I am now writing exclusively over at the Christians In Context blog. Click on this banner to be taken there!

Redeemer Church

Redeemer Church
Looking for a church in the Omaha area? Come check out ours on Sunday mornings at 11!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why the BCS is the bane of my existence

I know this is a radical departure from my usual diatribes, but enough passengers on my shuttle at work wanting to talk college football have worked me up into a lather about the whole BCS system. All the BCS shills (n. A person paid to endorse a product favorably, while pretending to be impartial) try to argue that "Every game counts" but I counter that "Every season is insufficient". Here's my three main gripes about the BCS:
  1. A loss early in the season is better than one late in the season, even if it's to a clearly inferior team. Case in point: Florida loses early in the season to an unranked, unimpressive Ole Miss but works it's way back to a spot in the Championship. Alabama plays an undefeated season up to their last game and loses to no. 4 Florida and drops out of contention. So if our top five teams are all one-loss teams, why should the teams that got that loss early have an advantage? Should the strength of the opponent be a bigger factor in a loss than how early or late in the season the game was played?

  2. The BCS clearly favors certain conferences over others. Not only do six conferences have automatic bids into BCS games, but those in the smaller and often weaker conferences are at a disadvantage in the BCS polls. Case in point: this year we have two undefeated teams (Utah and Boise State) who are both undefeated and ranked 6th and 9th respectively. Boise State isn't even playing in a BCS bowl game. I am not arguing that Boise State is the best team in the country, but you can't say that "Every game counts" if Boise State wins all of them and gets left out. What if the nation's best team in a coming year happens to be in a non-BCS conference, is the current BCS ranking system set up to reflect that? It seems not.

  3. A weak schedule can ruin your chances at working up to a BCS game. In fact, this is one of the primary factors for Utah and Boise State. They are both in non-BCS conferences, thus they will be playing weaker schedules (since the majority of one's schedule is made up of conference play). But this has even bigger implications. Most schedules are made 4-5 years in advance, and who's to say which teams will be good in five years (Michigan, Tennesee, and Miami for example)? Even a schedule designed to give a team every shot at the Championship can be ruined by a team's conference or floundering non-conference opponents.
So not only is "Every game counts" proven false by non-BCS conferences and weak schedules made five years ago, but the current system is inadequate to determine a clear-cut champion year after year. Only a playoff system will solve the problems above and give us a satisfying series of post-season games. Does a playoff system come with it's own set of problems? Sure. Underdogs can still upset. A strong favorite can still lose on a fluke. But do you hear the same volume of complaints coming out of the NFL about the Superbowl being a sham of a championship when it is set by games played on the field? No.

No comments: