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Boston College Football: What If The CFP Used A Basketball Format?

A #13 seed in the South Regional? And then you wonder why BC fans are accused of "not traveling."

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The mothership of SB Nation put together a very good, very interesting, very compelling piece on what would happen if the NCAA football playoff was set up the same way as the NCAA basketball bracket. The playoff bracket did away with the FBS/FCS format and instead slotted all teams into seedings based on a series of rankings.

The top 25 seeds in the tournament were based on the final AP Top 25 poll, with a few eyeball adjustments. Locations are based on current bowl game sites. Since there are no transitions, teams currently ineligible for bowls are able to play, and the two conferences in the FCS without bids to the postseason (the Ivy League and SWAC) are in with auto bids for champions. For full seedings, click here.

In the format, Boston College is slotted in the South regional as the #13 seed as an at-large bid, taking on fourth-seeded Wisconsin in Miami, Florida:

1) Alabama (12-2)
2) Florida State (13-1)
3) Arizona State (10-3)
4) Wisconsin (11-3)
5) Kansas State (9-4)
6) Marshall (13-1)
7) Memphis (10-3)
8) Duke (9-4)
9) Texas A&M (8-5)
10) Florida (7-5)
11) Tennessee (7-6)
12) Georgia Southern (9-3)
13) Boston College (7-6)
14) Chattanooga (10-4)
15) Coastal Carolina (12-2)
16) Liberty (9-5)

From a BC standpoint, they wind up in what amounts to a Group of Death. Drawing Wisconsin is tough enough for a first round matchup, but even if they're able to get through the Badgers, they would have to contend with most likely Kansas State, a team that was a top 20 team in passing and only suffered losses to TCU, Auburn, UCLA, and Baylor—essentially four top 10-caliber programs (three of which were ranked in the top 10 for their game).

If, by an act of God, BC could make it to the Sweet Sixteen, they would likely play Alabama, who benefits from having a weak four-team bracket (they would destroy Liberty by about 60, then roll through either Duke or A&M, both of which are overrated teams). As much as our fans would like to see that game, BC would never be able to contend with the Crimson machine, at least not yet.

The road to the Final Four would likely go through either Arizona State or Florida State after that, since FSU and ASU both draw interesting but manageable brackets. Florida State's first round matchup against Coastal Carolina pits them against a top five FCS team that lost to the eventual national champions in the quarterfinals. I'm not convinced Florida State wouldn't overlook Coastal and end up with a tougher matchup than anticipated. The 'Noles then play either Memphis or Florida, which I assume would be the Gators and a subsequent massacre final score.

As for the rest of the south, Marshall's near-perfect season isn't good enough to even rank them remotely close to the FP, so I think a sixth seed isn't great for them. Their strength of schedule creates an illusion that would see them lose to either Tennessee or Arizona State. I think ASU-Alabama is a likely regional final.

Ultimately, I think it's unfair for BC to have to play in the South regional anyways. I think if they won the Pinstripe Bowl, they'd be slotted as the #12 or #13 seed in the Midwest Regional, playing their first round games in the Bronx. I believe they'd be able to even pick off as a #11 seed instead of Louisiana Tech. The problem is that the Midwest Regional (where the Bronx games are located) are full of ACC teams in key spots, making it hard to put BC in there without having to displace Louisville or Clemson.

As for the rest of the tournament, a few observations:

- Every year there's one bracket that amounts to an absolute joke with how weak it really is, resulting in a low seed winning the whole damn thing. In this simluation, that's the Southwest. TCU is a #1-seed, but I'm not sold on the Big XII being that good. They would be out in the second round when they would have to play either LSU or Oklahoma. USC, as we found out, can struggle (hehehehhehee), and they'd be in line for a massive 5-12 upset that would send Virginia Tech to the next round. The Hokies could conceivably beat Missouri, putting a #12 seed in the sweet sixteen against TU or an eighth-seeded LSU.

- Meanwhile, the bottom of the bracket has Auburn (simply not that good this year), UCLA (sneaky very good), and Michigan State. But the team I'll take to get through those groupings is the #10 seed, North Dakota State. Call me crazy, but the Bison went 15-1 en route to their fourth straight championship. The chic pick would've been fellow Missouri Valley Conference champion Illinois State to be the FCS team to do some damage, since they lost the national title game in the Fargodome, but the Redbirds would have to go through either Ole Miss (another 5-12 upset special) or Clemson in an extremely tough Midwest.

- Like Gonzaga, NDSU has the ability to remain a national powerhouse despite playing in a non-power conference. If they were to move up to become an FBS team, you have to think they'd become an afterthought (see also: UMass' transition), but staying in the MVC allows them to remain the biggest dog in the smallest yard. I'm picking them through because it's my prediction.

- Harvard as a #15 seed seems low, but the Ivy League constantly contends with different standards and practices. They play only 10 games and don't have a bid to the postseason, so an undefeated team is unlikely to rank higher than 14th or 15th by season's end. Harvard's become an Ivy League championship factory, but they also only play three non-conference games and none are against top-flight FCS teams. The Crimson last year played Holy Cross, Georgetown, and Lafayette. So it's tough to do anything with them when they're going undefeated against teams that aren't on the national radar. If they played one game against a Coastal Carolina or a UNH and won, they'd rocket up the standings. A loss and they'd be a 16 seed playing a play-in game.

- The possibility of a Harvard-Notre Dame game, no matter how slim, is enough to make me puke. It would legitimately feel like the meetings between Gregg Marmalade and Dean Wormer while Delta House Boston College drops a truckload of fizzies in a swim meet.

- Oregon wins the West, and it requires virtually no analysis whatsoever.

Thoughts? Weigh in below!