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College Football needs a playoff system. Period.

College Football needs a playoff system. Period.

From A to Zowie

By Richard Zowie

Once again, we’re at that time of year when these inevitable things happen: Christmas shopping, endless Christmas songs on the radio and bickering about college football’s Bowl Championship Series system.

As far as the BCS gripe, it’s tantamount to the complaints we have in electing a president. Not whom we elected (although plenty of that does go on), but how we elected them. Many wonder why we still have an “antiquated” electoral college.

Texas Christian University and Boise State University are no doubt upset they won’t get a chance to play for the national championship, which will be played by Texas and Alabama. Alabama trounced Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game while Texas barely squeaked by underdog Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game. If Colt McCoy had waited a split second longer before throwing away that pass, it might very well be Florida and Alabama doing a rematch at the Rose Bowl for the National Championship.

Instead, we put our faith in a computerized BCS system that I wonder if even Bill Gates or one of those White and Nerdy professional computer geeks could explain. Year after year, we hear the BCS is flawed, and this year there’s no exception. Granted, Texas finished the season undefeated, but the Longhorns also struggled to get past Texas A&M and played games against lowly teams like the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Others would argue that neither TCU or Boise State played against many tough opponents. Recently, though, Boise had an opening on its schedule for either 2010 or 2011 and offered any major football program the chance to play them; I’m told they received no offers.

We could endlessly debate on whose schedule was truly the strongest, but instead, here’s my simple solution to problem that, granted, might not be so simple.

How about a playoff system that won’t span over so many weeks? Instead of risking injury and possible NFL careers over a two-month playoff where the top 10 or 15 teams fight for the right to play for the National Championship, how about the top five?

Here’s how we’d do it:

The AP Top 25 lists these teams in first through fifth place: Alabama at 1, Texas at 2, TCU at 3, Cincinnati at 4 and Florida at 5.

In Richard’s system, the National Championship could be decided in three weeks of play.

In the first week, it would be 2 against 5 and then 3 against 4. First-place Alabama would have a bye while Texas squares off against Florida and TCU battles Cincinnati.

In the second week, Alabama would then play the lowest-seeded team still alive. This would mean if Florida beat Texas, the Gators would play the Crimson Tide. If Texas beat Florida, then Alabama would play the winner of the Horned Frogs and Bearcats.

Then, in the third week, the two winners of those games would play each other for the National Championship.

A former A.C. Jones High School classmate, Richie Jones, made a great point on Facebook when I proposed this: one reason why the NCAA refuses to do away with the BCS is because too much money can be made by playing in regular bowl games. Perhaps that can be remedied by allowing the major bowl games like the Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl become part of this playoff.

I know my plan’s not perfect, but something has to be done. College basketball, which normally I don’t watch except when teams like Kansas, the University of Houston or LSU are playing, has an irresistible March Madness system. If college football really wants to generate excitement over its championship game, it needs to incorporate something similar to it. Very soon.

Richard Zowie grew up in Beeville and works in Michigan as a writer. Visit his blog at http://www.fromatozowie.wordpress.com or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.

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  1. December 11, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I agree with you about needing a playoff system, but I think there’s a better way to do playoffs. To take away the National Championship game like in 2005. Then you take away ALL conference ties to the remaining BCS games. You still have your AQ and non AQ teams, but where they play depends on their seed. #1/#8 – Rose, #2/#7 – Sugar, #3/#6 – Fiesta and #4/#8 – Orange. Then the winners advance and so forth. If they were to implement this, they could actually make more money.

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