As obviously everyone knows, the BCS has created a huge controversy this year. The only real solution to this problem is to overhaul the whole BCS system. It just plain sucks and it’s very anti-climactic. Here’s my solution along with possible counter-arguments from indignant college football bigwigs.
Step 1: 16 team playoff
Indignant bigwigs- You can’t do that, that adds a month onto the season. These are student athletes and they need to study.
Really?? You can’t add a month to the season? Because that’s what they do in college basketball. And you don’t seem to have a problem with that. The first two rounds in the playoffs can even be played at the home fields of the higher seed to cut down on travel time.
The reason for 16 teams is because, first of all, it makes the playoffs longer. And who doesn’t want more college football?
Second, it allows us to include teams like Boise State, Utah, and Ball State that wouldn’t otherwise. These teams deserve a shot to play for a title.
Step 2: Allow the NCAA to schedule each school’s non-conference schedule
Indignant bigwigs- No way should the NCAA be allowed to dictate who each team plays. Coaches should be the only ones to make those decisions.
No. Coaches should not be the ones to make those decisions, and here’s why. Coaches are motivated by two things, money and winning. So they are going to try and schedule big name programs that will help them rake in the bucks, but won’t give them too much of a challenge. Why do you think people schedule Notre Dame? Most teams don’t want to already have one loss when they start their grueling conference schedule. So they’re not going to schedule Boise State and Utah.
In order to balance off the schedules, the NCAA should force teams like Florida and Oklahoma to schedule teams like Boise State and Utah. This way we can see how good these mid-majors really are. Also, we need to see more play between big conferences. We need more games to see how the Big Ten stacks up against the Big East for example. If the NCAA schedules these games, we can get a better idea of how teams stack up.
Step 3: Keep the BCS ratings
Okay, no big wigs would disagree with this one. But here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with the BCS itself. It’s the way that it’s applied. A computer ranking is useful for selecting a group of teams, like the RPI is used for basketball. However, it is not useful for selecting the top two teams.
Think of it this way: If the BCS is selecting 16 teams, chances are that it will select 16 of maybe 20 deserving teams. Those four teams that get left out are going to have beef, but as a lower seed you’re going to be a long shot anyways. That’s why nobody screams about the RPI when a bubble team gets left out, because those teams were not going to win the title anyways.
If the BCS is selecting two teams for the title game, that’s a big deal. One wrongfully selected team and the whole championship is flawed. When I look at the champions from some of the past few years, I think that they are great teams. But they lack that kind of luster that one only gets from making a difficult playoff run.
Step 4: Trim the bowl schedule
Obviously with 16 teams taken out of the bowl field, the schedule is going to have to be trimmed by at least eight games. But I say, trim it to 15 bowl games. It should be open to teams that win eight games or more and if there aren’t enough of those, take the best 7-5 teams.
Indignant big wig: That takes away our revenue! Now there are going to be less games and less teams involved. Not to mention the fact that it deprives some players of the opportunity to play in the postseason.
Actually, with a 16 team playoff, you would have exactly 30 postseason games which would be pretty comparable to what we have now. Plus, these games would be more meaningful and competitive. As for depriving players of the opportunity, I agree we would be. But I think that when we let 6-6 teams play in the postseason, we kind of lessen the accomplishment that it is getting to a bowl game. Hopefully, our bowl games will be more interesting and more competitive because of this change.
The other bowl game change is that the NCAA makes the bowl schedule. This way we can see more interesting match ups than we have in the past. For example, who in New England wouldn’t want to see something like Boston College vs. UConn? That would be a fun match up that couldn’t exist under the current system.
Okay, so here’s my proposal again outlined:
1. 16 team playoff- winners of the major six conferences get in and ten at large bids determined by the BCS. First two rounds are played at the higher seeds home field. Second two rounds are played at traditional bowl sites like the Rose Bowl.
2. Schedule changes- NCAA now schedules non-conference games
3. Bowl games- only 15 bowl games, limited to the 30 best non-playoff teams. All of these match ups are chosen by the NCAA.
That’s basically it. Let me know what you think in the comments section.