At College Sports Matchups we believe It is time for the chattering to stop. Time for people to quit yelling about the injustices of the BCS system. The facts are that teams in the Mountain West, WAC, or other borderline conferences vying for BCS bowl bids are just not as deserving as their larger counterparts in the mega conferences.
Here is why they don’t deserve these shots: When you play teams that are not very good it is much easier to go undefeated. Let’s take a quick look at how the undefeateds rank nationally in strength of schedule according to Jeff Sagarin’s system, which is one of the computer measures used in the BCS model.
- Boise State-91st
Each SEC team played a harder schedule than any of the remaining four undefeated teams. Only three teams in the Big 12 had lower strength of schedule rankings than Cincinnati, TCU and Boise State. To get below the pretenders, the Big 12 teams challenged several directional schools and hosted visits from various North Dakota teams.
Here is the gantlet TCU has crossed to obtain its lofty position: Virginia, Texas State, Clemson, SMU, Air Force, Colorado State, BYU, UNLV, San Diego State, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico.
South Carolina might feel better about its season if it played this schedule. Against the lone common opponent the two teams shared, the Gamecocks dominated Clemson while the Horned Frogs squeaked out a win. If South Carolina was in the Mountain West, it might just be sitting pretty, hoping for a national title shot. In the SEC the Gamecocks lost five times.
Boise State was basically given a season pass after it beat up an Oregon team that seemed in turmoil and did not resemble the team we saw the balance of the year. Here is who the Broncos took on during the rest of their 2009 campaign: Miami(OH), Fresno State, Bowling Green, UC-Davis, Tulsa, Hawaii, San Jose State, La. Tech, Idaho, Nevada and this weekend they play New Mexico State.
Do you think any PAC 10 teams would be undefeated with this schedule? Stanford’s Toby Gerhart would have the Heisman Trophy and national title dreams playing this cakewalk.
This is where people point to games like the ones in which Boise State defeated Oklahoma, and the Utes of Utah took down Alabama.
Guess what? They are aberrations.
There was no thrill for the Sooners or Tide in playing these games. They had their sites on national titles and anything less was a letdown.
The lesser opposition? Well, suffice it to say they were thrilled to be playing on stages with bright lights. If these games were played with any meaning behind them you would see the outcome swing to the larger conference teams nine out of 10 times.
Want another reason the pretenders should not be included in the title game conversation?
They don’t have the same level of talent. Over and over we hear commentators talk about how these teams have talent equal to the bigger conferences except for depth. First, that is just not true. Second, know what “lack of depth” means? They don’t have the talent of the bigger conferences.
When your schedule includes teams every week that are tougher than an all-star team from the rest of the lesser conferences it takes depth to win games. Want real proof that we are not looking at equal talent? Take a look at the players taken by conference in the 2009 NFL draft:
- PAC 10-32
- Big 12-28
- Big Ten-28
- Big East-27
- Mountain West-16
You can do the math. Even combining the Mountain West and WAC you can’t get to the number of players taken by the lowest rung of the major conferences, the Big East.
Seems like the guys who are paid to evaluate and make decisions regarding talent don’t hold the smaller conferences quite in the same high esteem that small-conference campaigners do.
Too much time has been wasted trying to decide how these teams get a shot at the BCS apple.
What we should be doing instead is asking why they even deserve it.
Until their opposition is similar to what teams from the major conferences face during their grueling conference schedules, and their talent level is at least equal to the major conferences, let them accept their position in lesser bowls. Leave the big games to the big players.