The Bowl Championship Series, better known as the BCS, has been around since 1998. The selection system was setup in order to help create an environment where the top ranked teams would be forced to play each other in bowl games at the end of the season. Most specifically, the BCS was setup to determine the BCS National Championship winner as the number one ranked team and the number two ranked team would meet to determine the champion.
Over the past few years the BCS has taken criticism from many different angles. President Obama has publicly stated many teams that he is completely opposed to the BCS. A recent survey found that 63% of American adults would prefer a playoff system rather than the current BCS system. The media has taken off with this criticism and it seems that those who hate the BCS are speaking up more by the day.
What has caused this hatred for the BCS? I think the single biggest reason for the hatred is the fact that we have had teams go undefeated and then not have a chance to play for the national championship on the field. I completely understand this argument; however, I do believe that strength of schedule should play a major role in who plays in the title game. If a team only plays two quality opponents in a year and runs the table, they shouldn’t necessarily get into the title game above a team that goes 11-1 while playing an extremely tough schedule. The other big sticking point is how much of a role both computers and the coaches play in the BCS rankings, which determine the final game. This complaint is much more understandable to me. I believe the current system should certainly be tweaked to allow less input from the computer rankings, which can be all over the place.
While I understand the complaints about the BCS, I do think that the system is a huge improvement as compared to where college football was before 1998. Before 1998, the first and second ranked team only played each other in a bowl game eight times in 56 seasons. Clearly, teams are deciding it on the field much more now than when there used to be split national champions quite consistently.
I understand the longing for a playoff, but i do know that the current system makes the entire season extremely interesting. Realize that in the current system, every single game means a lot and you cannot trip up. In a playoff system, the regular season games would mean less. I think more changes should be made, but I do think the BCS gets a bit of a raw deal in the media.