By Lindsey Miner
Finally, an end to the BCS system. May it rest in peace.
Playoffs have crowned a champion and marked an end to seasons from sports like baseball to curling.
Until a solution was formed in June, college football was the exception. It took commissioners less than three hours to deliberate the decision to have a playoff system. That’s how bad our current system is.
This is huge for college football. The result is a manageable, logical and long overdue playoff system that fans have waited on for years.
The premise of the BCS system makes sense, but the application of the current system is a bit problematic. The stated goal is to have the best teams play in the BCS bowls, however, that doesn’t always end up happening.
The change will begin in the 2014 season and continue through 2025. The existing system places the top two teams in the final BCS standings against each other for a national title game.
College football’s new playoff system will feature six bowl games, and will guarantee access to a team from the five non-power conferences including the Big East, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt.
Instead of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams matching up for a championship game, the new format will include a pair of semifinal games. The winners of the semis will then advance to the championship game on the first “Championship Monday.”
It seems to be a win-win solution. The bowl system survives. The regular season is still as exciting as ever. Tradition lives on. It’s only unfortunate that we can’t impose it this season.
The majority of fans will find the playoff system to be a solution they’ve been hoping for. Sure, it may still have some kinks in the system. But it has to be better than our current situation.
Under our current system enacted in 1998, the BCS has been criticized for institutionalized bias toward the six Automatic Qualifying (AQ) conferences and Notre Dame, an independent team in college football, at the expense of the non-AQ conferences. Since 1998, 11 non-AQ conference teams have finished the season undefeated without getting the chance to play in the national championship game.
To “Baylorify” some of the frustrations, let’s look at last year’s bowl situation. Baylor went 9-3 and got a bid to the Alamo Bowl. Not too shabby.
West Virginia also went 9-3, but got to play in the Orange Bowl, a BCS game. West Virginia got destroyed in the bowl by LSU, showing that they weren’t one of the top teams. There were other teams playing in BCS games with three losses, just like Baylor. So how do you know who’s better?
Boise State probably hates the BCS more than any other team. They’ve been shafted after undefeated seasons in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009. After finishing 11-1 last season and seventh in the final BCS standings, they were snubbed once again in favor of Michigan and Virginia Tech for the Sugar Bowl.
Teams like Boise State, Arkansas, Kansas State and Baylor were all overlooked because of the amount of ticket sales Michigan and Virginia Tech could bring in.
With the new playoff system, these teams might have a chance now to compete in BCS bowls. Only time will tell if the new system will work as well as it sounds.
College football fans can only hope.
Lindsey Miner is a senior business journalism and entrepreneurship major from San Antonio. She is a lab reporter at The Baylor Lariat.