Super Bowl 2011: Green Bay Packers Victory Exposes College Football's BCS
For almost a month, no one questioned Auburn's national championship.
Undefeated. Heisman-winning quarterback. Proved it head-to-head against Oregon for the world to see.
Outside of Fort Worth, Texas, no one found much reason to protest.
But then Super Bowl Sunday rolled into that same Dallas Metroplex and with it, a matchup featuring a six-seed from the NFC and a two-seed from the AFC.
Framing the expectations for these teams another way, the Steelers and Packers had finished third and ninth, respectively, in ESPN.com's final NFL Power Rankings.
Yet, here they were to battle for the Lombardi Trophy.
And while I'll grant you college football's BCS formula is a slightly more involved ranking system than mere power rankings, it still rests largely on human opinion (The Harris and Coaches' Polls constitute two-thirds of the BCS Rankings.)
Applied to the NFL, the BCS would have dictated a Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl. Yet, neither team advanced past its first-round bye.
Might the same fate have befallen the Auburn Tigers and Oregon Ducks under a playoff structure? In a sport in which powerhouses like Michigan and Virginia Tech have failed to defend the FBS from Appalachian State and James Madison, it's hardly a stretch.
Could TCU's Andy Dalton have been college football's version of Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers? Or Stanford's Andrew Luck, for that matter?
We'll never know and that's the crime.
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