“I miss the BCS.”

Tom Fornelli has a change of heart about college football’s postseason.

All through the BCS era, I was one of the many loud, obnoxious voices calling for a postseason playoff. I yelled about how little sense it made that a sport with over 100 teams competing just picked two at the end of the season and had them play for a national title, leaving so many others in the cold with no hope. While there will never be a perfect way to settle college football’s national title, a playoff seemed like a logical idea that would move us closer to perfect.

But it hasn’t. The College Football Playoff has made the sport worse in a lot of ways. At least with the BCS, there was a cut-and-dry approach to how the two teams that would play were to be determined. It was a combination of computer polls and the Coaches Poll. Put all the numbers in a formula, and that formula would spit out the rankings, and we were done. Every week we’d get an update on them following the games, and we’d get on with our lives.

Now, all we do is debate which team should be No. 4 and whether it’s fair that teams from Group of Five conferences have no chance. Instead of a set of rankings, we have a group of rotating characters with personal biases of their own gathering in a room (or on Zoom) and ranking teams based on whatever criteria fits at the time.

I hear where he’s coming from, although I think he’s romanticizing the BCS more than it deserves to be.  Yes, the CFP selection committee blows, but let’s not forget that a major part of the BCS formula was a Coaches Poll that was prone to bias/conflicts of interest (not to mention coaches who didn’t give a shit about voting in the first place).

The other problem with the BCS?

Now, Jerry’s an Auburn fan, so 2004 is always gonna resonate for him, but it’s still a fair point he raises.  There are enough seasons when three teams are legitimate contenders for a national title to prefer a system that accommodates that scenario.  College football’s postseason problem is that there are almost no years when it goes into a postseason with more than four legit contenders.  (Another problem is that playoff expansion is going to wreck the bowls for good, for what that’s worth.)

I admit this conversation is largely hypothetical, since playoff expansion (and the money that brings) is an inevitability.  We all know that the dollar signs matter more than tradition or the unique aspects of college football that make it the best sport to follow.  But I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a middle ground that lets the suits make bank while preserving the goal of having the season’s best teams face off for all the marbles.  Let the computers call all the shots?  Play the bowl games first and then pick the top two teams afterwards?

Frankly, as the years pass, I find myself more enamored of a plan a drunk LSU fan posted that I mentioned at the blog a long time ago:  make the postseason field match the results of the regular season.  If it’s a year when there are two clear cut contenders, make it a one-game playoff.  2019?  Okay, four-team field.  And when you get that 2007, once in a blue moon, crazy ending, go crazy with an eight-team playoff.  I used to think TV wouldn’t like that, but when Mickey controls the entire postseason, my bet is this would be something it could work with.

Is it a waste of time to speculate?  Maybe.  (Okay, probably.)  You got any better ideas?  Let’s hear ’em.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

64 responses to ““I miss the BCS.”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    College football traditions that are still alive and vibrant through the BCS and the playoffs: Arguing who was/is more worthy, and never, ever forgetting the year(s) your team got left out. We’ll never forget or forgive 2007 and Auburn will be bitching about 2004 in 3004!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sundiatagaines

    Make the non-playoff bowls count towards the following season. UGA enters 2021 with a win over Cincinnati on our resume.


  3. mp

    That drunk plan is the right one to me. Some years it’s 2 some it’s 5. Adjust. I always believed the BCS rematch of LSU and Bama was unnecessary because LSU was the only team deserving of the shot to play in the national championship that year…results of the rematch notwithstanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Down Island Way

    Show us that chart of UGA crootin’ the state again, was truly morning DAWG porn….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seems the biggest and loudest cry to the playoff process is leaving out the group of 5 teams. The only solution I could see to this is really making it a requirement to win your conference championship and then allow the highest rated GO5 team in. First game would be the 3 vs. 6 seed and 4 vs. 5.

