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The 2017 C&M College Football Playoffs: The Primer

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It’s bracket time!

CFP National Championship Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

College football is great. I love it. No other sport has the intensity week in and week out that college football does. The passion and the pageantry in the sport is unmatched in any other game in this country. Why? For one, college athletes are a lot more relatable for most of the country than professional athletes. Even at the best programs, there are still guys that could be selling you insurance or teaching your children in a few years. The main reason, though, is the way the postseason is structured. Because only two (now four) teams get a chance to play for it all at the end of the year, every single game matters. Even losing a single game could be enough to knock you out of contention for the championship. In every other sport, the postseason has at least ten or more teams. Over half of the league makes it into the NBA playoffs!

While I think the extreme selectivity makes college football special, I can’t help but wonder what the sport would look like with an even larger playoff. A few years ago, we expanded from two to four teams, and the results have been great. People are already clamoring for an eight team playoff. But what if we went all out, full crazy pirate style and copied college basketball with a 64 team tournament? Yes, I know, between injuries, school, and recruiting, it’s not going to happen, but dang it, a guy can dream.

Presenting to you, drum roll please...

The 2017 College and Magnolia College Football Playoff! The only playoff guaranteed to be 100% Larry Culpepper-free!

Building the Bracket

So how would you build a 64 team bracket for FBS? Don’t worry, there’s no selection committee here. Instead, I used SBN’s own Bill Connelly’s S&P+ rating system to get the top 64 teams in college football after conference championship weekend. Then, I seeded the teams according to rank. After that, I manipulated some of the matchups to make sure conference opponents and rivals wouldn’t play in the first two rounds, and to try and avoid any rematches (I wasn’t always successful with this). I made sure to keep each team the same seed as the original top 64, so if I changed a matchup, I did not change a seed.

Here is the whole bracket!

And here are the four regions zoomed in for easier reading:

Ohio State Region

Alabama Region

Washington Region

UGA Region

Picking the Games

In order to pick winners, I am going back to the S&P+ well. Bill C was gracious enough to help me out with generating win probabilities based upon the given matchups for each round. Then, I will have random numbers between 0 and 100 generated for each game, and compare them to the win probability. For example, if (2) Clemson has a 79% chance to beat (15) Texas Tech per S&P+, and the number generated for the game is less than or equal to 79, then Clemson will win the game. However, if the number is greater than 79, then Texas Tech will win the game. Got it?

Yes, this all sounds very easy for me to manipulate. If I don’t like the result of a game, why wouldn’t I just change it before I present it to you? Because that’s no fun, that’s why. I, Ryan Sterritt, do solemnly swear, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me Bo.

How it All Works

With five weeks left until the actual CFP National Championship, there’s time to fit each round into a weekend, with the Final Four and National Championship games coming ever-so-brutally in the same first weekend in January. I plan on covering this like a real tournament. With my last finals week looming, I won’t be able go super in depth with every game in the early rounds, but I do plan on writing previews and summaries for each round. Since we have almost a full month to wait until we see Auburn football again, I want this to be as fun and interactive as possible, so feel free to talk about the games, fill us in on any “news” you might hear, and give predictions to who you might think win it all!

Keep an eye out for a first round preview article later this week.

As always, War Eagle!