Kap's Corner

I Have Seen The Light....The Bowl System Has to Stay

I have been among the more vocal critics of the BCS since its inception because there have been several instances where an undefeated team has been left out of the national championship game because of the computers that determine BCS rankings.I have tried to formulate a playoff proposal that would allow everyone in the country a shot at winning the national title, but after looking at several different scenarios from a "Plus One" to a 4, 8, and even a...

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24 Comments

Alex Quigley said:

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Kap, I've had the same turnaround on the BCS system as well. The fact is that under the current system, every game is a playoff game for national title contenders. An 8- or 16-team playoff simply isn't feasible.

But there has been a consistent trend over the past decade of there being more than two teams with legitimate claims to play for the title.

This year: Cincinnati, TCU, Boise State.
2008: Utah.
2007: The year the playoff clamoring really took off, with so many teams at one or two losses.
2006: Boise State, Louisville.
2005: ...well, this was one year where the top two were very well-defined in USC and Texas.
2004: Utah, Boise State, and undefeated Auburn.
2003: USC, and whaddaya know? Boise State.

My point is that every single year there seems to consistently be at least two extra teams that have legit title game resumes. It doesn't seem to be going in the opposite direction...talent is spread more evenly across college football than in the past.

I think the BCS should pick a top-4, then roll a 1-vs-4 / 2-vs-3 semifinal format. And yes, then team #5 would cry and wail...but you have to set a bar somewhere, and jumping from 4 to 8 teams truly turns the system into a logistical cluster-you-know-what.

One thing that everyone should agree on: the current system is a hell of a lot better than the old days. At least we get a #1-vs-#2.

Anthony Hoffman said:

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If College Football's leadership had any interest in satisfying the desires of the sport's fans, then they would create a playoff system to determine the national champion.

Here are the three possible scenarios as I see them.

8-team playoff; six BCS conference champions and two at-large teams
Alabama vs. Georgia Tech
TCU vs. Cincinnati

Texas vs. Ohio State
Florida vs. Oregon

16-team playoff; 11 conference champions, five at-large teams
Georgia Tech (ACC); Alabama (SEC); Cincinnati (Big East); Ohio State (Big Ten); Texas (Big 12); Oregon (Pac 10); Central Michigan (MAC); Troy (Sun Belt); East Carolina (Conference USA); TCU (Mountain West); Boise State (WAC); Florida, Iowa, LSU, Virginia Tech, BYU (at-large)

1. Alabama vs. 16. Troy
8. Ohio State vs. 9. Georgia Tech

4. Florida vs. 13. BYU
5. Cincinnati vs. 12. Virginia Tech

2. Texas vs. 15. Central Michigan
7. Oregon vs. 10. Iowa

3. TCU vs. 14. East Carolina
6. Boise State vs. 11. LSU


16-team playoff; six BCS conference champions and 10 at-large teams
Georgia Tech, Alabama, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Texas, Oregon (BCS teams); TCU, Florida, Boise State, Iowa, LSU, Virginia Tech, BYU, Penn State, Oregon State, West Virginia (10 at-large)

Alabama vs. West Virginia
Ohio State vs. Georgia Tech

Florida vs. Virginia Tech
Cincinnati vs. Penn State

Texas vs. BYU
Oregon vs. Iowa

TCU vs. Oregon State
Boise State vs. LSU

Nick K. said:

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Kap, here is my bowl/playoff theory...

All conference champions need to get in. This way no conference can feel they were left out. It becomes simple, win your conference and you're in the tournament. So 11 conference champions and then 5 at-large bids based on polls. This is a 16-team tournament. All conference titles must be settled by Thanksgiving. The season may start a week earlier at the end of August instead of 1st week of September to accomplish this.

- 16 team Tournament beginning Thanksgiving weekend (4 games on Friday and 4 games on Saturday). This is the last regular season weekend in current system.
- Teams are seeded 1-16 based on polls/records.
- Higher seed gets home games in 1st 2 rounds. 2nd round is played the following Saturday...4 games. This quarter-final round takes place the Saturday that conference Title games are currently held.
- 2 Semi-Finals are held at neutral sites the following weekend.
- Once the National Title game is set, we now set all bowl games that had playoff teams involved. Other bowl matchups can be announced after regular season.
- The current bowl system stays as is. We can still have 34 bowl games.

