A storm’s a-brewin’: Why two major college football programs might be the first to usher the BCS into oblivion

bcsWelcome to the unofficial, one millionth rant about the Bowl Champion Series. 

Take a deep breath though, sports fans. Those of us who live, eat and sleep college football can take comfort in the fact that, in only a few more months, the artist formerly known as the BCS will become a thing of the past, just like the 8-track, new wave and no instant replay in Major League Baseball.  These are all remnants of a former time and of ideas, once thought good, gone horribly wrong.

One can legitimately make the argument that the BCS has received an unfair rap since its inception fifteen years ago.  One can also argue that such criticism was wholeheartedly well-deserved.

The BCS was created with the sole intention of determining the nation’s two best college football teams at the end of the regular season.  Those two teams would then play each other for the national championship.

But this year, we may be on the verge of the BCS’ biggest controversy yet and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, with the BCS riding off into retirement, waving its final middle finger to college football fans everywhere, like leaving a bad tip at a restaurant they’ll never visit again.

Marcus MariotaHere’s the dilemma.  There are several really good teams in college football this year:  Alabama (obviously), Oregon (also obviously), Florida State (perhaps surprisingly) and Ohio State (winners of 21 straight).  These top four teams have yet to lose.  They are a combined 33-0.  Over those 33 games, the Tide, Ducks, ‘Noles and Buckeyes have beaten their opponents by an average score of 48-14.  Can you say domination?  I knew that you could.

There have been a few other pleasant surprises, Baylor comes to mind, but as the season winds slowly to a close, these aforementioned teams might not lose a game.  If they don’t, even the most ardent defenders of the BCS won’t have a leg to stand on.

Here’s why:

Top-ranked Alabama has four games remaining, home to LSU and a meaningless homecoming game, then at Mississippi State and Auburn.  They probably won’t lose any of those.  They’ll then play in the SEC Championship Game where they’ll square off against either Missouri or South Carolina, another game they’ll probably win.

Oregon plays at Stanford this Thursday night in a game they could very well lose.  If they don’t, however, they’ll also likely run the table with only unranked Utah, Arizona and Oregon State left on their schedule.  Oregon also has a conference championship game where they’ll play a team of lesser talent and win.  They may lose but odds are they won’t.

Jameis WinstonSimilarly, Florida State has nobody left on their schedule that appears capable of beating them.  Ohio State has three games left with only their annual Michigan matchup posing a semi-legitimate threat.

And then there’s Baylor, who has five games left, three of them against ranked teams.  They’ll be an afterthought but at a minimum they’re turning heads by scoring nearly 64 points a game.  Who knows what would happen if they were seeded in a single-elimination playoff tournament against the aforementioned four?  It would certainly be fun to watch.

So where does this leave us?  Confounded, as usual.

These arguments serve as fodder for college football fans to debate in between Saturdays as we anxiously count down the days for the new-and-improved playoff system.  BCS defenders, the few that are left, still believe the two best teams will rise to the top by season’s end.  But this year, the what-if’s may ring louder than ever.  And some schools are about to be very pissed off.

More than ever before, a four-team playoff would suit college football to a tee.  Instead, major programs like Florida State and Ohio State might get left out in the cold, their fan bases having only one month left to pray that a) they beat their last few opponents by a substantial enough margin and b) those ranked above them are upset, all for the chance to face what most consider to be the best team in the nation: Alabama.

McCarron SabanBut again, we only know that Alabama is ‘the best’ based on who they’ve faced, and beaten, or more accurately, because they are the defending national champions and were voted preseason number one.  Theoretically, all four of those teams could make a case for that top spot.

If nothing else, the BCS has kept us talking about college football, but we’d be doing that anyway.  That’s hardly a case in its favor.

And so the debate gets more heated with each passing week.  If the losses come, and these teams do falter, we’ll be led to believe the BCS has once again fulfilled its promise of determining a true national champion.  When they don’t, the BCS will be missed far less than any 8-track tape ever played and we’ll all be left wondering why the hell we even bought them in the first place.


26 thoughts on “A storm’s a-brewin’: Why two major college football programs might be the first to usher the BCS into oblivion

  1. Pingback: A storm’s a-brewin’: Why two major college football programs might be the first to usher the BCS into oblivion - BallHyped Blog Network, NCAA Football | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Until the teams in the upper echelon of college football all play a balanced home and away schedule and stop playing a non-conference schedule that includes lower division or upper division schools that the “big boys” won’t allow in the “big boy bowls” this is all a huge smelly pile of political crap…

    How many of these teams play a balanced home and away schedule? None… Baylor only plays 4 road games while the rest play 5 out of 12 games on the road…

    How many don’t play lower division schools? Oregon only plays one school not in a BCS conference. Each of the other four schools mentioned in your article have 3 lower division “powerhouses” on their schedules…

    Let ’em kick and scream if they don’t make it to the “big game”… The BcS system was devised to support the wonderful bowl games and this is what the fans get… Crap…

    I voted for Oregon on their SOS… Screw the rest…

  3. Dwin’s move to the desert representing a little West Coast bias. You go, boy!

    It amazes me that we still haven’t been able to figure this whole college football thing out.

