Can’t we just change the BCS already?
Now that we’ve entered the month of November, many of us are anticipating the famous Bowl Championship Games (BCS) that will be starting in about a month. Unfortunately, many of us are anticipating that the system will mess up and pick the wrong teams to play for the National Championship, as well. For those of you who don’t know, over the course of the college football season, teams are ranked throughout the year using a mix of sportswriters’ opinions along with multiple computer rankings that crunch all the possible numbers of the season to rank the “best” teams. For the past decade or so, this system has come under massive scrutiny because the system oftentimes does not pick the best teams and places too much emphasis on opinion. Teams from the big conferences are cut more slack because they have a tougher schedule, so there have been countless times when undefeated teams are ranked No. 3 or No. 4 in the polls even though the teams ranked ahead of them have one loss. At the end of the year, those undefeated teams are denied a chance to call themselves national champions.
This year seems to be no different. There will be four or possibly five teams in contention to play for the big game, which includes the undefeated Boise State Broncos and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. Both of these teams went undefeated last year, and actually played each other in a Bowl Game that wasn’t a national championship. It looks like much of the same this year, as they have consistently been ranked anywhere from No. 3 to No. 6 despite not losing a game this year. Currently only two teams stand in the way of these two, except these two teams play in major conferences unlike Boise and TCU. The Oregon Ducks, who play in the Pac-10 conference with well-known names like USC and Stanford, are currently undefeated and ranked No. 1. The Auburn Tigers, who play in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference or SEC, are also undefeated with some very impressive wins this year.
Let’s take a look at these four teams’ respective seasons. Oregon has gone relatively unchallenged this year, beating top-10 team Stanford at home and also beating then-ranked USC on the road. Beating Stanford is a huge win, although Oregon playing at home is a ridiculous advantage, in any college sport. Oregon’s win over USC now looks mediocre because USC has lost three games already this year and has the possibility of losing more. Oregon does have one more huge game on the schedule, when they play No. 13 Arizona at home at the end of November. If they win that game, they will have a great argument to make the national championship game, and rightfully so.
Auburn has a great résumé this year, as they have beaten three top-25 teams in LSU, South Carolina, and Arkansas. All of these teams have stayed in the top 25 for most of the year, and none have losses that prove that they aren’t for real. With wins over three top-25 teams along with a date with powerhouse Alabama later on this season, Auburn would also have a strong argument that they should make the title game, especially if they beat Alabama.
Now, onto Boise State, who began the season ranked No. 3 and has sat at that spot ever since. They have beaten two top-25 teams — Virginia Tech and Oregon State, but Oregon State has dropped out of the top 25, while Virginia Tech has looked shaky all year. Even with a weak schedule, Boise State is considered by everyone to be one of the best in college football. They too deserve a shot at the championship.
Last but not least, the TCU Horned Frogs have enjoyed a relatively easy season so far. They only had two top-25 teams on their schedule, one being the overrated Oregon State (mentioned above) and the other being the Utah Utes, another mid-major team that is looking for respect. Going into yesterday’s game against Utah, the Utes were ranked No. 6 while TCU was ranked No. 4. Everyone expected a great game, but TCU dominated from the opening kickoff to the final whistle, a game that TCU won by a score of 47–7. A 40-point beat-down of a top-10 team? How can they not be championship contenders?
So we have four undefeated teams, and four national championship contenders. How can the BCS pick two of these teams to play in the big game? No matter who gets chosen, the other two schools will most definitely complain, because each one of these teams has a championship résumé.
I’m tired of hearing the same story every year. College football needs a playoff right away. College basketball enamors America for one month of the year because of a tournament format.
Why can’t football do the same thing? College sports are sport in its purest form: a team whose only motivation is to win it all for each other and one’s school. The BCS is all about making money from these “marquee” bowl games. It’s time for the BCS to think about the amount of money they would make from a month known only for college football.