It's Broke, Fix It

There’s a saying that says “If it aint broke don’t fix it” Well, there is something wrong with the BCS system and it needs to be fixed. The system takes into account all the match ups on paper. Who has what team beaten, what was the score, where was the game played, what was the opposing team ranked, among various other criteria. If this is the way the BCS plans to try and decide who the top two teams are, then I don’t even think they should play the game. If this is how the polls work and if this is the idea of how to determine the best team in the nation, they might as well run a simulation through the computers to see who wins the games, because, frankly, not everything can be decided on paper. Take into account the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys blew out two highly ranked teams in now number 14 Oklahoma and now number 12 in the final polls Baylor. The only problem is that Oklahoma State had one loss. This loss came just a day after a tragedy took place that shook the campus. The Cowboys took on the Iowa State Cyclones and lost a close game in double overtime in Iowa. Should they have beaten them? Yes, but that is why they play the game. If you were to just punch numbers into a computer and have some people vote to the outcome, I doubt anyone would have picked the Cyclones to pull the upset, but this is how we determine the best teams so I guess the whole thing might as well be a simulation.

The whole bowl system is a mess. It is not about the best match up or what team is more deserving. No, it is about who can bring in the most money to which bowl. This is how it has always been and frankly, this is how it will always be. But don’t tell me I can watch 64+ teams battle it out on the hardwood every March-April, and then turn around and say a playoff system won’t work. March Madness gives an automatic bid to teams that win their conference. Nick Saban, coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, is quoted in saying that if a team doesn’t win their conference, they have no business being in the national championship. The comments just happen to have been made a few years ago. Saban’s Crimson Tide didn’t win the SEC; they didn’t even win their division of the SEC. Now, granted, their one and only loss came to the #1 ranked LSU Tigers…in Alabama. Alabama had their chance to beat the Tigers. They had them at their place and had opportunities to win the game, but came up just short. I believe Mark May on the selection show stated that Alabama’s out-of-conference schedule put them over the top of Oklahoma State to play for the national championship, really? Kent State, Penn State, North Texas, and Georgia Southern aren’t exactly great teams. Okay so the game against the Nittany Lions was in Penn State, but that doesn’t matter to me. Penn State has had a down year and the whole University is in turmoil. Alabama should be good enough to kill a team like that, but instead they won 27-11. Oh sure they beat North Texas 41-0 but come one really? That’s like how the University of Texas plays Rice every year and expects that to be a legitimate schedule.

I admit the SEC is the most dominant all around conference in college football. Just look at the recent national championship winners and you can’t argue that statement. That doesn’t mean every team in the conference is good though. Remember, this conference still contains teams like Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. There are still teams that are dreadful in that conference so don’t think it’s a battle every week. May I remind you that Auburn had an off year after the departure of Cam Newton as well, so it’s not like the Crimson Tide played nothing but juggernauts the whole year. Here is my comparison for Oklahoma State and their schedule this year. I have already mentioned their convincing wins against Baylor and Oklahoma, but they also beat a very strong Kansas State team in Big 12 play. A team that finished the year ranked #8 in the final BCS standings. Granted, yes, Alabama beat Arkansas who finished 6th overall in the final BCS standings, but they didn’t play fellow highly ranked SEC teams like South Carolina (#9) and Georgia (#16). The SEC is a great conference, but not everyone plays everyone else so it is hard to tell who the best team in the conference is. The best way to tell which team is better is to play the game and Alabama played LSU this year. They played them in Tuscaloosa to knock off number one, and they lost. According to their coach, if he holds true to his word, his team doesn’t deserve to be in the national championship

What else do I not like about the BCS? How the bowls work out. The national championship is number one vs. number two. Ok fine, but then shouldn’t the other games work out three vs. four, five vs. six, etc. They should, but they don’t. It is a compilation of one conference playing another conference in every bowl. This would work out if there was no parity in college football, but that is far from how things work out. I’m fine with having the BCS bowls carrying much more importance with them than subsequent bowls, but the BCS bowls should house the top eight or ten teams in the country in a 1v2, 3v4, 5v6, and so on matchup, as opposed to this conference’s champion vs. that conference’s champion. Why do I oppose to this? Because not every conference is as strong as the other. Who did Oklahoma play last year in a BCS bowl? You guessed it, the Uconn Huskies. A team that was barely bowl eligible got into a BCS bowl because they won the Big East and got destroyed by the Sooners. I’m more of in favor with the at large teams like Boise State a few years ago. I’m sure a game all Sooners remember vividly, or are still trying to get the images out of their head. Now, as for the bowls that aren’t BCS worthy, they would focus on teams just outside the BCS bowl range. Games like an 11v12 matchup and so on until the 19v20 matchup. From there, the bowl selection committee should pick teams that would have intriguing match ups and that are relatively similar. (I know they can do this since computers decide who the best team in the nation is) This will never happen though for the same reason there will never be a 4-team playoff, or any playoff in college football, the money.

Colleges are all about the money. It is about how much money can the University bring in, and bowl selectors decide which teams will bring the most fans to a venue to sell tickets and fill seats. It’s not about intriguing match ups, it is about which team will travel well and pay the most money. What team is usually always in the Hawaii bowl? Yes, the University of Hawaii is usually in that bowl. (Although I can’t blame them, after spending so much time in Hawaii why would they want to go to Houston or some place that isn’t always perfect?) The Gator Bowl will, a lot of the times, house the Florida Gators, in their post-season game and there are many other bowls like this. Why would they have teams play in their home stadium? Wouldn’t that oh, I don’t know, take away the whole neutral site thing? It does, but if you’re a student at Florida and you find out your football team is playing at their home stadium for their bowl game, you’re going to the game. It isn’t about the match ups. It obviously isn’t about the match ups, because if it was college football would have a playoff. I’m not against the bowl system, I like it actually. Keep 95% of the bowls if you want, but the top 4 teams should have a neutral site where a playoff takes place. You can even keep the bowl names for these games. Say, the Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl hold the semi-finals, and then the Rose Bowl holds the national championship one or two weeks later. It’s not like this will string out the bowl season, it already stretches over a month. This way, a playoff is achieved, teams keep their bowl bids, and money is still there to be made. The number five team won’t be happy about this, but someone is always going to be left out, at least this way it limits the number of teams that are left out.

In my opinion, a re-match in this BCS system shouldn’t happen. LSU and Alabama will meet in the title game this year, because Alabama’s loss to LSU is more impressive to Oklahoma State’s loss to Iowa State. Which, I can agree with, because the only place where a loss isn’t just a loss and win isn’t just a win is in the BCS. Certain losses are worth more than other and Alabama’s would be worth more than Oklahoma State’s. The only problem is that Alabama had its chance in their backyard to prove they were better than LSU and couldn’t get it done. Let Oklahoma State have its shot at LSU. Their loss was to a pesky Iowa State team in their place that went into double overtime. The whole system is flawed though. I have my opinions in fixing it, but everyone has thrown ideas at the Bowl committee and they have no intention in even listening, much less changing the way things are. In their eyes, they see a system that pits two great teams against each other every year and teams pull in a lot of money for them. In their eyes it aint broke, so what is there to fix?

-Colby
Co-founder and contributor to Day to Day Sports

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