Sunday, December 04, 2005

Oh BCS It's A Wild World

by BH

I don't really know what to make of this peice. I think the writer must get all his information from Sportscenter. It seems like he might simply be regurgitating things he's heard before.

LOS ANGELES -- A perfect championship game, a classic coaching matchup and Notre Dame.

If Jesus was a football team, He would be Notre Dame.

The Bowl Championship Series couldn't have asked for more -- a glitzy lineup with little for critics to gripe over. Only Oregon has a case to complain, as the Pac-10 has a 10-1 team left out of the marquee bowls for a second straight season.

Yep, it really fell into the collective lap of BCS supporters this year. Now, at least for one season, they get to say, “See, it works.” However, the idea that critics have little about which to complain is short-sided and absurd. Let’s replace Oregon with a school like, oh, I don’t know, Notre Dame, and there would be plenty for critics to gripe over. See, by critics this writer means, “Guys on the East Coast who like schools east of the Mississippi.”

Southern California and Texas, the only unbeatens left in Division I-A, will decide the national title in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi on Jan. 4.

The BCS has been hammered in the past for putting the wrong teams in the championship games. Two years ago, USC got left out and college football ended up with a split title, just what the BCS was created to avoid. Last season, the problem was too many unbeaten teams, and many felt Auburn should have played USC for the championship instead of Oklahoma.

This is a good summarization of the BCS’s continuous bungling. Basically, every year, the BCS has given detractors more reason to call for a playoff system. Until this year it seems.

The other common complaint is the BCS doesn't create compelling matchups beyond the title game. Well, it all worked out for this season. Even before a bowl game is played, the BCS can declare victory.

The “compelling matchups” credited to the BCSwere not created by the BCS. Teams were not pitted against one another according to their BCS order. The BCS ranking system, outside the top two, are really just suggestions. Really, the BCS would be declaring victory for what individual bowl games decided to do on their own, like selecting Ohio State and Notre Dame or Penn State.

As I said before, this year the BCS has been fortunate that the two top teams in the country ended the season undefeated. The BCS was a Penn State victory away from another season in which we would have wondered what it was designed to do. What if West Virginia had beaten Virginia Tech? While we’d all point to WVU’s weak slate of games, they would still have beaten all the teams on the schedule. The point is, there are still a lot of “what if’s” with the BCS. Too many to even come close to saying that the BCS has worked or that it can now claim victory.

Sure, anyone could tell you that Texas and USC should be playing for the championship. But remember, in the pre-BCS days of college football the two superpowers would be going separate ways for the postseason.

Which is what has happened to the top two teams in the previous two seasons.
Before the BCS brought all the major conferences together in 1998 to make a 1 vs. 2 matchup to end each season, a Pac-10 champion, such as USC, had to play the Big Ten's best in the Rose Bowl.

Yep. That was the tradition, and college football sold its soul to the BCS in order to make money under the guise of determining a true national champion.
Now the Trojans (12-0) and Big 12 champion Longhorns (12-0) can determine which team is best in the Granddaddy of Them All.

Major college football's two winningest coaches, septuagenarians Penn State's Joe Paterno and Florida State's Bobby Bowden, will meet in the FedEx Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.

The #3 Nittany Lions will face #22 Florida State, because FSU beat Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game. A team that wasn’t even the best team in the conference over the course of the season, gets an automatic bid to a BCS bowl game. I guess that just goes to show that anything can happen to any team on any night. That might be a good reason for a playoff system.

In his rookie season as Notre Dame coach, Charlie Weis has the Fighting Irish (9-2) in the BCS for the first time since they lost the 2001 Fiesta Bowl 41-9 to Oregon State. They automatically qualified for a spot by finishing sixth in the BCS standings.

How did College Football Jesus automatically qualify for a spot by finishing sixth in the BCS standings? I’m confused. Did the BCS make up a rule that stated that the sixth ranked team gets into a bowl game, but the fifth shouldn’t? Seems like that’s wrong.

While some complain that Notre Dame has bulked up this season on a weak schedule -- only three wins over winning teams -- and gets too much credit for a 34-31 loss to USC, the Fighting Irish are college football's No. 1 drawing card. They will receive a payout of more than $14 million.

Another problem with the BCS. Because bowl game participants, aside from the #1/#2 matchup, are determined by which team will draw the largest television audience, not what the team has done on the field, some teams which deserve to be in a BCS game are left out.

Ohio State (9-2) out of the Big Ten was assured of an at-large bid by finishing fourth in the final standings released Sunday.

Ohio State’s only two losses came to Texas and Penn State, both good games, so it seems that the Buckeyes deserve their #4 ranking, but please don’t say they assured an at-large birth because of their ranking. We know that’s not true. We know that the ranking is more like a suggestion for the bowl in which a team will play.

That left no room for Oregon, which had a better record than both the Buckeyes and Irish and lost only to USC.

The Ducks gave USC a scare. Seems like common sense will tell us that a team that kept up with the #1 team in the nation for most of the game, only to suffer its lone loss on the season, would deserve a shot in a BCS bowl game. But, then again…

Last season, California was 10-1 but got bumped out of the Rose Bowl by Texas, a slight that caused an outcry from the Pac-10 and elsewhere.

So, common sense has been kicked in the butt by the BCS before. The outcry though was more about how Cal was left out, not that they were left out. It had to do with Texas coach Mack Brown’s plea for votes.

The Ducks won't get as much sympathy this season.

And for once the BCS gets to gloat.

Well, it shouldn’t. It’s like saying you’re awesome because you won the lottery. It was fortune and chance that the BCS ended up with two undefeated teams. As long as college football is decided anywhere but on the field, the system will be flawed.

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