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BCS is disgrace to college football

As of right now, I'm not too happy with college football.

The days of -- gasp -- two schools having to share a national title was something that the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS, was supposed to fix. Instead I've got an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach -- a feeling that BCS pundits told me I'd never feel.

Well, as everyone knows by now, that that's exactly what happened -- both my stomach thing and a split title -- and it's left a lot of LSU and USC fans feeling cheated.

Sure, they're happy their team has a share of a title, but it can't be as satisfying as being the sole champion.

Though I graduated from Wake Forest, I'm only a fair-weather fan of their football program. Instead, I follow Ohio State. I know that last season, when the Bucks won the national championship, if they had had to share that title with someone else, I wouldn't have felt the same way about the thing.

Regardless, right now we're left with an inept, computer-driven system that nobody seems to like, but everyone seems content with.

I can't say that sounds like the recipe for success.

The one thing that is clear -- and it's something the cynic in me can't seem to ignore -- is that no matter how asinine the system, lots of people are getting rich. And they're getting rich off a product where its chief participants -- the players -- aren't getting paid a dime. (Wink, wink.)

What college football needs is a playoff system. Look at March Madness, which to me, is the greatest sporting event on the planet. The reason that college football doesn't have that is that there's too much money tied up in the bowl games. Plain and simple, if bowl games were to be replaced by a playoff system, conferences, schools, sponsors, and of course, the BCS, would lose out on a huge wad of cash, right?

Well, yea, but there's no reason, as far as I can tell, that the idea of a playoff system and the tradition of bowl games can't coexist, and there'd probably even be room for the BCS too.

Take an eight team playoff, with the top eight teams decided by BCS standings. (Hey, even dreams need compromises in them) That means we'd have seven games to decide the national championship. The number one seed would play the number eight seed, two would play seven, and so on.

Take those seven games, and make them all bowl games. You could even rotate them like it's done now. Make the semifinal games the Rose and Sugar bowls and have the championship game be the Fiesta bowl, for example.

This way, we'd have the thrill and suspense of a real playoff system, conferences would get their huge payouts, the BCS could be kept around and bowl games could still get everyone rich.

But of course, that would be too easy and too simple.

So, how soon until March?

Web posted on Thursday, January 8, 2004

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