Commentary

NCAA football needs playoff

Updated: September 7, 2010, 6:45 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

College football is upon us.

While I work in college basketball, I also love the excitement of college football. I will be at several Notre Dame home games as my family has major ties with the school. My two daughters and two son-in-laws all went to South Bend, and it is a special place with great football tradition. It has been an important part of our lives and we love the football weekends.

I really enjoy seeing College Gameday and have a lot of respect for Chris Fowler, Kirk "Herbie" Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews. They do a phenomenal job creating excitement for the sport.

That said, let me tell you why college hoops is light years ahead. This is my annual address on this topic, baby!

I look at the Boise State-Virginia Tech game as a great example. Here are two top 10 teams meeting on a neutral field in the first week of the season. The Broncos pull the game out in the final seconds and Virginia Tech can basically forget about contending for a national title. Yes, there have been rare occasions where a team with an early loss rebounded and won the national title.

In college football, the one "L" can cost you a championship. That is not the case in college basketball. I think about Butler last season; Brad Stevens' team lost in Madison Square Garden to Georgetown in the Jimmy V Classic, yet the dream did not die in one night. Butler went on to the national championship game and almost pulled off the ultimate Cinderella story.

If college basketball had the system that college football had, Butler would not have played for a championship.

It is time for college football to change its ways and have a playoff. It would be the right and fair way to go. That is what separates the two sports. There is nothing like March Madness, where the teams tip it off and they have a chance to play for the title.

In college football, the opportunity to play for that championship goes away too early with just one bad play, one loss.

That's my case, and I know guys like Fowler and Herbstreit disagree with me. That's the beauty of living in the greatest nation in the world, the United States. You can disagree and debate this topic. I vote for college hoops, baby!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.