NCAA FB

Plus-one would create same problems

Share This Story

Pete Fiutak

Pete Fiutak writes previews, predictions and prognostications for CollegeFootballNews.com.

MORE>>
   
 

So you want a plus-one system because you don't like the BCS, right?

So you think a plus-one would solve all of college football's problems, or at the very least, it would be a step in the right direction?

Be careful what you wish for.

A slew of the biggest and most powerful athletic directors met in New York on Wednesday and discussed possible changes to the way the business of college football is run. There's talk about switching around the BCS games and changing up the system. The idea of eliminating the automatic bids is on the table. And, creating the biggest splash, there might be some movement to change the way college football determines a national champion by using a plus-one system.

In the end, though, the athletic directors and college presidents are doing everything possible to avoid a playoff, and along the way they're doing the major BCS conferences a huge solid.

Everyone's under the misperception that no more automatic bids means more chances for the little guy. The only problem is that there won't be any more viable little guys once Boise State and TCU sit down at the adult table, going to the Big East and Big 12, respectively.

If the BCS games aren't forced to take anyone, then take a wild guess who wins — the SEC. If there weren't any automatic BCS bids, the league would probably get four teams — LSU, Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina — into the mega-money showcase games.

For college football fans, though, this might be a positive. The BCS games are exhibitions, and outside of conference pride and a smart trophy, they don't matter — only the BCS championship does. If it means avoiding a 2010 Oklahoma-Connecticut Fiesta Bowl to get in another great SEC team, so be it.

What does matter, though, is how this might affect a plus-one format.

Would it be a true final four with BCS No. 1 playing BCS No. 4, and BCS No. 2 playing BCS No. 3? Or would there be four BCS games with the top two teams playing after all the dust settles? Either way, to paraphrase Clark Griswold: You think you hate it now, wait 'til you drive it.

Take this year, for example. If it was a straight final four, LSU would play Stanford and Alabama would play Oklahoma State, meaning two teams that weren't even good enough to win their own conference divisions — Alabama and Stanford — would get the biggest break. Oregon played LSU in Week 1, while Stanford played San Jose State. Merry Christmas, Cardinal.

Arkansas lost to BCS No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama, meaning it theoretically could be the No. 3 team in college football. But they would be out, as would Wisconsin, which lost two road games on late bombs and avenged its loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Alternatively, let's say there weren't any automatic BCS bids and there were four BCS games — Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta. How would they be set up to create a proper plus-one championship game after all the bowls were played? Would No. 1 LSU play No. 8 Kansas State in the Sugar? Would No. 2 Alabama play No. 7 Boise State, would No. 3 Oklahoma State play No. 6 Arkansas, and worst of all worlds, would No. 4 Stanford play No. 5 Oregon?

What about Wisconsin? Clemson? TCU?

Or, what if the BCS bowls got to choose anyone they wanted? Boise State would go bye-bye for Arkansas, West Virginia would get tossed for South Carolina and Wisconsin would be in over Clemson.

What if there's some sort of a compromise that keeps the BCS league tie-ins as is, assuring the ACC, Big Ten, Big East, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC of at least one team being in, but still putting the top two teams on the board not to win a conference championship — this year, No. 2 Alabama and No. 4 Stanford — automatically in?

And then what?

What happens if the No. 5 team obliterates a No. 11 ACC champion? Can it still move up to No. 2 and reach the plus-one championship game? What if LSU won its bowl game, Alabama won its bowl and Oklahoma State blew away Stanford in the Fiesta? Or what if LSU lost on a late field goal and Alabama and Oklahoma State won, but weren't impressive and ... yup, you guessed it. A plus-one would create the exact same arguments we're having right now over Alabama and Oklahoma State, but it would be delayed by a few weeks.

And yes, if you're lost and confused, that's sort of the point.

Let's say the ADs are serious and they're not just talking a big game to quiet everyone down. The most likely of all plus-one scenarios would be a straight four-team playoff. The two play-in games would rotate among the BCS bowls — with the other two BCS games getting the four remaining top teams — and there would be a BCS championship at the end. The BCS wouldn't care because it would still get its games like before. The conferences would be a bit grouchy after losing two BCS spots, but the money would be made up by the teams that got to the title game.

You really want to do this, athletic directors? You really want to see how this would look?

You're right there. You have everything in place. Just take the extra step already, and give the nation an eight-team playoff with six conference champions, the top non-BCS league conference champion and a wild card.

Really, you'll feel better. Everyone will like you.

Tagged: Wisconsin, Boise State, Stanford, Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas

More Stories From Pete Fiutak

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash