The college football season got under way this year two months after officials decided to eventually scrap the Bowl Championship Series. Beginning in 2014, a playoff system will at last be used to determine the champion of I-A college football.
It’s a dream come true for many college football fans who loathed the BCS, which was created by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1998. Others, however, say the proposed four-team playoff doesn’t go far enough.
Currently, the king of big-time college football is determined in a single BSC championship game. The idea of holding playoffs to crown the nation’s top college football program had been dismissed by the NCAA as impractical. NCAA officials said football playoffs would extend the season and take student athletes out of the classroom.
Critics, however, point out this argument overlooks the fact that the NCAA already sanctions playoffs for its three lower divisions of football, as well as for basketball and baseball. The BCS has also faced charges that a faulty computer formula leaves deserving teams out of contention for the national title.
Instead of simply pairing the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams in a title game after the regular season, the new playoff format will create a pair of national semifinals.
No. 1 will play No. 4, and No. 2 will play No. 3 on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. The sites of those games will rotate among the four current BCS bowls — Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar — with two more to be determined later.
The winners will advance to the championship on the first Monday in January that is six or more days after the last semifinal. The first championship game will be played Jan. 12, 2015.
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