Ivan Maisel and Pat Forde, two lead college football writers for ESPN have each written a great article, one for and one against the BCS, in the month of May.
First let me say that I will be open to any discussion about College Football regardless of the month we are in. To me, College Football is king.
As for this debate, is it possible to side with both? I am usually not one to take the gray area of things. I'm very black or white on most subjects. However, these arguments they present are both very intriguing.
For the most part I agree with Maisel. I feel a playoff could hinder the regular season and all the drama that it brings from September through December, especially the first week of December with all the pivotal match ups.
I feel the BCS, as Forde states, is definately an upgrade versus the old system, but I feel its a much greater upgrade then he states in his article. The old system would never pin No. 1 vs No. 2, and even though right now there is controversy as to how we get No. 1 vs. No. 2, at least they have to match up, regardless of conference bowl game tie—ins.
My example will always be 1994 when Nebraska and Penn State were No. 1 and No. 2 respectively and being in the Big Ten, Penn State had to play the Pac 10 champions, Oregon, in the Rose Bowl. Penn State won that game easily, 38-20. That included an 83 yard touchdown run by Ki Jana Carter, 13 seconds into the Nittany Lions first possession.
Nebraska won their bowl game in dramatic fashion over Miami in the Orange Bowl, 24-17.
Both teams ended 12-0, but Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne had never won a National Championship, and pollsters selected the Cornhuskers as the National Champions. Many Penn State fans, including myself, still say the Nittany Lions got robbed. Had there been a BCS system in place, we would get to see Joe Paterno match up against Tom Osborne for a classic championship game.
But I digress.
Pat Forde also states that an exclusive small playoff would not take away from the drama of the regular season.
I agree with that idea.
However he suggests an eight team playoff which is a little to much for my taste. His second idea for a plus one would be great. We usually end up debating about three or four teams that should be playing for the Championship, not seven or eight.
In my mind, six teams would be the maximum, and we can give the No. 1 and No. 2 teams a bye as their reward for their ranking.
Fans all say they want a full on playoff, but ratings don't lie and the last 10 years since the BCS has been implemented, college football ratings have been skyrocketing.
With that said, minor tweaks are needed to perfect the current system.
What needs to be done is keep the BCS in place.
Keep all the bowl games. Keep the BCS Championship Bowls, and add a plus one championship game that will make for a top four team bracket.
We also need to drop the coaches themselves from the voting on the rankings. Obviously they cannot vote in an unbiased manner, especially if their teams are in the mix for these top bowl games.
As both Maisel and Forde state in their articles, we need to implement a more neutral team of voters such as the committee that choses the 65 (now that is way to many teams) teams that will play in March Madness.
Keeping the rest of the bowl games in place is important to the sport. The amount of money they all bring in is impossible to turn away from. In college football, with 32 bowls and counting (which is too many bowl games) you have 32 teams, and counting, buying bowl champions merchandise.
Yes, I own a 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl Champions T-Shirt.
College football is the only sport that sends more then just one team off as a winner to end a season. Obviously there is only one champion, but there are 32 winners, and that is a lot of extra money for the sport to leave on the table.
So that is my take on Maisel and Fordes article. They are both right (if that is possible) in their own way. I think the last thing we College Football Fanatics want is a regular season that mirrors that of College Basketball where most sports fans just say, wake me up in March.
I like to wake up in late August, and keep my adrenaline rush going through December.
That is why College Football is King.