The 2013 college football season is going to be one of the more exciting in recent memory for several reasons, mainly because this is the last year of the Bowl Championship Series.
A lot of sportswriters are celebrating that fact, most notably Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel (co-author of “Death to the BCS”) and Pat Forde, and ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski and Mark Schlabach. If you have a moment, peep Schlabach’s excellent column on the highs and lows of the BCS here.
Well, I’ve got news for you all who cannot wait for the BCS to go away: you’re gonna miss it.
In fact, I’ll give it two to three years that you all will be complaining about how the four-team playoff is “so unfair” and how much your “team got screwed” in the selection process. Those quotes are ones used several times when describing the BCS over the last few years. Any time you have a selection committee for only four teams, someone is going to cry about getting screwed.
And you know where major college football will go from here. They are going to eventually expand the playoff field to eight teams, which would be as close to perfect as this imperfect system would be (just please, for the love of God DO NOT EXPAND TO 16 TEAMS!).
For those of you who hate the BCS with a passion, just know this: the BCS makes every weekend a “must-see” event in college football. The regular season is in itself a playoff. If a team with national championship aspirations lose a game (especially early in the season), its title hopes would be slim to none. If that team plays a soft schedule, forget about it. In other words, every game matters.
That will not be the case with the four-team playoff.
I mean sure most of the games will still matter, but unlike before a one-loss team with title aspirations will still have a shot at playing for the national title. The more teams qualify for the playoffs, the more devalued the regular season will be.
I mean as much as I love college basketball’s March Madness, how many of us actually pay attention to the regular season? Exactly.
Could imagine what would happen if major college football lost its mind and opened it up to 16 teams? Do we REALLY want to see the Sun Belt champion get its ass kicked by an at-large team from the Pac-12?
That’s what sets major college football apart from the other sports in the world. It actually has a system that pits the BEST TWO TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY in the national championship game. Sure, the BCS has gotten it wrong a couple of times (an undefeated Auburn team not playing for the national title and the Associate Polls’ #2 LSU playing #3 Oklahoma instead of AP top-ranked USC in 2003).
However, I will counter that by saying remember the years before the BCS. You remember, right? The days when the AP and the USA Today/Coaches Poll having their own national champions? I could rattle off some examples: Alabama (Coaches) and Notre Dame (AP) sharing the title in 1973, Oklahoma (AP) and USC (Coaches) sharing the title in 1974, Miami (AP) and Washington (Coaches) sharing the title in 1991, Georgia Tech (Coaches) and Colorado (AP) sharing the title in 1990, LSU and USC sharing the title in 2003, …I could go on.
And you know what the fans and media were saying then?
“It’s so unfair that XYZ team did not have a chance to play for the national title!”
“Why can’t college football pit Team A against Team B?”
“The bowl system needs to change so the two best teams play each other – fuck tradition!”
And folks, that’s why we have the BCS. Besides, given the changes to the bowl system once the playoff starts – big money paydays to bowls hosting conference champions from the “Power 5” (ACC, B1G, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) while shutting out the “have-nots” (AAC, Conference USA, Mountain West, MAC, Sun belt) – we’re pretty much going to have a “BCS 2.0” in place anyway…
Categories: college football
I agree. A 4 team playoff with no real selection criteria is worse than the current system. My main complaint with the current system is that it is arbitrary and yet we crown an undisputed champion. At least in the old days, everyone knew that it was just one poll’s opinion of who was the best.