The Great College Football Debate: The BCS vs. A Playoff
Go ahead and check it out. View any message board, newspaper article, blog, etc. and the biggest topic is a playoff for college football. Yes, we have heard it all before, the BCS sucks. It is wrong. It should be settled on the field. The arguments are more present now than ever. The whole Michigan/Florida who is number two debate is causing chaos. Then, you hear other fans saying that the BCS is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. All of the factors that have been tweaked year in and year out make up the BCS. The AP poll backs out one year, and the Harris Poll comes in. New BCS bowls are created to include the mid-majors. The BCS got it right in some seasons. But the seasons that the BCS got it right, the ordinary fan could have gotten the national championship right. The Southern Cal/Texas Rose Bowl game last season was a no-brainer. It did not take a nuclear physicist to create the Miami/Ohio State Fiesta bowl a few years ago. Yeah, which fan would have had trouble with coming up those match-ups? So, a playoff would change all of this? Well, yes it would.
So, we can argue the many facts and points against the BCS. Okay. Well, let’s get started.
Argument #1: It is called the Bowl Championship Series. The keyword there is “Series”. As it stands now, I do not see any “series” predicting one specific champion. Where is the true series that will give the NCAA division 1A football champ? What is the Bowl Championship Series? It is a series of bowls that makes a handful of schools a lot of money. The BCS also provides with a list of champions. Does it really matter if a team is Sugar Bowl champs if the national title is not played in the Sugar Bowl? To be honest, it says more to be conference champs than a bowl champ unless it is the national title game.
Argument #2: The BCS looks at the whole season, right? Or so they say. For example, a team loses the first game of the season due to injuries, tragedy, etc. Where does a team stand at the end of the season? The outside looking in is where they stand. What if that team shows great improvement during the rest of the season? What about the “whole” season that Wisconsin had? Some teams play cupcakes the first game of the season. Check out what Florida State and Miami have done the last couple of years. That was their first game of the season. More than likely, whichever team loses is out of the national title hunt.
Argument #3: The BCS could have been in real trouble for the 2006 season. I know it did not happen, but it was very close. What am I talking about? The very big BCS mess that could have occurred would have been a big topic. What if West Virginia would have gone undefeated? What if Florida, with that brutal schedule, had only one loss like they did? Then, Ohio State is undefeated. What about Boise State? They are undefeated. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the Wisconsin Badgers. They had only one loss to a very, very good team. Wait, where have I heard that before? Does 42 – 39 in Columbus, Ohio ring a bell? Correct. Michigan has only one loss. I know it is a bunch of what-ifs. If these events were true, what would the BCS have done with Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Boise State? Let the top two teams play it out. There could be arguments made about that statement. Now, what happens when each team has a loss going into bowl season? What other conflicts will arise when events like this “what-if” scenario occur?
Argument #4: First a team has to win its conference. Talk all you want about the BCS and the rematch that should have happened. But is it right for a team to be crowned NCAA national champs without being the conference champ? It could have happened when Nebraska didn’t even play in their conference title game but got a bid in the Rose Bowl to play the Miami Hurricanes. Oklahoma gets run over in the Big 12 title game by Kansas State, and the Sooners still play Southern Cal for the title. Plain and simple, win your conference first.
Argument #5: We won’t totally trash the BCS. The factors that determine the standings can still be used. It will have to be for teams like Notre Dame and Boise State to get in. Remind me again, why they are so special. Oh, that’s right one is based on the media hype, and one is based on a decision made by Congress. Let the six champs from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 10, and SEC in. Then, include two at-large bids based on the BCS standings.
Argument #6: The money and other bowls will still be there. Okay. The conference champs are a lock and the two at-large teams are in the playoff. What happens with the rest of the teams? Why can’t the conference champs runner-ups have bowl tie-ins? Take this season for example. Throw Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Arkansas, Nebraska, Cal, and Michigan in the mix and come up with some bowl games with these teams playing each other. The lower bowls could still happen. Done deal. If the bowls are still there, then so is the money.
Argument #7: The fussing will continue. Every time a playoff is mentioned, fans have the same reply. Some team will get left out. This system only takes each conference champ and the two at-large teams. That is it.
So, the deal is done. The playoff that college football fans want. The BCS can be content with it also. This type of system still uses the BCS factors and standing to a certain degree.