This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, but what if it was just a little more wonderful for college football fans?
What if instead of waiting a month for Ohio State to play for the national championship against Florida, a team selected by voters and computers as better than Michigan, Boise State and other contenders, fans could watch a month of postseason college football games between teams playing each other for the right to reach the title tilt? In short, what if college football had a playoff system?
We can't make it happen in real life, but SportsCenter's holiday gift to you this year is the next best thing. All this week, as bowl season begins to heat up on ESPN and ESPN2, SportsCenter will play out a hypothetical 10-team playoff bracket for college football. Kirk Herbstreit and Mark May will set the field and weigh in each with their picks and analysis, but we also want to know how you think the bracket would play out, SportsNation.
The bracket below represents the official picks made by Herbstreit and May, as seen on SportsCenter each night. To sound off on how you think things would unfold, scroll to the bottom of the page and vote along with SportsNation.
Motion: How were the seeds set?
Motion: Play-In Analysis
Motion: Quarterfinal Analysis
Motion: Kirk Herbstreit, Mark May and Rece Davis make their championship picks
SportsNation Votes: Do you agree with Herbstreit and May?
All right, so you've seen what the college football experts think would happen if this bracket was a reality, but since the whole idea is a matter of debate, we're opening it up to voters. Click on the team links below to vote on each game.
Chat wrap: Jim Donnan
On Friday, December 8, ESPN analyst Jim Donnan stopped by to discuss the Gators and Buckeyes.
Wes (Gaineville, Fla.): What are the keys for the Gators getting a victory over (The) Ohio State?
Jim Donnan: No. 1, they've got to find a way to get an effective pass rush on Troy Smith. Even though their secondary has two great players, OSU has enough receivers that they can cause a lot of matchup problems. They need to get a controlled rush. You watch the first half of the Michigan game, and Michigan got caught off guard with all the spreads. Offensively, Florida's speed is going to be a plus for them, because OSU hasn't seen anything like it. The real key is how Leak is going to play. He can't afford any turnovers, because OSU thrives on that. Florida needs some big plays, because they're a big play team. They'll have to show a lot more discipline. To find out who is going to officiate this game will also be a key. It's always a factor in a game of this magnitude.