The Plus-One Model had some momentum in college football recently but never made it to serious consideration. But the BCS needs to be fixed, and since a playoff is never going to happen while the BCS exists, we should be thinking of ideas to help the situation.
But those idea must be in the framework of the BCS and college football as it currently is.
I don’t understand why the Plus-One Model is so bad. I have a proposal that would implement some changes that would improve college football overall. The BCS was definitely a step in the right direction in trying to determine a national champion and make competitive bowl games.
But since the BCS can never definitively pick the two best teams every year, its time to try something else. Here is what I propose.
First, a new conference should be formed.
The only BCS busters have come from the MWC and the WAC. There are great schools in those two conferences, but top to bottom they aren’t good enough to compete with the big boys. So we form the Big Mountain Conference by combining teams from the MWC and the WAC. Here’s the setup:
Houston (from C-USA for Louisiana Tech)
The MWC is no more and is replaced by the Big Mountain Conference. The WAC now consists of:
San Jose State
San Diego State
Also add the five-team Great West Conference from the FCS:
They would jump at the chance to be in the FBS. Ok, that’s the first big change to make sure all the great programs in the country have an equal chance and equal access to the championship.
The second change would be to put Notre Dame, Army and Navy into the depleted Big East Conference. It’s a joke that they have an automatic bid with only eight teams, and not many are exactly standouts.
This would make the conference winner have accomplished similar things as other BCS conferences.
Now we have a new power conference whose champion gets an automatic bid to the BCS. We have a stronger Big East so that all seven BCS conference champions went through similar schedules to win their conferences. So what does this have to do with the Plus One?
Let’s take a look.
The BCS will first add the Cotton Bowl as its fifth bowl. Now we can allow 10 teams into non-championship BCS bowl games. They will be determined as follows:
1) All seven BCS conference champions will play in BCS bowls.
2) The highest ranked non-BCS conference champion will be invited to a bowl game if they are ranked higher than No. 15.
3) The remaining two (or three) at-large bids will go to the highest ranked teams who did not win their conferences.
4) No conference will be allowed more than two teams in the BCS bowls.
Now we have 10 teams playing in the five BCS bowls. The BCS would seed all 10 teams as 1-10. The matchups would be 1-6, 2-7, 3-8, 4-9, 5-10. This keeps all the games competitive.
Also, if done traditionally, a No. 1 beating a No. 10 doesn’t look as good as the No. 5 beating the No. 4, so No. 1 would inherently be at a disadvantage for playing the weaker opponent.
These BCS bowl games would be played on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. They would be the last bowl games of the bowl season. Other bowls would proceed as normal, free to do any type of conference tie-in they see fit.
After the final BCS bowl, the BCS will rerank all the teams. The two teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 will then play each other the following Saturday, but at least six days must pass between the last BCS bowl and the championship game.
The site of the championship will rotate between the five BCS bowls.
This gives us a postseason of sorts. It guarantees good matchups between good programs. It also validates the championship game as being “earned” in a sense.
The season is not stretched out at all as the championship game is still played at the same time. Great teams who don’t win their conferences (2008 Texas and Ohio State) can still play each other and potentially earn a spot to the title game if the conference champions lost some non-conference games.
It still maintains a bit of controversy, just like we like it in college football. The drama is still there. The regular season is still just as important, as one loss could devastate a championship campaign.
All the great programs in the country have a great chance to get into a BCS bowl. It's a win-win-win for everyone involved. Plus the addition of that extra BCS bowl will bring in a ton of money.
What are everyone’s thoughts?