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May sound like sour grapes, but Adams' proposal is a step in the right direction

University of Georgia president Michael Adams' eight-team playoff to determine the NCAA champion after the 2009 season may look like sour grapes considering the now No. 2-ranked Bulldogs weren't invited to the national championship game in New Orleans.

I'll be the first to admit that Adams' timing may have been off. While I don't think it was intentional, the UGA president should have given LSU a few days to shine before his press conference.

The thing is, some sort of playoff system is needed.

If losing one North Alabama Poly Tech A&M-cupcake game while going back to an 11-game season (as Adams suggested) gives us a chance to fairly determine a national championship - please don't break my heart.

Those of you who read my columns regularly know I am a UGA homer, but my concern isn't that Georgia didn't play for the BCS Championship.

I'm on record saying LSU had every right to jump over Georgia for a shot at the title game. The Bayou Bengals won the SEC, what I (and many of you) deem the toughest conference in college football.

So, congrats LSU - you are very deserving champions under the current system.

That said, the current system is a nightmare, and anyone needing proof need only look at this year's regular season or bowl season results.

For the first time ever, a two-loss team which lost as the No. 1-ranked team twice advanced to the BCS championship.

Three of the most important bowl games of the year were blowouts.

We all know about UGA's 41-10 Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii.

No. 3-ranked USC wiped the field with Illinois, 49-17 in the Rose Bowl, and Ohio State (now 0-9 against SEC teams in bowl games) provided little competition for LSU after blowing a first-quarter lead in a 38-24 BCS National Championship rout.

I'm no genius, but when three of the biggest bowls in America are laughers, someone must've made a boo-boo during the bowl selection process.

Adams is right to point out not only the fans' loss of confidence in the current system, but the way, "'closed-circle' decision-making (by bowl selection committees) based on traditional contract alliances" elevate lower-echelon teams into bowl games over more-deserving teams due to conference preference (and network affiliations) rather than higher-ranked teams.

To put it bluntly, how can a No. 3 (or 4)-ranked team go overlooked when the No 1 & 2 teams lose in the final game of the season?

How does a coach look his team in the eye and say, "we're the fourth-best team in the country," when he knows his squad could drop to fifth a week later without a loss?

Like I said, under the current system, at least the No. 1 team in the country came out pretty close to being right.

LSU is right up there with any of the teams with a claim to the title, and had a 2007 pedigree just as deserving as any other team.

But what of the remaining three or four upper crust teams?

For that matter, what about an undefeated 2004 Auburn team with an SEC title being left out of the big dance?

I've heard the argument that the BCS is only designed to get the No. 1 & 2 teams to the championship game. What happens when that doesn't work out? And even if it does, do the other top three or four teams' hard work over a season mean nothing?

I think not.

The players, fans and alumni of NCAA football all deserve to see the highest-ranked teams match up in the four remaining BCS bowls - not the teams who travel best or meet the traditional rivalries college presidents and bowl committees think will make the most money.

There's a reason why ratings were so low during this season's major college football bowl games.

So call it crying over spilt milk if you want, but I for one think it's refreshing to see a collegiate president looking past the dollar signs and calling for a more-compelling, fairer system to determine a national champion.

I don't know if an eight-team playoff is the answer or a one or two-plus system would best serve college football, but one thing is apparent - the current system stinks.

Jeff Hensley is a sports writer for the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald, His column runs on Fridays. He can be reached at jhensley@news-daily.com