Tons of great conversation which is great!
Is there a minimum number of Pool C bids that should always be available out of the 32 teams? If more schools add football that would seem to potentially increase the number of AQ conferences to the point that there are few if any Pool C bids.
And many of the current AQ conferences have had terrible results in the playoffs year after year. I'm not sure that winning a conference is good enough of a criteria by itself when there are going to be fewer and fewer Pool C bids.
Do we shorten the regular season to 9 games? Add an extra round to the playoffs? Give the Top 6 seeds of each bracket a bye. Add 16 more teams to the bracket. It would seem highly unlikely that any of the last 16 teams would play more than 2 extra games (if teams were seeded relatively accurately.. UWP this year would be at worst a 3 seed for example...).
Maybe teams pay to host in the Play-in Round as well as Round 1?
Doesn't the NCAA have a desired ratio in terms of teams and playoff berths?
UWP missing out on the playoffs this year when they are one of the Top 10 teams in the nation is an indication of a system that needs tweaks.
As long as there are 2 pool C bids I don't have a problem with the current format. Do you need some breathing room? Yes. But how much do you need? UWP is going to be 3rd in their conference. Not really needed to determine a National Champion when you are third in your conference. Don't care they are top 10 in the polls, if you finish 3rd in your conference you aren't really part of the national title chase. Sure a lot of the Pool A bids aren't either, but we don't KNOW that. They won their conference, so no one in their conference, let alone 2 teams in their conference, aren't already demonstrably better on the field.
We aren't going to 9 games. It's not fair to the vast majority of student athletes to play fewer games so only a small percentage can play one more. Not a good concept.
Pay to play sucks. How does that have anything to do with how good a team is and whether they have done enough to compete in the tournament? It doesn't. It's a horrible idea that has nothing to do with sports.
A desired ratio? I don't know. An access ratio, yes. Conference needs 7 teams. I expect that number will go up by 2 in the next decade or so if we keep expanding. That will set off another round of combinations and free up a few spots once it becomes critical.
Earned Access has some merit, but I'm not sure how to define it. I could easily see the Regional Ranking Committee's making sure this concept doesn't work well by playing with the bottom of the regions. No region has more than 10 conferences, so it would be easy to do. Using Polls is a bad idea. The polls simply aren't accountable and each one is different. That's why the BCS did away with them and turned to a committee.