The Bowl Championship Series currently consists of five championship bowl games the BCS Championship game (which rotates among the bowl series hosts), the Orange Bowl (Miami, Fla.), the Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, La.), the Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.) and the Rose Bowl (Pasadena,Ca.).
These five games are the big games, with many other “bowls” surfacing throughout the years to give other teams, usually left out, a chance to play a meaningful game.
This year, the NCAA gave approval for two more bowl games — bringing the grand total of bowl games to 35!
Would it not be a fair argument to say that all these extra bowls have diminished the importance and the sense of accomplishment of teams reaching a bowl game? The sheer number of current “bowl games” is reason enough to re-think the BCS system.
Back to Boise State. The Broncos from Boise, Idaho are currently ranked No. 3 in the country, out of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), a conference that has long been the perennial doormat of other super-conferences like the Pac-10, Big-10, and the SEC.
The Broncos have strung together several successful seasons, and the week one defeat of ACC power Virginia Tech has the Boise boys thinking BCS Championship.
But even if they have a great record, will they get the Championship game? The rest of BSU’s schedule may allow them to run the table at very best and at the very worst maybe a loss or two, but in order to get into the game, the No.1 and No.2 teams are automatically bid into it.
With Boise at No.3, that’s simply not good enough. But what happens if BSU posts the same record as football powerhouses Alabama, Ohio State, or Texas?
Then the rankings go to such topics as schedule difficulty, conference quality, and the records of other teams- is anyone really going to let an undefeated Boise State rank ahead of an undefeated Alabama squad?
In this frame of mind, even one or two losses could doom the chances of ever reaching that elusive Championship game.
Some people have pressed and are currently coming up with ideas for an NFL-style playoff system, with seedings and regular tournament play to reach the Bowl Championship Game.
This method would give teams an even chance of reaching the big game, but with about 100 teams in the D1 football program, there are many logistic issues to be thought through before changing anything drastic.
Four of the bowl games have teams in it that are specific conference champions, giving the other berth to a team that is selected through an increasingly confusing and complicated selection process.
It’s tradition for the NCAA D1’s strongest conferences, and these games are the ones that get the most national attention.
In my opinion, having 35 bowl games has not only watered down the importance of getting to a bowl game, but also adds to the confusion for the fans of college football.
Is it realistic to get back to the games that matter, the five-game true Bowl Championship Series?
A re-working of the rules, rankings and scheduling may be in order, but an NCAA-wide tournament may not be the answer either.