Yes, you read that right. I’m not saying the current system is perfect, just that I’m not sure a playoff system would solve more problems than it would create. I do, however, want to start out by saying that having a January version of March Madness is appealing and intriguing to me, but that I ultimately think it makes more sense to keep the current system, and just not allow any Big 10 teams into any major bowl games.
Point No. 1: 12 Games of Excitement or Three?
Most people seem to favor an eight team playoff, which would make it necessary that a team win 3 games against elite teams to win the title. However, the current system requires a team to win at least 11 of their 12 games (often times all 12) to get to the title game, making each game intense and meaningful.
I just think this makes every week in the regular season so much more interesting. Every upset, every misstep by an elite program just means so much more in the current system. A playoff would be fun to watch, but I like knowing that each week could potentially change the entire landscape of the rankings. Maybe it’s just me. Yeah, it’s probably just me (but that doesn’t make it wrong).
Point No. 2: Playoffs = Less Games
Counterintuitive I know. But think about this: the current system has 12 regular season games for each team and a bowl game for all the good teams as well as Notre Dame. Adding a playoff system again adds three games for the victor (and the loser) of the title game, meaning two lucky teams get to play 15 games, almost an entire NFL season, only with school on top of it. You really think the NCAA would allow this?
Instead, they’d shorten the regular season by a game or two for EVERY team, meaning we’d be sacrificing 50 games or so just to get a couple extra to determine the champs.
So, let me ask you this—do you care more about watching your own team than you do about who wins the title? If you answered “no,” then you are either not a true fan or just a bad person in general. I’d much rather see two more games from my favorite team than have a playoff system so the Nick Sabans and Les Miless of the world can get more face time for their corrupt and overrated programs.
Point No. 3: Current System Rewards Consistency
It might sound cliché, but every team has a chance to prove itself on the field. If you lose even just one game, then you can’t blame anyone but yourself for not being in the championship game. Having said that, only an undefeated team in a major conference (SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac 10) has a gripe if they don’t make the title. However, this is an extremely rare and unlikely result (I think it only happened to Auburn).
For example, this year we have two one loss teams playing for the title. If USC wanted the title game, they should’ve beaten a slightly-better-than-mediocre Oregon State team. If Texas wants to whine (like they always do), then they should go back and look at how badly they got pounded by Texas Tech (I don’t care if it was close at the end. Tech dominated that game from the start).
The current format rewards teams that come out and play their best game every game. As a result, we get two teams that are likely to come out and play a good game. Does that make too much sense?
So, I’ll admit that there are problems with the current Bowl system, mainly that match-ups are often chosen based on the projected attendance, the extremely biased coach’s poll has too much of an influence, and the Big East gets an automatic BCS bid. Call me old-fashioned, but I think teams should be rewarded for having a good season.
If you win 12 out of 12 games, you shouldn’t have to win two more to get to the title game. I don’t care if the current trend is to beg and plead for a playoff system (as though it won’t lead to the No. 9 team complaining about how they got left out of the playoff). I think the current format is, for the most part, about as good as it’s going to get.