Death of the BCS good for college football

A triumvirate of things that five years ago I wondered if I would see happen:

■ The explosion of growth on the campus of what’s now Colorado Mesa University.

■ The completion of the Lincoln Park Tower once the economy tanked.

■ And now, a Division I college football playoff.

Of those three, the BCS actually getting its act together, shelving the egos and doing what’s right seemed the least likely.

The powers that be at CMU and the JUCO World Series are “get it done” people. They see the big picture. They get it.

The BCS? Not so much, unless it meant lining the right pockets with all that TV money.

So, after two more seasons of computers determining who plays in the NCAA Division I national championship game, we’ll have human beings making those calls.

The NCAA basketball Final Four has become one of the biggest college sporting events. “Watch parties” are on every campus on Selection Sunday. It’s nationally televised.

Office pools pop up across the country, and everyone seems to get involved, from those who watch countless games and read everything there is to read about the sport to those who pick their favorite team by mascot or uniform color.

Football’s “Final Four” could take the college game to levels we can’t even imagine. No longer will we have a split national champion if there’s an “upset.”

Polls should never have been the answer. You’ve read coaches in every sport at every level say it: “Polls are for the fans. They don’t mean anything.”

Until college football season rolls around, that is. Then they mean everything, and that was such a bad idea.

Taking a cue from the NCAA basketball tournament, a selection committee will determine the football Final Four. Rankings will be considered, no doubt, but more criteria will come into play.

Strength of schedule, head-to-head results and conference championships will play into who makes the playoffs.

It’ll be interesting to see how nonconference schedules change over the next dozen years — that is, if the super conference frenzy dies down.

Somehow, I don’t think it will. The once laughed-at theory of one day seeing four super conferences might not be that far-fetched.

Then, could we see those four conference champions make the Final Four each year?

How could you argue against it? College football is taking the best team from each conference into a playoff.

I don’t think we’re there yet, and I hope it never happens.

The BCS oversight committee protected the golden goose, the bowl system, while adding the playoff factor fans have been demanding.

It’s something we talked about in the office years ago, not long after the BCS was born, in fact.

Why not, we said, use the smaller bowls as early-round playoff games, then rotate the big bowls for the semifinals and national championship game?

The smaller bowls would suddenly become relevant, not just a perk for teams that won six games and their boosters.

The oversight committee didn’t go that far, but I like the direction college football is heading, at least when it comes to a national champion.

The national semifinals are New Year’s weekend, with the four BCS bowls, the Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar, plus two to be determined, rotating as playoff sites. The city with the highest bid gets the title game.

Ah, you knew there was a monetary catch, didn’t you?

The years, say, the Fiesta, Rose and Sugar bowls aren’t playoff sites, they’ll still have a bowl game, with, I presume, their pick of the best of the rest.

Conference ties can still be protected in those years, with the Big 10 and Pac 12 represented in the Rose Bowl, for instance.

Is this a perfect solution?

Maybe not, but it’s so much better than the BCS. I’ll watch the football Final Four in 2014. I haven’t watched the past few BCS Championship Bowl games.

Will a mid-major get a shot at the title?

That remains to be seen, but this way, maybe, just maybe, the Boise States of the nation have a shot.

And who doesn’t love an underdog?


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