Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let the BCS discussion begin.

I know it's early, but it's really never inappropriate to discuss how the BCS system is ruining college football, not to mention that it never seems to get the correct two teams into the final game. Let's do a rundown, starting with the most recent:

2008 - Oklahoma gets in, despite that whole situation with Texas and Texas Tech, and a questionable decision to put them into the Big 12 title game, essentially locking them into that slot.

2007 - LSU gets in, despite the regular season loss to Arkansas at the end of the season. Georgia should be in, but gets snubbed since officials didn't want a team who didn't even play for their conference championship to play for a national championship. Results: Ohio State gets drubbed 38-24, Georgia beats Hawaii 41-10.

2006 - Several polls had Michigan in at #2, despite the fact they lost to Ohio State in the last game of the season, their only loss that year. Florida gets the nod, goes on to show up an inferior Big Ten opponent.

2005 - Yay! It worked once. I'm sure suits everywhere were slapping each other on the back for a job well done.

2004 - Don't even get me started on this one. First, an investigation into the Stoops brothers rankings should have been made since they were specifically lowballing Auburn in the polls to keep them out. Even if you're not an Auburn fan, there is definitely a problem when three major conference teams are all undefeated at the end of the year.

2003 - LSU and Oklahoma play for national title with USC looking in. I'm sure it's little consolation to USC that they were ranked #1 in the AP poll after their bowl game.

2002 - Sure, the two undefeated teams played for this one, and it was a close game. It's hard to deny a Georgia team whose only loss was by 7 to Florida after dominating Georgia Tech 51-7 and Arkansas in the SEC championship game 30-3.

2001 - Colorado beats Texas in the Big 12 championship game, then gets snubbed, allowing Nebraska, also in the Big 12 North, to play for the national championship. Oh, by the way, Colorado was #3, behind #2 Nebraska. Does that make sense?

2000 - Miami is shut out of the game in favor of Florida State, who Miami beat head-to-head that year and was ranked higher than in the human polls.

1999 or 1998 - I can't remember, somebody help me out.

Despite all this, people still argue that the BCS works. I'm not sure how you make that argument.

So, for 2009, who should get into the BCS games? There are ten slots, so I will argue for them, but first, let's see who is eligible for a BCS game. The rules are as follows:

1) The top 2 teams get to play for the national championship (that is, the top 2 in the rankings, which is not necessarily the top 2 overall, see above)

2) The champions of the six BCS conferences (SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, Pac-10)

3) The highest non-BCS conference champion if it's in the top 12 OR if it's in the top 16 and higher than a BCS conference champion (I guess that could happen?)

4) No more than one team from Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, or WAC can be given an automatic bid, and Notre Dame gets an automatic bid if it's in the top 8 (*cough* Bullshit! *cough*)

These last three rules are hilarious:

5) No more than two teams from any conference may play in BCS games unless two non-champions are the top 2 teams (they'll play in the title game), at which point the champions of the conferences will play in their BCS bowl game (mark my words: this will NEVER happen)

6) The third-ranked team will get a BCS berth if it hasn't already received one, and if it's in a BCS conference, and if the conference doesn't already have two berths, if there's room

7) If the last rule didn't apply since the third-ranked team already received a BCS berth, then the same rule applies to the fourth-ranked team

Now, get out your Rosetta stone to figure out who those teams should be, provided certain things happen next week. Here's how I think it will go down:

Of course, the winner of the Florida-Alabama matchup will play for the national title, and the other team will play in the Sugar Bowl (two spots down, that was easy).

Texas will beat Nebraska in the Big 12 championship, giving them the other spot in the title game.

Cincinnati will beat Pittsburgh next week, giving them the automatic qualifier from the Big East (should Pitt win, they would receive the automatic qualifier).

Ohio State is in by virtue of winning the Big Ten (automatic qualifier).

Either Oregon or Oregon State is in, as the automatic qualifier from the Pac-10, after next week's Civil War; this game could go either way, in my opinion.

Georgia Tech will beat Clemson, winning the automatic qualifier from the ACC.

TCU will be the highest ranked non-BCS team and champion of the Mountain West.

