Wednesday, December 4, 2013

BCS Logic: Imperfect is better than perfect

Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings. ~George F. Will

I really didn't want to get into this BCS garbage, because that's what the BCS is – garbage. Oh, and by the way, it ain't gonna get any better next year with athletic directors and a few wannabe experts (Condaleeza Rice – really???) picking the four finalist teams for the “playoffs”. So what we'll get is a bunch of quid-pro-quo picks by the AD's (vote for us now, we'll vote for you next year) and a group of people who don't even know the team nicknames going along with them.

But, I couldn't avoid it when, after Ohio State beat Michigan in a great game and Auburn pulled off their second pure-luck victory in a row, the ESPN SEC bandwagon started up pulling for Auburn in the championship. And I got even more aggravated when Jay Jacobs, Auburn AD, came up with this line:

"An SEC team can't get left out of the (championship game) with one loss. We just beat the No. 1 team in the nation, and a team ahead of us struggled today, I understand," (referring to Ohio State's 42-41 victory at Michigan).

Sure, Jay, like your boys won it going away. For those who don't know, the score was tied with seconds left when Nick Saban, for reasons even he can't rationally explain, tried a 56-yard field goal. Not only was it short, but Auburn ran it back for the game winning score. Yup, Auburn sure dominated them. Oh, and the week before they beat a three-loss Georgia team with a last second prayer that bounced off two Georgia defenders into the hands of an Auburn receiver.

Yup, you guys were really kicking butt there.

Then he came up with this one:

"It's already happened in 2004, and it would be a disservice to the nation if we got left out."

Yes, I remember 2004. Auburn, with a perfect record was ranked third behind a one-loss Oklahoma.

So, having a one-loss team make the championship while a team with a perfect record gets the cold shoulder is bad, right, Jay? You wanna make up your mind?

There is a continuing myth that the SEC is the only good conference in the country, despite having fairly ordinary records against non-conference opponents who aren't cupcakes. Frankly, the SEC resembles the Big 10 over the years: One or two power teams followed by a lot of so-so. Yes, the SEC has dominated the national championship game. No one is saying Alabama, Florida, and the rest are crummy teams. But get past that and neither of the conference exactly dominates the other bowl games.

For me the BCS lost what little credibility it had in 2012 when Saban did everything he could to lose to LSU in the regular season then ended up facing them again in the national championship. After the loss, Alabama fell to third, then moved up to number 2 by not playing the following week.  Oh, and the same talking heads that thought that was wonderful had moaned and groaned that Ohio State-Michigan rematch would be bad for the championship game (they were 1 and 2 when they met at the end of the season: OSU won).

It doesn't hurt that SEC Commissioner Mike Slive is one of the main movers of the current BCS system, by the way.

The BCS has frozen out plenty of teams with perfect records, who went on to beat some impressive opponents in bowl games:
  • 2010-11 -- No. 12 TCU beats No. 5 Wisconsin
  • 2009-10 – No. 6 Boise State beats No. 4 TCU (who also had a perfect record)
  • 2008-9 – No. 7 Utah beats No.4 Alabama (oh, really?)
Apparently, the plan this year is to have a rematch between Auburn and Alabama for the championship game unless Florida State and Ohio State win by about 50 points each in their league championship games. That was pretty much the spin ESPN's crew put on things. Personally, I don't know what's going to happen for sure, but I can promise this.

It ain't gonna get better next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment