Jimbo Fisher recently let loose in a tirade against the BCS system and formula. He is spot on too. His complaint is that the computers don’t get it right at all and that the whole system is pretty stupid. Or in his words, “I think it stinks.”
On this he is spot on. Need proof? Let’s delve into the moronic computer rankings a bit. These are the computer rankings:
1. Notre Dame
2. Kansas State
8. Texas A&M
9. South Carolina
12. Oregon State
17. Florida State
21. Texas Tech
22. Oklahoma State
You get the point. And you get Jimbo Fisher’s point too. A tie with USC? The Trojans have dropped 3 games, Florida State only one. And Clemson two spots ahead? Florida State beat Clemson and has an identical record! UCLA beat Nebraska and has an identical record, yet the Bruins are 20 while Nebraska is 13. Georgia beat Florida and has an identical record but comes in three spots back. Florida State is ranked behind Michigan, another 3 loss team, and Texas, a two loss team that’s looked pretty awful most of the time. And Washington ahead of UCLA? that’s 6-4 ahead of 8-2 from the SAME conference!
The computer rankings are beyond absurd. They are ludicrous. They are laughable. I would be laughing if they didn’t account for 1/3 of the BCS formula. But then we have a problem. Jimbo Fisher’s solution.
“It’s not working. I think it was better in the old days when you did it by the eye test and you didn’t have a championship game.”
Whoa, really? Hold on a sec, we were making progress, getting a playoff. You think the old days were better? You think an ambiguous champion is better? Sorry Jimbo, wrong there. And he gets even more wrong.
“Fisher thinks the coaches’ poll is the most accurate way to evaluate teams, suggesting his fellow coaches provide the most knowledge about how teams have actually performed and, he believes, would vote without bias. ‘I don’t think writers could do it better than coaches could do because it’s what we do, and we understand the true guts of the business,’ Fisher said. ‘(Coaches) understand the importance of winning. You understand how you win. Coaches understand the grind. Any win is hard.'”
Yeah, that makes sense. We’re talking about the same coaches who have Nebraska at 8-2 sitting at #14 while 8-2 UCLA who beat Nebraska sits at #16? Of course the coaches get it right, don’t they? Oh and no bias? How about the top four in your poll Coach Fisher? Yeah, you got it: Kansas State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Florida State. No, bias couldn’t POSSIBLY make it’s way into a coaches poll. That’s unthinkable.
Here’s the simple solution: a playoff. Give everyone equal access to it. At the end of the season, play it. Whoever wins is the champion. Every other sport has managed to figure this out. College football meanwhile will have a committee determine the top four teams who will compete in the playoff. More bias. More subjectivity. It may be a less ridiculous postseason but it is still ridiculous. Just set equal, clear criteria to make the playoff: win your conference. Never going to happen, but so it goes.