BY REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
A hot item to be discussed right now is college football and how the sport goes on to picking the national champion for the year. Right now the current system has a bowl game system and the top two ranked teams in the poll go on to face each other in the BCS Championship game. A lot of scrutiny often goes into the rankings and the choosing of the teams that get to play in the bowl games. The simple solution is to have tournament playoffs like the professionals or even just like college basketball does. The amount of teams to be in the tournament is up for discussion. The important people in collegiate athletics are sitting down and discussing all options now that this college football season is over. After what were two elite teams but a boring game of field goals from the same conference a lot of fans were turned off by this season’s finale.
The idea that fans want a 16-team playoff system is simply unrealistic. A 16-team playoff would add four more weeks of games to the schedule. While we don’t see this as a problem as a fan it’s a problem for the student-athletes, who aren’t getting paid, and for the administrators. With the unpredictability of advancing or not even making the tournament the idea of scheduling buses, hotels, practice field times and places, fan travel, and all other small things are going to be incredibly difficult and stressful. The bowl games are great because they have key sponsors and plenty of time to work out the scheduling for both school programs. They allow for all the bowl games to sell out because the fans have time to figure out their travel schedules as well. While a playoff system if probably the easiest way to settle things on the field it is not easiest to plan everything else leading up to it.
There a lot more that goes into bowl games and how winners and conferences get bonuses for winning and for making it to bowl games but that’s a whole different article. The best solution in my eyes is what’s called the “Plus 1 System.” The Plus 1 System is basically mini playoffs. It takes the bowl game winner of the #1 and #2 seed and has a game between the bowl game winner of the #3 and #4 seeds. For this season we would have a game between Alabama and Oklahoma State to determine who the real national champion is. These two teams were the #2 and #3 seeds before the bowl games were determined and Oklahoma State nearly missed out on being in the BCS Championship Game. This would also work because it is only one more week of games and could open up for another bowl game sponsorship. By doing this it would bring in even more money and make fans happy. It would be easy to schedule, and it’s the easiest step to adjusting to what they currently have.
Another problem with the playoff system is that it makes the regular season not as important. The games aren’t as intense as it currently is. Right now if a major program has an upset or key loss their shot at the BCS game and a top 2 ranking are in jeopardy. With the playoff system the teams just have to do enough to get in and the regular season loses the excitement. If they want to adapt the version of a Plus 1 System make the #1 and #2 teams get a bye and that way it includes the top six teams in the country. The regular season would mean something and I believe no one would argue that the top six are the best teams out there. This would then add two extra bowl games. The first step to any changes and the most realistic option is the Plus 1 System. They need to add one extra bowl game and have a national champion that we all believe is truly number 1.