ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

New College Football Playoff Doesn't Go Far Enough

Updated on June 18, 2013

Which form of college football postseason would you prefer

See results

College Football's Playoff Leaves Alot to be Desired

For all of you college football junkies out there, it appears as if a change is coming.

The BCS, the archaic and downright frustrating system that is in charge of determining college football’s national champion is on borrowed time as the commissioners of the 11 Division I football conferences and Notre Dame’s athletic director have finally come to the conclusion that a change from the current system to a four-team playoff must be made.

The hows, whys and wheres of the process have yet to be approved by university presidents, but a change seems imminent by the 2015 season.

Unfortunately, a four-team playoff is only a band-aid over a bullet hole, much driven by rhetoric that makes very little sense.

A recent statement by the commissioners and Notre Dame’s AD espoused the importance of protecting the regular season as well as the importance of protecting the tradition of the bowls as this change occurs.

"We are determined to build upon our success and create a structure that further grows the sport while protecting the regular season,” the statement said. “We also value the bowl tradition and recognize the many benefits it brings to student-athletes. We have more work to do and more discussions to have with our presidents who are the parties that will make the final decision about the future structure of college football's postseason."

First, let’s look at the bowl tradition. Admittedly, there are a lot of traditions worth holding onto.

The bowl system just isn’t one of them.

As the current system stands, there is one game (The BCS National Championship) that matters and the rest are simply exhibitions that are set up as pat on the back for achieving at least a .500 record.

And even that requirement is dubious.

Last season, UCLA was granted an exemption to play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl despite having a 6-7 record and a margin of defeat of 25.4 points in those seven losses. Not surprisingly, UCLA lost to an only marginally better Illinois team that was 6-6 in the regular season.

Is this really the type of game the BCS is desperate to protect?

These bowl games come with advertized payouts ranging from the hundreds of thousands to the millions for participating schools.

That total, however, is a misnomer.

As pointed out in the wonderfully written and excellently researched Death to the BCS by Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter and Jeff Passan, a majority of the schools suffer a monetary loss from going to a bowl because of mandatory ticket allotments and travel costs for team, coaching staffs, cheerleaders and bands.

Getting $750 K isn’t nearly as exciting when you dropped $1 million to get it!

One of the major reasons that university athletic departments want to keep the bowls is for the internal bonuses received by coaches and athletic directors for the achievement of reaching a bowl game. Never mind that nearly 70 percent of all teams in Division I make a bowl game.

Any system that offers rewards for simply NOT being the worst 30 percent at what you do is a system that is seriously lacking in credibility.

Now on to the value of the regular season.

The question that needs to be begged is why these people believe that the regular season is so valuable under its current format.

Lets just take a look at 2009. Alabama, Texas, Boise State, TCU and Cincinnati all finished the regular season undefeated, yet only Alabama and Texas got to play for the National title. As a reward for going unbeaten, three teams were not afforded the chance to play for the championship.

So which game of the all-important regular season games eliminated TCU, Boise State and Cincinnati from a shot at the title?

Under the new system, if the same thing were to happen, there would have still been an undefeated team not invited to the dance and maybe more if there was a one-loss team from the SEC or Big 10 -- a problem that would not be remedied by the all-important regular season or the too-small four-team playoff.

College football is the only sport anywhere on the planet where a team can be undefeated and still be told it isn’t good enough to compete for a championship.

The fact is that TCU, Boisie and Cinci are the lucky ones – they were at least in the conversation. Under the current system and under a four-team playoff the vast majority of teams start the season with zero chance of winning a championship. The regular season that is being “protected”does nothing to give any value to most teams in Division I.

The “every game counts” mantra that the BCS bigwigs love to repeat only accounts for those determined worthy of consideration by the polls and the BCS computers at the start of the season.

A four-team playoff, while a step in the right direction, is a half measure that will allow the BCS conferences to keep all of the money and power and does nothing to truly improve the overall competitive landscape of college football.

The 16-team playoff suggested by Wetzel and company in which each conference champion and five at-large teams are seeded is truly the best system for determining a champion. It would make the regular season truly important and offer access to conferences like the MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA access that they won’t have in a four-team playoff and that they certainly never had under the current BCS format.

That type of access would make recruiting easier for lower-tier programs and improve the competitiveness of early season games between power conference and non-power conference teams.

The good news is that the culture of the athletic world is one where you expand or die. It won’t be long before fans begin clamoring for expansion of the playoffs and my feeling is once those involved in the decision making see they type of cash cow that the playoff will be, expansion will soon follow.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      dturner 

      6 years ago

      Great writing!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)