There’s no doubt that the BCS system has it flaws in college football.
There are all these computers and formulas to determine the national championship at the highest level in college football. Actually, the system is suppose to pair the best two teams in the nation in the title game Jan. 10.
Every year, there’s a team that is deserving to play in a BCS bowl, only to get left out. A big reason why that happens is some of these BCS bowls have a tie-in to a certain conference. For instance, the Orange Bowl usually takes the winner of the ACC and Big East conferences, no matter what they’re ranking. So there may be a match-up of a team that is ranked 15th in the nation against a 23rd ranked team. I’m sorry, but to me that’s a joke. According to some BCS advocates, usually top 10 teams play against each other at the end of the season in these bowl games. However, history does not back that up. I’ll just go ahead and give my take on it and then I’ll move on to the main subject of today’s column.
I believe there should be an 8-team playoff to determine the national championship. All of the 36 bowl games can still be held in tact. But, for those top eight teams in the BCS rankings, if they still want to keep the BCS, can still play in the Orange, Fiesta, Sugar and Rose Bowls. Those sites can be in the semifinal round and national championship game. This is the only way to determine a true national champion.
The playoff system adopted by the Arkansas Activities Association is also not without its flaws.
I’ll just say that six teams from one conference going to the playoffs is way too many teams, especially in an eight-team conference. There needs to be some format where only the top four teams in each conference can go. I understand that this may be hard to do in the 7A and 6A, where there are only two conferences in the whole state, the Central and the West in 7A and East and South in 6A. Something has to give, though. In some spots, the postseason is watered down. In others, it’s unfair.
For example, there are some teams that made the playoffs with 3-7 and 4-6 records. I saw that and said to myself, “Really, has this what it has come to.” In another case, you have a second round game between two teams that have been ranked in the top 3 in the state the entire year. Both Conway and Springdale Har-Ber have been considered as two of the best teams all fall. For them to meet in the second round, is a little crazy. This is clearly a semifinal round match-up, if not a state championship game. Because of this new points system, West Memphis, which played in the 6A East all season, took the No. 1 seed spot from the Central. Most of you who follow high school football have probably heard about the lawsuit by Van Buren against AAA. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
It’s unfortunate for the seniors that the system is the way it is. Of course, teams have to play and win, regardless of the situation, so there are no excuses. But, there’s no question that there are some flaws in the postseason on both levels of Arkansas high school football and college football in the highest division.
(Michael Allen is a freelance multi-media journalist. To reach him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)