Monthly Archives: December 2013

Fixing the BCS: Six-Team Playoff

In order to get a couple more teams into the mix, my fifth proposal is a six-team playoff.

Here are the rules:

  1. (Modified) BCS rankings used.
  2. Teams ranked #1 and #2 in the final BCS rankings will have first-round byes and determine the sites of the semi-final games based on traditional conference-bowl affiliations.
  3. Conference champions ranked in the top 10 will automatically qualify for the playoff. If there are more than four conference champions ranked #3-#10, the highest-ranked champions will be in the playoff.
  4. The first round of the playoff will be played the week following Championship Week.
  5. Teams are re-seeded after the first round.
  6. BCS bowls that are not hosting a semi-final game will select their teams based on proposal #1 after the first round.

Here’s how 2013 would play out.

First-Round Game #1 #6 Baylor @ #3 Alabama
First-Round Game #2 #5 Stanford @ #4 Michigan St
Semi-Final Game #1: Orange Bowl #1 Florida St vs. Low Seed (#5 Stanford)
Semi-Final Game #2: Sugar Bowl #2 Auburn vs. High Seed (#3 Alabama)
The Rose Bowl Game #10 Oregon vs. #4 Michigan St/#7 Ohio St
Fiesta Bowl #8 Missouri vs. #6 Baylor/#11 Oklahoma

The past four seasons would probably look like this:

2012

First-Round Game #1 #6 Stanford @ #3 Florida
First-Round Game #2 #5 Kansas St @ #4 Oregon
Semi-Final Game #1: Fiesta Bowl #1 Notre Dame vs. Low Seed (#4 Oregon)
Semi-Final Game #2: Sugar Bowl #2 Alabama vs. High Seed (#3 Florida)
The Rose Bowl Game #6 Stanford/#4 Oregon vs. #5 Kansas St/#8 LSU
Orange Bowl #12 Florida St vs. #7 Georgia/#3 Florida

2011

First-Round Game #1 #10 Wisconsin @ #3 Oklahoma St
First-Round Game #2 #5 Oregon @ #4 Stanford
Semi-Final Game #1: Sugar Bowl #1 LSU vs. Low Seed (#5 Oregon)
Semi-Final Game #2: Fiesta Bowl #2 Alabama vs. High Seed (#3 Oklahoma St)
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Stanford/#5 Oregon vs. #10 Wisconsin/#13 Michigan
Orange Bowl #15 Clemson vs. #6 Arkansas/#3 Oklahoma St

2010

First-Round Game #1 #10 Boise St @ #3 TCU
First-Round Game #2 #7 Oklahoma @ #5 Wisconsin
Semi-Final Game #1: Sugar Bowl #1 Auburn vs. Low Seed (#10 Boise St)
Semi-Final Game #2: The Rose Bowl Game #2 Oregon vs. High Seed (#7 Oklahoma)
Orange Bowl #13 Virginia Tech vs. #3 TCU/#5 Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl #12 Missouri/#7 Oklahoma vs. #4 Stanford/#10 Boise St

2009

First-Round Game #1 #7 Oregon @ #3 Cincinnati
First-Round Game #2 #6 Boise St @ #4 TCU
Semi-Final Game #1: Sugar Bowl #1 Alabama vs. Low Seed (#7 Oregon)
Semi-Final Game #2: Fiesta Bowl #2 Texas vs. High Seed (#4 TCU)
The Rose Bowl Game #8 Ohio St vs. #6 Boise St/#7 Oregon
Orange Bowl #9 Georgia Tech vs. #3 Cincinnati/#4 TCU
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Bowl Games to Watch: All 35 Games Ranked

Below are all 35 of the 2013-2014 college bowl games ranked by “good-gameness.” Games ranked highest feature quality teams in more even match-ups.

I’m going to watch all of them, but if you’re looking to pick and choose, look no further.

