MNC (Mythical National Championship). BCS (Bowl Championship Series).
These are acronyms we all are accustomed to seeing when it comes to the sport of college football. Now we have the Division 1 FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) acronym to confuse things even more. This Division 1 FBS is explained in full here.
The next acronym that comes to my mind is FUBAR!
What? The BCS National Championship Game attempts to crown a single national champion? The Associated Press crowns their own champion via polling? What's new, pussycat? Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
Are we living in the Twilight Zone or what? Everything is different, but the same!
The MNC is just as mythical as it always was. Nothing is settled on the field but in opinions and polls. Sure, we have a No. 1 playing a No. 2, but that all depends on who gets the votes and the luck of a human-run computer.
It got me thinking, though. What if we were back in the day before computers and the BSC? Back when, shockingly, humans voted for the national champion.
For as many years as I can remember, the AP poll was considered by most the main determiner of the MNC-deserving team. There was the UPI and many other polls, but if you didn't win the AP vote, you were just an impostor posing as the MNC.
For my comparison between today and yesteryear, I took the final regular season AP poll to determine the bowl matchups. I then used this information to speculate who might be awarded the MNC this year to decide whether or not we would have been better off if things had stayed the same.
Here is the last regular season top 15 AP poll before the conference championship games that some conferences play:
6. Penn State
8. Texas Tech
9. Boise State
10. Ohio State
12. Ball State
14. Oklahoma State
15. Georgia Tech
Back in the day, conference champions were exclusively contracted to certain bowls. The Pac 10 and Big 10 to the Rose Bowl. SEC to the Sugar Bowl. Big 8 to the Orange Bowl. Southwest conference to the Cotton Bowl. The Fiesta—well, it originally pitted Arizona State against an at large rival in late December.
But for argument's sake I will put the Big 12 in the Fiesta and the ACC in the Orange Bowl now that FSU and Miami are a part of the ACC.
The Big East? Forget them unless you want to put them into the Orlando Bowl.
The Rose Bowl would be the same—USC vs. Penn State
The Sugar Bowl would be Alabama vs. (at large).
The Fiesta would be whichever team they chose between Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech vs. (at large).
The Orange would be (at large) vs. (at large).
Face it, an ACC team with three losses would have never been invited to the Orange Bowl back then. The only team that could possibly be invited to one of the big four bowls with three losses would be Notre Dame—period.
We know the Rose Bowl matchup.
The Sugar would most likely be Texas vs. Bama if the Fiesta took Oklahoma or flipped them otherwise.
The Fiesta would most likely take Florida, a matchup we have in the BCS championship game with Oklahoma.
The Orange Bowl could shape up being Texas Tech vs. Ohio State.
The Cotton Bowl would do well with a TCU vs. Utah or Boise State matchup.
All very intriguing matchups in my opinion.
The MNC would ultimately come down to whether or not Bama beat Texas. If Bama did, it would be Bama at 13-0. Or it would come down to Texas vs. the Oklahoma/Florida winner amongst the voters.
That is just between the top four-ranked end of regular season teams! Would USC or Penn State complain if they were voted the MNC in, say, the coaches' poll? I think not!
Tell me that what we have now is better than that scenario!
We love controversy—admit it! If not, why do we tolerate the BCS?