On Sunday evening, no fewer than three or four coaches cited their now irrelevant resumes for a national audience, making their case to ascertain a BCS Championship bid. It was like a bad game of H-O-R-S-E.
As the list of politicians made their closing arguments for why their teams deserved a shot at BCS Gold, and the list was an impressive one including Bob Stoops and Pete Carroll, each coach carefully avoided the pitfalls of their profiles like bad acme or a contagious disease.
Tantamount to the shooter stuck on “S” that couldn’t hit a reverse-layup to save his life, the candidates each played to their strengths on the money-shot in trying to regain the upper hand. Stoops, Carroll, Georgia head coach Mark Richt and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer settled for the Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowls respectively, despite their attempts to pin a letter on the each other with flailing hooks or acrobatic maneuvers.
Being asked to justify their inclusion, Ohio State’s ever-so-humble Jim Tressel played his usual “grateful for the opportunity card,” while the LSU coach Les Miles simply reminded the nation his team was unbeaten in regulation when he wasn’t being hassled by ESPN regarding his decision to spurn the Michigan coaching job for an extension. All the other cases were made in vein as the Buckeyes and Tigers gear up for a January 7, 2008 showdown in New Orleans.
While heavyweights USC and Oklahoma will certainly rest easy in knowing there will be other days, the sun sets on a wild season with Georgia, Virginia Tech and new-on-the-scene Kansas not knowing when their next opportunity at a National Championship might return. For every upstart off-the-wall contender surfaced this season – South Florida, Boston College, Oregon, West Virginia, Missouri and Hawaii, perennial powers Ohio State and LSU were the ones left standing slightly ahead of the Sooners and Trojans.
What will really stick in the crawl of Bulldog fans, however, is how their team – winners of six straight to close out the season, actually fell from fourth to fifth in the final BCS standings without playing a game. Worsening that fact is that two of the teams ahead of them – Missouri and West Virginia, both lost and actually fell below them on Sunday. In other words while Georgia passed two teams, three more actually leapfrogged the idle Bulldogs.
“Everyone knew before this weekend that we were not going to win the conference championship,” Richt was quoted as saying on DawgPost.com, “but even so they voted for us ahead of people that could be conference champions.
“They voted for us for a reason and I don’t know why it would change now,” he added.
Georgia was penalized for an unwritten rule that if you don’t win your conference, you don’t deserve a shot toward a National Championship. Was it even an unwritten rule? It seems more like the rules are being made up as the voters go.
Some will say the BCS got it right again in 2007. Perhaps the two best teams are being paired down in the big easy. Though perhaps two-thirds of the country disagrees with that sentiment, the truth lies within a subjective debate that has no right or wrong answer. You can only line ‘em up and play ‘em.
And that’s exactly the problem. Let’s line it up and play them the right way.
Play it off, already.
The screams for a playoff system have never been louder in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision, formerly Division I-A. In a “Sports Nation” poll conducted this weekend by ESPN, over 85 percent of the voters said they favored a playoff in college football. Well over 100,000 people responded. Even people that are poor mathematicians will agree that’s a large-enough sample size to be something more than a microcosm of college football fanatics.
Let’s face it: the BCS has already taken its share of bloody beatings at the hands of public perception. The annual failures don’t need rehashed over and over to remind people of its shortcomings. However, the yearly fixes are like trying to stop the gashed Titanic from sinking. A ship that was built to withstand four flooding compartments had five taking in the Atlantic’s rushing water.
It’s time to overhaul the tweaking and do it the right way. Not possible you say? It’s closer than you might think.
Quite frankly, the current landscape of college football has already been trending to a playoff. The addition of more games, more bowls, more television revenue, longer seasons and greater “parity” directly contradicts traditionalists and bureaucrats posturing against the implementation for a proper postseason structure.
This season was a BCS-first. LSU enters the Allstate BCS Championship game with 2-losses, the first team in 10 such seasons to do so. In a season that saw 18 teams ranked in the top-5 lose (13 to unranked opponents), the odds are more likely we see this again than revert back solely to the days of undefeated and one-loss clubs competing in the championship.
Let’s recap this crazy year.
