Yes I am referring to the BCS. It is a flawed, un-American (yeah I went there) system that rewards programs of tradition and not the product on the field. This year is a prime example. Proponents of the system claim that a playoff is not needed because it makes every week a playoff. If that were true, Alabama got knocked out in the second round and shouldn’t be playing for the national championship. They had their shot, they had the number one team at home and couldn’t do it. Nick Saban himself said in 2003 that if you can’t win your conference you have no business playing for the crystal football (but then again ask Dolphins fans how hard it is to change Saban’s mind when he stands to profit).
So why is Alabama, a team that theoretically got 3rd in its conference, get another shot at the belt? Because Alabama football, and SEC football in general is traditionally good. But this is not limited to just the title game. The Sugar Bowl is the prime suspect for tradition and greed. Michigan vs. Virginia Tech. Two teams that didn’t win their conference, heck Michigan didn’t even get close. And Tech, oh Tech, consistently overrated. These two teams were slotted simply because traditionally, their fans travel well and will make the sponsors, the BCS and the NCAA a lot of money, forget that both have shown on the field that they are not one of the best teams in the nation.
The team that should be really made is Boise State, but heck they’re used to getting snubbed. Boise State opened its season with a convincing win in what was practically a road game against a very good SEC runner-up Georgia. It then continued its dominance the rest of the season save for one game against a TCU team that won the Rose Bowl last year, lost to a Heisman trophy contender week 1 by 2, and was a computer equation away from also deserving a BCS slot. I am not saying BSU deserves a shot at the title, I’m saying they are more deserving of a BCS bid than Tech.
How can that be you ask, when Tech plays a major conference schedule and has dominated most games it has been in? Well when you break it down BSU had a tougher schedule, won by an larger average margin, and beat more ranked teams. BSU’s breakdown looks like this: .609 opponent winning percentage, 23.18 average point differential, 1 win against a top 20 (Saragin rankings, which are computer rankings used for the BCS) and 3 against top 4 teams. Tech’s is as follows: .583, 12.2, 0 and 0. In fact the only team Tech played that is currently ranked in poll right now is Clemson, who beat the pants off of them. Twice. Once at vaunted Lane Stadium. By a combined score of 61-13. Oh and did I mention that VT always plays an FCS team (as in I-AA) while Boise does not.
So while you may enjoy knowing your team just has to look half-way decent and its name will carry it to a nice lucrative bowl game that is fine with me. But until the top level of college football stops catering to the entrenched and wealthy, I will merely tune in for the occasional exciting game. When it starts to matter on the field, then I will watch like I watch the NFL. When teams are encouraged to schedule the Georgias instead of the Georgia Southerns (Alabama), then will we have a real system that pits the best teams against each other and they have to earn the title, not coast on the ghosts of glories past.