TCU’s 21-19 Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin proves that they can beat the best teams from the BCS conferences, and that they should have had a shot at the national title. Photo by Jason Lewis
By Jason Lewis
The BCS bowl games have been entertaining for the most part, but as usual, college football fans are left longing for more. How long is the NCAA going to continue to give use what we do not want? College football fans do not want the top two teams to go straight to the title game. It’s time for some playoffs.
TCU’s Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, who one analyst felt that even with one loss was the best team in the nation, showed that TCU’s undefeated team can play with the top programs in the nation. After watching that game, why would anybody think that they could not hold their own, and possibly even beat either Oregon or Auburn? Wisconsin would give either of those teams a run for their money as well.
The arguments that the BCS supporters are using are all weak.
The NCAA wants to keep the bowl system intact because of the amount of money that they make off of it. Okay, fine, keep the bowl system and have a playoff system at the same time.
Take the top eight teams, but do not use the bowls as an opening playoff round. That would take away the meaning from that bowl game. The bowls are a celebration of the team’s season. It should be the final game. The game where the fan base travels to support their team. If the bowl is used as an opening round to the playoffs, are the fans supposed to travel to the next game as well?
The solution is simple. Play the first two rounds in early December, when college football pretty much shuts down. If a team loses, they go to the bowl game that is linked to their conference.
If Oregon and Stanford are both in the playoffs and Oregon wins out and Stanford loses, then Stanford goes to the Rose Bowl while Oregon plays in the national title game. If both teams lose in the playoffs, then Oregon, as the winner of the PAC-10, goes to the Rose Bowl.
To solve the problem with fans traveling, the high seed gets the home game for the first two rounds. The title game will be on a neutral site.
If there was a playoff system this year, the first round would be amazing.
No. 8 Arkansas at No. 1 Auburn. No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 2 Oregon. No. 6 Ohio St at No. 3 TCU. No. 5 Wisconsin at No. 4 Stanford.
With a line up like that, the NCAA would be printing money from television ratings. And they could continue making money off of the bowls.
Would a playoff system make the bowls meaningless? No. As it is right now, none of those games expect for the BCS title games means anything. That would not change.
Is this system perfect? No. The 9th and 10th teams will be complaining that they were left out. Well who cares? They wouldn’t have had much of a chance to win it anyway. It is better to leave out those teams than leaving out the 3rd and 4th ranked teams, who would have a legitimate chance of winning it all.
It is kind of like the Final Four basketball tournament. Teams left out always complain, but it is not a big deal because the top 20 or so teams make it into the field of 64. That’s where the winner will come from.
Another excuse is that the teams would end up playing too many games. That argument does not hold water at all. Oregon, including the championship game, will end up playing 13 games. Division I-AA, Division II, and Division III teams, which all play in a playoff system, will end up playing 15 games if they make the title game. High school teams who make it to the state bowl games will play 15 games.
So high school kids can play 15 games in a season but Division I-A schools cannot? That makes no sense.
Another argument is that it will take these athletes out of school. Well for teams that make a bowl game, they still have to practice through finals. And it is not an issue on any other level of college football.
It makes no sense not to have a playoff system. It is time for the NCAA to give the fans what they want. That is a system that crowns a true national champion.
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