We admit it: We still love college football. But we hate the concept of a rigged system, which is what fans across America have been dealing with since (at least) 1998 under the pretense of a true “champion”.

First, it was the Bowl Championship Series, which devolved after 2004 into a sham of a circus show, and now it’s the College Football Playoff, so close to doing the same right in front of our eyes.

As the nation prepares for the 2019 season kickoff this Saturday, it’s worth reminding everyone of a few simple realities: A) Major college football remains the only major sporting enterprise in the world without a legitimate tournament to determine its champion; 2) The entire bowl system itself is laughable, for several reasons; and d) Until there is a 16-team playoff in the Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA Division I football, all these national titles are just mythical, period.

(Remember, there are 10 football conferences in the FBS, plus a slew of independents who deserves their own bid. A 16-team tourney puts in all 10 conference champions, reserves one autobid for the best independent team, and provides five at-large spots for deserving teams that didn’t win their conference. It’s always better to be pondering the merits of teams 12-16 instead of teams 1-4, right? Definitely.)

So why won’t the powers that be in college football give up control of the system to let equality and opportunity reign? Simple: Follow the money. Even though the brilliant book Death to the BCS was published almost nine years ago, nothing much has changed—even after the financial corruption was exposed.

Why? Because fans are stupid, especially in regions favored by the powers that be right now, and as long as fans continue to spend money on the enterprise, nothing will change. Follow the money.

And in the meantime, here are our meaningless predictions for the 2019 season, as we see the final regular-season poll rankings:

  1. Clemson
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Georgia
  4. Ohio State
  5. Washington
  6. Boise State
  7. Central Florida
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Utah
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Alabama
  12. Miami (FL)
  13. Fresno State
  14. Memphis
  15. Appalachian State
  16. Mississippi State
  17. Penn State
  18. LSU
  19. Oklahoma State
  20. Utah State
  21. Michigan
  22. Auburn
  23. North Carolina State
  24. Iowa
  25. Washington State

The respective conference champions we pick are as follows:

Atlantic Coast: Clemson
American: UCF
Big XII: Oklahoma
Big Ten: Ohio State
Conference USA: Marshall
Independents: Notre Dame
Mid-American: Ohio
Mountain West: Boise State
Pacific 12: Washington
Southeastern: Georgia
Sun Belt: Appalachian State

That’s 11 teams right there that would gain an autobid to the national tournament, if we were running the show. You can use the Top 25 projections above to fill in the five at-large teams (Utah, Wisconsin, Alabama, Miami, Fresno State).

Check back in January to see if we were even close to being right. We will be doing our usual national and Pac-12 coverage this season weekly, so stay tuned in right here for 2019 college football coverage.

As we said, it’s a love/hate relationship. Sue us.