    Problem is, unlike folks like to argue when presenting the March Madness or even the FBS model, is you have an independent – Notre Dame – that will routinely fuck this up. In the case of this past year, using the model above would’ve left ND out since they were in a conference, but your first games would’ve been Clemson vs. USC and Oklahoma versus Cincinnati. While I would’ve liked to see Cincy versus Oklahoma, Clemson versus USC would’ve caused controversy from the TAMU, Florida, ND, hell anyone ranked 4-16 at seasons end. This would’ve been similar in other years of the playoff as well.

    Some other play in games from other years:

    2019 – 3 Clemson versus 6 Utah; 4 Oklahoma versus 5 Oregon (Georgia, Baylor, Florida, and Penn State left out with two loss seasons)
    2018 – depends on how you look at ND – use as GO5 or leave out? Politics being what they are, this would be 3 Notre Dame versus 6 Washington and 4 Oklahoma versus 5 Ohio State (Georgia, Michigan, UCF get left off. Washington has three losses, btw).
    2017 – Georgia versus UCF, Oklahoma versus USC. Cue the outrage from Bama fans. Honestly, I think Georgia would wax UCF here and shut down the whole GO5 argument way earlier, but Auburn has to Auburn.
    2016 – Ohio State versus Western Michigan (undefeated but 15th nationally), Washington versus Oklahoma.
    2015 – 3 Michigan State versus 6 Notre Dame, 4 Oklahoma versus 5 Stanford (Ohio State left off with one loss). Probably one of the few years a play in system would’ve not been so hotly controversial.
    2014 – 3 Florida State versus 6 Boise State (ranked 15th) and 4 Ohio State versus 5 Baylor.

    Honestly, even with the added play in games, I don’t see the final outcome all that different, except naturally for the one year we were in it, in which case Alabama would’ve not been in the conversation at all and 2nd and 26 wouldn’t even be a number combination haunting our heads now. Be guaranteed, though, that Alabama fans – had UGA won it all in 2017 – Alabama fans would still be crowing about how Georgia didn’t belong and the Tide did.


  6. Derek

    I love the flexibility idea. Its probably not workable, but the idea of when the committee can’t decide which of two teams is in and there is a legit debate like A&M or ND in 2020, then just add two.

    Of course, you have to also allow for a 2011 when LSU should have been crowned after the seccg.


  7. akascuba

    There is no right answer as each season creates a different number of truly worthy NC teams. What better solution does CFB now deserve than one brought up by drunk LSU fan.

    I’m in unless they can find nothing finer in the land. Than a drunk obnoxious Georgia fan! Goooo Dawgs! Woof Woof

    It’s always a SNAFU with the people running the sport.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Why on earth don’t college football fans look to other sports for answers? They act like they have to create something new every time.

    Treat the conferences like NFL divisions in some fashion. Have set rules about what you need to do to make the playoffs. Would love to see 8-10 division winners in a decafto playoff. Can give byes based on whatever.

    And add relegation and promotion in to give some non power 5 schools a chance to ascend.

    Have bowl games be part of the playoff.

    People also talk about wrecking bowl games but we didn’t used to have 300 of them. When there were 8 bowl games making the sugar meant something.

    None of this is possible because conferences are their own entities that will never share power for the greater good of the sport, unlike every other sport. And conversely the conferences don’t have that much say over the teams. Why would a team like Mississippi state ever agree to relegation when they get so much SEC revenue for being mediocre at best?

    There’s tons of solutions, but like most things that lack an overarching structure and vision, this isn’t gonna go anywhere

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why on earth don’t college football fans look to other sports for answers?

      Because we appreciate the uniqueness of college football.

      BTW, of all the fantasies I hear about what cfb should do, relegation is the most detached from reality.

      Liked by 6 people

      • stoopnagle

        But it would be so great. Vanderbilt wouldn’t be able to just ride coat-tails to big pay-days while Houston or Cincinnati invest and want to compete but can’t because – oh, no! Purdue! Kansas! Rutgers!

