By Travis Stahl
Hell has not frozen over. Pigs are not flying. The Chicago Cubs did not win the World Series. Because none of these things have occurred we know the end of the world is not close at hand. There is one item of business underway right now that people also thought they would never see in their lifetime, a college football playoff. BCS officials are meeting again this week to lay out the framework for a playoff system in college football. This time, a playoff is going to happen.
The BCS was invented to give fans the illusion that college football was awarding its national championship to the team that earned it on the field. As it turns out, college football fans aren’t as dumb as BCS officials thought they were. Everybody quickly realized what a farce the BCS is and fans began leaving the sport in droves. Nobody involved with the BCS, especially the Pac-10 and Big 10, wanted anything to do with a playoff system. College football is a good-old boy system that rewards those that have the most tradition and nobody wanted to change that.
Only while the BCS wasn’t paying attention, the playing field did change. The smash-mouth teams of the Big 10 and the fluid offensive powers of the Pac-10 were no longer the best teams on the block. College football now belongs to the SEC and there is nothing the Big 10 and Pac 10 hated more than to see two SEC schools playing for the national championship last year. Suddenly it became clear to BCS officials that the only way the old guard had a shot at a national championship was with a playoff.
Now that the Pac 10 and Big 10 have no shot at a national championship they are all in favor of a playoff system because it gives them the chance to play their way in to a title game. You know, how it should be. Welcome to 2012 college football, you may not start to discuss how every other sport crowns a champion.
The proposed change to the current BCS system will likely involve a four-team playoff after the bowl season. If that’s what needs to happen, fine. But it would be much more logical to involve the bowls in the playoff. As it stands, nobody cares who plays in the Orange Bowl because that game doesn’t mean anything. The winner of the Orange Bowl does not advance anywhere. If those games had meaning attached to them attendance would climb back up and tv viewership would skyrocket.
Hopefully BCS official can get it right this time. College football is so rich in tradition it has failed to notice the rest of the sporting world had passed it by. This is the chance for BCS officials to regain some popularity and make the sport meaningful. At least a playoff would provide a new way for the SEC to win more national titles.