The BCS: A Revolutionay Way Of Determining A Champion

The debate continues with No College Football Playoff, but apparently it is I in need of education. I am now to understand that the BCS is “a new and revolutionary way of determining a champion” and it will take time and education to truly understand it. This reminds me of Obama’s healthcare law. We all hated it because it was simply misunderstood, that’s all. They just didn’t communicate well enough. This must be the problem of the BCS. They just haven’t done a good enough job of educating us all. The misguided notions of a playoff just need to be better explained. Or do they?

Taylor is right, we simply have to agree to disagree on what is best for the sport. A subjective, arbitrary method of selecting college football’s top two teams is his system of choice. I believe a more lucrative, fair way of selecting college football’s participants in the championship is through an equitable playoff. In the end that will probably never change. However, I still feel the need to clear up some of the points made.

Apparently its ok if some teams get a chance to play for a title even if they are worse than teams that are left out.

Yes, it is ok. The point of a playoff is not to admit the best teams. The purpose of a playoff is to give every team a fair shake at playing for the championship. There are CLEAR AND MEASURABLE (more on that later) statistics a team must acquire in order to play. What most leagues and sports do is divide their teams into divisions or conferences. They then let each divisional winner or conference winner into the tournament, perhaps with some at large-bids. All one needs to do is win their division or conference, or do better than all the other teams who didn’t win theirs. It is very simple.

Does this mean a 7-9 team will get to play in the playoffs instead of a 10-6 team? Yes. But hey, that 7-9 team won in the first round, so they must not have been that bad after all. They earned their spot in the playoff because they won their division. They didn’t earn it by being better than everyone else. I think divisions and conferences are pathetic and stupid myself. I would prefer to simply divide by geography east and west. It’s for traveling expenses sake. Then each west and each east team plays each other. Take the best ones from east and west in a playoff. I think that is better. But college football could never do that for the sheer number of teams.

Fair is not defined as bad teams making the playoffs over good teams.

It is perfectly fair. The criteria for playing in the playoffs is to win your division. Those who fail to do so have another route in by just being better than the other teams who didn’t win their divisions. This is fair, because this gives everyone access to the playoffs. Everyone is in a division and capable of winning it, so everyone has an equal chance of getting in at the beginning of the season. When college football starts, half the teams are already eliminated before they take a snap.

This is a very cynical view and I highly doubt that a non-BCS conference school can never get in. If TCU or Boise State had gone 12-0 in 2007 they would’ve played in the championship.

2008. ‘Nuff said. Where did Utah end up in the final BCS rankings, in spite of being the only undefeated team in the land? Voters and computers have absolutely no problem ranking a 1-loss BCS team ahead of undefeated non-BCS teams. It would have happened this year too. It will happen every year.

Look, my point is that from a viewer’s perspective and from a competition perspective, each regular season game in the BCS system is more meaningful than a regular season game in the NFL system because they have a direct impact on a team’s chances to qualify for the championship game…Losing a game means more than “altering your seeding,” it can knock you out of the race, so don’t lose!

The BCS renders about 50 regular seasons meaningless after week 1. As soon as you lose, you are out. In some cases, even if you never lose, you are out. As the season progresses, each regular season game under the BCS becomes more and more meaningless as more and more teams lose. By November you have about 4-5 games each week that mean anything at all. How on earth does that make the regular season exciting in any way? It is exciting to see if and when a few teams lose each week? Isn’t it more exciting when the top few teams in all 11 conferences are playing for something? Like you said, don’t lose. And what about the teams that don’t lose and still don’t get a chance to play for it all? College football is the only sport on planet earth where your performance on the field does not determine anything for you. Your fate is determined by what the other 119 teams do and what a handful of voters think. How meaningful each game must be when your fate isn’t even in your own hands.

I didn’t inadvertently admit it, I made a point of it.

And your point was that the Tulsa and Southern Miss game was meaningless. In a playoff, people outside of Hattiesburg and Tulsa may have watched this game and cared.

