Playoff system would level the field for all NCAA football teams
College football is as much a part of the holiday season as leftover
turkey and the ball drop in
In a three-week span, there are 34 games, from the Roady's
Humanitarian Bowl in
Each football game offers players a chance to cap off their season with a win and gives fans an opportunity to visit a new location.
It's one of the many reasons that college football is my favorite sport, but it also displays -- in grand style -- the game's biggest problem: the Bowl Championship Series.
The deception starts in the name. The principal goal of the BCS is not and never was to fairly determine a national champion. It was designed to maximize revenue for its members while limiting true competition. That makes it a cartel.
If you ask me, they can still call it the BCS -- just change the words to Bowl Cartel Series.
Let's look at the numbers.
Of the 89 sports sanctioned by the
The BCS has created a class system -- the haves ("automatic qualifying conferences") and the have-nots ("nonautomatic qualifying conferences"). This means that more than half of the 120 teams are out of the running for the national championship before they ever strap on their helmets in August.
Need proof? Just check out this telling statistic:
Since the BCS began in 1998, only 11 teams have played in its mythical national championship game. Every year, it seems a deserving team is excluded.
Who knows who would win if they were all involved in a playoff? But you can bet millions of college football fans, including me, would be watching.
Instead, the BCS shirks the true spirit of competition and focuses on what matters most to it: money. The current system rewards teams in BCS conferences even if they hardly ever play in bowl games, while smaller schools that win constantly on the field lose financially.
To illustrate my point, let's match up
TCU Horned Frogs: 37-10 regular season record; 4-0 bowl record.
During that time, the two teams have squared off twice, with
To be clear, I am not bashing Baylor. I grew up not too far from campus, and my mother and brother went to school there. But it is the perfect example of the inequities in the BCS system.
The biggest complaint about my bill is that
The one thing that can never be forgotten in this debate is that college football is more than a game; it's a multibillion-dollar industry. That makes it interstate commerce and a legitimate candidate for congressional oversight. And let's not forget that many of the schools getting shut out of the bowl cash bonanza are taxpayer-funded institutions.
The odd thing is that most of those who criticize my bill still bash the BCS, agreeing that it's a flawed system.
In fact, I think you would be hard pressed to find more than a half-dozen people who support the BCS who aren't getting paid by the BCS. When you do talk to one, they will make the same tired argument that a playoff would ruin the current bowl system or cheapen the regular season. Nonsense.
And no matter what playoff format you have, the regular season will still determine the participants. Lose too many games and you're out; win and you're in. The key difference is more teams have a chance at the championship.
The players and the millions of fans who cheer for them each week deserve a fair playoff system. It's time for the backroom wheelers and dealers of the BCS to set up a playoff that is fair and open to all teams. Let's determine the college football champion on the field of play, four downs at a time.
College Football Playoff Would Increase Problems
Should there be four teams? Eight? Sixteen? Wherever a line is drawn, excluded teams will inevitably start clamoring to enlarge the playoffs. That's exactly what has happened with the NCAA basketball, March Madness has grown from eight teams to 65 teams and now is under pressure to expand to 96. Joe Barton's playoff idea turns out to be more of a problem than a solution.
Expensive Lesson: Gun is Not a Joke - Gilbert Arenas
Leonard Pitts Jr.
A gun is not a joke. Maybe Gilbert Arenas gets that now. But look at what it cost him to learn: his NBA livelihood, his reputation, maybe his freedom. But even at that, you could argue that Gilbert Arenas is a lucky man.
When Good Athletes Behave Badly - Gilbert Arenas
Over the years I have often had the pleasure of introducing my son to significant people as politically diverse as Barack Obama and Pat Buchanan. (Welcome to my world, kid.) He turned the tables on me one day in his early teens when he rushed across Washington's Reagan National Airport to introduce himself to basketball star Gilbert Arenas.
Tiger Woods and Disposable Gods
Robert C. Koehler
Read the tabloids -- watch the tube -- if you want to know how a society that has lost its religiosity can still engage with the deities. The eerily appropriate term 'celebrity worship' is evidence of the extent to which we've improved on Greek culture: We've invented disposable gods and our latest example is Tiger Woods
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