College Football: Why the BCS Is Better Than a Playoff

Joe BlairContributor IFebruary 25, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Signage is displayed at the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game between the Oregon Ducks and the Auburn Tigers at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This article is co-authored by fellow Bleacher Report writer Max Minsker.

College football is one of America’s pastimes, and as sad as it is, the season is still seven months away. College football’s championship system is one of the more controversial topics in all of sports. Many people are advocating for a playoff system, but I’m going to tell you why college football should keep the BCS.

Let’s start off with some background information about the BCS. The BCS’s maiden season was in 1998-1999 season. The rankings consist of three separate components. First is the coach’s poll. The second contributor to the rankings is the Harris Interactive Poll. The last component is the computer ranking which focuses on strength of schedule. Each poll accounts for one-third of the final rankings.

The BCS takes the top two ranked teams to play in the National Championship game, which was not created until the 2006-2007 season. Before that the four BCS bowls (Rose, Fiesta, Orange, and Sugar) would rotate as the National Championship game.

The BCS games have created an average TV rating of 11.8 according to Nielsen ratings. In 2008 alone 28.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the top two teams duke it out. On average, each BCS bowl averages more than 80,000 in live attendance. Why is there a need for change?

The BCS may have some flaws, but what makes a playoff system any better? The biggest concern of a playoff is system is the health of the players. The student-athletes would be required to play anywhere from two to four extra games a year, which might not seem like a lot, but when you think of the vigorous toll the game takes on a player’s body, it makes a big difference.

Another problem with a playoff system is the unfairness of an undefeated team having to play extra games to prove they are worthy. For example, last year if the top eight teams were matched into a bracket, Auburn would have been matched up against Arkansas. Why should Auburn need to beat a two loss team who they already beat by three touchdowns?

My biggest personal problem with a college football playoff system is the decreased importance of the regular season. If teams could afford to lose a couple games and still compete for the National Championship, it's just unfair to teams like Auburn and Oregon who went undefeated.

The BCS system keeps college football full of tradition and excitement. A playoff system would just ruin the uniqueness of the BCS, which makes it the best system for college football.