Well it's that time of year where fans of college football get to complain abou the BCS system and scream for a playoff. I for one don't have that much of a problem with the the BCS, but I think it could use some improvements.
For the deaf, dumb, or uninformed there will most likely never be a playoff in college football. There is far to much money going to the conferences from the corporate sponcers for the NCAA to ever say that's it no more bowl games we are going to a playoff. The sooner most fans realize this the better off they will be. The current system if far better than what used to happen which was conference champs just got automatic bids to certain bowls and that's that. Before the BCS you always knew that the Pac-10 and Big-10 champ were going to the Rose Bowl regardless of anything else, the SEC champ was going to the Sugar Bowl, the Big 8/12 champ was going to the Orange Bowl, and the Southwest Conference champ was going to the Cotton Bowl. That was just the way it was, and the rankings really didn't matter. The other thing to remember about those day is that some of the teams that are now members of the BCS conferences were independent teams back then, and were usually really good and highly ranked. Notre Dame, Miami, Florida St, and Penn St were all independent teams and had no bowl affiliation. Those same teams were usually ranked high enough that they would get into what are now the BCS bowls and no one complained to much about the National Championship because at least a conference champ was playing a really good team.
That all began to change when we started seeing more and more of these split National Champs. If memory serves me correctly it all started with Georgia Tech's split National Championship with Colorado. Now that one was especially controversial because Colorado had a game that year that they won with some kind of officiating controversy that allowed them to get a fifth down that scored a TD. Then the next year with Miami and Washington split the championship. Finally Michigan and Nebraska splitting the title in 1997 led to the creation of the BCS. Now these aren't the only split titles in history the number of split titles is actually pretty high with 49 in college football history. In fact there are a number of schools out there that like to claim this ridiculously high number of National titles such as Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Yale, and Harvard, come to mind, that most of them were not outright titles but split ones. For example, of all the titles that Alabama claims 5 of them have been split titles, and thats just since 1954. That means that 5 of the 6 won under "Bear" Bryant were split. Now this ins't a bash Alabama blog Tide fans because there are other schools that have claimed to have won a bunch of championships also that in fact were split. Hell even the one that my team Auburn claims was a split one with yet another team that claims to have a bunch of titles in Ohio St.
Back on subject. They created the BCS to try and avoid any controversy over who the champs are and since its inception there has only been one split title, and that was in 2003 when USC and LSU split the championship. This is the year the grumbling started for football fans. It only picked up steam the next year when Auburn, Oklahoma, and USC all went undefeated. We all now who was chosen for the championship game so there is no need for a history lesson. USC and Oklahoma were 1 and 2 the entire season that year and Auburn came from nowhere to be ranked 3rd and also undefeated going into the bowl games. Neither here nor there as this also isn't an Auburn got robbed blog.
No the BCS is the best system they could come up with for determining a National Champ and I will tell you why. A more times than not it gets the National Championship game right. In fact the only times it could have been argualbly wrong was the 2002 Rose Bowl where Miami beat Nebraska. Nebraska didn't even play in the Big 12 championship game but was chosen over #2 Oregon to play Miami for the championship. The other time it was really wrong was when Oklahoma got selected over USC to play in the championship game. So depending on the outcome of this season the BCS would have been right in determining the championship game 80% of the time. To me thats not enough failures to warrent a playoff in the first place.
The question about the BCS though falls into the other "BCS bowls". Nobody in any walk of life is going to have much better than an 80% success rate in everything they do, if we did everyone in the country would be getting rich playing the stock market. Its the other determinations for the BCS bowls that most have a real problem with. I can't say I don't agree with them either. This year will be a prime example. Will an undefeated Boise St. be less deserving of a BCS bowl than a 1 Texas or Texas Tech, or a possible 1-loss Alabama? Yes those schools will undoubtedly bring a ton of fans to the bowl games. What about if USC loses its upcoming game to UCLA and Oklahoma loses to Mizzou? Is Boise then less deserving than a 2 loss Oklahoma, USC, and Ohio St? No they aren't. They proved two years ago that with a month to game plan they can hang with the BCS heavyweights. Utah somewhat proved it before that by beating Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl. Of the three non-BCS teams that are undefeated only Ball State doesn't have a leg to stand on in my book. Boise and Utah have proven that the Mountain West and Wester Athletic Conferences can get into a BCS bowl and win. Hawii proved that a team from those conferences could get in, but not necassarily win each time they do. No team from the Mid-America conference has come anywhere within sniffing distance to a BCS bowl as Ball State has come this year. Now if they come out next year and run through their schedule undefeated then I say they desrver consideration.
Now lets look at all the BCS championship games up close. The SEC has sent 4 teams and have gone 4-0 in the title game, the ACC has sent 3 and went 1-2, the Big 12 has sent 5 and went 2-3, the Pac 10 has sent 2 and went 1-1, the Big 10 has sent 3 and went 1-2, and the Big East has sent 3 that went 1-2. Of note is that the 2 teams that have represented the Big East in the BCS title game are both in the ACC now. What does that tell you? It tells me that the Big 12 and SEC are just about about always going to be in contention for the title since the B12 has been there 5 out of 9, and the SEC 4 of 9 times. Its the other 4 BCS schools that have automatic bids for their champs that I have the problem with. After all, why should a 2 loss Big East champ be picked over and undefeated Utah? Why should a 3 loss ACC champ be picked over an undefeated Boise? The answer is they shouldn't. I personally think that there should be automatic bids because lets be real a conference such as the Big 12 and SEC will always have a champ in the top 5. The Pac 10 and Big 10 will always have their champ in the top 10. The ACC and Big East though are the weak links in the current format. I think that those last two automatic bids should go to the 2 conference champs from the WAC, MWC, ACC, and Big East that are the highest ranked. That would eliminate much of the current controversy.
Don't believe me look at the facts here. In the 9 year history of the BCS format here are the ranks of the ACC representatives 2, 1, 10, 14, 7, 8, 22, 14, and 3. That over half the time outside the top 10. The Big Easts reps have been 15, 2, 3, 1, 1, 9, 21, 11, 6, and 9. When you include that all of the top 3 rankings are from Miami and Va Tech neither of those two teams are in the Big East anymore. So I believe the champs from those two conferences could be interchanged with WAC or MWC champs during the years that their champs are better than the ACC and Big East.
Going to a playoff wouldn't change anything for college football fans for the simple fact that there will have to be some kind of committee to determine how many teams are going to be in the playoff. Which would still cause a ton of complaining by the schools that get left out each year. The conferences would never allow a playoff because that would be less money going into each conferences pockets. Especially those borderline conferences such as the Big East, ACC, MWC, and WAC who don't have teams consistently in the top 8. The dumbest thing they have done though was the BCS championhip game a week after the other BCS bowls. If they were going to add a BCS bowl then they should have made that bowl game be the winners of a mini playoff. Where the #1 team plays #4 and #2 plays #3 with the winners in the BCS championship game. I don't think many fans would have a problem with that either. You are never going to make all the fans happy no matter what system is used so just leave it alone like it is or make the tweaks i mentioned. What do you think?