 Chicago (7-9) vs. #21 Denver (7-9)
Sun Bowl: #22 Cincinnatti (7-9) vs. #23 Carolina (7-9)
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl: #18 New Orleans (7-9) vs. #24 Detroit (7-9)

Ground rules - a team needs at least seven wins to qualify for a bowl. I would have cut it off at eight, but there were enough deserving teams with only seven wins that I let them in, too. Division champions received automatic bids to BCS bowls. Rankings were taken from, with the exception of Green Bay, whose ranking rose from fifth to second (just like LSU!) so they could play in the title game. Following are reasons why, all of which line up with BCS policy:

1. No rematches in the title game. (disqualifies #2 Indianapolis and #3 Dallas, both of whom lost to New England)
2. No two teams from the same conference can play each other in the title game. (disqualifies #4 Jacksonville)

Thus, #5 Green Bay jumps three spots to #2 and the right to face New England in the BCS title game. I'll spare you my predictions for the outcomes of all of the games, but suffice it to say that New England is the national champion, but that by far the most compelling game would be the Fiesta Bowl, with the Rose and Cotton Bowls just behind it. (High on the list of boring bowl games: the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl.)

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