College Football: Four Ways To Make It Better

Michael ClineSenior Analyst IJuly 23, 2009

Change doesn't come easy, as you can tell by reading the political section of your favorite newspaper, but change is both necessary and inevitable.

Change is what keeps your rivers clean, your car running properly, and your baby happy and fresh.

In order for college football's popularity to grow, a change needs to happen and happen fast.

In college football, having unanswered questions at the end of the season has become a trend. These questions never go away, and they continue to stay hidden in the back of our busy minds:

  • What if Alabama was ranked higher in the preseason?
  • What if LSU played Penn State instead of Appalachian State?
  • What if Notre Dame had a conference schedule?
  • What if Utah would have played Florida?

If you have the answers to these questions, please tell me because I'm tired of thinking about them.

However, because I have been thinking about it, I did come up with a solution and a question of my own:

What if there were no questions? 

Without these questions, my mind could rest easy, and I could, maybe, paint the house before next season begins. 

So, while I was not painting the house, I've derived four basic and doable ways to make college football better in the years to come.


Step 1: Get Rid of the Preseason Poll

The idea of ranking teams before they even play a game is nothing short of insanity.

Who's to say that USC will be better/worse than Oklahoma this year when there's nothing to base that opinion on except for last year's statistics on returning players.

Last year, as many of you know, Alabama didn't even make the preseason Top 25. But, somehow, those "mediocre" players overperformed, and the Tide finished the season at the No. 6 spot.

Even more ridiculous, the preseason poll influences the final rankings, which determine who will play for the National Championship. 


Step 2: Stop FBS Teams from Scheduling FCS Teams


I should not have to argue this point, but I will, briefly. 

LSU scheduling Appalachian State is like the Boston Red Sox scheduling a series with the Columbus Clippers.

Now, I know that some will say, "But Appalachian State beat Michigan!" OK, yes they did, but how often does that happen? LSU demolished them 41-13. 

I can't believe a game like this even counts. Maybe playing Appalachian State in a preseason scrimmage makes sense, but playing a FCS team during the season does not.

Step 3: Independents Should Choose a Conference

This year, there will be three teams playing as independents: Army, Navy, and Notre Dame. 

Last year, there were four, but the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are now a part of the Sun Belt Conference.

The other three should have to follow suit and join a conference that best fits their program needs/wants.

I don't care which conferences they join; they should just make it happen. 

Many fans believe that the independent schools have an unfair advantage when it comes to BCS bowl bids. 

One way to discredit those arguments is to stop them from happening in the first place. 

Step 4: Implement a Playoff System

Of course, this is on the list.

In order to determine a champion, every major sport has some type of playoff or tournament, but college football is left with computer rankings and the coaches' opinions. 

It doesn't make sense unless you somehow benefit monetarily from the current system.

I'm glad that Congress is investigating the matter; however, I wish that the government wasn't needed to sort this matter out. 

How blind do you have to be to see that the BCS system is flawed?

A playoff would at least give us a true champion, no questions ask.


Final Outlook

I am sure there are more needed changes, but these four suggestions are the most plausible changes.

By implementing these steps, the scope of college football would change drastically.

These changes would indeed make the game better for fans, players, and teams.

But, if not, at least I have a good excuse for not painting the house. 




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