Here is the system I propose using the 2010 Calendar.

- College Regular Season Begins Saturday, August 28, 2010.
- Reduce regular season back to 11 games for every team.
- Every team plays 11 games with one bye week.
- Every Conference Championship game must take place the weekend of November 20th.

- 16-team Playoff begins Thanksgiving weekend (November 26th and 27th).
- Round 2 is Saturday December 4th.
- Semi-Finals are Saturday December 11th.
- All Bowl games involving playoff teams are announced on Sunday, December 12th.
- National Championship in early January as it is right now surrounded by all other bowl games as we currently do.
- Max games a team would play in a season would be 16...currently it's 14.
- Students still get finals time and Christmas time off from games as they currently do.

Jerry Palm said:

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Reposting from your facebook page:

16 teams, 11 conf champs, 5 at-large, seeded and played at campus sites of better seeds until final, which is played at rotating neutral site.

Mac said:

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Easy solution to playoff. Top 8 teams play 2 more games after conf championship. These games create slotting of existing BCS bowl games. #8 vs #1 and so on in 1st round. The 2 teams that win 2nd round games play for title. Losers of 2nd round games play for 3rd place in rotating corresponding bowl game. Losers of 1st round still play 2nd game, those that win 2nd round game go corresponding rotating bowl game for 5th & 6th place. And of ourselves those that go 0-2 in "2 game tourney" play for 7th & 8th corresping bowl game. It's not perfect, but it is better to have uncertainity and rankings 8-10 than at 1-3. This scenario allows players, teams and coaches to determine championship game rather than computer. Better to have computer make mistakes with #8-#10 than with #1-3. These games create revenue and can be played neutral sites or higher rank team site. Whichever makes better sense. These 2 added games does not hurt current bowl set up. Yes #7 vs #8 game will have minimum of 2 losses entering bowl game, but they made the playoff and earn pay day in bowl game. 100K show up for football games from august thru December, this scenario doesn't change that. If you build it they will come.
Now kapman..... How do I collect my malnati's grub?? LOL

chrhend said:

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What I would like to see is a 11 game schedule, and then rankings based on the strength of a schedule. If a school plays their conference games they are given X amount of points, and if they schedule games with lesser teams they get x amount of points. Conference champions get XX points and then base the playoffs and brackets from there. I know it isnt anything as intense as what everyone has added but I think getting back to basics and get away from this scenario against that scenario is needed. Whatever happens make it easy for everyone to understand!

Liz said:

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My proposal is to eliminate college football altogether and replace it with a better sport.

David Kaplan said:

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Are you kidding me. College football is one best sports there is! Every game counts!

Dpauley23 said:

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Create a system were only 1 or zero loss team qualify for the playoffs.

Billy Boy said:

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Kappy,

We need to run the BCS series just like a match play event in golf. Draw a line down the middle of the country to create your two flights or divisions. The top 16 teams from each half of the country with the best records qualify. Your record dictates your seed number and 4 rounds (games), single elimination determines one team from each division (East & West). Those remaining 2 teams play in the National Championship game to determine the "National Champ". Plus, what your seed number was and how you finished in the playoff games determines what bowl you would play in, unless your team is the winner of the divisional finals. I mean really, was that hard to figure out Kappy?????

Nate Rak said:

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Although I would love to see a 16-team playoff, where all Conference Champs participate, I just do not see it ever happening.

The most feasible option is a 4-team playoff. Ofcourse there are gonna be teams still complaining about not getting into the playoffs, but having a 4-team playoff (seeds based on computer rankings) makes atleast for a competitive and unanimous National Champ. I definitely agree with you Kap about the regular season, every game matters and that is what makes the sport the best to watch, and a 4-team playoff will still make the season just as important.

