College Football

Playoffs needed in college football

The end of college football’s regular season is here.  With it comes the everlasting debate of whether a playoff system should be implemented into college football rather than the current Bowl Championship Series (BCS).  The BCS got lucky this year.  On October 15, they were only a second away in Michigan from Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions being a perfect 11-0 and a push of Matt Leinart in South Bend from the debate of who should join the Longhorns in the Rose Bowl.  The BCS got lucky with more than just the championship.
     This season produced epic BCS games.  The Orange Bowl’s Penn State-Florida State match up has the two winningest coaches in Div IA history going head to head in a game in which no one saw coming for either coach.
     The Notre Dame-Ohio State showdown in the Fiesta Bowl shows off two programs full of tradition and large fan following.  This year’s Sugar Bowl is equally grand with Georgia playing Rich Rodriguez’s West Virginia Mountaineers.  Yes, this years selection of teams in the BCS is great, but lets not forget the great teams without a chance to contend in a major bowl game.  And the flaws of matching teams up against each other, such as #3 Penn State playing against the team ranked 22nd in the nation.
     To further examine the flaws in the BCS system, let us go back through the history of the BCS.
     The BCS was established in 1998 as an attempt to create a fair method of determining the national champion.  It has improved the game by actually permitting the number one and two teams to play for the championship, whereas, prior to the installment of the BCS, there was no game deciding the champion.  
     The problem is that there isn’t always a clear-cut number one and two.  Debates over who should play in the title game have occurred regularly since the BCS was introduced.
     In 2001, many argued that Colorado should have played for the title.  Miami and Nebraska were chosen to contend for the title despite the fact that number three Colorado had annihilated Nebraska earlier in the regular season.  In 2003, USC fans were deflated after their Trojans, who were ranked number one in both human polls, didn’t get to contend for the title due to their lower rankings in the multiple computer polls.  
     The BCS’s choice of contenders for the national championship was also controversial in the 2004 season when three teams finished the year undefeated.  Perennial number one and two ranked teams throughout the season, USC and Oklahoma, competed for the national title with undefeated Auburn being left out of title contention.  
     These controversial choices of which teams should play for the national title would be avoided if a sixteen or even an eight team playoff system was implemented.  The minor bowl games could be kept for teams not in contention for the championship.
     Supporters of the BCS argue that the current system makes every regular season game meaningful, but what about the bowl games?  Shouldn’t post-regular season games mean more than regular season games?  In the present BCS system, the only bowl game with anything up for stake is the title game.  All other bowl teams are playing for nothing but their pride.  
     College football needs a playoff system to be installed.  The chance of that occurring, however, is highly unlikely as bowl games generate too much money to do away with them.  BCS supporters argue that the schools need the money resulting from the bowl games to further their programs.
     They’re right, the money is essential to the colleges, however, if the bowl games were still in place for noncontending teams, the bowl games would still produce a large source of revenue, and the playoffs would generate just as much if not more money than the bowl games.  The institution of a playoff is crucial.  College football will never have a just system of declaring a national championship until they institute a playoff system into action.  

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