Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Case Against a BCS Playoff System

Last night's Rose Bowl win by Texas Christian University, who finished undefeated yet did not get a chance to play for the National Championship, will stir up a flurry of debate. Fans, coaches, and sports reporters will again be up in arms how the BCS bowl system just doesn't work. In fact, Barack Obama pushed for a playoff system right before his inauguration.  74% of Americans are not happy with a bowl system.

However, I will make a case as to why a playoff system is not a good idea.


1.) 62 more teams' season will end the first weekend in December. There is no logical reason to keep tier two bowl games around while eight other teams are in a playoff. As confusing as the bowl landscape currently looks like, this would only make it messier.

2.) With all of these teams out, college conferences would be out tens of millions in payout and sponsorship money. Will cities like Charlotte, Jacksonville, or even Detroit, who make millions in tourist travel during their bowl games, go quietly in the night?Last year, Northeast Florida made approximately $45 million contributed to the Gator Bowl.  Doubtful.

3.) TCU, currently in a non-automatic qualifying league, recently signed on to the Big East Conference. There sole intention is to play more competitive teams and make a run for a National Championship. With a playoff system, there is little incentive to move to a stronger conference but instead go undefeated against easier opponents.

4.) How do you whittle it down to eight or sixteen teams anyway? Polls, computers, politics, and the same ranking system won't make it any easier when choosing the bubble teams. Should 11-2 Oklahoma (who played a great game last night) be a qualifying team over 11-1 Michigan State?

5.) It's much easier to coordinate travel and operations for one bowl game for fans, players, coaches, bands, cheerleaders, personell, and alumni. Expenses for schools and fans alike really start to add up. UConn was still sitting on $2.5 million in unsold Fiesta Bowl tickets last week that they are responsible for selling. Could you imagine how many empty seats there would be if they played three weeks in a row all around the country?

6.) Notre Dame's chance of winning a National Championship is much more difficult with a playoff system. After the Irish go undefeated next season due to a few miracles and poor seasons for USC and Michigan, there's a slight chance their opponent would be riddled with a key injury and a few starters on NCAA probation. The chance of this happening three weeks in a row is nil.

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