That's right, folks...the South (and the Southeastern Conference in particular) doesn't have the corner on how the collegiate game (especially the NCAA Division 1-A kind) should be (let alone IS) played.
I'm just now getting this put up, and I apologize for the delay in bringing this to you. (After all, it comes down to those pesky-yet-vital things called "life events." They've got to get taken care of.)
Here's how this one blogger's version of a 2016 Division 1-A college football playoff looks (regular-season records shown in parentheses):
1. Alabama (13-0; SEC champ)/2. Western Michigan (13-0; MAC champ)/3. Clemson (12-1; ACC champ)/4. Washington (12-1; Pac-12 champ)/5. Ohio State (11-1; Big Ten at-large)/6. Penn State (11-2; Big Ten champ)/7. Oklahoma (10-2; Big 12 champ)/8. Boise State (10-2; Mountain West at-large)
9. Michigan (10-2; Big Ten at-large)/10. West Virginia (10-2; Big 12 at-large)/11. South Florida (10-2; AAC at-large)/12. Wisconsin (10-2; Big Ten at-large)/13. Colorado (10-3; Pac-12 at-large)/14. Western Kentucky (10-3; C-USA champ)/15. Temple (10-3; AAC champ)/16. San Diego State (10-3; Mountain West champ)
17. Toledo (9-3; MAC at-large)/18. Louisville (9-3; ACC at-large)/19. Florida State (9-3; ACC at-large)/20. USC (9-3; Pac-12 at-large)/21. Nebraska (9-3; Big Ten at-large)/22. Stanford (9-3; Pac-12 at-large)/23. Appalachian State (9-3; Sun Belt champ)/24. Oklahoma State (9-3; Big 12 at-large)
Thirteen of this year's shoulda-coulda-woulda playoff teams were in there in 2015, when Iowa needed an overtime run by Jordan Canzeri to dethrone Alabama, 14-7. One of the baker's-dozen holdover clubs, Oklahoma State, nosed Air Force out for the last playoff spot; each team had 260 quality points. Nevertheless, the Cowboys got the edge over the Falcons because Oklahoma State's D-1-A opponents won 69 games this past season...while the Academy's D-1-A foes totaled just 66 wins.
Boise State and Wisconsin are back after a year's absence, Louisville comes back after losing the 2013 title game to Baylor,
Nebraska's back in after a four-year hiatus, and six squads- Penn State (first time since 2009),
USC (2008), South Florida (2007), West Virginia (2005), Colorado (2002), and Washington (2001) are all making 2010s playoff appearances for the first time.
And Western Michigan's in the field for the first time since 1988 (when the Broncos lost in the second round to eventual kingpin UCLA).
At least P.J. Fleck's undefeated club has some MAC company in this year's playoffs, what with Toledo keeping its place at the table (despite Jason Candle taking over from Matt Campbell as head coach).
Nick Saban's Tuscaloosa juggernaut is the lone SEC team this go-'round. (Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas A&M won eight contests apiece in 2016. And, when it comes to these playoffs, eight isn't enough...unless it's a conference champion.)
This year, five Big Ten teams got in, four Pac-12 ones made it, and three each from the Big 12 and the ACC punched playoff tickets.
Even the AAC and the Mountain West were able to join the MAC in outperforming the SEC in playoff entries.
In all, eight schools with Southeastern zip codes entered their football teams into this version of a 2016 1-A playoff.
At any rate, I'll be using Lance Haffner Games' 3-in-1 Football (computer vs. computer mode) to play these games...and I'll get the results posted as soon as possible.
Maybe 'Bama will get its 1-A playoff championship back.