The BCS, Version 4.0 (The Definitive Preview)

It’s apparently official, the BCS, as we know it, is dead.


What was originally a three-bowl pact between the Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta to try to arrange a national championship, then became a four-bowl pact once the mighty TV dollar spoke, and then further morphed into a four- bowl snooze fest married to a pseudo plus-one game; all of that is now gone.

Well, it will be gone in 2014, anyway.

Sort of like the Afghan War: It’s over, but it aint really over.

As we have always and consistently said in this space, the bowls, the BCS, no really stick to the BCS, a National Playoff is the only way to go. Here at TRC we’ve never always said as much.

It seems straightforward enough, with two bowl-hosted semifinals leading to a stand-alone national championship game. However, the devil may be in the details (seeding? hosting? ranking systems?) and many are already predicting that the conference commissioners will screw it all up, and we will end up with a needlessly complicated system that no one can explain or even understand.

But it doesn’t have to be that way – it could be a really simple system. Let me demonstrate the way the BCS 4.0 system should (and based on history most assuredly will) work, in a simple three-step graphic process. Feel free to print this out for future reference in 2014 and beyond:

First, we need to designate what bowl game will host the #1 v. #4 game. It’s a simple determination as the following chart illustrates:

#1 v. #4 Bowl Site Determination

Now, with that out-of-the-way, we can select the site of the #2 v. #3 game. Behold the simplicity:

#2 v. #3 Bowl Site Determination

With the hosting bowls now determined, selecting the teams for those semifinals is relatively straightforward:

Let’s just admit it up front, ok?

Note two things: First, the game on the left can be the #1 vs #4, or it could be the #2 vs #3. Then the other one is . . . the other one! Simple right?

Second thing to notice: Most everyone is left out of the process. This is, without a doubt, the biggest and most charming attribute of the whole system. We can ignore all the Wake Forests, San Jose States, Akrons, and Clemson Universities and just concentrate on the big name schools that have a realistic argument for the title. Sorry, WAC, MWC, ACC, MAC, Big East, Atlantic 10 or whatever – your conferences haven’t figured into the national title picture in ages, and really that’s best for everyone, isn’t it? True, we’re leaving the ‘Media Darling’ slot in the playoff, but that’s not any of y’all – it’s just a thinly-veiled moniker that actually means the “ESPN selection.”

And nine times out of ten ESPN is gonna pick someone from the SEC, Pac12, or B1G, right? Thought so.

So anyway, you can ignore all the BCS hype and all the rankings hoopla and just fill in your championship brackets after the last week in November, 2014.

Just use the charts we’ve already provided.