The BCS has once again left us with more questions than answers. I suppose the most pressing question is what are the purposes of the BCS system? Is it to place the two best teams in the National Championship, or the two most deserving? After that is determined, what about the rest of the BCS Bowl Games? Is the goal to put the largest drawing schools together? Is it to put those snubbed Cinderella teams in the spotlight? Is it to what we all believe it’s about, money? Frankly, I’m tired of this and this is how I propose to fix it.
This is beginning to get ridiculous. I will completely disclose that I am a huge University of Michigan fan and I am thrilled that we have a chance to play in the Sugar Bowl. That can only help with future recruiting and the further re-building of the program. That being said, however, they have no business being in the Sugar Bowl. It’s only because of stupid rules in this horrendous system that many teams have the opportunity they do.
Can you argue the resume’s of Alabama and Oklahoma State? Absolutely! Their BCS ranking was only separated by .0038 and it’s because of that, one team gets a shot and one does not. Enough with the banter, I’m going to lay this out and hopefully, you and many, many others will agree that this makes the most sense. Bear in mind also, that this leaves Michigan (13th in the BCS) out of the equation. I’ve heard the plus one answer, and I’ve heard the tournament style system the NFL uses. I don’t agree with either. In college, we will never, ever go away from a bowl system. Let’s not kid ourselves, the sponsorship dollars, and the revenues involved for the participating schools will never allow that to happen. Let’s instead, embrace it, use them to an advantage.
Here’s the basics: It’s a six team playoff. The top two BCS ranked conference champions would be seeded #1 and #2 and get the benefit of a bye in the playoff. There must be some importance to winning your conference. This season, it was widely reported that LSU and Alabama were going to the BCS National Championship regardless of the outcome of the SEC championship. So that means, that two teams that didn’t win their conference would play for the title, and the SEC champion would not even be BCS eligible. Does that make any sense to anyone? Let’s get rid of the limits on how many teams from a conference are BCS eligible, it’s insane. If three of the best teams in the country are in the same conference, so be it.
The next four top ranked BCS schools regardless of their conference standing would be eligible for the first round of the playoffs. Let’s use this season as our running example.
- LSU (SEC Champion) *Bye
- Oklahoma St. (Big XII Champion) *Bye
I understand, Boise St., Kansas St., Wisconsin, Clemson, West Virginia, and others get snubbed. Sorry, play a tougher schedule, win all of your games. We have to have a cut off somewhere. I don’t think the major argument is how the BCS ranking is compiled, it’s who it leaves out. In this system, six very deserving teams get a chance to win it all and prove it on the field, not a computer.
Like with any playoff system with seeding, we’ll do the same here. How I would use the four BCS Bowl Games is to rotate which round of the playoffs those games host. For example, let’s use the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl as the first round this year. That means the Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl would host the second round. Next season, they would switch. This means that all of those games mean something and would be HUGE draws. It would make all of them relevant. Right now, does anyone care about the Orange Bowl with Clemson and West Virginia? Or, the Sugar Bowl with Michigan and Virginia Tech? Only fans of those schools really care about those match-ups. Under my system, all of those games are critical, big money, big sponsors, big schools, with everything on the line. No plus one, no true tournament, this rewards teams that earn these spots. So let’s look at the playoff tree.
The rest of the bowl games can be determined as they always are, by conference affiliation and invite. I just want to see a fair system that rewards teams that perform on the field. This system places an importance on winning your conference, it keeps the four primary bowl games of the year on their pedestal. It makes the sponsors happy, it makes the conferences happy, it makes coaches, players, fans, and media happy. This is a winner for everybody. The other beautiful thing about this system is that it can be played in the same time schedule we currently use. I’ve heard the argument about final exams at the universities and you can’t add more games between the end of the year and bowl season. Well here, you don’t. Play the first round near Christmas. The second round near New Years, and the final in the second week of January. The only thing that moves is the first set of BCS games, but it is during a time when bowl games are played anyway. I see no problems with it. I will be forwarding this link to a lot of people involved with college football, I would encourage all of you to do the same. The only way this changes is if there are enough voices to support it. I look forward to your responses and further debate. Thanks for reading!