Saturday, January 08, 2005

College Football needs a New System

I know this subject has been beaten to death this year by college football analysts, but I wanted to let my opinion be known as well. Numerous coaches and analysts have all complained that while the BCS might be better than what we had before, it does not do enough to make sure the right teams face each other. This year, Auburn was left out of the National Championship game, even though they went 12-0 in the SEC and then beat VA Tech in their bowl game. Would Auburn have beat USC? Well, I don't think anybody could have beat USC on that night. They were absolutely clicking on all cylinders. Auburn is a great defensive team, so I would love to see that matchup, but unfortunately, we as fans do not get to see that. And that is not fair to us as fans, or to the teams that deserve that chance to be called a National Champion.

My friend asked me if I thought that my favorite NFL team the San Francisco 49ers would be able to beat USC. And you know what, I am not sure that they could. In fact, I think if I was a betting man (note: I am not), I would put my money on USC. The Niners had too many injuries this year, and if USC and the 49ers were to play this weekend, I strongly believe that USC would win. How sad is that? Anyways, enough about the 49ers. Who wants to hear about a team that went 2-14, and fired their head coach and GM anyway??

The reason why the BCS is really BS is because after the season, there are still questions left. The two main questions that I would love to have answered are: is Auburn better than USC and how good is Utah? Utah went 12-0 this season playing in the Mountain West Conference. Some pundits will say that who knows how good they are since they didn't play anybody. You know what, that is bull crap. Utah beat Texas A&M by 20 points, which is no small feat. They beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl by 28 points. And yes, I do realize that Texas A&M is not as good as USC, but they did play Oklahoma real hard and almost beat them. Pittsburgh might not have been the best team to play in the Fiesta Bowl against Utah, but the Utes played whoever they were scheduled against and beat them. Utah played four teams in the regular season that went onto bowl games. They played Texas A&M, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Wyoming. They beat those 4 opponents by a combined score of 160-72. That's more than double the score, for you non-math majors out there. Then they went into their BCS game, the first time a team was in a BCS game without coming from a big conference, and they embarrassed Pitt by 28. Utah won every single game this year by at least 14 points. So, I know you are now asking yourselves, What the heck is the whole point of this paragraph? The point is the BCS sucks because I really wanted to see Utah playing an undefeated team. The point is a better system might allow that. That's the fricking point. The BCS just doesn't work, because it doesn't settle these arguments. In the NFL, MLB, and NBA everybody knows who the best team at the end of the season is. Well, with college football we don't really know, do we? USC fans can claim all they want that they are the best team, but until they play Auburn, who really knows? Who is not to say that Auburn pulls an upset? What about Utah. Maybe they could even give USC a game (I know it's a stretch, but for the sake of the argument, agree with me).

Let me tell you another thing that pisses me off about the BCS. The whole thing about the six major conferences (Big East, Pac 10, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, ACC) getting an automatic bid to the conference winner is absolutely insane. Pitt, although they had a fine season, had no business playing in a BCS game. They were 8-4 this year and they were only nationally ranked team for two weeks this year. This is the first time that a team has played in the BCS, and then after losing the game is no longer ranked. When that happens, as it did this year, that means that team had no business being in that bowl game. In 2005, the Big East will have 8 teams in their league with a few additions. Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida will join the Big East, while Temple and BC leave. This only makes me more angry. The Big East not only has the lowest number of teams competing for a BCS bid (8), but most of the team are not BCS worthy. Louisville is the only team in that conference right now that might actually deserve a BCS bowl game next year, and even that is a stretch. I absolutely hate the fact that the Big East is going to get a BCS bowl bid next year, and their conference only has 8 teams, while the real conferences like the ACC, Big 10, and Big 12 each have between 10-12 teams. This system is really screwed up.

I could write a book on this subject, but I want to leave with just a few final thoughts. Not every flaw of the BCS is included in this article, because, well, I am being very conscious that you have other things to do than read my blog. The plus one system is a huge step up, and one I think that college football should soon employ. For those of you, who do not know what the plus one system is, it's a game that is played after the top 4 teams play against each other. This year USC would have played #4 in the BCS standings Texas, and and #2 and #3 Oklahoma and Auburn would play each other. The winners of those two games would play each other in a title game. Although there are some minor drawbacks to a plus one system, I certainly think it is a step in the right direction. To quote Kirk Herbstreit an analyst for ESPN in the Washington Post,

"It's such an obvious and simple solution that it's staggering it hasn't already been adopted. "There's not a single substantive argument against it. University adminisrators need to get together and work this thing out, so we don't have to go through this BCS mess season after season after season."

So, there you have it folks. The answer to a few of the problems the BCS has is the plus one system. So what do we do know? Well you can start by emailing as many Presidents of major universities at this site to let them know how we feel about the BCS. The email is already written for you and is something that we as people who are not connected with decisions concerning the BCS can do. When you think about it, its' the least we can do to help out our beloved past time of college football.


Matt































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