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Let's have a playoff: Here's the college football tournament that should have been

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

The past couple weeks of college football have been rather quiet, with nothing but Heisman ceremonies, coaching rumors, and the Big East imploding on itself (two out of those three happen year-round, so whatever).

How much more exciting would life be if we were knee-deep into a college football playoff?

The FCS has its championship semifinals this weekend; meanwhile, the FBS has the New Mexico and Famous Idaho Potato Bowls. Something's not right about that sentence. Things will change slightly in two years when the CFB big leagues adopt a playoff by the most minimal of definitions, but why wait? I've got a Gamecube, I've got NCAA Football 2004 (the one with USC's Carson Palmer on the cover), and I've got free time. Let's do this thing.

The following is an NCAA postseason according to my favorite playoff format (16 teams, 11 conference champions, five at-larges, seeds from the AP). Here is the tourney field with conference champs in bold, even the Sun Belt one.

  1. Notre Dame
  2. Alabama
  3. Florida
  4. Oregon
  5. Georgia
  6. Kansas State
  7. Stanford
  8. LSU
  9. Florida State
  10. Northern Illinois
  11. Utah State
  12. Boise State
  13. Louisville
  14. Nebraska
  15. Arkansas State
  16. Tulsa

First teams left out: Texas A&M, South Carolina, Oklahoma

Would people be upset about Johnny Football watching this tournament at home while Token Arkansas State quarterback got to play Alabama? Sure, but probably no more upset than they are about an 8-5 Wisconsin team in the Rose Bowl.

Here is the tourney bracket. Note that I stuck some dates in to each round just to prove how doable this tournament would be. Everyone gets a bye after the final week of the regular season. Semis are played on New Year's Day, like college football god intended, and the championship happens one week later. Sprinkle your Little Caesars Bowls in during the week, if you must.

Click here for tourney image.

You can disagree with the winners in each round (my Gamecube never lies, though - trust me, I tried real hard to get Boise State past Georgia but the computer AI would have none of it), but I think we're all in agreement that this tournament would be tons of fun. Ya hear, Jim Delany?