Good – College Football Gets a Four Team Playoff; Bad – BCS System still Not Perfect

    Finally, we’re going to have a playoff in College Football. A four team playoff probably doesn’t satisfy everyone, but it’s a start and the first significant signs of changes in the all mighty BCS, that will now create a little less controversies regarding who should play for the national championship.

    So how is this thing going to work? Beginning in the 2014 season, the current BCS system, which chooses, based on the BCS rankings, the top two teams in the nation who play for the title in the championship game at the end of the season, is changing for good. Instead of using the BCS rankings as the measure, there will be committee, just like in College Basketball before the NCAA tournament.

    This committee will choose the top 4 teams in the nation that will play for the title. The national semifinals will be played within the existing BCS bowls – Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar on a rotating basis. The host sites will be predertimined before each season. The final? It goes out to the highest bidder before each season, to any city that wants to host the game. Don’t worry, the BCS still cares mostly about money.

    Obviously, there are those who aren’t happy or won’t be happy once this thing is probably approved in five days by the BCS presidential oversight committee. Some say 4 isn’t enough. This should be a real playoff – Eight teams or 16, but in all fairness, you usually don’t have more than 3 teams who actually deserve a shot at the national title when the regular season is over. Baby steps is how you proceed, and we might get to a big national playoff one day.

    Until you have an eight-team or 16-team seeded playoff, there will be folks out there that aren’t completely satisfied. We get that. But we’re trying to balance other important parties, like the value of the regular season, the bowls, the academic calendar. (Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner)

    Yeah, the BCS guys care about the academic consequences. Not so much. They just don’t want to turn this into a tidal wave of a change. For now, small ripples in the water are enough. The Pac-12 and the Big Ten are still trying to push and keep the Rose Bowl their kind of thing, also knowing that there’s an attempts by the Big 12 and the SEC to create their own premier bowl, separate from the playoffs themselves. Power plays never end.

    The Committee is something that worries some, and will worry in the future. Too many things open to interpratition of who deserves to go to the final four. They always say the rankings are rigged or slightly adjusted towards the big names. A committee isn’t fixing any of these notion and fears.

    The other thing are the venues. Instead of giving some sort of home advantage to the better teams and creating a much better atmosphere by letting teams play the playoff games like they do in the NFL – in their home stadiums, the BCS opted for the more money issue. There’s always the excuse of some potential host cities not being able to host such an event, for example Lincoln, Nebraska, but the logistics excuse seems weaker and weaker each time it’s used. It’s all about keeping the money close to home.