Sunday, January 08, 2012

Benster and D Pick Your BCS Championship Game -- With a "Special Comment" from the Benster

I really have two purposes this evening. First, we do have to pick the "championship" game for the BCS. But more importantly, I have some denouncing to do. And you know that I'm feeling the HYYYYYYYPPPPPPPE!!

Of course you are. I could sense the HYYYYYYPPPPPPE! building all weekend. Or maybe that was a backed up sewage pipe?

Old dude, you try so hard to be funny. And yet you fail. Leave the comedy to me, Gummo. And in the meantime, watch me work!

BCS Championship Game:  Alabama Crimson Tide (-2) vs. L.S.U. Tigers, in N'awlins. First thing they need to do is test the temperature of the carpet on the floor of the Superdome. It might still be smoking from the beatdown the Saints issued last night and the smoldering remains of the Detroit Lions's defensive backfield. Wow, Brees went all Peshtigo on them! By the way I disagree with the presence of at least one of these teams in this game. But I'll save that for my "Special Comment" that follows our pick. First, the game itself will be boring. Yes, really boring. Do you remember the last time these two titans of the gridiron met, back in November? It was a snooze-fest. The teams couldn't score on the field in Tuscaloosa. Now, I've heard it's pretty easy to score in New Orleans, but I can already see the old fella shaking his head at me about that, so I'd better avoid the urge to "work blue." I'll probably never be welcome in the SEC Hospitality Tent for saying this, but the SEC is overrated! It has always one or two really good teams, but the rest are terrible. The problem I have, as a Big Ten guy, is that all the teams in the Big Ten are horrible, too! But at least there's a question as to who is going to have a shot. We've seen all too much of LSU and Alabama lately. I want to see any other team in the country win a championship. And maybe that will stop this SEC bias. As for the game, LSU has the better defense and the better offense, too. So why is Alabama favored? Beats me. LSU 9, Roll Tide 7.

I sense the rant was trying to leak out there. Hold your horses, young fella. Bottom line, as much as it pains me to say it, is this -- if the Big Ten wants to be the top dog, they need to start winning more games against the top competition. It didn't go well for the Big Ten this year and last year it was worse. I would have preferred to see Oklahoma State in this game over Alabama, but I get why they were passed over. I do suspect this game will be a snoozefest, though. And I also suspect that unless you start seeing some other regions in the country represented in this game, interest will begin to wane. That might cause a few of these computers to get reprogrammed a bit, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). Alabama is favored because it's supposedly tough to beat the same team twice. It isn't if one team is better than the other. LSU 17, Alabama 14.

And now it's time for Benster's Special Comment. I may not be able to ramp up the frothing rage of Keith Olbermann tearing into some Republican operative, but I will be heard. Hear this -- the BCS is rigged. Why, you ask? Because both of the human polls are biased. The coaches don't have enough time to actually vote and they hand off the task to the SID or some other flunky in their program. Even worse, the Harris Poll is made up of mostly former players or administrators. They have actual lives, but not actual objectivity. They will usually vote for teams in their region only, and because Southerners generally follow the SEC and tend to vote as a bloc, SEC teams do disproportionately well in these polls. The AP poll, which is not part of the SEC ranking system, tends to be a more accurate and objective means of ranking teams. But even that can be screwed up. And it gets even worse.

Before the 2002 season, the BCS decided to get rid of margin of victory from the computer formula, primarily because it was ranking Boise State too high. Boise State tends to crush its opponents and because it has not been part of the BCS favored conferences, it always gets punished for beating up its opponents. If you noticed what happened this year, Boise State was sent off to the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl, even though they had finished with an 11-1 record. They played a BCS school, Arizona State, and crushed them 56-24. That sort of thing happens all the time with Boise State. To find a way into this rigged system, they are now joining the Big East. Do you know where Boise, Idaho is? It's in freaking Idaho! It's only in the east if you go all the way around the world before you measure its location. This is silly and completely unnecessary. In fact, it seems to me that the cartel known as the BCS is scared of the little guy, mainly because the BCS exists only for the care and feeding of the big schools, whether they are any good or not.

The obvious answer is to get rid of the BCS and institute a playoff system. You could have a simple "plus one" system that takes an extra game at the end of the season, or you could integrate the existing bowl system into a playoff format, or you could use home sites as they do in FCS, Div II and Div. III. The key thing is this -- any team can conceivably get in, and the winner will be chosen on the field, not by a bank of computer and polls of disinterested observers. We need to get rid of the BCS. In fact, we can blame the SEC for the existence of the BCS. But that's another story that I'll share at another time. Ben out!