Created on: January 28, 2013
During the past month, the Alabama Crimson Tide were anointed National Champions for the second straight season, by virtue of their dismantling of Notre Dame. Their 2011 season saw Alabama exact revenge for the one loss they had during the regular season, beating LSU in the championship game, in New Orleans. There were many in the college football world that felt that Alabama should not have even been in the game, by virtue of not winning their conference championship.
Such has been the life of the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS. The system put in place to decide a true National champion has been mired in controversy since it came into existence. From non-conference winners being part to the exclusion of undefeated teams not part of a BCS conference, there has been considerable dissatisfaction with the current system. There has been a continual call for a playoff to be put in place, which was rejected by the powers that be. That is until now, as University presidents, athletic directors and conference officials got together and put together a playoff plan.
Starting in 2014, a four-team playoff will decide college football's national champion, at least for the next twelve years anyway. The system will be set up with four teams being selected to participate. One can think that this part of the process could have some controversy. That is because the way the four teams are chosen will be based on something akin to the NCAA Basketball Tournament selections. An ESPN article notes, "the creation of a selection committee that will rank the teams to play in the playoff, giving all the teams an equal opportunity to participate. The committee will consider win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results and whether a team is a conference champion."
That will end the not winning the conference championship problem, but leaves open issues such as an undefeated non power conference team being left out to a one loss major conference foe. It will be fascinating to see how that problem is alleviated. The two National Semifinal games will be rotated between six current bowls, with three of them already known (Sugar, Orange, and Rose). The other three will be chosen soon, but one can figure that the normal biggies will get in there (Cotton, Fiesta, and one other). With the contract being 12 years, that should have each site hosting a semifinal three or four times during that span.
In a case of bringing some relevance back to New Year's Eve and Day games, the thought is that the Semifinals will be played on one of those two dates, with the National Championship Game played on the Monday that is a week separated from those semifinal matchups. The system is far from perfect, but it does do away with the so-called "computer rankings", which no one could understand to begin with.
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