Come on, you didn't think I was going to just bitch and bitch about the B(C)S without offering some constructive solutions did you? I'll leave that to the professionals! I've developed a system that I think would be fair, would fit into the current system, and would ensure that the worthy teams were given a shot at the National Championship every year. Without further ado, The Chop Shop proudly presents the real Bowl Championship Series...
- In order to become eligible for the BCS a conference must have at least 10 members and must stage a Conference Championship Game. If a conference has 10 members each team must play every other team in the conference, just like the Pac 10 does today. The two teams with the best conference records then meet for the Conference Championship. If a conference has 12 members they must be split into divisions with the division winners meeting for the Conference Championship, just like the Big XII does today. The championship games essentially serve as a de facto playoff round.
- After the Conference Championship Games the BCS Standings will be used to place eight teams into the BCS just like they do now, only there will be a Strength of Schedule factor in the rankings to discourage teams from scheduling cupcakes. Games against I-A opponents will carry a weighted score from 0.1 to 1.0. The tougher the opponent the more heavily the win is weighted. Games against I-AA opponents will have a NEGATIVE SOS rating from -0.1 to -1.0
- The six highest-ranked conference champions get into the BCS, as well as two wild card teams. However, if a conference champion is ranked below six other conference champions but is still in the top 12 of the BCS standings they take one of the wild-card spots. That should protect the smaller leagues that can't get the national recognition that the major conferences receive, while punishing major conferences that don't perform.
- The two national semifinals take place on New Year's Day, and one week later the two winners play each other to determine a true National Champion. The beauty is that the infrastructure for this system is already in place... the difference is that instead of a watered-down BCS with four meaningless games, we get two hugely important games matching great teams followed by a National Championship Final!
- Every regular season game is still important since you must win your conference to have a shot at the Championship. Just look at Auburn this year... their lone loss to Arkansas may keep them out of the SECCG, and under the Chop Shop plan that would eliminate them from National Title contention.
- There are never more than four teams that are really deserving of National Title consideration. Under this plan all of the true Title contenders will always get a shot at the Championship, and while there may be carping about the 4th and final spot in the Championship Tournament that's a hell of a lot better than arguing about #2 and having legitimate contender left out of the Championship entirely.
- Notre Dame gets screwed. Technically that's more of a bonus than a benefit, but I think it bears mentioning.
- The National Champion is determined on the field...and isn't that the whole point?
- The BCS would likely consist of those four teams, plus the Cal/USC winner (Pac-10 winner), Boise State (6th-highest-ranked conference champ), plus Michigan and Auburn as the wild card teams.
- Note that Boise State would be rewarded for an unbeaten season, while the ACC - which has been the definition of mediocrity this year - would be justly punished by having likely champion Georgia Tech left out (unless the Jackets could somehow climb into the BCS top 12). I love Georgia Tech and the ACC but I believe we should have a fair system, and if the Big East was in the ACC's predicament I'd have no problem with them missing out on the BCS, so it's only right that the ACC - and for that matter all the other conferences - should be held to the same standard.
- Michigan and the Pac-10 winner would play in the Rose Bowl, Auburn and Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl, and on New Year's Day you'd get to watch Texas try to contain Louisville's explosive offense in the Orange Bowl followed by a clash of great defenses when Ohio State took on Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Tell me that wouldn't be a great day of college football! (and note that last year USC/Ohio State and Texas/Penn State would have been the prelude to the Championship Game. How awesome would it have been watching AJ Hawk and Co. go up against Leinart, Bush, and Jarrett!)
- A week later the Ohio State/Florida winner would face the Texas/Louisville winner to settle the Championship at one of the four BCS bowl sites, which would rotate in a four year cycle. The National Title is solved on the field and all is right with the world.
So that's it - my grand plan for college football harmony throughout the universe. It's fair to all conferences, it would be a HUGE money-maker, and it would require minimal changes to the current system. In other words it's perfect. Now you may commence picking it to pieces...