System Shock: The Only Way College Football Will Get a Playoff

Pete MisthaufenAnalyst IJuly 16, 2009

FORT COLLINS, CO - NOVEMBER 01:  Quaterback Max Hall #15 of the Brigham Young Cougars warms up prior to facing the Colorado State Rams at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Fort Collins, Colorado. BYU defeated CSU 45-42.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Supporters of a college football playoff have always been on the outside looking in.  The leaders of the BCS have no desire to change the current system which allows them money and power and prestige which would be at risk if their schools would actually have to win on the field the gains they have received through careful planning and manipulation of the college football world.

I have wondered for quite some time what it would take to finally move on from the current system. 

We can have Senators and Congressmen yell and scream and nothing will ever happen.

We can have threatened lawsuits, but nothing will ever happen.

There is only one thing that would cause change in the current system:  a massive system shock.

The pre-1992 system vanished due to a couple factors:  the CFA's lawsuit win in 1984 over TV rights, BYU's consensus national title in 1984, the dominance of the independents during the 1980s, and the vision of Roy Kramer. 

Each factor played a major role in the coming of the current era.  The first three factors served to disrupt the system enough that a major push back came about to bring order to the college football world. SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer had the vision and foresight that re-shaped college football, for good or ill.

I could go into each of those factors now, but I will save that for another time.  For now, I will just say that each of the first three factors caused major shocks to college football, resulting eventually in the BCS. 

To change the current system, we need huge shock, something unexpected.  Something that would get Mike Silve, John Swofford and the rest of the Big Six commissioners to say:  "We need change NOW!"


Now, enough of the set-up.  What would shock the BCS system more than anything else?

Boise State vs. BYU BCS Championship game.

Now, you are saying this is impossible, it will never happen.  Never say never and I will lay out how this could come about and really make all those playoff-haters shout "Give us a playoff now!"

Now, any two non-Automatic Qualifier schools would do for this idea, so a TCU-East Carolina match up would work well enough, as would a Utah vs. Big East champ game, because we all know that none of the other BCS conferences really respect the Big East anymore.  But for this year, let's go through some games and the conferences that result in the system shock.

Of course, BYU would have to run the table, beating OU, FSU, TCU, and Utah.  I do not see that happening, but it is entirely possible.

Likewise, Boise must run the table, destroying Oregon to start the season.

To aid in the quest, let's have TCU have its only loss to BYU in Provo, beating Clemson and Virginia on the road.

To help things along even more, we can have Nevada beat Notre Dame and Missouri, and Louisiana Tech take out Auburn and LSU.

Utah would go 10-2, beating Oregon and Louisville as well.

Oregon would have to go 10-2, running through the Pac 10 undefeated.

OU would need to go 11-2, winning the Big 12 title game.

Texas would need to lose to Oklahoma and another team, say Oke State.

Oklahoma State would need to beat Georgia, but lose to OU and some other team, such as Houston.

Florida State would need to dominate Florida and then win the ACC with only one other loss, with Florida winning a SEC as well, but with a loss to Georgia and LSU.  Auburn or LSU could win the SEC West with two or more regular season losses.

USC would beat down Ohio State and Notre Dame, but lose to Oregon and Cal.

The Big East teams call all beat each other up however as it may be and end up with at least two losses each.

The other teams can fall as they may, but in this idea, every single BCS school would have at least two losses, similar to 2007, the ACC and Big 12 champs having lost to BYU, and the Pac 10 champ having lost to Boise and Utah.

I know it is crazy, but not entirely impossible.  Stranger things have happened in college football.


So, we are left with two undefeated non-Automatic Qualifiers, both of which have quality OOC wins.  The computers would be all over No. 1 BYU and No. 2 Boise.  The voters would have a big trouble discounting BYU and Boise if OU is sitting at No. 3, TCU (11-1) sitting at No. 4, Florida State (11-2) at No. 5, Florida (11-2) at No. 6, Ohio State (10-2) at No. 7, and Oregon (10-2) at No. 8. 

Now, under this crazy, but possible situation, a BYU-Boise BCS championship game would upset the BCS rulers to say the least. 

It would be impossible for the BCS to pass over the number one and number two teams in the country, especially if no other teams had fewer than two losses.  It is not enough for BYU to beat OU and go undefeated.  A one-loss OU would still pass up BYU in the BCS standings. 

The BCS would suck it up for one year, then figure out the only way to avoid this again would be to have a playoff or return to the old system.

As I said, system shockThis may be only way we will ever get a playoff in college football.


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