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A new chapter full of BCS

By Bob Bonett

Amid so much controversy, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Florida Gators will contest one another for the right to be crowned college football national champions in the Tostitos BCS Championship Game.

The two teams earned the right to face one another in the championship through the BCS system, or Bowl Championship Series system, for which the game is named.

However, it has come time to realize that the BCS is not necessarily the Bowl Championship Series.

More appropriately, the BCS may actually be an acronym for the "Blatantly Corrupt System," or the "Best College, Screwed," or even the "Big Computerized Screw."

Because since 1998, the system by which college football teams have earned the chance to play for a nation championship has failed to do its job over and over again.

Take for example the 2000 BCS Championship between Oklahoma and Florida State. Miami, the team ranked number two in both "human" polls, lost out on a chance to play in the championship because of the BCS, despite having the same amount of losses as Florida State (one), and beating Florida State during the season.

It didn't get much better for the BCS the next year, either, as the system sent a Nebraska team to the championship that lost its final game 62-36.

Move on a few years to 2003, when the number two and three teams in the human polls, LSU and Oklahoma, battled for the national championship. The top ranked team, USC, won their bowl game, and thus ended up sharing--SHARING!!--a national championship with LSU.

The next year had more of the same. Three undefeated teams stood at the end of the season, with Auburn being left out of the mix due to their poor preseason ranking.

And finally, this year, a Florida team that did not win nearly as impressive as Michigan did during the season, managed to earn a spot in the national championship, virtually due to poor Big Ten scheduling, as Florida won two games while Michigan remained idle.

(Granted, Michigan had their shot to beat Ohio State and failed. Regardless, though, poor scheduling should not have an impact on how the BCS works).

Now, clearly, the BCS has gotten national championship contestants right. But each time the two clear-cut teams are playing for the national championship, anybody in the nation would have been able to pick the top two teams in the nation without any difficulty.

Thus, the question is raised as to how to solve the college football postseason issue. And the only solution to this issue is the institution of a playoff system.

What kind of playoff system would possibly work? A six-team playoff, with the top two teams in the human polls earning first round byes.

Could controversy erupt in determining the two teams with bye weeks? Clearly. However, teams without a bye would not be losing out entirely on the opportunity to play for the national championship.

How about the number seven and eight teams, one might ask. Simple. Does Wisconsin or Boise State (number seven and eight in the standings), deserve the opportunity to hoist the national championship? Obviously not. Only the nation's elite should have the chance.

From a monetary standpoint, playoffs would be a great move for college football, as adding playoff games to a schedule would certainly earn more of a profit.

Would stamina be an issue in terms of a playoff system? Not necessarily, as the most amount of games a team would need to play would be three to win the championship.

Regarding the history of the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, there would be no reason not to name the five playoff match-ups after these bowls, with the national championship simply being called the Division I-A National Championship game.

One glaring problem with a playoff system would be the idea of every game counting. This season, with a playoff system, Michigan versus Ohio State would not have meant nearly as much as it did. However, is it more important for regular season games to be essential, or is it more important to name the legitimate national champion. Clearly, it is the latter.

Now, imagine a playoff system this year. First round match-ups between Louisville and Michigan, and LSU and USC, with the winners moving on to play Ohio State and Florida? The playoffs would be a sort of an epic.

Until then, though, it looks like the college football nation will have their champions crowned by some serious BCS.

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