Playoff pulpit

Playoff pulpit
By Terry Bowden, Yahoo Sports
October 15, 2007

Terry Bowden
Yahoo Sports
The first Bowl Championship Series poll is out, and now it's time to watch everyone fight it out over the remainder of the regular season to determine which two teams will play for the national championship.

In light of the situation that now exists in major college football, where anybody can beat anybody, has anyone thought about what this is going to mean for this whole BCS thing when it comes down to the end? I mean, does anyone really think this system will be able to come up with two teams that unequivocally deserve, more than anyone else, to play for the national championship?

Up to this point, 10 teams that have been ranked in the top 10 have lost to teams that were not ranked at all. And this weekend, for the first time since Sept. 21, 1996, both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams were upset on the same day. Not one team that anyone picked as their preseason favorite to play for the national championship has been able to avoid being upset by a team that no one thought would have a chance to play for the title.

If we don't have a clue who the 10 best teams in the country are seven weeks into the season, how in the world do you think we are going to be able to figure out who the best two teams are at the end of the season? If you get my drift, you know what I am about to say next. There is no way a subjective poll like the BCS is going to be able to decide which two teams need to be playing in the national championship game.

I know I said I was never going to use the "P-word" again, but we need a PLAYOFF – there, I said it.

Conventional wisdom tells us that a team with a lot of talent will beat a team with a little talent. Conventional wisdom also tells us that a team that is a 40.5-point favorite will not lose to a team that is a 40.5-point underdog. But conventional wisdom doesn't apply anymore in college football, and the conventional way of determining a national championship is no longer the best way to get it done.

We need a PLAYOFF.

Is there anyone out there who does not feel that this upset-filled season has been one of the best things to happen to college football in ages? Does anyone not see that the more teams that can be competitive, the better it is for the game? Isn't football utopia a place where everyone is competing on a level playing field and everyone has a chance to win? We might not ever get there, but for reasons none of us are quite able to explain, aren't we somewhat closer to that place today than we were yesterday?

Stanford beat Southern California. South Florida beat West Virginia. Colorado beat Oklahoma. Kentucky beat LSU. Oregon State beat California. And yes, lest we ever forget, Appalachian State beat Michigan.

The BCS format forces us to ignore all this good fortune when we get to the end of the season, to forget the drama that has occurred this year and go right back to that place where only a few have a chance to reign over the many.

But these upsets, they have happened before and can happen again. Just not under the BCS and not for the national championship.

For that to happen, of course, we would need to have a PLAYOFF.

Terry Bowden is Yahoo! Sports' college football analyst. For more information about Terry, visit his official web site.

Send Terry a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Updated on Monday, Oct 15, 2007 2:20 pm, EDT

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