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June 28, 2012 - Final Four? Not Far Enough

I don't want to be someone who sees the Waterford crystal half empty, because this is a step in the right direction. In two years college football's plague, the BCS, long scorned here and virtually everywhere, will become a thing of the past. in its stead will be a four-team playoff chosen by a committee similar to the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee.

A step in the right direction, yes. But one step more would have been better.

I'm not advocating a 32 or 16-team playoff. I believe that there are probably not 16 teams deserving of shot at the title, nor are there ever 16 good enough to win it all. And, that many teams would dilute the meaning of the regular season, something the conference commissioners have long stated is one of the most important aspects of the current format to preserve. Agreed.

But most seasons there are more than four teams who can make a case for being in the hunt. And sure, you have to draw the line somewhere, and four is better than two. But why not paint that goal line at eight? Here's why eight is better:

First the obvious: The more teams in, the better chance there is that no one gets shafted. I know, what about the number nine team that gets left out? Well that number nine team is more likely to have two or even three losses and you know what? Too bad. But the number five team? That's either going to be a one-loss team from a strong conference or even an undefeated smaller school.

Another reason I vote for an eight team playoff is what it would mean to the bowls. One of my biggest gripes about the BCS has not been that the best teams don't always win the National Championship - though that is huge - its the way it has relegated once-proud bowl games to meaningless exhibitions. Nothing was more exciting, pre-BCS, than waking up on New Year's Dan knowing that there was about to be an all-you-can-eat buffet of huge football games, each of which might have a bearing on the National Championship. Now? January 4th, weeknight Orange Bowl between two teams ranked in the teens. Whoo-hoo. With the new plan, there are still going to be two of the four major bowls rendered unnecessary on a rotating basis.

If the powers-that-be had gotten it right this time, we'd have an eight team playoff with the first round using the traditional Rose, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange as the quarter-finals on New Year's Day. A week later we'd have the final four, and then a week after that the National Championship.

But, hey - the good news is at least we're rid of the BCS. If that's not reason to fill the crystal national championship trophy half-full of champagne, I don't know what is.

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 10:36AM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in | CommentsPost a Comment

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