  1. Capital One: Wisconsin vs South Carolina
  2. Jan 1 11:00 am ABC

  3. Cotton Bowl Classic: Oklahoma St vs Missouri
  4. Jan 3 5:30 pm FOX

  5. Sun: Virginia Tech vs UCLA
  6. Dec 31 12:00 pm CBS

  7. Buffalo Wild Wings: Michigan vs Kansas St
  8. Dec 28 8:15 pm ESPN

  9. Orange: Clemson vs Ohio St
  10. Jan 3 6:30 pm ESPN

  11. Music City: Ole Miss vs Georgia Tech
  12. Dec 30 1:15 pm ESPN

  13. Fight Hunger: BYU vs Washington
  14. Dec 27 7:30 pm ESPN

  15. The Rose Bowl Game: Stanford vs Michigan St
  16. Jan 1 3:00 pm ESPN

  17. Outback: Iowa vs LSU
  18. Jan 1 11:00 am ESPN

  19. Russell Athletic: Miami vs Louisville
  20. Dec 28 4:45 pm ESPN

  21. BCS National Championship: Florida St vs Auburn
  22. Jan 6 6:30 pm ESPN

  23. BBVA Compass: Vanderbilt vs Houston
  24. Jan 4 11:00 am ESPN

  25. Hawai’i: Boise St vs Oregon St
  26. Dec 24 6:00 pm ESPN

  27. Fiesta: UCF vs Baylor
  28. Jan 1 6:30 pm ESPN

  29. Liberty: Rice vs Mississippi St
  30. Dec 31 2:00 pm ESPN

  31. Military: Marshall vs Maryland
  32. Dec 27 12:30 pm ESPN

  33. Chick-fil-A: Duke vs Texas A&M
  34. Dec 31 6:00 pm ESPN

  35. Sugar: Oklahoma vs. Alabama
  36. Jan 2 6:30 pm ESPN

  37. New Mexico: Washington St vs. Colorado St
  38. Dec 21 12:00 pm ESPN

  39. Little Caesars Pizza: Pitt vs Bowling Green
  40. Dec 26 4:00 pm ESPN

  41. Alamo: Oregon vs Texas
  42. Dec 30 4:45 pm ESPN

  43. Armed Forces: Middle Tennessee vs Navy
  44. Dec 30 9:45 am ESPN

  45. Las Vegas: Fresno St vs USC
  46. Dec 21 1:30 pm ABC

  47. Belk: Cincinnati vs North Carolina
  48. Dec 28 1:20 pm ESPN

  49. AdvoCare V100: Arizona vs Boston College
  50. Dec 31 10:30 am ESPN

  51. Gator: Nebraska vs Georgia
  52. Jan 1 10:00 am ESPN2

  53. Poinsettia: Utah St vs Northern Illinois
  54. Dec 26 7:30 pm ESPN

  55. New Orleans: Tulane vs Louisiana
  56. Dec 21 7:00 pm ESPN

  57. Holiday: Arizona St vs Texas Tech
  58. Dec 30 8:15 pm ESPN

  59. Texas: Syracuse vs Minnesota
  60. Dec 27 4:00 pm ESPN

  61. Famous Idaho Potato: Buffalo vs San Diego St
  62. Dec 21 3:30 pm ESPN

  63. GoDaddy: Arkansas St vs Ball St
  64. Jan 5 7:00 pm ESPN

  65. Pinstripe: Rutgers vs Notre Dame
  66. Dec 28 10:00 am ESPN

  67. Heart of Dallas: UNLV vs North Texas
  68. Jan 1 10:00 am ESPNU

  69. St. Petersburg: East Carolina vs Ohio
  70. Dec 23 12:00 pm ESPN

Fixing the BCS: Four-Team Playoff + Cotton Bowl

Since a four-team playoff will effectively remove two teams from the BCS picture, Proposal #4 (probably my favorite one), would include the Cotton Bowl as a BCS and possible semi-final game. It would (as in Proposal #2) be the home of the Big 12 champion and the Fiesta would take the top lower-tier conference champ/independent.

