BCS Bowl Games 2011: Why a Playoff Is More Interesting Than the Current System

Sam YoshidaContributor IDecember 16, 2010

If you haven’t read the book, Death to the BCS by Dan Wetzel, I encourage you to buy it. If you are a fan of college football and despise the BCS, you will find this book very compelling and interesting. Since most people haven’t read the book I will explain its general purpose. Dan Wetzel talks about how the BCS is corrupt and proposes a 16-team playoff that would not only eliminate the politics in college football, but generate millions of dollars more than the current BCS system. The basic outline of his playoff system includes:

  • 16 teams composed of 11 conference champions and five “at-large” teams.
  • The five at-large teams will be selected by a selection committee
  • Each team will then be reseeded by the selection committee
  • Every game except for the national championship will be played at the higher seeded team’s stadium.


This is a great system to play under because every team gets a chance to win the national championship. The Boise States, TCUs and Utahs will have no room to bicker about not being able to play in the national championship game. No team can argue about not getting a chance to play for it all, because all you have to do is win your conference and you’ll be able to play for a national championship.

Michigan State only lost one game this season and is ranked No. 9 in the nation right now. Not only do they not have a chance to play for a national championship, but they don’t even to get to play in a BCS bowl game. In the mean time they will watch an unranked 8-4 Connecticut team get smashed by Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. What makes Michigan State’s argument even better is that they beat the Big Ten Rose Bowl representative Wisconsin, who also beat the Big Ten Sugar Bowl representative, Ohio State. If this playoff was proposed, they would have a chance to play their way to a national championship.

Many people wondered at the beginning of the year if Boise State was a national title contender. They played the whole season with a giant target on their back from their WAC conference foes. They played the whole season ranked in the Top Five, but unfortunately lost to a ranked Nevada team in overtime in Reno. Instead of having a chance to play for a national title, Boise State will play overrated, ranked Utah instead of one of the automatic qualifying teams in a BCS bowl. No one can forget that Boise State beat ACC champion and Orange Bowl team, Virginia Tech, at the beginning of the year.

And don’t forget about TCU, who has not lost a regular season game in two years. They won’t even get a chance to play for a national title while there are two undefeated automatic qualifying teams ranked ahead of them.

What is the point of even ranking TCU ahead of Oregon or Auburn if they are just going to be passed by them if they go undefeated? We might as well rank every automatic qualifying team ahead of the non-automatic qualifying team, and only move them ahead if the automatic qualifying team loses a game.

If college football were to adopt a playoff for this postseason you would see many interesting first round matchups. Here is what it would look like:

  • No. 1 Auburn (SEC) vs. No. 16 Florida International (Sun Belt)
  • No. 2 Oregon (Pac-10) vs. No. 15 Miami (OH) (MAC)
  • No. 3 TCU (MWC) vs. No. 14 Connecticut (Big East)
  • No. 4 Stanford (At-Large) vs. No. 13 UCF (CUSA)
  • No. 5 Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech (ACC)
  • No. 6 Ohio State (At-Large) vs. No. 11 LSU (At-Large)
  • No. 7 Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. No. 10 Boise State (WAC)
  • No. 8 Arkansas (At-Large) vs. No. 9 Michigan State (At-Large


A few of these matchups will definitely be of interest in the first round of the playoffs.  The first one would be the No. 7 vs. No. 10 game. Boise State and Oklahoma would face off in a rematch of the historic 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State and LSU would face off in a rematch of the 2008 BCS National Championship Game, and TCU would get to prove that it will be a serious Big East title contender when it moves to the Big East in 2012.

There are millions of college football fans that are slowly becoming more and more irritated with the BCS. The BCS argues that the bowl system keeps the tradition of college football as well as the sacredness of the regular season. What they don’t realize is that so many people will be fighting for seeding that every regular season game will still matter. The lowest at-large team in this playoff only has two losses. Maybe one day we will see the death to the BCS and have a more interesting college football postseason.