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Dawg Sports Presents the Perfect Playoff Proposal

If you read Dawg Sports on anything like a regular basis, you know that I am opposed to a college football playoff in any form, but, evidently, you can't be a denizen of the intercollegiate athletics blogosphere and not have your own playoff proposal. It's just part of the deal, I guess.

Unless these bad boys are a lot tougher than they look, Ohio State fans are about to get very irate with my next suggestion. (Image from Lucky Mojo.)

For instance, some folks advocate a system involving conference realignment with promotions and demotions based upon performance. That idea sounds so crazy that it just might work, but it still doesn't resolve all the issues, so here is my solution to the playoff conundrum:

Use the mascots instead of the teams.

I don't mean the silly-looking guys wearing costumes on the sidelines . . . although, like most Georgia fans, I wouldn't mind seeing Hairy Dawg pummel that idiotic Buzz senseless with a length of two-by-four.

Honestly, don't even Georgia Tech fans want to see serious bodily harm done to this annoying nimrod?

No, I'm talking about the animals themselves. I realize that some schools don't have live mascots, but I would say to those schools what Sheriff Woody told Andy's toys about finding a moving buddy: "If you don't have one, get one!"

Who wouldn't like to see the controversy between Florida's and Michigan's football teams and coaches settled by putting a live wolverine in a cage with a live alligator and letting them fight it out to the death like Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in the "Star Trek" episode where the Enterprise went back to Vulcan for Mr. Spock's wedding?

Les Miles might be a fool and Houston Nutt might be crazy, but they'd both be willing to let their universities be represented in the playoffs by a live Bengal tiger and a razorback hog, respectively. Tommy Tuberville, a shrewd game manager, would be able to take advantage of Auburn's multiple mascots, sending out a tiger and an eagle as a tag-team tandem.

Undaunted, Virginia's representative looks forward to his first-round matchup with Auburn, secure in the knowledge that he has a wahoo waiting in the wings in the event he gets into trouble. (Image from Brooklyn College.)

What if, say, Notre Dame and Texas met in the playoffs? The former could field an actual pugnacious Emerald Isle native and the latter could send out a longhorn steer. Wouldn't that draw better T.V. ratings than a first-round matchup between Florida and Central Michigan? (If the Golden Domers' representative finds a way to win, he can advance to take on Purdue in a battle between an irate Irishman and an alcoholic beverage.)

Let a bucking bronco from Boise, Id., take on an angry badger from Madison, Wisc. Send a church lay leader in need of an exorcist from Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on a Grizzly Adams lookalike from Morgantown, W.V., after the former has been possessed by the winner of the Arizona State-Duke first-round game. Let B.Y.U. enter a cougar into the competition to take on a mountain lion sent to represent Penn State. Allow the Seminoles to take on the Trojans . . . literally.

Divide the brackets up into canine, feline, lupine, and ursine divisions. Group Boston College, Iowa, Kansas, Louisville, Oregon, and South Carolina together in a tournament in which birds of a feather can flock together. If Virginia Tech can provide some evidence that a hokie is really a turkey, V.P.I. can have an entrant into that field, as well.

"Cinderella story . . . came from nowhere . . . taking on Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs. . . ."

Allow T.C.U.'s representative to give Georgia Tech's champion a tongue-lashing. Pair Miami and Iowa State in a showdown straight out of "Twister." Permit Georgia to show Fresno State the real meaning of the phrase "dog-eat-dog world."

Let's settle this on the field . . . and in the forest . . . and in the jungle . . . and in the air . . . and in the sea.

Now that Fox is airing the B.C.S. bowl games, the timing is perfect to replace the existing bowl structure with a playoff format in which the N.C.A.A. tournament meets "When Animals Attack."

You tell me . . . isn't the live mascot smackdown a better option than any of those presented in the latest poll question?

Go 'Dawgs!