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Despite its bad points, be thankful that we had the BCS

Yes, we have come to hate it. Yes, its end is long overdue. But the BCS was a conduit to a playoff.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm •  Published: August 29, 2013

The fanfare.

Imagine what would happen if Bob Stoops decided to change the Sooners' uniform.


Even though college football had every reason to go from the polls to a playoff — playoffs have been wildly successful and popular in many sports and leagues for decades — it wasn't going to happen. The polls were a long-standing tradition, and many wanted to keep the pollsters a part of the sport in some form or fashion. Then, there were the bowls, another venerable tradition. What would happen to those games with a playoff?

Now we know, of course, that the bowls can coexist with a playoff. A whopping 38 bowls are on the docket for next season, the first with a playoff.

We also know there's a place for real, live human beings in a playoff system. A yet-to-be-named selection committee will be picking the four teams that make the playoff.

The BCS gave us a chance to see what worked and what didn't work. It whet our appetite for end-of-season games between the best teams, for a national champion that's determined on the field. But it also turned our stomachs when seemingly deserving teams were left out of the mix.

As a result, college football slowly but surely moved toward a system that would amplify the good and diminish the bad.

A playoff isn't a perfect system. Deserving teams will be left out. It happens in the pros. It happens with the NCAA basketball tournament. And it will happen in college football.

But we're closer to perfect with a playoff than we have been with the BCS just like we were closer to perfect with the BCS than we were with pollsters determining a champion.

So, as we hear the opening strains of the BCS's swan song, we should celebrate the system for the change it helped usher in.

“I believe history will view the BCS favorably for all the good that it's done for this game that we love,” Hancock said.

Thank you, BCS.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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