No. 5 Michigan loses to Appalachian State (Week 1)
No. 5 West Virginia loses to No. 18 South Florida (Week 5)
No. 3 Oklahoma loses to Colorado (Week 5)
No. 4 Florida loses to Auburn (Week 5)
No. 7 Texas loses to Kansas State (Week 5)
No. 2 USC loses to Stanford (Week 6)
No. 5 Wisconsin loses to Illinois (Week 6)
No. 1 LSU loses to No. 17 Kentucky (Week 7)
No. 2 California loses to Oregon State (Week 7)
No. 2 South Florida loses to Rutgers (Week 8)
No. 6 South Carolina loses to Vanderbilt (Week 8)
No. 2 Boston College loses to Florida State (Week 10)
No. 4 Arizona State loses to No. 5 Oregon (Week 10)
No. 1 Ohio State loses to Illinois (Week 11)
No. 8 Boston College loses to Maryland (Week 11)
No. 2 Oregon loses to Arizona (Week 12)
No. 4 Oklahoma loses to Texas Tech (Week 12)
No. 6 Arizona State loses to No. 11 USC (Week 13)
No. 1 LSU loses to Arkansas (Week 13)
No. 2 Kansas loses to No. 4 Missouri (Week 13)
No. 1 Missouri loses to No. 9 Oklahoma (Week 14)
And (deep breath)…
No. 2 West Virginia loses to Pittsburgh (Week 14)
Whew. That’s a mouthful.
So that’s more ammunition for the pundits to say: “but a playoff would diminish this exciting regular season.” Oh certainly watching the dominoes fall one-by-one this season was rather enticing. Heck, watching human suffering is unfortunately sometimes a guilty pleasure in our society (see the Britney Spears story).
But on the contrary, the season can still be plenty meaningful and at the same time, flourish with a playoff system.
Let’s tackle, one at a time, the many reasons allegedly impeding us from achieving what the majority of fans desire to see.
NOTHING “REGULAR” ABOUT IT
Perhaps tampering with college football’s regular season is as sensitive as interleague competition in baseball, controversial as making the Ohio State & Michigan rivalry a night game or taking professional football away from Cleveland. It’s sacred. It’s entertaining. It’s unlike anything else.
But in a system where 14 times a so-called “elite” team loses to an unranked opponent, aren’t we beyond rewarding teams for achievement? For all the entertainment value this season, there was nothing special about the performance of the nation’s best teams on a weekly basis. The quest for a championship was not the survival of the fittest, but rather, crowned by default.
That’s no indictment against LSU or Ohio State, who arguably most deservedly earned their bids (relatively speaking). Nonetheless, after watching so many teams bogey their way down the back nine in the final round, to say a playoff would ruin the regular season seems a bit melodramatic.
Folks should certainly appreciate the importance of each and every game in college football. There is definitely an element of drama within the season.
“We tell our guys that if you want to play for a National Championship, you better be prepared to win each and every game,” said Tressel Sunday in talking about their shot at redemption, despite losing a game just one week prior to ending the season against Michigan.
While that’s the line of thinking the purists point to as their mantra, there are some fundamental flaws in that rationale.
The ideology contends that once you lose a game, you’re at the mercy of the system. The problem here, however, is that perfection is so rare that it’s unrealistic to hold teams to a threshold not seen in any other sport in any other level.
And I hate to point out that worn-down cliché, but three other divisions and all other NCAA sports do have a playoff.
In college basketball, the most dominating teams in the nation typically lose once in every nine games. The best collegiate baseball teams typically fall once in every seven or eight games. So the crux of this argument is that if you lose one time on a 12-game schedule, you’ve lost your right to complain.
Worse yet is the hypocritical aspects of this thinking. By default, a one-loss team has lost the right to cry foul when comparing to an undefeated team. However, it’s not taboo for a twice-beaten team to campaign itself against said one-loss program. We’ve created a system of managing losses, and yet, what’s good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander.
But no matter how many games you lose (or don’t lose), there’s sometimes the almighty qualifier – the mother of all starters, “but they didn’t play anyone.” That’s often the line that complicates matters. It’s the trump card to bypass standard protocol within the set of pre-fabricated rules.
If it didn’t exist, why isn’t 12-0 Hawaii playing 11-1 Kansas or 11-1 Ohio State? Let’s face it; the regular season isn’t a playoff. It’s a political election with the winners having deep pockets, saying and doing all the right things and having the best of campaign strategists.
