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James Anderson Jr.
March 9, 2010
The BCS vs. A Playoff
As long as the Bowl Championship Series has existed; its methods, match-ups, and motives have been shroud in controversy. The BCS has many advantages for schools; however, fans and teams are often left speculating what may have, could have, or should have been. The majority of college football fans are in favor of changing to a tournament style playoff system that would determine a true champion. College football's BSC postseason implements a biased system to determine a champion; but a proposed playoff system would create a more exciting postseason capable of crowning a champion based on performance, not popularity.
The BCS began as a way to create a true national championship game by pairing the best two teams in the FBS. The purpose of the BCS was to alleviate any possibility of a split or shared college football national champion. In 1997 The University of Nebraska battled The University of Michigan in the polls most of the season. Eventually, Nebraska entered the postseason ranked a close second to Michigan and accepted a bid to play in the Orange Bowl against the third ranked University of Tennessee Volunteers and Peyton Manning. Nebraska conquered Tennessee, easily defeating the Volunteers 42 - 17. In contrast, Michigan only just survived an upset bid from a run of the mill eighth-ranked Washington State University team. The result was Michigan being named AP National Champions, after narrowly being voted first in the AP writer's poll. However, Nebraska was named champions by the college football coaches' poll and received a share of the 1997 championship.
This scenario of the top teams playing in and winning different bowl games triggered the formation of the BCS in 1998. The BCS began with the consolidation of the four major bowls (Currently there are five BCS bowls) and the six major conferences in an effort to integrate postseason play between elite teams. At the end of each season the BCS uses a formula to determine the top 12 teams that will be eligible to play in the five BCS bowls. The first and second ranked teams are required to play in the BCS title game. The remaining four bowl games extend invitations to any of the other top 10 teams with the goal of creating lucrative matchups that are capable of attaining exceptional ratings.
A subtle problem with the BCS system is that only two teams can vie for the BCS title. Just two teams take part in a true postseason, in which all participants have some chance of proving their superiority.
EXAMPLES OF MANY UNDEFEATED TEAMS @END OF REG SEASON The BCS fails miserably in fundamental areas too. The original intent of the BCS was to avoid a split championship, however, in 2003 The University...