What I am about to say here may sounds strange, or maybe not, but think about this solution to our BCS predicament. This could clarify and validate the BCS selections, the National Title Game, provide some great excitement, set a precedent for that kind of excitement, and get the ball rolling toward a college football playoff.
All of this can be done without us coming up with a magical but complicated playoff system (at least not yet). The bad news is this may be too late for this year. I will admit also that I am not sure if NCAA rules would allow it. My personal experience has to do with sports like high school basketball and track, but if those rules are even similar, then this would be it. A 2008 “Holy Grail” to fix questions such as:
How can Utah make the National Title Game? Penn State?
How can Boise State make a BCS Bowl?
How can Texas Tech make a BCS bowl?
It is a simple solution really; but it is also practical, produces the much beloved revenue, and plays within the current BCS system. Ask yourself this simple question, what is keeping your favorite team from being where they want to be. In one form or another it comes down to this-they need a BIG TIME quality win. If the computers or the human voters had another quality win to look at, then things could be very different. The original schedule may have even anticipated that a win over, say, Michigan was going to be that win. Yet these games are often scheduled years in advance and things don’t always turn out the way they were intended. But NOW we all know who the elite teams are and many of them are still experiencing the same “I wish we had one more quality win” problem.
So why not go get one. While Alabama, Florida, and Oklahoma are playing conference championship games this Saturday, the regular season is still going. USC is playing UCLA for example. So what if Texas Tech called up Utah and said lets play Saturday. If Utah wins, they would move up in the computers for sure; and, especially if the right team lost this weekend, they could possibly vault into the National Title Game. At the very least, they would pass USC and at least have a chance. If Texas Tech won, they could possibly pass Texas for the last Big 12 “At-Large” bid.
What about Boise State versus Penn State? I am not sure if a Penn State win would help enough, but you would have to agree a Boise State win would all but guarantee that a BCS Bowl would have to take them. The combinations are numerous and each team would have to try to schedule the game that would be most advantageous.
The beauty of this idea would be that it would make money and basically create a small pre-BCS selection playoff. With the interest and the money involved, the NCAA would either have to outlaw these types of games or choose to allow them and control them. The greed of the NCAA would most certainly choose the latter. Eventually this would be an end of season tradition. They would call it something like “And One Week” and we would have some great football. I believe that eventually that, in the NCAA’s “control, these games would eventually be played with proper seeding, etc.
Finally, the conference championship games would either somehow become a part of this or be done away with in favor of “guaranteed to please games”. Quite simply a game like Missouri - Oklahoma would be replaced with more suitable combatants.
If there is a rule prohibiting a team from adding a game, please let me know. All that I can tell you is that in high school sports games can be added easily with a little paperwork. Basketball teams routinely play playoff “warm-up” games that are added at the end of the season. Likewise, track playoff participants almost always go to track meets after their original schedule and before they compete during their “playoffs.” We also know that football games in the NCAA have been dropped or rearranged for other reasons. If games can be added, you have to agree, this would be awesome!!!! Teams like USC would leave this week open in the future also, and there would be a mad scramble to even see who these teams would play during the final week of the season. (At least until the NCAA takes the whole thing over and creates its preferred match-ups.
We have all heard the weak excuses that the NCAA has for not creating a playoff system in big time college football. Instead of listening to this year after year, let’s do something about it. Start playing these “And One” games and I predict we will have our playoff sooner rather than later. In the meantime, it would be the most entertaining cash cow to be created in college sports in fifty years.
It is too late for this season but, start hitting the message boards of your favorite teams. Next year, somehow let your teams know that if it looks like they could get shut out after a successful season, look to find another team in the same situation and schedule them for an “And One”.