College Football Playoffs – Who Needs It?

Awh, it’s that time of the year again. The interstate rivals, the conference championship games, and the bowl season right around the corner. But as usual, everyone is caught up in the college football playoffs controversy. It seems to happen every year. People with poor memories will forget what it used to be like and how we would derive at a national champion.

The two best teams seldom ever played for the championship. The most embarrassing year was in 1984 when Brigham Young University won the title. Let’s get one thing straight off the bat. Finishing the season undefeated means absolutely nothing if you play crème puffs to get there. Brigham Young didn’t even have to play a serious opponent in a serious bowl to win it. They played Michigan, who finished tied for 6th place in the Big-10 and they played in the Holiday Bowl.

All of the elite bowls back then were played on New Year’s Day which means that the championship was decided early in the season. To be fair, Oklahoma was supposed to win it but they were upset in the Orange Bowl against Washington University. And to make matters worse, the Cougars barely beat Michigan to take the bowl.

Folks have been screaming for a college football playoff system since the BCS started. But the number one accomplishment of the BCS is that it has instated a computer system that ranks teams by strength of schedule. Unlike the NFL that has parity and only 30 teams, college football has over 100 teams and some conferences are simply much stronger that other conferences.

Who needs a playoff anyway? The passion and drama of regular season football at the college level can never be matched by the NFL. The bowl season begins in September and runs through December. You can lose a game and quite possibly two and still get there, but the pressure is on to win every week. In the NFL, most playoff posturing has been decided before the last two weeks of the year so playoff bound teams rest players. That means that the final two weeks are similar to pre-season. That never happens in college. You fight to the finish.

The BCS since its inception has continuously but the two best teams in the final meeting and the ratings have been awesome. I have one last example for you. If baseball didn’t have a playoff system and we decided the World Series like we did 50 years ago, guess who would have played in the World Series? The Yankees and the Phillies would have been the final two teams and I think the ratings would have been a bit better than the Rangers and the Cardinals don’t you?