In practice, the Fiesta Bowl would probably be completely against this since the frequency with which they would host a semi-final game would be almost non-existent (except in 2012). A possible solution would be for the Fiesta and Cotton to alternate the Big 12 champ every other year.

Proposal #4: Four-Team Playoff with Cotton Bowl

  • Conference Champions will continue to play in traditional BCS tie-in games (Big 12 champ to Cotton, top lower-tier champ to Fiesta).
  • Teams ranked #1 and #2 will always automatically qualify for the playoff.
  • Conference champions ranked in the top six will automatically qualify for the playoff. If there are more than two conference champions ranked #3-#6, the two highest-ranked champs will qualify for the playoff.
  • Lower-tier conference champs must be ranked in the top 16 and upper-tier conference champs must be ranked in the top 20 to play in a BCS game.
  • The two BCS games with the highest-ranked conference champions will select from remaining teams ranked #3-#6. The highest-ranked conference champion will play the lowest-ranked additional selection and the lower-ranked conference champion will play the higher-ranked additional selection.
  • In the event that an independent or a team from a lower-tier conference is selected for a semi-final game, the bowl at the top of the BCS selection rotation will host the semi-final game.
  • The other BCS games will be selected following the procedures from proposal #1.
  • Since the Fiesta Bowl will usually host a lower-tier conference team, they will always have first pick in the rotation.

Here are all of this year’s BCS games based on this proposal.

Semi-Final #1: Orange #1 Florida St* #5 Stanford*
Semi-Final #2: Sugar #2 Auburn* #4 Michigan St*
The Rose Bowl Game #7 Ohio St** #10 Oregon**
Fiesta #15 UCF* #3 Alabama***
Cotton Bowl Classic #6 Baylor* #7 Ohio St***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

And what past seasons would have looked like:

2012

Semi-Final #1: Fiesta #1 Notre Dame #6 Stanford*
Semi-Final #2: Sugar #2 Alabama* #5 Kansas St*
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Oregon** #16 Nebraska**
Orange #12 Florida St* #3 Florida***
Cotton Bowl Classic #11 Oklahoma** #15 Northern Illinois*

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2011

Semi-Final #1: Sugar #1 LSU* #5 Oregon*
Semi-Final #2: Cotton Bowl Classic #3 Oklahoma St* #2 Alabama
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Stanford** #10 Wisconsin*
Fiesta #7 Boise St** #6 Arkansas***
Orange #15 Clemson* #8 Kansas St***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2010

Semi-Final #1: Sugar #1 Auburn* #3 TCU*
Semi-Final #2: The Rose Bowl Game #2 Oregon* #5 Wisconsin*
Fiesta #10 Boise St* #4 Stanford***
Orange #13 Virginia Tech* #6 Ohio St***
Cotton Bowl Classic #7 Oklahoma* #8 Arkansas***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2009

Semi-Final #1: Sugar #1 Alabama* #4 TCU*
Semi-Final #2: Cotton Bowl Classic #2 Texas* #3 Cincinnati*
The Rose Bowl Game #7 Oregon* #8 Ohio St*
Fiesta #6 Boise St* #5 Florida***
Orange #9 Georgia Tech* #10 Iowa***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

Fixing the BCS: Four-Team Playoff

If you must have a playoff, here’s how to do it. Proposal #3 is a four-team playoff using the current BCS bowls as the semi-final sites with an additional game played for the national championship.

Proposal #3: Four-Team Playoff

  • Conference Champions will continue to play in traditional BCS tie-in games.
  • Teams ranked #1 and #2 will always automatically qualify for the playoff.
  • Conference champions ranked in the top six will automatically qualify for the playoff. If there are more than two conference champions ranked #3-#6, the two highest-ranked champs will qualify for the playoff.
  • Lower-tier conference champs must be ranked in the top 14 and upper-tier conference champs must be ranked in the top 16 to play in a BCS game.
  • The two BCS games with the highest-ranked conference champions will select from remaining teams ranked #3-#6. The highest-ranked conference champion will play the lowest-ranked additional selection and the lower-ranked conference champion will play the higher-ranked additional selection.
  • In the event that an independent or a team from a lower-tier conference is selected for a semi-final game, the bowl at the top of the BCS selection rotation will host the semi-final game.
  • The other BCS games will be selected following the procedures from proposal #1.

