It's that time again when college football fans focus their collective hatred towards the BCS-That is to say, the final standings have been announced. As is usually the case, the final standings are shrouded in controversy, but implying that a playoff system would put an end to the controversy is simply not the case. Furthermore, such a system would only serve as a detriment.
Let's say we did have a playoff and the teams got to decide their own fate "on the field." What king of system would select which teams get in? Who gets left out? Blogs and message boards would then be flooded with "I CAN'T BELIEVE x DIDN'T GET IN! THEY BEAT y AND ONLY LOST BY a TO b IN OT! AND HOW DID z GET IN?" Take, for example, George Mason getting into the 2006 NCAA basketball tournament. For weeks, message boards and blogs were permeated with ramblings of displeasure that such a team would get in. George Mason proceeded to hammer out wins over UConn, UNC, Michigan State, and only lost, in the Final Four, to the eventual champion Florida Gators. I even heard a talking head on ESPN voice his objections that George Mason got in after their success in the tournament.
While we're on the subject of the NCAA basketball tournament, look at what it has become. It has expanded to the point of absolute lunacy. I'm sure most, if not all of you watched the LSU/Alabama game earlier in the season. Why was it such a hyped up game? Because it was a battle of the two best teams in college football with the SEC West and a spot in the National Championship game on the line. How exciting would that game have been, and how many people would have watched it, if there were a bracket waiting at the end of the season? About the same level of excitement, and same number of viewers, as the Kentucky/UNC game, one could infer. The results of regular season NCAA basketball games and a dollar will get you a hamburger at McDonald's. I don't care to imagine a world in which that statement were true for college football.
There will always be controversy and displeasure in college football, it's the natural order of things. Creating a playoff system would make it far less entertaining to watch, and not solve any of the perceived problems we have with the current system. The BCS is certainly not a perfect system, but it's the best of our available options. It's going to make some people happy, and others sad, that's just the way it goes.