Make the Moveby Michael Falcon, Glasgow, MT One of the biggest dilemmas facing college football is whether the NCAA should go to a playoff system or stick with the existing bowl games. Founded this year, the purpose of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is to identify the two best teams and pit them against each other in a national championship game. The BCS is based on a mathematical formula that comes out every Monday night and rates the teams, averaging two polls, strength of schedule, number of losses and similar opponents. For example, if Tennessee was ranked number one in both polls, their average would be one. They would then add their losses and opponents' record and divide by their strength of schedule. It awards teams for great regular-season play against tough competition. So far this year, the BCS is right on target, since there are only three undefeated teams, which makes it simple.A playoff system is totally different. Similar to other divisions, 16 teams would make the playoffs. The top eight teams would receive home-field advantage for the first round. There would be four rounds of play with the last two rounds played on a neutral site. The playoffs would start in December and finish in early January, possibly New Year's Day. One drawback would be that teams would need to eliminate a game or two during the regular season, but this is the price to pay for crowning a true champion.The playoffs would include teams that win the main seven conference championships and the rest would take at-large bids. This would give teams that play in lower conferences a chance to win the national championship, but still reward big conferences. A committee would decide the top 16 teams and the seeds, as they do for all other college sports.In my opinion, the playoff system is the way to go. Even though colleges would lose much needed sponsorship money, it would be better for college football. It would draw more fans to the games and the National Championship would be like the Super Bowl. Companies could still sponsor games and each university could receive money for how far they go.College football is the only collegiate sport that does not have a post-season tournament, due to the ignorance and stubbornness of university presidents and athletic directors. Why not go to a system that works and rewards everyone? This year Tulane is undefeated and has a good chance of staying that way. But they have no chance to win the National Championship because they come from the smaller conference. With a playoff system, they would have a shot to show how good they really are. Everyone else knows the playoff system is right. Why don't the people in charge? l
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.