All schedules aren’t created equal. So accordingly, one cannot equate the number of losses as the primary criteria. So to substitute this undeniable fact, there are two facets to the Bowl Championship Series: human and computer elements.
Uh oh, I smell a rat.
In this badly flawed system, two-thirds of the BCS component comes from human error, err, human opinion; smelly, subjective human opinion.
Computers are programmed. They are taught a certain set of parameters and they calculate rankings based on these guidelines. There is no love. There is no hate, no emotions – simply mathematical equations measuring a team’s strength relatively to another’s. And yet, the BCS has wisely decided to eliminate 33 percent of the six computer rankings by removing a team’s highest and lowest ranking each. This is to eliminate the possibility of bias.
Yet for some reason unbeknownst to me, 66 percent of the BCS equation comes from uncut, uncensored and unfettered subjective human opinion. And there are no measures to counter the radical highs and lows of each voter. None of a team’s highest votes are removed. Likewise, none of the lowest votes are removed. It comprises two-thirds of the BCS score and there is no guard against possible agendas.
Last but not least, the regular season is not about who you beat, it’s about when.
Let’s pretend for a second that Missouri had beaten Oklahoma. That’s say West Virginia had defeated Pittsburgh. And Oregon not lost to Arizona (or in the process, lost their Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon), the Buckeyes would be heading to Pasadena for the holidays.
All four of those teams would be sitting back at home with just one loss. However, it’s Oregon, Missouri and West Virginia that would have been sitting prettier for a National Championship over Ohio State. Why? Because they all lost earlier, that’s why.
Never mind the Buckeyes were ranked higher than two of them to start the season. The schedules are only slightly in favor of the Ducks and Tigers, whereas West Virginia and Ohio State have comparable schedule strengths. Any team could face three ranked opponents consecutively to end the season losing just one while another team could win their last 10 games against unranked opponents after losing one early. But despite being faced with different levels of competition and at different points in the season, the team that lost earlier will get that nod over the other one.
Because Ohio State lost to Illinois late in the season, they would have been out of luck simply by timing alone.
So what we really have here is a system that rewards losing early, gives an automatic head-start, to anyone lucky enough survive, for teams ranked (subjectively) highest in preseason polls and changes the rules as it goes along to adjust for teams not winning their conference or teams not thought to have played tough enough schedules. Is that system really supposed to stand on its own two feet?
The bottom line is that there are way too many shortcomings for the BCS to continue. But hey, more power to those that enjoy it all in spite of all the politics and games. Does that automatically mean a playoff would destroy the importance of the regular season? By all means no.
There’s more on that later.
FOR THE LOVE OF “MONEY”
College football ceased being amateurism when bowls in locales of El Paso, Texas, Boise, Idaho, Albuquerque, N.M. and Birmingham, Ala. Began netting multi-million dollar television contracts. Though it’s wrapped and tidied neatly in this student-athlete package, the fine print says we’re dealing with nothing more than a billion-dollar industry and NFL springboard.
That collegiate sports have become about the almighty dollar is hardly a shocking revelation. It’s the claims to the contrary that is offensive when school presidents lobby against a playoff system.
And to the lobbyists that are against it simply for financial reasons; thanks for your brutal honesty, but you’re still mistaken.
With the structure currently in place, Fox Interactive Media, specifically Fox Sports dishes out $80 million annually for the broadcast rights to four BCS games (Walt Disney & ABC still own the rights to the Rose Bowl game). That’s $320 million for the four-year contract, which expires following the 2009 season.
That’s a heck of a lot of dough even for Pillsbury.
Let’s consider this concept for a second: take those games, only two of which will draw exceptional ratings in a given year, and implement them in some sort of playoff system. Voila, you have yourself even more value for each game.
In the past three seasons, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament first round games draw on average a 5.5 viewer television rating. This is to say that about 5.5 percent of the televisions turned on were watching their local coverage on CBS Sports. There are 32 games spanning two days and roughly 20 hours of broadcast time.
By comparison, the average non-title BCS game drew a 10.5 rating from 2003-2006 according to numbers listed on the official BCS Football website. That’s nearly double the rating, but the system is still prone to the occasional lackluster match-up such as Utah and Pittsburgh in 2005, which drew a modest 7.4 rating.
