Enough Is Enough: Time for Playoffs in College Football
Ohio State and South Florida are the two best teams in college football—according to the BCS, AP, and Coaches Polls, at least.
Read that again.
Ohio State vs. South Florida for the BCS Championship if the season were to end today.
I'll be honest, I wouldn't go out of my way to watch that game.
Parity, obviously, has grabbed hold of the college football world. Is it good for the sport?
Look at it this way: Two seasons ago, the top two preseason teams were USC and Texas. Both teams made it through the season undefeated and played in one of the best BCS Championship Games ever.
The top two preseason teams have lost to Stanford and Kentucky.
This goes to show that there are more good teams than ever before in college football—and fewer great teams that stand out from the pack.
Teams like South Florida, Kentucky, and Boston College are now among the nation's elite. I have no problem with that, except for one thing:
There's no playoff system in college football.
Parity is fine in other sports because the best teams usually win out in the playoffs. In college football, we're in danger of having two good teams—instead of two great teams—compete for the title.
In my opinion, Ohio State and South Florida are no more than good teams with weak schedules.
Ohio State and the Big 10 were exposed as overrated last year when Florida dominated OSU in the BCS Championship Game. Now the Buckeyes are without their best offensive players from a year ago...but find themselves back in the No. 1 spot.
Look at OSU's opponents so far: Youngstown State, Akron, Washington, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, and Kent State. After last season, can anyone really be confident that the Buckeyes are the best team in the NCAA?
South Florida is more deserving of the top ranking, given their two quality wins over Auburn and West Virginia. However, winning two or three big games as a Big East school is far easier than playing in the SEC or Pac-10, where nearly every week is a big game.
All that said, there's a way to turn college football's new parity into a positive for the sport: Create a playoff system.
My idea is to make the six major BCS conferences all have 12 teams and a conference championship game (Notre Dame, get over yourselves and join a conference already). The winners of each conference earn a bid to the playoffs.
Along with the six conference champions, there will be two wild card spots. One of these will be reserved for the best non-BCS conference team while the other will go to the highest-ranked team that didn't earn a bid.
The teams would be seeded 1-8 based on their BCS rankings, and the first round games would be home games for the top four seeds. The four major bowl games would be on a rotation wherein two of them, for example the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, would host the second-round games, while the Fiesta Bowl would be the Championship game and the Rose Bowl could be a consolation matchup.
The details aren't all ironed out, but the foundation is there.
Is a college football playoff a realistic possibility?
Most likely not.
But with the increasing parity in college football, it may be the only way to determine the best team in any given season.
The year is far from over, and the best teams may end up at the top of the polls in January—but as of right now, I'm terrified of an Ohio State-South Florida championship game.
We were supposed to have learned our lesson last season: Good teams with easy schedules look better than great teams with hard schedules...until they're matched up against each another.
Let's not let history repeat itself.
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