Brandon Niles
Explorebigsky.com Sports Writer

It’s bowl season in college football,
which means it’s time for my annual
Bowl Championship Series rant.
Every year there’s a controversy over
which two teams are selected by the
BCS to play in the National Championship
game. Unlike virtually every
other organized team sport (including
FCS), the NCAA uses a complicated
computer ranking system called the
BCS to determine the two best football
teams in the country.
This year, it’s hard to argue that the
undefeated LSU doesn’t deserve their
spot, but many question the inclusion
of Alabama, who already lost to LSU
during the regular season. Both teams
are in the Southeastern Conference,
raising the usual questions of conference
bias, and preference toward
schools with large football programs.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has been
strong all year, and likewise has only
one loss. The team ranks No. 3 in the
BCS.
Stanford boasts arguably the best
quarterback in the country, Andrew
Luck, and it too has only one loss
against an impressive Oregon team
that played in the National Championship
game last year. The BCS ranks
Stanford No. 4.
Are Oklahoma State and Stanford
really not as deserving as Alabama for
a shot at a national title this season?
We’ll never know, because those two
teams will be playing in the Tostitos
Fiesta Bowl instead.
Are Alabama and LSU the two best
teams in the country? It’s certainly
possible that they are, but we can’t say
for certain. When a team in a lesser
conference goes undefeated, such as
the Boise State and TCU teams of recent
years, are we certain that because
their schedules aren’t perceived to
be as difficult they don’t deserve a
chance at a championship?
Houston nearly went undefeated this
year, but at no point did they ever
have a legitimate chance at being selected
for the title game. How can we
tell the players for teams like Houston
that the games they play in really
matter?
The solution is a playoff system.
There are 11 conferences. Give every
conference winner a playoff spot,
and add five at large teams based on
record, strength of schedule, and any
other factors. With 16 playoff teams,
that allows for a playoff system to run
four consecutive weeks, similar to the
FCS system.
The bowl games can remain, but they
would simply become playoff games.
There’s no reason this wouldn’t work,
and it would certainly mitigate the
risk of leaving any of the best teams
out of the hunt for the National
Championship.
Imagine if the NCAA decided to create
a BCS system for other sports, like
basketball. There would be no more
upsets, no more March Madness, no
more bracket games. Fans would be
outraged. If the BCS applied to the
NFL, the NBA, or the MLB, fans
wouldn’t stand for it.
This kind of system has never been
considered for other sports because
it’s ridiculous. Just as the BCS system
is ridiculous for any other sport, it’s
ridiculous for college football as well.
The time has come to end the annual
controversies. It’s time to install a
playoff system in college football and
end the BCS.
Brandon Niles has done online freelance
writing about the NFL since
2007. His articles range from NFL
news to team-specific commentary. A
Communication Studies graduate student
at the University of North Carolina
Greensboro, Niles is also an avid
Miami Dolphins fan, which has led to
his becoming an avid Scotch whisky fan
over the past decade.