How To Dump The BCS and Move To a Playoff: Create Super Conferences
A vast majority of college football fans have grown dissatisfied with how the Bowl Championship Series works.
Arguments abound from many angles, but perhaps nothing stands as clear as the vast inequalities it presents.
Everyone knows that the BCS is designed to keep the mid-major programs from having any real expectation of playing for the BCS championship. All-in-all, it is a money-making machine for the automatic qualifying conferences.
So, what is the answer to the question: How do you have a playoff and still stay within the system?
Well, obviously the answer is you can't. As long as the BCS continues to be driven by the polls and computers, pigs will fly before there is a playoff.
But hope is on the horizon.
This past year we saw, for the first time, an effort to create a super conference by the commissioner of the Pac-10, Larry Scott.
After adding Colorado and Utah, the Pac-10 made a valiant effort at adding four more teams from the Big-12, with Texas as the lynch-pin to the deal. Unfortunately for Mr. Scott, his advances were rebuffed and the Big-12 remained intact.
But let us stop and take a look at this idea, as it could be the glimpse of what may come to pass.
Are super conferences the way to go?
With one hundred twenty teams, how could a super conference system work? How do you make the system fair to all and give everyone an equal chance at playing for a true national championship?
The first question that needs to answered is how to divide the teams up equally? Envision the following as a possible format.
The NCAA would allow the creation of seven super conferences, each with 16 teams. This would account for 112 programs. The conferences would be split into eight team divisions.
The remaining eight teams would be independents, such as: Notre Dame, Brigham Young and the Military Academies with three additional teams to be added.
By moving to this format, the discussion regarding mid-majors and the "big-boy" programs would be eliminated. Every team in the country would now have an opportunity to play for the championship.
The teams in each conference would be required to play seven games in conference with four games to be scheduled out of conference. The conferences would each have a championship game to determine who would represent their conference in the playoffs.
The independents' representative would be the team with the best record at the end of the season.
Would this create a playoff format acceptable to the current AQ conferences?
This would now set the stage for an eight team playoff covering a span of three weeks using the existing bowl games. A total of seven games with the teams advancing playing the maximum of three added games.
Additionally, the remaining 28 bowl games could still be played and broadcast the same as today. Just about everyone agrees, though, that there are too many games to begin with.
While the on the field advantages are clearly see, one group of people involved do get the short end of the stick.
Would they be able to travel to see all of the games for the two teams that make it to the National Championship Game? Only they can answer that question. Money is tight these days and it may be hard to get fans willing to spend big bucks, week in and week out throughout the course of the playoffs.
For television, this a win-win situation for. With the fanaticism that permeates college football fans, the lure of watching the top teams play against each other would be like dying and going to heaven.
The money generated would probably exceed expectations for all of the conferences and the independents. How to divide those revenues would need to determined. However, profits from this system would be alotted more securely than in the current plan.
So would a super conference system work? Would college football fans accept this format? Would the current conferences be willing to move in this direction?
Those questions can't be answered here, but my opinion would be yes to the first two. The biggest question is whether the BCS automatic qualifying conferences would be willing to make such a move.
My prediction is something similar to this will happen eventually. The fans are clamoring for a playoff as the way to determine the NCAA D-1 Champion. The NCAA needs to get involved here and figure out a way to make a playoff happen.
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