Like many college football fans out there, I listen to sports analysts and columnists give their opinion on how the NCAA should adopt a playoff system in college football and how the BCS is flawed. I also listen to varioius University presidents, NCAA officials and conference commissioners attempt to justify why the current system is great for college football. Both sides are very passionate about their views and, to a certain degree, both make valid points.
For those who want a playoff system, the two scenarios that seem most popular are an 8-Team Playoff or a Plus-One (essentially a Final Four) system. For those who are in favor of the BCS, they take solace in the fact that the #1 and #2 teams will meet every year to decide who takes home the crown. However, I believe that there is a way to make both sides happy...A 6-Team Playoff that uses the current BCS formula to declare the #1 and #2 teams as well as the 4 major bowls (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar & Orange) as potential playoff sites.
For example, the BCS #1 and #2 teams (Auburn and Oregon) would receive a BYE as a reward for finishing atop the standings. #3 TCU would take on #6 Ohio State in New Orleans (call it the Sugar Bowl). #4 Stanford battles #5 Wisconsin in Pasadena (call it the Rose Bowl). From there, #1 Auburn would play the #3/#6 winner in Miami (call it the Orange Bowl) and #2 Oregon takes on #4/#5 winner in Glendale (call it the Fiesta Bowl). Then, once the smoke clears, the two remaining teams play in the BCS Championship Game in one of the 4 BCS sites which would be rotated yearly.
When will these games would be played? Simple. Round 1 would be played on Saturday during Week 15 of the NFL season. Round 2 would be played on Saturday during Week 16 of the NFL season. The BCS Championship Game would be played on Monday following Week 17 of the NFL season. All 3 rounds would be completed before January 10th which is when this year's game is scheduled to be played and with the student-athletes missing a minimal amount of class.
Now for those of you who are in love with all the other Bowls that are played, that's fine. I see no need to abolish those games. Simply, play those games on any other day besides when the aforementioned 6-Team Playoff games are being played. So, those of you who tune in every year for the Las Vegas Bowl or Blue Bonnet Bowl (is that still around?) still don't skip a beat.
Seems fool-proof, right? The BCS Formula people are satisfied because their system awards the Top 2 teams in the country...Sponsors of the 4 BCS Bowls are happy because their game is going to be viewed by millions of people which means millions of dollars in advertising...Fans are happy because they get what they all have been dreaming of for so long...All this without entirely diminishing the integrity of the regular season that the NCAA officials take such pride in.
Of course, the #7 team will have a gripe every year. But, honestly, I'd rather have the #7 team (undoubtedly a team with 1 or 2 losses) crying instead of a potentially undefeated #3 team (see 2004 Auburn & 2010 TCU) being on the outside looking in without being given a shot to prove their worth.
Go ahead NCAA...find a hole in this theory.