by Jesse Finver
Starting in the 2014–2015 season, College Football’s Bowl Championship Series will be adopting a four-team playoff system to replace their current postseason format. The four teams will be determined by a committee of former coaches and administrators. While many college football fans are celebrating the changes to the BCS, there are still major problems with the overall system.
For the past 14 years, teams have been placed in bowl games based upon how well they played throughout the season. The BCS bowl games: the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Rose Bowls are where the top teams in the nation play each season. However, the new format, announced Nov. 12, had many college football fans rejoicing.
Schools like the University of Utah, now in the PAC-12, and Boise State University, soon to be in Big East, belonged to the Mountain West Conference, which is a smaller and therefore less popular conference. These two schools in particular had been consistently left out of the national championship conversation despite being considered some of the best teams in the country in their most recent seasons. With the four-team playoff format, these types of smaller schools will finally get their opportunity to be represented fairly in college football.
But while a playoff system is a wonderful improvement, it is the only positive aspect to come from the new format. In the current BCS system, the majority of the total revenue generated is split between 6 power conferences: the SEC, Big 12, Big 10, PAC-12, ACC and the Big East.
According to bleacherreport.com: “The champions from each of the five power conferences will receive an automatic bid to one of the six access bowls, wrote the Courier-Journal. The final automatic bid is reserved for the highest-ranked team amongst a “Group of Five”—the Mountain West, Big East, MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA.”
Excluding the Big East from the revenue split and taking away its automatic qualifiers is a tremendously greedy powerplay by the BCS commissioners, who just want a larger share of the revenue that, according to bleacherreport.com “could potentially be worth $7.3 billion over 12 years.”
College football fans wanted a playoff system that gives all teams a fair shot, like college basketball has with March Madness. A four team playoff system is a step in the right direction, but there are too many aspects of the old system that linger.
Unfair revenue distribution and a lack of competitiveness are only a few of the things that still need to be addressed by the BCS, but overall, a four-team playoff is better than nothing.