Technically speaking, I suppose ANY playoff system has the possibility of "rewarding" a team that doesn't belong. Technically, it might be most fair to just have the Cubs and Angels play for the World Series at the end of the regular season.
Playoffs exsist to reward the top teams...not just THE top team. They exsist to generate interest for multiple teams/fans. It works in every other sport.
Those were probably the two best teams, but I certainly would not have minded a four team playoff that year to be sure that two other teams that did not lose all year were not deserving of #1.
I for one, liked it back when the Big Ten winner went to the Rose Bowl etc. and there was no BCS. The BCS system doesn't bother me much either, because it sure does produce some exciting matchups (spare the UGA/Hawaii example comments). So don't get me wrong, I'm not screaming that I want a playoff, I'm just telling it like it is.
However, there is either a playoff or there is not...all these attempts to crown a legit national champion are futile if you ask me. To crown a legit champion out of 100 plus teams, you would need a playoff system. I'm sorry but I see no way around that.
As far as the Cubs vs. Angels WS, that's the way it worked until 1969. So that's nothing new.
Now, I understand the excitement of the playoffs in all sports. The tension and meaning of the games is ratcheted up. But, every sport with a playoff sacrifices much of the importance of its regular season. You can't tell me that an Colts vs. Pats game in September would mean more than the OSU vs. USC game. If there was a playoff, that game would most likely be meaningless. You can't take any team or any game lightly in CFB. Remember App. St., Stanford, and Pitt last year.
Variatio delectat - Cicero
I agree that the conference system is unfair. But don't we make the same complaints about baseball? In 2006 the Cardinals made the playoffs with 83 wins while the Phillies, Blue Jays, Red Sox, White Sox, and Angels all had more wins and did not make the playoffs. What is the difference? They simply played in different and tougher divisions. The same can apply to the NFL where a team can win its division at 8-8. At least in CFB, the teams from the lower conferences have to go undefeated or at least have a better record than anyone else (like WVU could have done last year had they not lost to Pitt). A team from the Big East will not get a bid over a team from the SEC anytime soon when they have identical records. As far as the Auburn thing, that was an obvious oversight. Voters are often taken by the bigger named and more traditional powers. But, I believe that the BCS title game has pitted the two best teams in the title game more often than any other sport has since it started. It isn't perfect, but it more often than not picks the best teams.
Variatio delectat - Cicero
Eliminate the Coaches Poll:
I disagree. Think sunshine laws. Open records requests.
Publish the ballots on a public website every week so that we can see how each coach voted. With increased accountability I think you'll get less bias in the voting.
Another angle would be to prevent coaches from voting for teams in their own conference. It would keep the coaches from putting themselves in a precarious position of having to cast a vote when a conflict of interest might be present.
Make Every Conference Play a Championship Game:
As has already been pointed out, the conferences chose to add the layer of a title game for $, $, and more $. Nothing more. If you sold yourself out for the $ associated with a title game, I find little pity for the conference if it makes it "tougher" to get into the national title game.
ACC: Clemson over North Carolina in the Title Game:
Not sure I get all of the love for UNC this year. They went 4-8 last year, losing every single road game they played. The conference schedule is kind in that they don't play Clemson, Wake, or FSU during the regular season. But that's still going to require quite a leap from going winless on the road to winning enough road games to get to the conference title game. And after the opener (McNeese State), they don't really have any non-conference breathers: @ Rutgers, vs. UConn & vs. Notre Dame. All 3 of those programs have enough talent that UNC will have to bring it for 40 minutes to get out w/ a W. They're still a very young team, which means they'll likely struggle with consistency. It also means that there isn't much depth so injuries will be more of an issue for them than the average team.
Personally, I'd go with VT as the pick from their division, though I think that Miami and GT have some interesting talent. If one of those teams gels early, I think they'll make a nice run.
As far as Clemson, I'd hedge and go with the winner of the Wake-Clemson game going to the title game. That game is on a Thurs night in Winston-Salem. Clemson has a ton of talent at the offensive skill positions, but there are ?s on the OLine. Wake brings back a very stout and experienced defense. IMO, the Clemson O vs. the Wake D will be as good of a match-up of O vs. D as any other in the country this year.
The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.
I posted something last year about this, but I really think that more should be done to change the regular season and leave the BCS alone. I don't like the idea of the playoff because of what some people have said about lessening the importantance of those match ups. But somebody made a good point about the schedules not being balanced. Now there isn't a perfect answer to this, but I think if you required each school to play two games against another BCS conference as thier OCC it would go a long ways to fixing the issue. I think you can let the schools choose their own game for one of the two and the other game is set up like the Big 10/ACC Challenge in college basketball is set up in basketball where you play the team that finished in the same place as you did in your conference the year before. Then rotate which conference plays which each year in a round robin style.
Last years college football season was one of the greatest in history. All the upsets and movement in the polls made for a very exciting season. I think a playoff will take a little away from the regular season which is something I don't want to see. The best option may be a +1 game but some years a +1 isn't needed.
One thing I would love to see is an SEC team travel north in November. I would love to see a southern team have to deal with the cold of playing at a PSU or OSU. I know its never going to happen but why should a commish of the Big East or Big 10 or Big 12 for that matter agree to a playoff system in which home field is not taken into consideration. Don't get me wrong I am sure the players love playing in the south or our west but if a northern team is #1 where do they have the biggest advantage, in a warm climate or in the cold?
The Big 10 doesn't want a championship game for one reason, Jim Delaney is a my way or the highway jerk. Look how long he held out on a conference basketball tourney.
The only thing I feel when it comes to championship games is joy because it makes for very exciting stuff and that is the only thing I am looking for from college football, excitement. Waiting six weeks to watch someone play is lame.
The only thing I have to say is Go Bearcats.