December 9, 2010

I've made this argument about the BCS and bowl system for a long time. People pine for a playoff system but look how meaningless the college basketball season gets thanks to conference post-season tournaments. I have no urge whatsoever to watch college basketball unless its my Eags or the Zags are losing (which they did against WSU last night). Check this out.

Under the current system, 70 schools and hordes of fans arrive days before the big game and immediately become the toast of the town. Fans and families plan vacations around bowl week. Student-athletes are celebrated as the players get to see places and do things they otherwise never could do. No wonder a poll of student-athletes taken by ESPN the Magazine earlier this year showed that 77% of players would prefer a career with three bowl games to a career with one playoff game.

A playoff, on the other hand, would be limited to a small number of schools, and it would turn their celebratory week into a series of one-day business trips because the teams would arrive the day before the game and leave right afterward. If they won, they'd need to get ready for next week's game. That's not a bowl party — that's another game on the schedule. For the schools that don't make a playoff, their bowl games would fade away. Sadly, so too would a great American tradition.

If ever a season showed that the BCS is fair and that it works, it's this season. And it happened while maintaining the thrilling regular season in which every game counts.

He does make a good point about how the playoff system would exclude a larger number of schools from postseason play, which in turn, generates more money. The FCS, commonly pointed too as the reason why a playoff system could work, still has the smallest percentage of teams competing in the postseason. The selection process isn't exactly perfect either.

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