As James Madison knows, a real college football playoff isn’t just possible; it’s fun | Washington Post

Nice peek inside the logisitics of a full bore college football playoff scenario. While this article is partly about the FCS football playoff and partly about what could be in the FBS, there are some great nuggets regarding what has to be done by the administrative and support staffs to support undertakings of this nature.

These are the words of Kyre Hawkins, senior linebacker for James Madison University, who will finish practice in Harrisonburg, Va., on Wednesday morning, travel home to Baltimore for Thanksgiving with family and friends, and then return for another week’s work Saturday: “Everybody starts a new, second half of the season 0-0.”

In the Football Championship Subdivision — Division I-AA to you old-school types — that second half of the season means everything, and out-of-the-way, marginal bowl games are scoffed at. Pay attention to what JMU already has done (winning last year’s national title) and will try to do over the next six weeks (back that up with a perfect, undefeated season), because this is a model others could — or perhaps should — try to copy.

The upcoming weekend in football brings NFL games both meaningful (Vikings-Lions) and mediocre (Giants-Redskins), college games with an impact on the national championship (Alabama-Auburn) and rivalries named after groceries (the Egg Bowl, the Apple Cup, etc.).

But those teams starting the “second half of the season,” as Hawkins said and knows? They’re all from the FCS.

“The regular season is done,” JMU Coach Mike Houston said by phone Monday. “We obviously had a very special one and achieved some great things. But we push that over to the side now, and you’re starting a new season.”

Why couldn’t Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Wisconsin be the top four seeds in a thrilling, 16-team, month-long College Football Playoff? After all, the NCAA already sponsors one — with even more teams — just a rung below.

The 24-team FCS tournament begins Saturday with eight on-campus games across the country. Watching those games intensely will be the eight teams who earned byes — including JMU, the top seed, which awaits the winner of Stony Brook-Lehigh. That second-round game will be played Dec. 2 in Harrisonburg.

“It’s going to be exciting,” JMU quarterback Bryan Schor said. “I know our students love the playoffs, and the home games. I recommend they bring a jacket.”

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