An Open Letter to the BCS Committee
Dear Bowl Championship Series Committee,
Sunday was a sad and unfortunate day in the college football world.
This past weekend, two very deserving teams were ousted from the national championship picture based purely upon a computer formula.
While the Oklahoma Sooners are worthy of their No.2 BCS ranking, the No.3 Texas Longhorns and the No.7 Texas Tech Raiders have both been just as good in 2008.
Yet, since the Sooners' lone loss occurred prior to the setbacks suffered by Texas and Texas Tech, they were perceived as the best team in the Big 12 South.
However, what’s done is done and there is nothing we can do about it.
This is not a plea to salvage the 2008 season for Mack Brown and Mike Leach’s respective football teams—it’s too late for that.
Rather, this is a reasonable, level-headed fan’s assessment of the problems of the Bowl Championship Series.
The system is broken.
It does not work.
Of course, I don’t have to tell you that and neither does the rest of the nation.
You have had a front row seat for the past 11 seasons.
However, if, by some wild stretch of the imagination, you are not aware of the shortcomings of the BCS, you are in small company.
Since its inception in 1998, fans, sports-talk radio hosts, ESPN analysts, and college football coaches alike have publicly voiced their discontent with the BCS.
Heck, even president-elect Barack Obama has called for a playoff to determine the national champion of college football.
So, for the sake of pigskin lovers everywhere, I ask you to sit back, close your eyes, and put things in perspective.
Yes, we have all heard your excuses.
"A playoff will diminish the excitement and importance of the regular season."
First off, do you watch the National Football League?
While it is not as great as college football, the NFL regular season is very competitive, making each and every game vital to a team’s playoff chances.
There’s a big difference between records of 9-7 and 10-6 in the NFL, especially when a team is right on the edge between clinching a playoff berth and going home.
In addition, imagine the ratings and the popularity that a Texas Tech-USC match-up or an Oklahoma-Texas rematch in a semifinal round would bring to the sport.
Not to mention, at-large powers like the Boise State Broncos and the Utah Utes could prove their valor against the biggest and the baddest of the BCS conferences.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators take on Meyer’s former school Utah with a national championship on the line?
I would pay good money to see to any one of those games and my guess is that the majority of my fellow football fans would do the same.
Plus, it would be a much more accurate way of determining which team is the best in all of college football.
In essence, America has seen a football playoff work effectively before and college football fans are not buying this argument.
"A playoff would interfere with the student-athletes’ class schedules."
Well, I agree with you that academics should be the top priority of every college student.
However, is it fair to keep the student-athletes competing in the BCS Championship Game out of their first English 101 class of the spring semester on Jan. 8?
The football players at the other 117 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision shouldn’t be given preferential treatment just because they weren’t ranked No.1 or No.2 in the BCS poll.
An eight-team playoff bracket could easily be completed in the number of weeks it takes to get through the bowl schedule we currently have in place right now.
Besides, these guys are student-athletes and missing some class time for their respective sports is not a foreign concept to them.
"A playoff would sap interest away from the other bowl games."
Wouldn’t the BCS bowls be doing that already if this were really an issue?
Besides, if there are only a couple of games on television, people will most likely watch them.
Have you ever wondered why Monday Night Football is so popular?
I don’t think ESPN broadcasts college football on Thursday nights for their health.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that these are only games on television on that specific day.
Trust me, as a fan, I will watch the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl if it is the only football game I can get.
So, there’s no problem with having the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowls of the world during the last week of December.
We love to get our football fix in whatever way we can.
The same number of viewers will tune in, regardless of whether or not there is a playoff in college football.
As you can see, your arguments in defense of the current BCS system mean nothing to the fans because we have called your bluff.
We are tired of being robbed of the unlimited potential for greatness that the college football postseason possesses.
We will not be satisfied until you finally get it right and throw together an effective way to crown the national champion.
And don’t think that we will eventually go away and quit bothering you.
The passionate football fan base will only start grumbling louder as more and more worthy teams will never get a shot at a national championship year in and year out.
So, do us a favor. Do yourselves a favor. Do the sport of football a favor.
Get rid of the BCS. The possibilities are endless. It’s college football, remember?
Anything can happen.
A Passionate College Football Fan
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