So there are two slots left. Either Florida, Alabama, TCU, or Cincinnati will be ranked 3 and 4, so no worries on those weird rules. Boise State should receive an at-large bid, and the other at-large bid should go to Penn State. I know that Iowa beat Penn State this year, but Iowa is not the same team without Ricky Stanzi.

All of this analysis is built on certain outcomes next week. Say Texas loses to Nebraska in a tight game. Then Nebraska gets the Big 12 bid, but Texas becomes the at-large bid instead of Penn State. If Oregon State wins a close game, Oregon could be another at-large bid, although it should still go to Boise State.

Let the lambasting begin! If you disagree with anything, please post in the comments...I'd love to see what others' opinions are.


  1. Great post! 2001 was the year Oregon got the screw job, right? Now, there are so many BCS spots a lot of the controversy resolves itself. I mean, when we're discussing whether Iowa, Penn State, or Boise State get the last at-large spot, there ain't much controversy. As for the top two, imagine if the SEC didn't have the division/championship format (i.e. if they were like the Big 10/11 and PAC-10). Then we'd have undefeated Bama and Florida as SEC co-champions. Would the BCS put both in the title game over Texas. I bet the human polls would be different if it weren't for the fact that the Bama/Florida situation will resolve itself in Atlanta.

    Here's how I would organize Div. 1A:

    ACC - leave alone
    SEC - leave alone
    Big 12 - leave alone
    Big 10 - add Notre Dame and division/championship game format
    PAC-10 - add Boise State and BYU or Utah and division/championship game format
    Big East - Pick the best 4 teams from CUSA, and the MAC to fill out the conference, add division/championship game format
    MWC/WAC - merge the best 12 teams from these conferences and add the division/championship game format
    8 team playoff - 7 conference champs (SEC, Big 12, ACC, PAC-10, Big 10, Big East and MWC/WAC) + 1 at-large.
    So simple they'll never do it.

  2. 2001 was Colorado who got snubbed. I believe Oregon was #4 that year.

    I like your reorganization, but a couple of things:

    1) Notre Dame has too lucrative a contract with NBC to mess up by moving into the Big Ten and playing on that conference's TV network ties.

    2) Notre Dame has a bunch of rivalries that they don't want to see messed up by making it necessary to play Big Ten teams. Sure, a lot of their rivalries are in the Big Ten, but add USC and Navy, which are major rivalries, along with Purdue, Michigan State, and Michigan, which would have to be in the same division of the conference so they can play each other all the time, along with Boston College, Stanford, and Pittsburgh rivalries, and Notre Dame's looking at a 13 game season with opponents NEVER changing. That might get a little boring.

    I'd say put Boise State and a smaller team, maybe SDSU or San Jose State, into the Pac-10. That way this new MWC/WAC hybrid has Utah, BYU, TCU, Fresno State, Air Force, Nevada, and Hawaii all in it, making it a little stronger. Some of those teams are not relevant some years, but I think it would be a strong conference. Maybe call it the Grand Canyon Conference (GCC for short).

  3. Obviously, such a move would be bad for ND, that's part of the reason I'm for it. Conference re-alignment always messes with traditional rivalries. Just looking at Auburn, they've lost traditional rivalries with Ga Tech, Clemson, Tennessee and Florida, and replaced them with sort of "forced" rivalries with MSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas and LSU (you'd be surprised how few times AU and LSU have played, despite playing every year since realignment in '92). The Domers would have to play some of these rivalries only two out of every four years, or maybe less often.

  4. J E. "The Realist" CrumpDecember 1, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Carter Slade is such a slacker. Once we get a post about the upcoming TEBOW SACK DAY, he needs to add the following comment I found from an internet denizen of particularly piercing wit and unquestionable logic:

    The traditional comparisons of numerical stats between the teams is almost useless here. The fact is that Florida has played a decidedly weaker schedule than Alabama. Yards gained against Charleston Southern and Vanderbilt are simply not the same thing as yards gained (or prevented) against Va. Tech and Ole Miss.

    There really is nothing bad to say about either team's defense. This will be a defensive game. UF has one advantage: a better tendency to make explosive plays. Bama is the opposite. It comes with at least as good a running game as it had last year, plus a few good passing schemes. The Tide just rolls down the field, 5 yards at a time, eating clock. And Gator dreams.