The Perfect College Football Championship System

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The Perfect College Football Championship System

Another year, another controversial BCS situation.

If I were King of College Football, this would be my formula for determining a true No. 1 team: a flexible system based on year-to-year events.

If every year is different, then why should the championship system be set in stone?  I propose that after the completion of each college football season (the first week in December), one of three options be employed. 



Option A: Nothing


If we go through an entire year and it is clear who the top two teams are, there is obviously no need for computers or a playoff.  Example: In 2005, it was blatantly obvious to any casual observer of college football that Texas and USC were far and away the two best teams in the land.  They played, Texas won, end of story. 



Option B: Plus One Format

The perfect example of this is 2004, in which USC, Oklahoma, and Auburn each went undefeated.  With Option B, Oklahoma (No. 2) and Auburn (No. 3) would have played each other the week following the conference championship games.  The winner would then have gone on to play USC for the title.



Option C: Four-Team Playoff

This year would be a good time to implement this particular strategy.  On Saturday, December 13, we would have USC (No. 4) at Florida (No. 1) and Texas (No. 3) at Oklahoma (No. 2).  The two winners play for the championship, the two losers are free to go to whichever bowl games they are invited to.

Why only up to four?  Simple.  The entire season is a de-facto playoff.  If you do not finish ranked in the top two or three or four, you do not deserve to play for the championship.  A four-team playoff would help decide a true No. 1 team, and the tradition of the bowls could be left intact.

For proponents of a sixteen-team bracket: do you honestly and truly think that Cincinnati (#12), Oregon (#15), and Georgia (#16) deserve a shot at the National Championship? 

We’ve been through over three months of football and it’s clear who the top three or four teams in the country are.  It’s just too bad that this year (and for the foreseeable future) we won’t get to see them settle it on the field.   

Update: 12-08-08

I guess I should have waited a few hours to see the final BCS standings.  This year actually looks like it should use Option B instead of C (Texas at Oklahoma - winner plays Florida). 

A better example of a year that could have used Option C would be 2000.  Washington (#4) would've played at Oklahoma (#1), and Florida State (#3) would've played at Miami (#2).

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