There has been a recent stir of agitation amongst most administrators over the past few weeks with the vocal approval of a playoff system from two of the biggest conferences in the country, the Big Ten and SEC.
Throughout the history of college football, the national champion has either been determined by a final poll (voted by members of the media and coaches), or more notably, a computer system that picks the top two teams to play in the championship game.
With more disgust being hurled towards the BCS, the magnitude of creating a fair and just system that determines a champion appears to grow greater with each day. While the argument has been made that a playoff system would destroy the integrity and prestige of bowl games, there is also a counter-argument that the increasing parity in the game could force an inevitable change with the current system.
With a playoff system that features either the top four, eight, 12 or 16 teams, ratings for television networks such as ESPN, NBC, CBS and FOX could increase as well as fan interest not only during the last weeks of the NFL regular season but in college football as well.
If anyone disagrees to the previous paragraph, just think about how excited you were for the Little Ceasar’s Pizza Bowl between Western Michigan and Purdue, or the Hawaii Bowl, maybe even the Sun Bowl? Yes, these bowl games might matter to the teams that are participating, but what about the fans who have to go through two weeks of mediocre games?
As a fan of a playoff system, I would love for there to still be bowl games in place as most programs should receive a trophy for an excellent season. A playoff system wouldn’t dilute the current bowl system; it could possibly enhance it.
A 16-team playoff system would not only help boost sagging ratings but it could also boost interest with casual fans into the games and for bowl games as well. The only downfall could be the loss of some lower-tier bowl games.
That’s where the need for just a four-team playoff model kicks in. If more than four teams are in a playoff, what happens to the lower-tier bowl games? We could very well see the loss of sponsorships and many teams could go without a trip to a bowl game after a 6-6 or 7-5 season.
There are plenty of pros and cons in terms of imposing a playoff system, but as fans of this great game, we can no longer remain complacent to the outdated method of determining a national champion.
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