The BCS System: How Parity in College Football Today Demands a Change
The BCS system is flawed. Did I just change anyone's life?
Didn't think so.
We have all known since Auburn got royally shunned from a National Championship game after going undefeated a few years ago that the BCS was ridiculous.
The problem has been that nobody knows who is in control. Whom do we blame? It's much like a little kid throwing a stink bomb into a crowd then running to a safe perch to watch the masses go into chaos.
We all know that the pro-BCSers are those who make more money than God from the Bowl games.
Ask the Pac-10 commish, Tom Hansen. He avoided the truth. His answers to the BCS question a few days ago on a local ESPN radio show in Los Angeles were comical at best.
He claimed no one would want to watch a USC-Ohio State game in January. All together now: BULL.
The better question is: “Who wouldn't want to see that?”
No, I couldn't stand seeing USC having to play under Lake Erie in the dead of winter. He suggested they wouldn't be able to put people in the stands to watch a game such as this at a non-neutral site in a playoff atmosphere.
Tell me: how great would it be to have USC forced to leave SoCal and taste what a real winter is like? "Oh my, it's SO cold here. It's not 70, sunny, and breezy. Whatever will we do?"
Well, USC, you will have to man up like the rest of the world and play football when your receivers can't feel their hands.
Think about that. Why does the Pac-10 endorse the spread so heavily? And the Big 12? Because in MOST of those states, inclement weather isn't an issue.
Big 10: Penn State uses it, but they can run the ball. SEC: Florida uses it, but they have palm trees everywhere (thus weather in winter that allows for circulation in players' extremities)...and they can run the ball (Tebow). This may seem a little juvenile, but think about it. It makes sense.
The reason for that little digression was to point out that if we have a playoff, people will see less gimmicks all over the place. The high-flying offenses of the Pac-10 and the Big 12 will have to play semi-final games against the defenses of the SEC.
The conferences will soon realize that every year when the SEC ends up just playing itself for the National Title that maybe the pansy spread needs to be tweaked.
"Oh, but look at Florida, they dominate with the spread."
No, Florida dominates with Tim Tebow. "But he wasn't even the quarterback in their National Championship." Nope. But he was unstoppable running the ball between the tackles, even when the defense knew it was coming.
There is nothing more demoralizing to a defense than knowing what's coming and being powerless to stop it. Now, watch what happens when they lose Tebow and they have to scramble to find a power runner.
There were two big questions coming into this year. First, does the Big 12 play any defense? And second, does the SEC play any offense?
Wouldn't we like to know. Well we won't know until the SEC Champ plays the Big 12 champ (national title game, which is the most likely scenario).
But aren't we tired of getting jacked up for the National Championship games just to watch one team maul the other? The last two years the Big 10 got destroyed by Florida and LSU, respectively. Speed kills.
Your team has a cutesy offense that is essentially basketball on turf? The SEC will beat you with defense, because your defenses don't have the speed, talent, or tenacity of its defenses. Your conference's defenses may not be able to keep up with its offenses, but the SEC's can.
Everyone acted like Texas looked so unbeatable. Like the Longhorns would hands-down beat Texas Tech. I did not share this sentiment. I watched, what I refer to as Texas' "money route," burn Oklahoma State for their two biggest plays in that game a couple weeks ago.
Oklahoma St. lost by four points, and the money route went for a touchdown to Jordan Shipley, and a late huge gain inside the Cowboy's red zone, also to Shipley. It should have been so easily defended.
The defense is in man-to-man coverage. Two receivers to the left for the Horns (Shipley in the slot). The outside receiver fakes a comeback screen while Shipley runs a wheel route.
The inside cornerback on both these occasions simply watches Shipley run by him, in which case Colt McCoy lofts a pass deep down the sideline with Shipley wide open and the spellbound cornerback chasing.
Keep in mind that McCoy never pump-fakes to freeze the defenders. Even if he does, in man coverage, the cornerback should be in Shipley's face.
This would not happen in the SEC. Both corners would be in the face of both receivers, and neither could outrun them. Thus, the 40-yard completion never happens. Punt.
All of a sudden, we're talking about seven less points than you would see against teams who don't play defense like those Southern boys. Thus, Texas becomes very beatable with their "good" offense and Oklahoma State wins the game.
In Texas Tech's case, they just beat Texas at their own game. Plus, if you knew anything about the Red Raiders, you had to know that they would play better defense than Texas.
I don't mean to go on a pro-SEC rant, but it seems obvious to me that the spread offense is the same as sitting around waiting for a three-run homer in baseball. It usually happens when the team has a power-hitting lineup.
You will win a lot of games. However, there are times where the three-run homerun doesn't come. But, uh-oh, your team doesn't know how to play small ball and move runners over, while the other team has been doing it all game.
Now it's the seventh inning and it’s too late. This is the same for the spread versus SURE-FIRE strong defense.
We live in an instant-gratification circus in 2008, and no one seems to remember why teams used to run the ball all the time. It's not because they couldn't pass, it was because they knew that methodical smash-mouth football would win the championships.
It's easy to have an off-game on offense, but rarely does a defense have an off-game. They are just two extremely different concepts.
Can the SEC play offense? Georgia and Florida put up 50+ on LSU. Alabama and Florida put up 40+ on Georgia. Florida put up 60+ on Kentucky. All are usually very good teams defensively.
It just proves that the SEC is FORCED to play smart, balanced football because you can't get away with throwing the ball 60 times per game.
Ask Steve Spurrier. His Gator teams were know for the "Fun 'n Gun" offense, but they were actually incredibly balanced (see Fred Taylor, Terry Jackson) when they were great.
Maybe I'm wrong. But then again, that statement is the reason we need a playoff in college football.
We have no earthly clue as to which is true between these two questions and these two conferences this year. Who is right? Decide it on the field.
An eight-team playoff does this. Don't even choose them by conference. Simply take the top eight teams standing at the end of the Conference Championships and let them bludgeon each other for bragging rights.
Here is where Penn State could put this whole thing into motion.
Penn State will almost certainly be undefeated at the end of the year. But voters are tired of watching the Big 10 get trounced in the National Championship game.
Also, many people believe that USC, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Florida are better than the Nittany Lions, even though they're undefeated and only two teams on that list is undefeated (and likely neither team will be at the end of the season because their conferences are so tough).
The voters believe that more than one on this list of teams is better than Penn State, which means that, theoretically, Penn State shouldn't be allowed to play in the Championship game (because they would then be third or lower).
On the other side of this, everyone has a soft spot for Joe Paterno and Penn State (including me), and would love to see JoePa lead them back to the title one last time. So, if the Nittany Lions win out, voters will be tearing their hair out. Furthermore, no one trusts the BCS computer.
Hey, maybe President-elect Obama can do something about this. After all, we will still watch all the bowl games. We always do. We can't friggin' help it. We are college football fans. And we always like to watch our major college football games at the beginning of January.
Universities complain that a playoff system would extend the season. This too, is a crock of malarkey. They just want the million dollars (or whatever they get) from the bowl administration for winning.
We don't have to have weeks off between the Conference Championship games and the eight-team playoff. We already have a month off between the Conference Championships and the National Championship.
The bowl games are always during Christmas break for the players, so have multiple games per day throughout the week. It would be football heaven. No breaks in the action.
Then the playoff starts right after Christmas Day, then the next round at about New Year's, and the National Championship a week after that (or two if they feel it necessary for preparation's sake).
So here we are, jacked up for six weeks on amazing football, and we still finish the season at the same time.
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