Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The BCS needs fixing, here's how.

What a dramatic weekend of college football, or so we hoped. The two biggest games of the weekend featured #1 USC facing UCLA and #2 Texas facing off in the Big 12 championship against Colorado. Because of my extreme hatred of the BCS I was rooting for both UCLA and Colorado. The way I see it, if we could have gotten either Texas or USC to lose, then there would be only one undefeated team. Then there would have been some controversy over who should face the undefeated team in the championship game.

The best case scenario would have been for both of the teams to lose and then there would have been roughly four thousand one loss teams throwing the whole BCS process into a clustermess. Instead both teams somehow were matched up with high school teams instead of college teams and they had no problem winning their respective games this past weekend.

As far as I am concerned, Colorado and UCLA should be made to play each other and this game would decide which team is to play Kentucky for the title of the worst team in college football. My money is on Colorado who has been outscored 100-6 in their last two games. Then Colorado would play UK in a brand new bowl game called the Toilet Bowl sponsored by Roto Rooter.

So after this past weekend #1 USC and #2 Texas will face each other for the college football national championship and we have the game that we want, or at least the game the BCS wants us to want. What most of us want is a playoff system and a chance to watch more than one or two meaningful bowl games in a season. It seems that the BCS committee is the only group of people on the planet who do not see that the whole bowl system is not working. I recently heard NCAA president Miles Brand on WAIA 1600 AM ESPN Radio talk about how an eight game playoff would “degrade” the lesser bowl games.

Degrade the lesser bowl games? The lesser bowl games degrade me as a fan. The lesser bowl games insult me. Why would I, a Julliard trained sports columnist, want to watch Southern Mississippi vs. Arkansas State play in, I’m guessing, the Cereal Bowl? I wouldn’t watch that and neither would you. The only ones interested in that game are Southern Miss and Arkansas State graduates. The lesser bowl games are already degraded.

The only bowl game that is of any importance is the BCS championship game. Only diehard sports fans will watch a bowl game before January 2. I believe that an eight game playoff would make the lesser bowl games just as exciting and interesting as they are now, while making six other bowl games very exciting and more interesting than they have ever been.

You make the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and the Sugar Bowl part of the playoffs and add three more for the opening rounds like the Cotton Bowl, the Capital One Bowl and the Gator Bowl and now you have the games that would encompass the playoff system. You would then rotate the championship game between the four big bowls just like it is being done now. If other bowls are jealous of the Cotton, Capital One, and Gator Bowls then you could rotate other bowls into the opening rounds of the playoff system.

Here’s how things would work out in a perfect world this season. In the Gator Bowl you have #4 Ohio State vs. #5 Oregon, then in the Capital One Bowl you have #3 Penn State vs. #6 Notre Dame, then in the Cotton Bowl you have #2 Texas vs. #7 Georgia. Now you need to use one of the big four bowl games for an opening round playoff game, so you would always put the #1 team in that game out of respect. This year we would use the Fiesta Bowl and have #1 USC vs. #8 Miami. I would watch those games. And then you get the winners facing off the next week. It’s not rocket science.

You play two games on a Saturday and Sunday or one on a Friday night and three on a Saturday so not to interfere with the NFL. Play the games one or two weeks after the official end of the college football season and then two games the next weekend and end with the BCS championship. This would interest the casual fan who wouldn’t watch but just one bowl game otherwise. I would also imagine this would enable the NCAA and BCS to charge outrageous rates for advertising, not that they care anything about money. No, their main focus is the tradition and integrity of the game as well as academics.

As for the remaining bowl games, the bowl games that do not mean anything to a national audience, you would assign teams that were not good enough to make the playoffs. Those games will still draw interest from super fans, graduates and students of the schools. If the schools in the lesser bowl games look at a post season game as a reward now, then an eight game playoff shouldn’t change that fact.

If the BCS and college presidents will not change the system to an eight team playoff then I propose they just go back to the system they used before all this BCS junk. If there cannot be a legitimate championship game every year then I do not want a sham of a championship game every once in a while. I think a split national championship is just as interesting as a real champion with a playoff. The way I see it, if you have two or three teams that are vying for the championship and those teams play in different games then there would be another game or two that would be interesting.

This is my plan for the BCS and NCAA; I am sure they will take my advice and put it to good use. If I am one thing I am a solutions oriented person and many other sports organizations have utilized my skills. It seems to me that the NCAA and BCS have two choices in front of them. They can adapt and change and move forward or they can regress and move backwards. Either direction would be a major improvement over the way things are now.

1 comment:

BoycottTheBcs said...

I can't believe Brand said that a playoff would "degrade" the lesser bowls. That's just ridiculous. What's the point of the lesser bowls anyway? They serve no real purpose other than to enrich the bowl committees.

I like your playoff ideas and I think it becomes clear that in a playoff every game would be exciting, as opposed to the cereal bowl ;-)