        It is detached and will never happen, agreed; it would be better though.


        • Candy and South Carolina play to determine who gets relegated to the American in exchange for UCF. The problem with that is all of the other sports. There is a reason conferences exist.

          How would you feel about Georgia basketball being relegated to the Sun Belt so Georgia State can get its chance to compete with Kentucky?


          • georgia basketball just could disappear and no one much would know or care. lol.


            • I was an usher in Stegeman from 2004-2005 and after all the terrible basketball I saw….dropping the men’s team off the face of the earth isn’t the worst thing in the world.

              Liked by 1 person

              • lol. I was a big CBB fan, and a UGA fan of course, they have finally gotten me not to give a dern. Crean will be removed next year or 2, start it all over again.

                Liked by 3 people

                • Same. I finally lost it when Fox couldn’t get to the NCAA tournament in consecutive years. Basketball is, and always has been, my favorite sport and it pains me to no end that my alma mater with endless resources can’t even be a consistent 12 or 13 seed in the NCAA tournament.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • And I cant say we dont have fans – Crean sold out for a year with a losing bad team. We tried.

                  Liked by 2 people

                • I ignored CBB all season. Tuned in for Gonzaga v UCLA just to see what the hype was all about. Was amazed with the athleticism of today’s players…they all looked like Jordan. But after watching 3 guys grab the ball at the top of the lane two-handed, take three full steps to the basket and have the D called for a foul I turned it off. Basketball now equals rugby. No skill in that. I’ll watch UGA again when/if we can at least be relevant.

                  Liked by 2 people

                • I think the D fouls are horrible. you have to teleport and then you cant move at all.


          • stoopnagle

            We have a basketball team?

            Liked by 2 people

            • Got Cowdog

              To quote my high school wrestling coach: “It’s better to have wrestled and lost than to have played…fucking basketball…”


      • Russ

        Exactly this, Senator. If I wanted to watch an NFL-Lite, I’d just watch the NFL. I don’t want a clone of the NFL.

        I saw get rid of bowl alliances, have a full slate of bowl games, and then pick the top two teams to play for the NC. Would revive the bowls and you’d get a good champion out of it.

        Arguing about the results is one of the charms of college football. It’s a regional sport and that’s the charm of it.

        Liked by 5 people

        • bowl alliances are stupid. who is in charge of that? If I own a stadium, i’ll invite whomever i want, if they accept, cool. I’d much prefer bowls had a free for all. Imagine a #5 or 6 team holding out to get something big and ends up in the shreveport bowl, lol

          Liked by 1 person

    • how many leagues have 130 teams? none of those models fit.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I have no problem with 4. I have a problem with how the 4 are selected. The committee sucks, period.

    I think a BCS type of formula is the way to go. The polls are flawed no doubt about it, but with the large number of participants, the bias washes itself out statistically. The polls shouldn’t come out until around October 15. Use the computer rankings with dropping the high and the low once again to try to remove some of the bias built into the models. Give some bump in the model for conference championships. To me, this is a more objective way than the garbage that comes out of the committee chairman’s mouth every week on ESPN.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. mddawg

    Go back to the BCS formula, remove the coaches poll from the equation, and expand the field to 8. I don’t know that any of it really matters though. In my more cynical moments, I think that the powers-that-be don’t really want to solve any of these problems. They just want to change it up enough every few years so that we have something new to complain about. That way we keep watching/clicking/reading about CFB.


  11. MGW

    College Football has become that aging band that has long since disbanded in its original form, but still tours with one or two of the original members and a bunch of studio guys. They still put in a good show, but the real act has long since passed into the annals of history. It’s not the same; the magic is gone.

    Liked by 3 people

    • originaluglydawg

      But the money ain’t gone.
      I say go back to the original bowl seasons with a computer deciding who’s number one (vs National Champs) after all the games are played.
      Then we can argue about who was best for the whole off season. It’s good for CFB.

