The BCS Is Ruining The College Football Regular Season, Not Protecting It

Matthew DickeyContributor INovember 15, 2010

The BCS Is Ruining The College Football Regular Season, Not Protecting It

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    Tuesday on the Dan Patrick Show, BCS Director Bill Hancock defended the current system, because a playoff would hurt the regular season and the bowl games.  So, is that true?

    Let's just say the playoff involved the top eight teams in the final BCS poll.  The first round is played at the home stadium of the higher seed the week after the conference championships, the second round is played at BCS bowl games and the BCS Championship Game is played the week after that. The rest of the bowl games stay as they are.

    Would we be more or less interested? Let's take a look at the Top 10 games for the rest of the regular season and examine whether these games would be more or less intriguing if we had an eight-team playoff. 

10) Boise State vs. Nevada (November 26th)

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    Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    What's At Stake Under BCS

    An undefeated season and keeping alive very small hopes of getting into the National Championship Game.  However, a win doesn't even guarantee any BCS bowl. 

     

    What's At Stake Under Playoff

    A win for Boise would guarantee a spot in the playoffs, thus an actual chance to compete for a championship. A loss would probably knock them out of a playoff.  If they were to still squeak in, it would guarantee no playoff game on the Smurf Turf. 

     

    Advantage

    Playoff

9) TCU vs. New Mexico (November 27th)

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    What's At Stake Under BCS

    Same as Boise State, an undefeated season and a last chance to impress the voters (although whether or not you are sold on TCU, it’s highly doubtful this game will change that opinion).

     

    What's At Stake Under Playoff

    Again same as Boise State, a win and TCU is in the playoffs with a chance to prove they belong.  With a loss, it is very unlikely that TCU makes the playoff.

     

    Advantage

    Playoff, since it's virtually an elimination game either way. However, with a playoff you guarantee at least a chance to move on.

8) ACC Championship Game (December 4th)

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    What's At Stake Under BCS

    Trip to the Orange Bowl

     

    What's At Stake Under Playoff

    Same.  Plus for Virginia Tech, if they win out in the regular season and win the Championship, they would have a very good chance at getting into the playoffs after a horrible start to the season.

     

    Advantage

    Playoff

7) Ohio State vs. Iowa (November 20th)

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    What's At stake Under BCS

    For Iowa, nothing. For Ohio State, very little.  Even though they could still tie for the Big Ten Championship, they have very little chance of going to Rose Bowl, which is most likely going to Michigan State or Wisconsin.

     

    What's At Stake Under Playoff

    For Ohio State, a win puts the Buckeyes in very good shape to make the playoffs.  For the Hawkeyes, they would have had the same stakes as Ohio State if they beat Northwestern, which would have made the stakes on that game a lot higher than they were.

     

    Advantage

    Playoff

6) LSU vs. Arkansas (November 27th)

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    What's At Stake Under BCS

    For LSU, keeping its small chance of getting into a National Championship game alive. For Arkansas, nothing.  

     

    What's At Stake Under Playoff

    For LSU, a playoff spot. For Arkansas, a win puts it in contention for a playoff spot.

     

    Advantage

    Playoff

5) Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State (November 27th)

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    What's At Stake Under BCS

    A chance to meet Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game.

     

    What's At Stake Under Playoff

    Same as BCS, plus keeping alive a playoff spot. 

     

    Advantage

    Playoff

4) Big 12 Championship Game (December 4th)

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    What's At Stake Under BCS

    A trip to the Fiesta Bowl.

     

    What's At Stake Under Playoff

    For Nebraska, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, a win would most likely give them a playoff spot.

     

    Advantage

    Playoff

3) SEC Championship Game: Auburn Vs. South Carolina

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    What’s At Stake Under BCS

    For Auburn, the National Championship Game (if they beat Alabama). For South Carolina, a trip to the Sugar Bowl.

     

    What’s At Stake Under Playoff

    For Auburn, a playoff spot.

     

    Advantage

    BCS, unless Alabama beats Auburn the previous week.  In that case, playoff, because Auburn's chances of getting into a playoff with a bounce back win would almost be certain. The chances would be very slim of still getting into the Championship Game under the BCS. 

2) Oregon Vs. Arizona (Nov. 26th) / Oregon State (Dec. 4th)

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    What’s At Stake Under BCS

    If Oregon wins both, Ducks are in National Championship Game.

     

    What’s At Stake Under Playoff

    Oregon wins both, the Ducks are into the playoff. They probably could even lose one of them and still get in, although a loss would drop their seed and probably lose a home game.

     

    Advantage

    BCS

1) Auburn Vs. Alabama (November 26th)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    What’s At Stake Under BCS

    For Alabama, nothing. For Auburn, one win closer to the National Championship Game.

     

    What’s At Stake Under Playoff

    For Alabama, a win could get it into the playoffs.  For Auburn, similar to Oregon, losing would probably only cost it a home game, as long as it bounces back in the SEC Championship.

     

    Advantage

    Push. For Auburn this game is more important under the BCS, but a playoff would make the game much more meaningful to Alabama.

Advantage: Playoffs

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Additional Advantages for Playoffs

    Michigan State, Stanford and Wisconsin would have a chance to get a playoff spot.  Although under the current system, all of them are basically eliminated from the Championship.  Under the BCS, the only games that are more interesting are ones involving Oregon and Auburn.  Under a playoff, at least an additional 13 teams would still be alive at this point, making ALL their games much more important than they are currently.

    On the Dan Patrick Show, Bill Hancock compared the popularity of the college football regular season to the college basketball regular season to argue why the BCS system is better.  Mr. Hancock, with all due respect, the college basketball regular season is not interesting because 68 teams make it. 

    Basically if you are in a major conference, a .500 conference year gets you in.  If you are in a weak conference, you know you have to win the tournament at the end of the season.  That’s not comparable to an eight-team playoff, where every game might not be the end of the season but would still very important.