Sports in the real world

Kyle Nodarse

The college football national champion was crowned over the winter break, and congratulations to LSU for defeating Ohio State to win the title. For those of you who are college football fans, everyone knows there are basically two opinions. Stick with the BCS or go to a playoff system. Almost everyone fits into one of these two categories and I feel very strongly for moving to a playoff system.The BCS is flawed and at this point everyone should know it. If you are trying to determine the national champion, if you are trying to determine the best team in the nation, how is it possible to have co-champions? In 2003, USC got overlooked by the computer formula, won their bowl game, and was still the number 1 team in the AP poll. This year, LSU became the first two-loss team to ever play in the national championship game since the BCS has been used. Another team, Kansas, plays in the Big 12 and only had one loss, yet did not receive a single vote to play for the national title game. LSU lost to number 17 — Kentucky — and then lost to unranked Arkansas. How does a team like that play in the national championship game?

A playoff system, like the ones used in every other college sport, including Division 1-AA football would work much better, resulting with the team that wins the playoffs is crowned the champion. That occurs in pro football, baseball, basketball and soccer. Why is it so hard to do what works? To be fair, this comes down to politics. The conferences that play for a spot in the BCS want those bowl games to remain popular and a playoff would reduce the amount of money they stand to make each year during the bowl season. My opinion is that this game at this level should be about the players, not the money. Let the college athletes play a playoff to determine a real champion, as opposed to letting a computer decide for everyone who the “champion” is.

There are a lot of positives to the BCS. It’s an extremely complicated system that takes into account a lot of different things. It takes into account the AP poll and the coaches’ poll; it takes into account things like strength of schedule, strength of win and worst loss, among other factors. The system is so complicated that the only people who can really explain it are the people who created it. Many media members have acknowledged that they don’t understand the system at all and many coaches have agreed. Why do we continue to use a system that has failed to anoint an individual champion? Why do we use a system no one understands? It doesn’t make sense to continue using the BCS until it gets fixed. If the BCS was perfect, every BCS game would be evenly matched but that didn’t happen this year. Look at USC and Georgia’s dominating games over Illinois and Hawaii. This is another issue with the BCS. The games aren’t much fun to watch past halftime.

I just don’t see why college football doesn’t do what works. The playoff system works for everyone else, because everyone else wants to determine a single championship team. Let’s stick with what works, instead of continuing to attempt to fix a flawed system.