Since the Bowl Championship Series began in 1998, it seems that each year has brought greater opposition from fans to the selection system that decides which college football teams compete for the national title and other prestigious trophies – with good reason.
Chief among the arguments the current system is the lack of certainty in deciding which two teams are most worthy of playing for the national championship. Almost every season, more than two great teams stand out as worthy of playing for the highest honor, leaving equally deserving teams out and, worse yet, sometimes leaving more than one team with a legitimate argument for the national title.
But other problems with the BCS are just as pressing. All too often, teams that have had great performances but belong to lesser conferences don’t get a shot at the top prize, or even a chance at showing their mettle in a BCS game. Though a few exemplary teams sometimes compete in one of the five top bowl games, as Utah did last season, the system’s overwhelming preference in awarding BCS berths to teams from top conferences leaves some potential contenders completely out of the picture.
Great teams deserve a shot at showing their merits on a national stage. That’s why the Mountain West Conference presented an eight-team playoff proposal to the BCS earlier this month that would give automatic BCS berths to conferences whose teams had winning percentages of at least .400 in games against the current automatic qualifying leagues over a two-year period.
This is a welcome development for conferences such as the Mountain West, which had a .552 regular-season record against teams from automatic qualifying conferences from 2007-2008, the best of any conference in the nation.
The proposal would not only give worthy conferences a deserved place among college football’s best, but it would also give eight teams, instead of just two, a shot at the national title.
No proposal for determining college football’s champions is perfect, but the playoff system the MWC proposed would satisfy more fans and be fairer to more teams. That’s something the BCS shouldn’t ignore.
Editor-in-chief Max Landman for the editorial board.