An End to the BCS Controversy

The bowl system has been great for college football. Half the teams go home a winner and the other half get to enjoy the great destinations, venues, and everything else a college bowl game has to offer. However college football has always had a great deal of controversy involving the BCS’s selection of the top two teams. I am in favor of tweeking the system a bit so that the teams that deserve to play in the championship get that shot. I like the plus one format for college football. Similar to the BCS with 2 teams I would take the top 4 teams from any conference. Teams could qualify if they are conference champions or not. (With a limit to 2 teams per conference.) The criteria are simple be one of the top 4 teams in the BCS. Next take those 4 teams and place them into two of the already existing BCS bowls. Then take the winners of both games and play a championship game.

The great thing about the plus one system is that you can use the current BCS formatting (computers, coach’s poll, other polls, etc.) to help to decide the 4 teams that qualify. No significant changes need to be made to the already existing bowl system. All the bowls can continue to function as normal. Just use two of the BCS bowls as play-ins and add a championship game.

Including the national championship there are 10 teams that play in BCS bowls every year. I would add the Cotton Bowl as another BCS site. Why? If you were to use the current BCS bowls you only have 8 BCS teams. That is because your championship would include two teams that have already played in the bowl games.

Some objectors to the plus one are the Rose Bowl representatives because they prefer the tradition of the Big Ten and the Pac-10 playing in their bowl. If the Cotton Bowl was added you could guarantee a Rose Bowl match-up of the Big Ten and Pac-12 every 3-4 years instead of just every 2-3 years and sometimes less.

The format to the plus one would either be seeded or not meaning if a Big Ten and Pac-12 teams quailfied then they would play in the Rose Bowl, naturally. If that is not the case and there are no natural fits or bowl tie-ins then you would seed the teams 1-4, 2-3. So not necessarily 1-4 2-3 match-ups of the top 4 seeds it would be more about the universities, the fans, the bowls, and travel and if it worked out 1-4 2-3 then great.

So you would use two of the BCS bowls rotating between the Rose, Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta as play-in games for the national championship. Then either play the National Championship at one of those bowl locations or pick a city like the NFL does.

This formula works because the Rose Bowl wants to keep their Pac-12 and Big Ten match up and the Cotton Bowl wants to be included in the BCS. Another problem is that the bowls want the games to be played at or around January 1st. So I say let them keep the play-ins for Jan. 1 and schedule the national championship for Jan. 14, two weeks is plenty of time to prepare.

There is hardly ever more than 4 teams that deserve the right to play in the national championship. The plus one would work with up to 4 undefeated teams and if there are only 2 undefeated teams then they should have no problem beating their first opponent in the playoff and meeting each other in the national championship still undefeated. The system also works exceptionally well if there is only one undefeated team. The plus one system is more inclusive and would allow teams to showcase how good they really are. The best team would be decided on the field.

Most championship games don’t get off to a blistering start because of the long lay-off between the last game of the regular season and the actual bowl game. By playing the championship game two weeks after the play-in games you would cut the number of days between the bowl games. This would make the offenses more crisp and clean in their execution of the coach’s game plan. Everyone wants to see the two best teams playing at their best and the plus one system provides that.

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