It’s High Time We Remove the “C” in BCS
Cincinnati. Boise State. TCU. Utah. Hawaii. All five teams within the last three college football season were undefeated going into bowl week; all five teams have or had no shot at winning a national championship at the end of the season. Even further, when each took the field for the first time in each respective season they did so with no shot of playing for a national championship.
College football is definitely exciting and is definitely watchable. I’ve enjoyed a few games this year from time to time but as a whole, I really don’t get into college football like I do virtually every other sport. It’s no secret what my reasoning is and if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already guessed: the BCS.
Each year the BCS chooses the football programs that will fight for the college championship and seemingly each year there is at least, at least, one team that is slighted by this system. I’m not advocating for a playoff or a ‘plus-one’ game or any other imaginable scenario to select the contenders; I’m just not a fan of this system at all.
I cannot get behind a system that starts the season with a bias. I cannot invest my emotion as a fan into a system that does not give a fair chance to everyone that competes. I can’t and I simply won’t support the college football series. Period.
In the seven games dating back to the 2003 National Championship game only seven different teams have vied for the championship. Out of fourteen possible contenders (two teams in 7 different games, with the 2009 championship yet to be played) only seven different schools has had a chance to win the highest honor in Div-IA football, now known as Football Bowl Subdivision, or the FBS. We know these teams as they are the same teams stuffed down our throats each year and seemingly every week on national TV.
One of the upcoming 2009 participants, Alabama, is the only team of the seven with a solitary appearance in the big game. Leading the pack are the Oklahoma Sooners with an impressive three bowl appearances and an equally unimpressive 0-3 record in those games (08’, 04’, 03’). The Texas Longhorns (09’, 05’), Florida Gators (08’, 06’), LSU Tigers (07’, 03’), OSU Buckeyes (07’, 06’) and USC Trojans (05’, 04’) each have two appearances in the big game (bold denotes the team won that championship) on their resume.
Out of over 100 teams in the FBS only seven different teams have played for seven different National Championships? If you feel this is an accurate representation of college football then I suggest you go to your local university, find the stats teacher and ask him what the odds of this happening are. I don’t pretend to be a Stats professor but I feel fairly confident that his answer would have the phrase “not good” in it.
Pro-BCS people have two arguments most often heard. The first is the opponents that teams like Cincinnati, TCU and Boise State (and I’m only referring to the 09’ season) lack the schedule strength to warrant boasting they are one of the top two deserving teams in all the land. My answer to that is very simple: Fair enough point. However, my counter-argument would be that each of these teams did in fact beat ranked opponents (3 ranked teams, 2 and 1 respectively to the list above) as well and also managed to go undefeated during the season and I refuse to believe that this means nothing.
These same people will also tell you that the teams on the outside of the seven-team BCS bubble aren’t good enough to matchup with the football powerhouses of any of the seven. Thusly, they feel these teams would make for a bad, nationally televised championship game. A simple answer to this would be to simply say, “Prove it on the field.”
A better answer would be to say that half of the six games actually played (03’-08’) weren’t good games by any means. The 04’, 06’ and 07’ games were each decided by 14 or more points, or two scores. If you ignore a garbage touchdown by OSU in the final two-minutes of the 2007 championship game these three games were decided by 21 points or more, or three scores. Turning the game off at halftime doesn’t make for a good game and also doesn’t help to sell advertising space in that second half.
Each year it gets harder and harder to argue for the BCS and gets easier to see that money is the primary motive in this ‘system.’ Div-2 college ball manages to fit a playoff into their system and their student-athletes seem to do ok with the system. I’ll even go on to say that the 2005 championship between Vince Young’s Longhorns and Matt Leinart’s Trojans was one of the greatest college football games ever; however, all arguments boil down to two simple sentences for me:
The FBS is the only sport system in which a singular champion isn’t crowned each year.
The FBS is the only sport I don’t watch and it’s time we take the BCS and the FBS and remove the B.S.
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