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College Football Playoff: The BCS Had One Big Advantage Over the Selection Committee

The old system wasn't entirely without merit, only mostly.

The first College Football Playoff rankings come out next week. I think that makes now a good time to reflect on one big advantage the BCS had over the current system. The Big 12 might have been spared a lot of offseason drama had we known exactly how far ahead Ohio State was in front of Baylor.

A transcript of the video follows.

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Here in the playoff era, not many people miss the old BCS. There is one thing the BCS had over the selection committee format though: it was a formula.

The formula itself was terrible, as all three parts had serious problems. But because it was a formula, we could see exactly how much space there was between teams.

When Florida edged out Michigan for No. 2 in 2006, we saw it was only by 0.0101. We know that was really close, because the space in 2005 between undefeated No. 2 Texas and one-loss No. 3 Penn State was more than five times larger.

The playoff selection committee only gives us ranks and nothing more. When Ohio State got the fourth playoff spot ahead of Baylor in 2014, we knew nothing of how close the teams were other than some vague comments from the committee.

In the end, we could only say that Ohio State was one better than Baylor, just like Baylor was one better than TCU, or USC was one better than Minnesota. That’s about as useful as saying that 11 is one louder than 10.

The BCS formula may have been built on a bad foundation, but at least we understood how teams got to where they got in the rankings. With the playoff, all we have is a group of people asking us to trust them, and that’s a step backwards.