As promised, we'll begin discussions of an eventual playoff by starting with the BCS. Although many of you may argue that the BCS and a FBS playoff are inexorably intertwined, they are in fact two separate issues, which get co-mingled more than Bernie Madoff's checkbook. So, I thought it might be a good idea to try and re-separate the two concepts, knowing that it might be harder than spreading conjoined twins connected at the butt cheek.
The BCS may be our de facto one game playoff, but most people forget the word 'one' in that sentence. The chief complaint is that it fails to organize any quality matchups below the NC game. Many wondered why we couldn't see an Alabama/Texas matchup, as the #3 and #4 teams. That, along with attempting to arrange other intriguing matchups, is a real easy question to answer: as Mr. College Football, Tony Barnhart, said last month, IT'S NOT THEIR JOB! The BCS was designed to do one thing and one thing only--get the #1 and #2 teams to play. Period. Ask anything else of them and they'll look at you like a NY City School Janitor would if you asked him to give up his union-mandated coffee breaks.
Most people forget that after the NCG takes priority with their picks, the Big Four Bowls will default back to their historic affiliations, if possible. Sometimes there are gaps, but usually not. And the Big Four only had agreements with the major conferences, not the little ones. If you're a lucky non-automatic qualifier who gets in, it's going to be pot luck, like with Utah to the Sugar this year. Sure, the Fiesta might have been more up their alley, but Glendale got to select before New Orleans. 'Tis the way it goes, as do the spoils. The selection procedure is a little more complicated than what you see on American Idol, so you can research that on your own ...
The next biggest gripe with the BCS is why the champs of the Big 6 conferences get an automatic berth into the party. Oh come on. A four year old knows the answer to that. It's the Golden Rule at work right before your very eyes. In order to get the original BCS format hammered out, this was the carrot and stick necessary for the major conferences to grant their approval. Anything less and they would have all been obstructionists, kinda like the PAC and BIG 10s are with a playoff right now...
Other little sticklers about the BCS, that can all be researched further:
- Extreme difficulty of more than one non-BCS conference team to make the cutoff, as seen with Boise State's plight this year
- The strict limit of 2 teams per BCS conference, barring some major planet realignment, as evidenced by Texas Tech this year
- Notre Dame automatically qualifying if they're ranked in the top 8 of the poll
- The criteria of the BCS poll itself, which is enough to have it's own separate thread discussion.(Read: this thread isn't the place to debate who got left out in a given year)
Yes, the BCS is more maligned institution than would be if Walmart bought Amway and Exxon/Mobile. Alas, help is on the way. Discussions will be held this spring on ways to further improve the BCS process. I'm sure we can forward to the committee the comments that I expect to follow on this thread. We might also take some of our criticisms and see if the Utah Attorney General might want to amend the civil anti-trust complaint he's contemplating...