Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Big Change In U.S. College Football

I'm not a big fan of NCAA football, in general, but during the TV wasteland period that comes at the end of every calendar year, Vicki and I typically enjoy a few bowl games.  What's always bugged me about the format of college football 'playoffs' in the States has been the fact that there's never really been a playoff.  It used to be just a bunch of bowl games and then voting took place afterward to decide who the best team was... no, I'm not kidding!  The introduction of the Bowl Championship Series several years ago improved things incrementally, as at least with that change you'd get the # 1 ranked team playing the # 2 ranked team for the title of champion.  However, the flaw in that structure was the subjective ranking involved.  More than once I've seen an unbeaten school get ranked 3rd or 4th, meaning that they went the entire year without losing and yet didn't get a chance to play for the title.  Whenever that's happened, there's been a lot of controversy, as there should be.

Starting next year, however, the chances of an undefeated team missing out like that are at least going to be reduced significantly.  Starting in 2014, there will be two semi-final games, involving the top four ranked teams, with the two winners meeting in the championship game (presumably a week later).  What this means is that a team would have to be ranked 5th or lower in order to excluded from the chance to contend for the championship, which seems much, much fairer to me.  Even if you're ranked 3rd or 4th and think you should've been put at the top, you'll still have the opportunity to win a pair of playoff games to prove that you deserve the title.  In a league where positions are determined by votes, that's probably the best you could possibly hope for.

I can't wait for this to be implemented, a little over a year from now.  It should make the end of the U.S. college football season a whole lot more interesting, exciting and satisfying than it's ever been before.

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