If I Were King of College Football

If I were King George the First, ruler of college football, boy would I shake things up.

The greed in college athletics has reached an all-time low with the recent actions of the Atlantic Coast Conference in its raid on the Big East Conference. It has been my contention that the raid was fueled by the NCAA rule that states you can only stage a conference football championship game if you have 12 teams in a conference. That is a rule that needs to go because it has opened Pandora's box.

If you can stage a championship game with, say, an eight-team league and convince television to pay for the rights to televise it - more power to you. The rule should be changed to state that you need a minimum of eight teams to have a conference championship game in football.

I would also abolish the BCS when the current contract runs out in 2005. I would then plan for a playoff in college football. The playoff would use the polls and a formula using strength of schedule and quality wins to determine the top eight teams in the nation. The playoff would pit number one against number eight and go on down the line - two against seven and so forth. The National Championship game would alternate between the Rose, Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta Bowls. Playoff games would be staged using the existing bowls leading up to the championship game.

I know that the number nine and ten teams and those teams on the fringe would cry foul, but arguments happen every year in college basketball with the teams on the cusp of the tournament and the NCAA Tournament has prospered. Face it, arguments are great for the sports fan.

We now have a bowl glut of 28 games. I would pare some of the lesser bowl games and have a total of 20 bowl games.

I would get rid of the conference tie-ins with bowl games. With a playoff in place they are no longer needed. That would allow the remaining bowls to reward the best remaining teams. It would also lead to some better match-ups in the second-tier bowls.

As for the landscape in college football - I would make some changes there as well.

I would allow Virginia Tech to join the ACC, making it a ten-team league.

The Big East would retain Miami in football and also retain Temple. Connecticut would be added in 2005. Penn State and Louisville would also be added to the mix, making it a ten-team league.

Penn State has not been a rousing success in the Big Ten and in my opinion belongs in the Big East, where it can renew longtime rivalries with Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

I would insist that, despite scheduling problems, Oklahoma and Nebraska play every year. Also, Pitt and Penn State will play every year and Texas and Arkansas will renew their rivalry and play every year. I am a traditionalist and feel longtime rivalries should be preserved.

Those are changes that I would make right now if I were King of College Football. So let it be written - so let it be done.

George Von Benko
PittInsiders.com


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