The point here is this: opponents of a playoff, at least the ones citing money as an overwhelming factor, suggest the idea is far-fetched because there’s too much money at stake. I’m no Steve Forbes, but if a BCS game that isn’t even for the National Championship can double-up on the thrill of the first day of March Madness, imagine instituting a playoff and making these games apart of a do-or-die scenario.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how television works, for those that didn’t major in broadcasting, mass media or even advertising:
The generated interest of all four BCS games counting for something would lead to increased ratings for each and every game. Though advertising rates for television is too broad and too generic to simplify into dollars, an increase by even a few percent could lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars for even a 30-second spot. These increased rates willing to be paid by advertisers increases demand, meaning the new packaged deal for broadcasting the BCS games as part of a playoff could conceivably pass over a billion dollars in a multi-year contract.
The increased television contract fees are divided up among conferences, and distributed accordingly to athletic departments nationwide. Additionally, the expanded outreach of these bowls will necessitate an increase in sponsorship and title fees per each game. It’s said that sponsors like Allstate, FedEx and Tostitos pay roughly $10 million annually in title fees to the BCS games.
For some perspective on the current $320 million deal, CBS pays over $500 million per season to the NCAA to broadcast the men’s NCAA Tournament. They are in the middle of an 11-year, $6 billion deal. Imagine the cash-cow the BCS bowl games could become if used in some sort of postseason extravaganza similar to the NCAA Tournament.
“BOWLING” FOR DOLLARS
The financial portion of a playoff proposal has a spin-off discussed by proponents and opponents alike – the bowls.
Oddly enough, there’s a strange perception that playoff strategists are huddling in secret, conspiring to rid of the bowls as we know them. Though I find no funnier image of a conspiratorial Mr. Burns clasping his hands together and muttering, “excellent,” to the thought of eliminating this annual tradition, it’s simply untrue and unnecessary.
Bowl games, for all their worth, have become a key component in the college football gravy train. What were 18 games scheduled just 10 seasons ago in 1996 have now become 32 games in 2007. Make no mistake the creation of these 14 extra games were not to satisfy the postseason cravings of East Carolina, Tulsa and Bowling Green but rather spread the wealth of greenbacks to institutions and television stations alike.
Of these 32 games, ESPN, and more specifically, ABC, Disney and the family of networks own the rights to 22 of them. What you probably didn’t realize is that five games are actually owned and operated by ESPN. So in other words, the bowls have become such an integral part of the networks’ revenue stream, no avid playoff supporter in their right mind could dare suggest the bowls’ demise.
Just don’t let anyone claim these bowls have sentimental meaning to mediocre teams from the power conferences.
It’s rather self-explanatory, then, that ABC withdrew their name from consideration during the last BCS negotiations with Fox. The money-making impact of these bowls has become so grand that a bidding war for a handful of games was simply not prudent.
Never did the bowls and a playoff become mutually exclusive. The two can co-exist quite well, actually, and the system is ripe as ever to do so. It would take very little creativity to engineer such a task.
IT’S ALL “ACADEMIC”
Another terribly overused excuse especially preferred by Presidents; “it isn’t beneficial to our student-athletes.” You won’t find a bigger proponent to maintaining academic integrity than me but this line is as worthless as the paper it’s printed on.
Perhaps back in the day all football games were played on Saturdays, all basketball games were played on Wednesday nights and Saturdays and all baseball games were relegated to the weekend this argument would have had some merit. But in the last decade, as television as completely transformed collegiate sports into an all-week event, the days of students missing very little class time have come and retired.
Football games are now being played on Tuesday and Thursday nights for crying out loud. During the fall semester (or quarter). You have major hoops coverage on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. It’s not uncommon for some teams to have two road games during the academic week.
And let’s not start on the other postseason tournaments that draw student-athletes away from class for two and sometimes three days a week, sometimes for multiple weeks in a row.
For the NCAA basketball tournament, teams playing their games as Thursday-Saturday pods would most often leave Tuesday following classes. That means teams making it to the Sweet Sixteen would miss Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of class in two consecutive weeks if that school is not yet on spring break.
Let’s apply the same logic to football. The difference here is that a football playoff, three rounds for the sake of example, would begin in mid or late December. There are likely few schools (if any) that are in session by this juncture. So it’s quite possible that eight teams in a limited structure could sneak away for three days without missing one iota of class.
ROAD LESS “TRAVELED”
Ah yes, the final nail in the coffin. The reason a playoff cannot occur is because (pause for dramatic affect): it would be too much travel for fans to make in consecutive weeks.