    I get that they’re student athletes and that adding a game or two, or perhaps more, is problematic.

    I get that there are far too many programs to create any sort of equitable scheduling system.

    We’re gonna find out next year whether this four-team playoff this is a boom or a bust but I can’t help but hope the top four teams run the table… and it’s not just because I hate the Seminoles and Urban Meyer.

  4. Alabama is king until somebody dethrones them. The other three can fight it out for second. I am not sure any of them go undefeated. Every year it is the same thing and it works itself out for the most part. Those teams look look good most of the time except Ohio st needed heroics to beat northwestern. They can all be beat by lesser teams and I am guessing a couple will be beat. I honestly don’t care who gets screwed if it comes to it…don’t care for any of the teams and next year will be better anyways with the 4 team playoff.

  5. Chris

    Just two major college programs ? Yet there are those who suggest that this mess can’t be sorted out on the field of play . Perhaps, if the system was not so damn corrupt and slanted towards the conference who set up the BCS to begin with , we would not have to deal repeatedly with this mess . Is that too far above the intelligence of those buying into to the current premise of a panel blowholes ?

    tophatal …………………

  6. D….

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you but allow me to play a little devil’s advocate.

    What if Bama’s not the best team in the nation? They haven’t played anyone tough other than Texas A&M and they allowed them to score 42 points against ’em.

    At least FSU’s knocked off both Clemson and Miami and did so handily. And nobody’s been able to stay on the field with Oregon.

    If Bama’s number one by virtue of winning last year’s national championship or by virtue of the fact that their conference has won the last seven titles, is that fair when voters are supposed to be voting on what goes on this year?

    This was merely just a conversation starter as we’re going to find out a lot more Thursday (Oregon at Stanford) and Saturday (LSU at ‘Bama).

    Keep the beer on ice for me.

  7. Well, Al, at least we can take comfort in the fact that next year, we’ll have a little more closure.

    Or at least that’s what they’ll have us believe.

  8. Chris, I think in the future you are far less likely to have confusion with four teams in the BCS playoff scenario. It will be much, much better than the present set up.

    Baylor will likely miss the cut this year with four very good teams ahead of them. That’s tough but that’s the scene on the street corner of college football.

    I personally feel FSU is the best team and I think the recent coaches’ poll reflects that, moving them much closer to Oregon.

  9. Chris,

    If some people can’t recognize the intelligence/integrity of a Condi Rice, and realize we are not dealing in nuclear physics…………..well they deserve “Pinky” Reid and the other Oxford ‘scholar’ Nunziatta Pelosi. What kinda special knowledge will be required next year to pick the top 8 teams for a playoff? Most middle schooler are more than capable. Honorable people like Rice, Haden, Osborne, etc. will bring credibility to the playoff committee that will be enacted next season. Look, if you don’t trust these individuals your next best reputable people might reside in the Supreme Court.

  10. We can take comfort in next year , the same way I can take comfort in the fact that Obama takes comfort, in another one of his schemes has gone awry and no one will be held accountable for the continued cluster ###k within the Dept of Health & Human Services without anyone being held accountable including Katherine Sebelius . Another $600 million plus (for HHS website ) down the drain to prove , that even with the use of modern technology this administration still doesn’t know its own @ss from its elbow . Much like the BCS and its continued corrupt practices . No one seems to be questioning that at all .

    The Dolphins’ Richie Incognito is now making Riley Cooper’s racial rant and his alleged act of contrition seem like an Oscar worthy performance . Now the team’s wide receiver Mike Wallace is now coming to Incognito’s defense . . How screwed up is the NFL at present and where is there any damn intelligence to be found amongst the coaches , NFL hierarchy and amongst the players themselves , at this juncture ?

    tophatal ……………

  11. Bama (SEC) gets the benefit of the doubt. Each game is its own individual battle. Nothing from previous weeks or using the transitive property when discussing teams is really relevant. FSU was down by 17 to Boston College in the first half earlier this year. It is really a crap shoot honestly. Bama passes the eye test for me and is king…pretty much that simple. Also Texas A & M is a high scoring team with the current Heisman trophy winner…it was a shootout. Bama will beat any of those three teams and manhandle them along the line of scrimmage if it comes to it…just my 2 cents.

  12. Trending…….anti-bully year.ABY

    Rich Incognito- Posterboy bully

    Johnathon Martin- Pussy

    The bully is DQ’d for racial slurs.