The Semi-Final games will rotate between Pasadena, Miami, Glendale and New Orleans each year, same with the Title game. I would like to see a Super Bowl like stadium rotation for the Title Game, instead of it being played in the same 4 stadiums.
The Semi-Finals games will take place two weeks after the Conference Championship games, the title game will then take place after another week off, which will put the games near the current date they are played.
This system does not eliminate any Bowl games, will interest the fans more and more likely gonna make the BCS more money, which I'm sure is the only thing they care about it. Players will still be able to enjoy their bowl weeks, the teams in the title games, will get two bowl weeks.

And just to comment on your post about Finals weeks for players. This is the dumbest argument that is always brought up whenever someone talks about a playoff. First of all, athletes have required study tables, and 90% of them study more often than non-athlete students. Also, do you see Men and Women Basketball players having problems balancing their game/practice schedules during finals weeks? Basketball teams don't take a week off to study during finals. The biggest example of athletes balancing their studies and sports comes from collegiate baseball players, especially schools in the NOrthern part of this country. For example, come February, NIU baseball players take 3 trips (Arizona, Tennessee & Cali) during their Spring Semester before they start playing in the MidWest
So for football players, they have it easy compared to other athletes when it comes to studies, they are on the road the least and have the least amount of games.

Max Power said:

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As it stands now, they play 33 bowl games. One has significance, the rest are consolation games at best, money grabs at worst.
If the meaningless games are so important, still play 'em. They still play the NIT in hoops.
Only one sports faction plays an entire season only to aviod a playoff to crown a legitimate champ. And it's a joke. The reason there is no playoff is because the conference commissioners of the so-called power conferences would rather reward teams that travel well, as opposed to those who play football well.
How else can you explain the Fiesta Bowl cop out this year? Two undefeated teams are ducked by the "majors", so a Big Ten team can go to the Orange Bowl. For reference, since 2000 big ten teams not named Ohio State are 1-8 in BCS games (a 3OT win vs. a 6-6 FSU team). Yeah, they get there on merit. Sure they do. And don't even get me started on that terrible Illinois team a couple years back knocking a deserving Missouri(which beat Illinois) team out of a BCS bid.

Start with an 4 or 8 team playoff, and like I stated earlier, if they want, they can still play the meaningless bowl games for those teams who travel well, or deserve to be "rewarded" for going 6-6.
Without, or without a playoff, The Insight, Motor City, International, etc...Bowls still only exist to please the commissioners and, maybe bookies. You know, the types who will do anything for a buck.

netplayer23 said:

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That was the best commentary on this pitiful issue that I have ever read. You make WAAAY too much sense to ever be heeded!

KapStoney said:

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Wetzel’s playoff plan: Money talks

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
Dec 7, 3:51 am EST
Buzz up!
Print

Florida won the BCS title in 2009.
(Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Texas – not TCU, nor Cincinnati or Boise State – is playing Alabama in the BCS championship game because, well, its name is Texas.

The system is designed to reward the big brands of the sport. Just as important as what you did this week, or this month, is what you did a decade ago. Perception is everything. The BCS sells this as fair.

Maybe Texas is the best team, maybe it isn’t. To the naked eye there’s no easy answer.

Other Popular Football Stories
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It is why, according to a Sports Illustrated poll, 90 percent of fans don’t approve of the BCS. We want to find out on the field.

In response to the system’s crushing unpopularity, the BCS has hired a Washington public relations firm, Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, to “defend” its image. The results have been comical. The firm is used for political fights, not sports ones. It’s hard-wired to operate with typical Beltway gumption, which is why it’s failing miserably.

Fleischer arrived with a dismissive attitude that all the rubes in fly-over country know nothing and have some nerve to demand change from the entrenched powers profiteering off of them. So he launched a social media campaign full of Washington ruling class arrogance.

“With a playoff, the more you move down the rankings, the more teams have identical records and arguments about why they should be in,” the BCS wrote (if this even counts as English) on Twitter.

Really, choosing among three 9-3 teams for a playoff bid is somehow more difficult than five unbeaten ones? The BCS powers actually think someone would believe this?

On one of its propaganda websites, the BCS asks whether a playoff would really satisfy everyone?

“NO!!!” it boldly declares.

Who knew Ari Fleischer wrote like a sixth-grade girl on an iPhone?

Give the campaign credit for this: It’s hardly bothering to explain why the BCS is any good.

