4-Team Playoff Format: One Year Too Late
It looks like the BCS is lasting one year too long.
This may have been the perfect season for the four-team playoff slated to start next season.
Alabama and Florida State need to win out and they'll play for the national championship in the Rose Bowl on Monday 6 January. But there are two undefeated teams left that would love a chance to compete for that title. Ohio State and Baylor are on the outside looking in, unless the Crimson Tide or Seminoles get upset along the way.
If this was next season, the scenario might give them the opportunity they crave: we might see Alabama vs Baylor and Florida State vs Ohio State in the semi-finals. It's obviously not happening this year -- and records alone most likely won't guarantee it would occur next year -- so each week that passes leans more and more toward a Tide-Nole title tilt.
Alabama plays Chattanooga (why?) and Auburn, and if the Tide wins those, Missouri or South Carolina for the SEC title. Florida State has it a bit easier with Idaho (why?), Florida, and right now, Duke (really?) for the ACC championship. The Alabama-Auburn game could be dramatic, but figure the Tide to find a way to win. Florida-Florida State is always a great match-up but the Gators are down this season and the Semionoles will not stumble here, subject to that lingering investigation giving them their full complement of talent.
So that leaves Ohio State and Baylor to play out their seasons and hope.
The Buckeyes play Indiana, Michigan, and most likely Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game. Michigan is a great rivalry game, but the Buckeyes are better. The Spartans are improved, but after not going to a bowl game last year, Urban Meyer will not allow the Buckeyes to let a Rose Bowl slot slip away, even if they don't get to play in the championship game.
Baylor has a gigantic game against Oklahoma State this week, which is most likely for the Big 12 championship since there isn't a title clash in the conference. TCU and Texas remain on the schedule, but the Bears would put themselves in the driver's seat with a win in Stillwater this weekend.
The Buckeyes and Bears can keep winning all they want, but it's going to take an upset to either Alabama or Florida State to make their holidays a lot better.
Maybe next year.