Friday, December 16, 2011

Either have a playoff or go back to the old system

As a fan of a team in the conference that has benefitted the most from the “ESPN-ification” of college football, I probably shouldn’t care that the BCS is a ridiculous system.  If/when my team finishes the season with 1 loss and wins the conference we are automatically going to get a spot in the title game, earned or not.  I get that.  Also, there are conferences that benefit from the other extreme who should just be happy.  These “automatic” conference bids are laughable on their face. 

So whether BCS to your conference means “Because (of) Conference Strength” or “Because (your) Conference Stinks” is irrelevant to me.  Neither of those scenarios should have anything to do with who plays for the national title.  What was solved with the formation of the BCS again?  Why was the old bowl system scrapped?

No matter what else you say about the BCS formation, it was loudly proclaimed to be the system that was going to give us a #1 vs. #2 system and a “true National Champion.”  Conveniently now, the second part of that is dropped when folks on ESPN talk about the BCS but it was there at the time.  And no, we were NOT told that we would have to tweak the system over and over again to keep covering problem circumstances.    So let’s just fast-forward through all of the silliness and get to a playoff, or let’s go back to the way things were.  The only bad option is staying right where we are. 

The current system reeks of trying to be “a little bit pregnant.”  Don’t claim you have a system that can boast of yielding a true national champion when a third of the teams (or more) have no chance at all to earn their way into the mix, while other teams can get in automatically by beating up six or seven sisters of the poor. 

I understand that there will always be complaining about whatever playoff system is used.  Having said that, I would MUCH rather have the complaining coming from teams who feel they should have been the #4 or #8 seed as opposed to the #2 seed.  Would the “Plus-1” solution be the final tweak to the system?  I doubt it, but at least a team like Oklahoma State this year would be given a shot to play for the title. 

To me, the obvious choice is an 8-team format.  7 games on a rotating basis using the four BCS stadiums (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange), the Citrus, the Cotton and the Outback.  Shoot, make it 12 teams with the top 4 seeds having  a bye.  Or let’s just go back to the way things were and let the bowls have their traditional conference tie-ins again.  If we’re not going to fix what was wrong anyway, then let’s retrieve the baby from the bathwater.  Anything is better than what we have now.  

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