Monday, December 6, 2010

The BS of the BCS

Now that the College Football regular season is over and the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings have been revealed with all of the bowl game matchups, still everything is a mess.

While most people wouldn't dispute the National Title Game matchup between the two teams considered the best in Division I football, Oregon and Auburn, the rest of the matchups are bit head scratching.

Lets start with the Big East Conference Champion Connecticut facing Oklahoma (the Big 12 Champion) in the Fiesta Bowl. Some people may look at this as a "David versus Goliath" matchup, when in reality it more so resembles car race between a Minivan and a Corvette (Connecticut is the Minivan and Oklahoma being the Corvette). Connecticut won the Big East Championship because they won two close games against West Virgina and Pittsburgh, then finished the season with the best in-conference record. But they did not finish with the best overall record in the Big East (West Virgina finished the season at 9-3; Connecticut finished 8-4). West Virgina lost their three games by 6 or less points, one of those losses being to SEC powerhouse LSU. On the other hand, Connecticut lost three of their four games by 14 or more points, one of those losses being a 26-0 shutout against a Louisville team that finished the season 6-6.

There is no Big East Football Championship game, so the conference champion was awarded to Connecticut because they held the tie breaker over West Virgina since they beat them earlier in the season. As a result, Connecticut will face a Oklahoma team that is ranked 7th overall by the BCS college football rankings and has possibly four players on their offense that could be picked in the first round of the NFL draft. But because there is a rule that states that the Champion of the Big East gets an automatic berth in a major Bowl Game, Connecticut gets the opportunity to be overmatched against a very talented Oklahoma team.

Another conference that has thrown out a mess onto the college football landscape is the Big Ten. Three schools ended the season as co-Conference Champions: Wisconson, Ohio State, and Michigan State. Again, they have no conference championship game. All three schools finished with the same 11-1 overall record and the same 7-1 in-conference record. According to the BCS rules, the team that finished with the highest ranking in the final standings will get a trip to the Rose Bowl and the team with the second highest rank from the Big Ten can get an automatic berth into another major Bowl game. So Wisconson will play TCU in the Rose Bowl, Ohio State will play Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl and Michigan State gets left out of a major bowl, being selected to play Alabama in the Capital One Bowl.

And why was Wisconson and Ohio State ranked ahead of Michigan State? Beware, this gets complicated: Since Wisconson beat Ohio State and Iowa they get the highest ranking, even though Michigan State beat Wisconson they lost badly to Iowa who was beaten by Ohio State and since Michigan State didnt play Ohio State, the Michigan State Spartans get left out of the top 2 rankings of schools from the Big Ten conference. Confussed yet?

Dont worry, it gets better. The Orange Bowl will matchup the ACC Champion, Virgina Tech, against a top ranked non-conference champion, which according to the BCS is Stanford. The reason why Stanford is ranked 4th by the BCS is because their only loss was to Oregon, one of the two undefeated teams playing for the national title. Atleast this matchup is between two talented, high powered offenses and their isn't any great disparagement in talent or level of play during the season.

All of this chaos only accentuates the point that college football needs a playoff instead of this mess of bowl games that are selected matchups according to the computer results of the BCS. The BCS is basically a system that enables the universities and their conferences to make lots of money. Its not about the best matchups or the best teams playing for the title. Its not about the student-athletes, the fans, or what is fair. Its all about money. Although I love watching college football, I know that in the end, the BCS is just a bunch of BS!

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