Richard Thaler prefers a playoff system to BCS

Even if you think the tradition of the bowl games is worth preserving, going to an eight-team playoff would help such bowls. Here is how it might work. In an eight-team playoff there are seven games. Give each of the existing bowl games one of the first-round games, played the first weekend in December. These games would attract more attention than any of the nonchampionship BCS games now because they determine who keeps playing. Then rotate the semifinal and final games among various locations, much as is done with the Super Bowl and the NCAA basketball tournament. For traditionalists, restore the championship game to New Year’s Day, thereby shortening the season by a week even for the teams that play in the championship.

This system would not only be attractive to college-football fans, it would also help curtail high-stakes conference-jumping by colleges that want a share of that BCS money. This turmoil is leaving some conferences desperately short of teams. Rumor has it that the Big East has offered a spot to the Sorbonne.

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