Are Boise State and TCU Penalized?

D. WalkerAnalyst INovember 17, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  A yellow penalty flag during a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Oklahoma Sooners at Cowboys Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There are many so called experts around the country who are constantly saying "but Boise State and TCU don't play anybody.  They should be penalized."  You've heard it right?  It comes from the idea that both play in conferences that only field 2 or 3 good teams year in and year out thus they play schedules with more 'cream puffs' than the 'big boys' (BCS conferences) play.  I won't argue that both BSU and TCU's schedules are weakened by the conference schedules they have to play.  Should they be penalized for the weak conferences and schedules?  Aren't they already?

Here's my point.  Each voter regardless of what poll (Harris, AP, etc.) is very carefully instructed on how to compile their weekly votes.  They are each to rank in order the top 25 teams each week from one to 25.  They are even given some 'guidelines' to consider in compiling their weekly votes.  For instance, if a the current number 8 team loses to say the current number 3 team the fact that the team was ranked number 3 should be taken into account as opposed to being upset by a team not ranked in the top 25.  Obviously each voter is going to consider who each team has beaten during the year and which teams they may have lost to. Also, each voter should take into consideration the individual teams strength of schedule (yes, it is one of the guidelines).  If the voter thinks a particular unbeaten team has a weak schedule, then they penalize that team by voting them lower than perhaps teams that may have lost a game (or two, or three) You see where I'm going with this? 

If each voter casts their weekly votes for the top 25 teams and then all those votes are compiled we end up with a final weekly poll.  Since each voter has considered all of the above about each teamincluding strength of schedule, the result is then a 'fair and balanced' poll. 

So why is it that we are hearing these so called 'experts' constantly saying that even if TCU or Boise State end up ranked number 2 "TCU or Boise State shouldn't even be considered to play in the national championship game because they don't play anybody!"  If they didn't play anybody how on earth did they end up ranked so high?  In the end, why shouldn't the top 8 teams then be awarded the 8 invitations to the BCS bowls?  As we all know, under the present system that is not how it works.  In fact, a number 9 or 10 or even the 11th ranked team could end up in one of the BCS bowls and take home a $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 check while the number 5 or 6 ranked team ends up in some minor bowl taking home a check for $750,000.  (Remember, in the end it's all about the money)  This could easily happen this year.  It simply doesn't make sense nor does it seem fair.   Why do we even have polls if they don't matter?  At the end of the day, each bowl goes through a rotating selection process and if that bowl ends up with an at large selection they are going to offer the invitation to who they want to invite regardless of a teams ranking.

The BCS has come up with a 'formula' for their BCS poll.  All of the above is considered and weighed.  But when it's all said and done it doesn't matter a hill of beans.  Right?  Let's face the truth and just say that the BCS is a 'good ol' boys' club.  They have some 'secret formula' for each conference to meet to be awarded an automatic BCS bid.  There's been rumors (which don't hold any water at all) about the Mountain West Conference adding Boise State.  Would it get the MWC an automatic bid to a BCS bowl?  How could they if they don't know exactly what's in the secret 'formula' the BCS uses?  If the conference knew the criteria wouldn't they then structure the conference to gain the bid?

It's a fact that there will never be fairness to the BCS bowl selections until there is a playoff system.  I hate to say this my friends, but that is never going to happen.  I don't care how much Sen. Hatch yells and screams because Congress will never take this issue up for a vote.  All the fine Senator from Utah is doing is grandstanding (sorry but politicians do that sort of thing you know.)  The secret club that makes up the BCS is in total control.  Remember, it's really all about the money.  Sorry TCU and Boise State.  Even if you both end up ranked number 4 and 6 you're both not going to a BCS bowl because the BCS just hates having to share those huge paychecks with teams that don't play anybody! (dripping with sarcasm)

That yellow flag in the picture above has been thrown at the feet of two great football programs.