Instead, it launched a clown-show website (playoffproblem.com) that claims there can’t be a playoff because college football is incapable of figuring out how one might work.

Sure, every other sports entity on the planet can do it, but we somehow can’t decide how many teams would be in it or where they’d play and so on? So stop asking.

This is a ploy designed to create gridlock. It’s based on the idea fans lack basic mental competency. (After all, how smart could you be? When was the last time you attended a Georgetown cocktail party?).

Because Ari Fleischer, BCS director Bill Hancock and the rest of the suits are confounded by the mysteries of a playoff, I’ll gladly explain it for them. Below is a simple 16-team playoff that will make them more money, offer more excitement and create a more equitable competition.

I’ve pitched this for a few years but it’s hardly groundbreaking – the NCAA uses essentially the same system to run playoffs in all other divisions of football; and variations are all over the Internet.

Two other writers at Yahoo! Sports and I are currently finishing an investigative book on the BCS that will come out next season. That book will, in clear detail, lay the system bare – the finances, mathematics, biases, waste, contracts, scams, etc.

In the meantime, this is your primer to finding college football salvation while you wait for the Fiesta Bowl matchup of Plessy v. Ferguson.

A seeded 16-team field

Just like the wildly popular and profitable NCAA men’s basketball tournament, champions of all 11 conferences earn an automatic bid to the playoff.

Yes, all 11, even the lousy conferences. While no one would argue that the Sun Belt champ is one of the top 16 teams in the country, its presence is paramount to maintaining the integrity and relevancy of the regular season. While the idea that the season is a four-month playoff is both inaccurate and absurd – best proven this year – college football’s roller-coaster regular season needs to be protected.

That’s accomplished by two things. The first is playing on the home field of the higher-seeded team until the title game (more on this later).

The second is by giving the chance for an easier first-round opponent – in this case No. 1 seed Alabama would play No. 16 Troy. Earning a top two or three seed most years would present a school a de facto bye into the second round. Why not leave the Sun Belt out and offer a real bye? The extra home game would create tens of millions of dollars in revenue (a carrot to the school presidents).

The season still matters this way. By winning the SEC championship game Saturday, Alabama gets Troy and enjoys home-field advantage in Tuscaloosa until the title game. By losing it, Florida gets Penn State and has to hit the road if it can beat the Nittany Lions.

On the flip side, it brings true Cinderella into the college football mix for the first time. Is it likely that East Carolina could beat Texas? Of course not, but as the men’s basketball tournament has proven the mere possibility (or even a close game) draws in casual fans by the millions.

Perhaps the most memorable college football game of the last few years was Boise State-Oklahoma, in part because Boise was the unbeaten underdog that wasn’t supposed to win. When the Broncos did, in dramatic fashion, they became the talk of the country. There would’ve been historic interest in seeing if they could do it again the following week.

Why wouldn’t college football want that?

For even lower-rated conferences – the Sun Belts, C-USA – allowing annual access to the tournament would not only set off celebrations on small campuses it would actually increase interest for everyone. It would not simply make the regular season matter more it would make more regular seasons matter.

Right now, last Friday’s MAC championship game between Central Michigan and Ohio was virtually meaningless. It wouldn’t be if a berth to the playoffs was riding on it. There’d be a reason to watch.

Who’s against more must-see games?

With the bigger conferences, a championship would take on greater value. Does anyone without direct rooting interest really care that Georgia Tech won the ACC title game Saturday?

They would now. The final week Big East and Pac-10 games (Cincy-Pitt, Oregon State-Oregon) would’ve had greater meaning because if the Panthers and/or Beavers won, it would’ve caused at-large bids to get gobbled up by UC and Oregon.

The interest in every game would increase exponentially – dare I say, every game would actually matter.

At-large bids

In addition to the 11 automatic bids, there would be five at-large selections made by a basketball-like selection committee (a group of highly engaged people using common criteria to pick and set the field).

This is where independents, such as Notre Dame, would have access to the tournament. Most years, all five bids would come from the power conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC).

While the selection process would still draw complaints from the teams left out, those schools often would have two or three losses or significant flaws. In this year’s case, 9-3 LSU would edge out 10-2 BYU in a debate between flawed teams.

