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Article:BCS: Fight the System

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So it's the first of May, and recently there was a meeting of 12 very powerful men in Hollywood, Florida to discuss a possible change to college football's postseason. In other words, they met to make necessary changes to the subpar BCS. If history has taught you anything, take a guess as to whether or not anything was accomplished...that's what I thought. The problem I have isn't that a room full of smart and powerful conference commissioners and an athletic director (of course, Notre Dame's athletic director, but that's a rant for a different time) couldn't come to an agreement, its that they essentially met knowing that they wouldn't come to an agreement.

Chances are, these 12 men met for 3 days to "seriously consider" taking a step forward towards remedying the BCS system and all that came of it was a few nice dinners, some fun in the sun and maybe a golf outing or two and that's the problem. It's not that 12 very smart men couldn't make a stride or two towards a better system, it's that most of them are too lazy to put their brains to work for more than is absolutely necessary. That's what my problem is and that's what everyone's problem should be - the fact that, arguably, our country's best sport is desperately behind every other sport in determining a champion.

Fox Sports president, Ed Goren, even went as far as to say that the BCS was superior to a playoff system because, "Five teams go back to campus as champions. If you go into a different system, you have one winner and everyone else goes home a loser." Huh? I don't think so. According to Ed's "expert analysis," we should just go ahead and stop the NCAA Tournament at the Final Four, stop the College World Series at 4 or 5 teams, basically make the idea of playing for a real championship a complete farce. While we're at it, why don't we just go ahead and turn this into children's church-league sports and give everyone a trophy or a medal? Great job, Hawaii! 12-0 regular season, blown out in a bowl's your trophy! Great job, Florida International! You won one game all season, but you kept it close once or's your trophy! What kind of crap is that, Ed? Five teams do not go back to campus as champions. I know more Georgia fans than I have ever wanted to know and I can tell you this - not a damn one of them felt like their team was a champion. Instead they've spent the entire time since the season ended either complaining about getting screwed by the BCS process or going ahead and awarding themselves the '08 title and a Heisman to Knowshon Moreno (but that's yet another rant for another different time and place).

That's how this system works - use a bogus ranking system based solely upon biased votes from biased coaches (i.e. New Mexico State head man Hal Mumme voting Hawaii #1 in his final poll while LSU was 4th, USC 7th and Georgia 9th) and a computer formula that has had more work done on it than Joan Rivers's face to determine who the two best teams in the country are. If college basketball used a similar format, we'd probably be seeing the top two teams in the RPI in a one-game national championship (this past season, that would have meant that UNC and Tennessee would have decided our national champion this past March. Think that would have been a better end to a great season than the Final Four we got?). That's what makes the NCAA Tournament so intriguing - the matchups we get during the tourney. How great of a story was Davidson this year? How about George Mason in '05? College football doesn't give us these type of games. With college basketball, not only do we get an intense regular season, we get more intense conference tournaments and an anything-can-happen, fight-for-our-lives slate of games to decide a national champion. And this brings me to the next stupid argument for the BCS...

The other absurd argument in favor of the BCS is that a playoff system would lessen the value of the regular season. Quick question: does the NCAA Tournament cheapen the regular season? Did the NCAA Tournament make the Memphis vs. Tennessee, #1 vs. #2 match up any less intense or classic? Does the NCAA Tournament ever make a Duke/UNC rivalry unimportant? So if a playoff would cheapen the regular season (which we all know is less accurate than a 3rd and long pass by John Parker Wilson...ZIIIIIIIIIIING!!!!!) then how about playing just conference games instead of scheduling non-conference heavyweights like Western Carolina, the Citadel and Utah State just to fill up a schedule? Don't answer, because I already know the reason: most real football programs make so much money even off garbage, tune-up games that they'd never go for dropping these games so that their sport could be validated at the end of the season. Why make a change or two so that the sport can actually crown a valid national champion, when we can keep this flawed system and rake in a few million more for our athletic program, not to mention get a little financial boost for the local economy? Exactly. The people making the most money off of the current system are the ones that have the most power to change it - ADs, president, conference commissioners, the list goes on.

The real solution is for everyone to chill until the current BCS system is up for reevaluation in 2014, because its clear that no one that has the power to make any changes to our current situation will actually take time or the financial hit to make said change. So folks, change your mindsets - embrace the needless controversy that every offseason for the past 7 or 8 years has produced. Embrace the fact that biased coaches, who may or may not be holding grudges when they cast their votes to make up the dreaded "Coaches Poll", are a key component of deciding who the best two teams are. Embrace the fact that a computer system that is "minorly tweaked" almost every season, not to mention a system that no one can explain to you, is the other key component to determining the annual bowl match ups. As ACC commissioner John Swofford said, "The BCS is in an unprecedented state of health." Of course, isn't that what everyone says when they just don't feel like going to see the doctor?

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