Q&A: Does Notre Dame’s BCS performance show why we need a playoff?

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship-Alabama vs Notre Dame

In a word, yes.

I’m typically a BCS supporter, but I’m going to argue that Notre Dame is actually the achilles heal of the BCS system designed to put the 1 vs 2 matchup together. The unique combination of being independent and a media darling creates a situation where Notre Dame is going to always be given the benefit of the doubt.

Notre Dame is 0-4 in BCS bowls, and they’ve been crushed all 4 times.

  • 2001 Fiesta: Oregon State 41, Notre Dame 9
  • 2006 Fiesta: Ohio State 34, Notre Dame 20
  • 2007 Sugar: LSU 41, Notre Dame 14
  • 2013 BCS Championship: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14

This shows that Notre Dame is getting into games that they don’t deserve. Of course more factors go into determining matchups than on-field credibility. Notre Dame gets into certain bowls because of its status as the top brand in football historically. But, college football fans are suffering as the system is not exactly producing compelling post-season matchups.

Going undefeated should not immediately result in getting into the BCS Championship. With the way it works today, if Notre Dame goes undefeated – no matter how good they are or aren’t – they are going to get in the Championship Game 9 times out of 10.

This was a good team. A good team that did well going 12-0 in the regular season. But, going 12-0 isn’t enough. Ohio State went 12-0 and also would have been crushed by Alabama.

It’s often said that the regular season is the best predictor of the best teams in college football. Here’s the deal…this applies to the SEC always and the rest of college football only sometimes. Getting through the SEC and an SEC Championship Game nearly always reveals a top team in the land – one worthy of at least playing for a national title. The same can’t be said for other conferences or independent schools like Notre Dame.

While a playoff isn’t perfect, it does help address the inconsistencies across regular season schedules. It does help prevent an overrated, undefeated team from getting into the BCS Championship Game.

A semifinal round in the playoff will help purify the final Championship matchup. By making the top 4 teams go at it one last time before getting to play for the crystal trophy, it should reduce the number of blow outs in the championship game.

Photo Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • A 4 team playoff though better than the current system is still way too dependent on the ignorant sports writer vote to rank teams.

    There should be a 16 team playoff consisting of ( games played at premiere bowl sites)

    The winner of each of the 7 AQ conferences
    3 from top ranked winners of non-AQ conferences
    Final 6 at large ( next 6 top ranked by BCS)

    All other “bowl qualifying” teams can play in non-premiere bowls

    • Well, the selection committee is going to pick the teams so it won’t be dependent on polls directly; however, we can expect them to be influenced indirectly. I don’t foresee a situation where the selection committee picks a team that say the AP poll has ranked outside the top 10. Hard not to avoid groupthink.
      The good news is that the SEC gets the benefit of the doubt. 2 loss SEC teams sometimes rank ahead of 1 loss ACC teams. A benefit the SEC has earned through repeated demonstrations of outstanding football.

      • I feel like they hafta do away with the two sec team limit in the BCS bowls. Considering the way this bowl season went (blowouts) I think they hafta correct that now.

    • Whoa…hold ya horses there ..16 teams? No way.
      1. Too many games
      2. Be just like the Pros
      3. Make the regular season irrelevant

      I hope we never see more than 7-8 but I’m ok with top 4 for now