How to Improve the BCS

Samantha CookeCorrespondent INovember 10, 2008

I know what everyone is thinking.  Here's another person that will argue for a playoff system instead of the Bowl Championship Series.

No, I will not argue for a playoff system, as that has its own problems and controversies.

I will, however, throw out some ideas as to how to improve the BCS.

First of all, beginning next year, teams should have to meet certain criteria in order to be considered for a BCS Bowl Game.

No team considered will be allowed to play more than seven home games, will have to play a team from a different BCS Conference on the road, and cannot play more than one Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) team.

For example, Alabama is currently ranked number one.  They meet all the criteria.  Alabama's first game was at Clemson University.  Clemson plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is different than Alabama (SEC).

Alabama did not play a single FCS team this season.  They also have seven home games.

The only other undefeated BCS Conference team is Texas Tech at number two.  They did not play a BCS Conference team on the road. 

Texas Tech also played two FCS teams in Eastern Washington and Massachusetts.

Not allowing teams to play more than one FCS team creates better and more interesting matchups. 

The National Championship should not be about winning as many games as possible and scoring the most points.  It should be about beating good teams and proving you deserve to call yourself number one in the nation.

Forcing teams to travel to other BCS Conferences would also create more interesting matchups. 

This season, Georgia traveled to Arizona State to take on the Sun Devils.  I talked to someone in Arizona who said there were a lot of Georgia fans who were really excited to head to Arizona and watch a quality matchup.

This also challenges teams.  While it is never easy to play in a hostile environment, players get used to the opposing stadiums in their conference.  If they had to play in a whole new environment they have never been to, it would be exciting for the players and fans.

There is a whole new way to change the BCS starting next year.  This involves strength of schedule.  Strength of schedule should be part of the BCS equation.

The pollsters have to change how they figure out the strength of schedule.

I used a new formula that involves the rankings for all the FBS teams. 

If you play a team that plays in the FCS, they automatically get a 121 for their ranking, and you receive plus-10 points.  If you play two FCS teams, you are automatically eliminated from BCS contention.

If you play a team from another BCS Conference on the road, you receive 10 bonus points.

If you play more than seven home games, you receive a five-point penalty for each home game after seven.

Let's look at Florida's schedule.  They play Hawaii, Miami (FL), at Tennessee, Mississippi, at Arkansas, LSU, Kentucky, at Georgia, at Vanderbilt, South Carolina, the Citadel, and at Florida State.

To figure out Florida's Strength of Schedule, we first use all the rankings (based on for their opponents and add them together.

For the Citadel, they receive a 121 ranking and we add 10 points because they are an FCS team.

Because Florida travels to Florida State, who plays in the ACC, we subtract 10 points from the total number.

Now, we divide the number by 12 because that is how many games Florida plays.  Their Strength of Schedule number is 50.5.

Whoever has the lowest number has the toughest schedule, so they would be number one for Strength of Schedule.  This ranking would be averaged with the computer ranking and the two polls to get the top teams.

There would not be as much opinion.  The computer ranking and Strength of Schedule would account for half of the BCS ranking, and neither involves much bias"ness."

While no idea would fix all the controversy, both of these options would eliminate some controversy.  Teams would have to meet specific criteria that all teams are rated on.