BCS Rankings: 10 Great Reasons to Have a College Football Playoff
It's December and for football fans that means it's time to get ready for the postseason.
Right now in the NFL, the playoff races are heating up and the playoff pictures are starting to take shape.
The NFL season started with 32 teams alive for the playoffs with hopes of winning the title, but only 12 will make it to the postseason to fight for the right to be called the champion.
The top teams in the NFL get rewarded and have to fight their way through a gauntlet until only one team remains standing.
In college football something different is happening. 120 Division IA schools start off the season, but about half of them are already eliminated from title contention before they play their first game.
Even though that is the case, over half the teams are rewarded and get to play in a Bowl Game if they win six games.
In the NFL winning the Super Bowl Trophy is what it's all about. In College it's about getting to a BCS Bowl Game, where the biggest reward is the money that comes with it, not the trophy.
Let's take a look at 10 reasons why a college football playoff would be great.
You Find a True Champion
Imagine a true playoff where the champion is decided on the football field and not by polls or computers.
The six BCS conference champs get their automatic bid into the playoff system and the top seedings in the brackets.
Then the top ten teams ranked in the BCS that didn't win their conference or come from a Non-AQ conference school get the final ten spots and seedings.
If the Playoffs started today we'd have some great first-round matchups. (Assuming Auburn, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech win their conference.)
#1 Auburn vs. #16 Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl
#3 Wisconsin vs. #14 Missouri in the Sugar Bowl
#2 Oregon vs. #15 Nebraska in the Rose Bowl
#8 Stanford vs. #9 Ohio State in the Rose Bowl
#5 Virginia Tech vs. #12 LSU in the Orange Bowl
#6 UConn vs. #11 Michigan State in the Orange Bowl
#7 TCU vs. #10 Arkansas in the Fiesta Bowl
#4 Oklahoma vs. #13 Boise State in the Fiesta Bow
Make College Football About Football and Not Money
Let's be real here for a second, college football is all about the money right now. Six power conferences that play in the big money bowl games. The team that gets in the bowl game gets the majority of the money, and their conference shares the rest.
No wonder they don't want to change the system, it's making the rich richer.
The current system will take you out of title contention if you lose two or three games. Which is why you don't see too many Alabama vs. Oregon, or Oklahoma vs. Auburn during the regular season.
These teams feel that they play in tough enough conferences that they don't want to risk playing a top team from other conferences every year.
The same goes for TCU and Boise St. Why play four or five strong teams outside of conference play? If you lose one game you can't get into the big money bowls?
Remember it's all about money.
Odds are Boise would rather go 12-0 with a mediocre schedule. They would rather play in a BCS Bowl game and not play in the title game just so they can use that sweet check they would get to build better facilities and help their recruiting.
They don't have the advantage a bottom dweller Pac-10 team has. Washington receives money every year from the BCS just because there will always be a Pac-10 team playing in a BCS Bowl game.
It's smart economics. Don't lose, play in a bowl game and make money.
Great Non-Conference Rivalries
Imagine seeing Alabama play USC every year or Auburn vs. Oregon every year?
The NFL has great division rivalries, but they also have great rivalries outside of the division—Colts vs. Patriots is one that comes to mind.
If there was a playoff system in place, multiple losses would be forgiven so teams could risk playing real non-conference schedules.
Because of the current system fans are missing out on big time non-conference games. Sure there may be a couple of huge games here and there, but imagine a couple of huge games a week.
Conference play will always be the best, but imagine having a PAC-10-SEC Challenge or a Big 12-Big 10 Challenge like they do in college basketball?
Regular Season Games Will Still Be Important
I won't disagree that the current system makes every regular season game matter, but if you want to win a title, every game should matter anyways whether there is a playoff or not.
In the NFL you want to win every game so you can make the playoffs and position yourself as a top seed. In college basketball you still want to have an impressive regular season so you can have a high seed in the tournament.
College football would work the same way. If people think having a playoff would make regular season games not matter they must not have a competitive bone in their body.
It's sports. You play to win and you play to be the best. You want to win every game, you want to play your best every game.
Players want to impress because they are auditioning for the NFL. Coaches want to win because they want to keep their job.
Every game will still matter.
Postseason Will Matter Much More
Can anyone name last year's Ticket City, Meineke Car Care or Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl winners without looking them up?
I didn't think so.
College football has managed to create a lot of postseason games that don't matter. You grow up wanting to be a national champion, not the GoDaddy.com Bowl winner.
Once again this just shows that college football cares more about money. They would probably have everyone play in a bowl game if they could find enough sponsors to dish out cash.
Even the BCS Bowls can be a joke. Usually four teams have a strong case to be called a national champion at the end of the season.
Auburn, Oregon, Stanford, Wisconsin and TCU all have a pretty strong case to be considered for a title game but only two of them play in the game that will crown a national champ.
Has anyone seen Wisconsin play lately? What about Stanford? They could beat Oregon or Auburn or at least give them one hell of a game.
College Basketball has the NIT tournament for those who didn't make the big dance. College football can do the same to assure the top 32 teams in the nation get at least one more chance to prove how good they are.
You could give the conference champs that didn't make the big dance an opportunity to continue playing in the NIT against some of the top teams from major conferences.
This is where you would probably see a lot of the middle of the road major conference teams play against some of stronger teams from the Non AQ-Conferences.
The Sun Belt, Mac and Conference USA champs could play teams like Alabama, Florida State and other big name schools. That's more of a reward than playing in some bowl that most people don't care about.
Better NFL Prospects
A playoff could also be a great way for players to improve their draft stock and for NFL teams to improve their scouting.
How would players handle crucial games or how would they handle playing against the best in the country.
Can Andy Dalton and Kellen Moore play well against the best teams in the country? Can they make it in the NFL?
A playoff would give a lot of players an opportunity to showcase their skills on a major stage.
Settle All The Major Debates Between Conferences
It seems like every year there is a debate. Who is the stronger conference? SEC? Pac-10? Big 10? While I will agree that the SEC right now seems like it is the best conference, does that mean they have the best team?
The debate works the other way as well. Just because Boise State plays in the WAC, it doesn't mean their team isn't strong enough to beat some of the best teams in the nation.
I would be willing to bet that Wisconsin, Stanford, TCU and Boise State could beat Auburn or Oregon.
Having a playoff would show us how strong certain teams are and how conferences match up against each other when they still have something to play for late in the season.
Ratings, Money, Money and More Money
I realize college is about the money. College football is one of the most popular sports in the nation, and that is without a playoff.
Imagine how popular and how much bigger it would be if they had a playoff? The television ratings would be off the charts.
Everyone would be interested in the games, not just the region where the teams are from.
These games would bring the nation together, and dare I say have ratings as large as the Super Bowl?
There is no doubt in my mind that these games would be one of the highest rated games in the history of sports.
Especially the first few years as people will be very interested to see what happens.
If college football finally went to a playoff system everyone would win.
We would all be united at the end of the season as to who the national champion was. There wouldn't be much of a debate about who the best team in the nation is.
Do you know what a playoff would mean? I believe it is best described by Vince Vaughn's character on Wedding Crashers, Jeremy Grey. This is what it would mean.
"That we're all one. That separateness is an illusion, and that I'm one with everyone—with the Prime Minister of England, and my cousin Harry, you and me, the fat kid from 'What's Happening,' the Olsen twins, Natalie Portman, the guy who wrote 'Catcher in the Rye,' Nat King Cole, Carrot Top, Jay-Z, Weird Al Yankovic, Harry Potter, if he existed, the whore on the street corner, your mother. We're all one"
We need a playoff system. It can happen.
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