Well, it was inevitable. With fans and the media just hammering the BCS system for more than a decade, every college football fan in America finally got its wish. A playoff has arrived in college football.
Is it perfect? Is this a system we’d be content with until the end of time? Absolutely not. But it’s a start.
Nothing could be worse than the previous way of determining a champion. For the life of me I will never understand how a bunch of grown men who call themselves football guys could come up with THAT and say it’s fair.
In what universe is allowing computers to determine what teams are better than others fair? It’s embarrassing that so-called professionals actually put that system in place from 1998 until now.
That’s why even though this four-team playoff system that will begin in 2014 isn’t perfect, just about everyone is willing to accept it. That’s how bad the BCS system was.
So what are the chief differences? Well, there’s two of them. First, instead of only two teams getting a chance to win a championship there will be four. Second, instead of computers determining who is involved it will be humans.
Let’s examine the first difference. Going from two teams to four isn’t the greatest thing in the world. Yes, it’s more. But there’s still going to be outstanding teams who have great seasons that will be left out. Let’s take last season for instance? If this system was in place, who would’ve gotten in?
You’d have an unbeaten LSU and a 1-loss Alabama that would be locks. 1-loss Oklahoma State would probably get in as well. But who would be the 4th team? 1-loss Stanford? 1-loss Boise State? 2-loss Arkansas? Stanford lost to Oregon, a top team. Boise State lost to TCU, another very good team. Arkansas lost to LSU and Alabama, the 2 best teams in the country.
What I love about college basketball is no one who gets left out has a chance at winning the national championship. These bubble teams who cry about not getting in are not threats to win six (or seven) straight games. Every school who’s good enough to win is in.
Here in college football, you’re still leaving great schools, but four is better than two. But more is needed in the long run.
The second big difference is a selection committee will choose who gets in versus computers. This is the biggest victory. You now have actual people that can be held accountable instead of just blaming machines. That’s big.
This new playoff system is not perfect. By 2025 (or sooner if they can renegotiate) I really hope the general public and the media can create enough pressure, again, to force an expanded playoff system.
But, for now, we’ll take it. Anything to get rid of the ridiculous BCS.