As most of you probably know the landscape of College Football is about to change in a very significant way for a long time. It is kind of hard to grasp, but it is also exciting at the same time. Nebraska is headed for the Big-10 (giving them 12 teams so they can have a conference championship game), Colorado has accepted an invitation to the Pac-10, and more moves are on the way. Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have been sought after by the Pac-10, and if they all joined it would give the Pac-10 16 teams, meaning they would become a “mega” conference. Missouri has been mentioned as a possible pick-up for the Big-10, and I personally think the Big-10 should try to get Missouri and Kansas, which would give them 14 teams.
It remains to be seen if this is all that will happen, but I’m willing to be that there is more shifting than just this, especially since these moves don’t account for all of the Big-12 teams, only 9. Ultimately, though, I think this will lead to a playoff. The BCS is at it’s highest level of effectiveness when there are undefeated teams, and with these conferences with 16 teams, 14 teams and then the SEC which has been a historically tough conference, I can’t see many (if any) teams going undefeated. I am perfectly fine with this, and in fact I encourage it, but I don’t think the BCS should stick around if this is the case. When there are teams with losses, specifically more than 1 or 2, controversy becomes a serious issue. If there aren’t going to be many undefeated teams (outside of Boise State or TCU, potentially) if any at all then I think a playoff makes the most sense. For one, it will bring in a lot of revenue because there will be interesting matchups all the way through just like in the NCAA Basketball tournament, and there won’t be nearly as much controversy about the champion as there is when the BCS decides what two teams were the best during the season and who deserves to play in the championship.
I have not been someone to criticize the BCS in recent years and I have been perfectly happy with Bowls, but with the restructuring going on I don’t think the BCS makes much sense at all. I would much rather see a playoff of the best 16 or eventually 32 teams. Then, potentially, teams that lose in the first round could play each-other in a couple of bowl games. The same could be done with teams who lost in the next round, the round after that and then the National Championship game would be a bowl for example. This would help keep the bowls around and keep them legitimate, but it would involve a more competitive and intriguing playoff system. I don’t think it is particularly likely that this happens, but it could be a “best of both worlds” scenario which would be nice. I’m always one to look for a win-win, and this is probably the closest we can get to that while implementing a playoff.
In addition, there could be a lower playoff of teams like in college basketball. That way the teams that didn’t qualify for the larger playoff could compete in this and get some media attention, albeit not as much as if they were in the 1st playoff. The same system could be applied, if desired, where the teams that lost could play eachother in some combination in a bowl game. Essentially it would be one of the lower level bowls that not many people besides me watch, and I think that would work well.
It will be interesting to see what all of this movement does to the ACC, the Big East and the SEC. The SEC will probably look to pick up a couple competitive teams from the ACC. Then maybe the ACC and the Big East will combine. The ACC-Big East combo would not be a bad one, but there would be a lot of weak teams in that conference. The SEC would have a bunch of strong teams, the Big-10 would have a couple strong teams, and the Pac-16 would have a bunch of strong teams as well.
Who knows what will happen, but I think a playoff is on the horizon and given the dominos that have begun to fall I for one am happy with that.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment on this since I am by no means no College Football expert, especially when it comes to the BCS, a potential playoff system and how teams will move around now that the dominos have started to fall.