Michigan State Football

Why Winning a Major Conference Should Not Get Team an Automatic BCS Bid

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Running back Edwin Baker #4 of the Michigan State Spartans carries the ball during a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on November 27, 2010 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. The Spartans won 28-22.(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images
Michael BurkeContributor IIIDecember 5, 2010

I have my hopes that there will soon be a playoff in college football, but if we can’t have that, there is one thing I’d really like the BCS system to change.

The fact that winning a major conference (Big Ten, ACC, Pac-10, SEC, Big 12 and Big East) gets you an automatic bid to a BCS bowl. In my opinion, it is further destroying the already-flawed BCS.

Doing this would take a lot of pride away from winning one of these major conferences, but there are other teams who are a lot more deserving. This year has been a prime example of why I think this should be changed.

As we all know, the Big East has been a mess this season. Either unranked Connecticut or 24th-ranked West Virginia will be going to a BCS bowl, though, since they are a part of a BCS conference.

Meanwhile, numerous teams that are much more worthy will be left out of the BCS bowls. The most notable team is eighth-ranked Michigan State.

Michigan State is 11-1 on the year, including 7-1 in the Big Ten. Their one loss was in Iowa, then ranked 18th. Yes, they got blown out that game, but they did beat a Wisconsin team by 10 points that will be headed to the Rose Bowl.

Other notable teams that will be left out are LSU, Missouri, Boise State and the loser of the Oklahoma-Nebraska game.

Now obviously not all these teams would be able to make a BCS bowl, but they are all more deserving than West Virginia or Connecticut. You could also make the case that the winner of tonight’s ACC championship game shouldn’t get a bid, but I’m okay with it as long as Virginia Tech holds on.

What could be a solution to this problem? Mine: To be an automatic qualifier as a winner of one of the major conferences, you must have a BCS ranking of 14th or higher.

If you don’t fit this criteria, then an at-large bid should take your spot in a BCS bowl. I say 14th or better because that is what an at-large team must be in the current system.

Under my system, Virginia Tech would have to jump someone to qualify for a BCS bowl. The loser of the Oklahoma-Nebraska game will probably fall out of the top 14, and Virginia Tech might jump Oklahoma State anyway. This is assuming they hold on tonight.

None of that really matters though. The point is that winning a major conference should not get you an automatic BCS bowl bid.

We would all be able to see a much better BCS bowl game this year than Virginia Tech vs. Connecticut, which is what it looks like the Orange Bowl will be. Is anyone really going to watch that game? I’m not. I’d much rather see Michigan State in place of Connecticut.

This probably won’t ever happen, but it’s just an idea. I think if the system was like this, it’d be better for everyone. The TV networks that show each BCS bowl, the BCS itself, and all of college football in general. The regular season would get even more exciting. 

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