The BCS did not work this year. It does not work any year there are not two conclusively best teams. The system is illogical and unfair. It’s a constructed cartel serving at the behest of power conferences. It exists for profit and the perpetuation of a skewed balance of power. Teams from the lesser conferences are not placed at a competitive advantage. They, simply, are not permitted to compete.
A playoff would be clear, fair and, contrary to a popular unfounded argument, make the regular season more meaningful. It would be a compelling spectacle. It would earn profits for struggling athletic departments. It would be entertaining. With that in mind, we’ve decided to create one. The Fair Unbiased Championship System, or, as the kids would term it, the FUBCS.
Structure: A champion cannot be “national” unless every team is permitted to compete. The only way for the FUBCS to ensure this is a Dan Wetzel-style 16-team playoff, including the 11 conference champions and the five highest ranked at large teams. Winning a conference gets you in. Finishing in the top ten gets you in. The first two rounds are home games for the higher seeded team (losers can be slotted into bowls).
Formula: The FUBCS will use Smart Football’s Simple Rating System. Voting has proven the formula must be statistically valid and objective. The Coaches Poll is biased. The Harris Poll employs 80-year-old retired PR guys who don’t do much research. The AP Poll solicits the opinion of Craig James. The SRS is objective and clear. It accounts for both margin of victory and strength of schedule. It’s not perfect, but it’s the type of formula that could be optimized for a fair ranking system. For the purposes of this hypothetical, it is functional.
Every Game Counts: This improves the regular season. Every conference season has national import, leaving the broadest number of teams relevant at the season’s close. It incentivizes teams to schedule tougher non-conference schedules. If Wisconsin has to make up for eight SOS points lost by scheduling cream puffs, they won’t schedule cream puffs.
Conference Winners: LSU [SEC], Oklahoma State [B12], Oregon [P12], Wisconsin [B10], TCU [MWC], Clemson [ACC], Southern Miss [C-USA], West Virginia [BEast], Louisiana Tech [WAC], Arkansas State [Sun], Northern Illinois [MAC].
At Large: Alabama (3), Stanford (5), Oklahoma (6), Boise State (8), Michigan (9).
(1) LSU vs. (16) Northern Illinois
(2) Oklahoma State vs. (15) Arkansas State
(3) Alabama vs. (14) Louisiana Tech
(4) Oregon vs. (13) West Virginia
(5) Stanford vs. (12) Southern Miss
(6) Oklahoma vs. (11) Clemson
(7) Wisconsin vs. (10) TCU
(8) Boise State vs. (9) Michigan
Michigan playing on the Smurf Turf. Rose Bowl rematch from last year. Two offensive showdowns. Even the worst games have the Cinderella factor. Do you want that this weekend or the errands and household tasks you’ve been putting off? If that doesn’t do it for you, check out the potential round two.
LSU vs. Boise Sate in Baton Rouge
Oklahoma State vs. Wisconsin in Stillwater
Alabama vs. Oklahoma in Tuscaloosa
Oregon vs. Stanford in Autzen
Great teams playing each other in great venues. It’s what makes college football special. A playoff would provide more of it, during the regular season and during the postseason. It would also be logical, fair and more profitable. We might end up with LSU vs. Alabama under the FUBCS, but there would be no doubt those were the two best teams.
[Photo via Getty]