Welcome to the playoff era of the NCAA
Going Long with Geisler
Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 01:10
Our long national nightmare known better as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) has finally come to an end. The 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee was officially announced, and next year we’ll have a four-team playoff.
After living with the fickle BCS since 1998, college football fans were ready for basically any other system to decide who faces each other for the national championship. People love to dump on the BCS with its computer formulas and sometimes head-scratching results, but it served us relatively well in the end.
The BCS gave us Vince Young vs. Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, the classic Ohio State versus Miami matchup (which might be the happiest moment of my life) and many more. The system is imperfect, but it was a grand improvement over crowning multiple champions and not having the two best teams match up at the end of the year.
Fortunately, we’ve evolved again. And this time, it’s doing exactly what the BCS tried to do 15 years ago—give us more football with great teams playing each other.
Who wouldn’t want to see Ohio State, Alabama, Oregon and the winner of Florida State/Clemson play in college football’s own version of the Final Four? Next year that will be the reality, and that’s exciting.
Invariably, there will be complaints. Somebody’s always going to get left out, but as long as the system continues to move toward the best teams playing each other to crown a real champion, there should be no real complaints.
Early in the aforementioned 13-member committee’s life, there has been some controversy. How will people like Pat Haden (USC’s athletic director) set aside their individual biases to pick the best teams?
People with questions like these need to relax. All anyone wants is the best product. The best product makes the most money and that’s how everyone is really happy. Everyone on the committee has a long-time commitment to real competition, so there’s no need to wring our hands about their motives.
And for those bothered by Condoleezza Rice being included on the committee, I say, get a life. The daughter of a football coach, and a political scientist, diplomat and former top advisor to a president should be able to hold her own making decisions on sports of any kind (and she’s a real fan).
The playoff era, like the BCS era will be fun, but imperfect. Kind of like the college football system millions continue to tune into every week because it’s so compelling. Let’s focus on the fun college football’s final four provides and avoid wringing our hands over the small stuff.