There’s no need to dignify the BCS ridiculous assertion that such an argument would be more heated than five unbeatens vying for two title game spots.

Never again would an unbeaten team be denied a chance to pursue a title. And we’d do away with bizarre seasons such as 2003, when everyone thought USC was the best team but the computers locked the Trojans out.

Ignore outdated bowls

BCS bowl games are the single worst business arrangement in American sports. College football’s continued willingness to be fleeced by outside businessmen, who gleefully cut themselves in on millions in profits, makes even conference commissioners blush when confronted with the raw facts.

What other business outsources its most profitable and easily sold product – in this case postseason football?

The bowls were needed back in the 1950s. These days they are nothing but leeches on the system. I happen to like watching bowl games – or any games, but outside of nostalgia they offer no value to a playoff system.

It’ll never make sense to allow businesses outside college football to determine how college football does its business.

College football could stage the 15 playoff games itself, cut out the middle men, and pockets hundreds of millions of extra revenue.

The bowl lobby is a powerful one though, which is why just about every idea you’ll hear or read will use these bowls for the quarterfinals and these for the semifinals and so on. Or they float out the “Plus One” system, which while an improvement to the current BCS, is essentially a desperate Stockholm syndrome compromise. The bowls’ sole concern is keeping their grip on the system when reform inevitably comes.

A neutral site, bowl-based playoff would create ridiculous travel demands on teams and fans. Moreover, going neutral site makes the seeds almost meaningless and, indeed, devalues the regular season.

A playoff that includes bowls is a poor idea. It’s why the BCS clings to it and holds it up as the deal breaker for any and all playoff discussion.

The solution, however, is simple – ignore the bowls.

This isn’t the same as eliminating them. The 34 bowl games can continue to operate outside of the playoff, just like any non-affiliated business. All the non-playoff teams can compete in them. With the BCS, only one game matters any way. It’s not like the Sun Bowl is going to be all that different. If the people of El Paso want to continue staging the game, then they should.

Any claim that such a playoff would kill off all the bowl games is alarmist, dishonest and not based in fact. Any simple analysis of bowl finances show these things are cash cows (why do you think they keep adding bowl games?).

The bowl games will survive as long as two things continue. First, people keep watching football on TV. Since “Bowl Week” is ESPN’s highest rated of the year, don’t count on that changing.

Second, colleges continue to subsidize the bowl system by paying all team expenses and guaranteeing (often at a loss) ticket and marketing revenue. Since the sport will be awash in cash to spend with a playoff, bowls may wind up healthier than ever.

In an effort to help the bowls, first- and second-round losers in a playoff could even return to the bowl pool and take a slot in a late December bowl game if they so choose. That means as few as four teams are pulled out.

As long as they don’t block the playoff, the bowls can go on fine. This is great; the more football the better.

Higher seeds get home games early

The playoff would stage the first three rounds at the home field of the higher-seeded team before shifting to a neutral site, a la the Super Bowl. As a nod to history, it could be a rotation of famed stadiums such as the Rose Bowl. Or the Rose Bowl every year. This doesn’t matter to me.

This allows the playoff to capitalize on perhaps college football’s greatest asset – the pageantry, excitement and history of its legendary campus stadiums. There is nothing like a college game day and it doesn’t matter whether you’re in Tuscaloosa or Ann Arbor or Lincoln or Los Angeles. Each one is thrilling and adds tremendous value to the product.

So why does college football stage its postseason in antiseptic pro and municipal stadiums?

Hosting games would be a boon to the schools. Instead of sharing up to 40 percent of game revenue (and all travel costs) with third-party bowl committees – run by an executive director making up to $800,000 a year – college and universities could keep all money in-house.

Why they’d ever choose otherwise is beyond comprehension.

Home games would pump up local economies too. It’s not the people in Ohio’s job to drop their disposable income in Pasadena; they might consider doing it right at home. The entire “economic impact” theory for bowl games makes no sense on a national scale (which this is) because it’s just displaced spending. Just a guess, but I’m sure the guy running the Columbus Applebee’s would enjoy a crowd as much as the guy running the one in Tempe.

