Strengths of Our College Football Playoff
Deciding the best college football team has been the sorest spot in American athletics over the last 40 years. Who wins the coveted National Title has been decided by a final ranking by journalists and coaches, by a computer system and now by a 4-team playoff. We might be moving in the right direction, but by the gnashing of teeth by football fans every year it’s obvious the mark has not been hit. When comparing it to the always popular, Men’s Basketball Tournament, College Football looks silly and old.
Here at A Sip of Sports we have come up with a solution. It is a 5-week playoff system that includes the current Bowl Structure. In the original post we laid out the format of the system. Here we will discuss the benefits of our system.
The Regular Season Matters
This has been a worry by most critics of moving to a playoff system, the regular season games will lose their importance. They point to basketball as their example. There are a couple of problems with that comparison. First, basketball has so many regular season games than football ever will. Also, with our system, only 3 teams total, even a Power 5 conference, that will be able to make the playoff without winning their conference. It will also encourage teams to play outside their conference and have tough schedules in case they do not win their conference they have a respectable resume to be one of three.
Conference Champions Matter
How can we put someone who has not won their conference into the playoff while conference champions are left out? This is the debate had every year. Through our system, a Conference Champion is given a distinct advantage in the Power 5 Conferences. They get an extra week off and are guaranteed a spot in their historic Bowls. The smaller conferences champions will be rewarded and actually get a chance at the title. Our system also allows those that have only 1-loss but no conference title a path to the Championship. In our system there is room for both Alabama and Ohio State from this year. The “Best Teams” have a shot without discounting Conference Champions.
Holding to the Historic and Lucrative Bowl System
Through our system the Bowls will hold their power and importance. The bowls were originally created to pit different conference champions against each other. The BIG TEN and the Pac-12 chose to put their best teams against each other to see which conference was the best. We go back to that idea in our system. The smaller conference champions pit themselves against each other. They get to move on and play against a more elite program in a bowl game. The original bowls of Rose, Sugar, Cotton and Orange hold to their historic conferences while putting the games in more importance for crowning the National Champion. The bowls we picked were the bowls with the best attendance in the past, proving that fans will travel to these locations.
Our system also gets rid of the “fill-er-up” mentality that the Bowl season has become. Undeserving teams get to play in meaningless bowls in our current system, we will help stave that.
The National Championship Becomes National
By choosing bowls throughout the country it allows the entire nation to embrace the event. Fans can travel or alumni can see their teams closer to home. It does not give regional advantage or a home field advantage to teams.
The way our Bowl system is now, regularly student-athletes are forced to miss ample amount of school to travel during the week to Bowl Games. Through our system, games will continue to be on Saturdays, just elongating the already regular schedule.
Relieve the Stress at the Top
The number of firings for coaches that have winning records is staggering. The coaching carousal in college football is manic. To say that only affects the adults is foolish, college athletes are aware the way they play will result in the firings of coaches, even if they win more than they lose. Through our system there are more goals to be attained. Smaller programs coaches can take their student-athletes to national attention. Major Programs coaches are given more opportunities to succeed rather than just National Championship or bust.
Takes Power Away from the Elite Few
One of the most consistent argument against the past systems is how elitist it is. The BCS computers favored the big conferences. Now an elite few sit in a room and decide who is better, it’s not decided on the field it is decided in a room of people, most with ties to powerful programs. We have seen in our culture we are rejecting the notion of elitism. In the rise of both President Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders who campaigned on rejecting such notions, the NCAA stands as a pillar of this. Through this system, the decisions of who is in and who is out comes down to 3 at-large bids. Elitism is passed to a merit-based system.