Brian McNicoll

I don’t think a traditional playoff system works for college football for a variety of reasons. How do you choose eight deserving teams out of 119 that have played wildly diverse schedules? Not all 12-0s are created equal. Boise State and TCU and this year’s unbeaten darling, Houston, play teams week-in-and-week-out that have perhaps one or two future pros. The LSU-Alabama game probably had 35-40 future pros. The mid-majors simply are not playing the same game.

Plus, the beauty of the present system is that every game among contenders is a playoff game. Stanford was eliminated by its loss to Oregon. Oregon was eliminated by its loss to LSU – in Week 1 of the season. USC beat Oregon, but it was eliminated because of its status as a continuing criminal enterprise. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

But similarly, Alabama has been eliminated. It had its shot at what most now must agree is the top team in the land. If Arkansas loses to LSU, it has even less claim on another chance – having lost previously to Alabama.

If all the present seeds hold serve, LSU should advance. Its most deserving opponent – as things stand now -- would be Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech will have won a division championship, a conference championship if it can prevail in the ACC title game, and will have lost only once – to a then-Top 10 opponent at the top of its game.

No team in the Big 12, Pac 12 or Big Ten can claim a better resume. And the Big 12 has a higher burden of proof since it no longer has a conference championship game. The problem with the BCS is that, at present, its points system would give the second berth in its title game to Alabama. I’m not sure how to fix that except to bar rematches.

College football does not have a traditional playoff system, which doesn’t bother me one bit. It chooses champions in a way more similar to auto racing than basketball, and that is OK.

But it does have an elimination system, and that system requires that no team, under any circumstances, gets a rematch. Sorry, Alabama, but you had your chance. It’s time others have theirs.


Brian McNicoll

Brian McNicoll is a conservative columnist and freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va.