Tuesday, December 4, 2007

BCS: The "C" stands for "Chaos"

I have yet to find a single person who disagrees with the idea that this college football season (especially since the dust from the bowl selections has finally settled) proved, more than any other, that the BCS system is severely flawed.

Every year, multiple articles bemoan that very same fact, however. There's always some team that gets overlooked because it's in the wrong conference or it lost at the wrong time or having it in that particular bowl game isn't the best monetary decision (and, we all know, that last part is what REALLY skews things).

Ohio State is the No. 1 team because of a soft non-conference schedule, a final week bye and a top ranking in a completely unimpressive Big 10. Hawaii is the only undefeated team in the nation, but playing in the WAC and not being a college football "heavyweight" (read: lacking the pedigree and the ability to draw in the big money like a top team in the Big 10, Big 12 or SEC could) means a No. 10 ranking and a spot in the Sugar Bowl. Not too shabby, but still...

We're Number One!

Really? REALLY?!

This isn't fair. But it isn't unfair, either. It's not an argument I really want to go anywhere near, because there's just no way to satisfactorily resolve it under the current system.

Almost every other NCAA sport had a playoff system in place. I realize that implementing such a system in college football has huge hurdles - the largest of which is a big, fat dollar sign. I wish sportsmanship and the spirit of competition and drive to prove who REALLY is number one still took precedence over who could draw the most sponsorship money. But you know what they say about wishes...

Still, there's something clean and satisfying about a playoff system. You fight all year to MAKE the playoffs, but once you get there, everyone is on equal footing again. You have to prove yourself all over again. In a year where it seems like no one REALLY, CLEARLY belongs at the top, playoffs seem like the thing that would calm the chaos. Make those two-loss teams (nearly all of whom suffered an embarrassing, heart-wrenching upset) lock helmets and EARN it. Can you just imagine the football games we'd get to see? I'm getting excited just sitting here thinking about the mere possibility.

Damnit. I always do that, though. Get really, really excited about things that will never happen. Because money always wins out. Always (though I will cast a sidelong, puppy dog glance at the BCS committee that says "please, boys. Prove me wrong.").

Barring my pipe dream, here are my gut picks (sans any real analysis...yet).

ROSE: USC over Illinois
SUGAR: Georgia over Hawaii
FIESTA: Oklahoma over West Virginia
ORANGE: Virginia Tech over Kansas

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP: (I hate both of these teams, but) LSU over Ohio State

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