I am about to take an unpopular position, I am going to defend the BCS. Yes I am a fan of the BCS and I believe it is great for college football. Please hold the boos till the end.
Pundits and bloggers around the country say that we need a playoff system. I would argue we already have one. Yes college football fans we have a playoff system and it begins the first week of September every year. Except Auburn and Non BCS schools, every team that went undefeated played in the National Championship Game. Take care of business every week and you most likely will be playing the last game of the year, lose and you better hope everybody else does too.
The BCS Setup makes all twelve games on a team’s schedule important. Think about last year, would the Texas-Texas Tech game been as important. How about the Oklahoma-Texas Tech game? Or the USC-Oregon State game? All of these non rivalry games become infinitely more important with the BCS. With the playoff systems being proposed all three of those one lose teams would have had a slot in the tournament. That one loss for Texas Tech, USC and Texas isn’t as big anymore with a post season playoff system. Without the BCS multiple games every year aren’t as important as they are now.
Secondly, a playoff system doesn’t really solve the problem that people are talking about right now. Typically what most people are recommending is an eight team playoff. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament accepts 65 teams every year. Even with 58 more teams being invited to the dance we still spend large amounts of time arguing about whom got left out and who got in that didn’t deserve to. To be honest we hear the same arguments about the Basketball tournament that we hear about the BCS. It favors major conferences over mid major conferences. The major conferences play weak non conference schedules and refuse to play the mid major conferences on the road.
So if a 65 team tournament doesn’t solve these problems for basketball how would an eight team tournament do this for football? Looking at last year’s final regular season BCS poll the top eight teams in order are Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Alabama, USC, Utah, Texas Tech and Penn State. Every team in this playoff except Utah had one loss but this playoff left out another undefeated team in Boise State. Wouldn’t Boise State still have and argument that they got screwed and didn’t? What happens when we have significantly more one or two loss teams than spots? Would the major conferences argue that since they have a tougher conference schedule than mid major teams they have “better” losses thus deserve a bid before the mid major team? Do your actually think that the major conferences would agree to a system that didn’t guarantee their champions a bid? Quite frankly it doesn’t solve the problem in the end. We would still be asking the same questions we are asking now.
Finally, a playoff system isn’t in the best interest of College Football. Three more games for the top teams would puts their players at significantly more risk for serious injury, potentially hurting their NFL draft stock or possibly ending their pro careers before they started. Secondly it diminishes the regular season similar to college basketball. Let’s be honest besides the big rivalry games such as Duke-UNC most people don’t pay attention to college basketball till March especially games outside their schools conference. With the BCS, we are constantly encourage to watch games we might not to see how they affect our team’s chance for a National Championship.
Personally, I am in favor of a system that encourages me to watch more football and makes more than four games a year important. With the BCS every game matters and every game is a must win situation. As Bobby Bowden said, “Win them all and you’ll be alright.”