The BCS Bowl System needs a change to increase the number of playoff teams

by Justin DeStaso, Staff Writer

College football has been one of the most intriguing sports for a while, producing much future Pro Bowlers and Hall of Famers. Coming into the year, all 130 FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) teams have one thing in mind; making a bowl game. Bowl games are considered the postseason of college football, however, this is not an easy thing to accomplish as a .500 record is necessary. Being a large college football fan, I am watching ESPN every Saturday to catch the games. 

Schools in the Power 5 Conferences (SEC, ACC, BIG 10, PAC 10, BIG 12) have larger games in mind. These are the College Football Playoffs. The bowls that make up the semi-finals switch every year, as it is always either the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl, or Fiesta Bowl.  The winners of these two games then meet to play in the College Football National Championship. With only three weeks left until conference championships, the championship will be here before we know it. 

With only four teams having the opportunity to play in this, I believe this should be increased to 8. Every year, we always watch the same teams battle it out in these two games. Alabama has made the finals each of the last four years, and Clemson has made it three of the past four. Along with the other teams who participated, there is a number of teams that have been snubbed every year. 

UVA is the team I have always rooted for, and football isn’t their strongpoint but I still believe many more teams deserve an opportunity to play for the National Title. For example, last year Oklahoma made it as the four spots, and they ended up losing to Alabama by double digits. Georgia, the first team out, was clearly the better team.

A nonpower five team has never made the college football playoff, despite it being deserved multiple times.  Last year, the UCF Knights ended the year in 2017 13-0, including a win over Auburn on the Peach Bowl. However, the American Conference school failed to make the college football playoff. In 2018, they had another remarkable year going undefeated in the regular season again. Despite two undefeated years in a row, UCF ended 8 in the AP poll and failed to make it again. This was a very impressive feat, a feat that should’ve given them the opportunity to play in the playoff. 

One may argue that adding another week to the season may hurt players with their academics, and would overall make the season way too long. However, after the conference championships, there is a week off for each of the teams. In that week off, the teams could play the quarterfinals, and all the losers would still be able to qualify for another bowl game. With this added week, the schedule would be the same as always and the national championship wouldn’t have to add on an extra week. 

With a larger playoff, it would make the regular season much more meaningful for most teams. With this type of bowl system, one bad game and you automatically don’t have a chance of making it. However if 8 teams made it, two, even three-loss teams could still possibly have a shot at the playoff, and these could be teams that deserve to be in.

Many teams might try to play an easier schedule, to possibly end the year with an undefeated record. For example, a team like Notre Dame is an independent team, meaning that they aren’t apart of a conference. They could play an easier schedule with less top 10 teams, resulting in a better record. This could also go for a team like Utah in the Pac 12, which isn’t as good of a conference as the SEC or ACC in football. Therefore, they could make the playoff over e team like Georgia, which in the SEC could possibly have two losses to solid teams such as Alabama and LSU. 

With 8 teams, the final four would be decided by performance. Therefore a playoff would remove the easy schedule and make the championship truly the two best teams in the country, with no bias and no teams getting snubbed. 

I strongly believe making the playoff 8 teams would not only benefit College Football and its teams in general but the culture of the sports and its stature in America.