Die, Die, Die


Ding dong, the witch is dead.

I hate the BCS. I hate it like I hate mayonnaise, TV shows involving the real housewives of any random city, and people who misuse the word "literally". The BCS is the worst thing to happen to sports since the one-out only lefty reliever. It sucks. It is an abomination. And now, it is gone.

Thank God.

Now, we don't quite know what the new system will look like. And every one of us has our own biases and preferences. Personally, I'd like to see a committee select four conference champions to play at on campus sites. Now that the BCS is dead, I can turn my full attention to hating wild cards, which have already ruined baseball's regular season, the previous title holder for "most meaningful regular season."

But you know what?

It doesn't really matter what the playoffs look like, they will be better than the BCS, an illogical, unfair, and borderline criminal system. The BCS system was so terrible that it made the old bowl chaos look preferable in comparison. That took some doing.

My least favorite playoff model appears to be the front runner: using the bowls as semifinals and also including wild card teams. Why we should bend over to protect the only institutions in this nation more corrupt than congress (bowl organizing committees) is beyond me. And history shows us that as soon as you allow one wild card team into your playoff model, you are inviting playoff expansion in about a decade's time, to add more wild card teams.

The wild card team, or at-large team which is just a wild card team with a fancier name, is just a stalking horse for playoff expansion. Over the next few years, we'll likely see all of the arguments shift to who is the most deserving fourth team, and how team #5 got screwed over. It won't happen right away, but eventually, this will lead to the expansion of the bracket - just as it has in the other sports.

I would say this would make the regular season less meaningful, but it's too late to put that genie back in the bottle. Teams have been progressively scheduling weaker out of conference games due to the BCS. In the 15 years of the BCS era, a team that failed to win its conference played for the national title three times, finally resulting in our first national champion who failed to win a conference title since the 1930s. This was a feature, not a bug.

And there's no going back. There never has been, so a playoff system which includes a wild card team or even four wild card teams... whatever. Fighting over the purity of the regular season is like trying to make a girl a virgin again. Once it's gone, it's gone.

Plus one, wild cards, bowls, on campus sites, selection committees, polls... it doesn't matter. It's a playoff, and no matter what form it takes, it's better than the BCS. Really, that's all I really wanted. The new playoffs will certainly be flawed, but that's just life. There will be unintended consequences, because there always is. But you know what it won't be? The BCS.

I'll take any progress I can get. Any playoff system is better than what we have now. I don't much care what it looks like, so long as the BCS dies a horrible death. Today, it did. Good. I won't miss it.

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