      Liked by 2 people

      • MGW

        The BCS and playoffs would be the rough equivalent of that aging band making new albums and insisting on playing just those songs at the concerts.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. CB

    For starters get rid of the committee. What a stupid idea.

    “We’ll get some former AD’s and coaches in there, and throw in Condoleezza Rice and some retired generals for good measure.”

    WTF? Bring back the computers use them to select the top 4. I
    Also don’t hate what the drunk LSU fan has to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. originaluglydawg

    With the LSU fans flexible plan, who would decide what “kind of year it is”?
    There will still be exasperation and anguish over that decision..
    But let me guess…Micky will end up deciding by hook or by crook.
    It’s going to almost always be a “Micky kind of year”. One with a lot of games.
    There may not be a very good solution.
    But more than four teams in the playoff is just a tiring, crazy tournament.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. originaluglydawg

    I mentioned in a post above…
    Go back to the old bowl system. Don’t have a MNC game. Let the final polls decide who’s ranked where. Sometimes you will have some difference between the polls but that makes it fun. We can argue with our ACC and BIG friends all during the off season.
    You don’t have to have a playoff.
    It worked for a long time.
    But, yeah I know..$$$$$$$$$$.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. RangerRuss

    From the mouths of drunks…
    Sometimes the greatest ideas emanate from the most unlikely sources. Having to wade through all the bullshit for the one jewel is the obstacle. That’s another benefit of lawyers I reckon.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. W Cobb Dawg

    Adjusting the playoff annually? I’ve got to drink on this a while and get back to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Scratchin Dawg

    How about a mix of both worlds with some new sprinkled in? Drawback is it would add 2 games to the gauntlet (bowl plus quarterfinal) so would probably not work without scheduling shenanigans.

    Bring back the BCS rankings calculations, toss the committee or just add them to the calculations with the other polls.
    Play all bowl games with all teams (i.e. do not sit out 1-4) before setting the playoff team list. Top 8 teams must play a top 9-25 team (i.e. Bama cant play Directional State Remedial High). More ‘meaningful’ bowl games makes Mickey happy.
    Final BCS rankings set
    Use 4 of the “NY6” bowls for the quarterfinal playoffs. The top 8 teams after all bowls go to 4 of the NY6 locations. Make it fun? Draw matchups ping pong ball out of a barrel style. #1 and #2 could play in the quarters!
    Winners of the quarters go to the other two NY6 locations for the semis just like now.
    Put the NC game on Saturday night where it belongs.


  18. originaluglydawg

    Eliminate the whole MNC concept and go back to the old bowl system.
    Arguing the final polls with others was fun. It was good for CFB. It was fun watching bowl games, knowing that they mattered in some way for your fav teams final ranking. We’re losing CFB’s magic to Micky’s lust for money.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. spur21

    The love of money is the root of all evil = shit bowls with zero meaning and very little interest.


  20. otto1980

    Bring back the BCS. The BCS created more lively discussion, the crap bowls were more interesting. CFB debates raged on various forms of social media virtually the entire year to a much greater extent than we have now. The unfairness and debated sometimes split national titles is exactly what made CFB great. The playoff has made CFB even more top heavy and more games essentially meaningless.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Faltering Memory

    Coaches know the game the best and their analysis see the most film, maybe 25 or more teams during a season. After the second weekend of October, let the analysis vote-the defensive analysis rating the opposing office and vice versa. They can discuss their opinions with their head coach and coordinator. Voting would be by points: 5 for a top five team; 4 for six to ten; 3 for 10-15; 2 for 16-20; 1 for over 20 or 0 for too poor to rank. Lanning’s top densive analysis would say Kentucky’s offense is 3 for a not top 10 offense but still pretty good based on the film I have watched and the way they played against UGA. The top offensive coordinator would rank Alabama’s offense 5 for one of the best. However, your analysis could only vote on the teams your team actually played which might encourage more conference games. Tabulate the votes at the end of the year. If Boise State of Idaho gets enough points, the G5 has been included. If the Pac 12 gets enough votes, then the late start times-nobody sees us play whine, won’t matter. There is always the conference bias which might come into play as all B1G teams rank their better teams with 4 & 5 points. Just a thought, I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night or have an Irish coffee this morning.


