Peter O’Hara 11/19/09 ENGL 101-26 Dr. Winner Paper #4 Why the BCS should implement a playoff system In five out of the last ten seasons in Division One college football, there has been an undefeated team that did not get the opportunity to play for a national championship, and three of those times they were beaten out by a one-loss team. Also, in nine of the last ten seasons, there have been more than two teams with the same amount of losses as a team that got the opportunity to play for a national championship. The BCS, Bowl Championship series, is the current format used to determine the champion of Division 1-A College Football.
The Bowl format consists of 32 bowls, including four bowls dubbed the “Championship Bowls” plus one “National Championship Game”. They include the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Sugar Bowl. Every year they rotate as to which one will also host the “National Championship Game”, in addition to their own game. The teams themselves are ranked through a laid-out, but faulty, computer system. Through a multitude of components ranging from the number of losses a team has to their strength of schedule, these teams are ranked 1-25, with the top two being selected to play in the “National Champion Game”.
This system also selects one or two at-large teams from a non-BCS conference to play in one of the Championship Bowls, depending on the other BCS conference champions. The BCS has been widely criticized in everywhere from bar rooms to congress. This unfair system is stealing the integrity and morals of the game right out from under our noses. The following documented argument will show that the BCS needs to implement a playoff system to join the rest of college sports, solve the money issue, and most importantly, eliminate the controversy.
All college sports have a playoff to determine their champion and the BCS is part of college football. Therefore, the BCS should have a playoff to determine their champion. Not one other sport in any level of college athletics determines their champion through one game with the two teams already selected. Some type of a bracket system is involved with multiple games. They say that the game is not won on paper, and that there is a reason they play the game. Upsets happen all the time, and in the world of parity it is obvious that more than two teams deserve some type of shot at a national championship.
Mark Blaudschun exclaims in his Sporting News article, “Look at the excitement generated in the Division II playoffs, which culminated in a dramatic overtime game between Carson-Newman and Northwest Missouri State. ” This type of excitement lacks throughout Division 1 College Football. Every year come March, people all over the country know it’s time for March Madness Basketball. Some of the things that make college sports and playoffs dramatic and exciting are eliminated by the BCS system. The idea of getting a fair shot and pursuing a dream is ruined by a computer and a few people’s greed.
It is time that a system is put in place to allow us to see gridiron versions of the 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs (College Baseball World Series champions as a #16 (out of 16) seed) and the 2006 George Mason Patriots (Made Final Four of NCAA Basketball Tournament as #48(out of 64) seed) make their run at unexpected triumph. (NCAA. org) One of the major reasons that the BCS does not want to change to a playoff system is because of the large amounts of money involved with each game. There is a very large playoff for making it to one of the Championship Bowl, which last year was a “whopping total of seventeen million dollars. (usatoday. com) However, many strategies can be put in place to assure that teams that advance the furthest are paid the most, instead of them being paid a large sum of money for just one game. By saying that you can get paid a certain amount of money for making it past each round, you are rightfully giving these large amounts of money to teams that deserve it. Most of the money comes from advertising and sponsors, and with more games there would be more opportunities for that, in turn bringing in more chances for more money.
It would benefit the men up top more than the current system that they know now, silencing the critics who believe that switching to a playoff system will cost them large amounts of money. No, they just have to prove themselves on the field instead of getting paid all at once, up front. Rep. Tom Osborne (R-Neb. ) said, “Unfortunately as far as I’m concerned it seems like everything in athletics is about money, and it’s not always aimed at the student-athlete or what’s best for the game. “(washingtonpost. com) Lastly, the most important reason the BCS needs to implement a playoff system is to eliminate all the controversy.
The computer rankings are flawed, and even the creators know that. “John Swofford and Alamo Bowl President Derrick Fox; both of whom defended the current system, though Fox conceded that “no system is perfect and the Bowl Championship Series is not perfect. ” (CNN. com) If this system is so flawed that even the supporters know it, then something must be done to change it. Every year there is a debate about how the rankings played out, or how a one-loss team gets to play in the National Championship Game over an undefeated team.
With a playoff system, you take the top whatever number of teams, and have them play until a champion is decided on the field, not in a computer. Also, this gives schools from non-BCS conferences, such as an undefeated Boise State or TCU, the real chance to prove itself on the field. They have been snubbed every year consecutively since 2007 going back to undefeated Boise State (2007), Hawaii (2008), and Utah (2009), none of which got the opportunity to play for a national championship after going undefeated. Not having a playoff in college football is like the United States not having a presidential election.
We would simply choose two candidates based on a computer system and then maybe have another computer system choose one from that. Even our own president, Barack Obama, believes in a playoff system, “If you’ve got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there’s no clear decisive winner. We should be creating a playoff system,” he told reporter Steve Kroft. ”(espn. com) We would never see a real competition, and fundamentally, competition is what sports are based off of.
The preceding documented argument showed that the BCS needs to implement a playoff system to join the rest of college sports, solve the money issue, and most importantly, eliminate the controversy. Those who are opposed would say that it would cost too much money and the major schools would lose out. However it is clear that the pros outweigh the cons on this matter, and there are even clear solutions that solve their money worries. Therefore, based on the evidence presented in this argument it is clearly time for the decision makers in college football to take action and do what is right; mplement a type of playoff system in College Football and restore the competition and glory of this majestic sport. Peter O’Hara 11/19/09 ENGL 101-26 Dr. Winner Paper #4 Works Cited Blaudschun, Mark. “Unplug the BCS computers and have a playoff. ” Sportingnews. com. FindArticles. com, 27 Dec. 1999. Web. 12 Nov. 2009. Ellington, Travis. “BCS should switch to playoff system. ” Dailytoreador. com. 11 Sept. 2009. Web. 12 Nov. 2009. Jenkins, Sally. “BCS Has More Money Than Sense. ” Washingtonpost. com. 29 Dec. 2004. Web. 12 Nov. 2009. Jeon, Bryan. “Why the BCS Should Have a Playoff. 2 Jan. 2008. Web. 11 Nov. 2009. Johnson, Shawn. “Why The BCS Should Change Into a Playoff System. ” Bleacherreport. com. 4 Nov. 2009. Web. 12 Nov. 2009. Kroft, Steve. “Playoff? BCS responds to president-elect Barack Obama’s idea. ” ESPN. com. UPDATED, 18 Nov. 2009. Web. 11 Nov. 2009. Lazo, Larry. “BCS vs. playoff debate comes to Capitol Hill. ” CNN. com. CNN, 1 May 2009. Web. 12 Nov. 2009. Murphy, Brian. “Can two non-BCS teams make the BCS? ” IdahoStatesman. com. 5 Nov. 2009. Web. 12 Nov. 2009. National Collegiate Athletic Association. NCAA. org. NCAA. Web. 12 Nov. 2009.