Get The Pac 10 Out of The BCS

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Get The Pac 10 Out of The BCS
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Tom Hansen and the Pac 10 made a huge mistake in joining the BCS. 

Before the BCS, the champions from the Pac 10 and Big 10 met at the Rose Bowl and the game winner usually had a strong claim to the title of national champion.  Since then, the Pac 10 has had only two berths in the BCS championship game.

1998

Arizona (11-1) and UCLA (10-1) did not get a chance to face undefeated Tennessee, but 10-1 Florida State did.  Arizona State did not get a BCS berth.  UCLA faced Big 10 champion Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

2000

Washington (10-1) and Oregon State (10-1) got passed over in favor of Florida State (11-1) to play undefeated Oklahoma.  Both teams won their BCS games.

2001

One of the worst slights as #2 Oregon (10-1) got passed over by undeserving Nebraska to play undefeated Miami.

2002

#5 USC did not get a chance to take on undefeated Ohio State, who instead faced undefeated Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.  While this is one of the few successful pairings of the BCS championship game, under the former system, USC would faced the eventual champion Buckeyes, instead of blowing out over-ranked Iowa.  Washington State also received a BCS berth as Pac 10 champs.

2003

The BCS did one of its worst slights to the Pac 10 when #1 USC was not allowed to play in BCS title game, placed over for Oklahoma.  USC handled #4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl and was awarded the AP National Title.

2004

USC and the Pac 10 finally were helped by the BCS, getting the BCS title game berth against Oklahoma, blowing out OU at the Orange Bowl.

2005

Undefeated USC lost to undefeated Texas in the BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl in the only other non-controversial BCS champsionship game.  BCS #5 Oregon was again passed over for an at-large berth.  Under the previous system, USC would have faced and likely defeated #3 Penn State, which might have resulted in a split championship, but would likely have given USC another AP championship anyway.

2006

BCS #5 USC (10-2) would have played #1 Ohio State (12-0) in the Rose Bowl, but because of the BCS, instead faced BCS #3 Michigan (10-1).  Florida (11-1) was given the opportunity to play in the BCS title game, which resulted in a national title for Florida which would not have occurred under the previous system. 

2007

USC (10-2) would have faced #1 Ohio State (11-1) in the Rose Bowl, with a chance to claim a national title with a victory.  Instead, LSU (11-2) received the opportunity to beat Ohio State and claim the BCS title. 

2008

#5 USC (11-1) faced #6 Penn St (11-1) in a traditional Rose Bowl pairing.  Absent the BCS and its annointing the Oklahoma-Florida winner as the national champion, USC would have an equal claim to an national title as Florida.

Conclusion

So, under the pre-BCS system, Pac 10 teams have not received any substantial benefit.  In fact, the Pac 10 has been penalized, as its traditional Big 10 opponents have gone to play in the BCS championship game, leaving them to face lesser opponents in the Rose Bowl.

USC has ended up in the top four the last seven years, having gone 6-1 in BCS bowl games.  Yet, for all of its dominance, USC has two AP titles and one BCS title.  While Pac 10 teams would not have earned a national title every year mentioned, they would have won a few more than they did.  As long as big time college footbal lacks a playoff, the Pac 10 will continue to face the same problems with the BCS.

The BCS has gained more from the Pac 10 and the Rose Bowl than the Pac 10 and the Rose Bowl have gained from the BCS. 

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