Could We Have a Playoff, Please?

Akshat SinghalContributor IJanuary 18, 2008

If this year wasn’t the year that convinced all you football fans that college football needs a playoff system, then what will be?

This season’s bowl games all boiled down to the same point: College football needs a playoff.

After Appalachian State’s upset of Michigan in the season opener, it seemed like every other underdog bit a favorite or two, leading to a season which will be remembered for years to come.

But now that the bowl games are over, it's clear some were simply not the right match-ups.

First, let’s start with the AT&T Cotton Bowl between Missouri and Arkansas. Missouri demolished the Razorbacks in a 38-7 drubbing and though Darren McFadden did rush for 105 yards on 21 carries, his lesser-known counterpart, Tony Temple, was the one who stood out, with 281 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns.

The Rose Bowl didn’t seem to have the right teams from the start. Illinois went in as underdogs and played like underdogs. The Illini committed four turnovers while only forcing one against perhaps the hottest team in the nation: USC’s 49-17 domination proved that they deserved to be in the championship game.

The Sugar Bowl was no less of a blowout, though. Georgia came in with on a six-game winning streak, with a 10-2 record. Hawaii’s high-powered passing offense proved to be less-than-average against real teams and Georgia went on to win 41-10.

The Fiesta Bowl was another game between two teams who had hoped for more but didn’t get their wishes. West Virginia ran all over Oklahoma with 349 rushing yards and rolled to an easy 48-28 win.

And last but not least, there was the meltdown in the national championship game. Once again, Ohio State was #1, but even four-point underdogs, the Buckeyes rolled over. LSU beat Ohio State 38-24, delivering a second straight title game blowout to the Big 10 champions.

Although LSU did win the National Championship game, USC or Georgia probably could’ve beat LSU in the title game.

But of course, the only way the real college football champion can be crowned is by having a playoff system.

The playoff would have been perfect for a season like this year in which multiple teams were worthy of playing in the title game. This year, before the bowl games started, nine teams were in the title hunt: Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kansas, Virginia Tech, USC, Missouri, and Hawaii.

After the bowl games were over, we saw four of these nine go down and we were left with LSU, Georgia, Kansas, USC, and Missouri. These five teams played like champions and proved they were worthy of a berth in the title game. But, obviously, only two teams can play in a game.

So then how do you solve this problem? Simple. A playoff system.

Take Kansas out of the mix because it lost the Big 12 championship game and you have an 8-team playoff. That’s perfect for a season like this.

This way, two teams play their way to the championship game instead of having BCS rankings decide who goes to play in the title game.

With the playoff system, the title game probably would have featured USC and Georgia.

The playoff system is much needed in college football but it seems like not much is being done to implement it.