Perspective on Bowls vs Playoff

BCS Logo 2012by Travis Normand

If you have been following my blog for any period of time, you know that I am anti-playoff (for college football).  I have many reasons for this, but that is for another post.  In fact, now that I think of it, I have mentioned that I am anti-playoff before but I don’t believe I have ever made a comprehensive post that details my reasoning behind it.  I should do that soon.

With the 2012 season officially over, we are one step closer to the first college football playoff. While the playoff discussion/debate has changed a little (it is now more about “what is the best playoff format,” instead of “whether or not we should have a playoff at all”), I still think the debate over whether or not to have a playoff is one worth having.  After all, we don’t have it yet and anything can change.

Anyway, whenever I find an article containing an interesting perspective or thought process to the “playoff debate,” I try to share it here.   So, when I found this article on, I couldn’t wait to share it.

The article is an interview between Ted Glover ( and Dave Revsine (The Big Ten Network). I am only posting a few edited highlights from the interview (below) so please click HERE if you want to read the article in full. Oh, one more thing, the article was posted in January of 2012, however, the ideas discussed by Revsine are still relevant (a year later).

Commissioner Delany has said he supports a modification to the BCS system as long as the B1G is still tied to the Rose Bowl. It sounds like some sort of ‘Plus 1′ playoff will be implemented soon, but there’s no new format in place yet. If you were King For a Day, what would the Dave Revsine ideal scenario be to determine a college football champion?

Well, I might be a dinosaur in that I don’t dislike the system we have nearly as much as most other people seem to. I do see limitations in it, though. . . . My belief is that what the college football system tries to do, and it’s something that most people don’t grasp, is that it’s not necessarily trying to find the best team at the end of the season, but it’s trying to take the breadth of the season in college football and figure out who was the best team over the course of the entire season.

And you know, there’s no better example for me this year than in the Big Ten. Someone was saying to me ‘why wouldn’t you want an 8 team playoff? Why wouldn’t you want Wisconsin as the eighth seed against whoever’, and I kind of cut them off. I said stop right there–I’ve watched every minute of every game Wisconsin has played, and they’re not the best team in the country, and I don’t need a playoff to tell me that. Now, I would love to see the B1G win the National Championship, of course I would, but Wisconsin wasn’t the best team in the country this year. And that, to me, is what you’re trying to achieve.

. . . Were they [MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals] the best team in 2006, when they won 83 games in the regular season? Absolutely they weren’t but they were the best team at the end of the year, and that’s what baseball tries to achieve-who was the best team at the end of the year. And that’s fine, that’s great. But to me, college football has tried to do it a little bit differently, and that’s what people can’t wrap their arms around, because they’re the only sport that does it that way.

I’m not saying that this system is perfect-far from it, I’d be fine with a Plus One if that’s what people want to do. But if we had an 8 team playoff, I think you’re changing what your definition of your football national champion is. Now you’re making your national champion whoever the best team was at the end of the year, and if that’s what everyone wants, that’s fine, but I have always been of the belief that what made college football great was that you’re taking the breadth of the season into account.

Like I said, if you want to read the entire article, please visit by clicking HERE.

I have been thinking it for some time but Revsine said it here/above perfectly.  Instituting a playoff will change the very definition of what a college football national champion is.  It will change from a champion that is crowned based on an entire season to a champion that is crowned based on the strongest finish.

While I think there is an argument that college football could use a better (or different) system to determine which team is the best over the course of the season; the fact remains that the current champion of college football is determined based on an entire season of work.

18 thoughts on “Perspective on Bowls vs Playoff

  1. Very well written. I typically am all in favor of a CFB playoff, but I didn’t grow up on it and didn’t even remotely follow it until my roommate at UAB tried to make me watch it with him. I would say that argument is valid enough and is probably the best argument I have heard against a playoff.

    • Hey! Thanks for the comment. I really do appreciate it.

      Yeah, most people seem to be in favor of a CFB playoff. I think I am one of the very few who is not. Regardless, I am glad you agree that this was a fairly decent argument against a playoff . . . I too thought it was one of the best arguments so far.

          • First of all, the selection process is questionable … gosh knows there have been years when we ask why didn’t they play … or too bad there isn’t one more game … besides it’s the BCS Championship – the agreement reached upon by the power schools …. thus not the NCAA Championship … which I believe, most (if not all) other sports have.

            BTW – I find it hard to believe that you don’t realize that the BCS agreement isn’t a way to lock up as much bowl revenue as possible for the power schools. Heck, that one is a no brainer.

            • I do know that the “power” schools have a great system in the BCS and that they use it to get as much money as possible. This is a no brainer, and anyone else who says otherwise is not being truthful. However, having said that, I don’t think it is an inherently unfair system just b/c they use it (the BCS) to make a lot of money. After all, the NCAA Basketball tournament is also used to make a lot of money, but no one seems to care about that (b/c its a playoff). In my opinion, the method of selecting the teams used (playoff or BCS, etc) is different from how much money is being made. In other words, no matter what system is selected, everyone involved will use it to make as much money as possible.

              As for the selection process, I don’t really have much of a problem with it. Yes, I agree that some of the outcomes have been interesting, but I don’t have a problem with the teams it gives us as No. 1 and 2. However, thats just me, and I know I am in the minority.

                • Fair enough. It really just depends on what you consider a “national champion.” If you personally believe that a “national champion” can ONLY be crowned via a playoff, then so be it. Right?

                  Like I said, I am in the minority…..

                  Either way, great comments. I appreciate them and hope you will continue to share your opinion about it (with me) as I write more about it.

                  When I started this blog, I thought I would be writing about my opinions on the BCS vs. Playoff debate more often. As it turns out, I haven’t addressed it too much…but maybe I will, now that it is the offseason…!?

  2. Can’t WAIT for the Playoffs. If I see another Kraft Fight The Hunger or Chick-Filet Bowl, I am going to rip out my toe-nails.

      • True. But at least the bowl match ups won’t be ludicrously chosen by the BCS standings. I’m sorry but Louisville vs. Florida? Hell of an upset but no Big East Team should play an SEC team.

        I just think a playoff system would produce better bowl games and better match ups.

        • Yeah, a playoff system may very well produce better match ups. We will have to wait and see.

          However, what if a Big East team is set to play an SEC team in a playoff game? Would you be okay with that?

          Just curious.

          • As of now, no. I went to Syracuse…..I am well aware of the suckiness that is Big East Football. But hey, it’s always darkest before dawn, I guess.
            It is inevitable by now that a lot of the SEC is going to dominate the bowl games (possible favoritism) but perhaps as they should….they wiped the floor with the Irish (completely overrated) and last year’s game was a Defensive Coordinator’s dream…..(soo boring). I know this whole complete domination thing is awesome but I believe the PlayOffs will definitely deter from that

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