So another slate of bowls has been set, and the debate continues on how to fix what many believe is a broken system. I have my own thoughts on the BCS. For the most part, I think it gets it right, however the field isn’t even for teams that are not part of a “BCS Conference”. Sure TCU is going to the Rose Bowl this season after posting their second consecutive 12-0 season. However, you cannot tell me the 7-4 Connecticut Huskies deserve to be in the Fiesta Bowl ahead of the 11-1 Broncos of Boise State.
The solution on most people’s minds is a tournament. However, it doesn’t appear that many of these people care or respect the established bowl culture that exists around the country. In the last 10 years, there has been an explosion of new bowl games. This is purely motivated by money. At the end of the day, bowls bring a lot of cash to the cities that host them. It is why the New York Yankees created the Pinstripe Bowl, and it is why the city of Dallas was desperate to replace the Cotton Bowl after it left the city for Jerry World.
You cannot simply dismiss this reality, or create a new system that doesn’t keep these lucrative opportunities available, particularly to cities, like El Paso (Sun Bowl) and Shreveport (Independence Bowl), that have come to rely upon these annual paydays.
The other big issue is the number of games. A playoff would add a number of games to the workload of student athletes. This is the trickier issue to deal with. Injuries can devastate a team, not to mention the future NFL careers of many young men playing college football. Of course, I am sure universities can make the proper arrangements, football is one of the most lucrative programs in any university.
The final problem would be the cost to the sports fans. Students would not be able to afford to travel across the country each week during the playoffs. This wouldn’t be a problem locally, as the local population would be more interested in their city’s bowl game than ever before. However, all of these games would essentially be neutral fields for most of these games. I did not take the locations of the bowls into consideration. However, I am sure you could position the early bowls geographically according to the teams playing. For instance, the Top 10 teams should play at bowls closer to their home fields.
All that said, here is my stab at a Bowl Championship series tournament. The major changes would be as follows.
- The Top 25 would be expanded to include the Top 32 teams in the country.
- Conference Championships would be replaced with the first round of the playoffs.
The BCS computers would continue to be used for seeding of each round. The four BCS Bowls (Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar) would continue to rotate as follows:
- 1 Hosting the National Title Game
- 2 Hosting the “Final Four”
- 1 Hosting a third round match-up the year after hosting the National Title Game.
Currently, there are 35 bowl games scheduled for this season. My system calls for only 31 bowls. The first to get cut will be the BCS Championship game. After that, I chose both the Military and New Orleans Bowls because they were redundant based on the Armed Forces and Sugar Bowls. The last bowl to get cut was the St. Petersberg, well, because Florida has way too many bowls already.
The first round of my tournament bracket would feature 16 bowls between the Top 32 ranked teams in the country, split up accordingly. Dates are based on the 2010-2011 bowl schedule.
Wednesday, December 1
Thursday, December 2
Friday, December 3
Saturday, December 4
Thursday, December 9
Friday, December 10
Saturday, December 11
Friday, December 17
Saturday, December 18
Saturday, January 1
Monday, Janury 10
Fiesta Bowl (Host of this season’s BCS National Championship Game)
#1 vs #2