BCS, College football still needs a tweak
Published 9:23 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Another college football season is approaching. With it come preview magazines, scrimmage games, fan days and pre-season polls. The polls are a good debate point, but have little to know use otherwise.
No one, not even the great Tony Barnhart, knows what will happen after the ball is teed up, and a foot is put to it. The polls are excellent for ESPN, CSS and others because the help fill programing blocks, but what do they really accomplish.
In 2007, the Michigan Wolverines were ranked no lower than eighth in any pre-season poll. Then cam September 1. Football championship Subdivision team Appalachian State went to the “Big House” and beat the Wolverines 34-32, in what some call that biggest upset in the history of sports.
In 2008, Clemson entered the season in the top ten of nearly every major pre-season poll, only to be trounced by Alabama in the first game of the year and drop out of the national title hunt on opening day.
The pre-season polls are only a part of the bigger issue. The BCS is broken. No one can deny it. The “powers that be” in college football came together this spring and tweaked the system. We finally have a playoff, kind of.
In my opinion the new four team “plus one” style championship solves absolutely nothing. The participants in the new system, which will begin in 2014, are chosen by a selection committee. There is no way the “unbiased” committee will put a BCS buster in the mix.
The BCS has been busted eight different times, by Boise State, TCU, Utah, Hawaii and Louisville. The new selection committee is just another step blocking non-AQ schools from reaching the promised land.
The four-team playoff is baby step in the right direction, it is not a fix.
Only one sport in the world does not settle a champion by some sort of playoff, and that is FBS college football. It would be a quick fix if the bowl system put in place decades ago, had not spiraled out of control.
Prior to 2000, we had 20 bowl games. That gave the 40 best teams in the country a reward for having a good season. Currently 35 bowl games dot the calendar, sending a whopping 70 teams to the post-season. Does a 6-6 team really deserve a bowl game?
A ten game regular season, followed by a 16 team playoff would be ideal for all parties involved. All conference champs are in, five at-large teams could get invitations and let the lower seeded teams travel to the higher seeded ones.
It would create drama, and put emphasis back on winning a conference title. The 2011 season showed that under the current system, a conference title is unimportant.
The plus one tournament puts adds another game to the schedule, and puts more money in people’s pockets, which sadly is the name of the game these days.