Impending 4-Team College Football Playoff Not the Long-Term Solution
On November 12, the BCS announced that it had locked in a four-team playoff system that would start in the 2014-15 season. In an official statement, BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock reiterated how the BCS capitulated to what college football fans wanted.
"This format is good for college football in both the short-term and long-term and I think it's great for the game," said Hancock.
"The four-team playoff will be wonderfully popular and because fans can't get enough college football, the other bowls will benefit too. I'm proud of how everyone came together and that agreement has been reached."
The chairman of the committee and Virginia Tech president Charles Steger was quoted in the Denver Post as saying, "The group has been very responsive to what the football fans want—the four-game playoff. College football, as well as the fans, will be served well with what we came up with."
Served well? Quit patting yourselves on the back, fellas. You're still 10 years behind. Even the FCS has a 20-team playoff, and next year it will grow to 24 teams.
A four-team playoff is good for football "in both the short-term and long-term"?
Short-term? Yes. This had to happen or heads would roll. But long-term? No.
Fans want, at the very minimum, an eight-team playoff. And the BCS, ostensibly made up of fat cats in seersucker suits, just can't handle change. While everyone else uses smartphones, the BCS probably still uses pagers, storing them in an iPhone hard case so they look trendy.
Don't celebrate this, football fans. If you do, nothing will happen "long-term."
It's akin to having a gopher problem, and instead of exterminating the gopher, the BCS planted a beautiful garden of roses around your lawn in hopes that no one would notice the gopher holes. It looks pretty from far away, but upon closer inspection, the problem is still there.
Already we have the "Power Five" and "Group of Five." In other words, the "haves" and the "have-nots." The names have been changed, but it's still basically the same political makeup, with the exception of the Big East now relegated to the Group of Five.
In this new format, there are contract bowls and host bowls for a total of six bowls. The semifinals will rotate among the six bowls, with two games hosting the four-team playoff format every year.
If the have-nots' (Group of Five) top-ranked team does not have ties to a contract bowl (Rose, Sugar, Orange) then it is assured a berth in a host bowl. It's worth noting that the Big East doesn't have a guaranteed bowl berth unless its champion is the top-ranked team of the Group of Five.
So while the Big East hasn't exactly endeared itself to football fans with its current league guaranteed a BCS bowl berth, it still has to have a higher-ranked team than the CUSA, MAC, MWC and Sun Belt's best team to be guaranteed a bowl. What isn't clear is if there is a threshold. If the best Group of Five team is ranked No. 25, does it get in?
Notre Dame also gets a special qualification as an independent.
According to that same Denver Post article:
Seven of the 12 bowl spots will be determined this way: Five will go to the champions of the five major conferences, one goes to the highest-ranked team of the Group of Five and one goes to the highest-ranked among Notre Dame and the non-champions of the Big Ten and SEC. That team will play the ACC champion in the Orange Bowl.
It's the same book in a different language. The final chapter has changed—we have a four-team playoff—but the process of getting there is the same in French as it is in English.
The process is still rife with promises to every conference. The current process is rife with polls that make no sense because one ballot is filled out by a person who thinks a loss deserves a No. 1 vote.
We'll have a selection committee instead of the BCS rankings, but isn't the fairest way to determine who the best teams are is to just let them play it out?
Mitt Romney said help was on the way. Will that help come from President Barack Obama?
On a November 3, 2008 Monday Night Football broadcast, then-Senator Obama said this about the current BCS climate:
"I think it's about time we had playoffs in college football. I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this that and the other. Get eight teams—the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff. Decide on a national champion."
Our president wants a playoff with eight teams, not a playoff involving champions of this conference or the object of that Sagarin bot's desire. The best eight teams. Period.
No one team, no one conference, should be guaranteed any bowl.
The highest authority in this country wants the best eight teams: not a No.13 team and certainly not the best of the have-nots. No. 1 through No. 8. Nothing less will do.
Make it happen, POTUS. After you straighten out the economy, of course.
Benjamin Franklin once said:
"In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," said Benjamin Franklin
Death, taxes and BCS controversy.
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