New BCS playoff system sill leaves a lot to be desired

The Bowl Championship Series went out with a bang Monday night. In what was the final BCS Championship Game, top-ranked Florida State came back from 18 points down to top No. 2 Auburn with just 13 seconds to play, 34-31.

Starting next season, a committee will choose the top four teams for a modified playoff system. Those who have long disliked the BCS will finally get more than just the top two teams in the poll battle it out for the title. I’m excited for that scenario, but not a true believer in its alleged increased fairness.

Honestly, the least climactic championship structures are probably the most fair. Something like the English Premier League in soccer, where everyone plays everyone a number of times and the team with the best record at the end is the champ. That’s not as exciting as March Madness for college hoops, but one-and-done scenarios are less inherently fair than a full resume and a large slate of games.

Over the 16-year life of the BCS, there were very few times it felt like an error was made in who got to play for the title. When just involving the top two teams, there has sometimes been an argument for (at most) one deserving team to have earned a spot over another. Now with four teams in the tournament, it will probably only increase the number of teams who feel they’ve gotten a raw deal. This year, the final poll has South Carolina ranked No. 4, with Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama and Clemson finishing five through eight. Wouldn’t those four also-rans have a great argument for being in the top four instead of the Gamecocks? Aren’t they all somewhat interchangeable?

The difference between No. 4 and the four or five teams following is typically marginal. I foresee many more arguments in who deserves a shot at playing for a title than we had under the BCS, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be stoked to watch.

UH HOSTS ELITE VOLLEYBALL TOURNEY THIS WEEK

Four of the best men’s volleyball teams in the country will go against one another in the 20th Outrigger Volleyball Invitational, beginning Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center and running through Saturday. The round-robin tournament includes No. 7 UCLA, No. 11 Penn State, No. 12 Ohio State and No. 14 Hawaii.

Two matches will be played each night, the first at 4 p.m., followed by the nightcap at 7 p.m. UH will play the second match each day, all televised on OC16. The ‘Bows take on Ohio State on Thursday, Penn State on Friday and finish with UCLA on Saturday.

The same four squads played in last year’s Outrigger Volleyball Invitational. Ohio State won for the third straight year. UH went 1-2, playing all five-set matches.

WAHINE AND WARRIOR HOOPS OPEN BIG WEST PLAY

The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine will get their conference schedule underway today with a home date against Cal Poly (7 p.m., OC16). The Wahine have started the season with a 6-6 record and get their first two Big West matchups at the Stan Sheriff Center. Cal Poly (6-7) is the three-time defending Big West champion and should be a good early test for UH head coach Laura Beeman, whose team has taken on one of the best non-conference schedules in the country to this point.

The men’s squad starts its Big West schedule on Thursday at Cal Poly (5 p.m. HT). Winners of nine of its past 10 games, Hawaii is 11-3 overall. Cal Poly has had a slow start, sitting at 4-9 overall, but has won the past four meetings between the two schools.

• ‘My Thoughts Exactly’ appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays in The Garden Island. Email David Simon your comments or questions to dsimon@thegardenisland.com. Follow David on Twitter @SimonTGI

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