Friday, December 12, 2008

The BCS Solves Nothing, Again

So, how do you suss out the college football season? We are presented with a championship game of Oklahoma vs. Florida. Florida has lost a single game this season, to Ole Miss. Oklahoma has lost a single game this season, to Texas. Both have fine credentials for the championship game.

But why is Oklahoma in the game and not Texas? Texas has lost only one game, to Texas Tech. Coincidentally, Texas Tech has lost only one game, to Oklahoma. Texas Tech is not even in the BCS, having been shunted off to the once-prestigious Cotton Bowl, which is no longer part of the in-crowd, while Texas gets to lick its wounds in the Fiesta Bowl against perennial BCS participant (and of late footwipe) Ohio State.

Why is two-loss Ohio State in the BCS, when Texas Tech is not? Here's a guess -- OSU brings the Cleveland (#15), Cincinnati (#32) and Columbus (#34) television markets to the game, while Texas Tech brings Lubbock (#147). Should the games be based on the talent on the field, or the potential numbers of eyeballs back home? Good question.

Arguing about which team is the true national champion is as old as college football. The national champion used to be chosen before the bowls and occasionally it would cause a problem -- in 1960 the pictured Gophers were declared national champions, but then lost the Rose Bowl to Washington. Then the job was turned over to the wire service polls, which led to split champions on several occasions. The BCS was supposed to be the solution. It hasn't worked out that way.

I'm sure that the winner of the Oklahoma/Florida game will be a worthy champion. But is Texas better? How about one-loss Alabama, which happened to lose to Florida at the worst possible time (in the SEC championship?) What about USC, which has dominated most of its opponents this season, but stubbed its toe in Corvallis, Oregon earlier in the year?

Who knows? The only way to know for sure would be to have a playoff. But that's not going to happen anytime soon. So the arguments rage on. And the BCS chugs along, a solution that solves nothing.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

The fallacy is that you can determine the best team. You can't. You can determine who wins a particular game on a particular day. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not as if there's some kind of ultimate quality that we can determine. The BCS actually serves its purpose pretty well because it creates aggrieved parties and storylines aplenty. Passion and interest are almost guaranteed.

Gino said...

what ben said.
any one of those teams can beat each other any given day.
much like the bears will beat the packers next weekend.

BUT, we already know college ball is all about the money.

Anonymous said...

Texas Tech is left out because a conference can only have 2 teams in the BCS. So you can take the conspiracy theories and do what you wish...

Mark Heuring said...

There's no conspiracy theory, anonymous. Fine, how about Texas Tech over Texas? Texas Tech beat Texas. For that matter, why aren't Penn State and USC in the national title game? Both one loss teams. Because the polls say so? The polls decided things back in the old days.

And for that matter, why should the BCS have a only two teams per conference rule? If the BCS was in effect back in 1970, you would have had to choose which teams were in among, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado, ranked 1-2-3. How would you have done it then?

That's mt point. The BCS doesn't solve anything. It doesn't change the dynamic.

Right Hook said...

Didn't you get the word? The Obama Administration is going to straighten this mess out.

Mark Heuring said...

I had heard that, RH. The BCS may want to lawyer up.

prailbird said...

With almost every single newspaper sports section(the ones that are still in business), sports radio show, sports television show, true fan, and casual fan in the nation discussin this, can the NCAA purchase better press. It is not good press, but it is still loads of it. If they cave in like they will end up having to do in 2076 when Jenna Bush's Youngest Child is sworn in as King of America and decrees that there be a playoff system in NCAA D1 Football, how long will the hype last? I think they do make the change when they have enough fans become fed up and lose interest. It is just if that happens instead of when. It is not just about money. That is the largest part of it all. I wonder how long the fans are happy with their empty victory? We do have to remember that the SEC keeps on walking away with this and most of their fans will more than likely not be able to ever figure that one out. The only ones that are really happy are the voters that get their way just as they always have and those in the back counting all of the dollar.