Plenty of debate will swirl when it comes to crowning a national champion in college football. Some love the current BCS system, while others despise it in preference of a playoff instead.
The current bowl structure gives us college football almost every day from mid-December through mid-January that "sorts out" a BCS national champion, but I propose a slightly different structure that would crown two different college football champions.
Simply put, it involves creating a middle tier in college football. The current system splits college teams into the Division I Championship Subdivision (i.e. Georgia Southern, Delaware, Appalachian State) and Football Bowl Subdivision (i.e. Florida, Michigan, Southern Cal), it only makes sense to create the Mid-Major Subdivision.
This tier would help fill the gap between the two divisions and would include all non-BCS conferences in the current Bowl Championship Division. Under the current alignment the division would include teams from Conference USA, IA Independents (minus Notre Dame of course), the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West, Sun Belt, and Western Athletic conferences.
Taking a page out of the European soccer handbook, a system could even be implemented that would move teams/conferences up or down a tier based on performance measures.
Using these, if the Mountain West were dominant for several years, the teams would be rewarded with a move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision. Additionally, if they struggled to beat the patsies, they’d move down to the Division I Championship Subdivision or the third tier.
The system would be a win-win situation for teams, conferences, sponsors, television networks, the NCAA, and college football fans. It would mean that Boise State actually has a championship to play in if they go undefeated. It would mean that sports talk radio stations would be abuzz with yet another hot topic—who would win the Mid-Major Championship and why.
Another championship game would mean more revenue to college football with a larger bowl game (think Mid-Major National Championship vs. the Humanitarian Bowl) and a televised championship game during the holidays. Anyone want to watch TCU take on Utah in the MMC (Mid-Major Championship) after unwrapping presents and drinking eggnog with Grandma?
It only makes sense that there is something to fill the middle of a large void in college football. Almost 120 teams battle for one championship every year in the Football Bowl Subdivision, yet teams like Boise State, Utah, and TCU must rely on the floundering of other ‘better" schools such as Florida, Texas, and Alabama.
Boise State could go undefeated and still not reach the title game, while two one-loss schools would. While Boise’s schedule may be a little lighter, shouldn’t they be tested in a championship title game, too?
The Division I Championship Subdivision has been a great success over the past few decades, with a playoff format of 16 teams concluding with a national championship game. In fact, the national championship game (as well as semifinals in years past) has been more exciting than a few of the early season FBS bowl games.
With more on the line in a playoff game, it somewhat resembles those do-or-die ones in the NFL. Teams seem to play a little harder when there’s something on the line in a playoff game in comparison to the Emerald Peanut Bowl featuring two 6-6 teams.
It’s an easy fix, just like instant oatmeal. Simply add another championship, and the sport will be rejuvenated. It gives the little guys something to play for and fans another game to TiVo. And it gives me something else to argue about. A Mid-Major Championship just makes sense.