While the top level of college football is combing over every detail of 2014's four-team playoff plan, FCS football is already building its way to 24 teams. "Slow pokes," FCS football must feel like saying. "You are so slow."
The world's premier college football tournament is set to expand from 20 teams soon, making way for an automatic entrant from every conference that wants in. With some worried that the FBS tourney will rapidly expand beyond four teams, here's a look at what a 24-team field would've looked like last year.
(On the FCS side, the change would've meant the automatic entry of Pioneer League champ San Diego, plus three teams that missed the bubble -- perhaps Central Arkansas, Liberty, Delaware, Illinois State or Bethune-Cookman.)
The FBS bracket (made at the neato Challonge.com), along with a poll at the bottom:
I went with Week 15 BCS rankings, dropping Nos. 22 through 24 to make room for the MAC, Sun Belt and WAC champs, who would get auto-bids according to the FCS decree. (EDIT: I forgot to keep Big East champ West Virginia from the teams dropped to make room for those auto-bids. Slide in WVU for Nebraska in your mind, as Conference USA champ Southern Miss must stay.)
Actual home-field advantage would apply at least through Round 2 -- traditionally, the FCS tourney has granted the higher seed hosting rights all the way through the quarterfinals, but I'm not sure if they're looking to move neutral-site games beyond the semis under the new plan or not. Either way, home games.
And, just for fun, here's how it could shake down, sort of using guesstimates based on Football Outsiders F/+ rankings:
What's the right number of teams for FBS playoffs?
4 to 6 (162 votes)
8 to 16 (393 votes)
20 or more (54 votes)
3 somehow? (20 votes)
629 total votes