For example, this year, #1 and #2 are both conference champions. Therefore, the first semi-final location would be the Orange Bowl with Florida State and the other semi-final would be the Sugar Bowl with Auburn. The two BCS games that have the highest-ranked conference champs will be the semi-final sites. This will preserve some of the tradition of these games. The other two teams will be selected from the teams ranked #3-#6 with the higher-ranked team playing the lower-ranked champ and vice-versa. This year, that would mean that #4 Michigan State (Big Ten champ) and #5 Stanford (Pac-12 champ) would be the remaining teams in the playoff. Michigan State would go to the Sugar Bowl to play Auburn and Stanford to the Orange Bowl to play Florida State.

Here are all of this year’s BCS games based on this proposal.

Semi-Final #1: Orange Bowl #1 Florida St* #5 Stanford*
Semi-Final #2: Sugar Bowl #2 Auburn* #4 Michigan St*
The Rose Bowl Game #7 Ohio St** #10 Oregon**
Fiesta #6 Baylor* #3 Alabama***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

And what past seasons would have looked like:

2012

Semi-Final #1: Fiesta #1 Notre Dame #6 Stanford*
Semi-Final #2: Sugar #2 Alabama* #5 Kansas St*
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Oregon** #16 Nebraska**
Orange #12 Florida St* #3 Florida***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2011

Semi-Final #1: Sugar #1 LSU* #5 Oregon*
Semi-Final #2: Fiesta #3 Oklahoma St* #2 Alabama
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Stanford** #10 Wisconsin*
Orange #15 Clemson* #6 Arkansas***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2010

Semi-Final #1: Sugar #1 Auburn* #3 TCU*
Semi-Final #2: The Rose Bowl Game #2 Oregon* #5 Wisconsin*
Orange #13 Virginia Tech* #4 Stanford***
Fiesta #7 Oklahoma* #10 Boise St*

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2009

Semi-Final #1: Sugar #1 Alabama* #4 TCU*
Semi-Final #2: Fiesta #2 Texas* #3 Cincinnati*
The Rose Bowl Game #7 Oregon* #8 Ohio St*
Orange #9 Georgia Tech* #6 Boise St*

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

Week 16 and Bowl Picks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Bowl Season.

Last week: 6-5 (.545). Overall: 261-66 (.798)

Picks in BOLD.

Week 16 Pick

Army vs. NAVY

Bowl Picks

Bowl Match-Up
Las Vegas No. 20 Fresno St vs. No. 25 USC
Little Caesars Pizza (Motor City) Pittsburgh vs. BOWLING GREEN
Poinsettia UTAH ST vs. No. 23 Northern Illinois
Texas Syracuse vs. MINNESOTA
Fight Hunger (San Fransisco) BYU vs. Washington
Pinstripe Rutgers vs. NOTRE DAME
Belk Cincinnati vs. NORTH CAROLINA
Russell Athletic Miami vs. No. 18 LOUISVILLE
Alamo No. 10 OREGON vs. Texas
Holiday No. 14 ARIZONA ST vs. Texas Tech
Sun Virginia Tech vs. No. 17 UCLA
Liberty Rice vs. MISSISSIPPI ST
Chick-fil-A (Peach) No. 24 Duke vs. No. 21 TEXAS A&M
Gator Nebraska vs. No. 22 GEORGIA
Capital One (Tangerine/Florida Citrus) No. 19 WISCONSIN vs. No. 9 South Carolina
Outback (Hall of Fame) Iowa vs. No. 16 LSU
Rose Bowl Game No. 5 STANFORD vs. No. 4 Michigan St
Fiesta No. 15 UCF vs. No. 6 BAYLOR
Sugar No. 11 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 ALABAMA
Orange No. 12 Clemson vs. No. 7 OHIO ST
Cotton Bowl Classic No. 13 OKLAHOMA ST vs. No. 8 Missouri
BBVA Compass Vanderbilt vs. HOUSTON
GoDaddy (Mobile Alabama) Arkansas St vs. BALL ST
BCS National Championship No. 1 FLORIDA ST vs. No. 2 Auburn

