Sunday, November 30, 2008

The BCS - Screwing up national championships since 1998

Reason # 278 that the BCS is insane - it has Oklahoma ranked # 2 over Texas. The reason this matters? The BCS standings are the tiebreaker needed to sort out who would represent the Big 12 South in the title game - Oklahoma, Texas or Texas Tech. How did this happen? In this case it was the computer rankings. Four of the six computer rankings used in the BCS don't have Alabama as the number one team and three of the six have Oklahoma as number one, meaning that Oklahoma gets the overall #1 ranking from the computers. If Alabama was properly ranked number one in the computer polls, Oklahoma would not have had enough points to pass Texas in the overall BCS standings. 

When the only remaining undefeated BCS team isn't ranked number one in a computer poll this late into the season, it proves at best we have a flawed system. But when the only undefeated BCS team isn't ranked number one in the MAJORITY of the computer polls used in the rankings, it proves the system is nothing short of ridiculous. Forget the Oklahoma-Texas argument for a second - on what possible basis, could any human or computer ranking decide that, after 11 games, Oklahoma is a better team than Alabama when Oklahoma lost on a neutral field and Alabama won all of their games in what is normally regarded as one of the top two toughest conferences? 

Previous years have exposed many flaws in the BCS, but each year college football seems to find a new way to prove the stupidity of the whole thing. Even though the problems change, the solution stays the same and this year's problem of ranking Oklahoma ahead of Texas in the BCS is no different. It would be solved if we just had a simple 8 team playoff because then, both Texas and Oklahoma (and possibly Texas Tech as well) would be in it as well as the winner of Alabama-Florida (possibly the loser, too if the loser was Alabama in a close game), USC, Penn State, and you'd even have room for your non-BCS conference contender in Utah. Hell fans would be happy with just a plus-one system (we've proposed it as TSF) where the Alabama-Florida winner, Oklahoma, Texas and USC were seeded 1-4 and allowed to play in the BCS bowls with the winners playing in a true national title game. College football would nearly reach NFL/NASCAR heights in terms of ratings and advertising dollars. And it would benefit the fans. It sickens me that we do not have a system like this to determine the national title in college football. 

As it stands now, we are faced with an incredibly ironic possibility. If Oklahoma loses to Missouri in the Big 12 title game, the national title game would be between Texas and the Alabama-Florida winner and if Texas won that game, the BCS would crown Texas the champs even though the BCS decided they weren't even the best team in their own DIVISION of their conference. Who designed this BCS anyway - Bryan Stinespring (oh you knew I'd tie it back to the Hokies somehow)?

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