College Football: It's Time For A Playoff!

Andrew SilvaCorrespondent IMay 23, 2008

This winter when I sat down and watched the Ohio State Buckeyes get thrashed yet again by an SEC opponent in the BCS National Title Game, this time at the hands of the LSU Tigers, I figured the NCAA would finally take the right path of a playoff system.

Unfortunately, this problem is trying to be solved while still keeping the BCS system.  I cannot disagree more with this approach.  No computer, no "plus 1" idea is going to solve the ever growing controversy of Division I College Football's lack of a playoff. 

The arguments will always be there about giving everyone a chance at a postseason and the players missing class, but those are not solid arguments.  For those saying everyone deserves a shot, everyone does get a shot at the postseason.  It is called the regular season. 

For those complaining about the players missing class, there is a simple solution.  If the bowl season itself was removed entirely, the playoffs could replace it in that time frame.  Now the players would not be missing class, or at least any more than usual.  Those types of arguments are trying to tiptoe around what the true blocking force is to a playoff: money. 

Every athletic department around the country, specifically those with football programs, are under the gun to stay in the black financially (many football programs lose money by the end of the year).  With teams now trying to build state of the art facilities and doing everything possible, whether it be legal or illegal, to bring in blue-chip athletes from around the country.

Money is becoming more important.  Every program around the country now knows a 7-6 record with a victory in the prestigious Independence Bowl will bring the program money to stay afloat.  There can still be a few bowls with their ever-important sponsors, however, the bowl games could now be playoff games. 

For instance, if it was decided the Rose Bowl was the national title game and it was an 8 team playoff, then the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Cotton Bowl could be used as the sites.  There we have neutral locations for the games to be played just as they are in the NCAA tournament for basketball. 

I do have a deeper issue with this lack of a playoff.  As an avid college football fan, I continue to be disappointed in seeing completely mismatched bowl games.  Take last year's Sugar Bowl featuring the red hot Georgia and up and coming Hawaii.  By all accounts Hawaii was destroyed in that game.

All this game proved was Hawaii couldn't pass block for poor Colt Brennan, and Georgia was one of the best teams in the country at that point.  The conclusion of that game did not leave me satisfied, all it left was a feeling of "what if."  What if Georgia had played LSU for the title as opposed to Ohio State? 

What if LSU was really only the third or fourth best team in the country at that time?  My questions could only be answered by a playoff.  Now we could finally see that team that heats up at the right time of the year because of a key injury or perhaps one bad game, that typically would be playing in only a BCS game, get its shot. 

If there were a playoff last year, LSU probably would not have been in the title game.  At that point in time, I figure the seemingly unstoppable teams of Georgia and USC would square off for an epic battle.

Now that my point has been made, it is time to ask yourself if you feel satisfied with the way Division I football runs itself. Right now, you may agree completely or think I am just some nut, but before I am finished I want you to ask yourself what is more exciting, the Final Four or watching College Gameday for the final BCS standings?