The current BCS post-season system is out the door after next season. For a long time, what have we all been arguing on years when there is near universal feeling that the two best teams are in the so-called championship game? “Well, at least the two best are in the title game.” However, that argument is highly flawed for one simple reason: in a genuine playoff format, sometimes the team that barely made the playoffs turns out to be the champion.
Just look at the NFL: when the New York Giants won their last two Super Bowls, they had barely made into the playoff tournament. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers both played all road games on route to recent championships. There is nothing to suggest that this past year Texas A&M, Oklahoma, or another team could have earned their way into the title game had they been given a shot, and what a game that would have been. It wouldn’t be a BCS-buster, which is a bad term, but rather a true Cinderella story of sorts.
The fact of the matter is that the current BCS system is overtly corrupt; they don’t even try to hide it anymore. Seriously, when the news broke that they were instituting the four-team bracket, starting with the 2014 season, the first comment out of the reporter’s mouth was that when the commissioners heard the potential revenue stream listed at $50 – 100 million, all long-time staunch resistance to an FBS playoff melted away. It was money, not the game’s integrity, not the “integrity of the regular season”, not concern for the student-athletes, that drove the playoff process. It was grown men who were in a position to profit that drove the process.
Now, don’t get me wrong: the new system, at bare minimum, will eliminate several corrupt elements. There will be a selection committee to handle the top four, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for non-AQ teams, but is at least better than relying on the rankings alone. The venues for the semi-final, and championship, games will vary from year to year, rather than letting one bowl in particular profit all the time. Still, I think a lot of us would prefer an eight or twelve team playoff, although if you’re going with a twelve team bracket, you might as well just do sixteen, since it’s four weeks either way.
However, the BCS moves slower than the United States Congress in terms of forward progression (and that’s saying something), so for now, all we can do is take what we can get. That’s not to say we have to like it, though.