With the presidential election less than a week away, the candidates are continuing to tackle our country’s most important issues and have both discussed how they would improve the economy. But are they really addressing the issue that affects individuals like you and me every single year? While we watch an inexperienced Vice Presidential nominee use scare tactics to build support for a campaign, the American public is forgetting about the type of change our country has needed for the last 15-20 years.
And that, my friends, is the adoption of a playoff system in Division I college football.
Since its inception in 1902, bowl games had been the sport’s version of a postseason and helped determine who wins the national championship. These bowls used to be a reward for the year’s top teams because there was only a selective amount of bowl games, but now there are 32 bowl games and the majority of them are practically meaningless. Does anyone really care who wins the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the Emerald Bowl?
The installment of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 1998 was apparently designed to place the two best teams in the national championship game. At the end of each season, there are always three or more teams with a strong case to play in the title game and the BCS annually gives teams the shaft. There are ways to incorporate more than two teams playing for the national title, and college football just needs to look at other sports in order to find a fair and structured playoff system.
In each of the major team sports, a team has to win a certain amount of playoff games to win the championship. In college basketball, which has the most exciting playoff system and gives 65 teams an equal chance at the national title, you would have to win six tournament games. In hockey, you have to win four seven-game series to get the honor of lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup.
College football obviously needs to reorganize its postseason and how to determine a national champion, and I would like to propose a playoff system that would finally put an end to this significant issue. First, you need to get rid of the conference championship games and determine the conference champions by the teams’ records. Not every conference has these games at the end of the 12-game regular season, so why not just wipe them out entirely. The whole BCS ranking system and its ridiculous bowl games also have to go, due to its irrelevance in truly finding a national champion.
My proposed system takes 12 teams and puts them into a playoff format that gives teams in smaller conferences a chance at playing for the national championship. The winners of the six major conferences – ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac 10 and SEC – will get an automatic bid to the playoffs. The final six teams chosen for the playoffs will be determined by a combination of the polls and a panel of neutral college football experts, which provides us with enough information to accurately choose the six best teams who did not win one of those major conference titles. Once you have your 12 teams, you rank them from top to bottom and give the top four teams a first-round bye
Basically, this playoff system is no different than how the NFL determines the Super Bowl winner and would be exciting to watch. I really believe college football would benefit from a playoff and so would each of the Division I schools.
I am Matt Linden, and I approve this message.
Bold Prediction of the Week: Barack Obama will win the Presidential election.