Welcome This site is for the millions of us who love college football, but may have differing views on how a team earns a national title. Many of us remember the pre-BCS era, where No. 1 played No. 2 in a bowl game only eight times in 56 seasons. Few want to return to those days. By contrast, thanks to the BCS, the top two teams have played each other 12 times in 12 years by BCS measurements and 9 times in the last 12 according to the AP poll–including the last six years in a row. Despite this, some have advocated for a hypothetical playoff system, which would be more controversial and contentious than the BCS. Let the debate continue.
This website was created by the BCS group in an effort to join the conversation about the football post-season.
The Problem with a Playoff
College football is more successful and more popular, more thrilling and more enjoyable than ever. Attendance, TV viewership, fan interest and revenues are at record highs. Any playoff scheme would jeopardize this great success, while threatening the wonderful and unique nature of the bowls. If you think the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is controversial, wait until you realize how much more contentious a playoff would be.
A bracket-style playoff wouldn’t end the debate, it would only fuel it. Advocates of a hypothetical playoff can’t agree on how to resolve key playoff questions: who, what, where and when.
- Who would participate?
- How many automatic qualifiers?
- What would be the criteria to qualify?
- What would be the criteria for seedings?
- Where would the games be played?
- When would the games be played?
If you could resolve all that would everyone be satisfied? NO!!
Just try to create an eight-team playoff based on the latest rankings (December 6th). Should two-loss Oregon (10-2, #7) and Ohio State (10-2, #8) get in but not the other FOUR teams with two losses: Georgia Tech (11-2, #9), Iowa (10-2, #10), Penn State (10-2, #13), BYU (10-2, #14)? If you think the BCS is controversial, try sorting that out. A playoff would guarantee bigger problems, more controversy, more disappointed teams and more frustrated fans.
In every sport, brackets began with a few teams. Then schools felt slighted, and so the brackets grew to accommodate more teams. And grew and grew and grew. It is known as “bracket creep.” The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship started with eight teams. It’s now 65, and some college officials want to expand beyond that. The NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision began with a four-team playoff years ago, and now it’s been expanded to 20 teams. Think about what bracket creep would do to college football: it would greatly diminish the importance of the regular season, and would forever change the bowl system.