BCS Championship What a Game…How to Make it Even Better

Alfonse Adiama and Alfonse Adiama

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The end of the year brings festivities and celebrations around the world. In the United States, families look forward to delicious food, presents, and college football. College football? Yes, college football.
The end of the college football season means bowl games, which provide a nice distraction around the holidays. This year there were 40 bowl games which meant that 80 teams were able to line up on a neutral field and face off in a postseason game. While some of these games pit teams with very average records against one another -such as the Georgia State Panthers (6–5) took on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6–6) in the AutoNation Cure Bowl. Other more prestigious Bowls like the Cotton Bowl pitted the USC Trojans versus the Ohio State Buckeyes.
For teams that play in a post-season bowl, the season is seen as a successful one because the game provides television exposure, some fun events for the players, and, in some cases, money for the school.
Since 2014, the end of the college football season has gotten even better with the creation of the College Football Playoff, which matches up the top 4 teams in the nation in a winner-take-all set of games. Just after the end of the conference championship games, the playoff selection committee, which, according to the College Football Playoff website, consists of “a talented group of high-integrity individuals with experience as coaches, student-athletes, college administrators and journalists, along with sitting athletics directors, comprise the selection committee. Members of the committee are: Kirby Hocutt (chair), Frank Beamer, Jeff Bower, Herb Deromedi, Chris Howard, Tom Jernstedt, Bobby Johnson, Jeff Long, Rob Mullens, Dan Radakovich, Gene Smith, Steve Wieberg and Tyrone Willingham.”
This committee can select from every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), but the playoff has been dominated by teams from the Power 5 conferences: Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, Big 12, and the ACC with the winner coming from one of the five every year. Like any game or tournament that is established through selection, there are always teams that feel like they got left out. Over the last four years of the playoff, perennial powerhouses like Ohio State, Washington, Penn State, USC and Michigan State have been left on the outside looking in, even after stellar seasons. However, despite the sour grapes from some teams, the playoff has seen some incredible games and crowned four very deserving champions.
This year was no different.
This year’s college football National Championship Game between Alabama and Georgia – two SEC schools – was one for the ages. At the end of the game, Alabama solidified itself as the best team in the land. A historic game that included two true freshman quarterbacks leading their respective teams ended in the Tide securing their 17th National Championship, and head coach Nick Saban tying legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant for most championship wins as a head coach.
This game wasn’t the usual roll over that many Alabama fans expected though, as Alabama had to overcome numerous penalties and a 13-0 deficit at halftime to come roaring back. The Tide scored a late touchdown to force overtime. Then they scored the game winning touchdown in overtime as backup true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit fellow freshman receiver DeVonta Smith for the win. It was the stuff of dreams.
‘Bama head coach Nick Saban’s genius cannot be questioned. Saban had the chutzpah to put in and stick with Tagovailoa over star quarterback Jalen Hurts after the offense wasn’t producing. Saban’s move paid off and the Crimson Tide are National Champions. Everyone went home happy, right? Wrong. Despite the incredible game between two deserving teams, college football fans deserve more, more teams, more games, more drama.
This year, great football teams including Penn State, Ohio State and undefeated and untied University of Central Florida (UCF) all had beefs with the CFP Selection Committee. In fact, this was Penn State’s second year feeling left out. Last year, Penn State was denied a shot at competing for the National Championship despite beating a fully loaded Ohio State team (the eventual 4th seed) and winning the BIG-10 regular season championship. Penn State instead had to “settle” for the Rose Bowl, where they lost on a last second USC field goal. This year, Ohio State had to deal with a similar situation, as they won the BIG-10 championship game, but were left out because of two losses on the season. UCF feels as if the Committee made an egregious decision to leave them out because they are not as high profile as the Power 5 teams. That didn’t seem to phase them too much though, as they proclaimed themselves National Champions and had a championship parade on campus after beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
A solution to help solve the problems of the college football postseason landscape is to expand the playoff. If the Committee grants the wishes of many fans and teams alike, than we could have an 8-team playoff on our hands. Eight teams would allow the Committee to select teams that are on the top-four “bubble” and extend them an invitation to earn a spot in the final game. After the 8-team playoff, no one will have a true or legitimate complaint. An expansion of the playoff could see a team like Alabama facing bitter rival Auburn in a first round game, or a an all BIG-10 clash between Ohio State and Penn State. Winners of the first round would then advance to the final four matchups, which is what we currently have. An 8-team playoff would mean that amazing teams like USC, Michigan State and Georgia would all get in and compete on the national stage. This move would result not only in more football, but in more money for the schools, the sponsors, and the television networks.

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BCS Championship What a Game…How to Make it Even Better