But then you come out and say that ANYONE (emphasis yours) can have a flawless season and, thus, qualify for the title game.

Perhaps I did not make myself clear. Anyone can have a flawless season. It has been done, so we know it is possible. At most you can have 12 undefeated teams at the end of the year (Big Ten they don’t all play each other, or didn’t up until now.) Your last clause there, “thus, qualify for the title game” is EXACTLY what is wrong with the BCS. You think there are criteria for playing in the big game, and that is is win all of your games. This isn’t criteria at all, as SEVERAL teams have had flawless seasons and not played for it all! So what you are saying is that anyone can play in the BCS championship because anyone can have a flawless season. I agree, anyone can have a flawless season. However, not anyone can play in the championship! That’s what’s wrong here! Flawless seasons don’t qualify you for the championship!

Do you see a problem with this? The BCS does not give a clear, simple set of criteria for playing for the big game. Just win and hope the teams you beat have good years and that no one else wins all their games and that voters like you. Great, the win part is in your hands. What your opponents do is beyond your control. What other teams in other conferences do is beyond your control. What voters do is beyond your control. In college football, you do not control your own destiny.

You have summed up the beauty of college football’s regular season and contradicted yourself in 1 sentence. Anyone, all 120 teams from Akron to Alabama, can be in the title game, but the team has to earn it. The BCS selection system, while not perfect, doesn’t care if an average team with 3 losses from an awful conference is the leader of that conference. That isn’t good enough to qualify to play for the title.

I said anyone can have a flawless season, not anyone can play for the title. Exactly the problem. You keep saying a flawless season qualifies you for a title. It does not, and the last decade can prove that point. So what I’m saying is the BCS tells teams “All you have to do is win all your games to play for the championship.” Great, so teams go out and do just that, yet don’t get to play for it all. In 2008 Utah was the ONLY undefeated team. They still didn’t get in. You say 3 losses from an awful conference is not good enough to qualify to play for the title. It seems no losses isn’t either. So what is? Oh yeah, THEY VOTE ON IT! Do you think if Oregon or Auburn had lost their last game that Chip Kelly or Gene Chizik would have voted TCU into the title game over their own team? Yeah, super fair way of determining who “qualifies.”

College football’s system does what the other playoff systems don’t do, and that is match the season’s two best teams in the championship game for all the marbles. Aspiring for less than the best is an insult to the game and its competitors.

You think the BCS is the best way to match the season’s two best teams? Just vote on it? When there are 5 undefeated teams, you just vote on which two are the best? When there are no undefeated teams and 7 two loss teams, you just vote on it? Has it ever occurred to you that maybe they can just duke it out for themselves? Let them just play each other and see who comes out on top, how hard is that? The BCS does nothing to reward excellence. The BCS is nothing more than a power move by the big 6 conferences to ensure they always get the money and the power. They share with the others, but keep most for themselves.

Let’s do this in 2012. California, New York, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida have all the people, resources and influence in the U.S. Why don’t we just have them cobble together some new election process? How about this, the governor of each state serves a one year term as President and they just rotate each year. Since there are more people in those 6 states than the rest combined, they pass these new rules. Oh and they determine who gets tax revenues and who can trade with who. Actually, they determine everything. And every four years they bring it up to another vote, which they always win since there are more of them. Sound Democratic? Sound fair? Yet we allow this nonsense in college football?

Let’s get a playoff and give everyone a fighting chance. Everyone gets a chance to prove themselves. Everything gets settled on the field by the players, not the polls. Turn the sport into an actual competition instead of a popularity contest. I can’t for the life of me figure out why this seems like a bad idea to anyone. I can’t understand why people say a playoff would fail and pretend to know everything about a system that’s never been tried, yet in the same breath say the rest of us simply know nothing about a system that has been in place for over 10 years. But so it goes, at least it gives us something to talk about during the offseason.