Will College Football Playoff be What Everyone has Wished for?

With the College Football Playoffs fast approaching, it will be interesting to see fans’ reactions in comparison to the Bowl Championship Series the league has had in the past. The BCS was formed in 1998 to place the top two BCS-ranked college football teams against each other in a national championship while the other eight top teams played in a total of four bowl games. For years, football fans argued that a playoff system should replace the BCS and that it is the only way to fairly determine a national champion. Many people viewed the BCS method as not only subjective but also profit-motivated, sometimes leaving the best teams out of the championship game. On the other hand, supporters of the BCS defend the system saying that it is in the best interest of the athletes, fans, and sponsors. To them, the bowl games generate high profits for schools as well as their local economies. They also argue that the BCS keeps the season shorter for student athletes, and almost always has the two best teams playing each other for the national title.

According to a poll taken by ESPN, 77% of people believe the four-team playoff is the right move for college football. This is certainly understandable due to the amount of controversy that has surrounded the BCS over the years, but there are always two sides to every situation. A pro to the bowl series was that there was more importance placed on individual regular-season games. Even though it does not always pan out that way due to the unexpected nature of college football, most years it is absolutely necessary to go undefeated in order to play for the national title, meaning one misstep could cost a team its season. Some fans may call this unfair, but it is exciting nonetheless. With the College Football Playoff, there will be less excitement late in the regular season. If an undefeated team loses its conference championship game, it will not be the end of the world. With four spots available rather than just two, that team will still have a strong chance to play for the national championship. However, is that fair if they will have had to compete in one less game than most of its competitors?

Probably the biggest argument in favor of the College Football Playoff System is the fact that the best team in college football will be settled on the field rather than being determined by computers and formulas. Every year, it seems like there is at least a team or two left out of the fight for the national title that could potentially win it all if given the opportunity. Now, with the playoffs in place, those teams will finally get the shot they deserve. No longer an issue is the fact that under the BCS system, formulas were used to say if one undefeated team was more deserving of a chance at the national title than another undefeated team. Even though the computers usually matched the consensus in terms of the rankings, there is the question of the level of fairness.

College football fans including me have long wished for a playoff system; therefore, I am extremely excited to finally see one implemented this year. The CFP will feature four teams that will be selected by a committee consisting of former athletic directors, coaches, and a media member. The championship game will be bid out to different cities, starting in Dallas this season, while the two annual semifinal games will rotate among six bowls: the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-Fil-A. In my opinion, the playoffs are definitely going to be a change for the better. I feel you have a much more stronger argument over which are the four best teams than the two best teams under the old system. With more teams fighting for a national championship, there is less chance a deserving team gets snubbed. Whether the four-team playoff was the right move for college football or not, there is no doubt a sense of excitement building around the CFP and will hopefully be the change everyone has wished for.

Sources:

http://collegefootball.procon.org

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1875582-bcs-vs-college-football-playoff-debating-pros-and-cons-of-each-format

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/07/buh-bye-bcs-hello-college-football-playoff/

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