  22. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    Go back to the BCS but pick 4 teams. Imperfect? Yes, but better than tha f***ing Committee.


    • akascuba

      This has been a very interesting thread. It’s amazing that a group of very biased readers of a single team blog are able to quickly toss out plans better than the greed driven professionals got to in years of paying for experts to arrive at their chosen point of view.

      If I was able to choose from what I’ve seen here it would be. Go to 6 games with each power 5 getting one spot then BCS style choose 1 at large team.
      Teams ranked 1 & 2 get a pass on week one. Rarely are there 4 teams deserving a spot this model has the best chance to stop endless expansion of the playoffs. Keep as many bowl games as Mickey has audience for. Bowl games are part of what needs to stay. I may not watch them myself clearly someone does or Mickey wouldn’t want so many. It’s all part of what makes CFB special.


  23. BuffaloSpringfield

    If I am not mistaken Mickey will own it ALL in 2024. CBS without football, whut wuz u draken ? Although CBS’s contract for game of the week cost them at $55 million a year , it was a bargain while ESPN/ABC set up the same deal for $300 million a year starting in 2024 but discussions are on going and could come to your big screen sooner than later. Insert Jim Mora’s rant but all the while if you think there are too many commercials now. Wait, we gave the frickin’ game away.
    I have a hard time now with 25 commercials in a row remembering who’s got the ball, down and distance. Only to come back on and see they skipped one play, luckily we have instant replay so after the punt they can come back and show you the cut out. Mean while they replay more and more throughout the entire game. Like if y’all missed anything we’ll do replays and recap the game with more replays. I thought Beano Cook was bad. He’d be ESPN’s top announcer today. https://youtu.be/GXE_n2q08Yw


  24. PTC DAWG

    Use the previous BCS formula to determine the top 4….


  25. Migraine Boy

    Sigh, once again:

    6 teams, five power 5 conference champs, one at-large group of five, top two get a bye. Bam. Done.


    • Other than the fact that any playoff proposal that excludes Notre Dame is dead on arrival, it’s a great idea. You can complain about that, but no way is that going to happen.


    • PTC DAWG

      When arguably 2 or 3 of the top 4 teams are in the same conference, I’m not sure this is the best route. I’d go for the best 6 as determined by the previous BCS formula and play it from there myself.

      Automatic conference winners are certainly not going to play a decent OOC schedule if they don’t have to.


    • originaluglydawg

      You’re willing to give two teams a bye?
      Good grief.
      That’s just crazy unfair to the other four.
      It has to be a multiple of four to work. Bye’s in football are too big of an advantage.


      • Yes – a bye is total bunk. This isnt the NFL with 32 teams. Imagine your cinderella, Cincy, just had a slug match with Georgia, injuries, tough game, and lets say Cincy wins, all while Bama is sitting on the couch and Saban is already ahead of the game planning. Now Cincy has to hit the road again somewhere, while Bama was resting at home. Bama would knock Cincy in the dirt that following week.

        Liked by 2 people

      • what if ND got a bye, lol. they would go like 6 weeks without playing a game. lol


  26. TripleB

    I say decide after the league championships. See where Georgia is ranked, and then decide how many to let in.

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Did I miss anything big today folks? I hate when work gets in the way of GTP. Priorities, people. Priorities.


  28. TN Dawg

    Expand to 12 teams, top 4 P5 champs get a bye week.

    Re-seed after each round.

    Give us 11 playoff games the replace the the top 10 bowls, there is no tradition to the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl.

    If the bowl cartels don’t like it, find out where they performed a minstrel song or had a minority mascot on some food label box and cancel them,

    Liked by 1 person