Thursday, January 8, 2009

BCS Bashing Time

With the start of the NCAA basketball tournament comes March Madness. With the Super Bowl comes parties, new commercials and oddly paired classic rockers and modern pop stars. And so on.

But with the end of the college bowl season comes the BCS Championship... and incessent bitching from fans, pundits, teams and anyone else who ever thought about the sport of college football. This year is no different because the BCS, for like the 12th time or something, has screwed up the national title picture again.

Utah proved to be the undoing of the BCS this time around. Rick Reilly has a column in ESPN the magazine declaring the Utes to be his national champion.

Argue with this, please. I beg you. Find me anybody else that went undefeated. Thirteen-and-zero. Beat four ranked teams. Went to the Deep South and seal-clubbed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The same Alabama that was ranked No. 1 for five weeks. The same Alabama that went undefeated in the regular season. The same Alabama that Florida beat in order to get INTO the BCS Championship game in the first place...

USC? Great year. Wonderful. Let's all go to SkyBar and celebrate. But it lost to Oregon State, a team Utah beat.

Texas? You think beating Ohio State by a nubby three points gets you the title? The Big Ten was 1-6 in bowl games! That's like pinning David Spade!

Florida and Oklahoma? They lost. Utah never did.

So that's it. Utah is the national champion. The Utes should probably have two now, actually. They went undefeated in 2004, too, and their coach still thinks they were the best team in the land. Smart fella named Urban Meyer. Coaches Florida now.
He makes a pretty persuasive case. And, of course, he is simply one of the legions of pundits and fans all facing this year's incarnation of the injustice that is the BCS.

And just about everyone points to the greedy BCS schools as the reason why this idiotic system remains. Bill James has a BCS-bashing article on Slate, however, that turns the blame around:

In the 1990s there was a strong movement, within the NCAA, to organize a national postseason football tournament. The problem was, had the NCAA in fact organized such a championship, two other events would almost certainly have followed:

1. The smaller schools, which outnumber the big football powerhouses about 5-to-1, would have voted to send a lot of the money to the smaller schools that in fact had not participated in the national championship contest in any meaningful way.

2. The big football schools would have bolted and revolted. They'd have walked out of the NCAA and formed their own organization. The two-tiered system of NCAA and NAIA schools would have been replaced by a three-tiered system with the NCAA occupying the middle tier.

The creation of the BCS system was simply a less dramatic revolt. And, as I said, the BCS schools were right: There is no reason why schools that don't fund programs to participate in the battle for the national championship should share in the proceeds of the contest.
A completely valid point that reminds us that there are two sides to everything... except the argument about whether the BCS will ever produce a satisfying conclusion to the college football season.

No comments:


Free Blog Counter