College basketball has March Madness, NASCAR has the Chase for the Cup, and college football has…the BCS?
For the past 12 years now, college football has used the Bowl Champion Series, or the BCS, to determine their national championship contenders.
This system has created much controversy given that the teams selected to the National Championship game aren’t selected by a playoff, but by a collection of human and computer polls.
Every year, teams in smaller conferences such as Boise State in the Western Athletic Conference, or TCU in the Mountain West, get left out of the championship game despite their undefeated records.
Until their heartbreaking overtime loss to No. 19 Nevada in week 13, Boise State had won an astonishing 34 regular season games in a row. However, they have only been invited to a BCS bowl game once in the past three years, a game against TCU last year in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in which they won 17-10.
Boise State has proven themselves both times they’ve been invited to a BCS bowl. In 2006, they beat a national powerhouse in the Oklahoma Sooners in a game for the ages. They pulled out their bag of tricks to score the tying touchdown with nine seconds left, and then in overtime the Broncos did it again with an all too famous statue of liberty play to convert the game-winning two-point conversion.
This game signified the shifting of power in college football, as small schools such as Boise State burst onto the scene and proved they belonged with the elite teams.
This year, it’s TCU that has been making its case to play in the national title game.
Despite their weaker recruiting classes and small budget they currently have a perfect 12-0 record, with nine of their wins coming with a margin of victory of 27 points or more.
In recent years, TCU has been known for their stellar defense, which is the best in the country once again this year, but in 2010 their offense has turned it on as well. Senior quarterback, Andy Dalton, has led the Horned Frogs to the fifth ranked scoring offense in the nation, only behind Oregon, Boise State, Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin.
Many people vouch for college football to begin some sort of playoff system. Either a four team playoff or even an eight team playoff are both options, but this is one argument against the BCS that I disagree with.
Especially this year, it’s very clear to me that college football did, in fact, get the two best teams in the country in the national championship game. Oregon has blasted almost all of their opponents; while Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton has looked like a man among boys while tearing up the nation’s toughest conference. Just imagine the kind of numbers Newton would put up if he played TCU’s schedule.
With college football as it is now, every game is just important as the next to making the national championship game. It is undeniable that college football has the most exciting regular season in all of sports, where countless upsets are possible on any given Saturday.
In seasons like this one and last year’s, one-loss teams have almost no shot at making the BCS championship game. Incorporating a playoff system would take away from the importance of each regular season game.
Another problem with the BCS is the Big East’s automatic BCS bid. The champion of each of the six BCS conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC) receives an automatic bid into a BCS bowl game.
This year, the champion of the Big East is unranked Connecticut. Yes, you read that correctly, the Huskies were unranked in the final BCS standings.
Now please tell me how a team with only eight wins in a lousy Big East schedule deserves to play against No. 7 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl over one-loss teams such as Michigan State, LSU, or even Boise State.
Boise State lost a heartbreaker to Nevada in overtime in their second to last game of the season, due to two field goals from point-blank range that were missed at the end of the game that would’ve made them a lock for a BCS bowl game.
A Boise State vs. Oklahoma rematch from the 2006 Fiesta Bowl would be one of the most ideal bowl games to come out of this season, but with the way the system works, the game had to be left out of the picture.
Most college football fans won’t even bother to watch the whooping that Oklahoma will put on UConn. If these bowl selectors are really that interested in making the best possible matchups for the BCS bowl games, make it so the teams selected to the BCS bowls have to be ranked in the top 15 of the BCS standings.
The idea of having the regular season college football’s playoff is a great one, but until the system is changed there will always be teams that feel they deserve more.