BCS Part I (Seriousness Level: Elevated)

A lot of my sports stuff will be lighthearted and shorter, but with the BCS in the public spotlight, I had to discuss it. Today, the general problems with the system:

Steps in the right direction:
· The Elimination of Split National Champions: In 1997, Michigan finished the season as #1 in the AP poll and Nebraska wound up #1 in the ESPN/Coaches poll. Both teams were credited with a national title. That was a great way to reward to undefeated teams, but having two champions is absurd. Something had to be done. So at the end of the year, the BCS allows us to remember one team as a champion. Well except for 2003 when the AP went rouge and voted for USC, but that’s a story for another time.
· Money: Although I don’t have all the financial data, it’s safe to assume this system has brought in tons of money in TV deals and naming rights. Fox is in the tail end of a $320 million dollar 4-year deal. That money has been funneled back into colleges, which is nice…sort of.

Things that have not been addressed:
· What happens when there are not two clear cut front runners?: The best example I can think of is from the 2004 season. That’s when Dink and Flika’s own Auburn Tigers were left out of the BCS title game. They finished 13-0 but that wasn’t enough. The problem was that there were equally deserving teams. USC and Oklahoma made the game with the SEC Champs left out in the cold. How can any team from a power conference with an undefeated record not be given a shot? This leads to the next point
· Teams do not control their own destiny: In every sport in the US, maybe the world, every sports team has a shot at winning their respective championship at the beginning of the season. This is not currently the case in D-I college football. Let’s take this year’s Hawaii team. Are they the best team in the county? Probably not. But they deserve to play until somebody beats them. There have been many stories written about how major programs will refuse to schedule them. So for the sake of argument, what if Akron fields the best team in the history of football in 2008? There is NO possible way that will have the chance to jump other power schools to be eligible for a title. Out of the D-I schools, I would say regardless of talent or record, about 50% of them will have no opportunity to play.

There are tons of other issues, but I think the last point is the one that discredits the system the most. Basically college presidents have set up a system that makes them a ton of money, but doesn’t give their students a fair system to play in. How can the NCAA, which was created to act as a collective voice for 100+ schools, support a system that passively segregates some of its schools from the sport’s pinnacle?

Coming Friday: What’s the best way to fix this?


Jonathan said...

Why even waste your time- The BCS is never going to change- I am glad we have your opinion now, but it just goes with everybody else's opinion about how bad the system is.

Nice work and I am excited about the opportunity for a new blog

Please only write about the 1990 Reds- Thank you

Sean said...

Some posts about Chris Sabo would be nice.