As the final weeks of the regular season college football approach, fans are closely watching their teams' rank or bowl eligibility.
TCU and Boise State fans watch the BCS with a lot of hope. However, with Oregon clearly rolling, only Alabama beating Auburn can give them championship hopes.
They hope that even without a guaranteed bid into a BCS bowl, they will be picked or ranked high enough to earn their way in.
This hope stems from the least understood ranking system in all college sports: the BCS.
Why does a computer have a say in who the best college football team in America is? Computers have no say in any other college sport. The best college basketball team is determined by a month-long tournament. College hockey has a 16-team tournament to determine the national champion.
College football has to change its ways. A playoff system is needed, and this does not mean a 64-team tournament.
What should happen is after conference championship games, the top 20 teams based on a new ranking system would enter the national tournament. The bottom eight teams would participate in a play-in, and then the seeds are finalized. Each week following would be one round of the tournament.
By the national championship, the rest of the bowl eligible teams can be given the normal bowl games, as well as the eliminated teams. The teams in the playoffs would each be assigned a bowl based on elimination (quarterfinal loser vs. quarterfinal loser), and these playoff bowl games would essentially replace the BCS bowl games. The rest of the non-playoff teams can have their bowls as normal, with bowl eligibility remaining.
Since the last week of college football ends on Saturday, December 4 this year, what would happen is the next weekend the play-in teams would start the following weekend. The tournament would require five weeks minimum, more if you give a holiday week off, and thus the national championship would be played about two weeks later than normal.
All bowls would be have to be played by the week before the national championship, with the exception of the bowl game between semifinal losers, which would be on the day preceding the national championship.
This certainly not the only way the BCS problem can be solved. But any proposed system would be an improvement to the current system by which a computer controls the fate of a team.
If TCU and Boise State are really as good as they believe, why don't we let them put it all on the line against the top teams in the country in a month or so of high-octane college football?