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Money ties into false interpretations of who the best teams are in college football. The BCS era started in 1998 and promised every power 5 conference champion a spot in a BCS bowl game regardless of their record, strength of schedule, or if there was a better non-power 5 conference team. Of course this is with the exception of the BCS National Championship game. If the conference winner is in the national championship game then the best team in a non-power 5 conference would compete in that game. For example Boise State Broncos defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in the Tostitos Fiesta bowl, in 2007. The college football world was shocked and is still shocked today, but it goes to show these smaller schools can still have good programs as well.
A few years ago the NCAA decided to retire the BCS and spice things up. The solution; a four team playoff with four other bowl games to go with it. They call these games the New Year 6 bowls. Many people were aggravated that only four teams have a playoff spot, as was I. After a few years have passed, people are accustomed to the system and sold on it. People are sold on it simply for one reason, the championship playoff games. But what about the other four games, and what about all of the controversy over playoff spots as well? How could people be sold on this when more than one team has a one loss record and one doesn’t get in simply because of popularity?
The system is still the same and biased. The power 5 conference champions are still reserved a spot in a New Years 6 bowl just as if it was with the BCS bowl system. I strongly disagree with this because even when a conference champion is in the playoffs a smaller school isn’t guaranteed in. Even though this seasons 15-0 Western Michigan Broncos are in a New Years 6 bowl, another team could’ve been added but they decided to add the Auburn Tigers. It is clear that the NCAA favors the power 5 conferences (particularly the SEC) but I never thought it would cost a team a great opportunity.
The Auburn Tigers finished the season 8-4, which is good but not New Years bowl quality. There are a number of 8-4 teams that were invited by mediocre bowl games and a number of teams that finished better than 8-4 that didn’t get invited by a New Years 6 bowl. There’s a number of lower status teams that could’ve gotten in as well. I’m going to use Boise State as an example again (because this season they were 10-2), or Troy, or Ohio, but no, they put an 8-4 SEC team at that spot because of the name of their conference and the money it involves. Auburn is a prime example of the failure in the system.
In the future I and many others hope to see change to a system that invites the top 12 teams into the top 6 bowl games. A system that will look at strength of schedule, stats, and record but take account of the unfortunate schools as well as the big named schools. So where teams aren’t voted out of a playoff spot, and every DESERVING team gets in. The system has been broken for many of years and it’s time for a repair man.