Most importantly it would also reward the higher seeds (again placing value on the regular season) by providing the distinct advantage of playing at home. (The visiting team would get the same small ticket allotment it currently gets). To be a top-two seed, and host through the championships game, would be a considerable advantage.

This would also placate complaints from northern teams who are seemingly always playing bowl games near the campus of their opponent. The Big Ten’s been getting slaughtered of late in bowl games. Well, let’s see Florida or LSU slide around in the snow of Happy Valley some time.

The BCS has all but killed intrasectional games (there’s no reward to playing a tough schedule), but the idea of them returning each December and January, famous jerseys in famous faraway stadiums (USC in the Swamp; Texas in Camp Randall; Oklahoma on the blue turf) can warm any college fan’s heart.

The schedule

While the former Division I-AA plays all four rounds in four consecutive weeks – and stages the title game before Christmas – football’s top division might be better served playing the first one or two rounds in December, breaking for final exams and staging the semifinals just after Christmas and the title game in early January.

While final exams are worth noting, college football players miss very little class time during the regular season (especially compared to other sports). And under the current system, they’re required to have three weeks of practice right in the middle of finals anyway. It’s not like they have time off.

College athletics has never allowed academics to stand in its way before. Even Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has admitted the academic debate is a complete canard.

One of the apologists’ greatest whines is that a playoff would make the season too long. It’s conceivable that some teams would play 17 games. The guys in the other divisions of college football manage to do it though and as Texas Tech coach Mike Leach points out, the Texas high school season can go 16 games long and the best players are often on both offense and defense. The NFL plays a much longer season with just 53-man rosters.

The length of the season is just another smoke screen.

The presidents

There’s nothing easier than blaming it on the faceless “Presidents.” They don’t want a playoff everyone says and that’s that.

The truth is they’ve never been presented a real playoff plan. If you read their comments about the BCS, it’s obvious few have any idea how college football actually works. It doesn’t help that the same powers that are employing Washington PR firms to muddy the debate waters are the ones briefing them.

One day the campus leaders are going to figure out the facts and things will change. Presidents are obsessed with revenue. If they follow the money, they’ll see they are getting swindled and opinions could change rapidly.

We’re talking billions of dollars in television, game day and marketing revenue that is just lying on the table. Once they realize it’s there, will they really let it sit forever?

“It’s not a question of if there is going to be a playoff, it’s going to be a question of when,” Florida State president T.K. Wetherell said. “It’s going to be driven by money.”

Money we’ve got. Fairness we’ve got. Excitement we’ve got. A playoff plan that would solve all problems and create a four-week event that would rival the NFL playoffs in popularity, we even have that.

See, college football fans aren’t as dumb as the BCS thinks.

JonnyTazeMeBro said:

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Next time just paste the link, this was a waste of space.

Anthony Hoffman said:

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^^^^HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!!!

Max Power said:

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It was a lot of space, but at the same time, it was a good read, too.

reppend said:

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Is it baseball season yet???

Ralphyboy said:

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After the conference championships, I would take the top 8 teams in the BCS standings and have them play the following week at the home of the higher ranked team. Playing at home in early December after the students have returned from Thanksgiving break would produce a good atmosphere, and should still be before exams. The four winners would play in two BCS bowls, and the four losers in the other two. (That way the other bowls could still be filled out before these games were played.) After the BCS bowl games, you're left with two teams that would play the following week for the championship. I would also alter the BCS rankings to put greater emphasis on schedule. I hate how big-time schools schedule teams they have no business playing just to guarantee a victory.

Ralphyboy said:

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Thought about it some more, and would still take 8 teams - the 6 BCS conference champions and 2 at-large. The at-large teams would have to come from non-BCS schools, which means BCS schools have to win their conference. With less emphasis on non-conference games, the BCS schools would hopefully schedule more compelling non-conference match-ups.

arch21002 said:

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Kap mustve had a few too many over the Holiday's.

Every game counts is NOT a good thing, it is a ridiculous thing. For one, no every game doesn't count for several schools not associated with the BCS.

But this is what is ridiculous about this system, and it is really simple.

