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Tuesday, May 1, 2012
BCS finally gets it right

By Rick Reilly
ESPN.com

Trent Richardson
Alabama's Trent Richardson holds the 2012 BCS trophy. Starting in 2014, players will have to win a four-team playoff to do the same.

Why aren't schools closed today? Why aren't people making out with complete strangers on street corners? Why isn't your couch on fire?

People, rejoice! We're going to get a four-team college football playoff! It's the Finally Four!

In fact, right now, somebody ought to be bronzing meeting room 303 on the third floor of the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. Because that's where Twelve Good Men -- the 11 FBS commissioners plus Notre Dame's AD -- made history last week. They hammered out approval for a four-team playoff.

All praise the four-fathers!

"They were aware of the historical significance," says BCS executive director Bill Hancock, a great American. "It was done very thoughtfully. They knew."

Look, I've personally been beating this horse for 34 years. Fans have been begging for it for over 100. Sanity is finally here! Why aren't you chugging Dom Perignon out of high-heels?

Yes, we still need the university presidents to sign off on it, but trust me, this thing is vacuum-sealed. When SEC commissioner Mike Slive, a great American, comes out of the meetings and says, "I've always tried not to use the dreaded P word, but now we're all using it!" ... you KNOW it's a go.

One will play Four and Two will play Three. Are you listening? The four highest-ranked teams have a chance! That's a 100 percent improvement on what we have now, which is dog meat!

So who wants in on my bracket contest? Where are President Obama's picks? You have a 12.5 percent chance of a perfect bracket.

One will play Four and Two will play Three. Are you listening? The four highest-ranked teams have a chance! That's a 100 percent improvement on what we have now, which is dog meat!

No more Auburns (12-0, ranked third, 2004) getting robbed! No more Cincinnatis and TCUs (both 12-0 in 2009, third- and fourth-ranked) getting double-shafted! No more USCs (12-1 in 2003, third-ranked, with five first-round draft picks) getting reamed!

Sure, now fans will bitch about good teams outside the top four getting left out, like Boise State and Utah, but what do you want? When the French revolutionaries freed the Bastille, the prisoners didn't go, "Hey, wait a minute. I had a scarf."

Sure, there are a lot of details to be worked out about scheduling, venues and teams by the 2014 season -- when all heaven breaks loose -- but I'm going to solve them right now:

Scheduling: The dumbest thing college football did in the past 10 years was give away New Year's Day. We take it back with January Joy. The semifinals will be played on Jan. 1 -- no matter what day of the week it is.

The championship game will be played exactly seven days later, because we don't want our student-athletes to miss any more of the classes they never were going to anyway. (Remember lies like that they used to tell us?)

So it's on like ComicCon! Please expect ratings of about 40. And billions more corporate dollars every year from companies wanting to be part of the fun. Will they give it to the athletes? One revolution at a time!

Venues: Some people think No. 1 and No. 2 should get to host the semifinals in the bowls they're attached to now. So if the top-ranked team is from the Big 12, the Fiesta Bowl will hold one. If the top-ranked team is from the SEC, the Sugar Bowl will get one. If the ACC is No. 1, then the ... nah, just kidding.

Of course, that idea is completely moronic.

The most unfair part of the BCS bowls is that they're never north. They're always in the SPF 50 towns. It's unfair to teams like Ohio State and Notre Dame, teams that are built for the snow and the wind and the 4-yard nose-bending gain, to always have to go south to win titles. So we fix that right now.

Therefore, 1 and 2 will play at their home stadiums in the semis.

The championship game will be played in a bowl that will rotate between the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and Cotton, unless one of the four teams is from a tied-in conference, in which case it'll take its turn the next season.

You're going, "Oh, no! What about our beloved Mega Dollars Bowl and all our neat-o blazers?" And I say, "Play it! It just won't mean anything, like 34 out of 35 bowl games now."

Teams: Who picks the Finally Four? By the end of the summer, the Twelve Good Men will decide whether to use the current BCS formula, a revised one, or a selection committee.

The selection committee is a bad idea on the order of the AMC Pacer. We'll simply use the same BCS formula we've been using, with one exception: No more computers. Do you really want the same machine that gave you the Love Virus picking your college football champion?

But this is all just deciding what kind of candles you want on the cake that a nude Sofia Vergara is about to jump out of.

"Most fans I've talked to have all said the same thing," says Hancock, who, did I mention, is one great American? "They go, 'I don't care about all that, where the games will be and how you'll do it. I'm just glad it's finally here."

People, we have a four-team, damn-straight, you're-a-real-sport-now college football playoff!

Why aren't you hanging from a lamppost?