BCS: One fans take on a new system From WhatIfSports.com image

BCS: One fans take on a new system

Fixing college football's post-season
By RE Centrasian
November 11, 2009

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BCS selection - an alternative to the status quo. Just for a moment consider the possibility of college football, division 1, not having to worry about being controversial in how it will determine it's champion. The BCS as it is today does have a few short comings, though it can be modified to accommodate those who are passionate about their college football.

First, the notion of a lesser team making it to the championship game, based on ranking rather than performance is a sham. Though a true playoff system would alleviate most of this problem, that eventuality is just that, an eventuality. Second, an alternate and enhanced method can be employed to determine and allow for the better teams to compete in the BCS.

This year there will be five BCS bowl games, including the BCS championship game. In theory this game would determine the best college team in division 1. The remaining BCS games are designed more for bragging rights for those victorious in their respective BCS games, as well as larger cash rewards for them and their conferences. All in all, not a bad system. The BCS wins, the respective teams and conferences win, and the media win.

What I propose is merely in addition to what already has proven to provide wins for all involved. I simply suggest that more are included in the winning, and there should be more to be won. Gentlemen, let's be clear, it is about money, not just sport.

One of the key issues surrounding the current system revolves around the apparent exclusion of the so called non BCS schools and conferences. To further exacerbate this oversight is the inclusion of an independent, namely Notre Dame, in the selection process. There is a simple remedy to this conundrum, but does require some cooperation. Also of significant interest is the lack of a semblance of some sort of fair and encompassing selection process.

Let us begin. One of the most obvious adjustments that would be required is the installment of a conference championship game for all division 1 conferences. Along those same lines a couple of the existing conferences could be adjusted by including additional teams into their ranks. Notre Dame could be added to the BIG 10, although there would then be twelve teams in the conference, it should retain it's identity. Army and Navy could be added to the BIG East, thereby eliminating the independent teams altogether.

The ranking system currently in use is still of significant value to all involved in college football and should be continued for years to come. In combination with the following proposed selection process, we as sports fans would find more satisfaction in the final outcome of the BCS. The BCS should be expanded to include a sixth, and as significant a contest as the other non championship games. Geographically, and traditionally, the Cotton Bowl would seem most desirable.

Currently there are six division 1 football conferences designated as automatic qualifiers by the BCS. This leaves five conferences, and their teams, out of the real head to head competition for the BCS games, and the advantages inherent in participating. By incorporating conference championships division 1 college football would end the regular season with an initial eleven teams in position to compete for the BCS championship. This part of the selection process does not guarantee that the highest ranked teams remain eligible to compete for the BCS championship so an additional phase needs to be incorporated.

Given that some teams, that were not conference champions in the six automatic qualifying conferences would end the season highly ranked, based on performance, they should not be overlooked and passed by lesser teams to compete in the next phase of the selection process. Typically conference championships are determined by the two leading teams of their respective divisions within the specific conference. In this case there would be six runner up teams from the automatic qualifying conferences. These six runners up, the five champions of the non automatic qualifying conferences, and a wild card team could then move on to the next phase, a one week selection process.

The five non automatic qualifying conference champions and wild card teams would have the opportunity to face the six runner up teams from the automatic qualifying conferences to determine which additional teams the BCS might consider for invitation to the BCS Bowl games.

In an effort to achieve equity for both automatic qualifying conferences and non automatic qualifying conferences/wild card, this phase of the selection process would alternate the locations of contestation. A "Home and Home" atmosphere would be developed by alternating yearly between automatic qualifying conferences and non automatic qualifying conferences/wild card team home fields.

Now the season has been contested and the six BCS automatic qualifying teams have been determined, and the next six best teams, based on head to head competition, have been selected, the BCS pairings can be determined.

The Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Orange Bowl would all now be guaranteed participants who deserved to be participants. The BCS Championship game would contain the two highest ranked college division 1 teams, and a more true champion would be selected.

The BCS wins, the fans win, the media win. All division 1 conferences win and have opportunity to participate in a more realistic national championship selection process.

If the three independents are not absorbed by the suggested conferences the process could go forward with minor adjustments, and the independents might be a source of the proposed "wild card" for the end of season selection process. One, or all of the independents, could be considered for the wild card choice based on final standing at the end of the season, in relation to one another.

The WIS Playbook is a collection of sports articles generated by authors from within the WhatIfSports community. Contributors will include Paul Bessire and Mike Schneid of WhatIfSports.com, other guest writers and even registered WIS users. In the Playbook, you will find unique content that varies from our typical predictions and hypothetical matchups. If you are interested in submitting articles for the Playbook, please contact us at BtB@WhatIfSports.com.

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