What If Wednesday: October 23, 2013

College basketball is right around the corner, but let’s college football is in full swing. As the football season begins to dwindle down, thetalk of bowls and next year’s playoff scenarios begin to rise. So I had this idea during class:

What if we combined the two?

That’s right! What if we combined the beauty that is March Madness with the intensity of a college football season? Would it be the ultimate championship for any sport? What madness could we create?

So me and a friend started piecing it together. First we needed some locations. We started breaking it down from the inside out.

  • Final Four & Championship Game will be played at BCS Championship Game location
  • Elite Eight will be played at BCS Bowl Games: Sugar, Rose, Fiesta, and Orange
  • Sweet Sixteen will be played at some higher level bowl games: Capital One, Alamo, Chick Fil A, Holiday, Liberty, Cotton, Outback, and Sun
  • First and Second will be played a regional sites: Tallahassee, FL; Ann Arbor, MI; Austin, TX; Birmingham, AL; San Diego, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Knoxville, TN; Atlanta, GA;
  • Play Ins will be played at a neutral site, Foxborough, PA.

When it came to plugging these locations into the bracket, all Elite Eight, Sweet Sixteen, and First and Second round locations were placed randomly. As the season goes on, we will continue to get a better knowledge of how regionals are selected.

So we got the regionals and all set up. Now it was time for the team selection. We decided to use the 68 team bracket format than the traditional 64 team format, just so more teams (and maybe more upsets) could happen. Since we are so early in the season, we picked all the teams with winning records. Penn State was excluded due to NCAA sanctions, even though they did have a winning record.

Our first step was including all the teams in the BCS ranking, then selecting teams in the AP Top 25 and those receiving votes in the AP poll. From there we took all the teams with winning (+.500 win-loss record) records. In the future, if we cannot find enough teams with winning records, we will select teams with an even record.

When ended up getting a list of 70 teams, so two bubble teams would be on the outside. We decided to use RPIs for every team via (http://realtimerpi.com/football/ncaaf_Men.html) and used those to factor some of our seed placement. SOS was a key factor, so when it came down to a tough decision, SOS was a go to indicator of a team who could play for a national championship.



So now we had to seed the teams. This was a tricky process in trying to rank each team from 1 to 68 using rank, SOS, conference record, record vs top 25, and home and away records. This was the hardest step of the process by far.

Locations: check. Teams: check. Seeds: check. Now it was time to start placing teams in the bracket. We tried to follow the selection committee rules as close as we could. These rules are in no particular order.

  • Rule #1: The first three teams selected from each conference must be placed in different regions.
  • Rule #2: The better a team is, the more priority they have in remaining close to home, but no team can actually play on its home court if it is hosting tournament games*
  • Rule #3: Allow intraconference matchups as early as the second round of the tournament, assuming all measures to keep the teams apart until the regional finals have been exhausted.*
  • Rule #4: The committee may move a team up or down one seed from its seed line in the S-curve in order to preserve other principles.
    *still working with


So we did our best within the rules that we found and created our bracket! This was our first attempt so we will be taking a heavy look at things that we may have missed, looked over, or forgotten, so be sure to check back next Wednesday!