  13. Chris, in response to a poster that questioned any accomplishments from former SofS CRice:

    •She reopened nuclear negotiations with North Korea, even authorizing bilateral talks, which George W. Bush had adamantly refused to conduct all through his first term as president.
    •She persuaded Bush to endorse similar (if less promising) negotiations that Britain, France, and Germany had initiated with Iran, which he had also vigorously opposed.
    •She crafted the terms of a United Nations resolution to investigate war crimes in Sudan, a measure that first-term Bush had resisted.
    •She dropped the campaign—which had been launched with great verve by Vice President Dick Cheney—to replace Mohamed elBaradei as chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency and then got U.S. intelligence agencies to resume briefing IAEA officials, a practice that had also been discontinued in the first term.
    •As a prerequisite to all the above accomplishments, she staved off Cheney’s intense efforts to appoint his protégé, John Bolton, as deputy secretary of state and implicitly acknowledged Bolton’s unsuitability for a concession prize—U.N. ambassador—by assuring Democratic opponents that he would be carefully “supervised.”
    **source Fred Kaplan

    Ok finito

  14. Jim…

    However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that if the NCAA, BCS or voting committee can find a way to fuck things up, they will.

    I too have my fingers crossed for improvements next year but I’m not entirely convinced all problems will be solved just because of the new playoff system.

    For example, how will they manage seeding and bowl location? If top-seeded Bama has to travel cross country to face a fourth-seeded west coast team in the predetermined Rose Bowl location for that particular game, won’t that be to the underdog’s unfair advantage?

  15. Al…

    I’m behind on my reading as usual, and yes, the Incognito story has dominated the headlines. No surprise that ESPN is taking that story and running with it.

    I bet right now, Richie wishes he were incognito.

  16. Oh, we’re on the same page, D. Like I said, I was just arguing for arguments sake.

    I think this is a down year for the SEC. Either that or other conferences are narrowing the gap.

    I think in a one game championship, ‘Bama’s experience would lead them past the other three teams but I wouldn’t mind seeing them play any one of ’em.

  17. Richie must wish he were elsewhere , because in his first public interview after his suspension , the guy now seems to be carrying on , as if he is in fact the victim . And what does it say about an ingrate such as Dolphins’ wide receiver Mike Wallace who sought to defend Incognito , even in light of the “tweet ” by Richie Incognito calling Johnathan Martin’s mother a #itch “ ?

    Chris

    Great start by the Pacers this early in the season , but it still early days yet . How long before the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins outstays his welcome in Sacramento ? The center is a damn head case and ongoing misanthrope . Sooner or later , another bust up with the coach Michael Malone (rookie head coach) and they (Kings) will either seek to trade the guy or suspend him for actions detrimental to the team and the game itself .

    tophatal ……………………

  18. Al…

    I’ll have my take on the whole Incognito thing up soon. Too many conflicting reports for anyone to even make sense of it all.

    Pacers looking good. Heat might not grab the number one seed but in the end, will that even matter?

  19. The only reason I’ve yet to hear against an 8 team playoff is that too many games would be required, 3, at the end of the season. So shorten the season by a couple of games by not fluffing your schedule by playing pansies and viola we have the extra weeks needed.

    Oh you say that ‘most’ teams will then earn less because of fewer games? OK this aligns with fewer injuries and more class time so what were they protesting again?

    Oh they all want more money so that NCAA Football can fund every single other sport including every women’s sport?

    Who is really opposed to an 8 team playoff system? Female college athletes? Hardly, Mr. Commissioner.

    With 8 teams as opposed to four teams you avoid the typical back room politics which keep a 21-0 team locked out of the title game… again!

    It HAS to go to a playoff system and four teams is not enough to be fair… I can hear the Boise St. cretins whining already

  20. How about this, Tree.

    Shortening the season and removing the patsies from said schedules against the majors will ruin a lot of those smaller programs.

    Of the hundred or so programs in existence, how many will be able to justify sticking around if they’re not able to have any big games that matter or have a chance to crack into the big time.

    That’s not exactly fair just because we want a little closure.

  21. Chump,

    “that is not exactly fair just because we want a little closure”

    Really? From YOU??

    So rather than fairly crown a national champion you’re proposing that we hand out participation trophies to all of the ‘little guys’??

    So Miami of Ohio doesn’t get scheduled to be thumped by the Buckeyes and thus loses the revenue and (bad) exposure? So what? They should go back to being a little liberal arts school who plays against other little liberal arts schools.

    Candidly there are only 20-25 football programs in the country capable of fielding a championship caliber team… and those 25 teams do not change much over the decades.

    If you’re in that 25 team group then we’re not talking about you because you win enough that others already respect you. If not then enjoy your Saturday cheering for women’s lacrosse or whatever sport your school can demonstrate ANY competency…

    NCAA Div 1 football ALREADY pays for all other sports. Do we need everyone at every little school to get a ‘participation’ trophy too??

  22. I’m not sure I’m buying that, Tree.

    So smaller schools, or not necessarily smaller schools but not major ones, don’t get to have a football program at all? Or they do but they don’t get to play for anything that matters?

    Keep in mind, nobody thought Boise State could beat Oklahoma… until they did.

    They’re not going to just disband programs. And like you said, if they did, by doing so they’d eliminate all the other programs that football subsidizes.

    There’s an answer out there somewhere. It’s just that no one has figured it out yet.

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