Yes, everyone, you read that headline correctly. I'm probably going to get tarred and feathered for this, but college football needs the BCS. Now before the angry mob descends on me with their pitchforks, hear me out, if you will.
College football, as much as most of you will disagree, is better off with the BCS in tact than it would be with this "8-team playoff" that so many seem to be proponents of. Sure, annually there are controversies and debates over who should really play in the national championship game and who's getting shafted by the system, but an 8-team playoff, while eliminating some of those scenarios, brings with it controversies and debates of its own.
Let's look at the first potential problem that a playoff could produce: how would the seeding work? Would you just take the top 8 "BCS" ranked teams and seed them 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, etc.? Because then you would inevitably leave out some big-money conference champions (yeah, you Big East).
If you were to seed the teams by the top 8 standings, you would have 2 SEC teams, 3 Big 12 teams, 1 Pac-10 team, 1 Big Ten team, and then one non-BCS team (#7 Utah). That leaves out two BCS conference champions: ACC and Big East. Those conferences would definitely be getting a raw deal, considering they are two of the six "power conferences."
On the other hand, if all 6 of the BCS conference champions receive automatic bids to this hypothetical playoff, we would potentially have UF-'Bama winner, Big12 winner (could be Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma or Mizzou), Penn State from the Big Ten, Oregon State or USC from the Pac 10, any cluster of teams from the ACC, and the same for the Big East. That would undoubtedly leave out multiple teams from this group: UF, Bama, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma, all of whom are arguably the most talented teams who have been playing the best football all season. That wouldn't sit right with the fans, or those schools, now would it?
If you guarantee the 6 conference champions a spot, who gets the final two at-large bids? There's a plethora of deserving teams that would fall into that category, including the aforementioned teams, as well as Utah, Boise State, Georgia, Ball State, Mizzou, Oklahoma State and Ohio State. Though, in all fairness, Ohio State probably should be banned from this playoff based on recent big game goose eggs.
Now would you all prefer one or two teams gettin the short end of the stick at the end of the season every year, like we see with the BCS, or would you rather have a handful (or two) arguing they got screwed by the playoff system?
I know some of you out there are thinking, "hey, just make it a 16 team playoff then, that would solve everything." Wrong! That would add another four games to the would-be champions schedule. Add that to the 12-game regular season, plus a possible conference championship game (depending on the conference), you have a 17-game season for a team of amateur athletes. That's more than the NFL regular season, and that's just wrong.
While this is one major problem that faces a potential playoff, there certainly are others. Games like last week's Iowa upset over then-undefeated Penn State, and LSU's near upset of #1 'Bama would have lost a lot of meaning. With a playoff system, both of those teams would have already clinched a spot (if you're seeding the top 8 teams), and both would probably clinch by winning their respective conferences. A game like next week's Oklahoma-Texas Tech game would also lose a lot of meaning, they wouldn't be playing for a possible title game shot, they'd simply be playing for a higher seeding in the playoffs. A playoff, as has been argued several times before, would somewhat cheapen the meaning of the huge regular season games we see week-in and week-out.
The final point I'd like to make as for why college football is better off with the BCS is simple. What makes college football so great, and so unique? The answer is pretty simple: the pageantry, the fans, the idea that any given Saturday can shift the national title race. That idea is in large part thanks to the BCS.
If you all want a playoff system, I suggest you stick to watching those guys play on Sundays, because Saturdays are where this game belongs. Saturdays in the fall are unique to any other day, in any other sport, so let's keep it that way.
Besides, if things play out the way they should, with all the top teams winning out (though, it's never that simple), you all might get your playoff this season, at least a miniature one, with the SEC championship being a national semifinal, and the Big 12 title game serving as a play-in for the Big 12 South team (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, or Texas). Sorry USC, but play in a real conference first, then we'll talk about your national title prospects.
Now that I've said what I had to say, bring on the tar and feathers!