Monday, December 20, 2010

Death to the BCS: WNG Weighs In

Year in and year out analysts, coaches, and fans alike debate whether or not college football needs to junk the current bowl system in favor of a playoff format. Most arguments and proposals are overly simplistic and ignore certain intricacies unique to college football. Perhaps the biggest hurdle to getting everyone on-board with a playoff has been the fact that most scenarios do not find a way to preserve the intensity of what is without a doubt the most riveting and exciting regular season in sports.

Last fall Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports released a book called Death to the BCS that provided the most in-depth and detailed analysis I've ever seen as to why the bowl system needs to be junked and a playoff adopted. He published this article a couple weeks ago that essentially adapted this season's results into his playoff proposal. It's a worthwhile read (as is the book...though if you want the CliffNotes they're right here).

I forwarded the article and the CliffNotes to guys who contribute to WNG and asked for their input and opinions on Wetzel's proposal and where they stand on the issue in general. The next couple days I'll post them one-by-one leading up to Christmas. Today Mikey weighs in, tomorrow Hinkle, and I'll put my thoughts up on Wednesday.

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Death to the BCS? Mikey's On Board

It's obvious that the best thing for college football and its fans is a playoff system, most have been screaming for it since Day 1 of the BCS. The good news for them is that the proposal laid out by Wetzel and Co. is a very viable option and seems to be gaining popularity.

Every team in the country would have a legitimate shot at the national championship and that's all anyone is really asking for. The idea of including all conference champions and then selecting some wild cards is a great one. I thought if a playoff was to be formed it would simply be about 4 or 8 teams chosen by a BCS-like points system. Wetzel's plan is formed more like college basketball's postseason though, aiming for more inclusion than exclusion. I'm very much in favor of anything that tries to imitate the greatest postseason tournament that's currently in place.

This change could mean the end of the bowl system (sorry Beef O' Brady), but certain bowls will still remain even with the playoff system in place. The Rose Bowl and other significant bowls in major cities/markets will certainly survive as many other teams will still be a part of the college football postseason.

The regular season will be just as exciting as well. Teams play their whole season to try and land in 1 of the 2 championship spots at the end of the year, so people look at the whole season essentially as a playoff. Teams go through this regular season playoff undefeated, though, and still don't get a chance at a championship spot. How is it even remotely fair that some college football squads are dropped in a maze and all they have to look forward to is a dead end?

The regular season would be more fair and still have the feel of a playoff as teams try to grab their conference title or one of the wild card spots. It seems it would be better if there were more relevant games on the last week of the season other than having to watch Auburn smack South Carolina and trying to care about it.

The money debate is a non-issue because time and time again the playoff system is shown to be more profitable as well for conferences and schools when compared to the BCS. In the current system the revenues from bowls aren't exactly trickling down as they should to benefit universities so the financial system is in need of an overhaul anyway, isn't it?

Even though I can't find any I'm sure there are some flaws with the playoff system, but compared to the BCS it would be complete perfection. I'm going to stop rooting for the revival of Xavier football if they don't do this in the next few years.

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