There Has Never Been a College Football National Champion
Not sure how many of you all are into college football, but there was talk this morning on Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN about the BcS Title Game. Some were whining “it’s ridiculous that we crown a national champion which did not even win its Conference”. And then the usual defense of the BcS system that “if you have a playoff, it diminishes the regular season”.
I call BS on both.
(1) Cannot be a true national champion without winning one’s conference – This is ridiculous. So I guess the Packers from last season are an illegitimate Super Bowl Champion, because they did not win the NFC North Division? The Steelers of 2007 were not a true Super Bowl champion, because they did not win the AFC North Division? Or any NBA or MLB team which wins their Championships are illegitimate if they did not win their Divisions? What about any at-large entries into the NCAA Basketball Tournament… if they won the National Title, would their title be illegitimate, because they got into the Tournament as an at-large team?
(2) Playoffs diminish the regular season – Again, ridiculous. I am psyched to watch NFL football each week, because I enjoy the game of football. And they have playoffs in the NFL and all football fans are always psyched to watch football each week. The regular season is not diminished. And neither would the college game be diminished.
Personally, I don’t consider there to have ever been a national champion in NCAA football. Unless you earn the title through a playoff, you are not a champion. All those years they ‘voted’ on a ‘national champ’ were ridiculous. And then the first BcS system where they added computer calculation rankings to opinion rankings was even more ridiculous. And now the second edition of the BcS system where they assign 2 teams to a ‘national championship’ game based on those same computer calculation rankings and opinion rankings.
It’s ridiculous. In every sport, there are always playoffs which determine champions. NCAA football for some reason never setup playoffs and went with a Bowl system. Then, some reporter decades ago decided to come up with his own rankings for fun for a column he had to write. And then NCAA football just decided to take that fun rankings column and determine their champions by it? What a joke.
Plain and simple, the college football system of determining a national champion is a joke. You don’t determine a champion by the opinions of sportswriters and coaches combined with a computer calculation.
They also talked about a 4-team playoff this morning as well. Which is still bogus. Because it’s still based on rankings, which are based on computer calculations and the opinions of sports writers and coaches.
Whether you assign 2 teams or 4 teams to play, it’s bogus.
We don’t do that in any other sport. And there’s a reason for that: it’s utterly stupid.
I think we just have to face the fact that the college football system screwed itself from the start with the bowl system. There’s really no way to setup a true playoff system, because there’s too much money involved in the bowls.
What they should do is something like they have in college basketball with the NCAA Tournament and the NIT. They could keep the Bowl System as it is, but have 15 Bowl games which are setup for the playoffs. The other small Bowl games would still happen (basically like the NIT for teams which did not get into the NCAA Tournament), but there would be 15 Bowl games set aside for the playoffs each year (NCAA Tournament). They could even rotate them each year so each Bowl would take turns hosting the national championship game as they do now (and similar to how they have the Super Bowl in different spots each year).
So you’d take the 8 MegaConferences and have 8 Conference Championship games. Those 8 Conference Champs would then play in 4 Bowl games the next week. Then New Year’s Day, the last 4 teams play in 2 Bowl games to determine who goes to the National Championship game to be held the following week.
Ironically, this system would have been to the liking of those complaining “can’t have a national champ without winning one’s conference”. Alabama lost to LSU in the SEC Conference Championship. And thus would not have been playing in the national championship game.
So even with my system, you’ll still have people complaining, because you’ll have great teams knocked out of the playoffs early, instead of having top teams earn top seeds and not play one another until later rounds.
I guess another way to do it is not have conference championship games and just have the top 2 teams from each of the 8 Mega Conferences and then seed them 1-16. Then have 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, etc.
In that system, Wisconsin (2nd in Big Ten reg season standings) and Michigan State (1st in Big Ten) make the playoffs and Michigan does not. As opposed to what happened in the BcS system where MSU didn’t get into a BcS Bowl game and UM did, solely based on money considerations, not players’ play on the field.
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