What's Next After the BCS?

Peter RCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2008

Some people are advocating for a playoff system in college football. Others want to take the BCS and make them institute a playoff system.


University representatives don’t want a playoff system. Coaches don’t want a playoff system. Fans want a playoff system.


There have been some really great articles written about great playoff systems. Most of the ones I have read are much better than what we can realistically expect to happen in the near term.


The current system pays out large amounts of money to support megalomania-sized athletic budgets. As long as the money flows there will be no incentive from within the hallowed halls to change the system.


It is going to take a similar event to the one that caused the last major revision.


On January 3, 2002 the National Championship Rose Bowl Game featured consensus number one Miami Hurricanes against a team who had lost their last game of the season, the Nebraska Huskers (who had beat Notre Dame).


Miami played pick a score and the 37-14 margin of victory was relatively small compared to what it could have been. That anomalous result caused an overhaul.


Now we have a revised system that could result in bogus results. Some have suggested that due to a weak schedule and a weak conference the USC Trojans could be shut out of a national championship game.


When (not if) a third deserving team gets left out (and if the shortchanged team represents a major media market), then we will get the kind of outrage necessary to change the system to a playoff system. Rather than a complete solution like some have proposed, we can probably expect colleges and universities to go for another patch.


We might see a four-team playoff utilizing the college bowl system. Without getting too deep into which bowl would have what stature, assume there is a rotating championship game at least 10 days after the playoff bowl games.


For instance, in a year the playoff games might be the Orange Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl both taking place on Jan. 1. Then the Championship Sugar Bowl Game would take place on a Saturday a week and a half to two weeks later.


This would most likely hold until a fifth team gets left out and there is an uproar that they should have/could have won it all. The next iteration will probably have either a five-team playoff or seven-team playoff. This would have either a play-in game for the fourth spot or a bye for the top team.


By the time we are all dead, fans might actually get some real playoff system.


If you doubt this, take the following quiz (remember that whatever the question, the answer is money):


Why do conferences have "championship" games that force one of their teams to go to a lesser bowl and sometimes spoil a conference team’s opportunity to play in the national championship?


Why is there a proliferation of new bowl games?


Why did the six-win rule get instituted? (Actually to avoid embarrassment; this might jeopardize the money.)


Why don't we have a playoff system yet?