BCS National Championship Game Underscores Need For Playoff System Now

Steve Mitchell – USA TODAY Sports

The Discover BCS National Championship was a display of dominance for the then No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide over the previously unbeaten and No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It was a total dismantling of the top-rated defense during the regular season by the Tide, who rolled up 529 yards of offense on their way to a 42-14 win. However, if not for a chance of fate, Alabama wouldn’t have been in this game at all, proving yet again why the BCS system does not work.

If not for a tattoo scandal leading to NCAA sanctions, the Ohio State Buckeyes, who went a perfect 12-0 this season, would have been in the title game rather than Alabama. As favorable as the system is to the SEC because of their strength of schedule, the BCS would not have been able to keep an undefeated Notre Dame and undefeated Big Ten champion from meeting for college football’s highest prize.

That would have meant that a pair of Midwest teams that each similarly struggled to beat the 6-7 Purdue Boilermakers (who were crushed by the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Heart of Dallas Bowl) would have been playing in the biggest game of the season and one of them would have been named the best team in college football. But after watching Alabama physically take apart Notre Dame, is anyone willing to argue that Ohio State would fare any better?

That means we were a Terrelle Pryor tattoo away from boxing out the best team in the country from the national title game because they suffered a single loss to the Heisman Trophy winner. The BCS once again narrowly avoided a disaster thanks to the postseason ban of the Buckeyes, but that shouldn’t give it a reprieve from being exposed as a bad system again.

A system that would have kept this Alabama team from having an opportunity to play for the national championship is a bad system. The BCS system will die off after next season, replaced by a playoff system with four teams. While that won’t be a perfect system, it will be a huge improvement. There will always be more than two teams who can make a case for being the best team in the country and that just doesn’t fit into the outdated box the BCS system continues to give us.

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