Bowl games, we’re told, are nothing more than leisure trips. They’re planned vacations at the behest of a favorite team’s bowl accommodations. Fans dodge father winter, cash-in Christmas bonuses and fly to the southern locale hosting their favorite school to blow off the stresses of the holiday season for a week before returning (coincidently) the same time or thereabouts as the team they’re rooting for.
To quote Wayne Campbell of Wayne & Garth fame, “She-yeah, right.”
Look up online the nearest ticket broker your Google search-engine can find you. See what astronomically high price Ohio State and Louisiana State fans are paying as we speak to acquire a ticket for the BCS National Championship game. Shall we really continue to perpetuate this myth?
Yes, it’s sometimes convenient folks are able to plan their vacations cozily around a team’s postseason arrangement. But fans will go to great lengths to watch their teams on a quest for a championship. They’ll travel through sleet & snow. They’ll go great distances. They’ll pay insane amounts of coin.
And since we earlier used a three-round playoff structure in the academic issue, let’s also again allude to a three-round proposal for travel discussions. A solid playoff system would likely reward the higher seeds with a first-round home game. I know I would.
So let’s assume an 8-team playoff. The top four teams would play home games in the first round – meaning travel is only necessary for a small allotment to the visiting team. This simplifies it to a four-team capacity, meaning travel would only be necessary for two fan bases for the semifinal and championship games.
By contrast, the NCAA Tournament is often a 3-weekend arrangement for the teams getting to the Final Four. Of course, the first set of games are often within a few hours driving distance, but this is offset by playing the first round of football games on a top-seed’s home field.
That would additionally create another gate for four schools. We all know schools like money.
Don’t think we’re trending to a playoff? In recent years, despite hearing all the reasons why we won’t get it, we’ve lengthened the season by a week; added a 12th and sometimes 13th game because of conference championships; expanded the BCS from eight to 10 teams and added an extra game; and lastly, flirted with the idea of an “and-one” (4-team playoff) system.
Never say never.
THE ACTUAL PROPOSAL
Even the best-est of scenarios has flaws to the trained and untrained eye. While the most popular of formats may be the 16-team variety, athletic directors, presidents, sponsors and the NCAA would find ways to pick it apart like a game of Jenga.
After enough pieces are removed, sooner or later the whole thing goes tumbling to the ground.
That’s why I’m going to advocate a 9-team scenario.
Even I can’t come to terms on exactly how to institute this format. Heck, just that I’ve had to make wholesale changes several times at my very own desk to this scenario mirrors the reason a tournament bracket involving double-digit programs would likely be dissected and crumble before the foundation was ever built. Fact is, no two playoff proponents can agree on how to structure it.
But I’ll take my best stab knowing all the sensitive issues that are involved.
This postseason conglomerate would begin with a “play-in” game of sorts on the second Saturday of December with the first round being played on the third Saturday – before Christmas. It’s highly unlikely a full-blown four-round tournament would ever be endorsed, though it’s my own sentimental choice, so the extra game would be played for only two teams and for purposes of allowing both one non-BCS conference a bid and still having a chance at two at-large teams. The semifinals would be played on New Year’s Day with the Championship game one week later.
Currently, the BCS involves 10 teams annually after last year’s expansion. Theoretically, you could play a second play-in game on that same Saturday to match the 10 teams we have now, with the winner playing the No. 2 seed in the first round, but again, I believe it’s best to avoid a full-blow four Saturday event.
This 9-team field would accept:
Six (6) BCS Conference champions as automatic bids
One (1) Non-BCS Conference automatic bid if the highest team finishes in the top 12 of the BCS Standings (which I propose we continue to use with changes)
Two (2) at-large bids, based on the top teams not winning their conference
Should Notre Dame finish in the top six (or eight) teams, they would automatically get one of these bids – otherwise they could still be an at-large
If a team from the non-power conferences does not qualify for an automatic bid, that slot could be designated for a third at-large team. This would give the smaller conferences the same type of chance they’re given to the BCS as it stands now, but leave wiggle room for a more deserving team if they don’t meet the criteria.
The top four (4) automatic bids (defined as gaining automatic entry by winning your conference or being Notre Dame, or a team from a non-BCS conference that finished high enough to get automatic inclusion) would receive the top four seeds in the bracket. These seeds would be based on rank according to the BCS Standings.
