Compare and Contrast: The BCS vs. A Playoff System

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James Anderson Jr.

Dr. Brooks


March 9, 2010

The BCS vs. A Playoff

As long as the Bowl Championship Series has existed; its methods, match-ups, and motives have been shroud in controversy. The BCS has many advantages for schools; however, fans and teams are often left speculating what may have, could have, or should have been. The majority of college football fans are in favor of changing to a tournament style playoff system that would determine a true champion. College football's BSC postseason implements a biased system to determine a champion; but a proposed playoff system would create a more exciting postseason capable of crowning a champion based on performance, not popularity.

The BCS began as a way to create a true national championship game by pairing the best two teams in the FBS. The purpose of the BCS was to alleviate any possibility of a split or shared college football national champion.

In 1997 The University of Nebraska battled The University of Michigan in the polls most of the season. Eventually, Nebraska entered the postseason ranked a close second to Michigan and accepted a bid to play in the Orange Bowl against the third ranked University of Tennessee Volunteers and Peyton Manning. Nebraska conquered Tennessee, easily defeating the Volunteers 42 - 17. In contrast, Michigan only just survived an upset bid from a run of the mill eighth-ranked Washington State University team. The result was Michigan being named AP National Champions, after narrowly being voted first in the AP writer's poll. However, Nebraska was named champions by the college football coaches' poll and received a share of the 1997 championship.

This scenario of the top teams playing in and winning different bowl games triggered the formation of the BCS in 1998. The...