What was Oregon and Ohio State playing for yesterday? What did Florida's win mean? Did their games count for anything? How about the other zillion unwatchable games that play for nothing. It is like watching preseason NFL football watching these bowl games. Amateur athletes playing for pride and that is it? You say every game counts, well not ONE game has counted for anything of importance so far this bowl season.

And why should every game matter so much in the regular season? Why is that good? What is so compelling about that? Oklahoma loses on opening night to BYU, well their season went down the toilet. Ohio St. loses in early Sept to USC....well their season is irrelevant for the remainder of the season, THE REST OF THEIR GAMES DON'T MATTER. Just because you lose a game doesn't mean the rest of your season is void, you should be able to play over that loss.

Of all the sports that needs some sort of a playoff it is this one. Teams play horrible non-conference schedules to make sure they don't lose, I don't blame em the way the system is, and then play in their bubble, aka conferences. Then it is up to the voters and a computer to determine what the best team is and what the best conference is? Based on what? How do we know what conference is the best, on reputation of the past?

This would be like if there were eight baseball leagues instead of two and then a computer determined who got to play in the world series.

Of all of the sports that needs some sort of playoff it is this one and it isn't close.

Mike Nadel said:

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Yo Kap ... fellow ChicagoNower Nadel (www.chicagonow/blogs/mike-nadel-baldest-truth) here ...

Over the years, I have advocated a solution such as the one Nick K. mentioned. It would work wonderfully for those who want to keep the bowl system, it would keep most of December free for academics, it would limit number of games for most schools to reasonable levels and it would involve 16 teams in a real postseason to determine an actual national champion.

BCS/bowl proponents use some interesting arguments to defend their stance.

One myth is that in the current format, every regular-season game counts. Actually, the current format turns September into nothing but Texas-vs.-UTEP and Florida-vs.-Charleston Southern. Smart ADs simply don't schedule compelling inter-regional games because such games can only hurt a team's BCS bowl aspirations.

As for the final-exams-in-December argument ... please. Most schools have midterms in March; that hasn't stopped the NCAA from sanctioning an entire month of road games for basketball programs. Besides, a plan similar to the one Nick K (and I) would solve that quandary, if school presidents actually care.

In my own little personal protest against the BCS, this is the fourth year in which I haven't seen one minute of one bowl game. I call it Boycott College Sham and have advocated it in my column and blog. There are a few others who have followed my lead, but I'm not naive enough to believe it ever could affect change. I do it because it feels right to me.

Cheers ... and happy new year, everybody.

dan9189 said:

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The Bowl system is outdated. Div I-AA, Div II-A, Div III-A, and Div NAIA all have playoff systems and play as many games as the big boys do. It all boils down to money, a playoff system won't pay schools the amount that the bowl games will. THAT is why there is no playoff. I agree with you Kap that college football is a great sport but they're "way" to determine a true champion is crap. Personally I don't recognize a college football national champion in the current system and will not until they add a playoff system or a plus 1.

arch21002 said:

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I too haven't watch a minute of any of the bowl games so far. I am not boycotting the games, they just don't matter. Why do I want to watch meaningless amateur football games? Do I watch Canadian football? No. Did I watch the USFL? No. So why would I watch a minute of a college sport where the games don't matter AT ALL?

To say that every game matters is a joke. None of these bowl games matter except one. In college basketball every game matters because teams top teams are battling for seeding, region.....and MOST of the NCAA teams are battling to get into the tournament. Only 20% of DI teams make the NCAA tournament, it isn't easy. You're telling me that Illinois/Gonzaga didn't matter? That was a big win for Gonzaga's resume, and a loss that hurt Illinois' resume, plus it was a great great game that didn't last for 3 1/2 hours.

Now EVERY Big Ten game matters for teams like Illinois, Ohio State, Minnesota, Northwestern to see if they can fight to make the NCAA tournament. Those are quality teams, that all could get left out. Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin will be battling for seeding all year, and more importantly be battling for a hard fought Big Ten title. This goes on in every conference. Also in college bball teams will schedule great games because they aren't fearful of that loss KILLING their ENTIRE season. It is ludicrous that it happens in coll. football, and teams are fearful of even scheduling anyone decent.

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