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While the confetti rains and the corks fly and we celebrate the birth of a playoff system in college football, lets all take a moment of silence and remember the teams who had to make a sacrifice for us to get to this point.
As college football sets an execution date for the BCS immediately at the end of the 2013 season, we should pay homage to the countless victims that dreadful system left in its destructive path.
In order to understand the magnitude of a tornado, we have to see the damage it causes. And for the flaws of the BCS to be uncovered, deserving teams had to be left on the outside looking in.
In a perfect sports world, a deserving team should have to grieve over coming up short of a national title only after it has had a chance to play for it.
The four-team playoff system that will begin in 2014 and run through at least 2025 is by no means perfect, and it doesnt solve everything, nor anywhere close.
But the one thing it fixes, the one thing that absolutely had to be solved was to appease the Auburns that just dont seem to factor into the BCS equation.
This system will make sure that a team that goes undefeated in the SEC, or any of the other four major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 12), will have a chance to play for the national championship and thats a huge start.
So the 2004 Auburn season should never happen again. What was so appalling about that circumstance wasnt just keeping the Tigers out of the title game, but the BCS tried to justify itself by declaring that USC was the true champion because it blew out Oklahoma and would have done the same to Auburn. Maybe it would have, but then again maybe not.
The playoff system has a different approach. It tells the BCS, Lets play the game and see if were right or wrong.
The BCS caused much more heartache than joy and more outcries for a change than praise.
And as I wrote before, much damage has been caused by not killing the BCS sooner. One of the perennial victims of the system, Boise State, jumped ship from the Mountain West Conference over to the Big East, 3,000 miles away. It did so to get into an automatic bid conference, only to learn that the new playoff system has been designed to show no favorites.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the new system is an open marketplace for all teams.
But the cries were heard and change is coming. Now everything is dependent on how the four teams are selected. If college football isnt careful, it could wind up with an Alabama in place of Auburn.
What do I mean?
If a four-team playoff system were in place last year, and those four teams were determined by the top four conference champions, Alabama never would have played for the title last season.
But if the system favors the top-four ranked teams, regardless of what conference they are in, doesnt that give the SEC an unfair advantage? If so, thats not the SECs fault. Thats a message that other conferences need to step up their game and recruit better players.
As the history of college football is concerned, this is like the fall of the Berlin Wall a change for the better. But if it doesnt solve the main problem the BCS created, prepare yourself for another public outcry.