Dec 3, 2007

What a Pile of BcS

Another regular season in the books, another BCS controversy on our hand, right on time. You could set your calendar by this flawed system screwing up an entire Bowl Season, and be all right for a year. For what it’s worth, this has been the nuttiest NCAA Football season in memory, a season which saw Mizzou somehow attain the number 1 overall ranking, and yet not get selected to play in any BCS games when the time came. Some call this an injustice, but I would rather take solace in the words of a lifelong Mizzou supporter:

"The natural order of college football has been restored." -- Todd Abrams

And, by God, he’s right. Remember earlier this year, with all the talking heads prognosticating about what could happen if USF, Kansas, or Hawaii were to play in the BCS National Title game? Well, all of that worked itself out in the end, as there are two apparently deserving teams in the National Title game. Apparently. Maybe.

*Allow me to preface this whole next section by admitting that I am a Georgia fan, but I also realize we were in no way going to the National Title game, so the call for reform stems not from that*

It is this lack of certainty that has everyone carrying pitchforks and torches, clamoring for a playoff system, or at least a plus-one game to decide the National Champion. Color me one of these teeming masses. This is a fundamentally flawed system that in 10 years of existence has undergone 7 changes in calculation, and seriously screwed up no less than 3 times. College football elicits the most passion nationally out of any sport, yet it is the only one with no definitive method of naming a champion. How does the #4 BCS team get leapfrogged on a weekend they did not play? Does that make any logical sense to anyone else? I understand that it is a mathematical equation, and that the win in a conference title game adds to the quality win total, but doesn’t it also go to say that if you were to win your conference title game by 2 touchdowns, when your opponent was the number 1 team in the nation, that it would be a more quality win than another conference title win? Or is that just too nuts for everybody?

The main arguments against the proposed playoff system is that it would extend an already long season, it would be hard for fan bases to travel, and of course, the money issue. The answer is the same to all three questions – drop all conference title games, drop the 12th game, take the 6 BCS conference champions, and 2 at-large bids, and play out the playoffs. The finale can still have a month of build up, as the semis would fall on what is now Heisman night…push that back a week and we’re all set. You can still populate your bowls with the other teams, or better yet, name the playoff rounds after big-bowl games. It’s not a perfect answer, but it’s better than what we got now.

And even if you don’t change the system, at least change some of the match-ups we’re stuck with this. Most of these BCS match-ups are going to be blowouts, and not at all interesting. I know that much was said about the tradition of certain bowls, but what if USC played Georgia in the Rose Bowl, while Hawaii face Illinois in the Sugar Bowl? You get two wide-open offenses clashing in Nawlins, while two historical football powerhouses battle it out in one of the most historic venues in sport, all the while giving me an excuse to go to LA. Out of the other three BCS games, Oklahoma/West Virginia actually looks interesting, while Virginia Tech will roll over Kansas. We’ll discuss the National Title Game (Snuff Film) at a later date. And as for last weeks number 1 team in the nation, those Mizzou Tigers? They’ll be slumming it in the Cotton Bowl with the Arkansas Razorbacks, and the look that will be on their faces when Darren McFadden comes barreling over, around, and through that ‘defense’? Priceless.

There is something to be said about the BCS: it gives us something to talk (read: complain) about each year around this time. Without it, how would we spend this stretch until Bowl Season is truly upon us? I bet Pat Forde’s head would explode if we ever do get to see a playoff system; that’ll be the newest pro-BCS argument, they’re sparing his life. This is all just idle talk anyway…

The BCS is still under contract until 2010.

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