Published: Saturday, June 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT
The funny thing about the griping regarding this issue is that the SEC proposed
YEARS ago to create a plus one module for playoffs and the other conferences
refused to do so to protect their own interests, money and conferences. Now that
the SEC has seen their teams win for the last several years, the other
conferences are motivated to change because they see that they messed up in not
going along with the previous proposal to attempt to create some balance.The reality is that changing systems WILL take time, will never be
perfect and will not automatically guarantee that every single team will get to
be a champion. Sadly, some teams will NEVER be granted the Waterford Crystal
because they are not ever going to make it to the top of the heap. But by
changing the system to allow for more fairness, maybe the whining about having
the opportunity can stop.If the opportunity exists and your chosen
team doesn't make it, it isn't because the door wasn't open, it
is because they aren't good enough.
Very, very few college football fans have the means to travel to multiple bowl
games, which would be required in a larger playoff, unless the bowl system
itself is jettisoned, in favor of a NFL style home team playoff system. As it stands, 30 teams end their season on a high note, and players and
fans are motivated to travel to warmer cities as a reward for a good season.
The history and tradition of the bowl system distinguishes college football from
just another pro-style tournament format.Do we really want to toss
all that tradition aside for a 16 or - to be even more fair - 32 team playoff?
Might as well start playing the players for their sacrifice, and lift the 85
scholarship limit, as playing that many games really stresses the depth of
Realize first that the NCAA has never officially recognized any FBS national
title. Second, the BCS isn't about finding the national champion, its
about making money. Lots of money. Mark Shurtleff's lawsuit isn't an
altruistic attempt to help the little guy get access to a national title. It is
about getting access to money.If you are truly concerned about a
national title, work with the NCAA to develop a system that has their blessing
-- something that they'll record in their official record books. Follow
the model set by basketball's March Madness. Form a committee, send out
invitations, end with the presentation of the official title. Turn the BCS into
the NIT. At first the "big teams" may not come -- they'll head to
the big money bowls. But if the NCAA clamps down and doesn't let the BCS
use the phrase "national champion", more teams will come.Imagine if after the Alabama-LSU BCS rematch, there was a "real
trophy" presentation to Boise State who participated in the official
playoff... the big leagues would clamor to join next time.
If they really wanted to be fair they would just give BYU Cougers the National
Championship every year and let everyone else play for #2 and #last place for
You hit the nail on the head when you said that a 4 team playoff is far too
small to be effective or fair. Keeping it to four teams is a slight step in the
right direction but is still designed to keep the elite few in position to
control who gets into the club and who gets the money. Division II or the FCS
has been holding a playoff for many years that works. Why can't their
system be implemented by the FBS and then we can go back to calling it Division
I and Division II and everyone in college football will have a chance at winning
a championship? What a concept! Here's how the FCS does it:"The FCS playoff format is 16 teams, with eight teams being automatic
qualifiers as conference champions, and eight at-large berths are awarded. The
tournament field is selected by a NCAA appointed committee made up of athletic
directors from select FCS schools that represent each region of the
country."Sounds like a perfect plan to me.
I’m puzzled by the reference to Utah as the DN editorial board decries the
inequity faced by college football players who suit up knowing they can never
win a national title.Utah has its place at the table of major
college football, and as such its players will have a shot at the national title
every year.It’s BYU’s players whose shot at the national
title is tenuous in the new order of college football. It is the players who
suit up for Utah State who have tenuous access to the national title.If the DN is concerned about players who work hard without a shot at the
national title, why not reference Utah State?My guess is that the
bias of the DN editorial board is showing. They really don’t care about
“players” with no shot at the national title. It’s really “BYU players” without a shot at the title that
stirs the angst of the DN editorial board.
The BCS oligarchy will still control which 4 teams get into such a tournament.
So it will still not really be a national championship playoff. All the big
money will still go to the BCS schools.This whole thing is just a
way to take some heat off of the oligarchy for their perceived self-serving
policies -- this will be just a self-serving, but it won't be perceived as
being quite as self-serving.I think we should just go back to a few
bowl games, where major teams get to entertain us during the holiday season, and
realize that no team is going to be "crowned" as the national champion.
I think I can enjoy the holiday season just fine this way.
The only fair football playoff would involve at least 16 teams with every
conference getting an automatic bid. See what happens, like UVU, when your
conference is left out. Any conference that has Division I football deserves to
have its champ in the tournament. Right now that is 11 conferences, take 5 at
large to complete the tournament, run it over four weeks starting mid December
and you're done at the same time you are now. Use other existing bowls for
teams that didn't make the tournament like they have the NIT in basketball.
Create match-ups that have some pizazz rather than tying bowls to conferences.
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