Heeke, Enos react to new BCS playoff structure
Since 1998, the most discussed, and arguably unpopular, entity in sports has been the Bowl Championship Series.
The BCS, which is based on polls and computers, is how the Football Bowl Subdivision, formally known as Division 1-A, decided its champion for the past 14 years.
Now, a committee of university presidents has decided to turn to a four-team playoff instead of a single BCS Championship game, starting in 2014.
“Something like this was coming our way,” said Central Michigan Athletics Director Dave Heeke. “I think it’s the best of the options that have been discussed.”
So how does the new format affect Central Michigan University, the Mid-American Conference and other mid-major conferences and their football programs?
“In reality, it gets institutions like CMU and the Mid-American Conference no closer to an opportunity to play on the field for a championship,” Heeke said. “It is what it is and institutions like CMU around the country, and there are many, are left on the outside looking in.”
Many college football experts and fans are in favor of a 16-team playoff that gives spots to each conference champion, with the remaining spots going to top ranked remaining teams in the nation.
Those fans and experts point to the Football Championship Subdivision, formally known as Division 1-AA, which decides its champion with a playoff that generates good ratings on the ESPN networks.
“Expanding the system, in my mind, has a number of complications,” Heeke said. “Those levels of football did not have bowl structures in place, play fewer games, have a different time period and it’s not driven by multimedia rights and the revenues generated by those partners.”
Since the BCS was created in 1998, it has generated a plethora of controversy.
“Our game is not to determine or satisfy the masses … I don’t think that’s our goal,” Heeke said. “We want to maintain what has been good for college football and this is a nice step forward.”
In 2003, the BCS title game created a split national championship between Louisiana State and Southern California.
In 2006, the format gave a one-loss team, Florida, a national championship despite the fact Boise State went unbeaten and beat Oklahoma in a BCS bowl game.
In 2008 the same thing happened to an unbeaten Utah team that was not rewarded, and a one-loss Gator team was given the national championship.
“No matter what kind of format you have people will be complaining about it,” said CMU football head coach Dan Enos. “That is the nature of sports in general. Everyone has an opinion.”
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