Big League Clu evaluates the new college football playoff system.
Well it finally happened everyone! After years of speculations, debate, proposals and rejections…NCAA football finally came to an agreement for a four-team playoff system in College Football! The committee of University Presidents approved the system and it will be starting in the 2014 season. Good riddance, BCS! So everybody must be wondering… how does this new system work and will it be better than what the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system was providing? We’ll let me break it down for you
What does the playoff system offer?
From what I have gathered, a “top four” teams are determined based on strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and of course win-loss records. The semi-finals will take place on December 31st and January first, with the #1 seed facing #4, and the #3 seed facing, of course, the #2 seed. “Championship Monday,” which is the name that the committee is calling the national title game, will take place that following Monday night which will be Jan. 12th, 2015. It will be a non-sponsored bowl game, just basically the national championship game, exciting right?!
This committee will also be responsible for determining the bowl championship sites, in many ways the same way that the NFL chooses its Superbowl site. The committee will only have six sites to choose from, some of them being the former BCS bowl sites (the Rose Bowl will be guaranteed a spot but it is uncertain whether or not the Fiesta, Orange or Sugar Bowls will be given one of those other spots in the playoff rotation). Some have speculated that the Cotton Bowl may be one of the other sites used, as it is currently played at the $1.1 Billion dollar Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and is certain to be making a push to be involved in the National championship picture. To my understanding, three out of the six possible sites are to be chosen by committee (two being for the semi-final match-ups, and one for the national championship).
So what happens to programs who are left out?
I found myself asking that very same question as soon as I heard the news about the new system. In many ways the four-team playoff hurts some of the other conferences that relied on the old BCS system, because teams that play in the Big East/Mountain West no longer meet the requirements for the automatic bid. As far as bowl games are concerned, I think that the NCAA committee will find a way to still have the bowl games prior to the playoffs. Not that anyone cares about the Papajohns.com bowl or the Poinsettia Bowl, but I am sure that the NCAA will do everything in its power to keep the corporate sponsorships they have on all of the bowl games.
What does Big League Clu think about it?
I think that this is a great leap forward for the sport as a whole. There have been so many controversies in the past decade because some programs get left out of the national championship game because of their “strength of schedule”. This solves the problem, although maybe only as a short term solution, but I cannot count how many times I have seen three of four undefeated teams going into the the end of the season, only to be left out when the BCS came out with their bowl schedule (2004 Auburn Tigers, went 13-0, won the SEC and were left out of the national title game).
This is unfortunately only a temporary fix because, at some point in the near future, there will be a team (maybe from the Big East, ACC or SEC conferences) who will be on “top four” cusp and end up left out of the playoffs because the committee may not deem them fit to play for the National title. This will cause another uproar in the college football community, and then we will be back to square one and talking about how the playoff system needs to be changed yet again.
Unfortunately for us college football fans, this system has been approved for twelve years, so who knows, maybe in twelve years, when I am almost 40 years old, I will still be covering college football for Jobu’s Rum and have my follow up for this piece when they potentially expand the playoff system again!….see you in 2025 everyone!
Featured image courtesy of: Gerald Herbert/AP