You know in the cartoons when a light bulb appears over someone’s head and turns on? I just had one of those epiphany moments. I was thinking as I often do about college football and all the things I hate. The Ohio State President got me angry to start that line of thought. He said Boise State and TCU can’t play in the BCS championship because they don’t play a hard schedule. Excuse me sir but Ohio State currently looks at the 59th hardest schedule while Boise State is the 67th or so. Get Nevada in the mix this week and BSU may pass the Buckeyes. What rubbish. At any rate, still got me thinking about our terrible post season. What can be done? I now know the answer- the NCAA needs to step in.
You see it occurred to me that the NCAA has nothing to do with our current postseason as it is. They let the BCS control everything. They let conferences control everything. It’s not like the FCS where the NCAA runs a postseason playoff. So just what should the NCAA do? That’s an easy one.
There is a huge disparity between meaningful programs and irrelevant programs at the moment. Texas, Ohio State, Alabama and Florida State don’t belong in the same league as Louisiana-Monroe, Buffalo or Memphis. The NCAA needs to step in and change the requirements to be in the FBS. The biggest and easiest would be to say you must average 30,000 people to each home game. That kills off about 40 schools right there. We’ve got to get the FBS down to real contenders.
That’s step one. Step two takes care of itself, and that is conference realignment. The only major teams in the FBS that exist in the lower conferences are coming together. The WAC will disappear, so will the Sun Belt and MAC. CUSA will mostly. The truth is, some schools from each of these conferences could stay in the FBS. They would all form their own conference no doubt. At any rate, the FBS would be refined and only real programs would remain. Sorry Western Kentucky.
Now the NCAA steps in and sanctions an 12 team playoff. Take all conference champions, be that decided as they will, and 4-5 at large bids, depending on how many conferences there are. The top 4 teams get a first round bye. All games are at the home field of the higher seed. Championship is at a neutral site that rotates between the BCS bowls. The NCAA oversees it all.
The timeline proceeds as outlined in my playoff proposal. Bowls are unaffected and continue as normal. Well, continue, probably with a lot less attention and turnout, which is fine by me. People would obviously care less, but then again, who cares now? Only the fans of the teams involved, who would still care with or without a playoff, so no harm done.
Tell me this isn’t the perfect solution? All the NCAA has to do is step in and throw these little pretenders to the curb and put them all back in the FCS. And then one more thing- no more FBS vs. FCS game allowed. FBS teams must schedule only FBS opponents. Also, the BCS rankings would change slightly. The human polls would account for only 1/3 of the ranking and computer polls would account for 2/3. Also, no less than 10 computer ranking models could be used, with the highest and lowest ranking still being thrown out as now. Makes for more arbitrary ranking system to help determine tie breakers and at large bids.
What do you think? This is a win, win, win for everyone. Half the idiotic meaningless bowls disappear since a quarter of the FBS would disappear. We get a real playoff at the end of the year with fair and equal access. We get a much more interesting regular season with real non-conference opponents. And finally we stop hearing the Boise State sucks because they play nobody. Sorry, but c’mon, how many teams in the country can shut out Fresno State 51-0? Probably only one.
I think the NCAA can and should do this to make the sport better for everyone. The FBS is already divided into BCS/non-BCS anyway. Let’s just make the division a bit more official and real. Then take the teams left, put them in conferences, let the games begin! Do I think it will ever happen? No. The only people who can change the system are the ones with all the power, and they don’t want to lose their power, so they’ll never change the system. Only an act of God or an act of Congress can change our postseason I’m afraid, but if it ever does, I hope this is how.