Fixing the BCS: Revised BCS + Cotton Bowl

For my second proposal, the revisions of the BCS would be similar to the first modifications, but would include the addition of the Cotton Bowl Classic as an additional BCS bowl game.

Proposal #2: Revised Six-Game BCS

  • Conference champions of the five lower-tier conferences (American, C-USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt) must be in the top 16 of the BCS rankings to automatically qualify.
  • Conference champions of the five upper-tier conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC) must be in the top 20 of the BCS rankings to automatically qualify.
  • The Cotton Bowl would take the Big 12 champion.
  • The Fiesta Bowl would take back some of it’s “black sheep” traditions and take the top-ranked conference champion from the five lower-tier conferences.
  • No per-conference limit.
  • If a conference champion of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, or SEC OR the highest ranked conference champion of the lower-tier conferences goes to the NCG, the highest ranked member of that conference (or group of conferences) in the top 16 would replace them in their conferences BCS tie-in bowl.
  • Once top-16 automatic-qualifiers have been placed and conference champions have been replaced, remaining BCS spots are awarded in order of ranking in the normal BCS selections order (2013-2014: Orange, Cotton, Sugar, Fiesta)
  • If a selection would result in two teams from the same conference in a BCS game other than the NCG, the next team available will be taken.

Revised Six-Game 2013-2014 BCS Bowls

BCS National Championship Game #1 Florida St* #2 Auburn*
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Michigan St* #5 Stanford*
Orange #12 Clemson** #7 Ohio St***
Cotton Bowl Classic #6 Baylor* #8 Missouri***
Sugar #3 Alabama** #10 Oregon***
Fiesta #15 UCF* #9 South Carolina***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

How past seasons would have looked:

2012

BCS National Championship Game #1 Notre Dame #2 Alabama*
The Rose Bowl Game #6 Stanford* #9 Texas A&M***
Fiesta #15 Northern Illinois* #4 Oregon***
Sugar #3 Florida** #11 Oklahoma***
Orange #12 Florida St** #7 Georgia***
Cotton Bowl Classic #5 Kansas St* #8 LSU***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2011

BCS National Championship Game #1 LSU* #2 Alabama
The Rose Bowl Game #5 Oregon* #10 Wisconsin*
Fiesta #4 Stanford*** #7 Boise St***
Sugar #6 Arkansas** #8 Kansas St***
Orange #15 Clemson* #9 South Carolina***
Cotton Bowl Classic #3 Oklahoma St* #11 Virginia Tech*

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2010

BCS National Championship Game #1 Auburn* #2 Oregon*
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Stanford** #5 Wisconsin*
Sugar #8 Arkansas** #6 Ohio St***
Orange #13 Virginia Tech* #9 Michigan St***
Cotton Bowl Classic #7 Oklahoma* #10 Boise St*
Fiesta #3 TCU* #11 LSU***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2009

BCS National Championship Game #1 Alabama* #2 Texas*
The Rose Bowl Game #7 Oregon* #8 Ohio St*
Orange #9 Georgia Tech* #6 Boise St*
Cotton Bowl Classic #4 TCU* #10 Iowa***
Sugar #5 Florida** #11 Virginia Tech***
Fiesta #3 Cincinnati* #12 LSU***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

Fixing the BCS: Revised BCS

I am not a huge fan of the new College Football Playoff Committee. I am not entirely opposed to a playoff, but I don’t think the BCS is a bad thing, I think it just needs some tweaking.

