Now there’s some well-needed good news for dark times. The corrupt cabal
ruining running college football has decided to give in a little to fans and let us give them a lot more money than they had been earning taking with their outdated bowl system and so-called “Bowl Championship Series.” Starting in 2014 there will be a four-team playoff.
Of course, as with any steps in the right direction lately, I’m sure someone will ask the Supreme Court to swoop in and strike it down. The four-team playoff is a breakthrough, since any playoff has been off the table for years. I think we’ll find taking the next steps to get college football up to modern standards will be easier.
Four teams will not be enough. Less than a dozen schools will occupy the slots for years to come. Either you need to increase some parity or expand the playoffs. You are not going to get any Cinderella stories with a four-team field. George Mason and VCU’s runs to the basketball Final Four were great. Imagine the day when Navy knocks off Alabama to reach the Football Four. (I can hear the BCS execs now: “They’re talking about playoff expansion already! Grumble, grumble, grumble.”) The calendar itself is begging for more football, as you can see from my playoff proposal:
Now, setting up the tournament would be easier than you think. The first rule is don’t conflict with the Superbowl; the NFL should own that weekend. I would have the college title game on the 3rd Sunday of February. It’s after the Superbowl and dovetails nicely into March Madness. It would ignite February, a month that has traditionally been very boring for sports fans. College playoffs could start with a first round (16 teams) the Saturday and Sunday of the Superbowl bye week, then a round of 8 the Thursday or Friday before the Superbowl. The college football final four would then be the weekend following the Superbowl, then the championship game the next weekend.
We’ll probably have to wait a couple of years beyond 2014 for expansion, but today we can note how the idea has moved from a place beyond our wildest dreams to the more local neighborhood of our reasonable expectations.