For you true college football fans out there, what I’m going to tell you will sound like sweet music to your ears. College football is considering a playoff system.
The most influential people among the Football Bowl Subdivision elite in Division I college football met last week in Hollywood, Fla., to discuss the future of the sport. Among those in the meeting were the eleven FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, among other officials. There were numerous ideas floating about in the meetings that have been discussed relating to changing the current Bowl Championship Series system.
Under the BCS system, the two highest-ranked teams at the end of the season will play each other for the chance to call themselves the National Champions. The BCS is hardly fair, giving six conferences (the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and the SEC) an automatic bid to play in the highly regarded BCS bowls. Then, it gives at-large spots to teams both from within and outside the six “automatic qualifying” conferences.The voting and polling for determining these tops teams doesn’t seem to be based on anything football-related; the teams are picked via a popularity contest and by computers choosing who are the best teams. The teams are not picked by a face-to-face competition in which one side must out-smart the other to win.
The meetings in Florida were called to remedy that problem. On the agenda were various proposals, including a 16- and eight-team playoff system, which hit the trashcan. What was left was a four-team system with two semi-final games and then a National Championship game. The details of the games, or their locations, were not worked out at the time and will have to wait until the next meeting in June in Chicago.
I have to admit, this is a great step forward. I would like to eventually see an eight- or 16-team playoff for college football. But, perhaps the best news out of the meetings were the disposal of the automatic qualifying conferences, leaving an equal playing field for the occasional mid-major to sneak into the playoffs. The four-team playoff will allow for the regular season to still be meaningful to teams and will add some excitement to the boring, over-commercialized bowl season.