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NCAA Football

Wednesday Whining for October 27, 2010

It’s that time again. With Boise State’s 49-13 victory over Louisana Tech on Tuesday night, the Twitter-verse nearly exploded with both good and bad about the Bronco’s performance. It completely overshadowed the long-awaited debut of the Big Three for the Miami Heat.

Boise State led 28-7 at halftime, but many people were very quick to point out that it was “sloppy”. Then, Louisana Tech scored a touchdown, making it 28-13 and the Broncos fumbled the ensuing kickoff.

I’ve never seen one fumble completely destroy a team’s season. ESPN college football analyst Mark Schlabach tweeted “It’s about the overall body of work and 12-game schedule. If Bama wins out, and Boise State finishes undefeated, I’m voting for Bama”. This comment nearly wiped out the entire Twitter server.

This is exactly what the BCS thrives on: talking and analyzing. Always talking, always analyzing. If you put your mind to it, you can put out a case for nearly any team to be included in the BCS title game. But this is what we have. The Debate Team gets to decide the national champion.

In Mark Schlabach’s defense, it’s not his fault that there are only two slots. Not trying to speak for him, but I think he would be a supporter of an eight or sixteen team playoff. But this is the root of the problem. There’s always someone ready to tear down the undefeated team to build up a one-loss team. And don’t get easily fooled: this would be happening if all the undefeated teams were BCS conference teams.

It’s what we had in 2004. USC, Oklahoma and Auburn were undefeated (plus Utah and Boise State, but who cares about them, right?), and there was much analysis about each team’s schedule. Even more so, you had California and Texas “battling” for the final at-large spot, which was ultimately given to No. 5 Texas over No. 4 California. Everything was about who they played, and who their opponents played, and how strong was this team’s conference.

I’m certain that I’m preaching to the choir, but the field needs to be where it’s decided, not on a radio call-in show. Here’s the true reason: College Football FBS is the only place where it is possible for an undefeated person or team to not be the champion

Think about that. Every single competition you’ve ever seen on TV, listened to, read about, participated in; none of them, NONE of them have the possibility for an undefeated person or team to be declared the loser….except for the FBS division of college football. How can the BCS try to claim that their system is what’s best for college football, when they are the ONLY entity to allow an undefeated team to not be their champion?

The BCS formula is the only redeemable part of this whole travesty. I still think the formula, especially the computer rankings, are suspect because of the wild variations you’ll see. Call me naive, but I think that changes once there are 8 or 16 playoff spots. The formula have been refined over the course of the last 13 years, so throwing it completely out would be a waste of time. Use it to seed the teams and use it to choose at-large teams after the conference champions are confirmed.

16 teams. First round games at the home of the higher-seeded team. That should appease the current BCS schools, as they get an extra game to sell $8 beer, $6 hot dogs, and $4 Pepsi. Quarterfinals are at the home of “second-tier” bowls, such as the Outback Bowl (Tampa), Cotton Bowl (Dallas), Gator Bowl (Jacksonville) and Peach Bowl (Atlanta). Maybe the Holiday Bowl instead of the Gator Bowl, so California can have one, instead of two in Florida.

Lower bowls can still stage their game. There will be plenty of above-.500 teams that don’t make the playoffs. If Papa John’s want to pay two teams to play in Louisville on December 20, then that’s their choice. I’m sure ESPN will be there with all the coverage.

It’s so simple that even I can think of it in 10 minutes. Of course, that isn’t what people want. They would rather argue to a stalemate, rather than come to a definitive conclusion.

More accurately, they would rather not be proven wrong than be proven right.