Out of Bounds

As most college football fans know, and even some non-fans who watched Barack Obama's interview on Monday Night Football know, America wants to change college football's Bowl Championship Series system.

As the 2008 college football season winds down, there are two undefeated teams (for now) that are at the top of the BCS standings: Alabama at No. 1 and surprise Texas Tech at No. 2.

Luckily for the BCS standings, there are only two undefeated teams in the top major conferences, but what happens if Alabama and Texas Tech both lose in the next month? How would the championship game be determined fairly from a slew of one-loss teams?

I won't even try to pretend that I know how the BCS system actually works. The BCS standings are a computer formula that determines the rankings of all the teams in the country. The formula takes into account many different statistics including margin of victory, offensive and defensive production, and quality of victories, along with many other things. The computers put the numbers in the formula and voila - you have the BCS rankings.

The BCS system has been very controversial. In 2004, Auburn went undefeated in a major conference, as did the USC Trojans and the Oklahoma Sooners. But Auburn didn't get to play in the championship game because Oklahoma had a slightly better number when the computer spit the formula out. Auburn went on to easily beat Virginia Tech in the No. 3 vs. No. 4 game while the Trojans beat the Sooners for the title.

Auburn rightly argued they should have the chance to play for a national title but the championship game was already played. The NCAA decided to name them "Co-champions," thinking, wrongly, that such a distinction would be good compensation for a team that truly believed they were better than everyone else.

So everyone wants this to be changed, right? Well, no. I don't think we should get rid of the BCS. The BCS makes college football exciting. The top teams know that one loss could mean the end of their national title hopes. It puts so much pressure on every game that if teams have a bad game, everything they are fighting for is gone. It's why the Texas vs. Texas Tech game in October was such an anticipated, exciting game. Some argue that the early games would lose value with a playoff system.

The BCS is all about money, which is increasingly hard to come by. NCAA officials are hesitant to go to a playoff system for fear of losing sponsors in their bowl games at the end of the season. Also, colleges like bowl games because it gives them a lot of public exposure.

With my perfected idea of a playoff system, none of these things would be a problem: The BCS system will still be used to keep the excitement of college football. Give the winners of the six major conferences automatic bids. Then, the two teams that have the next highest BCS ranking will fill out the bracket of eight. The games can still be at the bowl sites. The Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl can be various games in the bracket. The title game can alternate annually between the bowls.

This way, bowl games would not be lost and non-BCS bowl games can still go on like they do today. The bracket would be played out and America would have a true champion. There wouldn't be a yearly controversy about which team is best.

Hopefully the higher-ups at the NCAA read The Lamron and put my plan into action ASAP. College football would be all the better for it.

In