As the heads of the 11 conferences plus Notre Dame are meeting today and 3 more time scheduled over the next few months, it looks like a plus one format is on the agenda for discussion. Speculative format would be that after the top four teams are announced after the division championships, 1 would play 4, 2 would play 3. The loser would go into the general bowl pool (the thirty something bowls we had this year) and the winners would play a national championship. So everyone would be trying to get into the top 4 team playoff. Rumors are that the BCS would get out of the bowl business all together and just concentrate on the four team playoff.
For people like me who have long championed a playoff system in Division I college football this is a very important first step. To be sure a lot has changed over the years to get to this point we are now. The bowl system is completed watered down and to a degree has become ridiculous. Growing up and watching bowl games on New Year’s Day was special. I played football at Missouri in the 90’s and bowl games were special, although we never played in one while I was there, we sure wanted to get to one. I volunteer every year for the Armed Services Bell Helicopter Bowl here in Fort Worth and it is a top notch, gratifying experience even though it’s not the Sugar Bowl it special to folks in Fort Worth. But when the conversation turns to a mythical national championship there is not much to say other than the current system is garbage.
You can’t have a computer ranking and voting to determine champions. We play for a championship based on conference record, that leads to a playoff system in jr. high, high school, Div II College and the NFL. For some reason that won’t work for Division I college football?!? I believe verything can be worked out. I believe the money based around a 32 team tournament would be huge and could keep the bowl games intact as playoff venues. Imagine everyone filling out a bracket come December for NCAA football? Also, people say that the games will not mean as much during the regular season. Maybe but I doubt it. Teams that lose the 1st game of the year will still have a chance for sure. It’s ridiculous to call a team that runs the table the best team just because they run the table. The most dominant teams of all time in the NFL, for instance the 85 Bears lost at least 1 game. Nobody would say 72 Dolphins were the most dominant NFL team of all time just because they ran the table. Why do we put that burden on amateur athletes?
This is all rumor right now but it looks like the plus one or four team playoff is on its way. It won’t stop there though; hopefully we will see a full fledged playoff tournament in the future and soon!