Before I unveil my proposals, I do think the formula needs modified ever so slightly.

  1. The Coaches’ Poll needs to either be eliminated or given less weight in the formula. See my reasons here.
  2. The computer rankings need to be evaluated every two to four years. I would propose that the ranking system that is most often thrown out for being highest or lowest would be replaced by a different system. [This year, Richard Billingsley’s rankings were eliminated 80 times out of 275 rankings (29% of the time).]

Proposal #1: A Revised BCS System

In my proposed revised BCS system only a few changes will be made. The BCS formula will be used to rank teams 1-25 as it does now. However:

  • Conference champions of the five lower-tier conferences (American, C-USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt) must be in the top 14 of the BCS rankings to automatically qualify, and conference champions of the upper-tier conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12, and SEC) must be ranked in the top 16 to automatically qualify. This year, that would mean no UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. I don’t dislike UCF, but it seems silly to me that seven teams that have been deemed “better” will not go to a BCS game, but because UCF plays in a weak conference, they will.
  • No per-conference limit. Currently, only two teams per conference are allowed to play in a BCS bowl (including the national championship game). This seems to penalize teams for playing in stronger conferences, so my new system would eliminate that provision.
  • If a conference champion of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, or SEC goes to the NCG, the highest ranked member of that conference in the top 14 would replace them in their conferences BCS tie-in bowl.
  • Once top-14 automatic-qualifiers have been placed and conference champions have been replaced, remaining BCS spots are awarded in order of ranking in the normal BCS selections order (2013-2014: Orange, Sugar, Fiesta)
  • If a selection would result in two teams from the same conference in a BCS game other than the NCG, the next team available will be taken.

UPDATE: Corrected some mistakes.

Here are this years projections based on my modifications (using the current formula):

BCS National Championship Game #1 Florida St* #2 Auburn*
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Michigan St* #5 Stanford*
Orange #12 Clemson** #7 Ohio St***
Sugar #3 Alabama** #10 Oregon***
Fiesta #6 Baylor* #8 Missouri***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

The NCG, Rose, and Orange Bowl games would remain the same. The top-14 provision would keep UCF out, the no per-conference would allow Missouri to be eligible. Clemson and Alabama would still replace Florida State and Auburn, respectively, and Ohio State, Missouri, and Oregon would become the “at large” selections.

I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely rather see Baylor against Missouri than the Golden Knights.

UPDATE: Here are what the BCS bowls from the last few years would look like. The revised system would have made a big impact on the 2009 games with three lower-tier conference champions being ranked in the top 14.

2012

BCS National Championship Game #1 Notre Dame #2 Alabama*
The Rose Bowl Game #6 Stanford* #8 LSU***
Fiesta #5 Kansas St* #4 Oregon***
Sugar #3 Florida** #11 Oklahoma***
Orange #12 Florida St* #7 Georgia***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2011

BCS National Championship Game #1 LSU* #2 Alabama
The Rose Bowl Game #5 Oregon* #10 Wisconsin*
Fiesta #3 Oklahoma St* #4 Stanford***
Sugar #6 Arkansas** #7 Boise St***
Orange #15 Clemson* #8 Kansas St***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2010

BCS National Championship Game #1 Auburn* #2 Oregon*
The Rose Bowl Game #4 Stanford** #5 Wisconsin*
Sugar #8 Arkansas** #3 TCU*
Orange #13 Virginia Tech* #6 Ohio St***
Fiesta #7 Oklahoma* #10 Boise St*

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection

2009

BCS National Championship Game #1 Alabama* #2 Texas*
The Rose Bowl Game #7 Oregon* #8 Ohio St*
Orange #9 Georgia Tech* #4 TCU*
Sugar #5 Florida** #6 Boise St*
Fiesta #3 Cincinnati* #10 Iowa***

*Conference Champion
**Conference Champion Replacement
***”At-Large” Selection