Using this season as an example, No. 1 would be Ohio State; No. 2 LSU; No. 3 Virginia Tech and No. 4 Oklahoma. These four teams would host games in the first round on their home fields.
The entire field would be:
AUTOMATIC BIDS (7)
Virginia Tech (Champion of the ACC)
West Virginia (Champion of the Big East)
Ohio State (Champion of the Big Ten)
Oklahoma (Champion of the Big 12)
Southern California (Champion of the Pac 10)
LSU (Champion of the SEC)
Hawaii (Champion of the WAC & finished in the top 12)
AT-LARGE BIDS (2)
Georgia (No. 5 in the BCS)
Missouri (No. 6 in the BCS)
I propose that seeding for the last five teams be based strictly on order of BCS standings as the top four automatic bids are protected. The only deviation from this would be to avoid a first-round rematch of conference teams (i.e. Missouri and Oklahoma, etc.)
Based on this, your field would be as follows:
Play-in game (Saturday, December 15 played on a neutral field, I propose to be the location of the fourth BCS Bowl game not included in that year’s semis or championship)
No. 8 West Virginia (No. 9 in the BCS)
No. 9 Hawaii (No. 10 in the BCS)
First Round (Saturday, December 22)
(Played in Columbus, Ohio)
No. 1 Ohio State
No. 8/9 Play-in winner
(Played in Norman, Okla.)
No. 4 Oklahoma
No. 5 Georgia (No. 5 in the BCS)
(Played in Baton Rouge, La.)
No. 2 LSU
No. 7 USC (No. 7 in the BCS)
(Played in Blacksburg, Va.)
No. 3 Virginia Tech
No. 6 Missouri (No. 6 in the BCS)
The four winners of these games would meet on New Year’s Day in the National Semifinals. Each of the four major BCS bowl games would host the semis and BCS Championship on an annual rotating basis just as it is now. The sponsorships could remain the same – for instance, the National Semifinals at the FedEx Orange Bowl.
To give the Rose Bowl a chance to maintain affiliation with the Big Ten and Pac 10 Conference, I propose they host the play-in game for three years and also have first dibs at two (2) at-large teams to play a traditional Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. It could be traditional Big Ten-Pac 10 match-ups or perhaps two teams that didn’t make the playoffs that the Rose Bowl would like to have in an exciting bowl game. However, I propose that the current rule of no conference allowing more than two (2) BCS bids should remain the same. In other words, the Big 12 would be off limits for the Rose Bowl because Missouri and Oklahoma made the playoffs.
On the fourth year, the Rose Bowl would host the National Championship game, and the other three bowls would only take turns hosting the play-in game and fourth additional BCS game once each in a 12-year cycle. People have mentioned the possibility of a consolation game, but I simply don’t see that ever being agreed on.
So let’s assume for a second the top seeds each won their first round games. On New Year’s Day, the match-ups would look something like this:
FedEx Orange Bowl
No. 1 Ohio State
No. 4 Oklahoma
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
No. 2 LSU
No. 3 Virginia Tech
Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Illinois vs. Arizona State
January 7 or 8:
BCS National Championship at the Allstate Sugar Bowl
Ohio State/Oklahoma winner vs. LSU/Virginia Tech winner
Next season would remain the same, except the Final Four and Championship would go:
National Semifinal games: Fiesta and Sugar Bowls
Championship game: Orange Bowl
Play-in and traditional BCS game: Rose Bowl
National Semifinal games: Fiesta and Sugar Bowls
Championship game: Rose Bowl
Play-in and traditional BCS game: Orange Bowl
This system would allow the regular season to mean something, as it most rewards teams for winning their conferences. Yet, though to be safe you need to be a conference champion to be assured of gaining a slot in the playoffs, it does allow an ever-so-small chance of playing for a National Title if you slip-up once or twice.
Further, this system also incorporates all the existing BCS games, takes sensitive issues into account including money, tradition, scheduling, etc. And, lastly, it allows the same amount of spots (plus one) toward BCS games, leaving the rest of the bowl system firmly in place for more money. Is it the perfect system? I’ll stop short of saying that, but it most definitely encompasses a great deal of the obstacles being bantered about in recent seasons.
And most of all, it leaves college coaches from having to play games of “anything you can do, I can do better.”