Why College Football Needs to Adopt a Playoff System?
Season after season the BCS continues to ruin several college football teams hopes of a National Championship. Instead of allowing the decision take place on the football field they leave it up to a computer and an outdated formula that very few can understand. Is this system fair to all the college athletes who dedicate their lives to play the game of football and then are denied the right to play for a championship? I think not, that why I am a huge supporter of the NCAA implementing a college football playoff system similar to the one seen in March Madness. This would help end all the stipulation on whether or not teams actually deserve their championship trophy. Season after season I will no longer have to wonder what could of or would of happened if a playoff system actually existed.
How would you feel if you went a whole season undefeated yet were denied the right to play for the National Championship? Disappointed, heartbroken, cheated well this is exactly how the Boise State Broncos felt. After completing an undefeated season and basically dominating every opponent they matched up against they were stuck going to another Bowl Game and were forced to watch the National Championship on television. The BCS system hated that a small team like Boise State was even in the consideration so as a condolence they tried to embarrass them on the national stage by matching them up against powerhouse Oklahoma. Little did they know this small school played like giants taking down Goliath and proving to the BCS system that they deserved their chance to play. In my opinion, this kind of scenario should no longer be allowed. Growing up as a kid, I was constantly involved in sports year round whether it was football, baseball, or basketball, didn’t matter. Practice after practice we use to grind ourselves to near death all because our coaches stressed perfection and expected us to win. The quote that stood out the most was said by who some may call the greatest football coach of all-time, Vince Lombardi and he said “Winners never quit.” Well I would like for someone to explain this to the Boise State football team as for them this quitting was the only option. How do we preach perfection and then allow the one’s who follow to have to settle for second or third place? No other system in the U.S. exists like this. Do we allow a computer to decide who runs for President? Do we allow a computer to decide who plays in the World Series? No we allow the competitive edge in everyone to take place and allow the best team to win. Unfortunately for Boise State and the many other teams they were denied the chance to be that best team.
The biggest question here is how do we take away the power from Big Brother aka the BCS? So we need to change the system? Capture the fans first, and then have a man of power vouch for change. Recently, the Gallup Poll stated that 85% of the nation wanted to get rid of the Bowl system while only 12% wanted to keep the system as it is. So checklist one can be crossed of as we clearly have the fans support. The problem is the fans on their own don’t have enough say nor do they have the pull to make such a dramatic change. However this is where all college football fans can say “Thank you President Obama.” During a speech last year with 60 minutes, President Obama stated "If you've got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there's no clear decisive winner. We should be creating a playoff system.” In Obama's proposed system, eight teams would play over three rounds to settle the national champion. He went on further to say “It would add three extra weeks to the season, you could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do." This was the Holy Grail for all college football fans having the president of the United States saying he will throw his weight around to make sure change is made. We all know ho much Obama loves the word “Change.” The irony of it all is his little comment on 60 minutes has actually caused quite a stir among those involved. As a result, Congressman Joe Barton, a republican from Texas, introduced the College Football Playoff Act of 2009, a bill that would make any national championship game illegal if it was not the result of a playoff system. Quite a dramatic step taken in the right direction.
We all know the obvious solution is a playoff. Players want it, fans want it, the media wants it, Obama wants it, and even many risk-averse coaches want it. So why are we stopping from implementing a playoff system? People say a college playoff system is too impractical. I completely and utterly disagree and here is my proposal. Lets bring the game of college football back to the field. Allow the National Champions to battle it out so we can finally find out who the true champion is. Allow the small schools like Boise State to take on the big programs like USC in a David vs. Goliath match up. The best way to handle this would be to create an eight-team playoff system that would retain what's best about college football while deciding a national champion the way it should be, on the gridiron. How to go about it? First give all the champions of the six big conferences an automatic bid. They currently receive an automatic bid in the BCS system so continue the tradition. This would mean the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, Pac-10, SEC, and Big East would all have an automatic bids in the eight-team playoff system. Each conference can establish his or her own way to decide who is the champion, but one team will represent each conference. Next is where it gets tricky, how do we go about deciding the next two teams? I say add two more at-large teams into the mix. The big difference don’t allow these teams to be from one of the six conferences already receiving bids. My theory here is if you’re not good enough to win your own conference then you don’t deserve the right to play for a National Championship. This would allow for the undefeated teams such as Boise State to participate. How the schedule will be decided is play the first round at each of the four major bowl games that are already part of the BCS system. This would mean the Fiesta bowl, Orange bowl, Rose bowl, and finally the Sugar bowl. Then play the final two rounds, including the National Championship at a neutral site very much like college basketball runs the Final Four. In my opinion, this system is the most fair and exciting way to decide who becomes college football’s National Champion.
So the big thing now is to go against the criticism that many people will have. Claims as the current system works why change it. My opinion is that no it doesn’t work and it gives an unfair advantage to big name schools so I believe its time for change. Moving on critics say that then regular season games wouldn’t count as much. I completely disagree, yes now you don’t necessarily need to be undefeated to participate in the National Championship but you still need to be near perfect. It just means that even if you screw up once you still can have a second chance to redeem yourself and win it all. The BCS analysts don’t like it as they say it would ruin the traditional bowl games. Again I disagree with this statement. We would still continue with the current bowl games just make the National Championship game more exciting with a single game elimination playoff system. It works wonders in college basketball there is no reason to doubt that it won’t be a success in college football. Finally the complaint is will it be as profitable. According to ESPN, in 2010 the BCS Bowl Series brought in a total of $1.2 billion dollars. Yes this is an outstanding number though I believe a playoff system can be bigger and better. Why? Just think, the first round of the playoffs will sell as many tickets as the BCS Bowl series combined. Then moving on we still have two more rounds of football including a national championship which could draw the same attraction as the Super Bowl. With all these complaints proven to not be an issue there should be no reason to go against the playoff system. I will end with a quote from President Obama, “Every college football player deserves the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of a National Championship.”
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