Monday, December 01, 2008

How to fix the BCS

Yes, I know I cover NASCAR. I understand that.

But for all the grief fans give the Chase for the Sprint Cup format, I will tell you right now there's no way that NASCAR now has -- or has ever had a championship system that's anywhere near as messed up as college football's Bowl Championship Series.

What's going on this weekend and will continue until after next week's conference championship games is a joke. An absolute joke. The idea that two teams, and only two teams, will come out of this mess with a chance to win a championship is beyond dumb.

The idea that major college football can't come up with an actual way to determine a champion on the field is equally absurd. The fact is that this year it's so clear-cut that you'd actaully have to work to find the final team to fill out your playoff berth.

You have 11 conferences playing in the top tier of college football. Six -- the ACC, the Big East, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pacific 10 and the SEC -- are the current BCS leagues. And they're the sport's big-time leagues, no doubt.

But the five other leagues -- the MAC, the Mountain West, Conference USA, the WAC and the Sun Belt -- play, too. And their champions deserve to have a right to play for the championship, too.

That's 11 teams. All you need to add is five more (four more, really) and you've got this year covered.

ACC -- The winner of the championship game between Virginia Tech and Boston gets the ACC spot.

Big East -- Cincinnati won the Big East and that's it.

Big Ten -- Penn State gets the automatic bid. Ohio State is one of the five at-large teams.

Big 12 -- For the record, the fact that Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech have an unbreakable three-way tie really isn't the BCS's fault. The conference needs a better way to break a three-way tie to determine who plays Missouri in the Big 12 title game. Anyway, in my system no league can have more than three teams in the 16-team playoff. So if whoever makes the game next week beats Missouri then Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech all advance. If Missouri wins, it gets the league's No. 1 spot and Texas Tech (sorry) is bumped.

Pacific 10 -- Southern Cal inherits the bid No. 1 spot with Oregon State's loss Saturday. If Oregon State had won, both teams would have made it and we'd have had a solid 16.

SEC -- Alabama and Florida play for the No. 1 berth in the SEC title game. The loser also makes the playoff. Georgia would be in the running for the 16th slot along with Oregon (after its win over Oregon State).

Add in Utah, Boise State and Ball State, three very deserving teams, with the Conference USA winner (East Carolina or Tulsa) and Troy from the Sun Belt and there's your 16 teams.

On the weekend of Dec. 19-21, we play eight games at on-campus sites of the top eight seeds. Only conference champions get these home games. So here's my first round this year:
(16) Troy at (1) SEC No. 1
(15) ECU/Tulsa at (2) Big 12 No. 1
(14) Ball State at (3) Southern Cal
(13) Georgia or Oregon at (4) Penn State
(12) Big 12 No. 3 at (5) Boston College or Va. Tech
(11) Ohio State at (6) Cincinnati
(10) SEC No. 2 at (7) Utah
(9) Big 12 No. 2 at Boise State

We take Christmas weekend off, then on Jan. 2-3, you'd have four quarterfinal games. If you want to call them the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange and Gator bowls, knock yourself out. Think anybody would get excited about a second-round that might include Florida AND Alabama against two of those three Big 12 teams, USC vs. Ohio State and Penn State against a third Big 12 team or the ACC winner?

The semifinals, in the Rose and Sugar bowls let's say, would be the next weekend (Jan. 9-10).
Then you take a week off and play the college championship game on Jan. 25, the Sunday between the NFC and AFC championship games and the Super Bowl.

I know it doesn't take any particular genius to propose this. But if I am going to constantly have to listen to people gripe about the Chase and pick through ten thousand ways to change it, I ought to get one shot at talking about college football.

Hey, I am a fan, too.


Anonymous said...

Duh....Don't you think it's all about the money????

Anonymous said...

David, you system is fundamentally flawed because it makes sense!

Too bad nobody in college football seems to care...

Anonymous said...

Everyone understands how to determine a Champion on the field as playoff scenarios have been floated by hundreds of folks before. But it will never happen as long as the Bowls are as powerful as they currently are. No bowl will give up it's autonomy in cutting it's own TV deal and bringing money into it's coffers. And college Presidents like it the way it is too... after all, this year 34 teams will win their Bowl game which will make their alumni (aka. donors) happy. In a playoff, only one team makes it's alumni happy. Yep, it's all about the money. NCAA football playoffs will never happen. Besides, why do American sports fans absolutely HAVE to have an undisputed Champion anyway?

Anonymous said...

David, I like your proposals, but you can't wait until Feb for a championship game. You only need 4 weekends in your scenario. Have them start the week after conference finals and finish the first week of Jan. That way you reduce the competition with the NFL playoffs.

Anonymous said...

It's going to take coaches like Joe Paterno,Bobby Bowden. Mac Brown and Bob Stoops as well as the rest of the conference to step up and say hey we are not taking our teams to a bowl game until this system is fixed, no TV revenue, and lack luster bowls!

A few additions to your system.

Every team must play in a conference, Notre Dame, Army, Navy, and Western Kentucky can all find a conference to play in.

All conferences must have a rotating conference championship at a neutral location.

Come hell or high water the NCAA will have a football playoff with 16 teams. Seed the winners of each conference along with the remaining wildcards from all conferences. So If #8 Boise upsets #1 florida in round 1 tough luck Florida !

Anonymous said...

Texas and Oklahoma are both very deserving and Texas Tech was exciting all year long.

Florida and Alabama

Penn St, USC, Boise, Utah,Ohio State

Imagine a playoff with 8 teams
settling this score on the field where it belongs, not some stupid computer ranking.

TV revenue would go up and you can still have the carquest bowl and the champs sports bowl for the lessor teams !

A true national champion could be crowned !

Anonymous said...

Dave stick to NASCAR Oregon nor Oregon State are in the SEC.

Anonymous said...

Right now the Big 10 and Pac 10 commissioners are big thorns in the side of a playoff system. They won't even add teams to get a conference playoff. If they aren't on board, they had two options. First, leave them out of it. Develop a playoff system excluding the Rose Bowl and the Big 10 and Pac 10 can go play each other every year and whine. Seeing as this isn't likely because of the bowl system and money, then option number 2 is best. All the conferences should boycott the Big 10 and Pac 10. Those few out of conference games the Big 10 and Pac 10 schedule, well schools should turn them down. Those two conferences can fill their schedules with sub division teams and such and then their strength of schedule will keep them out of any real championship possibility. Maybe that will get the Big 10 and Pac 10 commissioner's screaming for a playoff system.

Murley said...

The NCAA already has a football playoff system. Two, in fact. There is nothing that prevents such a system being implemented in the big schools other than greed, pure and simple. Until fans stand up and stop going to these meaningless bowl games, there will be no bowl system.

Anonymous said...

Just to fix what someone said. Western Kentucky isn't a true independant. They have 1 years probation before joining the Sun Belt because they just moved up a division. They still play the Sun Belt teams but they aren't considered condference games and the team is ineligible for the postseason.

transporte de carros said...

Computer rankings do have basis.