11/29/10 — Coggins: Dump BCS and give every Division I school equal title chance

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Coggins: Dump BCS and give every Division I school equal title chance

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 29, 2010 1:47 PM

All this talk about the Bowl Championship Series -- who deserves to play and who doesn't deserve to play -- is starting to get ridiculous.

The ignorance of the BCS conferences surfaced again last week when Ohio State President Gordon Gee said that TCU and Boise State don't deserve to be in the BCS title game if they run the table.

Nevada decked Boise State in overtime, ruining the Broncos' hopes of becoming a possible BCS buster. The shocking loss leaves the Horned Frogs as the lone non-automatic qualifying team out there to slip into the national championship game.

But back to Gee. The ill-informed, tunnel-visioned president said Big Ten and Southeastern Conference teams play a "murderer's row schedule."


Are you kidding me?

Granted, Ohio State played BCS conference schools Southern Cal and Miami (Fla.). But the Buckeyes also beat up on some mid-majors and directional schools for good measure just like a few teams in the SEC. So did Auburn. So did LSU, which exited the BCS picture after a loss to league rival Arkansas.

And how about Florida? The Gators haven't played a non-conference game outside the state since 1991.

Heaven forbid those schools stray from the current formula of padding their schedule, and actually try to validate the BCS with a stronger "body of work." They'd rather cry "foul" instead because their teams were not rated higher than Boise State or TCU in the BCS standings most of the season.

The entire system is nothing but a popularity contest and a political fiasco that needs a complete overhaul. The human subjectivity that has plagued the BCS since its inception needs to be removed, and the computers should be shut down.

The Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III all have playoff systems in place that have proved beneficial over the past decade. There hasn't been much complaint there, and just recently, more conferences gained AQ status for the FCS playoffs.

Gee said that the BCS and bowl system is superior to other options. Yeah, it's superior because all it does is make the rich get richer, and leaves the non-BCS conferences out in the cold.

It's time to level the playing field.

Develop a 12-team playoff system that invites everyone to play in the same sand box, regardless of school size and how large their respective operating budget for athletics is every season.

There are 11 conferences in Division I, so give each league champion an automatic berth. The 12th team will be an independent -- either Notre Dame, Army or Navy -- that has the best overall record. If there are two teams that have the same record and didn't play head-to-head, take the school's RPI into consideration.

Seed the playoffs based on overall record with the top four teams earning a first-round bye. A national champion will get crowned four weeks later.

Now, the bowl system.

Restructure the current format and alternate the national championship each season between the Orange, Fiesta, Rose and Sugar Bowls. Continue with the current tie-ins that are in place now for the remaining bowl-eligible teams so the can enjoy the postseason experience.

Conference presidents can worry about the payouts.

It's not a perfect plan.

Neither is the BCS.